By Chris Foster (@FootballNuke)
What’s going on fantasy football freaks? We’re a couple weeks out from the draft and dynasty drafts are either underway or drawing near. The Back Row Fantasy Show’s FANTASY IMPACT SERIES continues – this time with key draft additions! Which players have the best combination of talent, opportunity and landing spot to really make a difference in fantasy football? Let’s take a look.
Kyler Murray, QB – Arizona
He could have the highest impact of all the rookies if – IF – Kliff Kingsbury’s offense works in the NFL. In the not too distant past, the notion of a college offense successfully translating to the NFL was unheard of. Very recently that has changed. College offenses are more sophisticated than they ever have been. They are more “pro” oriented. As these offenses move towards the pros, the strategies in those offenses must be more likely to work in the NFL. Additionally, some NFL coaches are tailoring their offense to fit the skills of their players rather than push players to fit a scheme that does not take advantage of what they do best. Kingsbury’s offense probably can work in the NFL.
If there is one thing that we know for sure is that Murray can run. There is no question about that. His running ability alone automatically moves him up the QB rankings. Rushing quarterbacks equal fantasy gold! We saw Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson have success last year. Murray is a much better runner than either of those two. I don’t doubt that Murray can move the ball through the air either. He’s got a rocket arm and he has a solid core of pass catchers. The offensive line could use some work and that could keep Murray’s production down. I think it is possible he can replicate Josh Allen’s season from last year. If that happens, he’s a QB 1 by year’s end in most leagues.
N’Keal Harry, WR – New England
There is no better combination of talent, opportunity and landing spot than Harry, who heads to a receiver-starved Patriot offense. There is no Gronk this year and to a lesser extent, no Chris Hogan. Harry displayed amazing receiving ability especially on the outside, where the Patriots desperately need the help. Take a look at the other wideouts on this roster: Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas and Matthew Slater. Two of which – Gordon and Thomas – aren’t likely to see the field in 2019. With Edelman on the inside and Slater a special teams guru, there is a lot of opportunity for Harry to step in right away and play a serious role.
Mecole Hardman, WR – Kansas City
Hardman goes to KC with a big chance to make early contributions. There is little doubt that Tyreek Hill will not be back. This opens a huge hole in the Kansas City passing attack. Mecole Hardman has the talent and the opportunity, plus a super-talented quarterback. The Chiefs only have the oft-injured Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and veteran journeyman Sammie Coates as pass-catchers with any experience. Gehrig Dieter has flashed a couple times, but I don’t foresee any amount of consistency there. Hardman has a chance to play a key role once he gets up to speed in the NFL. It may not be this year, but if one coach can get Hardman to produce this year it is the offensive genius Andy Reid.
David Montgomery, RB – Chicago
The Bears looked into most of the runningbacks in the draft and were happy to pounce on Montgomery when they had the chance. Montgomery has the talent and he will step into the opportunity as well. Scheme-wise, I’m not sold on him being a fit. Montgomery’s college career saw him carry the ball as the feature back on all downs. The Bears offense mixes in Tarik Cohen. This should reduce Montgomery’s total touches. There might be enough to go around though to make both guys fantasy forces. If Jacobs is off the board on your rookie dynasty draft, Montgomery would not be a bad choice as the RB2.
Josh Jacobs, RB – Oakland/Las Vegas
With Isaiah Crowell out for the season, Jacobs has a clear path to be the main guy in Oakland. He is a bruising runner that can punish defenders. If he is successful early, I don’t think Gruden will be able to resist giving him the ball early and often. In this 2019 rookie draft, my opinion on Jacobs is that he is the guy to take as the 1.01. The opportunity is there, the talent is there and the scheme fits.
There you have it. These are the guys that are at the top of my list for making the most of their talent, team and opportunity. There are definitely others out there and I will cover some of them in the next Fantasy Impact article later this week. Also, I’ll be looking at guys whose landing spot may doom them to be less-successful than what they could have been somewhere else. Good luck in all your upcoming dynasty drafts!