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Published: May 5, 2015 at 06:22 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2015 at 10:37 a.m.

Veteran draft fantasy winners and losers

The 2015 NFL Draft is in the books, so we now have a much clearer picture of how all 32 rosters are going to look heading into training camp and the preseason. And while the rookies now need to be evaluated for their individual fantasy value, owners also have to consider which veterans have been affected by their team's selections ... good or bad. Here's a look at the five biggest winners and losers after draft week.

10 Photos Total

  • This one is a no-brainer, as Mettenberger went from a potential deep fantasy sleeper to waiver-wire fodder with the Titans' selection of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. A report even arose that Mettenberger's agent wanted his client to be traded, but NFL Digital Media insider Ian Rapoport has since squashed the rumor. Dynasty leaguers who had high hopes for the LSU product should now consider other options. 10

    James Kenney/Associated Press

    Loser - Zach Mettenberger, QB, Tennessee Titans

    This one is a no-brainer, as Mettenberger went from a potential deep fantasy sleeper to waiver-wire fodder with the Titans' selection of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. A report even arose that Mettenberger's agent wanted his client to be traded, but NFL Digital Media insider Ian Rapoport has since squashed the rumor. Dynasty leaguers who had high hopes for the LSU product should now consider other options.

  • Countless mock drafts had the Ravens selecting a running back in the first few rounds of the draft. Instead, the team focused on wide receiver and tight end while waiting to pick a runner until Round 4 (USC's Javorius Allen). That strengthens Forsett's hold on the top spot on the Ravens depth chart after his breakout 2014 campaign. He should continue to find success in the offense of new OC Marc Trestman. 9

    Damian Strohmeyer/Associated Press

    Winner - Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

    Countless mock drafts had the Ravens selecting a running back in the first few rounds of the draft. Instead, the team focused on wide receiver and tight end while waiting to pick a runner until Round 4 (USC's Javorius Allen). That strengthens Forsett's hold on the top spot on the Ravens depth chart after his breakout 2014 campaign. He should continue to find success in the offense of new OC Marc Trestman.

  • It seemed like a lock that the Cowboys would add a rookie running back to replace DeMarco Murray. Instead, the team focused on improving its defense and adding depth to the offensive line. That left Dallas to lean on McFadden and Randle as its top two runners. Randle, who averaged more than six yards per carry last season, holds more upside between the two backs. However, a committee situation is a real possibility. 8

    Associated Press

    Winner - Darren McFadden/Joseph Randle, RBs, Dallas Cowboys

    It seemed like a lock that the Cowboys would add a rookie running back to replace DeMarco Murray. Instead, the team focused on improving its defense and adding depth to the offensive line. That left Dallas to lean on McFadden and Randle as its top two runners. Randle, who averaged more than six yards per carry last season, holds more upside between the two backs. However, a committee situation is a real possibility.

  • I was a fan of Crowell heading into the NFL Draft, but now I'm not so certain about his 2015 value after the Browns added Duke Johnson. Miami (FL) running backs have almost always been a good bet to put up nice totals at the pro level, and Crowell doesn't seem to have a stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in the team's backfield. And don't forget that the Browns also have Terrance West in the mix. 7

    Marc Serota/Associated Press

    Loser - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns

    I was a fan of Crowell heading into the NFL Draft, but now I'm not so certain about his 2015 value after the Browns added Duke Johnson. Miami (FL) running backs have almost always been a good bet to put up nice totals at the pro level, and Crowell doesn't seem to have a stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in the team's backfield. And don't forget that the Browns also have Terrance West in the mix.

  • The Patriots backfield can be a massive headache for owners (Bill Belichick hates our fantasy teams), but Blount is a winner nonetheless. New England had 11 selections in the NFL Draft ... and not one of them was used on a running back despite losing Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen as free agents. That leaves Blount as the clear favorite to start in 2015, ahead of either Jonas Gray or James White. 6

    Jim Mahoney/Associated Press

    Winner - LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

    The Patriots backfield can be a massive headache for owners (Bill Belichick hates our fantasy teams), but Blount is a winner nonetheless. New England had 11 selections in the NFL Draft ... and not one of them was used on a running back despite losing Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen as free agents. That leaves Blount as the clear favorite to start in 2015, ahead of either Jonas Gray or James White.

  • Robinson had emerged as a viable fantasy starter for a few weeks last season, but injuries eventually put him on the shelf. He's unlikely to regain a prominent role in the offense in 2015, as the Jaguars added Alabama's T.J. Yeldon with the No. 36 overall pick in the second round. With the rookie now the favorite to lead the team in backfield touches, Robinson and Toby Gerhart both take a major step down in value. 5

    Scott A. Miller/Associated Press

    Loser - Denard Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Robinson had emerged as a viable fantasy starter for a few weeks last season, but injuries eventually put him on the shelf. He's unlikely to regain a prominent role in the offense in 2015, as the Jaguars added Alabama's T.J. Yeldon with the No. 36 overall pick in the second round. With the rookie now the favorite to lead the team in backfield touches, Robinson and Toby Gerhart both take a major step down in value.

  • Ellington was a winner after last year's draft, and he went on to start 12 games for the Cardinals before injuries cost him time on the field. While the team did select Northern Iowa's David Johnson in Round 3, he isn't a threat to Ellington's role. In fact, coach Bruce Arians has already said the Clemson product "will continue in his same role" in 2015. That keeps him on the flex-starter radar in fantasy drafts. 4

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    Winner - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

    Ellington was a winner after last year's draft, and he went on to start 12 games for the Cardinals before injuries cost him time on the field. While the team did select Northern Iowa's David Johnson in Round 3, he isn't a threat to Ellington's role. In fact, coach Bruce Arians has already said the Clemson product "will continue in his same role" in 2015. That keeps him on the flex-starter radar in fantasy drafts.

  • Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan raved about Freeman in the offseason, but that didn't keep the team from adding rookie Tevin Coleman in the draft. That move all but ended any sleeper appeal the Florida State product might have had in fantasy leagues. In fact, Coleman now appears to be the favorite to start and is the runner to draft out of Atlanta. He's a great fit for the one-cut scheme that Shanahan likes to utilize. 3

    Tom DiPace/Associated Press

    Loser - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

    Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan raved about Freeman in the offseason, but that didn't keep the team from adding rookie Tevin Coleman in the draft. That move all but ended any sleeper appeal the Florida State product might have had in fantasy leagues. In fact, Coleman now appears to be the favorite to start and is the runner to draft out of Atlanta. He's a great fit for the one-cut scheme that Shanahan likes to utilize.

  • Between offseason reports that the Raiders were interested in DeMarco Murray to the potential for the team to draft a running back, Murray's value appeared to be in limbo. That's no longer the case, unless you think Trent Richardson is a significant threat to his role. With OC Bill Musgrave planning to build his ground attack around Murray's skill set, he's a prime sleeper candidate for fantasy owners in 2015. 2

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Winner - Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

    Between offseason reports that the Raiders were interested in DeMarco Murray to the potential for the team to draft a running back, Murray's value appeared to be in limbo. That's no longer the case, unless you think Trent Richardson is a significant threat to his role. With OC Bill Musgrave planning to build his ground attack around Murray's skill set, he's a prime sleeper candidate for fantasy owners in 2015.

  • From a fantasy perspective, there wasn't a bigger loser coming out of the NFL Draft than Mason. Once considered a viable No. 1 fantasy runner with upside, the Auburn product is now no more than a short-term option until Todd Gurley can return from his ACL reconstruction. When that happens, I fully expect Mason to fall into a secondary role behind a player that the Rams see as their franchise running back. 1

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Loser - Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

    From a fantasy perspective, there wasn't a bigger loser coming out of the NFL Draft than Mason. Once considered a viable No. 1 fantasy runner with upside, the Auburn product is now no more than a short-term option until Todd Gurley can return from his ACL reconstruction. When that happens, I fully expect Mason to fall into a secondary role behind a player that the Rams see as their franchise running back.