Fantasy Football 2022 NFL Draft Dynasty Losers: Josh Jacobs, Rashaad Penny, and Michael Carter’s values took a hit

Following the peculiar 2022 NFL Draft, what veteran players are the unfortunate losers and took a hit to their dynasty fantasy football value?

The 2022 NFL Draft was filled with excitement. In addition to a whole new rookie class, we saw two big-name wide receivers traded. There’s a lot to unpack. We can’t possibly get to them all, but let’s discuss some of the losers from the 2022 NFL Draft who saw their dynasty fantasy football value decrease.

What exactly classifies a player as a loser from a fantasy football perspective? As always, there’s admittedly some subjectivity that goes into it. For the purposes of this article, a loser is any player whose fantasy football value decreased as a result of what his team did during the NFL Draft.

Fantasy Football Losers: Quarterbacks

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

I liked Fields coming out of Ohio State last season, but I have no choice but to downgrade him. The Bears appear to be doing nothing to help Fields succeed. Sure, they fired their failed general manager and head coach, but it’s players that win football games.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Bears needed to improve their offensive line and get Fields a WR1. They did neither. The Bears didn’t draft an offensive lineman until the fifth round. Additionally, the only “wide receiver” they drafted was special teamer Velus Jones, who, by the way, is already 25 years old. Unless Fields runs like Lamar Jackson, he will have a hard time improving his fantasy value in 2022.

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

There is exactly a 0% chance Baker Mayfield will start any games for the Browns this season. Even if Deshaun Watson gets suspended, that relationship is irreparably fractured. He needs a new home. The problem is he’s just about out of locations.

Many NFL analysts expected Mayfield to be moved before or during the NFL Draft. That didn’t happen. At this point, his only hope to start will be Seattle or Carolina. Both have been discussed as trade options, but neither has made the move. I have no idea what Mayfield’s future holds, but him not getting a starting job in 2022 is a real possibility.

Fantasy Football Losers: Running Backs

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

It has not been a great offseason for Josh Jacobs. First, the Raiders traded for Davante Adams, giving them yet another weapon to use ahead of Jacobs. Then, they declined to pick up his fifth-year option, a clear indication the Raiders do not see Jacobs as part of their future beyond this season. Finally, the Raiders drafted Zamir White in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Now, to be fair, White was a Day 3 pick. But it’s not merely his selection that gives me pause as it pertains to Jacobs, it’s the circumstances surrounding it. The combination of the Raiders not picking up Jacobs’ fifth-year option and drafting one of the more talented running backs in this class is very concerning.

Jacobs was already a running back largely reliant on volume to produce. He’s not overly athletic, and he’s not great at any one thing. He’s a replacement-level talent in a good situation.

Jacobs is almost certainly not going to be a Raider in 2023. Wherever he ends up, he’s unlikely to be a three-down back.

Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills

I wavered over whether to include Devin Singletary here. Yes, his value decreases with James Cook in town to take passing work away. However, the Bills were always going to bring in another running back. They tried to sign J.D. McKissic. Instead, they drafted a younger, quicker, and more athletic McKissic in Dalvin Cook’s little brother.

Singletary’s ceiling is certainly not what he displayed over the final few games of the 2021 season, where he was a top-five running back. But I don’t think anyone was valuing him that way anyway.

Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots

I have no idea what the Patriots are doing. They already rostered Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, and James White. Then, they drafted not one but two running backs in Pierre Strong (Round 4) and Kevin Harris (Round 6).

Given that both were on Day 3, it’s certainly possible they’re nothing more than roster depth. However, the fact that they drafted two suggests a lack of commitment to Harris and Stevenson. More competition is never a good thing, especially for running backs who rely on volume to produce.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

Death. Taxes. The Seahawks wasting early picks on the most replaceable position in football. Seattle traded up to draft Rashaad Penny in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. They got zero return on investment for three seasons. Finally, in 2021, Penny breaks out and proves to be the talent they drafted. How do they respond? By drafting Kenneth Walker in the second round.

The 2022 rookie class doesn’t have many potential starters. Walker is one of them. In fact, he does exactly what Penny does. They certainly didn’t draft Walker to not play him. At best, Penny holds off Walker for a little while. But, if Penny gets hurt, which he is apt to do, Walker will seize the starting role — and he won’t give it back.

Michael Carter, New York Jets

In most cases, when teams draft running backs, they negatively impact the incumbent. In some cases, it’s far worse, and the incumbent is completely vaporized. Unfortunately, that’s what we have here.

Please do not let anyone try and spin this as anything other than a death sentence for Michael Carter’s fantasy value. Of course, he will still have a role. He’s going to be Breece Hall‘s primary backup. And I do expect Carter to be involved on passing downs. He won’t completely disappear.

With that said, Carter was used as a three-down back last season. He caught passes and received goal-line work. Now, he will lose some of the former and all of the latter.

Carter was a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. This is yet another harsh reminder of the fragility of Day 3 players. Carter went from a clear RB2 to a likely RB4 overnight.

Marlon Mack, Houston Texans

It’s difficult to call Marlon Mack a loser because his value wasn’t that high to begin with. But with the Texans drafting Dameon Pierce in the fourth round, it puts to bed any hope that Mack would be a feature back this season.

Mack won’t just go away. He’s still going to start Week 1. But this is now likely a three-man timeshare with Mack as the 1A, Pierce as the 1B, and Rex Burkhead as the 1C. I expect the Texans to have a 40-40-20 split, ending Mack’s chance to re-establish himself as a starting-caliber NFL running back.

Fantasy Football Losers: Wide Receivers

A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

By no means do I think going from Ryan Tannehill to Jalen Hurts is some massive downgrade. It is a downgrade, though.

The Titans were already a run-heavy offense. Yet, they threw 41 more passes last season than the Eagles. With Jalen Hurts less efficient than Tannehill and likely to attempt fewer passes due to his rushing ability, A.J. Brown’s volume will decrease. As a result, his ceiling gets lowered. He will still be very good, but not as good as he would be in a pass-heavy offense.

His new teammate, DeVonta Smith, goes from the unquestioned WR1 on his team to the unquestioned beta behind Brown. His target share is unlikely to remain at 22%, and even that only netted him 103 targets last season. With Brown signing a four-year extension, Smith’s ceiling looks to be that of a fantasy WR3.

DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers

Talent > situation in dynasty. Always. But situation does matter. It’s not like DJ Moore is this extremely young player. While he’s still only 25 years old, he will now have to endure yet another season without a competent quarterback.

The Panthers neglected to trade for Baker Mayfield and declined to draft a quarterback before Matt Corral in the third round. Moore has the talent to be a WR1 in fantasy, but it’s not going to happen until he gets a quarterback. And that’s not happening in 2022.

Elijah Moore, New York Jets

This one needs a bit of context. By no means is Elijah Moore buried by the Jets drafting Garrett Wilson. Moore is still a talented receiver who is only getting better. With that said, more target competition is objectively bad from a fantasy perspective.

Volume is king, and we want our players to have as much of it as possible. Now, Moore is competing for targets and touches with not only Braxton Berrios and Corey Davis but with Wilson and Breece Hall as well. Moore will still be a productive fantasy asset, but he’s the WR2 behind Wilson and that lowers his ceiling.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

Amon-Ra St. Brown was never going to be the Lions’ WR1 of the future. However, they could’ve waited until Day 2 to take a wide receiver. Instead, they traded up to draft Jameson Williams.

While this doesn’t necessarily hurt St. Brown, it certainly doesn’t help. The Lions do not have their quarterback of the future, and we are asking a lot for Jared Goff to keep St. Brown, Williams, DJ Chark, D’Andre Swift, and T.J. Hockenson fantasy-viable.

Fantasy Football Losers: Tight Ends

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

After being traded to the Cardinals last season, Zach Ertz wound up being Kyler Murray’s de facto primary pass catcher due to DeAndre Hopkins’ injuries. He commanded 81 targets in just 11 games.

While we knew that target share was unsustainable, it took two pretty big hits during the NFL Draft. First, the Cardinals traded for Marquise Brown. He will start opposite Hopkins in his natural “stretch Z” role and take targets away from Ertz. Then, the Cardinals drafted the best tight end of this rookie class, Trey McBride, in the second round.

McBride is not going to take Ertz’s job. At least not yet. But the writing is on the wall. Between the increased target competition and the clear replacement on the roster, Ertz’s dynasty value will only decrease during the 2022 season.

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here.