We’re just past the middle of the season and while some fantasy teams are looking great, others are not. It’s close enough to last summer to remember what we were thinking when we drafted players. Let’s compare the best and worst draft picks for quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers. “ADP” shows the average draft position for the players.
Never under-estimate Russell Wilson. He was the No. 1 fantasy quarterback just two years ago and then the Seahawks started running the ball. Not as much this year. The notable part of this is to remember how long you could have waited and still ended up with a Top-6 quarterback
The worst draft picks were all injury situations other than Baker Mayfield. Patrick Mahomes is sure to get back in the race this week, but Luck retired and Cam Newton still cannot get healthy. Mayfield’s problem has been a brutal schedule and, at least to some degree, a sputtering offensive scheme.
The best picks are an interesting group. Dalvin Cook finally stayed healthy and the offense was designed around him. Ekeler was the best pick for running back since he dominated while Melvin Gordon was out and still matters every week. Aaron Jones had two monster games to help and then like Cook, Leonard Fournette has also stayed healthy. For every Fournette or Cook, there is a Kerryon Johnson.
Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara are both down only because of injury but getting zeroes from your first-round pick can ruin your team. David Johnson was also banged up while Le’Veon Bell just hasn’t fared well without an offensive line.
There are so few tight ends with notable fantasy value that any beyond the Top-5 are no difference makers. Austin Hooper stepped up for the Falcons who are back to abandoning the run and throwing every play. Darren Waller is just the newest Jared Cook in Oakland and Antonio Brown not showing up there helped Waller. Mark Andrews started strong but is fading now.
O.J. Howard is the biggest disappointment since the Bucs won’t use him but will not trade him either. Jared Cook went to New Orleans where the scraps after Michael Thomas are minimal. Eric Ebron did not fare well in the transition from Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett.
Cooper Kupp is proof that modern medicine is amazing since there are no signs of his ACL tear of last year. Chris Godwin feasted on not being Mike Evans but is fading a bit. DJ Chark is the best pick – undrafted in most leagues and yet still a Top-10 wideout.
All of the worst pick wideouts have suffered injury and Cooks may be out for a long time. Both Hill and Thielen have bounced back, fantasy owners just have to deal with some zeroes from them along the way.
Mike Gesicki – The Dolphins just lost Preston Williams for the rest of the year and he’ll be replaced by both Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns. But the Dolphins may turn to their 2.10 pick of last year of Mike Gesicki. The ex-Penn State tight end caught 105 passes over his two final years there. He was the second tight end drafted in 2018. He’s gained over 40 yards in three of his last four games including six catches for 95 yards in Week 9 against the Jets. At the least, he’s turning into a 2020 fantasy draft pick.
Ryan Finley – The Bengals have already thrown in the towel and now A.J. Green maybe isn’t all that close to returning. But the Bengals decided that facing the Ravens was a good time to throw their rookie quarterback into the fire. And to bench 32-year-old Andy Dalton after nine years as the starter. Finley was the 4.02 pick out of North Carolina as the sixth quarterback selected. He’s 6-4 but only 210 and tall, skinny quarterbacks are not very common in the NFL. Nor do they run much. He was a four-year player that started three seasons at NC State. New quarterbacks are always good to track and their first games are sometimes surprisingly good. But Finley starts out with marginal weapons and against the Ravens.