Fantasy football rankings: The 192 players who should be drafted this season

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During the offseason, 2,880 human beings (32 teams of 90 players) can be rostered by an NFL team. Once Week 1 rolls around, that number is cut down to 1,696 (53 players per team). The ESPN Fantasy player database includes nearly 2,500 players.

You can't be expected to know all of those players, which is why "The 192" is here to make your life easier.

Why 192? Fantasy leagues come in all shapes in sizes, but many have settled into leagues featuring 12 teams and 16-man rosters. "The 192" is a list of the 192 players who should be drafted (and thus rostered) in a 12-team, 16-round PPR league with relatively standard scoring and lineup settings. The players are technically listed in the order they should be drafted, though it's important to remember that drafts are fluid and your decisions should be altered based on what's left on the board and your previous selections.

So what if you're in an eight-team league? Or a 16-teamer? "The 192" can still help you win, but you'll certainly need to make tweaks in the mid-to-late rounds. For example, in a smaller league, you may want to wait even longer at quarterback since the position is so deep. In deeper leagues, running backs and tight ends should be more of a priority as those positions lack depth and could leave you with a weak spot if you wait until it's too late.

Although some player analysis is included throughout the piece, strategy is the primary topic of discussion. For more thorough player analysis, check out our player profiles, which were drawn up by yours truly. For a deeper look at the rankings, check out Cheat Sheet Central.

The 192 should serve as a simple guide to help you maximize the value of your starting lineup while making the best possible decision every round.

1. Saquon Barkley, NYG, RB1

With the uncertainty surrounding Todd Gurley's knee (more on him later), Barkley is a no-brainer No. 1 overall pick in all 2019 fantasy drafts. Barkley ranked top three among backs in carries and targets en route to pacing the position in fantasy points as a rookie. He's running unopposed in a Giants backfield that will benefit from an offense that will lean even more on the run in 2019. If you have the liberty of being the first to choose your draft spot, roll with 1.1 and get your hands on the top asset in fantasy football.

2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL, RB2
3. Christian McCaffrey, CAR, RB3
4. Alvin Kamara, NO, RB4

The running back position has been rejuvenated with young backs playing workhorse roles, and fantasy managers will be itching to grab one early. Is it worth the risk considering the high injury rate? Yes, when it's a clear, feature back set for a significant passing-game role. This trio fits that bill.

5. Le'Veon Bell, NYJ, RB5
6. Melvin Gordon, LAC, RB6
7. Davante Adams, GB, WR1
8. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU, WR2
9. Michael Thomas, NO, WR3
10. Julio Jones, ATL, WR4

Bell and Gordon are two more clear feature backs worth your attention in the first round. The debate over who should be the first wide receiver off the board will continue all offseason. Adams barely gets the nod from me. He paced the position in fantasy points before sitting out Week 17 last season and leads the NFL in touchdowns over the past three seasons. Of course, I wouldn't fault you for going with Hopkins, Thomas or Jones here, either.

11. David Johnson, ARI, RB7
12. James Conner, PIT, RB8
13. Travis Kelce, KC, TE1

Johnson barely slips into the first round, but this is probably has high as I can go for a player who hasn't stood out efficiency-wise since his rookie season. Of course, volume is king and the Arizona offense should be better with Kyler Murray under center. Kelce belongs in the first-round discussion after pacing all tight ends in fantasy points for the third straight season.

14. Todd Gurley II, LAR, RB9

Gurley paced all backs in fantasy points in 2017 and finished top 10 a position-high 11 times in 2018, but he appears headed for a reduced role (at best) in 2019 due to a troublesome knee. Of course, he can afford a lesser role and still deliver elite fantasy production in the Rams' terrific offense. Know that his situation (and thus this ranking) is fluid and his status should be monitored closely throughout the offseason.

15. Odell Beckham Jr., CLE, WR5
16. Antonio Brown, OAK, WR6
17. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT, WR7

Landing one of Beckham, Brown or Smith-Schuster in the mid-to-late stages of Round 2 is a terrific value.

18. Joe Mixon, CIN, RB10
19. Keenan Allen, LAC, WR8
20. Mike Evans, TB, WR9
21. Dalvin Cook, MIN, RB11
22. T.Y. Hilton, IND, WR10
23. Leonard Fournette, JAC, RB12

Many don't like picking first overall because of the perceived drop in value as the second round progresses, but this list shows that, even in 12-team leagues, you're going to have plenty of terrific options at the Round 2/3 turn.

24. Amari Cooper, DAL, WR11
25. Adam Thielen, MIN, WR12
26. Zach Ertz, PHI, TE2
27. George Kittle, SF, TE3
28. Nick Chubb, CLE, RB13
29. Devonta Freeman, ATL, RB14
30. Julian Edelman, NE, WR13
31. A.J. Green, CIN, WR14
32. Stefon Diggs, MIN, WR15
33. Brandin Cooks, LAR, WR16

The depth at wide receiver really shows up here and suggests it makes sense to grab a running back in the first round before attacking hard at wide receiver. Ertz (who set the tight end reception record last season) and Kittle (who set the tight end receiving yardage record last season) are candidates for a dip in targets and/or some regression and thus find themselves a tier below Kelce. Nonetheless, both are solid targets at the 2/3 turn. Chubb may seem low, but Kareem Hunt's midseason return looms large and could limit the second-year back's production during the all-important fantasy playoffs.

34. Derrick Henry, TEN, RB15
35. Marlon Mack, IND, RB16
36. Josh Jacobs, OAK, RB17
37. Aaron Jones, GB, RB18
38. Damien Williams, KC, RB19

This is an intriguing tier of running backs. All five are in good situations and have RB1 upside, but also hold some risk. Henry and Mack have been limited as receivers thus far, Jacobs is a rookie and will defer passing down work to Jalen Richard, Jones has yet to lock down clear lead-back duties in Green Bay and Williams was an inefficient career backup prior to a mini breakout down the stretch last season.

39. Robert Woods, LAR, WR17
40. Cooper Kupp, LAR, WR18
41. Alshon Jeffery, PHI, WR19
42. Chris Godwin, TB, WR20
43. Kenny Golladay, DET, WR21
44. Kerryon Johnson, DET, RB20
45. James White, NE, RB21
46. Sony Michel, NE, RB22
47. Patrick Mahomes, KC, QB1
48. Chris Carson, SEA, RB23
49. Phillip Lindsay, DEN, RB24
50. Mark Ingram II, BAL, RB25

The most notable name here is Mahomes, who will (and should) be the top quarterback off the board in 2019 drafts. Of course, the question is: When is the right time? I say toward the end of Round 4 for the reasons laid out here and here. Yes, Mahomes will be drafted earlier than 47th in most drafts, but I can't justify going much earlier on a quarterback.

Kupp's ACL recovery will be worth monitoring, but he was delivering top-10 numbers before he went down last season. New England's top-two backs are worth a look here, though we know White will be limited as a rusher and Michel contributes very little as a receiver. Carson and Lindsay are both fine back-end RB2 targets, but could lose touches to second-year backs Rashaad Penny and Royce Freeman, respectively.

51. Tyreek Hill, KC, WR22
52. Sammy Watkins, KC, WR23
53. Tyler Lockett, SEA, WR24
54. Tyler Boyd, CIN, WR25
55. Allen Robinson, CHI, WR26
56. DJ Moore, CAR, WR27
57. Calvin Ridley, ATL, WR28
58. Jarvis Landry, CLE, WR29
59. Evan Engram, NYG, TE4

This is a terrific area to go shopping for a third wide receiver.

Hill's situation remains tricky, as his inevitable suspension has yet to be handed down. Hill, who led all wide receivers in fantasy points last season, would be a top-20 overall option (at least) if not for his legal issues. If his suspension is in the 4-to-8 game range (this ranking assumes six games), he'll still be worth a pick in the middle rounds because of the WR1 production he's likely to produce down the stretch. Watkins, meanwhile, gets a boost with Hill likely to miss time.

Lockett's efficiency stats will regress this season, but Doug Baldwin's retirement will mean a larger target share. Robinson is a candidate for a better season, now fully recovered from his 2017 torn Achilles. Don't sleep on Ridley, who is positioned for a big role in a highly productive Falcons' offense that isn't deep with reliable targets.

60. Kenyan Drake, MIA, RB26
61. David Montgomery, CHI, RB27
62. Miles Sanders, PHI, RB28
63. Tarik Cohen, CHI, RB29
64. Robby Anderson, NYJ, WR30
65. Mike Williams, LAC, WR31
66. Hunter Henry, LAC, TE5
67. O.J. Howard, TB, TE6
68. Lamar Miller, HOU, RB30
69. Derrius Guice, WAS, RB31
70. Tevin Coleman, SF, RB32
71. LeSean McCoy, BUF, RB33

Round 6 presents a significant chunk of the top RB3 and flex options.

Montgomery and Sanders were Day 2 draft picks positioned for big rookie-season roles. Anderson is entering his first contract year and could take a huge leap if Sam Darnold takes a step forward. Injuries have been a problem for Henry and Howard, but both have elite upside. Will Guice be limited to a committee early on? That seems probable as he recovers from a torn ACL and with Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson and perhaps Bryce Love in the fold. Coleman is your top option in the 49ers backfield committee and, though he isn't what he used to be, McCoy remains the lead back in a run-heavy Bills offense.

72. Deshaun Watson, HOU, QB2
73. Aaron Rodgers, GB, QB3
74. Matt Ryan, ATL, QB4
75. Andrew Luck, IND, QB5

Finally we reach the second tier of quarterbacks. Watson, Rodgers, Ryan and Luck are solid QB1 plays, but none are worth reaching on. As we'll see throughout this piece, the position is deeper than ever.

76. Marvin Jones Jr., DET, WR32
77. Sterling Shepard, NYG, WR33
78. Dede Westbrook, JAC, WR34
79. Will Fuller V, HOU, WR35
80. Corey Davis, TEN, WR36
81. Dante Pettis, SF, WR37
82. Golden Tate, NYG, WR38
83. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI, WR39
84. Jared Cook, NO, TE7

Round 7 presents a chunk of solid, veteran WR3 options, as well as a good tight end value in Cook, who is now with the Saints. Shepard and Tate will battle for top billing in the Giants' new-look offense. Davis is in a make-or-break season in Tennessee. Fitzgerald should be reinvigorated in a better Cardinals' offense.

85. Darrell Henderson, LAR, RB34
86. Latavius Murray, NO, RB35
87. Nyheim Hines, IND, RB36
88. Rashaad Penny, SEA, RB37
89. Austin Ekeler, LAC, RB38
90. Jordan Howard, PHI, RB39
91. Peyton Barber, TB, RB40
92. Ronald Jones, TB, RB41
93. Jerick McKinnon, SF, RB42
94. Geronimo Allison, GB, WR40
95. Keke Coutee, HOU, WR41
96. Christian Kirk, ARI, WR42
97. N'Keal Harry, NE, WR43
98. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN, WR44

At this point, the core of your team is in place, so we're primarily looking to find flex options and upside bench players. Henderson's value will depend mostly on the health of Gurley. If Gurley is out, he'll be an RB2 option. If Gurley is a full go, Henderson will struggle for standalone value. Henderson, Murray, Penny and Ekeler are among the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy. Allison could easily push for WR2 numbers if he locks down No. 2 duties in Green Bay. Harry is our first rookie wide receiver. He's positioned for a full-time role in New England. Sanders' Achilles injury could land him on PUP, but he'll be Joe Flacco's top target once back on the field.

99. Delanie Walker, TEN, TE8
100. Eric Ebron, IND, TE9
101. Vance McDonald, PIT, TE10
102. Cam Newton, CAR, QB6
103. Baker Mayfield, CLE, QB7

Always-underrated Walker joins regression lock Ebron and McDonald as solid TE1 options. Newton will be a value in 2019 drafts, assuming he's healthy and ready to roll for Week 1. Mayfield will be picked in the top 100 of most drafts. The hype makes sense, but a lack of rushing production, a high interception rate and a shaky pair of offensive tackles means there's more risk than advertised.

104. Courtland Sutton, DEN, WR45
105. Michael Gallup, DAL, WR46
106. DeSean Jackson, PHI, WR47
107. James Washington, PIT, WR48
108. Donte Moncrief, PIT, WR49

Sutton, Gallup and Washington are Year 2 leap candidates. Washington will compete with Moncrief for a bountiful No. 2 gig in Pittsburgh. Jackson has more value in non-PPR and DFS tournaments, but we know he'll hit for a few big touchdowns.

109. Jack Doyle, IND, TE11
110. David Njoku, CLE, TE12
111. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT, QB8
112. Drew Brees, NO, QB9
113. Carson Wentz, PHI, QB10
114. Dak Prescott, DAL, QB11
115. Russell Wilson, SEA, QB12

Round 10 is a good spot to grab your quarterback or tight end (Walker will probably be available as well). Doyle may seem like a surprise, but keep in mind that he easily out-targeted Ebron and was fantasy's No. 6 tight end when healthy last season. Wentz has the most upside among the quarterbacks, but he's risky considering his history of injuries and a dramatic dip in rushing last season.

116. D'Onta Foreman, HOU, RB43
117. Royce Freeman, DEN, RB44
118. Carlos Hyde, KC, RB45
119. Matt Breida, SF, RB46
120. Kalen Ballage, MIA, RB47

This is an interesting tier of low-risk, high-reward running backs. Foreman, Freeman, Hyde, Breida and Ballage aren't atop their respective depth charts, but there is obvious uncertainty in all five situations. All five are worth a late flier (yes, even Ballage, Matthew Berry).

121. Jared Goff, LAR, QB13
122. Kyler Murray, ARI, QB14
123. Tom Brady, NE, QB15

You never need to take a second quarterback, but these are your top options if you choose to do so. Murray's outstanding rushing ability supplies him with a high floor.

124. Tyrell Williams, OAK, WR50
125. DaeSean Hamilton, DEN, WR51
126. Curtis Samuel, CAR, WR52
127. Jamison Crowder, NYJ, WR53
128. Adam Humphries, TEN, WR54
129. Parris Campbell, IND, WR55
130. Marquise Brown, BAL, WR56
131. Mecole Hardman, KC, WR57

Round 11 is a good time to grab wide receiver depth. Youngsters Samuel, Hamilton, Campbell, Brown and Hardman are in position for significant roles and should push for flex value. Crowder, Humphries and Williams are with new teams, but should be second in line at wide receiver for targets after solid paydays.

132. Austin Hooper, ATL, TE13
133. Greg Olsen, CAR, TE14
134. Trey Burton, CHI, TE15
135. Mohamed Sanu, ATL, WR58
136. Kenny Stills, MIA, WR59
137. Anthony Miller, CHI, WR60
138. Devin Funchess, IND, WR61
139. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI, QB16
140. Philip Rivers, LAC, QB17

This is the point where those of you in 10-team leagues are rounding out your bench at the skill positions. Sophomore Miller and potential No. 2 Colts WR Funchess are intriguing late targets.

141. Bears D/ST, DST1
142. Jaguars D/ST, DST2
143. Rams D/ST, DST3
144. Bills D/ST, DST4
145. Vikings D/ST, DST5
146. Saints D/ST, DST6
147. Chargers D/ST, DST7
148. Patriots D/ST, DST8
149. Colts D/ST, DST9
150. Broncos D/ST, DST10
151. Greg Zuerlein, LAR, K1
152. Justin Tucker, BAL, K2
153. Harrison Butker, KC, K3
154. Stephen Gostkowski, NE, K4
155. Wil Lutz, NO, K5
156. Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU, K6
157. Robbie Gould, SF, K7
158. Mike Badgley, LAC, K8
159. Adam Vinatieri, IND, K9
160. Brett Maher, DAL, K10

Did you learn nothing from the Jaguars' D/ST last season? Wait until the final two rounds to select your defense and kicker. These, of course, are the top kicker and D/ST options in 10-team leagues, so those of you in 12-team leagues can skip this tier until later.

161. Deebo Samuel, SF, WR62
162. DK Metcalf, SEA, WR63
163. Paul Richardson, WAS, WR64
164. Marqise Lee, JAC, WR65
165. Andy Isabella, ARI, WR66
166. Tre'Quan Smith, NO, WR67

Here are a few more post-hype and/or upside fliers at wide receiver. Samuel, Metcalf and Isabella are rookies competing for No. 2/3 gigs. Richardson and Lee could easily lead their team in targets after injuries derailed their 2018 campaigns. Smith is a second-year breakout candidate in New Orleans' high-scoring offense.

167. Kyle Rudolph, MIN, TE16
168. Chris Herndon, NYJ, TE17
169. Jameis Winston, TB, QB18
170. Lamar Jackson, BAL, QB19

More quarterback and tight end depth. Herndon's rookie-season efficiency should have your attention.

171. Jalen Richard, OAK, RB48
172. Dion Lewis, TEN, RB49
173. Giovani Bernard, CIN, RB50
174. Duke Johnson Jr., CLE, RB51
175. Chris Thompson, WAS, RB52
176. Theo Riddick, DET, RB53

Those of you in 12-plus-team PPR leagues will have more use for dedicated passing-down backs like the six veterans on this list. All six will be limited as rushers, but all are strong bets for 40-plus receptions.

177. Jordan Reed, WAS, TE18
178. Jimmy Graham, GB, TE19
179. Hakeem Butler, ARI, WR68
180. DeVante Parker, MIA, WR69
181. A.J. Brown, TEN, WR70
182. Ted Ginn Jr., NO, WR71
183. Kirk Cousins, MIN, QB20
184. Jamaal Williams, GB, RB54
185. Ito Smith, ATL, RB55
186. Jaylen Samuels, PIT, RB56
187. Alexander Mattison, MIN, RB57
188. Kareem Hunt, CLE, RB58
189. Texans D/ST, DST11
190. Titans D/ST, DST12
191. Matt Prater, DET, K11
192. Jake Elliott, PHI, K12

These are your best options when looking to round out your bench in 12-team leagues. Williams, Smith, Samuels and Mattison are notable handcuffs with RB2 upside in the event of an injury above them on the depth chart. Hunt is also a highly-valuable handcuff, but his eight-game suspension limits his draft-day appeal.