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Published: May 2, 2016 at 10:30 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2016 at 10:41 p.m.

Veteran Winners and Losers

The 2016 NFL Draft is in the books, so we now have a much clearer picture of how all 32 rosters will 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 biggest winners and losers after draft week.

20 Photos Total

  • The Dolphins did draft Kenyan Drake out of Alabama, but I don't see him as a threat to Ajayi's status as the team's top running back. In fact, coach Adam Gase said that he views Ajayi as his "starter." So while Miami did sign C.J. Anderson to an offer sheet earlier this offseason, it seems as though Gase and crew have faith in the Boise State product as their bell cow. He's now a surefire No. 2 fantasy runner. 20

    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Winner: Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins

    The Dolphins did draft Kenyan Drake out of Alabama, but I don't see him as a threat to Ajayi's status as the team's top running back. In fact, coach Adam Gase said that he views Ajayi as his "starter." So while Miami did sign C.J. Anderson to an offer sheet earlier this offseason, it seems as though Gase and crew have faith in the Boise State product as their bell cow. He's now a surefire No. 2 fantasy runner.

  • No one was a bigger loser than Murray as a result of the NFL draft. Expected to re-emerge into a high-end No. 2 fantasy back in Tennessee, Murray could now lose carries to reigning Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and is no sure bet to produce fantasy points on a consistent basis. On the flip side, Henry has no chance to start (unless you talk to Charlie Casserly) and has a limited ceiling as a rookie option. 19

    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    Loser: DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans

    No one was a bigger loser than Murray as a result of the NFL draft. Expected to re-emerge into a high-end No. 2 fantasy back in Tennessee, Murray could now lose carries to reigning Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and is no sure bet to produce fantasy points on a consistent basis. On the flip side, Henry has no chance to start (unless you talk to Charlie Casserly) and has a limited ceiling as a rookie option.

  • The Eagles did draft Wendell Smallwood out of West Virginia, but he's no threat to Mathews as the No. 1 runner in Philadelphia. While he's been prone to injuries at times, he did average over five yards per attempt last season in a limited role for the Eagles. Mathews should also benefit from the presence of new coach Doug Pederson, whose offense should make him a legitimate No. 2 fantasy runner in most drafts. 18

    Al Tielemans/Associated Press

    Winner: Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles

    The Eagles did draft Wendell Smallwood out of West Virginia, but he's no threat to Mathews as the No. 1 runner in Philadelphia. While he's been prone to injuries at times, he did average over five yards per attempt last season in a limited role for the Eagles. Mathews should also benefit from the presence of new coach Doug Pederson, whose offense should make him a legitimate No. 2 fantasy runner in most drafts.

  • McFadden rushed for 1,000 yards last season, but he's likely to fall to third on the depth chart behind Morris and new projected starter Ezekiel Elliott. As a result, the one-time fantasy star won't even be drafted in most 2016 leagues. Morris could come in as a late-round pick, but that's a far cry from what he might have been had the Cowboys not drafted an elite runner like Elliott. The rookie has top-10 upside. 17

    Associated Press

    Loser: Darren McFadden/Alfred Morris, RBs, Cowboys

    McFadden rushed for 1,000 yards last season, but he's likely to fall to third on the depth chart behind Morris and new projected starter Ezekiel Elliott. As a result, the one-time fantasy star won't even be drafted in most 2016 leagues. Morris could come in as a late-round pick, but that's a far cry from what he might have been had the Cowboys not drafted an elite runner like Elliott. The rookie has top-10 upside.

  • Murray rushed for a 1,000 yards last season, but he was also inconsistent in the stat sheets. As a result, there were some reports that the Raiders could decide to pick an impact running back in the draft. That didn't happen, as Oakland didn't pick a back until Round 5 -- Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington. While he could fill a third-down role, Washington won't threaten Murray's status as a No. 2 fantasy runner. 16

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Winner: Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders

    Murray rushed for a 1,000 yards last season, but he was also inconsistent in the stat sheets. As a result, there were some reports that the Raiders could decide to pick an impact running back in the draft. That didn't happen, as Oakland didn't pick a back until Round 5 -- Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington. While he could fill a third-down role, Washington won't threaten Murray's status as a No. 2 fantasy runner.

  • The Broncos are going to start either Mark Sanchez or rookie Paxton Lynch at quarterback next season, which won't help Thomas' fantasy value. In fact, he's averaged fewer than seven fantasy points per game during his career in games not started by Peyton Manning. At this point, it's difficult to call Thomas an elite fantasy option. Instead, he should be seen more as a No. 2 fantasy wide receiver in most 2016 formats. 15

    Peter Read Miller/Associated Press

    Loser: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos

    The Broncos are going to start either Mark Sanchez or rookie Paxton Lynch at quarterback next season, which won't help Thomas' fantasy value. In fact, he's averaged fewer than seven fantasy points per game during his career in games not started by Peyton Manning. At this point, it's difficult to call Thomas an elite fantasy option. Instead, he should be seen more as a No. 2 fantasy wide receiver in most 2016 formats.

  • If there was one concern about Wilson last season, it was whether or not he would survive behind what was a less-than-effective offensive line. Seattle did well to improve the line with the additions of OG Germain Ifedi and OG Rees Odhiambo with two of their first five picks. The team also gave Wilson another backfield weapon when it drafted Notre Dame runner C.J. Prosise. Wilson remains a top-five fantasy quarterback. 14

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Winner: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

    If there was one concern about Wilson last season, it was whether or not he would survive behind what was a less-than-effective offensive line. Seattle did well to improve the line with the additions of OG Germain Ifedi and OG Rees Odhiambo with two of their first five picks. The team also gave Wilson another backfield weapon when it drafted Notre Dame runner C.J. Prosise. Wilson remains a top-five fantasy quarterback.

  • Money talks, right? If that's true, then I have 18 million reasons why Anderson will be the featured back in Denver next season. Still, fantasy fans can't like the fact that the Broncos drafted Devontae Booker out of Utah. While he's not going to push Anderson for the top spot on the depth chart in training camp, he could push for touches in a backfield that also includes Ronnie Hillman. That's cause for concern. 13

    Ben Liebenberg/NFL

    Loser: C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos

    Money talks, right? If that's true, then I have 18 million reasons why Anderson will be the featured back in Denver next season. Still, fantasy fans can't like the fact that the Broncos drafted Devontae Booker out of Utah. While he's not going to push Anderson for the top spot on the depth chart in training camp, he could push for touches in a backfield that also includes Ronnie Hillman. That's cause for concern.

  • The Colts drafted a total of four offensive linemen, including C Ryan Kelly out of Alabama and OT Le'Raven Clark out of Texas Tech in the first three rounds. Those picks reek of a team that knew it needed to upgrade its line and fast. So while the Colts didn't add offensive weapons for Luck, they did add a whole lot of protection for their franchise quarterback. It's a good move for his fantasy value moving forward. 12

    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Winner: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

    The Colts drafted a total of four offensive linemen, including C Ryan Kelly out of Alabama and OT Le'Raven Clark out of Texas Tech in the first three rounds. Those picks reek of a team that knew it needed to upgrade its line and fast. So while the Colts didn't add offensive weapons for Luck, they did add a whole lot of protection for their franchise quarterback. It's a good move for his fantasy value moving forward.

  • I still expect Forsett to open the regular season as the starter in Baltimore, but can he retain it for 17 weeks? The addition of Kenneth Dixon is curious, as the team also has Buck Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro (and Trent Richardson). Regardless, Dixon has a better than good chance to move to second on the depth chart sooner rather than later. So if Forsett, 31, falters, he could lose his status as a fantasy starter. 11

    John Cordes/Associated Press

    Loser: Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens

    I still expect Forsett to open the regular season as the starter in Baltimore, but can he retain it for 17 weeks? The addition of Kenneth Dixon is curious, as the team also has Buck Allen, Lorenzo Taliaferro (and Trent Richardson). Regardless, Dixon has a better than good chance to move to second on the depth chart sooner rather than later. So if Forsett, 31, falters, he could lose his status as a fantasy starter.

  • The Redskins must like Jones a lot, because the team passed on drafting a running back until it took Keith Marshall out of Georgia -- in Round 7. With Morris in Dallas and no real threat to his starting role on the current roster, Jones is a surefire No. 2 fantasy runner and should be considered as much in drafts. While he did have some fumbling issues, Jones did show some flashes of potential as a rookie back. 10

    James D. Smith/Associated Press

    Winner: Matt Jones, RB, Redskins

    The Redskins must like Jones a lot, because the team passed on drafting a running back until it took Keith Marshall out of Georgia -- in Round 7. With Morris in Dallas and no real threat to his starting role on the current roster, Jones is a surefire No. 2 fantasy runner and should be considered as much in drafts. While he did have some fumbling issues, Jones did show some flashes of potential as a rookie back.

  • The Jets drafted Penn State's Christian Hackenberg in the second round, which might be bad news for fantasy fans hoping to see Fitzpatrick re-sign with New York. The team now fields Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Hackenberg at quarterback, so either one of them gets released or the Jets roll with Smith as their starter for next season. That's bad news for the Amish rifle and his former receivers too. 9

    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    Loser: Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, free agent

    The Jets drafted Penn State's Christian Hackenberg in the second round, which might be bad news for fantasy fans hoping to see Fitzpatrick re-sign with New York. The team now fields Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Hackenberg at quarterback, so either one of them gets released or the Jets roll with Smith as their starter for next season. That's bad news for the Amish rifle and his former receivers too.

  • Tate's value improved when Calvin Johnson decided to retire, and it remains quite high after the draft. The Lions didn't pick a single wide receiver, so Tate and Marvin Jones are locked into prominent roles in the pass attack and should both see more than their share of opportunities. In fact, Tate could see a career high in targets from Matthew Stafford. The Notre Dame Golden Domer could be a tremendous value. 8

    Detroit Lions

    Winner: Golden Tate, WR, Lions

    Tate's value improved when Calvin Johnson decided to retire, and it remains quite high after the draft. The Lions didn't pick a single wide receiver, so Tate and Marvin Jones are locked into prominent roles in the pass attack and should both see more than their share of opportunities. In fact, Tate could see a career high in targets from Matthew Stafford. The Notre Dame Golden Domer could be a tremendous value.

  • Snead was one of Drew Brees' favorite targets last season, and it seemed like he was locked into a starting role opposite Brandin Cooks for 2016 until the Saints picked Michael Thomas out of Ohio State. With Brandon Coleman also in the mix and Coby Fleener on the roster, there are a lot of mouths to feed. And with Brees spreading the football around in the pass attack, Snead could see a decrease in his opportunities. 7

    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    Loser: Willie Snead, WR, Saints

    Snead was one of Drew Brees' favorite targets last season, and it seemed like he was locked into a starting role opposite Brandin Cooks for 2016 until the Saints picked Michael Thomas out of Ohio State. With Brandon Coleman also in the mix and Coby Fleener on the roster, there are a lot of mouths to feed. And with Brees spreading the football around in the pass attack, Snead could see a decrease in his opportunities.

  • Gore just won't die, will he? Despite the fact that he'll be entering his age-33 season, the Colts didn't draft a running back as an heir apparent (the team did sign Illinois' Josh Ferguson, but he isn't likely to make a rookie impact). Based on their current roster, Gore appears to be locked into a featured role with Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman behind him on the depth chart. He'll be a No. 3 back in drafts. 6

    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Winner: Frank Gore, RB, Colts

    Gore just won't die, will he? Despite the fact that he'll be entering his age-33 season, the Colts didn't draft a running back as an heir apparent (the team did sign Illinois' Josh Ferguson, but he isn't likely to make a rookie impact). Based on their current roster, Gore appears to be locked into a featured role with Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman behind him on the depth chart. He'll be a No. 3 back in drafts.

  • I love Josh Doctson's prospects at the NFL level. If he can meet expectations sooner rather than later, it would mean bad things for Garcon's value. The veteran has failed to make a consistent fantasy impact in recent seasons, and he's entering the final year of his contract in Washington. Anyone who was expecting Garcon to re-emerge into a reliable fantasy wideout with Kirk Cousins at the helm will be disappointed. 5

    Damian Strohmeyer/Associated Press

    Loser: Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins

    I love Josh Doctson's prospects at the NFL level. If he can meet expectations sooner rather than later, it would mean bad things for Garcon's value. The veteran has failed to make a consistent fantasy impact in recent seasons, and he's entering the final year of his contract in Washington. Anyone who was expecting Garcon to re-emerge into a reliable fantasy wideout with Kirk Cousins at the helm will be disappointed.

  • Tannehill was a big winner in the head coach sweepstakes, as Adam Gase should help him improve over what was a lackluster 2015 campaign. Now he'll have better protection in front of him with the addition of Mississippi OT Laremy Tunsil, who dropped into Miami's lap after some draft drama. The Dolphins also added more offensive weapons with Drake in the backfield to go along with wideout Leonte Carroo from Rutgers. 4

    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Winner: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins

    Tannehill was a big winner in the head coach sweepstakes, as Adam Gase should help him improve over what was a lackluster 2015 campaign. Now he'll have better protection in front of him with the addition of Mississippi OT Laremy Tunsil, who dropped into Miami's lap after some draft drama. The Dolphins also added more offensive weapons with Drake in the backfield to go along with wideout Leonte Carroo from Rutgers.

  • We knew this was coming. The second the Eagles traded up to the second overall pick in the first round, Bradford's fantasy prospects took a hit. While Pederson still contends that Bradford is his starter, it's just a matter of time before Philadelphia hands over the reins of the offense to Carson Wentz. If Bradford continues to be M.I.A. from the team, Chase Daniel could even leap over him in the weeks to come. 3

    Evan Pinkus/Associated Press

    Loser: Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles

    We knew this was coming. The second the Eagles traded up to the second overall pick in the first round, Bradford's fantasy prospects took a hit. While Pederson still contends that Bradford is his starter, it's just a matter of time before Philadelphia hands over the reins of the offense to Carson Wentz. If Bradford continues to be M.I.A. from the team, Chase Daniel could even leap over him in the weeks to come.

  • I'm still not sold on Osweiler as a fantasy quarterback, but the Texans did all they could to load up the offense for him. After signing Lamar Miller to take over as the featured back, Houston drafted wideouts Will Fuller and Braxton Miller to come in and compete with Jaelen Strong for the right to start opposite superstar DeAndre Hopkins. In a best-case scenario, Osweiler could have quite the nice arsenal around him. 2

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    Winner: Brock Osweiler, QB, Texans

    I'm still not sold on Osweiler as a fantasy quarterback, but the Texans did all they could to load up the offense for him. After signing Lamar Miller to take over as the featured back, Houston drafted wideouts Will Fuller and Braxton Miller to come in and compete with Jaelen Strong for the right to start opposite superstar DeAndre Hopkins. In a best-case scenario, Osweiler could have quite the nice arsenal around him.

  • Here's the good news: Cruz says he's now "100 percent" back from a terrible knee ailment suffered in 2014. The bad news is that the Giants drafted Sterling Shepard out of Oklahoma with the 40th overall selection. While he's small in stature at 5-foot-10 and 194 pounds, he could be a targets monster in the slot for Eli Manning. In fact, I'd draft Shepard over Cruz without a second thought in seasonal drafts. 1

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    Loser: Victor Cruz, WR, Giants

    Here's the good news: Cruz says he's now "100 percent" back from a terrible knee ailment suffered in 2014. The bad news is that the Giants drafted Sterling Shepard out of Oklahoma with the 40th overall selection. While he's small in stature at 5-foot-10 and 194 pounds, he could be a targets monster in the slot for Eli Manning. In fact, I'd draft Shepard over Cruz without a second thought in seasonal drafts.