Mon. Sep 16th, 2019

The Fantasy Fanalysts

For the Love of the Game.

Fantasy Football Big Board 3.0 (Hicks)

9 min read

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 24: Wide receiver N'Keal Harry #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs with the ball during the second half of a college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Welcome to my third 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. You also may want to check out my second big board article to see where I had some of these players pre-draft. Note below that “BB2” refers to where I ranked them in this article.

Now the NFL Draft is over and landing spots have flipped my big board on its head. In addition to landing spots, I’ve significantly increased my big board to include anyone with relevant draft capital or priority undrafted free agents (UDFA) I was high on pre-draft.

Here are my top 104 rookies following the 2019 NFL Draft, broken in 6 tiers.


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Tier 1: Potential 1.01 Picks

RankBB2ChangePOSPlayerTeam
110WRN’Keal HarryNew England
2108RBJosh JacobsOakland
32-1WRDK MetcalfSeattle
462TENoah FantDenver
583RBMiles SandersPhiladelphia

It was tough for me to draw a clear line for my “tier 1” post NFL Draft-I chose to go with the players I think could go with the 1.01 pick in dynasty rookie drafts, depending on team need.

Personally N’Keal Harry is far and away my 1.01; he was my 1.01 pre-draft for his athleticism, YAC potential, quickness, and production at Arizona State. Now he is paired with perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady, and in an offense that has no significant threats to Harry’s target potential past Julian Edelman.

Josh Jacobs, though, is my biggest riser: I liked him tape but was not convinced he could be an immediate 3 down back in the NFL. It remains to be seen how quickly he will be thrown into that role, but Oakland made a bold statement about what they see in Jacobs when they selected him with the 24th overall pick. The explosive and strong running back out of Alabama now finds himself in a surprisingly balanced offense with Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, and Hunter Renfrow as passing game threats for Derek Carr.

DK Metcalf and Miles Sanders’ landing spots have been questioned by many, but not me. Metcalf finds himself competing only with Tyler Lockett (pending an official retirement announcement from Doug Baldwin) for targets from Russell Wilson-a top 5 quarterback in the NFL. Miles Sanders’ crowded running back depth chart doesn’t bother me-I don’t expect Jordan Howard to be in Philadelphia past the 2019 season, and I’ll be surprised if more than one of Clement, Sproles, Adams, and Smallwood make it onto the 53 man roster come September.

Tier 2: High Upside, but Not Without the Risk

RankBB2ChangePOSPlayerTeam
693TETJ HockensonDetroit
75-2WRAJ BrownTennessee
8135RBDavid MontgomeryChicago
9112WRParris CampbellIndianapolis
10122WRDeebo SamuelSan Francisco
112716WRJJ Arcega-WhitesidePhiladelphia
12153TEIrv Smith JrMinnesota
133118WRMarquise BrownBaltimore
14239WRJalen HurdSan Francisco
1514-1RBJustice HillBaltimore

Tier 2 is stacked with talent; the combined upside of this group makes me scoff at those who claim this is a weak rookie class. Still, there are flaws to be found alongside the homerun potential of many of these players.

AJ Brown remains high on my draft board, despite a questionable landing spot. Brown will likely have to play outside for the Titans, who inked Adam Humphries earlier this off season, and will be playing with the inconsistent Marcus Mariota. Brown, though, succeeded on the outside at Ole Miss-Vanderbilt was perhaps his best game tape and he played primarily outside. Mariota, is coming off a season where he didn’t have feeling in his hand or throwing shoulder for most of the season. Combine that with a new offensive coordinator and the potential of a balanced running game and the Titans offense is suddenly becoming one that could produce a lot of fantasy football points in 2019. Brown can be the forced volume safety net that Mariota needs to consistently attacked defenses; leading to high PPR upside for Brown.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside (JJAW) is a big riser for me post-NFL Draft. I question JJAW’s long speed and ability to create separation, but Philadelphia saw him as a better fit in their offense than players like Hakeem Butler and DK Metcalf. The Eagles are rumored to be shopping Nelson Agholor and could cut Alshon Jeffery for major cap relief following the 2019 season. JJAW is a power forward who uses his large frame to box out defenders well-an intriguing skillset on a team that sees a lot of red zone opportunity when Carson Wentz is healthy.

Tier 3: Get Your Guy

RankBB2ChangePOSPlayerTeam
164-12WRHakeem ButlerArizona
173518WRAndy IsabellaArizona
183921RBAlexander MattisonMinnesota
19245TEJace SternbergerGreen Bay
20255WRTerry McLaurinWashington
2118-3WRMiles BoykinBaltimore
2216-6RBDamien HarrisNew England
233-20WRKelvin HarmonWashington
24262QBKyler MurrayArizona
25283RBDarrell HendersonLos Angeles Rams
267-19RBRodney AndersonCincinnatti
27N/AN/AWRMecole HardmanKansas City

Once dynasty rookie drafts start to move beyond the mid second round hit rates start to drop and draft strategy becomes critically important. For me, this is when things get fun and I start to go after my guys. All of these players could fit into that category; especially risers like Andy Isabella or fallers like Kelvin Harmon.

Alexander Mattison quietly finds himself in one of my favorite landing spots. Mattison is a well-rounded back with solid vision, good strength, and good agility for his size. He has the potential to catch balls out of the backfield or pound the ball in at the goal line. Dalvin Cook has always had a handcuff, and we should expect Mattision to get a Latavius Murray-esq workload even when Cook is fully healthy. Mattision, though, has more goal line potential, and that could lead to a lot of fantasy football value. I suggest latching onto this guy before others catch on.

I may just be the only person on #DraftTwitter who actually bumped Henderson up on their big board post draft. Henderson’s Memphis tape did not impress me: I saw him rely on large gaps, depend on his running back teammates to wear down poor competition, and a lack of vision. Now, though, Henderson gets paired with one of the best offensive lines in the country, on an offense where Todd Gurley can wear down opposing defenses, and on a team that consistently moves the ball down field. Henderson may not get the volume you’d want, but he will have every opportunity to make home run plays that give fantasy football players a great return on investment in the late second/early third round.

Tier 4: Late Round Dart Throws

RankBB2ChangePOSPlayerTeam
28291QBDrew LockDenver
29367RBDevin SingletaryBuffalo
30322QBDwayne HaskinsWashington
314312TEDawson KnoxBuffalo
32331WRRiley RidleyChicago
3322-11WRDillon MitchellMinnesota
34406RBBenny SnellPittsburgh
35372QBDaniel JonesNew York Giants
36N/AN/ATEKahale WarringHouston
375114RBBryce LoveWashington
3820-18WRStanley MorganCincinatti
3930-9RBJames WilliamsKansas City
4019-21RBTrayveon WilliamsCincinatti
4134-7RBDevine OzigboNew Orleans
42N/AN/ATEJosh OliverJacksonville
43452WRHunter RenfrowOakland
445511WRKeeSean JohnsonArizona
456318QBJarrett StidhamNew England
46N/AN/ATEAlize MackNew Orleans
47N/AN/AWRGary JenningsSeattle
48N/AN/ARBDexter WilliamsGreen Bay

Note: I’m switching to quick notes on players for the rest of this article, to provide you with as many content as possible.

Drew Lock is an investment pick-he likely will “redshirt” behind Flacco this year. He is worth the wait, though, his velocity and ability to work all 3 levels of the field made him my favorite quarterback on tape. With a year in Denver he can correct the mechanics issues that plummeted his draft capital.

Dawson Knox is a highly athletic TE who converted from quarterback to see little volume in a stacked Ole Miss offense. He will have the chance to win the starting role in a Buffalo offense desperate for playmakers.

James Williams may be a UDFA, but he is a a fantastic pass catching back with high PPR upside in a Kansas City offense that seems to be taking the “quantity over quality approach” to their backfield. Williams may end up being a RB2 in fantasy football in 2019, or he may not make the 53 man roster-he’s a major dart throw.

Alize Mack doesn’t have the best tape out there, but he has sneaky upside on a high powered offense that couldn’t find a viable tight end in 2018.

Tier 5: Taxi Squad Heros

RankBB2ChangePOSPlayerTeam
49N/AN/ARBRyquell ArmsteadJacksonville
50522WRWill GrierCarolina
5146-5RBMyles GaskinMiami
5217-35WREmanuel HallChicago
5349-4WRLil Jordan
Humphrey
New Orleans
54540QBEaston StickLos Angeles Chargers
55N/AN/AWRTerry GodwinCarolina
56N/AN/ATECaleb WilsonArizona
57N/AN/ARBAnthony PollardDallas
58N/AN/AWRJakobi MeyersNew England
59N/AN/ATEDrew SampleCincinatti
6041-19TEDax RaymondChicago
61N/AN/ATEFoster MoreauOakland
62N/AN/AQBRyan FinleyCincinatti
6348-15RBMike WeberDallas
6453-11TEKaden SmithSan Francisco
6544-21RBElijah HolyfieldCarolina
6650-16WRGreg DortchNew York Jets
67N/AN/ATETrevon WescoNew York Jets
68N/AN/ARBQadree OllisonAtlanta
69N/AN/AWRDarius SlaytonNew York Giants
70N/AN/ARBDarwin ThompsonKansas City
71N/AN/ATETommy SweeneyBuffalo
72N/AN/ARBBruce AndersonTampa Bay
73N/AN/AWRPenny HartIndianapolis
74N/AN/AWRJazz FergusonSeattle
75N/AN/AWRAshton DulinIndianapolis

Emanuel Hall is a seriously flashy tape review-he burned NFL bound SEC defensive backs consistently at Missouri but struggled to stay healthy. He could end up being yet another dynamic piece in Matt Nagy’s offense.

Lil’ Jordan Humphrey’s draft stock plummeted with a horrendous combine. Still, he’s a PFF favorite for a reason and the over sized slot wideout may end up moving to tight end. Still, he signs as a UDFA with the Saints-giving him upside potential.

Foster Moreau is a raw but athletic tight end of of LSU; he likely will take some time to develop but faces a lack of competition for targets in Oakland’s depth chart.

Ashton Dulin is a Division 2 phenom out of Malone College, and a bit of a lore among those who covet dominator rating to measure the potential success of wide receivers. Dulin lands in a good offense in Indianapolis who doesn’t have much depth past Hilton, Funchess, and now Campbell.

Tier 6: Deep League Dives

RankBB2ChangePOSPlayerTeam
7660-16TEIsaac NautaDetroit
7762-15QBGardner MinshewJacksonville
78N/AN/AWRTravis FulghamDetroit
79N/AN/AQBClayton ThorsonPhiladelphia
80N/AN/ARBTravis HomerSeattle
8158-23RBKaran HigdonHouston
8221-61RBAlex BarnesTennessee
83N/AN/AQBTrace McSorleyBaltimore
84N/AN/ATEZach GentryPittsburgh
85N/AN/ARBTy JohnsonDetroit
8647-39QBTyree JacksonBuffalo
87N/AN/ARBJordan ScarlettCarolina
8857-31WRDavid SillsBuffalo
89N/AN/AWRJuwann WinfreeDenver
9061-29RBDamarea CrockettHouston
91N/AN/AWROlamide ZaccheausAtlanta
92N/AN/AWRPreston WilliamsMiami
93N/AN/AWRAnthony Ratliff-WilliamsTennessee
94N/AN/ATEDonald ParhamDetroit
95N/AN/AWRMarcus GreenAtlanta
96N/AN/ARBCullen GillaspiaHouston
97N/AN/ARBKerrith Whyte JrChicago
98N/AN/AWROlasibi JohnsonMinnesota
9942-57QBBrett RypienDenver
10056-44WRDeMarkus LodgeTampa Bay
101N/AN/AWRJohn UrsuaSeattle
102N/AN/AWRScott MillerTampa Bay
10338-65WRAnthony JohnsonFree Agent
10459-45QBJordan Ta’amuFree Agent

Isaac Nauta was once considered among the top tight ends in this draft class-poor combine testing, though, doomed the former two sport IMG Academy standout. He ends up being the 2nd tight end drafted by Detroit (TJ Hockenson 8th overall), and will likely be buried on that depth chart-but he’s worth a late stash if he develops into more than a blocking tight end.

Gardner Minshew is still fairly raw-with just one season as a starting quarterback at Washington State. Minshew is undersized but can work the first two levels of the field, stretch the pocket, and is coveted by his teammates for his leadership. He’s a deep stash, but with two years behind Foles to develop, there’s a chance he gets a shot at the starting job following the end of the Jaguar’s newest quarterback’s contract.

Alex Barnes is extremely talented, and I find it a bit ironic he lands with the Titans: he has elements of both Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis in his game. He likely won’t see the field early in his career, barring injury, but has great vision, is a very powerful runner, and hands soft hands that make him a threat anywhere on the field.

Trace McSorely add yet another element of quickness for Baltimore in a draft that seems to indicate the future of their offense around Lamar Jackson. Look for McSorely to take on a gadget-type role, similar to the one Taysom Hill adopted for the Saints in 2018, for Baltimore. It may not surmount to any significant fantasy football value, but if your rosters are deep enough he’s worth consideration.

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