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The Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018: 40 to 31

The Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018:  40 to 31
RotoExperts Staff January 29, 2019 6:45PM EDT

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  seventh installment of the Top 100 Reveal on the Fantasy Football Frenzy, Corey Parson, Chris Ventra and Day discussed the ranking formula and Players 40 to 31, 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

  1. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Points: 222.4 (13.9 PPG), WR16

ADP: 158.4 (WR55)

57 receptions (70 targets), 965 yards, 10 touchdowns

Tyler Lockett was able to be so effective despite the limited Seahawks passing attack, because of a seemingly preternatural connection between himself and Russell Wilson. When targeting Lockett, Wilson posted a perfect passer rating, resulting in a record for the most targets to one receiver while completing that feat; the previous high was just 15 targets. He only had 3.6 receptions per game, but Lockett couldn’t have been much more efficient, picking up 16.9 yards per reception and catching 81.4 percent of his targets. He set career highs in basically every stat except targets (he had one more in 2017), including breaking his previous yardage mark of just 664 yards. He scored at least 12 PPR points in 11 games.

  1. Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Points: 243.2 (15.2 PPG), WR13

ADP: 46 (WR19)

80 receptions (117 targets), 1,204 yards, 5 touchdowns, 68 rushing yards, 1 touchdown

While Brandin Cooks has played for three different teams in the past three seasons, it’s not for lack of talent. With a career-high 1,204 yards this season, he became the first player to have 1,000 receiving yards with three different teams in three consecutive seasons. He did it this season despite effectively only playing in 15 games, as he left the Rams’ Week Five tilt early following an injury and without recording a target. He had two other single digit scoring games, but also scored over 20 points five times, and from Week Nine to 11 had three straight 100-yard games. He seems to have found a more semi-permanent home with the Rams, but he’s proven that he can produce no matter where he plays.

  1. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Points: 246.4 (15.4 PPG), RB9

ADP: 3.2 (RB3)

940 yards, 7 touchdowns, 2 fumbles, 50 receptions (76 targets), 3 touchdowns

It was a relatively disappointing season for David Johnson—and his owners, who sunk either a Top Four (at least) pick or significant auction dollars into him. hoping for a replication of his 2016 season after he missed almost all of last year with a wrist injury. Unfortunately for them, a stagnant Cardinals offense piloted by the shaky Josh Rosen did not get much out of Johnson. The 2016 top scorer topped 20 points just twice in 2018 and constantly held owners hostage with the belief that his old self would show up at some point. He was obviously still a very useful Fantasy option, though he scored 10 or fewer points four times. All of his other games in the standard Fantasy season, he scored 13 or more, including many in the high teens.

  1. Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Points: 221.1 (13.8 PPG), WR17

ADP: 333.5 (WR117)

76 receptions (108 targets), 1,028 yards, 7 touchdowns

The third-year receiver went mostly undrafted, and for good reason: he had just three career starts and 808 career receiving yards as the mostly third fiddle in the Bengals’ offense. He elevated to the number two option in Cincinnati this season, however, and ran with it, going over 20 points three straight times from Week Two to Four to become a hot waiver commodity. He scored 20 or more points three more times. He also scored single-digits five times (and was injured for Week 16), but as far as breakout seasons for undrafted Fantasy players went, it was a resounding success for Boyd.

  1. Philip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos

Points: 230.2 (13.9 PPG), RB13

ADP: 317 (RB103)

1,037 yards, 9 touchdowns, 35 receptions (45 targets), 241 yards, 1 touchdown

If you’re using the word “valuable” to mean “most production with the least cost,” then Philip Lindsay was easily the Most Valuable Fantasy Player this season, even if injuries did slow him down at the tail end of the season. Royce Freeman was the rookie Bronco running back to draft, as evidenced by his 41 ADP. But from Week One, Lindsay looked like the better back, scoring 18.2 points to Freeman’s 7.1. Prior to his late-season fade, Lindsay scored double-digits in all but one game, and that was against the Ravens in Week Three. He scored at least 15 points seven times, establishing himself as a bright spot in an otherwise dismal Broncos offense.

  1. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Points: 215.5 (13.5 PPG), WR19

ADP: 35.4 (WR14)

75 receptions (107 targets), 1,005 yards, 7 touchdowns, 2 fumbles

Starting in Week Nine, when he made his Cowboys debut after being traded from the Raiders two weeks earlier, Amari Cooper was the ninth-highest scoring wide receiver. Not unlike Khalil Mack, Cooper made Jon Gruden look foolish following his trade. While in Dallas, Cooper had just three games below 13 points (all single-digit affairs), though two of them came in the Fantasy playoffs, including a Cowboys-low six points in Week 16. However, he also had 38-point and 49.7-point games, so owners couldn’t have been too mad. Cooper’s 2018 did plenty to wash out the bad taste that his disappointing 2017 left.

  1. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Points: 355 (22.2 PPG), QB2

ADP: 102.2 (QB13)

4,924 passing yards, 35:7 TD:INT, 5 fumbles, 125 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns

Unless he was your quarterback, you may not have noticed Matt Ryan had a huge season. But after Devonta Freeman was lost for the season, the Falcons simply couldn’t run the ball, forcing Ryan to attempt the third-most passes this season. He was incredibly steady, scoring under 18 points just four times, but also hitting 28 or over four times. He benefited from a soft schedule, facing just one Top 10 defense against quarterbacks (the Ravens in Week 13; he scored 7.6 points, his worst game of the season). The combo of soft defenses and having Julio Jones and company to throw to was an easy recipe for success.

  1. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Points: 341.9 (21.4 PPG), QB3

ADP: 93.4 (QB11)

5,129 passing yards, 34:16 TD:INT, 2 fumbles, 98 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns

The man at the helm of the most prolific passing attack in the NFL leading the league in passing yards is not too much of a surprise. Ben Roethlisberger being able to throw to Antonio Brown (alleged spat notwithstanding) and JuJu Smith-Schuster was an easy way for him to rack up stats and Fantasy points. Big Ben averaged an insane 42 pass attempts per game and also played in every game for the first time since 2014, which was the last time he led the league in passing (he tied with Drew Brees at 4,952 yards). Roethlisberger rarely blew it out of the water—he topped 30 points twice—but he was steady all season long, dropping below 16 points just thrice.

  1. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

Points: 207.4 (13 PPG), WR20

ADP: 75.6 (WR29)

74 receptions (108 targets), 850 yards, 6 touchdowns

If you calculated Julian Edelman’s PPG without including the four games he missed due to his suspension for violating the NFL’s controlled substance policy, he had 17.3 PPG, which over a full season would have made him WR9, over Stefon Diggs. In other words, those of you who drafted him late or bought low on him got the usual Edelman in return, just in a smaller dose. In fact, considering that he rarely plays all 16 games anyway, you arguably got exactly what you usually do from Edelman, except this time you knew exactly what games he was going to miss instead of a random mid-season injury. Between Rob Gronkowski’s struggles and the arrival then departure of Josh Gordon and the usual Patriot revolving door of other receivers, Edelman was once again Tom Brady’s security blanket, seeing nine targets per game.

  1. Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders

Points: 193.6 (12.1 PPG), TE5

ADP: 173.8 (TE20)

68 receptions (101 targets), 896 yards, 6 touchdowns

Jared Cook at TE5 signaled the end of the consistent tight ends, showing even less consistency than Eric Ebron at TE4. That Cook finished fifth is further proof of the degradation of the position Fantasy-wise. Cook scored single-digits points nine times. He scored 17 or more points four other times, making him a potentially lucrative dart throw given you nailed the week you started him. If you call “just okay” between nine and 12 points for a tight end, Cook had only four of those games; otherwise, he either blew up or blew you up at him from your couch.

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