- Fantasy football season is almost here.
- To help you prepare, we’ve put together a consensus ranking based on the predictions of fantasy experts from several different outlets.
- There’s no wrong way to draft your team, but a bit of guidance from experts never hurts.
- Check out all of our fantasy football coverage here.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Football season is fast approaching and with it, comes fantasy football.
While there’s no foolproof way of drafting your fantasy team, it’s key to get your first few picks right if you hope to compete for your league’s championship.
With the help of Fantasy Pros, we gathered the rankings of 28 experts from Yahoo! Sports, The Action Network, FantasyPros, The Athletic, Walter Football, The Fantasy Footballers, The Washington Post, CBS Sports, and theScore in order to put together a consensus ranking from experts across the sports world.
Running backs are once again the most vital position in the sport, and quarterback looks to be surprisingly deep this year. However, the top QBs will likely still get fantasy players their money’s worth.
Take a look below and plan out your strategy for the first few rounds of your upcoming draft.
1. Saquon Barkley — RB, New York Giants
Average rank: 1.3
2018 stats: 1,307 rushing yards, 721 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns, 294.8 fantasy points
One thing to know: Despite the Giants subpar season in 2018, Saquon Barkley put up superstar numbers. As the centrepiece of New York’s offence, expect him once again to be an important part of the Giants passing game as well as one of the leading rushers in the league.
2. Christian McCaffrey — RB, Carolina Panthers
Average rank: 2.9
2018 stats: 1,098 rushing yards, 867 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns, 278.5 fantasy points
One thing to know: Only two men in history have ever finished a season with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving – Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig. Christian McCaffrey has said it’s his goal to join the club this year after falling just 133 yards short in 2018. As a crucial component of the Panthers passing attack, he’s an especially solid early pick in PPR leagues.
3. Alvin Kamara — RB, New Orleans Saints
Average rank: 3.1
2018 stats: 883 rushing yards, 709 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns, 273.2 fantasy points
One thing to know: Alvin Kamara has finished with 81 receptions in each of the past two seasons – that’s an extra five points per game for PPR players. Between that and his nose for the end zone, it’s no wonder Kamara is a top pick in fantasy leagues.
4. Ezekiel Elliott — RB, Dallas Cowboys
Average rank: 3.4
2018 stats: 1,434 rushing yards, 567 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 252.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: Ezekiel Elliott has played three seasons in the NFL. The only year he did not lead the league in rushing, was 2017 when he was suspended for the first six games of the season. As long as he can stay on the field, he’s as close to a sure bet as you can get to finish the year as one of the top running backs in the league. Just hope his holdout doesn’t extend into the season.
5. David Johnson — RB, Arizona Cardinals
Average rank: 6.5
2018 stats: 940 rushing yards, 446 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns, 196.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: David Johnson has fallen off a bit from the heights of his breakout 2016 season. After injury cost him the 2017 season, Johnson was less productive than fantasy players desired last year, with just two top-10 fantasy weeks according to ESPN. That said, Johnson could be set to break out again this year in a revamped Cardinals offence led by rookie quarterback Kyler Murray.
6. DeAndre Hopkins — WR, Houston Texans
Average rank: 8.5
2018 stats: 115 receptions, 1,572 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns, 218.5 fantasy points
One thing to know: DeAndre Hopkins has finished as a top-4 fantasy wide receiver in three of the four seasons. In addition to being a human highlight-reel, he’s about as reliable a player as you can take with a first-round pick.
7. Davante Adams — WR, Green Bay Packers
Average rank: 10.3
2018 stats: 111 receptions, 1,386 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns, 218.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: Davante Adams has proven to be Aaron Rodgers’ favourite target the past two seasons. Expectations are high on the revamped Packers offence with new head coach Matt LaFleur taking over in Green Bay, and Adams could stand to benefit.
8. James Conner — RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Average rank: 10.7
2018 stats: 973 rushing yards, 497 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns, 225.0 fantasy points
One thing to know: James Conner stepped up admirably to fill the void left by Le’Veon Bell in the Steelers offence in 2018. His season included a four-game stretch in which he cleared 100 yards rushing every outing and scored six touchdowns – a boon for fantasy players looking to make a push for the playoffs.
9. Travis Kelce — TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Average rank: 11.3
2018 stats: 103 receptions, 1,336 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns, 191.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: Travis Kelce remains the largest target for Patrick Mahomes in the Chiefs’ brilliant offence. With Rob Gronkowski out of the league this year, the ranks of top-level tight ends have grown even thinner, making reaching for Kelce a viable strategy for those who would prefer to have a stud at the position.
10. Julio Jones — WR, Atlanta Falcons
Average rank: 11.8
2018 stats: 113 receptions, 1,677 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns, 212.9 fantasy points
One thing to know: Julio Jones finished the past four seasons as one of the top two receivers in the league in terms of yardage. Last year, he also found the end zone eight times – an improvement from the dismal three his pulled in in 2017.
11. Le’Veon Bell — RB, New York Jets
Average rank: 12.5
2018 stats: N/A
One thing to know: Le’Veon Bell left a bad taste in the mouths of many fantasy players last season with his decision to hold out for a new contract. This season he’ll be back on the field with the New York Jets. While it’s not yet clear how Bell will mesh with the Jets offence, he’s still one of the most dynamic weapons in the league and a threat as both a rusher and a receiver.
12. Nick Chubb — RB, Cleveland Browns
Average rank: 12.8
2018 stats: 996 rushing yards, 149 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns, 174.5 fantasy points
One thing to know: Nick Chubb showed off his impressive breakout abilities last season in his fourth career game when he ran for 105 yards on just three attempts against the Oakland Raiders. Cleveland also added running back Kareem Hunt to their offence this year, but he’ll be suspended for the first half of the season, leaving Chubb as the Browns leading rusher.
13. Tyreek Hill — WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Average rank: 13.8
2018 stats: 87 receptions, 1,479 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns, 247.0 fantasy points
One thing to know: Tyreek Hill finished the season with four games of 100 receiving yards and four games with at least two touchdowns. The Chiefs are likely to be one of the highest-scoring teams in the league again, and Hill is their best deep threat.
14. Joe Mixon — RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Average rank: 14.2
2018 stats: 1,168 rushing yards, 296 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 200.4 fantasy points
One thing to know: Joe Mixon said at the start of training camp that the Bengals plan for using running backs was “night and day” from last year. Seeing as his numbers weren’t all that shabby last season, there’s reason to believe that Mixon could emerge as a top rusher this season.
15. Odell Beckham Jr. — WR, Cleveland Browns
Average rank: 14.4
2018 stats: 77 receptions, 1,052 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 153.3 fantasy points
One thing to know: Odell Beckham Jr. was stuck in a stagnant Giants offence in 2018, but this year will join Baker Mayfield in a Browns attack that developed into an impressive group in the second half of the year. He’s already making wild plays in training camp, and this year will be looking to prove that he’s the final piece of the puzzle that can return Cleveland to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
16. Michael Thomas — WR, New Orleans Saints
Average rank: 15.9
2018 stats: 125 receptions, 1,405 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 190.5 fantasy points
One thing to know: Michael Thomas has averaged more than 1,250 receiving yards and nearly eight touchdowns a season in his three years in the NFL. 2018 was his best season yet, but in the Saints potent offence, there’s still room for his numbers to continue to grow.
17. JuJu Smith-Schuster — WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Average rank: 16.7
2018 stats: 111 receptions, 1,426 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, 185.9 fantasy points
One thing to know: JuJu Smith-Schuster emerged as a stud wide receiver over the past two seasons as the second option in Pittsburgh behind Antonio Brown. With Brown now in Oakland, Smith-Schuster will be the biggest threat the Steelers have on offence, but will also not have the advantage of having another Pro Bowl calibre receiver lined up along with him.
18. Dalvin Cook — RB, Minnesota Vikings
Average rank: 17.8
2018 stats: 615 rushing yards, 305 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns, 112.0 fantasy points
One thing to know: Injuries have derailed Dalvin Cook’s past two seasons, but this year he is entering training camp fully healthy. If he can stay on the field, his per-game numbers show the potential to become one of the top rushers in the league.
19. Mike Evans — WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Average rank: 21.2
2018 stats: 86 receptions, 1,524 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns, 204.4 receiving yards
One thing to know: Mike Evans cleared 100 receiving yards in eight of his 16 games in 2018, and hit at least 80 yards receiving in three more times. His 86 receptions were far from the top of the list, but he certainly made the most of them.
20. Todd Gurley — RB, Los Angeles Rams
Average rank: 21.9
2018 stats: 1,251 rushing yards, 580 receiving yards, 21 touchdowns, 313.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: Todd Gurley had yet another astounding season for fantasy players in 2018, but a lacklustre performance in the postseason could have some worried about how he’ll look in the Rams offence this year. Still, Gurley’s production has been undeniable, and it would take a drastic change in Los Angeles for him to disappear completely.
21. T.Y. Hilton — WR, Indianapolis Colts
Average rank: 24.6
2018 stats: 76 receptions, 1,270 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 163.0 fantasy points
One thing to know: T.Y. Hilton has cleared 1,000 yards receiving in five of the past six seasons, and was a monster for the Colts offence during their run through the second half of the year in 2018, despite finding the end zone just twice in the final 10 games of the season. If he can score a few more touchdowns this year, there’s a chance he’ll finish as one of the top receivers in the NFL.
22. George Kittle — TE, San Francisco 49ers
Average rank: 26.2
2018 stats: 88 receptions, 1,377 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns, 170.7 fantasy points
One thing to know: George Kittle was one of the breakout stars of the 2018 fantasy season, finishing behind only Travis Kelce in terms of receiving yards amongst tight ends. He was able to do that with Nick Mullens as the 49ers quarterback for the majority of the season, so he could take another leap forward this year with Jimmy Garoppolo back under center.
23. Keenan Allen — WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Average rank: 27.0
2018 stats: 97 receptions, 1,196 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 163.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: Keenan Allen went five straight weeks with a touchdown during one stretch of the 2018 season, including one game that included 14 receptions and 148 yards receiving. He might not be the most consistent receiver in the league when it comes to fantasy, but he always has the potential to break out for a monster day and win you the week on his own.
24. Antonio Brown — WR, Oakland Raiders
Average rank: 27.2
2018 stats: 104 receptions, 1,297 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns, 219.7 fantasy points
One thing to know: Antonio Brown had a contentious relationship with Pittsburgh last year, and still finished the season as one of the top receivers in fantasy. Now in Oakland, his numbers will depend on the potency of Jon Gruden’s offence – and finding a helmet he’s comfortable enough to play in.
25. Kerryon Johnson — RB, Detroit Lions
Average rank: 28.0
2018 stats: 641 rushing yards, 213 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns, 107.4 fantasy points
One thing to know: Kerryon Johnson’s numbers improved throughout the season last year as his usage within the Lions offence increased. While he didn’t get to play the second half of the year due to a knee sprain, he’s expected to get plenty of touches for Detroit this year.
26. Marlon Mack — RB, Indianapolis Colts
Average rank: 28.1
2018 stats: 908 rushing yards, 103 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns, 161.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: Marlon Mack finished with 1,000 total yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018 despite playing in just 12 games. Andrew Luck may be the centrepiece of the Colts offence, but a player that is averaging nearly 100 yards and one touchdown per game is tough to pass up.
27. Damien Williams — RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Average rank: 30.0
2018 stats: 256 rushing yards, 160 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 75.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: Damien Williams will take over the leading role in the Kansas City backfield due to the departure of Kareem Hunt. In his brief stint as the top guy last year, Williams proved to be a great fit in the Chiefs system, excelling as both a rushing and a receiving threat.
28. Amari Cooper — WR, Dallas Cowboys
Average rank: 30.1
2018 stats: 75 receptions, 1,005 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, 140.5 fantasy points
One thing to know: Amari Cooper came to life after his mid-season trade to the Dallas Cowboys last year. His 217-yard, three-touchdown game against the Eagles, proved to be one of the most dominant games of the season in terms of fantasy scoring. With another year of experience and more time to learn the Dallas offence, Cooper could take another step forward this season.
29. Aaron Jones — RB, Green Bay Packers
Average rank: 30.3
2018 stats: 728 rushing yards, 206 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 145.4 fantasy points
One thing to know: Aaron Jones didn’t get as much opportunity as some might have hoped in 2018, but when he got touches, he made the most of them, averaging a solid 5.5 yards per attempt on 133 carries in 12 games played. If he can keep that number up while getting more carries this year, he could jump to another tier of running back by the end of the season.
30. Zach Ertz — TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Average rank: 30.7
2018 stats: 116 receptions, 1,163 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns, 164.3 fantasy points
One thing to know: Just five players in the NFL had more targets than Zach Ertz last season, and all were elite wide receivers. Ertz finished the season with a higher catch percentage than any of them, and his 116 receptions were second behind only Michael Thomas.
31. Melvin Gordon — RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Average rank: 30.8
2018 stats: 885 rushing yards, 490 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns, 225.5 fantasy points
One thing to know: Melvin Gordon is currently holding out for a new contract, and according to ESPN, the ordeal could last into the start of the regular season. If he eventually signs, he may fall in your draft to the point that he’s a great value, but be wary of the possible worst-case scenario.
32. Devonta Freeman — RB, Atlanta Falcons
Average rank: 32.9
2018 stats: 68 rushing yards, 23 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: Devonta Freeman played just two games in 2018 due to a few devastating injuries, but has shown he has what it takes to be a solid top running back in the past. The biggest question facing him this season is whether or not he can stay on the field.
33. Adam Thielen — WR, Minnesota Vikings
Average rank: 33.4
2018 stats: 113 receptions, 1,373 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 194.3 fantasy points
One thing to know: Adam Thielen started 2018 with a ridiculous streak of eight-straight games with at least 100 yards receiving. He cooled off a bit during the second half of the year, but he’s still clearly a top target for Kirk Cousins in the Vikings offence.
34. Leonard Fournette — RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Average rank: 33.8
2018 stats: 439 rushing yards, 185 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 98.4 fantasy points
One thing to know: Leonard Fournette has been dogged by injuries in each of his first two NFL seasons, but has shined when he has been able to stay on the field. Had he played all 16 games last year and his averages held, Fournette could have finished with more than 1,200 total yards and 12 touchdowns.
35. Patrick Mahomes — QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Average rank: 36.3
2018 stats: 5,097 passing yards, 50 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 417.7 fantasy points
One thing to know: Patrick Mahomes’ blistering year in 2018 ended with an MVP trophy. While it might be tough to recreate his mind-blowing 2018 campaign, his potential will undoubtedly make him the first quarterback off the board in most drafts.
36. Derrick Henry — RB, Tennessee Titans
Average rank: 36.5
2018 stats: 1,059 rushing yards, 99 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns, 186.4 fantasy points
One thing to know: Derrick Henry might be something of a feast-or-famine player, but when he feasts, he’s almost a lock to win you your week – as happened in Week 14 of the last year when Henry went off for 238 yards rushing and four touchdowns. For many players, it was the first week of the fantasy playoffs, and it’s tough to imagine a more frustrating way for your season to end.
37. Stefon Diggs — WR, Minnesota Vikings
Average rank: 36.5
2018 stats: 102 receptions, 1,021 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 164.3 fantasy points
One thing to know: Teammate Adam Thielen surprised opposing defences with his blistering start last year. This season, Stefon Diggs could benefit from a bit of extra attention being paid to his teammate. Regardless, he’s a solid receiver coming off of a career year.
38. Brandin Cooks — WR, Los Angeles Rams
Average rank: 36.7
2018 stats: 80 receptions, 1,204 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 163.2 fantasy points
One thing to know: Brandin Cooks is one of three Rams receivers who can shine in the Los Angeles offence. While sharing the field with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods can sometimes mean a down game, all three work in tandem to frustrate opposing defences and get each other open.
39. Josh Jacobs — RB, Oakland Raiders
Average rank: 38.7
2018 stats: N/A
One thing to know: Rookies have dominated the running back position in recent years, with the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, and Saquon Barkley all making an immediate impact for their team and quickly developing into some of the best rushers in the league. Could Josh Jacobs be the next young player to join their ranks?
40. Robert Woods — WR, Los Angeles Rams
Average rank: 40.2
2018 stats: 86 receptions, 1,219 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, 179.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: Again, the Rams receiving corps is something of a lottery, and Robert Woods is as good a ticket as any. After Los Angeles averaged more than 32 points per game last season, it’s clear it’s a lottery worth taking a shot at.
41. Julian Edelman — WR, New England Patriots
Average rank: 40.3
2018 stats: 74 receptions, 850 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 133.4 fantasy points
One thing to know: With Rob Gronkowski retired, expect Tom Brady to rely on Julian Edelman even more than he already does as his go-to pass-catcher in the New England offence. While everyone is once again another year older, never make the mistake of counting out the Patriots.
42. Chris Carson — RB, Seattle Seahawks
Average rank: 42.3
2018 stats: 1,151 rushing yards, 163 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns, 181.4 fantasy points
One thing to know: The Seattle Seahawks led the NFL in rushing last year, finishing the season with 2,560 total yards on the ground. While Chris Carson will have to share some rushing duties with Rashaad Penny, there’s plenty of touches to go around in Pete Carroll’s offence.
43. Chris Godwin — WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Average rank: 44.0
2018 stats: 59 receptions, 842 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, 126.2 fantasy points
One thing to know: After two solid seasons with the Buccaneers, Chris Godwin has the chance to push himself to another level thanks to the departure of DeSean Jackson. Be wary though, as fumbles were a bit of a problem for him in 2018, losing four balls to the ground on just 59 receptions.
44. Kenny Golladay — WR, Detroit Lions
Average rank: 44.2
2018 stats: 70 receptions, 1,063 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns, 137.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: Kenny Golladay had 40 catches for 586 yards in the eight games he played with the Lions after the team traded away Golden Tate. Entering camp as the leading receiver by a good margin this year, expect him to get even more looks from Matthew Stafford this year.
45. Tyler Lockett — WR, Seattle Seahawks
Average rank: 45.4
2018 stats: 57 receptions, 965 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns, 165.4 fantasy points
One thing to know: Tyler Lockett is one of Russell Wilson’s favourite targets in the red zone. He scored a touchdown in nine of the Seahawks first 12 games of the 2018 season.
46. Mark Ingram — RB, Baltimore Ravens
Average rank: 45.9
2018 stats: 645 rushing yards, 170 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, 121.5 fantasy points
One thing to know: After eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Mark Ingram joined the Baltimore Ravens this offseason on a three-year, $US15 milliondeal. The Ravens are expected to be one of the most run-heavy teams in the league, and Ingram has plenty of experience making the most of whatever opportunities he gets with the ball.
47. Sony Michel — RB, New England Patriots
Average rank: 48.0
2018 stats: 931 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 132.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: Sony Michel proved a valuable fantasy player in his rookie season, but with Bill Belichick’s ever-changing game plan, picking a Patriots running back is always something of a gamble.
48. Deshaun Watson — QB, Houston Texans
Average rank: 50.7
2018 stats: 4,163 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 331.7 fantasy points
One thing to know: Deshaun Watson returned from injury to lead the Texans through a great season in 2018, completing 68.3% of his passes on the year. He’s also known as a threat on his legs, and his average of 35 yards rushing per game is a solid perk for fantasy players.
49. Cooper Kupp — WR, Los Angeles Rams
Average rank: 52.8
2018 stats: 40 receptions, 566 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 95.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: Cooper Kupp’s 2018 campaign was cut short after an ACL injury, but he’s expected to be back in full health with the Rams this year.
50. Alshon Jeffery — WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Average rank: 56.7
2018 stats: 65 receptions, 843 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns, 120.3 fantasy points
One thing to know: With DeSean Jackson returning to Philadelphia as a deep option, and pass-catching tight end Zach Ertz still a huge part of the Eagles offence, Alshon Jeffery should have plenty of opportunities to break free against overwhelmed defences.
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