NFL Draft Fantasy Reaction: Marquise Brown, N'Keal Harry may not shine right away
Marquise Brown and N'Keal Harry were the first receivers taken in the NFL draft, but they may not be the first Fantasy players reach for, Dave Richard says
Ravens take Marquise Brown No. 25 overall
Brown fits in the mold of T.Y. Hilton and DeSean Jackson — a diminutive speedster who can make plays deep, break into the open field, and not get caught on short routes. He won't win many 50-50 balls and isn't a massive red-zone threat, but he's a speed demon who can line up everywhere and make defensive backs look silly.
So why is his fit in Baltimore a bad thing for Fantasy? One: Brown will catch passes from Lamar Jackson. I really wanted to get this right, so I went back and tracked all of Jackson's deep throws from his starts last season -- he completed 9 of 27 with 13 attempts considered poor throws. Many were overthrown and out of bounds.
Two: The Ravens have admitted to being a run-focused offense, so the targets heading Brown's way won't be as plentiful as we had hoped if he landed elsewhere. Maybe he gets 100 targets.
Finally, Brown's threatening speed will force defensive backs to respect the pass, meaning that Brown might have more impact on the Ravens' run game being successful than his own.
58 catches, 807 yards, five touchdownsHeath Cummings' 2019 projection
Did I mention he's coming back from a broken foot?
I liked Brown a lot coming out of Oklahoma and believed he had Pro Bowl potential. I don't believe he will get there with Jackson as his quarterback.
I suppose he's worth a pick around 100th overall on Draft Day in seasonal leagues, both non-PPR and PPR, but it should be done with almost no major expectations. He'll move into the middle-to-late rounds in long-term formats, but not any higher than, say, 90th overall. Be patient if you draft him.
Brown will slide a bit in rookie-only dynasty drafts too, but not past eighth overall.
Patriots take N'Keal Harry No. 32 overall
It's big news in Fantasy Football whenever the Patriots add a skill-position player. Remember how nuts we went for Josh Gordon?!
It should come as no surprise that N'Keal Harry just became Fantasy relevant because he landed in New England and will begin his career catching passes from Tom Brady.
Not that he wouldn't have been relevant anyway. Harry was one of the best big-bodied receivers in the draft. At 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, he brings a very physical game with nice route-running skills to the New England offense. He's smart, he's savvy, he can leap and high-point tall throws, and he's a tough guy to bring down. About the only knock on him is his speed, which is solid, but you won't mistake him for a burner.
47 catches, 655 yards, four touchdownsHeath Cummings' 2019 projections
Now the only question is just how much he'll play, and how often will he get targeted.
It's clear the Patriots have some targets to divvy up with Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan off the roster, as well as no Gordon. Harry must compete in training camp for a large role, but his competition for snaps along the outside are Demaryius Thomas, who's coming back from an Achilles injury and is a declining player, and the ever-invisible Phillip Dorsett, and Gordon, who might be suspended for a while longer. Harry's going to have a great chance to play.
Just remember that the Patriots don't tend to over-use or over-target their outside receivers. That'll change if Harry really impresses, but let's not jump to that spot just yet. Maybe in August. But definitely not now.
I am sure he'll get picked in every single Fantasy draft this summer but it shouldn't be with anything more than a late-round pick. He'll be a middle- to late-round choice in long-term formats and enters the top-five conversation in rookie-only drafts.
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