With fantasy football drafts picking up, the “All” teams continue today with the 2019 All-Safe team. These players provide the best floors at their positions heading into the NFL’s 100th season.
QB: Patrick Mahomes
Some players offer a rare combination of upside and safety, and the first three members of the All-Safe team fall under that category after they were all on the All-Upside team yesterday. Patrick Mahomes has the upside to repeat his MVP campaign from last year, but—as crazy as it sounds—his floor might really be 30-35 touchdowns (barring injury). There might be some very slight concern that defenses have a year of tape on Mahomes, but he’s still easily the safest fantasy quarterback.
RB: Saquon Barkley
There’s a chance the Giants aren’t very good as a team this season, but that didn’t stop Saquon Barkley from having a record-breaking start to his career in 2018. Don’t be concerned about Barkley’s team or perceived lack of support around him—he’s an extremely safe choice at the top of fantasy drafts.
RB: Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey was on the All-Upside team with Mahomes and Barkley, and he also makes it as the second running back on the All-Safe team. The Panthers have made it clear that they do not intend to scale back McCaffrey’s touches, so 200+ carries and 100+ receptions are a real possibility again in 2019. Furthermore, the Panthers could be a better team all season if quarterback Cam Newton stays healthy.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins
While DeAndre Hopkins’ solid-but-unspectacular 78/954/4 year in 2016 doesn’t get talked about much, the narrative is that Hopkins can put up elite numbers with anyone at quarterback. With Deshaun Watson in the lineup, Hopkins gets quality targets at key areas of the field—down the field for chunk yardage and in the red zone in particular—but he’ll continue putting up strong numbers if Watson is forced to miss time. Hopkins’ safety is a big reason he’s been the first wide receiver off the board in many fantasy drafts.
WR: Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas is the second wide receiver on the fantasy All-Safe team partly because he plays with Drew Brees. Thomas has an NFL-record 321 receptions through his first three seasons in the league, and he had his best season in 2018 with a 125/1,405/9 line. Assuming he plays all 16 games, over 90 receptions and 1,100 yards is probably about Thomas’ floor.
TE: Zach Ertz
George Kittle and All-Upside team member Travis Kelce could have also been the choice here, but Zach Ertz is in the discussion with them and is coming off his best season. After at least 74 receptions and 816 yards in each of his previous three seasons, Ertz caught a tight-end-record 116 passes in 2018 as he’s become the clear go-to guy for Carson Wentz. His upside probably isn’t on the Kelce or Kittle level, but the safety is right there with them.
FLEX: Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara is in a similar position to Michael Thomas, as Drew Brees doesn’t miss games, so the Saints offense should remain one of the top units in the league—with Kamara as a big part of that. Kamara has caught 81 passes in each of his first two seasons, and he’ll remain heavily involved as a receiver this year. Also, he’s been a preferred option in scoring territory, with touchdown totals of 13 and 18 in his first two years. If healthy, Kamara’s floor should be around 700+ rushing yards, 700+ receiving yards, and around double-digit touchdowns.