Here we go, folks! The NFL regular season is now exactly a month away, with fans counting down the days until the opening Thursday night game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. This also means more and more 2019 fantasy football drafts are about to take place.
As fantasy owners prepare for their upcoming drafts, they'll have to decide which top-ranked players are worth their first-round status and which aren't. With that in mind, we take a look at which players in the top-10 average draft position (ADP) are seemingly safe or if they have boom or bust potential in 2019.
10. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints – Boom
Now that he's got a $100 million contract to his name, Michael Thomas doesn't have to worry about a new deal anytime soon. He just has to worry about doing what he does best: catches passes. He's arguably the best WR in the game and is Drew Brees' favorite target. The addition of Jared Cook will likely only open up more space for him too, putting Thomas in line for another monster season with WR1 upside.
9. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers – Bust
Filling in for Le'Veon Bell last season, James Conner did a truly remarkable job owning the No. 1 RB job for the Steelers in 2018. However, ankle injuries haunted him late in the season and the loss of Antonio Brown will likely affect Pittsburgh's offense as a whole. While Conner still has the potential to put up huge numbers this season, there's a bit of a risk there when it comes to drafting the running back.
8. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals – Safe
Things didn't go quite as planned for David Johnson last year, as his 940 rushing yards finished 13th in the NFL and his seven rushing touchdowns tied for 14th best. However, with Kyler Murray now down in the desert, Arizona's offense is set to be a lot more explosive. This should open more doors for DJ to make plays and get back to his RB1 form.
7. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers – Boom
When Aaron Rodgers is throwing you the ball, you're always going to be a top WR option. Add the unreal skill Davante Adams has and he's bound to give opposing defensive backs nightmares. Coming off a 1,386-yard season in 2018, Adams is trending upward heading into 2019 as one of the top receivers in the game. He's got the potential to outperform is draft slot.
6. Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets – Bust
While some might be ready to risk it all and take Le'Veon Bell in the first round this year, there are lots of red flags when it comes to the running back. To start, the man took a full season off from playing in hopes of a new contract. He finally got paid by the New York Jets, and will look to silence all his doubters this year. However, after missing so much time, it's likely going to be tough for Bell to get back to his RB1 fantasy status. He's got bust written all over him.
5. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans – Safe
DeAndre Hopkins is the No. 1 receiver on this list for a reason – he's simply a fantasy football beast. After recording 115 receptions for 1,572 and 11 touchdowns last season, fantasy owners are expecting him to have another monster year with Deshaun Watson slinging him the rock. While it'll be tough to match last year's numbers, Hopkins will still be a WR1 in fantasy leagues. Drafting him should certainly be a safe move.
4. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints – Boom
With Mark Ingram now with the Baltimore Ravens, it's the Alvin Kamara show in New Orleans. We've seen just how explosive Kamara can be, but now that the RB position is all his, we're could really see his numbers take off. While the Saints signed Latavius Murray this offseason, it won't be enough to diminish Kamara's RB1 potential.
3. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers – Boom
It's good to be Christian McCaffrey right now. In addition to dating Olivia Culpo, McCaffrey enters his third season in the NFL as a top-5 fantasy pick. After a tremendous sophomore season in which he rushed for nearly 1,100 yards and scored 13 total touchdowns, this is only the start for the stud running back. He has the upside the end the season as the top-ranked player in fantasy.
2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys – Bust
Despite winning the NFL rushing title for the second time last season, there are still plenty of concerns with Ezekiel Elliott. He's not at training camp for the Cowboys, with his contract dispute starting to get ugly. Could a holdout continue into the season? At this point, your guess is as good as ours. Jerry Jones has even said the Cowboys don't need a rushing champ to win the Super Bowl. Talk about a reason to avoid a top fantasy pick.
1. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants – Safe
Though the New York Giants are expected to be rebuilding this season, Saquon Barkley proved to be one of the top running backs in the league during his rookie campaign. With Odell Beckham Jr. now in the AFC North with the Cleveland Browns, this should result in even more touches and production for the former Penn State Nittany Lion. Barkley is no doubt a safe option with the top selection in 2019 fantasy drafts.
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