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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy 2019: Latest Mock Draft and Cheat-Sheet Tips

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2019

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) greets fans before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

With two weeks of the 2019 NFL preseason in the books, we're starting to get a better idea of which players are ideal to target in fantasy drafts. While we haven't seen a lot of most star players, we have gotten a look at how many offenses are going to operate.

Yes, preseason offenses are typically of the vanilla variety, but teams can't fake execution. So when you see a team like the Arizona Cardinals struggle or a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers shine, you can take something away.

Heading into Week 3, players like James Washington are on the rise, while guys like David Johnson are slipping. Here, you'll find an updated fantasy cheat sheet, along with an updated Round 1 mock and some tips for your fantasy draft.

        

2019 Running Back Rankings

1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

2. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

3. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

5. Le'Veon Bell, New York Jets

6. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

7. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

9. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

10. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions

       

2019 Wide Receiver Rankings

1. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

3. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

4. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

5. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers

6. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

7. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns

9. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

10. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings

        

2019 Quarterback Rankings

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

2. Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers

3. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

6. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

7. Philip Rivers, Los Angele Chargers

8. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

9. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

10. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

         

2019 Tight End Rankings

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

4. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts

5. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

6. O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns

8. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

9. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons

10. Evan Engram, New York Giants

         

2019 Fantasy Mock, PPR

1.01: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

1.02: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

1.03: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

1.04: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

1.05: Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

1.06: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

1.07: Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

1.08: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

1.09: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

1.10: Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

1.11: Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

1.12: James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

         

Draft Tip and Trends

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

When entering your fantasy draft, it's important to familiarize yourself with the rules of your league. This may seem like common sense, but a mistake as small as misunderstanding your scoring format could cause you to make draft errors.

Whether you're in a standard scoring league or a PPR league should be clear. However, you may have to dig just a bit to see how rushing, receiving and passing yardage is scored. Does your league award one point for every 10 passing yards? Every 25? There's a big difference, and it will determine how highly you should value quarterbacks.

Is there a point bonus for 100-yard games? If so, you want to value running backs and receivers who regularly hit this mark. Yes, PPR monsters will still make the cut, but if there are big 100-yard bonuses, you'll want to take grinders and big-play receivers high.

You should also know what situations players are entering in 2019. The idea of Kliff Kingsbury's up-tempo offense may have you circling running back David Johnson, for example. However, the Arizona Cardinals offensive line is cause for concern.

Arizona's offense was far from a well-oiled machine in the second week of the preseason.

"Everybody felt ugly on the sideline after the first four drives, or whatever it was," quarterback Kyler Murray said, per Luke Lapinski of ArizonaSports.com.

It's also important to know which players are injured and which have been away from their respective rosters this preseason. You're likely well aware of the fact that Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon are holding out. You're probably also aware that Andrew Luck has been sidelined with a lower-leg injury.

Unless you've been paying close attention, though, you may not realize that Dallas Cowboys wideout Amari Cooper is dealing with plantar fasciitis. He's expected to miss the final two preseason games, and a foot injury is the kind of ailment that could linger into the regular season for a receiver.

Finally, it's important to have a backup plan for each of your top draft picks. Whether it's a direct handcuff to a guy like Elliott—in his case, it would be running back Tony Pollard—or a sleeper pick you believe will be starting by midseason, having an alternative option is important. Injuries are a big part of every NFL season, and you don't want to be left paying the gridiron price.