Dynasty players have been looking forward to this weekend for weeks, maybe even months. We were promised a run of quarterbacks and a run of wide receivers, as well as the rare occurrence of having not one, but possibly two running backs taken in round one. In the end, the draft’s first day delivered all of that and more. With all the talented players entering the league, NFL veterans will feel the impact, some fearing for their respective jobs while others will breathe a sigh of relief, at least for 24 hours. Let’s take a look at some of the players who could see their dynasty value affected by this first round rookie class. On to the initial veteran winners and losers from day one.
Rather than go one-by-one this morning, let’s focus on three significant player groups – running backs, tight ends and quarterbacks.
Veteran Running Backs
The draft is always pivotal for running back value as players lose their jobs at the blink of an eye. Many of these current players had their dynasty future on the ropes and a surprising number of them left the first two days unscathed. While there’s still a boatload of running backs available on day three, the danger of them coming in and bumping a vet out of their job is greatly minimized as most running backs taken on day three are seen as either change-of-pace options or depth players.
This year’s group is a big one and includes running backs like Rashaad Penny, Tony Pollard, James Cook, Khalil Herbert, Joe Mixon, Javonte Williams, Dameon Pierce, Isiah Pacheco, Cam Akers, Rhamondre Stevenson, Dalvin Cook, Rachaad White and Brian Robinson. This draft has been deemed as a weak one for dynasty purposes and one of those reasons is the fact these players don’t have the kind of competition many of us expected. Keep a close eye on Herbert and White specifically as they have a golden opportunity to increase their dynasty value exponentially, though Herbert has competition with Roschon Johnson, who was taken early in the fourth round.
Much like running backs, quarterbacks are always in danger during draft weekend as itchy Owners or Head Coaches don’t have the patience they used to. CJ Stroud (Panthers), Bryce Young (Texans), Anthony Richardson (Colts). Will Levis (Titans) and Hendon Hooker (Lions) all took significant value away from the current starters on their team.
However, signal callers like Geno Smith, Matthew Stafford, Desmond Ridder, Russell Wilson, Jordan Love, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, Kenny Pickett, Brock Purdy, Baker Mayfield, and Sam Howell were saved from serious competition. The surprises here to most are likely Ridder and Howell, who now have a real opportunity to establish themselves in the league.
Veteran Tight Ends
This was a year with some legitimate tight end talent and a lot TE2-level players were likely spending some nervous time in front of the TV, wondering if they’d be on the hot seat. Through two days, the results of the draft were good for the likes of Greg Dulcich, Irv Smith, Kylen Granson, Gerald Everett, Durham Smythe, Juwan Johnson, Tyler Conklin, Cade Otton, and Logan Thomas.
Kenneth Walker, RB SEA
People outside of the Northwest were shocked by the selection of running back Zach Charbonnet. Folks who live here? Not so much. It was no small secret the team was flat-out enamored with Charbonett and were considering the creation of a 1-2 punch with Walker. Few thought they’d go through with it but this team loves competition and tends to take the best player available in the draft, regardless of position. Walker’s value is going to sink now, especially if Charbonnet becomes the goal-line option in the Emerald City. Walker may indeed be the single biggest dynasty draft value loser as a result of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Ryan Tannehill, QB TEN
Tanny was lucky enough to make it out of round one safe but that changed quickly when the Titans traded up to the top of the second round to secure the services of Will Levis. Tennessee is already saying this going to be a competition and Tannehill’s days look to be numbered.
Dolphins Running Backs
Jake Ferguson, TE DAL
Grrr. The Cowboys passed on the elite tight ends on day one but nabbed Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker in the second. Ferguson is a superior pass catcher but this depth chart is suddenly murky.
Alvin Kamara, RB NO
By the time Kamara returns from his inevitable suspension, he’s going to need to compete with Jamaal Williams and Kendre Miller in what’s now a stacked backfield. It’s quite possible this is Kamara’s last season with the Saints as he’s aging and seemingly not nearly as effective as he once was.
The Raiders were thrilled to have Michael Mayer fall to them in the second round. Hooper and Howard were likely not as thrilled. Mayer is the likely starter and it’s hard seeing all three of them even on the roster when the season starts. Howard and Hooper look like waiver wire fodder at this point.
Jared Goff, QB DET
Goff had a quietly spectacular season last year but the Lions took Hendon Hooker on day two. While Hooker is far away from playing and will need to spend most of next year rehabbing his knee, the margin for error with Goff is slim – he’ll need to repeat his 2022 season to keep his job beyond next season.
Terrace Marshall, WR CAR
The Panthers took Jonathan Mingo to play alongside DJ Chark and Adam Thielen. He’ll compete directly with Marshall, who has shown flashes at time but not enough to apparently elicit much confidence from the Panthers brass.
Josiah Deguara, TE GB
Darius Slayton, WR NYG
The Giants jumped up to get Jalin Hyatt who should immediately become the best deep threat in New York. This depth chart is going to be really tough to decode, so this will certainly be a story to watch. Slayton likely loses the most value as Hyatt does what he does, only better.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR CLE
Cedric Tillman saw his college teammate Jalin Hyatt drafted with the 73rd overall selection but didn’t have to wait long to join him as he was drafted one pick later by the Cleveland Browns. Tillman isn’t the fastest receiver and has been set back by injuries but he’s a solid jump ball catcher and should fit in nicely for Deshaun Watson and the Browns. Tillman should compete with Donovan Peoples-Jones to be the third receiver in Cleveland behind Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore, rendering DPJ’s role uncertain.
Hassan Haskins, RB TEN
The Titans won’t have Derrick Henry forever and Haskins was in line to possibly replace him this season if he was to get hurt. Instead, the Titans added Tyjae Spears, who was a super-productive small school player.
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