Fantasy Football 2019 Big Board: Latest Rankings Ahead of NFL Preseason

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystAugust 1, 2019

Fantasy Football 2019 Big Board: Latest Rankings Ahead of NFL Preseason

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    On Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos will kick off the 2019 preseason in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.

    That means two things. The first is that the regular-season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears is only about a month away. Soon enough, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be flipping dimes to receiver Davante Adams—unless Bears linebacker Khalil Mack gets to Rodgers first.

    The second is that fantasy draft season is about to kick into high gear. Over the next few weeks, thousands of fantasy drafters will gather in watering holes, rec rooms and online to select their squads for 2019.

    Most of those fantasy fanatics are already neck-deep in draft prep, and there's already plenty of news worth noting. Two top running backs are engaged in contract holdouts. At least one high-end receiver has already suffered a serious injury. And the dilemma of what to do about a top-heavy tight end position remains one of the dominant fantasy storylines of the summer.

    All those things have a major impact on player values in fantasy football, and there will be many more developments that will do the same. But as the preseason gets ready to kick off, here's a position-by-position breakdown of the top players in point-per-reception (PPR) fantasy leagues and a list of the top 100 players overall.

Quarterbacks

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL, but far too many fantasy drafters make the mistake of assuming that same level of importance carries over to fantasy football.

    This isn't to say that elite fantasy options under center don't have value; Patrick Mahomes showed quite clearly with a 5,000-yard, 50-touchdown season in 2018 that he can put up all kinds of fantasy points.

    But assuming your fantasy league only starts one quarterback, the depth under center means you'll be able to find viable starters at the position much later on draft day than at running back, wide receiver or tight end.

        

    Undervalued Quarterbacks

    Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

    Current ADP: 71, QB6

    My Ranking: QB5

    Ryan's a perfect example of being able to find a high-end weekly starter later in drafts. The 34-year-old's 2018 numbers were comparable to his MVP season, throwing for just under 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns while finishing inside the top three in fantasy points in many scoring systems.

    Ryan's a proven veteran quarterback with a plethora of passing game weaponry at his disposal who is an excellent bet to outperform his ADP in 2019.

          

    Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

    Current ADP: 115, QB16

    My Ranking: QB13

    Last year, Rivers posted 4,308 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, numbers that saw the 15-year veteran finish at the back end of weekly starter territory in 12-team leagues.

    That's a pretty reasonable guesstimate for Rivers' baseline in 2019.

    The Chargers are a Super Bowl contender with a good cadre of pass-catchers who could be without starting tailback for part of the regular season. If that's the case, it's not hard to imagine the Bolts going with a pass-heavy attack.

    If they do, Rivers will sail past this ADP.

          

    Overvalued Quarterbacks

    Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    Current ADP: 21, QB1

    My Ranking: QB1

    Yes, my No. 1 quarterback is overvalued in 2019. Not at his position, but relative to all the others.

    Mahomes had a fantastic 2018 season, and he's a wildly talented young signal-caller. But there has never been a 5,000-yard quarterback who threw for more yards the following season. Both times a quarterback has hit the 50-score mark, their touchdown production went off a cliff the next year.

    It's a virtual certainty that Mahomes will regress statistically in 2019. The only question is how much. And a second-round pick is a steep price to pay for the hope that he doesn't.

         

    Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

    Current ADP: 62, QB5

    My Ranking: QB6

    There isn't a more hyped team in the NFL this year than the Cleveland Browns, and Mayfield is the center of that hype.

    Yes, Mayfield's got all kinds of passing game talent at his disposal now with Odell Beckham Jr. in town, and that's after setting an NFL record for touchdown passes by a rookie last year.

    But the first overall pick in the 2018 draft is being selected at his fantasy ceiling with the expectation that he'll blow up this season.

    He'll have to in order to justify this price tag.

         

    Sleeper Quarterback

    Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

    Current ADP: 152, QB22

    My Ranking: QB21

    Allen's viability as a fantasy sleeper this season is tied to two things.

    The first is the scrambling ability that saw him top 600 rushing yards and average over seven yards a carry last year. Running quarterbacks have long been the favorite sons of fantasy drafters.

    The second is an improved Bills offense that now includes receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley and a completely revamped run game. Those weapons should help Allen improve on last year's pedestrian passing production.

             

    Top 50 Quarterbacks

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Patrick Mahomes - KC (12)

    2. Andrew Luck - IND (6)

    3. Deshaun Watson - HOU (10)

    4. Aaron Rodgers - GB (11)

    5. Matt Ryan - ATL (9)

    6. Baker Mayfield - CLE (7)

    7. Russell Wilson - SEA (11)

    8. Carson Wentz - PHI (10)

    9. Cam Newton - CAR (7)

    10. Drew Brees - NO (9)

    11. Jared Goff - LAR (9)

    12. Ben Roethlisberger - PIT (7)

    13. Philip Rivers - LAC (12)

    14. Kyler Murray - ARI (12)

    15. Dak Prescott - DAL (8)

    16. Lamar Jackson - BAL (8)

    17. Kirk Cousins - MIN (12)

    18. Mitchell Trubisky - CHI (6)

    19. Jameis Winston - TB (7)

    20. Tom Brady - NE (10)

    21. Josh Allen - BUF (6)

    22. Jimmy Garoppolo - SF (4)

    23. Derek Carr - OAK (6)

    24. Matthew Stafford - DET (5)

    25. Sam Darnold - NYJ (4)

    26. Marcus Mariota - TEN (11)

    27. Andy Dalton - CIN (9)

    28. Nick Foles - JAC (10)

    29. Joe Flacco - DEN (10)

    30. Eli Manning - NYG (11)

    31. Dwayne Haskins - WAS (10)

    32. Ryan Fitzpatrick - MIA (5)

    33. Josh Rosen - MIA (5)

    34. Case Keenum - WAS (10)

    35. Ryan Tannehill - TEN (11)

    36. Daniel Jones - NYG (11)

    37. Drew Lock - DEN (10)

    38. Blake Bortles - LAR (9)

    39. Teddy Bridgewater - NO (9)

    40. Taysom Hill - NO (9)

    41. Will Grier - CAR (7)

    42. Jacoby Brissett - IND (6)

    43. Nick Mullens - SF (4)

    44. Tyrod Taylor - LAC (12)

    45. Robert Griffin III - BAL (8)

    46. AJ McCarron - HOU (10)

    47. DeShone Kizer - GB (11)

    48. Colt McCoy - WAS (10)

    49. Matt Barkley - BUF (6)

    50. Nate Sudfeld - PHI (10)

Running Backs

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    We may live in an era of spread schemes and rules that benefit the offense, but running backs are still the kings of fantasy football. It's simple, really: Without a good stable of tailbacks, you aren't winning spit in 2019.

    In the overwhelming majority of fantasy drafts, the first four picks will all be running backs. Of the first 12 players in terms of ADP at Fantasy Pros, a full two-thirds are tailbacks. It's a position that will be hit hard early on draft day.

    There are also quite a few questions at the top of the RB rankings this year. Two of the top 12 running backs on this board (Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys and the Chargers' Melvin Gordon) are holding out of training camp right now. Another (L.A.'s Todd Gurley) faces an uncertain future thanks to a reportedly arthritic knee.

    Hey, no one said this was going to be easy.

               

    Undervalued Running Backs

    Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons

    ADP: 33, RB17

    My Ranking: RB11

    With so many questions surrounding so many high-end running backs, finding an RB2 capable of RB1 production could be a huge boost to fantasy drafters this year.

    Freeman's 2018 season was admittedly an injury-marred mess. But the 27-year-old is healthy and has looked good in camp, Freeman's shown himself to be capable of elite production in the past, and he's the unquestioned No. 1 tailback for a potent Atlanta offense.

    Add that up, and you have a recipe for fantasy success.

         

    Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins

    ADP: 55, RB26

    My Ranking: RB20

    Drake was already an undervalued running back entering draft season. Now, news that Kalen Ballage earned the first practice reps of training camp ahead of Drake has sent the fourth-year pro's stock tumbling even farther.

    Here's the thing: It doesn't matter if Ballage gets some early-down work. Drake was never going to be an every-down workhorse. What does matter is that Drake's running as the third-down back for a team that will be playing catch-up as much as any in the league this year.

    Last I checked, garbage-time fantasy points count the same as the rest.

         

    Overvalued Running Backs

    Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

    ADP: 13, RB9

    My Ranking: RB10

    For most of the last two seasons, Gurley's been the single most productive running back in fantasy football. Were he healthy, Gurley would be on the short list of players under consideration to be drafted first overall. If he can stay on the field and gets a workload anything like the last two seasons, he could easily carry many fantasy teams to the playoffs.

    However, Gurley's balky knee can't be ignored. Nor can the fact that the Rams were concerned enough about that knee to take Memphis running back Darrell Henderson in the third round of the 2019 draft.

    He's the king of risk/reward picks this year.

         

    Sony Michel, New England Patriots

    ADP: 47, RB23

    My Ranking: RB26

    There were concerns about Michel's health after offseason knee surgery, but per Ryan Hannable of WEEI Radio, the second-year pro has returned to practice and indicated that his knee's OK.

    That means we can shift the concern back to the fact that Michel's a tailback for the New England Patriots.

    Michel showed more than a little promise as a rookie runner, averaging a respectable 4.5 yards per carry. But the former Georgia standout was a complete non-factor in the passing game, and he'll have to contend with a crowded Pats backfield that added another grinder this year in Damien Harris.

         

    Sleeper Running Backs

    Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins

    ADP: 139, RB50

    My Ranking: RB34

    Yep, that's right. We've reached a day where one of the best running backs of his generation is a "sleeper."

    On just about every list of RB rankings, you'll see second-year back Derrius Guice listed ahead of Peterson, despite the fact that the former has yet to log a single regular-season carry and the latter topped 1,000 yards on the ground in 2018.

    Let the other drafters in your league target Guice (who is already nursing another injury). Pick up Peterson in the later rounds of the draft.

    You won't regret it.

            

    Top 75 PPR Running Backs

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Saquon Barkley - NYG (11)

    2  Christian McCaffrey – CAR (7)

    3. Alvin Kamara - NO (9)

    4. Ezekiel Elliott - DAL (8)

    5. David Johnson - ARI (12)

    6. Le'Veon Bell - NYJ (4)

    7. Joe Mixon - CIN (9)

    8. James Conner - PIT (7)

    9. Nick Chubb - CLE (7)

    10. Todd Gurley - LAR (9)

    11. Devonta Freeman – ATL  (9)

    12. Melvin Gordon - LAC (12)

    13. Dalvin Cook - MIN (12)

    14. Damien Williams - KC (12)

    15  Kerryon Johnson - DET (5)

    16. Marlon Mack - IND (6)

    17. Aaron Jones - GB (11)

    18. Leonard Fournette – JAC (10)

    19. Derrick Henry - TEN (11)

    20. Kenyan Drake - MIA (5)

    21. Josh Jacobs - OAK (6)

    22. Phillip Lindsay - DEN (10)

    23. Mark Ingram II - BAL (8)

    24. Chris Carson - SEA (11)

    25. Lamar Miller - HOU  (10)

    26. Sony Michel - NE (10)

    27. David Montgomery – CHI (6)

    28. Tevin Coleman - SF (4)

    29. Latavius Murray - NO (9)

    30. James White - NE (10)

    31. Rashaad Penny - SEA (11)

    32. Tarik Cohen - CHI (6)

    33. Jordan Howard - PHI (10)

    34. Adrian Peterson - WAS (10)

    35. Austin Ekeler - LAC (12)

    36. Royce Freeman - DEN (10)

    37. Ronald Jones II - TB (7)

    38. LeSean McCoy - BUF (6)

    39. Peyton Barber - TB (7)

    40. Derrius Guice - WAS (10)

    41. Miles Sanders - PHI (10)

    42. Darrell Henderson – LAR (9)

    43. Jerick McKinnon - SF (4)

    44. D'Onta Foreman – HOU (10)

    45. Kalen Ballage - MIA (5)

    46. Dion Lewis - TEN (11)

    47. Matt Breida - SF (4)

    48. Carlos Hyde - KC (12)

    49. Ito Smith - ATL (9)

    50. Nyheim Hines - IND (6)

    51. Kareem Hunt - CLE (7)

    52. Damien Harris - NE (10)

    53. Jaylen Samuels - PIT (7)

    54. Duke Johnson - CLE (7)

    55. Justin Jackson - LAC (12)

    56. Jamaal Williams - GB (11)

    57. C.J. Anderson - DET (5)

    58. Devin Singletary - BUF (6)

    59. Justice Hill - BAL (8)

    60. Mike Davis - CHI (6)

    61. Chris Thompson - WAS (10)

    62. Giovani Bernard - CIN (9)

    63. Chase Edmonds - ARI (12)

    64. Gus Edwards - BAL (8)

    65. Jalen Richard - OAK (6)

    66. Frank Gore - BUF (6)

    67. Elijah McGuire - NYJ (4)

    68. Rex Burkhead - NE (10)

    69. Alexander Mattison – MIN (12)

    70. T.J. Yeldon - BUF (6)

    71. Kenneth Dixon - BAL (8)

    72. Malcolm Brown - LAR (9)

    73. Doug Martin - OAK (6)

    74. Ryquell Armstead – JAC (10)

    75. Spencer Ware - IND (6)

Wide Receivers

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    Seth Wenig/Associated Press

    The wide receiver position has grown in value in fantasy football leagues in recent years. It makes sense, given that NFL teams are tossing the ball all over the field more than ever before, and more and more fantasy leagues now require at least three weekly starters.

    However, there's also substantially more depth available to fantasy drafters at this position than in the backfield. You can (in theory) hit the running back spot hard, circle back later and still be able to build a decent batch of pass-catchers. Or grab one of this year's elite tight ends.

    That isn't to say the high-end wideouts don't have significant value, only that there are options available to drafters here.

                 

    Undervalued Wide Receivers

    Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions

    ADP: 93, WR36

    My Ranking: WR31

    As Dave Birkett reported for the Detroit Free Press, Jones came to training camp this year determined to put last year's injury-shortened disappointment behind him.

    Jones did indeed suffer through a bummer of a 2018 campaign, but as recently as the year before, the 29-year-old racked up a career-high 1,101 yards and scored nine touchdowns on his way to a top-five fantasy finish in PPR formats.

    Jones may not quite reach those lofty heights again in 2019, but so long as he's healthy, he'll outperform his asking price in fantasy drafts in 2019.

         

    DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

    ADP: 137, WR50

    My Ranking: WR39

    According to Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Jackson and quarterback Carson Wentz have carried their budding rapport into training camp, which should be welcome news to anyone considering drafting the veteran wideout.

    Jackson's long been a high-variance fantasy option. It's just part of the nature of his role as one of the best deep-ball threats of the past decade.

    But his red-hot start to the 2018 season in Tampa should serve as a reminder of just how productive he can be, and it's looking more and more like he has the inside track to beating out Nelson Agholor for No. 2 receiver duties in Philly.

        

    Overvalued Wide Receivers

    JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers

    ADP: 16, WR6

    My Ranking: WR9

    This isn't an indictment of Smith-Schuster as a player. He's a fine young wide receiver who will (assuming he stays healthy) all but certainly have a fine season.

    But the assumption that Smith-Schuster will back up (or build on) last year's breakout is a dangerous one. In 2018, Smith-Schuster benefitted from playing opposite one of the NFL's most dangerous receivers in Antonio Brown.

    This year? Smith-Schuster is "the guy," for better or worse. The talent's there, but in 2019, the coverage will be too.

           

    A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

    ADP: WR14, 36

    My Ranking: WR18

    There's no more difficult thing to do in fantasy draft season than attempt to valuate injured players. And in 2019, that list is headlined by Green, who underwent surgery Tuesday after injuring his foot while practicing in Dayton, Ohio.

    It's bad enough that Green (per Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com) will miss multiple regular-season games, and that the veteran superstar has battled injuries in each of the last two seasons.

    But this also isn't the first time Green's suffered a foot injury severe enough to cost him multiple games. His ADP will have to fall that much farther for the potential reward to be worth the now-considerable risk.

        

    Sleeper Wide Receivers

    Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers

    ADP: WR49, 140

    My Ranking: WR41

    Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said in an interview with the NFL Network that Valdes-Scantling has had a great offseason.

    "I think one guy that's really jumped out in the spring for us was Marquez (Valdes-Scantling). He's always obviously timing very fast, but now I think he's playing to his time," Rodgers said. "... Marquez is starting to play with more confidence, and that's pretty good to see."

    Heading into his second season, Valdes-Scantling appears to be the leader to serve as Green Bay's No. 2 receiver this season. If he pulls it off and wins the job, he'll be absolute larceny at this ADP.

          

    Top 75 PPR Wide Receivers

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. DeAndre Hopkins - HOU (10)

    2. Davante Adams - GB (11)

    3. Michael Thomas - NO (9)

    4. Julio Jones - ATL (9)

    5. Odell Beckham Jr. - CLE (7)

    6. Tyreek Hill - KC (12)

    7. Antonio Brown - OAK (6)

    8. Keenan Allen - LAC (12)

    9. JuJu Smith-Schuster - PIT (7)

    10. Mike Evans - TB (7)

    11. T.Y. Hilton - IND (6)

    12. Amari Cooper - DAL (8)

    13. Adam Thielen - MIN (12)

    14. Stefon Diggs - MIN (12)

    15. Robert Woods - LAR (9)

    16. Kenny Golladay - DET (5)

    17. Brandin Cooks - LAR (9)

    18. A.J. Green - CIN (9)

    19. Julian Edelman - NE (10)

    20. Tyler Lockett - SEA (11)

    21. Chris Godwin - TB (7)

    22. Alshon Jeffery - PHI (10)

    23. Cooper Kupp - LAR (9)

    24. Calvin Ridley - ATL (9)

    25. Allen Robinson II - CHI (6)

    26. Tyler Boyd - CIN (9)

    27. Jarvis Landry - CLE (7)

    28. DJ Moore - CAR (7)

    29. Mike Williams - LAC (12)

    30. Robby Anderson - NYJ (4)

    31. Marvin Jones Jr. - DET (5)

    32. Dante Pettis - SF (4)

    33. Christian Kirk - ARI (12)

    34. Sammy Watkins - KC (12)

    35. Will Fuller V - HOU (10)

    36. Corey Davis - TEN (11)

    37. Sterling Shepard - NYG (11)

    38. Courtland Sutton - DEN (10)

    39. DeSean Jackson - PHI (10)

    40. Larry Fitzgerald - ARI (12)

    41. Marquez Valdes-Scantling - GB (11)

    42. Dede Westbrook - JAC (10)

    43. Curtis Samuel - CAR (7)

    44. Golden Tate - NYG (11)

    45. Geronimo Allison - GB (11)

    46. Emmanuel Sanders - DEN (10)

    47. Keke Coutee - HOU (10)

    48. John Brown - BUF (6)

    49. Tyrell Williams - OAK (6)

    50. Anthony Miller - CHI (6)

    51. N'Keal Harry - NE (10)

    52. D.K. Metcalf - SEA (11)

    53. Donte Moncrief - PIT (7)

    54. Devin Funchess - IND (6)

    55. Kenny Stills - MIA (5)

    56. Michael Gallup - DAL (8)

    57. James Washington - PIT (7)

    58. Jamison Crowder - NYJ (4)

    59. DaeSean Hamilton - DEN (10)

    60. Robert Foster - BUF (6)

    61. Marquise Goodwin - SF (4)

    62. Mohamed Sanu - ATL (9)

    63. Albert Wilson - MIA (5)

    64. Parris Campbell - IND (6)

    65. Devante Parker - MIA (5)

    66. Tre'Quan Smith - NO (9)

    67. Zay Jones - BUF (6)

    68. Deebo Samuel - SF (4)

    69. David Moore - SEA (11)

    70. Adam Humphries - TEN (11)

    71. Quincy Enunwa - NYJ (4)

    72. Antonio Callaway - CLE (7)

    73. Marqise Lee - JAC (10)

    74. Marquise Brown - BAL (8)

    75. A.J. Brown - TEN (11)

Tight Ends

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    The tight end position in fantasy football in 2019 is all about two groups—the haves and the have-nots.

    Drafters willing to invest a substantial amount of draft capital in one of this year's "Big Three" at the position will get a "have." Travis Kelce of the Chiefs, Zach Ertz of the Eagles and George Kittle of the 49ers all had fantastic statistical seasons in 2018. But shares in those players won't come cheaply—all three are coming off the board by the end of Round 3 more often than not.

    The have-nots are, well, everyone else. This isn't to say that there won't be a tight end who rises up to challenge that trio. But the relatively sure things run out quickly this year.

    It's a matter of willingness to risk a hole at running back or wide receiver for an edge at tight end.

          

    Undervalued Tight Ends

    Evan Engram, New York Giants

    ADP: 61, TE5

    My Ranking: TE4

    If there's a tight end who's most likely to crash the party at the top this season, it has to be Evan Engram of the Giants.

    Granted, Engram missed five games last season, and the quarterback situation in New York is much more likely to inspire a crying jag than the warm and fuzzies. But Engram is an athletic field-stretcher who was a respectable seventh in PPR fantasy points per game at the position in 2018, per FFToday.

    Never mind that at the rate things are going, Engram may be the only healthy Giants pass-catcher anyone has ever heard of who will be eligible to take the field in Week 1.

           

    Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints

    ADP: 81, TE8

    My Ranking: TE6

    This pick admittedly makes me a little nervous, if only because Cook has made a career of teasing fantasy drafters into drafting him only to then Lucy the poor schmucks and pull the football away at the last second.

    But in a year when any and all upside at the tight end spot is a coveted commodity, Cook is coming of a career year in Oakland (68/896/6) in which the 32 year-old cracked the top five in PPR fantasy points and is about to join a Saints team in dire need of a reliable second option in the passing game behind Michael Thomas.

    Oh, and per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Saints head man Sean Payton is already talking up the rapport between Cook and Drew Brees.

           

    Overvalued Tight Ends

    George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

    ADP: 31, TE3

    My Ranking: TE3

    That's right. One of the Three Amigos is overvalued—and it's the young tight end who just set an NFL record for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a season.

    Or, at least, he might be.

    Kittle's talent is undeniable. So is what he achieved last year. But he was also targeted 136 times last year by a parade of scrub quarterbacks in large part because he was all the 49ers had left.

    In 2019, Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy. So is a San Francisco wideout corps that added two more pieces in this year's draft.

    Kittle is going to have a good season because he's a very good tight end. But to justify his ADP, he needs to have a great one.

         

    O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    ADP: 59, TE4

    My Ranking: TE7

    From a talent perspective, O.J. Howard merits consideration alongside just about any tight end in the game. And over his two seasons in the pros, he's shown flashes of that talent—flashes that have led many to forecast a third-year breakout from the former Alabama star.

    Sadly, there are also plenty of reasons to think it isn't coming.

    For whatever reason, Jameis Winston has never seemed to "click" with Howard, who had his best games last year with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. There's also the matter of new head coach Bruce Arians, whose offenses haven't featured the tight end to date.

    At the right price, Howard's upside is appealing. But his current ADP isn't the right price.

        

    Sleeper Tight Ends

    Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts

    ADP: 172, TE21

    My Ranking: TE14

    There are less than 10 tight ends in the NFL that can reasonably be relied upon to be top-10 tight ends in 2019. It's the harsh reality of the position in fantasy this year. Three big guns, a second tier, and then dart throws galore.

    So why not throw a dart that travels through time back to 2017?

    Two years ago, Jack Doyle was fantasy's No. 5 tight end, averaging 11.5 PPR points per game. That was admittedly without Andrew Luck on the field, but Luck has shown an affinity for targeting Doyle in the red zone, just as he did Eric Ebron a year ago.

    I'm not saying Doyle will out-point Ebron in 2019. But I wouldn't bet my paycheck that he doesn't, either.

          

    Top 50 PPR Tight Ends

    Bye weeks in parentheses

    1. Travis Kelce - KC (12)

    2. Zach Ertz - PHI (10)

    3. George Kittle - SF (4)

    4. Evan Engram - NYG (11)

    5. Hunter Henry - LAC (12)

    6. O.J. Howard - TB (7)

    7. Jared Cook - NO (9)

    8. David Njoku - CLE (7)

    9. Austin Hooper - ATL (9)

    10. Vance McDonald - PIT (7)

    11. Eric Ebron - IND (6)

    12. Trey Burton - CHI (6)

    13. Delanie Walker - TEN (11)

    14. Jack Doyle - IND (6)

    15. Jimmy Graham - GB (11)

    16. Kyle Rudolph - MIN (12)

    17. Mark Andrews - BAL (8)

    18. Jordan Reed - WAS (10)

    19. Greg Olsen - CAR (7)

    20. Chris Herndon - NYJ (4)

    21. Dallas Goedert - PHI (10)

    22. T.J. Hockenson - DET (5)

    23. Mike Gesicki - MIA (5)

    24. Tyler Eifert - CIN (9)

    25. Noah Fant - DEN (10)

    26. Gerald Everett - LAR (9)

    27. Cameron Brate - TB (7)

    28. Jason Witten - DAL (8)

    29. Hayden Hurst - BAL (8)

    30. Ricky Seals-Jones - ARI (12)

    31. Jonnu Smith - TEN (11)

    32. Ian Thomas - CAR (7)

    33. Nick Vannett - SEA (11)

    34. Will Dissly - SEA (11)

    35. Irv Smith Jr. - MIN (12)

    36. Charles Clay - ARI (12)

    37. Vernon Davis - WAS (10)

    38. Ben Watson - NE (10)

    39. Darren Waller - OAK (6)

    40. Jordan Thomas - HOU (10)

    41. Jake Butt - DEN (10)

    42. C.J. Uzomah - CIN (9)

    43. Geoff Swaim - JAC (10)

    44. Matt LaCosse - NE (10)

    45. Luke Willson - OAK (6)

    46. Dawson Knox - BUF (6)

    47. Josh Oliver - JAC (10)

    48. Jace Sternberger - GB (11)

    49. Adam Shaheen - CHI (6)

    50. Jesse James - DET (5)

Kickers and Defenses

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    The best strategy for drafting kickers and team defenses is easy to remember.

    Wait. And then wait some more. Take a nap. Make a sandwich. Paint a mural. And then wait just a bit longer.

    It might be tempting to reach in the middle rounds for an elite defense like the Chicago Bears'. But defenses are notoriously volatile. The better use of draft capital is taking a defense late with some favorable matchups early in the season. When those matchups dry up, just grab another defense off the waiver wire and repeat the cycle.

    Streaming works.

    So far as kickers go, there's no conceivable reason to draft one before the last round. The difference in scoring between the No. 1 kicker and the No. 12 kicker over the span of a season is negligible. Don't waste a selection that could better be used on an upside pick at another position.

        

    Top 25 Defenses

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Chicago Bears (6)

    2. Jacksonville Jaguars (10)

    3. Los Angeles Rams (9)

    4. Houston Texans (10)

    5. Los Angeles Chargers (12)

    6. Minnesota Vikings (12)

    7. Baltimore Ravens (8)

    8. Cleveland Browns (7)

    9. Dallas Cowboys (8)

    10. Denver Broncos (10)

    11. Philadelphia Eagles (10)

    12. New England Patriots (10)

    13. Pittsburgh Steelers (7)

    14. Indianapolis Colts (6)

    15. New Orleans Saints (9)

    16. Kansas City Chiefs (12)

    17. Carolina Panthers (7)

    18. Buffalo Bills (6)

    19. Atlanta Falcons (9)

    20. Seattle Seahawks (11)

    21. Green Bay Packers (11)

    22. Tennessee Titans (11)

    23. New York Jets (4)

    24. Arizona Cardinals (12)

    25. Washington Redskins (10)

         

    Top 25 Kickers

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Justin Tucker - BAL (8)

    2. Greg Zuerlein - LAR (9)

    3. Harrison Butker - KC (12)

    4. Stephen Gostkowski - NE (10)

    5. Wil Lutz - NO (9)

    6. Jake Elliott - PHI (10)

    7. Robbie Gould - SF (4)

    8. Ka'imi Fairbairn - HOU (10)

    9. Michael Badgley - LAC (12)

    10. Mason Crosby - GB (11)

    11. Brett Maher - DAL (8)

    12. Adam Vinatieri - IND (6)

    13. Giorgio Tavecchio - ATL (9)

    14. Jason Myers - SEA (11)

    15. Graham Gano - CAR (7)

    16. Dan Bailey - MIN (12)

    17. Chris Boswell - PIT (7)

    18. Matt Prater - DET (5)

    19. Aldrick Rosas - NYG (11)

    20. Greg Joseph - CLE (7)

    21. Ryan Succop - TEN (11)

    22. Brandon McManus - DEN (10)

    23. Daniel Carlson - OAK (6)

    24. Josh Lambo - JAC (10)

    25. Steven Hauschka - BUF (6)

Top 100 Overall

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    Bill Feig/Associated Press

    Now that we've broken things down by position, here's a look at the top 100 players overall for 2019.

    However, before we unleash the beast, a quick note.

    This isn't a "draft-by-numbers" list—when the big day arrives, you shouldn't just look to draft the highest-ranked player available on this list when it's your turn to make a selection.

    It's not just a matter of the effect that the lineup requirements and scoring of individual leagues will have on this list, although that's an important consideration. There are also players on this list who will probably be drafted significantly earlier (or later) than their ranking here would indicate—for better or worse.

    At quarterback, I hope that the drafters in your league have enough understanding of positional scarcity to know better than to reach too early for any signal-caller—even Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs. But Mahomes' ADP at Fantasy Pros is 16 slots higher than his ranking here.

    He's not going to last until the first pick of Round 4 in the majority of leagues.

    Conversely, Devonta Freeman's ADP of 33rd overall is substantially later than my ranking of the Falcons tailback in the top 20 overall. Players such as Freeman, who have a higher ranking than ADP, can be looked at as an opportunity for value—and a challenge to try to find the sweet spot for drafting them.

    More so than usual, the top of Round 1 is the place to be in fantasy drafts in 2019. Drafters who land a top-four pick can land both one of this year's elite tailbacks and get a viable WR1 in Round 2 or even early in Round 3.

    Then there's the Kelce conundrum. The Chiefs tight end has an ADP of 17, but given the edge I expect Kelce to afford fantasy owners this year, he's inside my top 10. Kelce is a viable first-rounder in the back half of Round 1, but if you can get him at any point in the second round, consider yourself fortunate and pull the trigger.

        

    Top 100 PPR Players Overall

    Bye week in parentheses

    1. Saquon Barkley, RB - NYG (11)

    2. Christian McCaffrey, RB - CAR (7)

    3. Alvin Kamara, RB - NO (9)

    4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB - DAL (8)

    5. David Johnson, RB - ARI (12)

    6. DeAndre Hopkins, WR - HOU (10)

    7. Davante Adams, WR - GB (11)

    8. Travis Kelce, TE - KC (12)

    9. Michael Thomas, WR - NO (9)

    10. Le'Veon Bell, RB - NYJ (4)

    11. Joe Mixon, RB - CIN (9)

    12. James Conner, RB - PIT (7)

    13. Julio Jones, WR - ATL (9)

    14. Odell Beckham Jr., WR - CLE (7)

    15. Nick Chubb, RB - CLE (7)

    16. Tyreek Hill, WR - KC (12)

    17. Todd Gurley, RB - LAR (9)

    18. Devonta Freeman, RB - ATL (9)

    19. Melvin Gordon, RB - LAC (12)

    20. Antonio Brown, WR - OAK (6)

    21. Keenan Allen, WR - LAC (12)

    22. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR - PIT (7)

    23. Dalvin Cook, RB - MIN (12)

    24. Zach Ertz, TE - PHI (10)

    25. Mike Evans, WR - TB (7)

    26. T.Y. Hilton, WR - IND (6)

    27. Damien Williams, RB - KC (12)

    28. Amari Cooper, WR - DAL (8)

    29. Kerryon Johnson, RB - DET (5)

    30. Marlon Mack, RB - IND (6)

    31. Adam Thielen, WR - MIN (12)

    32. Aaron Jones, RB - GB (11)

    33. Leonard Fournette, RB - JAC (10)

    34. Derrick Henry, RB - TEN (11)

    35. Stefon Diggs, WR - MIA (12)

    36. Robert Woods, WR - LAR (9)

    37. Patrick Mahomes, QB - KC (12)

    38. Kenny Golladay, WR - DET (5)

    39. Brandin Cooks, WR - LAR (9)

    40. George Kittle, TE - SF (4)

    41. A.J. Green, WR - CIN (9)

    42. Julian Edelman, WR - NE (10)

    43. Kenyan Drake, RB - MIA (5)

    44. Tyler Lockett, WR - SEA (11)

    45. Evan Engram, TE - NYG (11)

    46. Josh Jacobs, RB - OAK (6)

    47. Phillip Lindsay, RB - DEN (10)

    48. Mark Ingram II, RB - BAL (8)

    49. Chris Godwin, WR - TB (7)

    50. Andrew Luck, QB - IND (6)

    51. Chris Carson, RB - SEA (11)

    52. Deshaun Watson, QB - HOU (10)

    53. Alshon Jeffery, WR - PHI (10)

    54. Lamar Miller, RB - HOU (10)

    55. Cooper Kupp, WR - LAR (9)

    56. Sony Michel, RB - NE (10)

    57. Calvin Ridley, WR - ATL (9)

    58. Allen Robinson II, WR - CHI (6)

    59. Hunter Henry, TE - LAC (12)

    60. Tyler Boyd, WR - CIN (9)

    61. Jarvis Landry, WR - CLE (7)

    62. Aaron Rodgers, QB - GB (11)

    63. David Montgomery, RB - CHI (6)

    64. DJ Moore, WR - CAR (7)

    65. Mike Williams, WR - LAC (12)

    66. Tevin Coleman, RB - SF (4)

    67. Matt Ryan, QB - ATL (9)

    68. O.J. Howard, TE - TB (7)

    69. Baker Mayfield, QB - CLE (7)

    70. Latavius Murray, RB - NO (9)

    71. James White, RB - NE (10)

    72. Robby Anderson, WR - NYJ (4)

    73. Rashaad Penny, RB - SEA (11)

    74. Marvin Jones Jr., WR - DET (5)

    75. Dante Pettis, WR - SF (4)

    76. Tarik Cohen, RB - CHI (6)

    77. Christian Kirk, WR - ARI (12)

    78. Jordan Howard, RB - PHI (10)

    79. Russell Wilson, QB - SEA (11)

    80. Sammy Watkins, WR - KC (12)

    81. Carson Wentz, QB - PHI (10)

    82. Cam Newton, QB - CAR (7)

    83. Drew Brees, QB - NO (9)

    84. Will Fuller V, WR - HOU (10)

    85. Jared Cook, TE - NO (9)

    86. Adrian Peterson, RB - WAS (10)

    87. Austin Ekeler, RB - LAC (12)

    88. Corey Davis, WR - TEN (11)

    89. Sterling Shepard, WR - NYG (11)

    90. David Njoku, TE - CLE (7)

    91. Jared Goff, QB - LAR (9)

    92. Courtland Sutton, WR - DEN (10)

    93. Ben Roethlisberger, QB – PIT (7)

    94. Austin Hooper, TE - ATL (9)

    95. DeSean Jackson, WR - PHI (10)

    96. Larry Fitzgerald, WR - ARI (12)

    97. Vance McDonald, TE - PIT (7)

    98. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR - GB (11)

    99. Philip Rivers, QB - LAC (12)

    100. Royce Freeman, RB - DEN (10)

         

    Average draft position (ADP) data courtesy of Fantasy Pros

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