The Duel

6 Biggest Fantasy Football Question Marks Heading into 2019 NFL Season

Dan Israeli
New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers / Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Each and every fantasy season, there seems to be a handful of players who are simply too hard to accurately evaluate. In a rather unpredictable sport, where injuries and others factors can ruin any talented player in a flash, these polarizing draft choices can be particularly puzzling.

While players that fit this bill have produced huge numbers in the past, some as recently as last year, there are a number of reasons to question how effective they will be for the 2019 fantasy football season. Here are the six biggest fantasy football question marks heading into this season.

6. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

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Biggest Question Mark: Health concerns
Carson Wentz was in the midst of a major breakout season in 2017, racking up 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 13 games played. He was progressing toward the consensus NFL MVP front-runner until a torn ACL ended his season in Week 14. Last year, Wentz struggled again with injuries, but his per-game stats projected to another solid campaign. Supposedly back to full health heading into this season, Wentz could prove a fantasy draft steal if this holds true though December.

5. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

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Biggest Question Mark: Inconsistent and small sample size of success
For most of 2018, Derrick Henry was looking like a colossal bust. He failed to get much done through the first 12 games of the season with a game-high rushing total of 58 yards and four total touchdowns. In Week 14, however, everything changed. Henry broke out and in epic fashion, amassing 238 rushing yards and four TDs against a tough Jacksonville Jaguars' defense. He also added another 347 rushing yards and three TDs over the final three weeks. Considering head coach Mike Vrabel now wants to build more of the offense around Henry, it's safe to say his four-week outburst to end last season could finally be a sign of things to come.

4. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers / Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Biggest Question Mark: Declining running ability and health concerns
Cam Newton has been one of the most productive fantasy quarterbacks in the league during his eight-year NFL career, and it's mostly thanks to his legs. While he matched a career-high 24 passing touchdowns in 2018, Newton needs to supplement his passing stats with elite rushing numbers to be considered a Top-10 fantasy option. Last year, however, Newton posted the second-lowest rushing total of his career with 488 yards on the ground. Missing the final two games of the year factored into this, but it was also due to a shoulder injury suffered last season. Now 30 years old, Newton's best dual-threat fantasy years are likely behind him.

3. Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns

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Biggest Question Mark: Eight-game suspension and new team
After leading the league in rushing during an impressive rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kareem Hunt was on his way to another monster year in 2019, with 1,202 yards from scrimmage and 14 TDs through 11 games. That marked the end of his season, however, as Hunt was cut by the Chiefs following an off-field incident. Hunt was surprisingly signed by the Cleveland Browns, but he will now serve an eight-game suspension to start the 2019 NFL season. Considering the length of the suspension and prominence of Nick Chubb, Hunt should make for a riskier flier in most fantasy drafts.

2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets

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Biggest Question Mark: Season-long absence and new team
Le'Veon Bell is dealing with two major fantasy question marks heading into this season. After being removed from football for the entire 2018 season due to a contract holdout, Bell returns to the league playing for a team as a New York Jet. His season-long absence may have frustrated both Pittsburgh Steelers' fans and his fantasy owners, but the truth is, it may be a positive for the latter group going forward. Having totaled more than 400 touches in 2017, the heavily-used Bell could benefit from having taken a few miles off the odometer in 2018. While there are questions about his new fit with the Jets and his conditioning, Bell's potential remains a proven commodity. He may stand to lose some production from his glory years, but he can still be a Top-10 fantasy running back playing for the Jets.

1. Antonio Brown, WR, Oakland Raiders

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Biggest Question Mark: New team and new quarterback
Once the consensus No. 1 wide receiver in fantasy football, Antonio Brown is currently projected with the eighth-highest ADP among WRs heading into the 2019 season, according to Brown saw an ugly ending with the Steelers last season before joining the Oakland Raiders, where he will now be catching passes from Derek Carr instead of Ben Roethlisberger. Similar to his former teammate in Bell, Brown's talent potential remains relatively unchanged. While Brown did have impressive chemistry with Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, a lot of the star receiver's achievement was of his own doing, especially his route-running skills and ability after the catch. A slight dip in Brown's stats is anticipated, especially in his first year with the Raiders, but we should still expect a motivated Brown to produce as a Top-10 fantasy WR this season.

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