2019 Fantasy Football: Underrated Rookies to Watch

Dr. Roto

Daily Dr. Roto—July 31, 2019

7 Underrated Rookies who need to be monitored in Training Camp

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman — Before Tyreek Hill’s potential suspension, Hardman was going in Rounds 11-13. Now with Hill back, Fantasy owners are forgetting about him. I would advise against that as Hardman has blazing speed and opposing defenses are not going to be able to cover Hill, Hardman, Watkins, Kelce, and Damien Williams at the same time. Hardman reminds me of Taylor Gabriel—not a consistent threat each week, but certainly a guy who can make one or two bug plays per game.

Cardinals WR Andy Isabella — People rave about Isabella’s hands, but let’s not forget that he runs a 4.31 40-yd. Isabella is already tearing up training camp and he should have a chance to start sooner than later. Taking him in Rounds 10-12 seems like a good move.

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Cardinals WR KeeSean Johnson — He was not as heralded in college as Hakeem Butler, but Arizona camp observers feel that he is very ready to contribute on offense this year. Let others take Butler with their last pick of the draft. You be smart and take Johnson.

Bills RB Devin Singletary — A few years ago when the Saints drafted Alvin Kamara, Fantasy owners wondered when Kamara was going to play considering that both AP and Ingram were in front of him on the team’s depth chart. Well soon enough, talent prevailed, and Kamara entered the lineup and never came out. I see Singletary this season the same way. Once the Bills realize that he is more talented than McCoy, Gore, and Yeldon, Singletary will start assuming the bulk of the Bills’ carries.

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Eagles WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside — I have three words for him: stash and cash. JJAW might start the season on the outside of the team’s depth chart but expect him to take over for Nelson Agholor within the first few weeks of 2019. He’s a beast in the red zone and could be a huge difference maker in a division that lacks quality secondary play.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson — Right now the pundits are pushing Donte Moncrief as the WR2 to own on Pittsburgh. Yet other experts believe that last year’s third round pick, James Washington, will emerge with Antonio Brown gone. I recommend keeping a close eye on Johnson. His route running was one of the best in this year’s draft class and the comparisons that have been used for his skill set include Emmanuel Sanders—a former Steeler. Johnson might be under used in September, but a big part of this offense by December.

Vikings RB Alexander Mattison — Dalvin Cook is an exciting, game changing RB who the Vikings are counting on to produce for them this season. But in his short NFL career, Cook has shown a propensity for getting injured. Mattison was a workhorse back in college and has the size to be a tremendous short yardage specialist for Minnesota. Mattison might not be a stud as a rookie, but I can see him starting at least three to four games this season with Cook sidelined for one ailment or another.


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