Fantasy Football Rankings


Photo Courtesy of Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY


By: Alexander Amir


With free agency and the draft far behind us, it’s time for team owners to seriously begin research for this year’s fantasy season! These rankings will change a lot throughout the summer, but for now this is my approximation of the order in which these players should be drafted if a league were to begin today. I’ll give a brief explanation of my thought process for each position group — if you’re not satisfied with it, at me on twitter @ajamir21!


Quarterback

1. Aaron Rodgers, GB

2. Andrew Luck, IND

3. Patrick Mahomes, KC

4. Deshaun Watson, HOU

5. Matt Ryan, ATL

6. Russell Wilson, SEA

7. Baker Mayfield, CLE

8. Drew Brees, NO

9. Cam Newton, CAR

10. Carson Wentz, PHI

11. Dak Prescott, DAL

12. Tom Brady, NE

13. Kyler Murray, ARI

14. Philip Rivers, LAC

15. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT

16. Jared Goff, LAR

17. Jameis Winston, TB

18. Kirk Cousins, MIN

19. Matthew Stafford, DET

20. Derek Carr, OAK

21. Lamar Jackson, BAL

22. Jimmy Garoppolo, SF

23. Josh Allen, BUF

24. Mitch Trubisky, CHI

25. Sam Darnold, NYJ


Details: Patrick Mahomes anywhere below #1 might seem like an egregious take, but no QB has been a back to back fantasy points leader since Daunte Culpepper from 2002-2004. Mahomes lost Tyreek Hill this offseason, which is an unimaginable loss of talent given his scheme fit and speed, plus he has the hardest strength of schedule amongst all QBs according to FantasyPros… Baker Mayfield showed flashes of excellent games last year, with seven 17+ point games. With Odell Beckham Jr. joining the fold, Mayfield is poised to take a huge step forward… I expect Ben Roethlisberger to take a big step back without both Antonio Brown and Le’veon Bell… Kyler Murray will be fantasy relevant due to at least his legs; Lamar Jackson had 15+ fantasy points in all of his starts last season, and Murray is faster than him and has a better arm… Jameis Winston could jump in my rankings with offensive guru Bruce Arians now coaching the team, but for now his track record is too inconsistent to put higher.


Running Back

1. Saquon Barkley, NYG

2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL

3. Christian McCaffrey, CAR

4. Alvin Kamara, NO

5. Melvin Gordon, LAC

6. David Johnson, ARI

7. Le’Veon Bell, NYJ

8. James Connor, PIT

9. Todd Gurley, LAR

10. Dalvin Cook, MIN

11. Joe Mixon, CIN

12. Aaron Jones, GB

13. Marlon Mack, IND

14. Devonta Freeman, ATL

15. Kerryon Johnson, DET

16. Sony Michel, NE

17. Derrick Henry, TEN

18. Leonard Fournette, JAX

19. Josh Jacobs, OAK

20. Nick Chubb, CLE

21. Mark Ingram, BAL

22. Phillip Lindsay, DEN

23. James White, NE

24. Tarik Cohen, CHI

25. Damien Williams, KC

26. Rashaad Penny, SEA

27. Royce Freeman, DEN

28. Jordan Howard, PHI

29. Tevin Coleman, SF

30. Chris Carson, SEA

31. Miles Sanders, PHI

32. Derrius Guice, WAS

33. Lamar Miller, HOU

34. Kenyan Drake, MIA

35. David Montgomery, CHI

36. Latavius Murray, NO

37. Jerick McKinnon, SF

38. Austin Ekeler, LAC

39. LeSean McCoy, BUF

40. Ronald Jones II, TB


Details: Saquon Barkley should be the 1st back off the board in all formats. The Giants offensive line is only better and their QB situation can’t get any worse… Todd Gurley is far lower than I have seen in a long time, but the arthritis in his knee scares me. The Rams will likely manage his workload and we saw what kind of an effect the injury had on him last year… Josh Jacobs will get a boatload of touches on all downs in the Oakland offense, and he has fresh legs to manage it… Nick Chubb will be a beast for the first 8 weeks of the season, but when Kareem Hunt returns it’s probably going to be a straight up timeshare — I can’t trust that in the fantasy playoffs… The Redskins backfield is by far the most crowded in the league, which is why their highest rated back is Derrius Guice at #32. I would stay away from Washington entirely at least until it’s sorted out… I bet Rashaad Penny leads Seahawks running backs in fantasy points. Backup Mike Davis is no longer on the team, Chris Carson currently has a knee injury and has already missed 14 games in two years, and Seattle might go even more run heavy with Doug Baldwin gone.


Wide Receiver

1. Davante Adams, GB

2. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU

3. Odell Beckham Jr., CLE

4. Mike Evans, TB

5. Julio Jones, ATL

6. Michael Thomas, NO

7. Juju Smith-Schuster, PIT

8. Antonio Brown, OAK

9. T.Y. Hilton, IND

10. Keenan Allen, LAC

11. A.J. Green, CIN

12. Adam Thielen, MIN

13. Amari Cooper, DAL

14. Stefon Diggs, MIN

15. Julian Edelman, NE

16. Kenny Golladay, DET

17. Alshon Jeffery, PHI

18. Robert Woods, LAR 19. Jarvis Landry, CLE

20. Brandin Cooks, LAR

21. Tyler Lockett, SEA

22. Cooper Kupp, LAR

23. Chris Godwin, TB

24. Sammy Watkins, KC

25. Mecole Hardman, KC

26. Allen Robinson, CHI

27. Calvin Ridley, ATL

28. N’Keal Harry, NE

29. D.J. Moore, CAR

30. Marvin Jones, DET

31. Tyler Boyd, CIN

32. Dante Pettis, SF

33. Courtland Sutton, DEN

34. Golden Tate, NYG

35. Christian Kirk, ARI

36. Mike Williams, LAC

37. Will Fuller, HOU

38. Corey Davis, TEN

39. Robby Anderson, NYJ

40. James Washington, PIT


Details: Mike Evans is poised for a giant fantasy season with new coach Bruce Arians, who will undoubtedly utilize him in all sorts of ways… Juju Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown are such hard projections for me, but I think they both land in the top ten. The former will be hurt by Brown’s absence, while the latter will see a decrease in QB play…. Julian Edelman will once again be a PPR maven and will see even more looks with Rob Gronkowski retired… similarly, I have extremely high hopes for rookie N’Keal Harry, who will take over Gronk’s red zone targets… Mecole Hardman is one of my favorite sleepers this year. Andy Reid will use him exactly the same way he did Tyreek Hill, and Hardman has the athleticism to make it happen… Jarvis Landry will be competing with Odell for more targets, but that will take the attention off him. He will be facing exclusively single coverage, and a quick hit offense is Baker Mayfield’s bread and butter… Mike Williams will be a nice later round find, particularly with Tyrell Williams’ departure.


Tight End

1. Travis Kelce, KC

2. George Kittle, SF

3. Zach Ertz, TE

4. O.J. Howard, TB

5. Hunter Henry, LAC

6. David Njoku, CLE

7. Evan Engram, NYG

8. Chris Herndon, NYJ

9. Delanie Walker, TEN

10. Eric Ebron, IND

11. Benjamin Watson, NE

12. Jared Cook, NO

13. Jack Doyle, IND

14. T.J. Hockenson, DET

15. Austin Hooper, ATL

16. Kyle Rudolph, MIN

17. Trey Burton, CHI

18. Jordan Reed, WAS

19. Dallas Goedert, PHI

20. Mark Andrews, BAL


Details: Travis Kelce is now very clearly Kansas City’s #1 option with Tyreek Hill’s release, while Sammy Watkins and Hardman will still keep the defense honest… like I discussed with Mike Evans, Bruce Arians will likely maximize O.J. Howard’s capabilities… Chris Herndon is my sleeper pick at tight end, as he has no competition for targets and will be a safety blanket for a still developing, young Sam Darnold… Eric Ebron’s stock drops with the return of Jack Doyle, but I think that offense can still support him as a top 10 tight end… rookie tight ends rarely do well, but Detroit’s Matt Patricia is trying to remake the Patriots. That means big things for T.J. HockensonDallas Goedert showed some productivity last year and is easily the most valuable handcuff at the position.


Defense/Special Teams

1. Chicago Bears

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

3. Los Angeles Chargers

4. Los Angeles Rams

5. Baltimore Ravens

6. Minnesota Vikings

7. New England Patriots

8. New York Jets 9. Buffalo Bills

10. Houston Texans

11. Tennessee Titans

12. Indianapolis Colts

13. Denver Broncos

14. Kansas City Chiefs

15. Washington Redskins


Details: Defense is too hard to predict at this stage, so I essentially ranked these defensive units off of talent and schedule. AFC East teams have 10 games each against the AFC and NFC East, two divisions featuring some of the least explosive offenses in the league (save for the Patriots). That’s why they have 3 teams in the top 10 with the Patriots, Jets, and BillsKansas City had a sneaky good defense last year and added Frank Clark, Tyrann Mathieu, Emmanuel Ogbah, Juan Thornhill, and Darron Lee to offset the losses of Dee Ford, Justin Houston, Steven Nelson, and Eric Berry.


Kicker

1. Justin Tucker, BAL

2. Harrison Butker, KC

3. Greg Zuerlein, LAR

4. Wil Lutz, NO

5. Mason Crosby, GB

6. Stephen Gostkowski, NE

7. Aldrick Rosas, NYG 8. Robbie Gould, SF

9. Jake Elliott, PHI

10. Jason Myers, SEA

11. Bret Maher, DAL

12. Adam Vinatieri, IND

13. Greg Joseph, CLE

14. Matt Prater, DET

15. Chris Boswell, PIT


Details: This is in some ways the easiest to predict, because kickers who do well usually do so for a sustained period of time, and kickers on good offensive usually stay fantasy relevant. The only surprise here is Greg Joseph at #13 — I’m a believer in Cleveland’s offense.