Fantasy football rookie rankings for 2019 are like every year before – in a constant state of fluctuation. Whether it’s because of depth chart adjustment, position battle, or injury, season outlooks have changed since the 2019 NFL Draft in April, meaning that the potential first-year sleepers, breakouts, and busts on your draft cheat sheets might have to change, too.
What we thought in April is not necessarily what we think now because there is more information and insight into the roles and talent of the league’s incoming class. Here’s an updated look at the top 25 rookies for both redraft and dynasty leagues to help you with your preseason fantasy draft preparation.
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Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings 2019: Draft ’em
1. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
Oakland badly needs a three-down back, and Jacobs is capable of handling a busy rushing and receiving role. There’s a little concern because Jon Gruden can be a wild card with his backfield usage, but the team didn’t use a first-round pick on Jacobs just to give him limited touches because of Doug Marin and Jalen Richard. Draft him as an RB2.
2. David Montgomery, RB, Bears
There’s more reason to feel good about this Kareem Hunt clone stepping into a featured role right away, as coach Matt Nagy has raved about both Montgomery’s receiving skills and abilty to break tackles as a power runner. Tarik Cohen (change-of-pace) and Mike Davis (swing backup) will cut into his touches in both third-down and red-zone situations, but Montgomery should flirt with 225-250 touches. Draft him as an RB2.
3. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
From what we can gather from Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, the shotgun spread concepts are very familiar to Murray, and he will have the keys to a high-volume passing offense where he also will have room to take off and run. It’s a great atmosphere for Murray to rack up immediately pleasing all-around numbers. Draft him as a late QB1 or early QB2.
4. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
Sanders has been impressive in training camp and is Philadelphia’s most skilled back overall. But the Eagles also still have a significant early-down power role tabbed for Jordan Howard, and both Corey Clement and Darren Sproles are set up to steal receiving work. Should Sanders get breaks in this committee-based competition, it’s worth tapping into his explosive potenital. Draft him as an RB3.
5. Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams
It’s getitng harder to trust Todd Gurley shaking off his knee injury concerns to regain a dominant share of the workload. Henderson is a dymanic runner, and the Rams want to get him on the field often in receiving situations. Although Malcolm Brown was re-signed as veteran Gurley insurace, Henderson has the much higher upside should Gurley hit the shelf again. Before then, he can return some PPR flex value. Draft him as an RB4.
6. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks
Metcalf is taking full advantage of Doug Baldwin retiring to quickly emarge as Seattle’s No. 2 wideout opposite Tyler Lockett. Metcalf’s volume will be limited in a run-heavy offense where Lockett is a strong No.1, but the targets should be in money situations on deep balls and red-zone looks from Russell Wilson. Draft him as a WR5.
7. Damien Harris, RB, Patriots
Harris was selected to join a New England backfield headlined by second-year first-rounder Sony Michel and uber receiving-back James White. But there’s an early indication he’s more than insurance for Michel and his knee issues. Harris, with his fresh legs, is looking like a better swing option than Rex Burkhead to cut into Michel’s and White’s workloads. Given the annual unpredictable nature of the Patriots’ backfield, it would surprise no one if Harris emerges as their most productive back in ’19. Draft him as an early RB5.
8. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions
Hockenson is the Lions’ third-best receiver behind Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. He will be on the field for almost every offensive snap as Detroit uses more 12 (two-tight end) personnel this season to faciltate the run-heavy approach of new coordinator Darrell Bevell. Hockenson will have chances to both stretch the field and finish drives in the red zone. Draft him as an early TE2.
9. Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers
Samuel has a good chance to start opposite second-year breakout candidate Dante Pettis, pushing Marquise Goodwin into more of a Taylor Gabriel role. Samuel has a complete inside-outside skill set in an offense that should have a much higher passing game ceiling with Jimmy Garoppolo. Draft him as a WR6.
10. Justice Hill, RB, Ravens
The Ravens won’t be changing their run-heavy ways with Lamar Jackson too much with new offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Mark Ingram was signed to be the new power lead, and both Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon remain in line for touches on various downs. But Hill carries more explosivness than both behind Ingram, making him an intriuging fantasy stash. Draft him as a late RB5.
11. Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings
Mattison is a direct replacement for Latavius Murray as the top all-around backup to Dalvin Cook. A healthy Cook should stay on the field for 20-plus touches a game, but given his injury history, it’s good to invest in his new insurance late. Draft him as Cook’s handcuff.
12. Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
After the whole James Conner-Le’Veon Bell thing last year, there’s no ignoring how huge Pollard can be should Ezekiel Elliott continue his holdout. With Elliott, Pollard doesn’t have much standalone value as a change of pace in an offense that has a few such players, including Tavon Austin. But as the more talented reserve than Darius Jackson, the fourth-rounder from Memphis makes for an excellent insurance policy. Pollard will now have to contend with the newly signed Alfred Morris, as well. Draft him as Elliott’s handcuff.
13. Parris Campbell, WR, Colts
There is a lot of hype about the speedy former Ohio State star being a key big-play target to flank T.Y. Hilton. Andrew Luck likes to spread things around — but often to his tight ends — and for now Devin Funchess is the No. 2 wideout. Draft him as a WR6.
14. Devin Singletary, RB, Bills.
LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon also occupy space in the Bills’ backfield, but taking a young dynamic back as a flier late is much better than investing in any of the rest in this mess early. Draft him as an RB6.
15. N’Keal Harry, WR, Patriots
New England’s first-round pick is getting overdrafted in fantasy in the 10th or 11th round of 12-team, 17-round drafts. He is struggling with his chance to help replace both Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski. Like many young players, learning the Patriots’ offense has been a challenge, and Harry has been outpracticed by several other receivers in both OTAs and trainng camp. Because it’s Tom Brady and there are many vacated targets, Harry is worth some redraft attention, but only as a cut-able late flier. Draft him in the second-to-last round.
Fantasy football rookie rankings 2019: Watch ’em
16. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Redskins
Haskins has to first win the job early from Case Keenum and then try to make the most of one of the league’s weakest wide receiver corps to trust him even as a streamer.
17. Noan Fant, TE, Broncos
There’s a sense of early Eric Ebron with him as a guy who may drop a lot of passes because of a shaky QB situation. Fant, despite the real first-round pedigree behind former college teammate Hockenson, likely won’t be a viable fantasy producer unitl Year 2.
18. Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens
Whenever he gets back to full strength from his foot injury, he will get the clear shot to be a No. 1 wide receiver. The bad news is he’s losing key chemistry-building time with Lamar Jackson, and he already has a low ceiling in a run-first, run-second offense.
17. Andy Isabella, WR, Cardinals
There will be plenty of balls to go around as Arizona throws it all over the park with Murray, but at best Isabella’s still fourth in the pecking order behind Christian Kirk, David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
18. A.J. Brown, WR, Titans
This rookie Brown is also hurting, and unlike Marquise, he probably caps out as an outside No. 3 behind Corey Davis and slot ace Adam Humphries in an offense that will revolve around the power running of Derrick Henry.
19. Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers
He could be the guy opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster in time, but right now Donte Moncrief and James Washington are significant obstacles to key targets.
20. Ryquell Armstead, RB, Jaguars
Jacksonville also added Alfred Blue and Thomas Rawls as new Fournette insurance policies to replace Yeldon, but Armstead is the one best built to fill-in for Fournette’s power work. Watch for him in time to become the preferred top backup.
21. Terry McLaurin, WR, Redskins
Washington’s wideout situation is unsettled, mainly because Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson don’t inspire much confidence as veteran starters. Don’t sleep on McLaurin winning a key role early, especially given his eatablished college chemstry with Haskins.
22. Daniel Jones, QB, Giants
With Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Evan Engram, there are some weapons should Jones get a chance to start at some point in the second half of the season. For now, think about him more for next year with Eli Manning still holding down the job.
23. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Eagles
He could rack up some red-zone touchdowns in subpackages as a rookie, but he will need to wait a season because he’s currently behind Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor.
24. Miles Boykin, WR, Ravens
He’s also coming off injury, but in time he could end up making more noise with Lamar Jackson than Marquise Brown.
25. Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs
With Tyreek Hill back in the mix, Hardman goes back to being a rookie afterthought with more initial work on special teams. Consider this a developmental season in the offense.