Whenever I think about the contrarian approach, my mind goes in a million different directions. As of today, it’s hard for me to think about how I am going to organize my own 2019 fantasy roster, but I have had a few different ideas as to how I might approach it. The overall scope I plan to use will be contrarian, and in my league, which is a two-man keeper league, I already hold a few different cards that allow me to go in different directions. One of those directions is to keep the same two players from a year ago (Todd Gurley, and Tyreek Hill), but both players have significant question marks that could hamper their 2019 season. I also have James Conner and James White on the roster, which provides me with a safety net (plan B), or could my plan (B) be a better plan (A). Let’s examine a few of the possible approaches I have researched recently and apply some of our analytics to try an determine the correct route to take.
As stated above, I compete in a two-man keeper league that has 14 teams. Draft position is worst team picks first. I am picking 10th or 11th based on last seasons finish. My draft position can become a strength based on my current roster as I have a few combinations that I can use beginning with keeping the combo of Gurley and Hill. By choosing these two, I lose my 1st and 3rd pick leaving me with very little high-end value to be left over after the first three rounds of a 14 team league. I could keep James Conner (10th) round and Hill (3rd) round assuming Hill is not facing a suspension keeping two high-end volume players. The Conner and Hill combination would allow me to keep my 1st and 2nd round picks. The other route I am considering is James Conner (10th) and James White (UD), allowing more flexibility but is also very risky based on my assumed draft position.
Let’s look at our fantasy ADP compiled from the fantasy calculator site. Based on the top 14 fantasy ADP, I can assume that there will be no player left after claimed keepers leaving me with a myriad of round two and three ADP options assuming I drop Gurley and keep James Conner and Tyreek Hill. Let’s also assume that all of the top 28 players are keepers leaving me with two picks in round one and two both within ten spots of one another leaving me in a great position to go after several available high volume players. Now this theory does not account for all of the other teams keepers and where they ranked one year ago and that’s another analysis I will perform in the future to help me better project who will pick where.
Top 14 ADP
Enough about my draft, lets discuss the gems on the back end of each of the first three or four (based on league size) rounds of ADP.
James Conner (11th)
I don’t expect Conner to be ranked 11th in August once preseason is underway. I expect him to be in the top 7 overall. I do like him more than I like Leveon Bell due to Bell sitting out an entire year. I expect the fantasy mainstreamers to target Bell in their top five rankings as the season draws closer, making Conner an even more intriguing pick near the 2nd half of round one.
Marlon Mack (28th)
If Mack can remain healthy, he is a three-down player who was very effective a season ago ranking 19th in volume. I still see him as an under the radar guy who If available should be picked in the mid to late 2nd round.
Mark Ingram (43rd)
The Ravens love to run the football and will need to be successful doing so on both 1st and down keeping the 3rd down manageable for Lamar Jackson, who is still a work in progress. Expect a heavy dose of zone read and RPO concepts in Baltimore that if executed effectively, should open up run lanes for Ingram. I expect this to be a big year for Ingram in an offense that fits his skill set better than any in the NFL. With an ADP of 43rd, it appears early on that many are ignoring his value in Baltimore.
2018 Total volume rank for Conner, Mack and Ingram.
All three will be their teams' number one RB in 2019 barring injury. Each of the three with the exception of Ingram are known good receivers out of the backfield. Ingram is an underrated receiver who is capable but will make his hay in the run game.