Fantasy Football Rookie-Only Mock Draft: Josh Jacobs goes No. 1, but where did all the WRs land?
Our CBS Sports staff recently held a 12-team PPR rookie-only mock draft. Jamey Eisenberg breaks down the results, including some of his favorite picks like Darrell Henderson, Andy Isabella and Justice Hill.
If you play in a dynasty league, you usually can't wait for the NFL Draft. That's because as soon as Mr. Irrelevant is announced, your rookie draft should happen.
And we all love Fantasy drafts, right?
There's no clear-cut way to break down a rookie draft that will be specific to your dynasty league. If it's a start-up dynasty league, every player is included in the draft. And if it's an established league, you could be filling a spot on your roster instead of just drafting the best player available.
Heath Cummings has given you his rookie rankings for dynasty leagues, . That's a good guide to follow for looking at the best player available in a rookie-only draft.
And here's another guide with a 12-team PPR rookie-only draft we recently held with members of our CBS Sports staff. This draft was done with the approach of best player available in mind, not filling spots on an established roster.
So let's break down the results.
- Josh Jacobs, RB, OAK
- David Montgomery, RB, CHI
- N'Keal Harry, WR, NE
- Miles Sanders, RB, PHI
- D.K. Metcalf, WR, SEA
- Parris Campbell, WR, IND
- Marquise Brown, WR, BAL
- T.J. Hockenson, TE, DET
- Mecole Hardman, WR, KC
- Deebo Samuel, WR, SF
- A.J. Brown, WR, TEN
- Kyler Murray, QB, ARI
In comparing this to Heath's rankings, many of the players in the top 12 are the same. Two players who will likely be drafted in the top 12 who weren't here are Noah Fant and Hakeem Butler, and you will likely see Murray fall to the second round.
Jacobs should eventually emerge as the consensus No. 1 overall pick in rookie-only drafts, and I like Montgomery at No. 2. And I would draft Sanders ahead of Harry just given his upside as the potential starting running back in Philadelphia for this year, as well as several seasons to come.
Harry should be the first receiver off the board with his role in New England, but you will likely see plenty of different orders after him with Metcalf, Campbell, Marquise Brown and Hardman. I have it ranked Brown, Campbell, Hardman and Metcalf in this format, with A.J. Brown and Samuel close behind.
The nice thing about the rookie receivers is that while none of them appear dominant coming into the NFL, all of the top-tier guys have the chance to contribute right away -- and potentially for many years to come.
For what it's worth, A.J. Brown was my pick at No. 11, and I love his outlook long-term. I'm just worried about his production in 2019 with the Titans since he profiles better as a slot receiver, which is the spot where Adam Humphries will mostly play this season.
- Noah Fant, TE, DEN
- Darrell Henderson, RB, LAR
- Andy Isabella, WR, ARI
- Hakeem Butler, WR, ARI
- Irv Smith, TE, MIN
- Damien Harris, RB, NE
- Devin Singletary, RB, BUF
- Jace Sternberger, TE, GB
- Dwayne Haskins, QB, WAS
- Miles Boykin, WR, BAL
- Justice Hill, RB, BAL
- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, PHI
It's going to be fun to compare Hockenson and Fant during their careers, and hopefully both Iowa tight ends are productive for many years. I like Hockenson better, and he should be selected first in all formats. But don't be surprised if Fant is the better receiving option given his skill set, and he had a favorable landing spot with the Broncos.
Some of my favorite picks in this draft came in Round 2, including Henderson, Isabella and Hill. If Todd Gurley has any issues with his knee, which was a problem toward the end of last year and into the playoffs, Henderson could easily be the best rookie of this draft class.
Isabella might be the better receiving option as a rookie than Butler, although Butler has the higher ceiling. Still, don't overlook Isabella, who the Cardinals selected before Butler in the NFL Draft, and he's a great Round 2 pick.
And Hill could eventually emerge as the best running back for the Ravens, although that might not happen until 2020. For this year, he'll play in tandem with Mark Ingram, and Baltimore is likely going to run the ball more than any team in the NFL. I drafted Hill in Round 2.
Haskins should be the second quarterback drafted behind Murray, but there should be a significant gap between them. Murray has the chance to be a standout Fantasy quarterback right away with the Cardinals, while Haskins might not be Fantasy relevant until 2020 given the state of Washington's offense.
- Diontae Johnson, WR, PIT
- Alexander Mattison, RB, MIN
- Benny Snell, RB, PIT
- Gary Jennings, WR, SEA
- Kelvin Harmon, WR, WAS
- Terry McLaurin, WR, WAS
- Drew Lock, QB, DEN
- Darwin Thompson, RB, KC
- Bryce Love, RB, WAS
- Foster Moreau, TE, OAK
- Ryquell Armstead, RB, JAC
- Bruce Anderson, RB, TB
Johnson should be considered a Round 2 pick in most rookie-only drafts, especially since he could play a prominent role in 2019 with the Steelers having to replace the departed Antonio Brown (Oakland). I like Johnson better than Boykin and Arcega-Whiteside, who were both drafted in Round 2.
Thompson is one of my favorite rookies to draft, and I wouldn't be surprised if he emerged as the best running back in Kansas City this season. I'm not sold on Damien Williams being the main running back for the Chiefs for 16 games, and Carlos Hyde isn't the long-term answer. I don't mind reaching for Thompson in Round 2.
Jennings could see his value rise with a strong training camp now than Doug Baldwin has retired in Seattle. Jennings could be the eventual replacement for Baldwin in the slot for the Seahawks, and he could end up as a better rookie receiver than Metcalf, although Metcalf has the higher ceiling.
Three running backs to keep an eye on are Love, Armstead and Anderson. Love is coming off last year's ACL injury, but he could push Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson for playing time if he's healthy by Week 1.
Armstead, who was my pick, could be the eventual handcuff for Leonard Fournette. Since Fournette has missed 11 games over the past two seasons, Armstead might be a sneaky Fantasy option this year.
And Anderson, who was an undrafted rookie free agent, could also be a sneaky Fantasy option if he earns a prominent role in Tampa Bay. Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones aren't coming off impressive campaigns in 2018, and Anderson could impress coach Bruce Arians enough to make him a starter for the Buccaneers this season.
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