If free agency changes the fantasy landscape, the NFL draft represents a tectonic shift. Many things were foretold after free agency, and some have already failed to materialize. At least if what we are foretelling after the draft comes true.
Of course, short-term outlooks are drastically different than the long view we might take for dynasty purposes. We are going to dive in from a redraft point of view, so these are winners and losers from the draft as they pertain to the 2018 season.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
As Abraham Lincoln once said, fantasy scoring is 10 percent talent and 90 percent opportunity.
Misattributed, wildly inaccurate quotes aside, you can’t score fantasy points if you’re on the bench. For many rookies, getting drafted onto the wrong team can mean years of bench-warming or shared duties. Just ask Derrick Henry or the scores of other talented running backs who were drafted into bad fantasy situations as rookies.
Saquan Barkley will have no such bad luck. Some view him as the best back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson. Agree or disagree, Barkley is talented enough to take 300-plus touches into the top five in fantasy scorers this season.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are in the midst of a dramatic turnaround, and Jimmy Garoppolo’s fantasy outlook only got better during the draft. Jimmy GQ got an upgrade to his offensive line in tackle Mike McGlinchey, then got a second-round versatility in Dante Pettis. The rookie wideout adds size and speed to an already-decent receiver corps.
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