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. The first round certainly did not disappoint with multiple trades and eleven fantasy relevant players coming off the board.
With impact 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 more hours. Let’s take a look at some of the players who could see their dynasty value affected by the draft’s very active second day.
Marlon Mack, RB IND
Running back was viewed as a clear need for the Colts following the departure of Frank Gore and while the team was not expected to select a back in the first round, they made four second round picks – this gave them plenty of opportunity to add a back and form a committee with second-year man Marlon Mack, who played well in his limited opportunity last season. Instead, the Colts focused heavily on their defense, along with the offensive line, passing on running back all four times. There are some interesting rookie backs still on the board for day three, but none that would be viewed as an immediate upgrade to Mack. As it stands, he’s one of the biggest veteran winners of the entire draft weekend.
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Case Keenum, QB DEN
Denver’s starting quarterback Case Keenum showed up as a winner after day one of the draft as well since the team did not select his replacement with their early pick. On Friday, not only did the team again ignore the quarterback spot, they added one of the top wide receivers in the draft (Courtland Sutton) and a talented running back in Royce Freeman. These additions should benefit the entire offense. Keenum is slowly moving up my ranks and is a nice target in super-flex leagues.
Alex Collins, RB BAL
You’ll soon notice a theme to many of the players on this list. Just as dynasty owners were in limbo in regards to Mack’s dynasty value, we were also uncertain what the future held for Baltimore’s Alex Collins. Even after finishing as the RB21 in his breakout 2017 season, Collins’ job did not seem secure – that’s not the case any longer. I still expect the Ravens to add to their backfield, but Collins earns a bump in value due to the security gained through the first three rounds.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB CHI
The Bears have made upgrading their offense a major priority this off-season, signing receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Trey Burton. After adding a defender in round one, they were back to the offensive side of the ball. The Bears used their day two picks to draft one of the top centers in the draft, James Daniels, and then added another pass catcher for their second-year quarterback by drafting former Memphis receiver Anthony Miller. He’s a player who should be able to step in right away and play a significant role in this improved offense.
Dak Prescott, QB DAL
It has not been a great off-season for the Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott. After finally moving on from wide receiver Dez Bryant, the team learned veteran tight end Jason Witten would be retiring. Since 2010 when Bryant joined the team, the duo of Witten and Bryant have combined for 41% of the receptions in Dallas, 45% of their receiving yards and 51% of their receiving touchdowns. Clearly, there are many holes to fill. On this day at least, Prescott can be viewed as a winner after the Cowboys drafted receiver Michael Gallup and offensive lineman Connor Williams. There’s still work to do with this offense, though.
Yet another team widely expected to select a running back early in the draft was the Philadelphia Eagles. Even after the addition of Clement and Ajayi last season, some felt there was room for improvement. Through three rounds, the Eagles have made just one pick, so we shouldn’t read too much into this, but the veteran Ajayi and second-year back Clement are hanging tightly to their respective dynasty values.
The Raiders have been active, moving up and down the draft board. On Friday, they added another offensive lineman, their second of draft, and grabbed a pair of defenders with their other selections. It looks as if the team is set to go into the off-season programs with veterans Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch competing for the lead role in the backfield. Even with these moves, or lack thereof, I am still hesitant to invest much into these vets.
Kenyan Drake, RB MIA
Much like Collins and Mack, Kenyan Drake’s dynasty stock Is rising thanks to the picks his team is not making, specifically at the running back position. The Dolphins have needs nearly everywhere, which benefits Drake and his dynasty value. There is still reason for concern as the Dolphins could still sign former Bronco CJ Anderson, though.
Another team with limited picks and multiple needs is the Seattle Seahawks. They picked just once on Friday, adding a defender in the third round, keeping their wideouts safe for another day. I’m not sure Seattle is ready to rely on Tyler Lockett and Amara Darboh as major contributors, but they may not have a choice. The longer the Seahawks go without selecting a receiver, the better it is for this duo.
Rico Gathers, TE DAL
The surprise news of the day came before the draft began when we learned Witten would be retiring – this leaves Dallas to rely on a very thin tight end group and the player with the most upside is former basketballer Rico Gathers, who has yet to record an NFL reception. Many expected the Cowboys to draft a tight end on Friday and it looked like Dallas Goedert was going to fall to them in the second round before division rival Philadelphia traded up directly in front of them and made the luxury pick of Goedert instead.
Carlos Hyde, RB CLE
If you listened to the reports and rumors circulating much of the day on Friday, you probably expected the Browns pick of former Georgia star Nick Chubb early in round two. At this point, it is difficult to project how this will play out between Chubb and former 49er Carlos Hyde, who signed a three-year deal with the team just weeks ago. If Chubb claims the job, the Browns can get out of the Hyde deal somewhat easily following the season. I’m betting on Chubb in this situation.
The Lions continue to search for answers to their longtime backfield woes. Earlier this off-season, they signed LeGarrette Blount, which looked like bad news for Ameer Abdullah. Now, the team traded up to acquire Auburn’s hard-running back Kerryon Johnson. With Theo Riddick a near lock to retain the pass-catching back role, that means one of Blount or Abdullah likely won’t make the team.
Marquise Goodwin, WR SF
In a surprise move, the 49ers made Washington’s Dante Pettis the fourth wideout off the board early in the second round. Pettis certainly fits the type of receiver head coach Kyle Shanahan likes, which makes it difficult to project how playing time could shake out for Pettis, Pierre Garcon, Goodwin, Trent Taylor and Aldrick Robinson. While Garcon’s role and value seem secure, it is Goodwin who has been a riser in recent months. That positive move could be ending with Pettis now in the fold.
Samaje Perine, RB WAS
As expected, the Redskins drafted a running back and as some projected, that back was former LSU star Derrius Guice, only they didn’t use the thirteenth overall pick to get him. Instead, the Redskins grabbed the falling Guice late in the second round. Despite his free fall that had dynasty owners confused, Guice lands in a nice spot where he will see immediate opportunity. That will come at the expense of last year’s rookie bust in Perine, who couldn’t even beat out Rob Kelley to claim a significant role.
Devontae Booker, RB DEN
After the Broncos released veteran CJ Anderson, Devontae Booker temporarily ascended to the lead role, but we all knew that wouldn’t last. Denver waited a while but used one of their two third round selections to draft productive Oregon back Royce Freeman. While Booker and Freeman could actually form a nice combination, Booker’s value will suffer, even if his role remains the same.
Peyton Barber, RB TB
Another running back who was sure to suffer a value loss this weekend was Tampa Bay’s Peyton Barber. The Buccaneers selected Ronald Jones II in the second round. I have my concerns about Jones as a prospect, but he certainly wipes out any bit of value Barber had built up during the 2017 season.