Gridiron Staff Dynasty Rookie Discussion and Hot Takes
Gridiron Experts Dynasty Discussion
Dynasty Rookie Redrafts have begun, and for the first time in a few years, there is no obvious top dynasty pick. Which is allowing roster need to heavily factor into who to draft first overall. While many people are relying on Dynasty Rookie Rankings to help make up their minds while on the clock, it’s an interesting year, to say the least. The following is a Q&A Discussion with some of the writers here at Gridiron Experts about who they like and why.
Follow Our Staff on Twitter
What Player Drafted on Day 2 of the NFL Draft (2nd or 3rd Round) Are You The Most Excited About and Why?
Andrew Erickson – Give me all the Diontae Johnson wide receiver shares! In 2017 no WR had a higher rating when targeted by a QB (140.1) (100 targets) than Johnson did in the NCAA that season. He was actually the second-highest graded wide receiver by Pro Football Focus in 2017. And apparently the Steelers had a first-round grade on him and they got him in the third round. A lot of similarities to Antonio Brown in his game, which is why the Steelers had interest in him. Quicker than fast, and has the ability to contribute as a returner on special teams. He’s versatile enough to function both inside and outside and I trust the Steelers will put him in the best spot to succeed. No team gets more out of their wide receivers than Pittsburgh over the past several years. His 2018 production lacked because the QB play was down, but with Big Ben still slinging it, I am excited about Johnson at the NFL level. The player is electric.
Aaron Sopchak – Running back David Montgomery got a great landing spot landing on the Bears, for his skill set and will take over Jordan Howard’s workload from 2018. Although he will split carries with Tarik Cohen, I believe he will have some serious touchdown upside.
Mike Rigz – I would agree with Aaron and say that David Montgomery is a player that Dynasty Football and Fantasy owners should be getting excited about. The Bears traded the 87th, 162nd, and a future 4th round pick in 2020 to move up to select Montgomery. The Bears didn’t have many picks in this year’s NFL draft, but were still aggressive to move up and get their guy. I know there is some concern with Cohen and Mike Davis stealing carries, but I think depending on how Montgomery’s ADP shapes up, he’ll be a top pick for me in rookie re-drafts and could be a steal in fantasy drafts this summer.
Brandon Hamer – JJ Arcega-Whiteside a.k.a. “JJAW” was one of my top 8 receivers heading into the draft. The second the Eagles selected him I jumped him all the way up to my WR3. Agholor is good as gone and Desean is not the receiver he once was, leaving Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz as his main competitors for targets. JJAW will see immediate opportunity and will be catching passes from one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL in Carson Wentz for years to come. I think JJAW carries low-end WR2 upside once he hits his stride within the next few years.
Seth Keller – Instead of doing another preseason victory lap for Sanders, let’s talk about the last pick in the second round Seattle’s newest wideout DK Metcalf. Metcalf has been a lightning rod for debate and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I’m going to say that DK going to the Seahawks is a win-win and for player and team as well as real and fantasy football. DK is big, strong and fast (99th percentile SPARQ-x Score) but he also brings some baggage. For what he brings in straight line speed, he lacks in short-area agility. He will need some work on his route running to be able to create separation against NFL corners but at the very least he will be able to lift safeties and keep defenses honest. He should be able to beat out David Moore for the 3rd WR spot on the depth chart. And, if Doug Baldwin is actually close to retiring, DK could become the starting X wide receiver. Yes, DK has not been a picture of health but the upside he brings with his physical traits and potential volume makes him worth the risk in first round rookie dynasty drafts.
Marc Mathyk – How can you not be excited about Parris Campbell? He was tied with Andy Isabella as the fastest wide receiver at the NFL Combine. He also boasts a 97th-percentile Burst Score meaning he is fast out of the gate. He’s versatile – can play in the slot or outside. He was a prolific producer in his final year at Ohio State. He’s now got one of the best quarterbacks throwing him the ball in Andrew Luck. He should leapfrog Devin Funchess to be the team’s second most productive receiver, behind T.Y. Hilton, who is almost 30 years old and has been more injury prone of late. While many will be jumping on players like D.K. Metcalf and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside because of their immense size, remember that Campbell is no Hollywood Brown in stature. He is 6’0″ and weighs in at 205 pounds. Players this size tend to last longer than bigger Calvin Johnsonesque prototypes. Parris Campbell will produce from the get-go and will be a star on many Dynasty owner’s rosters for years to come.
Derek Wiley – In a draft that saw a lack of receiver and running back picks early on, I had a difficult time pinpointing the player in rounds 2-3 that I am most excited about. After careful consideration and some research, I’d have to say I’m getting excited to see what Mecole Hardman is going to bring to the Kansas City Chiefs. Selected with the 24th pick in the 2nd round, Hardman was a bit of a shocking pick to most. What he lacks in size (5’10” 187 lbs) he makes up for with blazing speed. He ran a 4.33 40 yard dash at the combine which was tied for 5th fastest overall. The expected suspension of Tyreek Hill is a huge reason for my interest in Hardman. Hardman does a lot of the same things that Hill excelled at with Patrick Mahomes playing quarterback. Hardman is also expected to slot in as a return man so he can get you points for return touchdowns as well. Hardman is not going to produce like Hill did in 2018, but he is in a great position to see a similar role which could provide some monster games for fantasy owners.
Ben Cigler – I think we say it every year, “the rich get richer” and this year is no different with Damien Harris going to the New England Patriots with the 24th pick in the 3rd round. The Patriots go with an RBBC approach and what they got in Harris is another weapon to plug into their swiss army knife that is their backfield. Coach Belichick loves running backs who run with a purpose and hang onto the ball while running inside or outside and Damien Harris is that. He runs decisively into the hole or around the end of the line. He only fumbled the ball 3 times on a total of 529 touches in 56 games. Harris might have to work his way into the lineup like James White did a few years back, but I am eager to see Damien Harris doing damage against NFL competition. Another pick that will have NFL GMs saying, “I can’t believe we let New England get him” for years to come.
Zack Patraw – For me, it has to be D.K. Metcalf. He was one of those prospects that you either you loved or you hated during the evaluation process. Me, I loved him. He’s a freak athlete that at nearly 230 pounds, can run a 4.33 40 yard dash. Everyone bashed his agility scores, but if you’re that size, you try changing directions on a dime at that speed. Everything he was asked to do at Ole Miss he did and he did it with success. His production may not have been there due to injuries, but don’t let that fool you as to what he brings to a team. He now gets paired with arguably the best quarterback in the NFL that just received his payday, and with the rumors of Dough Baldwin retiring, we could be seeing the new number one in Seattle sooner than we thought. @FFDynasty_ztp
What Rookie Taken on the Third Day of the NFL Draft (Rounds 4-7) Are You Targeting as a Dynasty Sleeper?
Aaron Sopchak – Bryce Love is an intriguing late round flyer in rookie drafts as a potential third-down back for the Redskins. Chris Thompson is playing during the final year of his contract and although Derrius Guice is projected to dominate this backfield there could be room for Love to produce some PPR upside. Bryce will likely spend a large portion of 2019 working on getting back into shape but his 2020 upside could be interesting.
Ben Cigler – As my dynasty sleeper pick from Day 3 of the Draft, I have to go with Kelvin Harmon who went to the Washington Redskins in the 6th round. Several times I would see wide receivers getting picked and I would go back and check if Harmon had been drafted while I glanced away or walked to the fridge to get a soda. Then I tried going online to double check that he wasn’t injured. Nope, he just was passed up over and over. That is a mistake I am not making in any of my dynasty leagues. Although he could’ve landed in a better situation than Washington offensively, I think he does everything well that you could ask a receiver to do including blocking downfield. He isn’t the quickest guy but he uses his positioning and route running to get the ball into his hands. His quarterbacks that he worked with as North Carolina State left a lot to be desired, but now he is teamed up with fellow rookie Dwayne Haskins who also slid a bit in the draft. With both of these guys having a chip on their shoulders, I like the likelihood of them proving other NFL teams wrong. I’m drafting him high because I believe in him and I am doing so knowing he might take a couple of years to give me a return on my investment. I had him as one of my top prospects prior to the draft his situation in Washington is just going to make me be more patient than I originally thought.
Zack Patraw – I’m very excited about this running back competition we have in Kansas City, between Damien Williams, Carlos Hyde, Darwin Thompson, and James Williams. I expect Thompson to come out as the lead back in that backfield. We saw it last year with guys like Phillip Lindsay, and we could see it again this year with Thompson. A guy that was drafted very late in that draft that provides a good dual threat out of the backfield. He shows good hands in the passing game, tremendous elusiveness, and he is a nightmare to tackle in the open field. He was one of my favorite prospects to watch this year and it’s going to be interesting to see if he can come out of this competition with a lead back role.
Brandon Hamer – I endorsed two sleeper running backs throughout this Off-Season, James Williams and Darwin Thompson. Just so happens that they ended up on the same team, Darwin was drafted in the sixth round and James was signed as a UDFA shortly after. I was personally higher on Williams than I was on Thompson but the fact that the Chiefs chose to select Thompson over Williams leads me to believe they see it a different way, and that’s what really matters. Thompson can do what presumed starter Damien Williams does considerably better than Carlos Hyde could and I believe he would be used over Hyde were something to happen to Damien. Thompson fits the bill to the exact running back Andy Reid loves to have, which is a quick, shifty runner with exceptional hands. I have seen Thompson compared to a bigger Cohen and I would have to agree. If he sticks to the roster I could see him complementing Williams in a Jalen Richard/Tarik Cohen role giving him an opportunity to develop into a nice PPR asset for your team.
Andrew Erickson – Justice Hill absolutely destroyed the NFL combine. His 4.40 ranked in the 97th percentile and his Burst Score ranked in the 95 percentile taking his vertical and broad jumps into consideration via PlayerProfiler.com. However, Hill’s college yards/carry (5.7. 58th percentile) and his elusive rating via PFF (14th minimum 158 carries) don’t exactly blow you away as scores. With the Baltimore landing spot, Hill won’t dominate the backfield, but find a role in the committee alongside Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. He profiles much more to a “scat back” because he does have skills in the passing game, but has elite speed that the other Baltimore running backs don’t have. In his three-year career at Oklahoma State, Hill totaled 49 receptions. Most importantly via PFF, he had zero drops. And interestingly enough Hill’s 2017 campaign saw a huge market share in touches of the Oklahoma State offense. So if injuries happen to other Baltimore running backs, the Justice Hill show could be off and running in 2019 as he has shown if called upon he can handle the load. His unique skillset cannot be duplicated by any other running back on the Ravens.
Derek Wiley – I may or may not be cheating with this selection because he was the first pick in the 4th round, but I love Hakeem Butler. Although Andy Isabella was drafted first he is very small and better suited for the slot. Butler has ideal size (6’5” 227 lbs) to start outside the numbers. He has consistently drawn Mike Evans comparisons and for good reason. Butler is a playmaker with great ball skills and good speed. Over the last 2 years, he scored 8 touchdowns of 40-plus yards. This explosiveness is sorely missed in 2018 by the Cardinals. One knock on Butler is his route running. He needs some polishing, but with guys like Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk in the receivers room, Butler will have a chance to learn the route tree quickly. Butler has the chance to contribute this year in what should be an improved offense.
Seth Keller – As for a sleeper pick from day three, I’m going with a player that I’m surprised made it to day three: Kelvin Harmon. Harmon got scooped up by the Redskins with the 33 (compensatory) pick in the sixth round. Harmon will be part of a revamped offensive unit that drafted Dwayne Haskins at QB, two offensive guards, Bryce Love at RB, and Terry Mclaurin at WR. Both Harmon and Mclaurin could see volume in their first year as the Redskins have a hodgepodge receiving core led by Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson and last year’s Mr. Irrelevant Trey Quinn. ESPN ranked Harmon as their 14th best wideout and most dynasty people had him in their first round if not top 5. According to PlayerProfiler.com, his best comparison is Mike Williams who was drafted with the seventh overall pick two years ago. Like Williams, Harmon may need some time to develop but his use in the offense should prove valuable. His dynasty stock will take a significant hit considering how long he sat but he has the potential to be the steal of the year depending on how long he sits during your rookie draft.
Give Us One Hot Take for the 2019 Dynasty Rookie Class
Andrew Erickson – Josh Oliver is the highest scoring rookie tight end in fantasy football in 2019. The Jaguars added Oliver out of San Jose State in the third-round. He led the nation in contested catches at the tight end position in 2018. According to PFF, Oliver led NCAA in yards from the slot and deep passing yardage at tight end. Also ranked second most in slot receptions and fourth in receptions over 20 yards downfield. Nick Foles loves to target the slot and the tight end position and with all the unproven talent surrounding the Jaguars offense, Oliver could emerge as the primary option for Foles in the passing game.
Seth Keller – Todd Gurley’s knees are in worse shape than we could have imagined which opens the door to Darrell Henderson being a top 12 RB in 2019! This take is an inferno because it brings down a golden child while pushing a rookie into the limelight. A quick disclaimer, I am not hoping for an injury here nor am I necessarily predicting one. However, Todd Gurley led the NFL with 658 touches over the past two years, so even if his knees don’t give out that is an absurd amount of touches to maintain. Darrel Henderson can help balance Gurley’s usage even if Gurley remains healthy. To say Henderson is fast and explosive is an offensive understatement. He averaged 8.9 ypc each of the past two years at Memphis. Behind an O-line (that made CJ Anderson look like a legitimate running back again), Henderson will find creases that he will exploit for massive gains. Henderson’s fantasy value will be low since it is assumed he will be sitting behind Gurley but I would love to have Henderson as a handcuff even if I don’t own Gurley.
Aaron Sopchak – Joshua Jacobs could be a top-five PPR running back in 2019. The Raiders adding Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams will be huge for the team’s overall success and the running game should benefit. I expect to see Derek Carr utilize Jacobs in the passing game as a check down constantly and with an opened up offense, there should be plenty of room to run.
Derek Wiley – Kyler Murray proves height of a quarterback does matter by setting a new NFL rookie record for most interceptions in a season with 29. I am not sold on Murray as the best QB in the class let alone the number 1 overall pick. Tie that in with a rookie head coach that struggled coaching successful teams in college and its a recipe for disaster.
Ben Cigler – N’Keal Harry earns Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s trust and becomes a weekly part of the game plan. He will end the year with over 60 catches good for over 700 yards. The Patriots spread the ball around based planning against the opponent’s weaknesses and Harry has the tools to become part of that plan on a regular basis. Belichick has said that the Patriots don’t have a great track record of drafting and developing young wide receivers, but N’Keal Harry is going to give great results from the start at least putting a pause in that trend.
Zack Patraw – I believe this will be the highest scoring rookie tight end class we’ve ever had. Josh Oliver in Jacksonville has a tremendous opportunity with Nick Foles. Foles loved throwing to Ertz in Philly. Foster Moreau is one of the biggest sleepers in this draft and he steps in for Jared Cook who departed to New Orleans. Dawson Knox is a very talented and athletic tight end who should overtake the competition in Buffalo. Drew Sample, though I’m not high on him as a prospect, may have a starting job handed to him with all the injury-prone tight ends in Cincy. Jace Sternberger has the receiving ability and the blocking ability to overtake Jimmy Graham in Green Bay. Kahale Warring appears to be the tight end the Texans have been missing the last couple years. The Iowa teammates, Fant and Hockenson, are the most polarizing prospects out of this tight end class and they have a prime opportunity to be big time fantasy relevant players this year. This tight end class has been set up for some very good production.
Thanks for Reading