Will Levis

Best Rookie Landing Spots

Can’t you feel the excitement as we get closer to the draft? With free agency winding down, we now start to see the core of what each of these NFL teams will look like when we get into the fall. There is still one more piece to the puzzle though and if you play dynasty then it is probably amongst your favorite NFL events of the year—the NFL Draft. While I have learned not to take too much from the landing spot, I think many of us are still hurting from Clyde Edwards-Helaire in 2020. It does have an impact though and we would be foolish to ignore it. I find the best practice is to have everyone divided into tiers before the NFL Draft, then move players within a tier instead of jumping them an entire tier based on landing spot. We also have draft capital to consider but that is beyond the scope of what we will be discussing today. Let’s dig in!

anthony richardson getty


Landing Spot #1: Detroit Lions

The Lions may or may not draft a quarterback, luckily for them, they can just let the draft come to them. If the guy they like falls to them they can statch him up, but if not they can just take the best player on their board. While whoever is drafted there is not likely to start in year 1, they will have a solid set of young weapons in Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams as well as a top-tier offensive line anchored by Penei Sewell. While Jared Goff had a great season last year, I don’t think any of us think they are planning on him being the future at the position. A young quarterback on a roster making an upswing like this one could have a bright future. Sports wagerers should visit Michigan Betting Sites to support their up-and-coming squad.

Landing Spot #2: Seattle Seahawks

Once again I am going with a team with an incumbent starter already in the building. That is not necessarily bad, especially for guys like Will Levis and Anthony Richardson who may not be ready for NFL defenses right away. While not as young of a WR core as the Detroit Lions; Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are under contract through 2025 giving a young quarterback some solid pass-catching options. After seeing Russell Wilson in Denver struggle while Geno Smith was able to resurrect his career, it is starting to appear that Seattle is just a well-run organization and Pete Carroll is a hell of a ball coach. The Seahawks seem like one of the better organizations to develop a young quarterback into a successful long-term starter. 

Landing Spot #3: Indianapolis Colts

The first two were extremely obvious to me but the last one is a bit of a dealer’s choice. I lean toward the Colts right now though. Having Jonathan Taylor take some pressure off the rookie quarterback is a huge help but the weapons there are also solid. We all know and love Michael Pittman Jr. but Alec Pierce showed some promise in his rookie season despite very pedestrian quarterback play throughout the season. We also have reason to be excited by the giant and athletic tight end in Jelani Woods who dazzled us at the combine and looked good on the field his rookie year. Whoever ends up in Indianapolis will have some form of competition in camp from Gardner Minshew but will likely get some playing time in their rookie season. 

Honorable Mention: Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers

First and Second Down Running Back

At this point running back in the NFL is becoming more of a committee and less of one guy getting the full three-down workload. So splitting up who has needs for which kind of running back made more sense for the context of ideal landing spots. 

Landing Spot #1: Miami Dolphins

This is only a good landing spot if a rookie can win the job. That being said, Mostert has continued to maintain starting jobs in this league for a long time now. He is turning 31 before the season and can easily be cut after this season if a rookie shows he is capable of keeping the job. The appeal is exceptionally high though. A high-flying offense with an efficient running game and a quarterback that is not a threat to run the ball in the red zone. The touchdown opportunity is obvious but this is also a scheme that has been fruitful for fantasy running backs in the past. 

Landing Spot #2: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles did sign a running back of note this offseason, Rashaad Penny. The former first-round pick has been a disappointment in the NFL but not from a lack of talent but from a lack of availability. Rashaad Penny was a league winner for all those who rostered him in 2021 but for the most part, has not been a reliable piece to a dynasty roster. While Jalen Hurts will vulture touchdowns near the goalline with that completely unstoppable quarterback sneak play they run. The upside of being in an offense that will be efficient and with the assumed starter being injury prone could mean lots of opportunity. 

Landing Spot #3: Atlanta Falcons

This is less about the appeal of the offensive personnel and scheme and more a matter of opportunity. While Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier are still there, neither seems much of a threat if a solid back lands in Atlanta. The Falcons currently have Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke on the roster at quarterback so they aren’t likely to have the best passing attack and may need to rely on the run game. Arthur Smith is also a coach who likes to run the ball to set up play-action. This may not be the most efficient place for a running back to land but the volume is going to be there for sure. 

Honorable Mention: Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears

Jahmyr Gibbs

Third Down Running Back

Landing Spot #1: Kansas City Chiefs

Isiah Pacheco had a really solid rookie year. He became a dynasty darling quickly in his career but his use in the passing game came more from necessity than effectiveness. Jerick McKinnon was their preferred passing-down back but he will not be back with the Chiefs next season as things currently stand. When Clyde Edwards-Helaire was drafted by the Chiefs we all had visions of Andy Reid having a new Brian Westbrook in his offense that would be a fantasy superstar but that never truly came to pass. There is still a lot of potential for a pass-catching running back to be successful in this offense, it just needs to be the right one. As mentioned before though, be careful moving up someone too far up your draft board based on landing spot, even if it is a juicy one like this one. 

Landing Spot #2: New England Patriots

Despite all the jokes we will make about Bill O’Brien running the Houston Texans organization into the ground as a general manager and head coach, he has been successful as an offensive coordinator in this league. As with many other Patriots’ offensive minds, he has been known to use the running backs a fair amount in the passing game. I know that Rhamondre Stevenson will still be there but do we really think his passing game usage was because of his skill set or the lack of better options? If I were a Stevenson manager I might want to move him pre-draft to avoid him potentially losing value if a good satellite back were to be drafted in New England. 

Landing Spot #3: Seattle Seahawks

Seattle has most used a committee approach in the time that Pete Carroll has been there. Kenneth Walker III had a fantastic rookie year and is a phenomenal dynasty asset even if he never becomes a premier pass catcher. While he has shown the ability to be used a bit in the passing game, it is not a major strength of his game. The Seahawks have in the past used guys like Travis Homer (now with the Bears) and DeeJay Dallas to supplement a primary ball carrier for passing down work. While DeeJay Dallas has been serviceable nobody would ever confuse him for elite talent in the NFL. If a talented pass-catching running back ends up in Seattle, he could get a lot of work. 

Honorable Mention: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears

Quentin Johnston

Perimeter Wide Receiver

Like with running back, we are going to split this into two separate sections. Most teams use three+ WRs consistently but want different skill sets from those guys. I am going to keep it simple and just use perimeter WRs and slot WRs to help make this easy. One note that all of the teams listed for a landing spot for a perimeter guy could end up trading for DeAndre Hopkins. If that happens the landing spot would lose quite a bit of appeal. 

Landing Spot #1: Kansas City Chiefs

While the Chiefs have acquired a few guys recently in the draft and via trade that are young and talented in Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney, these are smaller quicker players as opposed to a true alpha WR1. At the end of the day, Travis Kelce is still likely to be the number one option in Kansas City until Father Time can do something about it but the Chiefs’ offense is explosive enough to have multiple pass catchers become relevant. This WR class has more slot talent than perimeter talent so this may not come to fruition this year but the heart can dream. An offense with the best quarterback in the game will always be an exciting landing spot for any pass-catcher.

Landing Spot #2: Los Angeles Chargers

But Doug, don’t the Chargers already have Keenan Allen and Mike Williams? Yes, they do, but Allen is not getting younger and primarily lines up in the slot. The Chargers’ offense likes to chuck the ball over the field and they have a quarterback that can hit any throw on the field. The advantage of a player landing in a place like LA means that whoever is there will not be a primary focus on defenders. I also see this as a nice way for the Chargers to eventually move away from Keenan Allen towards a Mike Williams plus a young guy to go along with their franchise quarterback. Unlike with the running back position, we can play a bit of the long game with WRs since they have a much longer shelf life. 

Landing Spot #3: Detroit Lions

While I think the other two spots are likely better landing spots, the Detriot one intrigues me the most. They could easily take a QB with their first of two first-round picks then snag a WR at the back end. While the slot responsibilities are handled in full by Amon-Ra St. Brown, the perimeter is left only to Jameson Williams. Make no mistake I am a huge Jameson Williams fan but an offense can support three relevant fantasy WRs in the modern NFL. This is a team as well positioned as any for a long-term run with everything they have built not only on the roster but with the culture of winning there as well. A rising tide will lift all ships as they say. This is again more of the long-term play but we are given that flexibility at the WR position more than the RB position maybe not quite to the same extent as the QB position. 

Honorable Mention: Green Bay Packers, New York Giants

Slot Wide Receiver

Landing Spot #1: Buffalo Bills

It isn’t anything innovative or out there but wanting young WRs to pair with superstar quarterbacks is as enticing as it gets for landing spots. The Bills may have the perimeter locked up with Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis but with Cole Beasly gone (again) and Isaiah McKenzie now with the Colts, it appears that they could have an opening at the slot position. This is an offense that is extremely pass-happy and likes to run a lot of three, four, and even five WR sets. The Bills are a team without a lot of major needs this offseason so could afford to just take the best player available in a draft class with some decent options to play the slot. This is one I could see happening easily and instantly jumping someone from the back end of the second or the early third into early second or even late first-round territory in your rookie drafts this spring. 

Landing Spot #2: Chicago Bears

I have not used a lot of specific names in this because I want to look at the landing spots more than the prospects for this piece. I am going to mention one here because it is too obvious to ignore. After trading back from the first overall pick, the Chicago Bears will be picking at 1.09 in the NFL Draft now. The idea of building around former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields by pairing him with his former college teammate Jaxon Smith-Njigba gives the Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase combo vibes. Never mind the fact that Smith-Njigba was a freshman during Fields’ last season with the Buckeyes and only caught 10 passes. We don’t want that to spoil the narrative. Ignoring all of that though, the fit would be perfect with Chase Claypool, D.J. Moore, and Darnell Mooney working the perimeter. You have your quarterback Chicago, give that man weapons aplenty. 

Landing Spot #3: Atlanta Falcons

This is trying to pair a young WR with Caleb Williams in next year’s Draft. This is plotting ahead of the game for the savvy Dynasty Manager. The opportunity will be there as well as some other options to divert some amount of coverage with Drake London and Kyle Pitts from recent draft classes. Quarterback play is likely to be suspect for year one so we are going to want to play the long game here and assume the Falcons will be getting a QB in next year’s draft class. 

Honorable Mention: Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots

Michael Mayer

Tight End

A small disclaimer with tight end, I truly care so little about the landing spot at the position. Their trend to develop slowly means that by the time they are fantasy-relevant, situations have frequently changed dramatically. It is nice for a guy to get out there early but also not super important. My tight end ranks predraft and postdraft are going to be affected more by draft capital than landing spot.

Landing Spot #1: Cincinnati Bengals

Both C.J. Uzomah and Hayden Hurst were serviceable in the same situation despite neither being a truly elite talent. This is just a good offense in general. The tight end will be perpetually open when you have Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase on the outside commanding the respect that they do. It does not take much to sneak into the back end of the TE1 rankings in fantasy football and this is good of a chance as you are ever going to get at it. 

Landing Spot #2: Los Angeles Chargers

Gerald Everett was expected to be a cap casualty over this offense but will still be in LA for another season though. After this season though, his contract will expire and it will be an open job for the taking if you can beat out Donald Parham. If drafted by the Chargers that tight end will be tied to one of the best young quarterbacks in the game for his rookie contract at the very least and could easily blossom into a high-upside fantasy prospect. Likely a taxi squad candidate for year one but high upside every year following.

Landing Spot #3: Las Vegas Raiders

Darren Waller is now in New York and Foster Moreau is now in New Orleans. Moreau is also dealing with some health issues and we wish him all the best in his fight against his recent cancer diagnosis. That is outside of our discussion here today though. They have brought in the ghost of O.J. Howard. He occasionally showed some flashes with the Texans last year but hasn’t quite lived up to the hype early in his career. Josh McDaniels has featured tight ends in the past and I can see him doing it again in the future if the right guy lands on his team.

Honorable Mention: Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions

Thanks so much for reading, if you want to discuss more my DMs on Twitter are open, find me @DougHarrelson on there. Also don’t forget to sign up for our Dynasty Football Factory Membership to get all things Dynasty, Redraft, Devy, and IDP.

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