There are only two more Sundays left before the NFL season truly kicks off. What that means is your fantasy football draft will take place in the next two weeks if it hasn’t already occurred.
And so, let’s get down to it. You need rankings. You need a roster that’s going to give you a championship. I can’t do all of those things for you, but I can help, and that starts with full rankings below along with some notable differences I have compared to the consensus FantasyPros rankings.
Early on, my love for receivers DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green is unmatched by the majority of the community. I have both of them in my top-five overall above any running back. Can you trust Todd Gurley in a bad offense? Will David Johnson get 300-plus touches? Can Adrian Peterson continue what he’s done?
These are all questions that don’t have perfect answers. What we do know is that Hopkins and Green are going to get a ton of targets and are two of the best receivers in the game. My theory is to take known production early. Simple as that.
That’s why I have Ezekiel Elliott further down as well, at No. 12 overall. The Cowboys want him to be the lead back and he could very well be the top RB this year behind that offensive line. But he’s a rookie and already had a hamstring problem in the preseason. Can he handle a full, 400-touch workload that DeMarco Murray saw a couple of years ago? I’m not fully confident in that.
On the other side of that, I strangely have confidence in Doug Martin to produce again as Tampa Bay’s lead back. Charles Sims is there, but that’s mostly on third downs and it’s not like Martin won’t be used in the passing game. On an improved offense, I like Martin to match last season’s numbers and I think he’s more trustworthy than guys like Mark Ingram.
For the middle rounds, I like Marvin Jones and Stefon Diggs as high-upside, high-floor guys rather than reaching on the likes of Demaryius Thomas or Julian Edelman.
Jones looks set for a solid season with the Lions, while Diggs can build on what he started last year with Teddy Bridgewater. As for Thomas, I don’t want to deal with his quarterback situation and Edelman has been oft-injured as of late and now has to compete with Martellus Bennett for targets.
Another interesting wide receiver I like more than most who isn’t being talked about in the fantasy community is Travis Benjamin. It can’t be ignored how much he produced last season (966 yards, five TDs) with poor QB play. Now, he gets to play with Philip Rivers, while Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates draw coverage.
Benjamin needs to be on more owners’ radars.
As for tight ends, I doubt that Tyler Eifert can keep up his touchdown rate from a season ago, not to mention he’s consistently injured. Clive Walford is one of those late-round or free-agent tight ends that can be had for free. If you wait for a TE, Walford is a viable option in Week 1 against the Saints.