With the 2022 NFL Draft all wrapped up, it’s time we shift gears into the next phase of the off-season: fantasy drafts. Yes, it is only April, but it is never too early to peek forward and go ahead and start mapping out those players you must have on your roster come Week 1. There were a lot of shake-ups during the draft that dramatically altered the state of the NFL and fantasy football. We are going to be taking a look at the 5 biggest winners from the NFL Draft for fantasy football.
#5: Christian Watson (WR, Green Bay)
The Green Bay Packers had a Devante Adams-sized hole to fill on this offense, and they took strides toward replacing him in this draft by trading up and grabbing Christian Watson out of North Dakota St. Many thought the rising prospect could sneak his way into the first round, but being drafted at 34 is a great spot for him. Playing alongside the back-to-back MVP Aaron Rodgers is sure to boost his draft stock his rookie year.
#4: Leonard Fournette (RB, Tampa Bay)
This off-season, I was under the impression that Tampa Bay needed to grab a running back and maybe grab one early to compliment Leonard Fournette, but the Buccaneers decided to hold off for a bit and draft Rachaad White out of Arizona State in the third round. I can’t see White getting many touches early, which helps Fournette’s value immensely. Now, if White performs well in his role and starts to see an uptick in touches, Fournette is an easy move in most fantasy leagues.
#3: Rashod Bateman (WR, Baltimore)
Say what you will about the Ravens, but they killed this draft. They typically do. But one position they failed to address is receiver. Not only did they not draft a single receiver, but they traded away Marquise Brown to Arizona and drafted two tight ends. Bateman is in line to be the clear WR1 on this team. Yes, this is mostly going to be a running team as long as Lamar Jackson is at quarterback, but when he does decide to throw the ball, look for Bateman to get his fair share of looks.
#2: Kyler Murray (QB, Arizona)
The Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray might have been an odds at the beginning of the off-season with Murray looking for a new contract, but they did their part to help him out. They traded for his former college teammate in Marquise Brown and drafted the best tight end in the draft in Trey McBride out of Colorado State. Murray is a fantasy weapon with his legs, but he is more willing to throw the ball than others. He should be now since he is now flush with weapons galore. A team with Brown, Hopkins, Green, Ertz, and McBride should improve his stock immensely.
#1: Jalen Hurts (QB, Philadelphia)
The clear winner as far as fantasy goes post-2022 NFL Draft is Jalen Hurts. The Eagles made a major trade during the draft, trading for Tennessee Titans star receiver A.J. Brown and signing him to a major extension. Adding Brown next to Devonta Smith will not only help Smith dramatically but help Hurts as well as being the incoming WR1 on this roster. The Eagles also killed this draft, much to everyone’s shock because Howie Roseman was regarded as being a cancer for this Eagles team. Expect Hurts to make a major leap this year as he looks to show he is the guy in Philadelphia long-term.
Honorable Mentions: Gabriel Davis (WR, Buffalo), Najee Harris (RB, Pittsburgh) Skyy Moore (WR, Kansas City), Kenneth Walker (RB, Seattle)
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