1. Mitch Trubisky
We are fully in the Mitch Trubisky camp… This is a player that we made an argument that should have surplanted Marquise Williams (All ACC QB at the time) as the UNC starter as a Freshman, so the fact that he only played 13 games isn’t a concern, he was phenomenal in those 13 and really should have been a two or three year starter. Trubisky’s only shortcoming right now is touch on his deep ball, and we think that will improve tremendously over the next year or so. He’s athletic, accurate, has a cannon, and has great pocket awareness. Additionally, unlike the other QB’s on this list, we know he will take over the QB job by year two… Every single member of the Bears staff was all in on Trubisky: John Fox, Dowell Loggains, Dave Lagone, Ryan Pace, Ted Phillips, the scouting department, etc… Every member of the Bears organization was in agreement that Trubisky is a franchise QB, he’s going to get a shot by year two.
2. Deshaun Watson
Watson is another QB that is almost guaranteed to see action in his first two season. A top 12 pick with only Tom Savage ahead of him on the depth chart, whether it be injury or performance related, Watson should see action in his first two years as a Texan. Unlike Trubisky, Watson has some clear issues. First, he’s extremely injury prone. He was hurt every year in college. Second, he made questionable decisions and despite starting 25 more games that Trubisky, his decision making seemed to regress as he gained experience. Third, he was inaccurate throughout the passing tree. While he flashed unbelievable touch and arm talent on some throws, there were far too many short and intermediate passes that were not accurate and NFL QB’s have to be near perfect on those passes as windows are almost non existent on this level. That being said, this is a loaded group of receivers, tight ends, and backs, with a proven playcaller in O’Brien, Watson may have fallen into the perfect situation.
3. Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs
We all want to love Mahomes… His arm talent is off the charts, he’s athletic, is a gun slinger, and whoever replaces Alex Smith is going to be successful under Reid. However, when is Alex Smith going to retire? Have you seen the way he moves? This is a spry vet that we aren’t convinced doesn’t have another five good years left in him. If that is the case, you are drafting a backup QB here.
4. Deshone Kizer
Kizer is a guy that seems likely to play, given how bad the Browns have been at QB. However, he has a second year player ahead of him that quietly had a solid season as a rookie, and if Kessler takes another stride forward under Hugh Jackson this season, Kizer may never see the field as a Brown. If he does, he is a similar player to Mahomes… Huge arm, above average athleticism, but not accurate or consistent enough to run a NFL offense right away.
5. Josh Dobbs
We know Dobbs is going to play. He may not be the starter for another 3-4 years, but Ben is going to get hurt for at least 2-4 games every season, and Dobbs will be really good in that limited role. He’s extremely athletic, a gifted runner, arguably the smartest player in the NFL, and extremely coachable. That being said, I have never like Butch Jones’ ability to coach quarterbacks, and as much as we loved Dobbs as a QB at Tennessee, his potential and growth was always going to be capped by a lack of coaching and poor system. Given the talent on the Steelers roster, Dobbs’ potential, and Ben’s recent flirtations with retirement, Dobbs may be the sneakiest pick in your dynasty draft this season.
Running Back Rankings
1. Leonard Fournette
Leonard Fournette is the most gifted runner we have seen enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson. He isn’t the threat in the passing game that Ezekiel Elliott is, and he’s running behind a suspect offensive line, so we aren’t going to see that type of rookie season, but look for Fournette to rack up 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns in year one, and then again every year for the next decade.
2. Christian McCaffrey
It’s hard not to take McCaffrey at one if your dynasty league uses a PPR scoring system. I think there is a legitimate chance McCaffrey catches 90 balls per year in addition to whatever he provides as a runner (which could potentially be 1,200-1,500 yards per season). With Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess on the outisde, Greg Olsen and Curtis Samuel on the inside, there should be nothing but space and A+ one on one matchups for McCaffrey to exploit at will.
3. Dalvin Cook
For us, there is a significant gap between Fournette and McCaffrey, and every other back on this list. Cook will likely be in some sort of time share with Latavius Murray for the next 2-3 years, but he has big time speed and big play ability. He will clearly be the third down back, and should get a couple series of early down work each half. We are likely looking at 12-15 touches per game, in a favorable conference, behind a solid offensive line, but with more value in PPR leagues than standard as Murray projects to be the goal line back here.
4. Samaje Perine
Jay Gruden has proven that nobody is grandfathered into the system in Washington. He’s almost completely turned over the roster in his first few seasons, Alfred Morris was replaced by Matt Jones, who was replaced by Robert Kelley, who will be replaced by Samaje Perine. Perine is a workhorse back, with great hands, great vision, will pick up the offense day one, won’t fumble, will get you yards after contact… We just don’t see a situation where he isn’t the early down back for the Redskins for the next five years.
5. Alvin Kamara
New Orleans Saints
Early reports out of New Orleans are that Kamara will be the ‘joker’ back this season. What does this mean? All third down work, passing down work, no huddle work, snaps in the slot, etc… With another 4-5 seasons of Brees and Payton likely, that more than good enough for us.
6. Joe Mixon
This is lower than most experts currently have Mixon, but we wouldn’t have drafted him as high as the Bengals did, and quite frankly it’s an awful situation. Hill and Bernard are both really good, and they couldn’t succeed in this system. Now you bring in another back, so we have three hands in a cookie jar that is, quite frankly, almost empty. The Bengals, apparently, still love Bernard as their 3rd down back. So you are telling us that Mixon is eventually going to maybe get the Jeremy Hill role on a mediocre offense, in a nightmare division… hmmmmm.
7. James Conner
Between weed and injury, Conner is guaranteed to pick up a few starts every year in the Steelers offense which means for x weeks every season you get a top 10 back. With as deep as you should be able to get Conner in your league’s draft, that should be a steal.
Wide Receiver Rankings
1. Corey Davis
Corey Davis is a freak athlete that can run the complete route tree. He can take a slant 80 yards, or get enough separation on a go route to beat a safety over the top. Given the talent Tennessee has a RB and TE, Davis should see plenty of man coverage, and Mariotta is an ascending talent at QB.
2. John Ross
Essentially you are drafting Will Fuller here. Ross will always see single coverage, will always see #2 corners, and while he likely won’t see more than 5-7 targets per game, given his speed and role in this system, that should be more than enough for him to give you an immediate return here.
3. Mike Williams
Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams was #1 on a lot of teams WR boards this season, but I feel he is very similar to Treadwell in that he has an unbelievable catch radius, but runs a limited route tree and doesn’t get quite enough separation. We are still high on Tyrell Williams, Keenan Allen, and Hunter Henry, so targets may be somewhat capped for his first two or three seasons in LA.
4. JuJu Smith-Schuster
Smith-Schuster was one of our favorite players in the 2017 draft. This is another receiver that can run the complete route tree, he’s durable, strong, quick, fast, and has a clear role in this offense as the number three receiver. JuJu is essentially a combination of Eli Rogers and Sammie Coates, he’s got the size and speed to beat defenses deep, but the quickness and toughness to run routes over the middle. While AB will dominate targets, and Bryant will continue to provide 2-3 big plays per game, Schuster should provide you with consistent production in this offense for the next 10 seasons.
5. ArDarius Stewart
New York Jets
Stewart was always one of the most underrated players in the nation for his entire career at Alabama. Underutilized, and always playing second fiddle to Cooper and Ridley, Stewart will be a better pro than he was college player. That is just what the Jets need, because they are looking for a number one receiver that can be a playmaker for them to plug in opposite Decker. Look for Enunwa to stay in the slot this season, Decker to also play a possession receiver role, and for Stewart to provide big plays. That being said, he will be handcuffed by New York’s QB situation until they finally address it. Draft him and pray for Garoppolo or Darnold.
6. Curtis Samuel
To us, Samuel screams Tyreek Hill. He can spell McCaffrey at RB, will own nickel corners, safeties, and linebackers, and should carve out an immediate role on a high power offense, in a favorable division. His upside is somewhat capped by the fact that McCaffrey and Benjamin will both be here for years to come, but Samuel should provide consistent production and could see a massive role if either guy were to go down.
7. Chris Godwin
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin will provide size and speed opposite Mike Evans. However, the Bucs have a lot of mouths to feed with Evans, Jackson, Howard, and Humphries. We like the player, and potential down the road, but you are going to have to stash him for a year or two and wait for his role in the offense to expand.
8. Cooper Kupp
Los Angeles Rams
There is a reason the Rams drafted Kupp way ahead of where he was projected to go… they don’t know what the hell they are doing. Joking… we are actually extremely high on the potential of the LA offense, and the staff drafted Kupp at 69 because they view him as a PPR monster and great crutch for Goff. As many of our readers know, we are all in on Goff, and you have to love the fact that Sean McVay is now in charge of running the show. Look for a huge bounce in production from Gurley and Goff in year one under the ex-Washington OC.
9. Zay Jones
With Robert Woods now a Ram, Zay Jones will likely step into a perfect situation playing opposite one of the best deep threats in the NFL. With coverages rolling over top of Sammy, and opposing LB’s and safeties having to worry about Mccoy, and the threat of Tyrod running, Zay Jones could continue to find the success he did at ECU where he caught just under 400 passes in 4 years.
10. Josh Reynolds
Los Angeles Rams
Reynolds was one of the best sleeper picks in the 2017 draft. The Rams have several small possession receivers in Kupp, Austin, Cooper, and Woods, but Reynolds is the only big, speed guy on the roster. We thought he was one of the more underrated receivers in this class. He was a four year player at A&M, is a solid route runner, has reliable hands, and the speed to get over the top. Reynolds may be a year one starter, and you should be able to get him late in your dynasty draft.
Tight End Rankings
1. O.J. Howard
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In an absolutely loaded tight end draft, O.J. Howard was clearly at the top of the group. He has the size and speed to be an instant weapon for Winston. Despite being vastly under utilized in the Tide offense, we know Howard was coached well, and will be a day one, three down starter for the Bucs. Look for him to absorb some of the ridiculous number of red zone targets that went to Evans and Brate last season.
2. David Njoku
David Njoku is an absolute freak athlete, like one of the best athletes to come out in a long time. Most people knew this for the majority of his career at Miami, yet despite that fact, and despite the fact that he played with an NFL-caliber QB in Brad Kaaya, the production never matched the talent. Will this be a guy that shows flashes of potential that is never fully reached, or will he blossom into a better pro than he was college player? This is what you have to decide when weighing whether to draft Njoku on a guaranteed role, and immense potential, or Engram who seems like a lock to produce at the next level.
3. Evan Engram
New York Giants
As we hinted at earlier, Engram is a player that seems like a lock to provide instant production in this offense. The fastest, and most productive tight end in this group, Engram will find an immediate role in the Giants offense. The question is just what that role is. Does McAdoo view him as a big play deep threat given his size and speed, or will be play a more consistent, PPR-friendly role? This could be the difference between Engram turning into Travis Kelce or Coby Fleener.
4. Jake Butt
On the complete opposite end of the scale from Njoku is Jake Butt. Butt would have ran a solid 40 had he not suffered the bowl game ACL injury. Likely somewhere just behind Hodges, Engram, Njoku, and Howard. However, he is the best route runner of the group, the best blocker of the group, and has the best hands of the group. It’s hard to peg just what his ceiling is. He was a first round pick prior to the injury, he will have an immediate impact in this offense, and if Siemiean wins the job again, he will play with one of the better short to intermediate passers in the league.
5. Adam Shaheen
Baby Gronk is big and can run. Playing for a team that will be in desperate search for play makers, having lost Alshon Jeffery this offseason, Shaheen could see a role sooner rather than later. Coming from Ashland, he is a bit of a project and there will be a learning curve, but given how early they drafted him, the Bears clearly love Shaheen’s potential.