11 Must-Have Players (2019 Fantasy Football)

Jul 9, 2019

Josh Jacobs is poised to shoulder a very hefty workload in his rookie campaign

With training camps across the league set to begin later this month, we’re approaching our favorite time of year! As we draw nearer to the season, more fantasy football information will become available all over the industry. As more advice gets pumped through the fake football pipeline, it can actually become quite difficult to figure out which guys you should fully strive to select since every expert will have many different players they have high expectations for.

However, if we were to block out the noise and have several experts each plant their flag on one player you have to get this year, who would those athletes be? Luckily for you, we reached out to our pool of pundits to answer that very question! 11 acclaimed experts are here to give you an early look at which player they plan on banging their drum for during the draft season.

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Q. What one player outside the top 30 in the half-PPR expert consensus are you hoping to end up with in all your leagues and why?

Josh Jacobs (RB – OAK) 
Overall Ranking: #46 | RB Ranking: #20
“There is so much greatness to pick from, but I’ll double down with my pick and explain why Jacobs being outside the top 30 is absurd. The talk that Jon Gruden doesn’t employ a bell cow is a misnomer. He gave Cadillac Williams 290…carries(!!)…as a rookie…in 14 games (all of the exclamation marks). After getting Williams hurt with that work, Gruden gave him another 225 plus 30 receptions in just 14 sophomore games. Gruden had Earnest Graham get 222 carries and 49 receptions in 10 starts, and Tyrone Wheatley had 242 and 232 in back-to-back seasons. Jacobs should near 300 touches and is quite the talented running back, meaning a top-10 finish isn’t out of the question.”
– Jake Ciely (The Athletic)

“I’m going to keep riding the same position I’ve held all summer and pick Josh Jacobs. I wasn’t JJ’s biggest fan leading up to the draft, but the landing spot and potential for opportunity are immense in Oakland. Draft Capital + projection + pedigree + work ethic; they are all adding up for me. My hot take has been he’s a top-five RB in 2019, but really I believe top 10 is well within reach. He can be a violent runner, so the line play of the Raiders doesn’t intimidate me. The last rookie runner Gruden had was Cadillac Williams, and he got 290 carries that year — Jacobs can look like a Rolls Royce if he gets anywhere near that volume. Over the last four seasons, a rookie RB has finished in the top five. He’s currently 46th overall and is someone I feel will outperform that ranking. Sign me up!”
– Andy Singleton (Expand The Boxscore)

Leonard Fournette (RB – JAC) | Aaron Jones (RB – GB)
Overall Ranking: #32 (Fournette) & #33 (Jones) | RB Ranking: #15 (Fournette) & #16 (Jones)
“There are two guys who are just outside the top-30 players for me. Both Fournette and Jones are extremely appealing in the third round, and sometimes, the fourth round. Fournette is one of the rare instances where you have a running back who’s a virtual lock to receive 20-plus touches per game. That’s production you don’t ever find in the third round. He doesn’t come with a top-five ceiling due to the offense he plays in, but he’s an RB1 when on the field. As for Jones, he comes with a tad more risk, but it shouldn’t shock anyone if he takes the starting gig in Green Bay and winds up as a top-five running back in 2019.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Latavius Murray (RB – NO) 
Overall Ranking: #90 | RB Ranking: #33
“It was just two years ago that the Saints had two running backs finish inside the top six – and there’s no reason to think that they can’t field two RB1s once again in 2019. Sure, Mark Ingram is gone, but New Orleans gave Murray a hefty four-year contract for a reason. Murray should be able to slide into the Ingram role with ease and yield similar upside. In standard leagues, Murray has scored at least 14 points in 53 percent of the games where he has received 15+ carries. Comparatively, he has posted fewer than 7.5 points in just 16 percent of those contests. If he stays healthy, Murray has an RB1 ceiling coupled with a high-end RB3 floor. With an ECR of RB33 and 90th overall, I’ll gladly have a 100 percent ownership stake of Murray shares.”
– Elisha Twerski (Cheesehead TV)

Kenyan Drake (RB – MIA) 
Overall Ranking: #57 | RB Ranking: #24
“Drake is someone who is going to end up on the majority of my teams because I’m willing to trust his talent despite the uncertainty with a new regime and the presence of Kalen Ballage. Drastically underutilized by Adam Gase, Drake has the skills to be an every-down back, as he has forced the second-most missed tackles over the last three years. Even last year, when he was clearly second in line behind Frank Gore, he still managed to finish 18th in half-PPR scoring, making his ranking of 24th running back and 57th overall far too low in my opinion. There’s risk, as there is with nearly every player outside of the top 30, but I’m willing to bet on Drake given his ADP and ranking.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

D.J. Moore (WR- CAR) 
Overall Ranking: #48 | WR Ranking: #23
“There is a plethora of players who I’d like to have on all my squads this year, but I’ll choose Moore given the limitations here. Devin Funchess has vacated 79 targets and 34-year-old Greg Olsen can’t be consistently trusted (he’s played 16 games over the last two years). The main worry is Cam Newton’s health and accuracy. If those aren’t big issues, look for the sophomore receiver to supplant Christian McCaffrey as Carolina’s leading receiver and thrust himself into top 15-20 WR territory.”
– Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)

Kerryon Johnson (RB – DET) 
Overall Ranking: #43 | RB Ranking: #19
“Johnson is the guy I want in every league I play in. He is an incredibly talented running back who can catch the ball, pound it up the middle, or get to the edge quicker than defenders. Last season he averaged 5.4 yards per carry and averaged top-15 running back production once he got the chance to start. LeGarrette Blount is gone, the offensive line is improved, and the new offensive coordinator wants to run the ball more than any team in the NFL.”
– Jason Moore (The Fantasy Footballers)

James Washington (WR – PIT) 
Overall Ranking: #136 | WR Ranking: #54
“There are 168 targets up for grabs in Pittsburgh left behind by Antonio Brown, and the only thing the Steelers did to fill the void is bring in the consistently underperforming Donte Moncrief. That’s why I’m all in on second-year receiver James Washington. Why will he end up on all my teams? With an ADP of 137, this big time playmaker is essentially FREE and brings enormous upside to any fantasy roster.”
– Bill Enright (FFChamps)

Jameis Winston (QB – TB) 
Overall Ranking: #92 | QB Ranking: #11
“I am going to go way down the list and say Winston for a couple of reasons. First, you are getting a potential top-five QB in the 11th round based on his current ADP. He is going so late that even if for some reason he busts or misses time this year, it won’t kill you — this season, QB is so deep that it’s going to be incredibly easy to stream the position, if needed. Second, taking him so late fits my ideal draft strategy of waiting at QB and loading up on RBs, WRs, and TEs the first 10 rounds.”
– Sean Koerner (The Action Network)

Kyler Murray (QB – ARI) 
Overall Ranking: #107 | QB Ranking: #16
“Murray has a positional ECR of QB16 and an overall ECR of 107, which would place him late in the ninth round. That’s an irresistible rookie discount on a quarterback with a top-five ceiling. Murray has a terrific arm, he’s coming off one of the most efficient passing seasons in college football history, he’ll be playing in a fast-paced offense, and his sublime running ability provides the Konami Code. He’s my QB8, and I hope to grab him in as many leagues as I can.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF) 
Overall Ranking: #141 | QB Ranking: #22
“I like to wait on quarterbacks as much as the next fantasy football analyst, so let’s go with a passer here. At this time last year, I thought Garoppolo was overrated while being drafted as a top-10 fantasy QB. But at QB22, with some added weapons and a coach who made Nick Mullens look decent? Count me in.”
– John Halpin (RotoWire)

Thank you to the experts for naming their must-have players. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and for more great advice, subscribe to our podcast below.

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2Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
3Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
4Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
5Chris Carson (SEA)RB
6Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
7David Johnson (ARI)RB
8Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)RB
9Julio Jones (ATL)WR
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11Aaron Jones (GB)RB
12Cooper Kupp (LAR)WR
13DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
14Mark Ingram (BAL)RB
15Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
16Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
17Michael Thomas (NO)WR
18Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
19Sony Michel (NE)RB
20Marlon Mack (IND)RB
21T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
22Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
23Tyler Lockett (SEA)WR
24Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
25Kerryon Johnson (DET)RB
26Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
27Julian Edelman (NE)WR
28Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
29Tevin Coleman (SF)RB
30Robert Woods (LAR)WR
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
3Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
4J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
5Trevor Story (COL)SS
6Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
7Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
8Trea Turner (WSH)SS
9Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
10Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
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11Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
12Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
13Gerrit Cole (HOU)SP
14Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
15Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
16Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
17Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
18Juan Soto (WSH)LF
19Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
20Bryce Harper (PHI)CF,RF
21Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
22Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
23Starling Marte (PIT)CF
24Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
25Manny Machado (SD)3B,SS
26Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B
27Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
28Whit Merrifield (KC)1B,2B
29George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
30Paul Goldschmidt (STL)1B
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
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3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
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11Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
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14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
19Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
26Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
27Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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