Fantasy Football League Winners

Cardinals David Johnson

Every season a player or two emerges as a dominant factor in fantasy football. Typically they go a few rounds too late, garner more work than anyone expected and dominate the league. Patrick Mahomes is a prime example from last season. Brian Twining and I are here with players that could be the 2019 fantasy football league winners.

Brian’s Picks:

David Johnson | RB | Arizona Cardinals

David Johnson’s return last season wasn’t necessarily what we would expect from someone being drafted among the top 5. Not only was he held under 1000 rushing yards, but his passing game involvement was cut in almost half. Playing in an offense ran by rookie Josh Rosen, team consistently loaded the box and dared Arizona to pass the ball.

Instead of utilizing Johnson’s speed the Cardinals were one of the league leaders in rush attempts between the tackles. With how poorly his o-line played, DJ was basically running into brick walls on a consistent basis. Now with Rosen shipped to Miami in favor of Kyler Murray and the hiring of new head coach Kliff Kingsbury DJ will be the center piece of a fast-paced spread offense.

Johnson exploded on the scene in 2015 and helped many win their fantasy championships. His sophomore season didn’t disappoint as he was responsible for a total of 20 TDs while also showcasing an elite ability to be a receiver out of the backfield. We should see this David Johnson under Kingsbury 2019. Arizona will primarily run with 3 wide receivers thus limiting defenses from stacking the line of scrimmage. The RPO will be heavily involved and the threat of Murray taking off will give Johnson plenty of open lanes to burn past defenders.

I’m expecting to see a similar version of DJ that we saw in 2016. Even if the Cardinals are being commanded by yet another rookie, their offense will score, and Johnson will be the primary beneficiary of this regime/leadership change in the desert. A 400+ touch season is on tap for the dynamic back. He’ll be one of the most common RBs on fantasy championship teams at seasons end.

Mitch Trubisky | QB | Chicago Bears

Talk about improvement! Under Matt Nagy, Mitch Trubisky saw his passing numbers increase dramatically. After throwing only 7 TDs during his rookie campaign, Trubisky put up 24 tds through the air in 2018. He did this in a new system and with a revolving door at receiver.

Through all this, the Bears offense showed tremendous improvement during Nagy’s first season and will only become even more dangerous this year. Allen Robinson is flashing during camp, Anthony Miller is healthy, and Trey Burton is more familiar with Nagy’s system. Trubisky will naturally progress and with a better understanding of ball security (lol) the Bears offense is ready to go to the next level. 30+ pass TDs along with 400+ rush yards are easily attainable this season for the Bears signal caller.

As QB19 currently, the upside and definite improvements make Mitch a potential league winner. He won’t outscore many of the top options but will allow you the ability to draft a better and deeper roster.

Tyler Lockett | WR | Seattle Seahawks

Dougie Fresh is gone and its time for Russell Wilson to put Tyler in his Lockett. The Kansas State product is one of the most explosive wide receivers in football as evidence by his 16.9 yards per reception average last season. He saw a measly 70 targets in the run heavy Seahawks offense but still managed to reel in 57 of them for 965 yards and 10 TDs.

Seattle will still rely on their elite rushing offense, but a positive regression will undoubtedly lead to an increased amount of pass attempts in the Northwest. As the elder statesman, Tyler will seamlessly take over Baldwin’s role and with this comes 100+ targets as well the many gadget plays for him.

Already on many drafter’s radar, Lockett is still going behind the second option in Tampa, Both Vikings receivers, and Amari Cooper?! The number 1 role for a QB who threw 35 touchdowns in just 427 attempts going as WR20 is thievery. WR1 numbers should be weekly for Lockett and at his price, many teams who roster him will be competing for fantasy championships in 2019.

LA Rams Todd Gurley
Jasen Vinlove – USA TODAY Sports
Kyle’s Picks:

Todd Gurley | RB | Los Angeles Rams

This may be obvious or boring, but if the Todd Gurley we saw for the majority of 2018 returns this year, everyone who lands him in the early to mid second round will get an absolute steal. Despite missing the final game on the season and struggling a bit down the stretch, Gurley finished as the RB1 in standard scoring and was the only non QB in the top 10. He was also a top 5 player overall in both ½ PPR and full PPR.

Obviously there is a ton of risk with a RB that has had injury issues since college and missed time in the playoffs and was sparsely used in the Super Bowl. The Rams also used a 3rd Round pick on Darrell Henderson to add some depth. Thus the cost savings on an RB that would be the runaway first overall selection had his 2018 season not ended the way it did. But if we are shooting for pure upside, Gurley is a fantastic target.

Miles Sanders | RB | Philadelphia Eagles

Some may look at a backfield like Philadelphia or San Francisco and see a messy situation that fantasy owners should run away from . However, when I look at these situations I see opportunity.

The Eagles have a ton of names that occupy their depth chart. Most of these players have flashed at point or another but because of injuries or lack of skills or whatever nobody has taken the majority of the work.

Miles Sanders is different than any RB currently in Philadelphia. He has the ability to be a factor on all three downs. He is a special player with the ball in his hands and Philadelphia should look for unique ways to feed him.

The two main factors standing in his way to a full breakout is Jordan Howard, who will be apart of this offense even if it is in a diminished role. Howard was acquired in a trade this off-season but has bricks for hands so passing game work isn’t for him. Darren Sproles was brought back on a 1 year deal but shouldn’t be a limiting factor between Sanders and fantasy stardom. Sanders also has to show the ability to pass protect.

Without displaying this skill it will be hard for him to stay on the field consistently. With a healthy Carson Wentz and a plethora of weapons including Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery this offense should move up and down the field. This ideally means more scoring potential and red zone work for Sanders. The upside Sanders in this offense is a top 10 RB.

Kyler Murray | QB | Arizona Cardinals

While personally I have some questions about what Kyler Murray may be in year 1, his upside is without question. With a vast range of outcomes, the potential for this to go horribly, horribly wrong either due to injury or growing pains is very much a potential outcome, but on the other hand if everything clicks under Kliff Kinsbury you could be looking at the QB1.

He is in an offense surrounded by play makers including David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and a personal favorite Christian Kirk. Murray has the arm talent to find his targets all over the field. He also possesses the rushing ability to not only provide a safe weekly floor but raise his weekly upside.

The best part about gambling on Murray is the ability to pivot to another option if things don’t go well. Obviously in 2QB/Superflex leagues pivoting is much more difficult but still feasible.

For more Fantasy Football goodness, check out The Angle of Pursuit Podcast! It can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or wherever podcasts are found!


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