The 2018 NFL season is officially over, congrats to the New England Patriots on winning their 6th Super Bowl in franchise history. Now, as we head into another long off-season, I’m sure plenty of you are scrambling, trying to figure what you are supposed to do all day without football around. Stop worrying so much! Obviously, it’s time to start getting ready for your 2019 Fantasy football draft. It’s never too early to start prepping for Fantasy, so today, I will go through my early top 5 at each position, with a short analysis for each ranking.
(All rankings will be based on full PPR scoring)
Staring off with 2018’s rookie of the year, Saquon Barkley could not have found himself in a better position last season in a Giants offense that was forced to rely on him heavily, both running and catching the ball. The combination of an aging QB and a bad O-line actually helped Barkley reach his star status. With Manning constantly pressured he was forced to check it down to Barkley, A LOT! Regardless of who is playing QB in NY next season, Saquon Barkley will be the center-piece of that offense and should get 20-plus touches a game.
Coming in at No.2 is LA Rams star RB Todd Gurley. Even after Gurley’s disappointing Playoff performance I still fully expect him to be just as great next year as he was these last 2 seasons. The Rams have shown a serious commitment to the run, especially near the goal line where Gurley is almost unstoppable. After HC Sean McVays’s questionable usage of Gurley throughout this year’s Playoffs, I think he will be forced to get back to the basics of pounding the rock with one of the leagues best.
Cowboys star RB Ezekiel Elliott is coming off another spectacular season, leading the Cowboys to the Playoffs and to a home Playoff win before losing to the Rams in the Divisional round. Going into last year I was not a huge fan of Zeke because he wasn’t nearly as involved in the passing game as other top RB’s. He proved me wrong in 2018 finishing 5thamong backs in receptions with 77. If Zeke keeps getting his 20-plus carries and 4-6 catches a game, he is in store for another monster year.
Over the past 2 seasons I don’t think there has been a more exciting player to watch in the NFL than Alvin Kamara. When the ball is in his hand’s he’s lightning fast while extremely powerful as well. Even with veteran Mark Ingram taking almost half the snaps, Kamara still finished 4thin total points and was a nightmare for opposing defenses. Going into 2019 Ingram is a free agent and most expect that he will not return to the Big Easy. With Ingram very possibly on his way out of town I expect Kamara to take his game to a whole other level with full control of this backfield.
2018’s highest scoring RB, Christian McCaffrey rounds out this list coming in at No.5. I would have ranked McCaffrey even higher if it weren’t for the health issues of starting QB Cam Newton. With McCaffrey’s usage in the passing game he is PPR gold, catching 107 passes last year, unreal numbers. McCaffrey averaged over 7 targets a game while also getting close to 14 carries a game, those kind of touches for a player of his caliber is deadly. Cam’s injury is definitely something to keep an eye on, but as long as someone competent is at QB for him, McCaffrey should dominate once again.
Packers star WR Davante Adams has not-so quietly become one of the league’s best at his position racking up a line of 111/1,386/13 last year in only 15 games. Adams has scored 35 TD’s since 2016, only 1 behind Antonio Brown in that time span. Just like I mentioned for Russell Wilson, TD’s are the most important thing in Fantasy, and no one gets targeted in the red zone more than Adams. He was targeted in the red zone 31 times last year alone, that’s over 2 per game! With Aaron Rodgers showing complete trust in him in the biggest moments I am confident that Davante Adams will be 2019’s No.1 WR.
Deandre “Nuke” Hopkins in an absolute freak! With his size, speed and strength he is any CB’s nightmare. The only reason I don’t have Hopkins at No.1 is because I don’t see him scoring as many TD’s as Adams, but he may very well end up next year’s top wideout based off catches and yards alone. Nuke finished last year with 115/1,572/11 an absolutely incredible stat line. Reaching 115 catches and 1,500 yards is not something you see very often in the NFL and I think Hopkins can very possibly repeat those gaudy numbers. It’s very clear QB DeShaun Watson wants to get him the ball as much as possible, making Hopkins worthy of a round 1 selection.
Has anyone ever started a season hotter than Michael Thomas did last year for the Saints. In weeks 1-3, Thomas caught 28 balls for 398 yards and 3 TD’s, in 3 games! Thomas was targeted 147 times throughout the year which comes out to over 9 targets a game! Drew Brees looked for him time and time again and I see no reason that changes in 2019. Look for Thomas to build off this monster season and continue his fantasy dominance.
Lots of drama surrounding my No.4 WR Antonio Brown. After a very public falling out with the Steelers front office and a practice session fight with QB Ben Roethlisberger, the fate of the star WR is looking pretty murky. No one knows where he will be playing next season, but does it matter? AB is a generational talent who should be unstoppable anywhere he ends up. Brown’s ability to beat a defense in the red zone has to be his most valuable trait, scoring 15 TD’s in 2018, leading all WR’s. Regardless of where Brown ends up playing next season he needs to be one of the first WR’s taken in all drafts.
5- Tyreek Hill
I am now realizing I may have been wrong earlier when I called Alvin Kamara the leagues most exciting player, it’s this guy. Tyreek “Cheetah” Hill. I don’t care if you are a Chiefs fan, a Packers fan or don’t even know what football is, watching Tyreek Hill with the ball in his hands is must-see TV! I’ve never seen someone blows passed defenders like Hill. He catches a ball with 3 guys surrounding him and with one quick step he gets around all of them and scores. Andy Reid is very creative in the way he uses Hill from the slot to the backfield and even returning punts, he is always around the ball. If this was standard scoring, Hill would have a really good shot at being the top scorer, but in PPR he is downgraded just a little. Look to grab Hill somewhere in the 14th-18th pick range, even that spot could be a steal if he repeats his 2018 success.