🤯 Intriguing Day 3 Draft Picks

Lots of fantasy fallout...


Jerry Jones is now woke (big Zero RB guy)…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, presented by BetMGM:

  • Winners and losers from Day 3

  • WATERCOOLER: Keon Coleman is funny

  • Day 3 takeaways: Keying in on RBs…

  • It's 4/28. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

The 2024 draft is in the books and Day 3 gave us fantasy gamers plenty of food for thought as we prepare for a long summer of drafting.

Here is what caught my eye in Rounds 4-7 yesterday…

🤠⚡ The Chargers & Cowboys go Zero RB

Instead, Jerry Jones and Joe Hortitz went full Zero RB, much to the chagrin of fantasy managers who were licking their chops for a dream fit. The Cowboys didn't select a single RB through seven rounds, while the Chargers made a half-hearted attempt at adding depth by selecting Troy's Kimani Vidal in Round 6 (check out who his great uncle is, though).

This, of course, makes the incumbent backs on both teams extremely interesting (more on Rico Dowdle and the Dallas backfield below). 

Gus Edwards—who Jim Harbaugh handpicked in Free Agency and will now get the benefit of a 322 lb. mauler paving the way for him—should have an extremely valuable role in a run-centric offense. 

We haven't covered Vidal much around here—he did not grade out well in Dwain's RB Super Model—but he does deserve sleeper consideration in this environment. 

🧓 Veteran RB winners 

The NFL Draft is always the scariest time to be a "Dead Zone" RB. These are the backs who aren't quite three-down workhorses deserving to go in the first couple rounds of drafts, but also aren't total fliers. Their selling point is owning an entire backfield, which is a dynamic that can quickly change on draft day.

While quintessential Dead Zone backs like James Cook (Ray Davis) and Rachaad White (Bucky Irving) got unwelcomed bunk mates for training camp, a few other veteran RBs emerged from the draft unscathed:

  • Isaiah Pacheco 

  • Zamir White

  • Devin Singletary

The Chiefs seemed like a team that could consider adding RB depth, so this is a big win for Pacheco, who can now run slightly less angry without a youngster over his shoulder.

More on White from Joe in the Winners/Losers piece below, although I will note that the one RB that the Raiders selected late–Dylan Laubepossesses serious pass-catching chops, which could eventually become an issue for White. 

The Giants did add intriguing RB Tyrone Tracy late in the draft, but haven't we seen this movie a couple of times before from Singletary? This dude has made a living out of discarding young RBs who aren't up for the challenge (Zack Moss in Buffalo, Dameon Pierce in Houston). Like Vidal, Tracy is an interesting late flier, though.

🤑 The Niners & Dolphins aren't messing around

On the surface, the Niners and Dolphins appeared set at the RB and WR positions heading into the draft. But smart organizations are always building up resiliency and strengthening strengths, which is exactly what San Francisco and Miami did in the draft.

Because of how well these offenses are run, both sets of these picks piqued my interest in a big way…


  • RB Isaac Guerendo (Round 4)

  • WR Jacob Cowing (Round 4)


  • RB Jaylen Wright (Round 4)

  • WR Malik Washington (Round 6)

Cowing was one of the highest-ranked players in the Super Model relative to consensus and now he gets a landing spot that provides him a ton of potential if the Niners make a WR trade or there is an injury…Guerendo was the most athletic RB in the entire class, which is a terrifying proposition in the Shanahan scheme…Wright, who runs a 4.38, is a Top 4 back in the RB Super Model and an unfair addition to an already lethal Dolphins backfield…Washington has a clear path to WR3 status in Miami and mouth-watering contingent upside in McDaniels' condensed aerial attack. 

For full breakdowns on every selection, visit our Draft Tracker.


😆 Bills new WR Keon Coleman is a character. Can't wait for more of this.

🤷 The teams who got the most and least value. You won't believe who is in last.

🏆 Detroit shatters the NFL Draft attendance record. I give Eminem all the credit.

👪 This is how you raise kids. A family that hates together, stays together.

🦅 Another draft record. Philly was busy this weekend.

🤦 An unfortunate name. Hey, it happens.

NFL Draft Winners and Losers

The NFL draft is officially complete, and here to break down the biggest winners and losers from Day 3 from a fantasy football standpoint is Fantasy Life’s Content Manager Joe Metz, with some assists from an array of our draft-day content…

🏆 Winners

😮‍💨 Incumbent Running Backs

There are two starting running backs who left the draft with far fewer nerves than when they entered - Raiders RB Zamir White and Cowboys RB Rico Dowdle.

Both the Raiders and Cowboys were frequently included among teams with backfield needs to fill that, in all likelihood, were to be filled via the draft.

That did not happen, for either team.

Instead, White heads into the offseason as the current RB1 for the Raiders after putting together an impressive stretch to end the 2023 campaign.

With the now-departed Josh Jacobs sidelined towards the end of last season, White logged at least 70% of the team's snaps in three of his four final games, logging at least 13 fantasy points and finishing as a top-20 PPR back in all four contests while averaging over 20 touches per game.

Zamir White Game Log

With the Raiders failing to bring backfield depth during the draft, White maintains solid standing as a volume-based RB2 in 2024.

In Dowdle's case, Tony Pollard's departure led many pre-draft pundits inking Texas RB Jonathon Brooks to Dallas, but that never came to fruition. In fact, the Cowboys walked out of the 2024 draft with no additional backfield help.

While there are (and likely will continue to be) murmurs of Ezekiel Elliott returning to Dallas, Dowdle currently sits atop the Cowboys depth chart as their RB1.

Dowdle isn't anything to write home about, but his 20% TPRR rate from last season outpaced Pollard's (17%) and we saw four separate occasions in 2023 where Dowdle cracked the top 24 at the RB position while playing 36% of the snaps or less.

His ADP is likely to rise with the draft completed and no new running backs to worry about, but the presence of Deuce Vaughn and the likelihood that Dallas still does something to address their need doesn't have me rushing to the window to cash in my Dowdle tickets.

😭 Losers

🦬 James Cook

Why can't we have nice things?

James Cook managed to finish as the RB9 in PPR formats in 2023 despite logging only 14% of the carries inside the five-yard line and 32% of the two-minute snaps. Backups Latavius Murray and Ty Johnson as well as QB Josh Allen did just enough in their respective roles to put a cap on the Cook's true ceiling, but there was hope that would be a bit different in 2024 given the reworkings of Buffalo's offense.

Nobody included the fact that the Bills would draft Ray Davis on Day 3 of the draft.

Per Jonathan Fuller, Davis “posted Top 20 numbers in yards after contact per attempt (3.91) and was 27th in total explosive runs" and should be in line for fantasy-relevant touches in 2024.

Well, that's no fun.

Cook should maintain a stranglehold on the RB1 role in Buffalo, but it's becoming clear that this specific RB1 role for Cook may not have the truly elite ceiling fantasy managers had been hoping for if the Bills aren't willing to put him in a position to unlock it.

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