With the NFL Draft kicking off on April 26th, it gives every team a chance to improve themselves with young talent. Although only a few players at each position will make a real fantasy football impact as rookies, there are still many who are worth keeping on your radar. These positional rankings are based on their 2018 fantasy football potential, followed by stashability in dynasty leagues.. Check back throughout the week for the rest of the positional rankings.
1. Calvin Ridley — Ridley has gotten some hate recently from the nerds who are way too concerned about his age (he’s already 23) and his recent production at Alabama. We aren’t running an NFL franchise here. His age is not a concern in fantasy and his lack of production in his final year has to do with the departure of Lane Kiffin at offensive coordinator and his quarterback, Jalen Hurts — which was evident during the national title game. Ridley is the best route runner in the class and turned in a better combine than what was expected. Stop overthinking this.
Best fantasy fit: Atlanta Falcons
2. DJ Moore — Moore is rising up draft boards since he’s the anti-Ridley. Even on a shitty Maryland team that used FOUR quarterbacks in 2017, Moore continued to put up big-time numbers (80-1033-8). He’s a savvy route runner who will be a very solid WR2 on his future squad.
Best fantasy fit: Dallas Cowboys
3. Christian Kirk — Nick Saban called Kirk the SEC’s ‘most explosive’ player, and he wasn’t lying. Kirk has the ability to take it to the house every time he touches the ball and he’ll be an instant impact player in the NFL. The best slot receiver in this class will excel if he’s injected into a pass-happy system.
Best fantasy fit: Arizona Cardinals
4. Courtland Sutton –The SMU product big and physical standing at 6-4, 218 lbs and has the hands to match, but there’s something that I’m just not feeling with him. Sutton doesn’t show great speed on tape, but he ran a respectable 4.54 40 at the combine. His size and body type will make him a solid red zone target and possession receiver, sort of in the Anquan Boldin mold. I’m going to keep him at No. 4 and then adjust the ranking after the draft. High upside, but low floor.
Best fantasy fit: New York Giants
5. Anthony Miller — It’s unfortunate that Miller couldn’t participate at the combine since he’s a burner on film. Still, watching him play is really fun and we’re just going to have to go by his playing speed here. A former walk on at Memphis, Miller plays with a chip on his shoulder and it definitely shows. He’s an elite route runner and drips in potential. Will most certainly turn heads in camp.
Best fantasy fit: Carolina Panthers
6. James Washington — The 2017 Biletnikoff winner is one of the bigger question marks in the class. Half of #DraftTwitter loves him, and the other half isn’t impressed. But personally, I think he’s one of, if not the most consistent receiver in this class. He’s going to be a PPR star, as he can make plays horizontally and vertically. Standing at 5-foot-11, 213 lbs, he looks like a running back, but his wingspan rivals that of 6-foot-5 tight end Mike Gesicki’s.
Best fantasy fit: Oakland Raiders
7. Equanimeous St. Brown — I feel like I’m much higher on the Notre Dame product than most. The physical freak who stands at 6-foot-5, 214 lbs and ran a 4.48 at the combine comes from excellent bloodlines, as his father John Brown was a former Mr. Universe. The only issue with Brown though, is that he has never been much of a target hog and failed to make as many plays as he should have in college. He needs to be drafted into a solid offensive system, or else he won’t last long. The potential is definitely there though, it just needs to be unlocked.
Best fantasy fit: Indianapolis Colts
8. D.J. Chark — DJ Chark is another underutilized receiver from LSU who will be a better pro than what he showed in college. Chark is a long, blazing fast (4.34) receiver who can take the top off the defense. He’s in the mold of Will Fuller and Tyrell Williams, and will hit a few home runs as a rookie. Fire him up in a vertical offense with a rocket-armed quarterback and watch him make plays.
Best fantasy fit: Pittsburgh Steelers or Kansas City Chiefs
9. Michael Gallup — After only playing two years at Colorado State, Gallup is a bit raw compared to the other receivers in this class, but he has shown flashes of brilliance that have really made scouts excited. Although he’s inexperienced, his routes have continued to get better and he’s dangerous after the catch. He may not make an instant impact, but he could be a waiver wire hero once he gets it all together by midseason.
Best fantasy fit: Green Bay Packers
10. DaeSean Hamilton — Hamilton doesn’t necessarily pop off the screen athletically when watching him, yet he’s always making plays vertically by using his body to shield away defenders. He’s an oversized slot receiver who will beat you in the red zone and on third down, rather than using quickness to break off a corner like Julian Edelman. The guys below may have a higher ceiling and tested better athletically, but there’s something about Hamilton that just says he’ll succeed in the league.
Best fantasy fit: San Francisco 49ers
Others to keep an eye on: Dante Pettis, Deon Cain, Keke Coutee, Marcell Ateman, Tra’Quan Smith, Simmie Cobbs, Antonio Callaway