The Ringer has been putting out some solid fantasy football content this year. Their 2019 fantasy football rankings, published today, are definitely worth a look as you get ready for your fantasy drafts in the coming weeks.
You’d think that the Los Angeles Rams with their loaded offensive roster and their production in 2018 would be at the top of the rankings in several positions. Well, I got some news for you! Apparently, there is skepticism that the Rams’ offensive players will be racking up the stats this year.
Let’s begin with the most important position in fantasy:
The Ringer, like many fantasy football writers, have the top tier of RBs listed as such: Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley and New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara.
Overall, Rams RB Todd Gurley doesn’t appear on the overall ranking until 19th overall right after Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill. Among RBs, he’s ranked 11th in both standard and PPR.
Why the low ranking? Oh, right. His knee. A story we keep harping on. Danny Kelly had this to say about Gurley’s fantasy prospects:
Gurley’s reign as king of fantasy football could be quickly coming to an end. After finishing as the top-scoring running back in standard scoring formats in 2017 and 2018, all signs point toward a significant workload reduction in 2019 as the team looks to manage wear and tear on his reportedly arthritic left knee.
A first-round lock in fantasy needs to be a bellcow running back. With the addition of third-round 2019 NFL Draft pick RB Darrell Henderson, the skepticism that Gurley can’t be the fantasy king anymore is official.
Speaking of Henderson, he was ranked 78th overall and RB35 in standard leagues and RB33 in PPR:
Henderson is the no. 1 handcuff in the league. The rookie averaged 8.2 yards per carry—no, not a typo—in three seasons at Memphis, and has the perfect cutting style for the Rams’ outside-zone blocking scheme. If Gurley’s arthritic knee keeps him off the field for any length of time, Henderson has RB1 potential. As in the overall RB1, not as an RB1. If you have Gurley, you simply must draft Henderson as an insurance policy. And if you don’t have Gurley, you should still take a look at him.
That’s quite an opinion of our new running back. It just goes to show how quickly things can change for running backs in the NFL.
QB Jared Goff was 4th in yards last year (4,688), and tied for 6th in TDs (32,) but he’s still listed at QB16 in both standard and PPR. This feels...offensive.
I could name all the QBs that are ranked higher than him, but my blood would be boiling onto my keyboard, so I will refrain. Oh, wait... I can’t. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston?!? Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray?!? Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott?!? Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben fuc@#%@%@^ing Roethlisberger?!?
C’mon. What the fresh hell is this?
At least Goff is ranked above Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen, but there’s always next year.
Goff was fantasy’s second-highest-scoring quarterback behind Patrick Mahomes from Week 1 to Week 11, but he fell to 29th during Weeks 13 through 16, after the Rams offense fell off a cliff following their epic Monday Night Football matchup with Kansas City. Goff needs to get better at anticipating when receivers will be open to return to the first-half dominance he displayed in 2018.
Oh, and I checked if Rams backup QB Blake Bortles made the list. He did not.
No love for Young Gerald Everett, as he didn’t make the list. Same for Goff’s best buddy forever, TE Tyler Higbee (cue the sad electric guitar riff). Rams fans will know that if they’re down to their last pick (or last dollar in an auction draft), Everett would be a smart move as the guy is looking to (and perhaps needs to) break out this season.
This is a position where the Rams have a stacked core that will do very well this year. However, the crowded WR stable may keep the stars from breaking out as dominant #1 WRs in fantasy.
WR Brandin Cooks was ranked WR15 in standard and PPR and 36th overall:
Cooks’s talent is not what keeps him from fantasy stardom, but rather his situation. He is a member of one of the most talented (read: crowded) receiving corps in the league, is playing in the ninth-most-run-heavy offense by run-pass ratio, and has a relatively conservative QB in Jared Goff. His upside is still there, and he may win you some weeks with his lid-lifting speed, just don’t expect a WR1 performance from a guy who is squarely positioned as a WR2.
WR Robert Woods is ranked just behind Cooks at WR18 in standard, WR19 in PPR, and 43rd overall:
Woods is the perfect receiver for Sean McVay’s offense as a versatile piece who can play inside and out while dominating defensive backs on the crossing and over routes that McVay favors. He finished last season 15th in yards per route run after ranking eighth in 2017. He’s simply one of the most reliable pass catchers in football.
I feel like Woods is a perfect WR2 for any fantasy team because the guy is a great route runner and doesn’t take plays off.
WR Cooper Kupp comes in at 47th overall, WR21 in standard, and WR18 in PPR. The biggest concern with Kupp is obviously his return from his ACL injury:
In the six games Kupp played and finished in 2018, he averaged 15.0 standard points—that would have made him the no. 2–scoring receiver if maintained for the entire season.
So, with the caution some owners will have with Kupp’s return from his injury, Kupp could selected with some sneaky value.
Looking at the complete list, the biggest error has to be the placement of Jared Goff at QB16. Do you think the list was fair towards Goff and company, Rams fans?