Fantasy Football 2019: Where to Draft the Rookie Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

DK Metcalf recently underwent knee surgery but he may still be the first rookie WR taken in drafts

This year's crop of rookie wide receivers isn't as strong as years past, at least from a fantasy football standpoint. Plenty of options exist for fantasy owners, but none are more than a WR5 for players in redraft leagues. Fantasy owners likely haven't been following where many of the rookies were drafted and may not be sure where to take them in their own fantasy drafts.

 

Typically, tight ends do not fare well in their rookie year. There certainly have been exceptions to this, but the two rookie tight ends on this list aren't a sure thing. This is a rough guide on where to draft the rookie wide receivers and tight ends for fantasy purposes in redraft leagues.

 

DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

The top rookie wide receiver in redraft formats is Metcalf. This seems slightly strange as he likely won't play in Week 1 following a recent knee scope. However, once he is back on the field, Metcalf will be a starter for the Seahawks. Doug Baldwin retired, opening a starting spot opposite Tyler Lockett. This will be where Metcalf slides in. He's a WR5 for fantasy purposes.

 

Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Even though Marquise Goodwin is still on the roster, he's fallen behind Dante Pettis on the depth chart. Samuel and fellow rookie Jalen Hurd are both fighting for targets. It seems, based on the preseason that Samuel will be the No. 2 to Pettis. However, these spots are all up for grabs as Pettis hasn't impressed early. Jimmy Garoppolo also is getting back into game form, so fantasy owners will have to see who steps up in this offense. Samuel is a WR6 for now.

 

Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Like many of the other rookies, Campbell has missed time with an injury in the preseason. He's been dealing with a hamstring injury and almost returned, but re-aggravated it. He's yet to play in a preseason game, and reportedly had another setback with the hamstring. He's fast, but the hamstring will cause problems, as will the health of Andrew Luck. Campbell, if healthy, should be drafted as a WR6. Monitor how he fares in the rest of the preseason.

 

N'Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots

With Josh Gordon back with the Patriots, Harry's fantasy outlook for 2019 takes a hit. The Patriots are loading up on pass catchers, hoping to find a combination that sticks. They added Cameron Meredith as well. Harry has been banged up with a variety of injuries, which is concerning as it’s just the preseason. Harry should be a late-round flier in redraft formats. Let someone else overdraft him in the middle rounds.

 

Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Brown had been dealing with a foot injury, just being activated from the PUP list at the end of July. He's still not 100 percent, but he's at least been able to practice with the team. The Ravens receiving corps is slim, with just Miles Boykin and Willie Snead ahead of him on the depth chart. Brown certainly has the potential to surpass one or both of them, but Lamar Jackson needs to step up as a quarterback and Brown needs to stay healthy. He's a late-round flier.

 

Andy Isabella, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Isabella did miss time in training camp with a knee injury, and that may affect how much playing time he gets to start the year. The problem for Isabella is that there may not be enough passes to go around. He's the third wide receiver on the team, but David Johnson also will factor into the passing game. Isabella certainly has potential, and if Larry Fitzgerald or Christian Kirk were to miss time, he'd could be the next man up. There's also fellow rookies Hakeem Butler (who's dealing with a hand injury) and KeeSean Johnson, as well as veteran Michael Crabtree, who signed with Arizona this week following the release of Kevin White. For now, Isabella is a late-round flier who could have value by the middle of the season.

 

Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

In redraft formats, Hardman lost a lot of value once it was announced that Tyreek Hill would not be disciplined by the NFL and was able to return to the team. Hardman and Hill share some similarities, which will bode well for the rookie in the future. However, for 2019, Hill and Sammy Watkins are the clear top wideouts with Travis Kelce functioning as the 1B in terms of Patrick Mahomes' favorite targets. Even with this high-powered offense, Hardman is simply a late-round flier.

 

A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

After the draft, Brown looked like one of the more promising rookies to make an impact in 2019. However, he injured his hamstring and has missed most of training camp. He's working his way back, but it won't be easy for him. Corey Davis will be the No. 1 receiver, but it's up in the air who will be the No. 2 opposite him. Brown is a late-round flier in redraft formats.

 

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions

The top rookie tight end is Hockenson, but he's not a must-grab for redraft leagues either. The Lions have Jesse James, a free-agent addition who is ahead of Hockenson on the depth chart, at least for now. Hockenson will likely see playing time this year, but it may not be enough to make him worthy of being drafted in one-tight end redraft leagues outside of the late rounds. He's a low TE2.

 

Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos

For those in redraft leagues, Fant is someone to just keep an eye on unless you have to start two tight ends. He suffered an ankle injury in the preseason, but that shouldn't affect his Week 1 status. The receiving options in Denver aren't great, but neither is Joe Flacco. This looks to be a run-first offense, and Fant will suffer as a result.

 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

 

(Top photo by Rod Mar, courtesy of www.seahawks.com)

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