Fantastic Freshmen: 2019 Post-Draft Rankings II

By John Laub
John Laub



      Fantastic Fantasy



          2019 Post-Draft Rankings II

Magna Cum Laude



RB Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

As of press time, there is a dearth of positive news in regard to the injury Todd Gurley suffered at the end of 2018. The Rams star sat out the final two games of the regular season and was missing in action during the playoffs. Actions speak louder than words: The status of Gurley’s knee remains a mystery, and Los Angeles traded up to acquire Darrell Henderson in the third-round of the Draft. The Rams clearly articulated their long-term apprehensions on their veteran gamebreaker. At 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, the former Tiger is a stout athlete with a low center of gravity. A home run hitter, he reaches top speed quickly and can score from any distance. Henderson, a slippery runner, glides and wiggles to find open space and rarely gets caught from behind on film. Coach Sean McVay is a great play caller and will scheme opportunities to get Henderson in one-on-one matchups in order to take advantage of his game-changing skills. In early Dynasty drafts, Henderson is underpriced and a great value in the second round.

Grade: B
2019 Projections: 625 rushing yards, 42 receptions for 350 yards and five touchdowns

WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco is an enticing destination for Deebo Samuel. Coach Kyle Shanahan orchestrates a creative and explosive scheme, and the 49ers have an ascending young quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. In 2018, Shanahan dialed up 532 passing attempts and 602 the prior campaign. If Garoppolo remains healthy and progresses as a passer in 2019, San Francisco will likely attempt over 550 passes. At 5-foot-11 and 216-pounds, the newest 49er is a smooth, savvy and graceful athlete. A physical runner, Samuel is competitive with a well-built frame and great body control. He is elusive and agile in space and manipulates opponents by rapidly changing directions. Tight end George Kittle is the alpha male in the aerial assault, but the wide receiver depth chart lacks a target hog and opportunities will be available for Samuel. He will battle with sophomore Dante Pettis, speedster Marquise Goodwin and veteran Jordan Matthews for snaps and targets in San Francisco. The former Gamecock is a valuable long-term fantasy asset.
Grade: B
2019 Projections: 50 receptions for 550 yards and five touchdowns


TE Noah Fant, Denver Broncos
Before the Draft, I ranked Noah Fant as the top tight end prospect. And I adore his arrival in Denver. At 6-foot-4 and 249 pounds, Fant is an uber athlete and premier pass-catcher with natural and soft hands. He has terrific short-area quickness to create separation and the size, acceleration and speed to excel against all levels of the defense. A solid route runner, Fant attacks defenses down the seam, out runs most linebackers and safeties and tracks the ball well. Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco often targets his tight end, and he will surely find Fant in traffic. The position is one of the most difficult for rookies to master in the NFL; however, the former Hawkeye possesses the athletic ability to succeed sooner rather than later. The first-rounder is clearly worth investing valuable draft capital in Dynasty leagues.  
Grade: B
2019 Projections: 52 receptions for 600 yards and four touchdowns

WR D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks 
The Seahawks and Pete Carroll have not employed a big receiver since Mike Williams, which was before Russell Wilson joined Seattle in 2012. Wilson, the five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion, gets an enormous new weapon in the aerial assault. At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Metcalf has a large frame and long arms to outmaneuver opponents with a nice combination of prodigious size and upper body strength. With a rare blend of speed and physicality, he uses hands to gain separation and beats press coverage with rapid acceleration. The hulking playmaker quickly reaches top-end speed to attack defenses vertically and employs a strong stiff arm to escape tacklers. With Doug Baldwin’s career in Seattle over, there are 73 targets available, and Metcalf steps into an idyllic role. I’ll wager that Carroll and the Pro Bowl field general find the proper way to use the former Mississippi gamebreaker as a rookie.
Grade: B
2019 Projections: 57 receptions for 670 yards and six touchdowns

TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
I’m not excited about T.J. Hockenson being employed in Detroit. Coach Matt Patricia does not run a new-age offense, and quarterback Matthew Stafford rarely used tight end Eric Ebron—who scored 14 times last year in Indianapolis—properly for four seasons. The eighth pick in the Draft owns superb athleticism with size, speed and body control: At 6-foot-5 and 251 pounds, Hockenson is a three-down competitor with soft hands. He is a security blanket for the quarterback, attacks the secondary down the seam and mean-spirited run blocker. A smooth and natural runner, he quickly gains separation at the snap and ran a diverse array of routes (deep crossers, seam routes, delays and quick hitches) at Iowa. Will the Lions’ brain trust figure out how to maximize Hockenson’s abilities? I have doubts but the newest Lion is still a stupendous long-term investment.
Grade: B
2019 Projections: 48 receptions for 525 yards and four touchdowns



Cum Laude


12. RB Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills

13. RB Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens

14. RB Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs

15. WR A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans
16. WR Andy Isabella, Arizona Cardinals

17. WR Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins

18. WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

19. WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
20. WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Philadelphia Eagles
21. RB Ryquell Armstead, Jacksonville Jaguars

22. WR Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins
23. TE Irv Smith, Jr., Minnesota Vikings
24. WR Hakeem Butler, Arizona Cardinals




25. WR/RB Jalen Hurd, San Francisco 49ers
26. TE Jace Sternberger, Green Bay Packers
27. RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings 
28. RB Dexter Williams, Green Bay Packers
29. WR Kelvin Harmon, Washington Redskins

30. RB/WR Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

31. WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

32. WR Miles Boykin, Baltimore Ravens

33. WR KeeSean Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
34. WR Gary Jennings, Seattle Seahawks
35. RB Damien Harris, New England Patriots

36. RB Benny Snell, Pittsburgh Steelers

37. RB Bryce Love, Washington Redskins 
38. TE Josh Oliver, Jacksonville Jaguars
39. RB Trayveon Williams, Cincinnati Bengals
40. WR Riley Ridley, Chicago Bears
41. QB Drew Lock, Denver Broncos 
42. RB Rodney Anderson, Cincinnati Bengals 
43. QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants 
44. RB Mike Weber, Dallas Cowboys 
45. RB Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins 
46. TE Kahale Warring, Houston Texans 
47. QB Will Grier, Carolina Panthers
48. WR Darius Slayton, New York Giants
49. RB Travis Homer, Seattle Seahawks
50. RB Bruce Anderson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
51. WR Emanuel Hall, Chicago Bears
52. RB James Williams, Free Agent
53. WR Stanley Morgan, Cincinnati Bengals
54. TE Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
55. RB Qadree Ollison, Atlanta Falcons
56. TE Caleb Wilson, Arizona Cardinals 
57. RB Jordan Scarlett, Carolina Panthers
58. WR Dillon Mitchell, Minnesota Vikings

With his Masters in history and professional experience as an educator, John Laub is uniquely qualified to research, analyze and discover new insights and trends in college and professional football. Laub has played fantasy football for thirty years and published articles for for well over 20 years. He won $10,000 in 1993, defeating nearly 15,000 owners, and published Audibles: Winning is Everything in the 1990s. He is co-host of the DFSDudes and CFF: On Campus PodCasts. He truly is The Gridiron Scholar. 
Twitter: @GridironSchol91 or e-mail: