2018 NFL Draft: Fantasy Stock Watch for all 32 Teams

2018 NFL Draft: Fantasy Stock Watch for all 32 Teams

By TJ Hernandez (Director of DFS), last update May 15, 2018

TJ Hernandez's picture

TJ is a former full-time poker player who has been playing fantasy football for more than a decade. After online poker was outlawed, TJ ended his poker career and dedicated himself to fantasy football. His background in poker statistics and analytics translates to success in both daily and season-long fantasy football.

Follow TJ Hernandez on Twitter: @TJHernandez.

With the NFL draft in our rearview mirror, we can begin to evaluate new depth charts and their fantasy implications for each team in the league. While the NFL Draft is an exciting unofficial start to the season, the grandiose event it’s become often leads fans and experts to overstate its true impact—especially for fantasy purposes. As John Paulsen recently pointed out, the fact is that “over the past nine seasons, a grand total of 40 rookies have offered up starter-caliber PPR numbers, [or] about four and a half per year. Of those 40 players...thirty-two...(80%) were drafted in the first three rounds.”

Jump to: ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN | CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAC | KC | LACLAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | OAK | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WAS

More 2018 NFL Draft Content: Round 1 Fantasy Recap | Rounds 2-3 Fantasy Recap | Rounds 4-7 Fantasy Recap | 8 Rookie Defensive Linemen to Target | 10 Rookie Linebackers to Target | 10 Rookie Defensive Backs to Target 

Rather than taking just draft capital into consideration, though, the following analysis of each team’s draft will also include how much opportunity is available for each team and use hints—in-draft trades and post-draft press conferences—to determine which players saw their stock go up or down as the result of this year’s draft.

As a primer for available opportunity, here’s a list of the percentage of voided targets and backfield touches for each team at the beginning of the draft:

Vacated Targets and Touches, 2018 Offseason
Team Available Targets Available Backfield Touches
ARI 41.0% 82.8%
ATL 15.5% 3.8%
BAL 59.1% 17.8%
BUF 25.2% 16.7%
CAR 29.0% 47.5%
CHI 46.9% 0.0%
CIN 0.8% 10.0%
CLE 19.4% 58.4%
DAL 38.1% 27.5%
DEN 37.7% 74.0%
DET 21.0% 0.0%
GB 27.2% 0.3%
HOU 7.1% 19.2%
IND 31.9% 69.0%
JAX 27.2% 23.7%
KC 14.4% 0.5%
LAC 12.2% 8.7%
LAR 20.7% 2.8%
MIA 49.4% 56.4%
MIN 21.1% 42.9%
NE 41.0% 40.0%
NO 11.5% 7.3%
NYG 25.9% 59.0%
NYJ 32.7% 39.9%
OAK 29.5% 0.0%
PHI 28.4% 50.0%
PIT 20.5% 0.0%
SEA 41.2% 40.7%
SF 17.8% 63.5%
TB 11.7% 50.8%
TEN 28.0% 53.6%
WAS 24.5% 0.7%

Click headers to sort

Using the criteria laid out above, we should be able to get a more sober view of actual expectations for each team than the emotion-driven narratives that come in real time during draft weekend.

Arizona Cardinals

1 (10) QB Josh Rosen 
2 (47) WR Christian Kirk 
3 (97) C Mason Cole 
4 (134) RB Chase Edmonds 
6 (182) CB Chris Campbell 
7 (254) OT Korey Cunningham 

After targeting offense with their first four picks and five of their six total picks, no team put a bigger emphasis on upgrading the offensive side of the ball in the draft than the Cardinals. Arizona traded up to get their quarterback of the future in Josh Rosen, alleviating concerns that Larry Fitzgerald’s fantasy value might be dinged by an injury to Sam Bradford. Bradford hasn’t played 16 games in a season since 2012 and if he or the Cardinals get off to a slow start, Rosen could see action sooner rather than later. 

Fitzgerald is locked in as the primary pass-catcher, but the number two spot is up for grabs. With John Brown and Jaron Brown skipping town, J.J. Nelson is penciled in as the No. 2 receiver, but he commanded just over 10 percent of the Cardinals targets last season. Plus, Arizona spent a top-50 pick on Christian Kirk—a receiver whose athletic profile most closely resembles that of Stefon Diggs. Since Fitz primarily mans the slot, Nelson and Kirk should see a similar snap share on the outside, but the second-round equity spent on Kirk suggests he could push Nelson for targets, especially if Kirk and Rosen build a rookie rapport in camp. Opting to ignore the tight end position in both free agency and the draft suggests Arizona is content with Ricky Seals-Jones as their starter. New OC Mike McCoy has typically used a tight end heavily in his offense, which could hurt Nelson’s chances at a breakout as well.

Mason Cole may immediately fight for starter snaps over A.Q. Shipley at center, as Shipley was one of the worst run-blocking centers in the league in 2017. Arizona upgraded their O-Line in the offseason by signing G/T Justin Pugh, who fares much better in the running game than as a pass-blocker. Chase Edmonds will jockey with Elijhaa Penny and D.J. Foster for backup touches, but with their top-four backs gone from 2017, David Johnson figures to return to the 80 percent backfield touch share he saw two seasons ago, now behind an improved line.

Stock Up: Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Ricky Seals-Jones, David Johnson

Stock Down: Sam Bradford, J.J. Nelson

Atlanta Falcons

1 (26) WR Calvin Ridley 
2 (58) CB Isaiah Oliver 
3 (90) DT Deadrin Senat 
4 (126) RB Ito Smith 
6 (194) WR Russell Gage 
6 (200) S Foyesade Oluokun 

Many draft pundits had Calvin Ridley pegged as the top wide receiver in the draft but his landing spot fits the classic “good for real football but not for fantasy” profile—at least for 2018. Ridley will surely play second fiddle to Julio Jones and could cut into Mohamed Sanu’s target share, though the rookie’s presence may not be as detrimental to Sanu’s value as some might initially think. Sanu played over two-thirds of his snaps in the slot last year and with Ridley likely to play mostly on the outside, Sanu could largely maintain his snap share, if not his targets. 

Tight end Austin Hooper has been largely inefficient since coming into the league. If his workload is cut, Sanu and Ridley could both see target shares upwards of 15 percent. Ridley gives Matt Ryan arguably his best wide receiver trio since entering the league and the addition of Ito Smith affords the Falcons the luxury of three formidable pass-catching backs. With weapons all around, Atlanta’s passing game could return some of the explosiveness from 2016 that they lacked last season.

Stock Up: Matt Ryan

Stock Down: Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley

Baltimore Ravens

1 (25) TE Hayden Hurst 
1 (32) QB Lamar Jackson 
3 (83) OT Orlando Brown Jr. 
3 (86) TE Mark Andrews 
4 (118) CB Anthony Averett 
4 (122) LB Kenny Young 
4 (132) WR Jaleel Scott 
5 (162) WR Jordan Lasley 
6 (190) S DeShon Elliott 
6 (212) OT Greg Senat 
6 (215) C Bradley Bozeman 
7 (238) DE Zach Sieler 

Rookie tight ends rarely make a fantasy impact but Hayden Hurst is a fast, versatile player who will have plenty of opportunities to shine in Baltimore. The Ravens have more vacated targets than any team in the league and were among the worst passing teams in the red zone, converting fewer than 20 percent of their attempts inside the 20 into scores. Nick Boyle tied for the team lead in red zone targets last year but Baltimore’s use of two picks in the first three rounds on tight ends tells us that Boyle won’t play a major role in this offense.

Beyond Michael Crabtree, Baltimore has two receivers in Willie Snead and John Brown who have yet to prove they can be starters in the league, but the Ravens drafted six players before addressing wide receiver. Crabtree is locked in as the teams No. 1 receiver, and whoever emerges behind him in the No. 2 role could make a push for a 20 percent market share with so many targets up for grabs.

Joe Flacco’s stock has been in the basement for some time now but once Baltimore traded back into the first round to draft Lamar Jackson, the truth that Flacco was not in the Ravens’ future plans was cemented. When Jackson takes over will depend on Flacco’s early-season performance and whether or not Baltimore is winning.

By ignoring the running back position in the draft, Alex Collins’ spot atop the running back depth chart was solidified and the door opened for Kenneth Dixon or Javorius Allen to be fantasy relevant in an offense that offered the fourth-highest percentage of touches to running backs last season.

Stock Up: Hayden Hurst, Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, John Brown, Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon, Javorius Allen

Stock Down: Joe Flacco, Nick Boyle

Buffalo Bills

1 (7) QB Josh Allen 
1 (16) LB Tremaine Edmunds 
3 (96) DT Harrison Phillips 
4 (121) CB Taron Johnson 
5 (154) CB Siran Neal 
5 (166) G Wyatt Teller 
6 (187) WR Ray-Ray McCloud 
7 (255) WR Austin Proehl 

The Bills traded up in the weeks leading up to the draft and then again on draft day to ultimately land the quarterback they coveted in Josh Allen. Rather than add pieces to support their rookie signal-caller, though, Buffalo failed to address one of the worst receiving corps in the league or improve an offensive line that finished in the bottom six in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders. Still, Allen should have little resistance to starter snaps with AJ McCarron as his competition. 

Kelvin Benjamin will serve as the No. 1 receiver ahead of Zay Jones. Allen’s inaccuracy combined with Benjamin’s abysmal catch rate (54% since entering the league) is real cause for concern, however, Allen does have a big arm and Benjamin succeeded early in Carolina with a similarly inaccurate passer who was willing to throw it up. Since Buffalo ignored passer-catchers until the sixth round, this is ultimately a win for Benjamin.

New OC Brian Daboll inherits one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league from 2017, but not much should change in offensive philosophy as Daboll's offenses have ranked in the top six in rushing attempts in three of his four seasons as a coordinator.

Tremaine Edwards immediately improves one of the worst linebacking units in the league.

Stock Up: Kelvin Benjamin, Bills DEF

Stock Down: AJ McCarron

Carolina Panthers

1 (24) WR D.J. Moore 
2 (55) CB Donte Jackson 
3 (85) CB Rashaan Gaulden 
4 (101) TE Ian Thomas 
4 (136) DE Marquis Haynes 
5 (161) LB Jermaine Carter Jr. 
7 (234) ILB Andre Smith 
7 (242) DT Kendrick Norton 

Carolina landed an incredibly athletic wide receiver in D.J. Moore. He has the right build to be a No. 1 receiver and he should immediately inherit that role across from Devin Funchess. Funchess was miscast as the Panthers’ primary receiver last season. While the Panthers have almost 30 percent of their targets from 2017 up for grabs, Greg Olsen is expected to be back at 100 percent this season and Moore could find himself third in the pecking order considering how much of the passing attack Christian McCaffrey accounts for. Still, this is a terrific spot for Moore to shine in his first year

Speaking of McCaffrey, Carolina’s omission of running backs in their draft process after letting Jonathan Stewart walk means McCaffrey could see some increase in carries in 2018 to go along with his wide receiver-like target share. The addition of C.J. Anderson after the draft, though, means it will be tough for CMC to exceed 150 carries.

Cam Newton finished as the overall fantasy QB2 last year without his top tight end or a true top receiver, and now he has arguably the best supporting cast of his career.

After finishing 2017 ranked 28th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to wide receivers, Carolina addressed their secondary with two top-100 picks. Donte Jackson is a burner who could push for starter snaps immediately and Rashaan Gaulden is a versatile DB who can move around in nickel packages.

Stock Up: D.J. Moore, Cam Newton, Panthers DEF

Stock Down: Devin Funchess

Chicago Bears

1 (8) LB Roquan Smith 
2 (39) C James Daniels 
2 (51) WR Anthony Miller 
4 (115) LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe 
5 (145) DT Bilal Nichols 
6 (181) DE Kylie Fitts 
7 (224) WR Javon Wims 

Already one of the better defensive units in the league, the Bears' addition of Roquan Smith can catapult them into elite status. Smith is an all-around inside linebacker with the speed to cover the most athletic tight ends in the league.

With two picks in the second round, Chicago continued their offseason theme of building around Mitch Trubisky. James Daniels was a consensus top-three center in the 2018 draft and is an early building block to improve an offensive line that ranked in the bottom 10 in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate in 2017.

Chicago traded up to get wide receiver Anthony Miller, suggesting they have hopes of Miller immediately walking into WR2 targets behind Allen Robinson. While ARob’s role is safe, Miller’s presence caps the target upside of Taylor Gabriel and may also put a dent in newly-signed tight end Trey Burton’s workload.

Stock Up: Mitch Trubisky, Anthony Miller, Bears DEF

Stock Down: Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton

Cincinnati Bengals

1 (21) C Billy Price 
2 (54) S Jessie Bates III 
3 (77) DE Sam Hubbard 
3 (78) LB Malik Jefferson 
4 (112) RB Mark Walton 
5 (151) CB Davontae Harris 
5 (158) DE Andrew Brown 
5 (170) CB Darius Phillips 
7 (249) QB Logan Woodside 
7 (252) G Rod Taylor 
7 (253) WR Auden Tate 

Only one team had more draft picks than the Bengals but Cincinnati didn’t add a skill-position player to their roster until the final day of the draft. Billy Price is expected to be one of two new starters up front for the Bengals along with left tackle Cordy Glenn. Cincinnati ranked 29th in adjusted line yards and 20th in adjusted sack rate last season. 

Though Cincinnati focused heavily on defense in the first two days of the draft, none of their rookie defenders are expected to be atop the depth chart on day one of camp.

No stock up/down

Cleveland Browns

1 (1) QB Baker Mayfield 
1 (4) CB Denzel Ward 
2 (33) G Austin Corbett 
2 (35) RB Nick Chubb 
3 (67) DE Chad Thomas 
4 (105) WR Antonio Callaway 
5 (150) LB Genard Avery 
6 (175) WR Damion Ratley 
6 (188) CB Simeon Thomas 

While Cleveland got their quarterback of the future, the presence of Tyrod Taylor means Baker Mayfield will not be the starter in Week 1. After the draft, Hue Jackson has persisted that Tyrod will be the Browns starter in 2018, but with Mayfield on the roster, fantasy owners can’t confidently expect to get a full season of production from Taylor—especially if the Browns continue their losing ways.

Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde were already going to cap each other’s upside and the addition of Nick Chubb muddies the waters even more. Because Johnson is fantastic in the passing game, he is more likely than Hyde to maintain a definitive role in the offense. Hue Jackson has traditionally had some of the most run-heavy offenses in the league but new OC Todd Haley will be given “total autonomy” of the offense, according to Jackson. Haley leans pass much more than Jackson and the addition of Jarvis Landry to a receiving corps that already includes Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman reinforces that direction.

Denzel Ward will replace Jason McCourty in the secondary and the equity spent on Ward means the Browns are hopeful to have a player who can be a shadow corner. Ward’s size (5-foot-11, 183 pounds) leaves something to be desired, but he is one of the fastest DBs in the league and will help a secondary that finished 14th in wide receiver aFPA last season. 

Stock Up: Browns DEF

Stock Down: Tyrod Taylor, Duke Johnson, Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb

Dallas Cowboys

1 (19) LB Leighton Vander Esch 
2 (50) G Connor Williams 
3 (81) WR Michael Gallup 
4 (116) DE Dorance Armstrong 
4 (137) TE Dalton Schultz 
5 (171) QB Mike White 
6 (193) LB Chris Covington 
6 (208) WR Cedrick Wilson Jr. 
7 (236) RB Bo Scarbrough 

Dallas waited until the back half of the draft to address the skill positions, save Michael Gallup. Gallup was rated by many draft pundits as a top-five receiver in this draft and he will push Terrance Williams for the No. 2 receiver spot behind Allen Hurns—especially if Williams isn’t ready for camp because of a foot injury—in an offense that has well over 200 targets up for grabs. Even with Gallup added to the roster, Cole Beasley’s role is largely safe on the inside, especially with the retirement of Jason Witten.

Stock Down: Terrance Williams

Denver Broncos

1 (5) DE Bradley Chubb 
2 (40) WR Courtland Sutton 
3 (71) RB Royce Freeman 
3 (99) CB Isaac Yiadom 
4 (106) LB Josey Jewell 
4 (113) WR DaeSean Hamilton 
5 (156) TE Troy Fumagalli 
6 (183) G Sam Jones 
6 (217) LB Keishawn Bierria 
7 (226) RB David Williams 

With arguably the best pass-rusher in the game in Von Miller already on their roster, the addition of Bradley Chubb will give the Broncos a defensive front that will be among the best in the league. Chubb is a defensive end by name but was listed as an outside linebacker in college and his workout metrics suggest a player athletically comparable to Jadeveon Clowney.

Though more draft capital was spent on Courtland Sutton, third-rounder Royce Freeman has a clearer path to immediate fantasy relevance. Sutton is the clear No. 3 receiver behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders but the rookie’s size will give Denver another big body in the red zone—an area where they’ve struggled in recent years. The Broncos have converted no more than 18 percent of their red zone passes into touchdowns over the last three seasons. The addition of Sutton does likely close the door and hope for Carlos Henderson to be fantasy relevant in 2018

The departure of C.J. Anderson left 275 touches vacated in the Broncos backfield but Devontae Booker could find himself looking up at Freeman on the depth chart. John Elway described Freeman as a “bell cow type” and the third round is still considerable draft equity to spend on the running back position.

Stock Up: Broncos DEF

Stock Down: Carlos Henderson, Devontae Booker

Detroit Lions

1 (20) C Frank Ragnow 
2 (43) RB Kerryon Johnson 
3 (82) S Tracy Walker 
4 (114) DE Da'Shawn Hand 
5 (153) OT Tyrell Crosby 
7 (237) FB Nick Bawden 

Detroit drafted just one skill player in this year’s draft, doing little to shift the fantasy outlook of their team. As the most pass-heavy team in the league during the Jim Bob Cooter era, the Lions backfield rarely offers much in terms of fantasy value. The addition of Kerryon Johnson only makes their running back corps less reliable for fantasy purposes. In his post-draft press conferences, GM Bob Quinn discussed the Lions' need to improve in short-yardage situations, especially near the goal line. Johnson will fill that need but the offseason addition of LeGarrette Blount means the Lions now have a redundant asset for that role. While Johnson figures to handle the majority of early-down work, Blount will almost certainly vulture a fair number of touchdowns. Theo Riddick will maintain his role as a pass-catching specialist, but Johnson’s presence figures to keep Riddick’s carry total under 100 like we saw last year.

Stock Down: Theo Riddick, LeGarrette Blount 

Green Bay Packers

1 (18) CB Jaire Alexander 
2 (45) CB Josh Jackson 
3 (88) LB Oren Burks 
4 (133) WR J'Mon Moore 
5 (138) G Cole Madison 
5 (172) P JK Scott 
5 (174) WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling 
6 (207) WR Equanimeous St. Brown 
7 (232) DE James Looney 
7 (239) LS Hunter Bradley 
7 (248) OLB Kendall Donnerson 

After finishing 29th in both quarterback and wide receiver aFPA in 2017, it was clear the Packers needed to address their secondary this offseason. They did just that by drafting cornerbacks with their first two picks. The rookies bring different strengths to the table—at just 5-foot-10, Jaire Alexander is a small corner with incredible speed, while Josh Jackson is a bigger ballhawk who led the nation in interceptions in 2017. Neither figure to be true lockdown corners but they immediately improve one of the worst secondaries in the league.

Stock Up: Packers DEF

Houston Texans

3 (68) S Justin Reid 
3 (80) OT Martinas Rankin 
3 (98) TE Jordan Akins 
4 (103) WR Keke Coutee 
6 (177) DE Duke Ejiofor 
6 (211) TE Jordan Thomas 
6 (214) LB Peter Kalambayi 
7 (222) CB Jermaine Kelly 

Without any picks in the first two rounds, the Texans didn’t draft any big needle movers, but Jordan Akins could be one of the rare rookie tight ends who has some fantasy usefulness. Bill O’Brien has typically featured at least one tight end in his offenses and C.J. Fiedorowicz's retirement leaves a hole at the position. Ryan Griffin is penciled in as the starter but Houston often uses two tight end sets. There could be plenty of targets to go around with a healthy Deshaun Watson—while Will Fuller is an explosive player, he doesn’t command the target share of a typical No. 2 two receiver.

Stock Down: Ryan Griffin

Indianapolis Colts

1 (6) G Quenton Nelson 
2 (36) LB Darius Leonard 
2 (37) G Braden Smith 
2 (52) DE Kemoko Turay 
2 (64) DE Tyquan Lewis 
4 (104) RB Nyheim Hines 
5 (159) WR Daurice Fountain 
5 (169) RB Jordan Wilkins 
6 (185) WR Deon Cain 
7 (221) LB Matthew Adams 
7 (235) LB Zaire Franklin 

The real heat check for the entire Colts offense comes down to Andrew Luck’s health. But as far as shaking up their skill-position depth chart, Indianapolis made little noise. By waiting until the fourth round to draft a running back, the Colts told us that they are content with Marlon Mack as their starting running back. Immediately after the draft, Frank Reich admitted he is open to a running back committee but their draft equity is ultimately a win for Mack. With Frank Gore out of town, Mack should see well over 200 touches, even with a sub-60 percent backfield share. Adding Quenton Nelson in the middle improves a line that was a mediocre run-blocking unit last season, furthermore boosting Mack’s value.

Stock Up: Marlon Mack

Jacksonville Jaguars

1 (29) DT Taven Bryan 
2 (61) WR D.J. Chark 
3 (93) S Ronnie Harrison 
4 (129) OT Will Richardson 
6 (203) QB Tanner Lee 
7 (230) OLB Leon Jacobs 
7 (247) P Logan Cooke 

No Jaguars receiver saw more than 18 percent of the team's targets last year. Even with Allen Hurns leaving for Dallas, the target distribution in Jacksonville might be even more diluted in 2018 than it was last year. Jacksonville added Donte Moncrief before the draft, who is at the least a formidable red-zone target and they added D.J. Chark in the second round of the draft. Chark is a tall burner in the mold of Robby Anderson. Even though Marqise Lee should maintain his role as the top target in the offense, the No. 2 receiver spot won’t be decided until training camp, assuming a true second option even emerges. Spending second-round draft capital on a wide receiver diminishes the hot finishes that Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole had to their respective 2017 campaigns.

Stock Down: Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, Donte Moncrief

Kansas City Chiefs

2 (46) LB Breeland Speaks 
3 (75) DT Derrick Nnadi 
3 (100) LB Dorian O'Daniel 
4 (124) S Armani Watts 
6 (196) CB Tremon Smith 
6 (198) DT Kahlil McKenzie 

Kansas City was the only team that didn’t add an offensive player in the 2018 Draft. While the Chiefs finished in the top five in running back aFPA last season, they ranked in the bottom 10 against quarterbacks and wide receivers. While they did improve their secondary by trading for Kendall Fuller and signing David Amerson, the Chiefs’ draft merely reinforced positions of strength.

No stock up/down 

Los Angeles Chargers

1 (17) S Derwin James 
2 (48) LB Uchenna Nwosu 
3 (84) DT Justin Jones 
4 (119) S Kyzir White 
5 (155) C Scott Quessenberry 
6 (191) WR Dylan Cantrell 
7 (251) RB Justin Jackson 

The Chargers were one of four teams that didn’t use any of their picks in the first two days of the draft on an offensive player. Instead, they noticeably added to what was already a good defense in hopes of making it great. Derwin James should immediately start at free safety in a secondary that may be one the best in the league. Uchenna Nwosu is an unpolished linebacker for a second-round selection but he addresses a point of need for a defense that finished 21st in running back aFPA last season.

Stock Up: Chargers DEF

Los Angeles Rams

3 (89) OT Joseph Noteboom 
4 (111) C Brian Allen 
4 (135) DE John Franklin-Myers 
5 (147) LB Micah Kiser 
5 (160) LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo 
6 (176) RB John Kelly 
6 (192) OT Jamil Demby 
6 (195) DT Sebastian Joseph 
6 (205) DE Trevon Young 
7 (231) LB Travin Howard 
7 (244) DE Justin Lawler 

If the addition of Brandin Cooks were included here, Jared Goff would get a bump in value while Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp take a hit. However, with no picks in the first two rounds, the draft figures to have little impact for the Rams

No stock up/down.

Miami Dolphins

1 (11) S Minkah Fitzpatrick 
2 (42) TE Mike Gesicki 
3 (73) LB Jerome Baker 
4 (123) TE Durham Smythe 
4 (131) RB Kalen Ballage 
6 (209) CB Cornell Armstrong 
7 (227) LB Quentin Poling 
7 (229) K Jason Sanders 

The Julius Thomas experiment lasted just one season, and with Jarvis Landry skipping town for Cleveland, over half of Miami’s targets are available. With DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills as the Dolphins' top receivers, there isn’t a player on the roster who figures to command a huge target share, leaving the door open for Mike Gesicki to immediately be involved in the offense. Gesicki is a phenomenal athlete with Vernon Davis-like qualities. If Gesicki makes noise in camp, he could be worthy of a late-round fantasy selection or be useful as an early-season streamer. 

Stock Up: Mike Gesicki

Minnesota Vikings

1 (30) CB Mike Hughes 
2 (62) OT Brian O'Neill 
4 (102) DE Jalyn Holmes 
5 (157) TE Tyler Conklin 
5 (167) K Daniel Carlson 
6 (213) G Colby Gossett 
6 (218) DE Ade Aruna 
7 (225) LB Devante Downs 

Maybe the biggest boost to any offense this season was the addition of Kirk Cousins to Minnesota, but the draft wasn’t a big day for the Vikings in terms of fantasy impact. Cousins is a better quarterback than Case Keenum but Keenum likely played at his ceiling last year, so don’t expect a huge uptick in fantasy scoring for this offense.

No stock up/down

New England Patriots

1 (23) OT Isaiah Wynn 
1 (31) RB Sony Michel 
2 (56) CB Duke Dawson 
5 (143) LB Ja'Whaun Bentley 
6 (178) LB Christian Sam 
6 (210) WR Braxton Berrios 
7 (219) QB Danny Etling 
7 (243) CB Keion Crossen 
7 (250) TE Ryan Izzo 

The Patriots typically spend as little on running backs as any team in the league but they used first-round capital on Sony Michel in hopes of replacing Dion Lewis. Like Lewis, Michel is a versatile back who is terrific in the passing game. The issue, for fantasy purposes, with the New England backfield is a matter of opportunity. Lewis finished as the PPR RB15 last season, but he did so with just 212 touches and 35 percent of the snaps—that kind of efficiency is difficult to replicate and nearly impossible to project. Michel will surely get a crack at the workhorse role that Lewis saw down the stretch last season, but the rookie had fumbling issues in college, which is something Bill Belichick will not tolerate. Additionally, Michel will surely see competition from Rex Burkhead and James White for touches, especially on passing downs.

As for Burkhead and White, Michel’s presence torpedoes the value of the two incumbents. There were nine games last season where at least two Patriots running backs saw double-digit touches, but unless Michel has some glaring issues in camp, Neither Burkhead nor White can be expected to exceed more than a third of the backfield touches.

Stock Down: Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, James White

New Orleans Saints

1 (14) DE Marcus Davenport 
3 (91) WR Tre'Quan Smith 
4 (127) OT Rick Leonard 
5 (164) S Natrell Jamerson 
6 (189) CB Kamrin Moore 
6 (201) RB Boston Scott 
7 (245) C Will Clapp 

The Saints' offensive core remained largely intact throughout the offseason and the draft, but there could be a few unexpected targets up for grabs. New Orleans let Willie Snead and Coby Fleener walk and replaced them with Cameron Meredith and Ben Watson. Meredith’s value is completely contingent on his health—the talent is clearly there for him to be the No. 2 receiver behind Michael Thomas—and Ben Watson simply won’t command a high target share. Last year, the Saints targeted their running backs on 34 percent of their throws—an outlier season even for a Sean Payton offense. Much of that volume can be attributed to the talent of Alvin Kamara but it’s also a function of lacking a reliable tight end or No. 2 receiver. If Meredith isn’t 100 percent, Tre'Quan Smith could work his way onto the field with an impressive camp. Ultimately, though, the Saints splits should closely resemble their 2017 iteration.

No stock up/down

New York Giants

1 (2) RB Saquon Barkley 
2 (34) G Will Hernandez 
3 (66) LB Lorenzo Carter 
3 (69) DT B. J. Hill 
4 (108) QB Kyle Lauletta 
5 (139) DT R. J. McIntosh 

Per John Paulsen: “The last eight running backs drafted inside the top 10 who saw 200+ carries as rookies averaged 307 touches for 1,469 yards and 9.8 total touchdowns.” In terms of building a winning football team, drafting a running back this high is generally seen as a poor tactic, but for fantasy purposes, there might not have been a better landing spot for Saquon Barkley. Only four teams went into the draft with a higher percentage of running back touches available, and a 31-year-old Jonathan Stewart is the most notable back on the roster after Barkley. Given his ability as a pass-catcher, the Giants rookie should easily exceed 300 touches, even if New York finds themselves in negative game script more often than not. 

Will Hernandez reinforces an offensive line that finished in the top half of the league in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate and gives a slight boost to both Barkley and Eli Manning, who not only gets a shiny new toy in Barkley but will also have Odell Beckham Jr. back at full health.

Stock Up: Saquon Barkley, Eli Manning

Stock Down: Jonathan Stewart

New York Jets

1 (3) QB Sam Darnold 
3 (72) DT Nathan Shepherd 
4 (107) TE Chris Herndon 
6 (179) CB Parry Nickerson 
6 (180) DT Folorunso Fatukasi 
6 (204) RB Trenton Cannon 

Josh McCown was a pleasant surprise for the Jets last season and he was re-signed to be the starter in 2018, even with the Jets drafting Sam Darnold third overall. At just 20 years old, the Jets are expected to bring Darnold along slowly and let him develop behind McCown this season. New York had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year and have only added C/G Spencer Long in free agency, giving the team even more reason to let the rookie learn for a year.

The Jets did make some moves in the offseason that will impact fantasy lineups, adding Isaiah Crowell and Terrelle Pryor, but the draft didn’t do much to change the outlook of this offense in the short term.

No stock up/down

Oakland Raiders

1 (15) OT Kolton Miller 
2 (57) DT P. J. Hall 
3 (65) OT Brandon Parker 
3 (87) DE Arden Key 
4 (110) CB Nick Nelson 
5 (140) DT Maurice Hurst 
5 (173) P Johnny Townsend 
6 (216) LB Azeem Victor 
7 (228) WR Marcell Ateman 

Following a dominant 2016 season, the Raiders' offensive line was good but not great in 2017. In hopes of bolstering the line and “throwing the game back to 1998,” Jon Gruden and the Raiders added T Kolton Miller, a pick many saw as a reach. The biggest splash for Oakland during draft weekend wasn’t a pick but rather a trade that brought Martavis Bryant to the silver and black. Bryant has averaged an impressive 8.6 yards per target since entering the league, but off-the-field issues and being outplayed by JuJu Smith-Schuster allowed the Steelers to move on. If Bryant can stay focused and out of trouble, the Raiders get one of the most explosive playmakers in the game. He could cut into Jordy Nelson’s workload, but he’ll be the clear No. 3 receiver behind Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson—at least to start the season.

Stock Down: Jordy Nelson, Seth Roberts

Philadelphia Eagles

2 (49) TE Dallas Goedert 
4 (125) CB Avonte Maddox 
4 (130) DE Josh Sweat 
6 (206) OT Matt Pryor 
7 (233) T Jordan Mailata 

Philadelphia had just one pick in the first two days and they spent it at a position where they already have one of the best players in the game (Zach Ertz). Dallas Goedert should find his way onto the field in two-tight end sets with Trey Burton and Brent Celek no longer on the roster, but neither of those players exceeded a 41 percent snap share in 2017.

During draft weekend, the Eagles did re-sign Darren Sproles, putting a dent in the upside that Corey Clement might have had in a third-down role behind Jay Ajayi.

Stock Up: Darren Sproles

Stock Down: Corey Clement

Pittsburgh Steelers

1 (28) S Terrell Edmunds 
2 (60) WR James Washington 
3 (76) QB Mason Rudolph 
3 (92) OT Chukwuma Okorafor 
5 (148) S Marcus Allen 
5 (165) FB Jaylen Samuels 
7 (246) DT Joshua Frazier 

With Martavis Bryant shipped off to Oakland, the Steelers immediately replaced him with James Washington. While he’s not the physical freak that Bryant is, the 2017 Biletnikoff Award winner has comparable measurements to DeAndre Hopkins and eclipsed 10 touchdowns three times in college. At best, Washington will be the fourth target in Pittsburgh but the Steelers score enough points that the rookie could find himself with at least a couple of big games this season.

No stock up/down

San Francisco 49ers

1 (9) OT Mike McGlinchey 
2 (44) WR Dante Pettis 
3 (70) LB Fred Warner 
3 (95) S Tarvarius Moore 
4 (128) DE Kentavius Street 
5 (142) CB D. J. Reed 
6 (184) S Marcell Harris 
7 (223) DT Jullian Taylor 
7 (240) WR Richie James 

After securing their franchise quarterback last season, San Francisco used a top-10 pick to get Jimmy Garoppolo the best protection possible with Mike McGlinchey—the best tackle in the 2018 draft. San Francisco then traded up in the second round to give Jimmy GQ a new playmaker in Dante Pettis. Pettis will battle Trent Taylor for WR3 targets behind Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin but he is going to an offense that ranked in the top 10 in passing rate in neutral game script last season. Trading up, especially on day two, usually means that a team will give the rookie every chance to prove himself, but regardless of who wins the No. 3 receiver battle in San Francisco, the 49ers are giving Garoppolo every chance to succeed.

Stock Up: Jimmy Garoppolo

Stock Down: Trent Taylor

Seattle Seahawks

1 (27) RB Rashaad Penny 
3 (79) DE Rasheem Green 
4 (120) TE Will Dissly 
5 (141) LB Shaquem Griffin 
5 (146) S Tre Flowers 
5 (149) P Michael Dickson 
5 (168) OT Jamarco Jones 
6 (186) LB Jacob Martin 
7 (220) QB Alex McGough 

Seattle has been trying to find a Marshawn Lynch replacement since he “retired” but the first-round draft capital spent on Rashaad Penny means they fully intend to give him as big of a workload as possible. Including Lynch’s injury-riddled 2015, the Seahawks have gone three straight years ranked outside the top 20 in total running back fantasy scoring. Last season, they finished with the fewest points of any unit, tallying just under 1,750 total yards from all backs combined.

Penny brings the size and speed, along with great pass-catching ability, to be the three-down back Pete Carroll is looking for. The biggest concern for Penny in his rookie year is the offensive line—Seattle finished 31st in adjusted line yards last year and has done little to improve up front. Still, volume drives fantasy value and the touches should be there to be a solid fantasy RB2.

Stock Up: Rashaad Penny

Stock Down: Chris Carson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 (12) DT Vita Vea 
2 (38) RB Ronald Jones 
2 (53) CB M. J. Stewart 
2 (63) CB Carlton Davis 
3 (94) OT Alex Cappa 
4 (117) S Jordan Whitehead 
5 (144) WR Justin Watson 
6 (202) LB Jack Cichy 

Last season was an uncharacteristic year for a Dirk Koetter offense, offering his running backs just 52 percent of total touches—usually, Koetter’s running backs total closer to a 60 percent touch share. This drop in running back usage was the result of inconsistent play, injuries, and a revolving door atop the depth chart. Tampa Bay’s second-round pick of Ronald Jones means the rookie is the best bet to replace Doug Martin as the starter. Even if Jones does win the job, his upside may be capped as a two-down back, especially after the Bucs re-signed Charles Sims, who is one of the better pass-catching backs in the league. Given that Jones wasn’t a shoo-in to be drafted as a workhorse, this is one of the best landing spots for the ex-USC star.

On the other side of the ball, Vita Vea immediately improves a defensive line that finished 20th in adjusted line yards and last in adjusted sack rate. Vea was the number one interior lineman in the draft by a wide margin. If he is as good as advertised, he’s the type of player who will draw double teams on a regular basis. 

Stock Up: Ronald Jones, Buccaneers DEF

Stock Down: Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers

Tennessee Titans

1 (22) LB Rashaan Evans 
2 (41) LB Harold Landry 
5 (152) CB Dane Cruikshank 
6 (199) QB Luke Falk 

Tennessee had the fewest picks of any team in the draft and they were one of four teams that finished the first two days of draft weekend without a new offensive player. The Titans did add not one, but two, potential starting linebackers. Evans will man the inside from day one and Landry is a quick player with a 97th percentile agility score, making him an excellent pass-rusher. 

Stock Up: Titans DEF

Washington Redskins

1 (13) DT Da'Ron Payne 
2 (59) RB Derrius Guice 
3 (74) OT Geron Christian 
4 (109) S Troy Apke 
5 (163) DT Tim Settle 
6 (197) LB Shaun Dion Hamilton 
7 (241) CB Greg Stroman 
7 (256) WR Trey Quinn 

Derrius Guice is a running back who many had ranked behind only Saquon Barkley talent-wise, but off-field issues pushed Guice deep into the second round. The rookie from LSU—whose closest physical comp is Ezekiel Elliott—figures to immediately leap Samaje Perine on the depth chart but he isn’t a tremendous pass-catcher and will lose a considerable amount of third-down work to Chris Thompson. Only six running backs saw more targets per game than Thompson last season and his 9.4 yards per target was tops at the position. On a team Vegas currently projects for just seven wins, Thompson could hurt Guice’s ceiling.

Stock Down: Samaje Perine


Related Articles

Filed Under:
Preseason
,
2018

We are your friend's secret weapon.

  • Get 4 FREE downloads
  • Receive breaking news alerts & analysis.
  • Battle-Tested by 40,000+ fantasy football diehards since 1999.