One of the fun aspects of playing Dynasty fantasy football is
speculation on value at different times of the year. Owners love
to buy low and sell high based on what they THINK may happen if
different scenarios play out.
One of the biggest events of the year that fuel this speculation
is the NFL draft. This year was odd as there was no real consensus
on who the top fantasy-relevant players were and where they would
be drafted. The draft did not disappoint for those who like drama
and surprises. For example, only one quarterback was drafted in
the first round, after many thought at least three would be selected.
In the following piece I’d like to highlight 5 winners after
this past weekend’s events. Tomorrow, I'll take the flip side
of the coin and hit 5
losers. Use this information as possible reasons why you should
try and buy or sell a particular player, or just to get a better
macro-view of the current NFL landscape, post-draft.
Hurts may be the biggest individual winner after this draft for
several reasons. First, while there were rumblings of the Eagles
drafting a quarterback in the first two rounds, making dynasty owners
nervous for Hurts’ job stability, the Eagles did not draft
a quarterback with any of their picks.
Second, with the Eagles dedicated to Hurts as the starter at
least one more season the only question is what would they add
around him. This questioned was answered fairly quickly Thursday
night as they pulled off a mega trade with the Titans for A.J. Brown, who they quickly signed to a four- year contract. Not only
is Brown young, talented and proven on the field, but he has a
documented relationship as close friends with Hurts off the field.
With Brown as an alpha, DeVonta Smith can operate where he will
be more efficient as a number two option. Add Dallas Goedert in
the mix and Hurts now has one of the league’s best 1-2-3
options at pass-catcher.
Third, with the defense forced to respect the receiving corps,
Hurts will have more running room and should certainly increase
his fantasy production from last year, where he was already a
solid QB1 option most weeks. It still remains to be seen if Hurts
will be the starter after 2022 for the birds, but he certainly
has everything in place around him to succeed this season.
Before the draft even started, Baltimore was done with both WR
Sammy Watkins and WR Miles Boykin, but the real fireworks began
Thursday when they traded last year’s leading WR Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals. With this move in place it was
expected they would draft a receiver in this deep class but to
many people’s surprise they bypassed the position, instead
loading up on defense and offensive line. For the passing game
this mean both Andrews and Bateman should see an uptick in target,
solidifying Andrews as a top 3 option at the position and Bateman
as a possible breakout candidate.
Many would presume the Ravens are going to be even more run heavy
than previous years and with the Ravens neglecting the position
until round 6, both Dobbins and Edwards are likely headed for
big workloads. While I would not say the draft did much to Lamar Jackson’s value, it certainly boosted some of the main players
around him so I would personally target all of them in drafts
and as trade targets.
There has been a lot of drama in recent weeks surrounding Murray
and the Arizona Cardinals regarding a contract extension. By the
end of this draft, the Cardinals at least showed that they are
committed to putting pieces in place around Murray, likely to
further entice him to commit to the team long term.
The first huge move was to trade for Hollywood Brown, formerly
of the Ravens. With Brown, Kyler finally gets a true proven deep
threat who should open up what that the Cardinals like to do underneath
with screens, slants and quick passes, as well as make for more
running room for Kyler on the ground.
If trading for Brown wasn’t enough, the Cardinals used their
earliest pick on the draft’s highest rated tight end, Trey McBride, who is a downfield threat and has great ball skills.
They also picked up a few offensive lineman in the draft, just
to further protect their franchise quarterback and hopefully convince
him to sign a long term deal with the team.
While Murray was already considered by most a top 8 dynasty Quarterback,
the moves the team made last week solidified his spot and likely
moved him up in most dynasty ranks. If you see any kind of opening
to acquire Murray before he signs a long term deal this may be
your last chance to get him at a discount.
4. New York Jets’ Fans
It has been a long time coming but in my personal opinion this
draft should kick off the most promising preseason the Jets have
had in close to a decade, maybe more.
For Dynasty owners, the Jets players have been mostly a laughing
stock in recent years but things could turn around as soon as
this season, as the pieces seem to be coming together quite nicely.
I’m no scout or draft expert but I believe, and have read
that many believe, the Jets had the best overall draft of 2022.
The team needed a lot of pieces and they seemed to have filled
several with some of the highest ranked guys at their respective
positions. It is very possible that the Jets drafted the top defensive
back (Ahmed Gardner), wide receiver (Garrett Wilson), and running
back (Breece Hall) of this class with their first four picks.
Add in one of the top edge rushers in the class (Jermaine Johnson)
and Jets fans may finally have a reason to get excited for the
future of their franchise.
From a fantasy perspective, this draft was fun because it finally
made multiple Jets fantasy relevant. Zach Wilson gets a boost
after adding two playmakers on the offense to go along with last
year’s rookie breakout Elijah Moore. Wilson has the skill
set to fit any team, and while the Jets certainly were not his
best landing spot, he should at least see a good amount of targets
as a rookie, with little competition outside of the aforementioned
As for Hall, I have seen him ranked all over the map for dynasty
purposes, as high as top 5 to as low as 15ish, but either way
he will be a hot commodity and the likely 1.01 in all rookie draft
Things don’t always turn out the way people hope but at
least on paper, this draft should have Jets’ fans and fantasy
football players excited for the future.
Similar to Jalen Hurts, there was a lot of speculation surrounding
this draft that the Lions would take a QB early, with some even
projecting them to use the number 2 pick on the position. Instead,
the team drafted zero quarterbacks and added weapons around Goff,
making him, at least for 2022 a guaranteed starter in the NFL
and an interesting fantasy asset.
With their second first-round pick (No.12), the Lions chose Alabama
receiver Jameson Williams, an explosive playmaker who has elite
speed and playmaking ability. If this wasn’t enough, they
also drafted a pass-catching tight end in James Mitchell who would
have likely been taken earlier if not for tearing his ACL last
With possession receiver and last year’s rookie breakout
Amon-Ra St. Brown and uber-talented tight end T.J. Hockenson already
in place, as well as running back De’Andre Swift all being
above average pass-catchers, Goff has a full array of weapons
at his disposal to go along with the confidence that the team
believes in him for at least one more season.
While Goff is still a limited player in terms of upside, he likely
went from a QB3 before the draft to a fairly safe QB2 post draft,
in both redraft and dynasty leagues. I am personally throwing
out offers for Goff, especially in 2 QB leagues, as his name is
somewhat tarnished in fantasy circles, but the value you could
be getting may well outperform the expectations, both in the NFL
and in fantasy.