Pre-Season Power Rankings
4. Tyler Tisdale
The newbie this year in the league. Tiz was gifted the #2 pick in the draft and took full advantage of it. With Matthew Berry’s rankings in hand, Tiz went down the list drafting best available each round thus tying his future success to the ESPN expert’s love/hate list. All jokes aside, I actually really like Tyler’s team. Anytime you can start off with the consensus RB2 in Barkley and pair him with last year’s WR2 Chris Godwin, you’re off to a good start. Add in top 5 QB Deshaun Watson, a solid bounce back candidate in Juju, and a not as bad as you thought last year, Todd Gurley you’ve got a solid core. I like Tyler’s bench depth as well getting one of my breakout TE picks in Hayden Hurst and new Saints WR2 Emmanuel Sanders. Question marks pop up when you look at bench RB depth, but if Jordan Howard stays healthy he will be fine as a RB3.
QB: Deshaun Watson, Kirk Cousins, Jameis Winston
This position for Tyler is going to be an up and down ride this year. On one hand he has Deshaun Watson who, barring health, is a locked and loaded top 5 QB that is a set it and forget it option. On the other, he has underachiever Kirk Cousins and Saints backup Jameis Winston. Minnesota employed an extremely run heavy scheme last season that saw Cousins drop from 606 pass attempts in 2018 to a career low 444 in 2019. Cousins is extremely accurate and did well with the few opportunities he got posting 3600 yards and 26 TDs against 6 INTs, but most of the time this didn’t equal consistent fantasy success as shown by his QB20 finish. Jameis Winston was a locked in top 5 option as recently as last season, but the Buccaneers let him walk to sign Tom Brady and he’s now found himself backing up Drew Brees in NOLA. Without an injury, Winston has no value this season.
RB: Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley, Jordan Howard, Ito Smith
Saquon Barkley was viewed by many as a bust last season after suffering a high ankle sprain and missing 3 weeks. However, even with the missed games, he still finished as RB9 and is probably the only player who has a legitimate shot at unseating McCaffrey as the #1 overall fantasy player this year. Todd Gurley is another polarizing player with some people writing him off completely because of his knee issues. Injuries have seemed to creep up on Gurley the last couple of years and he is not the same back he was even two years prior. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t any good though finishing as a middle of the road RB2 last year which is exactly where Tyler drafted him. He has no competition for touches in the Falcons offense so I think this could end up being a good pick. After Gurley, Tyler’s depth falls off quickly however. Jordan Howard is a two down RB in a Dolphins offense that may be playing from behind a lot this season as they grow with their rookie QB. Even if the Dolphins are a little more successful than expected, Howard was extremely injury prone last season only playing in 10 games. Ito “To The Top” Smith is a feel good pick with Southern Miss ties, but he has very little value, even if Gurley does get injured, as a 3rd down RB.
WR: Chris Godwin, Juju Smith-Schuster, Jarvis Landry, Emmanuel Sanders, Desean Jackson, Mohamed Sanu
The WR position is Tyler’s deepest position on his team. Chris Godwin was the overall WR2 last season and that likely won’t change with the GOAT Tom Brady under center now. Getting Godwin late in the 2nd was a great pick and one that should lock up his WR1 position all season. At WR2, he took another player who I think will have a much better season than last year in Juju Smith-Schuster. Juju was the WR9 in 2018 and became the WR1 for the Steelers following Antonio Brown’s departure. This led many to think he was poised to make a top 5 jump, but when Big Ben was lost for the season, so was Juju as he struggled to connect with Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges over the final 14 weeks of the season. Now that Ben is back, Juju should also bounce back into the top 10-15. Jarvis Landry is another solid player for Tyler’s receiving core. He has quietly finished the last 5 seasons as a top 18 fantasy WR including a WR13 finish last year and although the Browns have a new coaching staff, Landry should remain a popular target again this year. Tyler’s bench depth is also solid with three more receivers who could potentially be week winners at any time. Emmanuel Sanders moved over to the highflying Saints offense from the 49ers offense this offseason and his needle is only pointing up currently. Desean Jackson is still one of the premier deep threats in the league even as he gets a little older. If he can stay healthy this year, he could be a late round steal for Tyler. Sanu is sort of an afterthought after he had a down end to the 2019 season with the Patriots. With Cam under center though, Sanu has a good shot at a bounce back.
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Hayden Hurst
TE is typically one of the tougher positions to manage year in and year out, but Tyler drafted two top 12 TEs this year meaning that he shouldn’t have to worry about it too much this season. At first, I didn’t like this position for Tyler as I don’t think Gronk will be what we remember him as and will be the 3rd option at best in the Bucs offense, but the late pick of Hurst salvaged it for me as he was one of my favorite TE targets in the entire draft.