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Fantasy Football 2018: Top-50 Player Rankings and 4-Round 12-Team Mock Draft

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2018

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

We're about to head into the month of August, so it's time to start thinking more and more about fantasy football and your draft strategy.

Things change plenty from year to year in terms of who the first-round draft picks will be and their slotting in that round.

Exciting rookie prospects like New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley have entered the league and will impact your fantasy league in a gigantic way.

Here, let's look at some fantasy football rankings as well as a four-round mock draft to give you an idea of what to prepare for when you draft this month and into September.

        

Top 50 Rankings

1. Todd Gurley

2. Le'Veon Bell

3. Antonio Brown

4. David Johnson

5. Ezekiel Elliott

6. Alvin Kamara

7. Saquon Barkley

8. DeAndre Hopkins

9. Julio Jones

10. Odell Beckham Jr.

11. Melvin Gordon

12. Leonard Fournette

13. Kareem Hunt

14. Michael Thomas

15. Keenan Allen

16. Davante Adams

17. A.J. Green

18. Mike Evans

19. Doug Baldwin

20. Dalvin Cook

21. Rob Gronkowski

22. Christian McCaffrey

23. T.Y. Hilton

24. Devonta Freeman

25. Tyreek Hill

26. Travis Kelce

27. Adam Thielen

28. Jerick McKinnon

29. Larry Fitzgerald

30. Aaron Rodgers

31. Zach Ertz

32. Stefon Diggs

33. Jordan Howard

34. Joe Mixon

35. Golden Tate

36. Alex Collins

37. Josh Gordon

38. Allen Robinson

39. Alshon Jeffery

40. Kenyan Drake

41. Tom Brady

42. Demaryius Thomas

43. Russell Wilson

44. Michael Crabtree

45. LeSean McCoy

46. JuJu Smith-Schuster

47. Amari Cooper

48. Jarvis Landry

49. Jay Ajayi

50. Derrius Guice

       

Round 1

Team 1: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Team 2: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Team 3: Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Team 4: David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Team 5: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Team 6: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

Team 7: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

Team 8: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Team 9: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Team 10: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants

Team 11: Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Team 12: Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

       

Round 2

Team 1: Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Team 2: Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

Team 3: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Team 4: Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

Team 5: A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Team 6: Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Team 7: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Team 8: Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Team 9: Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

Team 10: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

Team 11: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Team 12: Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

         

Round 3

Team 1: Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Team 2: Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Team 3: Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Team 4: Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Team 5: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Team 6: Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Team 7: Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Team 8: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Team 9: Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Team 10: Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions

Team 11: Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears

Team 12: Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

        

Round 4

Team 1: Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

Team 2: Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

Team 3: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Team 4: Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins

Team 5: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

Team 6: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Team 7: Michael Crabtree, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Team 8: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Team 9: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Team 10: LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

Team 11: Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

Team 12: Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

        

Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

It doesn't happen all that often, but when a talent like Barkley comes around, you can't help but pay attention.

Booked as a first-round pick in the above mock, Barkley has all the tools and opportunity to thrive with the Giants. The team hasn't had much in the way of a running game since Ahmad Bradshaw nearly a decade ago, but now it has a phenom on its hands.

In years past, the Giants have also suffered from a horrific offensive line. This offseason, the Giants addressed that by signing left tackle Nate Solder and drafting guard Will Hernandez.

With quarterback Eli Manning getting older, they'll need to rely more on the running game to protect him.

Even with Manning aging, their skill-position players—especially on the receiver depth chart—will not allow for defenses to stack to the box against Barkley.

When you need to defend talents like wide receiver Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Evan Engram, you can't solely focus on Barkley or you'll get burned one way or the other.

Barkley is on pace for a season similar to that of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott when he ran for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns.

       

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

Missing two games in 2017, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski still managed to catch 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

That was with a roster that had Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola at wide receiver.

In 2018, Cooks and Amendola are both gone. Though they are getting fellow wide receiver Julian Edelman back from an ACL tear, he's suspended the first four games of the season.

That leaves a receiving depth chart of Gronk and wide receivers Chris Hogan and Jordan Matthews as the main options, at least for the first four games (Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans.

None of those teams ranked above 20th in defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) against opposing tight ends in 2017. Their personnel at the positions that defend tight ends is relatively the same.

Don't hesitate to draft Gronk. He will be a fantastic asset to have in 2018.

         

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

With how tumultuous his offseason has been with domestic violence allegations, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy presents some obvious risk.

Since the initial accusation, though, McCoy has reported to training camp and his accuser, his ex-girlfriend Delicia Cordon, has said that she's not certain whether or not he was involved.

According to Bills insider Chris Brown, the Bills are letting the police handle the investigation and McCoy will be at camp in the meantime:

Chris Brown @ChrisBrownBills

Beane: McCoy is here. Ready to roll. It’s a police investigation. It’s in their hands. #Bills

For fantasy purposes, McCoy is in a backfield all by himself with either a rookie quarterback in Josh Allen or an inexperienced one in AJ McCarron. He'll get the majority of the snaps with Chris Ivory behind him on the depth chart.

Touching the ball 346 times in 2017, there's no reason that McCoy wouldn't reach or eclipse that in 2018, especially with the quarterbacks around him.

There's some risk if the NFL does suspend McCoy, so that's why you're seeing him go a bit later in the mock posted up above.

If he's there for 16 games, he's in RB1 range.

        

Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference and Football Outsiders.

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