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Columns - Magazine

Big Board: Soaring with Eagles

by Brandon Funston
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The Big Board takes into consideration past returns, current performance and expected future gains in determining who should be included among the top 50 fantasy football players. Essentially, the Big Board is a cheat sheet designed for an owner who is planning to participate in a draft today. Standard industry default scoring settings are used as the baseline for Big Board valuations.

 

Rank Name Team Position Notes
1 Le'Veon Bell PIT RB Steelers Bell(cow) averaging 140 YFS & has 5 TDs in past 6 games - ROS schedule ranks 9th-easiest for RB
2 Antonio Brown PIT WR Most targeted player in NFL has 5 games (out of 8) of 12+ FAN PTS & just just 1 sub-6.0 effort - 6th-easiest ROS sched @ WR
3 Leonard Fournette JAC RB Has TD in each of 1st 6 NFL games, but bye & 1-game suspension has put a break in the action - resumes play vs. 11-easiest ROS sched @ RB
4 Todd Gurley LAR RB Behind revamped O-line, is tops @ RB in FAN PPG, but has faced 5th-easiest sched to this point & now set to face toughest ROS sched
5 Kareem Hunt KC RB W/o TD in 6 straight games & sub-100 YFS in past 2 after reaching that mark in 1st 7 games - has get-back-on-track ROS sched (6th-easiest @ RB)
6 Melvin Gordon LAC RB No. 2 RB in FAN PPG for past month, tallying 5 TDs & an avg of 124 YFS in that 4-game span - has 20 TDs in past 21 games
7 LeSean McCoy BUF RB Avg. solid 98.6 YFS per game despite facing tough slate thru W9, but 2nd half road paved smoothly w/ easiest ROS sched @ RB
8 Jordan Howard CHI RB W/ CHI treating rookie QB Trubisky w/ kid gloves, J-How is the center of Bears offensive universe - 33.3 touches, 120.7 YFS per game in past 3
9 Julio Jones ATL WR Healthy yardage production (82.3 per game), but end zone allergy still big issue (3 in past 16 reg-season games) - 8th-easiest ROS sched @ WR
10 Mark Ingram NO RB Coincidence or not, production has skyrocketed in 4 games since Peterson dealt to AZ - top 5 RB in FAN PPG from Weeks 6-9
11 Devonta Freeman ATL RB Banged up back has gone 4 straight games w/o a TD, avg. just 13.5 touches in that span - workload could stay curbed until health improves
12 Rob Gronkowski NE TE Ertz, Kelce giving Gronk ample competition for top TE spot, but they still can't quite measure up (Gronk 0.5 FAN PPG better than Ertz thru W9)
13 Mike Evans TB WR 66.5 YPG is career-low pace, & 1-game suspension (fighting) gets 2nd half off to even rockier start but too much talent to bet against for long haul
14 A.J. Green CIN WR Has been top 5 WR in FAN PTS thru W9, but rosy season has been thorny of late (24.7 YPG past 3) - 7th-toughest ROS slate @ WR offers little help
15 Dez Bryant DAL WR 2nd-most prolific TD scorer (behind Gronk) of decade having trouble turning opportunity (4th-most Targets PG) into production (No. 23 WR in FAN PPG)
16 Lamar Miller HOU RB 1st half of '17 lacked wow factor, but No. 12 in FAN PPG @ RB & faces easiest ROS sched - at least 63 YFS in each of 1st 8 games (98.9 avg.)
17 Alvin Kamara NO RB No. 6 RB in FAN PPG since W3 pushing a 75-catch, 1,300 YFS, 10 TD pace - like teammate Ingram, #'s have taken off in post-Peterson world
18 Zach Ertz PHI TE After tallying just 9 TDs in 1st 53 NFL games, has 10 (6 in '17) in his past 15 games - has at least 8 FAN PTS in every game this season
19 Michael Thomas NO WR Steady, solid (top 25 in FAN PPG among WRs w/ at least 6 games played) but not quite to level of expectations given NOLA go-to guy cat-bird seat
20 Brandin Cooks NE WR Has been similar WR in NE as he was in NOLA - a bit inconsistent, but ultimately nets out w/ a WR1 bottom line for fantasy purposes
21 Tyreek Hill KC WR Big-play artist No. 8 @ WR in FAN PPG (min. 6 games) despite sitting outside top 25 @ WR in targets per game (6.6)
22 Jay Ajayi PHI RB Trade to PHI comes w/ good (5th-easiest ROS sched, elite O-line) & bad (crowded backfield) but early returns (8/77/TD in W9) all good
23 Travis Kelce KC TE Is 6th among all WR/TE in FAN PPG (min. 6 games) & 5th in NFL w/ 629 rec. yds (thru W9) - 5 TDs in '17 has already tied previous career high
24 Carlos Hyde SF RB Making best of difficult situation in SF w/ 84.7 YFS per game & No. 7 Elusive Rating (PFF's metric combing Missed Tackles, Yards After Contact)
25 DeMarco Murray TEN RB ROS sched 3rd-easiest @ RB, & role as TEN backfield platoon leader remains in place as he's been more reliable week-to-week than backup Henry
26 Doug Martin TB RB Strong return from suspension petering out (No. 50 in FAN PPG @ RB over past 3 weeks) - still, ROS sched undaunting, workload likely plentiful
27 Doug Baldwin SEA WR Top 15 WR in FAN PTS has delivered 10+ PTS 10 times in 17 career games heÕs played from Weeks 9-16, w/ only 2 sub-5.0 efforts in that span
28 Jerick McKinnon MIN RB Top 5 RB in FAN PPG from Weeks 5-9 (min. 3 games played) - despite platoon w/ L. Murray, has managed 20+ touches in 3 of those 4 games
29 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB Has most games w/ 4+ receptions (9) thru Week 9 - rush game finally showed strong in W9 (15/66TD)
30 Michael Crabtree OAK WR Has delivered 6 games of 8+ FAN PTS, most by a WR thru W9 - should see a few more of those w/ 2nd-easiest ROS sched @ WR
31 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR Solid 6/86/TD line in W9 w/ QB Savage, but needed 16 targets to make it happen - QB situation, 3rd-toughest ROS sched @ WR a big value drag
32 Alshon Jeffery PHI WR No. 18 WR in FAN PPG (min. 6 games) finally mastered a tough matchup w/6/84/2 TD line vs. DEN in W9 - ROS sched is medium degree of difficulty
33 Russell Wilson SEA QB Is leading scorer in fantasy from Weeks 3-9 - typically saves his best for 2nd half of season - on pace for career-high 4.6K pass yds, 34 TD pass
34 Keenan Allen LAC WR QB Rivers' money man w/ NFL-high 17 3rd down catches that have gone for 1st downs, but just 2 TD in past 13 reg-season games
35 Tom Brady NE QB 40s have been fine - 317 YPG, 8.2 YPA, though 3 games w/ 1 TD pass or less already matches total in each of '15 & '16
36 Stefon Diggs MIN WR Fantasy yo-yo: Since '15, has 10 games over 10 FAN PTS & 15 under 5 FAN PTS - 8th-toughest ROS sched for WR doesn't inspire confidence
37 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR 10/113 line in W10 w/ Stanton @ QB should be heartening for Fitz owners - has 10+ catches in 3 of past 7 games
38 DeVante Parker MIA WR At least 69 yds in all 4 full games played (not counting early injury exit in W5) - ROS sched is 3rd-easiest @ WR position
39 Dak Prescott DAL QB Has accounted for at least 3 TDs (combined passing/rushing) in 5 of past 6 games - likely to be leaned on even more w/ RB Elliott suspended
40 Carson Wentz PHI QB On a 5-game tear that has produced a 15:3 TD-to-INT ratio - ROS sched is medium difficulty for QB position, but 4 of next 5 games on road
41 Adrian Peterson ARI RB 22+ touches in 3 of 4 games in AZ, w/ mixed results - 2 games w/ 134+ YFS, 2 games of 42 YFS or less - big volume likely to remain w/ Stanton @ QB
42 Tevin Coleman ATL RB .88 FAN PTS per touch is 4th-best among RBs (min. 60 touches) - could see workload increase down stretch w/ platoon mate Freeman banged up
43 Chris Hogan NE WR Top 15 WR in FAN PPG thru W9 (min. 6 games) has 60+ rec. yds in 5 of 7 games
44 Golden Tate DET WR 5th @ WR in catches per game, w/ 7+ catches in 5 of 8 games - 98.3 rec. yards per game in past 3
45 Jimmy Graham SEA TE No. 2 TE in FAN PTS since W3 has 6 TDs in past 5 games - leads NFL w/ 9 targets inside 10-yard line
46 Kelvin Benjamin BUF WR No. 9 WR in FAN PPG from Weeks 4-8 dealt to BUF where he'll be clear go-to WR & will see the easiest ROS sched @ the WR position
47 Marvin Jones DET WR Top WR in FAN PPG over past month w/ 110.3 YPG, combined 3 TDs in past 3 games
48 Drew Brees NO QB Old 5K-yard/mid-30 TD faithful is gathering steam (5 TD passes, 288 pass YPG past 2) - gets trusty WR Snead back off suspension for W4
49 Adam Thielen MIN WR Has 5+ catches in each of his 8 games (tied w/ MIA's J. Landry for NFL lead) - has 86+ yards in 7 of past 13 reg-season games
50 Jarvis Landry MIA WR Like Thielen (above) has 5+ catches in each of 8 games played, & TD in 4 of past 5 - 3rd-easiest ROS sched @ WR
Brandon Funston
Brandon Funston has been dispensing solid gold fantasy advice (with some fool's gold mixed in from time to time) for the past 20 years, formerly with ESPN, and Yahoo. You can send him questions/comments on Twitter @brandonfunston.