Welcome to my first fantasy football big board. I’ve already released positional rankings, based purely on tape, for each position group. You may want to check out those articles before reading this if you haven’t already-I will refer to them often throughout this article. You can find those articles here:
My Big Board rankings, however, go beyond tape and take into account all the context we get in between now and Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season. In particular, this release takes into account NFL Combine performance.
I use tier based rankings. If you’re not used to this system note that players within the same tier have similar value for me. Choosing players within the same tier should come down to: personal preference of the fantasy football player making the draft pick (hey, it’s your pick not mine) and what your roster construction demands.
Tier 1 features the players I have consistently considered to be the best in the 2019 NFL Draft class, in terms of their ability to contribute to fantasy football rosters. These players have moved around slightly from their NFL combine performance, but they all have legitimate upside and make for solid first round rookie draft picks.
|1||WR||N’Keal Harry||Arizona State||6’4″||213|
|2||WR||DK Metcalf||Ole Miss||6’4″||225|
|3||WR||Kelvin Harmon||NC State||6’2″||215|
|4||WR||Hakeem Butler||Iowa State||6’6″||225|
|7||WR||AJ Brown||Ole Miss||6’1″||225|
|9||RB||David Montgomery||Iowa State||5’11||216|
It’s clear that this draft class is dominated by wide receivers-a position already coveted by dynasty fantasy football players. I have 5 wide outs ranked in my top 7, and I do believe that 4 of them should be drafted before we consider taking a running back or tight end.
N’Keal Harry and DK Metcalf jumped Kelvin Harmon in between my pre-big board rankings and this release. I still love Harmon and I believe his skillset will allow him to be a very productive wide receiver int he NFL and a great fantasy football value. Harmon’s combine, however, showed a limited ceiling-compared to Harry and Metcalf. Harry gets the nod for me over Metcalf because of breakout age, production in a defunct Arizona State offense, high athletic upside shown from tape and combine performance, and the higher floor he brings to your roster.
Rodney Anderson remains my RB1, based on tremendous (albeit limited) tape. He’s explosive, a rare combination of strength and athleticism, and has true 3 down back potential. Josh Jacobs’ choice to not test at the combine is concerning, but for the sake of positional scarcity and his dynamic upside he will remain in tier 1 for me. Montgomery remains a solid, balanced prospect whose potential will either soar or tank with his landing spot.
Fant’s ridiculous combine performance solidifies him as a first round rookie draft pick. He tested in the 96th%tile in the 40 yard dash (4.5), 97th%tile in the vertical jump (39.5″), 95th%tile in the 3-cone drill (6.81), 79th%tile in the 20 yard shuttle, and 91st%tile in the 60 yard shuttle. As much as I like his TE teammate from Iowa, Fant demonstrated in Indianapolis why he is the clear TE1 in this draft class.
Tier 2 is when things get exciting. This is where fantasy football players get to break from “playing it safe” with early, high floor, picks and start taking their favorite prospects. This year’s draft class provides an eclectic but exciting combination of prospects that fantasy football players can fall in love with.
|10||RB||Miles Sanders||Penn State||5’11’||215|
|12||RB||Justice Hill||Oklahoma State||5’10||190|
|13||WR||Paris Campbell||Ohio State||6’1″||208|
|14||RB||Trayveon Williams||Texas A&M||5’9||200|
|15||WR||Deebo Samuel||South Carolina||6’0″||210|
|18||TE||Irv Smith Jr||Alabama||6’3″||243|
|23||RB||Devin Singletary||Florida Atlantic||5’9||200|
My focus in round 1 of rookie drafts this year is wide receiver. Part of that is the talent at the top of that position, but part of it is the value you can get at running back in round 2. Miles Sanders showed out in Indianapolis-proving he’s just as athletic in testing as he looks on tape; making him the highest riser on my big board. Justice Hill’s combine solidified his high ceiling and proved for me that he is made to be a PPR threat for year’s to come. Trayveon Williams didn’t impress as much at the combine, but didn’t tank his draft stock either-his tape and production still warrant early round 2 consideration.
Parris Campbell and Emmanuel Hall both boosted their big board rank from their combine performance. I was skeptical that Campbell’s tape was a product of a well-designed system; he proved me wrong after testing in the 90th%tile or better in the 40 yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, and 20 yard shuttle. His 40 yard dash time was an impressive 4.31. Hall ran a 4.39 40-yard dash (87th%tile) and tested in the 98th%tile in vertical jump and 99th%tile in broad jump. Hall was a player I was higher on than most in pre-combine rankings and he proved in Indianapolis what I saw on tape-a very high ceiling.
This tier also features a few players whose stock seem to be consistently falling. Damien Harris has done nothing bad through the draft process-he just hasn’t done anything exciting; so he continues to slide. I’ve been low on Hollywood Brown from tape, and his injury prevented him from proving me wrong with high athletic testing numbers. Benny Snell and Devin Singletary both disappointed at the combine; Snell proved he is a two down back at best in the NFL and Singletary showed he may not even be that.
Tier 3 is where things start to get wild. It’s a messy combination of hidden gems, high upside/big risk options, and where you will find the bulk of this year’s quarterback class.
|24||TE||Jace Strenberger||Texas A&M||6’4″||250|
|28||WR||Andy Isabella||U Mass||5’10”||190|
|30||QB||Dwayne Haskins||Ohio State||6’2″||215|
|32||TE||Dax Raymond||Utah State||6’5″||250|
|37||RB||Mike Weber||Ohio State||5’10||214|
Kyler Murray continues to buck the NFL Draft process; after deciding late to commit to football he chose to not participate beyond interviews in Indianapolis. Murray remains QB2 for me primarily because Haskins continues to be unimpressive and Murray’s dual threat upside should be coveted by fantasy football players. You’ll see that I have Lock in tier 2; if you’ve been following along with me, that shouldn’t surprise you; I gave him my highest tape grade and it’ll be landing spot that truly separates these 3 quarterbacks.
Daniel Jones continues to get round 1 NFL Draft hype and for that reason alone he remains in my tier 3. I much prefer the upside of Tyree Jackson, though, who proved to be an athletic freak for the QB position at the combine. Jackson ran a 4.59 40-yard dash; at 6’7″ 249 lbs! He also tested in the 84th%tile in the vertical jump and 91st%tile in the broad jump. He’s raw, but he continues to prove he may be worth a taxi squad stash.
This tier also features polarizing wide outs that are worth taking a risk on in the back end of the second round or early to mid third round of your rookie drafts. Arcega-Whiteside has the potential to be a touchdown monster if he falls into the right landing spot, Isabella burned at the combine with a 4.31 40-yard dash (96th%tile), and Riley Ridley is well…he’s the definition of polarizing.
If tier 4 is the part of your rookie draft I like to refer to as “the dart board”. At this point, all of these prospects are pure upside/high bust potential type players. It is important at this point in the draft you find “your guys”-find a guy that gets you excited and take a shot on him; there’s no playing it safe this late in the draft anyways.
|38||WR||Greg Dortch||Wake Forest||5’9″||170|
|39||QB||Easton Stick||North Dakota St||6’2″||222|
|44||WR||DeMarkus Lodge||Ole Miss||6’2″||200|
|45||QB||Brett Rypien||Boise State||6’2″||202|
|46||TE||Dawson Knox||Ole Miss||6’4″||250|
|47||QB||Jordan Ta’amu||Ole Miss||6’2″||212|
In the spirit of working the draft board I’ll focus here on Brett Rypien and Dawson Knox. The quarterback and tight end positions, in particular, interest me this late in rookie drafts because it is less likely I invested in them earlier in the draft.
Brett Rypien, out of Boise State, continues to fly under the radar. He isn’t the flashiest of quarterbacks, and isn’t MVP bound, but I believe that in the right landing spot he could have a long, solid NFL career. He can work all three levels of the field with good accuracy, reads defenses well, and is mobile enough to move the pocket when needed.
Dawson Knox got a low tape score from me. He is a converted quarterback playing tight end and even after a couple year’s in the position he still isn’t comfortable blocking. He is very athletic, however, and is comfortable pass catching. He saw limited work in an Ole Miss offense which also included DeMarkus Lodge, DK Metcalf, and AJ Brown. Given positional scarcity, I’ll likely be rolling the dice on Knox’s upside in my own rookie drafts this offseason.