Fantasy Football: The Early AF Top-50

By Chris Barlow and Craig Horlbeck


There are plenty of things that used to be in my life that aren’t around anymore. My childhood home, the San Diego sun, totally my virginity. But of all of these things, there is nothing I miss more than fantasy football. I’ve written multiple love letters to fantasy football in the past, so I won’t go too far into this. Let’s just say, it’s not easy when something that consumed your life for a third of the year suddenly comes to an end.

Luckily for all of us, fantasy can be made into a year-round event, and one of the funnest parts of it all happens to be the offseason. Mock drafts, training camp reports, real-life trades, the blind confidence that next season will be different, all of it is enough to cause fantasy owners to salivate at the mouth in anticipation of draft day.

One of our personal favorite experiences of the fantasy offseason? When the top “experts” in fantasy release their rankings, shifting the entire landscape of speculation and average draft positions (ADP). They can release it whenever they want, late August or late December, we are going to read the hell out of those rankings.

Craig and I compose our own rankings every year (2015, 2016, and 2017), so we figured why not scratch our own itch? Below is a nice, early AF set of top-50 rankings for the 2018 season. To make things easy for readers, we limited our blurbs to a concise 12-word limit.

For those who are new to this, I make a pick, then Craig makes one, then back to me. We do this all the way to 50. To determine who receives first pick, Craig and I pose a question that we equally know nothing about. In this case, we had to guess the population of Libya, and whoever was closest won first pick. I normally make a joke about our process for deciding first pick, but for this one I… uh, I just won’t.

Cheers to the 2018 season ahead of us. Enjoy.


Chris: Odds

Craig: Evens

  1. Todd Gurley – This guy ruined so many Christmases lmao.
  2. Le’Veon BellLe’Veon may hesitate at the line—DON’T when drafting him.
  3. Antonio BrownBreaks receiving records every year. 2018 won’t be any different.
  4. Ezekiel ElliottDez gets worse, Witten gets older, Zeke gets hungrier.
  5. DeAndre Hopkins – Nuk could be a WR1 with Ted Cruz as his quarterback.
  6. David Johnson – Twenty TDs in 2016. Still one of the prettiest belles of the ball.
  7. Alvin KamaraIf you draft him you must be wearing grillz. I don’t make the rules.  Note from CB: Craig got dibs on writing about Kamara after I traded him to Craig     midseason. I still lose nights of sleep over it.
  8. Kareem Hunt – My “don’t feel great about it, but his stats can’t be ignored” pick.
  9. Mark IngramTwo backs on the same team in the first round. What a world.
  10. Melvin GordonHe’s fine.
  11. Odell BeckhamAnyone who wears Timbs on a boat is a first-round pick.
  12. Leonard FournetteThe human equivalent of a battering ram.
  13. Michael ThomasThe Ricky Bobby of fantasy, for obvious reasons.
  14. Keenan AllenHis hands could catch Christopher Dorner (too soon?).
  15. Julio JonesBreaks out in hives when near the endzone.
  16. LeSean McCoyNext year will tell us if Shady ages like wine or milk
  17. AJ GreenAndy Dalton sucks again, but Green still doesn’t.
  18. Tyreek HillShort and sweet 🙂
  19. Travis KelceHealth puts him ahead of Gronk. Future with Mahomes creates uncertainty.
  20. Mike EvansHe’s just … so fucking tall.
  21. Rob GronkowskiGreatest tight end of all time isn’t meant to play 16 games.
  22. Devonta FreemanHe’s fine pt. 2.
  23. Jordan HowardPhilip Seymour Hoffman would be an upgrade on John Fox.
  24. Dalvin CookACL? IDGAF.
  25. Kenyan DrakeStats extrapolate to RB7 over a full season. Top-tier usage.
  27. Larry FitzgeraldDeath, taxes, and 100-catch seasons for Larry Fitzgerald.
  28. Adam ThielenWinner of “First White WR Off The Board” for the next five years.
  29. Davante AdamsBroke out, but the same can be said about his brain.
  30. Christian McCaffreyDanny Woodhead on uppers.
  31. Brandin CooksElite talent with a full year in Patriot’s system under his belt.
  32. Chris ThompsonDanny Woodhead on slightly less potent uppers.
  33. Doug BaldwinDoug Baldwin may be underrated only because his name is “Doug.”
  34. Zach ErtzAnd most pun-able name goes to? My Ball Zach Ertz!
  35. Stefon DiggsPros: Amazing when healthy. Cons: Never healthy.
  36. Alshon JefferyMore of a vote for Carson Wentz than Alshon.
  37. Derrick HenryLet 2018 be the year Derrick Henry thrives.
  38. Jarvis LandryReal life Ricky Jerret!
  39. Robert WoodsGrossest name on this list, but too productive to ignore.
  40. Dion LewisBelichick’s latest RB to fuck us over with.
  41. Allen RobinsonDez isn’t on this list, but his 2014 reincarnate is.
  42. Duke JohnsonThe Justin Timberlake to Cleveland’s NSYNC.
  43. Josh GordonOne of the best receivers in the 32nd-best scenario.
  44. Jay AjayiPass the Blount, pick up the Jay (I’m sorry).
  45. Evan EngramExpect Engram to build on his historic rookie campaign.
  46. T.Y. HiltonI was THIS close to picking Paris.
  47. Marvin JonesThe ugly, red-headed stepchild of 2017’s WR1s.
  48. Golden TateIronically winning the silver medal in Detroit’s WR core.
  49. Alex CollinsThe closest thing to Marshawn Lynch we have (yes, I know).

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