Fantasy Football Winners and Losers from the 2013 NFL Draft
The 2013 NFL draft is in the books, and a brand new crop of draft picks and undrafted free agents are ready to begin their NFL careers.
Not only will these newcomers no doubt make a significant impact on the National Football League in 2013, but these players will also change the landscape in fantasy football for the upcoming season.
With said, here's a look at some of fantasy football's winners and losers from the 2013 NFL draft, from rookies in great landing spots to veterans whose future isn't looking so great.
Winner: Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos
One of the biggest surprises of the second day of the 2013 NFL draft was that Alabama running back Eddie Lacy wasn't the first player at his position off the board.
Or the second.
Or even the third.
The third running back drafted was actually Wisconsin tailback Montee Ball, who rushed for over 1,800 yards and 22 touchdowns for the Badgers in 2012.
Ball was chosen by the Denver Broncos with the 58th overall pick, and with 2012 starter Willis McGahee a potential release candidate, Ball looks to be in line to be the early-down back for the Broncos this season.
Ball may not be the most explosive of backs, but playing in the prolific Denver offense, he could flirt with double-digit touchdowns and fantasy RB2 value.
Loser: Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
From a fantasy perspective, things went from good to bad to good to bad again as the 2013 NFL draft progressed for Alabama running back Eddie Lacy.
Entering the draft, Lacy was widely considered the top running back in this year's class and a virtual lock to be the first rookie drafted in fantasy football leagues this year.
Then, Lacy watched as three running backs were selected ahead of him in Friday's second round.
However, when Lacy was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 61st overall pick it appeared that he'd landed in about as good a fantasy spot as could be expected.
That was, until the Packers drafted UCLA's Jonathan Franklin in the fourth round.
Frankly, Franklin is a more dynamic runner and a better receiver, and if there's a timeshare brewing, I expect Lacy to wind up on the short end of it.
Winner: Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Not all of the winners in fantasy football from the 2013 NFL draft were rookies.
On Friday, the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints swung a deal that had been in the works for some time, with the Saints sending running back Chris Ivory to the Big Apple in exchange for a fourth-round pick.
The fourth-year pro was buried on the depth chart in New Orleans behind Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, but Ivory has an excellent shot at emerging from training camp as the lead back for the Jets.
Ivory rushed for over 700 yards as a rookie and has averaged at least 4.7 yards a carry in each of his three NFL seasons.
The 25-year-old will all but certainly see a career high in touches this year, and there's substantial sleeper value to be had here.
Loser: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Not all veteran running backs' fantasy value came through the 2013 NFL draft as well as Chris Ivory's.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis of the Cincinnati Bengals rumbled his way to nearly 1,100 yards and six touchdowns in 2012, good for low-end fantasy RB2 production.
However, the arrival of rookie running back Giovani Bernard in Cincinnati makes a repeat of that performance unlikely.
This situation has all the makings of a committee backfield, which all but certainly means that Green-Ellis won't come close to last year's career-high 278 carries.
Winner: Aaron Dobson, WR, New England Patriots
Aaron Dobson certainly isn't the most talented wide receiver chosen in the 2013 NFL draft, and in fact it was more than a little shocking when the Marshall standout was selected by the New England Patriots with the 59th overall pick.
However, in fantasy football talent is only one consideration. Situation is another.
In that respect, the 6'3", 210-pounder just vaulted onto the fantasy football radar, as situations don't get much better than this.
Dobson would appear to have an inside track to start as a rookie on the Patriots' high-powered offense, which could easily translate into fantasy WR3 value in 2013.
Loser: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Free Agent
Al Bello/Getty Images
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw has been looking for work since the New York Giants released him early in the offseason.
After what transpired during the NFL draft, that search may go on for a while.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, two teams that had been mentioned as potential suitors for Bradshaw's services, addressed the running back position in the draft, ending speculation that Bradshaw could land with those teams.
Now, even if the 27-year-old does find a new home, it will all but certainly be as a reserve, so despite topping 1,000 yards on the ground in 2012, Bradshaw's fantasy value has effectively flat-lined.
Winner: Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
The St. Louis Rams badly needed to upgrade the receiving options at quarterback San Bradford's disposal in the offseason, especially after losing wideouts Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson.
After adding tight end Jared Cook in free agency, the team jumped in with both feet where adding wide receivers is concerned.
At least ones from the University of West Virginia.
Not only did the team add the draft's most electrifying playmaker in the Mountaineers' Tavon Austin, but it also drafted Austin's college teammate Stedman Bailey.
If Brian Quick takes the next step in his second season, and Chris Givens continues to improve, then there's no reason not to expect a significant jump in Bradford's fantasy production this season.
Loser: Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham posted the best statistical season of his three-year NFL career in 2012, setting career highs in catches and yards while finishing among the top 10 fantasy options at his position for the first time.
However, Gresham also graded out as the worst tight end in the entire NFL according to Pro Football Focus, and the Bengals addressed the position with the selection of Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert in the first round of the NFL draft.
The Bengals didn't draft Eifert in the first round for him to sit, which sent Gresham's fantasy value into a free-fall.
Winner: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
We'll close this article with a look at the running back who may well lead all rookies in carries in 2013.
It was hardly the running back most expected it to be.
In the second round of the 2013 NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers surprisingly selected Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell.
Given that the team is reportedly already shopping Jonathan Dwyer, the 230-pound Bell appears set for a heavy workload as a rookie.
Bell may not be the most talented running back in this year's class, but there's something to be said for opportunity, and Bell should have no shortage of those this season.