Kevin Taylor’s Consensus Top-200 Review
QB List recently released our consensus Top 200 rankings, and now I will take a look at how my personal ranks differ from the overall. I will give my reasoning for the larger differences that show up in the rankings.
QB Josh Allen – (My rank 114 – Consensus 149)
The QB List staff has Allen ranked 149 overall and 20th at the quarterback position. Allen enters his second season with the Bills after an up and down rookie year. After dealing with injuries in the middle of the year, Allen returned in week 12 and was the number one overall quarterback from weeks 12-17. Coming into 2019, the Bills add slot receiver Cole Beasley, speedster John Brown, and tight ends Tyler Kroft and Dawson Knox. The Bills also upgraded their offensive line for the upcoming season and are now ranked middle of the pack according to PFF’s line rankings. I see Allen as more of a QB 14/15 than the QB 20 with his substantial upside and his safe floor due to his great rushing ability (631 yards and 8TDs).
RB Jamaal Williams – (My rank 146 – Consensus 176)
I was one of the higher staff members on Williams ranking this year. He is the clear number two back on one of the better offenses in the NFL, and there were whispers earlier in the offseason of a timeshare between him and starter Aaron Jones. Jones is without a doubt the lead back in Green Bay but he does have a bit of an injury history, having missed a couple of games in each of his first two seasons. Williams offers the Packers a true all-around talent at running back where rookie Dexter Williams has struggled to catch the ball in camp and has made some mistakes in pass protection. In 12 games with Jones playing, Jamaal Williams averaged about 7 touches per game which isn’t starting caliber. However, in the four games that Jones missed, he averaged 16.5 touches per game. Williams was ranked at RB 60 by the staff and I think that is a bit low for the main handcuff on one of the better offenses in the league.
WR Emmanuel Sanders – (My Rank N/A – Consensus 123)
Sanders tore his left Achilles towards the end of last season and had an additional surgery on his right ankle this offseason. All signs point to Sanders being ready for week one. If he didn’t have that injury, I would be a proponent of drafting Sanders as he was the WR 10 from weeks 1-10 last season. However, I am of the camp that 32-year-old Sanders will be a shell of his former self moving forward. There have been studies conducted saying that, especially in the year after the injury, performance suffers. Combine the gruesome injury with his age–and Joe Flacco as his quarterback–and I don’t think Sanders can be expected to give us much production this year. A couple of receivers that QBL ranked behind Sanders (WR50) that I like better are Donte Moncrief (WR54), DaeSean Hamilton (WR55), and Jamison Crowder (WR60)
WR Tre’Quan Smith – (My Rank 194 – Consensus Rank 152)
I like Smith more as a real-life player than a fantasy player. I was the low man on Smith in our rankings and there are a few factors leading into that. Smith performed pretty well when targeted last year but his target share is the problem. According to his player profile, he was 101st in snap share and 113th in target share at the wide receiver position last year. He had over four targets in just two games last season and competition for targets got tougher going into this season. The Saints brought in Jared Cook at tight end to replace Ben Watson. At this point in their careers, Cook is a clear upgrade in the passing game. They also return target hogs Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. At best, Smith will be the fourth option in the passing game, but he could also be behind Ted Ginn who missed most of 2018 with injury but returned in the NFC championship game to garner six targets. The Saints are also throwing the ball less and less (2/19/23 rank in pass attempts last 3 years) while running the ball more behind one of the league’s top offensive lines. This–combined with a solid defense–will keep them in most games (11th in defense DVOA).
TE Chris Herndon IV – (My Rank 147 – Consensus Rank 183)
A big knock on Herndon is that he is suspended for the first four games of the season. That makes it tough to draft him in shallower leagues with short benches. He was ranked in our consensus as the 23rd tight end (behind the likes of Kyle Rudolph, Noah Fant, and Greg Olsen) which is entirely too low in my opinion. He is one of eight rookie tight ends to eclipse 500 yards in the last decade. Herndon was top-10 at tight-end in both yards per target and fantasy points per target. The Jets top-two receiving options when they want to throw the ball downfield remain Robby Anderson and Herndon himself going into the season. Also, in three of his last six games he got six-plus targets. This shows some trust from promising young QB Sam Darnold. There is a belief that there is more competition for targets with Jamison Crowder in the slot and Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. The Jets top-four running backs accounted for 102 targets last season. Bell can absorb most of those as the three-down back. Departed receivers Jermaine Kearse, Terrelle Pryor, and Andre Roberts leave behind 115 targets themselves, which can be given mostly to Crowder. Herndon should be looked at as the TE 13-16 with upside but flaws. He would pair well with one of the oft-injured tight-ends such as Tyler Eifert, Jordan Reed, or even the previously mentioned Olsen while they’re healthy.