Dynasty players have been looking forward to this weekend for weeks, months, maybe even years due to the talented class loaded with running backs and tight ends that should impact the way we build our teams.
With impact players entering the league, NFL veterans will feel the impact, some fearing for their respective jobs while others breathe a sigh of relief, at least for a few hours. Let’s take a look at some of the players who could see their dynasty value affected by the latest action in Philadelphia.
Melvin Gordon, RB LAC
There were some expectations the Chargers could add one of the top backs in this class to their stable, which they didn’t do. Depending how you feel about Gordon, this could be a positive or negative. Based on the current roster, Gordon would have almost no competition for touches, but someone to help carry the load could ultimately be a good thing. For now, Gordon remains the runaway favorite to see a huge percentage of the backfield touches for the Chargers.
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Jameis Winston, QB TB
Marcus Mariota, QB TEN
The two young quarterbacks have been linked since they were selected with the top two picks in the 2015 NFL Draft and again this weekend, they are paired. After each got a new offensive weapon on the draft’s opening night (OJ Howard in Tampa, Corey Davis in Tennessee) the teams added even more firepower on the second day. The Buccaneers ended the free fall for Penn State wideout Chris Godwin, selecting him in the late third round. The Titans used both of their Day Two picks on pass catchers, selecting Taywan Taylor and tight end Jonnu Smith in the third round. Winston and Mariota have to be considered as top seven dynasty quarterbacks at worst.
Blake Bortles, QB JAX
While Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles has not come close to matching the performance of the other young quarterbacks mentioned, he has posted some nice fantasy numbers, finishing as a top eight quarterback each of the past two seasons. There was a great deal of speculation the Jags could look to replace Bortles, or at least add some competition, this weekend, but he has emerged through the first two days unscathed. In fact, the team added running back Leonard Fournette in Round One and offensive lineman Cam Robinson early in the second round, both of whom should help Bortles. With a total of six quarterbacks off the board, there are few, if any, rookies left who could affect Bortles’ job status.
Frank Gore, RB IND
Rob Kelley, RB WAS
While these two running backs are quite different, they are currently having a similar experience. Both the veteran Gore and youngster Kelley were expected to be challenged by an early round rookie, yet both the Colts and Redskins have passed on running backs through the early portion of the draft. With the depth of the position, there are still rookies available who could make an impact, but each are looking like safer options than they were 24 hours ago. Unfortunately, neither player is actually gaining value, only maintaining the limited dynasty value they had left.
Kenneth Dixon, RB BAL
Paul Perkins, RB NYG
Two other backs who are in similar states are last year’s rookies, Paul Perkins and Kenneth Dixon. With former starters now gone from their respective teams, each has a chance for an increased role in 2017. While each was viewed as a prospect with potential during last season’s draft process, their dynasty value has not been impacted by this presumed increased role. Maybe dynasty owners will be more accepting of these players after they’ve survived three rounds with no rookie competition added to their rosters.
Ty Montgomery, RB GB
Yet another running back who dynasty owners felt unsure about entering into draft weekend is the converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Owning the first pick on Day Two, there was much speculation that the Packers could add Dalvin Cook or Joe Mixon to their roster to compete with Montgomery. Instead, they went with a defender and continued that trend all night. Again, there are still some solid prospects who could be Packers’ targets, but Montgomery is holding down the starting role and gaining dynasty value as a result.
Breshad Perriman, WR BAL
In Round One, the Ravens had been recently linked with Western Michigan wideout Corey Davis, but on Thursday, Davis, along with John Ross and Mike Williams were off the board by the time Baltimore picked. On Day Two, they continued to bypass the wideout position, continuing to add to their defense. This has to be considered a sign of confidence in third year wide receiver Perriman, who has done little through his first two seasons.
Latavius Murray, RB MIN
The Vikings signed Murray away from the Oakland Raiders earlier this off-season after they opted to part ways with longtime starter Adrian Peterson. Murray was the presumed starter, but dynasty owners couldn’t be too confident after Murray failed to live up to expectations in Oakland and the Raiders didn’t put up a fight to keep him. Evidently, the Vikings were not confident either, taking advantage of the fall of Dalvin Cook and adding the former Florida State back. There are some off-field and injury concerns surrounding Cook, but there is little doubt he is the most talented back on the roster. I do think Jerick McKinnon can co-exist with Cook, but this could limit his upside as well.
Tyler Higbee, TE LAR
The Rams made Tyler Higbee their tight end of the future in last year’s NFL Draft, but a new regime is in town now and that can quickly change a players’ future. While it is unclear exactly how new head coach Sean McVay views Higbee, he made it clear what he thinks of his second-round pick, tight end Gerald Everett. McVay, a former Redskins assistant, referred to Everett as his Jordan Reed. The Rams needs all the playmakers they can get, so this might not spell the end of Higbee, but it’s a bad sign.
Giovani Bernard/Jeremy Hill, RBs CIN
Friday morning, I studied five different Day Two mock drafts that had been released by major media outlets, focusing on the offensive skill position players projected to be draft in Rounds Two and Three. While the five mocks varied greatly, there was some near consensus – four of the five mocks projected the Bengals to use their early second-round pick on former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon. While Cincinnati traded down, they did ultimately add Mixon to their backfield depth chart. This is clearly bad news for both Bernard and Hill, who have failed to set themselves apart. ESPN’s Mike Clay even speculated Hill could soon be traded. Regardless, both veterans will be dropping down the running back ranks with the addition of Mixon.
Sammie Coates, WR PIT
I had speculated in an earlier article that a Steelers Day Two wide receiver pick could mean bad news for newly reinstated Martavis Bryant, but it is probably Coates who should be most concerned. The Steelers did select Juju Smith-Schuster in the second round, adding another weapon for Ben Roethlisberger. It is fair to be a bit uncertain about which Steelers receiver might be in danger of losing their job. In fact, Bryant and Coates had a Twitter “conversation” about which of them could be on the hot seat. Personally, I’m avoiding both of these veterans for different reasons.
Mark Ingram, RB NO
Dynasty players with Ingram on their roster were just starting to accept the recent acquisition of veteran Adrian Peterson. After all, they thought Ingram should at least see an increase in receptions. That hope may be gone after the draft selection of former Volunteers running back and pass-catching specialist Alvin Kamara. Head coach Sean Payton clearly is not sold on using Ingram in a consistent lead role. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ingram is off this roster by training camp. Obviously, the moves the Saints have made and the way Ingram was handled down the stretch of last season are greatly affecting his dynasty value.
Rishard Matthews, WR TEN
Delanie Walker, TE TEN
When the Titans drafted Corey Davis with the fifth overall pick, I wasn’t concerned regarding the value or role of Matthews. Wide receiver was a clear need for Tennessee and Matthews would fit best as a second option. On the draft’s second day, the Titans were back at it, drafting wide receiver Taywan Taylor and tight end Jonnu Smith. Now, both Matthews and Walker, who each racked up 65 receptions to tie for the team lead last season, are looking at a drop in production and dynasty value. I like each as a buy low target for contending dynasty teams, though both will likely not be as consistent as they were in the latter part of last year.
Spencer Ware, RB KC
With veteran Jamaal Charles dealing with a serious injury for the second consecutive season, Ware had the chance to show he could be a long-term reliable back for the Chiefs. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do that and for some reason, was rarely involved in the passing game. In Round Three of the draft, the Chiefs scooped up Kareem Hunt, who will certainly put up a tough fight and could overtake Ware for the starting gig. Even if this becomes a committee attack, Ware’s value is in for a drop based on his disappointing 2016 season.