The NFL Draft: 100 Dynasty Winners and Losers

Ken Kelly

With the NFL Draft having passed, most leagues are busy preparing for or performing their annual rookie drafts. However, it’s also important to stop and re-evaluate many existing players and their current values in dynasty leagues as a result of the picks made, or not made, in this year’s draft.

While many of these players saw their stock plummet as a result of their respective teams drafting a new rookie to challenge them for their jobs, many others were beneficiaries of their teams doing the exact opposite and standing pat.

This comprehensive list is going to include not 10, not 20, but yes, 100 different players whose values were affected by the action (or inaction) of their teams on draft day.

The Winners

Reggie Wayne (1)

Getting Andrew Luck was a coup for the Colts receivers, but especially for Wayne. He’s certainly entering the twilight years of a fabulous career, but having Luck under center should help him post some good numbers for competing teams in dynasty leagues for the next couple of seasons.

While Luck is undoubtedly going to have some growing pains, he’s going to be light years ahead of Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky. Seeing them under center last year was just plain painful for owners of Wayne, or anyone for that matter.

Pierre Garcon (2), Leonard Hankerson (3), Josh Morgan (4)

The young receivers in Washington each get a boost in value with the addition of Robert Griffin III. While we’re not especially high on any of these three in terms of long-term viability, it’s tough to see their value decreasing when they’re not catching passes from Rex Grossman or John Beck.

Michael Floyd (5)

We’re going to focus mostly on the existing player pool and keep most rookies off this list, but Floyd’s situation is perfect for him. Instead of going to a place and being asked to be the number one receiver from day one, he’ll have time to learn from Larry Fitzgerald and grow into his role. This may not have been the best place for him to land in terms of short term value, but you have to love his dynasty prospects in the desert.  It’s just worth mentioning because his draft value increased a bit.

sjacksonSteven Jackson (6)

A winner?  How can that be after the Rams drafted Isaiah Pead, you ask? The answer is simple – they didn’t get Trent Richardson.

Had the Rams moved up in the draft or had Richardson fall in their laps, the result for Jackson would have been disastrous. He would have found himself in a nasty timeshare or out on the street looking for work. It’s not easy to find a job out there – just ask Cedric Benson or Ryan Grant.

Pead may challenge Jackson for some carries as soon as this season, but he won’t be a realistic threat to steal his job as the workhorse runner in St. Louis. The end is near for Jackson, but at least he got a bit of a reprieve for at least another season or two.

Stevan Ridley (7), Shane Vereen (8)

Owners of either young New England running back was on pins and needles all draft weekend, just hoping the Pats didn’t address the position. In the end, they didn’t. The fact the Patriots focused on other needs in the draft shows they have faith in Ridley and Vereen to take over the carries left by the departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

The Patriots have signed former Colt Joseph Addai, but it seems he is no more than insurance should the youngsters not be ready for prime time, so to speak.

While New England is notorious for implementing a maddening committee approach with their backs, both of these players have a legitimate chance to burst onto the scene in dynasty leagues this season.

Donald Brown (9), Delone Carter (10)


The Colts had needs all over the field, but few would have guessed they’d pass on taking a running back fairly highly after passing on them in free agency. They did add Vick Ballard late in the draft, but he’s a project at the moment and not a seemingly viable immediate replacement for Brown or Carter.

Simply put, this is a huge season for both of these backs.

Brown has flashed ability in the past, including a 161 yard performance late last year against the Titans, but he’s also been an injury risk. If he can show some toughness and durability, he may be finally ready to make good on being a first round pick in rookie drafts a few years back.

As far as Carter goes, he has to fix his ball security issues to be a significant factor in the offense. One of his starts last year lasted all of two carries before he was benched for fumbling.

We’ll believe it when we see it with these two, but at least they have a fighting chance. Few would have thought that would be the case a month ago.

James Starks (11), Alex Green (12), Brandon Saine (13)

starksAmazing #2.

It’s true the Packers don’t run a lot, but the trio of Starks, Green and Saine is far from proven. The three of them combined have a grand total of one career touchdown in the regular season.


Starks is the player here with the most upside, but he simply can’t stay off the trainer’s table. Green and Saine are both sleepers at the moment, but they’re not guarantees, either. In fact, I’d be monitoring every free agent or rookie the Packers add, including former Trojan Marc Tyler. It’s likely someone emerges from this group to be a viable weapon in fantasy leagues, but it’s tough to see who that will be at the moment.

Based on the Packers not addressing the position in the draft, they’re all going to have a shot, though.

Shonn Greene (14), Joe McKnight (15), Bilal Powell (16)

Here’s another trio that dodged a bullet.

The Jets were said to have Trent Richardson at the top of their draft list. By not engineering any type of deal to move up and get him, all these players have a chance to perform yet again. Had the Jets landed Richardson, their collective values would have tanked.

Greene has been a total disappointment throughout his career. There’s no doubt this is his last chance to perform at a high level or he’s going to be giving up carries to McKnight, Powell or even young rookie Terrance Ganaway.

Alex Smith (17)

What else can the 49ers possibly do to improve his chances?

After adding Randy Moss and Mario Manningham via free agency, the 49ers nabbed AJ Jenkins and LaMichael James in the draft. Their offense now boasts Moss, Manningham, Michael Crabtree, Jenkins, James, Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Vernon Davis and Brandon Jacobs, among others.

Combine their offensive roster with the dominant defense they boast and Smith is simply out of excuses.

Isaac Redman (18), Jonathan Dwyer (19), Rashard Mendenhall (20)

Amazing #3.

The Steelers were pegged by most draft pundits to take Doug Martin, David Wilson, Lamar Miller or one of the other top backs in the draft. Instead, they took Chris Rainey in the fifth round.

While Rainey does have some talent, he’s not a player who’s going to come in and take over for Redman at the beginning of the year. With Mendenhall recovering from offseason surgery, the door is wide open for Redman to be a fantasy factor this season. It’s conceivable that Dwyer could get some time if he can keep his weight down. Even John Clay or Baron Batch could play at some point if the cards fall right for them.

Speaking of Mendenhall, the Steelers passing on the higher rated runners in the draft could bode well for his long term future in Pittsburgh.  He just has to get healthy in a hurry.

Adrian Peterson (21)

It’s never a bad thing when your team adds the best offensive tackle in the draft. There are questions about Peterson’s health, but adding Matt Kalil helps.

Matt Cassel (22)

We at DLF aren’t high on Cassel at all. In fact, you could consider us the kryptonite to any Matt Cassel mojo. That being said, the Chiefs didn’t address the quarterback position in the draft and the combination of Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi likely aren’t much of a threat to Cassel unless he does a total face plant.

We’re not saying that won’t happen, but the leash is long for sure.

Tyrod Taylor (23)

If you weren’t sure the Ravens were sold on Taylor being the backup to Joe Flacco, their additions of Curtis Painter and signing of John Brantley as the only competition for him should prove it to you. His size is a concern (especially when he’s standing next to Flacco), but the Ravens feel they have a hidden gem with Taylor.

Actions speak louder than words and at this point, the Ravens actions say Taylor is a deep roster stash.

Kevin Kolb (24), John Skelton (25)

While it’s true that late round prospect Ryan Lindley could eventually challenge one of these two for the starting job, getting Michael Floyd to play on the opposite side of Larry Fitzgerald is a big plus. If Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams can put together a healthy season (that’s a huge “if”), the Cardinals offense could be pretty potent.

Can either of these two quarterbacks finally deliver?

turner2Michael Turner (26), Jacquizz Rodgers (27), Antone Smith (28)

The Falcons were yet another team that failed to address the running back position in the draft.

Turner is one of the fastest declining running backs in the league, but it looks like he’ll have another season full of carries. His deterioration is always a hot topic in the DLF Forums and there are many owners who have bailed on him over the past two years. While he’s nowhere close to a RB1 any longer, he can still help your team win some games. At least for now.

Rodgers is in line to take a little bit of the load off Turner. Throw in the fact that the Falcons signed his brother James and it was a fruitful week or two for him as well.

The Falcons will likely look to next year’s draft or free agency to address the position. I’d keep a watchful eye on Antone Smith this offseason, though.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (29)

The Bills are giving Fitzpatrick one more crack at being the franchise quarterback. His inconsistency is maddening and will need to change in a hurry for him to be entrenched in Buffalo long term.

On the flip side, he still only needs to compete with Tyler Thigpen and Aaron Corp.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (30), Bernard Scott (31)

The combination of  “The Law Firm” and Scott will have a chance to be an effective platoon for the Bengals this season and prove their worth in dynasty leagues. Dan “Boom” Herron could challenge them for some touches, but that’s a whole lot better than having Doug Martin or David Wilson in camp.

Jahvid Best (32), Mikel Leshoure (33), Kevin Smith (34)

Of all the running back committees in the league, this one may carry the most risk for injury. Best could be one concussion away from retirement. Leshoure is coming back from major surgery (and major marijuana concerns) and Smith has never been one to stay healthy for more than a four or five game stretch. It’s mind boggling that the Lions didn’t address this need in the draft or free agency. They’ve been linked to Ryan Grant, but that signing wouldn’t really clear much up, either.

The Lions are showing a lot of faith in the crew at the moment – owners of these three hope it’s warranted.

Ryan Mathews (35)

With Mike Tolbert leaving and the Chargers adding only Edwin Baker in the draft, the table is set for Mathews to become one of the elite players in dynasty leagues.

If he can stay healthy this year, the sky is truly the limit for him.

Roy Helu (36), Evan Royster (37)

Whenever you play for Mike Shanahan and make it through the draft with the team only adding Alfred Morris to the stable, it’s a win. Unlike many teams, running back wasn’t a glaring need for the Redskins, but you never know with Shanny at the helm!

Jonathan Stewart (38), DeAngelo Williams (39), Mike Tolbert (40)

With the way things have been going in Carolina, I halfway expected them to trade all their picks in the draft to move up and grab Trent Richardson. Sure, they signed Tauren Poole post-draft, but that’s a little different.

Jay Cutler (41)

Much like Alex Smith in San Francisco, the Bears have done everything they can to get Cutler some viable weapons. Adding Alshon Jeffery in the draft should give Cutler a second legitimate weapon to line up opposite Brandon Marshall.

The Bears have never been a hotbed for quarterback or receiver production in terms of fantasy numbers, but Marshall and Jeffery are a huge upgrade over the likes of Earl Bennett, Devin Hester and Johnny Knox.

Tony Romo (42)

Any quarterback drafted by Dallas in the first three rounds would have likely caused undue pressure on Romo. This is a huge make or break season for him and having Kyle Orton holding your clipboard instead of a young rookie prospect is a whole lot more comfortable for Romo owners. Add to that the under the radar addition of Danny Coale in the draft and Romo is clearly on the winners list.

Josh Freeman (43)

After his dismal season, the Bucs could have shaken his confidence by taking a quarterback in the draft at some point. By just choosing to add Jordan Jefferson later (and cutting him just days later), Freeman will undoubtedly have sixteen games to look he did in 2010 instead of 2011. If anyone else starts in Tampa Bay this year, it’s been a total disaster.

Maurice Jones-Drew (44)

MJD, meet the turf.  Turf, meet MJD.  Those two are going to be good friends because the Jaguars are destined to run MJD right into the ground. With only Rashad Jennings to take any pressure off him, it looks like another season with a huge workload is in store for MJD. While you have to be concerned about the number of carries and hits he’ll take, the numbers will most certainly be there yet again.

I’m getting a little concerned about his long term value in a dynasty league, but he’s also proven he can carry a pretty big load in the past.

Blaine Gabbert (45)

Gabbert looked awful last season and that’s putting it really nicely. With the Jags adding Laurent Robinson in free agency and Justin Blackmon in the draft, he’s set up for a better chance for success. While Gabbert needs to make serious strides, he was also given arguably the league’s worst receiving corps last season. At least things look better on paper this season.


Montario Hardesty (46)


The addition of Trent Richardson all but seals the fate of Hardesty as a former first round dynasty rookie pick bust. His inability to stay on the field has seemingly finally caught up with him. He still has value as a handcuff to Richardson, but that’s about it at this point.

Justin Blackmon (47)

We didn’t want to focus on many rookies in this piece, but Blackmon has to be mentioned. We mentioned Blaine Gabbert as a winner, but Blackmon has to be a loser here. Of all the places he could have gone, this was arguably the worst spot for his prospects in dynasty leagues.

While the Jaguars will undoubtedly give Gabbert a chance to succeed (or replace him if he’s not), Jacksonville has long been the place where receivers go to die. The list of failures at wideout for the Jags is legendary in fantasy football.

Let’s just hope Blackmon stops the insanity.

Curtis Brinkley (48)

While the addition of Edwin Baker shouldn’t create too much of a problem for Ryan Mathews, the same can’t be said for Brinkley. We’ve liked what we’ve seen from him in the past, but the backup situation in San Diego isn’t quite as clear as it was a month ago. He should still hold on to the job, but it’s no longer a given.

Matt Moore (49), David Garrard (50)

The Ryan Tannehill era is going to begin sooner, rather than later. It’s unfortunate for Moore as he’s always been a bit underrated and underappreciated in his career. For Garrard, it’s going to be shocking to see him ever take a snap for Miami.

Damian Williams (51), Nate Washington (52)

Washington was simply fantastic last season after Kenny Britt was injured and Williams showed some flashes of being a dynamite player. Unfortunately, Britt’s return is now coupled with the drafting of Kendall Wright. With Jared Cook emerging quickly, there just aren’t going to be enough balls to spread around in Tennessee.

Colt McCoy (53)

The Browns just never seemed sold on McCoy, contrary to what they seemed to constantly feed to the press. Actions speak louder than words and the Browns taking Brandon Weeden in the first round seals McCoy’s fate as a backup quarterback in Cleveland. His owners have to hope he gets traded to a more desirable location, but the market isn’t strong for quarterbacks with weak arms and families who openly question how their team deals with injuries.

Mario Manningham (54)

Manningham’s value had already taken a bit of a nose dive after he signed with the 49ers. With San Francisco taking AJ Jenkins in the first round, his situation is even murkier.  We mentioned Tennessee having a lot of mouths to feed, but how about the 49ers?  While we mentioned it was great for Alex Smith, the drafting of Jenkins doesn’t help the chances of players like Manningham to carve out a role in fantasy or reality.

Steve Smith (55), Danario Alexander (56), Danny Amendola (57),  Brandon Gibson (58), Greg Salas (59), Austin Pettis (60)

The Rams were destined to add receiver help and all looked good for this bunch after the Jaguars traded up for Justin Blackmon. However, the additions of Brian Quick and Chris Givens quickly threw a big bucket of cold water on their collective values.

It’s anyone’s guess as to who will actually emerge from this group of players, but it sounds like both Givens and Quick may crack the opening day starting lineup – that’s bad news for all these players.

Marcus Easley (61), Donald Jones (62)

The Bills traded up in round three to grab NC State receiver TJ Graham. While he’s no bet to emerge into a solid option, the fact the Bills were after receivers likely shows they aren’t comfortable with the crew outside of Stevie Johnson. The clock is ticking for someone to step up and finally take hold of that job across from Johnson.

Chaz Schilens (63)

From all reports I’ve seen, it looks like Shilens made it through the entire draft weekend without getting hurt. Unfortunately, the addition of Stephen Hill is going to make his road to the starting job opposite Santonio Holmes difficult, if not impossible.

Earl Bennett (64), Devin Hester (65), Johnny Knox (66)

See #41

Adam Weber (67), Caleb Hanie (68)

Weber has always been somewhat intriguing in dynasty circles and Hanie had a nice run a couple of years ago in Chicago. Unfortunately, the addition of Brock Osweiler takes away virtually any chance of either of these two being the quarterback of the future in Denver.

Kendall Hunter (69), Brandon Jacobs (70), Anthony Dixon (71)

As if the addition of AJ Jenkins wasn’t maddening enough from a dynasty perspective, the 49ers decided to add LaMichael James to the mix at running back. While he’s no real threat to Frank Gore, he’s a serious one to Hunter, Jacobs and Dixon.

Coach Harbaugh has already expressed his confidence in James’ goal line ability, so it’s conceivable that Jacobs and Dixon may not even make the team. At the very least, he’ll challenge Hunter for the backup gig.


Jerrel Jernigan (72), Ramses Barden (73)

Someone had to step and fill the shoes of Manningham and it looked like one of these two were in line to do just that. After the Giants added Rueben Randle, that’s not looking like the case any longer. It’s becoming awfully difficult to keep either of these two on a dynasty roster.

Mario Fannin (74)

Fannin was gaining steam as a nice sleeper for 2012 until the Broncos added Ronnie Hillman to the depth chart behind Willis McGahee. While Fannin should still be monitored, Hillman poses a significant threat to him ever having any true value in dynasty leagues.

Jacoby Jones (75)

He latched on with the Ravens and recovered nicely, but the Texans didn’t mess around in the draft and added both DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin before giving Jones his walking papers. The Ravens must have a short memory considering what happened the last time the Texans played them.

Mike Kafka (76), Trent Edwards (77)

Vince Young leaving town was a good thing for Kafka, but Nick Foles coming in certainly isn’t. Kafka has proven to be serviceable, but that’s just not going to cut it in fantasy or reality. Edwards’ career is hanging in the balance.

bushDaniel Thomas (78), Reggie Bush (79)

The fall of Lamar Miller was the talk of the draft. His addition throws a bit of a wrench into things in Miami.  While he’s not expected to challenge Bush for the starting role, it does give the Dolphins the ability to let him walk at the end of the year. Going someplace else for Bush wouldn’t be great because there are few places (if any) who would want him as their featured back.

As for Thomas, it’s conceivable that Miller could impress enough to challenge for the backup or change of pace rule to Bush. It’s very early in his career, but Thomas is looking less and less likely to be a real contributor in dynasty leagues.

This is probably giving too much value to Miller, but he’s talented enough to make this a situation far from clear.

Adrian Arrington (80), Joe Morgan (81)

Somebody is going to emerge in New Orleans to take over the role left by Robert Meachem. Arrington and Morgan were two of our favorite candidates to do just that. Unfortunately, the addition of Nick Toon is going to make that more difficult for both of them.

Andre Roberts (82), Early Doucet (83), Stephen Williams (84)

Hello to Michael Floyd!  Goodbye to a starting job!

Anthony Allen (85)

Allen was another nice pre-draft sleeper candidate playing behind Ray Rice in Baltimore. The addition of Bernard Pierce pretty much ends any pipe dream there. Wow, a pipe dream reference with Baltimore running backs even without Ricky Williams there any longer. Ironic!

Armanti Edwards (86)

Remember when the Panthers traded up in the draft for a shot at Edwards?  Yuck. He hasn’t developed at all and now it seems they have his project replacement with Joe Adams.

Knowshon Moreno (87)

It’s getting harder and harder to place any type of value on Moreno. After tearing his ACL, he’s now seen the aforementioned Ronnie Hillman added in Denver. It’s hard to believe at this time last year he was looking like a decent RB2 option as the starter for Denver.  Now he may not even be the RB2 option IN Denver.

Nate Burleson (88)

Titus Young was already going to put some serious heat on Burleson’s starting status this season. The addition of Ryan Broyles may just make him completely expendable. It’s just really tough to envision the Lions not having Broyles, Young and Megatron as their starters within a year or so.

Dwayne Allen (89)

So, we said we weren’t going to have many drafted players on this list and we really don’t. However, Allen has to be included since his value changed so dramatically based on his drafted location. After looking like a solid prospect pre-draft, he ended up being taken by the Colts and may be used primarily as a blocker as they use fellow rookie Coby Fleener to catch passes.


Jerome Simpson (90)

Simpson is lucky to be on any list that doesn’t say “suspension” on it. While the Vikings still expect him to start opposite Percy Harvin, he’ll face some serious competition with Greg Childs and Jarius Wright in tow.

Ahmad Bradshaw (91), Da’Rel Scott (92)

Just when you think Bradshaw has the gig all to himself, the Giants go and take a running back in the first round. The addition of David Wilson is going to relegate Bradshaw to a likely committee back again. Even though he’ll do much of the heavy lifting, it’s tough to see him as anything more than a low-end RB2 at this point and that’s only if he stays healthy – that’s a big “if.”

As for Scott, the addition of Wilson is awful for his prospects. He’d shown some real promise over the past year, but now finds himself buried on the depth chart.

Josh Portis (93)

Portis was touted as the possible quarterback of the future for the Seahawks before they added Matt Flynn via free agency. The addition of Russell Wilson in the draft does nothing to help his cause, either.

LeGarrette Blount (94)

You didn’t think you’d make it all the way through this list without seeing Blount, did you? Doug Martin is likely going to be the new starter in Tampa and Blount is going to perform in a change of pace or goal line role. The trouble with that is his surprising ineffectiveness in short yardage situations.

With Martin in town, Blount’s value is hanging by a thread.

Rex Grossman (95), John Beck (96)

The addition of Robert Griffin III was bad enough for these two, but adding Kirk Cousins was just the icing on the cake. Beck has already moved on with the Texans and Grossman may be asked to be a veteran mentor to the rookies. If either of these two are on your roster at this point, you likely have a really bad team.

Willis McGahee (97)

McGahee probably only has one good year left anyway, so the addition of Hillman may not be that significant. However, his chances of staying in Denver on another contract are slim and none now.

Marshawn Lynch (98), Justin Forsett (99)

Robert Turbin isn’t going to be taking away any carries from Lynch any time soon, but his addition does force Lynch to keep playing well. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it and what you believe about Lynch’s work ethic.

As for Forsett, he’s become expendable in both reality and fantasy.

Dion Lewis (100)

He’s still the likely favorite to be the primary backup to LeSean McCoy. He has major competition in the form of Bryce Brown and Chris Polk to solidify that role, though.

Well, that’s it.  Those are just 100 players whose values were affected by the results of the 2012 NFL Draft. While some are somewhat subtle, others are pretty dramatic.


ken kelly