Now that the NFL Draft has come and gone it is time to look and see what impact the draft had on some players Dynasty value. While some of these are going to be obvious the draft led to quite a few situations becoming very murky, like the RB situation in Cincinnati. Most of the players we are going to look at in this article had their “stock” decline, but there are a few upgrades.
- DeMarco Murray/Derrick Henry – The addition of Corey Davis by the Titans in the 1st round means that opponents will have to start taking the Titans passing game seriously. With Rishard Matthews and Davis the Titans have two legit WRs to go along with Delanie Walker at TE. Due to this their opponents won’t be able to stack the box on first and second downs and will allow for more running lanes for Murray and Henry.
- Darren Sproles/Ryan Matthews/Wendell Smallwood – Many thought that the Eagles would address the RB position early in the draft and they did not. They only player they took was Donnel Pumphrey who is generously listed at 180 lbs. and is more of a 3rd down type back. While many will debate who the lead RB is in Philly the good news for Sproles, Matthews and Smallwood is they didn’t take a clear #1 RB in the draft.
- Ameer Abdullah/Theo Riddick/Zach Zenner/Dwayne Washington – This is pretty much the same situation as the Eagles although the Lions didn’t even bring in a player in the draft.
- Cam Newton – For the last couple of years Newton has been trying to produce with very little talent around him at the skill positions. With the draft additions of Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel the Panthers have added some much-needed speed to their plodding offense. This can only help Newton as a thrower and a runner.
- Jameis Winston – The Bucs have spent the entire offseason adding to their offense to help Winston and that includes the draft. With the additions of OJ Howard, Chris Godwin, and Jeremy McNichols on top of the free agent signing of DeSean Jackson the Bucs have a lot of weapons. The front office has certainly done their part to make sure Winston has every opportunity to succeed by surrounding him with playmakers (Mike Evans, Jackson, Howard, Cameron Brate, Godwin, Doug Martin, Charles Sims, McNichols, etc.)
- Jared Goff – Similarly to Winston the Rams have spent the offseason attempting to bring in more weapons for Goff. With the draft additions of Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds at WR along with Gerald Everett at TE, the team has given Goff some more weapons.
Wait and See
- Giovani Bernard/Jeremy Hill – While many would argue that the addition of Joe Mixon in the draft is an immediate downgrade for these two I am not so sure…yet. While it is entirely possible, if not likely, that Mixon ends up the lead back for the Bengals this should be a situation to watch and see how it shakes out. This is not even taking into consideration the off the field issues that Mixon has had. Personally, Mixon is not a guy I would feel real comfortable investing big in just yet until he proves himself both on and off the field.
- DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller – Everyone seems very excited about Deshaun Watson in Houston and it seems like a great fit, but from a fantasy perspective I would advise a wait and see approach. While Watson may turn into a top tier QB down the road, rookie QBs often struggle in the NFL. This is assuming that the Texans give him the job over Tom Savage. The Texans are in a tough spot as a playoff team this past year but wanting to break in a rookie QB. While this might be a good thing long-term for Hopkins and Fuller seeing if Watson is the real deal first would be advised.
- Ty Montgomery – It sure looks like Montgomery will be the lead back for the Packers this coming season. However, the team did draft three other RBs (Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Davante Mays) which tells me the team isn’t entirely sold on Montgomery. This is even further magnified by the fact that Montgomery came into the NFL as a WR.
- Keenan Allen/Tyrell Williams – It is generally never a good thing for the incumbent players when a team takes someone in the 1st However, for the Chargers I am not sure this is a bad thing for Allen or Williams. With Philip Rivers the team has always thrown the ball a lot and it is reasonable to think that Williams, Allen and Williams could all be productive fantasy players.
- Sammie Coates/Martavis Bryant/Cobi Hamilton/DeMarcus Ayers/Eli Rogers – The Steelers added JuJu Smith-Schuster during the draft which likely means a reduced role for some of the listed players above. Bryant commented on Twitter that it was Coates job that was in jeopardy, but it could be any of the above or none. This situation is certainly worth keeping an eye on to see who are the #2 and #3 WRs for the team.
- TJ Yeldon/Chris Ivory – When a team takes a RB with the 4th overall pick in the draft that is definitely not a vote of confidence in the guys on the roster. While Yeldon might still have some value as a 3rd down back and maybe Ivory will get some work around the goal line, both guys lost a lot of touches with the addition of Fournette.
- Rob Kelley/Matt Jones – The addition of Samaje Perine likely means a reduced role for Kelley and maybe a lost roster spot for Jones. Kelley had an impressive run last year for the Redskins but the early draft addition of Perine might be a sign that the team isn’t 100% sold on him long-term. Jones has been in the doghouse for a while due to his fumbling issues and this pick might be a push out the door for him.
- Carlos Hyde – This may seem like a strange one to add to the downgrade section and I admit I am reading the tea leaves here a bit. If you read Peter King’s MMQB column from 5/1 you will see that he was in the draft room with the 49ers throughout the draft. Beyond being an interesting read you can see that Kyle Shanahan, the team’s coach, is infatuated with RB Joe Williams. Despite the fact that Williams was taken off GM John Lynch’s draft board, Shanahan pushed for him and eventually convinced Lynch to take him after Lynch spoke with Williams. I can’t see this as a vote of confidence in Hyde and added with the offseason addition of Tim Hightower shows me the new regime in SF is not totally sold on Hyde.
- Cameron Brate – Brate was one of the breakthrough surprise players from last year at the TE position. After just 23 catches in 2015 he jumped to 57 catches and 8 TDs in 2016. This momentum was certainly slowed down by the addition of OJ Howard in the 1st round of the draft. The reports I have read seem to feel that Howard is a much better all-around TE then Brate and that he will take the majority of the first team snaps over Brate. While Brate may still have some value as a redzone target he certainly lost a lot due to the pick of Howard.
While it is very easy to focus on the newly drafted players, the NFL Draft often has a greater impact on veteran players and their roles for the upcoming season. We, as dynasty league members, need to be able to determine what impact the draft has had on players to best understand their short-term and long-term value. Not all players have seen a negative impact on their value from the draft and honestly not everything can be determined today. The owners that do the research and spend the time to look beyond just what a player’s stats were last year and fully understand what their opportunity is moving forward will see the most success.