Diversification is great if you’re playing 50 or more leagues, but you need to narrow your focus and give yourself the best chance at success if you’re only playing in a few fantasy drafts.
Here are six players I think have the best shot at being league winners in 2019, along with some suggested alternatives in case you miss out.
Last year around this time, JuJu Smith-Schuster was a 22-year-old sophomore coming off a 79-58-917 yard line. While the breakout potential was obviously there, volume concerns while playing next to of the best receivers ever kept his ADP in the 45-50 range.
This year, D.J. Moore is a 22-year-old sophomore coming off an 82-55-788 yard line. The breakout potential is obviously there but volume concerns playing next to another excellent young WR in Curtis Samuel are keeping his ADP in the 50th-overall range.
Don’t overthink it. This is Smith-Schuster, or Josh Gordon, or Brandin Cooks all over again — 21-year-old WRs who produce as rookies turn into studs. There have been 13 WRs since 2000 at that tender age to hit 130 fantasy points as a rookie. They put up an average of 172.4 points in their first year and 215.2 in their second year, a 24.8% jump in scoring.
RotoViz is all in on Moore in redraft and dynasty.
Curtis Patrick frames it through the lens of every 21-year-old to average more than three receptions per game while playing more than 10 games. It’s not a bad list.
This is a layup. Talent like this demands volume, and Moore will see enough for him to easily beat his ADP.
If you miss on Moore: draft fellow second-year secondary breakout candidate Calvin Ridley, whom Shawn Siegele has pegged as the next Smith-Schuster.
Any Rams WR
I want to leave my drafts with at least one of the Rams WRs, as the uncertainty about who will emerge is making them all a little too cheap, considering the explosive offense they play in.
Matt Jones recently made the case for the Rams WRs being the equivalent of the New England backfield. He concluded that Cooper Kupp, in particular, looks like a screaming value, and I found much the same when I called him one of 2019’s best bets. He has more upside than you might think – WR16 by points per game last year – as well as a secure floor with the 13th-best low projection. All signs point to a complete recovery from his ACL injury, yet he’s the WR23 by ADP.
Robert Woods scored more points than Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Stefon Diggs, and T.Y. Hilton last year and was the WR9. He’s the 18th WR off the board this year.
Cooks is so consistently good that we’re almost bored of him at this point. He’ll return value on your fourth-round investment, as he does every year.
Even No. 4 WR Josh Reynolds has appeal as a deep sleeper — he played at a WR2 pace when Kupp went down last year.
If you miss on one of the Rams WRs: just draft one of the others.
Jackson rushed for 556 yards in his seven rookie starts — 79.4 yards per game. The highest per-game rushing total previously seen from a QB was 67.3 from Michael Vick in 2006, who finished as the QB2 behind Peyton Manning.
There have been 18 instances of a QB running for at least 550 yards since 2000. Those QBs average 312.6 fantasy points per season, even when accounting for missed games. That number would have been good for the QB4 last year and the QB2 in 2017 — Russell Wilson was the QB1 with 327 points that year.
Even if he runs less as a sophomore, Jackson can still average a Vick-like 50 to 60 rushing yards per game, giving him a safe floor and insane upside if his passing game progresses at all.
He’s currently the 14th QB off the board.
If you miss on Jackson: draft Josh Allen.
The days of drafting Thompson in the late rounds were fun.
Thompson was selected ahead of Royce Freeman and Rashaad Penny in an FFPC Main Event draft completed by Shawn Siegele and Curtis Patrick this week.
With Carlos Hyde looking like a cut candidate and Damien Williams’ ability to be a bell cow still in question, one of our favorite rookie RB targets is still a good bet to pay off at his rising ADP.
At worst, he’s the backup to a questionable talent in one of the league’s most RB-friendly schemes. At best, he beats out Williams by mid-season and wins you a championship.
If you miss out on Thompson: draft Justice Hill.