Jason Radowitz ranks his top players in each position to make sure you win your fantasy football league.
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A lot can happen in a fantasy football league throughout the season. The draft matters, but if you’re not active throughout the season, the person that is, will win. Injuries happen. Each team also has a bye week during the season. Back-ups turn into starters and all-stars begin to hold-out. It’s a hectic time. But that’s what makes fantasy football so great. To make sure you’re prepared, I’ve decided to put together my personal rankings at each position. If you’re stuck on deciding between two players, my rankings can help you decide.
Tier One (TOP QB’S)
Mahomes had the best fantasy football season ever. He threw a touchdown pass every 9 passes last season. In 16 games, Mahomes threw for 5097 yards with 50 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. It’s hard to see Mahomes return to his first-year campaign. His former star running back, Kareem Hunt was let go in the middle of last season due to assault. He’s now with the Browns. His big-time wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, had allegations of domestic abuse. He has not been suspended, however, but he did bruise his knee during training camp. With all of this said, Mahomes still has enough talent around him to be the best quarterback of the draft. If you want the best quarterback, draft Mahomes.
If Mahomes isn’t the top fantasy quarterback this season, it’s going to be Watson. Watson has a stellar running game but it was interrupted during the middle of the season when he was dealing with a chest injury. Watson only threw for 26 touchdowns, but receivers Will Fuller and Keke Coutee were sidelined during the year with their own injuries. Fuller, Coutee, Watson, and Hopkins are healthy and ready to compete. 40 total touchdowns for Watson isn’t out of the realm.
Rodgers and the Packers were a disaster last season. While Rodgers played in all 16 games, he was banged up for half of them. He still threw 25 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Rodgers is back to being healthy and he has an entire new coaching staff, in which he’s in favor of. Rodgers said he’ll be able to be more creative under new coach Matt LaFleur. I believe him.
Baker has all the weapons to succeed in his first full season under center with the Browns, including Odell Beckham paired with Jarvis Landy. This should be fun.
Tier Two (The Next Best)
Wilson recently agreed to a 140 million dollar deal. Expectations should be high. But if his pass attempts continue to dip in 2019, he’ll be hanging on to the Top 10.
Tier Three (Likely Back-ups in your 10-team league)
Jimmy G was sidelined with a nasty knee injury in his first go-around with the 49ers. He’s reportedly looked in solid shape during training camp and his own head coach said that he has no limits on scrambling. There’s potential here.
17-32: Sam Darnold, Matthew Stafford, Mitch Trubisky, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Mitch Trubisky, Derek Carr, Nick Foles, Marcus Mariota, Kirk Cousins, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Keep an eye on: Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock
Tier One (TOP RB’s)
The Giants had a season to forget last season. The offensive line was awful and yet Barkley was still able to win the Rookie of the Year over Baker Mayfield. Not only did he have 1300 yards rushing, he caught 91 passes for 721 yards. Yup, that’s over 2,000 all purpose yards with a dreadful offensive line. Also, the Giants … they were kinda losing in the second half of the season which meant less carries for Barkley. I don’t think it could get any worse than last season. Select Barkley with confidence he’ll improve his numbers this season.
If your league adds points for receptions, McCaffery is your guy. Not only did McCaffery have just under 1100 rushing yards, he gained 867 receiving yards on 107 completions. He had wide receiver numbers in addition to his rushing numbers. The Panthers have said they might consider scaling back McCaffery’s workload, but if the game’s on the line, they don’t have a choice but to play their biggest playmaker.
When Mark Ingram left during Free Agency, fantasy owners were pumped. Kamara was suppose to get more carries with Ingram’s departure. Not so fast… The Saints signed Latavious Murry to basically do exactly what Ingram did. But here’s why you shouldn’t worry… In 15 games, Kamara contributed just under 900 yards on the ground and 709 yards receiving. Murray is not Ingram. There’s question marks all around Murray. There’s more upside to Kamara this year than the previous. I expect big things from Alvin this season.
David Johnson has been extremely disappointing, but the Cardinals have made a ton of changes offensively and this figures to go in Johnson’s favor. Johnson ran for 940 yards last season and saw only 50 receptions on the year. I’m thinking Johnson sees quite a few passes from the number one overall pick Kyler Murray. This could be a dynamic duo for the Arizona Cardinals.
It looks like Le’Veon Bell is healthy. It looks like he’s back to himself this season. Bell held out of last season due to negotiations to re-sign that fell through with Pittsburgh. The Jets spent a ton of money this off-season and bring a second-year quarterback in Darnold to the table. I also expect Bell to see more receptions than any Jet running back has seen in quite some time. Bell could easily be top three when the season is over.
***Potential holdouts. Until I know that Elliott and Gordon are going to play this season, I will not be drafting either of them. I’m drafting a sure thing. Elliott and Gordon figure to be Top 5 running backs this season, but they’re not even Top 100 if they don’t play.
Tier Two (Solid RB2’s)
Tier Three (Borderline starters/Potential Flex)
Ronald Jones II
Tier Four (Solid Back-Ups)
If Gordon remains out, Ekler could have a bigger role to start the season. He would become Tier 2 material.
Ballage has a chance to beat out Drake for the starting job in Miami. There’s potential here.
He’s been suspended for eight games, but clearly Hunt has some talent. He could help your push into the playoffs.
41-60: Duke Johnson, Gus Edwards, Peyton Barber, Matt Braida, Ito Smith, Carlos Hyde, Jaylen Samuels, Damion Harris, Jamaal Williams, Tony Pollard, Giovani Bernard, CJ Anderson, Chris Thompson, Adrian Peterson, Justice Hill, Elijah McGuire, Mike Davis, Chase Edmonds, Frank Gore, Rex Burkhead.
Tier One (TOP WR’s)
The Texans passing game is about to get scary. Watson is healthy, along with fellow receivers Coutee and Fuller. Having these guys back will give the opposition a headache. Hopkins has the best hands in football. In 16 games, Hopkins brought in 11 touchdowns on 1500+ yards. He’s the best receiver in the game. His numbers could increase this season. Imagine that.
Aaron Rodgers had such an off-year last season that he only threw 25 touchdowns on the season. Mahomes threw 50 to put that into perspective. Adams finished the season third in fantasy football wideouts and his quarterback could barely move on foot. I’m convinced Rodgers is healthy and if he throws even 10 more touchdowns, Adams’ numbers will rise. The Packers have already said that they want to get Adams the ball more this season.
The best trait about Jones is that he stays healthy. He’s played 14 games in five straight seasons. He’s a force. Jones joked that he’s looking to receive for 3,000 yards. While that might be far out of reach, you can tell he’s ready for this season. Last season, Jones only scored eight times. I fully expect him to score about 12 touchdowns this season. Is was a weird season for Jones where he couldn’t find the endzone for what felt like an eternity. Not this year.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell wasn’t too fond of his time in New York playing with Eli Manning. Now he gets to showcase his skills with former first overall pick, Baker Mayfield. This should be fun. Predicting Odell’s stats will be impossible, but you can bet he’ll have better numbers than he had last year (before injury) in New York. He’s a safe top-five pick.
With Antonio Brown in Oakland, it’s JuJu’s team now. I project him to have more fantasy points and a better season than Brown. Oakland still seems like a mess. Pittsburgh will always be a winning franchise with guys that contribute like all-star’s. JuJu is ready.
Allen caught 97 receptions for 2000 yards. I fully expect Allen, if healthy, to bring in over 100 receptions this season. He’ll score eight touchdowns too. He’s a WR1. Don’t be fooled.
Tier Two (Your Second Receiver)
Tier Three (Low End 2nd WR or Potential Flex)
Green suffered an ankle injury during training camp. He’s out 6-8 weeks, meaning he won’t miss too much time, but there could always be a set-back. I’m likely staying away from drafting Green unless I can get him late.
Tier Four (Desperate Bench Pieces or Low-End Flex)
41-60: Courtland Sutton, Quincy Enunwa, Kenny Stills, Curtis Samuel, Geronimo Allison, Keke Coutee, N’Keal Harry, Donte Moncrief, Devin Funchess, John Brown, Tyrell Williams, Michael Gallup, Robert Foster, DK Metcalf, DeVante Parker, Tre’Quan Smith, James Washington, Albert Wilson, Parris Campbell, Deebo Samuel
Tier One (Treated like a WR)
The debate between who is better, Kelce or Gronkowski is over. Gronk is retired. Kelce is the best TE in the game with the best QB in the game throwing him the ball. Kelce had 150 targets last season, which was fourth all-time for tight ends in a season. Kelce is basically putting up WR1 numbers. In a position that can become highly unpredictable, Kelce gives you a consistent body of work each week.
Kittle caught 88 passes for 1377 yards with back-up quarterbacks. The 49ers got their man back in Jimmy G and Kittle will be all up in the plans. The 49ers have rebuilt their wide receiver core. Some believe this might hurt Kittle this season, but there’s just no way Kittle does worse this year with a legitimate quarterback. If you miss out on Kelce, Kittle is a great second option.
Kelce had 150 targets. Ertz had 156 targets. That’s how much volume Ertz gets during the season. Sure, just like the 49ers, they’ve added some new targets that could bring Ertz’s usage down, but he’s in the plans and will be a major factor moving forward. At tight end, it’s important to find guys that are consistently putting up numbers. Ertz will do that. Carson Wentz is finally looking to get a full season in at full health. Let’s hope for Ertz’s sake, it happens.
Tier Two (TE’s you can wait for that will produce!)
With Antonio Brown and Jesse James out of the picture, Vance McDonald looks like a Top 10 tight end this season … just like last season. McDonald ranked as the 10th best tight end a season ago. With the subtraction of Jesse James, McDonald should reach top 10 again.
Tier Three (Draft if you MUST. Solid back-ups)
19-30: Matt LaCosse, Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph, Chris Herndon IV, Dallas Goedert, Mike Gesicki, Jesse James, Geoff Swaim, Gerald Everett, Tyler Eifert, Nick Vannett, Will Dissly, Irv Smith Jr. Ricky Seals-Jones.
When it comes to defenses and kickers, I like to take it week by week. Pick a defense mid-late and your kicker last. Like I said previously, stay active and you’ll more than likely make the playoffs. Draft well and stay active and you’re going to win the damn thing. If you have any comments about the rankings, whether you like them or disagree, mention me on Twitter @Jason_Radowitz and we can discuss our opinions nicely!