Dynasty Mock Draft Series: May

The Dynasty Mock Draft Series is a collaborative set of articles sharing the results of mock drafts with dynasty analysts from across the fantasy football community. The full results, by round, are listed below. Each analyst that participated in this draft has their personal work hyperlinked to their description, please make sure to check out their individual work as long as all of the articles in this series. Following the second mock draft, we will also be tracking ADP, which you can find HERE.

Round 1: Gurley Falls, 1st Round Otherwise Chalk

Pick Player POS Team
1.01 Saquon Barkley RB NYG
1.02 Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL
1.03 DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU
1.04 Odell Beckham Jr WR NYG
1.05 Alvin Kamara RB NO
1.06 Christian McCaffrey RB CAR
1.07 Davante Adams WR GB
1.08 Michael Thomas WR NO
1.09 Le’Veon Bell RB NYJ
1.10 Todd Gurley RB LAR
1.11 Melvin Gordon RB LAC
1.12 David Johnson RB ARI

For the most part, nothing was surprising about this mock’s 1st round. Every player here is justifiable as a 1st round pick. I would like to have seen Christian McCaffrey go top 5, but again, I can’t be mad at where anyone went. The thing that stuck out to me was Gurley falling to the back end as opposed to being top 5 in recent seasons. With constant news of an arthritic knee, Gurley is probably worrying many because that could affect longevity for the running back. It also doesn’t help that the Rams drafted (with high capital) a top back in the draft to, I’m assuming, keep him more fresh. At the very least, I don’t think we will see the workloads we’ve been used to seeing in the past which could maybe push him to early round 2. Matter of fact, I would not be surprised if we see him there by late summer, early fall. Groupthink is a killer and I could see that affecting his ADP.  

Christopher Nelson, The Fantasy Fanalysts

Round 2: Travis Kelce comes off the board 18th overall

Pick Player POS Team
2.01 JuJu Smith-Schuster WR PIT
2.02 Joe Mixon RB CIN
2.03 James Conner RB PIT
2.04 Julio Jones WR ATL
2.05 Mike Evans WR TB
2.06 Travis Kelce TE KC
2.07 Nick Chubb RB CLE
2.08 Antonio Brown WR OAK
2.09 Dalvin Cook RB MIN
2.10 Stefon Diggs WR MIN
2.11 Keenan Allen WR LAC
2.12 Amari Cooper WR DAL

The NFL’s tight end drought is a real thing and showed with Travis Kelce going with the sixth pick in the second round.  Kelce offers close to guaranteed high end production that not only is top 3 at the tight end position but would be a borderline top 12 WR.  Last season Kelce had a career high 103 receptions for 1336 yards and ten touchdown after having over 80 catches in both of the previous two seasons as well.

With the potential loss of Tyreek Hill, Kelce truly is the focal point of the offense and should see another year of huge volume. With a lot of question marks in the second round after the first couple picks Kelce gives a high floor as well as ceiling that could be a league winner adding almost guaranteed production to the most volatile position in fantasy football

Round 3: The Quarterback Seal Is Broken

Pick Player POS Team
3.01 Kenny Golladay WR DET
3.02 George Kittle TE SF
3.03 Patrick Mahomes QB KC
3.04 Adam Thielen WR MIN
3.05 T.Y. Hilton WR IND
3.06 Zach Ertz TE PHI
3.07 Leonard Fournette RB JAX
3.08 AJ Green WR CIN
3.09 Damien Williams RB KC
3.10 Brandin Cooks WR LAR
3.11 Kerryon Johnson RB DET
3.12 D.J. Moore WR CAR

The 3rd round of the draft was full of risky picks. Some guys choose the true upside plays (Damien Williams, Dj Moore, Leonard Fournette, Kenny Golladay), while others banked on aging veterans that hopefully still have a few good season left in the tank (TY Hilton, Aj Green). However, the most controversial pick was probably Patrick Mahomes going at 3.03 or 27th overall. Most fantasy vets will tell you that it’s best to wait on quarterback.

While this statement is completely valid in redraft, I think it’s slightly overrated in dynasty. If you could go back and draft Peyton or Rodgers in their early seasons for your dynasty teams, would you do it over a WR2 or a RB2? I think most would agree having Rodgers on their teams over the past decade would be much more beneficial than guys taken in the 3rd round in 2009…names like Darren McFadden, Anquan Boldin, Ronnie Brown, Ryan Grant and Marques Colston. Some of those listed players had periods of success but nothing like the prolonged success of Rodgers. I believe that Mahomes has that type of upside, maybe more.

Garret Price, Dynasty Nerds

Round 4: The Round of the (Young) Running Backs

Pick Player POS Team
4.01 Josh Jacobs RB OAK
4.02 Sony Michel RB NE
4.03 Marlon Mack RB IND
4.04 Derrick Henry RB TEN
4.05 Devonta Freeman RB ATL
4.06 Mark Ingram RB BAL
4.07 Aaron Jones RB GB
4.08 Phillip Lindsay RB DEN
4.09 Andrew Luck QB IND
4.10 Derrius Guice RB WAS
4.11 Robert Woods WR LAR
4.12 David Montgomery RB CHI

15 running backs were taken in rounds 1-3, which led to a mad dash in the 4th round-where another 10 went off the board. Jacobs (4.01) and Montgomery (4.12) were the first two rookie running backs off the board. Jacobs justifies his draft position with explosive traits, high NFL Draft capital, and the opportunity to immediately be a 3 down back for the Raiders. Montgomery has the ability to be what Jordan Howard never amounted to in a Matt Nagy offense, the same one that led to the breakout of Kareem Hunt during his rookie season.

It also features two sophomore running backs in Sony Michel (4.02) and Derrius Guice (4.10). Michel is coming off a hot finish to the 2018 season, but finds himself in a crowded backfield with the recently drafted Damien Harris along with James White and Rex Burkhead. Guice was an explosive player at LSU that had dynasty players excited last season, but a pre-season ACL injury has delayed us from seeing how he can translate to the NFL. Now he also finds himself in a crowded backfield with Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson to split volume with.

Matt Hicks, The Fantasy Fanalysts

Round 5: Taking an RB Outside of Top 50 is Risky

Pick Player POS Team
5.01 Eric Ebron TE IND
5.02 Kenyan Drake RB MIA
5.03 Miles Sanders RB PHI
5.04 Cooper Kupp WR LAR
5.05 Chris Godwin WR TB
5.06 Sammy Watkins WR KC
5.07 Julian Edelman WR NE
5.08 Calvin Ridley WR ATL
5.09 Tyler Boyd WR CIN
5.10 Deshaun Watson QB HOU
5.11 Mike Williams WR LAC
5.12 OJ Howard TE TB

The 5th round was book ended by TEs, Ebron (5.01) and O.J. Howard (5.12), great value for Howard as he went as our 5th TE at pick 60.  The real story is the tier drop for RBs and all of you Zero RB guys would have really felt that run on RBs round 5, 8 in a row and 10 out of 12 RBs.  Leaving only Kenyan Drake (5.2) and Myles Sanders (5.3) both teams RB2. One QB off of the board and that was Mr. DeShaun Watson 5.10, 3rd QB off of the board and no QBs were selected in round 6, maybe could have waited for the turn.

The meat of this round was the WRs, a little slotty with Edelman (5.7), Godwin (5.5), Boyd (5.9), and Kupp (5.4).  Watkins has been a riser and at 5.6 already as we await the Hill news, boom or bust pick. The last 2 guys produced 10 TDs a piece last year, Calvin Ridley (5.8) and Mike Williams (5.11).  Overall, no real big surprises and a lot of safe picks with high floors minus Watkins. Love the WR value this rain, do not like the way RBs fell at all. A little Rich for me with Ebron at 5.1 and Watson at 5.10.

Dynasty Dorks

Round 6: Steady Roster Fillers, with a Dash of Upside

Pick Player POS Team
6.01 Chris Carson RB SEA
6.02 Allen Robinson WR CHI
6.03 Jarvis Landry WR CLE
6.04 Alshon Jeffery WR PHI
6.05 Tarik Cohen RB CHI
6.06 Lamar Miller RB HOU
6.07 Dante Pettis WR SF
6.08 Hunter Henry TE LAC
6.09 James White RB NE
6.10 Kareem Hunt RB CLE
6.11 Tyler Lockett WR SEA
6.12 Robby Anderson WR NYJ

The sixth round of fantasy drafts is a time when the majority of high end, potential league winners have come off the board. If the right upside play is chosen, a player in the sixth could still make a huge impact on who controls the league, particularly in a dynasty format. But often owners opt to go in a safe direction to fill their starting lineups out. Players like Chris Carson, Allen Robinson, and Jarvis Landry fit the bill of players who are not that exciting to draft, but are competent players an owner can plug into a starting position and expect a solid contribution from on a weekly basis.

However, since this is a dynasty league mock draft and not a redraft league, I felt it was way too early for a guy like Lamar Miller. Almost 30 and in the final year of his contract, he should still be available in about round 10 of dynasty start up drafts. Kareem Hunt was one of the true boom-or-bust upside plays in the sixth round. Since he won’t be playing until week 9 this season (with an unknown future beyond 2019), it was earlier than I’m willing to take him, particularly with so many high upside players still on the board without the baggage. My choice of Dante Pettis is another boom-or-bust pick, as is the selection of Hunter Henry, but both could pay off big if those players pan out.

Kevin Scott, FanSided.com

Round 7: There, There. It’s Safe to Take a non-Barkley Giant, now

Pick Player POS Team
7.01 D.K. Metcalf WR SEA
7.02 Baker Mayfield QB CLE
7.03 N’Keal Harry WR NE
7.04 Evan Engram TE NYG
7.05 Tevin Coleman RB SF
7.06 Aaron Rodgers QB GB
7.07 Golden Tate WR NYG
7.08 Russell Wilson QB SEA
7.09 Tyreek Hill WR KC
7.10 Geronimo Allison WR GB
7.11 Rashaad Penny RB SEA
7.12 Sterling Shepard WR NYG

This is the round where our mock drafters decided to start taking chances. Rookies, a receiver that might not play in 2019, some upside-second fiddle running backs, and some high end quarterbacks all came off the board. The biggest surprise was that three New York Giants were selected in this round.

Evan Engram was the 7th Tight End to come off the board. This is a great place to grab Evan Engram. He has the potential to be a top 5 Tight End with the absence of OBJ and Eli Manning’s need to manage the ball when he doesn’t hand it off to Saquon. He will also have longevity and success at the position after Manning’s career ends.

Golden Tate or Sterling Shepard? They both went in this round and both could have seventh round value. At the very least, they will be Kings of Garbage Time in 2019. I selected Golden Tate over Sterling Shepard because of the same reasons why Engram should succeed. Eli will be looking for the shorter pass to manage the game. Tate’s yards-after-the-catch stats are an added bonus.

It’s clear that the members of this mock are the “wait on a QB” type because Baker Mayfield, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson would not last until the 7th round in our home/work leagues. I love all 3 of these picks here since all three are high end Quarterbacks and have several years left in their careers.

Finally, Tyreek Hill was selected near the end of the 7th round. Somebody was going to take the chance despite the likelihood that he doesn’t play for the season. If he does have a career after 2019, this pick will pay dividends! If not, the pick’s value isn’t high enough to consider it a waste. It’s worth the risk, although too early for me.

Marc Szymanski, The Fantasy Fanalysts

Round 8:  Corey Davis’ Slide Ends

Pick Player POS Team
8.01 Corey Davis WR TEN
8.02 Courtland Sutton WR DEN
8.03 Will Fuller WR HOU
8.04 Christian Kirk WR ARI
8.05 David Njoku TE CLE
8.06 LeSean McCoy RB BUF
8.07 T.J. Hockenson TE DET
8.08 Jerick McKinnon RB SF
8.09 Parris Campbell WR IND
8.10 Austin Hooper TE ATL
8.11 Marquise Brown WR BAL
8.12 Ito Smith RB ATL

We finally see Corey Davis get picked at 8.01, falling behind guys like Alshon Jeffery, Allen Robinson, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate.  It is clear that fantasy players are becoming impatient with Davis and the rest of the Tennessee Titans. Between injuries, inconsistent QB play and an offensive scheme geared toward the run, Davis hasn’t been able to live up to the hype of being selected 5th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.  However, if Mariota and the rest of this offense gets right this year, Davis definitely has the talent to be a significant value at this point. The rest of this round is filled with guys that I really like and have some nice upside due to talent or situation. Courtland Sutton, Will Fuller, Christian Kirk and Parris Campbell are guys that I believe are extremely talented and could be big time producers.

Mike Colaianne, The Fantasy Fanalysts

Round 9: Upside Running Backs Round

Pick Player POS Team
9.01 Justice Hill RB BAL
9.02 Royce Freeman RB DEN
9.03 D’Onta Foreman RB HOU
9.04 Dion Lewis RB TEN
9.05 Mecole Hardman WR KC
9.06 A.J. Brown WR TEN
9.07 Matt Ryan QB ATL
9.08 Jordan Howard RB PHI
9.09 Ronald Jones RB TB
9.10 Carlos Hyde RB KC
9.11 Noah Fant TE DEN
9.12 Carson Wentz QB PHI

The opening pick of round nine hinted that this might be the time more of the upside running backs would come off the board. Justice Hill was a wasted pick in redraft format because his health issues might delay his start to the 2019 season. Royce Freeman and D’Onta Foreman were the steals of this round with huge upside potential if they can win a larger share of the carries. Fantasy players infatuation with rookies over second or third years who had struggled came through loud and clear with rookie wide receiver picks. Matt Ryan was a steal in the ninth round as the 7th quarterback off the board.  

Dennis Michelsen, FlurrySports.org

Round 10: Filling in Needs with Good Teams

Pick Player POS Team
10.01 Darrell Henderson RB LAR
10.02 Tyrell Williams WR OAK
10.03 Vance McDonald TE PIT
10.04 Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT
10.05 James Washington WR PIT
10.06 Dede Westbrook WR JAX
10.07 Latavius Murray RB NO
10.08 Jaylen Samuels RB PIT
10.09 Drew Brees QB NO
10.10 Matt Breida RB SF
10.11 Nyheim Hines RB IND
10.12 Jameis Winston QB TB

Round 10 was one of the most balanced in terms of positions selected in the entire draft. There were 3 QBs, 5 RBs, 3 WRs and 1TE taken. Several players were selected in this round to fill in starting line-up requirements. Two QBs, Ben Roethlisberger and Jameis Winston, were drafted with that purpose.  Winston especially has a great opportunity this season under Bruce Arians. He has tremendous upside for the 11th QB taken in the draft.

Personally, I used the strategy of waiting on a certain position until the 10th round. I grabbed my starting TE here as Vance McDonald was my highest ranked at the position still on the board.

Interestingly enough, there were four Steelers players drafted in the 10th round. In general, people were looking towards good NFL offenses in this round with teams like the Rams, the Saints, the 49ers, the Colts and the Buccaneers represented.

Kyle Senra, Full Press Coverage

Round 11: Youth, old and everything in between.

Pick Player POS Team
11.01 Philip RIvers QB LAR
11.02 Keke Coutee WR HOU
11.03 Curtis Samuel WR CAR
11.04 Jared Cook TE NO
11.05 Deebo Samuel WR SF
11.06 Hakeem Butler WR ARI
11.07 Jimmy Garoppolo QB SF
11.08 Cam Newton QB CAR
11.09 Mitch Trubisky QB CHI
11.10 Austin Ekeler RB LAC
11.11 Tre’Quan Smith WR NO
11.12 Marvin Jones WR DET

When you think of players that could be available in round 11, the first thought that might come to your mind is “blah”. But when you’re drafting with smart dudes, it’s a round that can help you win in year one of a start up league.

This round was filled with top end quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Philip Rivers), nice upside wide receivers (Curtis Samuel, Tre’Quan Smith, Marvin Jones), very interesting rookies (Deebo Samuel, Hakeem Butler) and a TE1 (Jared Cook).

Getting a guy like Newton, if healthy, seems like a steal in round 11. Curtis Samuel might be the #2 WR in Carolina for Newton, while Marvin Jones should benefit with no Golden Tate in town. Butler is someone who I really loved before the NFL Draft, but the landing spot brings up some questions. Cook comes off his first career pro bowl appearance and should produce another solid season in New Orleans.

My pick in this round was Smith. He had some monster games last season for the Saints and could see an uptick of targets with another great training camp in 2019. I went RB early (5 of my first 7 picks) in this mock, so I wanted to swing for the fences in my WR department. Smith fits that mold.

Anthony Zaragoza, Dynasty Football Factory

Round 12: Wide Receiver depth takes center stage.

Pick Player POS Team
12.01 Daesean Hamilton WR DEN
12.02 Jared Goff QB LAR
12.03 Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI
12.04 Devin Singletary RB BUF
12.05 Anthony Miller WR CHI
12.06 Kalen Ballage RB MIA
12.07 Devin Funchess WR IND
12.08 Josh Allen QB BUF
12.09 Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN
12.10 Kyler Murray QB ARI
12.11 Delanie Walker TE TEN
12.12 Mike Davis RB CHI

In the 12th and final round, it is apparent that prioritizing RB depth over WR depth should be prioritized in any startup. The remaining receivers that are still available at the end of this draft are far better than the remaining running backs. Just take those drafted in the 12th as an example. Devin Singletary, Kalen Ballage and Mike Davis are all facing an uphill battle for playing time. Whereas Daesean Hamilton, Larry Fitzgerald, Anthony Miller and Devin Funchess all have secured roles already in place. I ended my draft selecting Hamilton with the 12.01 as I firmly believe he has the chance to pace the Broncos in all major receiving categories this year. Flacco may not last all year with Drew Lock now on the team and I believe Lock and

Hamilton can grow together and begin to build chemistry with one another as early as this year. So at this point in the draft grabbing a guy like Hamilton who could end up as the top scoring receiver in Denver far outweighs grabbing a backup running back. This is why I would advocate to grab running backs early and utilize the insane receiver depth to your advantage to put your team in the best position to win this year and for years to come. Not to mention, more often than not, receiver is way deeper than running back in rookie drafts as well, so you can always look there to shore up your receiving corps if you go with a running back heavy approach in your startup.

Happy-Hour Fantasy, Gridiron Experts

Opportunity vs Ability: NFL Smarts in Rookie Drafts

We all know a kid sometime in our past who had all the talent in the world, but never made it. It could’ve been due to many different circumstances like money for college, more important responsibility at home, couldn’t stay out of trouble and so on. It still doesn’t change the fact that sometimes people just miss out.

In terms of the NFL, you have to add in the fact that every scouting department isn’t created equally and even if they were, they don’t make the choices. The ones choosing could be sold on someone who is just terrible compared to other guys, but there’s nothing we can do about it. The only things we can do is hedge those decisions for fantasy, which is what I’m here to help you do.

Opportunity’s Call

When dealing with fantasy football we like to have guys who have a huge opportunity share in the offense (or defense with IDP leagues). History shows we have to be the same with our rookie drafts.

Here’s why you should, for the most part, avoid guys (with your high picks) drafted in the 6-7 rounds and undrafted free agent pools:

In last 10 years, here are some of the hits for 6-7 rounders and UDFAs. From a recent conversation I had, I decided to change it from an all inclusive 100 PPR points or 6.25 ppg, to position specific. My baseline for success for each position was someone you’d be flexing or starting in most leagues.

Quarterbacks (3 year average of the QB24 = 184 points)

7 QBs have had success in rounds 6-7 with only 4 out of the 7 having done it more than once:

Tom Brady, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel

The UDFA to accomplish this feat:

Tony Romo, Case Keenum and Kurt Warner.

Wide Receivers (3 year average of the WR36 = 166 points)

6 receivers have done it with only 4 out of 6 having done it more than once:

Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman, Pierre Garcon & Steve Johnson.

20 UDFAs did it with just 9 of them doing it more than once. The most notable:

Wes Welker, Doug Baldwin, Victor Cruz, Adam Thielen, and Willie Snead

Michelle Magdziuk @BallBLastEm made a great observation that cannot be over looked:

Running Backs (3 year average of the RB36 = 134 points)

9 running backs were a RB36 or better and only 6 of them did it more than once:

Rashad Jennings, Alfred Morris, Latavius Murray, Theo Riddick, Andre Ellington, and Justin Forsett

The undrafted accomplished this 22 times with 12 having continued success:

Fred Jackson, Isaiah Crowell, Adrian Foster, Pierre Thomas, Danny Woodhead, C.J. Anderson, Joique Bell, LeGarette Blount, Chris Ivory, Ryan Grant, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Mike Tolbert

Tight Ends (3 year average of the TE24 = 93 points)

The TEs that have done it:

Charles Clay, Zach Miller, Brandon Myers, Mychal Rivera, and Ryan Griffin

The only undrafted free agents to do it:

Antonio Gates, Cameron Brate, Jack Doyle, Will Tye, Jake Ballard, Trey Burton, Larry Donnell, and Tim Wright

It’s simple, if the TEAM invests in them, WE have to invest accordingly. The caveat here is that you don’t forget about the late round/UDFA guys.

Allen Iverson’s Law: Talkin’ Bout Practice

One of the best practices is the utilization of your local taxi squad IF you have the room or regular roster if you have the spots. If through the draft process, you found a guy or guys whom you’ve just become enamored with, GO GET THEM. Don’t be dissuaded from getting your guys, just utilize your own draft capital for guys with true draft capital. This is because on average, for every position except quarterback, 1-2 guys per year emerge from that murky junkyard of 6-7 rounders and undrafted free agents to become PPR relevant at least once. Some of these guys end up with long term success, A LOT don’t.

A Rule of Thumb:

There is a much bigger area for “boom-bust” in 6-7/udfa areas than rounds 1-5.

Which is why I believe that these guys are sometimes better served for waivers later on. If they don’t end up free agents in your league, it’s ok. Let someone hold onto your asset for you until it’s time to obtain. Once that player starts tracking for success, you have to act before the price raises or otherwise you over pay in a trade vs making that asset a throw in for an otherwise “underwhelming” trade in the eyes of everyone but you. It’s all about timing. The trick is to not go in to negotiations showing your hand and you’ll be just fine.

Another good practice is to grab these guys when an injury happens to guys ahead of them on the depth chart. This is generally a key time where they can begin to be able to garner more snap counts (time on the field) if they perform well enough.

Going Forward

My pinned thread from Twitter and this article are just a warm-up for a series of articles and rankings so, be on the lookout for those, which will come directly after this.

A small hint to my ranking content-they will be different than you’ve seen before! Hopefully this has helped you prepare for your rookie drafts, stay tuned!

4 Dynasty Players to Buy Now

Earlier this off-season I went over the guys I would look to sell high on for value. Now I want to get into players I am interested in buying in dynasty. To be clear, this is not saying to go out and pay a premium for these guys. However, I do believe some of them could be a value in your league. Some of these guys are players who others might be too low on for various reasons. Others were limited by injury and that might lead to them being available at a discount. Here is part 1 of the players I like as dynasty buys:

Dak Prescott

In fantasy, people never seem that high on Dak, but all 3 seasons of his NFL career he has finished the year as a QB1. In each season he has also rushed for 6 TDs. It’s a part of his game that will add value every season for fantasy. Dak has been consistent for fantasy and real life football purposes over his career. He has a career 66.1% completion percentage, 1.7% interception percentage, and a record of 32-16. He seems to be perpetually undervalued and that is why I see him as a great buy. In 2019 redraft leagues, he will be undervalued and a player I will target. In Dynasty, I am looking to add him everywhere I can.

2018 did not start off well for Dak but once Dallas traded for Amari Cooper he was a different player. He played 7 games without Cooper and 9 with him. The table below illustrates how Dak’s numbers look with and without Amari:

Passing YPGCompletion %TD%Fantasy PPG
Without Cooper202.4362.14%3.88%16.04
With Cooper27%.2271.25&4.38%19.29

At the pace he was playing with Cooper, he would have finished as the QB8 over a full 16-game season. Things are trending up for the Cowboys’ offense heading into 2019. Zeke became more involved in the passing game, Cooper changed the offense for the better with his arrival and Jason Witten announced his return from retirement. Witten will not put up numbers that will stand out, but he will help keep drives alive on 3rd downs. This will lead to more opportunities for Dak and the Cowboys to score both real and fantasy points. If Travis Frederick can return from his health issues, then this Cowboys offense can take off in 2019.

Dante Pettis

Last year, I was all in on Kenny Golladay as a breakout WR and this year I feel the same about Dante Pettis. While they are different types of players physically, I am expecting Pettis to take a big step forward in 2019. Both showed flashes in their rookie seasons, but missed time with injuries. Pettis comes into this season with an easier path to volume than Golladay in 2018. Other than George Kittle, the passing hierarchy in San Francisco is not clear. If they were to cut Pierre Garcon, even though he will shave a large dead cap hit, then it sends a message that the 49ers are ready to get their younger wide receivers into the game. Marquise Goodwin is still on the team, but he is best served as a deep threat. He has never caught more than 56 passes in a season and has a career catch rate of 49.4%. Goodwin also has a history with injuries that needs to be taken into account.

Even though it was a small sample, when Pettis was fully healthy for a 4 week stretch he averaged 18.8 points a game in PPR and was the WR 8 in that time frame. He scored 5 TDs on the season and averaged over 17 yards per reception. He did most of this without Garoppolo under center in those games; if both are healthy in 2019 it could be the start of a great connection between 2 talented young players.

Pettis is my favorite target this offseason with a weak free agent class at WR and other needs to address at the top of the draft, it doesn’t seem likely a high profile addition is coming to San Francisco in 2019. Unless the 49ers make a big splash by trading for Antonio Brown, the path to targets is clear for Dante Pettis. There are other young wide receivers on the roster he will need to compete with, but in my opinion Pettis is the most talented of them and that talent will win out going into 2019.

Marlon Mack

I was high on Mack going into 2018 and even though he missed 4 games, he did not disappoint. In 12 games, he finished as the 21st RB in PPR leagues. However, the number that really stands out is he was 14th in fantasy points per game. Over the last 10 games of the season once fully healthy, Mack averaged just over 16 carries per game for 4.8 yards per carry and scored 10 total TDs. The Colts won 9 of those 10 games, the only loss coming in an ugly game at Jacksonville, which was also the worst game Mack had all season. People still do not seem to believe in Mack as an NFL back or for fantasy, which I think is a mistake. It also presents an opportunity to buy him as a value before he gets a lot more expensive.

With the improvement along the offensive line for the Colts and the return to form for Andrew Luck, getting volume in this offense is going to be very valuable for fantasy. The Colts do have a ton of cap space available, but because of what I see in Mack I do not expect them to go spend big money on a free agent like Le’Veon Bell. Throwing a ton of money at a position where production is so replaceable is not what smart teams do. The Colts are going to compete to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and Mack is going to be a large part of it. The Colts already spent 2 picks on RBs last year so the depth chart is all young RBs, using a higher pick in the draft on one does not make sense. If Mack is healthy, he is secure in his job as the starter and I expect him to be on a lot of playoff teams in 2019.

Hunter Henry

Going into 2018 I was very high on Hunter Henry, so when he tore his ACL it was rough for me. Now after seeing players like Kittle and Howard break out in 2018, Henry is probably going to end up ranked lower than he should be. In 2018, we were expecting to see Henry without Gates syphoning off targets, but the breakout I expected was derailed by the injury. Henry has already shown he is a dangerous Red Zone weapon. In his first two seasons, he was targeted 28 times and scored 10 TDs.

The Tight End situation for the Chargers was not pretty in 2018. Henry was replaced with a combination of old Antonio Gates and Virgil Green. They combined for 72 targets and 3 TDs. This is not normal for Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense historically. In 2017, Henry and Gates combined for 114 targets and 7 TDs. In 2016, they combined for 146 targets and 12 TDs. With Henry back on the field the Chargers will go back to involving the TE more. It will not go back to 2016 levels because that was the year Keenan Allen went down for the season in week 1. I do believe the target volume will come in closer to 2017, which means Henry will have a lot of value.

Henry represents a huge upgrade athletically for the Chargers at TE. Gates is well past his prime and Green is better served as a blocker than a pass catcher. I am very happy to have Henry on IR on 2 of my dynasty teams and if I can add him in any other leagues before his value gets back to where it should be, then I will pay the discounted price with a smile.

Devin Singletary: Wildcard NFL Draft 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.

Devin Singletary (5’9”, 200), Running Back, Florida Atlantic:

Devin Singletary has a lot of buzz amongst the dynasty fantasy football community. He has tremendous college production and his tape leaves you drooling for his upside. He has flaws, and played questionable competition in his three years with the Owls but is currently projected to be a Day 2 NFL draft pick. Landing spot aside, Singletary has the opportunity to contribute to both the rushing and passing attack of an NFL offense.

15.6 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Singletary left a legendary legacy in Boca Raton. He ran for 4,287 yards on 714 attempts (6 yards/carry) for 66 touchdowns in just three seasons with Florida Atlantic. He also caught 51 receptions for 397 yards and a touchdown in his career. Singletary led the Central USA in rushing in both 2017 & 2018; he finished 7th in rushing yards in his freshmen year. In just 3 seasons, he has the 8th most career rushing touchdowns in NCAA history.

Singletary’s stats are impressive but the immediate reactions when talking about Central USA prospects in to question the level of competition he’s faced. While Singletary hasn’t faced the competition that prospects like Jacobs or Sanders have, he performed well in big games. He ran for 69 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries while traveling to play Oklahoma in 2018. He also threw up 131 rushing yards on 25 attempts and 3 touchdowns against UCF. Against Old Dominion, who upset Virginia Tech in 2018, he ran for 168 yards on 19 carries (8.8 yards/carry) and 2 touchdowns. Singletary showed up and played big when asked, which helps make him an intriguing sleeper prospect.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score 3.6 (Personal Score 4)

Singletary is quicker than he is fast. He moves very well laterally and keeps his feet moving at a high rate. He can accelerate but doesn’t have the highest breakaway speed in this class. Still, he’s elusive and bounces through holes with sharp cut moves. I understand why my fellow raters had him lower than me, but his quickness makes up for top end breakaway speed.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score 3.3 (Personal Score 3)

Singletary saw a sharp drop off in his passing game involvement his junior year (2018). He caught 39 receptions for 361 yards and a touchdown in his first two seasons with Florida Atlantic. In 2018 he caught just 6 balls for 36 yards. Although the drop off can be contributed to scheme change and improved quarterback play, it is still frustrating to not be able to see more of his receiving capability on tape. From what I did see, he has soft hands and has the ability to contribute to an NFL passing attack.

Vision: Aggregate Score 2.6 (Personal Score 3)

Singletary’s vision is what holds him back from being a top 5 running back prospect for me. He is a home run hitter; he either finds the whole and bursts through it or runs right into the back of his offensive linemen. He is a patient runner, but that patience often led to him being wrapped up for a loss. I think this can be credited, in part, to the pressure he faced to create in Lane Kiffin’s offense. Still, vision is a harder thing to teach, and it makes Singletary very landing spot dependent.

Blocking: Aggregate Score 2.6 (Personal Score 3)

I’m surprised to see Singletary not rated higher by my fellow raters here. He impressed me with his strength and ability to pick up on blitzers; especially for someone who is 5’9”. I think NFL teams will appreciate that Singletary also can act as an effective lead blocker; it makes him versatile and expands the packages he can fit into,

Strength: Aggregate Score 3.6 (Personal Score 4)

This is what makes Singletary for me. He leverages his size well to stay under defenders and truck them when he’s accelerating downfield. He consistently swipes defenders off him and forces multiple guys to get to him before the play ends. He’s not afraid to put his head down and fight for extra yards, and his balance often allows him to pile up yards after contact.

Conclusion: Second Round Wildcard

I’ve seen Singletary go off the board just about everywhere in the dozen-plus mock drafts I have done so far this offseason. I think his ceiling is mid first-round, and if your league mates aren’t as keyed in he may fall to the 3rd round. Personally, I’m comfortable taking him in the second but if he lands behind a good offensive line then I’m willing to spend a late first rounder on him.

Pre-Draft Tight End Rankings for the 2019 Draft Class

This article is my personal breakdown of the 2019 tight end draft class pre-draft and specifically from tape review. These rankings relate specifically to how these players will translate to fantasy football.

I’m positive these rankings will change as the NFL Draft process progresses, but this makes for a great starting point. This tight end class is being hailed as much needed infusion of talent in an otherwise desolate wasteland of shallow fantasy football value. There is good reason to believe that hype is true, both at the top and “bottom” of the tight end draft class.

 Let’s talk about them-let me know what you think on twitter!

For more on the fantasy football values of the 2019 Draft Class, check out the 48 Report: our 2019 Rookie Database

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8. Dawson Knox (6’4”, 250), Ole Miss

Knox is an exciting candidate with a high ceiling and an unorthodox route to the NFL Draft. Knox played quarterback in high school and only started one game his senior season before dislocating his ankle. Knox walked on at Ole Miss as a tight end; after a redshirt year and a late growth spurt, he emerged as an extremely athletic weapon in a crowded Ole Miss offense.

In just two seasons as a starter, Knox caught 39 receptions for 605 yards and 0 touchdowns. That may seem impressive, but his career 15.5 yards/reception is eye-popping for a tight end. Knox’s lack of production may be credited to sharing targets with AJ Brown, DK Metcalf, and DeMarkus Lodge.

Knox’s tape shows an athletic player with a lot of upside. He’s versatile; lining up as a wing back, in tight, or out wide as a receiver. He can get off the line quickly and find space in the first third of the field. Past that, there’s a lot of concern. He has rounded routes, doesn’t cut quick, and has capped breakaway speed. He showed a lack of diversity in his route tree and is an inconsistent blocker. Knox is fun and worthy of a late-round flyer, but he still has to develop; for now, he’s a taxi squad stash.

7. Kaden Smith (6’5”, 252), Stanford

In a class full of quick, athletic, and pass-catching tight ends Smith is flying under the radar. Smith redshirted his freshmen year for the Cardinal but started 20 games over his sophomore and junior seasons. In those 20 games, he caught 70 balls for 1,049 yards and 7 touchdowns. Smith was a Mackey Award finalist in 2018.

Smith’s blocking will get him drafted in April. He is anaggressive blocker; he seals blocks well on run plays, has a good chip block,finishes blocks through the whistle, and is a solid pass protector although hewasn’t often asked to. Blocking, however, doesn’t put up fantasy footballpoints.

Smith won’t blow anyone away with his 40 time, but he has quick burst. Smith has a limited route tree but can work a nice slant route and run seams into the second level. He positions his body well and creates separation when fighting for contested passes. He has a large frame and is athletic enough to go up and snag off-target passes. Smith’s blocking ability will get him on an NFL roster and some significant play time within the first few years of his career. Tight ends, though, take a while to translate for fantasy football purposes and you may be waiting a while for Smith to produce.

Still, he’s a safer bet and worth stashing as a late-round flyer in rookie fantasy football drafts.

6. Isaac Nauta (6’4”, 240), Georgia

Nauta is a former IMG two-sport athlete; his success on the football field and basketball court contributed to him being a 5-star recruit and top 10 overall recruit in most major rankings. He chose the Bulldogs over Alabama and Michigan. Nauta started 33 games over 3 seasons in Athens; catching 68 balls for 905 yards (13.3 yards/reception) and 8 touchdowns in a run-heavy offense.

Nauta reminds me of a slow wide receiver, and I mean that inthe best way. Nauta gets to the second level quickly and can outrun SEClinebackers. He doesn’t have the most developed route tree, but he is effectivewhen running drags, outs, seams, and slants. He can contribute nicely in aspread or air raid offense. He has soft hands and finds space over the middleof the field but needs to improve on positioning his large frame to box outdefenders. Nauta is a yards after catch (YAC) threat; he can make defendersmiss in space but his athleticism is limited when it comes to his vertical.

Nauta has to develop as a blocker and consistent passcatcher but he has the athletic upside to be a fantasy football steal. Heshould be available in the 3rd or later rounds of your rookie draftsand is worth stashing; especially if he finds himself in a high-poweredoffense.

5. Dax Raymond (6’5”,250), Utah State

Dax Raymond is one of my favorite sleeper picks in this draft class. In two seasons of significant playtime for the Aggies he caught 68 balls for 801 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2018 he had 7 multi-catch games, 4 games with more than 50 receiving yards, and an impressive 7 catches for 76 yards against Michigan State.

Raymond’s tape, however, jumps out much more than his stats.He gets off the line of scrimmage like a wide receiver and can be dangerous inthe first or second level of the field. He has great hands and snags everythingthrown his way; he uses his large frame well to pull in off-the-mark passes. Hecan run a mean slant, and a solid seam route. Beyond that, though, his routetree is limited.

Raymond is a seriously high motor blocker and consistentlyoverwhelmed Mountain West defenders on while run blocking-on multiple occasionshe drove defenders off the field and into the bench area. He is very athleticand has an impressive high point for a player of his size. Raymond has cappedbreakaway speed, and won’t scare defenses like OJ Howard, but he has Engram-likeathleticism and that’s very appealing to me; especially with the way NFLoffenses are trending.

Raymond is flying under the radar, going in the 4thround of rookie mocks at best, and I’ll be using that to my advantage whilestockpiling shares of him this offseason.

4. Jace Sternberger(6’4”, 250), Texas A&M

Sternberger started his collegiate career at Kansas but was underutilized and chose to transfer to a junior college. Sternberger balled out in his season Northeastern Oklahoma A&M; catching 21 balls for 336 yards and 6 touchdowns. After his breakout, Sternberger chose to play for the Aggies over teams like Boise State and UCF. In 2018, he put up a monster season: catching 48 balls for 832 yards and 10 (yes 10) touchdowns. He finished 9th in receiving yards and 4th in receiving touchdowns in the SEC and received consensus All-America honors.

Sternberger’s route running stands out to me. He has aneffective curl route, good seam routes, and can run drags over the middle. He’squick off the line of scrimmage, has good footwork, and uses his size verywell. Sternberger is particularly effective within the first 10 yards off theline of scrimmage but has the potential to make big plays downfield. He is asolid pass protector and an aggressive run blocker; often sealing edges welland opens up nice gaps for Trayveon Williams (2018 SEC rushing leader) to movethrough.

His strength and balance help him fight off defenders afterthe catch. He won’t be burning defensive backs in the NFL but he has good speedthat can get him to the second level. He has soft hands and is able to react topasses and adjust his body in midair. He may not be considered in the “big 3”tight ends of this draft class, but Sternberger deserves to be in theconversation and is far and away my TE4.  

3. TJ Hockenson (6’5”,250) Iowa

Surprised to see Hockenson ranked at 3? Yeah, me too. It’s close, though, and it should not lead you to think I’m not impressed with this monster of an NFL prospect. In just two seasons playing at Iowa Hockenson compiled 1,080 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns on 73 receptions. 49 of those receptions, along with 760 yards and 6 touchdowns came in 2018-his redshirt sophomore season. In 2018 he finished 8th in receiving yards in the Big Ten and won the John Mackey Award. He caught at least 4 passes in 6 of his 13 games, put up more than 75 receiving yards three times, and had 2 multi-touchdown games.

Hockenson has great hands that allow him to create separationat this line of scrimmage and get move past linebackers to subtly sneak intothe second level of the field. He can be effective downfield on outs and seamroutes. He has great hands and positions his body well when going up for acontested pass; consistently forcing defensive backs into defensive pass interferencecalls. His blocking ability, though, is what is driving up his NFL Draft stock.He drives Big 10 defenders off the line and finishes blocks strong. He is extremelyeffective when pass blocking; he has both the strength and the mobility to keephis quarterback clean. Hockenson, along with the other members of this years “big3” tight ends bring the type of potential fantasy football players have beendreaming of at this otherwise bleak position.

Hockenson is being favored by many to be the first tight endto come off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft. I don’t doubt that, however, Ibelieve it’s because he’s a better blocker than the two tight ends I’m about todiscuss. I am not letting that element of his game boost his fantasy stockabove the two players I considered to be “freak-athlete” level. I’d still bethrilled to get him on my fantasy football rosters, but if I have my choice, I’mtaking Smith and Fant over Hockenson at this point.

2. Irv Smith Jr. (6’4”, 240), Alabama

Irv Smith Jr., son of former NFL tight end Irv Smith, caught44 receptions for 710 yards (16.1 yards/carry) and 7 touchdowns in his junioryear at Alabama. Smith had a dominator rating of 14.6%; a number I consider impressivein the context of his position and the explosive Crimson Tide offense. 45% ofhis receptions came on plays of 8-20 yards, and 25% of his receptions came onplays where he gained more than 20 yards. 5 of his 7 touchdowns were on gainsof at least 9 yards.

Smith’s speed and athleticism is what draws me in. He bursts off the line of scrimmage and can accelerate very well for a man of his size. He consistently pushes past linebackers and dominates the second level of the field. His route tree is not as developed as I’d like but he consistently finds himself in open space and is able to make plays after the catch. He has good body positioning and consistent hands. He can cut like a wide receiver, juke like a running back, and break the ankles of a defender like a point guard. He is a solid pass blocker and finishes run blocks nicely. I think he has room to develop his blocking, but not enough to keep him off the field.

I realize I’m higher on Smith than most, he’s consistently going 6-10 picks later than Hockenson in rookie mock drafts, but his athleticism and pass-catching ability give up a high ceiling. Landing spot will ultimately be the tiebreaker for him, Hockenson, and Fant but for now, he’s an exciting TE2.

1. Noah Fant (6’5”, 240), Iowa

Fant has two seasons of consistent production for theHawkeyes. In his sophomore season (2017) he caught 30 balls for 494 yards (16.5yards/reception) and 11 touchdowns. That season drew many to Fant and labeledhim as the front runner TE1 in this draft class. Fant performed well in hisjunior season (2018) as well. He pulled in 39 receptions for 519 yards (13.3yards/carry) and 7 touchdowns. Fant led the Big 10 in receiving touchdowns in 2017and finished 9th in 2018.

Fant will be a big play threat in the NFL. He is very quick offthe line of scrimmage and does have the speed to burn down the field. He worksa mean seam route and has a dangerous out route; both of which allow him to makecatches in the second level. He is a great underneath option too; he has tremendousfootwork that baits defenders into backing off him while he turns on comebackroutes. Fant isn’t afraid to run a straight 9 route either. When he does, hesells it well with subtle but effective body movements that allow him to be athreat in the third level of the field. Fant has great hands that allow him tocatch contested balls and layout for wild passes he has no business putting afinger on. He has a great high point; allowing him to outjump defensive backsand snag jump balls.

Fant is a solid blocker but definitely needs to develop at the next level. He holds his ground well in pass protection but defenders consistently get off the snap quicker than him and stand him up. He often gets caught blocking on the back shoulder and doesn’t hold blocks for the entire play. This is enough to make him the TE2 for NFL GMs but Fant is still clearly the TE1 when it comes to fantasy football.

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: 

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!