Hey y’all. Please note that where fantasy position ranks are cited: they were pulled from www.pro-football-reference.com’s NFL Fantasy Rankings. Also note that these are non-PPR rankings. This list only includes Un-Restricted Free Agents (UFAs), it does not include Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFAs) or Antonio Brown (We can rank Tony once we see if his QB is going to be future HOFer Big Ben or future Gym Teacher Blake Bortles or someone in between, but don’t think either spot or any in between really changes his value much).
Tier 1: French Studs
Le’Veon Bell – His name is French for; “The Veon” and he’s a workhorse stud. Anycrap, there’s a 0% chance he plays for Pittsburgh next year (if they try to keep him, why wouldn’t he sit out again?). Regardless of landings spot, for me he’s in the Top5RB cluster with Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, and Alvin Kamara. He has never been worse than RB14 in a season that he played at least 12 games. RB14 is his downside in 3/4 of a season?!? I’ll take that every day of the week and twice on Sundays! High floor/high ceiling all the way, so I would draft him int he Top5 RBs and MAKE SURE to get his handcuff in the later rounds (if there ends up being a clearcut one) because full seasons aren’t like Swedish-made-penis-enlarger-pumps to him.
Tier 2: Possibly Interesting, Wait ‘n See
Mark Ingram – He was RB6 in Alvin Kamara‘s breakout rookie year, showing that both could have value in the same backfield. He slipped to RB28 this year in a 12 game season (though his pace put him at RB18). Before Alvin arrived in town, he was RB10 in ’16 and RB15 in 12 games in ’15. If he stays in New Orleans, I think his value stays around the RB20-25 next year. If he leaves NOLA and ends up a lead back somewhere, he could be pretty exciting.
Tevin Coleman – Oh man, how I hoped and hoped and prayed that this guy would get a full workload and in ’18 he finally did!!! He was RB17 and RB22 in two timeshare seasons and then he was handed the reigns for 14 starts and he finished… …RB18?!? Come on man! As a starter, he still only averaged 11 carries thanks to the emergence of Ito Smith. Will that push Colemania out of town? ATL could go with Devonta Freeman/Ito Smith next season, for which I think Ito has a lower ceiling than Tevin does. I think I like Coleman as a mid-RB2 no matter where he lands (even if it’s back in ATL). RB is suddenly a timeshare everywhere and he’s proven that he’s an RB2 with 10 touches a week. If he lands somewhere sexy and climbs the boards to a high end RB2, I think I’ll pass because he doesn’t seem to have that upside. He’s a burner playing indoors in a good ATL offense, other spots won’t be much prettier than that. If he’s RB17+, I will own him EVERYWHERE for another consecutive season.
Jay Ajayi – He’s only above the next tier because 1) I was too lazy to make another tier name, 2) I think he has more potential to not be in a timeshare, 3) there is no 3, 4) He’s always injured so maybe he should be in a timeshare. He was on a good pace last season, but 3 1/4 games isn’t what anyone was looking for out of their 4th round pick. He’s flashed the ability, but none of the durability. So I think I will be steering clear on draft day, but he has teh upside to make me regret it.
Tier 3: Kansas City Hootenanny, or Maybe Shindig?
Spencer Ware and Damien Williams – Both will be 27 next season. Both will be FAs after the Super Bowl. Both performed well in the KC juggernaut. It’s worth remembering that Spencer Ware got the first crack at the starting gig and put up solid pts in his 2 starts. In the 3 games Ware missed, Damien Williams put up monster points (TD-inflated, small-sample). So both seem like potential studs if they become the sole workhorse in KC next season. (I don’t think Kareem Hunt returns next year -> As Ray Rice and Joe Mixon have shown us, it is better to be a brutal useless human in college than in the pros.) If both return to KC, expect an unpredictable NE-style backfield where someone will go off, but you’l never successfully predict who.
Tier 4: Already into “Meh” Territory
TJ Yeldon – Even with Leonard Fournette missing 5 full games, TJ only put up a low-end RB2 10.32 PPG in his 5 starts. With that offense slowly crumbling under a QB of Bortles-or-worse, I think JAX is an offense to avoid next season. If TJ ends up elsewhere, I don’t think it’s all that exciting for him. He’s a volume-only play that isn’t likely to be handed a volume job.
Latavius Murray – Dalvin Cook is the man in MinnEsota, but hasn’t proved to be healthy yet in his career (4 games in rookie year, 11 games last year). So, maybe Latavius sticks around to be the handcuff again, but don’t expect more than his RB32 finish last year. Even his RB20 finish in ’17 (11 games) was probably a mirage.
Tier 5: Lifetime Achievement Winners Who Should Be Waiver Fodder for ’19
Unbreakable Frank Gore – The last 4 seasons; RB12, RB12, RB18, RB41?!? Has age finally caught up to fantasy’s all-time most steady asset? Since Frank is listed below the ‘meh’ tier, you can surmise that ‘yes’ I believe it has. Nothing makes me sadder than that previous sentence.
Adrian Peterson – He looked dunzo in AZ and NO, but really bounced back nicely to finish as RB16 last year. Using Frank Gore as a guideline, AP is 2 years younger so maybe he’s got one more year of production before the wheels fall off? (hopefully not literally) Derrius Guice is due back healthy for ’19, so WAS isn’t the best fit for volume for AP. I could see a reasonable landing spot that he cold replicate his ’18 season, but there are only a few of those available.
Tier 6: Only Listed to be Complete
Marshawn Lynch – What a ride it’s been! From the couch in ’16 to RB19 in ’17 to RB56 (6 games) in ’18. He turns 33 in April and even if he returns to the CityUnknown Raiders for 2019, it doesn’t promise to be an offense that you’re likely to want shares of (even with the #4, #24, & #27 picks in the upcoming draft). If he lands elsewhere, then you’re fully at the mercy of his TD total for fantasy glory.
Doug Martin – Like Bruce Springsteen says, it’s been a long time since the Muscle Hamster’s glory days. That rookie year looks more and more like Trent Richardson’s every year. RB35 in OAK last year is about what I would expect from Dougie next season as a ceiling if he’s even able to be employed. Don’t let him throw that speed ball by ya, and make ya look like a fool, boy!
Bilal Powell – If you listen to the Jets, this guy is the next Curtis Martin. If you listen to your eyes, your heart or the boxscores, then he’s strongly an arr-bee-meh who should stay on the waivers until he’s the last man standing on a team. Even then he should be a small FAAB bid. Far removed from his RB15 finish in ’16, he was RB26 in ’17 and RB69 (7 games – injured his neck) last year. So he’s not without meh-upside if he gets volume, but he’s on the wrong side of 30 from now on.
LeGarrette Blount – RB7 his final year in NE (aided by a ridiculously unrepeatable 18 falls into the paint). He was RB39 in PHI in ’17 and RB50 in DET in ’18. I think the ride is over, so I’ll remember the finer times of tokin with Le’Veon in PIT or when he knocked out that Boise St lineman after a bowl game loss at Oregon.
Ameer Abdullah – Can we finally forget about that one preseason game in 2015?
Tier 1: Former Golden Domers Named Golden for $800
Golden Tate – Pretty sad that the Golden Taint is the most compelling UFA WR. Non-PPR, he has finished as WR32, WR25, WR19, and WR35. He’ll hover around 85 rec for 1000 yds and 5 TDs wherever he ends up. That absolutely has value, even if it’s not sexy.
Tier 2: The Suspendables
Josh Gordon – Oh remember how we were all so quick to pat NE on the back? “Can you believe they got this stud for only a FIFTH rd pick?!?” We’ll all be forever chasing the WR2 season of ’13, but truly we should all be hoping this dude gets his life straight first and foremost. Fantasy is secondary. If he does ever return, he’s had more low-WR2 pace seasons (WR22/WR24 pace) so I would place his value around WR25 until we see something. I plan to be a year late to the Josh Gordon party if/when it happens.
Martavis Bryant – Another magical dragon of a season to chase, but actually he only ranked as WR34 in 11g that season. So it wasn’t even as tremendous as we remember. We just all assumed that was his floor with room to grow. Man we were so much younger and dumber and skinnier then, eh? Also hoping this guy gets his life in order first and foremost.
Tier 3: They Might Be Giants Depending on Landing Spot
Tyrell Williams – If he’s back with the Chargers, he’ll be fighting for scraps behind Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry. Maybe if he lands a top role somewhere he could approach his WR14 season from 2016, but if there are mouths to feed around him, he’s been WR40 and WR45 the past two seasons.
Devin Funchess – I do love his giggly brother, Ron (no-relation), but Devin has didn’t really take the role and run last season. If he ends up somewhere with a favorable depth chart he could be a volume play with TD-upside. I could see myself taking him, but not see myself being excited like I am every year when I get Marcus Mariota late. #shrugemoji
Kelvin Benjamin – Hasn’t figured it out since leaving the CAMolina Panthers, but same as above, if he could land in a volume play offense he has TD upside. That’s enough for a WR3 these days. WR3 range goes from WR25-WR75 and every week they reshuffle.
Dez Bryant – Eh… do I mean this? I don’t think I do, but there will be hype is Dez lands somewhere perceived to be ‘sexy’.
Tier 4: Post-Hype Sleepers Still Full of Tryptophan
Randall Cobb – Hasn’t been better than WR31 in four years in a stellar offense.
Kevin White – Has played 14 career games.
Donte Moncrief – Couldn’t stand out among JAX WRs desperate for a standout.
Cordarelle Patterson – He’s only in the “Hype” category because fantasy’s most prolific analyst/goober WOULD NOT shut up about him. Unless your league has KR/PR stats, I’m avoiding. And maybe I’m even avoiding him then.
Tier 5: Book-Keeping, Not Interested
Adam Humphries – WR32 this past season was his best finish. Not sure he’ll be back in the same playbook.
Chris Hogan – Even with Edelman suspended for 4 games, Hogan wasn’t exciting in those games. WR55 is his career-best finish.
Chris Conley – I remember being excited for him one year “because there’s nobody else”. I don’t use that logic anymore. Conley finished WR123, WR89, WR130, WR81 the last four seasons. Follow the skills. That path will lead you away from Conley.
Tier 1: Are We Sure It’s Not the San Diego Chargers?
Hunter Henry/Antonio Gates – Antonio wants to come back. I want to play in the NFL too (I think our 40 times are inching closer to each other) but Antonio still out bodies anybody and knows where to sit to be open. Antonio has the record for most TDs ever by a TE and they already were going to move on from him last year before Hunter Hearst Henry tore his ACL in May. So I don’t expect the Chargers to want Gates back. I’m all-in on Triple H next season. He was TE10 in 2016 and TE12 in 2017 (both with Gates still mostly able bodied). With Phil Rivers’ goofy face still in town, and TE being a jumbled mess, I think HHH is a lock to finish top 10 with plausibility to finish top5.
Tier 2: I Already Don’t Want These Guys
CJ Uzomah/Tyler Eifert – Andy Dalton has faded quickly and I don’t think either of these guys much upside. Uzomah had the best season of his life and finished TE19 in a crap TE year where the ghosts of Eric Ebron and Jared Cook finished 4 & 5. Eifert has only played 14g in the last THREE seasons combined. It’s a shame, but it’s also true.
Jared Cook – As mentioned above, he just finished as TE5. However, he’s broken my heart too many times and I’m staying away.
Tier 1: Not Enough Interesting Names for Tiers
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Unquestionably Harvard’s greatest NFL alum, Tampa has already said they’re going back to Fameis Jameis Winston next season, but we’ve seen him think and play and I expect next season to play out a lot like this one. Both QBs will have choke-chain-leashes this season. Both will probably put up solid numbers after coming off the bench in the second half (when you didn’t start them) and then falter enough the next week to get pulled by halftime (when you did start them). If FitzMagik ends up elsewhere I’m even less interested.
Tyrod Taylor – Tygod was QB14, QB8, QB16 before holding Baker’s clipboard all of last year. So I still think Tygod could have value if he’s a starter, but only if you’re the guy that is happy with waiting in the draft and rolling the dice to get QB12.
Teddy Bridgewater – In his career, he’s been QB22 and QB23 and that was before a horribly grotesque injury. I’m not sure he has fantasy value, but I would like him holding the clipboard and being the next man up for my real life team.