Fitz on Fantasy: Early 2018 Fantasy Football Rankings Opus

On the sports fan’s calendar, February is the equivalent of a 25-year-old bachelor’s refrigerator. The NBA and NHL are slogging their way toward the playoffs. College basketball is slowly building to a crescendo. The phrase “pitchers and catchers report” gets baseball fans all tingly but amounts to little more than players idly stretching while awaiting their afternoon tee times. As I type this, I’m watching Olympic curling. Yes, curling. Shoot me, please.

It’s often said that there is no offseason in the NFL. Let’s face it, though: There isn’t much happening in the weeks between the Super Bowl and the Scouting Combine. But 2018 best-ball drafts are getting started already, so I wanted to put out an initial set of fantasy rankings even before free agency and the draft change the landscape.

There are 675 players ranked here, including nearly 100 rookies. Obviously, a great many of these players will not be fantasy-relevant in 2018. Obviously, there will be major changes to these rankings based on free-agent movement and the draft. The rookie rankings will be especially volatile, with the potential for big moves up or down based on athletic testing and landing spots.

It was hard to suppress my giddiness when putting together these rankings. The player pool seems deeper than usual. A number of top players are coming back from injuries. A wave of young talent has bolstered the QB and RB positions. The rookie RB class appears to be one of the best and deepest that we’ve seen in years. Drafts are going to be fun this year, my friends.

With regard to these rankings, I’m always open to feedback, criticism, opinions, etc. Don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter: @Fitz_FF.


1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
3. Tom Brady, Patriots
4. Cam Newton, Panthers
5. Drew Brees, UFA
6. Carson Wentz, Eagles
7. Deshaun Watson, Texans
8. Matthew Stafford, Lions
9. Kirk Cousins, UFA
10. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
11. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
12. Jared Goff, Rams
13. Marcus Mariota, Titans
14. Philip Rivers, Chargers
15. Dak Prescott, Cowboys
16. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
17. Matt Ryan, Falcons
18. Andrew Luck, Colts
19. Alex Smith, Redskins
20. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
21. Blake Bortles, Jaguars
22. Derek Carr, Raiders
23. Mitch Trubisky, Bears
24. Andy Dalton, Bengals
25. Tyrod Taylor, Bills
26. Sam Bradford, UFA
27. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
28. Joe Flacco, Ravens
29. Case Keenum, UFA
30. Eli Manning, Giants
31. Lamar Jackson, rookie
32. Teddy Bridgewater, UFA
33. Josh McCown, UFA
34. Baker Mayfield, rookie
35. DeShone Kizer, Browns
36. A.J. McCarron, UFA
37. Sam Darnold, rookie
38. Josh Rosen, rookie
39. Nick Foles, Eagles
40. Sean Mannion, Rams
41. Colt McCoy, Redskins
42. Trevor Siemian, Broncos
43. Jacoby Brissett, Colts
44. Blaine Gabbert, UFA
45. Jay Cutler, UFA
46. Brian Hoyer, Patriots
47. Colin Kaepernick, UFA
48. Nathan Peterman, Bills
49. Davis Webb, Giants
50. Paxton Lynch, Broncos
51. Brett Hundley, Packers
52. C.J. Beathard, 49ers
53. Josh Allen, rookie
54. Cooper Rush, Cowboys
55. Chase Daniel, UFA
56. Ryan Fitzpatrick, UFA
57. Matt Moore, UFA
58. Connor Cook, Raiders
59. Cody Kessler, Browns
60. Joshua Dobbs, Steelers
61. E.J. Manuel, UFA
62. Chad Kelly, Broncos
63. Mike Glennon, Bears
64. Bryce Petty, Jets
65. Derek Anderson, Panthers
66. Brock Osweiler, UFA
67. Luke Falk, rookie
68. Mason Rudolph, rookie
69. Chad Henne, UFA
70. Geno Smith, UFA
71. Tom Savage, UFA
72. Ryan Mallett, UFA
73. Austin Davis, Seahawks
74. Kevin Hogan, Browns
75. Matt Schaub, Falcons
76. T.J. Yates, UFA
77. Cardale Jones, Chargers
78. Kyle Lauletta, rookie
79. Christian Hackenberg, Jets
80. Austin Davis, UFA
81. Matt Cassel, Titans
82. Landry Jones, Steelers
83. Matt Barkley, UFA
84. Mark Sanchez, UFA
85. J.T. Barrett, rookie
86. Brad Kaaya, Colts
87. Ryan Griffin, Buccaneers
88. Brandon Allen, Rams
89. Drew Stanton, UFA
90. Riley Ferguson, rookie
91. Robert Griffin III, UFA
92. Taysom Hill, Saints
93. Jake Rudock, RFA-Lions
94. Joe Webb, UFA
95. Brandon Weeden, UFA
96. Nate Sudfeld, Eagles
97. Joe Callahan, RFA-Packers
98. Josh Johnson, UFA
99. Alex Tanney, Titans
100. Jeff Driskell, Bengals

The 2017 season gave us an exciting transfusion of young blood at the QB position, with Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Deshaun Watson and Jimmy Garoppolo all positioning themselves as fantasy QB1s for 2018. The enthusiasm might get excessive for Wentz and Watson, whose seasons ended with ACL tears. Wentz turned in a terrific 13-game sample, but his 7.5% touchdown rate simply isn’t repeatable, and it’s possible his mobility will be at least temporarily compromised by a knee injury that occurred in December. The concerns are similar for Watson, who was an even more prolific runner than Wentz and had an even higher TD rate as a passer (9.3%). Watson also gave us only a seven-game sample in his rookie season – though, granted, it was a pretty spectacular sample. I’m being cautious with my rankings of Wentz and Watson and don’t expect to have either on any of my teams because the buy-in will be so exorbitant.

It’s interesting that Drew Brees has fallen out of the top five in most of the early rankings I’ve seen. At age 38, he had a career-best 72.0% completion rate and posted his best YPA (8.09) since 2011. But Brees attempted only 536 passes last year. That’s 120 fewer attempts than he averaged over his seven previous seasons. The dramatically reduced passing volume explains why Brees posted disappointing yardage (4,334) and touchdown (23) totals, although those numbers were just fine by the standards of mere mortals. It’s possible the Saints’ run-heavy approach sticks, but I’m not ready to assume it’s the new normal. I still believe Brees is a top-five quarterback.

Also jumping out as potential draft values are Matthew Stafford and Marcus Mariota. As of Feb. 14, Stafford’s Fantasy Football Calculator ADP was QB16. Maybe drafters are simply bored with him? His fantasy finishes since 2011: QB5, QB10, QB6, QB14, QB11, QB7, QB7. He has three talented receivers, and the Lions’ running game remains no more than a rumor. I’ll happily let Stafford bore the hell out of me if I can get him as the 16th QB off the board. Mariota’s shaky performance in 2017 will scare some people away, but the promise we saw from him in his first two seasons was no mirage, and the Titans’ coaching shakeup should help.

This is probably a good place to put the usual disclaimer that it usually makes sense to be patient about drafting a quarterback in a start-one-QB league. I have Matt Ryan ranked QB17, but I would gladly take Ryan as my starter if it meant that I could pound the other positions for 10 rounds or more before spending a pick on a quarterback.

What’s up with Andrew Luck’s throwing shoulder? Until we know more, I can’t rank him any higher than QB18.

There are mixed opinions on the quality of the rookie quarterback class. I’m partial to Baker Mayfield as a candidate for long-term success, but Lamar Jackson’s dual run-pass potential is extremely intriguing, and he’s my top-rated rookie QB for 2018 because I think his running can provide fantasy value while we wait for him to become a serviceable NFL passer. (Please don’t tell noted Jackson skeptic Bill Polian.)


1. Todd Gurley, Rams
2. Le’Veon Bell, UFA
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
4. David Johnson, Cardinals
5. Kareem Hunt, Chiefs
6. Saquon Barkley, rookie
7. Alvin Kamara, Saints
8. Melvin Gordon, Chargers
9. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars
10. Dalvin Cook, Vikings
11. Devonta Freeman, Falcons
12. LeSean McCoy, Bills
13. Mark Ingram, Saints
14. Derrick Henry, Titans
15. Jordan Howard, Bears
16. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
17. Joe Mixon, Bengals
18. Carlos Hyde, UFA
19. Derrius Guice, rookie
20. Kenyan Drake, Dolphins
21. Jay Ajayi, Eagles
22. Alex Collins, RFA-Ravens
23. Dion Lewis, UFA
24. Tevin Coleman, Falcons
25. C.J. Anderson, Broncos
26. Lamar Miller, Texans
27. Chris Carson, Seahawks
28. Aaron Jones, Packers
29. Marshawn Lynch, Raiders
30. Duke Johnson, Browns
31. Chris Thompson, Redskins
32. Sony Michel, rookie
33. Nick Chubb, rookie
34. DeMarco Murray, Titans
35. Jamaal Williams, Packers
36. Rashaad Penny, rookie
37. Ronald Jones, rookie
38. Samaje Perine, Redskins
39. D’Onta Foreman, Texans
40. Tarik Cohen, Bears
41. Giovani Bernard, Bengals
42. Isaiah Crowell, UFA
43. Jerrick McKinnon, UFA
44. Bilal Powell, Jets
45. Rex Burkhead, UFA
46. Marlon Mack, Colts
47. Ty Montgomery, Packers
48. Wayne Gallman, Giants
49. Frank Gore, UFA
50. Kenneth Dixon, Ravens
51. Spencer Ware, Chiefs
52. Devontae Booker, Broncos
53. Latavius Murray, Vikings
54. Kerryon Johnson, rookie
55. Mark Walton, rookie
56. Royce Freeman, rookie
57. Doug Martin, UFA
58. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
59. James White, Patriots
60. Matt Forte, Jets
61. Theo Riddick, Lions
62. Austin Ekeler, Chargers
63. Adrian Peterson, Cardinals
64. Corey Clement, Eagles
65. Danny Woodhead, Ravens
66. Corey Grant, RFA-Jaguars
67. T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars
68. Mike Gillislee, Patriots
69. John Kelly, rookie
70. Ito Smith, rookie
71. Nyheim Hines, rookie
72. Kalen Ballage, rookie
73. Matt Breida, 49ers
74. C.J. Prosise, Seahawks
75. Elijah McGuire, Jets
76. Ameer Abdullah, Lions
77. Akrum Wadley, rookie
78. Jaylen Samuels, rookie
79. Peyton Barber, RFA-Buccaneers
80. Damien Williams, UFA
81. LeGarrette Blount, UFA
82. De’Angelo Henderson, Broncos
83. Myles Gaskin, rookie
84. Bo Scarbrough, rookie
85. Orleans Darkwa, UFA
86. Darren Sproles, UFA
87. James Conner, Steelers
88. Justin Jackson, rookie
89. Martez Carter, rookie
90. Josh Adams, rookie
91. Joe Williams, 49ers
92. Rod Smith, Cowboys
93. Mike Davis, RFA-Seahawks
94. Buck Allen, Ravens
95. Jalen Richard, Raiders
96. Roc Thomas, rookie
97. Darrel Williams, rookie
98. Chris Ivory, Jaguars
99. DeAndre Washington, Raiders
100. Ralph Webb, rookie
101. L.J. Scott, rookie
102. Jeremy McNichols, 49ers
103. Robert Turbin, Colts
104. Alfred Morris, UFA
105. Charcandrick West, Chiefs
106. Kerwynn Williams, UFA
107. Charles Sims, UFA
108. Wendell Smallwood, Eagles
109. Thomas Rawls, RFA-Seahawks
110. Malcolm Brown, Rams
111. Travaris Cadet, UFA
112. Branden Oliver, UFA
113. Jeremy Hill, UFA
114. Shane Vereen, UFA
115. Rob Kelley, Redskins
116. Alfred Blue, UFA
117. Tion Green, Lions
118. J.D. McKissic, RFA-Seahawks
119. Cameron Artis-Payne, Panthers
120. Kyle Hicks, rookie
121. Phillip Lindsay, rookie
122. Jordan Chunn, rookie
123. Jamaal Morrow, rookie
124. Donnel Pumphrey, Eagles
125. Jarvion Franklin, rookie
126. Lavon Coleman, rookie
127. Justin Crawford, rookie
128. Demario Richard, rookie
129. Nick Wilson, rookie
130. Zach Zenner, RFA-Lions
131. D’Ernest Johnson, rookie
132. Ty Isaac, rookie
133. Darius Jackson, Browns
134. Matt Jones, Colts
135. Andre Ellington, UFA
136. T.J. Logan, Cardinals
137. Paul Perkins, Giants
138. Eddie Lacy, UFA
139. Jamaal Charles, UFA
140. Elijhaa Penny, RFA-Cardinals
141. Dwayne Washington, Lions
142. Tyler Ervin, Texans
143. Benny Cunningham, UFA
144. Lance Dunbar, UFA
145. Daniel Lasco, Saints
146. D.J. Foster, Cardinals
147. James Butler, rookie
148. Terry Swanson, rookie
149. Akeem Hunt, Chiefs
150. Darren McFadden, UFA
151. Kyle Juszczyk, 49ers
152. Kenjon Barner, UFA
153. Justin Davis, Rams
154. Raheem Mostert, UFA
155. Fitzgerald Toussaint, UFA
156. Larry Rose III, rookie
157. Chase Edmonds, rookie
158. Kamryn Pettway, rookie
159. Stevan Ridley, UFA
160. Fozzy Whittaker, Panthers
161. Senorise Perry, Dolphins
162. Brian Hill, Bengals
163. Kapri Bibbs, Redskins
164. Christine Michael, UFA
165. Terron Ward, RFA-Falcons
166. Terrance West, UFA
167. Andre Williams, RFA-Chargers
168. Bishop Sankey, UFA
169. Devante Mays, Packers
170. Ka’Deem Carey, UFA
171. Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers
172. Jordan Wilkins, rookie
173. Jeff Wilson, rookie
174. Ryan Nall, rookie
175. Chris Warren, rookie
176. C.J. Spiller, UFA
177. Matt Dayes, Browns
178. Keith Marshall, Redskins
179. LeShun Daniels, Redskins
180. Mike James, UFA
181. Josh Ferguson, Colts
182. Jonathan Williams, Saints
183. Trey Edmunds, Saints
184. David Fluellen, Titans
185. Khalfani Muhammad, RFA-Titans
186. C.J. Ham, Vikings
187. Dare Ogunbowale, Redskins
188. Marcus Murphy, Bills
189. Jordan Todman, UFA
190. Taiwan Jones, UFA
191. Mike Tolbert, UFA
192. Brandon Bolden, UFA
193. Taquan Mizell, Bears
194. Byron Marshall, Redskins
195. Cedric Peerman, UFA
196. Bronson Hill, Cardinals
197. Russell Hansbrough, RFA-Chargers
198. De’Veon Smith, RFA-Dolphins
199. Akeem Judd, Jets
200. Mack Brown, RFA-Vikings

There isn’t a clear consensus on the No. 1 RB, but Todd Gurley seems to be a slight favorite, and he’s my choice as well. I wouldn’t question the sanity of anyone who advocates for Le’Veon Bell, but I feel more comfortable with Gurley because of all the mileage Bell has piled up over his five years in Pittsburgh.

This year’s class of rookie running backs should be very good and might even come to be regarded as great. The bannerman is Saquon Barkley of Penn State, a seemingly flawless prospect who figures to be a workhorse for whichever team drafts him. LSU’s Derrius Guice should also play a prominent role right from the start and is likely to be coveted in fantasy drafts. Tastes vary beyond the top two, but USC’s Ronald Jones, San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny, and the Georgia duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are top-10 rookie RBs on most people’s boards, and there are at least a dozen more interesting prospects behind those six. It’s a loaded class that will drive some veteran NFL backs into involuntary retirement.

Some people will do spit-takes when they see that I have Barkley ranked ahead of Alvin Kamara, who ranked fourth in RB fantasy scoring as a rookie. Kamara is remarkably talented and may indeed be a rare unicorn, but the odds of him repeating the hyper-efficiency of his rookie season are remote, and he still shares a backfield with the talented Mark Ingram. Barkley is a strong bet to out-touch Kamara this season, possibly by 100 touches or more.

Leonard Fournette is an exciting talent, but his foot problems scare the hell out of me. I can’t keep him out of the top 10 at the position (at least not yet), but I will be cautious not to overdraft him this year, if I draft him at all.

Another running back I’ll be fading this year is Miami’s Kenyan Drake. After Jay Ajayi was traded to the Eagles and Damien Williams was injured, Drake put up big late-season numbers in a workhorse role that was bequeathed to him out of necessity. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase has made it clear that he doesn’t believe in RB monogamy. “I don’t know if I’m ever going to have a feature-back situation,” Gase said last year. “I like using multiple guys. I like guys moving in and out and I like having guys that can do multiple things.” Drake is destined to play a part in Gase’s multi-pronged backfield, but to draft him with the idea that he’ll be reprising his role from last December would be a mistake.

The Packers’ backfield will be tricky for fantasy owners. Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery each spent time as Green Bay’s lead back last season. Jones has the lowest ADP of the three, according to Fantasy Football Calculator, but I think he’s the best bet to emerge as the alpha dog. Jones’ skill set is a good match for an Aaron Rodgers-led offense, and he’s the most dangerous playmaker of the three. I’ll be aggressively targeting Jones in early offseason best-ball drafts.


1. Antonio Brown, Steelers
2. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
3. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
4. Julio Jones, Falcons
5. Michael Thomas, Saints
6. A.J. Green, Bengals
7. Keenan Allen, Chargers
8. Mike Evans, Buccaneers
9. Davante Adams, Packers
10. Brandin Cooks, Patriots
11. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
12. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
13. Adam Thielen, Vikings
14. Jarvis Landry, UFA
15. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
16. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles
17. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
18. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers
19. Allen Robinson, Jaguars, UFA
20. Amari Cooper, Raiders
21. Stefon Diggs, Vikings
22. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
23. Josh Gordon, RFA-Browns
24. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
25. Sammy Watkins, UFA
26. Golden Tate, Lions
27. Marvin Jones, Lions
28. Jordy Nelson, Packers
29. Devin Funchess, Panthers
30. Corey Davis, Titans
31. Robert Woods, Rams
32. Michael Crabtree, Raiders
33. Will Fuller, Texans
34. Cooper Kupp, Rams
35. Kelvin Benjamin, Bills
36. Julian Edelman, Patriots
37. DeVante Parker, Dolphins
38. Sterling Shepard, Giants
39. Jamison Crowder, Redskins
40. Pierre Garcon, 49ers
41. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos
42. Marquise Goodwin, 49ers
43. Josh Doctson, Redskins
44. Nelson Agholor, Eagles
45. Kenny Stills, Dolphins
46. Robbie Anderson, Jets
47. Rishard Matthews, Titans
48. Martavis Bryant, Steelers
49. Randall Cobb, Packers
50. DeSean Jackson, Buccaneers
51. Chris Hogan, Patriots
52. Ted Ginn Jr., Saints
53. Dede Westbrook, Jaguars
54. Mike Wallace, UFA
55. Cameron Meredith, RFA-Bears
56. Mohamed Sanu, Falcons
57. Marqise Lee, UFA
58. Jordan Matthews, UFA
59. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
60. Corey Coleman, Browns
61. Kenny Golladay, Lions
62. Calvin Ridley, rookie
63. James Washington, rookie
64. Paul Richardson, UFA
65. Tyrell Williams, RFA-Chargers
66. Eric Decker, UFA
67. Donte Moncrief, UFA
68. Mike Williams, Chargers
69. Keelan Cole, Jaguars
70. Jeremy Maclin, Ravens
71. John Ross, Bengals
72. John Brown, UFA
73. Courtland Sutton, rookie
74. D.J. Moore, rookie
75. Terrelle Pryor, UFA
76. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
77. Jermaine Kearse, Jets
78. Quincy Enunwa, UFA
79. Taywan Taylor, Titans
80. Curtis Samuel, Panthers
81. Zay Jones, Bills
82. Michael Gallup, rookie
83. Anthony Miller, rookie
84. Christian Kirk, rookie
85. Carlos Henderson, Broncos
86. Torrey Smith, Eagles
87. Allen Hurns, Jaguars
88. Kendall Wright, UFA
89. Kenny Britt, Patriots
90. Brandon Marshall, Giants
91. Breshad Perriman, Ravens
92. Kevin White, Bears
93. Cole Beasley, Cowboys
94. Equanimeous St. Brown, rookie
95. Deon Cain, rookie
96. Tre’Quan Smith, rookie
97. Auden Tate, rookie
98. Trent Taylor, 49ers
99. Albert Wilson, UFA
100. Malcolm Mitchell, Patriots
101. Mack Hollins, Eagles
102. Josh Malone, Bengals
103. Josh Reynolds, Rams
104. Willie Snead, RFA-Saints
105. Dontrelle Inman, UFA
106. Terrance Williams, Cowboys
107. Brandon LaFell, Bengals
108. Bruce Ellington, RFA-Texans
109. Jakeem Grant, Dolphins
110. Jaron Brown, UFA
111. Travis Benjamin, Chargers
112. Chris Conley, Chiefs
113. Sammie Coates, Browns
114. Brandon Coleman, RFA-Saints
115. Tyler Boyd, Bengals
116. Demarcus Robinson, Chiefs
117. J.J. Nelson, Cardinals
118. Amara Darboh, Seahawks
119. Aldrick Robinson, 49ers
120. Michael Floyd, UFA
121. Jordan Lasley, rookie
122. Marcell Ateman, rookie
123. Dante Pettis, rookie
124. Richie James, rookie
125. Chester Rogers, Colts
126. Danny Amendola, UFA
127. Ricardo Louis, Browns
128. Roger Lewis, Giants
129. Laquon Treadwell, Vikings
130. Brice Butler, UFA
131. Cody Latimer, UFA
132. ArDarius Stewart, Jets
133. Geronimo Allison, RFA-Packers
134. Deonte Thompson, UFA
135. Jeff Janis, UFA
136. Austin Carr, Saints
137. Tajae Sharpe, Titans
138. Robert Davis, Redskins
139. Deontay Burnett, rookie
140. D.J. Chark, rookie
141. Jaleel Scott, rookie
142. Jake Weineke, rookie
143. Korey Robertson, rookie
144. Chad Williams, Cardinals
145. Bennie Fowler, RFA-Broncos
146. Chad Hansen, Jets
147. Cordarrelle Patterson, Raiders
148. Seth Roberts, Raiders
149. Ryan Switzer, Cowboys
150. Eli Rogers, RFA-Steelers
151. Jaelen Strong, RFA-Jaguars
152. Adam Humphries, RFA-Buccaneers
153. Tavarres King, UFA
154. Josh Bellamy, UFA
155. Taylor Gabriel, UFA
156. Jarius Wright, Vikings
157. Chris Moore, Ravens
158. Brian Quick, UFA
159. Michael Campanaro, UFA
160. Cody Core, Bengals
161. Tanner Gentry, Bears
162. Kamar Aiken, UFA
163. Leonte Carroo, Dolphins
164. Rashard Higgins, Browns
165. Trey Quinn, rookie
166. Allen Lazard, rookie
167. Simmie Cobbs Jr., rookie
168. DeaSean Hamilton, rookie
169. Cedric Wilson, rookie
170. Keke Coutee, rookie
171. Ryan Grant, UFA
172. Charles Johnson, UFA
173. Braxton Miller, Texans
174. Phillip Dorsett, Patriots
175. Andre Holmes, Bills
176. Jehu Chesson, Chiefs
177. Justin Hardy, Falcons
178. Isaiah Ford, Dolphins
179. Russell Shepard, Panthers
180. Damiere Byrd, Panthers
181. Kaelin Clay, Panthers
182. Markus Wheaton, Bears
183. Kendrick Bourne, 49ers
184. Alex Erickson, Bengals
185. Darren Carrington, rookie
186. Antonio Callaway, rookie
187. Cedrick Wilson, rookie
188. Cam Phillips, rookie
189. Hunter Renfroe, rookie
190. Daurice Fountain, rookie
191. Braxton Berrios, rookie
192. J’Mon Moore, rookie
193. Jester Weah, rookie
194. Byron Pringle, rookie
195. T.J. Jones, RFA-Lions
196. Trevor Davis, Packers
197. Shelton Gibson, Eagles
198. Jaydon Mickens, Raiders
199. Pharoh Cooper, Rams
200. Marcus Johnson, Eagles
201. Devin Smith, Jets
202. Noah Brown, Cowboys
203. Tommylee Lewis, Saints
204. Darrius Hayward-Bey, Steelers
205. Mike Thomas, Rams
206. Louis Murphy, UFA
207. Krishawn Hogan, Colts
208. Jordan Taylor, RFA-Broncos
209. Johnny Holton, Raiders
210. Isaiah McKenzie, Broncos
211. Charone Peake, Jets
212. Dwayne Harris, Giants
213. Cobi Hamilton, Texans
214. Justin Hunter, UFA
215. Rodney Adams, Vikings
216. Tavon Austin, Rams
217. Aaron Burbridge, 49ers
218. Andre Roberts, UFA
219. Rashad Greene, Jaguars
220. Arrelious Benn, Jaguars
221. Tanner McEvoy, Seahawks
222. Travis Rudolph, Giants
223. Harry Douglas, UFA
224. Chris Matthews, RFA-Ravens
225. Isaac Whitney, Raiders
226. Isaiah Burse, Chargers
227. Jeremy Butler, RFA-Bills
228. Max McCaffrey, 49ers
229. Hunter Sharp, Giants
230. Tim White, Ravens
231. DeAndrew White, Texans
232. Carlton Agudosi, Cardinals
233. Justin Hardee, Saints
234. Darius Powe, Giants
235. Quan Bray, UFA
236. Devin Fuller, Falcons
237. Michael Clark, RFA-Packers
238. De’Anthony Thomas, Chiefs
239. Marvin Hall, Falcons
240. Freddie Martino, Buccaneers
241. Stacy Coley, Vikings
242. Brenton Bersin, UFA
243. Mario Alford, Bears
244. Lucky Whitehead, Jets
245. Matt Hazel, Browns
246. Brandon Reilly, Bills
247. Brandon Tate, UFA
248. Geremy Davis, Chargers
249. Chris Thompson, Texans
250. Marquess Wilson, UFA

Antonio Brown is the No. 1 wide receiver on nearly everyone’s board, but there isn’t a clear consensus on No. 2. DeAndre Hopkins seems to be the majority choice, but I prefer Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ is coming back from a torn ACL, and the Giants’ situation is dicey at best, but Beckham has averaged 94.1 receiving yards and 0.81 TD catches per game for his career vs. 74.2 and 0.46 for Hopkins. Beckham is my WR2, and I’d be thrilled to take him at the back end of the first round even in standard-scoring leagues.

Ever since Antonio Brown blossomed into a superstar in 2013, no other Pittsburgh receiver has posted better numbers than the 58-917-7 that JuJu Smith-Schuster produced as a rookie last season. On one hand, Smith-Schuster had some of his best games at the end of the season, when Brown was injured. One the other hand, it’s pretty obvious that JuJu is going to be an impact player, and it’s hard to fathom that he played 10 NFL games before turning 21. Brown is a stat hog, and Le’Veon Bell will continue to get plenty of targets, too, but Smith-Schuster is too good to be marginalized. I think he’ll be a top-20 receiver even with Brown around. JuJu’s presence might even put a slight dent in AB’s numbers.

Jordy Nelson will be a hard player to rank this year. Was his lousy 2017 mostly attributable to the Aaron Rodgers injury? I’m not going to assume it was, so I’m keeping Nelson out of the top 25. Davante Adams is now the lead receiver in Green Bay, and we probably shouldn’t expect more 1,000-yard seasons from Nelson as he enters the twilight of his career.

Free agency is obviously going to affect the WR rankings, and I can’t wait to see where unrestricted free agent Sammy Watkins lands. The Rams mostly used Watkins as a decoy in 2017, and he has a troubling history of foot injuries. But Watkins is still only 24, and I still think he can still offer vast upside if he lands in the right spot. I’m far less enthusiastic about Donte Moncrief. Some team is going to give him an obscene amount of money, which will in turn spike his ADP. Like Watkins, Moncrief is just 24, and he has some impressive athletic traits, but he’s provided little evidence that he can be a reliable NFL contributor. I’d rather bet on UFA Jordan Matthews, who’s coming off a lost season but made impressive early-career contributions to the Eagles at a tender age.

Amari Cooper is coming off a nightmare season, but Derek Carr says Cooper was playing through injuries that left him far below peak physical capacity. I still think Cooper has multiple WR1 seasons ahead of him and look forward to the opportunity to buy him at a substantial discount. Michael Crabtree enthusiasts will be quick to point out that Crabby outscored Coop for a third consecutive season, but Crabtree turns 31 in September, and I can’t imagine he’ll be able to follow the career path being paved by Larry Fitzgerald.

If you’re in a dynasty league, you’re obligated to make yourself familiar with the rookie receiver class. If you’re in a conventional redraft or keeper league, you’re under no such obligation, and there aren’t any players in this class who look like safe bets for first-year impact. My highest-ranked rookie WR is Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, and as an overaged 23-year-old prospect who didn’t exactly put up eye-popping numbers for the Crimson Tide, Ridley is hardly foolproof. I have him ranked WR62, one spot ahead of Oklahoma State’s James Washington. SMU’s Courtland Sutton and Maryland’s D.J. Moore also have their supporters, but I find it hard to get excited about any of the rookie wideouts.


1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
2. Travis Kelce, Chiefs
3. Zach Ertz, Eagles
4. Evan Engram, Giants
5. Greg Olsen, Panthers
6. Delanie Walker, Titans
7. Jimmy Graham, UFA
8. Hunter Henry, Chargers
9. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
10. Jack Doyle, Colts
11. Eric Ebron, Lions
12. David Njoku, Browns
13. O.J. Howard, Buccaneers
14. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, UFA
15. Jared Cook, Raiders
16. Jordan Reed, Redskins
17. Austin Hooper, Falcons
18. Tyler Eifert, UFA
19. Jason Witten, Cowboys
20. Charles Clay, Bills
21. Trey Burton, UFA
22. Cameron Brate, RFA-Buccaneers
23. Adam Shaheen, Bears
24. Gerald Everett, Rams
25. Jonnu Smith, Titans
26. George Kittle, 49ers
27. Vance McDonald, Steelers
28. Vernon Davis, Redskins
29. Tyler Higbee, Rams
30. Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals
31. Coby Fleener, Saints
32. Nick Vannett, Seahawks
33. Jake Butt, Broncos
34. Benjamin Watson, UFA
35. Martellus Bennett, Patriots
36. Julius Thomas, Dolphins
37. Stephen Anderson, Texans
38. Tyler Kroft, Bengals
39. Garrett Celek, 49ers
40. Josh Hill, Saints
41. Erik Swoope, RFA-Colts
42. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars
43. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans
44. Mark Andrews, rookie
45. Dallas Goedert, rookie
46. Lance Kendricks, Packers
47. Antonio Gates, Chargers
48. Jesse James, Steelers
49. Luke Willson, UFA
50. Seth DeValve, Browns
51. Ryan Griffin, Texans
52. Hayden Hurst, rookie
53. Jermaine Gresham, Cardinals
54. Rico Gathers, Cowboys
55. David Morgan, Vikings
56. Jacob Hollister, Patriots
57. Dion Sims, Bears
58. Demetrius Harris, Chiefs
59. Darren Waller, Ravens
60. Maxx Williams, Ravens
61. Mike Gesicki, rookie
62. Dalton Schultz, rookie
63. Troy Fumagalli, rookie
64. Nick O’Leary, RFA-Bills
65. Nick Boyle, Ravens
66. Ed Dickson, UFA
67. Niles Paul, UFA
68. Ian Thomas, rookie
69. Adam Breneman, rookie
70. Daniel Brown, RFA-Bears
71. Blake Bell, Vikings
72. Virgil Green, UFA
73. Troy Niklas, UFA
74. Clive Walford, Raiders
75. Dwayne Allen, Patriots
76. A.J. Derby, Dolphins
77. Ben Koyack, Jaguars
78. Jordan Aikens, rookie
79. Tyler Conklin, rookie
80. Chris Herndon, rookie
81. Logan Thomas, RFA-Bills
82. Mychal Rivera, Jaguars
83. Jeff Heuerman, Broncos
84. Richard Rodgers, UFA
85. Brent Celek, Eagles
86. Temarrick Hemingway, Rams
87. Derek Carrier, UFA
88. Rhett Ellison, Giants
89. MyCole Pruitt, Texans
90. Darren Fells, UFA
91. Michael Roberts, Lions
92. MarQueis Gray, Dolphins
93. James O’Shaughnessy, Jaguars
94. Eric Saubert, Falcons
95. Jordan Leggett, Jets
96. Xavier Grimble, RFA-Steelers
97. Cole Hikutini, 49ers
98. Anthony Fasano, UFA
99. Jerell Adams, Giants
100. Levine Toilolo, Falcons
101. Neal Sterling, RFA-Jets
102. Brandon Williams, UFA
103. Darrell Daniels, Colts
104. C.J. Uzomah, Bengals
105. Chris Gragg, UFA
106. Jeremy Sprinkle, Redskins
107. Geoff Swaim, Cowboys
108. Gavin Escobar, UFA
109. Michael Hoomanawanui, Saints
110. Ross Travis, Colts
111. James Hanna, Cowboys
112. Luke Stocker, Titans
113. Orson Charles, Chiefs
114. Ben Braunecker, Bears
115. Khari Lee, Bills
116. Sean McGrath, RFA-Chargers
117. Vince Mayle, RFA-Ravens
118. Jason Vander Laan, Colts
119. Randall Telfer, Browns
120. Eric Tomlinson, Jets
121. Cethan Carter, Bengals
122. Philip Supernaw, Titans
123. Ifeanyi Momah, RFA-Cardinals
124. Chris Manhertz, RFA-Falcons

Assuming Rob Gronkowski doesn’t give up football for a second career as an action-film star or WWE wrestler, we’ll have a “big three” of Gronk, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz at the TE position. Gronk and Kelce are established studs, and Ertz solidified his top-tier cred last season. Gronk and Kelce become viable options late in the second round of 12-team drafts, and Ertz has third-round value. It can be damn hard to milk points out of the TE position, so I’ll find it hard to criticize anyone for aggressively drafting a top tight end.

Almost every year we think we’re on the verge of a renaissance at the TE position, and then every year becomes trying to squeeze points out of the TE position is like trying to squeeze blood from a turnip. But last year’s rookie TE class was the best in years, so it’s hard not to be enthusiastic about the future of the position. Evan Engram made an immediate splash as a rookie, and O.J. Howard and David Njoku each showed signs of future stardom. Another member of last season’s rookie TE class, Gerald Everett, will be one of my favorite sleepers this year. Adam Shaheen and George Kittle have a chance to make meaningful fantasy contributions in their second NFL seasons. There’s good reason to be excited about the youth movement at the position.

It will be fascinating to see where Jimmy Graham goes in 2018 fantasy drafts. Coming back from a torn patellar tendon – an injury that has wrecked careers – Graham led all tight ends with 10 TD catches last season, but he also averaged an anemic 9.1 yards per catch, a career low. Now he’s an unrestricted free agent. With extra time to recover from a devastating injury, will Graham start making plays downfield again? Or will the touchdowns dry up and leave us with a mere shadow of the old Jimmy Graham? I have to admit that I’m completely stumped about what to do with Graham in the TE rankings.