In the first part of our 2019 fantasy football preview pieces, we looked at draft strategies and thoughts to consider before drafting. Now, we look at specific players we think you want to draft—and some players we definitely think you should not risk a pick on.
As we noted earlier this week, there is a lot of luck involved in fantasy football. Team owners often miss the draft, never touch their teams/rosters, and ending up winning the league. Nothing is more frustrating than putting in a lot of effort and seeing that happen for someone else.
Unlike like fantasy baseball, this is a whole different beast, so lower expectations, cross your fingers, and hope for the best!
Players to Draft:
1. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings: He’s not a sleeper pick or anything, but for four straight seasons now, he has set career highs in almost every stat category. That is the kind of trajectory you want on your fantasy team. While other owners may overreach for overrated wideouts, you can feel confident with this consistent player.
2. David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns: What you want in your tight end is to not spend a high draft pick, while securing a guy who registers a lot of points. With stars at QB, RB, and WR on his team, many fantasy owners will overlook him—as will opposing defenses. That’s the kind of TE you want on your fantasy team. Watch this guy explode in 2019.
3. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks: Someone might pick him too early, but if he’s around after fifth round or so, don’t be afraid to snag him. His 35 TDs and only seven interceptions last year were awesome, and despite averaging almost six yards per rushing attempt in 2018, he didn’t score a rushing TD. That won’t happen again.
4. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots: As the cheatenous franchise QB gets older, the cheatenous franchise itself may have change its offensive strategy, and while New England rarely has had a top-dog RB, this may be the season the Pats do it the old-fashioned way. He won’t catch a lot of passes, but Michel will run well in 2019.
Players to Avoid:
1. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants: One thing that matters with a TE is the QB throwing him the ball. No matter who the Giants start, he isn’t going to be good, and with the best RB in the league on the team, the opportunity for a tight is minimal in New York right now. Don’t pick him, despite all the preseason hype.
2. Antonio Brown, WR, Oakland Raiders: Don’t do it. Not only is he a malcontent, but Brown has some injury issues already due to his own stupidity. Seriously, this guy is going nowhere but downhill now that he’s left a stable organization for one in major flux. Don’t be fooled by his past and draft him expecting the same results in Oakland.
3. Le’Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets: A little-considered fact to consider here is that Bell has played in all 16 games only once in his career, and he sat out all of 2018 due to a contract dispute. We don’t like like the combination of those two factors. Sadly, he could be a bad injury waiting to happen. Let someone else risk it.
4. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers: Last year, a lot of people bit on the hype and paid for it dearly. Don’t be fooled by anything you see in the news. This QB is way overrated, not to mention to injury prone. It would take a major turnaround for him to have any fantasy value in a normal, 10-team league.