The NFL Draft is in the books and while this year’s class may lack a large number of players that will make an immediate fantasy splash, the class will definitely have a fantasy impact.
One of the biggest instant measures will come from how veteran players’ fantasy stock was impacted by the way their NFL teams addressed, or it some cases did not address, their positions during the draft.
With the dust now settling on things, here are some my biggest fantasy winners and losers among veteran players.
Lamar Jackson: The Ravens will remain a run-first team, but adding a pair of wide receivers early on with Marquise Brown in Round 1 and Miles Boykin in Round 3 helps give him some more targets and this duo boasts some play-making ability.
Josh Allen: Buffalo already added some much-needed talent on offense during free agency and continued to build up the unit in the draft with day two picks of guard Cody Ford and running back Devin Singletary.
David Johnson: While they didn’t do much to address the offensive line, the Cardinals added the quarterback new head coach Kliff Kingsbury coveted in Kyler Murray and a trio of talented wideouts in Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson. Perhaps that will help to start loosen some things up for Johnson.
Joe Mixon: Mixon has top five potential and has been rising on many boards all offseason. Jonah Williams falling to the Bengals at No. 11 will help give Mixon holes he has not seen as a pro. Cincinnati also added a physical blocking tight end Drew Sample as a surprise in Round 2 and invested a fourth-round selection on guard Michael Jordan.
Lamar Miller: One of the more surprising developments in Nashville was the fact the Texans did little to address their backfield. The only running back they drafted was a fullback, Cullen Gillaspia, in the seventh round. D’Onta Foreman, who spent most of 2018 injured, will be the only threat to Miller once again being RB2 worthy in fantasy leagues in the year ahead.
Aaron Jones: Outside of Aaron Rodgers nobody in the Green Bay offense was happier to see a coaching change than Jones, who spent plenty of time in Mike McCarthy’s doghouse. The running back got a huge vote of confidence from new head coach Matt LaFleur when the team did little to address the position in the draft. They grabbed Dexter Williams late and Jamaal Williams is still in the picture, but Jones will enter the season as the clear lead back for the Packers.
Peyton Barber / Ronald Jones: It was surprising not to see the Bucs do much to add depth at running back in free agency. Then to watch them not address the position in the draft as well was shocking. Tampa Bay only drafted one player on offense period, so new head coach Bruce Arians appears to be content with what he has for the moment. Barber is a decent mid-round value and Jones could prove to be a nice post-hype sleeper.
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Joe Flacco: Flacco did not have much fantasy value to begin with, but after Denver passed on drafting a quarterback in Round 1, they traded up to grab Drew Lock in Round 2. If the Broncos fall out of the playoff hunt and Flacco falters we could see Lock sooner rather than later.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: He was a great best-ball grab of late, but now that Josh Rosen is in the fold you can slam the brakes a bit. The Rosen/Fitzpatrick combo is an upgrade over Ryan Tannehill, but Rosen is the better bet to emerge with the job. If they both tank, look for the Dolphins to address the position again in Round 1 next season.
Todd Gurley: Gurley’s stock has been trending down all offseason with the concerns around his knee injury. The fact the Rams drafted Darrell Henderson in the third round only added fuel to the fire.
Jordan Howard: After being dealt to Philadelphia, Howard saw a brief spike in his ADP. Look for that momentum to come to a halt now that Eagles have landed Miles Sanders. The rookie back is the upside play out of the backfield.
Sony Michel: Just when we thought we figured out the Patriots’ backfield the team went after Damien Harris in Round 3. James White has the only clear role and Rex Burkhead is the change-of-pace guy. Harris is a direct threat to Michel’s early-down work in the long term. While these backs are all nice options in best ball formats, the week-to-week guessing game here is problematic for season-long players.
Mike Davis: The Bears went after Davis early in free agency and when Howard was traded to Philly, it looked like the veteran could be a nice mid-round target. With David Montgomery, who Matt Nagy compares to Kareem Hunt, now in the mix that will no longer be the case.
Doug Baldwin: With multiple surgeries already this offseason news has surfaced that Baldwin may not play again. The 30-year old is facing a potential retirement and the Seahawks definitely drafted as if they too though that was a possibility.
Devin Funchess: The competition for targets in the Colts’ passing attack has increased after team landed Parris Campbell in Round 2. Andrew Luck is going to have plenty of options in 2019. Funchess has never overwhelmed, but definitely gets a boost going from Carolina to Indy.