Now that the draft is over, we finally have landing spots for some of our favorite rookies! Today we’re going to go through each AFC team to find each rookie who will have the biggest impact when it comes to fantasy. Some will have instant impact, some will have small impact, while some will have sneaky impact. Let’s get started!
Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown, WR
Brown’s ability to separate from defenders with his sheer athleticism (wont be winning with size) will make him a great weapon for Lamar Jackson. Look for him to be a better John Brown and when Jackson looks to throw, he’ll have a very dependable target to throw to. Brown makes defenses have to respect his ability and opens it up for Jackson and Mark Ingram.
Cincinnati Bengals: The RBs
They drafted (albeit 6th rounders) Rodney Anderson and Traveon Williams while Mark Walton was waived, so I believe this was a depth move with sleeper potential. I have a feeling that one of these guys could end up working into both Bernard and/or Mixon’s workload. This could kill off some production and cause these guys to drop in value as well.
Cleveland Browns: The Defense
Cleveland really hit this draft for defense and it’s ok because they are absolutely well off in the offensive department. With that being said, Cleveland really bolstered their defense and gave their team a chance to have a great D/ST (yes I play in leagues that still use this position). With their team already in the bottom 5, the only way is up!
Pittsburgh Steelers: Diontae Johnson, WR
Already being anointed as the new #84, Diontae Johnson definitely has the ability and draft stock to come in and contribute immediately. He gives the Steelers a piece for the future alongside Juju and Washington. Yes Moncrief is there, but he’ll be losing snaps to this kid before long. He’s great against the press and should be being drafted in dynasty for sure. He’s definitely got sleeper impact.
Houston Texans: Kahale Warring, TE
Warring did himself a world of justice throughout the draft process and ended up going very high in a draft thick with TE talent. With the team already having a few tight ends on the roster already, this was a head-scratcher. With his draft stock, it definitely means he’s here to stay and others will be waived. As far as fantasy goes, he just makes this offense a TE by committee further pushing us away from Houston TEs.
Indianapolis Colts: Parris Campbell, WR
This is one of the best places he could go. Not much competition for WR2, Campbell comes in as an immediate contributor. He should eventually be able to sully Funchess’ value toward mid-late season (if it takes that long). He also makes Luck an even more enticing selection with what he can accomplish in the slot as well as outside (contrary to popular belief).
Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Oliver, TE
Definitely a project, but I project him as the TE1 in Jacksonville eventually. Geoff Swaim ain’t it and Josh Oliver can be on par with the top TEs in this class if he can learn how to block better. Could be the AFC’s Jason Witten; good across the middle of the field and no (and I mean no) high point ability whatsoever.
Tennessee Titans: AJ Brown, WR
A bit of a scary landing spot given who his QB is, AJ Brown impacts both Mariota and Corey Davis. The Titans don’t really have anybody outside of Davis who are difference makers at the level of AJ. Delanie was in the past, but father time is undefeated and that injury at his age will have it’s effects. Corey Davis will no longer have so much focused on him to stop him which boosts his value. The only thing is hoping that Mariota (like Lamar Jackson) can throw the ball a little more next season.
Buffalo Bills: Dawson Knox, TE
I’m going to try and contain myself here, but I believe he could end up top 2 in this draft at the position. Buffalo just got a great weapon for Josh Allen who is an upgrade from Croom and will eventually supplant Kroft. With TEs, the rule is to wait and wait we shall. Don’t be filled with regret for not drafting him. He’s got draft stock, a clear path to start and a young QB to grow with. He’s going to be one of the best parts of this offense in a few years, just watch.
Miami Dolphins: Josh Rosen, QB
Josh isn’t a rookie, but was the best offensive asset they acquired in the draft. Still young and talented, he goes into a situation where he’s got a chance to take the keys and go. He (and Fitzpatrick when he plays) are an immediate boost for the receivers in Miami which excites me even more for my Gesicki shares.
New England Patriots: N’Keal Harry, WR
I was/am still not high on the kid after studying his game tape, but he will definitely produce/be given the opportunity to produce. Harry represents something the Pats haven’t done since 1996, draft a WR in the 1st round. I see him having the same success that Josh Gordon was having, but I don’t expect it to be immediate. I expect it to really start to show in year 2.
New York Jets: Trevon Wesco, TE
No, he’s not the guy you’re drafting in rookie drafts, he’s the guy who excites you for the sake of Darnold and Lev Bell. With the Jets already having drafted Chris Herndon in the same round last year, they brought in a TE who is much better at all the blocking aspects. Keep an eye out for his developing catching ability, could surprise in his production there which could put Herndon behind him on the depth chart. However, don’t expect anything for a few years. He’s more of a project who will possibly blossom in years 4-5.
Denver Broncos: Noah Fant, TE
Already announced the starter, Fant has a chance to be the most productive rookie TE this year. I believe he’ll get the opportunities early and often purely because of his skill as a receiver. I don’t, however, think he’ll be a top TE overall this year. It’s hard for rookies to come by production at this position early on in their careers. With Fant, it’ll be no different unless Manny Sanders, Daesean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton suffer significant injuries reminiscent of the 2017 Giants with Engram.
Kansas City Chiefs: Mecole Hardman, WR
The Chiefs went out and got their possible replacement speedster for the same role of Tyreek Hill. If Hill is waived, suspended or both, Hardman will step into that role. I don’t expect the production right away, but man will he have breakaway plays that will drop your jaw. He essentially could be a less consistent Hill. My notes on him from film are filled with the words FAST in all capital letters so expect an electric player. He’s also good at finding an assignment to block which will keep him on the field a little more.
Oakland Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB
He WAS my RB2 coming into the draft behind David Montgomery, but now his situation has “vaulted” him into first place. He’s a lead back and he’ll get the chance to prove that with Crowell going down for the season. The Doug Martin signing is a depth play while Jalen Richard shouldn’t see too much 3rd down work over Jacobs, who can catch well. Chris Warren is great, but doesn’t have the draft stock to give me faith that he’ll do anything but be a backup. Jacobs has the stock, the ability and the full faith of the team, what more could you want?
LA Chargers: Defense…Again
For those of you who play with D/STs in your lineups, rejoice, for this is what you want in your drafts. A team that was already great in terms of defense got better by loading up on defensive players like Jerry Tillery and Nasir Adderley. I can’t really say Easton Stick here because 5th round QBs have a nauseating success rate. With Rivers looking to re-up like Big Ben did for at least 3 more years, I’d say he ends up a gadgety (rumors of Taysom Hill usage) 3rd stringer behind Tyrod.