Fantasy Football Big Board 3.0 (Hicks)

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.

Fantasy Football Big Board 2.0 (Hicks)

Welcome to my second 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 first big board article.

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers 2.0

Tight Ends

This edition of my big board includes tape reviews for an additional 15 players. It also includes adjusted scores for already reviewed players-based on additional film review, pro-day numbers, or other information which contributes to the NFL Draft stock.

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.

You can see how my rankings mach-up with my fellow dynasty writers by checking out or full prospect database at the 48 Report

Tier 1: Top 5 Value

RankChangePOSPlayerCollegeHeightWeight
10WRN’Keal HarryArizona State6’4″213
20WRDK MetcalfOle Miss6’4″228
30WRKelvin HarmonNC State6’2″221
40WRHakeem ButlerIowa State6’6″225
52WRAJ BrownOle Miss6’1″225
62TENoah FantIowa6’5″240

I’m down to 6 players that I could legitimately justify taking with a top 5 rookie dynasty draft pick. My top 4 players remain unchanged, but a deeper review of AJ Brown has solidified his position in the top 5. Further analysis on this wide receivers can be found in my Wide Receivers 2.0 article.

As running backs continue to be unimpressive it has become clear that none deserve to go in the top half of the first round of rookie drafts without ideal landing spots.

The barren landscape of tight ends in the NFL leads me to consider Fant a top option. Fant’s athleticism is very impressive and it leads me to believe that he may be able to produce early for fantasy football players-bucking the trend of the position.

Tier 2: 1st Round Worthy

RankChangePOSPlayerCollegeHeightWeight
7-2RBRodney AndersonOklahoma6’2″220
82RBMiles SandersPenn State5’11’215
92TETJ HockensonIowa6’5″250
10-4RBJosh JacobsAlabama5’10216
112WRParris CampbellOhio State6’1″208
123WRDeebo SamuelSouth
Carolina
6’0″210
13-4RBDavid MontgomeryIowa State5’11216

This tier is defined by running backs sliding. Anderson slides 2 spots as his health continues to be shrouded in mystery. I love Anderson, and 7 is still higher than most are willing to rank him, but I need to see how much NFL teams love him. Jacobs slides 4 spots from unimpressive performance testing. As teams fill their running back needs in free agency it seems less and less likely that he will have a 3 down role early in his career. Montgomery’s 4 spot slide is less about him and more about those who jumped above him-only a good landing spot can bring him back into the first round for my rankings.

Tier 3: 2nd Round Value

RankChangePOSPlayerCollegeHeightWeight
14-2RBJustice HillOklahoma
State
5’10190
153TEIrv Smith JrAlabama6’3″243
160RBDamien HarrisAlabama5’10”215
170WREmanuel HallMissouri6’3″195
18NR*WRMiles BoykinNotre
Dame
6’4″228
19-5RBTrayveon WilliamsTexas
A&M
5’9200
20NR*WRStanley MorganNebraska6’1″200

*NR=Not Ranked. This player was not ranked in my 1st big board article

Tier 3 is defined by players that are very likely going to be available in the second round of the dynasty rookie fantasy football drafts. Who you prefer in this round may come down whether you want ceiling (upside) or floor (safety).

Hill (PPR threat), Hall (Y-type WR/burner along the sideline), Miles Boykin (athleticism), and Trayveon Williams (lack of projected draft capital) all are high upside players I like. Look for landing spots to truly separate them, but for now I’d be happy to get all of them in the 2nd round of my rookie drafts.

Irv Smith Jr., given his position, may take longer to pay off for you-but his athletic play style may pay off in 2/3 years. Damien Harris seems bound for a solid, but not highlight filled, football career. You may like him better in non-PPR formats. Stanley Morgan is an exciting gadget type player who may get a lot of receptions for you, but is not likely to be a red zone threat.

Tier 4: Plant Your Flag

RankChangePOSPlayerCollegeHeightWeight
21NRRBAlex
Barnes
Kansas
State
6’1″225
22NRWRDillon
Mitchell
Oregon6’2″189
23-4WRJalen
Hurd
Baylor6’4″217
240TEJace
Strenberger
Texas
A&M
6’4″250
25NRWRTerry
McLaurin
Ohio State6’1″205
26-1QBKyler
Murray
Oklahoma5’10”195
270WRJJ Arcega-
Whiteside
Stanford6’3225
28-2RBDarrell
Henderson
Memphis5’9″200
29-7QBDrew
Lock
Missouri6’4″225
30NRRBJames
Williams
Washington
State
6’0″205
31-11WRMarquise
Brown
Oklahoma5’10”168
32-2QBDwayne
Haskins
Ohio State6’2″215
33-4WRRiley
Ridley
Georgia6’2200
34NRRBDevine
Ozigbo
Nebraska6”0″235
35-7WRAndy
Isabella
U Mass5’10”190

This tier is when things start to get wild. It is filled with players that could be available in either the 2nd or 3rd rounds of your fantasy football rookie drafts-depending on the preferences of your league mates.

Alex Barnes is a great combination of strength and speed; he has solid film and performed very well at the combine. Dillon Mitchell is an explosive play maker and shows off high upside athleticism in his tape. James Williams could be dangerous if he lands in a high-powered NFL offense that utilizes him specifically in a pass catching role. Devine Ozigbo was a combine snub; he is a powerful runner who has great balance and dangerous acceleration downfield.

I remain lower than most on Henderson-who comes off to me as having poor vision, rounded cuts, and unable to pass block. Hollywood Brown will likely be off your board by the mid-2nd round but I could not possibly justify the undersized, injured, and one dimensional wide receiver going before the 3rd round.

Tier 5: Throw Your Dart

RankChangePOSPlayerCollegeHeightWeight
36-13RBDevin
Singletary
Florida
Atlantic
5’9200
37-1QBDaniel
Jones
Duke6’5″220
38-3WRAnthony
Johnson
Buffalo6’2207
39NRRBAlexander
Mattison
Boise State5’11”211
40-19RBBenny
Snell
Kentucky5’11”223
41-9TEDax
Raymond
Utah State6’5″250
423QBBrett
Rypien
Boise State6’2″202
433TEDawson
Knox
Ole Miss6’4″250
44-11RBElijah
Holyfield
Georgia5’11”215
45NRWRHunter
Renfrow
Clemson5’10”180
462RBMyles
Gaskin
Washington5’9″191
47-13QBTyree
Jackson
Buffalo6’7″245
48-11RBMike
Weber
Ohio State5’10214
49-18WRLil Jordan
Humprey
Texas6’4″225
50-12WRGreg
Dortch
Wake
Forest
5’9″170

Once you have hit the 4th round you are truly throwing darts and hoping for the best. Some choose to use this round to fill roster need i.e. taking the best QB available for depth. I, however, prefer to find players with high ceilings because all players carry risk at this point-so why not go big and get someone with an equal amount of upside?

Dax Raymond and Dawson Knox are two very athletic tight ends who could produce for your fantasy football roster. Raymond has great tape and is a well rounded tight end, but is a bit older. Knox is still very raw and is underdeveloped as a route runner but is extremely athletic for the position.

Alexander Mattison and Benny Snell are powerful running backs who may not see action on 3rd downs in the NFL but could get significant goal line work. It never hurts to have a touchdown vulture on your roster.

You’ll likely be waiting a few years for Tyree Jackson to develop, but stashing him could be worth it. The Buffalo sensation has a huge arm and is impressively athletic for his size. His poor footwork, accuracy, and decision making, though, will take time to hone even with the best coaching situation.

Tier 6: Taxi Squad Heros

RankChangePOSPlayerCollegeHeightWeight
51-1RBBryce
Love
Stanford5’10”202
52-10WRWill
Grier
WVU6’2″223
53-13TEKaden
Smith
Stanford6’5259
54-15QBEaston
Stick
North
Dakota State
6’2″222
55NRWRKeeSean
Johnson
Fresno
State
6’2″199
56-12WRDeMarkus
Lodge
Ole Miss6’2″200
57NRWRDavid
Sills
West
Viginia
6’4″210
58NRRBKaran
Higdon
Michigan5’10”202
59-12QBJordan
Ta’amu
Ole Miss6’2″212
60-19TEIsaac
Nuata
Georgia6’4″240
61-18RBDamarea
Crockett
Missouri5’11225
62-11QBGardner
Minshew
Washington
State
6’2′220
63-14QBJarrett
Stidham
Auburn6’2″215

My final tier (for now) is filled with players that scream JAG (just another guy) to me. There are some big names on this list-ones I was excited to review film on. None of them, however, stood out enough to fall into the “dart throw” category for me.

If you do find yourself in a league that drafts into the 50’s/60’s overall there are some players that could fit into your taxi squad. Bryce Love’s college production shows you his upside-perhaps an improved offensive line could bring him back to near Heisman production. Isaac Nauta was on a lot of radars, until poor combine testing cast major concerns over his athleticism and speed; maybe a good landing spot could help him offset those issues. Davis Sills fits the profile of an “X” receiver in the NFL and flashed at times, but the converted QB has terrible hands-if he develops into a more reliable wideout he could be a red zone threat.

Fantasy Football Big Board 1.0 (Hicks)

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:

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

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.

You can see how my rankings mach-up with my fellow dynasty writers by checking out or full prospect database at the 48 Report

Tier 1

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.

1WRN’Keal HarryArizona State6’4″213
2WRDK MetcalfOle Miss6’4″225
3WRKelvin HarmonNC State6’2″215
4WRHakeem ButlerIowa State6’6″225
5RBRodney AndersonOklahoma6’2″220
6RBJosh JacobsAlabama5’11216
7WRAJ BrownOle Miss6’1″225
8TENoah FantIowa6’5″240
9RBDavid MontgomeryIowa State5’11216

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.


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Tier 2

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.

10RBMiles SandersPenn State5’11’215
11TETJ HockensonIowa6’5″250
12RBJustice HillOklahoma State5’10190
13WRParis CampbellOhio State6’1″208
14RBTrayveon WilliamsTexas A&M5’9200
15WRDeebo SamuelSouth Carolina6’0″210
16RBDamien HarrisAlabama5’10”215
17WREmanuel HallMissouri6’3″195
18TEIrv Smith JrAlabama6’3″243
19WRJalen HurdBaylor6’4″217
20WRMarquise BrownOklahoma5’10”168
21RBBenny SnellKentucky5’11”223
22QBDrew LockMissouri6’4″225
23RBDevin SingletaryFlorida Atlantic5’9200

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

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.

24TEJace StrenbergerTexas A&M6’4″250
25QBKyler MurrayOklahoma 5’10”195
26RBDarrell HendersonMemphis5’9″200
27WRJJ Arcega-WhitesideStanford6’3225
28WRAndy IsabellaU Mass5’10”190
29WRRiley RidleyGeorgia6’2200
30QBDwayne HaskinsOhio State6’2″215
31WRLil’Jordan HumphreyTexas6’4″225
32TEDax RaymondUtah State6’5″250
33RBElijah HolyfieldGeorgia5’11”215
34QBTyree JacksonBuffalo6’7″245
35WRAnthony JohnsonBuffalo6’2207
36QBDaniel JonesDuke6’5″220
37RBMike WeberOhio State5’10214

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.

Tier 4

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.

38WRGreg DortchWake Forest5’9″170
39QBEaston StickNorth Dakota St6’2″222
40TEKaden SmithStanford6’5259
41TEIsaac NautaGeorgia6’4″240
42QBWill GrierWVU6’2″223
43RBDamarea CrockettMissouri5’11225
44WRDeMarkus LodgeOle Miss6’2″200
45QBBrett RypienBoise State6’2″202
46TEDawson KnoxOle Miss6’4″250
47QBJordan Ta’amuOle Miss6’2″212
48RBMyles GaskinWashington5’9″191

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.