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Shane's 2019 Fantasy Football Top 220 & Draft Strategy

August 9, 2019

 

 

This is the second annual installment of this blog and yes, much of it is copy and pasted from last year. If you are enough of a fan and have a good enough memory to have noticed that, I can't tell me honored I am. If not, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy nonetheless: 

 

This may come as very ironic considering a previous blog I wrote last year telling a story that cemented my philosophy that fantasy football has a huge element of luck and none of us know shit about it. Well, I still completely believe that. However, I have recently adopted the same mantra about fantasy football as I have about poker (possibly the only vice I have stronger than fantasy): it is all about putting yourself at statistical advantage to get lucky. 

 

It will probably be obvious if you read on but I am by no means a professional fantasy player with any kind of profound wisdom or insight. I am however VERY experienced and this is the format I approach my draft with and how I will be approaching all my drafts this season.

 

  • I have ranked all position players from 1-220. I upped it to 220 from 200 last year due to the growth of the 16 team league. However, I used a 12 team league as the example for this as it is a happy medium.

  • I rank based on 1/2 pt PPR scoring for two reasons: because I think it is best scoring system run a league off of and so this list can be used to help you in a standard, half, or full point PPR league. 

  • The ranking doesn't necessarily reflect where I think they will finish in fantasy though. I draft based on a tier system, what rounds I am willing to take a player relative to his position. If you are drafting in a 2QB/Superflex league simply up the QB rankings by 4 rounds.

  • I try to write this in a simple, easy to digest manner. Again, I am no pro writer or fantasy player, but maybe this is just one more piece to chew on...or mock...either is acceptable.

 

Round 1: Your Stud

I went extremely WR heavy last year which honestly worked out fine. But with the propensity of the RB by committee strategy, the pendulum has almost swung back to going RB first round almost no matter what, minus the top 5 Elite WR's in the league.

 

1 Saquon Barkley NYG RB1

2 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB2

3 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB3

4 Alvin Kamara NO RB4

5 LeVeon Bell NYJ RB5

6 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR1

7 Davante Adams GB WR2

8 Odell Beckham Jr CLE WR3

9 Julio Jones ATL WR4

10 Michael Thomas NO WR5

11 David Johnson ARI RB6

12 Joe Mixon CIN RB7

 

Round 2 Your....other....stud

Okay I don't know a clever name for this group but these first 2 picks are going to traditionally be about 20-25% of your weekly scoring so make it a good one as well. I wouldn't blame you if you were hesitant to go WR-WR these first 2 picks though. For example if I'm in that 6 spot and it goes chalk, I absolutely take Hopkins there, but I completely understand if you pass on WR8-11 and take Fournette or Chubb at that 19 spot.

 

13 James Conner PIT RB8

14 Dalvin Cook MIN RB9

15 Nick Chubb CLE RB10

16 Todd Gurley LAR RB11

17 Antonio Brown OAK WR6

18 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT WR7

19 Keenan Allen LAC WR8

20 Mike Evans TB WR9

21 T.Y. Hilton IND WR10

22 Tyreek Hill KC WR11

23 Leonard Fournette JAX RB12

24 Devonta Freeman ATL RB13

 

Round 3&4 The rest of your core

Hopefully by now I've got at least one RB if not 2. Now it's time to start going best available crazy! If I am in a standard league with a FLEX position, I am just taking the best 2 players regardless of position. There are only 3 TE's I am considering in these rounds but if two of them are best 2 available, so be it! I've got a bad ass FLEX and great trade bait. Also, as of publishing time this is where I feel comfortable rolling the dice on Melvin Gordon. I can recover if I miss on my 3rd rounder, it's infinitely tougher to recover from your 1st or 2nd rounder sitting out the year (just ask Bell owners from last year).

 

25 Travis Kelce KC TE1

26 Zach Ertz PHI TE2

27 George Kittle SF TE3

28 Melvin Gordon LAC RB14

29 Marlon Mack IND RB15

30 Damien Williams KC RB16

31 Derrick Henry TEN RB17

32 Aaron Jones GB RB18

33 Amari Cooper DAL WR12

34 A.J. Green CIN WR13

35 Adam Thielen MIN WR14

36 Stefon Diggs MIN WR15

37 Julian Edelman NE WR16

38 Brandin Cooks LAR WR17

39 Kerryon Johnson DET RB19

40 Josh Jacobs OAK RB20

41 Chris Carson SEA RB21

42 Phillip Lindsay DEN RB22

43 Mark Ingram BAL RB23

44 Sony Michel NE RB24

45 Robert Woods LAR WR18

46 Cooper Kupp LAR WR19

47 Tyler Lockett SEA WR20

48 Kenny Golladay DET WR21

49 Chris Godwin TB WR22

 

Round 5&6 Shore up your starters

This is when I start paying attention how my roster construction is shaping up. If everyone is going RB crazy and I've went WR-RB-WR-WR I am most likely taking a RB here even if some of the WR15-24's have fallen. Or if all 3 of the top-tier TE's have went off the board there are still some quality contributing TE's that be snagged in this range.

 

50 David Montgomery CHI RB25

51 Kenyan Drake MIA RB26

52 James White NE RB27

53 Tarik Cohen CHI RB28

54 Tevin Coleman SF RB29

55 Lamar Miller HOU RB30

56 Derrius Guice WAS RB31

57 Latavius Murray NO RB32

58 Alshon Jeffery PHI WR23

59 D.J. Moore CAR WR24

60 Calvin Ridley ATL WR25

61 Robby Anderson NYJ WR26

62 Mike Williams LAC WR27

63 Tyler Boyd CIN WR28

64 Allen Robinson CHI WR29

65 Jarvis Landry CLE WR30

66 Marvin Jones DET WR31

67 Evan Engram NYG TE4

68 Hunter Henry LAC TE5

69 O.J. Howard TB TE6

70 Jared Cook NO TE7

71 Sammy Watkins KC WR32

72 Dante Pettis SF WR33

73 Will Fuller HOU WR34

74 Christian Kirk ARI WR35

 

Round 7&8 Start thinking QB...but you probably won't get one

This is probably my most unorthodox philosophy. It's not that I think that freak show Mahomes or whoever is QB1 that year is fantasy-wise virtually equal to QB2-10, I have just found they are not 3 rounds better. With all of the rules protecting QB's and pass catchers there isn't that much separation between one of the QB's commonly taken in the 3rd round vs one taken in the 7th or 8th. Hell, none of these QB's may even be here by the time these rounds come along. I just keep chugging and filling my roster with viable WR's and RB's. Keep in mind Ben Roethlisberger and Jared Goff were the #3 and #6 Fantasy QB's last year.

 

75 Pat Mahomes KC QB1

76 Andrew Luck IND QB2

77 Aaron Rodgers GB QB3

78 Deshaun Watson HOU QB4

79 Matt Ryan ATL QB5

80 Baker Mayfield CLE QB6

81 Cam Newton CAR QB7

82 Drew Brees NO QB8

83 Carson Wentz PHI QB9

84 Russell Wilson SEA QB10

85 Rashaad Penny SEA RB33

86 Darrell Henderson LAR RB34

87 Miles Sanders PHI RB35

88 Jordan Howard PHI RB36

89 Royce Freeman DEN RB37

90 Sterling Shepard NYG WR36

91 Corey Davis TEN WR37

92 Courtland Sutton DEN WR38

93 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR39

94 Curtis Samuel CAR WR40

95 Dede Westbrook JAX WR41

96 Golden Tate NYG WR42

97 Eric Ebron IND TE8

98 Vance McDonald PIT TE9

99 David Njoku CLE TE10

 


Rounds 9&10 Handcuffs and Bye Week FLEX Options

As I stated earlier, I approach fantasy as "putting yourself at a statistical advantage to get lucky" which essentially translates to minimizing risk. This is why I handcuff (own backups that will see action should there be an injury or suspension) whenever possible. Even with WR's. For example, if I drafted Davante Adams in the first round, I am probably eyeing Allison or Valdes-Scantling around this area even if there are players I have ranked slightly higher available. I like to have a monopoly on team's whole position units, not just players. And it really doesn't hurt you that much during bye weeks. If you have to play Allison or Valdes-Scantling in the FLEX one week, you having his teammate doesn't change what his production would have been. These are the rounds I usually start seeking handcuffs to my core players.

 

100 Ronald Jones II TB RB 38

101 LeSean McCoy BUF RB39

102 Austin Ekeler LAC RB40

103 Jerick McKinnon SF RB41

104 Matt Breida SF RB42

105 Peyton Barber TB RB43

106 Carlos Hyde KC RB44

107 Keke Coutee HOU WR43

108 N'Keal Harry NE WR44

109 DeSean Jackson PHI WR45

110 Geronimo Allison GB WR46

111 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB WR47

112 Anthony Miller CHI WR48

113 Trey Burton CHI TE11

114 Delanie Walker TEN TE12

115 Austin Hooper ATL TE13

116 Greg Olsen CAR TE14

117 Jack Doyle IND TE15

118 Jimmy Graham GBTE16

119 Jordan Reed WASTE17

120 Kyle Rudolph MIN TE18

121 Nyheim Hines IND RB45

122 Adrian Peterson WAS RB46

123 Ito Smith ATL RB47

124 Jaylen Samuels PIT RB48

125 Kareem Hunt CLE RB49

126 Dion Lewis TEN RB50

127 Kalen Ballage MIA RB51

128 Donta Foreman IND RB52

 

Rounds 11&12 Viable QB's and Breakout Players

If I did get one of the above 10 QB's, I'm done taking QB's and I am right back to getting FLEX's and handcuff options. There can still be some relatively high floor players taken down here that are going to see the field plenty. If all the first 10 QB's are taken I am REALLY focusing on the position here. I have even been known to go back-to-back QB's in these rounds and stream weekly or see if one stands out over another. The only QB in the top 10 I might consider drafting a 2nd QB with is Baker...simply because we're not 100% sure what that offense might look like. This is also where you might reach on that rookie WR or RB that you think might thrive in their new system. That play has won more than one league.

 

129 Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB11

130 Jared Goff LAR QB12

131 Dak Prescott DAL QB13

132 Jameis Winston TB QB14

133 Kyler Murray ARI QB15

134 Philip Rivers LAC QB16

135 Tom Brady NE QB17

136 Mitch Trubisky CHI QB18

137 Lamar Jackson BAL QB19

138 Donte Moncrief PIT WR49

139 Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR50

140 James Washington PIT WR51

141 D.K. Metcalf SEA WR52

142 Michael Gallup DAL WR53

143 Devin Funchess INDWR54

144 Daesean Hamilton DEN WR55

145 Tyrell Williams OAK WR56

146 Kenny Stills MIA WR57

147 Parris Campbell IND WR58

148 Jamison Crowder WAS WR59

149 Tre'Quan Smith NO WR60

150 Albert Wilson MIA WR61

151 Marquise Brown BAL WR62

152 Adam Humphries TEN WR63

153 Mohamed Sanu ATL WR64

154 Damien Harris NE RB53

155 Duke Johnson HOU RB54

156 Jamaal Williams GB RB55

157 Chris Thompson WAS RB56

158 Devin Singletary BUF RB57

159 CJ Anderson DET RB58

160 Giovani Bernard CIN RB59

161 Mark Andrews BAL TE19

162 Noah Fant DEN TE20

163 T.J. Hockenson DET TE21

164 Marqise Lee JAX WR65

165 Deebo Samuel SF WR66

166 Mecole Hardman KCWR67

167 DeVante Parker MIA WR68

168 John Brown BUF WR69

169 Marquise Goodwin SF WR70

 

Fliers and deep league picks

Alright, if you haven't gotten a QB or TE by now you need to (no judgement from me). Otherwise, SWING FOR THE FENCES! No point in being safe here. I pick the unsigned Free Agents, Rookies that looked good in preseason, guys due for a resurrection, etc. They're most likely getting cut come heavy bye week time anyway...I shoot for the moon!

 

170 Kirk Cousins MIN QB20

171 Josh Allen BUF QB21

172 Jimmy Garoppolo SF QB22

173 Sam Darnold NYJ QB23

174 Matthew Stafford DET QB24

175 Robert Foster BUF WR71

176 Andy Isabella ARI WR72

177 Paul Richardson WAS WR73

178 AJ Brown TEN WR74

179 DJ Chark JAX WR75

180 Quincy Enunwa NYJ WR76

181 Randall Cobb DAL WR77

182 Ted Ginn Jr NO WR78

183 Zay Jones BUF WR79

184 David Moore SEA WR 80

185 Antonio Callaway CLE WR81

186 Josh Doctson WAS WR82

187 Nelson Algholor PHI WR83

188 Willie Snead IV BAL WR84

189 Taylor Gabriel CHI WR85

190 John Ross CIN WR86

191 Trey Quinn WAS WR87

192 Equanimeous St. Brown GB WR88

193 Chris Herndon NYJ TE22

194 Dallas Goedert PHI TE23

195 Mike Gesicki MIA TE24

196 Tyler Eifert CIN TE25

197 Gerald Everett LAR TE26

198 Jason Witten DAL TE27

199 Justice Hill BAL RB60

200 Gus Edwards BAL RB61

201 Alexander Mattison MIN RB62

202 Jalen Richard OAK RB63

203 Rex Burkhead NE RB64

204 Mike Davis CHI RB65

205 Theo Riddick DEN RB66

206 Chase Edmonds ARI RB67

207 Darwin Thompson KC RB68

208 Doug Martin OAK RB69

209 Ryquell Armstead JAX RB70

210 Frank Gore BUF RB71

211 TJ Yeldon BUF RB72

212 Kenneth Dixon BAL RB73

213 Justin Jackson LAC RB74

214 Derek Carr OAK QB25

215 Andy Dalton CIN QB26

216 Marcus Mariota TEN QB27

217 Nick Foles JAX QB28

218 Joe Flacco DEN QB29

219 Eli Manning NYG QB30

220 Dwayne Haskins WAS QB31

 

Defense and Kicker

I have never looked back at any fantasy football success and said "I couldn't have done it without *insert defense or kicker". There is no circumstance I don't go Defense next to last and Kicker last in that order unless I don't have to draft either and fill it later. The only instance I can halfway understand this year is the Chicago defense but honestly I bet there are still weeks they are not the best option.

 

 

 

 

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