Fantasy Football 2019: Early Mock Draft and Rankings Before Training Camps

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 19, 2019

New York Giants' Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec., 30, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The wait is over, football fanatics. The NFL offseason is over. Sort of.

Four teams opened training camp Wednesday, and all 32 will get rolling within the next week. We will then get our first taste of preseason action when the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons lock horns in this year's Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 1.

We're saying all this as if we need justification to talk fantasy football, but let's be honest, that conversation never really stops.

That said, the sight of fantasy-football draft season on the horizon should be a reminder to everyone it's time to start plotting this year's can't-miss strategies.

We'll get the ball rolling with a mock first round, an early look at our top 30 overall rankings and three sleeper candidates worth your attention.

                 

2019 Fantasy Football Mock First Round

1. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

3. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

4. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

5. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

6. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

7. Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets

8. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

9. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

10. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

                  

2019 Fantasy Football Top 30

1. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

3. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

4. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

5. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

6. Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets

7. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

9. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

10. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

11. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

12. Todd Gurley II, RB, Los Angeles Rams

13. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

14. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

15. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

16. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

17. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns

18. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

19. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

20. Antonio Brown, WR, Oakland Raiders

21. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

22. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

23. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

24. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

25. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

26. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

27. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

28. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

29. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

30. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

                 

2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins

Perpetual growth has defined the early portion of Kenyan Drake's NFL career.

Each of his first three seasons has been his most productive to date. In 2019, his slew of personal bests included 173 touches, 5.8 yards per touch, 1,012 scrimmage yards and nine total touchdowns.

And all signs point to his numbers continuing to trend up.

Frank Gore is gone, freeing up 168 touches of which Drake, 25, could receive the bulk. The quarterback change from Ryan Tannehill to Josh Rosen could increase the potency of this offseason, while the coaching switch from Adam Gase to Brian Flores could increase the usage of Miami's rushers.

Drake has top-15 upside at the position, and he shouldn't even cost you a top-20 price.

                

Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals

If you want to buy big on Arizona's overhauled offense this season, we won't try to stop you. The Kyler Murray-Kliff Kingsbury connection could be electric, potentially propping up the likes of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or even deep-sleeper rookies Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler.

We're taking more of a wait-and-see approach with this attack as a whole, but Christian Kirk already has our attention.

The 22-year-old made the best of a brutal situation in 2018. Despite enduring changes at offensive coordinator and quarterback, the freshman turned his 46 touches into 625 scrimmage yards and three scores. He caught 43 of the 68 passes thrown his way and averaged 13.7 yards a catch.

Kirk is a versatile, explosive weapon who could be the biggest beneficiary from the adjustments in strategies and passer. With some history with Murray (both spent a season together at Texas A&M) and a skill set perfect for Kingsbury's pass-heavy scheme, he has a lot more breakout potential than his draft cost will show.

               

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers

The Jimmy Garoppolo hype train was humming this time last year, but it was derailed along with the remainder of his season by an ACL tear in Week 3.

His health has since returned, but the buzz never made it back. He's getting drafted outside the top 20 quarterbacks in both ESPN (21st) and Yahoo (27th) leagues.

Unless Garoppolo is still getting knocked for last year's injury, this ranking makes no sense.

The 27-year-old's drool-worthy skills have gone nowhere, and in fact he should look sharp as ever this time around. He's further ingrained in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, which takes time to grasp but can be wildly efficient when ran correctly. This receiving core is deep and rich with upside, and tight end George Kittle is coming off a record-breaking campaign.

Everything is looking up for Garoppolo, other than his draft price.

Related

    Daniel Jones-Eli Manning Transition Can Happen This Season for Giants

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Daniel Jones-Eli Manning Transition Can Happen This Season for Giants

    Brad Gagnon
    via Bleacher Report

    Some of Andrew Luck's Greatest Deep Passes 🎯🎥

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Some of Andrew Luck's Greatest Deep Passes 🎯🎥

    nfl
    via Twitter

    NFL Execs Shocked by Luck's Retirement, but They Shouldn't Be

    Luck's story and the stories of many former players are all intertwined

    NFL logo
    NFL

    NFL Execs Shocked by Luck's Retirement, but They Shouldn't Be

    Luck's story and the stories of many former players are all intertwined

    Mike Freeman
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: AB Loses 2nd Helmet Grievance vs. NFL

    Antonio Brown will have to find a different helmet to wear

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: AB Loses 2nd Helmet Grievance vs. NFL

    Antonio Brown will have to find a different helmet to wear

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report