2019 Crazy Early Fantasy Football Positional Rankings
Hot off the heels of last week’s PPR Top 50, comes this week’s positional rankings! Yes, it’s incredibly early. Coaches are still being hired for a couple of teams and we still have to see what shakes out with cuts, releases, and corresponding free agent moves. Until then though, with the information we have currently, we’ve got 2019 rankings! So without further adieu...
I've also added some corresponding notes for each position below...
Patrick Mahomes by and large has cemented himself as the top options at QB, supplanting Aaron Rodgers’ reign at the position. The depth at the position is pretty outstanding, as 2018’s QB2 Matt Ryan is listed 9th in my rankings. A lot of the names down the rankings after Deshaun Watson are guys you can obtain after the 7th round in PPR redraft league. League winner Josh Allen could be an intriguing option to stash on your bench to see if the rushing stats play in all 16 games. The options for him are sparse but Allen provides a stable floor of points to count on each week, as does Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. One name to watch is Jameis Winston, who is now under the tutelage of Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich. After the top 15, the best chances in my opinion of quarterbacks that can vault into the QB1 conversation in 2019 are Jimmy Garoppolo, Carson Wentz, Mitchell Trubisky, and Kirk Cousins. They can be drafted as 2nd QB where you have the room to stash or as waiver wire additions in some leagues.
The top 4 of (Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey) likely will be the top 4 selections in virtually every fantasy football draft pending anything crazy between now and the end of summer. After that, at the end of the 1st, so many great values should still be available, including Melvin Gordon, James Conner, and Le’Veon Bell. The backs from 11-20 can all have a great case for jumping into the 1st round next season, whether it be usage related (Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones, and Kerryon Johnson), timeshare related (Sony Michel, Phillip Lindsay, James White, and Chris Carson), or bouncing back to their former greatness (David Johnson, Devonta Freeman, and Leonard Fournette). If the Chiefs don’t draft or acquire another running back, will Damien Williams be a viable RB2? He certainly looked the part in that amazing offense at the end of the season and ongoing playoff run. Other names to keep an eye on are Derrius Guice, who could be a steal coming off of a preseason ACL injury. Jerick McKinnon was signed last offseason to be the man in San Francisco before falling to a season-ending knee injury, but will Matt Breida be around to work in tandem with him?
At the top of the WR rankings, the debate starts to rage between Davante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins. Both are such excellent, consistent, high-floor options that you honestly cannot go wrong with either option. After the top 2, you can honestly make the case for a group of 4-5 receivers in any order to make up the next tier. Where does Antonio Brown play in 2019? Have we seen the best of Michael Thomas? Will Juju Smith-Schuster take the mantle as the next elite Steelers receiver? The depth at this position is honestly pretty astounding. Outside of the top 35, you’ve got pieces of great offenses like Sammy Watkins, bounce back candidates like Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders, ascending options in burgeoning offenses like Anthony Miller, James Washington, Robert Foster, Michael Gallup, Curtis Samuel, and Christian Kirk, and wily veterans like Larry Fitzgerald.
After the top three of Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle, it’s a precipitous drop. Every single TE after those three have questions. The state of the position in 2019 is pretty much summarized by Hunter Henry being #4. Rob Gronkowski may retire and remove himself from these rankings entirely. Can Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle co-exist as starting fantasy options on the same team? Will Delanie Walker resurface at age 300 to become a fringe TE1? One of the best up and coming options from a talent standpoint, Dallas Goedert, is blocked from realizing that potential in the short term by his own teammate, Ertz. There aren’t a lot of up and coming options at tight end that aren’t already TE1 options, but look out for players like Chris Herndon who made the leap into the fringe TE1/TE2 conversation. He could jump up another tier as his QB Sam Darnold improves.
A few notes that could affect the list would be the status of older kickers like greybeards Adam Vinatieri, Matt Bryant, and Sebastian Janikowski. A few subpar performers could find themselves on the way out as well, with names like Chris Boswell and Cody Parkey possibly being cut loose. Both of those kicking destinations would provide ample opportunities for a new kicker to potentially thrive in.
The Chicago Bears subtract Vic Fangio and adds Chuck Pagano as defensive coordinator, which for an elite defense, really isn’t much of a change to the sum of its parts. They’ll likely be the top defense in fantasy up until FA/Draft and probably all the way into training camp. Other than that, let others pay for the big names in drafts. How many of you drafted Chicago last season in fall drafts? Spend those picks elsewhere.