As I’ve gone through the process of completing the rest of season rankings, I’ve noticed a trend. The number of players that I have a strong confidence in for the rest of the season is dwindling… Fast! Whether this is from the regular attrition of the NFL season or the changing landscape of the way coaches deploy their personnel, it is happening.

Fantasy analysts love to talk tiers and often in the pre-season have 3-5 per position. At this point, I’m essentially noticing 4 tier groups within the rest of season rankings.

  • An elite tier ranging from Christian McCaffrey to Michael Thomas.
  • A sub-elite tier ranging from Alvin Kamara to Kenny Golladay. These players will always be in your lineup, but there actually could be bumps in the road. It is likely players like Kamara will be the great rest of season on a weekly basis, but Latavius Murray could surely cut into his work on a weekly basis after showing his worth.
  • A valuable player tier from Todd Gurley to Darren Waller… It really is that small.
  • Everyone else. Is there that much of a difference between Christian Kirk and Cole Beasley? They average within two targets per game of each other. They average 2 fantasy points difference per week. Their offenses both average 1.3 passing TD’s per game or less. For a running back example Phillip Lindsay has value but has also had under 8 fantasy points in 5 of 8 games this season. This is my point. The number of players who truly matter is incredibly compressed in 2019.

I think with this wide range, everyone else’s tiers can be noticed through the frugality of the weekly waiver wire. There have been zero current top 24 fantasy running backs on a full seasons basis who came from the waiver wire in competitive leagues. There are possibly 2 wide receivers in the top 24 who were on waiver wires: D.J. Chark and Terry McLaurin. Finally, there is one tight end in the top 6 who was possibly on the wire: Darren Waller

What do we do with all of this information? I’ve sectioned off how I would approach the rest of the season into what I would imagine are the situations for every team in your league through 8 weeks.

  • Playoff-Bound Team – This season more than ever it is vital to handcuff your elite running backs. Ryquell Armstead has more value than whoever the flavor of the week is on the waiver wire. As we have seen with players like Ty Johnson, if the backfield was in a timeshare prior to the lead back becoming injured, it will be a timeshare after the lead back gets injured. Do not let go of any of your elite, or sub-elite talents for multiple assets that “have upside”. Hoard assets as your league mates are all lacking them. Additionally, if you have extra roster space check the playoff week schedule for your league and find fringe players that can possibly help you then.
  • Likely Playoff Teams – If there are any teams in your league willing to trade elite talents do whatever you can to get them. If you have extra roster spots grab some of those clear running back handcuffs on your wire. This helps in two ways. The team with Leonard Fournette is probably in the playoff hunt as well. If Fournette were to go down, and you have stashed the same Ryquell Armstead mention above your team is now not only better, you have immediately put the Fournette team at a huge disadvantage. They can’t use the FAAB budget they have left for the backup. Additionally, look a week ahead on your bye weeks and find fringe players that can help you next week to solidify your playoff spot.
  • Outside Looking in Teams – The same as above but focus in on the highest upside players in the everyone else tier and see if you can buy a player before the owner catches up to what is happening. This is why I keep a player like Hollywood Brown so high on this list. He has been hurt. He hasn’t done anything in weeks, but he received 8 targets per week and a huge air yards share when healthy in an explosive offense. If he hits he can get you in the playoffs. Don’t waste roster space in this situation on player who have positive playoff schedules but focus on players in weeks 9-13 that can help. You need to think of the rest of your regular season as a double elimination tournament. Whatever you can do to not lose twice, do it.
  • Teams in Last Place – Sorry man.
Rank Name Previous Rank
1 Christian McCaffrey 1
2 Saquon Barkley 2
3 Ezekiel Elliott 3
4 Dalvin Cook 4
5 Leonard Fournette 6
6 DeAndre Hopkins 7
7 Michael Thomas 8
8 Chris Carson 13
9 Alvin Kamara 5
10 Nick Chubb 11
11 Julio Jones 12
12 Chris Godwin 10
13 Tyreek Hill 14
14 Mike Evans 15
15 Derrick Henry 16
16 Cooper Kupp 20
17 Le’Veon Bell 9
18 Josh Jacobs 17
19 Odell Beckham Jr 18
20 Amari Cooper 19
21 Marlon Mack 22
22 James Conner 27
23 Aaron Jones 28
24 Davante Adams 26
25 Travis Kelce 23
26 George Kittle 25
27 Tyler Lockett 29
28 Mark Ingram 32
29 Keenan Allen 21
30 Kenny Golladay 33
31 Todd Gurley 24
32 Tyler Boyd 31
33 TY Hilton 34
34 Sony Michel 35
35 Tevin Coleman 42
36 Allen Robinson 38
37 Robert Woods 37
38 Julian Edelman 40
39 Melvin Gordon 39
40 David Montgomery 55
41 Adam Thielen 41
42 D.J. Chark 50
43 Joe Mixon 43
44 D.J. Moore 48
45 Darren Waller 47
46 Stefon Diggs 53
47 Carlos Hyde 54
48 Devonta Freeman 51
49 Jordan Howard 74
50 Phillip Lindsay 45
51 David Johnson 30
52 Alshon Jeffery 52
53 Zach Ertz 36
54 Evan Engram 56
55 Courtland Sutton 57
56 Christian Kirk NR
57 Michael Gallup 62
58 Marquise Brown 44
59 Calvin Ridley 60
60 Matt Breida 49
61 Austin Hooper 61
62 JuJu Smith-Schuster 67
63 Hunter Henry 59
64 Austin Ekeler 63
65 Terry McLaurin 64
66 Mark Andrews 71
67 James White 65
68 LeSean McCoy 69
69 Latavius Murray NR
70 Royce Freeman 75
71 John Brown 77
72 Phillip Dorsett 68
73 Larry Fitzgerald 46
74 D.K. Metcalf NR
75 Mike Williams 73
76 Robby Anderson 58
77 Curtis Samuel 76
78 Marvin Jones 78
79 Kenyan Drake NR
80 A.J. Green NR

  1. gio says:

    4-4 half ppr…

    give chark and drake, receive allen robinson….

    I currently have both d-hop and chark on bye next week. RBs zeke, gordon, walton, lat murray.

    Drake is a mere throw in for depth to other guy who is rb needy.

    • Pat

      Pat says:

      I’d prefer Allen Robinson rest of season between those two so if Drake is merely a throw in I’m all for that deal.

  2. Wacha Wacha says:

    I realize these are more flex rankings but as far as Ros value goes where about would you ranks the Patriots D Ros? Up near 45 with the “valuable players”? Obviously depends on team needs and league size somewhat but I was curious to hear your take. Thanks!

    • Pat

      Pat says:

      Was actually having a similar debate about the Patriots defense with a friend this past weekend. At what point does forcing turnovers on a weekly basis go from positive luck to the identity of the defense? I think we are trending towards the latter. If I personally had the Pats D it would take a cemented player I know I will start every week in order to deal them at this point. Conversely, I think they are really tough to deal for unless you are dealing a player you teeter on starting every week that is replacement level. I think they are right around that valuable player mark.

  3. Kevin says:

    Must win week as I’m at 4-4. Currently have Minshew as a streamer, but Winston is available. I’m projected to win the match by about 30 points. Would you stick with Minshew, or drop him for Winston who probably has a higher ceiling and a soft schedule the rest of the way?

    Also was going to stream Cleveland, but Philly and Carolina are available. Do you like them better than Cleveland this week? Thanks!

    • Pat

      Pat says:

      I actually just made this exact transaction for Minshew dropping Winston in a league, but that was for this week only. I agree that Winston has a higher ceiling so if you think it is a high percentage to win this week you can roll the dice, but I do prefer Minshew this week with the Texans having a softer pass rush without Watt.

      I think I prefer Philly over Cleveland, but it is a toss up. The preference is simply based on being at home and Mile High is a tough place to play and the Broncos may go ultra conservative. I think I’m starting one share of each in leagues. Carolina with the conservative nature of Titans offense may struggle to put up the huge number you look for to swing a week.

  4. Barker says:

    10 team league — super flex

    I give keenan allen
    I get derrick henry

    My WR – Evans hilton kupp allen mclaurin aj green
    My RB – kamara mixon james white l murray ronald jones walton

    Fairly desperate for a RB the kid asked for evans for henry and i think i can get away with allen for henry. Question is is (stutterer) is it worth it to break apart these WR and do i have enough depth at the position ?

    • Pat

      Pat says:

      See below. This is a once a week mistake.

  5. Pat

    Pat says:

    I would feel pretty good about that deal. I tip toe on Henry because his snap share isn’t huge, but when he is on the field they are feeding it to him. I will say even though the Chargers are an absolute mess that the return of Okung gives Allen a chance at least to get open. Wide Receivers are always safer but you look like you could use the running back help.

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