For fantasy, this draft turned up just a few gems
In the last few years, we’ve been spoiled with deep running back draft classes. This year is completely different. There are no Saquons or Zekes to be drafted early.
The first back off the board was Josh Jacobs to the Oakland Raiders (Round 1, Pick 24). Out of the University of Alabama, Jacobs was the top running back prospect entering the draft, but we still haven’t seen him play that much football. He’s never gathered more than 120 carries in a season, so his durability is in question.
What we do know is that he got drafted by the Raiders, which is a fantastic landing spot. I don’t think he’ll be a three-down back immediately, but I think he’ll lead the team in carries in his rookie year. Assuming he beats out Isaiah Crowell for the lead role, I would draft him in the fourth or fifth round.
I was really excited for Darrell Henderson coming into the draft. He was dominant in college at the University of Memphis, but I’m not thrilled with his immediate role. The Los Angeles Rams selected him with the sixth pick in the third round. Todd Gurley had a questionable end to his season, but the Rams are still his team. Henderson is no more than a handcuff with upside.
David Montgomery of Iowa State was taken by the Chicago Bears (Round 3, Pick 9). The landing spot isn’t bad, but I don’t believe in his potential as much as others might.
Some other notable picks were Miles Sanders (Philadelphia Eagles) and Devin Singletary (Buffalo Bills). Sanders will be limited to committee work in the Eagles’ offense, and Singletary could be the back of the future in Buffalo, but I don’t think he’s the guy in Buffalo this season.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is a fantastic receiver. That being said, he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens (Round 1, Pick 25). I don’t want to spend high draft capital on Brown until Lamar Jackson proves that he can throw the ball.
The New England Patriots ended the first round by selecting N’Keal Harry, a large-framed wide receiver. The Arizona State product could slide in behind Julian Edelman and James White as the third receiving option on the Patriots. Furthermore, without Gronk, Harry will likely be one of Brady’s biggest end zone targets this year.
San Francisco was also in dire need at the position, and they took Deebo Samuel early in the second round. Samuel is a terrific special teams player, but I’m not sure he’ll be immediately relevant in fantasy.
Both prospects from the University of Mississippi went in the second round. A.J. Brown went to the Tennessee Titans, and D.K. Metcalf went to the Seattle Seahawks. I think both are great, and both have the opportunity to emerge on their respective teams. But, like all other rookie wide receivers, the potential for them to be fantasy-relevant in their rookie years is minimal.
I’m very interested in all of these wideouts in dynasty formats, but I’m not so interested in redraft leagues.
The biggest prospects at the position this year both came from the University of Iowa. T.J. Hockenson was drafted eighth overall by the Detroit Lions. Based on Matthew Stafford’s history with tight ends, I’m not thrilled.
The saving grace for Hockenson might be Matt Patricia. We haven’t seen Patricia work as a head coach with an elite tight end, but he used to coach under a system in New England with a certain prolific tight end. I’m interested, but I don’t know that I want to pay up in the draft to get him.
Noah Fant was taken later in the first round by the Denver Broncos. There are a lot of question marks for the Broncos this year. Their lead wideout could be any of three guys, and they have a new quarterback. Fant is a late round flyer for me.
There’s really only one quarterback worth talking about in this draft. Only Kyler Murray has the potential to be a top 10 quarterback next season. Under Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid offense, Murray has the unique opportunity to be a fantasy-relevant rookie quarterback.
It’s going to take more than a season for Dwayne Haskins to get close to that level, and he’s probably a waste of a pick in fantasy this year. Let someone else make that mistake in your draft.
After the Arizona Cardinals acquired Murray with the first overall pick, Josh Rosen was sent to Miami. Rosen could be the starter in week 1 for the Dolphins, but I’m not going to consider drafting him until I know that for sure.