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2019 Dynasty Rookie Rankings and Tiers: Post-NFL Draft Edition

 

Post-NFL Draft 2019 Dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings are here! Which rookies hit the trio of strong profile, early draft position, and great NFL landing spot? The RotoViz team has already adjusted their outlook on which players are the best dynasty investments. I’ve drawn in the tiers based on RV scores generated by each player, which is our internal way of measuring not only a player’s average ranking, but how much agreement there is on the player by the rankings team. I’ll share an overview of the top-12 in this post and make note of the highest and lowest rank on each player among the analysts on our dynasty rankings team. You can see the full rookie rankings set here.

Tier 1

1.01 – N’Keal Harry – WR, New England Patriots

To say Harry is viewed as the 1.01 by the RotoViz team doesn’t really make a strong enough statement. He’s ranked as the 1.01 by all six of our dynasty rankers. We covered Harry’s impeccable profile ad nauseam throughout pre-NFL Draft rookie evaluation season, but now the puzzle is complete. After locking in first-round draft pedigree, Harry’s closest comp in the Box Score Scout is Mike Evans. His top-10 comp list also includes Alshon JefferyKenny GolladayAllen RobinsonJuju Smith-Schuster, and Michael Thomas. He’ll also walk in to a solid year one production opportunity with Rob Gronkowski having recently retired and the availability of Josh Gordon once again uncertain.

Highest rank: 1

Lowest rank: 1

Tier 2

1.02 – Josh Jacobs – RB, Oakland Raiders

Jacobs actually did it – he managed to be drafted in the first round despite testing as a below average athlete and having one of the least impressive production profiles among the running backs in the class. However, as useful as analytics can be, they aren’t the only thing that matters. Jacobs entered an Oakland backfield in dire need of a leading man after Marshawn Lynch decided to hang up his cleats this offseason. His year one production opportunity is huge – not much stands in the way of him amassing 250 touches in his first season. As TJ Calkins noted, the biggest obstacle preventing Jacobs from becoming a dynasty RB1 is incumbent receiving game back, Jalen Richards.

Highest rank: 3

Lowest rank: 4

Tier 3

1.03 – Miles Sanders – RB, Philadelphia Eagles

As a second-round pick, Sanders should instantly command the most valuable role in Philadelphia. The Eagles also brought in Jordan Howard via trade earlier this offseason, but he projects to fill the short yardage and goal-line role held by LeGarrette Blount several seasons ago. Sanders has true bell cow potential in Philly, but the team has employed a committee approach in the Pederson era. The big question is whether a back of Sanders’ caliber will change the way he and Duce Staley rotate the group. There are distinct advantages to using role-specific backs less often, most namely being that the offense doesn’t have to tip its hand on the play call simply because of the personnel on the field.

Highest rank: 2

Lowest rank: 8

1.04 – David Montgomery – RB, Chicago Bears

I’m not sure enough is being made of how great a landing spot this was for the former Cyclone. First, the Bears traded up to select him. This always grabs my attention – they didn’t simply want a running back – they wanted this running back. Howard and his 270 touches from 2018 are gone. Even if newcomer Mike Davis carves out a role, 200 touches seems like the absolute floor in Year 1 for the rookie. Head Coach Matt Nagy is an Andy Reid disciple but hasn’t been able to run the offense in the same manner as his mentor to this point in Chicago because Howard and Tarik Cohen are specialty backs and it has limited what can be called based on which player is in the huddle. Montgomery’s skills in the receiving game could yield a role more similar to what we’ve seen from Jamaal Charles and Kareem Hunt in Kansas City. Not only would this be good for Montgomery’s fantasy outlook, but it could help the Bears unlock the true ceiling of Nagy’s system. Hat tip to TJ Calkins as we discussed Montgomery and his situation at length in Voxer over the weekend.

Highest rank: 2

Lowest rank: 10

1.05 – A.J. Brown – WR, Tennessee Titans

Fans of Brown and his strong pre-draft profile may argue he’ll instantly be the best receiving option in Tennessee the first time he walks onto the practice field. However, the Titans do still have Corey Davis, a former top-10 pick entering just his third season and they also added Adam Humphries. In what projects to be a low-volume passing offense, I’m worried about how much fantasy love Marcus Mariota will truly be able to funnel in Brown’s direction. I’m lower than this on him and will not be drafting him in this range. It’s not that I like him as a player any less, I just think this was one of the worst possible landing spots for him. He’s a player I’ll target in trades after his first season because I think his lack of Year 1 production will drive his price down a little.

Highest rank: 2

Lowest rank: 12

1.06 – J.J. Arcega-Whiteside – WR, Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles added yet another weapon to Carson Wentz’s arsenal in Arcega-Whiteside, a contested catch savant who should be able to score fantasy point via crossing the stripe even if he doesn’t see massive volume. He may be short on targets in his first season due to the presence of Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and DeSean Jackson, but his long term upside in this offense is sky high. I think there are other players in the tier in better early-career situations, but I definitely agree he belongs in this tier and wouldn’t argue with anyone wanting to invest the 1.05 in the former Cardinal.

Highest rank: 4

Lowest rank: 10

1.07 – Andy Isabella – WR, Arizona Cardinals

Wow. The former UMass star was selected in the second round as a battery-mate for Kyler Murray. This pick wasn’t owned by the Cardinals entering the draft – they had to move Josh Rosen to get it. This speaks volumes about how the team views Isabella and how he’ll fit in Kliff Kinsgbury’s air raid system. It’s not hard to picture three different pass catchers getting 100 or more targets in Arizona, and with Isabella’s speed and Murray’s ability to create on the fly outside the pocket, the possibilities are drool-including. Having locked in second round draft pedigree, Isabella’s final comps in the Box Score Scout include Will FullerBrandin CooksTyler Lockett, and Odell Beckham Jr.

Highest rank: 4

Lowest rank: 12

Tier 4

1.08 – Mecole Hardman – WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Unbelievable. I’m not sure anyone could have written a better script for Hardman to go from virtual rookie fade to a player the entire dynasty community should be clamoring for in draft this season. With Tyreek Hill’s future having a range of possible outcomes which include never stepping on the field again, Hardman’s outlook in the Chiefs offense is insanely good. Even if Sammy Watkins moves into the alpha wide receiver role, we’re looking at what could be Patrick Mahomes’ WR2. I think it will take a few weeks (and perhaps more clarity on Hill’s status) until the dynasty community and even our rankers agree on what Hardman’s upside is now. For point of reference, four of our rankers have Hardman in their top seven.

Highest rank: 5

Lowest rank: 14

1.09 – T.J. Hockenson – TE, Detroit Lions

Hockenson locked in very rare top-10 draft pedigree, which we’ve seen only a handful of times int he past 20 years. The total package, Hockenson should see extremely high snap count percentages from the drop. His initial target volume could be lower than most want to see due to the presence of Golladay and Marvin Jones, however most tight ends in the league are no better than third options on their squads either.

Highest rank: 4

Lowest rank: 14

1.10 – Noah Fant – TE, Denver Broncos

Grabbing tight ends early in single TE leagues isn’t something I typically recommend, but if you’re going to make an exception, this is a good year to do it. Not much stands in the way of Fant becoming at worst the second most targeted player on the team. Last year’s first-round pick, Courtland Sutton, is still a player who requires some projecting in terms of long-term potential because he didn’t show much in his rookie season. Emmanuel Sanders is also still in town, but he’s aging and coming of a major injury. The arrow is straight up for this player, but you’ll have to pay handsomely if you want him on your roster.

Highest rank: 7

Lowest rank: 13

1.11 – D.K. Metcalf – WR, Seattle Seahawks

Metcalf  didn’t get the first-round pedigree he needed to secure desirable comps in the Box Score Scout, but from a NFL-situation perspective, this may have been one of his better possible landing spots. Seattle has started to leak graver concerns about Doug Baldwin’s outlook in recent days, so it’s very possible the former Rebel could be second on the team in targets as soon as Year 1. Russell Wilson is one of the best in the game at finding his receivers down field and creating efficient fantasy scorers. Tyler Lockett’s rookie campaign of 51/664/6 in 2015 is a reasonable floor projection in Year 1 with Baldwin’s availabity in question.

Highest rank: 4

Lowest rank: 17

Tier 5

1.12 – Parris Campbell – WR, Indianapolis Colts

Campbell hit the jackpot for his fantasy future by landing with a top quarterback, for an indoor team that plays over half its games on turf each season. Frank Reich has shown a willingness to reinvent his offense based on the players at his disposal (read: Eric Ebron in 2018) and I can’t wait to see what he has dreamed up for Campbell. He may have to fight with Nyheim Hines and Devin Funchess for targets in Year 1, but the ceiling is undeniable here.

Highest rank: 8

Lowest rank: 16

 

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