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  • Graeme Simpson

Fantasy Football MVP Candidates

Entering the busiest draft weekend of the year, it is crucial you are drafting players that can elevate your chances of winning your league. We all know that the league isn't won at the draft, but it is the most important part of your journey to take down your friends in Fantasy Football.

The MVP award does not necessarily go to the player with the most points that season. In fantasy, it's the value that matters. For instance, the reason Lamar Jackson was a runaway winner last year is that he was picked in the 9th round in most leagues. Lamar had competition such as Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Patrick Mahomes, and others, but his production for a 9th round pick is why he was a clear winner of the MVP award.

The Fantasy Football MVP has had a trend recently. The last two 'Fantasy MVPs' have been QBs. Patrick Mahomes took home the title of MVP in 2018, and of course, Lamar Jackson in 2019. Will the Fantasy MVP trend continue to go to a QB or will the award gravitate to another Position this year? Here are the 10 players most likely to take home the 'Fantasy MVP' trophy at the year's end.

1. Christian McCaffrey

Not really a surprise here, McCaffrey will most likely be the number 1 pick in most leagues. McCaffrey has projected over 330 fantasy points this year, which is phenomenal for a running back. Like I mentioned before, CMC was a finalist for the award last year. In 2019, McCaffrey was on the field for an astonishing 93% of offensive plays for the Panthers. This year, you can expect more of the same. I like CMC's fantasy value, even more, this year. He has a more reliable QB in Teddy Bridgewater, he will basically have an entire offensive scheme built around him, and he is so versatile. He can run, receive, return kicks and punts, he can do it all.

2. Chris Carson

You can probably find Chris Carson hanging around in your draft in the 3rd or 4th rounds. If you have the option to draft Carson, do it. I expect big things from the Seattle running back this season. Carson has projected 223.7 points this season in PPR leagues. He is destined for another 1300 total yard season along with 10 touchdowns on the year. Carson can produce multiple 100-yard game performances at any point in this season. For a 3rd or 4th round pick, Chris Carson can certainly become a top 8 fantasy player when it is all said and done.

3. Micheal Thomas

Micheal Thomas has been a great WR1 for the past 4 years now. Thomas, who is coming off of a big 2019-20 campaign, is looking to build on last year's performances. Micheal Thomas had a season-record 149 receptions last year and many experts say you can expect more of the same this year. Especially with the uncertain future of Alvin Kamara, Thomas will become even more of an important piece of the Saints offense.

4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The rookie out of LSU is expected to have an extremely productive season. Edwards-Helaire is in 'Running Back Paradise' with Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs. Clyde sports great elusiveness and take-breaking abilities, which is a common denominator when it comes to good fantasy running backs. You can also expect Edwards-Helaire to catch a lot of passes out of the backfield, making him a huge threat in PPR leagues.

5. Jonathan Taylor

It seems very unusual that we have 2 rookie running backs in our top 5 of MVP candidates, but this is the year of breakouts RBs. Much like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jonathan Taylor is in a running backs paradise. Taylor is coming off of a great season at Wisconsin where he broke almost every single-season rushing record in the Big 10 conference. In Indianapolis, Taylor will have one of the best O-Lines in the NFL. I could very easily see Taylor having a similar rookie season to Cowboys RB, Ezekiel Elliot.

Jonathon Taylor at Colts training camp: Creator: Darron Cummings | Credit: AP

6. Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray had an up and down rookie season, which is what you would expect from a raw talent like Murray. This season, Murray is expected to put up just a hair under 300 fantasy points. In the recent trend of MVP QBs, they have all been sophomore year players. Kyler Murray, now entering his 2nd year as a pro, fits the MVP mold to perfection. Will he produce at an MVP level? Only time will tell, but Kyler is a risk worth taking for your Quarter Back position.

7. AJ Brown

AJ Brown is possibly a name you haven't heard much of. Last year, Brown was phenomenal. He had one of the best Fantasy seasons from a rookie WR ever. AJ Brown, who fits well with the Titans style of play, is a major home-run threat. He can explode for 40+ yard touchdowns at any moment of the game. AJ is coming into Titans camp as the clear WR1 of the team. He finished last year as the 15th best WR as a rookie. I expect AJ to be even more dominant, as he poses matchup problems for virtually every secondary in the league.

8. Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones made a lot of noise last year as he took the starting spot away from Eli Manning. Likewise, with Kyler Murray, Jones is also entering his 2nd season in the NFL. If you look at the past 2 MVP Champions, you will see that both Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes got to play a lot of snaps in the latter half in their 1st year as a pro. Jones is no different. Although Daniel Jones lacks the weapons of Kyler Murray, you could expect those two players to be house-hold names when it comes to the future of fantasy QBs.

9. Antonio Gibson

Antonio Gibson is yet another rookie RB in this year's MVP list. Gibson is oozing with potential in every facet of his game. The reason why I am in love with Gibson as a Fantasy RB is his pass-catching. While at Memphis last year, he was 2nd on the team in receiving. Gibson is also a dominant kick returner, which means he is good in open space. Gibson was also the leading rusher in the College Football Senior Bowl. So, don't hesitate to Draft a rookie RB this year. Gibson is a great option at the Flex position or an RB2.

10. Josh Jacobs

In the Majority of drafts, Jacobs has been selected in the early 2nd round. Jacobs is an under the radar pick that seems like an average RB1, but that's not the case. This year's production from Jacobs could be like none other. He is great when it comes to YAC and is building upon an impressive rookie year. In Las Vegas, most of the offense will be centered around him, so expect a bulk of points from Josh Jacobs. He has projected around 230 fantasy points this year, but that doesn't do him justice. I would expect 265 total points from Jacobs this season.

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