Who Will be the 2019 Fantasy MVP?

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In a very special episode from The Fantasy Footballers, hosts Andy, Mike, and Jason welcome fantasy superstars from across the industry to weigh in on their 2019 fantasy MVPs.  Here are their picks to help you win a #FootclanTitle.

Nick Chubb – RB Cleveland Browns
ADP – 1.10/RB8

“My fantasy MVP, at least for the first half of the season, is Browns’ running back, Nick Chubb.  I love this setup for him without Duke Johnson there and with Kareem Hunt suspended for the first 8 games.  I think Chubb’s going to be the best running back, maybe the best fantasy player, non-quarterback, for the first 8 games of the season.  You figure out the rest once Kareem hunt comes back, but you want a guy whose going to get you off to a great start, and we saw what Chubb was able to do last year once he took over for Carlos Hyde as the featured running back for the Browns.  From week 7 on, he averaged 17.8 PPR points, and I think you’re going to see him have the opportunity for him to do even better than that because he will be more involved in the passing game.  Keep in mind, in over his final 9 games, he had 4 games with at least three receptions and this is going to be a much better offense with Odelle Beckham on the field.  You can get Chubb maybe at the end of Round 1, beginning of Round 2, but I think you can take him as a top-5 running back based on his potential.  We know who the top-4 running backs are Barkley, Kamara, McCaffrey, Elliot, I think Chubb is next in line.  Again, you take him at that spot, you get off to the hot start, you worry about happens when Hunt comes back, but I think you will enjoy what Chubb will give you as the first-half fantasy MVP.  And maybe the league MVP for your fantasy leagues in 2019.”

Jamey Eisenberg – @JameyEisenberg – CBSSports

David Montgomery – RB Chicago Bears
ADP – 3.08/RB19

“Ssshhhh.  You hear that?  Something’s rummaging through the beer cooler outside my tent.  I’m going to go check it out.  It’s, it’s, David Montgomery.  Elusive, ferocious, and omnivorous, the Bears rookie running back is set to consume would-be tacklers in year one.  He’s the only collegiate back in the PFF era to top 100 missed tackles in a season.  And he did it twice!  He boasts a three-down skill set, top-10 O-Line, and an elite defense, which means positive game scripts galore.  Don’t fret over Tarik Cohen or Mike Davis.  Out of the gate, Monty rolls Green Bay for 100 combined yards and a score on 17+ touches.  1,400 total yards with double-digit TDs is entirely doable.  All Bears poop in the woods, but Monty won’t crap on your fantasy roster.”

Brad Evans – @YahooNoise – Yahoo Fantasy

“It would be so on-brand for me, Adam Rank, to come in here and stomp for David Montgomery.  So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  David Montgomery is the running back that Matt Nagy has been waiting for.  And let’s give Nagy credit, last season, he tried to make it work with Jordan Howard.  He gave him the ball 250 times.  And he didn’t get a lot out of it.  And you know what?  This year, he is going to give David Montgomery just as many attempts and he’s going to use him as a receiver out of the backfield.  David Montgomery was the most elusive running back in college football last year.  NFL defenders are not going to be able to keep up.  You will be thanking me after Week 1.”

Adam Rank – @adamrank – NFL.com

Lamar Jackson – QB Baltimore Ravens
ADP – 9.06/QB11

“My MVP for the fantasy football season is none other than my go-to, late-round quarterback this year, Lamar Jackson.  Now, of course, we need him to improve as a passer to really be a difference-maker in fantasy football.  But that can happen with Greg Roman running this offense.  Roman was able to help both Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor hit their highest marks in passing efficiency when he coached them.  As we know, both of those players are dual-threat quarterbacks, just like Lamar Jackson.  If he gets better as a passer, then we know the potential is there.  Jackson hit just under 700 rushing yards last year in basically half the season.  I think it’s safe to say that a healthy Lamar Jackson can hit that mark again.  Well, since the turn of the century, we’ve had eight instances where a quarterback has rushed for 700 or more yards on the ground.  Of those eight instances, seven of them, finished as top-5 quarterbacks in fantasy football that season.  Lamar Jackson is a cheat code and he should be everyone’s favorite late-round quarterback target.”

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JJ Zachariason – @LateRoundQB – Editor-In-Chief at @FanDuel/@numberFire

Chris Carson – RB Seattle Seahawks
ADP – 3.04/RB16

“How about Chris Carson of the Seattle Seahawks?  He’s a lead running back that I think is going way too late. He’s currently going in the 5th on ESPN, I have him as a third-rounder, and I think he could be an RB1 this season.  Look, we know the volume is going to be there, Seattle, the run-heaviest team in the NFL, last year Chris Carson averaged 17.6 carries per game.  That was 3rd most in the NFL.  In the 9 games last year in which he got 15 or more carries, he ran for a touchdown in 8 of them.  And I don’t think that’s going to change this year.  He is still going to be the lead running back.  I’m not worried about Rashaad Penny.  Remember Mike Davis left 146 touches from last year.  He’s now in Chicago.  Penny can increase and Carson can still be the main guy here.  It’s still a very good offensive line, again, and after Tyler Lockett there not a lot in the passing game there.  So, I believe Brian Schottenheimer when he says they want to give Chris Carson about 50 balls this year.  So, yeah, give me some Chris Carson, especially considering the value of him in the 5th round.”

Matthew Berry – the Godfather of Fantasy @MatthewBerryTMR – ESPN

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Carson Wentz – QB Philadelphia Eagles
ADP – 7.05/QB6

“I will tell you that my MVP originally was going to be Andrew Luck, but uh, well…. yeah.  Anyways, so, I’m going to come outside the box a little bit and tell you that my fantasy MVP for 2019 is going to be Carson Wentz.  He has been close to being something really great, he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy.  I think this is finally the year, maybe partially because the Eagles don’t have that safety net now that Nick Foles is in Jacksonville.  I think they figure out a way to get Wentz through a full 16 game schedule.  Look, the weapons are there, we know the talent is there, it’s just been a matter of him staying on the field. I think this is the year he finally does it.  And, with the draft price of him coming off the board late in drafts, I think he turns out to be a top-3 quarterback and he will be your fantasy MVP.”

Marcas Grant – @MarcasG – NFL.com

Mike Evans – WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
ADP – 2.08/WR8

“My fantasy MVP this year is Mike Evans, wide receiver Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Hooking up this season with Bruce Arians, one of the most legendary downfield, vertical passing offensive minds of our generation.  Mike Evans has finished top-5 in the NFL in air yards each of the last 4 seasons and has 1,000 in each of his 5 NFL seasons.  You know, I think that this passing game distribution in Tampa Bay has been narrowed and squeezed with the losses of Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson.  Mike Evans is going to really take over very much of that DeSean Jackson role, and who DeSean Jackson by the way, led the NFL in yards per reception last year.  Mike Evans is going to run even more vertical routes this season with Chris Godwin in the slot and OJ Howard dominating at tight end.  I think we’re going to see a ton of pass attempts this year in Tampa Bay.  He’s my favorite second-round pick and I think Mike Evans has a really good shot this year to finish as the number 1 overall wide receiver in fantasy.”

Evan Silva – @evensilva – Establish the Run

Josh Jacobs – RB Oakland Raiders
ADP – 3.07/RB18

“This is a tough one.  I want to name a million people mostly because I look at it as part of the question, which I’m sure you guys do, is value, and especially middle rounds finding that value.  Derrius Guice, Myles Boykin, and Christian Kirk, the list goes on, Dede Westbrook.  But, I’ll give you one that’s going 3rd round sometimes even 4th that should return close to 1st round value, that’s my boy, you guys know, Josh Jacobs.  I say “my boy”, not like everybody saying he’s undrafted or even going that late, I said 3rd, 4th round.  But, I’ve said time and again, John Gruden, when given the chance, has used a bell-cow running back.  290 carries in 14 games with Cadillac Williams when he drafted him in the first round.  Josh Jacobs can do it all, will do it all, will near or eclipse 300 touches and in doing so will return RB1 value in the 3rd round.  Which that alone, right there, makes him the fantasy MVP for 2019.”

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Jake Ciely – @allinkid – SR Writer for The Athletic Fantasy

Sony Michel – RB, New England Patriots
ADP – End of 3rd/Early 4th

“Sony Michel: Second-year Running Back. Playoff Dominator. Super Bowl Champion.  That’s a nice rookie season, by the way.  Not reflected in the average draft position, due to injury concerns, due to not being proven at all, in any capacity, to be a pass-catching capable running back.  But, I don’t view him and Chris Carson in very different lights.  When you look at how Mike Evans ends up as the WR1, it’s the capability to produce an ungodly amount of touchdowns.  That’s what Sony Michel has the capability to do in this offense for the Super Bowl champions.  You saw multiple hundred-yard games in the playoffs, 6 touchdowns in the playoff run.  This was a player that when he went down halfway through the season, people said “Oh no!  Sony’s done.  He’s finished,” came back and was outstanding.  Looks outstanding in camp, looks outstanding in the preseason, looks like he’ll be the bell cow.  So, Sony Michel being drafted late 3rd round, early 4th round, the best value when you are looking for somebody who can finish in that top range.  He is my official fantasy football MVP for 2019.”

Andy Holloway – @andyholloway

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Tyler Lockett – WR, Seattle Seahawks
ADP – 4.08/WR18

“My fantasy MVP should surprise nobody because recently I was saying I wish we had another “My Guy” because he would be in.  It’s Tyler Lockett.  Hoooooot Lockett.  Tyler Lockett is a great wide receiver and the narrative around him, the reason why he’s not being drafted as a one or even as a locked and loaded two is because all of the narrative has been about regression.  We’ve talked about it, the fact that you can’t be as efficient as he was last season, regression is coming.  Russell Wilson is not going to have a perfect passer rating throwing to Tyler Lockett for the second year in a row.  All of the focus can’t be only on regressing from these abnormal, historic, unbelievable numbers.  Some of them maybe should focus on the fact that he had unbelievable, historic, phenomenal numbers because he’s really good.  Tyler Lockett had a career where he’s been derailed by injury but through the last several years, he’s one of Matt Harmon Reception Perception guys whose popped off the page as a great wide receiver.  And here’s what I want to bring up.  Think about Doug Baldwin.  For 3 of the last 4 years, he was the wide receiver 8, 10, and 13.  Yes, he was the clear WR1, but think about his targets through that time, 103, 125, 116.  This is a totally different offense and totally different coordinator but the same quarterback and I believe the same amount of targets.  How many targets is Tyler Lockett going to be able to see with less volume in the passing game?  Doug Baldwin was able to do it 3 years in a row.  Tyler Lockett is going to get his on a weekly basis and certainly on the season.  There are no other options.  I trust Russel Wilson to get the job done.”

Jason Moore@jasonffl

Devonta Freeman – RB, Atlanta Falcons
ADP – 3.04/RB15

“I’m going with a player who has been the overall number 1 fantasy running back because I think the only thing to fear about Devonta is injury.  He’s guaranteed, locked into his role as the number one running back in a very high powered offense.  This is not Russell Wilson who’s going to throw 3400 yards type of offense.  This is Matt Ryan who will be up at 4500 yards.  This will be one of the best offenses in the entire league.  Devonta Freeman had back-to-back years of 11 rushing touchdowns, led the league in rushing touchdowns when he had his number 1 year.  On top of that, he’s had seasons of 97 targets, 65 targets, and then those targets kind of evaporated because Steve Sarkisian doesn’t know how to use his best offensive weapons.  Look at the lack of touchdowns for Julio Jones.  Freeman is a really, really good player.  look at whose behind him.  The Atlanta Falcons don’t even know who’s behind Devonta Freeman in the number 2 role.  Is it Ito Smith?  Is it Brian Hill?  Does it matter?  The answer is no because Devonta Freeman is the number 1 guy on a high powered offense.  Normally, to get a player in that situation, you would have to pay a late first, at least a second-round pick but Freeman, because of the fear of the injury, he has slipped into the 3rd round.

Mike Wright@ffhitman

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