George Kittle ADP 30, Tight End #3
There, I finally said it. I am out on George Kittle in 2019. He had an awesome 2018. Should he be going at 3.10 just five picks after Zach Ertz? Absolutely not. This is the fantasy industry doing what we call “chasing points.”
George Kittle is currently going in mock drafts between Kerryon Johnson and Stefan Diggs at the end of the third round. That is a place where you should still be picking running backs and wide receivers. I would need guaranteed production of an Ertz or Kelce to pull the tight end trigger that early, and Kittle is NOT the guy.
In 2019 Kittle will see the return of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who has not favored the tight end position. Last season over our (admittedly small) sample, Kittle would have only had 64 catches for 1,018 yards and 0 touchdowns with Garoppolo. This offense restocked their receiving corps with weapons like Deebo Samuel, Jordan Matthews and Jalen Hurd. On the ground we add Tevin Coleman to the oft injured Matt Breida and returning Jerick McKinnon.
Anyone who tells you they can predict anything about this 49ers team is lying. What we can be sure of is that George Kittle is NO LONGER the only offensive producer in San Francisco and he will NOT be on my team come draft day.
Evan Engram ADP 62, Tight End #5
More than two rounds after George Kittle is being taken you can land a solid tight end without losing all that running back and wide receiver value. Currently the 6.02, Evan Engram packs all the upside while still allowing you to fill your other offensive slots FIRST.
Evan Engram has showed us the goods. His 6’3” 240 pound frame has the speed and the size to get open and create mismatches all over the field. If Engram can stay healthy his floor will be about 70 catches for 800 yards and 5 touchdowns. In 2018 that would be tight end #9 as his FLOOR.
Engram WILL see more targets, more yardage, and more touchdowns in 2019- the only question is how MANY more. With the departure of OBJ and with Sterling Shepard moving from the slot to the outside I fully expect Engram to be the Giants second big weapon on offense in 2019. When the time comes to pass the torch to Daniel Jones you can bet Engram will be called upon for that safety valve role.
Josh Jacobs ADP 37, Running Back #20
I get the “shiny new toy” that is Josh Jacobs, but I really want to pump the brakes here on the suspected “workhorse” back in Oakland. Josh Jacobs has never touched a football more than 140 times in a season. In his last year with Alabama he had only 14 combined touchdowns and under 900 yards while splitting time with Damien and Najee Harris.
We have no idea how Jacobs will adjust to the featured role we expect in 2019. Combine that with the risk of a poor offense, league-worst defense, and bad field position and we have a possible bust at pick 3.11. Save your first four rounds for players you can trust.
David Montgomery ADP 39, Running Back #21
Just two picks later in drafts you can find a rookie who combined for 1,350 yard and 13 touchdowns in college in 2018. David Montgomery has the opportunity to become the feature back of the Chicago Bears. His only real competition is Mike Davis who signed a backup’s contract (owed just $2 million in 2019) and who will be a non-issue once Montgomery gets going.
To this good situation we can add a league-best defense and great field position. Montgomery is going to have red zone opportunities and will pair beautifully with change of pace and receiving back Tarik Cohen. When Cohen and ex-Bear Jordan Howard teamed up during the 2017 season, Howard had 276 rushes for 1,122 yards and 9 touchdowns and STILL had 23 catches for 125 yards. That would have landed Howard in the RB #15 range for 2018. I see this as the absolute FLOOR for David Montgomery- a player who will reward you handsomely for your trust on draft day.
Jarvis Landry ADP 57, Wide Receiver #24
At this point last year Browns’ depth chart featured Josh Brown (who wasn’t cut until the middle of September after injuring himself on his way to a promotional photo shoot), Corey Coleman, and Jeff Janice WITH Darren Fells at TE and Carlos Hyde at RB.
OBJ is a new threat added to the offense, one who was targeted 124 times in 2019. Kareem Hunt will also eat into targets after his return from suspension. Antonio Calloway is moving up the depth chart. That is just too many additions and not enough subtractions in targets on the Browns.
As they were, Landry had only 32 catches for 448 yards and 2 touchdowns in the second half of 2018. He had only 81 catches in 2019 and there is NO REASON for that to go up. I don’t want to hear about how Odell Beckham is going to open the field to Landry- especially since the Browns have been running 2, even 3 tight end sets under Freddy Kitchens and forcing Landry to the outside! I am O-U-T OUT on Jarvis Landry at his current draft cost.
DJ Moore ADP 63, Wide Receiver #25
DJ Moore officially became a starter in week 7 of the 2018 season. From that time until game 14 (when Cam Newton finally took his lame-duck arm to the bench) Moore was on a 16 game pace for 78 catches, 1,109 yards and 2 touchdowns. That pace would put him at wide receiver #23 on the season between Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Williams.
DJ Moore was Panthers’ first round pick in 2018 and was expected to be a future franchise star. With Devin Funchess and his 79 targets moving to the Colts I expect another step forward in Moore’s progression if he can improve on his 67.1% catch rate from 2018. It is possible, even probable that Moore sees 80 receptions for 1,100 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2019. That would land him in the WR #16 range as the Tyler Boyd of this fantasy season.
Instead of chasing the past production of Jarvis Landry you could take the up and coming start that is DJ Moore. At his current draft location of 6.02 you can draft him as a flex and see him develop into an every week starter.