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Introduction: The 2023 NFL Draft saw Jaxson Smith-Njigba from The Ohio St. become the first wide receiver off the board, an expected outcome given his talent and potential. However, his landing spot in Seattle raised eyebrows and brought about mixed feelings among fantasy football enthusiasts. With DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett already on the Seahawks’ roster, the implications for the 2023 season and beyond became a subject of debate. This article will delve into the fantasy implications of Smith-Njigba’s landing spot, considering both the short-term and long-term outlooks.

Short-Term Outlook: From a redraft perspective, the immediate impact of Smith-Njigba seems limited. With two established wide receivers in Metcalf and Lockett ahead of him, it is challenging to envision him having a significant fantasy impact in his rookie season, barring any injuries to the starters. As a result, he may likely find himself as a bench receiver in fantasy drafts, selected around the ninth or tenth round. The crowded receiving corps and the run-heavy tendencies of Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll add to the frustration of this landing spot.

Long-Term Outlook: Looking ahead, Smith-Njigba’s long-term prospects improve once Lockett eventually departs. As a talented receiver with the potential to excel in the slot position, he could seamlessly slide in next to Metcalf as the team’s number two wide receiver. However, the uncertainty lies in the quarterback situation, as Seattle currently lacks a clear replacement for their 34-35-year-old quarterback. Once the quarterback situation is resolved, Smith-Njigba could thrive as the number two option alongside Metcalf. The Seahawks’ offense, boasting multiple weapons including running back Kenneth Walker, poses a challenge for opposing defenses.

Impact on DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett: The presence of Smith-Njigba does warrant a slight downgrade for both Metcalf and Lockett in fantasy rankings. However, considering the limited alternatives for the Seahawks in the passing game, Metcalf remains a top 25 wide receiver, ranked around the 20th spot. Lockett, on the other hand, drops to the 27th spot. These projections assume Metcalf’s and Lockett’s target shares will decrease slightly, with Smith-Njigba likely absorbing a portion of the opportunities. Despite the downgrade, Metcalf and Lockett still hold significant fantasy value due to their established roles and chemistry with the quarterback.

Dynasty Perspective: In Dynasty leagues, Smith-Njigba’s outlook becomes more intriguing. While he may have a challenging start due to limited opportunities in his rookie year, his long-term potential shines brighter. Considering that Metcalf is expected to remain with the team for several years and Lockett’s uncertain future, Smith-Njigba’s path to becoming the primary receiving option could become clearer. Dynasty managers should view him as a low-end number two wide receiver with potential upside. His talent, agility, and strong hands make him a promising prospect worth considering in rookie-only drafts.

Conclusion: While the landing spot in Seattle may not be ideal for Jackson Smith-Njigba’s immediate fantasy impact, it is crucial not to overlook his talent and long-term potential. Fantasy managers should temper their expectations for his rookie season but keep an eye on his development and the evolving situation within the Seahawks’ offense. In redraft leagues, he may serve as a bench receiver, drafted in the later rounds. However, in Dynasty leagues, Smith-Njigba’s talent and the likelihood of a changing receiving corps make him an attractive prospect, potentially warranting a top-five or top-ten selection in rookie only drafts.

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