2019 Fantasy Football Fallout: 2019 NFL Draft – Round 1

By Chet Gresham – @chetgresham
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Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
There never was much doubt that Arizona was going with Murray, as Kliff Kingsbury wanted him to run his “Air Raid” attack. Murray fits the offense better than Josh Rosen, and making Kingsbury start his tenure with a quarterback he doesn’t want when the quarterback he does want is available, would have been trouble right out of the gate. As far as fantasy is concerned, Murray needed Kingsbury to maximize his strengths, and those strengths correlate well to fantasy, as Murray is a great runner with a strong arm. His decision-making might not be there, and I can’t say if it ever will, but this offense should quickly make him into a useful fantasy play with real upside – if Kingsbury can get the offense clicking early on.

Daniel Jones, QB, Giants
There’s not much to write here, as Eli Manning will start again this year and Jones could sit up to three years according to Dave Gettleman, but Jones is also a franchise quarterback according to the same human being who said the former. Jones isn’t very good and will be lucky to stay in the league as a career backup, but his rushing ability could give him some fantasy usefulness in spot starts throughout his career.

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions
Sure is a good thing the Lions dumped Eric Ebron to draft Hockenson at eighth overall! The Lions did let Golden Tate go, and Jesse James is nothing to write home about, so Hockenson should be able to get meaningful work early, but this offense is a snail-like and not that good despite some good pieces. Additionally, Detroit will run the ball often, likely utilizing Hockenson’s blocking ability, keeping him from running routes. Add that to the trouble rookie tight ends usually have with the jump to the NFL, and I doubt I’ll target Hockenson in drafts this year, but there is enough upside there to draft him as a TE2 in a weak fantasy position.

Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals
Alabama’s Jonah Williams will help the Bengals’ offensive line and in turn, starting running back Mixon. Mixon doesn’t get the receiving numbers we would like from a stud fantasy player, but with an improved line and a likely bump from his already healthy 17 carries per game a year ago, he should be a safe pick in fantasy, especially for standard leagues.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
The Vikings grabbed a versatile center/guard in Garrett Bradbury out of N.C. State, who should be able to take over for Pat Elflein, pushing Elflein to guard, which should end up being a nice upgrade for the interior line. The Vikings promoted Kevin Stefanski to offensive coordinator and added Gary Kubiak as an advisor. They will implement a zone=blocking scheme and look to run the ball more than last year, as Kirk Cousins continues to show he can’t win games on his ability alone. That sets Cook up for a significant workload, and this move will help him succeed.

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Redskins
Haskins is a better prospect than Jones, but Haskins’ inability to evade tacklers will give him trouble in the NFL, especially as a rookie. His dynasty outlook isn’t awful, but making good throws or scrambling against pressure is a tough aspect for a quarterback to turn around. The Redskins aren’t going to do him any favors as far as fantasy production goes either. Washington will look to run the ball and will have one of the worst receiving groups in the league.

Noah Fant, TE, Broncos
At least Noah has part of the word “fantasy” in his name, so that could help him see his name converted into fantasy football team names, but again, rookie tight ends are always risky propositions in fantasy. With Joe Flacco at the helm, Fant could see more work, as Flacco likes the safety of throwing to big guys covered by smaller guys over the middle and Fant is not known for his blocking, which will get him running routes whenever he’s on the field. I’m slotting Fant ahead of Hockenson, but still, in the TE2 range, and for dynasty, Hockenson would likely be my pick from the two.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
Jacobs isn’t close to a no-doubt stud in the NFL like Saquon Barkley last season, but he will get the keys to the starting job in Oakland, and there’s nobody there who we can point to that will force him into a committee after Marshawn Lynch retired and they didn’t re-sign Doug Martin. That kind of bankable workload, including some receiving chops, make Jacobs a top-15 running back in fantasy.

Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens
Nobody wants to play receiver in Baltimore, so the team had to draft one. Brown is a big-play receiver who should be useful in the NFL, and the Ravens had a huge need at the position, which should push Brown into a prominent role early, but with Lamar Jackson at the helm, the Ravens barely threw the ball last season. I could easily see Jackson and Brown hook up for some big plays, and Jackson could use his legs to help give Brown time to get behind the defense, but until we see Jackson throw the ball more than 22 times a game, the upside is low.

N’Keal Harry, WR, Patriots
The Patriots had a significant need at receiver with Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Josh Gordon and Cordarrelle Patterson gone, and as long as Gordon doesn’t get reinstated soon, which isn’t likely, Harry should be able to make an impact early. Julian Edelman will remain the glue in the passing game, but New England needs a big, fast and productive receiver like Harry to open up the offense. Learning the offense and getting Belichick and Brady’s trust isn’t that easy, but the Patriots will try to make it work and should be able to get something out of him this year. I won’t be relying on Harry for fantasy, but his upside will be worth getting him on your teams in redraft.

Check out the Fantasy Fallout from Round 2 and Round 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com’s Fantasy Football Rankings.

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