Since individual ranks don't always do the best job capturing how close player values actually are, I grouped rookies with a similar range of outcomes together into tiers. This year's rookie class is wide open once we get past the top two players -- so it's important that dynasty players make final decisions based on their own team builds and needs.
Here's how I view this year's rookie class from a dynasty/keeper perspective:
Week 1 Impact Players
1. N'Keal Harry (WR, New England Patriots) - Since Bill Belichick became the Patriots head coach in 2000, he had previously drafted just four wide receivers inside of the top-75 picks across 19 drafts. That all changed in his 20th draft this year. For the first time in Belichick's tenure, the Pats' used a first-round selection on a receiver by drafting N'Keal Harry. At 19- and 20-years-old, Harry posted 82/1,142/8 and 73/1,088/9 in his final two seasons at Arizona State while primarily playing on the left side of ASU's attack and from the slot. The only knock against him is his ability to consistently succeed against man coverage on the boundary, but Harry is an ideal fit for a Patriots offense that predicates on receivers winning over the middle and with yards after catch. In his final season at ASU, Harry was first among draft-eligible WRs in contested catches, he gained the 2nd-most yards per route on targets in the middle of the field (between 10-19 yards per PFF), and finished 7th among draft-eligible WRs in YAC/reception. Harry checks every box for a future stud receiver.
2. Josh Jacobs (RB, Oakland Raiders) - One of the worst kept secrets of the NFL Draft was the link between the Raiders and Josh Jacobs in the late first-round. At 5-10, 220lbs, Jacobs will automatically play all three downs as Oakland's bell-cow back in their new-look offense. Granted, Jacobs' workload at Alabama was extremely limited, but he consistently earned yards on his own, was used creatively as a receiver, and was the best pass protector in the 2019 class per my Yards Created analysis. I will be safely targeting Jacobs in the fourth- and fifth-round of my re-draft fantasy leagues in 2019 and could easily take him at 1.01 in dynasty if my running backs are weak.
3. A.J. Brown (WR, Tennessee Titans) - Brown immediately projects as a high-floor wideout who can play both on the outside and out of the slot for the Titans. Like N'Keal Harry at Arizona State, A.J. Brown is a multi-year producer at 19- and 20-years-old after he tagged 75/1252/11 (11 games) and 85/1320/6 (12 games) receiving lines in his final two collegiate seasons. Brown was used as a big slot receiver at Ole Miss, running 56 percent of his routes from the interior (per Sports Info Solutions). The Titans have ranked in the bottom-5 in pass attempts for three-straight seasons and their investment into a slot-only player like Adam Humphries dampens some of the excitement for Brown in Tennessee. Still, A.J. Brown's versatility will allow him to immediately earn starter snaps opposite Corey Davis on the boundary.
Two Potential Workhorse Backs
4. Miles Sanders (RB, Philadelphia Eagles) - At long last, the Eagles have invested significant capital into a running back -- perhaps signaling their days of a running back committee are over. Philadelphia only traded a conditional 2020 sixth-rounder when they acquired Jordan Howard in March, paving the way for No. 53 overall pick Miles Sanders to see plenty of work early in his career. Like Josh Jacobs, the former Nittany Lion has few touches on his career odometer -- but he is not as refined of a prospect as the Alabama product. Sanders' yards created and missed tackle figures were sub-par in his lone season as Penn State's starter, but the Eagles must be infatuated with Sanders' workhorse ability and athleticism. Sanders handled 74 percent of the Nittany Lions' hand-offs and was on the field for 75 percent of snaps (per PFF) last season while his 73rd percentile SPARQ score ranks third-best among RBs that were drafted in the class. Philadelphia will likely ease Sanders in early this coming season, but his ability to win on passing downs immediately gives him a leg up over Howard. At the very least, Sanders' 2020 dynasty arrow is ticked straight up since Howard's contract expires at season's end.
5. David Montgomery (RB, Chicago Bears) - The 2018 college football leader in missed tackles forced per attempt, Montgomery is the third and final rusher in this year's crop that profiles as a potential workhorse back in the NFL. Chicago entered the NFL Draft with a league-low five selections, but GM Ryan Pace thought so much of Montgomery, he traded up with New England (from 89 overall) to secure the back the Bears coveted. Chicago opened up 250 carries from last season once they dealt Jordan Howard and Montgomery's only competition for early-down work is career 3.7 YPC rusher, Mike Davis. Montgomery's athletic limitations may hold him back from being a true fantasy difference-maker -- he's a 15th percentile SPARQ athlete -- but home-run speed is not a make-or-break NFL trait for running backs. Montgomery landed in an ideal situation where his ability as a shifty zone runner can shine.
Pick Your Poison
6. T.J. Hockenson (TE, Detroit Lions) - As one of the cleanest prospects in this year's class, Hockenson has the early draft capital, elite college production, and athleticism that screams future fantasy TE1. He lands in Detroit as an immediate every down player due to his ability as both a receiver and as a blocker in the run game. Former-Hawkeye teammate Noah Fant was a more accomplished touchdown producer in the red-zone, but Hockenson earned PFF's second-best marks as a receiver and was their fourth-best run blocker among all college TEs last year. Beyond Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, the Lions' target totem pole is extremely thin as Detroit's 192 vacated targets from last season is sixth-most in the NFL.
7. Noah Fant (TE, Denver Broncos) - It should come as no surprise that one of the most athletic tight end prospects ever was a shoo-in first-round pick in the NFL Draft. At 6-4, 249lbs, Fant absolutely ripped up the NFL Combine, posting a 4.50 forty-yard dash, 6.81-second three cone, and a 39.5-inch vertical. Each of these marks ranked in the 98th percentile among TE Combine participants since 2000. As a literal athletic freak, Fant joins a Broncos target tree that is fairly wide open both in the short- and long-term. Emmanuel Sanders is rehabbing a torn Achilles while the Broncos Week 1 starters at boundary receiver are two second-year players, Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton. Joe Flacco's leash in Denver may be short after the Broncos added Drew Lock as a developmental QB in the second-round, but Flacco has undoubtedly shown a willingness to throw to his tight ends often. Over the last three years, Joe Flacco has targeted a tight end on 23 percent of his passes, the fifth-highest rate in the league during this span. Tight ends notoriously take time to develop, but Fant's situation is ripe for early career production.
8. D.K. Metcalf (WR, Seattle Seahawks) - Since Doug Baldwin's NFL future is unfortunately in jeopardy due to his injury-riddled 2018 season, Seattle needed to shore up their receiver depth chart beyond Tyler Lockett. The red flags for Metcalf are straight-forward, though. He fell to No. 64 overall due to injuries (foot and neck) and his raw route running ability, but Metcalf's fit in Seattle is near perfect. As the second-most run-heavy team in the NFL behind Baltimore last season, the Seahawks philosophy on offense is clear. Seattle wants to run the rock, set up play-action, and throw the ball over the top of the defense. Metcalf won't be peppered with high volume targets in Seattle, but his ability to separate deep immediately signals fantasy upside paired with Russell Wilson. Even though the Seahawks ranked dead last in passes per game, Wilson attempted the 10th-most passes of 20-plus yards among QBs last season.
9. Parris Campbell (WR, Indianapolis Colts) - Campbell's fit in Indianapolis is easy to identify. T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess will patrol the boundary, Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle provide security in the middle of the field and red-zone, while Campbell can be safely penciled in as the Colts primary slot receiver. Campbell ran 87 percent of his routes and led all draft-eligible WRs in targets per route run at Ohio State last season. The Colts have plenty of mouths to feed, but there should be plenty of volume to go around. In Andrew Luck's return last year, the Colts finished second in pass attempts per game and they were third in pass rate when the game was within a score (8 points).
10. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR, Philadelphia Eagles) - With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson pegged as the Eagles' starting boundary receivers in 2019, Arcega-Whiteside will find it nearly impossible to sustain a fantasy floor as a rookie. However, both Jeffery and Jackson will be on the wrong side of 30-years-old in 2020 while Nelson Agholor is entering the final year of his deal this season. Arcega-Whiteside is a size-speed freak who ran a 4.5 forty-yard dash at 6-2, 225lbs at Stanford's Pro Day and he is a multi-year producer in college. Arcega-Whiteside compiled 4.8 receptions and 80 yards per game to go along with 23 TDs across 23 games and a stellar 16.6 yards per reception in his final two collegiate seasons.
11. Mecole Hardman (WR, Kansas City Chiefs) - Was a member of Georgia's 4X100-meter relay team in 2017-18 and displayed his blazing speed at the NFL Combine, posting a 4.33 forty yard dash at 187lbs. Hardman has the speed, but he caught just 60 balls for 960 yards and 11 TDs across 29 games over the last two years at Georgia. Granted, Hardman also had to compete for targets with fellow rookie wideout Riley Ridley. While Kansas City appears to plan for an offense without Tyreek Hill, the rookie Hardman immediately provides a straight line deep-threat for Patrick Mahomes and is a playmaker on special teams. Hardman also averaged 25 yards per punt return at UGA. If Andy Reid is in on Mecole Hardman, so am I. Hardman should go as high as fourth or fifth overall depending on how the Tyreek Hill situation plays out. For now, he's in the mid-first round tier.
12. Andy Isabella (WR, Arizona Cardinals) - A monster producer for three-straight years at UMass, Isabella ended his college career by leading the nation in receiving yards (1,698), team share of yards (48 percent), yards gained per route run (4.2), and target share (36 percent). Isabella is under-sized all around, but his 4.31 wheels and UMass tape shows an elite separator off the line of scrimmage. New HC Kliff Kingsbury correctly cast Isabella as a boundary threat and not just a "slot only" option, too. After the NFL Draft, Kingsbury said this of his new wideout, "Isabella had a lot of production inside and outside and that's what's exciting to us, is his ability to play on the outside and create space... He is dangerous on the inside as well. But he's a guy that showed he could do both at a high level."
13. Marquise Brown (WR, Baltimore Ravens) - I think Hollywood Brown is the best route runner in the class, but it may be a while before we see Brown's elite separation skills on full display in the NFL. Once Lamar Jackson took over as the Ravens starter last year, Baltimore ran the ball on 64 percent of their plays and their wideouts were barely involved in the offense. How perilous was it for fantasy? Baltimore WRs averaged 18.1 PPR points per game with Jackson at the controls, which was the worst per game average for a single team in six years. Nine individual wide receivers out-scored Baltimore's entire receiver corps last year. I expect Lamar Jackson to take another step in his second year and there is no way a near two-third run-to-pass split persists in the modern NFL, but Hollywood's short- and long-term fantasy expectations must be tempered with the Ravens. At a minimum, we should expect Brown to push for the team lead in targets as Baltimore (55 percent) trails only Oakland (70 percent) for the NFL lead in vacated target share from last season.
14. Kyler Murray (QB, Arizona Cardinals) - It's not fair how much help Kyler Murray will have in his rookie season compared to Josh Rosen just a year ago. Murray has David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, Ricky Seals-Jones, and Charles Clay to throw to along with two veteran additions on the offensive line (T Marcus Gilbert and G JR Sweezy). New HC Kliff Kingsbury has a lot to prove, but his Air Raid scheme and the Cardinals supporting cast instantly makes Murray a high-end QB2 for re-draft decisions in 2019. I have Murray at 14 overall in my ranks because quarterbacks are replaceable in standard start-one QB fantasy leagues, but Murray is the automatic rookie 1.01 in 2QB/Superflex dynasty formats.
15. Deebo Samuel (WR, San Francisco 49ers) - Another big, versatile receiver in the class -- Deebo Samuel complements Dante Pettis as another do-it-all wideout that can play all over the field for Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo. Injuries and inconsistent QB play held Samuel back from ever putting together an elite single season at South Carolina, but the new 49er was second in the class in YAC/reception (9.7) and 7 of his 11 TDs came in the red-zone as a senior. In fact, Samuel led all draft-eligible WRs in targets inside of the 20-yard line (20) and led the nation in inside-10 targets (14). Ultimately, Samuel's addition raises the 49ers offensive ceiling, but it hurts some of Pettis' breakout appeal and perhaps casts both receivers as fantasy WR3/4-types.
The Mid-Second Rounders
16. Hakeem Butler (WR, Arizona Cardinals) - Likely fell in the draft due to concerns over his hands, one year of production, and the fact the NFL seems lower on big wide receivers in general. Still, Butler is a size-speed freak with 98th percentile height-adjusted speed who dominated deep downfield in his final season at Iowa State. Butler led draft-eligible WRs in yards per reception as 55 percent of his catches gained 20 or more yards (led class). Also trailed only Andy Isabella among draft-eligible wideouts in team share of receiving yards (42 percent). Falling to the first pick of Day 3 hurts, but his landing spot in Arizona with Kliff/Kyler definitely leaves the light on in a weak rookie class.
17. Darrell Henderson (RB, LA Rams) - Led draft-eligible RBs in yards created per attempt (6.44) and yards gained per route run (2.80). Henderson's elite efficiency was certainly partially a part of Memphis' excellent ecosystem on the ground, but compact 5-8, 210lbs backs with 4.49 speed don't grow on trees. After reflecting on the pick for a few days, I think the Rams are more than mildly concerned about Todd Gurley's surgically repaired left knee. Gurley was banged up to close the 2018 regular season and he then lost snaps to C.J. Anderson during the RamsSuper Bowl run. This off-season, the team matched the Lions' offer sheet for Malcolm Brown and then traded up to select Henderson at 70 overall. Gurley has handled 1,031 touches and played 81 percent of Rams' snaps over the last three combined seasons. CBS Sports reported that the Rams are considering stem cell treatment for Gurley back in March. Henderson's path to touches in the Rams' high-flying offense may be easier than we think.
18. Devin Singletary (RB, Buffalo Bills) - Overcame a horrendous FAU offensive line, but he hammered Non-Power 5 competition in college and he has a brutal athletic profile for a smaller back (5-7, 203lbs). Buffalo's RB room is full now, but Singletary's 2020 arrow is still ticked up as LeSean McCoy (final year of his contract) and Frank Gore (36-years-old) are likely off the roster.
19. Irv Smith Jr. (TE, Minnesota Vikings) - Tua Tagovailoa and Irv Smith combined for a 157.7 passer rating on their 44 completions last season, which led the nation among QB-TE connections per PFF. Smith likely won't be a difference-maker this season, but opportunity may open up soon as Kyle Rudolph is 29-years-old and entering the final year of his deal. Kirk Cousins has quietly supported the fantasy TE7 (Rudolph), TE9 (Reed), TE1 (Reed), and TE1 (Reed) in PPR points per game over the last four years.
20. Jace Sternberger (TE, Green Bay Packers) - Led Texas AM in receptions, yards, YPR, and TDs in his lone season as a starter. Also led the nation in PFF's receiving grades among TEs. We only have 48 receptions to work from, but Sternberger flashed elite separation skills for a 6-4, 251lbs tight end, he now gets to play with Aaron Rodgers, and his competition for targets may be slim soon. Jimmy Graham is now 32-years-old and has averaged just 10.3 YPR and 36.1 YPG over the last two seasons. Green Bay has a potential out in Graham's deal after the 2019 season.
21. Terry McLaurin (WR, Washington Redskins) - Joins Dwayne Haskins in Washington as the Redskins deep-threat. McLaurin quietly shredded the NFL Combine, blazing a 4.35 forty and posting a 37.5-inch vertical at 6-0, 208lbs. McLaurin and Haskins connected on a Big Ten-leading 6 TDs on passes over 20 yards in air last season. Washington has the 13th-most targets and 9th-most air yards available entering 2019. Their receiver depth chart is razor thin to boot.
Best of the Rest
22. Miles Boykin (WR, Baltimore Ravens) - Joins Marquise Brown on Baltimore's WR island. I think Lamar Jackson will take a step forward as a passer in 2019 and Miles Boykin's elite athletic traits and ability to win on contested catches will have a lot to do with Jackson's development. Unfortunately, there is basically no way Baltimore's run-heavy philosophy can support two fantasy viable receivers, Mark Andrews, and Mark Ingram.
23. Damien Harris (RB, New England Patriots) - Posted the second-worst figures in yards created (3.92) and missed tackles forced (0.21) per carry among incoming rookie backs over the last four years. Now joins a crowded RB room with Michel (under contract until 2021), White (2020), and Burkhead (2020). I have zero feel for how Harris' rookie season will play out. Perhaps he's insurance for Michel's balky right knee?
24. Diontae Johnson (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers) - The Steelers are trying to re-create their MAC magic by selecting Johnson at 66 overall. Johnson posted a monster 123/2039/21 receiving line as a sophomore and junior and added 20 yards per return and 2 TDs at Toledo, but he tested as a lackluster athlete and is fifth (at best) on the Steelers target totem pole behind Smith-Schuster, Conner, Washington, and McDonald entering 2019.
25. Justice Hill (RB, Baltimore Ravens) - With the additions of Marquise Brown (projected 4.3 forty), Miles Boykin (99th percentile SPARQ athlete), and Justice Hill (4.40 forty) -- it's clear what the Ravens desired from their skill-positions in the draft. Unfortunately, Hill's 2019 role is murky at best with Mark Ingram, Kenneth Dixon, and Gus Edwards all in tow. Dixon and Edwards are both unrestricted free agents after this season.
26. Alexander Mattison (RB, Minnesota Vikings) - The 5-11, 221lbs Boise back with 4.67 wheels only cracked my top-30 because he's the shoo-in No. 2 running back on the Vikings depth chart over Mike Boone, Ameer Abdullah, and Roc Thomas. Starter Dalvin Cook has played in 15-of-32 possible games through two seasons.
27. Riley Ridley (WR, Chicago Bears) - In his only year as a full-time starter at UGA, Ridley posted 43/559/9 while sharing targets with Mecole Hardman on a slow-paced Georgia offense that ranked 101st in plays per game in 2018. For the immediate future, it's extremely hard to find playing time for Ridley on the Bears depth chart as Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller are each signed through 2020.
28. Kelvin Harmon (WR, Washington Redskins) - Fell in the draft because he's not an elite separator and doesn't have one calling card to draw from. Harmon also didn't do himself any favors with a poor showing at the NFL Combine. Still, sixth-round picks rarely have the elite production Harmon put up in college. Harmon caught 150 balls, finished second among draft-eligible WRs in contested catches, and posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons as Ryan Finley's go-to target over the last two seasons. Even though his draft capital disappointed, the Redskins' wide open receiver depth chart leaves the door open for fantasy relevance.
29. Daniel Jones (QB, New York Giants) - Across 19 games against Power 5 schools, No. 6 overall pick Daniel Jones completed 56 percent of his passes for 5.9 yards per attempt and a 26:17 TD to INT ratio as a sophomore and junior. If Eli Manning was barely productive in fantasy withOdell Beckham Jr., how will Daniel Jones fare? Will he even play in 2019? I won't pretend to know what will happen here.
30. Dwayne Haskins (QB, Washington Redskins) - I fully expect Haskins to push Case Keenum for starter snaps in training camp. Outside of his one season with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in 2017, Keenum has averaged a pedestrian 6.7 YPA on 1,033 attempts during the 2015-16 (Rams) and 2018 (Broncos) seasons. The Redskins aging and often injured offensive line coupled with their question marks at receiver and tight end are sizable concerns for a pocket-passer like Haskins.
The Darts and Honorable Mentions
Jalen Hurd (32), Bryce Love (33), Rodney Anderson (34), Darwin Thompson (35), KeeSean Johnson (36), Benny Snell (37), Dexter Williams (38), Dawson Knox (39), Josh Oliver (40), Tony Pollard (41)... Kahale Warring (42), Gary Jennings Jr. (43), Qadree Ollison (44), Darius Slayton (45), Myles Gaskin (46), Travis Homer (47), Will Grier (48)