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Regular Season, Updated: 7/11/19

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Legend:   Upside = Upside   Risk = Risk   ADP = Average Draft Position
FF Today Standard Scoring: Review Scoring
 Saquon Barkley, NYG (Bye: 11)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 233   DOB: 1997-02-07   Age: 22
College: Penn State   Draft: 2018 Round 1 (2) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2018NYG16261 1,307 11 91 721 4 292.8 18.3
2019 (Projected)NYG 265 1,244 10 89 688 3 271.2  

Outlook: Barkley lived up to the hype that made him the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The former Penn State star became only the third rookie in NFL history to reach 2000 total yards, joining Edgerrin James and Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson.

One of the best dual threats in the league, Barkley trailed only Christian McCaffrey in receptions out of the backfield, and he is one of only six players to reach double digits in rushing touchdowns.

His impressive rookie campaign has Barkley squarely in the midst of going first overall in most fantasy drafts. Although his receiving skills and volume in the passing game give him a floor nearly unmatched at the position, the lack of a true downfield threat with the absence of Beckham and the chance of the team turning to a rookie QB could hurt his value.

It may also be difficult for Barkley to keep up with his impressive 5.0 yard per carry average should teams stack the box more when guarding the possible short passing attack employed by the Giants.

On a positive note, the Giants improved the right side of the offensive line with Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers, and second-year guard Will Hernadez will continue to grow next to Nate Solder.

 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (Bye: 8)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1995-07-22   Age: 23
College: Ohio State   Draft: 2016 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016DAL15322 1,631 15 32 363 1 295.4 19.7
2017DAL10242 983 7 26 269 2 179.2 17.9
2018DAL15304 1,434 6 77 567 3 254.1 16.9
2019 (Projected)DAL 302 1,359 10 62 477 2 255.6  

Outlook: The 2018 season turned out to be a combination of positive and negative trends for Ezekiel Elliott, as the former fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft finished outside the top 5 in fantasy running backs for the first time in his career.

Zeke won the rushing title over Saquon Barkley by a commanding 128 yards in one fewer game, but he managed just six rushing touchdowns and nine total TDs. The lack of rushing touchdowns appears to be an anomaly, as Dak Prescott did not see an increase in rushing TDs that would justify taking away opportunities from Zeke.

In the history of the NFL, there were 112 instances of a player rushing for at least 1400 yards on 300 or more carries in a season. Out of those 112 seasons, only seven times did a player manage to rush for six or fewer touchdowns.

Positive touchdown regression is in the mix for Zeke, especially when you consider the fact that he took a massive jump in receiving production in 2018 that should continue into 2019. After logging just 58 receptions in combined in his first two seasons, the Cowboys finally came to their senses and gave Zeke 77 receptions for 567 yards and three touchdowns last year.

It should also be noted that center Travis Frederick appears to be on the mend from missing all of last year due to effects from Guillain-Barre syndrome. His return to the middle of the Cowboy offensive line, along with an improved passing attack, should provide Zeke with ample opportunities this season.

 Alvin Kamara, NO (Bye: 9)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1995-07-25   Age: 23
College: Tennessee   Draft: 2017 Round 3 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017NO16120 728 8 82 826 5 233.4 14.6
2018NO15194 883 14 81 709 4 267.2 17.8
2019 (Projected)NO 164 804 10 86 771 5 247.5  

 Christian McCaffrey, CAR (Bye: 7)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 202   DOB: 1996-06-07   Age: 23
College: Stanford   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (8) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017CAR16117 435 2 80 651 5 150.6 9.4
2018CAR16219 1,098 7 107 867 6 274.5 17.2
2019 (Projected)CAR 215 947 5 97 789 5 233.6  

 Melvin Gordon, LAC (Bye: 12)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 215   DOB: 1993-04-13   Age: 26
College: Wisconsin   Draft: 2015 Round 1 (15) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016SD13254 997 10 41 419 2 213.6 16.4
2017LAC16284 1,105 8 57 470 4 229.5 14.3
2018LAC12175 885 10 50 490 4 221.5 18.5
2019 (Projected)LAC 228 1,095 10 59 477 3 235.2  

Outlook: Melvin Gordon has now played four seasons in the NFL and while he's averaged over 1,300 total yards per season, there is growing concern that his body may just not be built to withstand a large workload for a 16-game season (and, of course, on into the playoffs).

Gordon has missed at least two games in three out of his four NFL seasons and every game he's missed has taken place after week 12. That's a huge problem for fantasy gamers who have been riding his fantasy production on into their playoffs, only to be left scrambling when the money is on the line.

The Chargers have seemingly noticed this trend and there's a realistic chance that they could end up cutting back on Gordon's touches in 2019. Make no mistake - Gordon is still the primary ball carrier in this backfield, but players like Austin Ekeler and even Justin Jackson, who have typically been backups or utilized in change-of-pace roles for Gordon, have established themselves as viable options in this Chargers' offense. As the coaching staff becomes more comfortable with those players being on the field, look for Gordon's touch totals to take a bit of a dip as the team attempts to keep him healthy for the latter part of the season. That could mean a bit of a dip in touches per game for Gordon, but he should still get the lion's share of the touches near the goal line, which is what we should really be focused on. Not only that, but if he's not sustaining as much damage throughout the early and middle parts of the season, he should be ready to make a strong playoff push, which makes him even more valuable at the end of the season which is when fantasy gamers will really need him.

Gordon is the best fantasy player in this offense and though there are some concerns about his health and longevity, there's no question that he should still be a first round pick in fantasy drafts this season. After the "big four" at the top of the draft, one could make a strong case that Gordon should be the fifth player off the board in most leagues. Even if he does go down again near the end of the season, he'll almost certainly produce good enough numbers to justify his draft position.

 James Conner, PIT (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 233   DOB: 1995-05-05   Age: 24
College: Pittsburgh   Draft: 2017 Round 3 (41) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017PIT1232 144 0 0 0 0 14.4 1.2
2018PIT13215 973 12 55 497 1 225.0 17.3
2019 (Projected)PIT 242 1,088 9 55 412 2 216.0  

Outlook: In a longtime keeper league last season I kept Bell, and then kicked myself for "reaching" for Conner in the middle rounds of the draft. I didn't want to get left with my pants down should Bell miss the first few games. Well you know by now how things turned out. Conner went out and set the fantasy world on fire, scoring 13 touchdowns and piling up nearly 1,500 total yards. A late season injury cost him a few games, but savvy fantasy owners might have learned a lot during those missed games.

This might be controversial, especially with Conner being a borderline top-10 pick in early drafts, but I think he is an average player that had the benefit of being a bell-cow on a team with an elite line, scheme, and receiving core. While he showed more wiggle and speed than in his first season, nothing about his running style or play jumps off the page. He benefited greatly from hogging the teams running back snaps (83% of the running back touches went to Connor), and he had the 2nd most goal line carries in the NFL with 13. One of the long standing knocks against Bell was that he was simply a product of the system. It seems possible, as college h-back Jaylen Samuels was able to step right in for Conner late in the season and put up some impressive numbers.

The bottom line here is that Conner remains the RB1 on an offense that has been dominant for the better part of a decade. I just think there was a perfect storm of consequences for Conner to put up the numbers he did last year, and it's going to be very hard for him to repeat his top-10 finish.

 David Johnson, ARI (Bye: 12)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 224   DOB: 1991-12-16   Age: 27
College: Northern Iowa   Draft: 2015 Round 3 (22) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016ARI16293 1,239 16 80 879 4 331.8 20.7
2017ARI111 23 0 6 68 0 9.1 9.1
2018ARI16258 940 7 50 446 3 198.6 12.4
2019 (Projected)ARI 257 1,055 8 50 422 2 207.7  

 Todd Gurley, LAR (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 222   DOB: 1994-08-03   Age: 24
College: Georgia   Draft: 2015 Round 1 (10) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016LAR16278 885 6 43 327 0 157.2 9.8
2017LAR15279 1,305 13 64 788 6 323.3 21.6
2018LAR14256 1,251 17 59 580 4 309.1 22.1
2019 (Projected)LAR 224 1,007 9 44 375 2 204.2  

 Le'Veon Bell, NYJ (Bye: 4)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 244   DOB: 1992-02-18   Age: 27
College: Michigan State   Draft: 2013 Round 2 (18) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016PIT12261 1,268 7 75 616 2 242.4 20.2
2017PIT15321 1,291 9 85 655 2 260.6 17.4
2019 (Projected)NYJ 247 1,064 7 63 475 2 207.9  

Outlook: Bell held out the entire 2018 season with the goal of protecting his body from injury and securing a lucrative free agent deal. While you could argue that Bell did not get the monster deal he anticipated, he did cash in with the Jets and enters 2019 with fresh legs and something to prove.

The problem for Bell is he left a team in the Steelers with a veteran QB, elite wide receivers, and one of the best offensive lines in the league to join a New York Jets squad that does not boast any of those three attributes. Like Todd Gurley in his second year, Bell may find out that even the best running backs can struggle when playing in an offense with a young quarterback and a substandard offensive line.

The saving grace for Bell is the presumed volume he will receive both the passing and ground game. The Jets did not give him $27 million guaranteed not to be used as a workhorse back, although it remains to be seen if head coach Adam Gase will use Bell like a workhorse.

Bell's supreme talent and likely elite touch volume will likely make him a first-round pick in most formats. Just don't be shocked if he does not put up Le'Veon Bell-esque numbers with Gang-Green.

 Dalvin Cook, MIN (Bye: 12)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1995-08-10   Age: 23
College: Florida State   Draft: 2017 Round 2 (9) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017MIN474 354 2 11 90 0 56.4 14.1
2018MIN11133 615 2 40 305 2 116.0 10.5
2019 (Projected)MIN 241 1,085 6 55 410 3 203.5  

 Damien Williams, KC (Bye: 12)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 221   DOB: 1992-04-03   Age: 27
College: Oklahoma   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016MIA1535 115 3 23 249 3 72.4 4.8
2017MIA1046 181 0 20 155 1 39.6 4.0
2018KC1650 256 4 23 160 2 77.6 4.9
2019 (Projected)KC 238 1,045 7 45 346 3 199.1  

 Joe Mixon, CIN (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 226   DOB: 1996-07-24   Age: 22
College: Oklahoma   Draft: 2017 Round 2 (16) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017CIN14178 626 4 30 287 0 115.3 8.2
2018CIN14237 1,168 8 43 296 1 200.4 14.3
2019 (Projected)CIN 240 1,104 7 38 279 1 186.3  

Outlook: Mixon was finally able to flash the skills than made him one of the most talented players in the country coming into the 2017 draft. Despite missing two games due to a mid-season knee scope, Mixon showed a combination of speed, power, and versatility as he rang up a solid RB1 season. Keep in mind, that this was an offense that was missing its quarterback and stud receiver for most of the year. There are a few reasons why Mixon has a good chance to be a fantasy asset again in 2019.

I don't claim to know much about the intricacies of the offensive scheme being put into place, but I can tell you it's going to look a heck of a lot more modern than what Cinci has been doing for the past decade. Expect the Bengals to use Mixon in space more this season, as his loping stride, vision, and power are miss-matches for defensive backs and linebackers. 50 receptions aren't out of the question, and he should be even more efficient touching the ball with a more spread out attack. Losing Jonah Williams is going to hurt, but this offensive line showed great improvement last season, and should be decent again this year. My only hesitation with Mixon is his durability. He's missed 4 games in his first few seasons, and lower leg injuries seem to pop up frequently. He showed no ill effects last season after coming back, but it's something to think about. If Dalton can get on track and cut down on mistakes, this offense has a chance to rebound in a big way, putting Mixon squarely in the RB1 conversation.