The difficulties associated with the 2018 fantasy football draft will rear its ugly head once again in 2019.
Without a dominating player to count on every week (injury issues derailed Todd Gurley down the stretch), 2018 was a difficult one to navigate for most fantasy football owners. With the early fantasy football draft rankings released, it's becoming clear there will be several spots for misses in 2019, too.
37. Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams
38. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
39. Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos
40. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
41. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions
42. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
43. Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins
44. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
45. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
46. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
47. Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
48. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Guice, Lindsay offer serious value
Guice is a potential RB1. So with a ranking as the 21st running back, Guice is a must-pick at this level, especially with the inability to trust many running backs in the fantasy football draft.
Adrian Peterson doesn't have enough left in the tank, and while there's some apprehension with Chris Thompson stealing touches away from Guice, I wouldn't let that impact your decision-making on Guice.
He would have been one of the top rookie running backs in 2018, had it not been for an injury that derailed his season. Even if he doesn't take over the role as a bell-cow immediately, Guice will be in the role as the main running back early in 2019.
But if you don't get Guice, Lindsay offers some major intrigue. He was a nice surprise as a rookie running back in 2018 and he averaged 5.4 yards per carry in his inaugural season. I'd like to see him get more carries per game, since he managed just over 12 carries per game, but with a little more experience under his belt, that may change in 2019.
The Broncos should continue to improve on the offensive line, so I'm expecting high-end RB2 numbers, if not RB1-level work.
Of the Lions, go with Golladay
I will likely never trust Detroit running backs. Johnson averaged a little less than 12 carries per game, but managed to have a nice yard-per-carry average at 5.4. But unlike Lindsay, I just don't see the production level increasing.
The Lions' offensive line isn't as good as Denver's. And the Lions still have Matthew Stafford, who commands the ball on offense.
However, while I'm backing away from Johnson, I'd favor Golladay as a high-end WR2. Golladay was a top-20 wide receiver in targets, with the majority of his work coming later in the season when Golden Tate was shipped to Philadelphia.
Golladay averaged 6.6 targets per game. From weeks 10 to 16 in 2018, Golladay tallied double-digit targets in three games, and went for less than eight targets only once. I expect Golladay to continue to be Stafford's No. 1 target, which should provide some serious production in 2019. Golladay is ranked as the 18th-best wide receiver in fantasy football. He's better than that and will be a more consistent option than most in 2019.
What to do with Henry?
Henry could be the most confusing player in fantasy football in 2018.
For the majority of 2018, Henry was one of the biggest busts. He didn't register more than 60 yards rushing during the first 13 weeks. Then, something switched in week 14. He went for 238 yards in that week and followed up that confusing performance with 170 yards rushing.
The next two weeks, he went for 84 and 93 yards rushing, respectively.
Those numbers sound more like an RB1. But I can't forget about those first 13 weeks, where he was a low yards-per-carry threat and was less of a fantasy option than teammate Dion Lewis.
He has some serious risk involved, but there is some value. Keep an eye on him when preparing for the 2019 draft and come up with a plan of action when draft day nears.
Rodgers can wait
This is the best value we've seen for Rodgers in years. But it's still too high.
The quarterback value, whether through streaming or finding that diamond in the rough, is just too difficult to ignore. A new coach may help Rodgers bounce back to his old self, but I still wouldn't reach this high for a player who is absent a heavy dose of weapons and is having to adjust to a new system.
Rodgers has the ability to be a top-three quarterback on a consistent basis, but with so many quarterbacks scoring at a nice level, this is too high for a quarterback.
Scott Levine blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH