As our unprecedented fantasy football breakdown of the NFL Draft continues, we turn our attention to winners and losers from each division of the NFL. With new rookies in tow, many veterans are now fighting for their jobs. Some teams also failed to address some key positions, leaving some players with newfound opportunities. We continue our journey today with a look at the winners and losers from the NFC West, a division no longer simply controlled by the Seattle Seahawks.
Kirk is the big winner in Arizona. Not only does he get a chance to gel with fellow rookie Josh Rosen. He also gets to learn to play wide receiver from one of the greatest to ever play the position in Larry Fitzgerald. Over the past few seasons, Fitzgerald has shifted his game and learned to play from the slot which happens to also be Christian Kirk’s natural position. As Kirk learns from Fitzgerald, he’ll get more and more opportunities. When the surefire Hall of Famer decides to retire, the sky is the limit.
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Drafting Josh Rosen could spell the end of the Bradford era in Arizona before it even gets going. Rosen is the most “pro-ready” of any quarterback in the 2018 draft class. This feels a lot like in 2012 when the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson after signing Matt Flynn to a contract. Flynn was outplayed in camp by Wilson and the rest is history. In addition to the threat of being outplayed, Bradford hasn’t been the picture of health lately. Or ever. Rosen has multiple plausible paths to starting in week one and Bradford could be looking for a job once again soon.
Los Angeles Rams
Round 6, Pick 176 = John Kelly
The entire Rams offense.
It’s hard to really call anyone specific in the Rams offense a winner. The team didn’t have a first or second round pick but they did spend their third and fourth-round picks on upgrading the offensive line with a tackle and a center. If they work out, the entire offense benefits.
I loved John Kelly pre-draft. He was my fifth-ranked runner and my favorite player in the class. The NFL ripped my heart by not only letting him fall to the sixth round but also placing him behind Todd Gurley, the consensus RB1 in dynasty. His value in the short-term is dead in the water without an injury to Gurley but he could get on the field on the occasional passing downs and get the opportunity to flash his receiving ability. I’m still holding out hope but there is nothing good about this situation for Kelly except for the fact he gets to play in Sean McVay’s offense.
San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon
The Niners new franchise quarterback was gifted behemoth tackle Mike McGlinchey in the first round to protect him, then saw the 49ers add two weapons to his receiving corps. Dante Pettis was Matt Waldman’s pre-draft WR1 which should immediately make you take notice. Pettis a playmaker in the return game and is a versatile weapon whom Shanahan can move all over the field. Speaking of playmakers, James is electric with the ball in his hands and is likely to be a player they look to get in space. James will help Garoppolo out when he needs to get the ball out fast if he can develop quickly. The San Francisco offense is starting to come together now as they look to get back to competing at a higher level.
As for McKinnon, his great off-season continues. The 49ers failed to add a running back in the draft and let Carlos Hyde walk, leaving the door wide open for McKinnon to seize a sizable role in fantasy and reality. His ADP is now reaching its all-time high.
It’s tough to find a true loser on the 49ers but Trent Taylor most certainly is going to have competition for slot duties starting this Summer. He was a fast riser in dynasty circles at this time last year but that rise has proven to be short-lived. He’ll need another great off-season to fend off Pettis, James and others.
Tyler Lockett and Amara Darboh
Seattle didn’t address the receiver position at all this off-season which is a bit surprising. Darboh is intriguing as the only receiver on the team with any real size and we know what Lockett can do when healthy, but there are no proven receivers behind Doug Baldwin on this team. Give me all the Doug Baldwin shares in 2018.
Chris Carson and CJ Prosise
The Seahawks investing a first round pick in Penny likely spells the end of fantasy value for last season’s surprise, Chris Carson. All the Prosise truthers are also probably in for a nice long shower cry as well. I don’t think Penny is a great fit for this team but it seems like he will be getting all the volume he can handle.
Keep it here as we continue to run down each and every division.