How to Handle Pick 1.01 in Dynasty Rookie Drafts (2019 Fantasy Football)
Now that we’ve seen another Super Bowl champion crowned, the focus in fantasy heads to the NFL Draft. While we still haven’t reached Pro Days and the Combine, best ball drafts are live and dynasty owners are beginning to prepare for their rookie and startup drafts. As such, we’ve asked our writers to provide their take on the top rookie available in this draft class.
At this point last year, there was little question who would go 1.01 in rookie drafts. Unfortunately, there’s no Saquon Barkley this year for owners of the first-overall pick. In fact, there is a lot of discussion that this year’s class of rookies is especially weak at the top. As a result, many of our experts and writers would encourage owners to shop the pick. Here’s Bobby Sylvester’s take.
This year’s rookie class is among the worst in the last decade. With Collin Johnson electing to stay in Texas for another year, there are no RBs, WRs or QBs who stand out as a sure thing. You will, of course, see a handful of players selected in the first round, but few will make much of an impact as rookies unless they land in the ideal offense. Rather, you can expect a few owners in your league to fall in love with one of the five B-grade running backs or one of the wide receivers who would go in the second round of most NFL drafts. Take advantage of their enthusiasm by landing multiple future firsts and a player upgrade in 2019.
For those that don’t have the luxury of being able to make a trade in dynasty leagues, or for those of you looking for the top options in dynasty startup and best ball formats, here are the players our writers would take with pick 1.01.
D.K. Metcalf (WR – Ole Miss)
This can change rather quickly once we find out the destination of the top players. For instance, if Metcalf were to land on the Bills, he’s not going to be worthy of the No. 1 spot in dynasty drafts. Keep an eye on both David Montgomery and Josh Jacobs for landing spots, as they can overtake the 1.01 spot if they land in a potent offense. As for Metcalf, he’s got the highest ceiling among all wide receivers, which have a longer shelf-life than running backs. Physically and athletically, you can compare him to someone like Josh Gordon. If all of his medical checks clear, he’ll be taken as a top-10 pick.
Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)
Metcalf may not be the most polished or NFL-ready receiver in this draft class, but his talent is undeniable. Metcalf was a standout at Ole Miss before a neck injury forced him out of action after just five games last season. His build (6’4, 225) is comparable to Julio Jones, and he’s very quick for his size with a wide catch radius. Three teams that may snatch him on draft day are the Bills, Colts, and Raiders — all teams that are desperate for a big-bodied possession receiver. He would be the lead dog for Oakland or Buffalo and provide a nice one-two punch with T.Y. Hilton in Indianapolis. Opportunity, even more so than talent, makes Metcalf my top pick.
Zak Hanshew (@ZaktheMonster)
He stands 6-foot-4-inches tall, weighs 225 pounds and runs a 4.46 40-time (unofficial). What is there not to like? Those measurables are very similar to a stud WR already in the league. Maybe you have heard of him; Mr. Julio Jones. According to reports, the neck injury that ended his 2018 season is no longer an issue and he has been medically cleared. The combine will be very important for him as teams will want to see if he truly is a 4.4 runner and if there are any lingering issues with his neck. As long as he can prove that he is fully healthy, he will be the first WR taken in the NFL Draft, and he will be my first pick in Dynasty Rookie Drafts.
Geoff Lambert (@GeoffLambert77)
N’Keal Harry (WR – Arizona State)
I like many WRs in this class, but I’m swinging for the fences to get an X-receiver, a player that can become an NFL team’s WR1 and at least a WR2 fantasy producer. Not a one-year wonder and not a player that simply had a great final collegiate season, Harry lit it up for three seasons after starting as a freshman. He got more refined each year. As a multi-dimensional WR, he is a big-time playmaker when you need a big play. He is a threat all over the field. While his speed will be analyzed as well as his previous play versus press coverage, there are more pros than cons for his NFL projection. While often facing double-teams, Harry used physicality to win on contested catches, strong hands to catch the ball and maintain possession, and short area quickness to gain YAC. He made plays downfield in a multitude of ways. Given the way Harry has played, I have no concerns about his learning to run pro routes in the NFL and being more aggressive versus the press. He will likely be a first-round NFL Draft pick, and that investment by an NFL team means great things for his fantasy potential.
Jeremy Browand (@DFF_Madman)
This is the year to definitely trade your 1.01 for some NFL players to bolster your squad since there is no consensus number one pick like Saquon last year. Why he was such an obvious choice was because of his college dominance and production as well as being a generational athlete when he blew the doors off the Combine stadium in 2018. The Combine will play a larger role than ever as we find out how athletic these top players are. So, if you cannot get value for trading your 1.01 then my pick at the moment is based on production and versatility. I think N’Keal Harry has the complete resume. He’s big, has great hands, wins contested catches, and has shown athleticism on tape with his ability to gain YAC. He is versatile — playing in the slot and outside — and he has even scored as a running back. He also has two productive seasons on his resume. Metcalf might turn out to be more athletic, but Harry has two seasons of more than a 1,000 yards and has not proven to be an injury liability.
Marc Mathyk (@masterjune70)
Rodney Anderson (RB – Oklahoma)
The most complete running back in this draft class, Rodney Anderson is flying under the radar due to a rather extensive college injury history. Pop on Anderson’s tape and you will see someone who possesses elite RB1 upside, as he thrives as both a runner and a receiver. At 6’1, 220 lbs., Anderson would likely be the lone running back selected in the first round of 2019 NFL Draft if he made it through the season healthy. In the eight games he started as Baker Mayfield’s running back, Anderson exploded for 1,079 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns with 14 receptions, 254 yards, and five receiving touchdowns. Anderson is my 1.01 until either he lands in a horrible depth chart situation or ends up on the PUP list.
Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)
David Montgomery (RB – Iowa State)
While the 2019 NFL Draft class isn’t chock full of standout skill position players, there is still value to be had for your dynasty team if you play your cards right. If you have the 1.01, there is a good chance you have some holes on your fantasy roster at key positions. What’s more, if you’re selecting that early, you don’t want to miss and set your team back another year, which means you should draft for opportunity since there is not a clear-cut slam dunk in this year’s class like there had been in the recent past with Ezekiel Elliott (2016) and Saquon Barkley (2018). Although wide receivers that include D.K. Metcalf and N’Keal Harry are hot right now, I’m shifting my attention to Iowa State RB David Montgomery. While Montgomery is currently being viewed as a day-two prospect, it wouldn’t surprise me if he snuck into the back-end of the first round with a strong showing at the combine. At 5’10/ 216-pounds, Montgomery holds a skill set built for today’s NFL. Not only is he touted as a dynamic and versatile rusher — he’s managed at least 1,146 yards in each of the past two seasons — but he also excels in the passing game, hauling in 71 receptions during his tenure at Iowa. In addition to being employed as a receiver out of the backfield, Montgomery was also utilized in the slot and split out wide, which we are seeing more and more backs do at the pro level. With his three-down capability — he is an exceptional pass-protector — Montgomery could see significant playing time in his rookie campaign depending on his landing spot. If a team like the Eagles or Bills, who are presumably in the running back market, make a play for Montgomery in April’s draft, there should be plenty of opportunities for the former Cyclone to return value and help turn around your dynasty squad.
Anthony Cervino (@therealnflguru)