Running backs will always lead the way when it comes to the top fantasy players unless you have QBs throwing 50 touchdowns every season which is improbable. Here, I look at 5 options for the top fantasy player for the upcoming season, get these guys early in your draft!
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
Pictures came out this offseason of McCaffrey looking absolutely jacked which can only boost his stock. In his rookie season, people weren’t sure if he could hang with the big boys and rush through the interior, last season he shut everyone up with a massive second year. He’s a three down back and even though Carolina have spoken about reducing his workload, I wouldn’t worry about too big of a dip in production because he had a higher number of snaps than any other running back last year and it’s not as though Cam will be pounding in those touchdowns. He will be a top-5 pick in every fantasy draft, no doubt, because he’s almost guaranteed for 80+ receptions and over 1,000 yards rushing.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
A potential No. 1 pick here with the Saints. In his first 2 seasons he’s scored 31 TDs and has 80+ receptions in each. He is yet to pass the 900-yard rushing mark but that is mainly because the Saints had a dominant 1-2 punch with him and Ingram who is now with the Ravens. With the less attractive option of Latavius Murray, Kamara should get a lot more opportunities to juke, hurdle and spin away from defenders on his way to even more touchdowns. He is one of the most consistent fantasy options ever and can go for 2 or 3 touchdowns any week of the season. As Drew Brees gets another season older it could mean even more opportunities for the jitterbug former OROY.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Offensive rookie of the year was gladly deserved in 2018 and he will look to build on his impressive start. With Eli Manning not looking any better and then, perhaps Daniel Jones getting a chance to start, both scenarios mean more opportunities for Barkley to get the ball and make the opposition look slow. He should be the No. 1 pick in a lot of drafts for good reason, he had RB1 numbers in 75% of games last season which is an insanely high percentage. With Kevin Zeitler added to the offensive line and a talented rookie, Barkley could lead the league by a country mile in 2019. Did I mention that Saquon also caught 93 passes last season? He did. Now take away OBJ and there’s a few spare targets to go around. Watch out for his quads crushing your favourite team this year.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Wide Receivers are a bit of an outside option purely because they have other receivers to contend with. Hopkins only has competition from Will Fuller who can’t seem to stay healthy. He has amazing chemistry with Deshaun Watson and if the offensive line is even slightly improved this year it should give the young QB enough time to get even more balls his way. Will Fuller is back this season which is a help as it means the defence can’t just focus on Hopkins even though he’ll still draw (and beat) the oppositions best cover corner. His hands are too good and he’s too strong not to finish the season with double digit TDs and close to triple digit receptions, he’s a top-10 pick in every draft and a dark horse for the fantasy football crown.
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
Some people are saying there’s too many detractors for Nick Chubb to go high in your draft, but I say he’s going to be top-5 by the end of the year, if not No. 1. First off, Kareem Hunt has an 8-game suspension and Chubb will be on a hot streak and battering defences around the league by the time he’s reinstated so Hunt will just be used to give him a breather. The fact that OBJ is now on the team just means defences won’t be able to stack the box more than 4-5 times a game because they’re too scared of getting beat deep. Chubb was dominant in his rookie season and I don’t see him being any less than a top-10 fantasy player and his average draft position right now is No. 17 so pick him up in the second round and win your league!