- Super Bowl LII has yet to happen and the NFL draft is still months away, but it's never too early to start prepping for next year's fantasy football season.
The 2017 fantasy football season is still warm, and the Super Bowl is still nearly a month away. Does that mean it’s too early to turn the page to 2018? Of course not. Fantasy football has become a year-round endeavor, and it won’t be long before we’re talking about free agency, the draft, mini-camps and OTAs. At that point, it might as well be the 2018 NFL season.
With that in mind, below are SI.com’s first fantasy football rankings for the 2018 season. Many of these players, most notably guys like Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry and Kirk Cousins, may be on new teams next season, and these rankings assumed a league-average landing spot for all free agents. We’ve also included rookies sure to be hot commodities in the fantasy world, like Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb.
Running backs reign supreme at the top of the overall rankings, and while Todd Gurley just finished off a season for the ages, a familiar name finds himself in the top spot. Until further notice, the fantasy football world still belongs to Le’Veon Bell. Get players Nos. 2 through 100 below.
1. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Todd Gurley may have been the top player in 2017, but the fantasy football world still belongs to Bell. He just put the finishing touches on his third season with at least 1,800 total yards and nine touchdowns in the last four years. He’s the best bet to return first-round value, and his versatile skill set makes him the ideal player for the modern NFL. No other player can match Bell’s floor/ceiling pairing.
2. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
3. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
4. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
6. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
8. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
9. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
10. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
11. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
12. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Gordon may not be the flashiest player in the league, but the bottom line is he delivers for his fantasy owners. He set career highs in 2017 with 1,105 rushing yards, 58 receptions, 476 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Now entering his fourth season and a key member of a strong Chargers offense, Gordon should be a safe pick late in the first round or early in the second round of 2018 fantasy drafts.
13. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
14. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
15. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
16. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
17. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
18. Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots
19. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
20. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
21. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
22. Saquon Barkley, RB
A rookie has led the NFL in rushing both of the last two seasons (Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt). Barkley is this class’s best bet to extend the streak to three years. Barkley will be a high first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and while his landing spot matters, he’s going to have a ton of fantasy value regardless of which team selects him.
23. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
24. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
25. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
26. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
27. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
28. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
29. Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
30. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
31. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
32. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
33. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
34. Tyreek Hill, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
35. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
36. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
37. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
38. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
Watson was well on his way to a top-five season at the quarterback position before tearing his ACL in practice. Assuming he’s ready to go for Week 1, there’s every reason to believe he will pick up right where he left off. With an elite receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and high-level rushing skills, Watson has the ceiling to the be No. 1 fantasy quarterback in all scoring formats.
39. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
40. Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots
41. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
42. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
43. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
44. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
45. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
46. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
47. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
48. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
49. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
50. Samaje Perine, RB, Washington Redskins
51. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
It wasn’t just Aaron Rodgers’s injury that led to a down season for Nelson. He’s not the deep threat he once was, and while his chemistry with Rodgers is unparalleled by any other quarterback/receiver pairing, he doesn’t have the fantasy ceiling he once did. Davante Adams is the No. 1 receiver in Green Bay now, and there remains a chance that Nelson is playing his football elsewhere next season.
52. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
53. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
54. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
55. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
56. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
57. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
58. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
59. Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins
60. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
61. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz’s recovery from his ACL tear will be one of the biggest storylines of the 2018 preseason. We’re slotting him here for now, but that assumes he’ll be ready to go for Week 1. Given the timing of his injury, that is far from a guarantee. If Wentz isn’t ready for the start of the season, he won’t be the only Eagle to tumble down the fantasy rankings.
62. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
63. Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins
64. Derrius Guice, RB
65. Nick Chubb, RB
66. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
67. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
68. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
69. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
70. Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
71. Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams
72. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
Cousins will be this offseason’s most interesting free agent. At this point, it seems likely that he won’t be back in Washington. That will make him the most sought after player in the league. Cousins may never be a top-flight quarterback, but he’s unquestionably suited to lead a Super Bowl contender. He’ll likely be a QB1 no matter where he ends up, and he’ll almost certainly increase the value of the players around him.
73. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
74. Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
75. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
76. D’Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans
77. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
78. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
79. Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
80. Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
81. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
It was mostly a lost season for Olsen, but he proved just how good he still is when healthy. The Panthers will address the receiver position during the offseason, but Olsen is likely to remain Cam Newton’s top target. Olsen is one of the few reliably productive tight ends in the league, and has the ability to play his way into the same territory as Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce.
82. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
83. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers
84. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
85. Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers
86. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
87. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
88. Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
89. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans
90. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
91. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
92. Cameron Meredith, WR, Chicago Bears
Meredith was one of the most popular players in the fantasy community last summer before tearing his ACL in the Bears third preseason game. Remember, the Bears were ready to lean on him as their No. 1 receiver, and while they’ll certainly be aggressive with the position in free agency and the draft, Meredith should have a big role in 2018.
93. Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots
94. Pierre Garçon, WR, San Francisco 49ers
95. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets
96. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
97. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
There’s sure to be plenty of change for the Giants in 2018 after a disastrous 2017 season, and Shepard could end up making this ranking look foolishly low. He won’t have the same target share next season with a healthy Odell Beckham, but the right coach and quarterback could make something interesting out of the Giants offense. Even if Shepard is the third option in the passing game behind Beckham and Evan Engram, he’ll have a high ceiling every week.
98. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
99. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns
100. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens