Updated: Jul 13, 2022
Yesterday we covered 6 big winners and 3 big losers (among others) after Day 1 of the NFL draft. Naturally, there's more to discuss after Day 2.
Below are the rookie-specific winners and losers from last night's events as well as next steps for both best ball and dynasty leagues.
WR Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs - the Packer fan and fantasy football analyst in me was disappointed the Packers didn't get Skyy Moore. And then the analyst in me was elated to hear the Chiefs call Moore's name (Packer fan me is still sad though). Moore is one of my favorite prospects at any position in the entire class and now joins a Patrick Mahomes offense that just vacated 260 targets from three of their top wideouts (Tyreek Hill, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle). At worst, Moore will be 3rd or 4th in line for targets behind Travis Kelce (who turns 33 in October), JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. At best, it's certainly within his range of outcomes that Moore finds himself as the WR1 in an offense that's averaged 3.3 TDs per game over the last 2 seasons (3rd most in football).
Best Ball: Moore is currently the WR56 (bunched with Jameson Williams, Tyler Boyd, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kenny Golladay, Jakobi Meyers, George Pickens, Tim Patrick, DJ Chark) - In year 1, I'd take Moore over every single one of them (although I did pause when considering Golladay). He's a WR4 with very real upside; Skyy is the limit for Moore in KC (get it?)
Dynasty: I haven't put together my rankings yet. I'm thinking I'll have Moore somewhere around 1.09 (WR 6 or 7). I'd be very excited to get him.
WR Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers - here's the thing; as a Packers fan, I did not love this pick (as you saw above, I wanted Moore). Watson is incredibly raw and it's fair to wonder how well that will mesh with a perfectionist like Aaron Rodgers. That said, Watson is one of those Giannis Antetokounmpo type of guys (yeah, I went there) who's raw but freakishly gifted as an athlete with tremendous upside, and there's no denying that's an exciting add for Aaron Rodgers. We also know there's a lot of opportunity; Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling's departures free up 224 targets and the most "established" (hardly) pass catchers in Green Bay right now are Sammy Watkins (who hasn't been effective since 2015), Randall Cobb (who turns 32 in August), Allen Lazard (a fan favorite but undrafted free agent which isn't the most promising) and Robert Tonyan (also an undrafted free agent who's
coming off a torn ACL). The Packers are still likely to bring in more veteran help (Julio Jones
would make for a terrific mentor, and guys like Jarvis Landry and Will Fuller are still available)
but, as of right now, there's a very real path to season 1 relevance for Watson.
Best Ball: Watson is currently the WR72 in best ball leagues, bunched with Curtis Samuel, Jarvis Landry, Van Jefferson, KJ Osborn, Sammy Watkins, Marvin Jones and Kendrick Bourne. At worst, Watson is currently in contention for the number 2 receiver in Green Bay; that's much more valuable than WR72 with Davante Adams out of the picture.
Dynasty: like Moore, Watson will probably land somewhere around 1.10 in my rookie rankings, and I'd be excited about the upside at that spot.
WR David Bell, Cleveland Browns - Big fan of the David Bell and Cleveland Browns pairing, especially if Deshaun Watson plays. Notably compared to Davante Adams and Chris Godwin by stud prospect profiler JJ Zachariason, Bell joins what should be strong offense with only Amari Cooper as the surefire bet to beat him in targets. Worst case, he's 4th in line behind Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Njoku. Best case, he's the 2nd option in a high powered offense.
Best Ball: Bell is the WR85 in best ball leagues, batched with Marquez Callaway, Laviska Shenault, Joshua Palmer, Odell Beckham, KJ Hamler, Sterling Shepard, AJ Green, John Metchie and Braxton Berrios. The upside potential of him landing the number 2 role in Deshaun Watson's offense makes him a very exciting pick at that nearly-free cost.
Dynasty: Bell is likely to be one of my favorite early-mid 2nd round picks
RB James Cook, Buffalo Bills - it's been clear for months that the Buffalo Bills were not satisfied with their RB room. At first they agreed to terms with JD McKissic before he backed out and went back to Washington. Then they went and got Duke Johnson (pretty clear at this point they're in the market for a back who can catch passes). Then they were linked heavily to the class' top back Breece Hall. All of this indicates there's, at worst, an opportunity for someone to come in and wow the coaching staff into playing time. Enter Dalvin Cook's
younger brother James, an accomplished pass-catcher (check) who's more than capable on the ground. He wasn't the best RB in this class—and not close to it—but there's a very real
possibility he makes a fantasy impact as soon as year 1. He's an ideal ZeroRB candidate and I'm insanely bummed to admit I have zero shares after 72 best ball drafts.
Best Ball: Cook is the RB55 in best ball drafts, lumped in with Kenneth Gainwell, Zamir White, Trey Sermon, Gus Edwards, Jamaal Williams, Kenyan Drake, D'Ernest Johnson, Tyler Allgeier and Dameon Pierce. Makes sense since a lot of those guys are solid ZeroRB candidates (although the Texans just picked Dameon Pierce and he's likely their starter so his ADP will skyrocket). I'm a big fan of Cook at this cost, especially for my zero RB builds
Dynasty: Cook is likely to be one of my favorite mid-late 2nd round rookie picks
RB Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - to be clear, I'm not exactly expecting a year 1 impact with Leonard Fournette already in place. But I lowkey love this long-term landing spot for White as Lombardi Lenny will enter the season with the wear and tear of 1,182 NFL touches under his belt. I also think it's at least possible that White steals some passing down work from Lenny, and White will instantly be in the RB2 conversation if anything happens to Fournette.
Best Ball: White is currently the RB42 in best ball drafts, mentioned with Ronald Jones, Rhamondre Stevenson, Isaiah Spiller, Alexander Mattison, Melvin Gordon, Raheem Mostert, Nyheim Hines, Khalil Herbert and Darrell Henderson. To me he's a fade around most of those guys who have clearer paths to playing time.
Dynasty: White is likely to be one of my favorite mid-late 2nd round rookie picks
Lower-key rookie winners: WR George Pickens, WR Alec Pierce, WR Tyquan Thornton, WR Wan'Dale Robinson
RB Breece Hall, New York Jets - I'm going to catch shade for this one (I already have), but Breece Hall to the Jets made his pre-existing 1.01 rookie draft status a little less sturdy. I'm I'm using the 1.01 on a RB, they better damn sure be the 3 down guy for their team, and we can't say he will be for damn sure. The Jets just used a 4th round pick on Michael Carter last season, and he showed exciting flashes on a terrible offense. He's unlikely to just go away and he's still under contract for 3 more years. This was just a really disappointing landing spot for the class' best back.
Best Ball: Hall is currently the 16th RB off the board in early best ball draft, batched with names like Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, Saquon Barkley, Antonio Gibson, James Conner, Cam Akers, Josh Jacobs, David Montgomery and Ezekiel Elliott. In year 1 with Carter still in town, I'd take most of those guys over Hall (to be fair, I'm not touching MOST of these RBs given the WRs that are available around here—Keenan Allen, Jerry Jeudy, Amari Cooper, DJ Moore, etc).
Dynasty: Hall was the consensus 1.01 coming into the NFL draft but now I'm not so sure. I generally think about my dynasty fantasy football teams in three year windows, and Michael Carter still exists in that picture. I actually have the 1.01 in one of my dynasty leagues and I'm strongly considering Drake London at that spot. Still, I couldn't fault someone for taking Breece Hall there (and still might myself).
RB Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks - truth be told, I'm not super comfortable writing his name in the loser's column, because it's clear that Pete Carroll and company love him an the Seahawks backfield is far from set in stone. He could very easily be the lead dog come week 1. The problem is that Rashaad Penny is back after finishing the season on a tear and Chris Carson still exists (although it sounds like his neck doesn't). It doesn't seem likely that Seattle just hands the backfield over to Walker and forgets about the other guys. It also doesn't help that Walker is not a pass-catcher and the Seahawks figure to trail more than they do lead, and that matters in fantasy football. Barring a big change at QB, Seattle will likely be forced into pass-heavy scripts more than they'd like to be.
Da Chicago Bears - Justin Fields needs help, so Chicago went out and got a geriatric WR who spent 6 years in college, Velus Jones Jr. (he'll be 25 years old come kickoff in September). As my friend JJ Zachariason said: what the f*** are the Bears doing?
That's all for now, largely cuz I have to go be a dad. But more to come, including Dynasty and Best Ball draft tiers for early bird season pass subscribers!