2018 NFL Draft Fantasy Reaction: Rookie receivers fly off board in Round 2 and 3
Jamey Eisenberg breaks down Christian Kirk (Arizona), Anthony Miller (Chicago), Courtland Sutton (Denver), Dante Pettis (San Francisco), James Washington (Pittsburgh), D.J. Chark (Jacksonville) and Michael Gallup (Dallas) finding landing spots in the NFL.
Round 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft on Friday night featured plenty of receivers coming off the board, and a few of these guys can be quality players for Fantasy owners. But none of these receivers will be Fantasy starters in 2018.
In Round 2, we saw Courtland Sutton go to Denver at No. 40 overall, Dante Pettis go to San Francisco at No. 44, Christian Kirk go to Arizona at No. 47, Anthony Miller go to Chicago at No. 51, James Washington go to Pittsburgh at No. 60 and D.J. Chark go to Jacksonville at No. 61. And in Round 3, Dallas drafted Michael Gallup at No. 81, and New Orleans drafted Tre'Quan Smith at No. 91.
Through the first three rounds, the Panthers in the first round at No. 24 overall. He's in a great spot in Carolina and could easily be the No. 1 receiver for Cam Newton. But after Moore, any of these receivers could emerge as the second-best option in this class, though a few guys with upside just happened to land in bad spots., who went to the
Sutton, Smith, Pettis, Washington and Chark could face a similar fate in their rookie campaigns, and that lowers their Fantasy value in the short-term. My favorite receivers drafted on Day 2 were Kirk, Miller and Gallup, and the biggest reason why is opportunity. All three of those guys can play right away in 2018 for their respective teams.
Let's break down the NFL Draft Day 2 receivers and their Fantasy value. I'll put them in order of how they should be selected in re-draft leagues.
Anthony Miller, Memphis
The Bears revamped their receiving corps this offseason by signing Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel in free agency, but Miller was an excellent addition via the draft. Miller could be the No. 2 receiver in Chicago behind Robinson, and Miller has the potential to play in the slot and outside.
New coach Matt Nagy should find creative ways to use Miller, who just had 96 catches for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2017. Over the past two years, Miller has 191 catches for 2,896 yards and 32 touchdowns. He should be a late-round flier in all re-draft leagues, and he's a second-round pick in rookie-only drafts for dynasty leagues.
Michael Gallup, Colorado State
No team had a bigger need at receiver than the Cowboys, who cut Dez Bryant this offseason. Their receiving corps is led by Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Deonte Thompson, but Gallup could easily find himself atop the depth chart with a good training camp and preseason.
Gallup had 100 catches for 1,418 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017, and he had 176 catches for 2,690 yards and 21 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He could emerge as the best receiver of this class by the time we get to August, but for now he's just a late-round flier in re-draft leagues. In rookie-only drafts for dynasty leagues, Gallup is worth drafting in Round 2.
Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
The Cardinals have a big need at receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald, and Kirk could easily beat out the likes of J.J. Nelson, Brice Butler and Chad Williams for the No. 2 job. It would be great if Arizona started Kirk right away, along with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, and let them grow together and build a rapport.
Kirk is best suited as a slot receiver, but the Cardinals can move him around. He had 71 catches for 919 yards and 10 touchdowns at Texas A&M last year, and he's worth a late-round pick in all re-draft leagues. In rookie-only drafts for dynasty leagues, Kirk is worth drafting in Round 2.
Courtland Sutton, SMU
I was really hoping Sutton landed in a spot where he could get a healthy amount of targets, but it's hard to expect that to happen in Denver with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders on the roster. It could happen down the road, especially if the Broncos move on from Sanders after this season, but Sutton's Fantasy outlook is limited in 2018.
He just had 68 catches for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017, and he scored 31 touchdowns over the past three seasons. But it's hard to see him making a big splash for Fantasy owners this year as long as Thomas and Sanders are healthy. Sutton isn't worth drafting in most re-draft leagues, and he's a third-round pick in rookie-only drafts for dynasty formats.
Tre'Quan Smith, Central Florida
Any time you get a receiver to play with Drew Brees, it should be a good thing. But it's hard to see where Smith fits in for the Saints, who have a loaded receiving corps with Michael Thomas, Cameron Meredith and Ted Ginn. Maybe Smith will beat out Brandon Coleman for the No. 4 job, but that doesn't leave a lot of targets for the rookie.
Smith had a great season for UCF in 2017 with 59 catches for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns, but he's not worth selecting in most re-draft leagues. In rookie-only drafts, Smith is worth taking with a third-round pick for dynasty formats.
D.J. Chark, LSU
Chark goes to a Jaguars team that needs some help at receiver, and he could play right away with a strong training camp and preseason. Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, Donte Moncrief and Keelan Cole are the top receivers, but Chark could carve out a role, especially as a deep threat.
But we're still talking about a receiver for Blake Bortles, and with a lot of bodies to compete with, we shouldn't expect much from Chark in 2018. He also had just 40 catches for 874 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. Ignore Chark in all re-draft leagues on Draft Day, and he's only worth drafting with a late-round pick in rookie-only drafts for dynasty formats.
James Washington, Oklahoma State
The Steelers replaced Martavis Bryant, who was traded to Oakland on Thursday night, with Washington, who could be the No. 3 receiver right away behind Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. But when you add in Le'Veon Bell and Vance McDonald, it will be hard for Washington to soak up targets.
Most likely, he will be the deep threat for the Steelers, so he'll have a lot of boom or bust performances. He scored 39 touchdowns in four years at Oklahoma State and had three years in a row with at least 1,000 receiving yards. He also averaged 20.9-yards per catch in 2017. Don't plan on drafting Washington in most re-draft leagues, but he's worth a late-round flier in rookie-only drafts for dynasty formats.
Dante Pettis, Washington
Pettis will help as much in the return game as he does on offense, but he likely won't be an asset for Fantasy owners in 2018. The 49ers have Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor as their top three receivers, and Pettis will have to unseat Taylor to see increased playing time.
I like the 49ers giving Jimmy Garoppolo more weapons, but Pettis isn't someone you should plan on drafting in the majority of re-draft leagues. He had 63 catches for 761 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017 and scored 22 touchdowns over the past two years. Pettis is only worth a late-round pick in rookie-only drafts for dynasty formats.
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