Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Rookie Roulette - Which WR Should Go First in Rookie Drafts?

With rookie draft season in full swing, you've got some major questions to think about, especially if you're picking early in your league's draft and need to figure out which wide receiver to pick first.

The commonly accepted thought on this issue is to take N'Keal Harry first, but D.K. Metcalf s also a player who could be considered for the spot, and there are a few other players in good positions on teams that set them up well for the future.

So, should you go with Harry first? Or is there a different move you should make?

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


The Case For N'Keal Harry

Let's start with Harry, since I'm pretty sure most people see him as the top rookie receiver off the board.

There's good reason for that, as Harry wound up on a receiver-needy Patriots team where he could pretty easily step in and be the team's best outside weapon from day one. Imagine not taking Tom Brady's potential top target as the first receiver in your rookie draft!

Harry's a big receiver who's able to make an impact with the legs, someone who can make strong cuts and create space after the catch. He's already a good route runner, so the Patriots can rely on that to get him the ball in good positions. He can give the team a great deep threat, someone who can get past the defense and get the open field he needs to make big plays.

But there's also a level of uncertainty in New England, as Tom Brady can't just keep playing forever, and if you're taking Harry in a dynasty draft, you have to deal with that uncertainty. Who's up next under center for the Pats? Will they be able to take advantage of Harry's skill set?

And also, what if Brady regresses? He's 42 years old. He was just 22nd in completion percentage on deep balls. But Brady was still eighth in air yards last year, and it's hard to bet against him still being an above-average NFL thrower.


The Case For D.K. Metcalf

Can I just embed the photo of Metcalf where his shirt is off and he has more abs than any human being in the world has ever had and say y'all really aren't doubting this guy, are you?

Metcalf hype was high after the Combine. Per MockDraftable, here are Metcalf's Combine numbers, with his percentile scores among wide receivers:

So, Metcalf can jump out of the building and combines that with elite size and a 4.33 40-yard dash? And sure, that's combined with some alarmingly low marks in the events that test lateral quickness, but his straight-line speed should make him a major receiving threat, right?

And yet, things concern me, especially in terms of his college production. His college dominator percentage was 32.1 percent, good for just the 57th percentile among wide receivers. Per PlayerProfiler, that number -- which represents the percentage of a team's receiving yards and touchdowns a player had -- is lower than you'd want to see. Harry, for instance, was at 43.9 percent.

In college, Metcalf had plays where you could really see his speed and size working together to produce outstanding things on the football field, but Ole Miss just didn't get him the ball enough. His tape shows a fairly limited route tree and a lack of involvement in the short passing game, things that worry me about him moving forward.

But, like with Harry, we have to take the quarterback into account here when it comes to his NFL outlook. Harry has Brady, but Metcalf has someone who's better for Metcalf in dynasty leagues -- the newly re-signed Russell Wilson. Wilson's probably better than Brady right now and he's definitely got more upside than Brady going forward. Last year, Wilson had the NFL's second-highest deep ball completion percentage, so it's not hard to envision that connection working down the field a lot.

But can Metcalf be more than a deep ball guy? Harry seems capable of working both near the line of scrimmage and down the field, but Metcalf's tape shows him as a big play guy who may struggle if asked to make small plays, and his measurables don't give me confidence in his ability to produce in short yardage, where he'll need to make cuts.


The Case For Everyone Else

Sure, let's talk about some other guys who you could think about this high.

Three guys who I've been seeing go Round 1 in rookie drafts, with some quick reasons for/against them:

A.J. Brown: Brown was more productive than Metcalf when they played for the same college, but he finds himself in Tennessee, where he'll be the number two receiver behind Corey Davis on a team that isn't known for their passing skills. Marcus Mariota has to take a big step forward for this team to support one strong fantasy receiver, much less two. Adam Humphries is also new in Tennessee and should see a lot of action from the slot.

Mecole Hardman: Fast, fast, fast, and on an offense that's going to throw more than anyone else with reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. But if Tyreek Hill is still on this team come the start of the season, he's the deep guy, and Travis Kelce is the league's top tight end, so Hardman sees his path to production blocked off. (Plus, Sammy Watkins is technically here too, and head coach Andy Reid is going to trust him before he trusts Hardman.)

Parris CampbellT.Y. Hilton being on this Colts team limits what Campbell can eventually do, but he should have a great career as the second receiver on a team led by Andrew Luck. He just doesn't have the upside of being a number-one guy like Harry or Metcalf.


And The Winner Is...

After a lot of deliberation, I'm going with N'Keal Harry. I love Metcalf's upside, but Harry feels more certain of being a guy who delivers on his upside, and he's useful in more ways than Metcalf is right now.

This one might come down to your dynasty team build, though. If you're weak at receiver but strong everywhere else, Harry's someone who can be a reliable option for you. If you're strong everywhere and can take a risk on Metcalf with the understanding that you won't need to start him right away, or you're tearing it all down and want a guy with star potential, Metcalf makes sense.

More Dynasty League Strategy

More Recent Articles


Wide Receiver Matchups To Target In Week 14

In Week 13, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill were the high-end options that had great matchups. Adams had a huge two-touchdown game while Hill only came up with 55 scoreless yards, falling victim to game flow as the Chiefs led from start to finish, scoring a defensive touchdown in the process. Several of the wide receivers... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 14

Welcome to our Week 14 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Monday Night Fantasy Football Starts/Sits - Week 14

Finally, we had a good fantasy matchup last week. And now, as punishment, we get this. The Eagles against the Giants is a good rivalry game. But for fantasy? Not so much. Even key players Saquon Barkley and Carson Wentz have been severely disappointing in 2019. The game is not going to be something to... Read More

Playoffs Panic Room? Outlooks for Slumping WRs and RBs

As your fantasy football playoffs open, some of your projected starters have not performed up to expectations in recent weeks. But knowing their track records of production in the past and/or earlier this year, it may be hard to sit them. You want reassurance on some of these suddenly lackluster players before the postseason begins.... Read More

Fantasy Football Playoff RB Handcuffs: Add Them Now!

The fantasy football postseason has begun, so it’s time to re-evaluate your depth, especially at running back. With only three weeks left on most fantasy scoreboards and each matchup possibly being your last, there is no more time for stashing players for potential contributions later. You also cannot waste roster space on guys who will... Read More

Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 14

Welcome to Week 14, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football playoffs. These player selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More

Red Zone Usage Risers and Fallers - Week 14

We are at a crucial point in the season. Either your league is in playoff season, or it's just about to begin. Now is the week to get your team in shape before that final push! On a personal note, some of the fallers may have caused me some fantasy pain this season, see if... Read More

QB vs Pass Rush Matchups To Watch - Week 14

Week 14 is here, and the fantasy playoffs are rolling. Some people are on byes for the week which can help if you've got key players in bad matchups, but others are scrapping to keep their season alive. Real teams start at quarterback, and they're pretty important for fantasy as well. Quarterbacks have changed the... Read More

Inside the Tent - Week 14 NFL Injury Insight

At RotoBaller, we can't stress enough the importance of keeping up with injuries and playing your best lineup week after week. Players are going to get injured, that's an unavoidable fact. What's avoidable though is making the wrong roster decisions based on the injuries surrounding your fantasy squad. If you want to dominate your leagues... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 14 Le'Veon Bell (illness) has officially been ruled out for this week. Evan Engram and Daniel Jones have been... Read More

Week 14 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Fantasy Football IDP Rankings for Week 14 (Top 100)

The fantasy playoffs are here for most of us, so every position matters that much more. IDP spots often become an afterthought or a set-it-and-forget-it situation but it could be that linebacker who has a monster game or that key interception that makes the difference between winning or going home. Look to our streamer suggestions... Read More

Week 14-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

The playoffs are here, and that means we're going to do things a little differently. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More

Star Players Who Might Miss the Fantasy Playoffs

As we head into the playoff weeks of fantasy football, you'll hear many experts preach (correctly) the need to stash high-upside handcuffs or backups at quarterback or tight end. You'll inevitably hear about looking ahead three weeks for favorable playoff schedules and thinking less about what the player has done up until now or whether... Read More

Week 14 Busts? Players To Consider Avoiding

It's finally here... The fantasy playoffs for most leagues. Hopefully you have a chance to win a fantasy championship in the next few weeks. If you're lucky, you have a first-round bye and won't have to worry about anything this week except for picking out a Christmas tree and setting up all your holiday decorations.... Read More