Fantasy Football:14 Winners and Losers from Days 2 & 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft

May 01, 2023
14 Winners and Losers from Days 2 & 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft

Days 2 and 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft saw plenty of fantasy-relevant players join their first NFL teams, with some boasting the possibility of immediate production and others landing in rough spots to emerge in 2023. With the new crop of athletes heading to their first NFL jobs, we also see some veterans come out winning due to a lack of investment in rookies at their position.

More 2023 NFL Draft Recaps: Impact First-Round Rookies | More Impact Rookies | NFC Draft Grades | Dynasty Top 250

Here’s a look at the biggest winners and losers from Rounds 2-7 of this year’s draft.

Day 2 and 3 Winners

TE Sam LaPorta, Lions

After trading T.J. Hockenson to the Vikings midway through last season, the Lions were in need of some TE help. Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra, and James Mitchell managed to put nine touchdowns on the board but the target share for the position dropped from 18.1% to Hockenson in the first seven contests, to no more than 5.7% for the remaining three in the TE room.

Enter Sam LaPorta, who should be the clear-cut starter which is rare for a rookie at his position. Plus, the Lions WR room isn’t as strong as it was in 2022 with D.J. Chark now in Carolina, and Jameson Williams serving a six-game suspension. Expectations should be lowered when it comes to rookie TE success, but with a current Underdog ADP of 17.07 as TE27, there’s certainly value in investing in LaPorta to make a leap into TE2, even possible TE1 territory.

TE Luke Musgrave and WR Jayden Reed, Packers

Once again we have a TE who landed a starting gig from Day 1. He’ll have to technically beat out Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis but that should be an easy task for the athletic, vertical threat Musgrave. With 74 available TE targets from 2022 (the sixth--most in the NFL), Luke Musgrave could be in for a nice rookie campaign.

The Packers are also lacking WR talent past sophomore Christian Watson, and feature the second-most WR targets up for grabs in 2023 (184). They drafted Jayden Reed eight picks after Musgrave and he should be their starter in three WR sets or even leapfrog an inconsistent Romeo Doubs as Green Bay’s WR2.

Musgrave’s ADP is currently TE33 at pick 18.10 and makes for an intriguing late-round pick in best ball formats. Reed is extremely affordable as well, leaving Underdog draft boards as WR85 at 17.04.

RB Tony Pollard, Cowboys

Dallas passed on a high-end RB despite pre-draft reports and did not select a rusher until the sixth round. With Ezekiel Elliott on the roster in 2022, Pollard ended the season as the RB9 in half-PPR points and now he’s in the clear to lead the backfield with just Ronald Jones and sixth-round new addition Deuce Vaughn as change-of-pace guys.

Pollard will see all the volume he can handle in 2023 but you’ll have to pay to draft him. Before the NFL Draft, the 26-year-old was the 10th RB off Underdog draft boards at pick 3.05, and in just a few days he’s now RB7 at 3.01.

RB Rachaad White, Buccaneers

Here’s another RB who dodged a huge bullet by his team neglecting to draft a player at his position. Rachaad White is poised to take over where he left off last season as Tampa Bay’s lead back, with free-agent acquisition Chase Edmonds there to provide some rest when needed.

White was a fantasy RB2 from Weeks 10 -18 and we can expect similar output unless the Bucs sign a veteran RB in the weeks to come. He’s ranked as 4for4’s RB24 right now with an Underdog ADP of 7.06 as RB25

TE Juwan Johnson, Saints

New Orleans TE Juwan Johnson got a clearer path to targets after Adam Trautman was traded to the Denver Broncos over the weekend. Johnson was last year’s TE15 in half-PPR points per contest, setting career highs in receptions (42), receiving yards (508), and touchdowns (7) in 12 starts with the Saints.

He’ll still have Taysom Hill in the mix, but considering new QB Derek Carr’s affinity for TE targets, Johnson has potential for fantasy TE1 production for the current price of a TE2. The 26-year-old is being drafted as TE18 at spot 13.08.

Honorable Mention Winners: Rashee Rice, WR, Chiefs: Just playing with Patrick Mahomes in the Kansas City offense lands him in the winners' column. D'Andre Swift, RB, Eagles: After the Lions added Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round, Swift's fantasy value took a huge dive, but resurfaced after he was dealt to Philly the next day. It’s still murky in the Eagles RB room, but he has some life as a possible fantasy RB2.

Day 2 and 3 Losers

RB Ken Walker, Seahawks

Before the NFL Draft, Ken Walker was considered a solid fantasy RB1 with second-round draft capital as RB6. After Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer left town in free agency, the job in Seattle’s run-heavy offense was all Walker’s. The front office had different plans though, and selected Zach Charbonnet in the second round, an RB many considered the only other three-down back in this class besides Bijan Robinson.

Figuring out how the volume will be distributed won’t be an easy task and Walker has already slid down five positional spots to RB11, with a mid-third-round ADP.

QB Matthew Stafford, Rams

Despite my blatant UGA fandom, Matthew Stafford is not a loser based on the pick of Stetson Bennett, but he lands here due to a lack of any high-end offensive additions throughout the NFL Draft. After Cooper Kupp, his receiving corps consists of Ben Skoranek, Van Jefferson, and Tutu Atwell with the only new body Puka Nacua (a late-fifth rounder). They even passed on TE, leaving an aging Tyler Higbee to handle the workload.

Stafford is coming off an injured 2022 campaign and with a lack of firepower past Kupp, he’s a rough sell to draft at all this season. He is very affordable though at QB25 with an Underdog ADP of 14.05.

RBs Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert, Dolphins

This was already a muddy backfield, and adding Devon Achane to the mix makes it even tougher to invest and pick between Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson. Both guys have had injury issues in the past and now we have a fresh body in town. The Miami run game wasn’t great in 2022, ranking 31st in attempts, 26th in rushing yards, and 27th in scores on the ground.

Achane became a Dolphin in the third round and was the sixth RB off the board. He’s small (5’8, 188 lbs), but he brings speed and fearlessness to the RB room and could come on late in the season as rookie backs tend to do. If Mostert and Wilson weren’t already in a position to cannibalize each other, they are now after the selection of Achane.

Honorable Mention Losers: Greg Dulcich, TE, Broncos: Denver traded for Adam Trautman which could cut into the sophomore’s volume. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans: Tanny should still be considered the starter, but his leash is now shorter with the addition of second-rounder Will Levis.

Latest Articles
Most Popular