2018’s Most Accurate Fantasy Football Draft Rankings

by Jacob Herlin
Jul 15, 2019

Justin Tucker is the most accurate Kicker of all time.

August is quickly approaching, and that means so is your fantasy football draft. Now’s the time to start watching film, devouring player news, and living and breathing preseason football for the next two months – or you could let us do that. Our goal at FantasyPros is to make you the most prepared drafter in the room, without making it a full time job. That starts with a reliable set of rankings from people who do spend their summer eating football for every meal. You can build rankings from any set of experts with our Cheat Sheet Creator, and that’s where our accuracy competition comes in. We evaluated the accuracy of the top experts who crafted draft rankings last year, so you know whose advice to follow this year.

We evaluated 154 experts based on their 2018 draft rankings for QB, RB, WR and TE. Each player is weighted equally, but because there are more fantasy-relevant players at RB and WR, those positions have a bigger impact on the overall standings than QB and TE. You can see the full methodology here for how we score accuracy.

Top 10 Draft Experts in 2018

Rank Expert
1 Joseph Dolan – Fantasy Free Agents
2 Andy Behrens – Yahoo
3 Chis Meaney – The Athletic
4 Dylan Chappine – White Wolf Sports
5 Bill Enright – FFChamps
6 Walter Cherepinsky – Walter Football
7 Jeff Boggis – Fantasy Football Empire
8 Kevin English – Draft Sharks
9 Dennis Esser – Coach Esser
10 Staff Rankings – FullTimeFantasy

View the entire field of 154 experts | 2015 – 2018 Multi-Year Results

Notes

  • Congratulations to Joseph Dolan from the Fantasy Free Agents Podcast for being our most accurate draft expert of 2018! Dolan is a fantasy football institution. With a 1st-place finish in 2015, a 2nd-place finish in 2016 and a top-20 finish in 2017, Dolan was already our top expert in that 3-year span, a title he will maintain with another 1st-place finish in 2018. You can view the multi-year draft accuracy results here.
  • Dolan achieved this by ranking as the #2 expert for QB accuracy, and by being the only expert to rank in the top 20% for all four positions (QB, WR, RB and TE). He had several excellent takes at QB, including Matt Ryan as QB7 (+7 vs ECR) and Jared Goff QB8 (+8 vs ECR), as well as QBs who busted, including Matthew Stafford QB14 (-6 vs ECR) and Alex Smith QB24 (-6 vs ECR).
  • While Dolan was the only expert to finish in the top 20% at every position, our 2nd-place finisher, Andy Behrens of Yahoo, was the only one to hit that mark at three positions – WR, TE and a #3 finish at QB. Behrens’ best calls included the under-performing Carson Wentz at QB23 (-11 vs ECR), Adam Humphries WR99 (ECR+27) and leaving WR Devante Parker, who finished as WR102, unranked compared to an ECR of WR50.
  • The rest of our top 5 experts were each the #1 ranker at a position. Chris Meaney of The Athletic was our #3 overall expert, as the #1 ranker for QB and #5 for WR. Dylan Chappine of White Wolf Sports was 4th overall and #1 at RB, and Bill Enright of FFChamps was #5 overall and our #1 ranker for WRs.
  • While he didn’t crack the top 10 overall, Smitty from SleeperU deserves a shout-out for being our most accurate expert for TEs, as well as for several hot takes that worked out, as you’ll see in the section below.

View Multi-Year Draft Accuracy Results from 2015 to 2018 >>

Surprise Players

There were plenty of breakout players last year to far exceeded expectations, sometimes winning leagues for players that drafted them late or picked them up on waivers. Below are the players who performed the best compared to the consensus preseason rank (ECR), and the experts that were most optimistic about them. When there was a tie between multiple experts, the expert with the best overall accuracy is shown.

Player Position Top Expert Finish Expert Rank ECR
Baker Mayfield QB Smitty – SleeperU 17 21 34
Patrick Mahomes QB Thor Akerly – Fantasy Team Advice 1 5 15
Matt Ryan QB Joseph Dolan – Fantasy Free Agents 3 7 14
Phillip Lindsay RB Walter Cherepinsky – Walter Football 11 39 75
Nick Chubb RB Smitty – SleeperU 14 24 52
James Conner RB Bill Dubiel – RotoBaller 7 16 43
James White RB Kevin Roberts – Breaking Football 12 29 46
Tyler Boyd WR Davis Mattek – RotoExperts 16 68 116
Adam Humphries WR Armando Crespo – Eat.Sleep.Fantasy 31 76 126
Calvin Ridley WR Smitty – SleeperU 20 30 60
DeSean Jackson WR KJ – FantasyTeam Advice 26 39 62
Tyler Lockett WR KJ – FantasyTeam Advice 15 18 51
Austin Hooper TE Scott Engel – RotoBaller 9 14 25
Eric Ebron TE Jake Arthur – Colts.com 4 10 19
Jared Cook TE Muntradamus – Beast Dome 5 10 18

 

Busts

On the flip side, there were several players that could have really tanked your season if you spent a lot of draft capital then. While we can’t predict freak injuries like Jimmy Garoppolo’s torn ACL, some players disappointed without an excuse, and some suffered from nagging or recurring injuries that we should have seen coming.

Player Position Top Expert Finish Expert Rank ECR
Matthew Stafford QB Rudy Gamble – Razzball 20 20 8
Tom Brady QB Smitty – SleeperU 13 16 3
LeSean McCoy RB Dylan Chappine – White Wolf Sports 44 26 14
CJ Anderson RB Andrew Seifter – FantasyPros 74 64 44
Alex Collins RB Smitty – SleeperU 38 32 15
Chris Hogan WR Anthony Amico – RotoViz 70 52 22
Marquise Goodwin WR Smitty – SleeperU 71 57 27
Marvin Jones WR Kevin Roberts – Breaking Football 52 45 20
A.J. Green WR Emil Kadlec – Football Diehards 34 12 8
Greg Olsen TE Jeff Zimmerman – FanGraphs 23 24 4
Evan Engram TE Mike Rigz – Gridiron Experts 17 15 7
Rob Gronkowski TE Rich Piazza – Fantasy Shed 10 3 1
Jimmy Graham TE Dominick Petrillo – Fantasy Hot Read 13 13 5

That wraps up our analysis of Draft Accuracy from 2018. Congrats yet again to Joseph Dolan for his continued dominance with his second 1st-place finish and four years straight in the top 20. To view the entire standings, including breakouts by position and IDP, please check out the accuracy section of our site.

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1Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
2Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
3Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
4Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
5David Johnson (ARI)RB
6DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
7Nick Chubb (CLE)RB
8James Conner (PIT)RB
9Davante Adams (GB)WR
10Julio Jones (ATL)WR
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11Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)RB
12Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
13Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)WR
14Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
15Travis Kelce (KC)TE
16Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
17Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
18JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT)WR
19Michael Thomas (NO)WR
20Mike Evans (TB)WR
21T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
22Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
23Marlon Mack (IND)RB
24Kerryon Johnson (DET)RB
25Antonio Brown (OAK)WR
26Aaron Jones (GB)RB
27Amari Cooper (DAL)WR
28Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
29George Kittle (SF)TE
30Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
2Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,CF
3Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
4Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
5Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
6Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
7Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
8Trevor Story (COL)SS
9Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
10Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
 View All Rankings 
11J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
12Gerrit Cole (HOU)SP
13Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
14Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
15Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
16Trea Turner (WSH)SS
17Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
18Starling Marte (PIT)CF
19Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
20Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
21Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
22Manny Machado (SD)3B,SS
23Whit Merrifield (KC)1B,2B
24Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
25Juan Soto (WSH)LF
26Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B
27Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
28George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
29Pete Alonso (NYM)1B,DH
30Rafael Devers (BOS)3B
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
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
10Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
 View All Rankings 
11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (LAC)SG,SF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
19Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
26Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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