Ranking the Best Fantasy Football Players for 2019

Trying to win your Fantasy Football league this year? We have a ranking of all the best players for your fantasy football draft this year.

DeAndre Hopkins Texans Dolphins 2018
USA Today Sports

Oct 25, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) makes a touchdown reception during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Hopkins Texans Dolphins 2018

If your fantasy football draft hasn’t taken place yet, it’s sure to go down soon—time is running out! The NFL season commences Thursday, Sept. 5.

It all begins with what’s sure to be an epic Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears matchup at Soldier Field. Remember last year’s Week 1 showdown between the NFC North rivals, when newly acquired Khalil Mack wreaked havoc on the Green Bay O-line, but the Packers stormed back in the fourth quarter for a 24-23 win? With sky-high expectations for both teams (they are tied for the third-best Super Bowl odds in the NFC) and all the excitement of the season’s first game, the encore promises to deliver high-quality entertainment yet again.

We’ve been gradually rolling out Complex’s advice for the 2019 fantasy season. Last week, we shared our expected sleepers and busts, guys who we anticipate will surprise. Now, it’s time to talk about the crème de la crème—the best players the league has to offer...at least from a fantasy perspective.

We share our top 10 below, highlighting why you should prioritize these players as you pursue bragging rights this season. 

Note: These rankings assume a PPR (point per perception) scoring system.

10. Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas Saints Vikings Preseason 2019

9. Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after scoring a touchdown

Will Zeke play or won’t he? While the NFL anxiously waits to find out, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seems content to play mind games with Zeke. The befuddling Jones is gassing up rookie backup Tony Pollard and making it seem like America’s Team doesn’t even need its star back.

Oh, Jerry. Meanwhile, Elliott—one of the most dynamic two-way backs in the league, and still only 24 years old—is holding out for a new deal. He’s arguably Dallas’ franchise player, and he wants his bread! 

Though it remains to be seen whether his wish will be granted, the Ohio State product and No. 4 overall pick in 2016, has played well enough to warrant a long-term deal. He’s made two Pro Bowls and averaged 101.2 rushing yards per game during his three NFL seasons. Further, he expanded his game as a receiver last season, going off for 77 catches for 567 yards and three scores through the air. Previously, he hadn’t put up more than 32 catches in a season.

Though he still hasn't returned to the explosive rushing numbers of his rookie campaign (1,631 yards, 15 TDs on the ground), Elliott has become a force for Dak Prescott in the passing game, and that’s why he’s so valuable in PPR leagues. If he weren’t in a contract dispute, in fact, Zeke would be battling for position in our top 2.

This is a risky pick, of course, because Elliott very well could end up missing some of the regular season. Though the odds of his situation turning into Le’Veon Bell 2.0 are slim, you should still proceed with caution. Even if Elliott only misses, say, four games, that’s still a major loss, considering the opportunity cost of the pick you’ll spend on him. It could come back to haunt you when fighting for playoff positioning.

So, how risk-averse are you feeling?

8. David Johnson

David Johnson Cardinals Raiders Preseason 2019

7. Davante Adams

Davante Adams Packers Ravens Preseason 2019

Matt LeFleur is the new head man in Green Bay, replacing Mike McCarthy, the only NFL head coach Aaron Rodgers had ever known. What will that mean for the Packers’ offense? That’s one of the biggest questions in the league heading into the new season.

Regardless of the uncertainty in Packers Nation, Adams is poised to continue his rapid ascent. The 26-year-old from Fresno State broke out amid the drama in Green Bay last season, hauling in 111 passes for 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns—and he only played in 15 games. Nonetheless, his receiving TD total tied for second in the NFL with red zone dynamo Eric Ebron.

Adams got 169 targets last season, finishing second in the league in that category as well. Rodgers knows he can count on Adams, whose catch percentage of 65.7 percent last season was the highest of his career. Fantasy owners, too, know they can count on the 2014 second-round pick. Even a down game for him isn’t really a down game.

In addition to his clear ability, two situational factors work in Adams’ favor: 1. he’s playing with arguably the best QB in the game, and Adams put up big numbers even in Rodgers’ “disappointing” 2018; and 2. Green Bay lacks a reliable running game, so Adams is poised to get a whopping number of targets yet again. Expect getting the ball to Adams to be a focal point in Year 1 for LeFleur, a former quarterbacks coach whose last two stops came as the offensive coordinator for the Titans (2018) and Rams (2017).

6. Julio Jones

Julio Jones Falcons Bucs 2018

5. Le'Veon Bell

Le'Veon Bell Jets Falcons Preseason 2019

4. DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins Texans Colts 2019

3. Alvin Kamara

Drew Brees Alvin Kamara Training Camp 2019

2. Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey Stiff Arm Panther Falcons 2018

1. Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley Training Camp 2019

Latest in Sports