2019 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup: Baltimore Ravens

The 2019 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, and it’s time for the next part of the NFL calendar. That’s right… massive, rampant speculation! They will go through drills in shorts, and we will endlessly project and prognosticate on their fantasy football futures. There are 78 guys who might have fantasy football relevance after their names were called in Nashville. Our goal with our Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup series is to give you a quick hit on every one of these guys. By the end, you’ll know these guys better than their mothers know them. Because it’s not like their mothers are necessarily good at fantasy football.  

The Baltimore Ravens took a long, hard look in the mirror and decided they needed a lot more offensive weaponry for 2019. They went out and snagged Mark Ingram in free agency before spending four picks on new toys for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense, including two in the first three rounds. Are any of these guys worth it for your fantasy football drafts? 

Round 1, Pick 25 overall – Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma 

The Ravens took Hollywood Brown near the end of the first round of the NFL Draft. I know two things for certain about Brown: (1) he immediately becomes the best wide receiver on the roster, and (2) he probably won’t do much of value for fantasy football in 2019, and it may be considered a lost year. It’s not hard for the first point to be true, as the Ravens receiving room before Brown was one of the worst in the NFL (led by Willie Snead). 

As for #2… it’s hard to know where to start. First, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore offense. They’re run-first, through and through. Jackson proved that last season when the game plan was to hand the ball off with one second on the clock as many times as possible. If you want to doubt this, let me tell you the tale of John Brown. Before Lamar Jackson took over, John Brown, the 2018 Baltimore Ravens speedster, was on pace for a 56 catch, 998-yard (let’s call it 1,000 yards) season, with six scores. After Jackson took over, he failed to top 27 yards once and ate three games with single-digit yard games. That’s much worse than before if you are keeping track at home, and not something you want for fantasy football. 

Second, the Lisfranc injury is extraordinarily concerning for his rookie campaign, and it is absolutely insane that the ESPN broadcast acted like it was a question of him “being ready for training camp.” Lisfranc injuries are notoriously awful injuries, especially in the season following the injury. I won’t bore you with the details of the research, but “[a]lthough professional NFL athletes return to play at a high rate (83%) following Lisfranc injury, their league participation and performance is significantly decreased on return.” Nope. I don’t like that.  

Third, he is a little guy. At 5’9”, 166 pounds, the Ravens could have gotten the next DeSean Jackson, or they could have snagged the next Tavon Austin. He doesn’t have the greatest hands and was frequently blown up by college safeties. Thank God for Brown’s sake that new Ravens safety Earl Thomas won’t be able to tee off on him. However, he has great moves and can take a crosser to the house with his next-level speed and jukes. 

The Ravens hope Marquise Brown becomes Lamar Jackson’s preferred deep threat target for years to come. However, as of publishing, they hope he will be ready for pre-season camp. That does not bode well for him starting the season as a quality fantasy football asset, though he may develop into one as the season progresses and he gets his rapport with Jackson. Or it could be a lost season. Ignore him in redraft, but if you’re in a bind late in a best ball league, you could do worse. 


OPPORTUNITY (if uninjured) 

OPPORTUNITY (due to injury) 


Round 3, Pick 93 overall – Miles Boykin, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame 

I’m a big fan of what I saw of Miles Boykin on tape when he was given the opportunity to actually catch the dang football. Too much of his film is marred by various Notre Dame quarterbacks laying him out to dry or giving him impossible sideline balls to catch. However, he definitely popped on tape, and given that he gave a historic combine performance at 6’4” and 220 pounds, he is a name you should definitely learn going into the 2019 season, especially considering he’s already garnered praise-laden comparisons to Detroit’s Kenny Golladay.

While Hollywood Brown has the higher ceiling, he also has the lower floor. It would not be at all shocking to me if come 2020, Boykin, and not Brown, is the wide receiver to own in Baltimore. He’s a massive, athletic guy, with great hands (though focus is an issue) who can take the punishment not just along the route, but at the catch point. I love what I saw from Boykin on tape, and he has the size to match. 

What should we do with Boykin for 2019 fantasy football drafts? I would say he is an afterthought at this point, but someone who should be on your short list in case he pops. With Brown potentially on the shelf until October, the WR1 could be Boykin’s to start the season. If that happens, snag him with a late pick in your fantasy football drafts. If it doesn’t, wait and see. He’s a big bodied receiver with a my ball mentality, and he is already Miles ahead of the rest of the receiving room not named Marquise Brown. 


OPPORTUNITY (pending Marquise Brown’s foot injury) 


Round 4, Pick 133 overall – Justice Hill, Running Back, Oklahoma State 

Justice Hill is a lot of fun to watch on tape. He plays like his hair is on fire, always bouncing off of guys and hitting massive home runs. He’s just a smidge undersized at 5’10” and 198 pounds, but he has a lot of giddy up in his game. Haters might say that he runs with a too frenetic pace that doesn’t allow for things to open up ahead of him, and that his feet are faster than his head. They’ll also say that he has no second gear, and that he has trouble changing direction.  

However, Hill can take a sliver of space and crack that hole wide open, and his propensity for hitting home runs will do great for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to take a little dumpoff 50 or 60 yards to the house. The only question is if his home run hitting prediliction will translate into the NFL, or if he will get smacked down trying to run for 50 yards every play instead of 5. He’s a talented back, but he’s also behind two other talented backs in Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. Edwards doesn’t particularly concern me, especially considering Hill’s ideal role is as a change of pace, pass catching player. 

Justice Hill is going to be extremely frustrating to own in 2019 fantasy football leagues, so let someone else play that lottery ticket. Trying to slot him into your lineup will be like trying to play a game of Battleship, but with your annoying little brother who keeps moving the ships around when you aren’t looking. It’ll be insanely difficult for you to hit on him, and you’re likely to eat a bunch of zeroes until he hits, given that he will likely not surpass five touches in a game without some sort of injuries ahead of him. However, much like Hollywood Brown, he offers some intriguing value as a late pick in a best ball league. 




Round 6, Pick 197 overall – Trace McSorley, Quarterback, Penn State 

The first thing I do when I’m checking out these rookies for the roundup is go to Rotoworld to make sure I don’t get a big ol’ head of steam about someone who tore their ACL in training camp. I went to Trace McSorley’s Rotoworld page and learned that he is 23, 6’0”, a converted safety, and the Ravens are trying him out on punt returns. There’s not a chance in the world I am going to waste my time learning about this Taysom Hill knockoff for fantasy football. 




Like what you see? Looking for more hot content like this? Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup pieces, here!

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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