The best time of the year is almost here. The NFL preseason is fully underway, and football is right around the corner. As the real football games begin to be played, we all also start our fantasy football drafts. Devy fantasy football leagues are gaining more steam in the dynasty community, and I find them to be a fascinating way to combine my love for college football and my love for the NFL, as well as dynasty fantasy football. Devy fantasy football leagues are a really fun way to add an extra strategic element to your dynasty league. This article is a preview into the top 2019 prospects at each offensive position and help you prepare for your Devy draft. Even if you’re not in a devy league and you’re just interested in rookies to keep an eye on for your dynasty league next year, then this is the article for you.
As many people are wrapping their summers up in whatever fun way they prefer, there are those who are crazy enough to be reading fantasy football articles. Then there are those of us who are crazy enough to be reading an article about college prospects who *might* have a bright future for our very important fantasy teams. So, for all you fellow fanatics, this article will highlight the top prospects who are 2019 draft eligible.
The Quarterbacks in the 2019 class are generally viewed as being very risky. Draft scouts and draft media alike are worried about the potential that this class has to bust, but there is still a lot of room to grow and potential to be stars. Depending on your league format and how deep your devy draft is, you may or may not be looking very deep into this QB class. For this article, I will highlight three names that should be on the top of your draft boards.
1. Justin Herbert, Oregon. 6’6” 231, Junior.
Herbert is the premier name at the top of this class. He is a giant quarterback who is able to, and isn’t afraid, to sling the ball anywhere on the field. He is erratic at times and can struggle when pressure gets to him. Herbert’s future fantasy ceiling is extremely high and is almost a lock to be a top 10 pick next year.
2. Drew Lock, Missouri. 6’4” 225, Senior.
Lock shows the toughness and grit you want in a QB and isn’t afraid to throw it deep. He has great arm strength, and has shown he can make every necessary throw, but he also is inaccurate with the deep ball at times. Lock is almost a 1st round lock and should be one of the top 2 devy QB’s taken.
3. Will Grier, West Virginia. 6’1” 214, RS Senior.
Grier has gone through his share of troubles, dating back to Florida, but seems to have straightened himself out at WVU. He is a gunslinger who shows no concern for tight windows and has the zip to fit the ball into them. He is a bit small for your typical QB, and isn’t perfect in any aspect, but still is a 1st round prospect.
4. Brian Lewerke, Michigan State. 6’2” 212, RS Junior.
Lewerke has shown to be a quality runner and throws well on the run. He has handled NFL concepts at MSU and seems to have the arm strength necessary for the league. He has his concerns and will need to prove it in big games this fall, but his rushing potential increases his fantasy outlook.
5. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn. 6’2” 214, RS Junior.
Stidham is a Baylor transfer, who has had success in the SEC. His offense has been really simple for him, so adjusting to a pro-style offense may be a big
transition. He also has made some questionable decisions in big games and when his team is down, but he has the athleticism and talent to overcome his mistakes.
6. Ryan Finley, NC State. 6’4” 210, RS Senior.
Finley is entering his 6th year of eligibility, and his poise on the field shows it. He is an extremely efficient and smart passer, but his physical traits and athleticism are lacking. He is strictly a pocket passer, and his upside is limited, but he can be a very good game-manager type QB at the next level.
The 2019 RB class has a bad reputation already going into the year. This is completely understandable when you take an initial glance at the class, but I believe most of this stigma is due to the lack of elite high-end prospects. Although there seems to be no Saquon, Fournette, Zeke, or Gurley in this class, there are a few potential bell-cows and multiple prospects who look the part of an elite 3rd down/receiving option out of the backfield.
1. David Montgomery, Iowa State. 5’11” 216, Junior.
Montgomery has proven that he can produce no matter who is around him. He is built like your typical RB and evades tacklers like they’re JV players. He’s not an elite athlete and can lack breakaway speed, but has basically everything else that you want in a RB prospect. Montgomery should be in consideration for a top 3 devy draft pick. POTENTIAL: 3-down back/ workhorse
2. Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma. 6’1” 218, RS Junior.
Anderson finally had a healthy season at Oklahoma after so many unfortunate injuries. These concerns should be noted, but when Anderson is healthy he is a freaky player. He’s the complete package at RB with the long speed to
breakaway, the power to break tackles, and is a quality pass-catcher. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to be a game-changer for your fantasy squad. POTENTIAL: 3-down back/workhorse
3. Damien Harris, Alabama. 5’10” 216, Senior.
It was a surprise that Harris went back to school for his senior year, but he now has the chance to be at the top of this class. He is an extremely powerful and compact runner, who gets behind his pads. He isn’t the most elusive or athletic, but shows good vision and decision making. Very solid player but limited receiving upside. POTENTIAL: 2-down back/ goal-line
4. Bryce Love, Stanford. 5’9” 196, Senior.
o Bryce Love is a very polarizing prospect. He’s a Heisman contender on the field but has high aspirations off the field. Combine the possibility of a short playing career with his injury concerns and there are big red flags with Love. But when he’s playing, he is an electric home-run hitter. I’m not the biggest fan of Love, and think you’ll be better off with other RB selections. He’s going to go high in your drafts. POTENTIAL: Home-run threat/ splits workload
5. Justice Hill, Oklahoma State. 5’10” 190, Junior.
Justice Hill is absolutely electric. He evades defenders like its too easy, has breakaway speed, and isn’t afraid to run between the tackles. He profiles as more of a scat/receiving back at the next level, but he has the potential to earn some early down carries as well. Hill is a sleeper in devy leagues. POTENTIAL: Elite 3rd-down back/ splits-carries
6. Myles Gaskin, Washington. 5’10” 191, Senior.
Gaskin is a very quick back who shows the ability to make a strong cut and find the hole. He profiles as more of a receiving or 3rd down back at the next level. While he is a quality player, just know that he likely doesn’t have the chance to be a 3-down back. POTENTIAL: 3rd-down back/ scat-back
This wide receiver class is being hyped up to be the best since the legendary 2014 class. There are many different styles of receiver in today’s modern NFL, and the top players of this class covers every different style of player. There are a few giant jump-ball athletes, some short and quick speedsters, bigger slot possession guys, and some do-it-all receivers.
1. N’Keal Harry, Arizona State. 6’4” 220, Junior.
Harry has everything you want in a WR prospect. He has elite size, speed, and route running. Harry has been a devy darling among analysts heading into the year and is a lock to be a top-3 pick in your devy leagues. He profiles as a big “X” receiver, he can do it all but should get extra goal-line work that will help your team.
2. AJ Brown, Ole Miss. 6’1” 225, Junior.
AJ Brown has played almost exclusively slot at Ole Miss. He uses route running and body positioning to get open and can make plays with the ball. He profiles as a Christian Kirk/Jordan Mathews type big slot-receiver. But he is an elite prospect and may one day be the premier example for all big-slot receivers.
3. Kelvin Harmon, NC State. 6’3” 214, Junior.
Harmon has good speed combined with elite route-running and separation. He is exceptionally smart at finding gaps and getting open. He doesn’t profile as quite
the athlete some of the other WR’s are, so if your league lets him fall, don’t miss this opportunity.
4. DK Metcalf, Ole Miss. 6’4” 225, RS Sophomore.
Metcalf is a raw route-runner but is a freakish athlete that will sky over corners for the ball. He has elite potential and has shown to have more speed than a man his size should. He will almost certainly be drafted very high in all devy drafts. He profiles as a goal-line threat and has the potential to grow the other facets of his game.
5. Ahmmon Richards, Miami. 6’1” 195, Junior.
I haven’t watched as much film on Richards as the others, but he has shown to be a good route runner and very nuanced in the ways he gets open to beat coverage. His potential isn’t as high as some of the other athletes here, but his bust potential isn’t as high either. He does most things really well, but isn’t elite in any aspect of his game.
6. Brian Edwards, South Carolina. 6’3” 215, Junior.
Edwards is a similar player to Kelvin Harmon. He runs really good routes and seems to always get open. He is also a good athlete, and is extremely young. He broke-out as a 17 year old freshman, and has shown to have elite potential. He isn’t as highly ranked as some of the other WR’s here, but he is a legit sleeper.
7. Deebo Samuel, South Carolina. 6’0” 215, RS Senior.
Samuel is one of the most experienced route-runners you’ll find in this class. He is great with the ball in his hands and always gets open. He doesn’t have elite speed and isn’t an elite athlete, but profiles as a WR2/slot weapon.
8. Denzel Mims, Baylor. 6’3” 208, Junior.
Mims is an excellent sleeper prospect. Playing for Baylor, his route tree is limited, but what he has shown in college is exceptional. He has the size to beat smaller corners, the speed to separate, and great athleticism. If he hits, his potential is just as high as the elite prospects.
9. Collin Johnson, Texas. 6’6” 220, Junior.
Johnson is a name that has been mentioned by many as a sleeper. His enormous size allows him to bully all DB’s in his way, but his route running, and speed are very limited. This type of WR seems to be a fading type in the modern NFL, so pick with caution. Even if his style isn’t typical today, it still gives him the chance to hit. He profiles as a goal-line threat and jump-ball guy.
10. Marquise Brown, Oklahoma. 5’10” 160, Junior.
HOLLYWOOD… is a name you’ll hear a lot of this year. He is extremely small for the position, but his breakaway speed is unmatched. He has the speed and quickness to beat any defender and has flashed the route running ability to get open. His size is obviously a concern, and he won’t profile as a WR1, but he will make an impact in the NFL.
The top of this class has a few elite prospects. In shallow devy drafts there tends to not be very many tight ends taken, due to the position not being as high scoring as running backs or wide receivers. Although I would argue that the top few guys in this class will be considered among the elite and should be high devy draft picks. There are more potential stars in this class, but for this initial look I’ll give three names that need to be monitored or picked high in your league.
1. Noah Fant, Iowa. 6’5” 220, Junior.
Fant is the type of prospect that only comes around every so often. Every year there is a few freak athletes who seem to be nearly perfect in all aspects of the game. Fant is that guy. He jumps out of the gym, is a good blocker on the outside, stretches the field, and does it all basically. He will never be an in-line blocker, but that doesn’t impact fantasy. Grab Fant in your devy draft if you have the chance.
2. Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri. 6’5” 260, RS Sophomore.
As a redshirt freshman last year, he showed insane potential. He has an excellent blend of size and speed along with the leaping ability to bully defenders. He isn’t a perfect prospect, but his potential is sky-high. He is a sleeper to take a shot on.
3. Dawson Knox, Ole Miss. 6’4” 250, Junior.
o Knox is a former quarterback recruit, and this shows in his route-running ability. He knows how to get open and can adjust to catch the ball anywhere. He is still a work in progress, but he has flashed the potential to be a high pick at tight end.
I will take an even deeper look into this upcoming class in the coming weeks and be giving updates as the year goes on. For now, just know that next year's class is shaping up to be surprisingly good outside of the already much hyped WR group, so keep an eye out and make your moves early. This class should be one that pays off for a long, long time.