Hidden gems in fantasy football can be found on the final day of the NFL draft, and we’ll identify the most likely contributors in 2019. Each player is ordered in expected relevancy.
1) RB Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers: Is there a more throwback Steelers pick than this battering ram? The Kentucky standout craves contact and churns out yards after contact. He’ll enter as No. 3 on the depth chart, in all likelihood, and gives Pittsburgh insurance for James Conner. Jaylen Samuels should be the primary change-up and third-down option. Snell is a must-handcuff for Conner owners and a speculative RB5.
2) RB Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens: Smart pick and fits what Baltimore is going for on offense — the brain trust knows Lamar Jackson needs help, and a big-play weapon like Hill a means to affordably give their offense another way to limit Jackson’s stress. Hill has RB4 draft worth and could be better if he secures the primary backup role right early in camp.
3) RB Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys: With almost nothing behind Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard stands a strong chance of being Zeke’s immediate backup out of the gates. The Memphis product isn’t an elite receiving threat but could handle the third-down work, and the rock if Elliott goes down. He has handcuff potential and should be a speculative pick late in drafts.
4) WR Hakeem Butler, Arizona Cardinals: He’ll get a shot on the outside to make a name for himself in the red zone. Standing 6-foot-5, 227 pounds, Butler is the second rookie receiver added by Arizona to help Kyler Murray succeed. Gamers could be looking at an inconsistent source of cheap touchdown production, especially in DFS.
5) WR Gary Jennings, Seattle Seahawks: While he needs time to develop, Jennings is a sound possession receiver and could be called upon sooner than expected if the reports about Doug Baldwin possibly being forced into early retirement are indeed true. Monitor this situation as the offseason wears on.
6) RB Ryquell Armstead, Jacksonville Jaguars: Given the seemingly endless headache that is Leonard Fournette, in addition to Alfred Blue’s mediocrity, Armstead has a puncher’s chance of contributing in fantasy this year. Stash his name as someone to follow up with later in the summer to see how his progress is coming along. At a minimum, he’s one inevitable Fournette injury away from at least having a share of the workload.
7) WR Kelvin Harmon, Washington Redskins: He plays with charisma and has an opportunity to put his substantial frame (6-foot-2, 221 pounds) to good use. The Redskins have several paths to playing time at the position, and Harmon could quickly force his way onto the field as a chain-mover. Late-round flier material in PPR.
8) WR Riley Ridley, Chicago Bears: Down the line, Ridley could develop into a worthwhile fantasy contributor. He’ll need considerable help in 2019 to see enough playing time to matter; injuries are always a way for this to happen, of course. Store his name the ole memory bank in case Calvin Ridley’s brother gets his shot.
9) WR Hunter Renfrow, Oakland Raiders: He’ll be buried on the depth chart, and while a clutch catch or two could come to his credit as a rookie, Renfrow’s immediate fantasy value isn’t on the radar.
10) RB Bryce Love, Washington Redskins: While he won’t have much, if any, of an impact in 2019 due to recovery from a torn ACL, Love could mix with Derrius Guice, provided he, too, can recover from an ACL tear of his own. Perhaps if Adrian Peterson succumbs to injury or Father Time, Love could have a marginal role late in 2019.
Honorable mention: RB Mike Weber, Dallas Cowboys