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Cleared For Landing: Five Under-the-Radar Prospects to Watch Post-NFL Draft

Tyrone Tracy Jr. - Fantasy Football Rankings, College FB, RB, NFL Draft Sleepers

As we draw closer to the NFL Draft, fantasy football enthusiasts eagerly analyze every pick, every trade, and every player landing spot with fervent anticipation. The annual draft not only shapes the future of NFL franchises but also holds significant implications for fantasy football managers, as each player's destination can dramatically alter their fantasy value. From the marquee quarterbacks to the under-the-radar rookies, every selection can send ripples throughout the fantasy landscape, influencing draft strategies, player rankings, and ultimately, championship aspirations.

The NFL Draft serves as a pivotal moment for fantasy football aficionados, offering a glimpse into the potential fantasy fortunes of incoming rookies and the impact on established veterans. Landing spots play a crucial role in determining a player's immediate and long-term fantasy outlook, as they can either provide a golden opportunity for immediate production or relegate them to a developmental role. Whether a rookie finds himself in a pass-heavy offense tailor-made for fantasy success or a run-first system that limits his opportunities, his landing spot often foreshadows his fantasy relevance in the upcoming season and beyond.

Furthermore, the NFL Draft not only reshapes individual player values but also transforms the fantasy landscape as a whole. Trades, surprises, and unexpected picks can create waves of excitement and speculation among fantasy enthusiasts, prompting frantic reassessments of draft boards and league strategies. As rookies find their NFL homes and veterans react to the influx of new talent, fantasy football managers must remain vigilant, analyzing every move and considering how each player's landing spot influences their fantasy potential. In this dynamic post-draft period, astute fantasy managers can gain a competitive edge by recognizing the significance of player landing spots and adjusting their strategies accordingly.

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Isaiah Davis - RB, South Dakota State

Coming out of FCS South Dakota State, Isaiah Davis has been an ultra-productive running back over the last two seasons with over 3,000 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns. He blends a coveted mixture of size and athleticism to bring a running style that is both powerful and elusive. Davis displays quick feet in the open field to force missed tackles but can also lower his shoulder to bounce off defenders. He is not the fastest running back in the draft class (4.57 40-yard dash), but his ability to play a finessed running style in his powerful frame will lead to opportunities in the NFL.

The appropriate landing spot will be key for the fantasy value of Isaiah Davis. If he were to be selected by a team that employs a more zone-blocking scheme, his patience would allow him to put his skill set to the forefront. Landing on a team with a need for an RB2 on the depth chart will be vital so that he can be used in a two-back system.

His abilities as a pass-catcher (44 receptions in his final two seasons) could lead to Davis becoming a three-down back in the NFL, but it will take time and opportunity for that to happen. If he were to land on the Arizona Cardinals and become the heir apparent to James Conner, his value in dynasty rookie drafts would increase immediately. 


Tyrone Tracy Jr. - RB, Purdue

A player who has been gaining steam late into the process as we draw closer to the NFL Draft, Tyrone Tracy Jr. has become an intriguing evaluation. Before transferring to Purdue, he played as a wide receiver at Iowa. With only one year's worth of reps at running back, Tracy Jr. has flashes of inconsistency in his running style and vision in reading his blocks.

His upright running style is indicative of a player who is still learning the ropes at the position. Tracy Jr. uses his experience as a wideout in the open field as his loose hips and base can generate sharp cuts and change in direction at the drop of a hat. But what some NFL teams will be amazed by is his versatility in which he can be utilized on gadget plays and routes out of the backfield.

As the offseason testing has progressed and more scouts have gotten into his film and analytical numbers, Tracy Jr. has started to slowly creep up draft boards. His abilities as a pass-catcher and run blocker will likely see him used as a third-down back early on in his career. But in the right situation with his landing spot, Tracy Jr. could develop into a three-down back in the NFL.

An interesting team to watch for during the draft would be the New York Giants. With the departure of Saquon Barkley, there is an immediate need for a potential three-down back. Landing here on this depth chart could see a spike in his perceived value in the dynasty community as rookie drafts begin.


Jalen McMillan - WR, Washington

As much of the focus has been on Rome Odunze and a little more surrounding Ja'Lynn Polk, Jalen McMillan has felt like the forgotten man out of Washington during the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. The former four-star recruit finished his college career by rounding into one of the more complete receivers in the draft class. McMillan possesses some of the best route-running chops among the receivers and uses this ability to be a reliable target at all three levels on the field.

Although he may not have the top-end speed to separate down the field, his ability to create after the catch from the slot will prove useful in the right offense in the NFL. There is some concern that his production took a dip in 2023 after a stellar sophomore season, but this was due in large part to an uptick in usage on the outside for his fellow receivers Odunze and Polk. McMillan maintained his reliability when called upon, especially by earning targets against zone coverage.

As the NFL Draft draws near, the depth of this wide receiver class can be viewed as a detriment to a player like McMillan. In any other year, he could be viewed as a prospect worthy of late-second-round consideration. But as things currently stand, look for McMillan to have his name called in either the third or fourth round. On top of his route-running prowess, McMillan's willingness as a run blocker will help him earn more playing time on the field. This only improves his chances of seeing consistent usage and earning targets.

As for his ideal landing spots, two teams come to mind. With his similarities to Tyler Boyd, the Cincinnati Bengals could view him as an easy replacement in the offense to Boyd. The Tennessee Titans are in dire need of a slot receiver and will be looking to add one in this draft. Both landing spots will not bring immediate impact from a fantasy perspective, but from a dynasty standpoint, McMillan has the skill set to become a solid WR3 for fantasy managers. 


Ryan Flournoy - WR, SE Missouri

The question that every fantasy manager wants to know this offseason has been "Who is the next Puka Nacua?" Although finding a player of that caliber is few and far between, FCS prospect Ryan Flournoy presents all the physical traits and attributes to be the next out-of-nowhere player to make an impact for fantasy managers. Flournoy's excellent offseason started with a breakthrough performance at the Hula Bowl, followed by a trip to the Senior Bowl where he flashed his ability to win at all three levels of the defense. 

This continued to the NFL Combine where his 84 Athleticism Score placed him 11th in the position. With his solid athletic testing metrics, Flournoy should be a riser on NFL Draft boards for teams. Once you go back to watch his film, you see a prospect who displays consistent footwork and a refined route-running ability that can get him increased playing time on a roster.

As we get into the NFL Draft, Flournoy will become an intriguing prospect in terms of where he lands. Much like with Puka Nacua, the landing spot will be key for his development and potential from a fantasy standpoint. Once you start breaking down the teams that can utilize a player with his ability, there are several that come to mind. But for me, there are three teams that I feel will be best suited to help Flournoy grow into a starting-caliber player in fantasy. Those teams are the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and San Francisco 49ers. 

The 49ers bring the most immediate potential as the rumors continue to swirl surrounding the trade possibilities with Brandon Aiyuk, a player who could be viewed similarly to Flournoy. If this were to be a landing spot in reality, look for Flournoy to fly up rookie draft rankings as a player who could see solid value in fantasy as early as his rookie season. 


Jared Wiley - TE, TCU

A player who was not seen on the NFL Draft radar until this past collegiate season, Wiley saved his best for last. Essentially doubling his production from 2022, Wiley set career marks in all major categories. But the one stat that could help his NFL Draft potential is the uptick in usage out of the slot (121 snaps). Similar to why many scouts and evaluators liked Dalton Kincaid a year ago, Wiley possesses the ideal combination of size and athleticism for the position.

What he lacks in the ability to separate in the short areas, he more than makes up for with his catch talent and contact balance. He doesn't mind getting dirty at the top of a route and uses his excellent focus and above-average hands to excel in contested catches. NFL teams will also view his versatility as a blocker positively and will not shy away from presenting him with opportunities on the field.

Looking ahead to the NFL Draft, Wiley will be in the mix among several other prospects at the position hoping to hear their names called late into Day 2 or early Day 3 of the draft. The case for Wiley and his potential value in fantasy football will be landing with a team looking for competition on the depth chart at TE2 or even TE3. Several teams could fit this mold, but two that I will be watching for as the draft unfolds are the Cincinnati Bengals and the Carolina Panthers.

Both teams currently have questionable starters on the roster, and if they do not look to improve the position earlier in the draft, Wiley could be a player landing in an excellent spot. In terms of the potential to earn targets, landing with the Panthers could lead to so immediate success in fantasy production as the team will continue playing in negative game scripts. Not to mention Bryce Young will be looking to find a reliable receiver outside the newly acquired Diontae Johnson. This landing spot would put Wiley in the discussion of low-end TE2 as early as Year 1 for the prospect out of TCU. 

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