So, your fantasy season didn’t go the way you wanted it to. Maybe you drafted Le’Veon Bell (like me) or dropped a stud right before the season(also me). Did your team score the most points in the league, but also have the most points against? Maybe you cruised to the playoffs but had just one off week that cost everything. Whatever the reason, you are already looking forward to next season. Now, of course, things will change between early January and draft season in August, but here is a way too early look at the first round of the 2019-2020 fantasy football draft.
Way Too Early 2019 First Round Fantasy Football Mock Draft
1.01- Todd Gurley, Running Back, LA Rams
If you want to take Saquon Barkley or Christian McCaffrey here, I won’t yell at you. However, Todd Gurley is going to be the consensus number one pick in every league and he should be. He plays in one of, if not the best offense in football, he scored the most points of any non-quarterback in 2017, and he finished in the top 10 in scoring 11 weeks this past season. Gurley has the highest floor of anyone in the draft. He is the smart pick.
1.02- Saquon Barkley, Running Back, NY Giants
Regardless of whether or not you believe Barkley should have been drafted second overall in the actual NFL Draft, there is no doubting his production. He became just the third rookie running back in NFL history to go over 2,000 yards from scrimmage, joining Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James. He also finished as the leading fantasy running back in PPR points this past season. Barkley is going to get the workload, has the pass-catching upside, and has quads like a Greek god. If he does not go number one, take him at two and run.
1.03- Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Carolina Panthers
Volume is king in fantasy football and CMC has been getting it. He was on the field for an absurd 98 percent of the Panthers’ offensive snaps this past season, by far the highest percentage for running backs in the league. For comparison, during Le’Veon Bell’s best season, he was on the field for just over 90 percent of snaps. McCaffrey also has quite possibly the highest pass-catching upside of any running back in the league. After finishing second in PPR fantasy points this past season, you should feel very comfortable building your team around CMC this August.
1.04- Zeke Elliott, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott is going to pick a consensus top five pick for the next five + years, due to his workload and his great offensive line. He also showed off his pass-catching ability this past season, snagging 77 receptions. In an offense that is built around the run, Zeke’s consistent production over the last couple of seasons when he has been on the field. He is easily a top five pick yet again this season.
1.05- Alvin Kamara, Running Back, New Orleans Saints
When you get volume in one of the league’s top offenses, you are going to be a top fantasy pick. That is what Alvin Kamara will bring to the table. Assuming Drew Brees does not retire this offseason, the Saints should have one of the most prolific offenses yet again in 2019, and Kamara will be one of the main pieces in it. Some may be worried about Mark Ingram, but Kamara was still a top 10 running back with Ingram in the fold. He also finished this season as RB4 in PPR leagues despite sitting in week 17. Like the players that went before him, his pass-catching ability rises him in the ranks of elite fantasy running backs, as he finished this past season with 81 receptions for over 700 yards.
1.06- Melvin Gordon, Running Back, LA Chargers
Some may want a wide receiver like DeAndre Hopkins or Davante Adams here, but I am a big believer in getting a stud running back early in the draft, and that is why Gordon is the pick. The biggest knock on Gordon after his rookie campaign was that he did not get into the endzone, but since then he has lived there. He has scored 28 touchdowns since that first season, including 14 last year. Much like everyone before him, he is getting volume in a good offense. What knocks him slightly is his lack of use in the receiving game, but he still had 50 receptions this past season.
1.07- DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans
The first receiver off the board comes at 1.07, and I would go Hopkins. He is coming off a huge year, setting career highs in receptions (115) and yards (1,572) last season. He also did not have a single drop, which is just ridiculous. Hopkins is also a touchdown machine, scoring 11 last season. Hopkins gets a slight edge over Davante Adams due to coaching turnover in Green Bay.
1.08- Davante Adams, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers
Following Hopkins is Adams. The case could easily be made for him as the number one wideout off the board as well. He is getting a crazy amount of volume and is catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. Adams paced the position in fantasy points last season, and leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns over the last three. He is a high floor, high upside receiver who is worthy of his top eight pick.
1.09- Le’veon Bell, Running Back, Free Agent
Bell will be the most debated player during the fantasy off-season, but I would still take him at the end of round one without even knowing where he is going to land. Regardless of where he ends up (my best guess is the Jets), Bell will push for 20+ touches a game and has been consistently a top running back when he has been on the field. It will be interesting to see what offense he lands in, but he should be the focal point regardless.
1.10- Antonio Brown, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown has been the most consistent wide receiver in fantasy over the last couple of years, and I don’t think much will change this coming season. Assuming he stays in Pittsburgh, he will be in one of the best offenses in football. Last year, he did not put up the yardage totals that he did in years past, but he made up for it by scoring 15 touchdowns. Brown is the safest receiver in the draft.
1.11- Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons
Remember when Julio Jones couldn’t score touchdowns? Yeah, me too. Jones seemed to be allergic to the end zone before this past season, where he found paydirt eight times. He also paced the league in yardage with 1,677 and was fourth in receptions with 113. Getting Julio at the end of round one and pairing him with a running back at the turn is a great way to start the draft.
1.12- James Conner, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
This pick could go a million different directions, but I like James Conner here. Everyone knows his story obviously, overcoming cancer and a torn ACL in college to be a third round pick to his hometown team, then taking over for Bell last season, where he ran for nearly 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing multiple games near the end of the year. If Pittsburgh does not bring in another running back, which I don’t think they will, Conner will easily be a top 10 running back in 2019.