The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Dynasty rookie WR Part 3


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The Ugly: N’Keal Harry, Jalen Hurd, Parris Campbell, Hakeem Butler

Part 3 of the rookie WR series.  We’re going to look at some receivers who had “the ugly” part of the game come fast……

N’Keal Harry:

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The first-round selection by the New England Patriots in April there was an immediate buzz around N’Keal. Placed on I.R. early, Harry is returning to practice and it couldn’t come any sooner. With Gordon potentially being sidelined and nobody reliable behind Julian Edelman, he may be asked to take on a significant role soon. Many have forgotten about him with the brief signing of Antonio Brown and preseason darling Jakobi Meyers (who had a good game with Gordon going out). You need to grab him now as New England has announced he’s a player going to potentially come off I.R.(Patriots have 21 days to officially activate him).

With route running you would expect from a slot WR, Harry can do it all. Lined up on the outside he can toe drag with the best, bunch formations he can take a short screen to the house. Defenders will have to guard Edelman and Sony Michel is a threat on the ground so N’Keal should be able to work one-on-one against the opposing team’s corners. With first-round draft capital, the opportunities should be there.

What to do going forward in Dynasty:

Whether you need wide receivers or not and as long as you have space, you should be rostering Harry. If he’s already owned, I’d imagine the buy low window has slammed shut and you will have to pay. The odds that Harry will increase in value from the price you paid for him this season and offseason, are significantly better than not.

Jalen Hurd:

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A player I’m excited to see when he gets his chance, Jalen was selected with the 67th pick by the 49ers. At 6’5″ 225 pounds, he has the size and length to box out defending corners. Starting his collegiate career in Tennessee, he was a bruising force as a running back. In a backfield that had Alvin Kamara, Hurd established himself as a playmaker. Racking up 2635 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on 589 carries (4.5 y.p.c) and adding 67 catches for 492 yards and another 6 touchdowns.

After three years in Tennessee, Jalen transferred to Baylor. It was here Coach Rhule would convert him to a wide receiver. At Baylor, Jalen would go for 946 yards on 69 catches in his first year as a WR.

Poised to have a large role in the 49ers offense to start the year, it never materialized. After suffering a back injury in the preseason, San Francisco held out hope before placing him on injured reserve. Eligible to return week 13, he’s coming back right in time for fantasy playoffs. He is set to face the Saints, Falcons, and Rams to end the fantasy season. He’s worth picking up week 11 before the hype and rumors start up again. Still raw at WR and with only one year at the position, the athletic wideout can potentially grow into a future dynasty stud.

What to do going forward in Dynasty:

Wait until week 11 before adding Hurd if you need help at the WR position. You’ll be afforded one game before the fantasy playoffs start to see what, if any, packages they have installed for Jalen. Hopefully, he’s been studying the playbook inside and out in the meantime as he has a shot to become a difference-maker.

Parris Campbell:

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Parris is a conundrum to me as I’m not exactly sure what his NFL role will be. While looking like a T.Y. Hilton clone, Campbell wasn’t asked to do what Hilton does while at Ohio State. Posting an official 40 time of 4.31 he wasn’t used as a vertical threat, instead of on short and intermediate routes. I have no idea how he’ll track a deep pass over the shoulder.

Selected with the 59th pick, the dynasty community imagined years of an Andrew Luck connection that wasn’t meant to be. I do think that Jacoby Brissett is a fantasy upgrade. Most of the passes Jacoby throws are short routes that depend on YAC. So far though, Campbell has been disappointing, missing time with a hamstring injury and now an abdominal strain. Even worse has been his 6.2 y.p.c and little YAC, with Devin Funchess on I.R. there was hope for Campbell.

What to do going forward in Dynasty:

I personally don’t advise that you pick him up. While he flashed a bit, he never burned bright enough for me. With a lot of other options probably out there that will outperform him in the immediate and probably long term (Auden Tate, Duke Williams). I can’t justify a roster spot on Campbell at the moment, maybe he’ll prove me wrong but until then he should remain a free agent.

Hakeem Butler:

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A dominant looking WR, Hakeem fell in the draft and landed on the Arizona Cardinals. He was the second of three-wide receivers (Isabella, Butler, Johnson) picked. The largest of the three, 6’5″ 227 lbs, he’s also the biggest mystery and he was placed on season-long I.R.

As I highlighted with Isabella, next year is wide open behind Christian Kirk. While Isabella has higher draft capital, he does a lot of the same things Kirk does. Hakeem was seen as the better prospect pre-draft and the most likely benefactor of red-zone packages. Presumably forgotten about, the cheapest option of the four in this article, and a low-risk high reward. With a 36-inch vertical and a 128-inch broad jump, he boasts a big catch radius for Kyler Murray. If the Cardinals can improve the offensive line next year, the sky is the limit for this offense.

What to do going forward in Dynasty:

First-year struggles should have been expected in the Cardinals offense. With a year to refine it, Butler could be walking into an explosive offense as the go-to red-zone option. Having been placed on season-long I.R. he can also be waited on until the last wave of waivers to be added as an off-season stash.


In this three-part series, we looked at 12 rookie WR. Some who had immediate impacts, some disappointed and others never getting to the field yet. But the thing we must all remember when drafting rookie wide receivers, you don’t draft them for immediate production. You draft them for the traits they have exhibited in college and hopefully, it transitions well into the pros. I’d advise the pickups of Harry, Hurd, and Butler and pass on Campbell. Check back as next week I’ll start a series on rookie stashes in dynasty.

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