Fantasy Football 2019: Dynasty Draft Rankings, Keeper Advice and Team Names

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 17, 2019

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

If fantasy football is a part-time passion, then redraft leagues should be your go-to option.

But if you're a fantasy diehard—dissecting rookie reports in April, mock-drafting in the summer months, piling one day of draft prep on to the next—then dynasty leagues are the way to go.

They require a different kind of commitment. You aren't drafting players for a single season or picking them up for a temporary fill-in. Rather, you are building a foundation for years to come and running your fantasy team like a real-life executive handles the NFL version.

Rankings and player values change when longevity is added to the equation. So we have compiled a handy top-40 dynasty ranking to help guide you through the draft. Our favorite team names and top keeper-league advice follow.


PPR Top-40 Dynasty Draft Ranking

1. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

3. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

4. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

6. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

7. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns

8. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

9. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

10. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

12. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

13. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

14. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

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

16. Todd Gurley II, RB, Los Angeles Rams

17. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

18. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

19. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

20. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

21. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

22. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

23. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

24. Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

25. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

26. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions

27. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

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

29. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

30. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

31. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions

32. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

33. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

34. Antonio Brown, WR, Oakland Raiders

35. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

36. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

37. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers

38. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots

39. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans

40. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns


2019 Fantasy Football Team Names

Return of the Mack

Is this the most creative name you'll find? Probably not. But any chance to reference Mark Morrison's iconic '90s banger is one worth taking.

Does this lock you into drafting Marlon Mack? Well, it's that or the Chicago Bears defense (Khalil Mack), but either way, you're in good shape.


Lights, Kamara, Action

Two reasons this is a keeper.

One, it's straight, simple and easy for everyone to figure out. Creative puns are cool but not so much when the majority of the league misses the joke.

Second, it means you have Alvin Kamara, who has 3,146 scrimmage yards and 31 touchdowns to show from his first two seasons.


Kyler Instinct

Double-cool points here for building a team name around a rookie and showing your nostalgic side with a reference to a video game that first hit arcades in 1994.

And don't discount the potential for massive fantasy production. Maybe Kyler Murray needs time to transition to the NFL, or maybe he sets the big league ablaze like he did in college, when he sewed up last year's Heisman Trophy with 4,361 passing yards, 1,001 rushing yards and 54 touchdowns.


Keeper Advice

Understand Your League Position

While everyone wants to contend for a title every season, that's not possible. Your team is doing one of three things: going all-in, retooling or rebuilding.

The first speaks for itself. Your roster is a win-now juggernaut. You have the pieces—or most of the pieces, at least—to contend for the league crown. In that case, things like age and future financial costs take the back-burner to immediate contributions. Keep as many elite performers as possible.

The retooling folks are a tier beneath the full-on contenders. You might have a league-winner on your hands if everything breaks right, but your roster could use some work. There, you would want to split your keepers between players who help now and those who offer more down the road, perhaps with a 70-30 split toward the former.

Finally, the rebuilders are bracing for a long season but are excited about their prospects. If you fall under this umbrella, youth and flexibility are your best friends. Embrace the rookie class, protect any high-upside players you can, search for trades that convert veterans into prospects and don't look too closely at this season's scoreboard.


Elite Players Are Typically Worth the Cost

Chances are your keeper league penalizes you in some form for the players you retain. It might be as simple as losing the originally drafted round or it could be more complex with attached dollar values or escalating contracts.

It's hard for elite talents to help the budget. Maybe you have Patrick Mahomes at a discount (in that case, enjoy your championship), but if you landed someone like Saquon Barkley, you surely paid a premium to do so.

If you have one of those uber-valuable players, wrap your arms around him like you're clinging to a game-winning touchdown. But if your great player costs what you would expect, don't shy away.

Say you have Barkley at a first-round price or Sony Michel at a seventh. Keep Barkley. While Michel has a good chance of outperforming his cost, you have no chance of acquiring another Barkley. Stars are hard to find. Sleepers emerge every year. Keep the star and trust yourself to unearth a few late-round thefts.


Factor in Positional Depth

Have two similarly valued potential keepers on your hand and can't decide which one to pick? If they play different positions, the choice is easier than you would think.

Elite featured running backs are the most scarce fantasy commodity. If you throw back a Barkley, Christian McCaffrey or Ezekiel Elliott, you almost assuredly won't find another. If you're fortunate enough to decide between a stud rusher and a stud at another position, take the bell cow.

Wide receivers are up next. While the position has more depth, only a handful of names reside in the top tier. Quarterback, on the other hand, might have a dozen or more quality starters. Tight ends probably aren't in the keeper discussion unless you have Travis Kelce, George Kittle or Zach Ertz. Save the pass-catchers, and you will likely find a good-to-great pass-thrower in the draft.

Finally, take stock of how many players start at each position. Do you play one quarterback or two? Do you have a flex, and if so, which positions can fill the spot? Answering those questions will better frame the overall depth discussion.