Welcome to NFL Draft week. Since there are no other sports going on, you can bet the draft will be a widely watched affair with hopefully plenty of drama. I mean, if my sources are correct, this might be the most wild, insane, borderline chaotic draft in NFL history. Personally, I’m hoping for all hell to break loose.
After pumping out plenty of mock drafts, I decided to instead take a look at the top offensive prospects in this year’s draft and determine where their ideal fantasy football landing spot would be.
I’ve given myself a few rules so that I don’t just put every wide receiver to the Chiefs or the Ravens and have Joe Burrow somehow magically slide down all the way to the Patriots at 23 overall. To keep things in the realm of realism, I’m picking perfect landing spots for players within 5 picks of where they’re likely going to be taken. By this point we all have a notion of where everyone’s likely going to go, so I’m only allowing myself to pick perfect landing spots among those teams in that area. I’ve also included a dream landing spot which makes no attempt to live in a world of realism.
QB Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals
This is lame I know, but I can’t break my one rule on the first player and of the teams in the top 5, I kinda like the Bengals situation the best. A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross make up a solid receiving core with Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard out of the backfield. I trust Zac Taylor knows what he’s doing in terms of play calling and with hopefully a healthy offensive line, the Bengals offense could be something with Burrow at the helm.
Dream spot: New England Patriots
QB Tua Tagovailoa - Carolina Panthers
There’s all kinds of reports and speculation now about where Tua will ultimately go but I have a really hard time thinking he’s going to fall out of the top 10. He’s a freaking talented quarterback, injuries or not, which is the greatest commodity in the NFL. A team is going to take him or trade up for him. The Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater, but man wouldn’t Tua landing in Carolina be fun. There are tons of weapons on this team and I trust Tua to be able to spread the ball around between D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, Robby Anderson, Christian McCaffrey and Ian Thomas.
Dream spot: Panthers
QB Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers
Herbert is a big armed quarterback with questionable accuracy and likes to force the ball into tight windows. Who does that sound like recently? *insert Philip Rivers GIF here* Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekeler make up a talented offense, one that could help mitigate some of his idiosyncrasies.
Dream spot: Kicks Tom Brady to the bench with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
WR Jerry Jeudy - Las Vegas Raiders
Look, the number one thing you look for in a wide receivers’ fantasy value is target share. Jeudy would get the bulk of the workload in Vegas with only really Darren Waller there to challenge him as a legit number one receiver. Jeudy would be a perfect fit for Derek Carr’s timid passing approach as he can take a short pass and make something happen after the catch.
Dream spot: Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens
WR CeeDee Lamb - New York Jets
If the Jets don’t draft a wide receiver at 11 overall, I don’t know what this team is doing with itself. Sam Darnold needs at least some form of talent to throw the ball to, so getting a guy as talented as Lamb would certainly help, and give Lamb just so many targets that he’d be a lock for a top 15 WR in PPR leagues.
Dream spot: DeAndre Hopkins clone goes to fill DeAndre Hopkins’ shoes for the Houston Texans
WR Henry Ruggs III - San Francisco 49ers/Philadelphia Eagles
I’ve seen Ruggs taken as the first receiver off the board at 12, I’ve seen him last all the way until the 20’s. So I’m giving you two answers. If he goes in the 10-15 range, he would be a menace in Kyle Shanahan’s play action offense playing along side Deebo Samuel. If he falls, say hello to Carson Wentz throwing him bomb after bomb. Honestly, Ruggs to Philly might be my favorite pairing of the entire draft. If that happens, you can bet I’m over-drafting him everywhere in fantasy.
Dream spot: Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs (don’t laugh)
WR Justin Jefferson - Green Bay Packers
This might be slightly stretching my 5 picks rule, but it’s close enough that I’ll let it slide. Jefferson’s perfect role in the NFL is as an overpowered number two guy who can feast on a team’s second corner and do damage out of the slot. Is there a better fit for him than playing with Aaron Rodgers behind Davante Adams? I think not.
Dream spot: Packers
RB Jonathan Taylor - New Orleans Saints
Who knows where any of these running backs are going to go so I’m just picking my favorite landing spot, regardless of draft location. Taylor is a powerful back who has the speed to take a seemingly short run up the middle to the house. The Alvin Kamara workhorse backfield didn’t work too well last year, so why not draft Taylor to play Mark Ingram to Kamara again and once again have an explosive, dynamic backfield that makes fantasy owners everywhere happy.
RB D’Andre Swift - Kansas City Chiefs
Let’s just keep adding offensive weapons to Kansas City. Why not? Swift would be deadly coming out of the backfield for the Chiefs in the passing game and the best thing is that Andy Reid could still use Damien Williams/whatever Williams running back he likes that week to carry the bulk of the rushing load given Swift’s smaller stature and durability concerns.
RB J.K. Dobbins - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dobbins can do a little bit of everything well and that’s exactly the kind of back Tampa needs next to Brady. Dobbins has flashed plenty of play making in the passing game, something every Brady offense has taken full advantage of. There isn’t much real competition there for Dobbins meaning he could quickly win the starting gig (with a little pass pro help) and get plenty of fantasy gold usage.
WR Chase Claypool - Houston Texans
Had to get this in at the end and I know I’m skipping over receivers like Tee Higgins, Jalen Reagor, Denzel Mims, and Laviska Shenault Jr. but I just have to mention this pairing because I just want to make sure Deshaun Watson gets plenty of help at the pass catching position this year. Claypool is 6-foot-4, 238 pounds and runs a 4.42 40. That’s impossible. In fact, it’s so impossible only one other receiver in the history of the NFL at that size ran a sub-4.45 40: Calvin Johnson.