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Rookies to Target in Fantasy Football

The 2019 NFL Draft is over and it is time to start looking forward to the next draft on most football fans calendars, their fantasy football drafts. Rosters and depth charts will take more of a shape come August, but for now, it is fun to project who could be rookies from the draft that should be targeted in fantasy football.


Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Murray was the first overall pick and will start from the first day. Kliff Kingsbury is bringing his offense to the NFL and Murray is seemingly the perfect fit. If he can master the offense, make smart plays and extend others with his feet. He could have a big fantasy impact if Kingsbury’s offense translates to the NFL and David Johnson can take the pressure off of him by running well.

There are some downsides to Murray though. The Cardinals didn’t have a great offensive line last season and Murray could be on the run a lot. This could result in turnovers or injuries if he isn’t careful. He’ll definitely be starting, so he’s worth taking a look at, but it might be best to make him a late round pick or a pickup after the season starts.

Rookies to Target in Fantasy Football
Dwayne Haskins (photo by

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington Redskins

Haskins may have fallen to pick number 15, but he now will get a chance to start on a team that could be competitive. The Redskins have a good run game and a solid defense. All Haskins has to do is make smart plays and the team can improve vastly.

Although he is the most pro-ready quarterback in the class, Haskins won’t have a lot of good receivers to utilize and even the running backs don’t offer any more help in the passing game, other than Chris Thompson. It is best to take the wait-and-see approach with Haskins as well for the time being.

Running Backs

Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

There is only one running back on this list for a variety of reasons. Jacobs is the only rookie that looks like he’ll be getting the majority of work out of the backfield. He will also be playing in an offense that should be much improved over last season, so he should be able to put up decent numbers.

For now, plan on taking Jacobs at some point after the first three to four rounds, but adjust accordingly based on the offseason and preseason. For the other running backs in the class, like Miles Sanders and David Montgomery, it is best to see how carries are divided up in preseason games.

Wide Receivers

Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Brown was the first receiver drafted and could make a huge impact for the Ravens. His speed will make him a matchup nightmare for opposing teams. The Ravens’ offense will run the ball a lot, but expect them to try to get the ball into Brown’s hands as often as possible.

Lamar Jackson may have trouble getting him the ball downfield, but Brown is a big play threat, so he can get to the end zone at any point. With Jackson still developing, Brown shouldn’t be an early round selection, but should be in consideration in the middle rounds of most fantasy drafts.

Rookies to Target in Fantasy Football
N’Keal Harry (Photo by

N’Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots

Tom Brady has a new weapon on the outside in Harry. He is great at jump balls and should be a height mismatch for most defenders. Without Rob Gronkowski in New England this year, Harry should see a lot of targets.

Harry could have trouble separating from defensive backs though, as he isn’t the fastest receiver. With that, Harry also shouldn’t be targeted until the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.

Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

One thing that the 49ers needed was more consistent weapons on the outside. In Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Samuel could thrive. He has great run-after-catch ability, so if Jimmy Garoppolo gets him the ball early, he can make people miss.

Samuel is injury-prone and wasn’t the most touted receiver in the draft class, but has some opportunity to produce. It is best to take Samuel in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.

Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts had a very defensive-minded draft, but did take Campbell, which should make their receiving corps very useful for Andrew Luck. Campbell will either be used in the slot or be moved outside so that T.Y. Hilton can play the slot. Either way, he should see a lot of production as the Colts should have one of the best offenses in the league.

Campbell very well could rank fourth or fifth in targets on the team, which could limit how highly he should be valued. A lot will be answered by the time fantasy drafts come around, but for now target Campbell very late in drafts or watch how he does the first few weeks of the season.

D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Reports came out during the draft that Doug Baldwin could have to retire due to injuries. With that, the Seahawks selected Metcalf, who could fill a big need. Even if Baldwin does come back, Metcalf will have a role in the offense.

Trusting the Seahawks is tough, as they rarely used their rookie first-round pick, Rashaad Penny, last year. Metcalf should get some targets and be a big-play threat. Keep an eye on the Baldwin situation, but Metcalf might be a player to keep on the watchlist when it comes time for the season.

Tight Ends

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions

Hockenson was the first tight end selected at pick no. 8. He can do a little bit of everything, which will greatly benefit the Lions. Stafford will give him a lot of targets now that Golden Tate was traded last season. Hockenson should be a great safety-valve to utilize.

Owners of Brandon Pettigrew or Eric Ebron may doubt what a tight end can do for the Lions, but Hockenson is at least worthy of consideration in fantasy football. With tight ends not being a position that has a lot of standouts (George Kittle and Zach Ertz are some of the few with Gronkowski retired), Hockenson could be a good streaming option.

Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos

Fant, who is also from Iowa, is the more athletic option out of the Hawkeye tight ends. The Broncos will likely utilize him a lot, as his size and speed should provide matchup problems. With Joe Flacco under center, he will be guaranteed targets this season.

It is too early to project how big of an impact Fant can have. He might be worth taking late in drafts to see if he can work out, but like Hockenson, at the very least can be a streaming option.


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