Ready To Pounce – Five rookies in fantastic positions 

By Lawrence Vos (@NFLFanInEngland) – 26 June 2019
We all know the mega-stars drafted early who are already projected as starters and are being projected to be wearing rookie achievement crowns come the end of the 2019 season. Some of you will draft these guys in the latter rounds of a traditional fantasy draft, and some will be high on waivers.
But what about those guys that are not big names, but are one injured colleague away from having a significant impact in the upcoming fantasy season?
Here are five names of rookies who are not necessarily the big names but are in an idealistic situation to have major fantasy success if the giant chocolate chip and maple pecan cookies, that they were persuaded to buy from a doe-eyed six-year-old girl scout, crumbles their way.
I’m not recommending you draft them all, but I am recommending that you monitor the waiver wire for these names like a hawk.

Alexander Mattison – RB – Minnesota Vikings
Big things are predicted for Dalvin Cook in his third season leading the Vikings backfield if he can stay healthy. Cook’s problem is he has only played in 15 of 32 regular season games. In addition, the Vikings moved on from backup RB Latavius Murray and instead opted to go down the draft route. Alexander Mattison is not a household name, but the third-round pick can be someone that could be an instant plug-and-play success. The former Boise State star opted to try the NFL after just three seasons in college, just like former smurf-turf Super Bowl winner Jay Ajayi. Mattison’s last two NCAA games saw him rush over for 200 yards in each contest. Mattison is a hard-nosed runner who has never missed a game. A fluent Spanish speaker and former wrestling champion Mattison has brains and brawn and is in an ideal place to make a big initial impact.

Benny Snell – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers
Another Junior who elected to enter the NFL draft a year early. Snell joined a select club in 2018 as one of only four running backs in SEC history to rush for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Not bad considering one of those four is Herschel Walker. With the Steelers RB James Connor being possibly the biggest breakout star of 2018, Snell has landed in a place where the immediate pressure is off him, but this situation is one hit from being back-stage to the spotlight. Snell owns a plethora of University of Kentucky records, and just in case you are wondering why the name Snell rings a historic NFL bell (not a LeVeon named one) his great uncle is Matt Snell (who ran for 121 yards in the Jets upset win over the Colts in Super Bowl III).

Josh Oliver – TE – Jacksonville Jaguars
Unlike Mattison and Snell, Josh Oliver has a legitimate shot at being the Jaguars starting tight-end from Week 1. The 6ft 5 inch Oliver played at the rather innocuous San Hose State Spartans and did nothing worth noting until his senior year. His competition in Duuuuuuval is none other than former Cowboys tight-end Geoff Swaim. With Napoleon Dynamite oops sorry Nick Foles now leading the offense the Jacksonville tight-end spot should see a boost and with Leonard Fournette due a significant bounce-back this is ideal spot for Oliver to be one of those rare fantasy relevant rookie tight-ends. Evan Engram bucked the trend a few seasons ago proving rookie tight-ends can make a difference, and Oliver has the physical toots to catch 50 balls plus in the Florida sunshine.

Terry McLaurin – WR Washington Redskins
The Redskins wide-receiver production in the past couple of seasons has been akin to eating American cheese, bland, unimaginative and very disappointing. Since the departure of DeSean Jackson (now back in the NFC East for a second stint with the Eagles) and Pierre Garcon the Washington wide-receivers have failed to impress. The supposed future star Josh Doctson’s career has never taken off and Jamison Crowder is now catching passes from Sam Darnold in the Big Apple. This leaves the door wide open for anyone who can show consistency. The Redskins drafted Terry McLaurin from Ohio State to re-join his signal-caller Dwayne Haskins in an NFL uniform. Haskins is not guaranteed the starting quarterback Week 1 but right now he will be targeting McLaurin early and often in camp. Someone has to step up for the Redskins and whilst later pick Kelvin Harmon could become a red-zone vulture, hopefully its McLaurin who will be establishing himself as a reliable PPR option and a potential cheap DFS consideration.

Hunter Renfrow – WR Oakland Raiders
Fans, colour commentators and team-mates alike will be focussed on the hands and route running of Antonio Brown in the Silver and Black (still the best looking uniform in the NFL).
Doubling Brown or putting a team’s top corner on him will leave the slot more open for the Raiders and this is where Renfrow can become a PPR monster. The former walk-on has had an amazing college career with Clemson, winning two National Championships, catching the winning score from Deshaun Watson in the 2017 title game. At 5ft 10inches Renfrow is the archetypal slot dude, and likely someone Bill Belichick had on a draft list (on this note watch out for Patriots second-year slot wideout Braxton Berrios – you have been warned). Renfrow can establish his credentials in the return game before he does anything impactful in the Raiders offense. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney described Renfrow as ‘Clark Kent’, but he has the opportunity to be a short Superman in Oakland.

Honourable mentions, and guys you should be monitoring;

  • Kelvin Harmon – WR Washington Redskins
  • Trayveon Williams – RB Cincinnati Bengals
  • Caleb Wilson – TE Arizona Cardinals (Mr Irrelevant).

Pick It Apart; Christian Wilkins

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #13

Player: Christian Wilkins

Drafted by: Miami Dolphins

Grade: B

Analysis: I think it’s fair to assume that if you ask 10 different ‘Fins fans about how they thought the Dolphins would approach their first 1st pick in the draft, I think you’d get a lot of different answers;

From trading back and accumulating yet more picks, to a Quarterback such as Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock etc.

I am not too sure how many of them would have selected a Defensive Tackle, and even less of those would have selected Christian Wilkins.

Brian Flores, the former Patriots DC, decided to beef up the O-Line with a 6”3, 315lb brute from Clemson. This will no doubt add help to a defence that were 27th in total points allowed and 29th in total yardage surrendered and bottom 10 in most rushing defence categories.

He’ll be remembered on draft day as the guy who jump bumped the Commish (shame it wasn’t a bit harder) and you can tell by his aura that he is a leader.

He is a hardworker, illustrated by the fact he got his degree in 2 and a half years. On the field, he racked up tackles from his freshman year, all the way to his final year. Wilkins can do it all, break up passes, tackles, stuff the run and sack the QB. The reason the grade is a B (if you haven’t noticed, I’ve given a lot of A’s thus far), is that I question whether or not it was the right pick at this position.

Whilst the Dolphins are lacking in a multitude of areas and have a bucket load of picks in 2020, I wonder if they had any calls from other teams to move up because I think Wilkins would have been there for another 5-10 picks. Even if he wasn’t, there would be comparable alternatives for them to choose from.

The positives though, he has character, talent and the athleticism to succeed in the NFL and will be asked to do a lot of it on his own in year one considering the rest of the talent on the roster. Next year and a few years from now though, if Miami invest wisely, it could be a force to be reckoned with Wilkins being the jewel in the crown.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Miami are not relevant for fantasy defences, unlikely to be too relevant in IDP but will certainly be the stud player and top points scorer of this team in my opinion. Just depends on how many points he can get. The defence will be on the field a fair bit so individual opportunity is there.

Pick It Apart; Jonah Williams

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: 11

Player: Jonah Williams

Drafted by: Cincinatti Bengals

Grade: A

Analysis:

Love this pick for the Bengals; Area of need, top 3 at the position and a day 1 starter who will make an immediate impact and improvement.

The guard from Alabama stands at 6”4 and 302lbs and was a 5 star recruit at Folsom in Cal.

Williams left school early to get a head start on his journey to the NFL and it actually paid off.

Plenty of starts in all 3 years led to plenty of awards and accolades which was the result of his technique but also versatility along the front line. He is a steal, if you can get those at pick 11 in the first round and has a variety of techniques to succeed against all the defensive lineman trying to nudge their way past.

It would have been interesting to see if pick 10 resulted in Devin Bush still being on the board at 11, because that was another need for the Bengals and would have been intriguing to find out what Zac Taylor and the Bengals front office thought would have been a more worthy pick.

I would guess that Bush would have been the selection so in some ways, the Bengals perhaps were lucky that they didn’t have to make a tough call if both were sitting there.

Regardless, Jonah Williams will have a long and successful career in the NFL and his primary job will be to keep Dalton upright and provide big gaping holes for Joe Mixon.

One aspect to love about Williams is that he is a self-confessed “Film Junkie” and we aren’t talking about Star Wars or The Shawshank Redemption, we are talking game film. He views the position as a full time job, even at College, which can only mean that he is going to come on leaps and bounds, even in year one and you can tell that he’ll search for perfection for years to come. It’s a great attribute to have and I look forward to seeing his skills in a tough, nasty division (the Browns are in there, too). To epitomise how much of a perfectionist Williams is, check out Jordan Raanan of ESPN’s article about how Williams created Excel Spreadsheets detailing the number of moves defensive lineman used against him and their pass/fail rates (Article can be found here: http://www.espn.co.uk/nfl/draft2019/story/_/id/26560208/jonah-williams-unique-preparation-make-nfl-draft-top-tackle).

Fantasy Football Impact:

This move will indirectly help the offence so Joe Mixon ticket holders will be very happy with this selection. If you don’t have time in the pocket at QB or you don’t have the lanes open for the RB, you aren’t scoring fantasy points. Williams will be an unsung hero of the Bengals offensive line.

NFL Draft Fantasy implications + F10Y NEWS!

On Today’s podcast, RIchard King from Rotoballer joins us as we run through some news including Doug Baldwin, Joe Flacco and Cody Kessler.
We take a look at some interesting Fantasy Football implications from the NFL draft including Washington, Baltimore, Arizona.
Simon from the Collapsing Pocket podcast tackles the quiz and in our 4th down we give you the big news about the Full10Yards and announce our competition prize and details on how you can enter to win a Pittsburgh Terrible Towel.
Please RT, Share, like, subscribe the podcast! we truly appreciate all your support and feedback.

Pick It Apart; Ed Oliver

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #9

Player: Ed Oliver

Drafted by: Buffalo Bills

Grade: A-

Analysis: The rumour mill was churning that Ed Oliver could have gone as high as #3 overall to the Jets, so this has to merit some kind of value here to the Bills at 9. I think that this was about right for the defensive tackle out of Houston. It would have been interesting to see if they would have still opted for Oliver had TJ Hockenson been on the board.

The Bills defence, middle of the pack in terms of rushing defence in yards and 26th in sacks(but ranked no.2 overall) do need a bit of an oomph up the gut after the exit of Kyle Williams and Oliver will bring it. He brings a quick, explosiveness to the position and whilst many say he may be too big (6”3 and heavier than Aaron Donald for perspective), he will do exactly what Sean McDermott picked him for. Although many considered Oliver to have a somewhat underwhelming 2018 and final college season (Oliver declared prior to his final college season that he would declare for 2019), he still finished with 54 tackles (14.5 for loss, 3 sacks( in 8 games after missing a bit of time with injury.

His transition in to the league will mean that he’ll look to fill those big boots vacated by Kyle Williams and does bring a slight question mark about character (had a bit of a run in with a coach in college during a game over a jacket). Expect Sean McDermott, a coach known for his knack of getting the most out of his players and getting them all to play for him, to give Oliver 1 simple task…get after the Quarterback. McDermott attended Oliver’s pro day and it seems as if Oliver was hand picked by the Bills HC should he have gotten to #9 overall, so it would have been REALLY interesting if TJ Hockenson was there. Unfortunately, that’s something we’ll never know….just like why Jon Snow didn’t pet Ghost before leaving Winterfell.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Buffalo Bills defence are sneaky good, and Oliver could be a sneaky addition in IDP leagues with his duty to essentially go and get the Quarterback. Considering how good the back end of this defence is and the other teams in this division, he could rack up a decent about of sacks in his rookie year.

Pick It Apart; Josh Allen

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #7

Player: Josh Allen

Drafted by: Jacksonville Jaguars

Grade: A-

Analysis: It’s funny how you can be shocked and also not surprised with one pick. Yes, Jacksonville are renowned for their defence and how shutdown it can be. Also, their offence is not all that, even with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles joining the ranks (let’s not also forget about the mighty Geoff Swaim, people). Everyone kind of expeting TJ Hockenson to fill this slot but I guess the talent of Josh Allen won through here for Doug Marrone and the front office. Allen, an overlooked 2 star recruit who was only just a Kentucky grad after a late offer used that as his inspiration to be the best form of himself that he could be, earning team captain honours in 2018. Allen has overcome a lot from his youth; often being sent home from school due to his hygiene, being bullied because of a speech impediment and crying numerous times. Now, he is one of the most feared pass rushers coming in to the NFL and I think his attitude, the way he has carried himself through his life and his desire to be the best is what makes Jacksonville a great destination. I say that because great players always have space made for them on any team. Jacksonville had needs on offence and there were plenty of options available to them, but they still decided to go with Josh Allen.

His knocks are his short arm length (47th%ile at combine) and his small hands (1%ile!) but this is not going to stop him getting to Luck, Watson and Mariota (maybe) on a stacked defence. He brings a wide variety of talents along the line and is a guy who can get to the QB in a straight line or round the bend. He has a variety of moves which he executes to a good level, can set an edge and also is adept at dropping back in to coverage if required.

In summary, the Jags are getting an elite athlete, who can fulfill a number of duties along the line and is another jewel in the crown of this defence which may just find it’s mojo again in 2019. He will fill roles at SAM linebacker and an edge rusher on passing downs, he’ll slot in just fine in the NFL.

But, is it enough to say it was the right pick when there were other needs on offence?

Fantasy Football Impact:

Jacksonville are a perennial top 3 defence in fantasy football, Josh Allen will help keep the Jags at the forefront of people’s mind when picking defences in the double digit rounds. Working opposite Yannick Ngakwoue, they have just had a new delivery of sacks in Sacksonville.

On The Record w/ Jacob

*BONUS PODCAST*

We chat to Jacob (@JBBFootball), who is looking at attempting what every NFL UK fan dreams of; a trip to the USA and visiting EVERY NFL stadium and watching every NFL team in a season. Not only that, but he intends to do it in 84 days, which would break the current record.

But how will he do it? How much will it cost and will it be recognised by Guinness World Records??? Find out here!

Pick It Apart; Devin White

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #5

Player:  Devin White

Drafted by: Tampa Bay Bucs

Grade: A-

Analysis:

You know the saying; Grass is green, the sky is blue and Devin White to the Bucs.

Everyone and his dog had Devin White mocked to Tampa Bay and that’s how it played out.

It was obvious considering Kwon Alexander had departed for pastures new.

The linebacker from LSU was a running back convert from High School (over 5000 yards and 80 TDs!) and because of that is a physical, hard hitting guy. Tampa are getting a competitive, fast and quick to diagnose player who will undoubtedly have a great NFL career. A sub  4.5 40 yard dash (99th %ile), 39 ½“ vertical jump (93rd %ile) were his combine highlights and throughout the draft process he was compared with Devin Bush who funnily enough was his closest comparison on Mockdraftable.

He has multiple years of production, earning the Butkus award as a Junior (top accolade for best linebacker in the country), a first team All-SEC pick and led the Tigers with 123 tackles (12 for a loss) along with 3 forced fumbles, 6 pass deflections and 3 sacks.

His knocks are his lack of quick play diagnosis, instincts are not as good as perhaps a Devin Bush but his athleticism and playmaking ability mean his talents will transfer easily in today’s modern NFL.

He will be a force to be reckoned with but he’ll need to be with Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in the same division.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Similar to the guys before, you can’t really give too much fantasy impact on the defensive player (unless you are an IDP nut, which I am not), but I would envisage that White should be amongst it for the Tampa Bay tackle leaders. A Tampa Bay team that were pretty porous last year get an immediate upgrade here but I still cant be swayed to take a Tampa Bay defence….