DLF’s 2019 Predictions: Fantasy MVP

Ryan Finley

It’s now been over 200 days since the Patriots defeated the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. That’s over 200 days of content including research, articles, podcasts and more getting ready for the next fantasy season.

Well, the wait is almost over, as the 2019 NFL Football season is right around the corner. That also means that it’s time for DLF’s 2019 Fantasy Predictions. As we do every year, we have several different prediction articles for you in the following categories:

We’ll close out the series with our picks for Fantasy MVP:

Baker Mayfield, QB CLE

The offensive line may not be as strong as the Browns had hoped, but Mayfield is on another level heading into his second season and he now has two of the games best receivers plus a top-ten tight end option. He will break all Browns single-season passing records en-route to winning the AFC North. – Noah Ballweg

Kerryon Johnson, RB DET

I’m not picking the player I necessarily think will score the most points in fantasy this year, because you likely need to spend a first-round pick to acquire him. Instead, I’m picking someone you can often get two to three rounds later that has upside to crack the top five at his position. With Theo Riddick out of town and the offense trending towards a run-heavy approach, the upside is immense with Kerryon Johnson. I could see him being a first-round startup pick this time next year. – Kyle Holden

Christian McCaffrey, RB CAR

For the sake of being different, I’ll go with Christian McCaffrey. Both Saquon and CMC are front runners for the 1st overall pick, and I think with Carolina’s run first offense that CMC will see a huge workload. Couple that with uncertainty in the passing game, and CMC could see a lot of dump offs and 80-100 catches this upcoming year. – Levi Chappell

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR PIT

Should be a running back, I know, but this is also dynasty. What if two straight years of running back ADP creeping up finally comes crashing down? A 22-year-old college stud who finished as the WR8 last year, who again finishes in the top 12 in 2019 might just be the number one overall player in dynasty. That seems like a steal at 8th off the board in a year’s time. If not, well, a 22-year-old top 12 wide receiver is a pretty good consolation prize. – Peter Howard

Christian McCaffrey, RB CAR

It may not seem possible, but he is going to surpass last year’s production. I see a season of well over 2,000 yards and 15 + scores. The Carolina offense is going to be potent and McCaffrey is going to be even more efficient than last year. – Dwight Peebles

David Johnson, RB ARI

Johnson finished 2018 as the PPR RB9 and still left fantasy owners feeling like they got burned. I expect Johnson to return to the form we saw from him in 2016 when he finished as the top running back and top player overall with over 400 fantasy points. With rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury in charge and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray under center, it would be ridiculously foolish for both of them if they don’t heavily lean on Johnson in 2019. – John Di Bari

Patrick Mahomes, QB KC

Opportunity is king in fantasy, and I can’t see a scenario where Mahomes does not have a lot of opportunities to make plays again this season. The Chiefs defense is likely to provide Mahomes with positive game scripts yet again this season. – James Koutoulas

Michael Thomas, WR NO

He’s the top option on a lethal offense and he just gets better every season. Barring anything happening to Drew Brees, he’ll be a Top 3 wideout for the foreseeable future. – Doug Green

Saquon Barkley, RB NYG

The best runner and pass-catcher on the team and it isn’t close. He had over 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in his rookie season, and now he’s back with a better offensive line and more experience. Crazy to think what he might do this year. – Mike Havens

Christian McCaffrey, RB CAR

For MVP, I am not looking at the best bang for your buck on draft night. Instead, I am simply looking at the player who turns the competitive dial up enough notches each week to carry you to glory. We saw McCaffrey explode in his second season and his combination of receiving ability, rushing acumen, and work ethic (he is definitely a gym rat – first in, last out type) is special. I am fairly bullish on the Carolina offense as a whole, and McCaffrey should reap rewards as a regular week-winner. – Rob Willette

Christian McCaffrey, RB CAR

At season’s end I believe we are going to look back at who that one player was on the majority of championship teams and it’s going to be Christian McCaffrey. After flirting with it last year, I think we’re going to see him join Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig as the only players to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. – Eric Olinger

Saquon Barkley, RB NYG

Some might be scared off now that New York lost its preeminent weapon on offense, but consider what Barkley did the last month of 2018 without Odell Beckham: 353 rushing yards and three touchdowns in four games plus another 17 receptions for 118 yards. – Michael Moore

Saquon Barkley, RB NYG

No need to overthink this. As a rusher, he was the PPR RB17 last year. As a pass catcher, he was the PPR WR25. Put me in the camp that says the loss of Beckham is beneficial for his bottom line, not detrimental. – Eric Hardter

David Johnson, RB ARI

It seems like the Fantasy MVP every year is a guy among the top tier, but never quite the obvious choice. Since Saquon & CMC are the “obvious” RB1s this year, and Johnson still finished as RB8 last season in one of the worst offenses in recent memory, I think he has the ultimate upside to be your Fantasy MVP priced in the back half of the first round this season. – Ryan Miller

David Johnson, RB ARI

Yes, I know his offensive line is putrid, but Johnson has what amounts to a fantasy footballer’s dream – a Charmin soft defense. The loss of Patrick Peterson for six games makes an already thin secondary that much more vulnerable. The Cardinals will be forced to throw the ball early and often which is great news for the Northern Iowa product. Want more good news? In six seasons at Texas Tech, running backs claimed 43% of the team’s total touches in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. This analyst sees a repeat of Johnson’s impressive receiving numbers of 2016 (80/879/4) as a realistic possibility in 2019. – Josh Brickner

Christian McCaffrey, RB CAR

We’ve already seen that the ceiling is incredibly high for CMC. There are others with similar potential in Barkley and Todd Gurley. However, between Beckham’s departure (increasing defenses’ attention on Barkley) and Gurley’s worrisome health, McCaffrey looks like the most likely candidate to maintain that productivity. – Stephen Gill

Odell Beckham Jr, WR CLE

He’s been dominant with the “corpse of Eli” throwing him the ball, and now he gets a massive upgrade in Cleveland with Baker. There are so many weapons in this offense that opposing teams can’t afford to solely focus on him. He wins you leagues in 2019. – Austin DeWitt

James Conner, RB PIT

Apparently he is still being drafted in the back of the second round in dynasty drafts. How on earth? A proven young workhorse running back in a high-octane offense should be an easy first-round selection. James Conner is going to win some fantasy championships. – Jacob Wolf

Todd Gurley, RB LAR

The injury concerns are being overblown and knocked him down to a late-second rounder in dynasty ADP. He has supposedly dealt with this injury since college and has still been a fantasy stud. – Bobby Koch

Patrick Mahomes, QB KC

Maybe I have Superflex on the brain. I won’t join new leagues without it, after all. And maybe I also think that even WITH some regression, Mahomes might be the guy on more championship fantasy rosters than any other player. I think we are actually under estimating how good he was in his first season as a starter, and think he could be even better. – Ryan Finley

There you have it. Who is your choice for Fantasy MVP? Comment below!