With the NFL Draft officially over, it’s time to start looking at the 2019 season. Right now we’re specifically talking about the 2019 fantasy football season.
Every year there are standout rookies. Rookies that intrigue a lot of people and are taken early in drafts. There are also rookies that are taken as sleepers late in drafts. These rookies can help you win your league, as they take the NFL by storm.
However, rookies can also destroy your team. You can put your trust in a rookie and that rookie ends up performing poorly (or even worse never even seeing the field). With that in mind, you need to be wary of who you draft.
Which rookies should you stay away from in your 2019 NFL fantasy football drafts?
Here are five to avoid.
5. T.J. Hockenson – Tight End (Detroit Lions)
T.J. Hockenson was the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions – a situation that many might think is perfect. Hockenson is now in a passing offense with Matthew Stafford as his quarterback.
However, this is a very similar situation to what happened a few years ago. In 2014, the Lions drafted Eric Ebron with the tenth overall pick. Everyone thought that was a match made in heaven too.
What really happened was a mixture of Ebron not being used correctly and him having a massive drop problem. Then he went to the Indianapolis Colts and had a major breakout year in 2018 – reeling in 13 touchdown receptions.
It’s not a definite that Hockenson will follow Ebron’s path.
However, don’t reach for the rookie tight end due to this cautionary tale.
4. Miles Sanders – Running Back (Philadelphia Eagles)
The Philadelphia Eagles may have gotten their running back of the future with Miles Sanders in the second-round. 2019 will see him splitting time with Jordan Howard though.
Sanders could still put up some decent numbers in 2019. However, you shouldn’t be relying on him for big games. Unless Howard gets injured or Sanders hits on some big plays, he isn’t a reliable fantasy asset just yet. The Eagles would be smart to keep his workload smaller in year one.
A good handcuff running back to take mid-late in the draft? Sure.
Don’t take him with the expectations that he’ll be in your fantasy football starting lineup often though.
3. Jace Sternberger – Tight End (Green Bay Packers)
Jace Sternberger was a third-round pick by the Green Bay Packers. The tight end enters an offense that really doesn’t have a lot of weapons. Due to that, many might be inclined to take Sternberger semi-early.
However, there are two roadblocks in his way. First, there are only two legitimate targets on Green Bay. Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham – Graham just so happens to be a tight end himself.
Sternberger will be playing behind Graham. Yes, the Packers can run two tight end sets and have him spell the starter often. You have remember the second roadblock though – that Green Bay isn’t exactly known for major tight end production.
With that in mind, it’s not wise to bet on Sternberger putting up much production for your fantasy team.
2. Damien Harris – Running Back (New England Patriots)
Running backs and the New England Patriots – it’s the greatest fantasy football mystery every year. One week someone could run for 150 yards and two touchdowns – the next he doesn’t even suit up.
Remember Jonas Gray anyone? He literally ran for 201 yards and four touchdowns in a week 11 game for the Patriots in 2014. Then he was given 20 carries the rest of the year.
Now let’s get back to the present day. The Patriots selected Damien Harris in the third round this year. He’s joining an extremely crowded backfield that already features breakout star Sony Michel and electric receiving back James White.
Harris might show some flashes and produce one or two big games. However, there’s too much going on here and you simply can’t trust the Patriots when it comes to running backs.
Harris is a good back, you probably shouldn’t even consider drafting him though.
1. Daniel Jones – Quarterback (New York Giants)
The New York Giants surprised a lot of people with their first-round selection. With the sixth overall pick, they drafted quarterback Daniel Jones. Now, many expected them to go QB, just not exactly this QB.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of upside to Jones. He could very well become their next franchise quarterback once Eli Manning steps down.
There’s the problem though – Eli Manning. Jones is the QB of the future, but for now – it’s still Manning’s world in New York.
A lot of people might take Jones expecting the Giants to make the switch at some point this season – don’t bank on it though. They seem prepared to sit Jones the entire season (and have even hinted at sitting him for multiple seasons).
Unless there’s an injury, the best case scenario fantasy-wise, he plays one game at the end of the year.
There’s no point in taking a handcuff QB – and even if you were going to, Jones probably isn’t the guy to roll with.