ALVIN KAMARA. Yep, that guy. All of us fantasy gamers took some serious L’s down the stretch to that stud. Kamara was picked on average as the 57th RB taken in last seasons FF drafts. What did he do? Oh, well the rookie just went on to finish 4th in total overall Fantasy Football points and 3rd among all RBs. In other words, providing 30% of the teams, he was on an FF championship hardware. It’s players like Kamara every year that make or break someone’s roster of champions, a lowly drafted player that ends up having a huge year and providing incredible value for the position drafted. Fantasy football is a sport in itself, piecing together the perfect team seems so simple on draft night, but it never works out as smoothly as it seems it’s going to. Every season some sleepers go in the late-rounds or undrafted that end up being a major contributor to helping someone take home the FF Gold Medal. While the sleepers are a little more difficult to predict, let us help you with your top-3 picks as we rank the top 30 fantasy football players going into the upcoming season.
(Our rankings are done with points per reception format taken into consideration)
1. Le’Veon Bell – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell finished this past season with 321 carries, almost 50 more attempts than LeSean McCoy who finished 2nd in the league with 287 carries. Le’Veon finished the season with 1,946 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns. Bell is also one of the premier receiving threats from the RB position, which solidifies his top spot. The game plan is simple for Pittsburgh; if Bell is healthy, use him as much as possible. A trend we should see continues in 2018.
2. Todd Gurley – RB – Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley have yourself a season! All the superstar did this past year was lead all fantasy players in total points to go along with NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Finishing the season with 45 and 46.9 point outings, it’s safe to say he finished the year in incredible form. Look for more of the same from TG this upcoming season, as the Rams explosive offense looks to keep on developing under second-year HC, Sean McVay. Draft him early and often!
3. Antonio Brown – WR – Pittsburgh Steelers
Fresh off 101 receptions, 1,533 yards receiving, and 9 touchdowns. Not to mention, five consecutive seasons with 100+ catches and at least 1,250 yards receiving. Brown is the leagues best receiver, and it’s not even close. His ability to mix route running, speed, agility, and hands make him one of the most dynamic receivers in history. Don’t miss the opportunity to reap the fantasy benefits his provides while he’s still in his prime.
4. Ezekiel Elliott – RB – Dallas Cowboys
“EAT, Zeke, EAT!”. A phrase you should get used to, as you should hear it early and often. Let’s face it, the Cowboys want to run the ball first and throw second. Zeke is a force coming out of the backfield, and would probably have wound up higher on this list had he played in more than ten games this past season due to off the field issues. When this third-year pro suits up, he’s one of the most productive players in the game.
5. DeAndre Hopkins – WR – Houston Texans
Hopkins ability to make plays are second to none. The guy caught touchdowns from four different quarterbacks this past season and went on to finish with 96 receptions, 13 TDs, and over 1,300 yards receiving. Could you imagine what his number might have been if Deshaun Watson never got injured? Well, Watson will be back for the start of this season, and we’re expecting these two to create big plays early and often.
6. David Johnson – RB – Arizona Cardinals
Johnson came in last year as the #1 projected fantasy player, but an opening week hand injury derailed the entire season. Two seasons ago, DJ’s last healthy campaign, he led the league in total yards with 2,118, and also total touchdowns with 20. The Cards don’t have a ton of threats on their offense these days, so a healthy Johnson mixed with a high usage rate could result in gaudy numbers.
7. Alvin Kamara – RB – New Orleans Saints
Kamara exploded onto the scene last year as a rookie; the 3rd round draft pick combined elite speed and elusiveness with incredible power to push his production to the 4th most fantasy points this past season. With Mark Ingram sidelined the first four games due to a PED suspension, look for Kamara to take advantage of the extra touches as the head of the snake in a backfield that split touches this past season.
8. Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – New York Giants
We all know the drill, never gamble on a player coming off a serious injury. Well, OBJ isn’t your ordinary talent. I mean the guy has set every record possible for someone of his age, through this stage of his career. His hands and game-breaking ability after the catch make him a generational talent. Had he not be coming off a severe ankle injury, OBJ would be pushing AB as the best receiver in the game.
9. Kareem Hunt – RB – Kansas City Chiefs
Remember when this 3rd round rookie insinuated the Patriots D for 3 TDs and over 20 yards from scrimmage in the opening week this past season? Yeah, we all do. That was just the start of greatness for this guy, who ended up leading the league in rushing. You should expect the same this season; especially with the Chiefs parting ways with veteran QB Alex Smith and handing over the reigns to a first year start Patrick Mahomes.
10. Michael Thomas – WR – New Orleans Saints
As long as you play on the same team as Drew Brees, expect to be in a pass-happy offense. Being the number 1 target on a pass-happy team should equate to big numbers. Brees has looked comfortable relying on Thomas as his go-to weapon and security blanket, resulting in a high volume of targets. Expect the trend to continue, as Brees and Thomas continue to build chemistry.
11. Saquon Barkley – RB – New York Giants
You don’t typically see rookies projected to produce at an elite level, but you also don’t usually see rookies like Barkley. Built like a freight train, this rookie has one in a lifetime power, speed, acceleration, and vision. Barkley will be an immediate impact player, who can play all three downs. Pairing Barkley with OBJ should give opposing defenses fits all season long.
12. Julio Jones – WR – Atlanta Falcons
Julio comes in as the most intriguing player on the list. A generational talent, who’s still in his prime at 29yrs old, but came off one of the weirdest seasons of his career. Jones racked up 88 receptions for over 1,400 yards, however, only found the end zone three times and was barely even targeted in the red zone. The offseason got even stranger as reports surfaced Jones no longer wanted to be apart of the Falcons. All the drama aside, when Sundays come along, and Julio throws on the shoulder pads; he’s one of the games most dynamic players. Don’t pass him up and then kick yourself in the butt all season while he torches defenses as a matchup nightmare.
13. Leonard Fournette – RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars strategy is simple, pound the ground and play defense. The Jags hold the leagues best defense, and they know it. They don’t do anything crazy on offense that could lead to turnovers and put their defense in a vulnerable situation. Instead, they play it safe, run the clock, keep games manageable, and D up. A game plan that highly favorable to Fournette’s production.
14. Davante Adams – WR – Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson is gone, Randall Cobb is slowing down, and Aaron Rodgers is still the baddest football player on the planet. You can sign and seal it that Rodgers is going to put up numbers, and there needs to be someone on the receiving end of all the lasers he’s good for every year. Adams is fresh off a 10 touchdown season and with Rodgers healthy for the upcoming season expect even more from Adams in an upgraded role this upcoming season.
15. Melvin Gordon – RB – San Diego Chargers
Gordon had a terrible rookie season, only to follow it up with back-to-back 12 touchdown seasons and at least 1,400 yards each of the past two seasons. As the clear-cut workhouse out of the backfield in a west coast high-octane offense, we should see more of the same from Gordon in year four.
16. Keenan Allen – WR – San Diego Chargers
When Keenan Allen is healthy, he’s one of the most productive receivers in the NFL. Put a big asterisk on the word when. The injury bug has plagued Allen’s career thus far. However, the six-year pro is still just 26 and is playing with Rivers for his 7th campaign. Rivers has shown trust in Allen targeting him more than any other receiver in the NFL when he’s on the field. If Allen can stay healthy for an entire season, he could be a steal being drafted this low.
17. Christian McCaffrey – RB – Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey was a matchup nightmare as a rookie coming out of the backfield, racking up 80 receptions for over 600 yards. As the game slows down for the former Stanford superstar, expect his rushing numbers to even out with his production in the passing game, resulting in some huge games this upcoming season. Newton loves to check down to his favorite target, and we don’t see that formula changing anytime soon.
18. Mike Evans – WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans is another one of those guys whose talent could easily put him higher on this list. Evans is a big-bodied receiver who is excellent at using his body to create space and get jump balls. However, he doesn’t always play with the same edge, and that has hindered his production from time to time. Plus, not having Jameis to start the year could slow Evans out of the gates. Expect solid #1 WR numbers nonetheless.
19. Aaron Rodgers – QB – Green Bay Packers
They always recommend waiting to draft quarterbacks until after the first few rounds, but there are a few guys who you can’t pass up. Well, this guy is at the top of that list. The best player in football is back and healthy. Look for Rodgers to come out guns blazing after a season-ending injury derailed the Packers solid start to last season. Lasers will be handed out early and often to opposing defenses; you’d rather have this guy on your squad than to be playing against him.
20. Jordan Howard – RB – Chicago Bears
Jordan Howard’s production has slipped somewhat under the radar to everyone except his fantasy owners. Howard eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing in each of his first two seasons in a terrible Bears offense. With second-year QB Mitch Trubinsky evolving, Howard should be able to find more creases in defenses this upcoming season.
21. Tyreke Hill – WR – Kansas City Chiefs
Hill is as dynamic a playmaker as we have in the game today. The fastest player on the field at all times is a touchdown waiting to happen. Hill evolved into an elite receiver in his second season as a pro last year. He’s slipped a tad on the list this year due to a first time starting QB taking the reigns of the offense, but if Mahomes can manage the game properly, then fantasy owners should be extremely happy with Hill’s production.
22. Devonta Freeman – RB – Atlanta Falcons
Freeman is as explosive as they come at the RB position. He suffered a slight setback in performance last year as he was battling the injury plague, yet he’s still the top RB in one of the leagues best offenses. While expecting league-leading numbers may be a reach Freeman should produce solid statistics to keep him in your starting lineup.
23. Tom Brady – QB – New England Patriots
40 years old and fresh off an MVP season. The GOAT threw for 4,577 yards, 32 touchdown, and 8 interceptions in NE’s Superbowl run last year. As long as Brady is playing the game, he’s at the top of the fantasy quarterback list. Tom’s ability to read defenses is the best in the league, don’t expect anything different from the man suiting up for his 19th NFL season.
24. Josh Gordon – WR – Cleveland Browns
Josh Gordon has arguably had the strangest career in NFL history. The guy has been suspended more games then he has been allowed to suit up for. However, don’t forget that he’s the only player ever with back-to-back 200-yard receiving games and a former offensive player of the year winner who is still just 27 years old. Gordon is the NFL’s premiere physical specimen at the receiver position, combining elite size and speed. If Baker Mayfield ends up as the starting QB, his gunslinger mentality could result in a huge year for Flash Gordon.
25. A.J. Green – WR – Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green’s statistics don’t always represent how skilled he is. Let’s face it the guy has been the face of a Cincinnati franchise for the past decade and has had little to no help in an offense where others have struggled to produce consistently. If Green had a better QB throwing him the ball and some weapons on the other side of him he could arguably put up the best numbers in the league; he’s that talented.
26. Adam Thielen – WR – Minnesota Vikings
Thielen is a product of hard work. That’s all he’s ever shown. The undrafted receiver from Minnesota State University worked his tail off to get a shot in the league, being cut multiple times before finally breaking through on a roster, and boy has he flourished. Last season Thielen caught 91 balls for over 1,200 receiving yards. He runs excellent routes and has tremendous hands and awareness. He should benefit greatly with an arm like Kirk Cousins possesses throwing him the ball.
27. Doug Baldwin – WR – Seattle Seahawks
Mighty Mouse! Go-to Doug is the epitome of hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Baldwin always seems to be in the right position and making big plays in an offense that desperately needs him. Labeled by many as undersized coming out of college, Baldwin hasn’t let that define him the slightest bit. As long as Wilson is his QB, expect him to produce as the top receiver on the Seahawks roster.
28. Russell Wilson – QB – Seattle Seahawks
Do you know who finished second in fantasy points last season? That’s right, this guy. Wilson is the ultimate dual-threat weapon. He has the ability to get out of the pocket with his feet and then find open targets downfield is second to none. As long as Russ stays healthy, he’s a top flight QB who can do it all. With the Seahawks running game still in rebuilding mode, expect him to air it out all season long.
29. Rob Gronkowski – TE – New England Patriots
Many people expect Travis Kelce to surpass Gronk as top TE in the NFL. Not so fast. Gronk is still a touchdown machine that is a matchup problem all over the field. As long as TB12 is orchestrating the offense, expect Gronk to be an elite force that finds the end zone as much as a one in the league.
30. Dalvin Cook – RB – Minnesota Vikings
The second-year pro out of FSU was well on his way to having an outstanding rookie season until a season ending knee-injury sidelined him after just four games. His vision and ability to cut upfield should provide a significant boost to the Vikings offense this season, and run behind a top-tier offensive line; his production should flourish if he can remain healthy. He has sleeper written all over him for 2018.