Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Antonio Brown make up 60 percent of the consensus top five players in fantasy football. There’s a decent chance one of them was selected first overall in one of your leagues.
All three have led in PPR points scored before. RBs Gurley and Johnson did so in 2017 and ’16, respectively, while WR Brown pulled off the feat in 2014.
None of them will reach that peak again. Sound bold? It might be. But, based on a trend that’s well over a decade old, it makes sense.
It’s been 15 years since any player topped the PPR points list in multiple seasons, according to Pro Football Reference. Former Chiefs RB Priest Holmes was a touchdown machine who led all in 2002 and ’03. Right before him, Hall of Fame Rams RB Marshall Faulk was the king from 1999-2001.
Assuming the streak remains intact, neither of the three aforementioned fantasy studs — nor fellow active ex-leaders Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees and Tom Brady — will reign supreme in 2018.
With those names removed, here’s a look at the most likely candidates — typically a QB or RB — to achieve fantasy football MVP status this fall.
This is contingent on the Steelers RB ending his holdout in time to play Sunday against the Browns, because generally the top scorer plays all 16 games. If he makes it back, and plays a full slate for just the second time in his career, he’s about as safe a bet as anyone.
Brees edged him by 2.2 points for the 2011 title, and he has led all QBs in fantasy points on three occasions. The Packers’ future Hall of Fame passer should have been the first QB off the board this summer because, when healthy, he’s practically peerless.
For the first four games, while Mark Ingram serves a suspension, the Saints backfield is all his. That might be all the second-year RB needs to distance himself from the pack. He’s a force in the passing game and can break off big plays for scores.
The Cowboys offense is built around their star RB carrying a major load. He’ll get the lions share of goal line carries and could be in line for more receptions, if last season is any indication. That’s a winning fantasy formula at Elliott’s position.
The likelihood of the Texans QB picking up right where he left off — before an ACL tear put an end to a brief, brilliant rookie campaign — is slim. But the fact that he averaged 24.1 fantasy points over his first seven games has to keep him in this conversation.
Rookies just don’t reach the pinnacle of fantasy football. It takes time. That’s not to say the Giants RB won’t be a major factor — he sure should be — but keep expectations realistic.