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Post NFL Draft Fantasy Football Risers/Fallers (Dynasty)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
May 3, 2019

Ronald Jones was among the veterans whose dynasty stock rose the most after the NFL Draft

We all knew the NFL Draft was going to shake up depth charts, though we obviously didn’t know who’d be hit the hardest. While most often worry about rookies drafted too much, there are certain players who saw their stock dip drastically. There are others who saw their stock increase due to the players their team didn’t select despite many believing they would, or the team drafted a player who they’ll benefit from (ala Matt Ryan with the acquisition of Calvin Ridley last year).

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This article is focused on those playing in the dynasty community, as this is more of a long-term outlook on the players who now have a player to compete with in the near future. Meanwhile, those who are considered “risers” post-draft may only be there for one more year, because, well, we have an NFL Draft every year. If you’d like to know how much these players – and all others – are worth in dynasty, check out our Dynasty Trade Value Chart.

QB (Risers)

Kyler Murray (ARI)
He hasn’t even thrown a pass yet, but Murray’s stock continued to rise as the draft went on. We went from being worried about when Larry Fitzgerald is going to retire, to having Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson at his service. They may now have one of the more talented wide receiver depth charts in the league.

Lamar Jackson (BAL)
He went from a starting wide receiver trio that consisted of Chris Moore, Willie Snead, and Seth Roberts prior to the NFL Draft, to Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, and Snead, with Justice Hill out of the backfield. They went from a team with not many threats in the passing-game, to one where Jackson has little excuses not to succeed. At the very least, they’ll help draw some attention away from him in order to create some running room.

Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)
After spending a second-round pick on Dante Pettis last year, we didn’t know if the 49ers would spend a lot of equity on the wide receiver position again in this draft, but they did. In fact, they not only selected Deebo Samuel in the second round, but they reached in the third round for the versatile Jalen Hurd, a 6-foot-5, 226-pound receiver who used to be a running back until his senior year of college. Garoppolo will return from his injury with a few new weapons.

QB (Fallers)

Joe Flacco (DEN)
The draft confirmed what we’d all thought going into it, which was that the Broncos would be selecting a quarterback. Drew Lock did start all four years at Missouri, but he does come in somewhat raw. This will give Flacco some time as the starter, but it’s only a matter of time before he finds himself back on the bench. Even in 2QB leagues, Flacco doesn’t have much value.

Nick Foles (JAX)
If you’ve watched Foles over the years, you know that he’s going to need a big target to heave the ball up to when he’s in trouble. The Jaguars don’t have a player to win 50/50 balls on the roster. His current receivers are Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark, Chris Conley, Marqise Lee, and Keelan Cole. There’s plenty of speed there, but they really should’ve added a possession-style receiver in the draft.

Alex Smith (WAS)
It’s a bad situation for Smith, who may never play football again. It seems that’s what Redskins believe, as they drafted their long-term answer at quarterback when they took Dwayne Haskins at No. 15 overall. The signing of Case Keenum seemed to be a stop-gap until they found out more about Smith’s health, but this is the nail in the coffin.

RB (Risers)

Ronald Jones (TB)
I’d warned dynasty owners not to give away Jones, as he tallied just 30 total touches in 2018. Have you ever witnessed a running back have a bad game? Did you know Saquon Barkley had seven games where he averaged 3.4 or less yards per carry, including four games with less than 3.0 yards per carry? It’s not to say Jones is going to be a stud in this league but writing him off after 30 touches was never logical for the Bucs (or fantasy owners), which is why they didn’t draft a running back. Give him a year with Bruce Arians and see what he can do.

Lamar Miller (HOU)
It seemed all but certain the Texans would take a running back in this draft, especially considering they had four picks in the first three rounds, but nope, Miller still stands as their starting running back. While D’Onta Foreman was never a sure thing to begin with, his Achilles injury likely derailed his potential. Miller has the starting job for another year.

Marlon Mack (IND)
The Colts told us they believed in Mack and that he was their three-down back, but now we can actually believe them. There weren’t many true workhorse running backs in this draft, but many who were good fits in a timeshare, so it’s good to see them not draft one. This was them telling us they view Mack as someone who can handle the role alongside Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins.

Damien Williams (KC)
After a strong showing to close out the season, many wondered if the Chiefs viewed Williams as the long-term answer at the running back position. They did sign Carlos Hyde, but he’s nowhere near the pass-catcher that Williams is. They waited until the sixth-round to select a running back, and while Darwin Thompson is a good pass-catcher, he’s not a threat to Williams’ job. If you have Williams on your dynasty roster, you walked away from the draft feeling a lot better.

Kenyan Drake (MIA)
He seems like a forgotten man at this point, but Drake is going to be the starting running back for the Dolphins with a big workload. They Dolphins didn’t draft another running back until the seventh-round, and it’s not as if Kalen Ballage is an actual threat to his job. The offense as a whole may not be extremely competent or exciting, but Drake is one of the select running backs who we know will get 15-plus touches per game.

RB (Fallers)

Mike Davis (CHI)
March 13th through April 26th was an exciting time for Davis owners, as he appeared to be locked in as the Bears starting running back. That was until they traded up and drafted David Montgomery in the third-round of the draft, who just happens to be a better version of Davis. The Bears did pay Davis $6 million on a two-year deal, so he’ll likely have some role, but nothing dynasty owners can rely on.

Kenneth Dixon (BAL)
If you were holding out hope for Dixon to be in a timeshare with Mark Ingram, the Ravens crushed those dreams when they drafted Justice Hill in the fourth-round. Hill is someone who handled a lot of touches in college, but projects as a better timeshare back who’s a much better receiver than Dixon. It wouldn’t be a shock if Dixon were released.

Todd Gurley (LAR)
I know, I know… Gurley still has plenty of value, but it definitely took a hit when the Rams traded up and drafted Darrell Henderson in the third-round. That’s pricey, especially when you consider this wasn’t a particularly good running back class. Not just that, but the Rams matched an offer sheet from the Lions on backup running back Malcolm Brown, so they clearly want expensive insurance for Gurley.

Sony Michel (NE)
One of the oddest picks in the draft was when the Patriots decided to take Damien Harris in the third-round. That’s quite pricey for a running back who does a lot of things similarly to Michel. I believe that Michel is a better pass-catcher than the Patriots have used him as, but in the early-down role he’s currently in, he and Harris will clash.

Jaylon Samuels (PIT)
He went from someone who was listed as a tight end, to one who played backup running back for James Conner. After a brief stint as the starter when Conner went down, it seems that time is over. The Steelers surprisingly drafted Benny Snell in the fourth round, a workhorse-style running back who’d be able to come into the game and handle 20-plus touches, something that was a concern for Samuels. It’s clear the Steelers don’t view Samuels as the long-term backup.

Obvious one: Isaiah Crowell (OAK) – Not only did the Raiders draft Josh Jacobs, but Crowell also tore his Achilles earlier this week.

WR (Risers)

John Ross (CIN)
There were rumors before the draft that Ross was on the trade block, but considering they didn’t draft a single wide receiver and knowing they have very little depth at wide receiver, he appears entrenched in the starting lineup. Marvin Lewis’ offense couldn’t utilize Ross’ speed the way he should but hopefully Zac Taylor will figure it out.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling/Geronimo Allison/Equanimeous St. Brown (GB)
These three are battling for two starting slots, but all of them gained stock during the NFL Draft when the Packers didn’t draft a single wide receiver. You can argue that J’Mon Moore and Jake Kumerow should be on here as well, though I’d consider Allison the favorite on the perimeter and Valdes-Scantling the favorite in the slot. Had they drafted a wide receiver in the first few rounds like most expected, all of them would’ve seen massive dips.

Travis Benjamin (LAC)
Once the Chargers let Tyrell Williams walk in free agency, I immediately thought about Benjamin, who’s shown the ability to produce when called upon. Allowing Williams to go was one thing, as was extending Benjamin’s contract, but not drafting a wide receiver was another bonus for him. He’s not going to be consistent week-to-week, but he’s going to have some great weeks mixed in as Philip Rivers‘ primary deep threat.

DeVante Parker (MIA)
We all know the Dolphins are going to be towards the top of the draft next year, right? I thought they’d add depth at wide receiver in a deep class, and potentially in the first few rounds, but they didn’t even take one. This means Parker is still the No. 1 receiver on the team and is out of Adam Gase’s clutches. It’s also unlikely the Dolphins select a wide receiver with a high pick in next year’s first round, either, so Parker has a chance to make an impression with new quarterback Josh Rosen. Between injuries and issues with the coaches, Parker hasn’t been able to be a fantasy asset over the last few years, but can the change of guard with the Dolphins coaching staff help? They did extend his contract when most thought the Dolphins were moving on from him.

Sterling Shepard (NYG)
It appears the Giants are set on Shepard being their No. 1 option on the perimeter this year. While I don’t think that role suits him very well, it does mean that he’s going to be getting a lot of targets, which means his stock just improved. The Giants had so many needs, we didn’t know if they’d be taking a receiver early, but they didn’t take one until the fifth round.

WR (Fallers)

Christian Kirk (ARI)
He went from the only show in town, to one of the many shows that Kyler Murray can choose from. Once Fitzgerald retires, Kirk is going to likely be delegated to slot duties, so this draft didn’t totally destroy his value, but adding three receivers in the draft definitely hurt. Hakeem Butler has No. 1 receiver upside, while Andy Isabella could be a possession-style receiver. Both of those roles would take away massive target potential from the talented Kirk.

Taylor Gabriel (CHI)
The Bears signed Gabriel to a four-year, $26 million deal last offseason, but once 2019 is over, they can release him with just $2 million in dead cap. This isn’t to say they’ll do that, as he’s the field-stretcher in Matt Nagy’s offense, but drafting Riley Ridley in the fourth round and then signing Emanuel Hall as one of the first undrafted free agents in the league, it shows they aren’t going to remain complacent. While I’m not worried about Ridley, Gabriel should worry about Hall, who is just as fast and has a bit more size.

Alshon Jeffery (PHI)
Remember when the Eagles made a splash in free agency signing Jeffery? Well, it appears they may have just drafted his replacement in JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Jeffery’s deal is good through 2021, but he’s going to cost the Eagles $13 million per year to remain on the roster, which is rather hefty. Arcega-Whiteside is the same type of receiver at a much cheaper price. We’ve seen Jeffery do it for years, so you can’t just replace him with anyone, but it appears the Eagles are trying, at the very least.

Marquise Goodwin (SF)
Remember last offseason when Goodwin was receiving all sorts of hype about being more than just a deep threat and that he could be the No. 1 receiver for the 49ers? One year and 43 whole targets later, the 49ers have Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, and Jalen Hurd on the roster, and all of them cost Day 2 picks. Goodwin plays the field-stretching role, but he’s not a more well-rounded receiver than the others on the depth chart, which could move him out of the starting lineup and into a situational role.

Taywan Taylor (TEN)
When A.J. Brown was drafted in the second round, my first thought was, “Who is getting benched?” They signed Adam Humphries to a four-year, $36 million deal this offseason, so it surely isn’t him. Corey Davis is still the most talented receiver on the roster, so it’s not him. That leaves Taylor as the odd man out. I didn’t think they needed to add a receiver, but Brown was a steal late in the second round and deserves to play over Taylor.

TE (Risers)

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NE)
I’d say that roughly 90 percent of the industry expected the Patriots to select a tight end with one of their first three picks (all in the first two rounds), but they didn’t. In fact, they didn’t select one at all, suggesting they have confidence in the players on their roster. After Seferian-Jenkins, you have Matt LaCosse and Stephen Anderson, so it appears he’s entrenched as the starter for the Patriots in 2019 and foreseeable future.

Vance McDonald (PIT)
With the tight end class as strong as it was, it seemed like the Steelers might try to replace Jesse James early in the draft, especially when you consider McDonald’s inability to stay healthy. Did you know he’s never played a full 16-game season in his first six seasons? They apparently feel good about him moving forward, because they didn’t select Zach Gentry until the fifth round when 10 tight ends had already come off the board.

Jordan Reed (WAS)
With all the question marks surrounding Reed’s health, you had to think the Redskins would select a tight end in this ultra-deep class, right? Nope, all they have is Reed, 35-year-old Vernon Davis, and third-year tight end Jeremy Sprinkle, who’s seen 12 career targets. As long as Reed is healthy, he’ll be catching passes from Dwayne Haskins before long.

TE (Fallers)

Kyle Rudolph (MIN)
We heard the Vikings may be ready to move on from Rudolph once his contract was up, though there wasn’t any logical replacement for him on the roster… until they selected Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft. With just one year left on his deal, it’s all but certain Rudolph is not on the Vikings roster in 2020, and it’s not likely that he walks into a big free agent contract, either.

Jake Butt (DEN)
It’s been a nightmare start to his career, starting with the end of his college career where he tore his ACL. He was likely going to be a first- or second-round pick prior to that, but then he dropped a bit, had to rehab, then finally got on the field and tore his other ACL, leading the Broncos to select Noah Fant in the first round of the draft. Butt isn’t going to be a full-time player while on the Broncos with Fant around.

Jesse James (DET)
Just when he landed a starting job with the Lions, they shut him down by selecting T.J. Hockenson at No. 8 overall. Being real about it, James never really had much value to begin with, but starting tight ends with no competition should be rostered. Now that Hockenson is on the team, James should be sitting on waiver wires.


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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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