The NFL Draft is a pivotal time for fantasy football enthusiasts, as teams make key moves that can impact player values in the upcoming season. Some teams and players emerge as winners, while others may find themselves on the losing end of the draft. Let's take a closer look at five winners and five losers of the NFL Draft from a fantasy football perspective, along with predictions for where these rookies might be selected in rookie drafts. These rankings will be based mainly on Super-flex dynasty leagues, but can also be used for 1QB leagues as well. Onwards! 

Top 5 Winners

#1: Caleb Williams, QB, Chicago Bears

Caleb Williams lands in a winning situation with the Chicago Bears, surrounded by a stellar cast of veteran weapons including D.J. Moore, D’Andre Swift, Keenan Allen, and Cole Kmet. The addition of Washington WR Rome Odunze as the ninth overall selection further bolsters his supporting cast. Williams' off-script playmaking ability is evident, complemented by his elite production from a clean pocket. No Bears QB has achieved 4,000 passing yards or 30 TDs, but with Williams' talent, hitting the 4K passing yards mark in Year 1 seems plausible, especially with his passing yardage prop opening at 3,400.5 passing yards on FanDuel Sportsbook. His rushing prowess adds another dimension, having recorded 27 rushing TDs in 2.5 seasons as a college starter. Williams emerges as the clear 1.01 choice in Super-flex Dynasty drafts and a top consideration in Single QB formats, primed for immediate starter status with high dynasty value and potential low-end QB1 performance. To give an idea of where he might end up, in one of my 1QB rookie drafts I was able to trade down to the 1.10 and take him, which will probably be about the latest he will be available in most drafts. While naturally his value isn’t as high in the 1QB leagues compared to Super Flex, he’s going to be given every opportunity to succeed and is a consensus 1st rounder regardless of league format.

Honorable Mention: The rest of the Chicago offense EXCEPT for Rome Odunze (see "losers" below)

#2: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Minnesota Vikings

J.J. McCarthy secures one of the best landing spots in Minnesota, second only to Caleb Williams in Chicago. The Vikings' unmatched QB infrastructure, paired with a plethora of offensive weapons, sets the stage for McCarthy's success. With Justin Jefferson poised to return as a top-2 WR in redraft and dynasty formats, McCarthy is primed to deliver strong passing numbers and team success comparable to Williams and fellow rookie QB Jayden Daniels. While he may not boast a significant rushing threat, McCarthy has the potential to emulate a fringe backend fantasy QB1, reminiscent of Brock Purdy. The Vikings' strategic move to secure McCarthy as their preferred consistent QB solidifies his role in an offense influenced by the Rams' Kevin O’Connell, where he can showcase his arm talent alongside talented playmakers like Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson.  Despite looming competition with Sam Darnold, McCarthy is positioned as the franchise's future QB, offering a safer but still promising profile in dynasty leagues. He projects as a late second or early third-round pick in traditional rookie drafts and a mid to late 1st in Super-Flex formats. In one of my Super-Flex drafts, I was able to trade up to the 1.08 and get him. This area of the draft feels about right, as even though there is a chance he could bust, McCarthy is similar to Williams as he is in a great position to succeed with a plethora of weapons at his disposal.

Honorable Mention: Similar to Chicago, as all of the Minnesota pass catchers are considered winners with this move.

#3: Michael Penix Jr., QB - Atlanta Falcons

The biggest surprise of the 1st round was the Atlanta Falcons selecting Michael Penix Jr. at eighth overall. While some may view it as an expensive insurance policy, it's a strategic move to bolster the team's QB depth, especially with Kirk Cousin’s age (36). The Falcons prioritized QB play, doubling down in both free agency and the draft to fortify their offensive firepower. Despite the four-year commitment the team gave out to Cousins, the pick injects confidence into Atlanta's offensive potential, particularly benefiting players like Bijan Robinson and Drake London. Penix's impressive well-thrown ball rate and downfield aggressiveness make him an intriguing addition to an offense hungry for consistent QB performance. The Falcons' commitment to upgrading their QB situation and addressing defensive needs further solidifies their competitive outlook for the upcoming season. Michael Penix Jr. does come with a significant injury history, which some believed would lower his draft stock. However, his larger frame compared to other quarterbacks and the opportunity to develop behind Cousins could work in his favor. The data also favors Penix for long-term success due to his unique blend of downfield passing and accuracy, similar to NFL quarterbacks like Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson. With a talented group of pass catchers in Atlanta, Penix has the tools and support to thrive once he takes over as the starting QB. While the transition period may be uncertain, the Falcons' move with him hints at a promising future for the team. To that end, while I did not select Penix in either of my recent rookie drafts, if you can afford to wait it out, there is a possibility Penix takes over for Cousins at some point and becomes a solid fantasy option, although that may take some patience. With 1st Round draft capital, there’s also a real possibility he takes over at some point this year, especially if the Atlanta offense falters at all. Expect Penix to drop down a bit in both 1QB and Super-flex drafts due to landing in Atlanta, however he could be a darkhorse for the year, and therefore, a pick on this "winners" list.

Honorable Mention: Bo Nix, QB, Denver Broncos - Bo knows football. Nix's record-setting completion percentage and efficient passing at Auburn earned him a Heisman Trophy finalist spot. Drafted by the Denver Broncos, his accuracy and short-passing skills could benefit the team's offensive dynamics, particularly in targeting running backs. He is expected to be a mid-to late 1st round selection in Super-Flex Dynasty drafts and a 2nd round pick in Single QB formats.

#4. Ladd McConkey - WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Ladd McConkey's landing spot with the Chargers presents a winning scenario for fantasy football enthusiasts. Despite the Patriots passing on him and trading the 34th overall pick to the Chargers, McConkey's attachment to Justin Herbert positions him as a top target in a depleted receiving corps. With his impressive college efficiency and blazing speed, McConkey has the potential to lead the Chargers in targets and mirror Keenan Allen's role. He is also an established route runner, and some experts believe he will command over 100 targets this year as a solid check-down option for Herbert. Should that occur, his early 2nd round draft capital will look like a steal. The Chargers' deliberate targeting of McConkey and his multifaceted skills make him an early 2nd round or possibly late 1st round rookie draft pick, offering fantasy managers a valuable asset with high upside.In my 1QB league, McConkey was off the board by the middle of the first round, and in Superflex was drafted at the end of the 1st, showing how much his value has skyrocketed. Depending on team needs, he should be considered an excellent option with a solid floor. Draft accordingly. 

Honorable Mention: Malik Nabers, WR, New York Giants - Malik Nabers' NFL debut with the Giants is a testament to his exceptional talent and readiness to take on a prominent role from Day 1. His explosive style as a yards-after-catch (YAC) monster instills confidence even amid potential quarterback uncertainties, securing him as a top WR2 prospect behind fellow rookie wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. Despite concerns about the Giants' landing spot, Nabers' potential to lead the receiving corps shines through, especially with OC Brian Daboll's penchant for maximizing offensive weapons. Nabers' polished route-running, exceptional hands, and big-play ability position him as a standout prospect in both NFL and rookie drafts, potentially mirroring Odell Beckham Jr.'s impactful rookie season. As the highest-drafted WR in Giants history at No. 6 overall, Nabers brings elite athleticism and game-changing potential, making him a key target in dynasty rookie drafts and a focal point in the Giants' offensive revitalization. He should be off the board no later than the mid-first round in all rookie drafts.

#5: Xavier Worthy, WR ,  Kansas City Chiefs
- Patrick Mahomes

Need I say more? Xavier Worthy's journey to the Kansas City Chiefs feels like fate aligning with football brilliance. With Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback, Worthy steps into a scenario reminiscent of Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs' aggressive pursuit of Worthy, including trading up, signals their belief in his game-changing speed and playmaking abilities. This move catapults Worthy from a fringe first-round prospect to a standout in rookie rankings, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Rashee Rice's off-field issues. Worthy's dynamic performances at Texas, coupled with his blazing speed, make him a lottery ticket in fantasy football, primed to make an impact early in his career. As Mahomes' fastest target yet, Worthy's potential for stardom is sky-high in this dream landing spot, elevating him to a solid mid to late 1st round pick in traditional formats and a late 1st rounder in SuperFlex leagues. The one (and minor) concern is that Worthy did occasionally struggle with drops in college. However, with Marquise Brown’s injury history and Skyy Moore and Kadarious Toney’s non existence on the Chiefs roster, Worthy has the potential to become the #3 WR in the group quite quickly. To that end, Worthy has gone in the mid-to-late 1st round in both of my leagues, solidifying him as a solid pick in that tier. 

Honorable Mention: Jonthan Brooks, RB, Carolina Panthers - Jonathan Brooks' unexpected selection by the Carolina Panthers at 46th overall defied pre-draft projections, especially considering the consensus that no running back would go inside the top 50 picks. Despite coming off a torn ACL, Brooks' draft capital alone labels him a winner, signaling the Panthers' belief in his potential as a top-tier NFL back once he fully recovers. Brooks' skill set, including his size, vision, pass-catching ability, and explosiveness, makes him a standout in this running back class, and landing in Carolina provides him with a promising opportunity. While patience may be required due to recovering from injury, Brooks' long-term value and potential impact make him a top 20 Dynasty rookie running back and a early to mid 2nd round pick in all SuperFlex leagues, and a possible late-1st Rounder in 1QB leagues.

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Top 5 Losers

#1: Drake Maye, QB, New England Patriots

Drake Maye emerges as a "loser" in both the NFL draft and fantasy drafts due to landing with the New England Patriots, a team historically perceived as a challenging environment for rookie quarterbacks. To be clear, even though he’s on this “loser” list, it doesn’t mean he may not be successful, as Maye is projected to be the new starting QB. However, despite Maye's physical tools, including a strong arm and mobility reminiscent of Josh Allen, the Patriots' roster lacks elite skill position players, amplifying concerns about his immediate success. While New England added talent in the later rounds with players like Ja'Lynn Polk, Javon Baker, and Caedan Wallace, they remain unproven rookies, adding uncertainty to Maye's situation. Although the Patriots' long-term approach might benefit Maye's development, fantasy managers should approach cautiously in 2024 draft formats, seeking more favorable options for immediate impact. As a result, Maye's projected rookie draft capital shifted from 13th to 19th overall in 1QB dynasty leagues post-Round 1, reflecting the cautious outlook surrounding his fantasy value.

Dishonorable Mention: Ricky Pearsall - WR - San Francisco 49ers - Pearsall emerges as a "loser" in both the NFL draft and fantasy drafts despite earning first-round draft capital with the San Francisco 49ers. Even though he landed in an offense that maximizes wide receiver strengths, Pearsall's limited ceiling raises skepticism about his long-term fantasy impact. The 49ers' win-now mode suggests Pearsall may need time to develop despite his readiness to contribute from Day 1, especially with established receivers like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk currently on the roster. Without an immediate opportunity for significant playing time, Pearsall's fantasy value for the 2024 season remains uncertain, leading to a cautious approach in rookie and redraft formats. Pearsall's pre-draft rise in rookie rankings post-Combine underscores his impressive athleticism and potential, but the complexities of the 49ers' offense and roster dynamics add uncertainty to his fantasy outlook. Although his selection in the late first round indicates positive trajectory, fantasy managers may hesitate to invest too heavily given the looming questions surrounding Pearsall's role and production in 2024 and beyond.

#2: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Adonai Mitchell's draft position at 53rd overall with the Colts marks him as a "loser" in both the NFL draft and fantasy drafts, especially considering his initial projection for a first-round selection. While Mitchell brings explosive vertical skills that could mesh well with Anthony Richardson's strong arm, he faces stiff competition for targets in an offense led by a mobile quarterback. Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs are poised for significant roles in the target hierarchy, relegating Mitchell to a potential third-option status primarily reliant on downfield and high-value pass attempts.While Mitchell's big-play potential makes him intriguing for savvy dynasty managers, his lack of consistency and potential limited opportunities temper expectations for immediate fantasy impact. His situation mirrors Kadarius Toney's trajectory, emphasizing the importance of patience and opportunism in managing Mitchell's fantasy value. Despite his poor analytical profiles, Mitchell's athleticism and big-game potential suggest a future breakout could elevate his dynasty stock, making him a worthwhile late-round target in rookie drafts with an eye toward maximizing his trade value post-breakout performance. While this isn't a death knell per se, there should be other receivers available with more upside in year one.

Dishonorable Mention: Brock Bowers - TE, Las Vegas - Brock Bowers faced a disappointing twist in the NFL draft, landing with the Raiders in a situation that doesn't bode well for his fantasy outlook. While initially hailed as a potential game-changer in dynasty leagues, his value takes a hit due to the Raiders' existing talents at tight end and uncertainties at quarterback. With Aidan O'Connell or Gardner Minshew expected to helm the offense focused on Davante Adams and Zamir White, it's realistic to temper expectations for Bowers' immediate impact. Fantasy managers may want to reassess Bowers' draft position, considering options like Xavier Worthy and Caleb Williams as potentially more fruitful choices in rookie drafts. Until the Raiders' offense proves otherwise, it's wise to approach Bowers' fantasy prospects with caution, anticipating potential hurdles to his development and production in the coming seasons. While I do still like Bowers overall, there is a possibility he might face some growing pains with the Raiders, hence the “dishonorable” mention.

#3: Troy Franklin, WR, Denver Broncos

Oregon wide receiver Troy Franklin faced a setback in the NFL draft, slipping to a Round 4 selection by the Denver Broncos despite a decent showing at the NFL Combine. Concerns about his short-area burst, highlighted by a slow 10-yard split time, likely contributed to his draft position decline. While being chosen in Round 4 isn't a definitive blow to his fantasy potential, Franklin's stock takes a hit, placing him in an uphill battle for fantasy relevance. Currently, his one potential saving grace is that he was drafted by the Denver Broncos, who also happened to draft his college QB Bo Nix. That said, as of this writing Denver still has Courtland Sutton and Marvin Mims in the mix to take targets away from Franklin, so at best he currently has to be considered nothing more than #3 WR on his own team. While this might be alright in real life, for fantasy purposes it doesn’t inspire much confidence unless he can somehow out play Mims for the #2 spot. He shouldn't be drafted in any format before the mid-late 2nd round.

Dishonorable Mention: Jaylen Wright, RB, Miami Dolphins - Despite a standout performance at the NFL Draft Combine, running back Jaylen Wright saw his fantasy stock take a hit after landing with the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round. Known for his explosive athleticism and nation-leading yards per carry, Wright's impressive combine numbers weren't enough to secure him a starting role, ending up as a gadget player behind Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane. This crowded depth chart dims Wright's immediate prospects, likely pushing his rookie draft stock to at best the late second or early third round in dynasty leagues. Miami's preference for athletic players like Wright adds a layer of intrigue, but fantasy managers should temper expectations given his current role and the potential impact on Mostert's workload.

#4: Xavier Legette, WR, Carolina Panthers

Despite a strong showing at the NFL Combine and an impressive senior season at South Carolina, wide receiver Xavier Legette's fantasy stock took a hit after landing with the Carolina Panthers. While Legette brings impressive physical attributes and deep-threat potential, concerns about his consistency in catching and route-running persist. The Panthers' commitment to supporting quarterback Bryce Young's development is evident, but Legette's fantasy impact remains uncertain given the quarterback's situation. As a result, Legette is likely to be considered a boom-or-bust pick, projected to go in the second round of rookie drafts despite his potential for explosive plays and deep-threat abilities. His play time could be in question as well, since he has to fight Adam Thielen, Diontae Johnson, & Jonathan Mingo for targets. Granted, it’s a new regime who may give him every opportunity to succeed, but unless Bryce Young makes a dramatic improvement, Legette’s fantasy appeal is limited.

Dishonorable Mention: Rome Odunze, WR, Chicago Bears - Despite his strong college performance and high expectations pre-draft, Rome Odunze's landing spot in Chicago post-draft raises concerns among Dynasty managers. Joining a crowded Bears receiving corps with established players like D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, and Cole Kmet presents a challenge for targets and fantasy production. However, Odunze's talent, size, and track record as a fantasy point leader shouldn't be overlooked. Paired with rising star Caleb Williams and the potential for a revamped passing offense led by coordinator Shane Waldron, Odunze still holds immense promise as a top-five rookie pick and a valuable dynasty asset. While target competition may initially impact his numbers, Odunze's draft capital and potential to emerge as a WR1 make him a player worth investing in for fantasy managers. So why isn’t he on the list of “Winners”? Simply put, there are many mouths to feed in the overhauled Chicago offense, and it is very difficult from a fantasy perspective to make sure all of those players produce. While he will probably be very good over the long-term, there is a possibility he does very little in his rookie year. In fantasy, uncertainty is our enemy. Despite this, Odunze is still projected to go early to mid first round in all dynasty formats.


#5: Blake Corum, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Following his standout season at Michigan, Blake Corum entered the NFL Draft at the peak of his college success, boasting impressive rushing yards and touchdowns. Despite being projected as a second-round rookie pick, his draft position ultimately landed him with the Rams as a backup for Kyren Williams. While the Rams sought Corum as a change-of-pace runner with receiving skills, his fantasy value remains uncertain due to Williams' established role as the primary back. Corum's selection by Sean McVay showcases the team's investment in talent, but fantasy managers should temper expectations as Corum may need the right opportunity to shine or could remain in a backup role. As a result, Corum is likely to be a late second or early third-round pick in rookie drafts, potentially creating frustration for Williams' managers while offering potential upside for those who invest in Corum's development. As of this writing, Corum’s success hinges on Williams health, and even though he may receive some play time, the outlook for his rookie year is lower than Jonathan Brooks or Trey Benson, placing him strictly in the “loser” column.

Dishonorable Mention: Trey Benson, RB, Arizona Cardinals - Speaking of Arizona running back Trey Benson, his outlook for the 2024 season appears somewhat limited due to the formidable presence of James Conner in the Cardinals' backfield. Conner's impressive performance metrics, including a stellar 89.8 PFF rushing grade and an ability to evade tackles at a high rate, underscore his status as a reliable and productive running back. With Conner averaging 4.2 yards per carry or better in nearly all his games last season and demonstrating versatility as a pass-catcher, the path to significant playing time for Benson seems challenging, at least initially. As a result, while Benson's selection as the 66th overall pick provides him with a solid landing spot in Arizona, his role is likely to be that of a complementary back to Conner, focusing on a change-of-pace role or providing injury insurance. The potential for Benson to emerge as the team's top running back by 2025 hinges on Conner's performance trajectory, suggesting that Benson's fantasy value may not fully materialize until a year or two down the line. As such, fantasy managers may need to temper their expectations for Benson's impact in 2024, and he's currently a mid 3rd round pick in all formats.

As it does every year, the NFL draft has shaped the landscape of fantasy football. To that end fantasy managers need to continue to closely monitor the impact of these rookies on their teams, and strategize accordingly. With the NFL draft complete, the focus shifts to rookie drafts and training camps, and with predictions for these drafts in mind, fantasy enthusiasts can prepare for the upcoming season, aiming to secure the best talent for their rosters.