Right Guy, Wrong Spot
This year’s NFL draft was a massive dud for fantasy football, particularly for those in redraft leagues. Unlike most seasons, there are no sure-fire rookie fantasy studs, like Saquon Barkley last year, Christian McCaffrey two years ago, or Ezekiel Elliott three years ago.
Two problems: First, there was an overall lack of skill position talent in this draft. Second, in many cases the right guys fell into the wrong spots.
Let’s break down some of the guys who fell into the wrong spots, at least short term.
Wrong Spot Running Backs
The pick: Josh Jacobs, Raiders, Round 1
The wrong spot: Oakland is the most dysfunctional organization in football (all of sports?) and Jacobs may labor behind a lousy run-blocking offensive line.
The pick: Miles Sanders, Eagles, Round 2
The wrong spot: Sanders joins an absurdly crowded backfield and will play in an offensive scheme that refuses to focus on any one player.
The pick: Darrell Henderson, Rams, Round 3
The wrong spot: The explosive back from Memphis is stuck behind Todd Gurley on the depth chart.
The pick: David Montgomery, Bears, Round 3
The wrong spot: Monty joins a backfield that gave Tarik Cohen 99 rushes and 91 targets last year. That doesn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone for anyone else.
The pick: Damien Harris, Patriots, Round 3
The wrong spot: Harris joins a backfield already replete with talented backs including last year’s first round pick Sony Michel and utility back James White.
The pick: Alexander Mattison, Vikings, Round 3
The wrong spot: He’ll be a change of pace back behind uber talented runner Dalvin Cook. The best-case scenario for Mattison is a goal-line role or another injury-plagued season for Cook.
Wrong Spot Wide Receivers
The pick: Marquise Brown, Ravens, Round 1
The wrong spot: Even Brown’s electrifying deep speed won’t be enough to make up for Lamar Jackson’s long-ball inaccuracy.
The pick: N’Keal Harry, Patriots, Round 1
The wrong spot: Actually, there’s nothing wrong with this spot, but but dynasty/empire owners need to sweat his post-Brady value.
The pick: AJ Brown, Titans, Round 2
The wrong spot: AJ Brown will likely start immediately, perhaps from the slot. But Marcus Mariota hasn’t proven himself to be a consistent passer.
The pick: Mecole Hardman, Chiefs, Round 2
The wrong spot: With Tyreek Hill likely gone, Hardman could start immediately. He’s an elite special teams player, but he’s a very raw receiver who was only moderately productive at Georgia. He likely needs a few years of grooming before he’ll be consistently impactful…if ever.
Wrong Spot Quarterbacks
The pick: Daniel Jones, Giants, Round 1
The wrong spot: Eli Manning isn’t going down quietly, and Jones will be learning from the bench for most of this year.
The pick: Dwayne Haskins, Redskins, Round 1
The wrong spot: A one-year starter at Ohio State, Haskins is awfully raw to start right away. Plus, he needs to overcome quasi-competent competition from Case Keenum and Colt McCoy.
The pick: Drew Lock, Broncos, Round 2
The wrong spot: He’s stuck behind Joe Flacco for the short term future.
The pick: Will Grier, Panthers, Round 3
The wrong spot: He’ll only play if Cam Newton suffers another injury, and Newton still has another decade of service left.
Wrong Spot Tight Ends
The pick: Irv Smith, Vikings, Round 2
The wrong spot: He’ll be stuck behind Kyle Rudolph for 2019, after which Rudolph’s contract expires.