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The Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018: 30 to 21

The Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018:  30 to 21
RotoExperts Staff January 30, 2019 7:40PM EST

The FNTSY Sports Network/RotoExperts Countdown of the Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018 Continues!

Each weekday on the FNTSY Sports Network and RotoExperts.com prior to Super Bowl Sunday, we will reveal 10 selections from our Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018. To make our final determinations and rankings, we began with a comprehensive mathematical formula generated by our Chief Technical Officer and Full Time Statistician Arturo Galletti with input from Scott Engel. We took into account full season production with a minor boost for difference-making performances in Weeks 13 through 16, when Fantasy owners needed to clinch postseason berths and participated in their playoffs. DFS and Best Ball usage and results were also factored in, but there was a primary emphasis on seasonal Fantasy Football. These rankings are based on much more than just seasonal totals. They weighed projected production against actual results by position. We did some math to estimate the average QB, WR, TE, RB and Flex scores for each week for rostered players using consensus rankings, typical roster construction and actual scores.  We worked out each player versus the average value of the top projected players for each week. Then the team of Engel, Jim Day Davis Mattek and Gregg Sussman made some subjective tweaks. In the  eighth installment of the Top 100 Reveal on the Fantasy Football Frenzy, Corey Parson, Chris Ventra and Day discussed the ranking formula and Players 30 to 21, which are also featured below in capsules recapping their 2018 Fantasy Football seasons.

More From The Top 100: Players 100 to 91 | 90 to 81 | 80 to 71 | 70 to 61 | 60 to 51 | 50 to 41 | 40 to 31

  1. Kareem Hunt, RB, Free Agent (Commissioner’s Exempt List)

Points: 230.2 (20.9 PPG), RB12

ADP: 9 (RB8)

824 yards, 7 touchdowns, 26 receptions (35 targets), 378 yards, 7 touchdowns

Kareem Hunt was released by the Chiefs and put on the Commissioner’s Exempt List after video surfaced of him getting into a physical altercation with a woman in a hotel. Before he was cut loose from K.C., he was performing at a premier level again after a slow start in the receptions department. Hunt caught five passes in his first five games but then had five each in the next three. He had six receiving TDs in his final six games.

  1. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

Points: 194.5 (12.2 PPG), RB17

ADP: 118.8 (RB43)

996 yards, 8 touchdowns, 20 receptions (29 targets), 149 yards, 2 touchdowns

Nick Chubb started the season behind Carlos Hyde on the depth chart, but after the latter was traded before Week Seven, the former took over the starting role and thrived alongside rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield under Freddie Kitchens as offensive coordinator. From Week Seven on, Chubb was the eighth-highest scoring running back. He had especially strong Weeks 10 through 14, averaging 24.6 PPG (the Browns’ bye was Week 11), including 35.9 points in Week 10. As starter, Chubb averaged 82.3 rushing yards per game and picked up 4.68 yards per carry. He’ll be drafted among the top running backs in 2019.

  1. Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Points: 222.2 (13.9 PPG), TE4

ADP: 178.6 (TE16)

66 receptions (110 targets), 750 yards, 13 touchdowns, 1 fumble, 1 rushing touchdown

This was an unexpected season for Eric Ebron. The former Lions tight end was always a freak athlete but had seemed to fall into the very full pit of athletic tight ends with hands made of stone. But then Andrew Luck fell in love with him around the goal line in his first season with the Colts, and he somehow managed 13 receiving touchdowns (plus a rushing one). That was obviously a career high, but he also set career highs in targets, receptions and yards. He benefitted from Jack Doyle often being injured (though he did have a zero-target game while Doyle was healthy), but he also was still at least competent when Doyle was playing. He was volatile, like most tight ends outside the Top Three, but still posted eight games with at least 15 points. He may have been touchdown-dependent, but only Antonio Brown was better at finding the end zone, so it worked out most of the time for him and Fantasy owners.

  1. James White, RB, New England Patriots

Points: 276.6 (17.3 PPG), RB7

ADP: 124.8 (RB44)

425 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns, 87 receptions (123 targets), 751 yards, 7 touchdowns

From Weeks One through Nine, James White was the sixth-highest scoring PPR back, thanks in large part to averaging almost seven receptions per game. From Week 10 through the end of the season, he averaged just 11.3 PPG, 26th among running backs. The Patriots shifted more to using Sony Michel in a conventional rushing attack around that time, and White had five or more receptions just twice after doing so in all but two of the first nine weeks. His high finish is due to his enormous early season highs: he scored 23 or more points five times, including 28-, 29- and 31-point games. Over that stretch, his lowest total was 14.1 points. In the latter half of the season, he scored in single digits three times and became nothing more than a Flex play.

  1. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Points: 260.1 (16.3 PPG), WR12

ADP: 19 (WR7)

97 receptions (136 receptions), 1,196 yards, 6 touchdowns, 1 fumble

Keenan Allen regressed a little bit from being the third-highest scoring wide receiver last season, moving down to a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 this season because of a slightly smaller role in the offense with Mike Williams seeing his role grow a bit and the Chargers relying a little more on the run. All of this ended in Allen dropping from almost 1,400 yards last season to a touch under 1,200 yards this year on five less receptions. He was targeted 23 fewer times. And while most owners drafted him as their top wide receiver and may have been a little disappointed, he still was highly productive, scoring 17 or more points eight times and registering single digit points just once (and throwing up a Week 15 zero after leaving with an injury in the second quarter).

  1. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Points: 290.4 (18.2 PPG), WR9

ADP: 25.6 (WR9)

86 receptions (138 targets), 1,524 yards, 8 touchdowns, 1 fumble

It was almost completely overshadowed by the flux at quarterback, but Mike Evans had a career year, setting a new high in receiving yards with 1,524, third-most in the NFL. He did all that despite only catching 86 balls, giving him the third-highest yards per reception at 17.7 (Tampa Bay had three receivers in the Top 10 of yards per reception). The Buccaneers aired it out all season, whether it was Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick doing the airing, and Evans was the primary beneficiary. While the receptions seemed low given the volume, Evans has always struggled with drops and actually seems to be improving, as his catch percentage was a career-high 62.3.

  1. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Points: 243.4 (15.2 PPG), RB10

ADP: 23.8 (RB14)

1,168 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns, 43 receptions (55 targets), 296 yards, 1 touchdown

Joe Mixon’s success this season came a bit under the radar, thanks in large part to the fact that the Bengals weren’t very good and they had Fantasy surprise Tyler Boyd drawing attention. But Mixon finished fourth in rushing yards despite missing two games to injury. He’s limited by his lack of involvement in the passing game, with most of that work going to Giovani Bernard. and Mixon’s abysmal 6.9 yards per reception is not helping change anyone’s mind. He had four single-digit games, including a nine-point dud in Week 16, but also had six games with over 20 points.

 

  1. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Points: 239 (14.9 PPG), WR14

ADP: 31 (WR12)

76 receptions (120 targets), 1,270 yards, 6 touchdowns

T.Y. Hilton struggled with injuries this season, only missing Weeks Five and Six but also playing through injuries serious enough to put him on the injury report many weeks. But starting with his huge 36.5-point game in Week 11 against the Titans, Hilton went on a tear through the end of the season, scoring as WR3 over that span, and he was  just 0.1 points off being WR1. He still finishes strong even if you don’t count that big Week 11, scoring as WR7 over the final stretch of the season. Andrew Luck being healthy again and able to stay upright let Hilton bounce back from a relatively quiet 2017, when he posted a career-low catch percentage of 52.3. In 2018, he set a new career high by catching 63.3 percent of passes thrown his way.

  1. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Points: 266.3 (16.6 PPG), WR10

ADP: 30.2 (WR11)

102 receptions (149 targets), 1,021 yards, 9 touchdowns

Stefon Diggs was much more volatile than his teammate Adam Thielen. While Thielen at least stayed in the double digits (outside of one game), Diggs posted four single digit games, including a nine-point outing in Week 16. He also missed Week Nine with an injury. However, he made up for those flops with tremendous highs, posting over 20 points six times and over 30 twice. It was a career year for Diggs, who set new highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns. Diggs will always be the more volatile member of the Vikings’ wide receiver duo but is still very productive on the whole.

  1. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Points: 265.6 (16.6 PPG), WR11

ADP: 89.4 (WR36)

86 receptions (130 targets), 1,219 yards, 6 touchdowns, 157 rushes, 1 touchdown

After languishing in Buffalo for four years, Robert Woods signed a five-year deal with the Rams in 2017. His first season in L.A. didn’t look all that different; he posted a new career high in yards, but was still below even 800 yards. That changed dramatically in 2018, with Woods emerging as the Rams’ top receiver and setting new career highs in almost every category: yards, receptions, targets and touchdowns. He had 19 more receptions than ever before and 438 more yards than his previous best. The only reason he didn’t finish higher than WR11 was his six touchdowns, but he was still a steady contributor, scoring 14 or more points 10 times, including a 30-point game, two other 20+ point games and two 19-pointers. His came up big in Week 16, scoring 28.4 points in the Fantasy Super Bowl. He has a dependable and consistent role in the Rams’ offense.

 

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