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Best Case, Worst Case – NFL Draft Recap & Rookie Edition

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Hello all. I’m Matt, and I’m back with another Dynasty Owner article for you this week. Two weeks ago, I started writing a new series called “Best Case, Worst Case”. The first article of the series was published on April 24th and focused on the NFL Draft and how certain players could be impacted by drafted rookies. Today, I will break down how those predictions look now that the NFL Draft has concluded. In addition, I’ll also write about one rookie who was taken in the NFL Draft and what his best and worst case outlooks are for him during the upcoming season.

Best, Worst Case Draft Recap

Jordan Love ($3,095,863)

Best Case: The best case for Love in the 2023 NFL Draft is that he remains as the starting quarterback. This may seem like an obvious statement, but if the Packers use a Day 1 or Day 2 pick on QB, then there will be at least some sort of competition for the starting spot over the next couple of years… In addition to no early QB picks, a first round wide receiver would do wonders for Love’s confidence.”

Love’s draft situation falls a bit short of the Best Case scenarios that I laid out for him. I stated that the best case for him would be if the Packers pass on QB (at least through the first three rounds) and also draft a wide receiver in the first round. The Packers did indeed wait on quarterback until the fifth round when they drafted Sean Clifford ($1,041,046) from Penn State. I don’t expect much competition for Love from Clifford though.

He didn’t, however, get a first round wide receiver. Instead, the Packers used a second round pick on Jayden Reed ($1,795,194) from Michigan State. At the moment, it looks like Love will enter the 2023 season with Christian Watson ($2,310,258), Romeo Doubs ($1,085,979) and Jayden Reed as his primary wide receivers. Side note: It has now been 21 years since the Packers have drafted a wide receiver in the first round.

Tony Pollard ($10,091,000)

“Best Case: Best case for Pollard is that the Cowboys add a Day 3 running back to the mix while also adding an offensive lineman in one of the first two rounds.”

Pollard’s pre-season stock definitely increased following the NFL Draft. While the Cowboys didn’t select an early offensive lineman, they also didn’t add another RB to their team until Deuce Vaughn ($993,333) in the sixth round.  I actually liked Vaughn coming out of college, but no running back selected in the first five rounds solidified Pollard as the primary running back for the Cowboys this year.

Ken Walker III ($2,110,395)

“Best Case: Best case for Walker is that the Seahawks pass on QB with their first 1st round pick (1.05) and that they pass on running back with their second 1st round pick (1.20).”

Just like Love, this case is lukewarm. Yes, they didn’t use either of their first round picks on running backs, and yes, they didn’t draft a rookie QB, but I still feel a little tainted with how the draft went for Walker. With the Seahawks 21st pick in the second round, they took Zach Charbonnet ($1,719,020) from UCLA. Even second round draft capital on a running back seems like a lot for a team with a workhorse running back already. I have no doubt that Walker will get the majority of the touches and have the most fantasy value for the Seattle backfield, but Charbonnet will eat into Walker’s touches at least a little bit. Think of Walker as a fringe RB1 this season instead of a Top 6 RB.

This is also obviously devastating to Charbonnet’s fantasy value since it appears he will be sitting behind one of the best young running backs in the league.

Isiah Pacheco ($934,777)

“Best Case: Best case for Pacheco is that the Chiefs draft a wide receiver in the first round, and they stay away from running back until Day 3 of the NFL Draft.”

Pacheco fared very well on draft day. The Chiefs took wide receiver Rashee Rice ($1,623,801) with their second round pick. Other than that, the Chiefs selected no other players at offensive skill positions in the NFL Draft. Kansas City still has a crowded backfield, but it looks nearly identical to how it looked last season.

DK Metcalf ($24,000,000)

“Worst Case: This is the best part about Metcalf for the next couple of years…I really don’t see that much of a downside for him. The worst case is that the Seahawks pass on QB in the first round, and they draft a WR with the 20th pick.”

This is one of those predictions that is eerily true. The Seahawks did pass up Will Levis ($2,385,541) with the 1.05 pick and they drafted Jaxon Smith-Njigba ($3,604,326), the best available wide receiver with the 1.20 pick. Do I think this was a good long term move for Seattle? I do, but I also don’t see it paying off much until Tyler Lockett ($17,250,000) leaves the team. Regardless, Smith-Njigba will take some targets away from both DK and Lockett, but I don’t see it being enough to be fantasy relevant. Expect both veteran receivers to be in the top 20 yet again, and expect Smith-Njigba to be a fringe WR3 for the 2023 season.

Best Case, Worst Case

Jahmyr Gibbs ($4,461,282)

Jahmyr Gibbs was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the 12th overall pick. Gibbs was the second running back off the board this year, and he went a tad earlier than I think most people expected him to go. In addition, the Lions traded D’Andre Swift ($2,134,728) to the Eagles shortly after the NFL Draft ended. The Lions’ RB depth chart now sits at Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery ($6,000,000) to start the post-draft pre-season. So, what is the best and worst case for Gibbs this season?

Best Case: The best case for Gibbs is that he becomes the lead running back very quickly after the season starts. Montgomery should see a decent number of touches a game (6-10) even if Gibbs comes out and displays that he is the better player. Montgomery will for sure vulture a good amount of touchdowns away from Gibbs as well. I think it’s a virtual lock that Montgomery will get at least five touchdowns this year. Another best case for Gibbs is if the Lions use him in a wide receiver role given the fact that Jameson Williams ($4,365,448) will miss the first six games of the NFL season.

Best Case Statistics Prediction: 1,011 rush yards, 68 receptions, 402 receiving yards, 7 TDs, 251.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

A total of 251.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points last year would have put Gibbs as the RB10 between Tony Pollard and Rhamondre Stevenson ($1,057,264). Again, this is not what I’m predicting he’ll do. This is just what I believe to be the best case scenario for him this year.

Worst Case: The worst case for any player is obviously a season-ending injury, and I am not going to include that in any of my scenarios because I think that it doesn’t need to be said. Barring an injury, the worst case for Gibbs is that he is slowly worked into NFL game action and David Montgomery comes out hot to start the season. The idea that Gibbs will only be used as a third down back makes me think that he could have a low ceiling. A lack of rushing touchdowns and playing time in general is one scenario that could keep Gibbs out of the RB1 and RB2 category this season.

Worst Case Statistics Prediction: 405 rush yards, 19 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 81.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

This is a very unlikely scenario for Gibbs as he has so much draft capital invested in him, but this is what I predict to be his rock bottom floor. It would have made him RB57 in Dynasty Owner last season.

Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Thank you all. Take care and be safe.


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