Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Post-Training Camp Edition

The NFL preseason ended on Thursday night. NFL teams now focus on perfecting their rosters in preparation for week one. During this time, fantasy players should be paying attention to the moves that are being made by teams because it can pay huge dividends for their fantasy season.

Since my last rankings were released, there were numerous high-profile players lost for the season which has resulted in some significant changes. Most of you have already completed your drafts at this point, but for those of you who have your drafts this weekend like I do, I recommend you take a look at my rankings below. Use them as a guide when you are drafting.

Whether you are drafting this weekend, or you have already completed all of your drafts, I wish you good luck this fantasy season. Please continue to check back in each week throughout the season for weekly fantasy content.

QB

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 Aaron Rodgers GB 8
2 Tom Brady NE 9
3 Drew Brees NO 5
4 Russell Wilson SEA 6
5 Kirk Cousins WAS 5
6 Matt Ryan ATL 5
7 Marcus Mariota TEN 8
8 Jameis Winston TB 11
9 Andrew Luck IND 11
10 Cam Newton CAR 11
11 Derek Carr OAK 10
12 Philip Rivers LAC 9
13 Andy Dalton CIN 6
14 Matthew Stafford DET 7
15 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 9
16 Dak Prescott DAL 6
17 Eli Manning NYG 8
18 Carson Palmer ARI 8
19 Jay Cutler MIA 11
20 Carson Wentz PHI 10
21 Sam Bradford MIN 9
22 DeShone Kizer CLE 9
23 Tyrod Taylor BUF 6
24 Blake Bortles JAC 8
25 Alex Smith KC 10
26 Joe Flacco BAL 10
27 Jared Goff LAR 8
28 T. Siemian DEN 5
29 Brian Hoyer SF 11
30 Tom Savage HOU 7
31 Mike Glennon CHI 9
32 Josh McCown NYJ 11

RB

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 David Johnson ARI 8
2 Le’Veon Bell PIT 9
3 LeSean McCoy BUF 6
4 Melvin Gordon LAC 9
5 Devonta Freeman ATL 5
6 Jay Ajayi MIA 11
7 Jordan Howard CHI 9
8 DeMarco Murray TEN 8
9 Todd Gurley LAR 8
10 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 6
11 Lamar Miller HOU 7
12 Leonard Fournette JAC 8
13 Dalvin Cook MIN 9
14 Carlos Hyde SF 11
15 Isaiah Crowell CLE 9
16 Marshawn Lynch OAK 10
17 C.J. Anderson DEN 5
18 Kareem Hunt KC 10
19 Christian McCaffrey CAR 11
20 Joe Mixon CIN 6
21 Bilal Powell NYJ 11
22 Mark Ingram NO 5
23 Ameer Abdullah DET 7
24 Ty Montgomery GB 8
25 Theo Riddick DET 7
26 Frank Gore IND 11
27 Danny Woodhead BAL 10
28 Robert Kelley WAS 5
29 Doug Martin TB 11
30 Duke Johnson CLE 9
31 Tevin Coleman ATL 5
32 Mike Gillislee NE 9
33 Terrance West BAL 10
34 Derrick Henry TEN 8
35 Adrian Peterson NO 5
36 Paul Perkins NYG 8
37 Darren McFadden DAL 6
38 Darren Sproles PHI 10
39 Thomas Rawls SEA 6
40 LeGarrette Blount PHI 10
41 Jonathan Stewart CAR 11
42 Eddie Lacy SEA 6
43 Jonathan Williams BUF 6
44 James White NE 9
45 D’Onta Foreman HOU 7
46 Marlon Mack IND 11
47 DeAndre Washington OAK 10
48 Jamaal Williams GB 8
49 Jacquizz Rodgers TB 11
50 James Conner PIT 9
51 Samaje Perine WAS 5
52 Jeremy Hill CIN 6
53 Wendell Smallwood PHI 10
54 Jalen Richard OAK 10
55 Chris Thompson WAS 5
56 Latavius Murray MIN 9
57 C.J. Prosise SEA 6
58 Alvin Kamara NO 5
59 Zach Zenner DET 7
60 Aaron Jones GB 8

WR

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 Antonio Brown PIT 9
2 Odell Beckham NYG 8
3 Julio Jones ATL 5
4 Mike Evans TB 11
5 A.J. Green CIN 6
6 Jordy Nelson GB 8
7 Michael Thomas NO 5
8 Doug Baldwin SEA 6
9 Dez Bryant DAL 6
10 Brandin Cooks NE 9
11 T.Y. Hilton IND 11
12 Amari Cooper OAK 10
13 Demaryius Thomas DEN 5
14 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 7
15 Terrelle Pryor WAS 5
16 Keenan Allen LAC 9
17 Alshon Jeffery PHI 10
18 Golden Tate DET 7
19 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 8
20 Tyreek Hill KC 10
21 Davante Adams GB 8
22 Michael Crabtree OAK 10
23 Jamison Crowder WAS 5
24 Martavis Bryant PIT 9
25 Allen Robinson JAC 8
26 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 5
27 DeVante Parker MIA 11
28 Kelvin Benjamin CAR 11
29 Stefon Diggs MIN 9
30 Pierre Garcon SF 11
31 Sammy Watkins LAR 8
32 Brandon Marshall NYG 8
33 DeSean Jackson TB 11
34 Tyrell Williams LAC 9
35 Eric Decker TEN 8
36 Rishard Matthews TEN 8
37 Chris Hogan NE 9
38 Jarvis Landry MIA 11
39 Adam Thielen MIN 9
40 Jeremy Maclin BAL 10
41 Zay Jones BUF 6
42 Willie Snead NO 5
43 Corey Coleman CLE 9
44 Danny Amendola NE 9
45 Donte Moncrief IND 11
46 Kenny Britt CLE 9
47 Cole Beasley DAL 6
48 Mike Wallace BAL 10
49 Randall Cobb GB 8
50 Marvin Jones DET 7
51 John Brown ARI 8
52 Ted Ginn NO 5
53 Sterling Shepard NYG 8
54 Cooper Kupp LAR 8
55 Marquise Lee JAC 8
56 Jordan Matthews BUF 6
57 Terrance Williams DAL 6
58 Jermaine Kearse NYJ 11
59 Corey Davis TEN 8
60 Robert Woods LAR 8
61 Tyler Lockett SEA 6
62 Josh Doctson WAS 5
63 Jeremy Kerley SF 11
64 Kenny Stills MIA 11
65 Robby Anderson NYJ 11
66 Kendall Wright CHI 9
67 Travis Benjamin LAC 9
68 Malcolm Mitchell NE 9
69 Marquise Goodwin SF 11
70 Kevin White CHI 9
71 Paul Richardson SEA 6
72 Chris Conley KC 10
73 Leonte Caroo MIA 11
74 Devin Funchess CAR 11
75 John Ross CIN 6
76 Brice Butler DAL 6
77 Kenny Galloday DET 7
78 Breshad Perriman BAL 10
79 Taylor Gabriel ATL 5
80 Curtis Samuel CAR 11

TE

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 Rob Gronkowski NE 9
2 Travis Kelce KC 10
3 Greg Olsen CAR 11
4 Jordan Reed WAS 5
5 Jimmy Graham SEA 6
6 Tyler Eifert CIN 6
7 Kyle Rudolph MIN 9
8 Delanie Walker TEN 8
9 Zach Ertz PHI 10
10 Hunter Henry LAC 9
11 Jack Doyle IND 11
12 Eric Ebron DET 7
13 Julius Thomas MIA 11
14 Jason Witten DAL 6
15 C.J. Fiedorowicz HOU 7
16 Cameron Brate TB 11
17 Coby Fleener NO 5
18 Austin Hooper ATL 5
19 Martellus Bennett GB 8
20 Zach Miller CHI 9
21 Dwayne Allen NE 9
22 Antonio Gates LAC 9
23 Tyler Higbee LAR 8
24 Vance McDonald PIT 9
25 Vernon Davis WAS 5
26 Ben Watson BAL 10
27 David Njoku CLE 9
28 Evan Engram NYG 8
29 O.J. Howard TB 11
30 Charles Clay BUF 6
31 Jared Cook OAK 10
32 Austin Seferian-Jenkins NYJ 11
33 George Kittle SF 11
34 Gerald Everett LAR 8
35 Jesse James PIT 9
36 Nick Boyle BAL 10
37 Seth DeValve CLE 9
38 Jermaine Gresham ARI 8
39 AJ Derby DEN 5
40 Tyler Kroft CIN 6

K

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 Justin Tucker BAL 10
2 Stephen Gostkowski NE 9
3 Dan Bailey DAL 6
4 Matt Bryant ATL 5
5 Wil Lutz NO 5
6 Mason Crosby GB 8
7 Caleb Sturgis PHI 10
8 Matt Prater DET 7
9 Adam Vinatieri IND 11
10 Dustin Hopkins WAS 5
11 Sebastian Janikowski OAK 10
12 Brandon McManus DEN 5
13 Ryan Succop TEN 8
14 Graham Gano CAR 11
15 Chris Boswell PIT 9

DEF

Rank
Team
Bye
1 Houston 7
2 Denver 5
3 Kansas City 10
4 Arizona 8
5 New England 9
6 Minnesota 9
7 Seattle 6
8 New York Giants 8
9 Philadelphia 10
10 Carolina 11
11 Baltimore 10
12 Los Angeles Chargers 9
13 Atlanta 5
14 Los Angeles Rams 8
15 Tennessee 8

Image Credit: Idiot Dollar

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Fantasy Football Position Breakdowns: Kickers & Defenses

In fantasy football, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people start drafting kickers and defenses in the seventh and eighth rounds. Kickers and defenses should be the last two positions that you draft for your roster and should not be taken before the last three or four rounds of your draft. The people that take kickers and defenses extremely early have no idea what they are doing when it comes to fantasy. These people never win their leagues. Don’t be one of these people.

There is one kicker this year that is worthy of an early pick and that is Justin Tucker. Since he came into the league in 2012, Tucker has proven that he is far and away the best kicker in the game, and he can lead your team to a fantasy championship. However, in my opinion, you should still not use a pick on Tucker before the tenth round.

If Tucker is still available in the tenth round, I am taking advantage of it. In the seventh and eighth rounds, when a lot of people are beginning to take their kickers, there is still so much talent and depth on the board. Players such as Zach Ertz, Tyrell Williams, and DeVante Parker, all whom I like more, are all currently being drafted after Tucker, Stephen Gostkowski, and Mason Crosby.

Personally, I like drafting my kickers before my defense because I find kickers to be more predictable and consistent than defenses. Sometimes its not a bad strategy, if your league allows it, to not even draft a kicker or defense. I have done this in the past so that I could have an extra running back, receiver, or tight end on my roster coming out of the draft. This allowed me to have more options heading into week one. Then, right before week one started I dropped the guy I liked the least for the position that I needed. Many experts in the industry are known to do this too.

I will explain what I look for in a kicker and a defense below but you can view my mid-training camp rankings here. I will be updating my rankings one last time after the final preseason games.

First, lets discuss kickers. The top guys, like Justin Tucker, Matt Bryant, and Dan Bailey are slam dunks year after year. Some of you may be wondering why Stephen Gostkowski wasn’t listed. I have him ranked as my number two kicker but that is mainly due to volume. Gostkowski’s 84.4% field goal percentage in 2016 was his lowest since 2012 and that doesn’t include his three missed extra points. Gostkowski might be past his prime at this point and the risk involved with him is exactly why you should not be drafting a kicker early.

After the top kickers, here is what I look for. Guys on teams with high-powered offenses. This isn’t rocket science. The better offenses score more and are going to be in field goal range more. The kickers for the Saints, Packers, Lions, Steelers, and Raiders are going to get boosts in this category. This is just to name a few, and there are a few others who I did not mention.

I also look for kickers who are on teams that have trouble scoring touchdowns in the red zone. This is part of the reason of why Justin Tucker is so valuable. He is a great kicker nonetheless, but the fact that the Ravens can’t score most weeks only increases the number of points Tucker puts up.

Kickers on teams that don’t turn the ball over are at an advantage as well. The kicker that gets the biggest boost in my opinion is Ryan Succop for the Titans. Marcus Mariota has never thrown an interception in the red zone ever. This is huge for a kicker when you know that easy points aren’t going to be taken away from you because of a turnover.

The last thing I look at for kickers is weather and where they play. I give a slight boost to kickers who play in warm weather or play in a dome. You would prefer to not have your fantasy championship on the line in Buffalo with 25-mile-per-hour winds with snow. You would much rather have it come down to sunny and 60 degrees in Florida, or indoors if you can help it. Brandon McManus also gets a boost here due to playing in Denver with the altitude and the ability to hit 50+ yard field goals consistently.

For teams that go for two-point conversions more than normal (Pittsburgh), I drop their kickers a few spots in my rankings due to easy points being taken away from them.

Like I stated above, Kickers are fairly easy to predict. If you follow the guidelines I spelled out above, you should be fine at the kicker position. When it comes to defenses, they are much harder to predict.

Last season, Jacksonville was expected to be one of the better defenses in the league. They ended the season as one of the worst. The same can be said about the Rams. On the other hand, the Chargers were expected to be a bottom five defense in the league and they ended as a top 12 fantasy defense last season. Defenses are very unpredictable from year to year, and is the one fantasy position that players can stream from week to week if needed. If you don’t feel comfortable streaming your defenses every week, here are a few things that you should look for in a defense.

Obviously the biggest thing is sacks and turnovers. This can be a reward for giving up more points, or just put you over the top if the defense doesn’t give up many points. When it comes to turnovers, this also increases the likelihood of defensive touchdowns.

Side note: Don’t overdraft Seattle’s defense. Year after year, Seattle is the most over-drafted defense due to their reputation. In reality, they are a great “real football” defense, but they are not a great fantasy football defense. They get a decent number of sacks, but they do not force turnovers and rack up fantasy points.

The second thing I look for is a team with a dynamic return game. A team like the Chiefs is a great example. Teams who score on special teams are extremely valuable and can win you a fantasy matchup or even an entire league.

The last thing I look at is defenses for teams that have great offenses. Teams like the Patriots, Steelers, and Packers are going to score a lot of points. This is going to force opposing offenses into predictable passing situations in an attempt to keep up with or catch up to their offenses. This makes it easier on the defense and increases the chances of sacks and turnovers.

There isn’t much else to discuss when it comes to defenses. My recommendation is that you either take one of the top four or five defenses, or wait until the very end and potentially stream them every week.

Image Credit: Bleacher Report

Fantasy Football Position Breakdown: Tight Ends

For the first time in years, we have people ranking a tight end not named Rob Gronkowski number one at the position. Throughout Gronk’s career, health issues proved costly for fantasy players that used early round picks on him. How can you justify using a second or third round pick on a player who is almost guaranteed to miss at least three or four games?

If Gronk plays in all 16 games, he would pay huge dividends. That seems very unlikely given his history. In seven NFL seasons, Gronkowski has played in 16 games only twice: his first two seasons in the league.

This season, as I mentioned, certain fantasy players and analysts have begun dropping Gronk on their tight end boards The people who dropped Gronkowski from the number one spot have replaced him with Travis Kelce. Kelce had a great 2016 season and should be able to pick up where he left off.

I am not one of the people who has moved Kelce ahead of Gronkowski because I believe in waiting on tight ends. You can see my pre-training camp rankings here and my mid-training camp rankings here.

I am not willing to take a tight end before the seventh or eighth round (sometimes even later) of my drafts because there is so much value still available.

There are three things that I look for in a tight end. You don’t need all three of these because there is really only one guy that fits in all three – Rob Gronkowski. If you can grab a tight end that fits one or two of these three criteria while waiting on your tight end, you will be just fine at the position.

1. I want my tight end to be a target monster. Obviously, the more targets they receive, the more chances they have at scoring points.

2. The second thing is looking for tight ends who typically end up with a lot of receiving yards. Receiving yards lead to points.

3. Touchdowns. A tight end can make up for a lack of receiving yards with a lot of touchdowns.

Waiting on a tight end always works out well for me. I rarely end up with one of the top four or five tight ends unless one slides in the draft to a point where I just can’t pass them up.

I’m going to get into some of the guys that I like or dislike based off of their current average draft positions (ADP). Before I do so, I will run through some terms that I will use when describing players.

Boom – A player who will exceed expectations according to their current ADP. Not to be confused with a breakout. Boom players have produced in the past but are most likely being undervalued.

Bust – A player who will fail to live up to expectations according to ADP.

Breakout – A player who will have a career year this season and exceed expectations. This player has possibly not lived up to expectations so far in their career, and is most likely still early on in their career.

Lets dive into a few players and their outlooks for this season.

Kyle Rudolph (Boom) – This shouldn’t surprise anyone. To be honest, I shouldn’t have put Rudolph on this list. However, he continues to get disrespected in drafts after his amazing 2016 campaign. In 2016, Rudolph ranked third among tight ends in receptions (83), behind only Dennis Pitta (86) and Kelce (85). Rudolph was also first among tight ends in targets (132) and fourth among tight ends in receiving yards (840). Kelce (1125), Greg Olsen (1073), and Jimmy Graham (923) were the only tight ends that had more receiving yards than Rudolph. Last, Rudolph was third among tight ends in touchdowns (7) behind only Cameron Brate (8) and Hunter Henry (8).

So why is he currently being drafted outside of the top six tight ends? Take Rudolph as your tight end in the mid-late rounds and you will have a major steal on your hands that will not disappoint.

Eric Ebron (Breakout) – If I am being completely honest, Ebron is a major high- risk, potential high-reward player. You won’t have to use an extremely high pick on Ebron, as he is currently being drafted as TE17. He is already experiencing injuries in camp and that has been his biggest problem throughout his career. Once Ebron is healthy I look for him to put it all together this season. Everyone is going to lean towards Kenny Galloday, but I am not buying into that hype at this point.

Ebron has improved his stats every season of his career so far. In just 13 games last season, Ebron had 61 receptions, 711 yards, and a touchdown. The number of touchdown receptions has to go up doesn’t it? Anquan Boldin’s 95 targets and eight touchdown receptions have to go somewhere right? Ebron is going to take some of that. If he can play 14 or 15 games its very possible that Ebron could end the season with 70+ receptions, 800 yards, and 5+ touchdowns.

Jack Doyle (Boom) – Jack Doyle had somewhat of a breakout season in 2016. In 16 games last season, Doyle had 59 receptions, 584 yards, and five touchdowns. That was when Doyle competed for playing time with Dwayne Allen, who is now in New England.

This season, Doyle is slated to be the starting tight end and should have no real competition for targets from other tight ends. Don’t let Andrew Luck’s health be a concern for you moving forward. This is an offense run by Rob Chudzinski, who is arguably the most tight end-favorable coach in the league. Chudzinski’s offenses focus heavily on the tight end and it does not matter who is playing quarterback. I look for Doyle to have a great year and far exceed his current TE13 draft position.

Martellus Bennett (Bust) – How many times do we have to go through this with Packers tight ends? Year after year the Packers go out and sign a big name tight end in free agency so that the fantasy community can get excited about him. And year after year the player disappoints. “But this is the best tight end that Aaron Rodgers has had in years!” Right. And didn’t we say the same exact thing last year about Jared Cook? Cook ended last season with 30 receptions, 377 yards, and one touchdown in ten games.

Rodgers and the Packers’ offense just never use the tight end, especially in the red zone. Bennett will be the third option in this offense behind Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. Bennett is currently being drafted as high as the eighth tight end which is entirely too high for my liking. I see no way that he ends up as a top ten tight end this season and I will own zero shares of Bennett this season.

O.J. Howard (Bust) – History has shown that rookie tight ends tend to struggle. Howard is going to turn into one of the better tight ends for years to come but I don’t think it starts this year. Cameron Brate is ahead of him on the depth chart and current reports are that Howard will be used mainly as a blocker. The spotlight coming from Hard Knocks and the fact the Howard comes from Alabama will inflate his draft position.

Winston and Brate showed a lot of chemistry last season, and I don’t think they are going to go away from something that is working.

Image Credit: NESN

Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Mid-Training Camp Edition

Can you believe it? We are just three weeks away from the first NFL Sunday of the season. This is the best time of the year. I feel like a small child waiting for Christmas morning.

Teams are now full steam ahead having completed two preseason games. Position battles begin to sort themselves out. Coaches are even naming starters. For the battles that are still undecided, the last two weeks of camp are key for both NFL teams and fantasy players alike.

For those of you who do not have your league drafts until the weekend before the season starts, I will be posting updated rankings one more time. As stated before, all of these rankings are for PPR leagues and do not include current free agents.

With all of that being said, I present to you my mid-training camp positional rankings. You will notice some major changes, especially at running back. The top of each position hasn’t changed very much.

QB

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 Aaron Rodgers GB 8
2 Tom Brady NE 9
3 Drew Brees NO 5
4 Russell Wilson SEA 6
5 Kirk Cousins WAS 5
6 Andrew Luck IND 11
7 Matt Ryan ATL 5
8 Marcus Mariota TEN 8
9 Jameis Winston TB 11
10 Cam Newton CAR 11
11 Derek Carr OAK 10
12 Philip Rivers LAC 9
13 Matthew Stafford DET 7
14 Andy Dalton CIN 6
15 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 9
16 Eli Manning NYG 8
17 Dak Prescott DAL 6
18 Tyrod Taylor BUF 6
19 Carson Wentz PHI 10
20 Carson Palmer ARI 8
21 Sam Bradford MIN 9
22 Jay Cutler MIA 11
23 Alex Smith KC 10
24 Blake Bortles JAC 8
25 Jared Goff LAR 8
26 Joe Flacco BAL 10
27 T. Siemian DEN 5
28 Brian Hoyer SF 11
29 Mike Glennon CHI 9
30 Tom Savage HOU 7
31 Cody Kessler CLE 9
32 Josh McCown NYJ 11

RB

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 David Johnson ARI 8
2 Le’Veon Bell PIT 9
3 LeSean McCoy BUF 6
4 Melvin Gordon LAC 9
5 Jordan Howard CHI 9
6 Devonta Freeman ATL 5
7 Jay Ajayi MIA 11
8 DeMarco Murray TEN 8
9 Todd Gurley LAR 8
10 Leonard Fournette JAC 8
11 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 6
12 Lamar Miller HOU 7
13 Dalvin Cook MIN 9
14 Joe Mixon CIN 6
15 Christian McCaffrey CAR 11
16 Isaiah Crowell CLE 9
17 Marshawn Lynch OAK 10
18 Carlos Hyde SF 11
19 Mark Ingram NO 5
20 C.J. Anderson DEN 5
21 Spencer Ware KC 10
22 Bilal Powell NYJ 11
23 Ameer Abdullah DET 7
24 Danny Woodhead BAL 10
25 Ty Montgomery GB 8
26 Mike Gillislee NE 9
27 Theo Riddick DET 7
28 Adrian Peterson NO 5
29 Terrance West BAL 10
30 Robert Kelley WAS 5
31 Thomas Rawls SEA 6
32 LeGarrette Blount PHI 10
33 Paul Perkins NYG 8
34 Derrick Henry TEN 8
35 Tevin Coleman ATL 5
36 Eddie Lacy SEA 6
37 Jonathan Stewart CAR 11
38 Duke Johnson CLE 9
39 Samaje Perine WAS 5
40 Frank Gore IND 11
41 Darren McFadden DAL 6
42 Kareem Hunt KC 10
43 C.J. Prosise SEA 6
44 Jonathan Williams BUF 6
45 Doug Martin TB 11
46 James White NE 9
47 Robert Turbin IND 11
48 Jacquizz Rodgers TB 11
49 DeAndre Washington OAK 10
50 Jamaal Williams GB 8
51 Jeremy Hill CIN 6
52 Wendell Smallwood PHI 10
53 D’Onta Foreman HOU 7
54 Kenyan Drake MIA 11
55 Matt Forte NYJ 11
56 Chris Thompson WAS 5
57 James Conner PIT 9
58 Joe Williams SF 11
59 Jalen Richard OAK 10
60 Latavius Murray MIN 9
61 Fitzgerald Toussaint PIT 9
62 Alfred Morris DAL 6
63 Marlon Mack IND 11
64 Alvin Kamara NO 5
65 Zach Zenner DET 7
66 Devontae Booker DEN 5
67 Dion Lewis NE 9
68 Giovani Bernard CIN 6
69 Charcandrick West KC 10
70 Aaron Jones GB 8
71 Ka’Deem Carey CHI 9
72 Darren Sproles PHI 10
73 T.J. Yeldon JAC 8
74 Jamaal Charles DEN 5
75 Branden Oliver LAC 9
76 Jeremy Langford CHI 9
77 Rex Burkhead NE 9
78 Donnel Pumphrey PHI 10
79 Chris Ivory JAC 8
80 Damien Williams MIA 11

WR

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 Antonio Brown PIT 9
2 Odell Beckham NYG 8
3 Julio Jones ATL 5
4 Mike Evans TB 11
5 A.J. Green CIN 6
6 Jordy Nelson GB 8
7 Michael Thomas NO 5
8 T.Y. Hilton IND 11
9 Doug Baldwin SEA 6
10 Dez Bryant DAL 6
11 Amari Cooper OAK 10
12 Brandin Cooks NE 9
13 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 7
14 Demaryius Thomas DEN 5
15 Terrelle Pryor WAS 5
16 Keenan Allen LAC 9
17 Allen Robinson JAC 8
18 Alshon Jeffery PHI 10
19 Golden Tate DET 7
20 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 8
21 Davante Adams GB 8
22 Tyreek Hill KC 10
23 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 5
24 Jamison Crowder WAS 5
25 Martavis Bryant PIT 9
26 Julian Edelman NE 9
27 Michael Crabtree OAK 10
28 Stefon Diggs MIN 9
29 DeVante Parker MIA 11
30 Willie Snead NO 5
31 Pierre Garcon SF 11
32 Brandon Marshall NYG 8
33 Sammy Watkins LAR 8
34 DeSean Jackson TB 11
35 Jarvis Landry MIA 11
36 Tyrell Williams LAC 9
37 Cameron Meredith CHI 9
38 Donte Moncrief IND 11
39 Eric Decker TEN 8
40 Kelvin Benjamin CAR 11
41 Rishard Matthews TEN 8
42 Jeremy Maclin BAL 10
43 Zay Jones BUF 6
44 Adam Thielen MIN 9
45 Kenny Britt CLE 9
46 Mike Wallace BAL 10
47 Cole Beasley DAL 6
48 Randall Cobb GB 8
49 Corey Coleman CLE 9
50 Marvin Jones DET 7
51 Sterling Shepard NYG 8
52 Josh Doctson WAS 5
53 Anquan Boldin BUF 6
54 Cooper Kupp LAR 8
55 Robert Woods LAR 8
56 Corey Davis TEN 8
57 Marquise Lee JAC 8
58 J.J. Nelson ARI 8
59 John Ross CIN 6
60 Jordan Matthews BUF 6
61 Terrance Williams DAL 6
62 Robby Anderson NYJ 11
63 Tyler Lockett SEA 6
64 John Brown ARI 8
65 Chris Hogan NE 9
66 Jeremy Kerley SF 11
67 Kenny Stills MIA 11
68 Taylor Gabriel ATL 5
69 Danny Amendola NE 9
70 Michael Floyd MIN 9
71 Breshad Perriman BAL 10
72 Ted Ginn NO 5
73 Leonte Caroo MIA 11
74 Paul Richardson SEA 6
75 Devin Funchess CAR 11
76 Kenny Galloday DET 7
77 Kevin White CHI 9
78 Curtis Samuel CAR 11
79 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 9
80 Allen Hurns JAC 8
81 Malcolm Mitchell NE 9
82 Chris Conley KC 10
83 Travis Benjamin LAC 9
84 Charone Peake NYJ 11
85 ArDarius Stewart NYJ 11
86 Russell Shepard CAR 11
87 Dontrelle Inman LAC 9
88 Mohamed Sanu ATL 5
89 Brice Butler DAL 6
90 Brandon LaFell CIN 6
91 Chester Rogers IND 11
92 Braxton Miller HOU 7
93 Marquise Goodwin SF 11
94 Victor Cruz CHI 9
95 Andre Holmes BUF 6
96 Demarcus Ayers PIT 9
97 Kamar Aiken IND 11
98 Amara Darboh SEA 6
99 Nelson Agholor PHI 10
100 Tyler Boyd CIN 6

TE

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 Rob Gronkowski NE 9
2 Travis Kelce KC 10
3 Greg Olsen CAR 11
4 Jordan Reed WAS 5
5 Jimmy Graham SEA 6
6 Tyler Eifert CIN 6
7 Kyle Rudolph MIN 9
8 Delanie Walker TEN 8
9 Zach Ertz PHI 10
10 Hunter Henry LAC 9
11 Jack Doyle IND 11
12 Eric Ebron DET 7
13 Cameron Brate TB 11
14 C.J. Fiedorowicz HOU 7
15 Julius Thomas MIA 11
16 Jason Witten DAL 6
17 Coby Fleener NO 5
18 Antonio Gates LAC 9
19 Austin Hooper ATL 5
20 Martellus Bennett GB 8
21 Zach Miller CHI 9
22 Dwayne Allen NE 9
23 Gerald Everett LAR 8
24 O.J. Howard TB 11
25 Nick Boyle BAL 10
26 Evan Engram NYG 8
27 Jesse James PIT 9
28 Austin Seferian-Jenkins NYJ 11
29 David Njoku CLE 9
30 Vance McDonald SF 11
31 Charles Clay BUF 6
32 Vernon Davis WAS 5
33 Erik Swoope IND 11
34 Seth DeValve CLE 9
35 Ben Watson BAL 10
36 Jared Cook OAK 10
37 Tyler Higbee LAR 8
38 AJ Derby DEN 5
39 Jermaine Gresham ARI 8
40 Tyler Kroft CIN 6

K

Rank
Player
Team
Bye
1 Justin Tucker BAL 10
2 Stephen Gostkowski NE 9
3 Dan Bailey DAL 6
4 Matt Bryant ATL 5
5 Wil Lutz NO 5
6 Mason Crosby GB 8
7 Adam Vinatieri IND 11
8 Caleb Sturgis PHI 10
9 Matt Prater DET 7
10 Dustin Hopkins WAS 5
11 Ryan Succop TEN 8
12 Sebastian Janikowski OAK 10
13 Graham Gano CAR 11
14 Brandon McManus DEN 5
15 Chris Boswell PIT 9

DEF

Rank
Team
Bye
1 Denver 5
2 Houston 7
3 Kansas City 10
4 Arizona 8
5 Minnesota 9
6 New England 9
7 Seattle 6
8 Carolina 11
9 New York Giants 8
10 Philadelphia 10
11 Baltimore 10
12 Atlanta 5
13 Los Angeles Chargers 9
14 Los Angeles Rams 8
15 Tennessee 8

Image Credit: Arizona Sports

Fantasy Football Position Breakdowns: Wide Receivers

Heading into the 2017 season, the top fantasy option at receiver on almost everyone’s board is Antonio Brown. After Brown, everyone has Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and A.J. Green to round out the top five at receiver. The order of these players depends on the analyst. You can see my pre-training camp rankings here. These are slightly out of date, but I am hoping to post updated rankings sometime soon.

This past week, the receiver class was fairly lively for the preseason. First, Quincy Enunwa was placed on season-ending injured reserve (IR). After playing a very solid 2016 season, Enunwa was in line to be the number-one receiver for the Jets. Enunwa’s injury pushes Robby Anderson up the depth chart and into the number-one role.

This past Friday, the Bills made two moves involving receivers. The first sent their former 2014 first round pick to the Rams. The second brought Jordan Matthews to Buffalo from Philadelphia. Reports indicate that Matthews will take over for Sammy Watkins as the number one receiver. The Bills also made a splash in free agency earlier in the week when they signed Anquan Boldin.

READ: Fantasy Football Positional Breakdown: Running Backs

A lot of fantasy leagues start three receivers each week, which is the most of any position. Therefore, you obviously want to draft quite a few receivers. For this reason, I personally draft more receivers than any other position for my team each year. Receivers also tend to miss one or two games each year due to injury, so I like having guys that I can sub in if I need them.

I personally feel as though you do not need to focus heavily on receivers early in drafts this season. I think the receiver class is deep enough that there is a lot of value to be drafted later on in drafts. However, if high-end receivers slide to you early, you should absolutely pull the trigger on those guys and not let them fall any farther.

I’m going to get into some of the guys that I like or dislike based off of their current average draft positions (ADP). Before I do so, I will run through some terms that I will use when describing players.

Boom – A player who will exceed expectations according to their current ADP. Not to be confused with a breakout. Boom players have produced in the past but are most likely being undervalued.

Bust – A player who will fail to live up to expectations according to ADP.

Breakout – A player who will have a career year this season and exceed expectations. This player has possibly not lived up to expectations so far in their career, and is most likely still early on in their career.

Lets dive into a few players and their outlooks for this season.

Dez Bryant (Bust) – I had Bryant tabbed as a bust even before Ezekiel Elliott’s announced suspension. Since the six-game suspension was announced, I have not changed my opinion on Bryant at all. In seven NFL seasons, Bryant has only played in 16 games three times. He did play in 15 games in one other season. Bryant’s health has always been a concern and I see no reason why this season will be any different.

With Elliott’s suspension, I think it hurts Bryant even more. Without Elliott in the backfield for the first six weeks of the season, defenses are going to take that extra defender out of the box and focus their efforts on the pass. I think they might even double Bryant a lot of times, which would make things even more difficult for him. Having Elliott in the backfield helps the passing attack. Removing him from the offense will reduce the productivity of the running game as well as the passing game. I think Dez will be impacted the most by this. That is if he is even on the field.

Davante Adams (Bust) – Most people may completely disagree with me on this one. How could I possibly say that a receiver who has Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback a bust? Last season, Adams caught 12 touchdown passes which is an unbelievable number. I see no way for him to keep up that pace. It’s just that simple for me. I think Adams can have a solid and productive fantasy season. I am not using a fourth or fifth round pick on Adams, which is where he is currently being drafted. I will let someone else take the chance on Adams. I would much rather have him reproduce his 2016 season on someone else’s roster than bust as a fourth-round pick on my roster.

Stefon Diggs (Breakout) – Diggs had a very good 2016 season, and is poised to breakout in his third year. With a full year of work with Sam Bradford, and another year of experience under his belt, Diggs could be a league winner for a lot of fantasy players. In 2016, Diggs ended with 84 receptions, 903 yards, and 3 touchdowns, in only 13 games. Had he played 16 games he would have had 95+ receptions, 1000+ yards and at least one more touchdown. As long as Diggs stays healthy, I look for him to have a great season with the Vikings. Adding Dalvin Cook to the backfield should help the passing game a little too. Diggs is currently being drafted between the eighth and eleventh rounds depending on the site you use. Either way I think he outproduces his draft position by a wide margin.

READ: Fantasy Football Positional Breakdown: Quarterbacks

Tyrell Williams (Boom) – After last season’s breakout season, I look for Williams to continue building on his success. After Keenan Allen tore his ACL in week one, Williams ended last season with 69 receptions, 1,059 yards, and seven touchdowns. Yet he is still being completely disrespected in drafts so far this season. Williams is currently being drafted in the eleventh round of drafts. Heading into the season, he is the clear-cut number-two receiver on a high-powered offense with a very low chance of getting demoted. On top of that, Allen, the team’s number-one receiver, has been very prone to injury in his young career.

If Allen were to go down again this season, Williams would immediately slide into the number-one role and become a top 15-20 fantasy option at the position once again. If Allen were to stay healthy for a full season, I still look for Williams to have at least 60 receptions, 900 yards, and five touchdowns which should make him a steal for where he is currently being drafted.

For those worried about rookie Mike Williams, don’t be. The guy is already hurt and still hasn’t practiced. The Chargers are expecting to have him back around October but it will take him some time to get up to speed. I don’t think Williams will impact Williams’  production at all this season.

 

Image Credit: Bleacher Report

Fantasy Football Position Breakdown: Running Backs

Heading into draft season, the most interesting topic of conversation among running backs is certainly Ezekiel Elliott. The majority of fantasy analysts had him as their third best running back and third best overall player heading into the season. However, recent reports have fantasy players scrambling to figure out how they will be handling Elliott in their drafts.

For those of you who have not heard, rumors are swirling that Elliott could end up being suspended by the NFL for violating their personal conduct policy. I won’t get into that here. There are plenty of articles online about this matter.

What if he does get suspended? How much does it drop him in drafts? We are still uncertain about the length of the potential suspension. Most believe that it will not be any longer than two games. If he ends up without a suspension, then it obviously does not change his draft status. However, if he does get a suspension, and it is no longer than two games, Elliott should drop down into the middle-to–late first round.

If we look back to last season, Le’Veon Bell was given a three-game suspension. Bell dropped from a top two or three overall pick into the second round. In some cases, he lasted into the late second round. With a one or two game suspension I think it is reasonable to think that Elliott averages getting drafted anywhere between five and ten overall instead of the top three or four like he would without a suspension.

This season, the top three running backs in everyone’s rankings are David Johnson, Bell, and Elliott. The order changes depending on the analyst, but nearly everyone has these three guys as their top three. You can see my pre-training camp rankings here.

Most people will probably have an issue with me having Bell ranked higher than Johnson. Let me explain my thinking. First, the gap between the two is extremely narrow. Bell has still not reported to Steelers camp due to a contract dispute. He believes that he should be paid like a number one running back and a number two wide receiver. He will be going into a contract year and running backs generally play very well in contract years.

If he wants to be paid like a number one back and a number two receiver after this season, he needs to have a record-breaking year. That is why I currently have him at number one.

However, the longer he holds out, the more I become concerned with his health. As it gets closer to week one, I may consider making Johnson my number one running back if Bell has still not reported to camp.

I’m going to get into some of the guys that I like or dislike based off of their current average draft positions (ADP). Before I do so, I will run through some terms that I will use when describing players.

Boom – A player who will exceed expectations according to their current ADP. Not to be confused with a breakout. Boom players have produced in the past but are most likely being undervalued.

Bust – A player who will fail to live up to expectations, according to ADP.

Breakout – A player who will have a career year this season and exceed expectations. This player has possibly not lived up to expectations so far in their career, and is most likely still early on in their career.

Lets dive into a few players and their outlooks for this season.

Marshawn Lynch (Bust) – Many people are extremely high Lynch this season. I am not one of those people. Some may argue that a full season away from the game was good for Lynch, and that he will come into this season well rested. That may be true, but I see no way how he stayed in shape during his time off.

Lynch’s current ADP on Yahoo is reasonable (38.1). However, he is being drafted entirely too early on ESPN (27). There is no chance that I will even consider drafting him that high in my drafts. Lynch may come out hot during the first few weeks. After several weeks, I will look for him to start wearing down.

Isaiah Crowell (Bust) – This running back is listed as a bust only because of where he is being drafted. His current ADP isn’t terrible on ESPN (47) and Yahoo (37.7) but I have noticed in most of my mock drafts that he is going before that.

I do like Crowell this season. The Browns should have one of the best offensive lines in the league after addressing the need this offseason. Crowell was successful last season behind a subpar offensive line, and it has only improved. I just can’t trust drafting a Browns running back early in my drafts when there are other great players available. If he slides a little bit, I will gladly take a chance on him.

Bilal Powell (Boom) – Powell will not get the credit or recognition he deserves because he plays for the Jets. Yes, they will be one of, if not the worst team in the league this season, but someone in the offense is going to need to do something for them. The team will most likely be playing from behind most of the time, so Powell will get a lot of receptions, making him more valuable in PPR leagues.

Most people probably don’t realize that Powell had 58 receptions last season and totaled over 1,000 offensive yards from scrimmage. For a guy currently being drafted anywhere between the sixth and eleventh rounds, he should turn out to be a major steal and by far outproduce his current draft position.

Like what you’re reading? Check out my positional breakdown for quarterbacks. 

Dalvin Cook (Breakout) – Some people may be concerned with Latavius Murray possibly taking goal line carries away from Cook this season. I am not concerned with that possibility. The Vikings used a second round draft pick on Cook and they are hoping he will turn into their feature back for years to come. My guess is Cook will work two complete series for every one series that Murray works. I don’t anticipate that there will be a designated goal line back.

In college, Cook showed that he has the ability to be a three-down feature back that can catch the ball out of the backfield. I don’t foresee Cook having an Ezekiel Elliott type rookie season, but I think he could have around 1,200 total offensive yards from scrimmage and eight total touchdowns.

Murray is currently on the PUP list which is helping Cook get more reps with the first team. The longer Murray stays on the PUP list, the stronger I feel about Cook this season. Don’t worry too much about Murray this season. Cook will be a solid fantasy option.

Danny Woodhead (Boom) – I really liked Woodhead before Kenneth Dixon went down for the season. Since then, my love for him has only grown. Woodhead has proven year after year that he is PPR gold. He does have a history of injuries, and this season will be no different. If you take a chance on Woodhead you will be taking a big risk. If Woodhead can stay healthy for the entire season, he will be one of the biggest steals in any position. His current ADP sits at 67 on ESPN and 117.5 on Yahoo.

Now in Baltimore with Joe Flacco as his quarterback, it is not out of the question to think that Woodhead could catch 80 passes this season. That will only be possible if he stays healthy the entire season. With Joe “the check-down king” Flacco throwing him the ball, Woodhead will get plenty of targets. There are over 400 targets available from last season that are no longer on the team, suspended, or injured heading into this season. Woodhead will take a fair amount of those.

Image Credit: Sporting News

Fantasy Football Position Breakdowns: Quarterbacks

To wait on a quarterback, or to not wait on a quarterback?

That is the age-old fantasy question that players ask each year around draft time. Simply put, both strategies can work and work very well. Most fantasy players are on one end of the spectrum, or the other. They don’t sway much from their beliefs.

Personally, I lean more towards waiting on my quarterback. That way, I can load up on receivers and running backs in the early rounds, while other players take their quarterbacks. This benefited me greatly two years ago when I landed Carson Palmer in the twelfth round. Palmer ended that season as a top six fantasy quarterback. Last season, I took Drew Brees early when he fell to me in the fifth round. In this league, I never thought that he would be there for me in the fifth round. I didn’t love any of the other players available, so I took Brees early. Brees ended up working out great for me too.

Both strategies can work, as long as you don’t reach for players, or wait too long. Taking Aaron Rodgers in the first round of a one-quarterback league sets you up for failure. Waiting to take a quarterback until the last round, when everyone else already has two, is not the route to take either.

This season, the consensus top two quarterbacks are Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Everyone’s rankings are different after that. You can see my pre-training camp rankings here.

I’m going to get into some of the guys that I like or dislike based off of their current average draft positions (ADP). Before I do so, I will run through some terms that I will use when describing players.

Boom – A player who will exceed expectations according to their current ADP. Not to be confused with a breakout. Boom players have produced in the past but are most likely being undervalued.

Bust – A player who will fail to live up to expectations according to ADP.

Breakout – A player who will have a career year this season and exceed expectations. This player has possibly not lived up to expectations so far in their career, and is most likely still early on in their career.

Lets dive into a few players and their outlooks for this season.

Andrew Luck – Luck is an interesting player heading into the season. He’s currently on the PUP list and is noncommittal on providing a date for his potential return. After Luck underwent shoulder surgery back in January, the Colts announced that he would be ready for the start of the season. At this point, one would think that Luck should at least be throwing. Reports indicate that he hasn’t begun throwing footballs at this time.

Luck isn’t a player that will need preseason game reps in order to be ready to play week one, but it would be nice to see him out there. If you are drafting early in the preseason, be cautious with Luck. Uncertainty is something that I tend to steer clear of in fantasy. Therefore, I will not draft Luck at his current ADP (ESPN: 60.2; Yahoo: 45.7). If, by the time I draft, Luck returns to practice and shows signs of being ready for week 1, he will be in play for me.

Kirk Cousins (Boom) – Cousins is a guy, who is currently being undervalued. His current ADP sits at 95.1 on ESPN and 98.7 on Yahoo. I understand the hesitation from some people with Cousins. He lost his offensive coordinator, Sean McVay, to the Los Angeles Rams. He also lost two 1,000-yard receivers in Pierre Garçon and Desean Jackson. However, taking over for McVay at offensive coordinator is Matt Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh joined the Redskins coaching staff prior to the 2016 season as the quarterbacks coach, and has a good working relationship with Cousins. In free agency, the team signed Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick in an attempt to replace Garçon and Jackson. Pryor could turn out to be a huge addition for this offense. Let’s not forget that 2016 rookie Josh Doctson and 2016 breakout player Jamison Crowder will also return this season. Doctson struggled with injuries during the 2016 season but showed off during offseason workouts and into training camp so far.

Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis will line up at tight end to help out Cousins in the short passing game Davis and Reed make up a good red zone duo. Last season, the two combined for top-of-the-line tight end numbers. They should do close to the same this season if there avoid injury. I fully expect Cousins to pick up right where he left off at the end of last season end up as a draft day steal this season.

Matt Ryan (Bust) – I am avoiding Matt Ryan this season. After last season’s career year, fantasy players will most likely over-draft Ryan this year.  Sometimes, you simply have a hunch about certain players, and Ryan is one of those players for me this season.

Losing his offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, will hurt Ryan from a production standpoint. Shanahan is now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Going into the season, we don’t know what new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will bring to the Falcons offense compared to Shanahan.

The uncertainty at offensive coordinator, combined with Ryan coming off a career year, is scary. Nobody in fantasy should be completely off limits. However, Ryan will have to slide quite far from his current ADP (ESPN: 40.6; Yahoo: 49.7) for me to take a chance on him.

Marcus Mariota (Boom) – Mariota might seem like a given to some people but I feel as though he needs to be pointed out. For his career, Mariota has thrown 33 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in the redone. The Titans added Eric Decker and Corey Davis to their receiving corps this offseason which adds two great redone targets for Mariota. Add in Mariota’s running ability and you have a valuable fantasy asset on your hands. I would not be surprised at all if Mariota ends this season as a top five fantasy quarterback. At this time, in my opinion, he is being accurately valued on Yahoo (ADP: 58) but is extremely undervalued on ESPN (ADP: 119.1).

Dak Prescott (Bust) – Let’s get something straight with Prescott: I think he is a very solid quarterback. In a few years, he will be a darn good quarterback. This year, he will be a fantasy bust.

Last season was made possible by Ezekiel Elliott. The ability to run the ball effectively in an NFL offense helps out the passing game tremendously. The Cowboys will not have a problem running the ball this season, but when they do need to pass, defenses will stifle Prescott. With a full season of film on Prescott available, defensive coordinators will be prepared. At his current ADP (ESPN: 72.2; Yahoo: 81.4) I am not willing to take a chance on Prescott. He is currently being drafted ahead of quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger, Kirk Cousins, and Jameis Winston.

Carson Wentz (Breakout) – As a rookie last season, Wentz wasn’t supposed to see the field. The Eagles forced him into action when they traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings a week before the season started. Wentz ended up playing surprisingly well, and I think that he can continue to build off his success from last season.

Contrary to Prescott, the Eagles improved the pieces around Wentz. They signed Legarrette Blount, Alshon Jeffery, and Torrey Smith during free agency which should help Wentz out tremendously. With a full season of NFL experience under his belt, along with some key additions to the offense, I look for Wentz to have a breakout season in 2017.

Jared Goff (Breakout) – I will keep this short and sweet. The new head coach for the Rams is the one responsible for Cousins. I believe that he can do the same with the former number one overall pick. That being said, don’t over draft Goff. I would not draft Goff as anything more than a second quarterback, but I do expect Goff to have a breakout season with Sean McVay now as his coach.

Image Credit: NY Post