2021 Draft: Round 1 Winners and Losers

April 30, 2021

WINNERS:

This winner and loser piece will focus on fantasy relevance and not team building. This is not in any certain order. 

Jacksonville Jaguars WRs/ Etienne, RB/Trevor Lawerence, QB:

The Jacksonville Jaguars shocked absolutely nobody last night. They went with the correct choice of Trevor Lawerence at QB. He has been touted as the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck and I’m betting that T.Y. Hilton misses him. DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, and of course Travis Etienne. Etienne couldn’t have had a better landing spot, than landing beside his college QB. More on Jacksonville in the losers section.

Lawrence inherits a good offense with some young, high upside WRs, and the No. 2 RB on most people’s draft boards. He also gets Urban Meyer. For going to a team with the No. 1 pick, it’s a good spot for him for fantasy. That defense will keep his volume up for fantasy managers as well. 

The New York Jets Offense

WRs Denzel Mims, Corey Davis, and Jamison Crowder all get a massive upgrade at the QB position, even from Sam Darnold. Quarterback Zach Wilson comes in to take over the offense after an awesome 2020 season where he touted a 196.4 Passing Efficiency Rating, according to Sports-Reference.com. He’s probably an upgrade over Darnold and only worse than Trevor Lawerence for certain. 

The RB room also avoided a first-round RB which I wasn’t sure was going to happen, with the JETS having two firsts. Not only did they not get a RB at pick at 14, but they also selected a guard. Perine and Tevin Coleman live to see another day, but we shall see if that next day is their apocalypse. 

San Francisco WRs/George Kittle, TE/ Trey Lance, QB: 

I had Justin Fields ranked higher but this makes more sense than Mac Jones did at pick three. I believe that Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle get an upgrade. Maybe not in Year 1 because he will probably run the most in his rookie year, but in dynasty, this should boost their value. 

Trey Lance gets Kyle Shanahan and a team that is loaded with skill positions. I am excited to see how Shanahan utilizes Lance. I believe this is the best spot for Trey Lance and I’m super happy for him. There are some fantasy losers in the next section.

Matt Ryan, QB/ Kyle Pitts, TE/Mike Davis, RB of the Atlanta Falcons

I’m not sure who in God’s name you are supposed to cover in Atlanta!? I believe Kyle Pitts will FEAST underneath and could be Top 5 TE this year. Matt Ryan gets yet ANOTHER weapon. They can literally only stop themselves. Tack on the volume a bad defense gives you and I’m in on Atlanta, wherever I can. Matt Ryan in SF leagues will be lit. WRs for Atlanta are neutral for me.

Mike Davis owners can let out a sigh of relief for now. There is only one more back I’m worried about in Javonte Williams (UNC RB,) that could take his job this year. The rest will only start a committee, and all I ask is that Davis remains a flex starter. He would remain that for me in a committee. Let’s all will a defensive player selected in Round 2, together now!

Joe Burrow, QB Cincinnati Bengals: 

I can understand him being a loser too. He may still run for his life if Jonah Williams (OT) doesn’t progress. Hopefully they go OL in the second. However, Burrow has three great WRs and the best of this draft. Ja’Marr Chase is the best WR on the team, make no mistake about it. This could also help Tee Higgins, but I’m not that brave yet. This is another situation where a promising young QB has a bad defense as well. High volume + great weapons= fantasy gold. 

Tua Tagovailoa, QB/ Myles Gaskin, RB of the Miami Dolphins:

Miami drafts Jaylen Waddle (WR Alabama) with the sixth overall pick. Regardless of whether I believe that’s a reach or not, Tua gets another weapon. He could have been had at a good discount all off-season after that Buffalo game, in Week 17. If you have taken advantage, you deserve to pat yourself on the back, as I did. 

It’s the same situation for Myles Gaskin as it is for the above-mentioned Mike Davis, of the Atlanta Falcons. If they don’t get Javonte Williams of UNC, we still get a flex player out of last year at the very least. Big win. 

D’Andre Swift, RB/Detroit Lion WRs/Jared Goff, QBs:

Swift just got a massive upgrade up front! He was my RB2 in last year’s loaded class and he now is set for a big workload and a premiere LT helping to lead the way for him. His 4.6 YPC is set to go up. Look out for the next star RB.

Jared Goff also has time in the pocket with this move. If you have him rostered I would hold for now. You can most likely trade him for more than you bought him for, if you bought him after he was traded.  

The Lions didn’t opt for an elite WR here so Tyrell Williams, Quintez Cephus, and Breshad Perriman, all get a boost.

Devonta Smith, WR and Jalen Hurts, QB from the Philadelphia Eagles:

Hurts gets no competition at QB yet and he gets an absolute stud at WR. Hurts now has a nice set of skill position players around him and should put up better numbers through the air. He should continue his ground dominance as well.

 My WR2 in this class gets a young QB on the rise and only has to compete with Jalen Reagor for targets. I don’t believe Goeddert or Zach Ertz will hurt Devonta Smith at all in the target category. Reagor is a nice compliment and hopefully takes a little pressure off him in his rookie year

Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields/ Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, WR/ Cole Kmet, TE

Basically, the entire offense wins except RB David Montgomery. This is the best QB Allen Robinson has ever dreamt about and he was a Top 10 WR last year with Mitch Trubisky and Big Hands Nick Foles at QB. His value skyrocketed in a split second last night. Mooney’s value also went way up. I’d suggest selling him now, though. Cole Kmet also gets a bump up. Justin Fields showed he could shred the seam in 2020 at OSU.

Fields lands in a better spot than the NYJ, New England, and Detroit. He has a great alpha WR, a TE with upside, and speed all around him. He also gets a good ground game to take some pressure off him. I like the fit. 

All Skill Positions for the New England Patriots

Mac Jones is an upgrade over Cam Newton for all pass catchers and RBs. He won’t cap upside for rushing TDs for the committee and he is a much better pure passer for Cam Newton. I think he sits for half the season, but it’s a bump for the whole offense when he takes over. 

Daniel Jones, QB/ Kenny Golladay, WR/ Evan Engram, TE of the New York Giants: 

They are all in on Danny Dimes this year and he now has a plethora of options to throw to. They won’t be able to key in on Kenny Golladay hopefully, and takes brackets off of Evan Engram more. There are no excuses for Jones anymore. If he doesn’t succeed with this roster it’s time to sell for whatever you can. 

Najee Harris, RB for the Pittsburgh Steelers: 

No stacking boxes here with this WR core. Najee Harris is a big, powerful, agile, and fast RB who will succeed a great deal if they can also get some help up front. This should help the entire offense by helping them be more efficient and even more explosive. He may take underneath targets away. 

Lamar Jackson, QB for the Baltimore Ravens:

I can’t call Rashod Bateman a winner though it was tempting. I just can’t bump up his ADP in this offense. Jon Harbaugh said it would be hard for WRs to produce in his offense. I do think if he slips from the current ADP, then I would strike. 

Lamar Jackson was QB10 last year in 4pt throwing TD formats, and his passing TDs could increase while his rushing numbers remain similar. It gives him a boost for sure. Bateman’s ceiling is Keenan Allen with a vertical threat, which is a great asset for Lamar. Glad I bought him in the off-season. 

Los Angeles Chargers Offense: 

They get a great tackle that will help this offense maximize at a greater efficiency level.  

Buffalo Bills RB Room: 

They avoided certain doom Day 1 and there are rumors that Devin Singletary is engaged in intense off-season programs. There is a little hope. 

LOSERS: 

James Robinson, RB/Jacksonville Jaguars: 

Ouch. Many were counting on RB1 numbers this year and this kills that chance. If you’re lucky you still have a RB2, but most likely he is a matchup-dependant flex play. You should have sold him with the Jaguars having 2 picks. 

Gardner Minshew Mania 

We witnessed a public execution on Minshew Mania. Pour out a 40oz. 

San Francisco RBs

Trey Lance caps the upside on one of their 18 RBs that start weekly. Limit expectations. Trey Lance is an elite runner.

Hunter Hurst, TE/Atlanta Falcons: 

Hope you bought two 40’s to dump. Pitts is a TE and he will probably take almost every snap. Hurst was a nice try. Please play again.

Joe Burrow, QB/Cincinnati Bengals: 

You should worry about protection before skill players. He was almost a neutral for me but you can’t deny that long term health is a concern. High risk/ high reward situation. 

Tee Higgins, WR/ Cincinnati Bengals: 

I have my share of stocks and it is concerning. He may get better looks and more favorable matchups, but Burrow also loves his slot WRs. Add that to a time issue, and he may see a decrease in targets we just weren’t anticipating. 

All Denver Broncos Skill Positions and Entire Offense: 

With Justin Fields on the board, these idiots went with Drew Lock/Teddy Bridgewater. Everyone loses except for whoever wins the training camp battle, so they are neutral. 

Jalen Reagor, WR/ Philadelphia Eagles

Devonta could be a target hog, he’s that good. Hopefully he can take advantage of favorable matchups. 

Philadelphia Eagles TEs

They benefited off of a lot of targets and now they have two outside weapons. 

David Montgomery, RB/ Chicago Bears:

Justin Fields has a big body that will be used on goal-to-go situations. That caps the TD upside on him. 

Mac Jones, QB/ New England Patriots: 

Outside of the TE room he has few players with upside around him. Add that on top of Bill Bellicheck hinting that he may sit his rookie year, and I’d see if I can trade for him at a cheaper price after the season starts. Long term he’s in a good position with a good organization. 

Las Vegas Raiders: 

Big L for all parties. 

Kyler Murray, QB/ Arizona Cardinals: 

I was hoping he’d get a new toy because AJ Green isn’t scaring anybody. Nobody is but DeAndre Hopkins in all honesty. 

Sterling Shepard, WR/ New York Giants:

OK. Make that three 40’s you’re pouring out. Kadarius Toney is believed to occupy the slot and that is not good for Shepard, who struggles on the outside. Two public executions in one night. Lucky us. 

J.K. Dobbins:

He’s praying as you read this that there’s a plan for OT in the second. Lamar probably is too, but with his legs I won’t officially add him to this list. 

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