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 Raiders found a new starting running back, as most projected, while the Ravens and Patriots improved their barren receiver corps. Denver and Detroit solved their respective tight end woes and many teams are hoping they’ve found their long-term quarterback. There are others left with holes to fill at the four key fantasy football positions. Fortunately for them, 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.
Kansas City Chiefs
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With the recent release of the damning audio clip of Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill discussing the injury to his son, wide receiver is suddenly a major need for the Chiefs. Any wideout chosen by Kansas City will immediately become a top target in dynasty rookie drafts.
The Ravens already added one rookie wideout in first-rounder Marquise Brown, but this depth chart is so poor they need to make another move. Willie Snead is still slotted as the team’s WR2 and that tells you all you need to know.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers (and dynasty owners) seem to really like second-year receiver Dante Pettis, but he needs some help. San Francisco could use their early-second rounder on one of the many talented wideouts who fell to day two.
The Redskins might have the worst collection of receivers in the league, with former first-round bust Josh Doctson slated to be their top option. After a trade up on Thursday, Washington doesn’t pick again until the middle of round three.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers were routinely projected to take both a tight end and a receiver with their pair of first-round picks. Instead, they focused on defense. Even after drafting three rookie receivers a year ago, there is still a void to fill following the departure of Randall Cobb. A day two rookie paired with Aaron Rodgers would become a top dynasty target.
The Cardinals have their new starting quarterback and now they need to find him some help. Arizona is not as desperate as some teams with the steady production of Larry Fitzgerald and the promise of Christian Kirk. The team has the first pick in each of tonight’s two rounds.
In 2018, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck successfully returned to the field, but he had little help from his receiving corps. With TY Hilton and little else, the Colts should be looking to add a talented rookie wideout. They did sign Devin Funchess from the Panthers, but like other teams, Indy needs upgrades at multiple spots.
With Antonio Brown out of town, the Steelers have a serious gap to fill. Juju Smith-Schuster is expected to take over as the team’s top option but there are concerns as to whether James Washington and Donte Moncrief are good enough for other key spots. Pittsburgh doesn’t pick again until early in round three.
Is it Marcus Mariota or is the problem his subpar receiving corps? The answer is not clear, but this year might be the quarterback’s last chance to prove himself. Corey Davis still has promise, but this is a depth chart without depth.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers were unable to work things out with veteran DeSean Jackson, opening the door for a larger role for potential breakout star Chris Godwin. The team also lost slot man Adam Humphries and should be adding a receiver, potentially with their seventh overall pick in round two.
It was the Eagles who landed the aforementioned Jackson but they are also rumored to be willing to deal Nelson Agholor. With that pair plus Alshon Jeffery, this receiving corps is ancient by NFL standards. Philly has a pair of late second-rounders as ammo.
New York Giants
Who really know what the Giants will do at this point? They have a massive hole in their lineup to fill after the trade of Odell Beckham and Golden Tate isn’t the answer. With Tate, Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram, the G-Men have no one to play on the outside. Ideally, they target a big wideout to improve this depth chart.
How the Seahawks approach their upcoming picks could tell us a lot about the status of veteran Doug Baldwin, who has already undergone multiple off-season surgeries. If Seattle adds a wideout on day two, that would be bad news for Baldwin’s future.
The Broncos depth chart was shaken up in 2018 when the team dealt long-time star Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders suffered an Achilles injury. That pushed DaeSean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton into starting roles. Both players performed relatively well but are obviously unproven. Denver owns three picks tonight following yesterday’s trade down.
Buffalo was once pegged as a likely landing spot for receiver DK Metcalf but that was before they signed a trio of veteran receivers through free agency. The Bills added John Brown, Cole Beasley and Andre Roberts to go along with Zay Jones and Robert Foster. If you’re not impressed with that group, it’s for good reason. The team could still use a potential difference-maker like Metcalf or another alpha receiver.
New England Patriots
Even after making N’Keal Harry the final pick of round one, the Patriots could use another wideout. Even better, head coach Bill Belichick and his team own five picks in tonight’s second and third rounds.
New York Jets
The Jets are a bit of a tough call when it comes to making this list. They retained Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa this off-season and made slot man Jamison Crowder a priority. Lacking second or fifth-round picks, the Jets could pass on the receiver position. This is another team that needs a dominant force, and based on their rumored interest in Antonio brown, they know it.
Best Rookies Available
The Bills dumped Charles Clay and signed Tyler Kroft but more than likely, neither of those moves matter. They were also linked to tight end TJ Hockenson. If they opt for a tight end, it is likely they wait until day three, when they have two picks each in the fourth and fifth rounds.
Another team often mocked to select Hockenson was the Jaguars, who chose Josh Allen instead. Jacksonville signed Geoff Swaim away from Dallas after deciding Austin Seferian-Jenkins wasn’t working. For what it’s worth, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz saw his production take a slight dip with Foles in the lineup compared to Carson Wentz.
New England Patriots
One of the top stories of the off-season was the retirement of future Hall-of-Famer Rob Gronkowski, leaving the Patriots with no reliable option at the position. While they weren’t in a hurry, New England did eventually sign Seferian-Jenkins and could conceivably stick with him as the starter. With a deep tight end class and average landing spots for the top tight ends drafted, the team using a day two pick on a tight end would boost his stock dramatically.
The Raiders were led by veteran tight end Jared Cook a year ago, but he’s off to New Orleans now and Oakland settled for Luke Willson. Oakland has upgraded the wideout group is a massive way, trading for Antonio Brown and signing Tyrell Williams and Ryan Grant. That leaves them to focus on finding a tight end.
Green Bay Packers
As I said earlier, many though the Packers could target a round one tight end, but both TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant were drafted before the Pack got the chance. Having veteran Jimmy Graham on the roster might allow the Packers to wait until day three to address the position. As was the case with wideouts, any rookie tight end paired with Rodgers will see a value increase.
The Cowboys were reportedly set to take Dallas Goedert last year until the rival Eagles leapfrogged them to steal him away. This year, there is another wrinkle as veteran Jason Witten surprisingly returned to the team following his one-year retirement. That should not impact the team’s search for a high-upside young tight end.
Just as the Bengals are said to be in quarterback purgatory, with Andy Dalton too good to replace but not good enough to win playoff games, they are in a similar spot with tight end. They just keep re-signing Tyler Eifert, who continues to deal with injuries. They also retained CJ Uzomah. Neither of these are reliable, quality NFL (or fantasy football) starters.
The Texans took a pair of rookie tight ends a year ago and might be content to see what one more year from Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas, along with starter Ryan Griffin, gives them. One year, this team will acquire a difference-maker at the position.
Best Available Rookies