2024 NFL Draft: Dynasty Fantasy Football Winners and Losers from the AFC East

Tim Riordan

With the 2024 NFL Draft now over, we can accurately re-assess the depth charts of teams around the NFL. In this series, we’ll be taking a look at players who either gained or lost value based on what their team did during the draft.

Buffalo Bills

Draft Class

  • Round 2, Pick 1: Keon Coleman, WR Florida State
  • Round 2, Pick 28: Cole Bishop, S Utah
  • Round 3, Pick 32: DeWayne Carter, DT Duke
  • Round 4, Pick 28: Ray Davis, RB Kentucky
  • Round 5, Pick 6: Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, C Georgia
  • Round 5, Pick 25: Edefuan Ulofoshio, LB Washington
  • Round 5, Pick 33: Javon Solomon, EDGE Troy
  • Round 6, Pick 28: Tylan Grable, OT UCF
  • Round 6, Pick 43: Daequan Hardy, CB Penn State
  • Round 7, Pick 1: Travis Clayton, OG England

Winner: Khalil Shakir, WR

With Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis no longer on this team, Shakir was left behind as the best wide receiver on this team. Everyone knew that the Bills had to address the wide receiver position in the draft, so nobody was expecting Shakir to still be the top receiver on this team after it. The Bills drafted Keon Coleman, who takes his rightful spot at the top of the Bills wide receiver depth chart. For the rest of the draft, they didn’t address the position again. Shakir could’ve easily dove further down the depth chart, but instead he should slot in right behind Coleman as the team’s top two receivers.

Shakir only has 49 career receptions over his two-year career, but 13 of them came in the final three weeks of last season. It almost seemed like a tryout for the former Boise State receiver, and it seems that he passed the test. He should have a decent role, receiving the ball from one of the best quarterbacks in the game. He has some decent, under-the-radar value in dynasty leagues right now, because most people saw a downgrade in his value with the drafting of Coleman. It certainly is a downgrade, but only if you expected the Bills to completely ignore that position in the NFL Draft. He is the WR62 in startup ADP right now.

Loser: James Cook, RB

Running back was a need for the Bills going into the draft, but it wasn’t a major need. They could’ve easily gone into the season with Ty Johnson as a handcuff and Darrynton Evans as a third-down option. Instead, they brought in a very talented running back in the fourth round in Ray Davis.

Davis is a wrecking-ball back with sneaky talent in the passing game. He lacks long speed, but he has great vision and could be a weapon around the goal line. Cook already wasn’t much of an option around the goal line, but with Davis here, he may not get many looks in the red zone at all.

Davis is good enough to deserve a role-splitting carries with Cook in this offense. He was a potential bellcow back before the NFL Draft, but Davis is a major threat to his production. By the end of this year, we could see something like a 60/40 split in running back touches between these two running backs.

Miami Dolphins

Draft Class

  • Round 1, Pick 21: Chop Robinson, EDGE Penn State
  • Round 2, Pick 23: Patrick Paul, OT Houston
  • Round 4, Pick 20: Jaylen Wright, RB Tennessee
  • Round 5, Pick 23: Mohamed Kamara, EDGE Colorado State
  • Round 6, Pick 8: Malik Washington, WR Virginia
  • Round 6, Pick 22: Patrick McMorris, S California
  • Round 7, Pick 21: Tahj Washington, WR USC

Winner: Jonnu Smith, TE

When was the last time the Dolphins had a consistent fantasy football producer at the tight end position? Mike Gesicki had some decent games, but never put it all together. You may need to go all the way back to 2006 with Randy McMichael. This certainly will not be the year that Miami finally involves a tight end in the offense, but they didn’t address the position in the Draft, so Jonnu Smith is left behind to be the team’s leader at the position.

The Dolphins liken themselves as the fastest team in the NFL, and Smith certainly fits in with that theme. He ran an elite 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL Combine (4.62 seconds) and has reached the 20 miles per hour threshold on the field in his career. The fit in Miami is intriguing, despite Smith’s lack of production over the last several years. He’s being drafted in startup drafts as the 32nd tight end off the board at 228 overall.

Loser: De’Von Achane, RB

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Image of De’Von Achane’s Startup Dynasty ADP History.

For the second season in a row, the Dolphins spent a day-two pick on a running back who ran an elite 40-yard dash in the 4.3s. Combine that with Raheem Mostert, who ran a 4.38 40-yard dash himself, and you have a three-headed monster in the Dolphins backfield.

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Image Courtesy of RAS.Football.

Once again, the Dolphins have a type: undersized skill-position players who can fly. Jaylen Wright is another one of those who fits that bill. He’s a similar prospect to Achane last year, but at 210 pounds, and better athletic testing, he may actually be a better prospect. Considering Achane was so productive last year, but also struggled to stay on the field, this could be a draft pick to help keep Achane healthy, but also give him even fewer touches than the 12.7 he had on a per-game basis last year. Even with the arrival of Wright, Achane is still being drafted as a top-ten running back at RB9. I find it tough to trust Achane with the amount of competition that exists in that backfield.

New England Patriots

Draft Class

  • Round 1, Pick 3: Drake Maye, QB North Carolina
  • Round 2, Pick 5: Ja’Lynn Polk, WR Washington
  • Round 3, Pick 4: Caedan Wallace, OT Penn State
  • Round 4, Pick 3: Layden Robinson, OG Texas A&M
  • Round 4, Pick 10: Javon Baker, WR UCF
  • Round 6, Pick 4: Marcellas Dial, CB South Carolina
  • Round 6, Pick 17: Joe Milton III, QB Tennessee
  • Round 7, Pick 11: Jaheim Bell, TE Florida State

Winners: Rhamondre Stevenson, RB

Last season was a major disappointment for Stevenson and his fantasy managers. He went from an ADP of 33 overall in September of 2023 all the way down to 92 overall in May 2024. Injuries played a key role in his downfall, along with the overall lack of production of the offense. But, a major contributing factor to the fall of Stevenson was the signing of Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott looked better than most expected him to, and played a large role in the Patriot offense. This year, Elliott is gone, and the Patriots didn’t do much to replace him in free agency, signing Antonio Gibson.

The Patriots could’ve easily targeted a running back in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft, but with too many other holes to fill, they passed on running backs. As the RB26 in startup ADP, with little-to-no competition for touches on the roster,  Stevenson could be an incredible value in dynasty fantasy football leagues.

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Rhamondre Stevenson’s DLF Game Log app.

Despite the underwhelming season, Stevenson actually wasn’t awful last year before the injury, especially when the Patriots gave him volume. He finished as a top 20 back in seven of the 11 full games he played in, and five of the last six. This year, with only Antonio Gibson and Kevin Harris to challenge him for carries, and Alex Van Pelt’s commitment to the run game, Stevenson should bounce back to dynasty relevance.

Loser: Kendrick Bourne, WR

After the Patriots added their quarterback of the future, the next most important need was the wide receiver position. Everyone knew that they would need to add at least one, but the team decided to use two picks at the position within the first four rounds. Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker are two outside receivers who the Patriots hope to be Drake Maye’s favorite receivers for years to come. With Demario Douglas manning the slot, Bourne will have to fend off these two young players to hold onto his starting job.

After a decent first season in New England, Bourne fell off into mediocrity in 2022. Possibly in Bill Belichick’s dog house, he only caught 35 passes and one touchdown on the whole season. In the first eight games of 2023, Bourne was back on track, already surpassing his 2022 catch total. He even caught two touchdowns in a week 8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, before a devastating ACL injury ended his season prematurely.

Bourne is back again this year and, assuming he’s healthy, should be at the top of the Patriots wide receiver depth chart to start training camp. But, with Polk and Baker in the fold, and the addition of KJ Osborn, he’ll need to earn his role against tougher competition than he’s had in a long time in New England. He’s basically a free pick in dynasty startup drafts right now, going at 227 overall as the 96th wide receiver off the board.

New York Jets

Draft Class

  • Round 1, Pick 11: Olu Fashanu, OT Penn State
  • Round 3, Pick 1: Malachi Corley, WR Western Kentucky
  • Round 4, Pick 34: Braelon Allen, RB Wisconsin
  • Round 5, Pick 36: Jordan Travis, QB Florida State
  • Round 5, Pick 38: Isaiah Davis, RB South Dakota State
  • Round 5, Pick 41: Qwan’tez Stiggers, CB Toronto Argonauts
  • Round 7, Pick 37: Jaylen Key, S Alabama

Winner: Tyler Conklin, TE

The Jets were in a perfect spot in the draft to take Brock Bowers, but decided instead to improve their offensive line with Olu Fashanu at the 11th overall pick. Conklin had to be sweating a competition against the best tight end prospect many have ever seen coming out of college, but now he has minimal competition to be the team’s primary pass-catching tight end.

Conklin finished as the tight end 17 last season with 123.1 PPR points, or 7.2 per game. He managed to accomplish that despite a revolving door at the quarterback position. Zach Wilson, Trevor Siemian, Tim Boyle and Brett Rypien are going to struggle to support any fantasy asset, let alone a mid-level tight end. Somehow, despite 87 targets and 61 receptions in 2023, he failed to catch a single passing touchdown. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers under center, that will certainly change in 2024.

With the improvement at the quarterback position and plenty of touchdown regression, Conklin could quietly be one of the steals of the year at tight end. He’s only being drafted as the 38th tight end off the board in dynasty startup drafts right now, 253rd overall. He’s worth a speculative add on almost any dynasty roster, but especially in tight end premium leagues.

Loser: Israel Abanikanda, RB

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Israel Abanikanda DLF ADP History.

It’s been a brutal fall from grace for Abanikanda in dynasty fantasy football leagues. Once considered a sleeper of last year’s rookie drafts, his value has plummeted past pick 200 in startup drafts. The NFL Draft certainly didn’t help his value at all. The Jets were thin at running back, but it didn’t seem like they needed to do much work at the position going into the Draft. Despite that, they used their third pick on Braelon Allen and then followed it up in the next round with another running back in Isaiah Davis. Clearly, the Jets were not happy with the running backs behind Breece Hall and prioritized the position in the Draft.

Abanikanda entered the 2023 season buried on the Jets depth chart as a fifth-round rookie. Michael Carter, Dalvin Cook and Zonovan Knight were all on the team and ahead of him in the pecking order. As all three of those backs eventually got waived, Abanikanda began to earn a few touches, but never anything significant. He rushed the ball 22 times for 70 yards (3.2 YPC) over six games in his rookie season and caught seven balls for 43 yards. It appears the Jets saw enough of him to be concerned, and spent two draft picks to bring in some competition behind Hall. His dynasty ADP is 284th overall and 89th at running back. Allen (RB62) and Davis (RB82) are both being picked ahead of him.

tim riordan