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NFL Pre-Draft Rookie Rankings

We are finally here, Draft Day. Later today we will get to watch our favorite NFL franchises excite and infuriate us. Even better, following the pick of Mr. Irrelevant on Saturday, we will begin the process of preparing for our dynasty drafts. Whether you have a draft the following day or in a few months, the rookie draft is one of the most exciting parts of a dynasty season. In this article I will rank the players in their respective positions and place them in tiers, that I feel they are in based on their college careers and what I think will translate into the NFL. These rankings are pre-draft only in that the landing spot could dramatically change the fantasy outlook for these players, but these ranking serve as a basis for the fantasy football skill sets heading into the draft. At the bottom of the tier listing and comments you will find a table of our consensus rankings. Once the dust settles and the draft is complete we will give a full ranking update and go over all of the fantasy implications.


My quarterback ranks are pretty standard compared to most, though I do love Baker Mayfield. While I feel all the quarterbacks listed in the top two tiers could possibly start for NFL teams. The two Quarterbacks in the third tier could be in play in the right situations.

Tier 1

  • Baker Mayfield
  • Sam Darnold
  • Josh Rosen
  • Lamar Jackson

Tier 2

  • Josh Allen
  • Mason Rudolph
  • Chase Litton

Tier 3

  • Luke Faulk
  • Kyle Lauletta

Running Backs

While some feel this running back class isn’t that deep, I disagree and love this class. While Barkley and Guice are far and away the best backs in this class, I think the top four in tier two could jump up a tier. I also feel this class is rich and deep with satellite backs (notated by the * next to their names.) Tier two is full of running backs that could get a shot at a starting job and run away with it pun intended.

Tier 1

  • Saquon Barkley
  • Derrius Guice

Tier 2

  • Royce Freeman
  • Sony Michel
  • Nick Chubb
  • Ronald Jones
  • Josh Adams
  • Rashaad Penny
  • Nyheim Hines*
  • John Kelly
  • Mark Walton
  • Kerryon Johnson
  • Ito Smith*
  • Akrum Wadley*
  • Justin Jackson*

Tier 3

  • Kalen Ballage
  • Chase Edmonds
  • Phillip Lindsay*
  • Bo Scarbrough
  • Jordan Wilkins*
  • Larry Rose III*

Wide Receivers

It is widely considered to be a weak wide receiver class. While I agree it lacks depth at the top with possible stud wide receiver one archetypes. This draft is deep in wide receiver talent. My top three I could all see being or becoming one’s for their teams. Tier two is full of players I think will become wide receiver two’s on their teams and likely middle tier two’s or high three’s in fantasy, with most of them having the possibility of jumping into the top tier. My tier three wide receivers I see has upside players who could break out but likely will be boom or bust options in fantasy. Remember when looking at wide receivers you need to take a long look at the position, as it usually takes most players up to three years to become fantasy relevant.

Tier 1

  • D.J. Moore
  • Courtland Sutton
  • Equanimeous St. Brown

Tier 2

  • Anthony Miller
  • Calvin Ridley
  • Christian Kirk
  • James Washington
  • D.J. Chark
  • Michael Gallup
  • DeSean Hamilton
  • Antonio Callaway

Tier 3

  • Dante Pettis
  • Tre’Quan Smith
  • Jordan Lasley
  • Deon Cain
  • Keke Coutee
  • Braxton Berrios

Tight Ends

Tight End has in many ways become a premium position in fantasy football. If you don’t have a top one chances are you stuck in the middle of the pack with everyone else. In this draft I feel all seven tight ends could become fantasy relevant. Tight ends much like wide receivers tend to take at least a year to transition to the NFL game. All three tight ends in tier two could jump into tier one, however I feel Goedert is far away the best tight end coming out this year. Also right now if your looking for a sleeper at the position keep your eye on tier three and Ian Thomas.

Tier 1

  • Dallas Goedert

Tier 2

  • Hayden Hurst
  • Mark Andrews
  • Mike Gesicki

Tier 3

  • Ian Thomas
  • Chris Herndon
  • Dalton Schultz

Consensus Rankings

Below you will find a complete listing of the pre-draft positional rookie rankings of both Matt Mesisca (@Mesisca) and Matthew Bruening (@SportsfanaticMB). In addition to contacting us on twitter, feel free to drop a comment below. We love to discuss dynasty and answer questions!

D.J. MooreWR111
Courtland SuttonWR222
Calvin RidleyWR534
Equanimeous St. BrownWR375
Christian KirkWR655.5
James WashingtonWR745.5
Anthony MillerWR4107
Michael GallupWR967.5
D.J. CharkWR898.5
DaeSean HamiltonWR101110.5
Tre-Quan SmithWR13911
Antonio CallawayWR111412.5
Dante PettisWR121312.5
Deon CainWR151213.5
Jordan LasleyWR14NR14
Deontay BurnettWRNR1515
Keke CouteeWR161616
Braxton BerriosWR17NR17
Auden TateWRNR1717
Dallas GoedertTE121.5
Mike GesickiTE412.5
Hayden HurstTE243
Mark AndrewsTE333
Ian ThomasTE555
Chris HerndonTE6NR6
Dalton SchultzTE7NR7
Saquon BarkleyRB111
Derrius GuiceRB222
Royce FreemanRB364.5
Nick ChubbRB544.5
Ronald JonesRB655.5
Rashaad PennyRB835.5
Sony MichelRB496.5
Nyheim HinesRB988.5
Josh AdamsRB7119
Kerryon JohnsonRB1279.5
Mark WaltonRB111010.5
John KellyRB101211
Ito SmithRB131514
Akrum WadleyRB14NR14
Justin JacksonRB151314
Kalen BallageRB161415
Chase EdmondsRB17NR17
Bo ScarbroughRB191617.5
Phillip LindsayRB18NR18
Jordan WilkinsRB20NR20
Larry Rose IIIRB21NR21
Baker MayfieldQB121.5
Lamar JacksonQB412.5
Sam DarnoldQB243
Josh RosenQB333
Josh AllenQB555
Mason RudolphQB666
Chase LittonQB7NR7
Luke FaulkQB8NR8
Kyle LaulettaQB9NR9




The Author

Matthew Bruening

Matthew Bruening

1 Comment

  1. […] shares their tiered, positional rookie rankings prior to the 2018 NFL […]

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