Fantasy Football Rankings Update: Where do the rookies end up post-draft?

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Not every rookie makes an impact in Fantasy. If you've ever played before you know that by now, but it's still hard to ignore them. Especially because the ones who do end up making an impact can be league-winning types of players. Just think of Saquon Barkley, Kareem Hunt, and Ezekiel Elliott over the past few years, or that famous Odell Beckham-Mike Evans-Kelvin Benjamin wide receiver class. If you ended up with any of those players, you probably had a pretty good season.

So, we're always going to chase rookies for their potential upside. You just want to make sure you aren't reaching when you do it, which is where our rankings come into play. Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, and Heath Cummings have made their first updates post-draft, and 22 rookies cracked the positional rankings at QB, RB, WR, and TE.

That's 22 players you need to get to know, at least. We'll have more content in the coming days, with Dynasty rankings for each position as well as a ranking of the rookies themselves. For now, here's how the rankings for the rookies shake out:

Quarterback

  • How many make the top 32? Two each for Jamey, Dave, and Heath
  • Who made it? Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins made all three
  • Where are they ranked? 

     

    Jamey

    Dave

    Heath

    Kyler Murray

    13

    14

    19

    Dwayne Haskins

    32

    31

    29

It's not a great year for quarterbacks, especially for Fantasy. Murray should be drafted as a backup in most 12-team leagues, but you certainly won't want to go into the season with him as your starter. A season opener against the Lions isn't the toughest matchup, but there is enough uncertainty with any rookie to make sure you've got a reliable backup option. 

Beyond him, the first-round rookies are Daniel Jones and Haskins. Haskins has a pretty good chance of starting Week 1, but he's not exactly in the best spot for a young QB. Washington is likely going to focus on running the ball, and its lack of weapons in the passing game won't set Haskins up for immediate success even if it does open up the offense. And as for Haskins, the Giants would seemingly prefer if they don't see their first-round pick on the field this year. Your mileage may vary on the logic of that. 

Beyond those two, you have Drew Lock in Denver, who could end up the starter, but not in 2019, and Will Grier in Carolina, who probably won't start unless something goes terribly wrong. 

Running back

While it's not quite as stacked as in recent years, this crop of rookie running backs certainly has the potential to help decide some Fantasy championships in 2019. Jacobs is the obvious standout, both because of his talent as well as his landing spot. He won't be the every down back for the Raiders right away with Jalen Richard and Isiah Crowell in town. However, he'll have a guaranteed role from the start of training camp, with a chance to run away with the job. If Richard or Crowell is running exclusively with the second team in training camp, you'll need to bump Jacobs even further up your draft board.

Montgomery and Sanders both enter similar situations in seemingly crowded backfields in creative offense. Montgomery will vie to be the Jordan Howard replacement (along with Mike Davis), while Sanders hopes to emerge as the top option in a specialized Philly backfield. Neither seems likely to be a workhorse, but if they can work their way into 15-plus touches per game, you'll be starting them every week in these offenses. 

Darrell Henderson is an interesting one, less for what it says about him and more what it says about incumbent starter Todd Gurley. Gurley was obviously limited by a knee issue toward the end of last season, and the offseason has not provided much clarity. 

The rest of this class is obviously dependent on playing time. Singletary may have a better chance than most to wind up with regular work, on a team with an aging Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy, plus third-down specialist T.J. Yeldon. If McCoy is released, Singletary will definitely be someone you want to try to snag in the later rounds. 

Don't ignore Anderson, either. He was undrafted, but represents basically the only competition the Bucs brought in for Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones. With how underwhelming those two have been, there's a chance for playing time there. 

Wide receiver

  • How many make the top 60? Seven for Jamey, four for Dave, five for Heath
  • Who made it? Parris Campbell, Mecole Hardman, Marquise Brown made all three; Hakeem Butler, N'Keal Harry, A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel and D.K. Metcalf also appear
  • Where are they ranked? 

     

    Jamey

    Dave

    Heath

    Parris Campbell

    38

    34

    47

    Mecole Hardman

    45

    38

    48

    Marquise Brown

    54

    45

    51

    Hakeem Butler

    59

    57

    X

    N'Keal Harry

    57

    X

    54

    A.J. Brown

    X

    X

    55

    Deebo Samuel

    58

    X

    X

    D.K. Metcalf

    60

    X

    X

Wide receiver is the strength of this class but as you can see, there's not exactly a ton of consensus beyond the top of the list. Everyone has Parris Campbell and Mecole Hardman in the top-two spots at the position among rookies, but there's no agreement on how good they will be. Dave views Campbell as a starting option from Day 1, with Hardman as a potential flex; Jamey views both as flexes; Heath thinks you're drafting them for your bench.

Brown slots in at third across the board because he might just be Baltimore's No. 1 receiver from the jump. That might only mean 90-100 targets, but that's enough to make him potentially Fantasy relevant, especially if he emerges as a big-play option in an offense oriented around the play action and Lamar Jackson's legs.

Beyond that top three, there is absolutely no agreement, except that the rest of these guys are long shots. Butler gets an opportunity to grow alongside No. 1 overall pick Murray, and with Larry Fitzgerald on the way out, there's a big role to be filled. The question is whether he can be impactful in 2019, or if it will have to wait until 2020.

Metcalf is another guy who has a big opportunity in front of him. The workout marvel joins a Seahawks team that could need someone to step up as the No. 1 option in the passing game right away with Doug Baldwin's future in doubt. Metcalf doesn't fit the mold of the typical Seahawks' receiver — Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Golden Tate, etc. have mostly been smaller, shiftier guys, while Metcalf has elite straight-line speed and incredible size with limited agility — but he could be a great fit in an offense where Russell Wilson routinely makes big plays.

Harry also has a chance to step up in an offense that needs help, as the Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan and likely Josh Gordon from last year's squad. Harry profiles similarly to Allen Robinson, from a physical standpoint, and could give the Patriots an element they haven't had consistently. The question, as with everyone else, is whether he can take advantage of that opportunity right away. 

Tight end

  • How many make the top 32? Two for Jamey, three for Dave, two for Heath
  • Who made it? T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant made all three; Jace Sternberger also appears
  • Where are they ranked? 

     

    Jamey

    Dave

    Heath

    T.J. Hockenson

    13

    13

    12

    Noah Fant

    16

    16

    21

    Jace Sternberger

    X

    18

    X

Rookie tight ends are typically to be avoided, but the position is such a mess right now, all three expect Hockenson to be worth using, at the very least. The upside in the long run is pretty high, but if he just turns into a stream-able option against the right matchups, that's a win.

Fant and Sternberger similarly have a chance to be Fantasy relevant in Denver and Green Bay, and the bar is so low at the position we can't just ignore them. But unless you're content to just stream the position if they get off to poor starts, you shouldn't make them the only TE you pick up on Draft Day. And is it really worth spending two roster spots on that position?  

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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