The 2023 NFL Draft is here. Over the next few days, we’ll see hundreds of players drafted to the 32 NFL teams, which will shift the values for fantasy players. Next week I’ll look at those who benefitted and saw their value drop as a result of the draft. Today, I’m looking at two players at each position who could see their value shift the most depending on how the draft falls.

Quarterback

Davis Mills, Houston Texans

About: Mills, a Third Round Pick in 2021, has spent the better part of the past two seasons starting for the Texans. He showed some promise as a rookie but struggled in 2022, getting benched mid-season before returning as a starter. The conventional wisdom has been that the Texans, who hold the No. 2 overall pick, will take their quarterback of the future. This off-season has seen the team sign veteran Case Keenum as well, but Mills remains on the roster. Recent Mock Drafts have suggested the Texans might not be wedded to take a quarterback at all in the First Round. If they don’t, Mills has a solid chance to be the starter once again. He’s the classic example of why, in Dynasty, you shouldn’t make roster cuts until the draft is over. Those who roster Mills should be watching Thursday’s draft action very closely.

Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

About: Smith was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2022. He had a solid season, guiding the Seahawks to the NFL Playoffs. That led to him getting a new contract, a three-year deal. But there are possible outs after the first season. The Seahawks also hold two First Round picks, including the No. 5 overall pick. Smith seems like a solid bet for 2023, but if the Seahawks take a quarterback, perhaps Anthony Richardson, the clock will start ticking. After all, we’ve seen the Seahawks’ plans at quarterback change due to a draft pick before.

Running Backs

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

About: Mixon is in an interesting situation. Prior to the 2022 season, he was widely regarded as a Top 12 option at running back. He had a middling 2022 season and has had legal issues since the season ended. While the Bengals haven’t made any moves in free agency, a high draft pick sent on a premier running back would certainly change the outlook for Mixon, possibly as early as the 2023 season. There have even been rumblings the Bengals might consider releasing Mixon after the draft, something that’s not impossible based on his contract. Those who roster Mixon should be watching this draft closely.

Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans

About: Pierce was a Fourth Round Pick in 2022 that rose to the top of the backfield heap for the Texans. He had a solid rookie season, giving those that took a swing on him in rookie drafts hope of future production. This off-season, which has thus far seen the Texans only add Devin Singletary, has done little to dampen enthusiasm. But the draft is coming. The Texans have a number of picks in the First, Second, and Third rounds, giving them options. Last season, heading into the draft, many were high on the Jets’ Michael Carter, a Fourth-Round pick who showed promise as a rookie. When the Jets spent a Second-Round pick on Breece Hall, it became clear Carter’s fantasy value wouldn’t hold. Pierce feels like a candidate to see his value slide post-draft. At this point, I’m proceeding with caution.

Wide Receivers

K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings

About: Osborn has been a part of the Vikings’ pass attack for the past few seasons. In 2022, he posted a career-high in targets and receptions. Now, entering his fourth season, he is in a prime position to take another step forward after the Vikings released veteran Adam Thielen. But will the draft change that? The Vikings have been rumored to be in the wide receiver market, perhaps taking one in the First Round. If that happens, Osborn’s potential position will take a hit.

Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills

About: Davis entered 2022 in a great position to take a leap forward. He became the clear No. 2 receiver, and many thought he’d take off. At times, we saw some incredible performances. But there wasn’t much consistency. This off-season, the consensus has been that the Bills needed to make a move at receiver, but throughout free agency, nothing has happened. That still leaves Davis as seemingly the clear No. 2 option. Will the draft change all that? The Bills hold a late First Round Pick and could be serious about upgrading their offense, with receiver being a prime position to add new talent. The next few days will go a long way toward determining if Davis will have another chance to seize a top role in the Bills’ offense.

Tight End

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys

About: When the Cowboys let Dalton Schultz go to the Houston Texans, it created an opening on offense. Ferguson seems the likely option to fill the starting slot based on the current roster. A young player, he has the chance to take a step forward. But the draft is looming, and the Cowboys are one of the teams that have been projected to take a shot on top TE candidate Michael Mayer or Dalton Kincaid. If that happens, the window of Ferguson as a surprise fantasy producer at an unpredictable position could quickly fade.

Josiah Deguara, Green Bay Packers

About: The Packers have moved on from Aaron Rodgers and are ready to begin the Jordan Love era. But what weapons have they left their quarterback? At receiver, the team has three picks from the 2022 draft. At tight end, Deguara currently tops the depth chart. If that holds, he’ll have a chance to greatly improve his fantasy value. But with extra picks and plenty of holes to fill, the Packers are another team that has been projected to take a pass-catching weapon at tight end. If that happens, Deguara will likely fade back into the block role he’s filled his first few seasons with the Packers.

Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.

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