Biggest Fantasy Impact: NFC Rookies

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: RB Tony Pollard

Dallas didn’t spend a ton of draft capital on offensive skill players.  The most significant skill player they invested in was Tony Pollard. Out of Memphis, Pollard is a patient runner that has great top end speed.  Pollard will initially contribute to the Cowboys as a kick and punt returner, but if he is given the opportunity, Pollard could be a nice change of pace back for Ezekiel Elliott.  Also, if your league gives points for return yards, Pollard definitely gets a bump.

Philadelphia Eagles: RB Miles Sanders

After acquiring Jordan Howard via trade, Philadelphia invested a 2nd round pick in Miles Sanders.  Sanders is the most talented and well rounded running back in this backfield. If Philadelphia can commit to Sanders and make him the primary running back, he can end up as a RB 2 as early as this season.  However, with Howard there and Philadelphia’s recent history, it’s hard to rely on the Eagles to give Sanders the desired workload this season.

Washington Redskins: QB Dwayne Haskins

I really like what Washington did in this draft.  Even though I am not a huge Dwayne Haskins fan, getting him at 15 without having to move up was great for Washington. Then they snag his OSU teammate Terry McLaurin and NC State standout Kelvin Harmon.  Haskins is easily the most talented QB in Washington. Even if he isn’t the Week 1 starter, Haskins should see the field this season and instantly add some juice to this offense.

New York Giants:  QB Daniel Jones

New York has been catching a lot of heat since they drafted Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in draft.  Jones looks the part of a franchise QB, but his film leaves a lot of the community hesitant to buy in. I really hope we are all wrong about Jones.  I would love for him to be able to come in after Eli Manning and be the starter for the New York Giants for the next 10 years. Regardless of what GM David Gettleman says, Jones should get the opportunity to play this year or next. If that is the case, it’s hard to imagine he would be worse for the fantasy options then Manning.  

NFC South

New Orleans Saints: TE Alize Mack

Considering Mack was drafted in the 7th round of the NFL Draft, this may be a bit of a stretch.  However, Mack does have some intriguing skills that could one day translate into fantasy production.  Mack has decent speed and works the seam pretty well. With time to develop under Sean Payton, Mack could maybe become a decent TE 2 for fantasy some day.  He shouldn’t be drafted in rookie draft, but could be a nice stash on your taxi squads.

Atlanta Falcons: iOL Chris Lindstrom and OT Kaleb McGary

Rather then trying to sell you all on Qadree Ollison and Marcus Green, I think it would be better to talk about the 2 first round lineman Atlanta drafted.  Getting Lindstrom and trading up for McGary shows us that Atlanta is going to continue trying to improve the run game. Both guys are very good run blockers and will help Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith out of the backfield.  The lack of significant draft capital spent at running back says that Atlanta still has faith in Freeman.

Carolina Panthers: QB Will Grier

I am a huge Will Grier fan and really like the fit for Carolina.  Obviously Grier won’t be an immediate starter, but Grier is instantly a premier backup QB.  And who knows, if Cam Newton’s shoulder is really messed up, Grier can do enough to keep the offensive weapons in Carolina fantasy relevant.  If Newton continues to take hits and misses significant time, I would feel very comfortable having Grier as a QB 2.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  WR Scott Miller

Similar to New Orleans, Tampa Bay spent most of the draft improving their defense.  The only offensive player they picked was Scott Miller in the 6th round. Miller is undersized, but has a ton of speed. He may be a nice field stretcher, but I don’t think he’s even worth a spot on a taxi squad.

NFC North

Chicago Bears: RB David Montgomery

I absolutely love this fit for both Montgomery and Chicago.  For whatever reason, I’ve heard way to many people saying that Montgomery is just a slightly better Jordan Howard.  Montgomery has more talent and is way more versatile than Howard. Montgomery is the best pure runner on this roster and is lined up to be the primary 2 down back for Chicago. Montgomery showed solid pass catching chops and will also be able to contribute in the passing game. Be excited people! Montgomery is going to be a stud in Chicago.

Minnesota Vikings: TE Irv Smith Jr.

See ya later Kyle Rudolph! Irv Smith is the new sheriff in Minnesota.  With Kyle Rudolph being owed over $7 million and no guaranteed money left, it is looking like Rudolph will be cut before the 2019 season starts.  If that is the case, Smith will have the opportunity to start producing right away. Smith is a big, athletic target that should be a great fit in this offense.  

Green Bay Packers: TE Jace Sternberger

Jace Sternberger is a staff favorite over here at the Fantasy Fanalysts.  He plays tight end, but in all honesty, he’s more like a big bodied wide receiver. Sternberger has reliable hands and shows a lot of promise as a route runner. He may not have a ton of production his rookie season, but Sternberger definitely has potential to become a low end TE1.  

Detroit Lions: TE TJ Hockenson

TJ Hockenson is the best tight end out of this class.  On top of being great as a receiver, Hockenson is a wonderful blocker.  Hockenson plays with the type of energy and attitude that everybody loves.  His ability to block will allow him to be on the field every down and start contributing right away. When ranking him for dynasty purposes, Hockenson is already a top 12 tight end.

NFC West

Los Angeles Rams: RB Darrell Henderson

I was/am a huge Darrell Henderson fan.  He is extremely quick, is a capable pass catcher and had a ton of production while at Memphis.  I don’t think Los Angeles invests an early 3rd round pick on a running back unless they are at least slightly concerned with Todd Gurley’s knee.  I expect Henderson to take some of Gurley’s workload and have a ton of upside if Gurley were to ever miss time.

Seattle Seahawks: WR DK Metcalf

This was a great fit for DK Metcalf.  Russell Wilson is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL and is going to find ways to get Metcalf the ball.  Even if the Seattle offense is run heavy, Metcalf showed that he can produce on limited targets. Metcalf has one of the highest ceilings in this class.  If he can come close to reaching that ceiling, he is going to be a stud in this league.

San Francisco 49ers: WR Deebo Samuel

Deebo Samuel is possibly the most exciting prospect in this class when he has the ball in his hands.  He has good speed and is great after contact. With George Kittle and Dante Pettis returning, it’s hard to tell how much Samuel will produce right away.  If given the opportunity, Samuel has the talent to be a WR 2 for fantasy purposes.

Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray

As it was speculated for months, Arizona picked Kyler Murray with the 1st overall pick in the NFL draft.  On top of that, Arizona drafted Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson. Murray has the talent, the weapons and hopefully the scheme with Kliff Klingsbury to be a big time fantasy producer.  With his arm talent and athleticism, I don’t think it is to crazy to think that Murray could be a top 12 QB in 2019. This Arizona offense has the chance to be extremely fun.

Preeminent vs The Undistinguished: Ranking Rookie Quarterbacks

Welcome to my rookie rankings based on my recent article detailing differences between prospects drafted in round 1-5 versus 6-7+UDFA! I figured out an interesting way to not only help everyone draft more successful teams, but to know how to value positions a little better going forward.

To get the breakdown you can visit the previous article here which has the thread that started it all as well.

New Users get a FREE $3 Entry with promo Code “TOP2”

I’m Going to Let You Finish but First…

Before I begin, I’d like to add a little more detail into the success of the QB position. Quarterback has less success than any other fantasy skill position (QB, WR, TE, RB). The twitter thread discussed rounds 6-7/UDFAs but what about the other rounds?

In the last 10 years, only 9 quarterbacks not drafted in the first round have averaged at least 184 fantasy points per season, in standard quarterback scoring formats. 184 fantasy points is equal to the average QB24 finish in that same time span-meaning that just the following players have become fantasy football relevant without being drafted in the first round:

RoundName
2Andy Dalton
2Colin Kaepernick
2Derek Carr
2Geno Smith
3Russell Wilson
3Nick Foles
3Jacoby Brissett
4Dak Prescott
4Kirk Cousins

No quarterback drafted after round 4 has become fantasy football relevant over the past 10 seasons.

With that being said, it tempers my expectations when ranking my quarterbacks. This isn’t to say I’m counting them out or they’re not in a good spot, it’s just part of how I value said player.

Before I get into these ranks. I don’t do all-inclusive ranks because whenever you draft, it’s all about NEED. Best available at each position is how I do things. Sure, some drafts you just take best available, but it’s just common practice for me to rank everyone separate. Also, these ranks factor in landing spot, draft stock and depth chart.

The Preeminent Tier

RankRoundNameTeam
11Kyler MurrayCardinals
21Dwayne HaskinsRedskins
32Drew LockBroncos
4 1Daniel JonesGiants
53Will GrierPanthers
64Jarrett StidhamPatriots
73Ryan FinleyBengals

The Undistinguished Tier

86Easton StickChargers
96Clayton ThorsonEagles
106Gardner MinshewJaguars
116Trace McSorelyRavens
12UDFATyree JacksonBills
13UDFABrett RypienBroncos
14UDFAJordan Ta’amuRaiders
15UDFAJacob DolegalaBengals
16UDFADavid BloughBrowns
17UDFAKyle ShurmurChiefs
18UDFADevlin HodgesSteelers

You may not be drafting the “undistinguished” as starters but what I do see, is that guys like these will be great spot starts when the starters go down. Some of them will need a good matchup too, but like I said, “dont count them out”. As always with this tier, leave them on waivers or stash them for rainy day “break if nececssary” type situations.

Next Time On the Preeminent vs the Undistinguished….

We’ll be getting into tight ends!

Biggest Fantasy Football Impact Pick: AFC

Now that the draft is over, we finally have landing spots for some of our favorite rookies! Today we’re going to go through each AFC team to find each rookie who will have the biggest impact when it comes to fantasy. Some will have instant impact, some will have small impact, while some will have sneaky impact. Let’s get started!

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown, WR

Brown’s ability to separate from defenders with his sheer athleticism (wont be winning with size) will make him a great weapon for Lamar Jackson. Look for him to be a better John Brown and when Jackson looks to throw, he’ll have a very dependable target to throw to. Brown makes defenses have to respect his ability and opens it up for Jackson and Mark Ingram.

Cincinnati Bengals: The RBs

They drafted (albeit 6th rounders) Rodney Anderson and Traveon Williams while Mark Walton was waived, so I believe this was a depth move with sleeper potential. I have a feeling that one of these guys could end up working into both Bernard and/or Mixon’s workload. This could kill off some production and cause these guys to drop in value as well.

Cleveland Browns: The Defense

Cleveland really hit this draft for defense and it’s ok because they are absolutely well off in the offensive department. With that being said, Cleveland really bolstered their defense and gave their team a chance to have a great D/ST (yes I play in leagues that still use this position). With their team already in the bottom 5, the only way is up!

Pittsburgh Steelers: Diontae Johnson, WR

Already being anointed as the new #84, Diontae Johnson definitely has the ability and draft stock to come in and contribute immediately. He gives the Steelers a piece for the future alongside Juju and Washington. Yes Moncrief is there, but he’ll be losing snaps to this kid before long. He’s great against the press and should be being drafted in dynasty for sure. He’s definitely got sleeper impact.

AFC South

Houston Texans: Kahale Warring, TE

Warring did himself a world of justice throughout the draft process and ended up going very high in a draft thick with TE talent. With the team already having a few tight ends on the roster already, this was a head-scratcher. With his draft stock, it definitely means he’s here to stay and others will be waived. As far as fantasy goes, he just makes this offense a TE by committee further pushing us away from Houston TEs.

Indianapolis Colts: Parris Campbell, WR

This is one of the best places he could go. Not much competition for WR2, Campbell comes in as an immediate contributor. He should eventually be able to sully Funchess’ value toward mid-late season (if it takes that long). He also makes Luck an even more enticing selection with what he can accomplish in the slot as well as outside (contrary to popular belief).

Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Oliver, TE

Definitely a project, but I project him as the TE1 in Jacksonville eventually. Geoff Swaim ain’t it and Josh Oliver can be on par with the top TEs in this class if he can learn how to block better. Could be the AFC’s Jason Witten; good across the middle of the field and no (and I mean no) high point ability whatsoever.

Tennessee Titans: AJ Brown, WR

A bit of a scary landing spot given who his QB is, AJ Brown impacts both Mariota and Corey Davis. The Titans don’t really have anybody outside of Davis who are difference makers at the level of AJ. Delanie was in the past, but father time is undefeated and that injury at his age will have it’s effects. Corey Davis will no longer have so much focused on him to stop him which boosts his value. The only thing is hoping that Mariota (like Lamar Jackson) can throw the ball a little more next season.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills: Dawson Knox, TE

I’m going to try and contain myself here, but I believe he could end up top 2 in this draft at the position. Buffalo just got a great weapon for Josh Allen who is an upgrade from Croom and will eventually supplant Kroft. With TEs, the rule is to wait and wait we shall. Don’t be filled with regret for not drafting him. He’s got draft stock, a clear path to start and a young QB to grow with. He’s going to be one of the best parts of this offense in a few years, just watch.

Miami Dolphins: Josh Rosen, QB

Josh isn’t a rookie, but was the best offensive asset they acquired in the draft. Still young and talented, he goes into a situation where he’s got a chance to take the keys and go. He (and Fitzpatrick when he plays) are an immediate boost for the receivers in Miami which excites me even more for my Gesicki shares.

New England Patriots: N’Keal Harry, WR

I was/am still not high on the kid after studying his game tape, but he will definitely produce/be given the opportunity to produce. Harry represents something the Pats haven’t done since 1996, draft a WR in the 1st round. I see him having the same success that Josh Gordon was having, but I don’t expect it to be immediate. I expect it to really start to show in year 2.

New York Jets: Trevon Wesco, TE

No, he’s not the guy you’re drafting in rookie drafts, he’s the guy who excites you for the sake of Darnold and Lev Bell. With the Jets already having drafted Chris Herndon in the same round last year, they brought in a TE who is much better at all the blocking aspects. Keep an eye out for his developing catching ability, could surprise in his production there which could put Herndon behind him on the depth chart. However, don’t expect anything for a few years. He’s more of a project who will possibly blossom in years 4-5.

AFC West

Denver Broncos: Noah Fant, TE

Already announced the starter, Fant has a chance to be the most productive rookie TE this year. I believe he’ll get the opportunities early and often purely because of his skill as a receiver. I don’t, however, think he’ll be a top TE overall this year. It’s hard for rookies to come by production at this position early on in their careers. With Fant, it’ll be no different unless Manny Sanders, Daesean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton suffer significant injuries reminiscent of the 2017 Giants with Engram.

Kansas City Chiefs: Mecole Hardman, WR

The Chiefs went out and got their possible replacement speedster for the same role of Tyreek Hill. If Hill is waived, suspended or both, Hardman will step into that role. I don’t expect the production right away, but man will he have breakaway plays that will drop your jaw. He essentially could be a less consistent Hill. My notes on him from film are filled with the words FAST in all capital letters so expect an electric player. He’s also good at finding an assignment to block which will keep him on the field a little more.

Oakland Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB

He WAS my RB2 coming into the draft behind David Montgomery, but now his situation has “vaulted” him into first place. He’s a lead back and he’ll get the chance to prove that with Crowell going down for the season. The Doug Martin signing is a depth play while Jalen Richard shouldn’t see too much 3rd down work over Jacobs, who can catch well. Chris Warren is great, but doesn’t have the draft stock to give me faith that he’ll do anything but be a backup. Jacobs has the stock, the ability and the full faith of the team, what more could you want?

LA Chargers: Defense…Again

For those of you who play with D/STs in your lineups, rejoice, for this is what you want in your drafts. A team that was already great in terms of defense got better by loading up on defensive players like Jerry Tillery and Nasir Adderley. I can’t really say Easton Stick here because 5th round QBs have a nauseating success rate. With Rivers looking to re-up like Big Ben did for at least 3 more years, I’d say he ends up a gadgety (rumors of Taysom Hill usage) 3rd stringer behind Tyrod.

TJ Hockenson: Mr. I Can Do It All at Tight End

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.

TJ Hockenson (6’5”, 243) Tight End, Iowa

19.3 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

TJ Hockenson has been a huge riser as this class has developed. Overshadowed in Devy circles by his teammate Noah Fant, he has not been household name, until now. Hockenson plays the tight end position like it should be played. He does the dirty work in the trenches at a high level and he showcases route running and pass catching ability at all levels of the field. He is also an underrated athlete, again overshadowed by Fant who just happens to be a freak. He will surprise some at the combine likely putting up solid to strong numbers across the board. He is a top 2 tight end in this class in both the NFL and fantasy. So which is it it, 1 or 2?

College Production

Tight end production in college is not a pretty thing to look at, but the fact that he and Fant  both produced at the level they did in the same offense is remarkable. Hockenson put up 49 receptions for 760 yards and 6 scores in his sophomore year before declaring for the draft. He caught 10 more balls for 140 more yards than Fant. Both of them outproduced George Kittle who graduated as Hockenson came on campus. Hock also averaged over 15 yards per catch. This is a big time stat especially for a guy who has been labeled by some (incorrectly) as average athletically. All this to say, that while the numbers don’t jump of the page, this is still an impressive stat line. Iowa has a knack for churning out tight end talent and these two are no different.

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

I will continue to harp on the fact that Hockenson is an underrated athlete. He creates space and can outrun linebackers no problem. Combine this with his route running and he will have no issue getting open at the next level. One area he can continue to work on is exploding out of the block.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 4)

Hockenson is a strong route runner. Quick feet and an ability to sell head fakes and quick twitches allow him to set up defenders and separate at a high level. He did often line up against linebackers and safeties though which will be a much taller task at the NFL level where these players can recover much easier.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 4.6 (Personal Score: 5)

Hock has made a name for himself as one of the best blockers in this class. This really makes him the total package as a tight end prospect and it will be big in getting and keeping him on the field early in his career. He blocks with an aggressiveness and power that is great to see for a guy who is only listed on 243 lbs.

Handwork and Positioning: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 4)

Hockenson continues the theme of well rounded with good scores here as well. A strong hands catcher with a knack for using his considerable size to his advantage, he will succeed in contested situations against linebackers and safeties early and often.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 4)

Basically the only reason reason I didn’t personally give him a 5 in athleticism is that Noah Fant is absurd. Hockenson made some noise at the combine with big time explosive numbers in the jumps and great numbers in the agility drills. The 4.7 forty isn’t great but that is plenty of speed for a tight end who has big time pluses across the rest of the board.

Conclusion: Mid 1st Round Target

I have no fear drafting TJ in the 1st round of your rookie drafts. In superflex, he should probably go in the late 1st. He may take some time to reach his full potential, but the lack of tight end talent in the NFL makes him a worthwhile 1st rounder for any team in need of a tight end. An interesting side note is that tight ends like OJ Howard and David Njoku have held their value well even after some lackluster seasons. While I still have him ranked behind Fant, he could easily have an argument to be the first tight end off the board when landing spots are assigned.

The Final 2019 NFL Mock Draft: 3rd Round

The Fanalysts have been grinding draft tape, monitoring team needs, and mock drafting since December. This 7-part mock-draft is one continuous mock draft and the our final one of the season for us. We will be releasing one article per day in the week leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft.

This is a summary of the 3rd Round of our mock draft for the 2019 NFL Draft. Below are links all other rounds of our final mock for the 2019 NFL Draft:

2019 NFL Draft 7th Round Mock
2019 NFL Draft 6th Round Mock
2019 NFL Draft 5th Round Mock 2019 NFL Draft 4th Round Mock

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

PickTeamPlayer
65Arizona CardinalsEmmanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
66Pittsburgh SteelersAmani Hooker, S, Iowa
67San Francisco 49ersRiley Ridley, WR, Georgia
68New York JetsRoss Pierschbacher, iOL, Alabama
69Jacksonville JaguarsTrayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M
70Tampa Bay BuccaneersDavid Long, CB, Michigan

It’s hard for me to pick just one pick from this group that stands out because they all do. Emmanuel Hall should be a welcome addition to the offensive arsenal of Arizona. The Steelers get a nice upgrade at safety with Amani Hooker. The 49ers have questions at wide receiver and Riley Ridley should answer those questions. The Jets want to protect Sam Darnold and Ross Pierschbacher does just that. If you are worried about Leonard Fournette in Jacksonville then Trayveon Williams is a perfect compliment/insurance policy. The Bucs get a corner in David Long who I believe is a tremendous value in the 3rd round.

This was a very solid start to the 3rd round and shows just how much value can be had beyond rounds 1 and 2. This is the year for your team to have as many picks as possible because good to great players will be falling throughout the draft due to tremendous depth.

PickTeamPlayer
71Denver BroncosDax Raymond, TE, Utah State
72Cincinnati BengalsKaleb McGary, OT, Washington
73New England PatriotsKahale Warring, TE, SDSU
74Buffalo BillsJosh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
75Green Bay PackersBlake Cashman, LB, Minnesota
76Washington RedskinsElgton Jenkins, iOL, Ole Miss

A couple of tight ends off the board to teams with a need at the position. I like Dax Raymond a lot and feel as if he could be a great value for Denver. Kahale Warring certainly has the tools to be a solid starter in New England but he’ll have some Gronk sized shoes to fill.

Josh Jacobs is a very interesting pick to me. First of all, he’s not going in the 3rd round. This is how our guys feel about Josh Jacobs but he’s likely going higher than this. The landing spot, Buffalo, has a couple of elder statesmen in Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy along with the recently signed TJ Yeldon. With the ages of Gore and McCoy along with the brief terms of Yeldon’s contract (2 years), I see Jacobs as a very nice developmental pick for Buffalo.

PickTeamPlayer
77Carolina PanthersDaniel Jones, QB, Duke
78Miami DolphinsJaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
79Atlanta FalconsRock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
80Cleveland BrownsBobby Okereke, LB, Stanford
81Minnesota VikingsRenell Wren, iDL, Arizona State
82Tennessee TitansWill Grier, QB, West Virginia

The two quarterbacks taken from picks 77-82 stand out to me. Daniel Jones to Carolina is notable because it stands as a reminder of where we’re at with QB Cam Newton. As the person who drafted Jones to Carolina, I’m worried about Cam big time. I don’t think Carolina has done a good enough job investing in the O-Line and they will need an insurance policy in case Cam goes down.

I have never been a fan of Marcus Mariota or Ryan Tannehill. I think it’s time for the Titans to think about moving on and Will Grier is a perfect replacement. He should see playing time this season considering how injury prone both Mariota and Tannehill are. Small shoutout to the Falcons taking Rock Ya-Sin. The corner out of Temple could slot in right away at one of the outer corner spots and start day 1.

PickTeamPlayer
83Pittsburgh SteelersUgochukwu Amandi, S, Oregon
84Seattle SeahawksD’Andre Walker, EDGE, Georgia
85Baltimore RavensLJ Collier, EDGE, TCU
86Houston TexansJoejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
87Chicago BearsDavid Edwards, OT, Wisonsin
88Detroit LionsTerry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State

I’ll start with the Steelers taking yet another safety. I have been adamant about the Steelers needing secondary depth so I am totally ok with that pick. If Seattle does indeed trade Frank Clark then they will need help along the defensive line and D’Andre Walker is that help.

The Bears have no picks until pick 87 and they go…Tackle. The Bears don’t have many holes but if they make their fans wait that long just to take a tackle then there will be some eye rolling. David Edwards is a very solid pick however and should compete for playing time immediately or at the very least be a nice depth option. LOVE Terry McLaurin to Detroit. There’s the replacement for Golden Tate.

PickTeamPlayer
89Indianapolis ColtsOshane Ximines, EDGE, Old Diminion
90Dallas CowboysDarnell Savage, S, Maryland
91Los Angeles ChargersBobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma
92Kansas City ChiefsJoe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke

I’m a fan of all 4 picks here towards the back end of round 3. Oshane Ximines should add nicely to the depth of the Colts defensive line. I believe Cowboys fans will do a literal back flip if they are able to land Safety Darnell Savage. That would be a lethal addition to that secondary here in round 3. The Chargers are in need of O-Line help and they address it with Bobby Evans out of Oklahoma. The Chiefs need as much defensive help as they can get so no gripes from me about taking a linebacker.

PickTeamPlayer
93New York JetsJamel Dean, CB, Auburn
94Los Angeles RamsDru Samia, iOL, Oklahoma
95New York GiantsLonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky
96Washington RedskinsWyatt Ray, EDGE, Boston College

I’ll start with the Jets addressing corner and they have to hope Dean out of Auburn develops into a starter because their corner depth is atrocious. Dru Samia added to the Rams’ offensive line is almost not even fair. My favorite pick in all of round 3 could quite possibly be Lonnie Johnson to the Giants at 95. That is tremendous value and he should compete for playing time right away.

That wraps up round 3 of our Final 2019 NFL Mock Draft. Be on the lookout for Round 2 dropping tomorrow and be sure to comment down below on what you think about Round 3!

Extreme Wide Receiver Fantasy Point Variances

Aside from the fantasy playoffs, redraft and dynasty leagues can be viewed from a macro level where you can survive two or three bad weeks or roster decisions and succeed.  That’s quite the contrast from daily fantasy where every option on a slate is put under a microscope and one mistake can make or break your week. 

NFL players have their own tendencies where they perform better in various scenarios whether it be as a favorite or underdog, playing at home or in hostile territory, or when their respective team wins or loses a game.  We’re going to explore which players at each position performed at their best or worst in various situations from last season to try and help us discover ideal roster opportunities in daily lineups.  Note that these figures can vary from year to year when someone who performed better indoors the year before now suddenly performed better outside the following year.  Viewed in another light, these figures can be interpreted as an extension of consistency rankings.  

This piece isn’t just exclusive to DFS and has a place in non-DFS leagues where an available free agent may be in a better spot to perform than a rostered option that should be on the bench for a specific week.  This will be the final part of the three-part series that concludes with the wide receiver position and only evaluates those that played a minimum of 12 games. 

LARGEST DIFFERENTIAL IN A STRAIGHT-UP WIN

Robby Anderson: 5.86: The Jets didn’t win much in 2018 but when they did, Robby Anderson was involved as he registered a touchdown in three of those four victories.  He closed out the campaign strong and given another offseason with second-year starter Sam Darnold, their chemistry can only continue to flourish.

DeAndre Hopkins: 5.57: Opposing secondaries  that were able to somewhat stymie Nuk held him to 82.8 receiving yards and .4 touchdowns in Houston losses.  Those that fell to his wrath allowed 105.27 receiving yards and .82 touchdowns in Houston wins.  Hopkins and Davante Adams were the only two receivers to maintain a floor of 12.4 fantasy points in every game they suited up.

Jordy Nelson: 4.9: We hadn’t been accustomed to seeing Jordy Nelson without Aaron Rodgers and from Week 5-Week 12, it wasn’t a pretty sight.  In three Raider wins that he played, he maintained a double-digit FPPG average while he was boom or total bust in 12 losses.

LARGEST DIFFERENTIAL IN A STRAIGHT-UP LOSS

JuJu Smith-Schuster: 8.89: Antonio Brown had a +1.37 FPPG differential in Steeler losses but still posted more fantasy production in games they were victorious.  Meanwhile, JuJu’s variance was much more extreme at a +8.89 FPPG differential in defeats as well as generating more production in those losses.  JuJu had a solid sophomore season as the WR8 in PPR scoring and put on a display in losses that he erupted for over 30+ fantasy points against Kansas City, Oakland, and Denver.

Tyreek Hill: 6.8: He generated 17 catches for 357 yards and five touchdowns in two shootouts against the Patriots and Rams that resulted in Chiefs losses.  Since 2017, Kansas City is 3-5 straight-up when their defense surrenders 30 points or more, a scenario Tyreek Hill thrives in as he has registered 20+ fantasy points in five of those eight matchups.

D.J. Moore: 4.06: His ceiling game of 28.7 fantasy points in a loss to the Lions was the major cause of this variance for the rookie receiver out of the University of Maryland.  His only competition at the position looks to be Curtis Samuel as he looks to build on a successful rookie campaign and possibly take the reins as the #1 receiver in Carolina.  

SMALLEST WIN/LOSS VARIANCE

Alshon Jeffery: +.07: While consistent in this metric in 2018, Alshon Jeffery has shown a more positive correlation in production with Nick Foles throwing him the football vs Carson Wentz doing so since 2017.  Whether Foles remained with the Eagles or not, Jeffery will compete for looks with Zach Ertz, Wentz’s preferred option and the team leader in receptions each season since Wentz was drafted in 2016.

LARGEST DIFFERENTIAL IN HOME GAMES

Amari Cooper: 10.37 (Cumulative with Oakland and Dallas): One of the ultimate boom or bust receivers throughout his career in Oakland, that attribute carried over when Amari Cooper was dealt to Dallas.  However, when he did erupt, it was in the friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum/AT&T Stadium as 68.46% of his receiving yards as well as seven of his eight touchdowns came in home games.  

Brandin Cooks: 8.73: He had a positive correlation in games at Gillette Stadium in his brief stay with New England but as Jared Goff’s home/road splits were drastic, so were Brandin Cooks as his +8.73 FPPG differential at the L.A. Coliseum demonstrated.  He had nearly two times as many receptions in home games at 53 compared to 27 receptions on the road in 2018.

Michael Thomas: 8.52: While the inverse occurred in 2017, Michael Thomas flourished in games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the tune of a +8.52 FPPG differential in games at that venue in 2018.  Drew Brees regressed back to his norm in games inside the fast-paced dome last year and that translated to a strong positive correlation in home games for both the future first ballot Hall of Famer and his trusty receiver.

LARGEST DIFFERENTIAL IN AWAY GAMES

Antonio Callaway: 8.89: Callaway was a non-factor in games at FirstEnergy Stadium as his 3.89 FPPG average in eight games played strongly suggests.  He was serviceable on road trips as he saw almost double the amount of receptions in road games as well as registering all of his five touchdowns away from Cleveland.

JuJu Smith-Schuster: 8.56: Victim of another strong correlation, JuJu was as useful in games the Steelers played outside of Pittsburgh as he was in games that they were defeated.  He posted crooked numbers in hostile territory with a floor of 14.8 fantasy points and posting 20+ fantasy points in five of eight road matchups.

Alshon Jeffery: 7.68: Like Antonio Callaway, Alshon Jeffery was another receiver that was nonexistent during the home portion of the Eagles 2018 schedule, a variance that became more extreme from 2017.  He saw 6.14 receptions and .71 touchdowns in seven road games vs 3.66 receptions and .17 touchdowns in six games at Lincoln Financial Field. 

SMALLEST HOME/ROAD VARIANCE

Curtis Samuel: +.16: He’s at worse the #3 receiving option for the Panthers behind  Christian McCaffery and D.J. Moore heading into 2019 but was the best in home/road consistency among evaluated receivers.  He was a low-ceiling fantasy option but when given additional snaps beginning in Week 12, Curtis Samuel maintained a solid floor of 11.2 fantasy points in five of those six games.

LARGEST DIFFERENTIAL IN GAMES WHEN THE RESPECTIVE TEAM IS A FAVORITE

Amari Cooper: 13.88: (Cumulative with Oakland and Dallas): Amari Cooper will have his breakout games as he has shown but Zeke being the focal point of the Dallas offense reduces his output some weeks.  Two of his three breakouts in 2018 were when his respective team entered the game as a favorite, averaging 71.2 receiving yards and 1 touchdown in four of those instances vs 40 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns in the underdog role.  

Nelson Agholor: 11.03: This variance reoccurring in 2019 would be quite the surprise as Nelson Agholor was rendered useless to the tune of .9 fantasy points in two games the Eagles went in as underdogs.  With the exception of the final two weeks, 2018 was a disappointing campaign that saw his touchdown receptions slashed in half from 2017

Allen Robinson: 6.46: The Allen Robinson that slaughtered the Eagles in the divisional round only appeared once in regular season action as his days of being drafted in the first four rounds may be over.  In fact, in PPR scoring, he finished just 1.4 fantasy points ahead of Taylor Gabriel for the WR1 on the Bears.  His variance exists largely due to the carnage he created against the Lions secondary in Week 10 last year.

LARGEST DIFFERENTIAL IN GAMES WHEN THE RESPECTIVE TEAM IS AN UNDERDOG

Tyreek Hill: 20.5: Since 2017, the Chiefs are 4-3 in games they enter getting points from their opponents with Tyreek Hill averaging a ridiculous 31.18 FPPG in six games in that role; he didn’t suit up Week 17 against the Broncos in 2017 as the Chiefs were locked in as the #4 seed.  He’s crossed the pylons at least one time in each of the last six instances he played in a game the Chiefs were underdogs.

Mike Williams: 11.25: Tyrell Williams departing for Oakland slots Mike Williams as the #2 wide receiver for the Chargers.  Underdog performances against the Rams and Chiefs saw the former 7th overall pick out of Clemson average eight catches for 78.5 yards and two touchdowns, a main contributor to Williams possessing this large differential.

Michael Thomas: 9.14: As Drew Brees saw a +11 FPPG differential in three games the Saints were underdogs, Michael Thomas was just as insulted in that role as he had a floor of 19.9 fantasy points in those matchups.  The Saints should be favored in nearly every game in 2019 with the exception of an NFC Championship rematch against the Rams, a secondary Michael Thomas torched for a 12/211/1 clip in Week 9.

SMALLEST FAVORITE/UNDERDOG VARIANCE

Jordy Nelson: +.29

The Raiders version of Jordy was a sad sight to behold after years of success with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.  Age and injuries have caught up with him and it’s no surprise to see him enter retirement after a successful 11-year career that netted him a Super Bowl ring in 2010.

LARGEST DIFFERENTIAL AGAINST TEAMS RANKED IN THE TOP HALF IN PASS DVOA

Amari Cooper: 10.29: Back for a third mention, Cooper wrecked havoc on some of the stronger secondaries as he posted 20+ fantasy point performances in five of six occurrences against defenses ranked in the top half in pass DVOA.  It’s maddening that he couldn’t put those performances together against the weaker secondaries but again, Zeke touching the ball as much as he does can be attributed to this issue.

Robert Woods: 8.29: Robert Woods was at his best when the secondaries were of the tougher variety.  While Brandin Cooks better correlated against defenses in the bottom half in pass DVOA, Woods was the opposite as he posted 87.2 yards and .5 touchdowns in 10 games against the top half vs 57.83 receiving yards and .17 touchdowns in 6 games against the bottom dwellers.  

Mike Williams: 7.67: Against 10 defenses that the Chargers faced that ranked in the top half in pass DVOA, Mike Williams saw double-digit fantasy points in PPR scoring in seven of those games.  Despite injuries that hampered his rookie season, Williams rebounded nicely and will syphon some of the 64 targets that Tyrell Williams leaves behind.

LARGEST DIFFERENTIAL AGAINST TEAMS RANKED IN THE BOTTOM HALF IN PASS DVOA

Calvin Ridley: 8.03: He was on pace for 24 touchdowns at the conclusion of Week 4, a sure sign that regression would and did strike as Calvin Ridley only had four touchdowns in the final 12 games.  He thrived against defenses in the bottom half in pass DVOA, averaging 14.02 yards per catch to complement his 61.7 receiving yards and .9 touchdowns per game vs 10.2 yards per catch, 34 receiving yards, and .17 touchdowns per game against the better half.

Christian Kirk: 6.54: Nearly an identical situation as Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk was more effective against the weaker defenses in his rookie campaign.  While Ridley knows who will be throwing him the ball in 2019, Kirk awaits to see if Josh Rosen will be traded and the Cardinals take Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in Nashville in a few weeks.

Odell Beckham Jr.: 6.54: His situation certainly improves as he moves on from an aged Eli Manning to a blossoming Baker Mayfield.  Regardless, Eli always made it a point to target OBJ throughout his time in New York, more so against the weaker secondaries that saw the former Giant average 100.33 receiving yards and .83 touchdowns per game against bottom-half pass DVOA defenses last year compared to 75 receiving yards and .17 touchdowns against stiffer competition.

SMALLEST PASS DVOA VARIANCE

Adam Thielen: It was the tale of two seasons as the first eight games saw Adam Thielen average 25.38 FPPG while that number regressed to 13.16 FPPG in the final eight.  Dalvin Cook may have been a factor as Thielen posted a 9.6/111.4/.8 clip in 5 games Cook was inactive vs a 5.91/74.18/.45 clip in 11 games Cook suited up.  Regardless, Thielen posted stellar performances against superior and inferior defenses in 2018, especially in the earlier portion of the campaign.

WHO WERE THE MOST CONSISTENT WIDE RECEIVERS OF 2018?

This portion of the article is reserved for those who demonstrated a consistency in all of the above metrics.  As the WR9 in PPR scoring, Mike Evans rebounded from a disappointing 2017 campaign and reached double-digit fantasy points in 12 of 16 contests in 2018.  With the exception of a variance just shy of three in top-half vs bottom-half pass DVOA opponents, Evans was remarkably consistent with FPPG differentials no greater than 1.25 in the other three metrics.  The Bucs move on from one offensive-minded coach in Dirk Koetter to another in Bruce Arians, one that will continue to benefit Evans moving forward.

As mentioned above, Adam Thielen performed equally well against stingy and porous secondaries.  That consistency also carried over in the other evaluated metrics with variances no higher than three fantasy points.  Thielen has benefitted from Dalvin Cook’s inability to stay healthy in his first two seasons in the league, a positive for Thielen to keep in mind as his ADP currently sits around the end of the 2nd round/beginning of the 3rd round at the time of this writing.