Fantasy Football: AFC West Winners & Losers from the NFL Draft

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The AFC West is projected by many to be a tight division in the 2018 season.  This makes their respective draft classes all the more crucial to their potential success in the upcoming season, but what does it mean for the incoming rookies and the veterans on these squads?  Who were the winners and losers?

This article will recap the AFC West part of Episode #544 of The Fantasy Footballers podcast- NFL Draft Breakdown: AFC Winners & Losers.

Denver Broncos

Winners: Royce Freeman, Case Keenum
Losers: Devontae Booker, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders

The Broncos attacked their offensive needs in the draft with Royce Freeman and WRs Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.  Freeman comes into a wide open depth chart, squandering Booker’s clear shot at the starting gig.  While Sutton and Hamilton will need to sit behind pro-bowl caliber WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in year one, their arrival likely foretells the end for the veterans in Denver.

Case Keenum is the most stable beneficiary from Denver’s draft.  Not only did they add more weapons to the offense, but they failed to address the QB position, leaving just Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly on the depth chart.

Los Angeles Chargers

Winners: Melvin Gordon, Mike Williams
Losers: Austin Ekeler

The Chargers focused primarily on the defensive side of the ball.  Shoring up a defense that will be a strong complement to an established offense.  Improving on what was already a top defense will only mean more opportunities for Melvin Gordon in positive game scripts.  One notable addition to the offensive side is Justin Jackson, RB out of Northwestern.  Though slightly undersized, Jackson is a solid pass catcher who has a chance to push Austin Ekeler for passing down work.  In the passing game, Hunter Henry and Mike Williams should be given every opportunity to succeed.

Kansas City Chiefs

Winners: none
Losers: none

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“Nothing to see here” as the Chiefs used all 6 of their draft selections on defense.

Oakland Raiders

Winners: Derek Carr, Running Backs
Losers: Jordy Nelson

Gruden drafted grinders, with each of his first four picks coming on the offensive and defensive lines.  This should be good news for their RB, though we may need to wait and see who wins the lion share of those duties.

The addition of Martavis Bryant via trade along with the offensive line reinforcements is great for Derek Carr.  It is not so great for Jordy Nelson, who was already a low ceiling player and will now have an even more difficult time securing the volume he needs to be productive.

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