Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft (2019 Fantasy Football)
In a draft class marred by some of the top prospects landing in poor to disastrous situations for their dynasty value, the 12 names featured below were all draft day winners. It is true that this class had too much talent at the skill positions, and as such, we have seen some flabbergasting landing spots. Rodney Anderson, my pre-draft 1.01 landed with Traveyon Williams in Cincinnati. The same place some guy named Joe Mixon plays.
My pre-draft 1.02 landed behind some guy named Todd Gurley. The Arizona Cardinals in their quest to give new franchise quarterback Kyler Murray some weapons, drafted three top-15 wide receivers, promising a dynasty value cannibalizing scenario. The list goes on and on. We touched on our biggest rookie losers here, but this first round rookie mock will also serve to highlight the biggest winners.
1.01 – Josh Jacobs (RB – OAK)
A hard-hitting power back with good hands, Jacobs will finally get a chance to be a feature back. He was the number two back at Alabama, but as the first running back drafted, he will be afforded every opportunity to prove that the talent he showed in his somewhat limited opportunities is legit. Jacobs is likely the only running back drafted that will come close to 300 touches this year. There is an argument for him in the RB1 conversation, but he is more likely to be an elite RB2.
1.02 – N’Keal Harry (WR – NE)
One of the biggest winners of the draft, Harry seems to have landed in an offense tailor-made for his skill set. While not the most nuanced of route runners, he excels both after the catch, and downfield in contested catch situations. Harry has WR1 upside as long as Tom Brady keeps playing, but the uncertainty regarding his long-term future keeps him from being the top dynasty rookie.
1.03 – David Montgomery (RB – CHI)
A running back with exceptional contact balance and exciting open field ability, Montgomery looks like a lock for RB2 value despite the presence of Tarik Cohen. Montgomery will not beat you with straight-line speed, but with his physicality and elusiveness. Montgomery forced 100 missed tackles in 2018, and could quickly become a YAC monster in the NFL. The pedestrian Jordan Howard saw 250 carries in 2018, and this could be Montgomery’s floor if he can beat out Mike Davis in the preseason. Often compared to Kareem Hunt, including by Hunt’s old offensive coordinator and current Bears coach, Matt Nagy, Montgomery could be the most valuable dynasty running back from this draft class. Be excited.
1.04 – A.J. Brown (WR – TEN)
A.J. Brown saw his dynasty stock take a temporary hit due to landing with the ever-struggling Marcus Mariota. Don’t sleep on Brown because of his current quarterback situation. It stands to reason that if Mariota does not show marked improvement this season, that the Titans will consider moving on from him this offseason. The Titans have a roster that will allow them to be aggressive if they decide to use their draft capital to trade up in 2020.
Either scenario suggests that Brown’s dynasty stock could take a massive leap as soon as 2020. Mariota has flashed his talent in the NFL, and now has the weapons to realize his potential. This is the range to take a plunge on arguably the most talented wide receiver in this draft class.
1.05 – Marquise Brown (WR – BAL)
Brown landed in an underrated spot for his dynasty value. In Baltimore, he will likely function as the team’s number one receiver for at least the next five years, a claim he would not be able to make in most other places. Not only that, but he is a perfect fit for Lamar Jackson’s strengths.
Pop on some Jackson tape from Louisville, and you will see a QB getting the ball to his number one, Jaylen Smith, on much of the same routes Brown will be asked to run in Baltimore. His ability to create instant separation is exactly what the doctor ordered as far as unlocking Jackson’s upside as a passer. Brown may never reach his true ceiling with a dual-threat quarterback, but showed he can still flourish with one in Kyler Murray. You can likely land Brown later in the first round with a trade back, but if you cannot swing a deal, go for the best player available.
1.06 – D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA)
Metcalf is another one of the draft’s big winners. Much like Harry, Metcalf landed in the best situation possible. There are only about three to four quarterbacks in the entire league that could have unlocked his upside, and he just happened to land with the youngest of that group, and perhaps most talented.
Russell Wilson has the pinpoint accuracy to locate Metcalf deep time and time again and has the ability to extend the pocket to allow him to get open. They may never be a high-efficiency duo like what Wilson has formed with Lockett, but Metcalf figures to push for double-digit touchdowns immediately. Metcalf can truly become a monster in this offense, and the WR1 conversation could be in his future.
1.07 – Parris Campbell (WR – IND)
The exciting wide receiver from Ohio State landed in the perfect offense for his skill set. Not only will he not be forced into a deep threat-only role, but the Colts will also likely feature the routes he made his living on in college. Campbell will get to learn from one of the best deep threats in the game, and should quickly become a prolific pass catcher for Andrew Luck.
Campbell may never reach WR1 territory, but his expected volume and skills after the catch will make him an exciting WR2. One of the two receivers in this class with legit 100-reception upside, Campbell could quickly become a household name in PPR leagues. With his ability after the catch (8.9 yards after catch average ranked seventh in the nation), Campbell is the key to unlocking the true power of the Colts’ offense.
1.08 – Kyler Murray (QB – ARI)
Things could not have turned out better for Kyler Murray. There was a lot of trepidation about Murray’s rumored landing spot leading up to the draft, as the Cardinals had only the soon-to-be-retired Larry Fitzgerald and sophomore Christian Kirk as receiving options. Following the NFL Draft, Murray arguably has the best receivers room in football. The Cardinals added speed merchant Andy Isabella, a talented 6’5″ receiver with NBA bloodlines in Hakeem Butler, the pro-ready and sticky-handed KeeSean Johnson, and underrated UDFA A.J. Richardson from Boise State. Not only that, but they saw fit to add the talented Caleb Wilson, a tight end most had in their top five due to his insane production at UCLA (led all tight ends in receiving yards and yards after the catch). Murray has the makings of an instant QB1 and should be added in the first round of even single-QB leagues.
1.09 – Noah Fant (TE – DEN)
Noah Fant is in a prime spot for fantasy value. Flacco loves his tight ends due to his sometimes frustrating risk averseness. In this case, Courtland Sutton‘s loss is Fant’s gain. Not only that, but starter-in-waiting Drew Lock targeted his talented tight end mercilessly at Missouri, often to a fault.
Fant could be a TE1 as soon as this year, but will likely have to battle the consistency issues most young tight ends suffer from. From his downfield receiving skills all the way down to his average-at-best skills as a blocker in the run game, Fant is a receiver in a smaller tight end’s body. He is someone dynasty owners should consider as soon as seventh overall as a player with elite TE1 upside and a low-end TE1 floor.
1.10 – T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET)
T.J. Hockenson is the most talented tight end in this draft class. He has a complete skill set in the Rob Gronkowski vein and should upgrade not only the Lions’ passing attack, but their running game as well. Unfortunately, landing with Matthew Stafford may leave his upside capped. Stafford was never able to unlock a tight end we all now know is very talented in Eric Ebron, leaving some cause for concern here. What we can be assured of is that Hock will be a double-digit touchdown threat immediately.
His weekly volume and target quality are the two things in question. With that said Stafford has never quite had a tight end like Hock, and the argument that Stafford went away from Ebron due to his drop issues is not unfounded. Hockenson has elite TE1 upside, but a TE2 floor.
1.11 – Miles Sanders (RB – PHI)
Miles Sanders is not someone I will be drafting in the first round of any of my drafts, but he is someone you should consider if he is still available at the end of the opening round. My main quip with Sanders is that he is being drafted too early in rookie drafts. He is stuck in a backfield with the upside sapping Jordan Howard, a pedestrian back who will undoubtedly vulture not only touches, but red zone opportunities. He has to contend with Josh Adams, a back who looked impressive in his limited opportunities in 2018, and also is currently up against Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, and more in the running back room.
With that said, Sanders does present some value at the end of the first round. There are scenarios where Sanders runs away with the starting job as he is easily the most talented running back currently on the roster. The “currently” part is what scares me. Sanders is an exciting runner with the skills to play an every-down role, but will be one of those backs who dynasty owners will constantly be in fear of the Eagles drafting an upgrade for.
Sanders is an RB3 with legit RB2 upside who could morph into a Ryan Grant-type of starter for the Eagles. Sanders may never be a top-20 back based on talent, but he could certainly be one based on role and volume. Think a more flashy Marlon Mack.
1.12 – Deebo Samuel (WR – SF)
Tyshun ‘Deebo’ Samuel landed in an exciting offense. Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan with Deebo Samuel are what dreams are made of. Samuel profiles more as a number two, but could function as the team’s number one this season. Remember, as good as Dante Pettis was last season, Jimmy G never got to build a rapport with him. Samuel could indeed function as a low-end number one, but would be much more effective battling single coverage, and the easier of their oppositions’ two starting corners.
Samuel makes up for his height (he is ‘only’ 5’11) with his 39-inch vertical, and solid ball skills. A crisp route runner who is capable of making circus catches look routine, Samuel could explode with a starting role. Consider Samuel a borderline WR2 with elite WR2 upside.