Editor’s Note: As our coverage of the 2016 NFL Draft and its impact on fantasy football continues, we bring you our 2016 winners and losers series. These articles accompany our individual SWOT articles for over 30 prospects, as well as our IDP reviews and mock draft submissions. We’ll follow that up with team-by-team draft reviews because, you know, that’s kind of what we live for.
Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by staying up on all these articles, checking out our rookie draft guide, rookie rankings, rookie draft cheat sheet and mock draft rooms. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football enthusiasts.
Without further delay, let’s review the post-draft fantasy winners and losers from the NFC West.
Round 1, Pick 19 (19th overall) – Shaq Lawson, DE Clemson
Round 2, Pick 10 (41st overall) – Reggie Ragland, LB Alabama
Round 3, Pick 17 (80th overall) – Adolphus Washington, DT Ohio State
Round 4, Pick 41 (139th overall) – Cardale Jones, QB Ohio State
Round 5, Pick 18 (156th overall) – Jonathan Williams, RB Arkansas
Round 6, Pick 17 (192nd overall) – Kolby Listenbee, WR TCU
Round 6, Pick 43 (218th overall) – Kevon Seymour, CB USC
A bargain for his 3,000+ passing yards, 500+ rushing yards and 20:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2015, Taylor’s camp has voiced its displeasure with the Bills’ hesitancy to hand over a sizable contract and rumored pursuits of veteran quarterbacks and/or rookie Paxton Lynch. When the 19th selection was announced to be Lawson (with Lynch still on the board), Taylor’s stock instantly rose. The sides are likely to come to a longer-term agreement and only adding project quarterback Cardale Jones in the fourth round solidifies the Bills’ confidence in Taylor… at least for one more season.
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Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Woods is reportedly ready for training camp following off-season groin surgery. The Bills only spent a sixth round pick on a receiver, instead focusing on the defensive side of the ball with its first three selections. While Woods’ fantasy ceiling is capped, he has consistently delivered 8-12 points per game as a low-end flex option. Without significant competition for the WR2 role in Buffalo, Woods should again catch a few passes per game and earn himself a new contract.
Injuries and off-the-field issues have started to creep up on McCoy, who missed four games in 2015 after missing a total of six games in the previous six years combined. It’s difficult to say he lost much value with the Bills’ pick of Jonathan Williams in the fifth round, especially considering he is the RB26 in DLF’s May ADP, but the rising value of Karlos Williams paired with the talented Arkansas running back certainly do not help the pricier McCoy’s future outlook with Buffalo.
Round 1, Pick 13 (13th overall) – Laremy Tunsil, OT Mississippi
Round 2, Pick 7 (38th overall) – Xavien Howard, CB Baylor
Round 3, Pick 10 (73rd overall) – Kenyan Drake, RB Alabama
Round 3, Pick 23 (86th overall) – Leonte Carroo, WR Rutgers
Round 6, Pick 11 (186th overall) – Jakeem Grant, WR Texas Tech
Round 6, Pick 29 (204th overall) – Jordan Lucas, SS Penn St
Round 7, Pick 2 (223rd overall) – Brandon Doughty, QB Western Kentucky
Round 7, Pick 10 (231st overall) – Thomas Duarte, TE UCLA
Although Tannehill finds himself entering training camp with yet another new coaching staff, this one has already started to put the pieces in place for him to succeed. After striking gold with Tunsil in the first round to solidify the end of their offensive line, the Dolphins added Kenyan Drake and even traded up for Leonte Carroo with day two picks. Tannehill is getting his weapons, not to mention tutelage from Peyton Manning, to take a step forward under an offensive-minded head coach.
The addition of Drake is not a significant threat to Ajayi, and though there is still plenty of time for the Dolphins to add a veteran presence to their backfield (via Arian Foster or another team’s roster trimming) the same can be said for several other teams. Talent has never been the question for Ajayi, so (CJ Anderson-courting notwithstanding) when Miami passed on taking a workhorse back, a commitment was made to his role on the offense in 2016. Unfortunately for his dynasty outlook, the 2017 running back class is looming, so enjoy his role while it lasts.
The 2016 draft wasn’t as directly detrimental to Stills as the 2015 selection of DeVante Parker in the first round, given the fact Stills and Carroo bring different skillsets to an offense, but it pushes him even further down the depth chart. His targets will be few and far between and he has been a prime cut candidate for the waiver wire in many leagues as roster spots are needed for rookies.
It may be somewhat surprising to learn Cameron actually played in all 16 games for the Dolphins in 2015, the first full season for the five-year veteran. While it is encouraging that he may be able to stay on the field, his inability to catch more than half of his paltry 70 targets is not. After leaving Cleveland for supposedly greener pastures, Cameron was less prominent in the Dolphins’ offensive plans. Adding the athletic Thomas Duarte (a hybrid between wide receiver and tight end) and the continued presence of Dion Sims (a superior blocker) may lead to Cameron’s search for a new team sooner than later.
New England Patriots
Round 2, Pick 29 (60th overall) – Cyrus Jones, CB Alabama
Round 3, Pick 15 (78th overall) – Joe Thuney, OG NC State
Round 3, Pick 29 (91st overall) – Jacoby Brissett, QB NC State
Round 3, Pick 34 (96th overall) – Vincent Valentine, DT Nebraska
Round 4, Pick 14 (112th overall) – Malcolm Mitchell, WR Georgia
Round 6, Pick 33 (208th overall) – Kamu Grugier-Hill, OLB Eastern Illinois
Round 6, Pick 39 (214th overall) – Elandon Roberts, ILB Houston
Round 6, Pick 46 (221st overall) – Ted Karras, OG Illinois
Round 7, Pick 4 (225th overall) – Devin Lucien, WR Arizona State
Although there was wide speculation the Patriots were targeting Jonathan Williams and Wendell Smallwood (among others at the position), no running backs were selected in the draft. This is an especially good sign the Patriots aren’t concerned about lingering health issues for Lewis. Although James White performed admirably in his absence, Lewis will return to the role that made him so valuable early in the 2015 season. Should he miss time, however, White is worth a pickup as well as the clear backup on third downs.
A second-round pick only two years ago, the addition of Jacoby Brissett in the third round raises a lot of questions about the Patriots’ plans for Garoppolo. He may be destined to follow in the footsteps of Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett as a journeyman quarterback who left the Patriots after his rookie contract.
With Danny Amendola returning at a reduced rate and the addition of Chris Hogan to a relatively lucrative contract, drafting Malcolm Mitchell could be the final move that leads to the end of Washington’s brief tenure as a Patriot. Turning 33 before the beginning of the regular season, he is now a longshot to make the roster given the younger and more versatile options around him.
New York Jets
Round 1, Pick 20 (20th overall) – Darron Lee, OLB Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 20 (51st overall) – Christian Hackenberg, QB Penn St
Round 3, Pick 20 (83rd overall) – Jordan Jenkins, OLB Georgia
Round 4, Pick 20 (118th overall) – Juston Burris, CB NC State
Round 5, Pick 21 (158th overall) – Brandon Shell, OT South Carolina
Round 7, Pick 14 (235th overall) – Lac Edwards, P Sam Houston St
Round 7, Pick 20 (241st overall) – Charone Peake, WR Clemson
While the Jets’ backfield got murky very quickly in free agency, the same trio above (purposefully excluding Zac Stacy) retains its pre-existing level of murkiness after the Jets chose not to add any rookies to its backfield. This may be especially noteworthy for Robinson, who at this stage in their respective careers is most likely to get between-the-tackles carries if he is healthy.
While it’s difficult for most to see Christian Hackenberg evolve into an NFL starter, the Jets didn’t spend a second round pick on him just to gain leverage on Fitzpatrick. Even if the veteran does return, which would still be to a fantasy-friendly situation, it is now likely only on a one-year deal. Hackenberg’s draft spot in the second round means his rookie contract is a maximum of four years and it’s unlikely the Jets spent the pick on him to sit for half of his contract.
Quincy Enunwa, Kenbrell Thompkins
Though he was a seventh-round pick, Charone Peake is a talented wide receiver and the team has more invested in him than Enunwa or Thompkins. Though he is raw, particularly in his route running, Peake should challenge for the WR3 spot behind Marshall and Decker.
That wraps up our initial winners and losers from the AFC East.