DK Metcalf: 4 Star Prospect & the 1.01?

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full database of 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer. All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

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DeKaylin Metcalf (6’4″, 225), Wide Receiver, Ole Miss           

18.6 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

Until writing this article, I had no idea what “D.K.” stood for until now. DeKaylin Metcalf is a prospect with NFL blood lines; his dad, uncle and grandfather all played in the NFL. Amazing athlete with an amazing name, “D.K.” has stolen the hearts of many since he entered the college football realm. I remember seeing pictures of this man-child who would play for Ole Miss and thought, “Oh man, this kid is going to be a problem!”

College Production: 

Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the biggest opportunity to set the college world on fire because of 2 season-ending injuries (one in his freshman year and one as a red-shirt sophomore). It gives me somewhat of a “cause to pause”, but given they aren’t persistent nagging injuries (like Emanuel Hall’s groin/hamstring issues), I cannot dock him too much for it. However, this type of injury history is something to keep an eye on.

Another reason he was stymied, was due to the fact that he played with an offense full of NFL talent in Scottie Phillips, AJ Brown, Demarkus Lodge and Dawson Knox. A lot of mouths to feed in Ole Miss, but he made the most of it.

Speed/Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

This aspect of his game just reminds me of many guys his size: fast for his size but not necessarily blistering fast overall. The combine may change my thought process on that, but I just didn’t see the same speed that even his fellow “NWo” (Nasty-Wideouts) teammates have. I see him running 4.5-7 but being more of a game speed guy.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 2)

This is one part of his game that I’m willing to be flexible with. There’s a lot of reports that their offensive scheme as a whole was a big time joke and lacked complexity. Because of this, we never saw him run anything outside of a bunch of go routes with a few curls or corner routes with go options. I still can’t give him much of a score here either because he didn’t excel off the line like he could have even with a simple route being ran all the time.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Average at best. He didn’t do it a whole lot and wasn’t asked to. AJ Brown was their blocker supreme who used his size to lay dudes out. The odd part is he weighed the same amount as Metcalf, but Metcalf wasn’t really about blocking too much. To be fair, that’s OK, it won’t be a make or break like it would be with a running back.

Handwork/Positioning: Aggregate Score: 4.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Again, something that isn’t heavily in his game although he has the skill to get way better here. I’ve watched way to many receivers to give him a pass here. This isn’t scheme dependent, it’s player. When it came to utilizing receiver skill, he just seems unrefined.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 4.6 (Personal Score: 4)                                                                                                    

My favorite part of his game is his athleticism and he made sure to put it on display every chance he got. Where I think he lacks in pure electric speed, he makes up for it in spades here. Check out this JustBombsProductions tweet that really embodies what Metcalf is as a receiver.

Conclusion: First Round, Picks 1-3

I have him as my WR3 because of his raw ability/lack of refinement and injury history or otherwise he might be my 1.01. No matter how high I’m not on him, there’s no doubt that this kid is special and will fly off draft boards depending on who you play with. The only consensus that I’ve seen and also agree with, is that he’s top 3. If he falls below that I think he’ll be immediately deemed a steal.

Mike Weber: 3 Star Fantasy Prospect

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

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Mike Weber (5’10”, 214) Running Back, Ohio State

14.3 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Mike Weber is not the most exciting player in this class. He is fairly average across the board, but he performs well enough in all the necessary facets of the game. Earning an aggregate score of 14.3 from our rankers and not a single 4 in any category from any of us does not inspire a great deal of confidence in Weber. Draft capital will tell a lot about how the NFL views Weber and will truly determine whether or not he is worthy of a roster spot in fantasy.

College Production

Weber has had an interesting college career.  He was very good during his redshirt freshman year in 2016, finishing the year with almost 1100 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground. A big boost to these numbers came in the form of 23 receptions out of the backfield. About 2 catches a game isn’t super special, but as a redshirt freshman, that is plenty to show capable hands. Weber regressed some as JK Dobbins burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2017.  With his touches cut almost in half, the 6+ yards per carry efficiency remained, but the overall numbers dipped significantly. In 2018, he turned in a statline similar to his freshman year. However, with similar opportunity, you would hope for some improvement on those numbers. Weber is the lesser talent in the Ohio State backfield and that has become very clear as the touches shifted to Dobbins.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Weber looks fine behind a beefy Ohio State offensive line, but I don’t expect him to experience the same success at the NFL level. I expect the combine numbers to be lackluster especially in the 40 and 3 cone drill. He doesn’t show a whole lot of breakaway speed or great change of direction.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

While Weber hauled in over 20 receptions in both his redshirt freshman and junior seasons, he was not efficient once the ball was in his hands. Averaging less yards per reception than yards per carry in both years is an interesting stat to say the least. On the plus side, Ohio State trusted him enough to get him involved in the passing game. However, he was not very productive with the targets he received.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

This is another chance to mention a rock solid Ohio State offensive line. Weber is not bad in this category, but a lot of his efficiency can be explained by the play of the big boys up front. Not often able to make something out of nothing, but consistently able to take what is given to him.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

You may be sensing a theme here.  Weber can block, yes, but he is just alright at it. Usually able to find his assignment and solid at chipping to help his linemen, he did struggle against unhindered blitzers as almost any running back will.

Strength: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

This is one my favorite aspects of Weber’s game, when it shines through. He shows great contact balance when he runs angry and he finishes runs in a big way.  The problem is this only seems to happen when he is involved in the game and can get fired up. I don’t see many opportunities to get involved that heavily in the NFL.

Conclusion: 4th Round Flier

The problem I have with Weber is that he has nothing to hang his hat on. He is fine, solid, sometimes good at almost every aspect of the game, but he doesn’t have game breaking speed or strength. He doesn’t demand receiving work. He doesn’t show the consistency you need to see from someone who doesn’t have a high ceiling. I expect solid numbers at the combine which will keep him on NFL draft boards, but I don’t expect a long career or much fantasy relevance.

Hakeem Butler: the Underrated 4 Star Prospect

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full database of 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer. All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Hakeem Butler (6’6″, 225), Wide Receiver, Iowa State           

21 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

Hakeem Butler is one of my favorite top tier receivers. I probably have him higher than most at the moment. He’s the best receiver in this class at his size. With him having a 6’6 frame, he’s bigger than most tight ends and definitely receivers.

This caused me to look at those who may have come before him to see what kind of success bigger receivers had and there hasn’t been many. Since 1989 (last 30 years), only 10 receivers his height or taller have managed game time of any sort. The most successful was QB convert Matt Jones with a season of 54 receptions on 107 targets for 761 yards and 2 TDs. The next best and most recent were Brandon Coleman and Tanner McEvoy. Coleman was waived from the Saints practice squad in 2018 and McEvoy was waived January of this year by the Bills.

The biggest difference between all these guys and Butler is that he’s had a much more productive career thus far and has a chance to be the best 6’6 non-TE the NFL has ever seen.


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College Production: 

RECYDsYard/CatchTD
2017 (Junior)4169717.07
2018 (Senior)601,31822.09

When you look at his statistics from his junior year, his yards and yards per catch standout. Considering he was on the middle to low end of receptions, he did very well for what he caught.

When you watch his tape you can absolutely see why. It also helps that he was in a respectable offense with a running back that will more than likely go in the top 6: David Montgomery. Butler definitely made them pay for having to respect Montgomery and his greatness from the backfield.

Speed/Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 4)

I’m higher on Butler than the other raters but I think it’s warranted. He’s not a gazelle no, but he moves very fast and has some great acceleration both in his routes and after the catch. I think it played a huge part in his YPC being so high.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 4.6 (Personal Score: 5)

He has a great two-point stance & is smooth on his routes. From the tape I watched, he looks to be able to run the whole tree and that from each receiver position on the field. Iowa State definitely used him correctly and seemed to have gotten the most out of him.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 2)

I’m a lot lower in this aspect because I didn’t see the desire to block from him nor the scheme to have him as a blocking receiver. Nothing so bad that it will hurt his stock and it can be improved if necessary.

Handwork/Positioning: Aggregate Score: 5 (Personal Score: 5)

We all agree that this kid has the ability to use his hands and it’s not his catching (although he’s good at that too); it’s his hand-fighting.

He’s so deceptive that you might even miss the moves he uses to create such great separation. He probably uses this trait more in tandem with his other abilities than any other prospect in this draft and that’s exactly what I love about him.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 4.6 (Personal Score: 4)                                                                                                    

The way he catches the ball is like artwork. He utilizes his size and frame to make things happen that solidify him in the top tier of receivers this draft. He also has some ups that make jump balls ridiculous for a defensive back (usually between 5’9-6’2) to even imagine going up and fighting for.

Conclusion: Top 5 pick

There should be no way he slides outside of the top 5 and I won’t have it any other way. If he falls to me outside of there, I will rejoice! My thing is really what NFL teams decide to do with him. I really hope they keep him as a mismatch wideout vs making him shift to tight end. It would be a shame. He’s way better at moving around the field and being a super mobile big-bodied weapon. He’s what some people wish JJ Arcega-Whiteside could be. Hakeem Butler is the real deal!

NFL Mock Draft 4.0

Welcome to part four of our NFL Mock Draft article series. This article is a collaboration of 5 dynasty/devy writers for the Fantasy Fanalysts. All of the writers also contribute to the 48 Report.

We’re heading full steam ahead into the NFL Draft Combine. To celebrate we dug in two rounds deep into this mock draft!

You can see who we sent to your team in our first mock draft here

Follow our writers and us on twitter and let us know what you think of your team’s pick!


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Note: our writers made a lot of trades, some of which are explicitly stated, some of which are not. If a pick is labeled “via” that means there was a trade made by our writers. If it is labeled as “from” it is a trade that reflects an NFL transaction.

1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

As clear cut as it comes at the moment. The Cardinals need a needle mover on defense and potential star power for the future, Bosa is that player. Easy pick to start the draft.

Christopher Nelson

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (via SF): Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Jacksonville needs to figure out the QB position.  They have a defense that has shown to be super bowl caliber, but they have been held down by a lackluster offense.  I’m not sure if Haskins is the answer, but it is worth a shot.

Mike Colaianne

3. New York Jets: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

It’s tempting for the Jets to react to an early trade and take Quinnen Williams here. The Jets, though, need to focus on protecting their franchise quarterback and the investment they made last season.

Matt Hicks

4. Tennessee Titans (via Oakland Raiders): Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

The Titans move up to grab a player they feel could have gone 1.01. Pairing Williams with Jurell Casey will give this team a much needed boost in the pass rushing department.

Josh Padgett

5. Miami Dolphins (via Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Whether you like it or not, Kyler Murray is the most intriguing prospect in the draft class. Miami is in desperate need for star-level talent and their new coaching staff could absolutely make a splash by moving up to 6 to get in front of the Giants.

Matt Hicks

6.  New York Giants: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

Word on the street is that the Giants are gonna rock and roll with Manning one more year, so why not draft him some protection? Ford is for sure a top three talent at the position and is a great pick up to help shore up that horrible offensive line in New York. At the very least, Eli should be on his back a lot less and it’s setting up your QB of the future (whomever that may be) for success.

Christopher Nelson

7. San Francisco 49ers (via JAX): DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

San Francisco has a lot of options here.  While acquiring an additional 2nd round pick, they take this opportunity to grab a receiver that has all the tools to be a dominant WR 1.  Combined with Goodwin, Pettis, Kittle and a healthy Jimmy G., DK can help turn this offense into the one Kyle Shanahan envisioned when he took this job.  

Mike Colaianne

8. Detroit Lions: Josh Allen EDGE, Kentucky

Detroit has to be thrilled to get this dual threat edge rusher with the 8th pick. Allen can penetrate backfields (21.5 tackles for a loss in 2018) and contribute to an already solid run defense. I know tight end is becoming a popular pick for Detroit, but EDGE is a greater need and the TE position is deep this year.

Matt Hicks

9. Atlanta Falcons (via Buffalo Bills): Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Atlanta keeps adding elite talent to this young defense. Oliver is an upgrade over Brady Jarrett and if they can keep Jarrett around, that will just be the cherry on top.

Josh Padgett

10. Denver Broncos: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

If Denver wants to get back to their elite defensive days, then they’ll have to get Greedy. Greedy Williams paired with Chris Harris Jr. along with a very formidable Denver pass rush would be a unit to watch in 2019

Eric Adams

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU

This pick should absolutely be a linebacker here regardless of who is available and the Bengals need an infusion of youth/skill into their LB room. Devin White has the explosiveness/skill to contribute from the jump and I imagine him being able to start relatively quickly.

Christopher Nelson

12. Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, EDGE, FSU

Burns is a versatile player that has all the tools to be a dynamic playmaker in the NFL.  Not only can he rush the passer, but Burns can also help in the run game. Burns will be able to start contributing right away for the Packers.  

Mike Colaianne

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Miami): Clelin Ferrell, DL, Clemson

The Bucs have a hole just about everywhere. They need stars, Clelin Ferrell is that. This is a best player available draft for the Bucs more so than any other team

Eric Adams

14. Buffalo Bills (via Atlanta): Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

While Metcalf might be the flashier prospect, Harmon would be perfect for the Bills. He’s the solid route runner/hands type of receiver that Josh Allen will love.

Eric Adams

15. Salt Lake Stallions*: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Salt Lake has had a tough start to their season so they need a new infusion of talent at QB. Drew Lock can start right away but he better be weary of the QBs that are currently getting shellacked in the AAF.

Eric Adams

*Inside joke, see: Mock Draft 1

16. Carolina Panthers: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida

Carolina needs some help on the EDGE so, they took the best available in Jachai Polite. He not only brings great technique from the outside, but he also brings a brand of aggressiveness that is specific to his play style. High pass rush grade and win percentage, Polite will be more than serviceable for the Panthers for years to come.

Christopher Nelson

17. Cleveland Browns: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

For the first time in years, Cleveland is in a great situation.  It seems they have found their QB, they have some nice weapons on offense and they have young talent on defense.  Now it is their job to make sure Mayfield stays protected and healthy. Risner is a versatile player that can play outside at tackle or move inside and play guard.  Either way, he looks ready to start right away and is extremely solid in both the run and pass game.

Mike Colaianne

18. Minnesota Vikings: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

The Vikings are in desperate need of reinforcement on their offensive line. Taylor can plug in on either side of the line and protect Cousins. Taylor’s film is impressive, and I’d be surprised if he falls this far, but the Vikings would be thrilled if he does.

Matt Hicks

19. Oakland Raiders (via Tennessee Titans): Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Murphy could be a top 10 player on many boards after the combine. He is poised to put up some nice speed and agility numbers and if he has added the weight he says he has, he will easily be the best player available at this spot.

Josh Padgett

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

While CB is another big need, the Steelers have not been the same since Ryan Shazier suffered a terrible spinal chord injury. He was the leader of the defense and that unit as a whole has been in a rut for far too long. Enter Devin Bush who will command the middle for years to come.

Eric Adams

21. Seattle Seahawks: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

With Jimmy Graham gone and the tight end corps more blocking than pass catching, Hakeem Butler is a perfect fit here. He gives DangeRuss that big option they had in Graham to round out a dangerous offense. Great with his handwork, routes from each receiver position and athletic, Butler will start on this offense very easily.

Christopher Nelson

22.Oakland Raiders (via BAL): N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

The Raiders are making moves! After Butler was taken, there seems to be one guy left before there is a tier drop off.  Harry dominated college and is expected to test well at the combine. Harry has serious upside with his ability to go up and get the ball and to produce after the catch.  Carr should be leaping for joy if this pick happens.

Mike Colaianne

23. Houston Texans: Chris Lindstrom, iOL, Boston College

It is hard to consider any position other than offensive line for the Texans. They missed out on an early tackle run but snag the best interior offensive linemen in the draft with Lindstrom. Watson was consistently running for his life last year, Lindstrom will help protect their franchise quarterback.

24. Oakland Raiders (From Chicago Bears): Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Best player available is the strategy for the Raiders in this draft. Wilkins is a polished player who can contribute against the run and the pass from Day 1. Already a force in the middle, Wilkins will be a backfield disrupter and could become a player you need to double.

Josh Padgett

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

We’re at the point where nobody is agreeing on who the RB1 is. I don’t even know if Jacobs is my RB1 but the Eagles should have their pick of the RBs. They go Jacobs here.

Eric Adams

26. Indianapolis Colts: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

The Colts are in big time need of a stopgap in their secondary and Baker should definitely do the trick. He has experience playing all three CB spots and is a top 3 prospect at the position. The Colts contemplated a wide receiver here, but there’s a lot of gold still left in this draft to pair with TY Hilton, Ebron, Reece Fountain and Deon Cain..

Christopher Nelson

27. New England (via BAL(via OAK(fromDAL))): T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Even if Rob Gronkowski comes back next season, New England needs to find their future replacement for when Gronk is injured or whenever he does retire.  Hockenson is ready to start from Day 1. He is a very good blocker, has very reliable hands and is a threat after the catch. I definitely see New England being aggressive if Hockenson is available this late in the 1st round.  

Mike Colaianne

28. New York Giants (via LAC): Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Sorry Matt! Although I do agree with the notion that the Giants shouldn’t take a QB at 6, they still do need to figure out the QB position.  Eli has maybe another year and they didn’t even give Kyle Lauletta a shot last year. The Giants best move is to trade back into the 1st and take Daniel Jones so that they can get that 5th year option.

 Jones has the ideal size, is extremely athletic and displays good arm talent. I wish he was more accurate, but having OBJ, Saquan, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard will help mask those issues.

Mike Colaianne

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

The Chiefs defense could not win them games last year. Despite having solid pass rushers, they continue to add at the most important defensive position to keep pressure on opposing QB’s as Justin Houston gets older.

Josh Padgett

30. Green Bay Packers (from NO): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

The QB here needs all the help he can get. Fant, while not landing in a good spot for tight ends historically, could take the GB passing game to the next level.

Eric Adams

31. Los Angeles Rams: Nasir Adderly, S, Delaware

The Rams get a young infusion of talent to replace the big money they spent on the secondary last offseason. Adderly from FCS Delaware is flying under the radar for now, but he needs to be considered at the top of this secondary class.

Matt Hicks

32. Baltimore Ravens (via NE): AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss

While trading down and acquiring the NE 2nd rounder, the Ravens still find themselves in position to add an extremely talented receiver to their offense.  Brown had two 1,000 yard season while at Ole Miss, mainly producing from the slot. Brown does a great job of getting open in the short/intermediate part of the field, which should definitely help out Lamar Jackson.  

Mike Colaianne

33. Arizona Cardinals: Yodney Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

Arizona benefits from a deep tackle class by getting Cajuste early in the 2nd round. The Cardinals need to provide more time for their pocket bound quarterback to work. Cajuste is also a run blocking presence and will help open up lanes for David Johnson to work through.

Matt Hicks

34. Indianapolis Colts (From New York Jets): Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

Gary is a high ceiling pass rusher who can play inside or outside on the defensive line. The Colts could really use his ability to shift all across the line and play matchups as they have had significant struggles getting to the passer.

Josh Padgett

35. Oakland Raiders: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

Oakland needs a full fledged attitude change this year. Enter Deebo Samuel who will bring attitude and toughness to a receiving group that earlier already added N’Keal Harry.

Eric Adams

36. San Francisco 49ers: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

Deionte Thompson is a high ceiling, athletic safety that the 49ers just couldn’t pass up at this spot. With their current options less than savory, and having already picked one of the top receivers, Thompson (a top option in his own right) would be a welcomed addition to the 49ers safety group, a position of need.

Christopher Nelson

37. Los Angeles Chargers: Dexter Lawrence, iDL, Clemson

Trading back worked well for the Chargers here; they get extra picks and fill a major need. Lawrence (6’4”, 340) is a huge plug in the middle of the defensive line that will be a terrific compliment to the terrifying EDGE rushers they have.

Matt Hicks

38. San Francisco 49ers: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

With the pick they gained from trading back in the 1st round, the 49ers help protect their franchise quarterback. 49ers are working this draft hard now with help at the wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive back positions.

Matt Hicks

39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State

Montgomery is the best running back in this class. It works out nicely that he is also the safest. The organization having possibly whiffed on Ronald Jones last year doesn’t keep new head coach Bruce Arians from finding his new bellcow back.

40. Buffalo Bills: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

LeSean McCoy could be on the downtick in Buffalo so it may be time to take a successor. Anderson is a big physical runner who, if not for injury concerns, could be the RB1.

Eric Adams

41. Denver Broncos: Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss

A lot may view this as a big ol’ stretch (deep class) and blasphemy because he was chosen before guys like Irv Smith, Isaac Nauta and Kaden Smith, not I. Dawson Knox is right where he needs to be as a guy who had a lot of success in both the run and pass block schemes at Ole Miss. He’s NFL ready and even if his receiving needs work, he’ll fare just fine from day one in a position of need for the Broncos.

Christopher Nelson

42. Cincinnati Bengals: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

Cincinnati has had a huge hole at tight end the last 4 or 5 years due to Tyler Eifert being constantly injured and having no secure backup.  Now that Eifert and Kroft are free agents, the Bengals are forced to address the tight end position and take Irv Smith here. Smith is very athletic, is a capable blocker and will be able to contribute in the passing game right away

Mike Colaianne

43. Detroit Lions: Isaac Nauta, TE, Georgia

I mentioned earlier that tight end to Detroit is fan favorite, that may not make sense in the 1st round but Nauta is a great fit in the 2nd. Nauta gives the Lions an athletic pass catching threat to offset their Ebron loss.

Matt Hicks

44. Green Bay Packers: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

The Packers have a whole lot of decent in their wide receiving corps. Arcega-Whiteside gives them big red-zone threat that Jimmy Graham never became.

Matt Hicks

45. Buffalo Bills (via Atlanta): Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

Buffalo needs to rebuild the O-Line and after grabbing a RB earlier, they’ll look for Dillard to bring some physicality. Josh Allen and his ability to look good in shorts are smiling.

Eric Adams

46. Washington Redskins: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

This kid is like lightning in a bottle and will fit well with new QB Drew Lock in tow. With Crowder gone to free agency, Brown is a great replacement who can do a lot of the things Crowder could do. If he wanted to, he could win out with his athleticism alone, but he has fantastic tools to add to that, making him a good weapon to have in Washington.

Christopher Nelson

47. Carolina Panthers: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

Carolina needs to sure up the back end of their secondary, especially since they are in a division with the Saints, Falcons and a Bruce Arians led Buccaneers.  CGJ has the size, athleticism, range and versatility to contribute right away in Carolina.

Mike Colaianne

48. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Miami): Zach Allen, DE, Boston College

Again with the Bucs, they need talent due to a horribly inept roster. They again beef up the D-Line with Zach Allen to go along with Clelin Ferrell.

Eric Adams

49. Cleveland Browns: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia

Ridley gives the Browns a potential playmaker to compliment Landry and Calloway. The Browns are all in on Baker and Kitchens’ creative play calling. Ridley and Risner give Cleveland’s offense an immediate boost.

Matt Hicks

50. Minnesota Vikings: Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls

The Vikings O-Line was a major area of concern last season and it must be addressed. Pipkins should be a nice upgrade.

Eric Adams

51. Tennessee Titans: Garrett Bradbury, iOL, NC State

Tennessee seems to be set at offensive tackle with Lewan and Conklin.  Now it is time to sure up the inside of the offensive line. Even though he is relatively new to the position, Bradbury is very refined, consistent and mobile.  

Mike Colaianne

52. Pittsburgh Steelers: Amani Oruwariye, CB, PSU

Pittsburgh needs to stockpile talent on the defensive side of the ball.  Specifically, they need to get someone who can consistently play opposite of Joe Haden.  Oruwariye has good size, strength and ball skills. He is a versatile player that can play in pretty much any scheme.  

Mike Colaianne

53. Philadelphia Eagles (from Baltimore): Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

I’ll keep this short and simple: Mack Wilson has no business being on the board still. The Eagles jump at this value and grab a top 3 linebacker.

Matt Hicks

54. Houston Texans: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

I mentioned that offensive line was a no-brainer for the Texans in the 1st round. Getting a tackle to go along with their guard pick earlier in the draft is exactly what their offense needs. They have 3 picks in the top 55 and can afford to really invest in their trenches.

Matt Hicks

55. Houston Texans: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M

The Texans need to clean house at tight end and get a real player in there. Sternberger will provide the safety net that Watson has needed more often than not due to his O-Line.

Eric Adams

56. New England Patriots (from Chicago): Lil’Jordan Humphrey, WR, Texas

After landing the top tight end in the draft to take over for Rob Gronkowski when he does decide to hang them up, the champs load up another weapon for Tom brady in Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Humphrey brings a unique size and speed combination that has the chance to flourish in New England’s offensive system.

Eric Adams

57. Philadelphia Eagles: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

Pittsburgh needs to stockpile talent on the defensive side of the ball.  Specifically, they need to get someone who can consistently play opposite of Joe Haden.  Oruwariye has good size, strength and ball skills. He is a versatile player that can play in pretty much any scheme.  

Mike Colaianne

58. Dallas Cowboys: Paris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

The Cowboys continue to develop an offense with weapons for Prescott. Campbell has the ability to create separation and find space anywhere on the field. He has soft hands and can operate from the slot of as a Y. Tight End would’ve been nice but we’ve hit a tier break, so instead, Dallas gets a nice wideout to compliment Cooper and Gallup.

Matt Hicks

59. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Nelson, EDGE, Iowa

The Colts continue to heavily invest in their defense with Nelson. The EDGE class is deep and although Nelson may not be a top-tier pass rusher, he would be a great addition to a young and explosive defense.

Matt Hicks

60. Los Angeles Chargers: Emmanuel Hall, WR, Missouri

With Tyrell Williams likely gone to FA, Hall will fit right into the Chargers 3 WR sets. Another weapon for Philip Rivers.

Eric Adams

61. Kansas City Chiefs: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

Kansas City is pretty stacked on offense, so they should spend the majority of the draft adding talent to their defense.  Juan Thornhill is a high IQ play that contributed all four years at Virginia. He needs to continue developing as a playmaker, but his experience and athleticism should give him the ability to start right away.  

Mike Colaianne

62. New Orleans Saints: Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke

Giles-Harris has the ability to step in Day 1 and contribute right away for the Saints in a position of need. Giles-Harris is an intelligent player that can be a true MIKE linebacker in the NFL

Mike Colaianne

63. Kansas City Chiefs: Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M

Kansas City (rightly) focused on defense in the first, and I would’ve gone for secondary support with this pick but the top end talent has come off the board already. Instead, they get Williams, a receiving threat with 3 down back upside. Williams is dynamic, has great vision, and can be an explosive weapon in an Andy Reid offense.

Matt Hicks

64. Baltimore Ravens (via New England): Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama

The Ravens went offense in the 1st round, which means they naturally must revert back to defense in the 2nd. Miller helps provide support for the likely departure of pass rushers in free agency
. Matt Hicks

DFS in Review: Perfect DraftKings Lineup Running Back Trends

Part two of the DraftKings perfect lineup series continues with the running back position that saw a rookie out of Penn State lead the NFL in scrimmage yards.  Saquon Barkley was a dominant force on a Giants team that had no other positives come from their 2018 campaign.  He carved up the Big 10 for three years and now looks like he will terrorize opponents in the NFC East for the foreseeable future.

Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott both eclipsed 2,000 scrimmage yards in 2018, the first time two running backs did so since 2014 when Le’Veon Bell and DeMarco Murray accomplished the feat.  Had Christian McCaffery played the whole game in Week 17, he would have made it three which would had been the most since 2006 when five running backs went over the total.

The bell cow back is alive and well as some of these figures we’ll discuss will certainly demonstrate.  Take Zeke for instance as his targets out of the backfield increased from 3.8 per game in 2017 to 7.0 last year.  When your running back is your best offensive weapon, why not feed him as many touches as possible? 

That’s not to say running backs on the ground didn’t serve a purpose; Sony Michel and Nick Chubb showed that they have promising futures in their rookie seasons. However, part of our success on DraftKings is made off receptions, an aspect that Michel and Chubb’s skillsets are currently lacking.  One thing that 76.2% of the perfect running backs shared was getting the W for their respective teams.

32 OF THE 42 PERFECT RUNNING BACKS WON THEIR GAMES STRAIGHT UP

Christian McCaffery made the perfect lineup four times in 2018 and did so each time in a Panthers loss, averaging 11.5 receptions in those games.  The 10 running backs that made the list off losses or ties averaged 9.1 receptions per game, thus showing the importance of being a back that is either gamescript-independent or ones like Tarik Cohen or Duke Johnson that see an increased role when their team operates under negative gamescript.

While some of the 32 running backs who won their games were the gamescript-independent types, there are some who thrive off operating when their team plays with a lead.  Marlon Mack, Derrick Henry, and Nick Chubb are those that fall into this category that were perfect at one point last year and perform better in positive gamescript as they don’t see much work out of the backfield.  Mack, Henry, and Chubb saw +9.16, +10.6, and +11.3 FPPG differentials respectively in games that their teams won in PPR scoring. 

It’s critical to roster these positive gamescript backs in games that you believe they will win or they could be a liability if their teams end up falling behind.  In fact, the average margin of victory for the 32 backs that made the list when their teams won their games was 13.88 points.

THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF TOUCHES PER GAME FOR THE PERFECT RUNNING BACKS WAS 24.7

Bell cow backs like Christian McCaffery, Todd Gurley, and Saquon Barkley that work independent of gamescript represented 22 of the 42 perfect running backs last season.  As running backs are being included in the passing game more and more, expect this trend to continue heading to 2019.  This is the main reason why these backs are highly-priced as they are all but locked in for 20+ touches each week whether their teams are leading or trailing.

There are instances where fewer than 20 touches has proven successful.  Isaiah Crowell earned RB3 honors as he torched the Broncos on the ground for 219 yards on 15 carries in Week 5.  A 77-yard touchdown run certainly helped his bottom line that day.  Tevin Coleman converted 18 touches into 32.6 DK points against a lifeless Redskins defense in Week 9.  Needless to say, each back that didn’t get 20 touches crossed the pylons at least once.

Projecting running backs that can produce without a ton of volume can provide salary relief to afford the top-tiered options.  Typically, these backs don’t exceed $6000 on DraftKings; Crowell and Coleman were an affordable $4100 and $4800 when they went off on their respective weeks.

31 OF THE 42 RUNNING BACKS WERE PART OF GAMES IN WHICH THEIR RESPECTIVE TEAM WENT OVER THE TEAM TOTAL

While 54.76% of the perfect backs participated in games that went over the game total, there was a stronger correlation for running backs that hit perfection and their respective teams going over their team totals, occurring at a 73.8% rate.

Positive gamescript usually indicates feeding the running back as much as possible, especially during routs with the leading team eating as much clock as possible.  The Bills didn’t do their part in reaching the game total of 44 in a 37-5 defeat in Indianapolis in Week 7 as it became the Marlon Mack show early in that game and throughout the contest.  The Dolphins didn’t have an answer for Aaron Jones as he turned 15 carries into 145 yards and two touchdowns.  The Packers easily covered their team total of 29 but without help of the Dolphins offense, the teams fell short of the game total of 45.

ATLANTA ALLOWED SIX PERFECT RUNNING BACKS

This should come as no surprise as no team in the NFL has been consistently hurt by running backs out of the backfield more than the Falcons since 2016.  In fact, their defense has allowed the most receptions and targets to pass catching backs in each of the last three years.  The Patriots won Super Bowl 51 by exploiting this weakness as they didn’t have an answer for James White’s 14 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.

In DraftKings full PPR scoring system, targeting running backs who excel out of the backfield against the Falcons is the gift that keeps on giving, especially when Christian McCaffery and Alvin Kamara reside in the NFC South for two meetings each year.  McCaffery made the perfect lineup in both 2018 matchups while Kamara secured a spot in Week 3 perfection.  Other notable running backs who will clash with Atlanta in 2019 include Todd Gurley, David Johnson, Jerick McKinnon, Dalvin Cook, and Dion Lewis.

7 OF THE 17 PERFECT LINEUPS FEATURED RUNNING BACKS THAT BENEFITTED FROM A TEAMMATE EITHER HOLDING OUT, INJURED, OR SUSPENDED

Look no further than Week 1 when James Conner took advantage of Le’Veon Bell’s holdout and reeled off 39.2 DK points off 36 touches and an inexpensive $4500 salary.  Alvin Kamara’s volume was never higher in 2018 than Weeks 3 and 4 during Mark Ingram’s suspension that resulted in 37.0 and 44.1 DK point performances.  With Aaron Jones placed on IR with a knee injury, Jamaal Williams and his $5400 salary were an integral part in being able to roster Christian McCaffery and Antonio Brown in Week 16.  Not only that, Williams was just one of two active running backs available for the Packers in that game and saw all of the touches.

7 out of 17 isn’t the strongest correlation but it warrants attention when the average cost of these running backs, not including Alvin Kamara in Weeks 3 and 4, was $4520.  While Giovani Bernard didn’t make the perfect lineup when Joe Mixon was inactive in Week 3 and 4, he was a chalky play that returned value at his $5900 and $6400 salaries in those respective weeks.  Given the right circumstances, taking advantage of these opportunities to get 20+ touches at minimum cost is highly recommended.

Revisiting the Kamara scenario, we were filled in on the Ingram suspension back in May and while he was still too cheap in Week 1, he was correctly priced by Week 3.  Undoubtedly, he would see a bump in volume and in the two weeks he made the perfect lineup, he touched the ball 55 times at a combined $19100 in that timeframe.  On a dollar-per-touch basis, even as expensive as he was priced in those two weeks, Kamara was a bargain at $347 dollars compared to $383 dollars per touch off 24 touches and a $9200 salary from fellow perfect Week 3 back Todd Gurley.

There was substantial evidence that Melvin Gordon wasn’t healthy in Week 12 after fully practicing on Wednesday but being downgraded to limited on Thursday and Friday.  He would eventually leave the game against the Cardinals with a knee injury that made him questionable throughout the week.  Austin Ekeler was sitting at $3600 and for those who pulled the trigger to roster him in spite of Gordon playing, those people were handsomely rewarded with a 26.3 DK point performance as Ekeler was the flex option in Week 12’s perfect lineup.

These free squares that become available make for excellent flex plays that open up a lot of possibilities in terms of putting together a variety of lineups.  Once the salaries for the upcoming week release during Sunday Night Football, they do not change regardless of transactions, suspensions, or players declared inactive before kickoff on Sunday.  While a heavy focus was dedicated to the running back position, this concept applies to all of the other positions as well; Chris Godwin was a fine example that made the perfect lineup twice with DeSean Jackson declared inactive both weeks.  Other than quarterback, no other position typically touches the ball more than the running back.  When a starter is declared inactive, those 15-20+ touches need to go to the next man up that is usually available at an inexpensive price tag on DraftKings.

CONCLUSION

Looking at a macro level, total running back receptions throughout the league were about the same in 2018 as they were in 2017.  However, running back carries dropped by nearly 800 attempts from 2017 to 2018, further evidence of the passing epidemic that is spreading like wildfire.  To better understand where the league is headed and the magnitude of that number, 800 represents 3.13 fewer rushing attempts per NFL game.

Our lineup construction philosophies should be cognizant of this new utilization of the position.  Ground-and-pound backs will still serve a purpose in not just the league but in fantasy football.  However, in PPR scoring, receptions from the running back position are gold.  It’s why we pay up for Gurley, Barkley, and McCaffery that get nearly all of the running back touches and represent 18-20% of the salary cap on DraftKings.  Expect these trends to continue as we head into the 2019 season.

Noah Fant: an Infusion of Tight End Talent

Noah Fant (6’5”, 241), Tight End, Iowa

20.6 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

VERY excited to discuss this upcoming NFL Draft stud. As all fantasy players know, 2018 was a year in which the tight end position hit rock bottom. Talent was hard to come by and production was scarce. It practically became a wasteland outside of the top 5 and even they had their struggles.

Enter this year’s draft class rich with plenty of top prospects that should lead the tight end position back to fantasy relevance. Today we will be discussing Iowa Tight End Noah Fant. Fant attended Omaha South High School and played football and basketball. He totaled 1,064 yards on 78 catches and scored 18 touchdowns.

College Production

A 3 star recruit, Fant committed to Iowa in 2016. Fant appeared in 6 games as a freshman, totaling 9 receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown. As a sophomore in 2017, Fant appeared in 12 games catching 30 balls for 494 yards and 11 touchdowns. Looking to improve on a solid sophomore season, Fant appeared in another 12 games in his final college season grabbing 39 receptions for 519 yards and 7 touchdowns.

It is fair to note that while at Iowa, Fant had a running mate in fellow tight end TJ Hockensen who, in his own right, will also be a very high draft pick come April. They are likely to be the first 2 tight ends off the board in the Draft and are both very good tight ends.

Speed/Acceleration: Aggregate Score 4.6 (Personal Score 5)

6 foot 5 inches and 241 pounds, I just want to state that before letting you know Noah Fant possesses elite speed and acceleration for a tight end. Fant was constantly blowing by defenders and has a gear that elite tight ends possess. He creates easy separation for a guy his size and will be a matchup nightmare at the NFL level.

Route Running: Aggregate Score 4 (Personal Score 4)

Very solid route runner who can improve but who couldn’t? Fant has enough in this area to be an elite receiving option right away in the NFL. He has swift cuts and good burst off the line of scrimmage and in and out of his routes. A true matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and it shows on tape.

Blocking: Aggregate Score 3 (Personal Score 3)

Honestly he was better than I thought he was going into the tape. I have heard that he just doesn’t block at all and that is just not true. He can be an effective blocker and has the tools to be a very good one. What he needs to work on is his awareness in blocking schemes. There was a certain play where he was tasked with blocking an outside defender and turning him inside so the RB could get the edge. He succeeded in doing so but he also let a defender run right inside and disrupt the play. If he cut that defender off, the play goes for a big gain. It’s little things that he can do better and if he improves then he will be one of the better all around tight ends sooner rather than later.

Handwork/Positioning: Aggregate Score 4.3 (Personal Score 5)

Good luck getting a hand on this guy because jamming him at the line, at his size, just won’t work. He constantly swatted away defenders at the line of scrimmage. Whether it’s a linebacker, safety or corner defending him, he is going to be difficult to account for with the way he can win at the line of scrimmage.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score 4.6 (Personal Score 5)

Get ready for Fant to be a darling of the combine. He will ace every test with flying colors and his 40 time will especially be monitored because if he an pull a 4.5 or lower then that may secure him a spot in the first round. The bench press also bears watching due to his playing strength. If he can perform well in those two areas then he’s going in the first round.

Conclusion: Late 1st-Early 2nd round

Fant is a bona fide stud and he will no doubt in high demand come rookie draft season. The tight end position needs a shot in the arm and Fant along with the rest of the class should provide it. If you’re sitting around the 1.08-1.12 range and Fant is available, I would pull the trigger. Even if not a need and you’re set at TE, Fant can be a valuable trade commodity with the current state of the position for fantasy football.