You'll see a looooot of changes from the top-30 overall rankings video I made about a month or so ago, probably even longer. So, I'll throw this out there at the forefront peoples, my ideas, strategies, theories, player analysis, rankings, favorite sleepers, etc. are going to change all the time, weekly, if not daily throughout the summer depending on new sources of information, new rumors, notes, injuries etc. that happen in the coming months, so if you watch my top sleepers video I did a month ago, in late August, there's a 50/50 change that I actually hate those players now, based on how much their ADP has changed. So, ultimately, always be open to change when it comes to interpreting players. Don't make your mind up in May and that's that. That's how you're inviting yourself to suck in fantasy football.
Anyways, into the actual rankings. I believe the top-5 are exactly the same - Le'Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson & Antonio Brown so I won't get into them, and I won't get into all 50 guys, just guys that are probably noteworthy or outliers.
Last time I did this I also didn't have rookies in here, now I do, with Saquon Barkley being at the forefront, as the 6th player off the board right after Brown. Being the highly touted prospect that he's been, there'll be plenty of discussion on Barkley. I think he is by far and away the best option at RB behind the first four guys, who are probably equal in talent to Barkley, but he just hasn't done it in the NFL yet, which throws him a tier below. As for the running backs going after him, although they've done it, they have question marks - Alvin Kamara obviously has the workload and Mark Ingram returning. Leonard Fournette, who I already seem to be much higher on than most, has injury concern as well as seemingly going to be far less involved in the passing game than Barkley. That's the thing about Barkley guys, he can be up there in the 60-70 catch range, which I expect, and if he does that, any inefficiency in the running game will be more than made up for.
Dalvin Cook is integrating himself back into the Vikings offense after missing almost all of last year, and you had Latavius Murray who impressed and might have earned a small role if nothing else. Hunt & Dalvin Cook are pretty interchangeable here for me. I like Cook a little more because I like the team, their defense is phenomenal, so they'll naturally lean on the run game a lot more, have better field position, more scoring opps, Hunt has a lot of weapons to compete with in terms of pass-catchers, and he has Spencer Ware coming back, along with the signing of the other guys, the two Williams' & just Andy Reid's play calling, it's hard to imagine a consistent workload. Hunt should be there at the end of the year as a top running back, but there's a decent chance, WoW is hard to predict with him. Hunt had 6 games last year with 13 carries or less, not exactly what you want out of your workhorse back. I like Hunt a lot, and I wouldn't argue with anyone placing him where I have Fournette, but this is where I'd personally have him.
I'm not sure there are a lot of people that would argue my top 3 WRs in Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr. in that order, maybe being a little lower overall than the consensus. For me it goes back to wanting a bellcow RB in the first over a top WR. I've shown this quite a few times already this summer, but for all the people new to the channel, first off welcome and I love you, secondly check this chart out:
If you're too lazy to figure this chart out, no worries I got ya back like chiroprac. It's showing what the average top-5 fantasy RB has scored on average each year versus the top 5 fantasy WR. So, you can see, just normally, outside of the year when 80% of the top-10 rbs got hurt or fell off, and WRs just happened to have their best year ever, which was the year everyone started going zero-RB which backfired heavily, top fantasy RBs just outscore top fantasy WRs. But, I realized, that this doesn't actually make the argument for why you should take an RB over a WR, does it? Because what if a top-5 fantasy WR scores 17 points a game, but WR12 or WR15 in that same year scores 6 points a game, so the opportunity cost in not having an elite WR could theoretically be much greater than that of missing out on a top RB. So, here's what I did, and stay with me here people, I'll break it down simply for you I promise, and if you're listening via Podcast, I'd suggest come checking this out on YouTube for the chart (my channel on YouTube is just my name - Nick Ercolano):
So here's what we did. I went back over the last 5 szns, and I found the 0.5 PPR fantasy points, each year for that szn's RB1, RB5, RB10, RB15, and same for WRs. The whole point was to see is if you're losing out on my respective fantasy points by skipping on high-end WRs or RBs. So, on average are fantasy RB15 scoring a lot less than RB1 or RB5, and what about WRs? Well, it's exactly what I expected. RBs are still much more valuable. On average, the gap between FPPG per game from RB1-15 is a staggering 9.4, for WRs it's still high at 6.3, but much less than RBs. Guys, this is the reason you wait on QBs, Kickers, Defenses, things like that, because QB5 scores probably 2.5 more FPPG than QB15, with kickers and defenses, it's even worse. But I just wanted to double check, in case you know the RB1 was a bunch of outliers skewing the data, and while the gap lessens from RB5-RB15, and WR5-WR15, it's still in favor or RBs. So, I wouldn't say this means go draft Jordan Howard over Odell Beckham, but if it's a tie-breaker for you, the numbers are skewed in favor of running backs guys.
And guys, my complete draft guide, is available for pre-order right now on my site, linked here and down below, will have my top-250 overall rankings and positional rankings broken down by tiers. I'm shooting for the first issue to be released on July 8th~ish, but if you order now you're going to get it at a big discount, the price goes up on July 1. It's completely interactive, all mobile/table/laptop and will be updated every single week following the release throughout the summer. The rankings will be updated frequently, my top sleepers, busts, videos & articles that you won't find outside of the draft guide, weekly posts of the biggest news in fantasy from the previous week and social media questions I've been getting, the BDGE bible which is a position-by-position breakdown of exactly how you should attack your draft this year and the strategy behind it, and just a ton more included in the draft guide. It's gonna be awesome people, I can promise you that, I'm working hard on it right now and I CANNOT wait to bring it to you, so link down below, order now to get a discounted price, you won't be disappointed.
What else do we got. I think while doing my WR Rankings video, I talked myself into moving Michael Thomas over Davante Adams. I also boosted Keenan Allen over Adams as well, simply because of the Hunter Henry injury. RIP RIP the gawd. I went very in-depth on Michael Thomas & Adams in the top-12 WR Rankings video, so if you want to hear more about my thoughts on them two, I'll link that video here and down below, I highly recommend you peep those.
We can move into that big blue block of RBs from 21-25, for me, Devonta Freeman has arguably the highest upside here, maybe the highest floor, but is definitely on the best offense, so that's why he's there. I wouldn't be mad about taking him a couple spots higher either. Joe Mixon has absolute 3-down capability and top-5 upside but is also in probably the worst offense here. Another caveat about having a bad offense - you look at the teams that ran the most plays from scrimmage in the NFL last year, Jacksonville, New England, Philadelphia, all around 1,060-1,080 plays, then you have Cincy, dead last, around 925-930 plays, depending on your source. That's like 150-170 plays difference, so you can love Mixon as a talent, and the fact that they've upgraded the line and what not, but when it comes down to it, volume usually wins in fantasy football. Jerick McKinnon, I love if you can grab him here, him and C-Mac are super right, both have amazing floors if they can stay healthy, but obviously, I expect McKinnon to be much more involved in the running game over there in San Fran. Jordan Howard is the polar opposite lol and I'd just prefer a guy with passing game upside because they're not game script dependent like Howard can be.
After that run of RBs, 9 of the next 10 rankings are WRs.
Before we get into that, I wanna take a minute to thank the sponsors of today's episode, FantasyJocks.com - the leader for your fantasy league gear.
Clearly, Doug Baldwin is my favorite of the bunch. With Jimmy Graham & Paul Richardson gone, that opens up 37 RZ targets, 16 Tenzone targets & 16 passing touchdowns. As for the signing of Brandon Marshall, absolutely 0 worries from me on that. He's 34, coming off a serious injury, if anything he might be a good RZ target for Russell Wilson, but they have a ton of opportunity available there either way.
Let's see, then we have Mike Evans with the upside, Larry Fitz and Theilen with the gorgeous floors. I think a lot of this might have to do with roster construction at this point. Like, if my first round pick was Antonio Brown, I might be fine grabbing Mike Evans or Allen Robinson as my WR2 because you already have a safe WR1, and these guys have high ceilings but are also risky in a sense, you know?
Yes, the only RB in the middle of those guys is Sony Michel. I will state this now, and it will not change (until we hear reports all summer saying differently), I will probably go down on the Sony Michel ship, for better or worse. I'm all in on him as a talent at the running back position, and what makes me that much more confident is the fact that they took him in the first round guys, don't forget that. The Patriots, a game away from being Superbowl champs again, said okay our most pressing need apart from the lineman they took earlier, is running back... That should say something. If they thought Michel was going to be another interchangeable piece in the offense, why not sign C.J. Anderson, or another running back in the 3rd or 4th round? The way I see it, Michel will likely take the Dion Lewis role from last year which is fantastic by me, or the Blount role from two years ago... also fine by me. Guys this is the Patriots offense we're talking about here. The scoring opps are plentiful, you don't need a 60% snap share to produce, score and zominate. I'm very, very high on Michel for 2018.
Aaron Rodgers is the first QB off the board for me & the only in my top-50 here, and to be quite honest, idk if I would eve draft him here if I'm personally drafting, there are just so many options this year, especially if you play in, which the majority of you probably do, 4 point per pass TD league and starting only 1 QB. For the same reason I said before, streaming QBs is good, because there are not much different in FPPG between mid-tier QB1's and high-mid QB2s.
Rashaad Penny is a guy I've been coolin' on a little bit as of recently, I'm just not sure, even given the first round capital, he's going to be really involved at all on 3rd downs, when he's not a good pass-blocker and they have two pass-catchers in C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic who was literally a WR in college.
And lastly, a guy who's been rising up my draft board is Lamar Miller, I mean, just by default. A true case of volume is king. We have no idea what's going on with D'Onta Foreman, rumors of him possibly going to the PUP. They didn't draft or sign any FA RBs.... It's hard to ignore him at this point, even given his efficiencies, plus he was way, way more efficient when Deshaun Watson was under center in 2017, so that's a positive for sure.