Final Wide Receiver Pre-Draft Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings
Friends, the 2019 NFL Draft is just about upon us. No position is more intriguing for dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings than wide receiver and no position is as rewarding to hit a sleeper. Whereas running back production generally boils down to the situation a running back finds himself in, there are wide receivers who aren’t talented enough to profit off of good situations. Conversely, there are wide receivers good enough to overcome bad situations and be productive. I feel pretty confident in my pre-draft wide receiver dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings after having spent a lot of time analyzing and thinking about this class of wide receivers. Draft capital will change how we think of all of these players but this how I rank them with the knowledge we have now.
Final Wide Receiver Pre-Draft Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings
- N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
The undisputed top wide receiver of the 2019 NFL Draft class. It’s viewed as an overall strong class but I do think it’s fair to say that it is a high-variance wide receiver group and Harry doesn’t have that. He was productive, he is coming out at a younger age, he was athletic at the combine and he produced on special teams. Really all the questions you would ever have about a WR prospect, Harry answered. I don’t think he has a Julio Jones/Odell Beckham ceiling so I wouldn’t argue with someone who wanted to rank Butler or Metcalf over him based on ceiling but on median projection, Harry has to be top.
2. A.J Brown, Ole Miss
Brown was overshadowed by teammate D.K Metcalf’s per game production and freakish combine but Brown is pretty clearly the better prospect. Brown will play his first season at 22, had a Dominator Rating of 32% and had a 87th Percentile SPARQ score. A.J Brown is probably controversial here because everyone wants to talk about Hollywood Brown, Hakeem Butler and D.K Metcalf but I think he is pretty clearly the second-best prospect of the class. It is hard to make clear choices for this year’s wide receiver dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings because these players offer such different value propositions but I feel exceedingly confident that A.J Brown is a quality NFL wide receiver.
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3. JJ Arcega-Whiteside
Relative to the dynasty fantasy football rookie ranking consensus, I am highest on JJ Arcega-Whiteside. It is possible that NFL teams do not see what I see and he ends up being a fourth-round pick that takes three years to get on the field for an NFL team. However, JJAW’s production/athleticism profile is elite. He was responsible for 42.7% of Stanford’s passing offense his final season in college, is ideal outside WR size and unlike most WR’s in this class, can actually play outside wide receiver. The upside comp for Arcega-Whiteside is Mike Evans.
4. Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown
It has to be acknowledged that there is a wide range of outcomes for Brown. If he is indeed a first-round draft pick (as it is has been heavily rumored), his chances of success will go through the roof. We have never seen someone of his size be a super successful NFL wide receiver before but we also haven’t seen the NFL shift this pass-heavy in recent memory. Metcalf and Brown are both gambles for different reasons but present WR1 upside for their dynasty owners.
5. D.K Metcalf, Ole Miss
Metcalf is really a Rorschach of a prospect. The mind-bending athleticism, the lack of side-to-side agility (a slower 3-cone and short shuttle than Tom Brady), the multiple injuries, the per game production. All of it adds up to an equation that no one knows the answer too. Metcalf might very well be a Josh Gordon-style of player in the NFL who is just too fast and too big for the best of NFL cornerbacks to handle in man coverage. That’s the upside that I am wagering on but the obvious hedge here is that I’m ranking him behind less athletic players like Arcega-Whiteside and Brown who have been production profiles.
6. Hakeem Butler, Iowa State
It is really a testament to the relative strength of this WR class that Hakeem Butler might go in the second round and not be a top 5 wide receiver in this class. The Iowa State phenom played only one productive season at Iowa State but had a 43% Dominator Rating that season. Butler was also probably the biggest winner of the Combine as he wasn’t seriously regarded as a top prospect before that week. The age and lack of production as a sophomore are slightly worrying and that is why Butler is after Metcalf for me (though I could see ranking him as high as WR2).
7. Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
One of my biggest hopes for this draft is that Isabella gets drafted in the first three rounds to a team that is ready to use him as a rookie. Isabella’s athletic profile for a player his size is essentially unparalleled. Everyone who falls into his comp bucket is going to be a hit in the NFL because anyone drafted his size was basically an ethereal athlete. Isabella crushed against Power Five schools when he played them and torched the combine. He might be my favorite target in the second-round of dynasty drafts this offseason.
8. Parris Campbell, Ohio State
Campbell is nothing but projection. He was the fastest wide receiver at the combine but his role at Ohio State could graciously be described as limited. It isn’t that he wasn’t productive because he was. However, he mostly caught the ball in the flats or on wheel routes. Per Pro Football Focus, he saw only two targets further than 20 yards down the field his final season. While I think the NFL is ready for a player like Campbell to be a useful player for fantasy purposes, there is certainly no guarantee of that.
9. Miles Boykin, Notre Dame
Being as roughly athletic as Boykin is matters for something, at least to me. While some might argue that just being athletic does not equal upside, I am pretty certain that it does. Deebo Samuel and Kelvin Harmon might be fine Jason Avant facsimiles in the NFL but Miles Boykin could be Kenny Golladay. The most athletic wide receiver in this draft class deserves to be inside my top 10.
10. Emanuel Hall, Missouri
There is definitely a non-zero chance that Hall turns into the NFL’s next version of Desean Jackson. He had two seasons at Missouri with Drew Lock where he was amongst the top-3 wide receivers in yards per catch in the NCAA. Despite never truly dominating in college, Hall does have a dominant skill (creating space and getting open down the field) that it’s easy to project an NFL job for him. When doing dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings, I tend to consider the ceiling of a player (especially past the top few tiers) and Hall has that ceiling.
11. Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
Samuel never had a 1,000-yard season as a Gamecock but he frequently lead the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He was also the victim of being overhyped heading into his final season in college. He’s likely a very solid slot wide receiver at the next level but not a player who is likely to end up on many of my dynasty teams. His path to seeing a WR1 season in the NFL seems quite slim based on his age and athleticism profile.
12. Kelvin Harmon, NC State
Harmon is receiving a begrudging ranking from me. I came away from watching and researching him very underwhelmed. Harmon’s final season production was essentially matched by Jakobi Meyers and was outproduced when other NFL players (Nyheim Hines & Jaylen Samuels) were on the same team as him. Furthermore, Harmon’s NFL combine performance was underwhelming to the point that I don’t think he can really be a top 10 wide receiver in this class.
13. David Sills, West Virginia
I have to confess, part of my fascination with Sills is his story. He was an uber-QB prospect from the age of 12 who ended up flaming out after not getting his way at West Virginia at first. He went to community college for a year and then returned to West Virginia and turned into an absolute touchdown machine. Sills is not the most athletic wide receiver but he does have good size and similar projectable traits to Harmon (who is a lock to be drafted higher than him).
14. Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska
Nebraska football has existed longer than any of our lifetimes and Stanley Morgan Jr. is the FIRST wide receiver ever in their whole history to have a 1,000-yard season. That absolutely means something in my book. He is fast and athletic enough to not be worried that he just produced against slow Big Ten defensive backs. Scouting reports about Morgan are generally high on his route-running and intelligence. A legit sleeper.
15. Ashton Dulin, Malone University
The sleeper of all sleepers. Dulin attended Malone University which no longer has a football program but had NFL scouts at their practice every week during their last season. Dulin had one of the most impressive performances at the combine after being responsible for 64% of Malone’s passing offense. If there is one player I want to be remembered for in this draft, I want it to be Ashton Dulin after he gets drafted in the fifth round despite not having a football program that exists anymore.
16. Riley Ridley, Georgia
Just kidding, he sucks.
2019 NFL Draft Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Ranking Prospect Profiles: