The AFC’s Biggest Winners & Losers From the NFL Draft (Fantasy Football)
Welcome to another week over here on The Fantasy Footballers! We have spent several weeks discussing what-ifs with fantasy landing spots, and now we have some finality (at least for now) to discuss. This week Andy, Mike, and Jason discuss the NFL Draft and AFC Winners and Losers. For even more details regarding these rookies and their landing spots make sure to check out the UDK+ and the Dynasty Pass with up-to-date rookie rankings!
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Winners and Losers
The guys start the winners and losers in the AFC with the South. The Jags biggest skill player drafted was not until pick 154 when they took Snoop Connor, a RB from Ole Miss. With few other offensive players drafted – they had a plethora of other needs to be addressed – the guys think there are no real fantasy winners here. Trevor Lawrence could be a fantasy loser since he did not leave the draft with any new weapons, but it is still TBD. The Houston Texans drafted WR John Metchie, RB Dameon Pierce, and TE Teagan Quitoriano, who all could see some fantasy relevance in the future. Pierce looks to have some opportunity in this backfield. Fantasy winners for the Texans include whoever ends up as their starting RB (Marlon Mack or Sexy Rexy) and QB Davis Mills, as he has a speedster to throw the ball to now. Nico Collins is a fantasy loser as the Texans chose to beef up an already full RB room. The Indianapolis Colts went and got their new QB Matt Ryan some weapons, picking up WR Alec Pierce along with two TEs – Jelani Woods and Andrew Ogletree. Indy now has some of the tallest pass catchers in the league, making Matt Ryan a big fantasy winner. Pitty City is also a winner here, whereas Gigantor Mo-Alie Cox could be a loser with two TEs added to the roster. Closing out the South is the Titans, who replaced AJ Brown quickly with WR Treylon Burks. They also drafted QB Malik Willis, RB Hassan Haskins, and TE Chigoziem Okonkwo. Ryan Tannehill is a fantasy loser here, as we clearly see Tennessee planning for the future. Treylon Burks and newly signed Robert Woods are the big winners here, looking to become the clear one and two for Tannehill in 2022.
We start with the Cleveland Browns in what indeed will be a hotly contested division. The Browns drafted WRs David Bell, Michael Woods II, and RB Jerome Ford. This is a great fantasy opportunity for Bell, with only Amari Cooper and Donavon Peoples-Jones to battle with for passes thrown by a talented QB in Deshaun Watson. There are no other huge winners or losers here – an RB drafted as late as Ford will do little to usurp the starters. The Baltimore Ravens drafted two TEs in Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely, as well as RB Tyler Badie. Remembering that the Ravens traded away Marquise Brown earlier in the evening, the most significant fantasy loser here is Lamar Jackson, losing one of his go-to pass catchers. Conversely, Rashad Bateman and Mark Andrews get a bump here fantasy-wise with one less mouth to feed in this receiving pie. JK Dobbins is also a fantasy winner, the Ravens’ trust in him is clearly seen with no high RB drafted. The Pittsburgh Steelers had quite a haul at the draft this year, picking up QB Kenny Pickett, WR George Pickens, WR Calvin Austin III, and QB Chris Oladokun. No overwhelming fantasy winners here, but the drafting of not one but two QBs spells potential fantasy disappointment for Mitch Trubisky. He will have to earn and keep his job. If Pickett earns the job, he is surrounded by talent and could turn into fantasy relevance. Chase Claypool might also be a loser with two pass-catchers being added, and he might be looking for a new team.
Finally, the reigning AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals did not draft any skill players, opting to use their picks to strengthen the protection for Joe Burrow. There are no big fantasy losers here, and TE Hayden Hurst might be a winner with no additional TE added.
Over to the AFC East and the New York Jets. They had quite a haul, drafting WR Garrett Wilson, trading up for RB Breece Hall, and getting TE Jeremy Ruckert in round three. QB Zach Wilson is a big fantasy winner here, getting himself some solid pass-catchers as well as the draft consensus best RB. On that note, RB Michael Carter is a potential loser here – he now must share carries with Hall. WR Corey Davis is also a fantasy loser here; it looks like the Jets are getting ready to move on. This year, the Miami Dolphins only had four picks, doing most of their work in the off-season through trades. They drafted WR Erik Ezukanma and QB Skylar Thompson. No overwhelming fantasy winners or losers here. We patiently wait to see what Tua can do with his weapons. Crafty Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots drafted WR Tyquan Thornton, RBs Pierre Strong Jr., and Kevin Harris and picked up a backup QB in Bailey Zappe. The RB room becomes even muddier, with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson being the most prominent fantasy losers. Kendrick Bourne is also a potential loser. The last team in the East is the Buffalo Bills. They picked up RB James Cook and WR Khalil Shakir. Gabe Davis maintains his possible fantasy darling status with only one pass-catcher drafted, whereas we are back to confusion with the Bills RBs. Both Moss and Singletary are fantasy losers with the addition of Dalvin’s brother, a solid pass-catcher. Jason thinks there is a world where Cook has substantial fantasy value.
This season the AFC West might be the most competitive division in football, and all the teams drafted some intriguing players. The Denver Broncos drafted TE Greg Dulcich and WR Montrell Washington. No overwhelming winners here, but the potential fantasy love affair with Albert O. is in danger with the addition of UCLA’s Dulcich. The Los Angeles Chargers spent most of their picks strengthening their line and protection for Justin Herbert but picked up RB Isaiah Spiller in the fourth round. The Chargers player’s fantasy values stay relatively the same except for poor RB Joshua Kelly. That dream may be over. The Las Vegas Raiders added to their offense with two RBs – Zamir White and Brittain Brown. There are no massive fantasy winners due to these picks, but Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake stock might be trending down. Remember, the Raiders also elected to not pick up that fifth-year option for Jacobs. That adds to more RB confusion. Finally, the Kansas City Chiefs went with WR Skyy Moore and RB Isiah Pachecho. They also signed undrafted WR Justyn Ross. With no star RB drafted, Ronald Jones and CEH look to be fantasy winners. Ju-Ju might also be a winner, with the Chiefs not managing to get one of the top WRs. Mecole Hardman is a fantasy loser, with Moore potentially becoming that significant downfield threat for Mahomes.