5 Players We’re Already Sold On: QBs & TEs (2019 Fantasy Football)
It’s still only March. Plenty will happen between today and the first week of the regular season. There is so much that I still need to see – whether it be where free agents continue to land, how the draft plays out, and how many “Coach ___ says that ___ should get 350 touches this season” headlines can make me overreact. For some players, though, it doesn’t matter. No matter what happens between now and then, I’m already on board. Below are the QBs and TEs that I already expect to have on my team come August.
Standard ECR values are as of March 21.
Drew Brees (QB – NO): FantasyPros ECR – QB6/72nd overall
I don’t think I really need to tell you how good Brees is, so I won’t. I do expect Latavius Murray to be relevant, but part of me thinks that the departure of Mark Ingram signals a shift towards the Saints embracing the passing game entirely. Just based on personal preference, Brees at QB6 is the only top-tier QB for which I would be willing to spend high draft capital.
Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE): ECR – QB10/86th overall
Baker’s ranking and ADP is the thing I’m most curious about this offseason. After taking over last year, he led the Browns to seven wins, which is, as you know, seven more than the year before. He had basically a 2:1 TD:INT ratio and would have eclipsed 4,250 passing yards in an extrapolated 16-game season. The Browns all of a sudden have arguably the most talented offense in the league (feel free to read that again if you need to) after the additions of Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr. to go alongside Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and David Njoku.
I rarely pay up for QBs, so I won’t be touching the “elite” tier (aside from Brees as seen above), but I’d be happy to end up with Mayfield after that. For what it’s worth, I bet he ends up as the QB7 come August – the first QB after the elite tier.
Zach Ertz (TE – PHI): ECR – TE2/21st overall
I never used to be a TE guy. I would always just draft whoever the TE8 was and figure it out at some point in the season. Last season was different, as I kept finding myself in this random dark spot in the third or fourth round and decided to give Ertz or Travis Kelce a whirl. I was a big fan.
It’s going to be very difficult for me to pull the trigger on Ertz in the second round, but if he falls to the early third, I’m going to be all over him. It truly does provide a massive competitive advantage if you have a stud TE.
Hunter Henry (TE – LAC): ECR – TE5/69th overall
Henry was a guy that I was very excited about heading into 2018, so obviously it was disappointing when he went down with an injury. In 2017, he had five games over 70 receiving yards, and that was while splitting time with Antonio Gates, who has since checked into a nursing home.
If Gates stays away and the Chargers don’t bring in any other receivers after losing Tyrell Williams, I think Henry is a lock for 120 targets if he stays healthy. I’m usually not willing to take a chance on TEs, but Henry is the rare case where it could be worth it.
Evan Engram (TE – NYG): ECR – TE8/82nd overall
Just to be clear, Engram would have to fall a bit for me to be comfortable drafting him, but I’m anticipating a big uptick in targets for him with the departure of Odell Beckham Jr. Engram averaged 5.8 targets per game in 2018, down from 7.7 per game in 2017 when Beckham Jr. missed most of the season.
To be frank, I think the Giants are going to spend a lot of time trailing in 2019, so they should be throwing. Without a ton of major weapons, Engram should get back to his 2017 level of production. He is, however, the riskiest of the top 12 or so tight ends.
There is so much to consider when preparing for your 2019 fantasy football drafts, but sometimes players and situations come along that just have to do well. Keep an eye on transactions and injuries and those dreaded training camp reports, but I’m imagining these guys on my rosters already.
Donald Gibson is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Donald, follow him @DonaldGibsonFF.