50 Things You Must Know Before Your 2018 Fantasy Football Draft

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Hey fellow fantasy footballers! I’m not going to post any rankings on Dad Kingdom this season; There are plenty of websites that can do it bigger and better. But, I want to help casual football fans that might not know about every roster move, every injury, or every impact rookie. In the past I’ve broken it down for every single team. This season, I think a Top 50 list will be easier to digest. So, keep reading, and make sure that you are caught up on every position – all of the 50 things that you MUST know before your 2018 fantasy football draft. (Let me know in the comments what you think of the format.)

QUARTERBACKS

quarterback photo
Photo by jc.winkler

1. The talented quarterback pictured to the right might be the Week 1 starter for the Tampa Bay Bucs this season (impeccable form, right?). Jameis Winston‘s reprehensible behavior has earned him a 3-game suspension. If the practice dummy doesn’t cut it, Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start in his absense. Just like this dummy, Mike Evans’ value takes a hit.

2. Rookie Josh Allen (Wyoming) will inevitably start over AJ McCarron at some point for the Bills, and it won’t be pretty. His top three pass-catchers are underwhelming: WR Kelvin Benjamin, WR Zay Jones, and TE Charles Clay.

3. Tyrod Taylor will be the Browns’ “bridge quarterback,” holding the reigns until Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) is ready. Dare I say the Browns’ offense looks scary good. Seriously, take a look! If you want to wait to draft a QB, consider Taylor.

4. As the quarterback merry-go-round continues, Alex Smith is the Redskins’ new QB. Smith will be a serviceable plug-n-play QB in deeper leagues, but nothing more. The Redskins offense will struggle to move the ball.

5. The Chiefs decided to roll with their young QB, Patrick Mahomes. You’ve got to like Mahomes’ ceiling and ability to put up big numbers throwing to Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt.

6. So many QBs were injured last season! Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson seem to be on the road to full recovery, both of them possibly starting week 1. Ryan Tannehill should be good to go too.

7. Carson Wentz still has some rehab work to do – he was injured late in the year – but the Eagles don’t need to rush him back with Foles taking care of business. He could be a strong fantasy QB after the Eagles’ Week 9 bye.

8. Who the hell knows what to do with Andrew Luck! He’s “on track” – whatever that means. If you like to live on the edge, go ahead and draft him or one of the Colts’ receivers. But, don’t expect me to co-sign it.

9. The Broncos have a new QB, Mr. Case Keenum. I think he could perform well in deeper leagues. Not the NFL’s best offensive weapons by any means, but Bebe Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are nothing to scoff at.

10. Back in the great white north, Kirk Cousins replaces Keenum as the Vikings QB. I really like his situation, throwing to Diggs, Thielen and Rudolph (hopefully Dalvin Cook is healthy too). A top 5 finish is certainly possible.

11. I’m an Atlanta homer, but seriously, Matt Ryan has the best weapons in the NFL and ought to put up top 5 numbers. Rookie Calvin Ridley (Alabama) ought to flourish in the shadow of Julio Jones, and TE Hooper should improve as well.

12. With Carson Palmer gone, Sam Bradford is the quarterback for Arizona now. Although, given his dicey injury history, rookie quarterback Josh Rosen (UCLA) could be thrust into action sooner rather than later.

RUNNING BACKS

13. Rookie Saquon Barkley (Penn State) is the big story in New York. Without taking a snap, he’s already the best back the Giants have had since Tiki Barber. I expect great things from him. His talent – and Odell’s return – should take some pressure off the passing game.

14. Cleveland has three very good running backs. Carlos Hyde and rookie Nick Chubb (Georgia) will duke it out for the lion’s share, most likely leaving Duke Johnson on the outside looking in. Your guess is as good as mine as to who will get the majority of work.

15. Drafting a Tampa Bay RB is a gamble between 3rd-year back Peyton Barber and rookie Ronald Jones II (Southern Cal). Jones will be the trendy pick, but the offense might be stagnant (especially without Winston), and Jacquizz Rodgers will steal touches as well.

nfl fan photo
Photo by runneralan2004

16. So, there’s been a bit of news regarding LeSean McCoy. The incident and accusations will take a while to sort out. IF he plays, he will get a ton of touches and a lot of attention from opposing defenses. As a result, I suspect he’ll have a few huge games, but also several duds. If McCoy faces a suspension, Chris Ivory will be an RB3.

17. Another rookie, Derrius Guice (LSU) is sure to make an impact for the Redskins. Unfortunately, Derrius Guice has torn his ACL. The other Washington backs – Perine, Kelley and Thompson – will split the touches, but the biggest question mark is how well the entire offense will function. Chris Thompson is the PPR play of the group.

18. None of New England’s running backs inspire much confidence and none of them had more than 105 carries last season. Good luck choosing between Jeremy Hill, Rex Burkhead, James White and rookie Sony Michel (Georgia). The Pats spent a late-first-round pick on Michel, so my money is on him.

19. Saints RB Mark Ingram is suspended for the first four games, and Alvin Kamara is gonna eat in his absence. Kamara was already a popular pick and this news just makes him even more attractive.


20. Another suspension to report; the Packers’ RB Aaron Jones will miss the first two games. Nothing drastic, but enough to keep in the back of your mind during your 2018 fantasy football draft. Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery will share the workload.

21. David Johnson and Dalvin Cook destroyed some fantasy teams last season. But, there’s good news! Word is that both of them are on track to play in September. Although Cook’s leg injury will be harder to bounce back from than Johnson’s wrist injury. So, keep an eye on his training camp activity.

22. The NY Jets primary RB will probably be ex-Brown Isaiah Crowell. He’s not my favorite running back, but he should beat out Bilal Powell and Thomas Rawls. Worth considering in your 2018 fantasy football draft.

23. The 49ers let Carlos Hyde walk for some reason, and they’re going to roll with Jerick McKinnon as their RB. He’s a good player, but I’m not convinced he’s worth more than a bench spot on my fantasy teams.

24. A lot of people are hyping up rookie Rashaad Penny (San Diego State) for the Seahawks. It’s entirely possible that he jumps in and has a very productive rookie season. RBs Chris Carson and Mike Davis could get significant touches though.

25. Second-year back Marlon Mack is starting for the Colts at RB. But, watch out for Nyheim Hines; Robert Turbin is suspended 4 games, leaving the door open for the NC State rookie. But, I don’t like any part of the Colts’ offense. My expectations for Mack/Hines (and TY Hilton) are quite tempered – at least until Luck withstands a few real NFL sacks.

26. Many people will draft Derrick Henry first, but Dion Lewis could be the better Titan RB for fantasy teams.

27. Not much has changed in Philadelphia (why mess with a good thing), and that includes Jay Ajayi‘s mediocre production. He’s a good player but the offense hinders his fantasy value.

28. With CJ Anderson gone, Devontae Booker should be the workhorse RB in Denver. But, rookie Royce Freeman (Oregon) will get plenty of chances to show off his big play ability.

29. Future-Hall-of-Famer Frank Gore is a Dolphin now, and will compete for carries with Kenyan Drake and rookie Kallen Ballage (Arizona State). In 5 December games after Ajayi was traded to the Eagles, Drake averaged 119 yards from scrimmage and scored 2 TDs. If I have to pick one, it’s Drake, but he’s not worth a top 40 pick in your 2018 fantasy football draft.

30. You know sh** is going to hit the fan. So, I’m holding a RB spot and a WR spot open for future news.

wide receiver photo
Photo by Jeffrey Beall

WIDE RECEIVERS

31. Julian Edelman (Patriots) – the handsome devil pictured above – is suspended for the first 4 games of the season due to illegal substances. Chris Hogan will enjoy his absence.

32. Brandin Cooks will be catching passes for the LA Rams now. Robert Woods and Kupp are good, but Cooks is surely an upgrade! Back in New England, the Pats are taking a quantity over quality approach with Edelman (suspended), Hogan, Matthews and Britt. It will be fantasy wack-a-mole with those four guys.

33. Jarvis Landry left Miami to play for the Browns. The Dolphins are left with Danny Amendola, Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker (Stills is the pick, IMO). Meanwhile, Landry, Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman are a formidable trio duo in Cleveland!

34. Good ol’ Odell Beckham Jr. seems to be recovering nicely. It’ll be great to see him on field again! Although, there’s a chance he holds out for a new contract (uh oh).

35. The Jaguars have gone from two Allens to no Allens. A-Rob and A-Hurns are gone, and the eye of Bortles’ is now focused on Marqise Lee and Donte Moncrief. I think both of them could do well and they’re both available fairly late in a typical 2018 fantasy football draft. (The Jags also picked up TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins.)

36. Speaking of major injuries and guys named Allen, Allen Robinson is another recovering player to keep an eye on. If he and Kevin White can stay healthy for the Bears, QB Mitch Trubisky might actually have a decent year. But drafting either Chicago WR is a risk. If the injury bug bites, rookie Anthony Miller (Memphis) will have a great opportunity.

37. This season Sammy Watkins will be catching passes from Patrick Mahomes in KC. But, I’m not confident about how much Sammy has left in the tank. If he falls far enough, he’s worth a gamble as a WR3 or WR4.

38. Long time Packer Jordy Nelson – and locker room headache Martavis Bryant – will be sporting the silver and black this season, lining up with Amari Cooper in Oakland. I’m curious to see what they can do, but I’m not drafting either Nelson or Bryant any higher than my WR3.

39. With Jordy gone from Green Bay, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb will need to step up in a major way! But, keep an eye on Cobb, he’s been hobbling around at training camp.

40. The Ravens have overhauled their entire receiving corp. Michael Crabtree comes over from Oakland; I like his chances. But, in terms of fantasy value, I prefer targeting John Brown in the double-digit rounds of my 2018 fantasy football draft.

41. I like rookie DJ Moore (Maryland) as a breakout candidate for the Panthers. He’s got great hands and the talent to rip off some highlight plays.

42. Another rookie to watch is Christian Kirk (Texas A&M) for the Cardinals. He could flourish opposite Larry Fitzgerald. It certainly won’t hurt to learn from the best.

nfl stadium photo
Photo by A. Vandalay

43. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Dez Bryant is still searching for a team! As I’m writing this, there are rumors of him signing with San Francisco. If that happens, Jimmy G gets an upgrade and Marquise Goodwin gets reduced to a fantasy WR3 (more of a WR2 currently).

44. Speaking of Dez, without him the Cowboys need someone to step up. That guy could be Allen Hurns, but 3rd-round-pick Michael Gallup (Colorado State) also has a golden opportunity. Still, this is not an air-based offense, so don’t expect huge numbers from any of their receivers.

45. Josh Gordon had to take time away from the Browns due to personal issues. The team even considered signing Dez Bryant. But, Gordon-lovers can step away from the ledge. He’s rejoined the team and looks ready to go!

TIGHT ENDS

45. Aaron Rodgers might have the best TE he’s ever had in Jimmy Graham. One could argue he doesn’t utilize his TE often, but he also hasn’t had one of Graham’s caliber. Graham will be top 5 at his position.

47. Sadly, Hunter Henry tore his ACL in May. Now an already thin fantasy position is even thinner. It might be a slight boost for Keenan Allen and perhaps Mike Williams too (returning from injury), but there’s no way it’s good for Philip Rivers.

48. A couple rookie TEs have a chance to contribute right away. First up is Mike Gesicki (Penn State). In Miami, Gesicki can help fill the void left by Jarvis Landry. Worth a flier or the back half of a TE-by-committee.

49. The next rookie is Hayden Hurst (S. Carolina). In Baltimore, Hurst is part of the overhauled passing attack. He faces more competition than Gesicki does, but still deserves to be on your radar.

DEFENSE AND SPECIAL TEAMS

50. Nothing that you must know, but my pick for a sneaky good defense in 2018 is the LA Rams. They were pretty good in 2017, and added some key guys at the line and in the secondary.

Whew! That’s it. I hope you found those 50 things to be useful heading into your 2018 fantasy football draft (or drafts). Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Good luck this season!

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