The first day of the NFL draft was a fun one for fantasy purposes as we saw the snow globe of the wide receiver position continue to shake this offseason. We had six wide receivers selected in the first round on Thursday, with another two young stars changing teams as part of the evening.
With that, we are going to walk through the fantasy-centric selections and trades of the opening night.
Drake London’s 2021 season was setting up to be historic before suffering an ankle injury in his eighth game that forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
Prior to his injury, London was nearly the entire USC passing game. He commanded a target on 41.6% of his routes, averaging 11.0 receptions for 135.5 yards per game, all tops in this class. In those games, London accounted for 42.9% of the USC receiving yardage and 41.1% of their touchdown grabs.
That production paired with being the second-youngest wideout in this class made him a strong pick as the first offensive skill player in the draft.
London immediately goes to a spot to command targets in the Atlanta passing game.
Atlanta wide receivers ranked 31st in the league in targets (14.4), 30th in receptions (9.4), and 32nd in yardage (102.1 yards) per game while tied for 30th in the league with nine touchdown receptions in 2021.
With Calvin Ridley suspended for the entirety of 2022, Damiere Byrd had the most yardage among the 2022 group with 1,421 career yards over six seasons.
Atlanta does not have a stellar quarterback position that will likely turnover again early in London’s career, but on the strength of target potential and touchdown ability alone, he can be a fantasy WR2 as a rookie overall while slotting in as a volatile WR3 on the surface.
For Dynasty purposes, London is my WR1 from this class after landing spot and draft capital are factored in.