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NFL Draft Winners - Dynasty Edition

The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone, and a whole bunch of new players are on a whole bunch of new teams. That changes the calculus of a lot of things around the league.

And while it can be pretty easy to identify short term fantasy winners, sometimes you can miss the forest for the trees. In this case, the trees are 2020 fantasy value, and the forest is value in every other year from now until every 2020 draftee retires.

Anyway, let's look at the fantasy football dynasty winners after the 2020 NFL Draft. And just to note, I'm purposefully trying to find a few deeper winners, hence the inclusion of some of these players over some of the more conventionally expected winners.

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Rookie Dynasty Winners

Clyde Edwards-Helaire - Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs

Perhaps the biggest dynasty winner of this year's draft, CEH has basically jumped to the front of the line in the battle to be the rookie 1.01 in non-Superflex leagues.

The football world is already comparing Edwards-Helaire to the best running back Andy Reid's coached, former Eagles great Brian Westbrook. It's an apt comparison, though Edwards-Helaire will need to show a lot to live up to it. At LSU, he finished with 1867 scrimmage yards this past year and 17 touchdowns and while his top-end speed isn't quite as high as you'd like, he's got good burst and can get involved in the running and passing game.

Maybe a better comparison is something like "James White, but can also carry the ball." But regardless of who you compare him to, one thing's clear here: Clyde Edwards-Helaire's dynasty stock rose sharply this week.

Ke'Shawn Vaughn - Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As long as we assume that the reason New England running backs never broke out was because of Bill Belichick's play-calling and not because Tom Brady hates them, Vaughn should be set to make an impact in Tampa. He has to beat out Ronald Jones II and Dare Ogunbowale for snaps, which doesn't sound that difficult when you say it out loud.

He wasn't much of a receiving back at Vanderbilt until he caught 28 passes as a senior, but he should be valuable in multiple parts of the game, and back in 2018 he averaged 7.9 yards per carry.

Jalen Reagor - Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

Whoever landed on the receiver-needy Philadelphia Eagles was going to see a bump in their fantasy stock. Many thought they'd move up for one of the bigger outside receivers, but they ended up with TCU's Jalen Reagor. Philly's wide receiver situation heading into the draft was a mess, headlined by Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, both of whom are nearing the ends of their careers as viable top receiving options and both of whom also have injury concerns.

Beyond that, there was second-year receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who showed nothing as a rookie, and Philly's best receiver, Greg Ward Jr., a former college quarterback. They did trade for Marquise Goodwin during the draft, but he's far from a sure thing to contribute as an Eagle.

So look, Reagor's going to be on the field a lot right away, and if he shows even an inkling of the talent that the Eagles saw in him, he'll be on the field even more in the years to come. The volume for Reagor is going to be there, and as long as he doesn't turn into Nelson Agholor in terms of drops, he'll be Carson Wentz's top wideout.

Tee Higgins - Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green's time in Cincinnati is nearing its conclusion. He's a free agent after 2020, and unless he's willing to take a massive discount to stay in orange and black, he's gone, leaving a hole to fill as the top outside receiver for a team whose offense should be trending all the way up after the addition of the NCAA's single-season passing touchdown leader, former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Higgins isn't a perfect prospect, but he's in a good situation long term and is also very likely to be available at the end of the first round in rookie drafts.

Van Jefferson - Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Rams

Not a lot of people were high on Van Jefferson heading into the draft, but I like the situation he ended up in. He might not immediately beat out Josh Reynolds for the third receiver role on a Rams team that has been known for supporting three fantasy-relevant receivers under Sean McVay, but with Cooper Kupp on the last year of his rookie deal and  Robert Woods having two more years on his contract, there could be some shuffling of things in L.A. in the near future depending on the money situation, which could potentially put Jefferson in a really intriguing spot as soon as the 2021 season. Plus, he's going to be a huge value in rookie drafts.

 

Veteran Dynasty Winners

Drew Lock - Quarterback, Denver Broncos

Drew Lock just got weapons. Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler get added to a team that already had Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant, plus the addition of tight end Albert Okwuegbunam could give Denver a second solid tight end. The Broncos also added running back Melvin Gordon III this offseason, giving Lock a supporting cast that has the potential to be really good. That'll make it easier for the second-year quarterback to find success.

He played just five games in 2019 so we don't have a big enough sample size to take too much from, but Lock did a good job passing in the red zone and his only real stinker of a game was against the Chiefs. Take that one out and he completed over 60 percent of his passes and threw a touchdown in all his other starts.

Austin Ekeler - Running Back, Los Angeles Chargers

Ekeler recently signed a four-year extension with the Chargers at a price that's pretty team-friendly, with a cap hit that stays under $7 million for the next three seasons. The Chargers drafted a running back in Joshua Kelley, but not one of the running backs who is expected to play a key role in 2020, and it really seems like this team is devoted to using Ekeler as their top back for the next few seasons.

Preston Williams - Wide Receiver, Miami Dolphins

Miami didn't draft a wide receiver. That leaves DeVante Parker atop the depth chart, followed by a pretty wide-open battle for the next couple of roles. Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns still exist, but I'm most interested in second-year receiver Preston Williams, who was looking like a very solid NFL receiver before a torn ACL ended his rookie season.

In eight games, Williams caught 32 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns, which is made more impressive when you look at his numbers from only when Ryan Fitzpatrick played: 24 catches on 37 targets for 322 yards and three touchdowns.

With competent quarterback play -- sorry Josh Rosen! -- Williams was extremely good, and Fitzpatrick boasted a 119.4 quarterback rating when targeting him. If Tua Tagovailoa pans out, Williams stands to be a productive target for him at a cheap price for the Dolphins.

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