NFL Draft fantasy football impact: Wide receivers

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For the first time since 2005, three receivers were selected within the top 10 picks of the NFL Draft. See how Corey Davis, Mike Williams, John Ross and seven other rookies stack up in fantasy heading into 2017.

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans

Pick: First round, No. 5 overall College: Western
(Credit: AP / David Dermer)

Pick: First round, No. 5 overall
College: Western Michigan
The Titans filled a big need by getting a wide receiver with their top pick. Two of Tennessee's top three pass-catchers last season were tight end Delanie Walker and running back DeMarco Davis, so Corey Davis should step into the starting lineup immediately opposite Rishard Matthews. The 6-3, 209-pound Davis will provide a solid red-zone target for Marcus Mariota. The Western Michigan product was the 2016 Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year with 97 catches for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Titans have a run-heavy offense -- their 476 rushes ranked fourth in the NFL -- which hurts his value to some degree. But with his size and talent, Davis could be a WR3/flex option as soon as 2017, and he's among the top rookies in dynasty.

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: First round, No. 7 overall College: Clemson
(Credit: AP / Rainier Ehrhardt)

Pick: First round, No. 7 overall
College: Clemson
Williams, unlike Corey Davis, joins a high-flying Chargers offense. Led by QB Philip Rivers, the Chargers' run-pass ratio was 39-59 last season. The Chargers return Keenan Allen, who tore his ACL in Week 1 last season, and leading receiver Tyrell Williams. Allen is expected to line up in the slot with Mike Williams outside opposite of Tyrell Williams. After suffering a nearly career-ending neck injury in 2015, Mike Williams had 98 catches for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns as Deshaun Watson's top target at Clemson last season. It's a crowded receiving corps with Dontrelle Inman, Travis Benjamin, Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry, Tyrell Williams and Allen all fighting for targets, but Williams has the height (6-4), build and speed to be an elite receiver. It's a good situation, but maybe not quite as good as the one Davis is in. Mike Williams projects as a flex at best this season.

John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: First round, No. 9 overall College: Washington
(Credit: AP / Ben Margot)

Pick: First round, No. 9 overall
College: Washington
Ross has major injury concerns after hurting both knees in college. He tore his meniscus in his right knee against Illinois in 2014 and required offseason surgery, then tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee in the spring of 2015, which forced him to redshirt. But with a healthy 2016, Ross earned second-team All-American honors with 81 catches for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. Ross broke the 40-yard dash record at this year's NFL Combine with a time of 4.22 seconds, but at 5-11, he's on the smaller side. He's known for his big-play ability and return skills, making him a boom-or-bust from a fantasy perspective.

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Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills

Pick: Second round, No. 37 overall College: East
(Credit: AP / Sean Rayford)

Pick: Second round, No. 37 overall
College: East Carolina
The Bills had arguably the biggest need for receiver of any team entering the draft. With Sammy Watkins missing half the season, the Bills were one of just two teams in the NFL who didn't have at least one receiver eclipse 700 yards last season. Jones is the all-time FBS receptions leader and comes from a football family. His father, Robert, won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys and his uncle, Jeff Blake, is a former NFL quarterback. Jones impressed at the Combine, and while his high catch total (158 last season) is skewed, he's known to have good hands. With the lack of other options, Jones should join Watkins in the starting lineup right away, making him a potential steal in PPR leagues.

Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers

Pick: Second round, No. 40 overall College: Ohio
(Credit: AP / Paul Vernon)

Pick: Second round, No. 40 overall
College: Ohio State
The Panthers got Stanford's Christian McCaffrey in the first round, filling their need at running back with Jonathan Stewart entering his age-30 season. But they still needed help at receiver and got it with the versatile Samuel, who caught 74 passes for 865 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 771 yards and eight touchdowns. He was considered an H-back at Ohio State, but with his size and the addition of McCaffrey, he figures to lineup mostly at receiver. Kelvin Benjamin still is Cam Newton's best weapon, despite facing criticism this offseason for being overweight, but Samuel gives Newton a speedy playmaker out of the backfield and in the slot. Samuel's diverse role could make it hard for him to put up consistent numbers, though, so he's a risky fantasy pick.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Second round, No. 62 overall College: USC
(Credit: AP / Damian Dovarganes)

Pick: Second round, No. 62 overall
College: USC
Smith-Schuster joins a high-scoring offense in Pittsburgh, but he has a lot of competition. Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, who was suspended all of last season, are the clear one-two punch, but Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates, Darrius-Heyward Bey and newly acquired Justin Hunter will all contend with Smith-Schuster, who will be one of the youngest rookies this season at 20. Smith-Schuster had 70 catches for 914 yards and 10 touchdowns with USC last season and has been compared with Anquan Boldin. It's unlikely Smith-Schuster will see the field enough to be a fantasy asset this year.

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

Pick: Third round, No. 69 overall College: Eastern
(Credit: AP / Tyler Tjomsland)

Pick: Third round, No. 69 overall
College: Eastern Washington
Kupp was the top FCS receiver last season in receptions (117), receiving yards (1,700) and receiving touchdowns (17) and he holds the all-time records in each category. Critics may be quick to argue that he faced weaker competition, but he combined for 20 catches, 365 yards and five touchdowns in two career games against ranked opponents. Kupp is one of the oldest players coming out of the draft at nearly 24. While he'll compete for time behind Tavon Austin and Robert Woods, Kupp is joining last season's 31st ranked passing offense and the worst scoring offense. That doesn't bode well for his fantasy value.

Taywan Taylor, Tennessee Titans

Pick: Third round, No. 72 overall College: Western
(Credit: AP / David J. Phillip)

Pick: Third round, No. 72 overall
College: Western Kentucky
After landing Corey Davis in the first round, the Titans continued to strengthen arguably their biggest need by snagging Taywan Taylor with the eighth pick in the third round. Taylor impressed NFL scouts with a nine-catch, 121-yard performance against Alabama early last season and bolstered his stock with a 6.57-second three-cone drill, the best among receivers. The Titans also have Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe ahead of Taylor, though. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has compared Taylor to Derrick Mason because of his ability to play inside and outside, which would give him more opportunities. He should compete with Sharpe, a fifth-round pick in 2015, for the Titans' No. 3 spot.

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ArDarius Stewart, New York Jets

Pick: Third round, No. 79 overall College: Alabama
(Credit: AP / Brynn Anderson)

Pick: Third round, No. 79 overall
College: Alabama
It still isn't clear who the Jets will start at quarterback, so it's not an ideal situation for Stewart in the immediate future. That said, the Jets announced shortly after the draft that 2015 second-round pick Devin Smith is out for the season with a torn ACL, and they released star receiver Brandon Marshall who them signed with the team they share a building with. NFL Network analyst and Super Bowl-winning coach Brian Billick said Stewart has the "pedigree of a complete receiver." With minimal competition in Robby Anderson, Stewart has a chance to start right away opposite Eric Decker. The Jets likely will have another early first-round pick next year, where they could land their quarterback of the future, making Stewart an interesting dynasty pick.

Carlos Henderson, Denver Broncos

Pick: Third round, No. 82 overall College: Louisiana
(Credit: AP / Michael Conroy)

Pick: Third round, No. 82 overall
College: Louisiana Tech
The Broncos have one of the best receiving tandems in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. After that, it's thin. Both Thomas, 29, and Sanders, 30, have been targeted at least 137 times in each of the past three seasons, which will make it tough for Henderson to get looks right away, but age will become a factor down the line. Henderson was a star for Louisana Tech both on offense and special teams, earning Conference USA's Player of the Year in both categories in 2016. He had 82 catches for 1,535 yards and 19 receiving touchdowns and 805 yards and two touchdowns on kick returns last season. With his speed and versatility, Henderson should be able to step in as Denver's third receiver right away, but unless there's an injury to the Thomas-Sanders duo, he won't have much of a fantasy impact in 2017.

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