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Predicting This Year's League-Winning Studs


At the end of every fantasy season, the major platforms release a list of the players most commonly on championship teams. Some of these players were taken in the first round, some in the top-five rounds and some came out of nowhere to be major championship contenders.

In this article, we will take a look at the top-10 players from 2018 to see if we can make some predictions about the potential top-10 for 2019.

Below you will find the top 10 guys on the highest percentages of championship teams in 2018 (excluding K and Def), their 2018 ADP and my prediction for this year's version of that player.

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#1 Christian McCaffrey – 2018 ADP (18)

Who can we find in the second round that can possibly finish near the top of the RB mountain? My selection is Nick Chubb (ADP-18).  Great talent, surging offense, Duke Johnson gone... enough said.

 

#2 Patrick Mahomes – 2018 ADP (110)

Late-round QB with tremendous upside? At roughly this ADP I’d have to go with Kyler Murray (ADP-95). Murray was a huge producer in college and will be blessed with a talented offensive cast and a new system in Arizona. Christian Kirk yes, Larry Fitzgerald yes, David Johnson Yessssssss. Very similar situation to Mahomes with a lot of unknowns that could bite you or reward you.

 

#3 Travis Kelce – 2018 ADP (28)

Grab Mr. George Kittle (ADP-30) a round later than Kelce for a chance at fantasy gold. He broke the tight end yardage record last year despite below-average QB play. Little competition on the WR front and drastically improved QB play with Jimmy Garoppolo back at the helm. You can reasonably expect more than his TD total from 2018 - 5 TDs.

 

#4 Adam Thielen – 2018 ADP (32)

Who’s a player in the third round that was already great but makes you question, “Am I really going to draft this guy so high?" The name that stands out for me here is Julian Edelman (ADP-39). Edelman is the teacher’s pet who goes wild with Gronk out of the lineup and guess what…. he gone! Does Edelman give me goosebumps? No and in every mock, I question drafting him above sexier players but this is the guy that’s gonna get a million targets and wind up on a high percentage of championship fantasy teams.

 

#5 Saquon Barkley – 2018 ADP (6)

Freak talent just outside the top four (Barkley, Kamara, McCaffrey, Elliot)? I’m gonna have to go with one of my favorites, David Johnson (ADP-5). A new system, and a new QB who is elusive and super talented and has something to prove! I think Johnson could return to greatness this year after a season that he still finished as an RB1 with everything against him.

 

#6 Tyreek Hill – 2018 ADP (27)

Is there another guy this fast teamed up with a guy who can throw that far?  Probably not, but when I’m on the clock, I’ll take a look at the third round and select the guy to me that is set up to succeed in a similar fashion, Amari Cooper (ADP-32). We’ve all been waiting years for Cooper to live up to expectations. He’s flashed with some enormous games but seems to have finally found some consistency with Dak Prescott. I believe this could be the year, after his first full offseason with Dallas, that Cooper booms to the top of the WR list. Ezekiel Elliott's absence could help Cooper's target totals or hurt the offense as a whole. Draft with caution (but who wants to play it safe?).

 

#7 JuJu Smith-Schuster – 2018 ADP (41)

Can we find a number two, with a QB who loves to chuck it like Big Ben, that is young and ready to take a massive leap up the boards? It feels like there are so many options here, but one guy stands out - Chris Godwin (ADP-48). Jameis Winston loves to hurl the ball and Godwin has already shown that he is a very talented player. I believe the lesson in this pick and in Smith-Schuster last year is that many #2’s are better values than #1’s. For example, I’m going Godwin over Lockett and Golladay. Very close honorable mention is Tyler Boyd, but the checkdown king, Andy Dalton, doesn’t exactly compare to Big Ben.

 

#8 Zach Ertz – 2018 ADP (35)

Wow, two tight ends in the top-10 players on championship teams? I think this goes to show the value of getting one of these elite players rather than streaming. I’m going to take the easy road here and name… Zach Ertz (ADP-27). This year’s Zach Ertz will be played by himself. Is there competition from Dallas Goedert? Yes, there is. But Wentz loves his biggest target, DeSean Jackson is going to open up the field and the Eagles are going to be a very good offense. It is a wise move to invest in good offenses and a guy who has proven he can deliver.

 

#9 Alvin Kamara – 2018 ADP (7)

My goodness, remember those first four games last year when Mark Ingram was suspended? Holy moly. Who can I think of that is already known for being incredible, is on a fantastic offense, but could cede some opportunity to another back? This year’s Alvin Kamara my friends is none other than Todd Gurley (ADP-13). I believe in Sean McVay and trust that he will use Todd Gurley efficiently. And I believe that his usage will look much like our stud Alvin Kamara's. I think Gurley loses 25%-35% of his carries but gains points in the value of his touches. Again, the knee poses a risk but the reward could be so sweet.

 

#10 George Kittle – 2018 ADP (133)

Another tight end?!? Who has the talent at this dubious position to jump from a late-round pick to the top of the TE leaderboard? Well, I had to deviate up the ADP board a bit to find the player that reminds me most of George Kittle.  That similar athletic phenom, with similar measurables and college production (PlayerProfiler), is my favorite player from the U, David Njoku (ADP-90)! I think Njoku’s path to TE stardom will look different, with more TDs than Kittle’s five but fewer yards. I do believe that this talented freak athlete could break out on this vastly improved offense. Are there a lot of mouths to feed? Sure, but I believe this team is going to score a lot and David Njoku is going to be a major beneficiary.

 

Now take some of these guys in your drafts and stack the percentages in your favor. As always, hit me up on Twitter @BrettMitchellFB to chime in.

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