By: Steven Tauro
June 3, 2020
Slowly anticipating the start of football, us fantasy gurus will soon start to imagine how we will assemble our teams. The start of June means that fantasy is just weeks away! While this list could change for many different factors before the season starts, this early list is made up of names who have had consistent success. Year in and year out there are a couple of guys within the top fantasy players who simply do not live up to par, for the season. If you stick to this top 10, i'll lead you in the right direction.
Ezekiel Elliott RB Dallas Cowboys
Regardless of how you rank the top fantasy backs, Zeke should be at the top of the conversation. While there are other running backs on this list, Zeke gets the job done consistently. I get it, it's hard to value Elliott higher than players with a better pass catching ability, but the Dallas Cowboys' running back makes up for it in carries. In Elliott's first 4 seasons, he has over 1,100 career rushes and rarely gets left on the sideline due to the injury bug. With improvements to the Dallas Cowboys offense, Zeke is locked in to be an RB 1 in all fantasy formats.
Michael Thomas WR New Orleans Saints
Just like 7/11, Michael Thomas always seems to be open. Catching the ball 149 times in 16 games is an insane statistic, but on top of that he had over 1,700 receiving yards. Topping these numbers will be an extremely difficult task, but if "you can't guard Mike" then why doubt it. The Saints have done everything in their power this offseason to try and bring home another championship with Drew Brees being the leader. I believe it's all or nothing for the New Orleans Saints this year, especially with an extremely competitive division.
Christian McCaffrey RB Carolina Panthers
Having over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, CMC had a season like no other. Is he capable of repeating a season with similar stats, absolutely. Will it happen, history begs to differ. After the past couple of seasons, we've seen the top fantasy back for the season take a little bit of a hit the following season. For example, Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley, and Le'Veon Bell, all guys who were arguably Top 3 fantasy backs over the past couple of years, didn't live up to expectations. This is simply a precaution that history tends to repeat itself. Feel comfortable drafting the Panthers RB to be your lead back, but draft some depth in case history strikes again.
Deandre Hopkins WR Arizona Cardinals
A new offense and young talented weapons around him could have you extremely wary about taking Deandre Hopkins early, but with his experience in situations with new quarterbacks there is nothing to worry about, especially with Kyler Murray as the guy. Hopkins is going to excel down in the desert and could potentially even have more success with the Cardinals. Year after year, Deandre suits up every week and balls out. Theres no doubt in all fantasy formats that NUK is a Top 3 wide receiver.
Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons
At 30 years old and a couple of years removed from the Super Bowl, Julio is still playing his best ball. Tallying up thousand yard seasons dating back to 2014, Julio has nearly eclipsed 1,400 receiving yards every season since. It's obvious there are stretches throughout the season that Julio disappears from the end zone, but his total yards always makes up for it. The connection that Julio and Matty Ice have will always bring individual success for these guys, but the team as a whole still needs work. This is a legendary QB-WR connection and let's recognize it while these guys are still playing. If you have the chance, secure Julio as your WR 1.
Derrick Henry RB Tennessee Titans
Derrick Henry finally had his breakout season with the Titans, after we weren't to sure that we would get here. A lot of the time when running backs have a season like Henry, coming out of nowhere, it is just a one year wonder, but I do not think this is the case. Henry, just 26 years old, has plenty of tread on the tires and compared to other successful backs in the NFL he has done it with far less total carries. With his size and durability, Henry is definitely a guy you can trust to be your lead back, but remember, his factor in the passing game compared to other successful fantasy backs is a huge difference maker. The Titans will go as far as Henry takes them, expecting the running back to have a huge impact on the teams total touchdowns numbers.
Alvin Kamara RB New Orleans Saints
This is a difficult one for most people because Kamara has never surpassed 900 rushing yards individually in a season. Alvin's value is still first round relevant due to the fact that he is a huge factor in the passing game. Having over 80 receptions in every single season he has played certainly helps to make the selection. Choosing to draft the Saints' running back will pay off more in PPR (Points Per Reception) leagues than standard, but that does not mean to shy away from him in any format. In the RB slot, Kamara will have similar rushing stats compared to the other backs on your team, but he may be your 2nd best receiver as a running back.
Saquon Barkley RB New York Giants
Still scratching the surface, Saquon's full potential has yet to be seen, but the sky is the limit. It's hard to take Barkley serious as a Top 10 fantasy player, just for the sole reason of being a member of the Giants, but New York has finally shown some attention to the offensive line, selecting three in the 2020 NFL Draft. With new coaching and hopefully a year of good health for Saquon, we know that he can carry a fantasy team to the promise land. Having 2 season with over 1,000 rushing yards and almost accounting for 1,200 total receiving yards, Barkley is considered the next back primed to reach the 2,000 total yards in a season. If the Giants are not a laughing stock this season its because of Saquon Barkley.
Nick Chubb RB Cleveland Browns
I know its odd to hear for the Cleveland Browns, but Nick Chubb has had tremendous success already. In just his second year, Chubb finished 10 yards shy of reaching 2,500 rushing yards in his first two seasons. If you add the receiving yards, the Browns RB in just two seasons is scratching 3,000 total yards. Chubb's success will continue, especially with receiving threats like Odell, Jarvis, Hooper, and Njoku surrounding him. Keeping an extra defensive back on the field for opposing defenses, allows the Browns to capitalize in the running game, even with a below average offensive line. Some may not view Chubb as a true Top 10 fantasy player just yet, but I bet if you pass on him, you'll be making trade requests for him midway through the season.
Tyreek Hill WR Kansas City Chiefs
The speed matches the skill set. Regardless of your personal opinion of Tyreek Hill, the receiver has the greatest quarterback in the game passing him the ball its that simple. Lets go back over 10 years when Randy Moss played with the Patriots. The best quarterback in the game, Tom Brady, paired with one of the best receivers in Moss, it's a no-brainer. Some can doubt the talent of the"Cheetah," but being his size and having his success is extremely difficult. There are many names you can debate to place in the Top 10 over Hill, but at the end of the season, you'll wish you had the big play ability Tyreek had to change your team each and every week.
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