With the 2018 NFL season upon us, the Fantasy Football mock drafts have already begun. I’m going to rank my top 25 players of the NFC South. All predictions are based on a PPR style league.
1. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints.
Alvin Kamara is coming off of a stellar rookie year. Kamara goes into his sophomore year as unarguably the top fantasy player in the NFC South as he is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the NFL. The 23-year-old out of the University of Tennessee posted a stat line of 728 yards on 120 carries and 81 receptions for 826 yards. Through the air and on the ground, Kamara reached the end zone 13 times.
With fellow running back Mark Ingram suspended the first four games of the season due to a PEDs violation, look for Kamara to start the 2018 season off with a bang. I don’t see him slowing down even when Ingram returns. Barring injury, Kamara should be the best fantasy scorer in the division.
2. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones should be everybody’s number two fantasy option at wide receiver. Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown is without a doubt the best choice at wide receiver and is the only one that should be picked in the top five of any draft. Jones, a five-time Pro Bowler, was having contract complications with the Falcons. What seemed like a problem that was literally fixed overnight, Jones and the Falcons agreed to a contract settlement and he was at camp the very next day.
Atlanta drafted wide receiver Calvin Ridley from the University of Alabama which I fear will add another solid threat that might take some opportunities away from Jones. Expect Jones’ total yards to go down but I believe his amount of touchdowns will improve from the three he had in 2017. Even with the addition, I still believe Jones is the best wide receiver of the division and is more valuable than any back other than Kamara.
3. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
Michael Thomas has been a quiet luxury for fantasy owners in seasons past. Thomas was the number eight wide receiver in all PPR leagues in 2017. The product of Ohio State University came down with 104 catches for 1,245 yards and five touchdowns. In a division filled with some of the best wideouts in the league, Thomas gets my nod as the number three fantasy player in the NFC South. Plus, he has Drew Brees throwing him the ball.
4. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I wanted to put Mike Evans at the number three spot above Thomas, but with quarterback Jameis Winston missing the first three games of the season, I think there will be a lack of production at the beginning of the year. In 2017, Evans surpassed 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth straight season, having never failed to miss the mark since he entered the league.
Evans, 24, is very obviously Winston’s favorite target and led the NFL in first down receptions in 2017. I think he maintains his production from years past, but the loss of Winston plagues Evans’ numbers from the start of the season. I’ll put him just barely behind Thomas.
5. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
This was a tough one for me. It was between Christian McCaffrey and Falcons running back Devonta Freeman for my fifth spot. I gave McCaffrey the nod because of his ability as a multi-threat running back, and that Freeman splits a lot of carries with Tevin Coleman along with an offense filled from top to bottom with talent.
McCaffrey’s play style is a unique one, to say the least. His ability to see the field and make defenders missed is a joy to watch. Look for the 22-year-old former Stanford University running back to build off his rookie season where he combined for 1,086 yards and seven trips to the end zone.
6.) Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons
7.) Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
8.) Drew Brees, QB, Saints
9.) Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers
10.) Ronald Jones II, RB, Bucs
11.) Mark Ingram, RB, Saints
12.) Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers
13.) Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
14.) Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons
15.) CJ Anderson, RB, Panthers
16.) Desean Jackson, WR, Bucs
17.) OJ Howard, TE, Bucs
18.) DJ Moore, WR, Panthers
19.) Mohamed Sanu, WR, Falcons
20.) Cameron Meredith, WR, Saints
21.) Cameron Brate, TE, Bucs
22.) Jameis WInston, QB, Bucs
23.) Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
24.) Ted Ginn, WR, Saints
25.) Chris Godwin, WR, Bucs