Koerner’s Fantasy Tiers: Ranking Players at Every Position

Aug 23, 2019 09:59 PM EDT
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USA Today Sports. Pictured: DeAndre Hopkins, Saquon Barkley, Patrick Mahomes

  • Sean Koerner uses his fantasy rankings to create his 2019 Fantasy Tiers.
  • He explains how to use these tiers and his strategy at QB, RB, WR and TE below.

Tiers are very important when it comes to analyzing fantasy football rankings.

People often use rankings too literally without accounting for drop-offs within each position. The difference in rank between my No. 3 QB and No. 5 QB, for example, can be bigger than the difference between my No. 12 and No. 20.

That’s why it’s important to rank players into tiers: They help us visualize positional rankings in buckets and understand the optimal time to draft players.


>> Create custom cheat sheets using Sean Koerner’s fantasy football rankings with our Draft Kit.


You’ll find my top-level draft strategy for each position below, followed by links to all four of the tiers. It’s important to note that I’ll update these tiers heading into the final week of preseason games, then weekly throughout the regular season so you always have a guide to streaming players off the waiver wire, evaluating trades and setting your lineups.

Now let’s dive in.

Quarterback Tiers

The QB position is extremely deep this season, so in most cases, you should wait on drafting a QB because it’s very likely you’ll be able to get a solid one extremely late.

To help with this, I identify the top QBs you can afford to wait on throughout my QB Tiers.


Running Back Tiers

Running back is, without a doubt, the most important position in fantasy football — anyone who has been playing it long enough knows that. But what’s the best draft strategy at RB? Well, it depends on your draft order.

Before we get into that, it’s important to acknowledge the position’s importance and its volatility. It can be very difficult to predict exactly how the position will unfold over the course of a season. It’s physically demanding and players’ roles can change in a heartbeat.

So how can we use that volatility to our advantage and find an edge to win our leagues? I explain how in my RB Tiers, where I break down the optimal strategy and top targets by draft position.


Wide Receiver Tiers

The best way to spend your high draft capital this season is at wide receiver.

Sure, the position is deep and there are tons of players outside the top 80 who can offer solid production — but solid production for a WR means they’ll likely only offer WR3 (maybe WR2) value.

To help you prioritize when to draft those top receivers, I’ve ranked them into WR Tiers and outlined the best strategy depending on your draft order.


Tight End Tiers

Much like last season, there’s a steep drop-off at tight end after the top three players. However, the remaining TE1 Tier features more talent than it did in 2018.

Ultimately, though, I let the flow of a draft dictate how I approach this position. The current average draft positions at TE are almost exactly in line with my rankings, which makes it tricky to project potential steals. That’s why it’s critical to use my TE Tiers — which I used to rank the top 21 — to understand when the position is offering the most value.


Kicker + Defense Tiers

While I recommend not drafting a kicker nor a defense in favor of adding two high-upside running backs to the end of your bench, that doesn’t mean they’re not important positions to properly project. In fact, maintaining those projections throughout the season is critical to streaming the best options.

To give you a head start on Week 1 strategy, I ranked the top kickers and all 32 defenses into their own tiers.

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