Team Outlooks + Fantasy Impact
Today we’ve got draft analysis and team fantasy outlooks. In Part 1 of 3 we focus on the teams who picked in the top ten.
Key Draft Picks: Kyler Murray QB Oklahoma ||| Andy Isabella WR UMass |||Hakeem Butler WR Iowa St
The consensus top QB in this year’s draft, Kyler Murray is an electric runner with the ball in his hands. His instincts to avoid defenders are off the charts. He has insane footwork in the pocket, crazy arm strength and can outrun anyone. At receiver, Andy Isabella wins battles on the field with quickness and incredible footwork in space, while Hakeem Butler brings his incredible catch radius to the table along with his 6’5 statue and 4.48 speed.
Overall, this is a superb draft for Kliff Kingsbury’s squad and I expect big improvements for David Johnson and the Cardinals offense provided their revamped offensive line holds up. Look for a return to top 5 RB numbers from DJ and for Kyler to threaten the top 10 for QBs.
San Francisco 49ers
Key Draft Picks: Nick Bosa EDGE Ohio St ||| Deebo Samuel WR South Carolina||| Jalen Hurd WR Baylor
The 49ers continue to stack their defensive line and now have five first round picks to choose from for their front four. Nick Bosa joins a line consisting of DeForest Buckner who had 12 sacks last year and Dee Ford who had 13. They join Kwon Alexander, one of the league’s best linebackers coming off an ACL tear, and elite but injury-plagued CB Jason Verrett alongside Richard Sherman in an up-and-coming defense. Deebo Samuel is a smaller WR at 5’11 who adds solid ball skills and post-catch ability. Hurd played three seasons as a RB at Tennessee with almost 3000 rush yards before having a near-1000 yard season at Baylor as a wideout. At 6’5 and 226 pounds, he is a fascinating weapon for Jimmy G and this offense.
I expect the 49ers to be much more competitive, with lots of production from the RBs in Shanahan’s system. The 49ers D/ST may be worth a look in fantasy, along with Tevin Coleman as a late-round RB. I expect a full running back committee, although Matt Breida has been a speculative trading chip.
New York Jets
Key Draft Picks: Quinnen Williams DT Bama ||| Jachai Polite EDGE Florida
Williams was absolutely dominant at Alabama and is a huge boost to the front 7. I fully expect him to be a star. Polite had an offseason that consisted of bad combine interviews, bad workouts and weight issues. Before that he was a top edge prospect with the power and bend to give offensive linemen nightmares.
The Jets will try to finally pair their much-hyped defense with an offense that now includes Le’Veon Bell. I expect low RB1 numbers from Bell. Robby Anderson came on late in 2018 with four big fantasy games to close the season. He is a sleeper at WR who I would consider late in drafts.
Key Draft Picks: Clelin Ferrell EDGE Clemson ||| Josh Jacobs RB Alabama |||Johnathan Abram S Mississipi St ||| Hunter Renfrow WR Clemson
Jon Gruden and draft guru GM Mike Mayock got a complete player at EDGE, a top running back and a quick safety with some pop in this year’s draft. The most fantasy relevant player here and maybe in the entire first round is Josh Jacobs, who looks like an absolutely violent runner in the mold of a Marshawn Lynch, but is a much better receiver. They also added Hunter Renfrow, a reliable sure-handed slot receiver who could step right in and contribute.
With Isaiah Crowell going down with a torn Achilles, Jacobs is the favorite of many to lead rookies in fantasy points. I see him as a low-end RB2, but he may be more touchdown dependent than most. The fantasy production of Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams is largely dependent on the offensive execution of Derek Carr.
Tampa Bay Bucs
Key Draft Picks: Devin White LB LSU ||| Mike Edwards S Kentucky
The Bucs biggest problem last year was defense. This year, they drafted Devin White who has the potential to come in and be the quarterback of the defense. He is freakishly athletic, is one of the hardest hitters in his class, and he brings everything you’d want in a leader. Next they drafted three straight DBs, most notably two-time captain Mike Edwards.
Bruce Arians, Todd Bowles, and Byron Leftwich bring a bevy of football knowledge to a team whose offense produced the overall QB2 between two players last season. If Arians can help Jameis cut down on his turnovers he has top 5 upside. Chris Godwin is one of the most hyped WRs of the 2019 offseason. He finished as WR24 last year while playing only 64% of snaps. Arians talks about Barber being the guy he wants to build an offense around. Barber finished as RB26 last year, but with only 3.7 yards per carry. Ronald Jones lays in wait.
New York Giants
Key Draft Picks:Daniel Jones, QB Duke |||Dexter Lawrence DT Clemson |||DeAndre Baker CB Georgia
The Jones pick caught a lot of heat, but he is one of the most accurate pocket passers in the draft between 5 and 15 yards. He can move if necessary, and has toughness to hang in the pocket. He does try to do too much with his feet at times, and his arm strength is not the best, but he has all the tools to succeed at the NFL level, and his tape is fairly impressive without much talent around him at Duke. They add a mammoth nose tackle in Lawrence, who has a rare combination of size and speed, along with Baker, who is an excellent press/zone corner. Overall Gettleman’s draft success this year will depend on how his defensive picks pan out, unless Jones is forced into work early.
The key to fantasy success for the Giants this year will be their revamped offensive line. They have solidified 4 of the 5 starting positions with continued question marks at right tackle. Saquon Barkley seeks to be the overall RB1, but may have a lower weekly ceiling than most in this rebuilding offense. Evan Engram and the short passing game will get a whole lot of work, and I see him as a top 5 TE.
Key Draft Picks:JKosh Allen, LB Kentucky ||| OT Jawann Taylor Florida ||| TE Josh Oliver San Jose St
Allen has an insane ability to rush the passer and is incredible in coverage. He is also pretty good at stopping the run…Call him a do-it-all edge rusher and a steal at pick #7. Taylor is another great value pick in the second round and a beast of a right tackle. Oliver is an all-conference TE and a PFF darling who could be an ascending talent at the position. He needs to get better as a blocker but could see the field a lot as a rookie.
The Jaguars will continue to be a run heavy team whose defense aims to bounce back in 2019. Foles will bring some stability to an offense that hopes Leonard Fournette can stay healthy and produce RB1 numbers. His accuracy on deep balls will improve Dede Westbrook’s WR33 finish, and getting back Marqise Lee from injury helps as well.
Key Draft Picks:TJ Hockenson TE Iowa |||Jahvani Tavai LB Hawaii
An excellent blocker and receiver, Hockenson will look to break the learning curve of rookie tight ends. Tavai should be a solid addition to the linebacking corps, and the Lions went all defense on the following four picks with a big corner and another pass rusher.
Hockenson looks to help Kerryon Johnson a lot this year. Johnson finished 29th in the league in rushing yards in only 10 games. CJ Anderson will steal some touches but look for Kerryon to improve. Marvin Jones was on pace for about 900 yards and 9 TDs last year, and Kenny Golladay finished as a WR2. If they stay healthy both have solid fantasy value.
Key Draft Picks:Ed Oliver DT Houston ||| Cody Ford OT Oklahoma ||| Devin Singletary RB Florida Atlantic
One front office called Oliver an ‘alien’ …his short shuttle at the combine was quicker than Saquon Barkley’s. Cody Ford will be an anchor at right tackle. Singletary shows the future front office has plans with a backfield future of he and Yeldon.
Josh Allen had 20+ fantasy points in 4 out of his last 6 games and offers big rushing upside. The backfield is as crowded as any in the NFL but has talent, and the offensive line should be at least slightly improved. John Brown will be a boom-or-bust dart throw at WR.
Key Draft Picks:Devin Bush LB Michigan ||| Diontae Johnson WR Toledo
Pitt traded up for the Bush pick and is their preferred Ryan Shazier replacement. He is undersized with 4.43 speed and plays fast to make up for it. The Steelers reportedly fell in love with Johnson during the draft process. He is tough with great hands, and they grabbed him before Arians and TB could. He scored 13 touchdowns last season and is ranked as one of PFF’s ‘Best Fits’ with Pittsburgh.
Big Ben finished as QB3 last year and while I expect some regression, I expect a whole lot of production from this offense. I like James Conner as a borderline top 5 RB, JuJu to produce WR1 numbers, and either Johnson or Donte Moncrief to emerge as a WR2. Vance McDonald finished as the TE12 last year while splitting time and now has the job to himself.
Brad Andrews |@TheOraclePod on Twitter |@TheOraclePod on IG