2018 was a roller coaster in the fantasy football world, which is always expected. It was a great year, but the fantasy landscape did change a bit. The perfect fantasy lineup consists of meshing players that are known stars with those who you believe to have upside. Defenses and Kickers are not necessarily in everyone’s format, so I will not include them in this discussion. I am going to go position by position and discuss how things have changed at the four main positions: QB, RB, WR, and TE.
The Quarterback position has always been a league winning position, but not necessarily one you had to spend a lot of draft capital on. This stays the same but we have learned that the elites of the past are no longer the elites of the future. Aaron Rodgers is no longer the top fantasy asset that he was for years in the past. The top spot will almost certainly go to Patrick Mahomes. He was a constant threat this season, and a definite waiver add that got his team owners into the playoffs. His value will most likely be overpriced, but considering Aaron Rodgers was taken in the 4th and 5th rounds in most drafts last year, Mahomes could pay off for those who take him at his ADP. Other than Mahomes, I believe you will definitely have the ability to wait until the later rounds and still get a viable starter. The younger quarterbacks in the league have emerged during this season and I believe they will offer value at the position.
Running backs are still one of the top two positions in your fantasy lineup. It has been going back and forth over the last few seasons as to which is more important in winning your league. I have come to the conclusion that having better running backs is more important than having better wide receivers. This past season I drafted Alvin Kamara in the first round and chose Christian McCaffrey in the second round. Those two alone gave me a great foundation. They weren’t my whole team, but they gave me the points needed, and I supplemented with players that were not stars. My Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, and Tight ends were constantly shifted in and out depending on matchups. Other than bye weeks, my two running backs slots were always filled with those two. I also was able to supplement my roster with Aaron Jones up until his injury in my flex, and Derrick Henry throughout the plays. Which backs the case for running backs value. Running Backs offer running and catching ability, which pushes their upside especially at the flex. I believe at least that two of my top four picks next year will be running backs.
Now what I wrote about receivers above shouldn’t cause you not to value them. Wide receivers are a huge part of your lineup, and having the right mix of them does cause you to have a more successful team of course. The main thing is that I don’t believe that Wide Receivers pay dividends like running backs do at their ADP. Prime example of those are Odell Beckham Jr, AJ Green, Mike Evans and even Larry Fitzgerald being prime examples. All of them were drafted in the first four rounds, and all of them under performed either to performance issues or injuries. Now injuries is something we can’t assume are going to happen, but I would much rather roll my dice on running backs than wide receivers due to this. I know in certain formats like full PPR, receivers will definitely be valued more. But the main difference is running backs have standalone value, whereas receiver’s value relies upon how their quarterbacks are doing. This fact alone is what pushes me to value running backs over wide receivers.
Tight ends have always been a mystery in fantasy football. There have been those players that have always been the golden eggs of the position. Obviously the one that always comes to mind is Rob Gronkowski. Gronk has been a pillar at the position over the past several seasons. This is no longer the case, as Gronk has looked old this season. After winning the Superbowl, it is anyone’s guess as to if he will retire this year or not. This opens up his spot for the top tight end in the league. It didn’t take long as the 2nd and 3rd best tight ends are now fighting for first. I would have to say it goes Travis Kelce and then Zach Ertz next year at the top two tight ends off the board. But I do have to bring up a player that was seen as a sleeper by most this past year and now looks to be the new young gun at the position. That player would be George Kittle. I believe that if he falls a couple rounds after Kelce and Ertz go off the board then you are getting solid value with Kittle. After those three tight ends, it is anyone’s guess at who will follow. Tight end is an important position as you have to play one, but not necessarily one you have to spend a lot of capital on. After those top three go it is a waiting game until you get the best value.
Fantasy football will always fall into the unknown, it is pretty much a big guessing game to an extent. But that is all part of the fun. I look forward to continue seeing how things change throughout the years. With every new rookie draft we get a whole new influx of players to add to our rosters. Our knowledge is forever growing due to this, which is constantly keeping things fresh. Enjoy your time off from fantasy, because the NFL draft will be here before you know it. That’s when the fun and studying will begin again. Get ready!
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