Fantasy Football Round 1 Draft (with vultures or reasons for heart failure)
The 2018-19 season is almost upon us, so it’s time to list the Fantasy Vulture Top 60 coupled with the most likely candidate to screw your player over. You spend hours each week researching the best matchups, projected points and likely upsets, only to be disappointed with “if only I played…”. Fantasy football is likely the biggest underrated factor in male heart disease (high stress, poor diet, reduced exercise), something I aim to present to our medical profession. The reality is, when making the weekly lineup decision, it’s easy to get caught up in projections. This is my Anti-Projection list, the list that helps see the other side. Yes it’s pessimistic, but having and knowing both sides of the argument allows for an informed decision. The list will have the player rated highest, followed by the possible vulture or down fall in parenthesis and an explanation. All rankings for the season are based on a 12 team PPR format. Each of the first five rounds will be presented over the course of 5 weeks starting with round 1.
FANTASY VULTURE TOP 12 (First Round)
1) Le’Veon Bell (Big Ben going down…again) If Ben gets hurt again, expect defenses to target LeVeon with a stacked box cause nobody trusts the backups in Pittsburgh. The mighty Ben is the only thing holding that offense together, just ask Antonio Brown owners over the past couple of seasons.
2) Todd Gurley II (offensive receivers) It’s a rough world these days to be an LA Ram. You have the most feared defense team coupled with a top tier RB. The only problem will be defenses playing a 60/40 run to pass. Defenses will key in on Todd and expect Goff to still be a bit underwhelming. With the addition of Brandin Cooks, the air attack might seem like a friendly option to help balance out the defensive game plan which reduces some of Todd’s touches. If Jared lives up to the hype, that might take some carries away from Gurley with some serious weapons to throw to.
3) Antonio Brown (Ju Ju Smith Schuster) Ju Ju is no Joke; this man is young, quick and incredibly intelligent route runner. Doubles on Brown mean a vulture day for Ju Ju.
4) Ezekiel Elliott (Bo Scarbrough maybe, but more so a terrible defense keeping him off the field) it’s no secret the defense has been terrible the past couple of years. If their defense remains status quo, then plenty of catch up through the air will hurt the Dallas RBs ground attack. Bo is a beast but most likely no threat to the red zone pounder in Zeke.
5) David Johnson (Chase Edmonds) Yes it’s only a hand injury, but any kind of season ending injury leaves a player cautious the following year. The Cards might try and reduce the workload for Johnson to help preserve their elite back. You may see more carries than you like from Edmonds until Johnson feels right.
6) Julio Jones (Calvin Ridley) Alabama WR’s don’t play, ask Julio. Clearly Julio is the top receiver, so expect doubles on Julio and Calvin seeing single coverage with clear lanes….Vulture TIME!!!
7) Odell Beckham Jr (Saquon Barkley) This has to be the most obvious vulture to Odell. Saquon is a powerful, smart runner with excellent pass catching. Barkley is the new face of NY with the highest selling Jersey right now. This WILL take away targets from Odell, like it or not.
8) Saquon Barkley (Jonathan Stewert) Saquon is already being regarded as HOF bound, but he’s still a rookie and the learning curve is real in the NFL. Jonathan Stewart has over 7K career yards and 51 TDs. Early season crucial situations might find our veteran taking more snaps until Barkley gets his feet wet.
9) Alvin Kamara (Mark Ingram when activated otherwise) The second half of last season saw a 50/50 split for backfield snaps. Obviously Kamara has the advantage of lining up in the slot, but goal line power runs will most likely be handed to Ingram upon his return (naughty naughty boy).
10) Deandre Hopkins (uncertainty of Deshaun) Coming off a knee injury can be a shaky time, ask RG3. Until Deshaun proves he’s back, the backup QBs usually rely on TEs as their bailout and not speedy, thread the needle #1 receivers.
11) Michael Thomas (Alvin Kamara) The pass catching back has become the new favorite of Drew Brees. Kamara is the easier target and thus Thomas will suffer as the “#1” receiver…again.
12) Leonard Fournette. Fournette is definitely the lead back, so an obvious vulture isn’t easily spotted. His downfall will come from poor execution at the QB position. If Bortle’s can’t effectively run the offense, they become a one trick pony stuffing Leonard and killing his YPC.
Round 2 Next Week.