With a few hours now to rest, recover and reflect about the exciting happenings of the first round of the NFL Draft, it is now time to look ahead to what we can expect over the next two days as dynasty fantasy footballers.
The Panthers and Falcons added to their wide receiver corps with DJ Moore and Calvin Ridley, respectively, while the Ravens surprised everyone by making Hayden Hurst the first tight end off the board. There are many teams left with holes to fill at the four key fantasy football positions and fortunately for them (and us), there is plenty of talent remaining on the board.
With the beginning of the second round just a few hours away, here is a look at some teams who still have specific needs at the wide receiver and tight end positions, along with some rookies who could fill those openings. If you missed the first part of the series, make sure you check out What’s Next for Day Two: Quarterbacks and Running Backs.
This roster needs a little bit of everything, even after making a pair of first round picks on Thursday. The Bills added the player they hope will be their franchise quarterback for years to come with Josh Allen, but they also need help at the wide receiver spot. They have draft capital invested in Kelvin Benjamin (via trade) and Zay Jones (day two pick last year) but it is hard to have to much faith in either at this point.
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New England Patriots
The Patriots shipped off receiver Brandin Cooks, leaving them with a gap in the depth chart – that move leaves them with Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell as their top three and each of those players have had injury concerns in recent years. For a team that is clearly a strong contender every season, this looks like a weakness.
New York Jets
The Jets got surprising production last season from Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, but neither player is the cornerstone to a team looking to rebuild. The Jets need to take multiple shots on adding receivers and probably should’ve been more aggressive during the free agency period.
The Bengals have fired early round picks at the receiver position in recent season, but neither Tyler Boyd or John Ross have paid off yet. AJ Green desperately needs some help and Brandon LaFell should not be the second best wideout on any NFL roster.
The Steelers have a long history of success in finding mid-round receivers and following the trade of Martavis Bryant to the Raiders, they might be looking to add some depth behind the top two of Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster.
For teams with so many needs (like the Colts) it is difficult to predict which one they might punt on, but this team needs receiver help behind TY Hilton. They once thought they had the answer in Donte Moncrief, but the perpetual disappointment is now off to Jacksonville, leaving Chester Rogers as the current WR2.
It is no secret the Dallas Cowboys will be on the lookout for a new wide receiver or two. Dallas parted ways with longtime star Dez Bryant recently and their only addition of note has been injury-plagued receiver Allen Hurns. Dallas has been linked to Courtland Sutton as a potential replacement for Bryant.
Green Bay Packers
It is odd to see the Packers on a list of teams with a need at the receiver position as they’ve been stacked there for years. At this point, they have moved on from Jordy Nelson, now in Oakland, and Randall Cobb looks like a complementary piece at best. Davante Adams is the WR1 and a dynasty star, but this team needs another receiver to line up across from him.
The Cardinals lucked out when future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald chose to come back for another season, but they lost both Browns (John and Jaron). The team did sign Brice Butler away from Dallas and are hoping Chad Williams can take a step in his second year, but this group clearly still needs some help.
If you still have faith in Tyler Lockett, maybe you don’t view receiver as a major need for the Seahawks. However, I’m not included in that group. Lockett has been a disappointment and there’s not much to the depth chart behind target hog Doug Baldwin. I do think Amara Darboh could improve in his second season, but Seattle can’t count on that at this point.
Courtland Sutton, SMU
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
James Washington, Oklahoma State
Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame
Anthony Miller, Memphis
DJ Chark, LSU
Deon Cain, Clemson
Michael Gallup, Colorado State
Dante Pettis, Washington
DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
The Dolphins would probably show up as a team in need for nearly every position on the field, but tight end is obviously one of those. After trading for veteran Julius Thomas a year ago, they released him this off-season and are left with MarQueis Gray at the top of their depth chart.
New York Jets
The Jets have not really used their tight end as a receiver in years, until they took a chance on Austin Seferian-Jenkins late in the 2016 season. ASJ left as a free agent this off-season and the cupboard looks bare, but does include past dynasty sleepers like Clive Walford, Jordan Leggett and Bucky Hodges.
It seems the Texans have tried dozens of tight ends in recent seasons, but injuries always seem to be their downfall. Unfortunately, CJ Fiedorowicz, who flashed the most upside, was forced to retire this off-season following multiple concussions – this leaves Houston with Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson at the top of the depth chart. I do like Anderson as a deep roster target, but the team could easily add a rookie to this group.
Nothing like a little breaking news to shake up your Friday afternoon. We learned earlier today that longtime Cowboys tight end Jason Witten plans to retire, making that position a major need for the team. They have a dynasty favorite in Rico Gathers, but he has yet to record a reception in the NFL and missed the entire season with an injury.
The Lions finally gave up on former first round pick Eric Ebron, who later signed with the Colts. Detroit did add Luke Willson through free agency, but that shouldn’t stop them from also considering a rookie tight end in the upcoming rounds of the draft.
New Orleans Saints
This will be the spot all dynasty owners are watching when it comes to the tight end position. The Saints have been trying to replace Jimmy Graham since the dealt him to Seattle and even tried to re-sign him this off-season. Coby Fleener has been a massive bust and although the Saints did sign veteran Ben Watson, they would not hesitate to add Dallas Goedert or Mike Gesicki, who could then become first round rookie picks.
Speaking of Graham, the Seahawks let him walk this off-season and now tight end is a position of need for them, too. Seattle did sign former Panthers tight end Ed Dickson and many dynasty owners are still stashing Nick Vannett. Considering the Seahawks have a lot of needs and only a few picks, they might have to pass on the position.
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