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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Draft Day Winners and Losers

Mon Apr 29 11:53am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

White should be lead back


The draft is always so exciting, seeing where all the players get picked. But after the draft, the big issue is figuring out what it all means for their fantasy value. We thought it would be a good idea to look at some of the biggest fantasy winners and losers from draft day. These are some of the players that were picked but also some of the guys that were already on rosters, seeing their fantasy value get impacted from the draft. Adjust your rankings accordingly!

WINNERS

Bryce Young, QB, Panthers. The Panthers did a great job of getting Young some much needed offensive help. The team took a receiver, running back and tight end in three of the first four rounds of the draft. Carolina already added Diontae Johnson this offseason, so the receiver corps should be much better after getting Xavier Legette in the first round. The receivers got very little separation last year, so it was hard to gauge Young. He needed help and got some this offseason. Carolina also took a possible franchise running back in Jonathon Brooks and hopefully a solid starting tight end in Ja’Tavion Sanders. Things are looking up for Young and this offense.

Xavier Worthy, WR, Chiefs. Worthy could not have landed in a much better spot. He heads to one of the best offenses in football that has some openings at receiver, especially with the status of Rashee Rice a bit up in the air. Worthy has electric speed and the Chiefs should find plenty of ways to utilize that. He could be the new Tyreek Hill for this offense. Look for Worthy to make an impact right away.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys. Maybe one of the biggest surprises of the draft was the Cowboys not addressing their running back spot. Instead, the team signed Elliott after the draft. He is likely to be the starter in this top offense. He might not rack up the yards of past seasons, but has big touchdown potential in this offense. Elliott seems a pretty sure bet to get double-digit touchdowns. He could be a solid No. 2 for fantasy teams.

Jonathon Brooks, RB, Panthers. Brooks is returning from a major knee injury and could be slowed a little early in the season, but once he is back healthy look for him to the three-down back for the Panthers. He lands in a great spot for playing time, having little top talent to compete with for playing time. Brooks could really get the volume in this offense. He is our top rookie fantasy back.

Zamir White, RB, Raiders. Many thought the Raiders were another team that could address their running back spot during the draft, but that didn’t happen. They used a sixth-round pick on Dylan Laube, but he is not expected to challenge White for that starter’s job. It sure seems the Raiders are comfortable with White as their lead back. He has a chance to get a lot of touches in year two. His stock is going up.

Ladd McConkey, WR, Chargers. The Chargers need help at receiver and McConkey helps fill that need. It would not surprise if he quickly became Justin Herbert’s favorite target in the passing game. We really like his chances to rack up the weekly looks in this offense. Someone has to fill the Keenan Allen void and McConkey seems the best bet out of the options at receiver for the Chargers.

Keon Coleman, WR, Bills. Coleman is another rookie receiver that lands in a great spot for playing time. The departure of Stefon Diggs leaves a big opening for the Bills. Coleman could help fill that void. He has great size for the position and could be a top red-zone threat from day one for Buffalo. Coleman should get his chances from the get go, giving him a high ceiling for the coming year.

LOSERS

Raheem Mostert, RB, Dolphins. Mostert had a monster season last year and helped many fantasy teams to championships. He is going to have a very hard time repeating, especially after the Dolphins picked Jaylen Wright in the fourth round. Wright is a speed back similar to Mostert but a lot younger with less wear on his tires. Remember, Mostert is 32 years old. He might end up falling to third on the depth chart after the addition of Wright.

Rome Odunze, WR, Bears. Odunze is a super talented player that could be a star in the NFL. But for his year, you have to worry about him being up and down. He has two really good receivers ahead of him on the depth chart in DJ Moore and Keenan Allen. This is going to limit the ceiling of Odunze. He will be a much better fantasy player in a few more seasons. For now, expect erratic production from the talented rookie.

Kyren Williams, RB, Rams. Williams remains the lead back for the Rams and is coming off a breakout season. But the Rams picked Blake Corum in the third round. He is going to be a factor in the offense. He might get put a huge dent in Williams’ workload but the big concern is the goal-line work. Corum is more of a between the tackles runner that does well on short-yardage work. He could end up stealing some touchdowns from Williams, hurting his fantasy value.

Michael Mayer, TE, Raiders. Mayer was a second-round pick for the Raiders last year and showed well at times his rookie season. The Raiders couldn’t pass on the talented Brock Browers in this year’s draft, though. This move absolutely kills the fantasy value of Mayer. He is going to play second fiddle to Browers, getting few weekly looks. Browers is the clear tight end to own in this offense.

Ricky Pearsall, WR, 49ers. Pearsall is a talented pass catcher that can get in and out of his breaks in a hurry. He is a really good fit for the slot and could fill that role for the 49ers his rookie season. The problem is he has some of the top talent in all of football to compete with for targets. He could really be up and down his rookie season. He will look better in a year or two when he has a more defined role and less to compete with at receiver. His rookie season could be a tough one to gauge for fantasy owners.

Malik Nabers, WR, Giants. Many considered Nabers the top receiver in this year’s draft. He is super talented with a high fantasy ceiling. The problem for Nabers is he got drafted by the Giants, a team that really struggled offensively last year. Plus, he has Daniel Jones throwing him passes. This is not a great landing spot for the talented Nabers. Jones needs to make some big strides this season if Nabers hopes to reach his potential. We aren’t sure that happens.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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Player Notes
Brian Daboll Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Brian Daboll

New York Giants offensive lineman Evan Neal (ankle) had surgery to fix a small fracture in his ankle in early January, but he had participated in some individual drills in the first two open organized team activity practices. However, head coach Brian Daboll said the team "backed off" the 2022 first-rounder recently. Neal was in the facility rehabbing for the first half of minicamp practices before riding a stationary bike on the sideline. The 6-foot-7, 340-pounder was laboring as he walked around the practice fields this week. This doesn't bode well for Neal's status heading into training camp next month. We'll keep a close eye on his status this summer as the Giants look to massively improve what was a terrible offensive line in 2023.

From RotoBaller

Breece Hall Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Breece Hall

New York Jets running back Breece Hall (lower body) was held out of minicamp practices as a precaution with a minor lower-body injury. "I'm just focused on continuing to get better and just to keep building my body up for the season," Hall said. "I could practice right now. I feel great, but the coaches are really cautious with me, and I appreciate them for that. It has been a good time still being a part of everything. I do all the walkthroughs and stuff we've been doing." Last year, Hall didn't practice until late August after coming off a torn ACL, but he still racked up 1,588 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns in 2023. It may raise some eyebrows that he's dealing with an injury this offseason, but as long as he's fine in training camp, fantasy managers should have no worries taking Hall as a top-three fantasy RB in the first round of drafts.

From RotoBaller

D.K. Metcalf Jun 15 12:30pm ET
D.K. Metcalf

Seattle Seahawks new head coach Mike Macdonald said his coaching staff plans to make wide receiver DK Metcalf a "moving target" for defenses this year. "I can tell you this: We want to get DK the ball a lot, too," Macdonald said. The Seahawks and new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb plan to move Metcalf around and get him the ball often after he ended the 2023 campaign on a sour note, catching just one pass for 10 yards in the season finale. Still, the 26-year-old made his second Pro Bowl and topped 1,000 yards receiving for the second straight season and the third time in five years while also visiting paydirt eight times. Fantasy managers won't complain about the Seahawks using Metcalf more creatively, including more in the slot, to make him more productive. Treat him as a solid WR2 wideout in fantasy drafts this fall.

From RotoBaller

Jake Ferguson Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Jake Ferguson

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson broke out as the team's starting tight end in 2023 with 71 catches for 761 yards and five touchdowns en route to his first Pro Bowl nod. "It's his consistency and his passion his energy," said head coach Mike McCarthy. "And, really, it's his growth as a football player. We talked a little bit about his weight, and I think he's done an outstanding job in his transition phase of it. He's having a great offseason." Ferguson has so far shown that he has the entire package the Cowboys are looking for on offense. Realistically, the 25-year-old third-year tight end could be quarterback Dak Prescott's No. 2 target behind receiver CeeDee Lamb in 2024. Ferguson led all TEs in targets inside the 20-yard line last year and should be considered a low-end TE1 in fantasy with the upside for more.

From RotoBaller

Blake Corum Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Blake Corum

Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Blake Corum has impressed head coach Sean McVay this offseason as he attempts to learn the offense and carve out a role for himself behind lead back Kyren Williams. "On the offensive side, I've been pleased with a lot of guys but Blake Corum has really stood out," McVay said. "Mature beyond his years. I love the way that he handles himself." Williams remains the leader of this backfield, but Corum will get his opportunities in 2024 and said himself that he'll "definitely be catching the ball out of the backfield." The 23-year-old third-rounder out of Michigan has endeared himself to the Rams' coaching staff already, and Williams' foot injury has allowed him more reps this offseason. Corum will be a top handcuff option for those that roster Williams, and he could even carve out some RB3/flex value in point-per-reception leagues in 2024.

From RotoBaller

Khalil Shakir Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Khalil Shakir

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Khalil Shakir (lower body) said he's all good and expects to be 100 percent healthy for the start of training camp at the end of July. Shakir suffered an undisclosed lower-body injury during minicamp practice earlier this week and didn't practice the rest of the week. However, it appears that the injury isn't serious and won't keep him off the field for the start of training camp. Now that both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis aren't in Buffalo, the 24-year-old former fifth-round pick in 2022 will have an increased role in the Bills' passing attack in 2024 after finishing the 2023 season off on a strong note. Still, Shakir has a ways to go to become relevant in standard-sized fantasy leagues after catching 39 passes for 611 yards and only two touchdowns in 17 regular-season games (10 starts) in his second NFL campaign in 2023.

From RotoBaller

Chase Young Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Chase Young

New Orleans Saints defensive end Chase Young (neck), who had offseason neck surgery, received a positive report from renowned specialist Dr. Robert Watkins during a checkup this week, according to a source. Young will have more tests on his neck in around six weeks, but he plans to take part in training camp this summer. The former second overall pick by the Washington Commanders in 2020 out of Ohio State won Defensive Rookie of the Year in his first season in the league, but then injuries struck. He was able to play in 16 games with Washington and the San Francisco 49ers last year, though, and finished with 7.5 sacks, the same amount he had in 2020. If the 25-year-old can just say on the field, the Saints could have a real steal on their hands on their D-line. Because of the injury risk, Young can be left to the waiver wire in IDP leagues to start the year.

From RotoBaller

Calais Campbell Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Calais Campbell

Six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, according to sources. Campbell will turn 38 years old in September but he's still playing at a high level as he enters his 17th season in the NFL. The 37-year-old is looking to finish out his career in Miami after playing his college ball with the Hurricanes. The veteran pass-rusher doesn't play as many snaps as he did earlier in his career, which puts him off the fantasy radar in most IDP leagues, but he could still be productive when he's on the field for an already strong Dolphins defense. In 17 starts for the Atlanta Falcons last year, Campbell had 56 tackles (32 solo), 6.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 17 QB hits. Campbell hasn't had double-digit sacks in a season since 2018 and hasn't made a Pro Bowl since 2020.

From RotoBaller

Jayden Daniels Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Jayden Daniels

The Washington Commanders and second overall pick Jayden Daniels agreed to terms on a four-year, $37.75 million fully guaranteed deal on Friday that includes a $24.3 million signing bonus, according to his agent. The young quarterback out of LSU is the highest pick of this year's NFL draft to sign their rookie deal to this point. While Daniels is technically competing for the starting gig in his rookie season in 2024 with veteran Marcus Mariota, most people are projecting Daniels to win the competition and start right away in Week 1 in D.C. The 23-year-old dual-threat signal-caller has all the physical skills to have success at the next level in an offense without much proven talent at the receiver position beyond Terry McLaurin. Aside from durability concerns, Daniels has the makeup to have a seamless transition to the NFL, immediately making him relevant in two-QB, superflex leagues in 2024.

From RotoBaller

Adam Trautman Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Adam Trautman

Denver Broncos tight end Adam Trautman (core) was held out of mandatory minicamp practices this week as a precaution due to a core-muscle injury. "Just being smart with his reps," head coach Sean Payton said. "He had core-muscle symptoms, which is basically a sprain. He didn't need surgery, so that's the good news. Nothing significant though." It sounds like it's an injury that won't keep Trautman sidelined for the start of training camp at the end of July. The 27-year-old re-signed with Denver in the offseason after catching 22 passes for 204 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in 17 games in his first year in Denver in 2023. Third-year tight end Greg Dulcich (foot) has had trouble staying on the field in his first two years in the NFL, but if he's healthy, he'll be the better bet for fantasy production in 2024 than Trautman.

From RotoBaller

Tim Patrick Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Tim Patrick

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (Achilles) was one of the standout performers at minicamp practice earlier this week and is recovered from last summer's torn Achilles, the second straight season he suffered a season-ending injury in training camp. "[He brings] those intangibles," head coach Sean Payton said of Patrick. Patrick is 30 years old and hasn't played in the NFL since 2021, so he won't be drafted in most single-year leagues. Also not going in his favor is the uncertainty at the quarterback position for the Broncos entering training camp. However, with Jerry Jeudy now in Cleveland, Patrick has an opportunity to step into the No. 2 role behind Courtland Sutton if he can stay healthy. In his last season in 2021, Patrick was serviceable in fantasy with a career-high 53 catches, 734 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 16 starts.

From RotoBaller

Bo Nix Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Bo Nix

Denver Broncos quarterback Jarrett Stidham has an obvious advantage in the quarterback competition with rookie first-rounder Bo Nix and former first-rounder Zach Wilson as he enters his second year in head coach Sean Payton's offense. "He's doing well," Payton said of Stidham. "Clearly, within the framework within what we're doing, he is much further along than in Year 1 in the transition. I'd say he's looked really sharp during this offseason program. [He is] real decisive. I think the leadership he is able to provide there, and there's good competition." Stidham may be ahead now, but Nix could quickly and easily close the gap if he looks good in training camp this summer. And it's not like Stidham has much experience in the NFL to begin with. Fantasy managers in single-year formats would be wise to avoid Denver's QB situation.

From RotoBaller

Zach Wilson Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Zach Wilson

During offseason practices, Denver Broncos quarterback Zach Wilson has ceded most of the repetitions to Jarrett Stidham and rookie first-rounder Bo Nix. Wilson had a total of three practices with the first-team offense this spring compared to five for Stidham and four for Nix. There will officially be an open QB competition between Wilson, Stidham and Nix this summer at training camp, but it would be a pretty big surprise if Wilson came out the winner heading into the Week 1 regular season opener this fall. The 24-year-old former first-rounder fizzled out in impressive fashion with the New York Jets, and the Broncos predictably declined his fifth-year option after trading for him this offseason. Wilson has a strong arm but showed questionable decision-making in his time with the Jets. He's off the fantasy radar, even in dynasty/keeper leagues.

From RotoBaller

Zach Wilson Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Zach Wilson

The Denver Broncos' quarterback competition between Jarrett Stidham, rookie first-rounder Bo Nix and former first-rounder Zach Wilson is going to heat up in training camp this summer, but a starter might not officially be announced until late in the preseason. Head coach Sean Payton indicated the week before the team's season opener is the "end date" to have named a starter at the position, but he doesn't have a set date in mind to make his decision. "Every day we're rolling them different with the ones, twos and threes," Payton said. "We're kind of doing the same thing with a lot of the other position groups. I just feel like this is the time of the year to do that." Stidham may have the slight advantage right now because of his experience in Payton's offense last year, but Nix could close the gap quickly by outperforming him in camp this summer.

From RotoBaller

Tony Jefferson Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Tony Jefferson

The Los Angeles Chargers announced on Friday that they signed free-agent defensive back Tony Jefferson to an undisclosed deal. Jefferson is coming out of retirement after spending the last year working as a scout for the Baltimore Ravens. In his last season of NFL action in 2022 with the New York Giants, he played in only nine games (one start) and had 23 tackles (16 solo) and one pass breakup. The 32-year-old former undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma played four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals to begin his career before joining the Ravens for three full seasons from 2017-19. He played for the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in 2021. Jefferson will merely be competing for a roster spot in LA in training camp and the preseason.

From RotoBaller

Jesper Horsted Jun 15 12:30pm ET
Jesper Horsted

The New Orleans Saints signed free-agent tight end Jesper Horsted to an undisclosed deal on Friday and waived wide receiver Kyle Sheets in a corresponding move, according to executive vice president/general manager Horsted didn't play at all in 2024 while with the Las Vegas Raiders due to a hamstring issue, but he's presumably healed from that injury and now ready to compete for a roster spot with the Saints in training camp and the preseason. The 27-year-old entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2019 out of Princeton with the Chicago Bears and played in two seasons in the Windy City before joining the Raiders in 2022. In his four years in the league, he's amassed just 14 receptions for 131 yards and three touchdowns, so he's obviously nowhere near the fantasy radar.

From RotoBaller

Kirk Cousins Jun 14 12:20pm ET
Kirk Cousins

The Atlanta Falcons will have their 2025 fifth-round pick revoked following the NFL's investigation into potential tampering. The Falcons violated the anti-tampering policy with quarterback Kirk Cousins, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, and tight end Charlie Woerner. In addition to the pick loss, the team was fined $250,000, and general manager Terry Fontenot was fined $500,000, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. All things considered, this is a mild punishment. The Falcons have Super Bowl aspirations after signing Cousins to a $180 million contract this offseason, and the punishments will not affect their 2024 campaign.

From RotoBaller

Micheal Clemons Jun 14 12:20pm ET
Micheal Clemons

Free-agent edge-rusher Takkarist McKinley is signing with the New York Jets, according to NFL.com. The 2017 first-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons out of UCLA is set to join his seventh organization in his seventh year in the NFL. He has appeared in games for the Falcons, Cleveland Browns, and Los Angeles Rams and has racked up 98 tackles, 20 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two pass deflections in 64 career games. Although he's unlikely to ever live up to his draft status, he could contribute to a dominant defense as a rotational edge rusher. He'll look to compete with Micheal Clemons and Will McDonald IV to play behind Haason Reddick and Jermaine Johnson in 2024.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Carter Jun 14 12:20pm ET
DeAndre Carter

The Chicago Bears are signing wide receiver DeAndre Carter, according to Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report. The 2015 undrafted free agent has spent time with nine NFL organizations, including the Bears in 2020. Overall, the 31-year-old has tallied 108 receptions for 1,259 yards and six touchdowns. However, he has returned 132 punts and 118 kickoffs in 94 career games, so that's likely why Chicago was interested in bringing him in. Carter is likely to compete with third-year wideout Velus Jones Jr. for return-man duties, a role that could be more important following the updated kickoff rules in 2024. With DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, and Rome Odunze on the roster, it'd be a surprise if Carter makes an impact as a receiver.

From RotoBaller

Juwan Johnson Jun 14 12:20pm ET
Juwan Johnson

New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson (foot) is scheduled to undergo foot surgery next week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Johnson suffered the injury during Wednesday's minicamp practice and is expected to miss a significant chunk of time. However, the team is hopeful he'll be ready for the start of the regular season. In Johnson's first year with Derek Carr, he caught 37 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games. He's been a fantasy football sleeper for the last few years and will remain one in 2024, so long as he can recover and get back to action. In his absence, Foster Moreau will likely handle TE1 duties, though Taysom Hill could see more work at that spot for the remainder of the offseason.

From RotoBaller