Fantasy Football Winners and Losers from Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft

Updated: Jul 13


Continuing the trend of the most chaotic NFL offseason I've ever seen in my 33.5 years of existence, the 1st round of the 2022 NFL draft was more bananas than a hidden cave in Donkey Kong.


There were 6 WRs taken—all within the first 18 picks—no RBs, no TEs, and just 1 QB (and not even the best one) all night. More than that, there were 9(!) trades made last night, two of which involved high profile WRs.


TLDR: the fantasy football landscape was livin' that Elvis life last night; all shook up. Below are the winners and losers from last night's events as well as next steps for both best ball and dynasty leagues (dynasty and best ball draft tiers coming soon to early bird season pass subscribers!).


Let's Michael Phelps and dive in:


WINNERS:

WR Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens - Easily the biggest riser in the fantasy football landscape after the Ravens shipped Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals and did not draft a replacement. Bateman, a top prospect from 2021 and the 27th overall pick, instantly becomes the team's WR1 (good for 146 targets last year) playing with an MVP QB and really only Mark Andrews (another winner) in the mix for target competition (for now).

  • Best Ball: Bateman is currently the 45th WR off the board which is about to change drastically. He's a high-end WR3 that carries legitimate WR1 upside.

  • Dynasty: He's a hold for current managers and they should be excited about the short and long term future. You could float him out there for trade offers today assuming the Ravens bring in another WR via draft or free agency but, even if they do, Bateman is THE guy. I'd hold with excitement (giggity).

WR Robert Woods, Tennessee Titans - The Titans traded 8+ targets per game away when they sent AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles (not to mention the 5-ish targets per game vacated by Julio Jones). Yes, they drafted Treylon Burks as the AJ Brown replacement (more on that in a minute), but it's likely safe to assume Burks won't make an AJ Brown-like impact in his rookie campaign. The main beneficiary of that should be Robert Woods as Ryan Tannehill's likely WR1 come September.

  • Best Ball: Robert Woods is currently the WR48 in early best ball drafts. That's a value and likely to rise following the AJ Brown trade. He's a WR3 with upside.

  • Dynasty: He's a hold for current managers, perhaps a "sell high" candidate. One could certainly place him on the trade block and see what comes from it, but I'm guessing rookie fever will have many managers thinking Treylon Burks is the guy (devaluing Woods).

WR Drake London, Atlanta Falcons -

Last night the Falcons cemented Drake London as the dynasty rookie WR1 by making him the first WR off the board at pick number 8 overall. A 98th percentile prospect in JJ Zachariason's Z-prospect model, London joins a WR room that's currently "led" by Damiere Byrd, Auden Tate and Olamide Zaccheaus. In other words, it's pretty much just London and Kyle Pitts in an offense that just vacated 214 WR/TE targets (Russell Gage, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, Tajae Sharpe and others)

  • Best Ball: Drake London is currently the 41st WR off the board which seems bound to rise after Thursday. That's much closer to his floor than his ceiling.

  • Dynasty: We'll see what happens with Breece Hall tonight but as of right now, London is, at worst, the 1.02 in my dynasty rookie rankings.

WR Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans - I mentioned above that I think Robert Woods will be the main beneficiary of the AJ Brown trade, but that doesn't mean I don't think Tennessee is a great landing spot for the AJ Brown clone. At absolute worst, Treylon Burks is the WR2 (for now) on a playoff team that just vacated 280+ targets. At absolute best, what if I'm wrong and he is the WR1 immediately?

  • Best Ball: Treylon Burks is currently the 42nd WR off the board which seems about right for a starting point for year 1. I think he starts as WR3/4 with upside to finish higher this year.

  • Dynasty: Burks is currently my WR2 in dynasty rookie rankings after last night's events.

WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints - I LOVE New Orleans as a landing spot for Chris Olave in an offense that's sorely lacking pass catchers behind Michael Thomas (who's 29 years old, by the way) and will get Jameis Winston back who, say what you want about him as a Quarterback but we know the guy is willing to fling it to his WRs. Olave slides in as the immediate WR2 in New Orleans competing with just Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara (and that's if Kamara doesn't get suspended). As far as year 1 impact goes, Olave is up there with Drake London and I think he's a good bet to have a better statistical rookie year than any other WR.

  • Best Ball: Olave is currently the 46th WR off the board which is a terrific value (and that ADP is likely to climb). He's an instant WR3/4 with upside.

  • Dynasty: Olave is my WR3 in dynasty rookie rankings after last night's events.

WR Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders - Like Drake London and Chris Olave before him (but not as exciting as a prospect), this is a great landing spot for Dotson. Say what you will about Carson Wentz, but he's the best QB the Commanders have had in years and Terry McLaurin is the only sure bet for targets ahead of Dotson. Dotson will have a chance to challenge Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown and Logan Thomas for targets. Best case, he's ends up as the number 2 option in Washington. Worst cast—and this is absolutely in the realm of possibilities—he spends year 1 buried as the 5th option (and that's if you don't consider Antonio Gibson or JD McKissic). It's a wide range of outcomes but still, there's a clear path to targets for Dotson.

  • Best Ball: Dotson is currently the 67th WR off the board which obviously could prove to be terrific value if he can make a move up the depth chart sooner than later. WR67 feels more like floor than ceiling.

  • Dynasty: Dotson is my WR6 in dynasty rookie rankings

Other winners: TE Mark Andrews, WR Devin Duvernay, TE Austin Hooper, QB Kyler Murray, QB Jalen Hurts, QB Marcus Mariota, QB Jameis Winston, QB Carson Wentz, QB Zach Wilson, QB Jared Goff

LOSERS:

WR Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals - It looked on twitter last night like a lot of people like the Cardinals as a landing spot for Marquise Brown. Not me. He went from the WR1 on a team where he received 9.1 targets per game last season to the WR2 (if that) on a team where no WR—not even DeAndre Hopkins—averaged so much as 6.5 targets per game. He went from sharing with just Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman to sharing with with Hopkins, Rondale Moore, AJ Green and Zach Ertz. No WR in that offense hit 1,000 receiving yards (even Hopkins would have needed all 18 games to hit it at his 57.2 yards/game average) and Hopkins was the only player to exceed 5 TDs (and, by the way, he's still there). That offense is just way too crowder for comfort for fantasy football purposes.

  • Best Ball: Marquise Brown is currently the WR30 in best ball leagues. Although I do expect him to have occasional splash games—that's the type of player he is—WR30 is far too rich for my taste in this offense.

  • Dynasty: As I mentioned above, there seemed to be a lot of people who loved this landing spot for Hollywood. If I have him, I'm trying to find those people in my leagues and make a trade.

WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals - When Christian Kirk and his 103 targets took off to Jacksonville (and absolutely shattered the WR financial market and created the insane butterfly effect that you saw manifest itself last night with the AJ Brown trade), there was optimism that Moore would be stepping into a role that showcases his electrifying talent. Yes, Rondale Moore szn was upon us. And then Hollywood came to the desert and now us Rondale Moore barely got out of bed this morning. Brown's acquisition was extremely painful for Moore's 2022 prospects for all the same reasons mentioned above; there's just no room for him.

  • Best Ball: Moore is currently the WR50 in best ball leagues which was exciting value before the Hollywood trade. He's still capable of exceeding that of course, but there's a lot of other WRs around their I'd consider over him now.

  • Dynasty: There's no way around it, this one hurts. I'm never really an advocate for selling low so if I have him, I'm probably just holding on to him unless someone makes a worthwhile offer (duh).

WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles brought in—and paaaaaiiiiiid—AJ Brown, likely bumping DeVonta Smith from the top spot in the pecking order to the WR2 in one of the league's run-heaviest offenses. He's still a terrific prospect and talented player, but so is AJ Brown, who they didn't just give $16 million per year to run behind Smith.

  • Best Ball: Smith is currently the 29th WR off the board which was already a "nope" for me before this trade. I expect ADP to drop and even wonder if he might become a value as the summer presses on. As of right now though, it's an easy pass.

  • Dynasty: See Rondale Moore.

Other losers: Brown, Smith and Moore were the two biggest losers, but other notable names who saw their stock took a hit even slightly include: WR Curtis Samuel, WR Dyami Brown, TE Dallas Goedert, WR DeAndre Hopkins, TE Zach Ertz, WR AJ Green, WR Tre'Quan Smith, WR Marquez Callaway, WR Olamide Zaccheaus/Auden Tate/Damiere Byrd, Ryan Tannehill, QB Lamar Jackson


More to come as the draft continues to unravel tonight, including Dynasty and Best Ball draft tiers for early bird season pass subscribers!



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