Fantasy Freshmen: 2018 Post-Draft Rankings Part II

By John Laub
John Laub



      Distinguished Fantasy Freshmen:


                   2018 Post-Draft Rankings Part II




7. RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Opportunity share must be factored into a player’s projections, and it does not seem likely that Nick Chubb secures over 50% of the backfield touches in Cleveland. Both free agent signee Carlos Hyde and pass-catcher extraordinaire Duke Johnson surely obtains a significant number of snaps in the Browns’ offense. Therefore, Chubb is a much better Dynasty asset than fantasy starter in 2018. At 5-foot-10 and 220 pounds, the freshman is a powerful and compact runner, who breaks tackles and lowers his head into opponents. He employs stupendous lateral agility, makes impressive jump cuts, gets skinny in the hole and plows through defenders. If either Hyde or Johnson suffers injuries, Chubb becomes a weekly starter and underpriced DFS asset in fantasy football.
Grade: B
2018 Projections: 600 rushing yards, 8 receptions for 50 yards and five touchdowns.


8. WR D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers 
When did quarterback Cam Newton last complete passes to a 1,000-yard receiver? In 2014, Kelvin Benjamin recorded 1,008 yards during his rookie crusade. Last year, Devin Funchess led Carolina’s wide outs in receptions (63) and yards (840). Not satisfied with the depth chart, the Panthers drafted D.J. Moore with the 24th pick. At 6-foot-0 and 210 pounds, the Big 10 Receiver of the Year has a muscular build and stout frame. A quick-twitch athlete, he owns vast ball skills with a strong burst, exorbitant agility and robust physicality. A shifty receiver, who makes clean cuts, Moore gains immediate separation and is a solid route runner with elite deep speed. It is the year of the rookie running back in fantasy football; nevertheless, Moore deserves to be taken among the top ten picks in Dynasty drafts and well worth grabbing as a mid-round selection in season-long leagues. 
Grade: B
2018 Projections: 60 receptions for 790 yards and five touchdowns.

Cum Laude



9. WR Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals 
First-rounder Josh Rosen and Christian Kirk are friends from their high school recruiting tour of UCLA, visiting the campus together and becoming buddies. Born in Scottsdale, Arizona, the former Aggie star grew up a Cardinals fan and dreamed of playing in University of Phoenix Stadium. At 5-foot-10 and 201 pounds, Kirk is strong with a solid frame. He has outstanding body control, displays good leaping ability and first-rate agility. A terrific competitor, the rookie is difficult to tackle one-on-one with an ample combination of agility and toughness. At the snap, Kirk easily releases and gains optimal positioning with disciplined footwork. The second-round pick should see plenty of snaps and targets in the Cardinals’ offense and could become Rosen’s go-to guy down the road.
Grade: B-
2018 Projections: 62 receptions for 700 yards and four touchdowns.

10. RB Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions 
In Detroit, only two runners have surpassed 1,000 yards over the last thirteen seasons: Kevin Jones (2004) and Reggie Bush (2013). Without a running game, quarterback Matthew Stafford has carried the offense on his shoulders. Attempting to assist their franchise signal caller, the Lions drafted Kerryon Johnson in the second round. At 6-foot-0 and 212 pounds, the former Tiger possesses a magnificent mixture of agility, vision and explosiveness. He is a patient playmaker with quick burst and good lateral movement. A decisive downhill runner, he shakes tacklers with ease, promptly reaches top speed and outruns defenders at the second level. The Detroit faithful are cautiously optimistic that Johnson is the missing part in the offense, and fantasy diehards hope the rookie becomes the next 1,000-yard rusher in the Motor City.
Grade: B-
2018 Projections: 750 rushing yards, 15 receptions for 120 yards and five touchdowns.

11. WR Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons 
During the offseason, the Falcons lost Taylor Gabriel via free agency, and Calvin Ridley is primed to accrue the snaps and targets vacated in Atlanta. He enters the league as the utmost polished prospect among the wide receivers and should make a contribution immediately in the aerial attack. A wiry frame at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Ridley employs an incredible combination of smooth athletic skills and explosive playmaking abilities. He is a great pass catcher and fluid route runner with marvelous speed and reliable hands. He easily transitions in-and-out of breaks without slowing down and changes directions effortlessly. The former Alabama luminary beats opponents with deceptive speed, worthy quickness, long legs and fantastic footwork. He attacks the stem on routes and eats up cushions. Last year, Gabriel earned 540 snaps and 51 targets, which seem like the floor for the rookie. Ridley looks like a candidate to exceed both aformentioned totals and harvest nice numbers by the end of the campaign.
Grade: B-
2018 Projections: 53 receptions for 665 yards and five touchdowns.



12. WR Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears 

Fantasy fanatics are ecstatic for the budding offensive fireworks in Chicago under first-year coach Matt Nagy and second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The Bears signed free agents Allen Robinson and Trey Burton, and drafted Miller in the second round in order to boost the talent around their young signal caller. At 5-foot-11 and 201 pounds, the former Memphis star combines excellent burst off the line with tremendous footwork, gaining immediate separation. Making difficult catches look easy, Miller has a stupendous mixture of hands and body control. He is a very good route runner and lined up in the slot and as an X and Z-receiver. Miller ran a diverse route tree in college and should be able to transition to the NFL sooner rather than later. 
Grade: B-
2018 Projections: 50 receptions for 650 yards and five touchdowns.

Honorable Mention
13. WR Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
14. WR Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos
15. WR Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers
16. WR Keke Coutee, Houston Texans
17. WR Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints
18. QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
19. QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
20. TE Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins
21. WR J’Mon Mooore, Green Bay Packers
22. WR James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers
23. TE Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
24. RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts 
25. WR DJ Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars
26. WR Deon Cain, Indianapolis Colts
27. WR DeaSean Hamilton, Denver Broncos
28. QB Sam Darnold, New York Jets
29. TE Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens
30.  RB Jordan Wilkins, Indianapolis Colts
31. WR Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns
32. TE Chris Herndon, IV, New York Jets
33. WR Jordan Lasley, Baltimore Ravens
34. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers
35. RB Mark Walton, Cincinnati Bengals
36. RB John Kelly, Los Angeles Rams
37. TE Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
38. RB Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins
39. WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Green Bay Packers
40. RB Boston Scott, New Orleans Saints
41. TE Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
42. RB Bo Scarbrough, Dallas Cowboys
43. WR Daurice Fountain, Indianapolis Colts
44. WR Jaleel Scott, Baltimore Ravens
45. WR Richie James, San Francisco 49ers