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2019 NFL Draft Fantasy Impact

Apr 29, 2019

Parris Campbell has plenty of value as Andrew Luck’s new slot receiver

Now that the 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone, the big question on the fantasy community’s mind is, “how does this rookie class shape the fantasy landscape moving forward?” Our latest expert consensus redraftrookie, and dynasty rankings already give us an idea into how the draft has shaken things up. However, our featured experts have also arrived with some early insight on which specific players received the biggest value boost thanks to the draft. Find out below which veterans and rookies had their value altered the most over the weekend.

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Q1. Who is the rookie whose stock is on the rise the most by virtue of the situation he walks into (team/depth/etc)? How early should he go in a rookie draft?

Parris Campbell (WR – IND) 
“Most might overlook this one, but I believe Campbell is worth a top-six pick in rookie drafts right now. The Colts are the perfect landing spot for him, as T.Y. Hilton presents enough speed where teams cannot be too concerned with Campbell underneath, which is where he’ll play for the Colts, filling the slot role. He should be able to do plenty of damage after the catch while using his 4.31-second speed on the turf in Indianapolis.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

“Only the Steelers attempted more passes than the Colts last season. While Andrew Luck has plenty of options, Parris Campbell represents the perfect underneath complement to T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess. It’s not far-fetched to take the speedster over every receiver besides N’Keal Harry in dynasty rookie drafts.”
– Andrew Gould (FantasyPros)

Mecole Hardman (WR – KC)
“I don’t think there’s any question the answer here is Hardman, who would have likely been a late second-round pick in rookie drafts and maybe a virtual afterthought in redrafts had he not been selected in the second round AND landed in Kansas City. While it’s never just as easy as slotting in a rookie to replace a 25-year-old two-time All-Pro like Tyreek Hill — it’s hard to imagine his career in Kansas City, if not the NFL, is over — Hardman is the obvious choice to slide into his role. He becomes an even more important figure in 2019 if Sammy Watkins, who has missed at least six games in two of the last three seasons, is unable to stay healthy yet again. I think a case can be made for Hardman to go as early as 1.05 in rookie drafts if Hill is released at some point.”
– Doug Orth (FFToday)

Josh Jacobs (RB – OAK) 
“Jacobs got the biggest boost from a pure draft capital perspective. While Jacobs is in no way a special player, he got drafted in the first round (which generally portends good things for running backs) and went to a team where he has little to no competition. Jacobs is likely the 1.02 in most dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts.”
– Davis Mattek (RotoExperts)

Hakeem Butler (WR – ARI) 
“The Cardinals have a huge need at receiver and were able to steal Butler in the fourth round. Butler might be third on the depth chart to open the season behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, but I can see him overtaking Kirk as a starter. Butler is worth drafting toward the end of Round 1 in a rookie draft.”
Jamey Eisenberg (CBS Sports)

Q2. Last season, Phillip Lindsay offered great value despite flying under the radar and being virtually undrafted in all leagues. Who is a rookie that has the best shot to be a surprise stud this season?

Ashton Dulin (WR – IND) | Ryquell Armstead (RB – JAC) 
“Dulin is the one wide receiver I would say has a legit chance as a UDFA to be an on-field fantasy football producer in 2019. He went to a pass-friendly team in the Colts and would likely be the club’s third receiver if T.Y. Hilton, Devin Funchess, or Parris Campbell were to suffer an injury. For running backs, Armstead was a later round pick that could overtake veteran Leonard Fournette. Fournette has begun to wear out his welcome in Jacksonville and Armstead is a fairly talented rusher.”
– Davis Mattek (RotoExperts)

“Drafted in the fifth round, Ryquell Armstead could pay off big as insurance for the oft-injured and seldom effective Leonard Fournette. The 5’11” and 220-pound back is a tough, downhill runner who recorded 34 touchdowns in 46 career games at Temple. Although he won’t contribute much as a pass catcher, he could bulldoze his way to double-digit touchdowns if Fournette can’t hold down Jacksonville’s starting job.”
– Andrew Gould (FantasyPros)

Darwin Thompson (RB – KC) 
“The Chiefs showed faith in Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde by waiting until the sixth round to draft a running back, but Thompson isn’t your average late-round selection. Williams has never been “the man” in five pro seasons (last year’s 73 offensive touches were the most of his career) and Hyde didn’t inspire confidence with his efficiency or his production with Cleveland and Jacksonville last season. Although he’s not quite as shifty as Tarik Cohen, the 5-8, 200-pound Thompson has rightfully drawn some loose comparisons to the second-year Chicago Bear as an explosive smaller back. He joins a coach and play-caller in Andy Reid who has a history of taking similar backs — Jamaal Charles and Brian Westbrook come immediately to mind — and making them fantasy studs.”
– Doug Orth (FFToday)

“I don’t buy Damien Williams as a featured back for 16 games, and Carlos Hyde is good, but not great. Darwin Thompson could be great in this offense, and I plan to take him with a late-round pick in all re-draft leagues.”
Jamey Eisenberg (CBS Sports)

Jalen Hurd (WR – SF) 
“Hurd is currently the 44th player taken in rookie drafts, though it’s hard to remain a sleeper in this day and age, so I’m expecting that to rise when everyone realizes his potential. He’s a former running back who switched to receiver his senior season and still managed to post nearly 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. The 49ers drafted him at the top of the third round, highlighting just how much they like him. He’s 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds, which is a massive size, something that neither Dante Pettis or Deebo Samuel offer. There’s vast upside with Hurd.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Q3. What veteran player walks away as the biggest winner based on the new addition(s) to his team and how does it affect how you value him this season?

Kirk Cousins (QB – MIN) 
“The Vikings used their first four picks on offense. Center Garrett Bradbury provides a foundational piece to improve their protection of Cousins, and Irv Smith Jr. provides a deep playmaker who averaged 16.1 yards per catch at Alabama last season. These additions, particularly a bolstered line that also added guard Dru Samia, could help Cousins bounce back from a disappointing season, a la Matt Ryan in 2018. Quarterback is deep, but he’s an interesting QB2 to target around the 15-20 range.”
– Andrew Gould (FantasyPros)

Lamar Miller (RB – HOU) 
“It’s tough to find workhorse running backs this day and age, yet Miller stands as one of the few. We’d heard about the Texans moving on from him over the last two seasons, but it’s yet to happen, and the Texans let Alfred Blue walk in free agency. They still have D’Onta Foreman on the roster, but he’s far from a sure thing, and might just take over the Blue role. In what’s likely to be one of the better offenses in the NFL, Miller is flirting with top-15 running back status. It also doesn’t hurt that they added two offensive linemen in the first two rounds.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Ronald Jones (RB – TB) 
“Tampa Bay made a statement by not adding any running backs during the draft, leaving Peyton Barber and Jones atop the depth chart for a second straight season. The Bucs have a vested interest — at least GM Jason Licht does — in Jones getting a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially so after what appeared to be a case of the team losing confidence during the preseason, when Tampa Bay’s offensive line appeared to have no interest in blocking — something that did not change in his limited opportunities during the regular season. While Barber could easily assume control of the backfield like he did last season (in part because of Jones’ horrific preseason and in-season hamstring injury), I see Jones emerging as a post-hype sleeper in part because he brings big-play ability to the table that Barber does not.”
– Doug Orth (FFToday)

Devonta Freeman (RB – ATL) 
“If Freeman can stay healthy behind the revamped offensive line in Atlanta, he could be exceptional once again. While Ito Smith will hopefully step into Tevin Coleman’s role, we could see a little more work for Freeman this season under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. But this is all about the Falcons adding two offensive linemen in the NFL Draft, as well as two more in free agency.”
Jamey Eisenberg (CBS Sports)

Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL) 
“The Ravens clearly entered the draft wanting to add a supporting cast for Jackson. They added Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin, who were two of my favorite wide receivers in the 2019 NFL Draft. Baltimore also drafted Justice Hill, one of the more dynamic running backs of the draft. This is going to be a fast and exciting offense moving forward.”
– Davis Mattek (RotoExperts)

Thank you to the experts for giving us their thoughts on the NFL Draft’s fantasy impact. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for advice all year round.

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