NFL Draft Notebook: Veterans Who will be Affected by Early Picks
We are getting very close to the NFL Draft, and the outlook for some established players is definitely going to change based on newcomers they may be playing with in 2019. If you are in a dynasty league, now is the time to act on them, or decide to keep these guys before their fantasy destinies are set on new paths. In some cases, a good choice early in the NFL Draft could ensure a stable outlook for one of these guys, which is important if you have a significant investment in any of them.
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Feeling the NFL Draft
Christian Kirk: He is in the best position to become Kyler Murray’s new favored target. Kirk averaged 13.7 yards per catch in his rookie season and will be even more productive working with Murray. If you own Kirk, do not deal him unless you get an offer you cannot refuse. If you have upside depth at RB and need WR help, make an offer for Kirk. Working with Larry Fitzgerald early in his career only brightens the future outlook for Kirk.
Golden Tate: He endured a disappointing 2019 season as he was traded away during the year. The fact that the Giants acquired him leads me to believe they will indeed take a QB in the first round. Tate is dependable and is great after the catch, an ideal safety valve for a young passer. Look for his value and production to rise again.
Josh Allen: The Bills will continue to fortify Allen’s supporting cast in the NFL Draft. Many mocks have them taking a top TE such as T.J. Hockensen or Noah Fant. Allen has already shown he can be a dual threat as a runner and passer, and his dynasty appeal will continue to rise as the playmakers around him become more respectable and dependable.
Kenyan Drake: Miami is going to be one of the teams pushing for one of the best passers in the NFL Draft, and Drake will play a larger role in the offense to ease pressure on the rookie and catch passes out of the backfield. Drake can score from anywhere on the field and will turn out to be the new QB’s best friend.
Josh Doctson: Washington is also going to be a top contender for a prime rookie passer. Or, they could go with a wide receiver with their first pick. Either way, this is the season when Doctson has to step up and play a more significant role, or he could benefit from a top rookie pass-catcher who commands defensive attention.
The Jay Gruden system needs multiple talented pass catchers in order to operate competently. Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson do not fulfill that requirement
— Redskins Realm (@SkinsRealm) April 18, 2019
Cam Newton: His health has been a polarizing issue, and many mocks have the Panthers addressing the offensive line early. Newton has a promising young crew of pass-catchers, and better protection will give him more time and confidence to be an adequate thrower. Newton must first prove he is healthy enough to start when the season opens, and the Panthers can ensure keeping him that way if a rookie lineman makes an instant impact. It’s hard to get enough in return for Newton in a dynasty trade, but you’ll feel about keeping him if his protection is better.
Dalvin Cook: The Vikings are widely expected to address their offensive line with an early pick. Improved blocking could possibly lead to Cook finally realizing his tremendous potential. Having a consistently strong running game would give Minnesota more optimum offensive balance. Cook just has to stay healthy, and he may see even more running room in 2019. He is the key to elevating Minnesota’s offense.
Russell Wilson: The Seahawks may further reward him after his extension with a new and much needed big target in the passing game. Don’t be surprised to see Seattle take one of the top TEs or WRs available with their 21st overall selection in the NFL Draft. The uncertain health of Doug Baldwin makes taking a pass-catcher a strong consideration. Wilson finished as QB8 last year and will be confident in throwing more with another reliable target.
Deshaun Watson: His blocking was an issue last season, and Watson could benefit with a projected pick of a guard in the first round. Watson’s numbers were certainly good last year, and bolstering his protection can only ensure he delivers to expectations in 2019. Maintaining health and high production from Watson is vital to any hopes of Houston making a deep playoff run. Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times last year and the Texans need to ensure his survival for you and them.
Carson Wentz: The Eagles could look to further build out the supporting cast for Wentz with their first-round pick. Taking Marquise Brown could really help the WR depth, which does not look fully solid right now. DeSean Jackson is a has-been and we are already starting to wonder the same about Nelson Agholor. A deeper pass-catching crew could help Wentz reclaim a spot among the best fantasy passers in the game.
Scott Engel is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame and a four-time award winner. He was one of the driving content forces in the rise of RotoExperts.com and was the lead host on the RotoExperts in the Morning for six years on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He was also instrumental in the launch of the FNTSY Sports Network. Scott was the first-ever Senior Writer and Managing Editor at CBS SportsLine and won a company Hall of Fame Award. He was also an Associate Editor and Fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He has been the featured Fantasy Writer on Seahawks.com since 2012 and his work has been syndicated to the Associated Press, NFL.com, New York Daily News, New York Post, Yahoo Sports, Bloomberg Sports, Sports Illustrated and many others. He is a credentialed media member who won an FSWA award in 2016 for his Insider Fantasy Reporting. Known as “The King”, Scott is on Twitter @scottTheKing
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