Second Day Winners and Losers: Veteran Edition

Ryan McDowell


The dynasty value of a player can change at a moment’s notice throughout the regular season or even the off-season. This is especially true during the last weekend in April when the annual NFL draft is held in New York City. This year was no different as we witness many draft picks throughout the draft who will have a great impact on the value of not only the incoming rookies, but also the veterans who are already a part of teams. Let’s take a look at some of the specific players whose value might be on the rise or on the decline as a result of a draft pick on day two of the draft, the second and third rounds.

The Pick: Justin Hunter, WR TEN (2.02)

Justin Hunter gets to stay close to his college town as the Tennessee Titans made him the first offensive skill player chosen on the second day of the draft at pick #34 overall. This was somewhat of a surprise as the Titans had many holes to address, but were considered (from an outsider’s perspective) to be in good shape wt the wide receiver position with Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright and veteran Nate Washington.

The Winner: Jake Locker, QB TEN

As is often the case when a team adds an explosive playmaker on offense, the quarterback can be considered the early winner.  That is true here, but this move could also serve as the beginning of the end for quarterback Jake Locker. Locker has had an up and down two seasons in Nashville and there is already talk of the team adding a quarterback in what is expected to be a deep rookie class in 2014. If Locker cannot succeed with three wide receivers like he has now, the Titans brass may decide to move on.

The Loser: Kenny Britt, WR TEN

While you may or may not agree the addition of Hunter was intended as a wake up call for Locker, it is hard to argue the move was made in part to shake troubled wide receiver Kenny Britt back into an elite player, on and off the field. Britt started the 2011 season looking like one of the top wideouts in the game before suffering an ACL injury that cost him the remainder of the season. He has had repeated troubles with the law, most often in his home state of New Jersey, and last season it seemed that he was just going through the motions. Reportedly, he was hampered by injuries all season, but the marks are starting to add up in the negative column for the Titans, and they should be for dynasty owners as well.

The Pick: Giovani Bernard, RB CIN (2.05)

The Bengals had been linked to University of North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard for what felt like months, and in the second round, we saw that come to fruition as Cincinnati spent their second round pick on the back.

The Loser: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB CIN

Most of us saw this coming from a mile away. Although the Bengals just signed running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis a year ago and he enjoyed a very productive 1,000 yard season, the writing was on the wall that he was not enough. So many contending teams now employ a two back system and the Bengals simply had no other options behind the Law Firm. Expect him to remain the starter entering the season, but Bernard’s talent, youth and high draft pedigree to win out in the end. Green-Ellis is just not a player you want to own in dynasty right now.

The Pick: Geno Smith, QB NYJ (2.07)

High profile quarterback Geno Smith sat and observed the entire first round on Thursday night without hearing his name called. He returned Friday evening and still had to wait until the Jets snagged him as the seventh pick of day two. For some reason, this pick caused a lot of controversy, despite it being clear that the team needed a makeover at the quarterback position.

The Winner: Stephen Hill, WR NYJ

I would peg sophomore wide receiver Stephen Hill as the winner in this scenario not only because of the hope for improved quarterback play that comes in Smith, but also the fact that the Jets added no wide receivers through the entirety of draft weekend. The team lost tight end Dustin Keller and enter the season with Hill, Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley as their primary pass catchers. Expect Hill to earn an increased role in the offense. He’s a player to buy in dynasty leagues.

The Loser: Mark Sanchez, QB NYJ

Another easy and obvious loser with this pick is former Jets first round pick quarterback Mark Sanchez. While we are not yet sure of the opening week starter for the Jets, it is safe to assume the pressure is on Sanchez like never before. There have also been rumors the Jets could take the huge cap hit in order to release Sanchez altogether. In case you needed another reason to place no value on Sanchez, this is it.

The Pick: Monte Ball, RB DEN

The workhorse running back from the University of Wisconsin was selected by the Denver Broncos near the end of the second round, ahead of the higher ranked Eddie Lacy. The Broncos were another team strongly rumored to add a running back through the draft, despite having a trio of Knowshon Moreno, Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman.

The Loser: Knowshon Moreno/Willis McGahee, RBs DEN

While Hillman may still have a future in Denver as a third down back, the odds are not so good for the veteran pair of Moreno and McGahee. Moreno’s contract and the cap hit the Broncos would sustain should they choose to release him makes it likely that he will be in Denver for another season. McGahee, on the other hand, will probably be out of a job in the coming weeks. Both players enjoyed a solid stretch during the 2012 season. McGahee earned the starting nod and was racking up yards when he suffered a season ending MCL injury, as well as a broken leg. Moreno stepped in and his dynasty valued briefly boomed. Now, both have very limited value at all. Look for McGahee to land a role with a contender if he is let go by Denver.

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