Ell’s Top 25 NFL Fantasy Football Players for 2018-2019
1. RB Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
No different than any other year, dual threat RBs rule the fantasy game and Le’Veon has been one of the top dual threat RBs over the past few seasons and he is looking to prove and get paid like he is best in the league; this scenario plays well into his fantasy projections. The Steelers need Le’Veon to be his best and to get paid he will need that himself, but the holdout may get him off to a rough start; very important year for himself and the team.
2. RB Todd Gurley, Rams
Todd Gurley turned himself into the household name he was in college for the fans who didn’t know who he was after a down season with HC Jeff Fisher. However, after HC Sean McVay found ways to get Gurley the ball expect more of the same, but it would be tough to replicate last year’s numbers. The Rams should shift to a slightly more passing offense, but Gurley’s ability to catch and position as workhorse back ensures he will get the ball early and often.
3. RB Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
With no suspension or setbacks this season, Ezekiel Elliott is ready to go for the rushing title this year in a run 1st offense. I would like to rank him a lot higher, but his small usage in the passing game limits him to an extent. However, expect him to be the focal point of the Cowboys’, but Dak will need to stretch the field to keep defense out the box and send a few passes Elliott’s way, as well.
4. RB Alvin Kamara, Saints
Alvin Kamara set the league on fire last season, as a surprise to the average fan, however you can expect to see a lot more as he is one year better and the suspension to Mark Ingram which opens up a lot of carries. As a legit dual threat with a lot of potential, Kamara may not give the job back to Ingram or continue to see heavy pass catching opportunities with limited WRs.
5. RB David Johnson, Cardinals
David Johnson is fully healthy again ready to go for the rushing title or a 1,000 yard catching and rushing season which he seems destined for. Johnson would be a lot higher on this list if I believed in the Cardinals O-line, but they should be able to run block. The additions of QBs Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen should open up the box for him, as well; he is a very interesting pick.
6. WR DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
After things were looking good for DeAndre Hopkins, he lost his QB to an injury and had to suffer through forced production from lesser QB play, as usual. However, Deshaun Watson is back to hold down the QB spot and Hopkins can prove that he is a top 3 WR in the conversation with Julio and AB; expect big things from Hopkins, who is in his prime and motivated.
7. WR Antonio Brown, Steelers
Antonio Brown has gotten off to a rough start this offseason dealing with injuries, but as one of the top workout warriors in the league he should be ready to defend his spot as the #1 WR in the league. Big Ben has returned to have another big season with his most reliable target; expect more of the usual before things come to an end eventually.
8. WR Davante Adams, Packers
Despite losing his QB, Davante Adams continued to excel and move to the #1 WR spot after usually playing second fiddle to Jordy Nelson who has been sent out. The Packers WR core has thinned out some and Adams will give Rodgers his most reliable go to guy, so expect him to get the ball earlier and often on a pass happy team.
9. WR A.J. Green, Bengals
A.J. Green continues to be one of the most consistent WRs in the league and the addition of a healthy John Ross along with an improved O-line should only increase his production. This is a make or break season for both Andy Dalton and HC Marvin Lewis, so expect Green to get the ball as many ways as possible; as the best player on the team.
10. WR Julio Jones, Falcons
The Falcons finally gave Julio Jones the contract he deserves; now the next goal for the team will be to win a championship which would involve getting Julio the ball early and often. The team has kept the core in place and need Julio to continue to be consistent and happy on the field; expect big things with money taken care of.
11. RB Melvin Gordon, Chargers
The Chargers had good success last season using Melvin Gordon as a dual threat RB leading the way to an efficient season. The Chargers should find even more ways to get Gordon the ball, with the loss of TE Hunter Henry, a lot of big blocking WRs, and an improved O-line to get Gordon moving in space. With no real competition, Gordon should continue to be the workhorse and find better running lanes.
12. WR Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
The Giants need a rebound season and they are looking for Odell Beckham to lead the way, despite needing a rebound season, as well, coming off of injury. Beckham should be given the ball early and often to reclaim his status, as a top receiver in the league and he wants to prove he is the best WR in the league, as well as, overall player.
13. RB Davonta Freeman, Falcons
The Falcons lost their balance at times offensively, but the team needs to run through Davonta Freeman which seems to be when they are most successful. The dual threat abilities of Freeman give the Falcons different looks on offense and sometimes working in two backs has caused consistency issues. Freeman should be healthy and ready to carry the load this season.
14. TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
Unlike recent seasons, the team has become limited on receiving option outside the RB position which means they will rely a lot on Tom Brady’s favorite and most reliable target Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski should prove to be Gronk again with the high volume of targets and the desire to get a big deal before his body breakdowns; this may be his best year, but staying healthy is the key.
15. RB Kareem Hunt, Chiefs
It will be tough for Kareem Hunt to replicate the season he had last year, but the Chiefs have locked up a stout O-line and the team will be more reliant on the run game with Alex Smith leaving town. Hunt is a legit dual threat and has proven early that he can be a workhorse back, but he will need to keep his consistency throughout the season; he should be a year better.
16. RB Jordan Howard, Bears
The Bears and new HC Matt Nagy are looking for offensive consistency and that will start with the run game and Jordan Howard who has proven to be a solid dual threat, but even better runner. Howard should take his game and the offense to a new level in a system that will demand more of him for Mitch Trubisky to continue to improve.
17. RB LeSean McCoy, Bills
This will be a tough season for LeSean McCoy behind a weakened interior O-line, but as one of most talented back in the leagues you can’t rank him so low. The team did well running through McCoy last season, but this year it may be a more uphill battle, but he will make plays as one of the more consistent and productive playmakers in the league.
18. WR Michael Thomas, Saints
Michael Thomas showed the league last year that he has some of the most sure hands and great chemistry with QB Drew Brees; expect more of the same, as he is not only the #1 WR, but the only true possession WR. Brees loves to spread the ball, but expect Thomas to always be the go to guy with his reliability.
19. RB Leonard Fournette, Jaguars
The Jaguars love to run the football and it all starts with Leonard Fournette. He ran through the league just like college, but his wear down by the end of the season was obvious causing him to decide to slim down for the upcoming season. Fournette will be the uncontested workhorse back again, but if he can find a way to stay on the field for more passes his value would increase drastically.
20. WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
Year after year Larry Fitzgerald continues to beat father time while staying in great shape, I expect no difference this year. The additions of QBs Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen as mentioned above will make sure Fitz can keep his same consistency. Also, the return of RB David Johnson should really open up things for him downfield and for single coverage.
21. RB Saquon Barkley, Giants
Being a rookie, it’s tough to know if Saquon Barkley is ranked too high or too low from a fantasy standpoint. I believe Barkley will be a dual threat problem a few weeks into the season, after finding his way, as his running ability seems based more on a big game breaking play, but his pass catching abilities are unquestioned. Expect the Giants to use Barkley in space early and often, until they find the best way to use him underneath and Beckham over the top.
22. WR Mike Evans. Buccaneers
If Jameis Winston wasn’t suspended or if the Bucs had more consistent QB play, Mike Evans would be ranked a lot higher on this list, but after finally getting paid expect big numbers with the return of Winston. Mike Evans is a problem on the field and a young play maker on the rise, expect him to try to put up his best numbers, despite the quarterback play.
23. WR T.Y. Hilton, Colts
The Colts are hoping to get the offense back on track, with the return of Andrew Luck and with limited receiving options on the team, the connection to his favorite and most reliable target T.Y. Hilton should be 1st on the agenda. However, Luck’s ability to throw down field has been questions, but once he gets that connection back sky is the limit for Hilton as the guy; expect them to get him the ball early and often, but it may be a slow start to the season.
24. WR Keenan Allen, Chargers
I wanted to rank Keenan Allen higher on this list, but the return of Mike Williams and the lack of receiving TE’s could lead to Philip Rivers getting the ball out of his hands to different receivers and backs. Allen will continue to be the go to and #1 WR and should eventually put up a dominate streak of games again, but expect other targets to see chances as well to shine.
25. WR Stefon Diggs, Vikings
Just like a few others on the list, Stefon Diggs was recently rewarded with an extension, as well, and as a well-known hard worker, expect him to have his best season to earn his money. Adam Thielen may take some plays away from Diggs similar to last season, but his ability as a RB will lead to him also making a lot of plays in space in this revised offense; expect him to make plays all over the field.