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 second installment of the Top 100 Reveal on the Fantasy Football Frenzy, Corey Parson, Day and Chris Ventra discussed the ranking formula and Players 90 to 81, which are also featured below in capsules recapping their 2018 Fantasy Football seasons.
Players 90 to 86
90. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
Points: 240.1 (15 PPG), QB16
ADP: 221.7 (QB28)
3,725 yards, 27:14 TD:INT, 3 fumbles
Baker Mayfield looked every bit the #1 overall pick and reigning Heisman Trophy winner once he finally was given the keys in the middle of the Browns’ Week Three matchup with the Jets. He only got better after Hue Jackson (and offensive coordinator Todd Haley) were fired in Week Eight, averaging 19.0 PPG over the rest of the season, ninth-most among QBs. Like any rookie, he had ups and downs, such as a 393-yard passing game against the Texans, where he also threw three interceptions to just one touchdown in Week 13. Four of his five 20-point games came after Jackson and Haley were fired, including a bounce-back 25-point game in Week 16 after three straight duds.
89. John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Points: 143.9 (9 PPG), WR45
ADP: 169 (WR57)
42 receptions (97 targets), 715 yards, 5 touchdowns
Much of John Brown’s success this season was confined to the first seven weeks of the schedule. Over that span, his 108.2 points were 16th-most among all wide receivers, which was brought down by two single-digit games in Weeks Five and Six. He had two games with over 20 points in that span, including 26.4 points in what turned out to be his last Fantasy relevant outing of the season in Week 7. Over the rest of the year, he topped six points just once as he became less involved in the offense, and then the Ravens mostly stopped throwing the ball when Lamar Jackson took over as quarterback in Week 11.
88. Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Points: 92.9 (5.8 PPG), TE19
ADP: 184.5 (TE21)
30 receptions (49 targets), 289 yards, 6 touchdowns, 1 fumble
Considering how explosive the Buccaneers’ passing offense was all season long, Cameron Brate was conspicuously absent for the most part, never recording more than three receptions in a game. After tossing up two zero-point games to start the season, back-to-back outings with touchdowns in Week Three and Four seemed to get him back on track. But after that he rarely qualified as even usable, a difficult feat at such an absurdly thin position. He topped eight points only three more times, more often than not scoring less than five points. His standing as one of Jameis Winston’s favorite targets, even just in the red zone, seems to have deteriorated rapidly. The six TDs helped him make the list.
87. Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Points: 89.5 (5.6 PPG), RB56
ADP: 275 (RB79)
256 yards, 26 receptions (29 targets), 199 yards, 3 touchdowns
While Jaylen Samuels never hit the surprising highs of the man he filled in for, James Conner, he brought something else to the table: positional versatility, as he was listed as both a RB and TE in many leagues. He was a key Fantasy Playoffs pickup, getting the starting job in Week 14 and holding onto it through Week 16 after Conner went down with an injury. Over that time, his 16.9 PPG were good for 11th-most among running backs, but second-most among tight ends behind only George Kittle. He made his impact in multiple ways, recording seven receptions for 64 yards in Week 14, then picking up 142 yards on the ground in Week 15.
86. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Points: 131.2 (8.2 PPG), TE11
ADP: 21.6 (TE1)
47 targets (72 receptions), 682 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 fumble
For the majority of his career, the story with Rob Gronkowski had been mostly the same: he was not healthy for the entire season, but when he played, he was dominant. That was not true this season, his worst year when he played in double-digit games since his rookie campaign in 2010. If there were only fears that he would retire before this season—he allegedly threatened to do so if he was traded to the Lions—it seems like a certainty right now, especially if the Patriots win the Super Bowl. He started the season off with a vintage Gronk game, posting a 7/123/1 line for 23.3 points, but then only hit double-digits four more times over the course of the year. At the very least, his days as the top tight end, both on the field and in Fantasy, appear to be over.
Players 85 though 81
85. Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Points: 285 (17.8 PPG), QB11
ADP: 103.2 (QB14)
4,308 yards, 32:12 TD:INT, 1 fumble
For those that waited on quarterbacks or looked to stream early on, Philip Rivers was a savior. While his ADP was 103, that placed him at QB14, meaning he may have gone undrafted in many leagues. Well, he likely didn’t last on the wire for longer than one week, as he opened the season with a 29-point performance. Over the first seven weeks, he scored 20 or more points five times. And then from Week 10 to 15, he was the second-highest scoring QB behind just Patrick Mahomes (he ran into the Baltimore buzzsaw in Week 16, scoring just 3.3 points). He was steady and dependable, just never flashy; outside of the 29-pointer, he never scored more than 24 points.
84. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
Points: 183.6 (11.5 PPG), WR28
ADP: 67.6 (WR27)
65 receptions (112 receptions), 891 yards, 4 touchdowns
The Titans fell short of their offensive expectations this season, and Corey Davis was one of the players most clearly affected. Davis was expected to be a breakout star this season, but Marcus Mariota never looked right throwing the ball, limiting Davis’ potential. He took a big step forward as the clear WR1 for Tennessee, but he scored single-digit points nine times. He flashed enough potential—31.1 points in Week Four (9/161/1), two other 20-plus-point games—to make him another intriguing option in 2019.
83. Josh Reynolds, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Points: 100 (6.3 PPG), WR74
29 targets (53 receptions), 402 yards, 5 touchdowns
When Cooper Kupp was out with an injury in Week Eight, Josh Reynolds burst onto the scene with a 19-point game, thanks in large part to two touchdowns. So when Kupp tore his ACL during the Rams’ Week 10 matchup, it was expected that Reynolds would step right back into that role and be yet another startable part of the Rams’ offense. And while that was true in Week 11—he scored 20 points—it was not on the whole. From Weeks 13 through 16, he scored in single-digits three times, with the lone outlier a 12-point Week 15 tilt against the Eagles
82. Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Points: 103.5 (6.5 PPG), WR71
ADP: 261.5 (WR92)
27 receptions (44 targets), 467 yards, 5 touchdowns
While rookie Dante Pettis had a good first game, scoring a touchdown in his debut, most Fantasy owners weren’t aware of him until Week 12, when he posted a 4/77/1 line against the Buccaneers for a 17.7-point outing. “But that was against the Buccaneers,” we all said, doubting the young wideout who was catching passes from Nick Mullens. Still, some picked him up and were rewarded with a 5/129/2 performance against the Seahawks for 29.7 points. From Weeks 12-15, Pettis posted double-digits in every game, scoring the eighth-most points by a wide receiver over that time frame. Unfortunately for those that rode that hot streak to the Fantasy Super Bowl, he sprained his MCL in Week 16. He’ll be an intriguing name next season, considering he averaged 17.3 yards per reception in his limited time this year.
81. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Points: 151.4 (9.5 PPG), TE7
ADP: 77.4 (TE7)
64 receptions (82 targets), 634 yards, 4 touchdowns
Kyle Rudolph finished as TE7. However, what exactly constitutes “TE7” is pretty rough, especially since his season totals are pumped up by a 33.2-point Week 16 outburst. Without that outlier, he averaged a paltry 7.88 PPG. He had a string of double-digit games from Week Two to Week Four, but otherwise was disappointing, in large part because he scored just four touchdowns, two of them in Week 16 and the other two in Week One and Week Three. With Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen needing targets—plus Dalvin Cook when he was healthy—there just wasn’t room or really a crucial need for Kyle Rudolph in the Vikings’ offense. But he did finish at a quality spot at a thin position and helped some who used him in Fantasy Super Bowls and Best Ball leagues.