For months, fantasy football fans and experts have been debating how highly to rank this year’s crop of rookies. Some players, such as new Falcons running back Bijan Robinson, were projected as studs no matter what city they ended up playing for. The value of other players, however, depended heavily on the team that drafted them. Now that the NFL draft is complete, which players are fantasy football’s biggest winners and losers in redraft formats?
Jordan Addison, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Addison was the only first-round receiver that found a landing spot where is a clear-cut number two receiver. While I believe players such as Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zay Flowers are better, they will have much more target competition as rookies. Addison is obviously behind Justin Jefferson in Minnesota, but with Adam Thielen’s departure, he might push for 100 targets in his opening season. Addison should be the first rookie receiver off the board in redraft leagues.
Jonathan Mingo, WR, Carolina Panthers
This year’s draft boosted the fantasy value of another rookie receiver. Carolina selected Mingo with the 39th overall pick, and he could make instant noise in the league. The Panthers traded away DJ Moore this offseason, and their current wide receiver corps isn’t amazing. An aging Adam Thielen projects as WR1. DJ Chark and Terrace Marshall Jr. aren’t likely to become target hogs either. Mingo should be, at worst, the second option in this passing offense.
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Detroit Lions
Many hoped to see Gibbs end up in a similar situation to the aforementioned Robinson in Atlanta: a clear bell cow back. However, he will likely be in a split backfield with former Chicago Bear David Montgomery. Gibbs’ receiving ability will keep him an RB2 in PPR leagues, but he is more of an RB3/FLEX option in standard leagues, much lower than he could have been in the right situation.
Quentin Johnston, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Johnston’s landing spot is phenomenal for dynasty leagues. In two to three seasons, he could be WR1 for Justin Herbert, a franchise quarterback. However, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are still in Los Angeles this season, making Johnston the third option. Barring an injury to one of them, Johnston will have a hard time making noise in his rookie campaign.
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