Fanelli’s Fantasy Files: 10 Veteran Losers from the NFL Draft

Fanelli’s Fantasy Files: 10 Veteran Losers from the NFL Draft

by May 10, 2021 1 comment

Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is over a week old, we’ve had time to sit back and analyze how it impacts veteran players. Which players’ fantasy stock went down after the draft? The biggest losers are Jimmy Garoppolo and Cam Newton. Not only did their teams use a first-round pick on their replacement, but they didn’t use a day one or two draft pick on a pass-catcher. While both veterans should begin the season as the starting quarterback, it is only a matter of time till the rookies take over. Let’s take a look at the 10 biggest veteran losers from the 2021 NFL Draft.


Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

Despite losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones in free agency, the Lions did very little to replace them. Furthermore, they didn’t take advantage of a very talented wide receiver class. Instead, they used three of their first four picks on defense. While they added former USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth round, he is the only pass-catcher they drafted. After playing with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp most of his career, Goff now has the weakest receiving core in the league.

Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts

Almost every mock draft had the Colts using their first-round pick on an offensive tackle after Anthony Castonzo retired in the offseason. Instead, the Colts used both their first and second-round picks on defensive ends. After trading for Wentz, the Colts didn’t use a single pick on an offensive tackle. Instead, they waited till the seventh round to select a wide receiver or interior offensive linemen. Furthermore, they used a sixth-round pick on Sam Ehlinger. They picked a likely be the third string quarterback before they added a receiver or offensive linemen. Wentz has a strong offensive line and some playmakers. However, the Colts missed an opportunity to give him more help.

Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos

After letting Phillip Lindsay walk in free agency, Gordon appears to have a featured role in his future. However, the Broncos traded up in the second round of the draft to select Javonte Williams. Not only will Gordon have to split snaps with Williams, but it will only be a matter of time till Williams takes over the starting role. Furthermore, Gordon has a $2 million roster bonus due at the start of training camp. If the Broncos are impressed by Williams during offseason team activities, they could release or trade Gordon. Even if Gordon remains on the Broncos’ roster this season, expect his touches to decrease as the season progresses.

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

When the Jaguars used their second first-round pick on Travis Etienne, the entire fantasy world lost its mind. As an undrafted rookie, Robinson averaged over 100 scrimmage yards per game to go along with 10 touchdowns. Instead of addressing their needs on defense, the Jaguars decided to draft another running back. While Robinson won’t revert to a backup role, Etienne’s presence will limit his upside and weekly value, especially in PPR leagues. Robinson goes from a low-end RB1 to a flex option.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

Last season, Sanders regressed from his rookie season. Part of it was his injuries, while the bigger part was the Eagles’ dysfunctional offense. Instead of investing several draft picks on the offensive line, the Eagles decided to use a fifth-round pick on running back Kenny Gainwell. Before the draft, the Eagles re-signed Boston Scott and signed Jordan Howard. To make matters worse, the Eagles claimed former Lion running back Kerryon Johnson off waivers last week. Instead of potentially building up the depth on the offensive line, the Eagles added three new running backs in the last month.

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers

Coming off a disappointing 2020 season, Mostert needed to bounce back in a contract year. However, he might not get that chance. Not only did the 49ers re-sign Jeff Wilson this offseason, but they added Wayne Gallman before the draft. Then, they used their third-round pick on Trey Sermon. The best case scenario for Mostert, he takes the lead role in the San Francisco running back by committee situation. However, Mostert could find himself off the roster. The 49ers are strapped for cap space and can open up $3.5 million by releasing Mostert. He could find himself on the open market, which might not be the worst thing for Mostert’s fantasy value.

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals

Early in the offseason, there were rumors that Larry Fitzgerald would retire. Then, during the Cardinals’ aggressive offseason, they signed A.J. Green to pair with Kirk and DeAndre Hopkins. The signing wasn’t the worst thing in the world for Kirk, as he will now slide into his natural position in the slot. However, that might change after the Cardinals drafted Rondale Moore in the second round. Rumor is, the Cardinals are opening to trading Kirk as he enters a contract year. If Kirk lands with a team like the New Orleans Saints or Tennessee Titans, his fantasy should increase. However, if he stays in Arizona this season, he is a late-round pick at best.

Van Jefferson & DeSean Jackson, Los Angeles Rams

The Rams’ passing attack has centered around Kupp and Woods for the past few years. That won’t change in 2021 with Matthew Stafford under center. However, fantasy owners were hoping Jefferson and Jackson would have a fantasy impact. After the draft, that’s unlikely to happen. Despite holes on defenses and at center, the Rams used three draft picks on wide receivers. On top of that, they used their first selection on wide receiver Tutu Atwell. While the additions at wide receiver will help Stafford, all Rams’ wide receivers other than Kupp or Woods are undraftable.

Darius Slayton, New York Giants

Last season, Slayton led the Giants with 751 receiving yards. He also finished tied for first in receiving touchdowns with three. However, the Giants felt like they needed to upgrade the wide receiver position. In the offseason, they signed Golladay to a massive four-year deal. On the surface, adding Golladay helps Slayton as defenses now have an elite No. 1 wide receiver to cover, giving Slayton more one-on-one matchups. However, the Giants used their first-round pick wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Unless Daniel Jones takes a massive step forward in his development this season, Golladay is the only Giants’ wide receiver worth drafting.

Corey Davis, New York Jets

In the offseason, the Jets signed Davis to be their No. 1 wide receiver. With Denzel Mims on the other side and Jamison Crowder in the slot, Davis was in line to be the first Jets wide receiver drafted. However, the Jets used their second-round pick on Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore. The explosive, do it all, wide receiver is a real threat to Davis’ No. 1 role and target share. Furthermore, with a rookie quarterback under center, the Jets plan to run the ball as much as possible, further limiting Davis’ upside this season.

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Mike Fanelli is the Editor in Chief and fantasy football expert for Prime Time Sports Talk since 2018. He is a featured writer for FantasyPros. Follow him on Twitter @Mike_NFL2 and reach out anytime with any fantasy football questions.

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