There's been a lot of shuffling going on within my top 10 rankings over the last week or so. I'm giving away the top 50 overall - there's a link down below for y'all to get them.
QOTD for Draft Guide Giveaway?
Which team has the worst record in the NFL this year, and why?
THERE IS A CHANGE IN MY 1.01 - as of this week.
1. Alvin Kamara - RB, New Orleans Saints
I understand that he doesn't get the touches that Cmac or Barkley get, but man, you can't find a better situation than the one Kamara is. We think of Kamara as this low-touch guy, that's not great for standard, but he's had over 1,550 yards from scrimmage each of the last two seasons, doesn't matter if it comes from ground or the air and what's the most important pieces for a fantasy running back to succeed? In standard it's touchdowns, in any ppr it's receptions. The guy has had 31 touchdowns over the last two seasons, like Jesus christ (amine voice) and 80 receptions in back to back seasons.
Last year he was 9 yards away from 1600 yards, 18 touchdowns while missing a game. These touchdowns and this efficiency are no fluke given how they use Kamara, it's not all dumpoffs, that 80 reception floor is there because of the 750 snaps Kamara played last year, nearly 200 of them came out wide or from the slot. He's used like a hybrid player in one of the league's best offenses, not a workhorse grinder. As for the TDs, these aren't fluky - even while splitting time with Ingram, last year alvin kamara played in 15 games and amongst running backs ranked:
- 2nd in redzone carries (51)
- 2nd in 10zone carries (34)
- 4th in GL carries (13)
- 1st in redzone targets (26 - 6th in entire NFL)
- 2nd in 10zone targets (8)
The guy isn't lucky or hyper-efficient, the Saints use him perfectly to a tee, it's a beautiful thing. Let's go, that's my guy this year.
2. Christian McCaffrey - RB, Carolina Panthers
I wouldn't be mad at ya for taking C-Mac either, and he was my 1.01 up until very recently. The guys a stud obviously and he's going to get a ton of work, especially in the passing game, but I'm not sure I can expect a repeat of last year.
We've heard a ton of reports dating back to the beginning of the off-season and resurfacing last week
After 77 reports, you eventually have to be like okay, maybe they're for real. Because last summer, they talked all summer about how they wanted him to be the workhorse then it happened, so there's some credibility here from the coaching staff. Now they're saying they want to limit him, and it makes sense given just how big his sheer workload was relative to the share of his teammates.
He scored 6-of-7 rushing touchdowns from inside the 4, so if he doesn't get those, it could be a big hit to his value. Does Cam Newton take those next year? In 2018, he had 3 GL carries, 14.3% of the Panthers total GL carries. In the 7 years prior to 2018, Cam averaged 7.3 GL carries and 32% of the teams total GL carries, so last year was the outlier year for Cam Newton. It's hard to take the Panthers seriously, though, considering they didn't go out and sign anyone in FA, like they could've gotten Leg Blount, or they could've drafted someone, other than Jordan Scarlett who isn't the same exact size, possibly even smaller than C-Mac.
The other thing that concerns me, not necessarily concerns me, but makes me think that C-Mac's ceiling was last year and he's not touching that receiving total is Cam's shoulder, which should be back close to 100%,
The dumpoffs were crazy last year and I think a lot had to do with Cam's shoulder. This year, with D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel both on the verge of big years, I expect less dink and dump and more Cam Newton's wild ass throwing down the field more.
Obviously, I'm making the case for him at 1.02, this isn't a knock on C-Mac. The Panthers should lowkey have a very good offensive line this year and be an overall good team, something you definitely want out of your running back. And as for the less dumpoffs, yeah C-Mac is still definitely catching 80 passes, but not the 104 he caught last year which was literally a record for RBs, so give me Kamara over him who has a much higher touchdown floor and will probably have around the same workload.
3. Saquon Barkley - RB, New York Giants
I might regret this, but it simply comes down to being on the Giants obviously. The sting of owning David Johnson last year makes this pick too real. There's a great chance this comes back around next year and looks really dumb simply because Barkley is the most ridiculously talented RB we've seen in a long, long time and he'll just make it happen because he's that good - but I'm just gonna skip on the headache of owning a NYG this year. Sure, their o-line should be better with Zietler but I still don't think it's gonna be like top-12 and as long as Eli is under center, this offense isn't gonna run very smoothly. The upside, of course, is real, but the red flags are smacking you in the face.
4. Davante Adams - WR, Green Bay Packers
Y'all know my thoughts on Davante this year. And if you don't I will link the video in which I break, very in-depth, why I have him ranked this high. Adams is going to set records this year in Green Bay. It's going to be ridiculous. 2019 is officially the year of Devastation Adams.
http://bit.ly/2KSSfeq - WR Rankings by Tier
***FIND VIDEO TO LINK*****
5. DeAndre Hopkins - WR, Houston Texans
Not too difficult to understand here. I typically don't love using a 1st round pick, especially this high on a WR, but it's the Hopkins show in HOU again. Keke Coutee banged up already - Will Fuller still only 8 months removed from ACL surgery. Hopkins is getting a 30%+ target share again with one of the brightest up-and-coming QB stars in the league - you don't have to think too hard about this one. With Deshaun Watson under center, Hopkins' 16-game numbers are 111 receptions, 1,515 rec. yards & 12.5 TDs. Sounds about right. Draft him with confidence and move along. For a guy who you project for those numbers, there's no reason to get risky and take an RB with a ton of red flags just because you want an RB.
6. David Johnson - RB, Arizona Cardinals
I didn't love what I saw in their first preseason game. DJ two runs directly up the middle again. Wasn't used in the slot at all. We got to see him out there again last night for their Week 2 game, and again, I didn't like what I saw. I know what everyone is going to say, we haven't seen their offense at all this preseason, Kliff is hiding the entire thing. Well, I'll tell you what, he is REALLY hiding it if that's the case, cause they have been fucking terrible on offense with Kyler under center. And I get, he doesn't want to show the air raid offense, but do you think they actually spend time in practice creating a new offense just so they won't have to show their actual offense? Like maybe the pace is going to be different, but they're not running completely different plays. Their five series' with Kyler under center so far:
Despite all this David Johnson running from the slot, I don't think I've seen him run a single play lined up in the slot yet. They've set up a few screen plays for him, but nothing much came from it and that's how he was used last year, too. The far majority of his runs have come from the shotgun which is how they'll line up most of the time this year, he's had very, very little success on the ground this preseason, he has 10 rushing yards on 6 carries and 11 receiving yards on 2 screen plays so far. I could care less about the preseason stats, but it's scary how bad this offensive line has looked, and we knew that was the case this preseason, despite people's fake narratives about their negligible upgrades up front.
Shotgun might sound exciting, but realistically, Johnson's splits are the same from under center and from the shotgun:
I know I have DJ ranked at 6, so it's hard for me to bash him - but if we had the normal list of players, like Zeke and Melvin Gordon, if Gurley as healthy, etc, etc, there's a good chance DJ might not crack the top 10 for me, but he's in here by default
Guys that have higher rushing TD over/unders per Vegas: Chris Carson, Devonta Freeman, Mark Ingram, Damien Williams, Derrick Henry.
Guys that have higher rushing yardage totals per Vegas: Aaron Jones, Chris Carson, Dalvin Cook, Kerryon has the same, Marlon Mack,
I'll say this, DJ has run almost every single play for their offense while Kyler has been on the field, so I guess that's good news, but no one really expected him not to be the workhorse.
But the key takeaway is this, that you cannot just assume everything will work out in Arizona.
Their defense is going to be BAD. This was a funny tweet from my guy Steven who writes bestball articles for the site bigdogsfantasy.com you can check out, but their defense is just giving up long, lengthy drives and it's going to kill their offense. They already have Pat Pete missing 6 games for a PED suspension, last night Robert Alford who was their next best guy in line, they signed this offseason to a $22.5M contract, I believe fractured his tibia and is going to miss a significant portion of the regular season. Their offensive line is going to be BAD. The other team is going to possess the ball a lot, and for a long time. There are a huge number of red flags.
All-in-all, DJ will be the workhorse, and there will be big plays to be had, I think there will be a lot of garbage time where DJ catches 3-4 passes in the fourth quarter, but I'm not expecting a ton of rushing production from him, and neither is Vegas. So, before you think about moving DJ up into that elite tier of RBs, a top-3 pick or whatever, I'd think twice.
7. Julio Jones - WR, Atlanta Falcons
Much of the same can be said about Julio as was for Hopkins. Over the last 5 seasons, Julio's 16-game average:
- 169 targets
- 109 receptions
- 1661 yards
- 6.5 TDs (ugh, yeah I know)
By 16-game pace, never fewer than 88 receptions or 1444 yards. We have Dirk Koetter coming in, who is horrible at producing anything from the ground game and they're going to be throwing the ball at a rate of 65% or higher. They don't play outside a dome until like Week 12 this year. Julio is vegas's odds on favorite to lead the NFL in rec. yards, receptions (tied), 5th in TDs.
We talked to Dr. Morse - we're not worried about the foot. He's fine, he's balled on the same foot for the last X number of years.
8. Travis Kelce - TE, Kansas City Chiefs
I have to preface this ranking by saying I won't be selecting Kelce 8 overall, but I think he is very much worthy of the 8 overall pick and holds every bit of value to be considered here. The reason I probably won't take him is that the depth at RB in drafts this year is shot, so I want to make sure I get an elite WR and RBs in the first few rounds, and I'm okay grabbing my TE1 in the 5th, 6th, 7th round - whether that's Henry, Engram, O.J. Howard, whatever.
So, Kelce is coming off of a year where he finished as TE1 despite facing competition the all-time single-season yards leader and receptions leader at the position in Zach Ertz and George Kittle last year.
9. Odell Beckham Jr. - WR, Cleveland Browns
I just think sometimes fantasy football doesn't have to be hard. You put one, if not the most talented WR in the game, match him up with a QB finally, who is one of the most accurate passers in the league, and good things are going to happen.
He's dealing with some sort of a hip pointer thing right now, and it's not supposed to be serious, HC Freddie Kitchens says if it were regular season he'd be able to suit up - so it's something to monitor and also reminds you of the injury concern related to OBJ. It was a big concern for me, Dr. Morse put OBJ as like a 3/10 injury concern going into 2019 so he wasn't concerned at all, which makes me feel better about the situation. So, he's got about 3 weeks to heal this hip, so he should be all systems go for the regular season but I doubt we see him in the preseason at all which sucks.
OBJ's been one of the most prolific producers at the WR position we've ever seen to begin his career, with Eli as the QB. Eli's deep accuracy has been one of the lowest-ranked since OBJ has come in the league, Baker just off last year was one of the highest-volume deep passers, while being top-5 in deep accuracy last year - I think the two are going to be a match made in heaven. If you want to fade him due to injury concerns, which I may end up doing, I completely understand - but I will own OBJ in one, if not multiple leagues of mine because overall WR1 for fantasy is easily in his range of outcomes.
10. Nick Chubb - RB, Cleveland Browns
Went deep on Chubb in my must own RBs video last week:
He's just amazing and in a prime position to blow up.
On the season he had PFF's 2nd highest rushing grade only behind Melvin Gordon, and the singles-highest elusive grade of any back with more than 60 carries and the single-highest yards after contact rate among all NFL backs. He had 4 runs of 40+ yards last year, top-10 in breakaway runs, like this guy is just a massive, best of a big play machine waiting to happen. That made no fuckin sense but y'all get the point.
Pass-catching it's a concern for sure. Over their last 8 games last year, Chubb caught 20 passes, on 27 targets. Double that for 16 games, if you're giving me 40 receptions from Chubb along with his groundwork - I'm all in. Duke Johnson was still very much there while that receiving pace was there for Chubb, so there's no reason to assume Chubb won't finish flirting with that 40-catch mark. Obviously, Duke is gone now, Dontrell Hilliard is the receiving back now, but Chubb is going to get plenty of work from both angles.
Kareem Hunt, though. Guys you gotta stop thinking 10 weeks ahead, it's not how you win fantasy leagues. So much can happen between now and then. We already know Duke wants to be traded. This was just a fantastic business move by the Browns, getting a quality running back for $1M... they ate the PR bullshit that came along with it, people are over it, and now they have their depth. By week 10, Chubb is going to have given you a spot in your playoffs.
The Browns will obviously be a much better offense and team this year, leading to fewer game scripts, not in favor or Chubb. I'm all in on his talent, on his opportunity and him in the 2nd or 3rd round - give me that all day.