Way-Too-Early RSJ Staff 2019 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Grades - Roto Street Journal
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Way-Too-Early RSJ Staff 2019 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Grades

The government may be shutdown but Roto Street Journal never does. Here in the dead of winter, roughly eight months away from the start of the 2019 season, we decided it was time to conduct a mock draft. Some are addicted to drugs. Others can’t stop gambling. Our vice is fantasy football, and we don’t plan on going to rehab any time soon.

Much is destined to change between now and the start of next season. Trades, free agency, the draft and injuries are sure to drastically alter the fantasy landscape. This is a fun exercise to show where things stand now and what needs to be decided before the 2019 fantasy season begins.

The RSJ staff engaged in a 12-team, half-point PPR draft in which each team must start 1 quarterback, 2 running backs, 3 receivers, 1 tight end and 1 FLEX. Below are the rosters of each team along with a short review detailing the potential upside and pitfalls that each roster presents.

Interested in more 2019 content? Take a look our Big Board and Rankings.

Philip Rivers is a reliable, low-end QB1, Saquon Barkley is capable of carrying your squad from week-to-week and Zach Ertz is the best tight end not named Travis Kelce. Adam Thielen’s production fell off a cliff after a record-setting start to 2018, but he still figures to be a top 12 receiver next season. Kenny Golladay and Christian Kirk are on the rise with opportunities to become their team’s go-to receivers, but there are some question marks here as well. Do the Jets bring back restricted free agent Robby Anderson? If not, where does he land? Will Jerick McKinnon be in a time-share with Matt Breida? What happens with Miami’s wildcard of a backfield? And where does TJ Yeldon sign in free agency?

OVERALL GRADE: A-

Breesy fo sheezy is another reliable QB1, but at the age of 40 one has to wonder when age will catch up with him. Alvin Kamara and Odell Beckham Jr. are still top 5 players at their positions. After that there are a lot of question marks. What do Chris Carson and Tarik Cohen’s roles look like in 2019? Can Sammy Watkins find any sort of consistency? Will Tyler Lockett be able to reproduce his eye-popping touchdown pace from the first half of 2018? How will D’Onta Foreman and Delanie Walker look after returning from serious injuries? Not to mention drafting 3 receivers in a 3 receiver league may leave the you a little short handed.

OVERALL GRADE: B-

Though he’s the top quarterback heading into next season, drafting Patrick Mahomes in round 1 really handcuffed this team. Pairing him with Tyreek Hill gives him one hell of a one-two punch though. Sony Michel has RB1 ability but his health is a concern. Does Kansas City add another running back to compete with Damien Williams? Emmanuel Sanders’ Achilles injury kills his 2019 stock. Gronk may retire and look like a shell of his former self this season. Though valuable handcuffs, Austin Ekeler and Gio Bernard are both enter next season as backups. Ted Ginn Jr. was an uninspiring pick, but Tre’Quan Smith could be a sleeper should continue to develop.

OVERALL GRADE: C

This receiving corps is scary good but the lack of a RB1 causes concern. Kerryon Johnson has a chance to break out as a top tier fantasy ‘back, Jay Ajayi is a free agent with injuries issues and who knows what to expect from Gus the Bus. Meanwhile, Lamar Miller is the definition of average and runs behind a horrendous offensive line. Speaking of the Texans O-line, Deshaun Watson will once again be running for his life if the unit does not improve. Also, can Evan Engram and Beckham Jr. coexist?

OVERALL GRADE: B-

Wilson plays for the most run-heavy team in football and Cam Newton may miss next season due to his shoulder injury. Melvin Gordon and James White were both top 10 running backs last season but what are the chances Gordon will hold up for a full season? Michael Thomas, TY Hilton and Marvin Jones provide an excellent trio of starting receivers. OJ Howard was one of the most productive tight ends before his injury last year but what will Bruce Arians mean for his usage? Kareem Hunt is the ultimate gamble with a definite suspension coming his way, though at pick 79-overall he might be worth it. With Yeldon entering free agency and Leonard Fournette unable to stay healthy, Carlos Hyde is likely to get some starts next season. Curtis Samuel came on late in the year and could break out in 2019 but who will be throwing him the ball?

OVERALL GRADE: A-

Matt Ryan quietly had an MVP type season last year and arguably has the best receiving corps in the game. James Conner and Keenan Allen are both top 12 performers at their positions. Does JuJu Smith-Schuster’s stock go up or down if Antonio Brown is traded? Can Allen Robinson improve in his second year with Mitch Trubisky? George Kittle’s yardage and reception totals seem unsustainable but his touchdowns could increase. Josh Adams, Mark Ingram and Rashaad Penny are all likely to be part-time players. Does Green Bay resign Randall Cobb? Does it matter?

OVERALL GRADE: B

Andrew Luck is a top 5 quarterback. Joe Mixon and Nick Chubb are double trouble at running back.  You’ll be lucky to get 10 healthy games out of Leonard Fournette. The receiver group is weak, especially for a league where you start three wide outs. Green turns 31 this summer and has fought injuries in recent years. Chris Godwin’s production depends on if DeSean Jackson resigns or not. Courtland Sutton could break out in his sophomore year but if Case Keenum is his QB that might not mean high end numbers. Hunter Henry is a top 5 tight end when healthy but there are a lot of mouths to feed in the Chargers’ offense.

OVERALL GRADE: B-

Aaron Rodgers remains one of the best in the game but will the Packers get him some weapons? The receiver and running back groups are deep, young and talented but can Dalvin Cook, Marlon Mack and Julian Edelman stay healthy? Will David Njoku take the next step this season in his second year with Baker Mayfield? This team is relies on young players being able to develop but I love the talent.

OVERALL GRADE: A-

Kirk Cousins is a borderline QB1. Can he find consistency in year two with the Vikings? Todd Gurley is the only elite player on this team. Derrius Guice is an A+ talent but is coming off an injury and yet an NFL game. Will the Bears replace Jordan Howard? The Bucs are likely to add another running back. Brandin Cooks and Amari Cooper are boom or bust from week to week. Corey Davis’ ceiling is capped by Marcus Mariota’s shortcomings. Anthony Miller is young and talented but will he get consistent usage is a Bears’ offense that spreads the ball around? Chris Herndon is a low-cost high-reward sleeper at tight end.

OVERALL GRADE: B

Jared Goff will be a QB1 for years to come. Davante Adams and Antonio Brown would be one hell of a combo if we knew where Brown is playing next year. Can Derrick Henry build upon his late-season success? Is Phillip Lindsay a one-year-wonder? Where will Corey Coleman, Latavius Murray and DeSean Jackson sign? Fuller is made of glass. Can Eric Ebron repeat his extremely high touchdown rate?

OVERALL GRADE: B

Ben Roethlisberer’s stock falls if Brown is traded. Can Christian McCaffrey continue to dominate without Newton? Can Kliff Kingsbury get the most out of David Johnson? Where will Adrian Peterson play next year? What do Alex Collins and Matt Breida’s roles look like in 2019? The receiving group is deep and talented but lacks a top 10 stud. Jack Doyle shares targets with Ebron.

OVERALL GRADE: B

Baker Mayfield will be a top 10 quarterback next season. Where does Le’Veon Bell end up? Devonta Freeman’s stock may rise with Coleman leaving. Will Green Bay officially hand the reins over to Aaron Jones? This team lacks depth at running back. There is no WR1 in this group but several WR2’s. Having Travis Kelce at tight end gives you an unfair advantage against opponents.

OVERALL GRADE: B+

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