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Top 200 Rankings - Shane Davis

I know it’s late in the year but here is my updated Preseason Top 200 Fantasy List! I used ½ point PPR as my logic as it can help in both PPR and standard scoring. This list is built for Fantasy drafts which is why in later rounds the positions are in tier groups. The number on the far left is the position rank, the number on the right is the overall rank. Good luck!

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RUNNING BACKS
Call me old fashioned but 90% of the time I’m still a “draft 2 RB’s first guy”. When it comes to a fantasy draft my first 2 or 3 rounds two things are paramount to me, impact and consistency. There is no consistency I love more than a player that gets 20 to 25 touches a game which is usually only found at the RB position.

1ST Round Picks All players that can confidently be drafted in the 1st round as an every-week starter without concern of being in a time share.
1    1    David Johnson, Ari RB
2    2    Le'Veon Bell, Pit RB
3    8    LeSean McCoy, Buf RB
4    9    Devonta Freeman, Atl RB
5    10    Melvin Gordon, LAC RB
6    11    Jay Ajayi, Mia RB
7    12    DeMarco Murray, Ten RB
8    13    Jordan Howard, Chi RB

Solid RB1’s/Elite RB2’s This group is players that if you went WR in round 1 will still give you consistent performance from the RB1 Spot or if you went RB-RB would solidify your starting RB’s so you can gamble on WR’s and TE’s in later rounds.
9    22    Todd Gurley, LAR RB
10    23    Marshawn Lynch, Oak RB
11    24    Isaiah Crowell, Cle RB
12    25    Lamar Miller, Hou RB
13    26    Danny Woodhead, Bal RB
14    27    Kareem Hunt, KC RB
15    28    Leonard Fournette, Jax RB
16    29    Ezekiel Elliott, Dal RB

Solid RB2’s these players are either starters on teams or are in systems where they will still get enough work to justify your RB2 spot or possibly RB1 in large leagues or if you went Zero RB strategy
17    40    Christian McCaffrey, Car RB
18    41    Carlos Hyde, SF RB
19    42    Frank Gore, Ind RB
20    43    Mark Ingram, NO RB
21    44    Dalvin Cook, Min RB
22    45    Ty Montgomery, GB RB
23    46    Bilal Powell, NYJ RB
24    47    Joe Mixon, Cin RB
25    48    Darren McFadden, Dal RB
26    64    Adrian Peterson, NO RB
27    65    Paul Perkins, NYG RB
28    73    Mike Gillislee, NE RB
29    74    Tevin Coleman, Atl RB
30    75    Theo Riddick, Det RB
31    76    Ameer Abdullah, Det RB
32    77    C.J. Anderson, Den RB

Bye week fillers hopefully you already have 2 or 3 RB’s when you are drafting these players, but will get enough carries to fill in on the Bye weeks or be large league (12+) Flex options that definitely have potential upside to score double-digit points
33    86    Robert Kelley, Wsh RB
34    87    Terrance West, Bal RB
35    88    Duke Johnson Jr., Cle RB
36    93    Doug Martin, TB RB
37    94    Jacquizz Rodgers, TB RB
38    95    LeGarrette Blount, Phi RB
39    96    Eddie Lacy, Sea RB
40    97    Darren Sproles, Phi RB
41    98    C.J. Prosise, Sea RB
42    99    Giovani Bernard, Cin RB
43    100    Jonathan Stewart, Car RB

Handcuffs/Late round fliers Worth a little reach if you have the RB ahead of them on the depth chart or a double digit round flier. Tons of upside in this group but some incredibly low floors as well
44    130    Derrick Henry, Ten RB
45    131    Samaje Perine, Wsh RB
46    132    Chris Thompson, Wsh RB
47    133    Jamaal Charles, Den RB
48    134    Alvin Kamara, NO RB
49    135    Latavius Murray, Min RB
50    136    Rex Burkhead, NE RB
51    137    James White, NE RB
52    138    Shane Vereen, NYG RB
53    139    Matt Forte, NYJ RB
54    140    T.J. Yeldon, Jax RB
55    149    Thomas Rawls, Sea RB
56    150    James Conner, Pit RB
57    151    Devontae Booker*, Den RB
58    152    DeAndre Washington, Oak RB
59    171    Charles Sims, TB RB
60    172    Robert Turbin, Ind RB
61    173    D'Onta Foreman, Hou RB
62    174    Charcandrick West, KC RB
63    175    Dion Lewis, NE RB
64    176    Tarik Cohen, Chi RB

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WIDE RECEIVERS
There are a few WR’s that I just can’t pass up to build my team around though. I typically like to use my WR as more my “gamble positions” but as you will see there are some WR’s that I feel are virtually matchup proof and consistent enough I trust them to carry my team.

1st Round Picks Elite pass catchers that are head and shoulders above the rest of the league at the position that you can’t let slip by you in the 1st round.
1    3    Antonio Brown, Pit WR
2    4    Julio Jones, Atl WR
3    5    Mike Evans, TB WR
4    6    Jordy Nelson, GB WR
5    7    Odell Beckham Jr., NYG WR

Solid WR1’s/ Elite WR2’s If you are wanting to go Zero RB strategy or in a larger league these WR’s will still be the primary target on their teams with stable QB situations (minus Garcon but Hoyer LOVES his WR1).
6    14    Michael Thomas, NO WR
7    15    A.J. Green, Cin WR
8    17    Brandin Cooks, NE WR
9    18    T.Y. Hilton, Ind WR
10    19    Demaryius Thomas, Den WR
11    20    Dez Bryant, Dal WR
12    21    Keenan Allen, LAC WR
13    30    Terrelle Pryor Sr., Wsh WR
14    31    DeAndre Hopkins, Hou WR
15    32    Amari Cooper, Oak WR
16    33    Doug Baldwin, Sea WR
17    34    Alshon Jeffery, Phi WR
18    35    Davante Adams, GB WR
19    36    Michael Crabtree, Oak WR
20    37    Pierre Garcon, SF WR
21    38    Golden Tate, Det WR

Consistent WR2’s/Elite Flex options Hopefully these players aren’t the first WR you are taking unless you already have Aaron Rodgers AND Gronk but still should give you consistent solid performances at your WR2 or smaller league Flex spot.
22    54    Larry Fitzgerald, Ari WR
23    55    Emmanuel Sanders, Den WR
24    56    Jarvis Landry, Mia WR
25    57    Kelvin Benjamin, Car WR
26    58    Willie Snead, NO WR
27    59    Jamison Crowder, Wsh WR
28    60    Stefon Diggs, Min WR
29    61    Allen Robinson, Jax WR
30    62    Tyreek Hill, KC WR
31    63    Sammy Watkins, LAR WR
32    66    Martavis Bryant, Pit WR
33    67    Brandon Marshall, NYG WR
34    78    Jeremy Maclin, Bal WR
35    79    Mike Wallace, Bal WR
36    80    Tyrell Williams, LAC WR
37    81    Eric Decker, Ten WR
38    82    Adam Thielen, Min WR
39    83    Kenny Britt, Cle WR
40    84    Donte Moncrief, Ind WR
41    85    Chris Hogan, NE WR

Bye week fillers and gambles I’m sure at least 5 of these WR’s will be top 20 this year…but who knows which ones? Definitely worth a double digit round flier though.
42    101    Rishard Matthews, Ten WR
43    102    DeSean Jackson, TB WR
44    103    Corey Davis, Ten WR
45    104    Randall Cobb, GB WR
46    115    Jordan Matthews, Buf WR
47    116    Corey Coleman, Cle WR
48    117    DeVante Parker, Mia WR
49    118    Sterling Shepard, NYG WR
50    119    Zay Jones, Buf WR
51    120    John Brown, Ari WR
52    126    Josh Doctson, Wsh WR
53    127    Ted Ginn Jr., NO WR
54    128    Kevin White, Chi WR
55    129    John Ross, Cin WR
56    141    Cooper Kupp, LAR WR
57    142    Kenny Stills, Mia WR
58    143    Nelson Agholor, Phi WR
59    144    Marqise Lee, Jax WR
60    145    Cole Beasley, Dal WR
61    146    Taylor Gabriel, Atl WR
62    147    Marvin Jones, Det WR
63    148    J.J. Nelson, Ari WR
64    164    Robert Woods, LAR WR
65    165    Breshad Perriman, Bal WR
66    166    Kenny Golladay, Det WR
67    167    Tyler Lockett, Sea WR
68    168    Curtis Samuel, Car WR
69    169    Robby Anderson, NYJ WR
70    170    Chris Conley, KC WR

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QUARTERBACKS
As you can see by my overall rankings, I don’t value the QB position as much as many do and I very rarely ever have a top-tier QB on my fantasy roster. But that’s not to say I’ve seen people I’ve shook my head at how early they have taken a QB not win the entire league, so keep this in mind as you read these rankings.

The Big 3 You know who they are. In my opinion I think they are they only QB’s worth taking in the 3rd through 5th rounds…but I won’t scoff too much if you want to reach for them in the 1st or 2nd.
1    39    Aaron Rodgers, GB QB
2    49    Tom Brady, NE QB
3    53    Drew Brees, NO QB

Mid-round targets QB’s that are going to have point totals almost comparable to the Big 3 but that you should be able draft at a much better value. Every player here would be a deadly weapon if you stacked them with their #1 WR.
4    68    Matt Ryan, Atl QB
5    69    Andrew Luck*, Ind QB
6    70    Kirk Cousins, Wsh QB
7    71    Russell Wilson, Sea QB
8    72    Cam Newton, Car QB
9    73    Derek Carr, Oak QB

Double digit round targets While everyone else has been reaching for QB’s and you’ve been hoarding RB’s and WR’s it’s time finally pick your signal caller. Any of these QB’s should do a fine job. A strategy I like is going back to back QB’s in rounds after the 10th and streaming depending on matchups or seeing if one has breakout year and cutting the other.
10    106    Philip Rivers, LAC QB
11    107    Matthew Stafford, Det QB
12    108    Marcus Mariota, Ten QB
13    109    Jameis Winston, TB QB
14    110    Dak Prescott, Dal QB
15    111    Carson Wentz, Phi QB
16    112    Tyrod Taylor, Buf QB
17    113    Andy Dalton, Cin QB
18    114    Ben Roethlisberger, Pit QB
19    153    Carson Palmer, Ari QB
20    154    Blake Bortles, Jax QB
21    155    Eli Manning, NYG QB
22    156    Joe Flacco, Bal QB
23    157    Alex Smith, KC QB

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TIGHT ENDS
Very diverse position in fantasy just as it is in “real” football. Can be an early round solid performer or surprise with the occasional zero spot if the team’s gameplan goes in a different direction.

The Elite Really Gronk should be in his own category here but I’m going to lump him in with the rest. These players will get enough usage and productivity you can confidently take them before your RB and WR spots are filled.
1    16    Rob Gronkowski, NE TE
2    50    Jordan Reed, Wsh TE
3    51    Travis Kelce, KC TE
4    52    Greg Olsen, Car TE

Solid TE’s Feel good if you landed any of these TE’s, you will get plenty of TD’s and usage…hopefully while having plenty of value on the rest of your roster.
5    90    Delanie Walker, Ten TE
6    91    Jimmy Graham, Sea TE
7    92    Tyler Eifert, Cin TE
8    93    Kyle Rudolph, Min TE
9    121    Zach Ertz, Phi TE
10    122    Hunter Henry, LAC TE
11    123    Jack Doyle, Ind TE
12    124    Eric Ebron, Det TE
13    125    Martellus Bennett, GB TE

Insurance TE’s These players should on fantasy rosters, but should only be your TE1 in VERY deep leagues. Worth a last 3 flier draft pick if you have one of the more injury prone TE’s (Gronk, Reed, Eifert).
14    158    C.J. Fiedorowicz, Hou TE
15    159    Jason Witten, Dal TE
16    160    Julius Thomas, Mia TE
17    161    Austin Hooper, Atl TE
18    162    Cameron Brate, TB TE
19    163    Evan Engram, NYG TE

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DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS
I am ALWAYS a defense in last 2 rounds guy because I know, first bad matchup, I am dropping them anyway. This is why a few teams like Pittsburgh and LA Chargers (still sounds so weird) are on here. I don’t think they will necessarily be top 12 fantasy defenses. Their early schedules just warrant them being rostered.


1    177    Broncos D/ST, Den D/ST
2    178    Seahawks D/ST, Sea D/ST
3    179    Texans D/ST, Hou D/ST
4    180    Patriots D/ST, NE D/ST
5    181    Chiefs D/ST, KC D/ST
6    182    Cardinals D/ST, Ari D/ST
7    183    Vikings D/ST, Min D/ST
8    184    Panthers D/ST, Car D/ST
9    185    Steelers D/ST, Pit D/ST
10    186    Bengals D/ST, Cin D/ST
11    187    Raiders D/ST, Oak D/ST
12    188    Chargers D/ST, LAC D/ST

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KICKERS
Because apparently we still let Kickers be a part of fantasy

1    189    Justin Tucker, Bal K
2    190    Dan Bailey, Dal K
3    191    Matt Bryant, Atl K
4    192    Stephen Gostkowski, NE K
5    193    Adam Vinatieri, Ind K
6    194    Wil Lutz, NO K
7    195    Matt Prater, Det K
8    196    Sebastian Janikowski, Oak K
9    197    Dustin Hopkins, Wsh K
10    198    Caleb Sturgis, Phi K
11    199    Mason Crosby, GB K
12    200    Cairo Santos, KC K

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Fantasy Football: 2017 Dynasty League Rookie Mock Draft

 Christian McCaffrey (RB-Car) was the 2nd pick of our 2017 fantasy football dynasty league rookie mock draft.

Christian McCaffrey (RB-Car) was the 2nd pick of our 2017 fantasy football dynasty league rookie mock draft.

Let's review the Fantasy News Hour's 2017 fantasy football dynasty league rookie mock draft.

The draft was a 12-team, 2-round, dynasty league, rookie draft. The draft was a non-snake draft - meaning the team with the 1st pick also had the 13th, and so on. There were four drafters, each drafting three teams.

The drafters were:

  • Peter M. Lopez (1, 5 & 9), co-host of the Fantasy News Hour, fantasy football legend (in my mind, at least), and FNH circus master.
  • Brandon McAuliffe (2, 6 & 10), Abilene Reporter-News sports reporter, quite possibly the worst fantasy football player in history, and FNH regular guest.
  • Jacob Bullinger (3, 7 & 11), a.k.a. BigBadBull89, Pokemon Go addict, and loyal FNH Superfan
  • TJ Wilson (4, 8 & 12), co-host of the Fantasy News Hour, draft junkie, and FNH's resident stat nerd and sabermetrician.

Here are the results:

2017 Fantasy Football Dynasty League Rookie Mock Draft

 Leonard Fournette (RB-Jax) was the first pick of the Fantasy News Hour 2017 dynasty league rookie mock draft.

Leonard Fournette (RB-Jax) was the first pick of the Fantasy News Hour 2017 dynasty league rookie mock draft.

Round 1

Most notable and most obvious was the run on running backs with the first four picks.

It's not a huge surprise that Leonard Fournette (RB-Jax) and Christian McCaffrey (RB-Car) went one and two, but everyone must have wanted to secure a running back because Dalvin Cook (RB-Min) and Joe Mixon (RB-Cin) went three and four. Mixon could be a steal at four. Actually, I was hoping Mixon would fall to me at five, but he did not.

My bias toward tight ends led me to take O.J. Howard (TE-TB) fifth. Admittedly, it was a bit of a reach, but Howard could be a top-tier tight end for years to come.

It's somewhat surprising that Corey Davis (WR-Ten) fell to seventh, after Mike Williams (WR-LAC) was drafted sixth. As of this writing, ESPN's Mike Clay and Pro Football Focus both have Davis as the No. 1 rated rookie for 2017, so a fall to seventh is unlikely in most drafts, but it did happen here.

Another mini-run on running backs followed with Samaje Perine (RB-Was) and D'Onta Foreman (RB-Hou) going eight and nine. I agree, I reached for Foreman, but I'm a Longhorns fan, and I'm not sold on Lamar Miller (RB-Hou). And, just like Mixon, Perine could be a Sooner steal at eight.

Deshaun Watson (QB-Hou) at ten is a little early for me; but if you are drafting in Texas, there's bound to be a Texans fan or two in your league. Watson probably does have the most immediate fantasy impact for a rookie quarterback, and he has excellent weapons.

David Njoku (TE-Cle) and Zay Jones (WR-Buf) rounded out the top twelve, and both have big question marks at quarterback. Their talent isn't a question, but their opportunity is.

Round 2

 Patrick Mahomes (QB-KC) was the 4th pick of the second round in our rookie dynasty league draft.

Patrick Mahomes (QB-KC) was the 4th pick of the second round in our rookie dynasty league draft.

I was thrilled Kareem Hunt (RB-KC) fell to me with the first pick of round two, 13 overall. Jamaal Charles (RB-Den) is sporting new duds in Denver, and the Chiefs don't seem to be sold on Spencer Ware (RB-KC).

Mitch Trubisky (QB-Chi) was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, but only the No. 2 pick of the second round in our rookie draft. Someone is wrong, either the Chicago Bears or the four of us. Trubisky could be a fine NFL quarterback, but he's not a fantasy option in 2017 or anytime soon.

John Ross (WR-Cin) and Curtis Samuel (WR-Car) went next. Both are talented wide receivers in good offenses, but both have excellent WR1's in front of them.

My own personal favorite pick was Patrick Mahomes (QB-KC) in round two. It's a long-term dynasty league stash, I do realize, but Mahomes is a gamble worth taking. He's got the best arm talent of any quarterback in the draft, and Andy Reid is a QB-wizard. In two to three years, Mahomes will be the man in KC and on your fantasy team.

Evan Engram (TE-NYG) fell surprisingly far to 18 overall. I think this speaks more to the depth of running backs than Engram himself, though.

Speaking of running backs...there was another run at 19, 20, 21, 23 and 24. Wow! It feels like the good old days with so many running backs going here. Marlon Mack (RB-Ind), James Connor (RB-Pit), Jamal Williams (RB-GB), Wayne Gallman (RB-NYG) and Alvin Kamara (RB-NO) all could surprise us and be top-12 running backs this season. I don't know that I would bet on any one of them being that, but I'd take the field and bet that one of them is.

Only Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster (WR-Pit) - the funnest name in football - broke the sting of five consecutive running backs.

 DeShone Kizer (QB-Cle) was among the undrafted in our 2017 fantasy football rookie draft, but could surprise in a year or two.

DeShone Kizer (QB-Cle) was among the undrafted in our 2017 fantasy football rookie draft, but could surprise in a year or two.

Notes:

  • Notable absences were receivers Carlos Henderson (WR-Den), Taywan Taylor (WR-Ten), ArDarius Stewart (WR-NYJ), Cooper Kupp (WR-LAR), and Josh Reynolds (WR-TB). Most of them went to crowded receiving corps, and Stewart and Kupp went to the Jets and Rams.
  • Undrafted backs were Donnel Pumphrey (RB-Phi), Aaron Jones (RB-GB), and Jeremy McNichols (RB-TB). Again, crowded backfields.
  • Deshone Kizer (QB-Cle) is the only quarterback of note to go undrafted. The Browns roster, however, is looking better and better. Kizer could surprise some folks in a year or two.
  • 12, or one-half of all picks were running backs. I don't know if that speaks to the depth of RB in this class, or the lack of good ones in the NFL. Probably both.

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2017 NFL Rookie Rankings

 Christian McCaffrey (RB-Car) could be the first rookie drafted in 2017 fantasy football leagues.

Christian McCaffrey (RB-Car) could be the first rookie drafted in 2017 fantasy football leagues.

In dynasty leagues, the most important part of the season is the rookie draft. This year, there are a lot of players that could make your team much better, even in the second round. Take advantage of all the talent. I would recommend, if you have a pick outside the top 4, trade back and accumulate more picks, especially if you have a few holes on your team.

Top Fantasy Football Rookies for 2017

1. Leonard Fournette (RB, Jax) - He's a workhorse from day one. Expect Todd Gurley's rookie-season numbers.

2. Christian McCaffrey (RB, Car) - Will get touches any way you want him to, including in the return game. He could move into the one spot if your league is PPR or counts return yards.

3. Dalvin Cook (RB, Min) - He's a first round talent that dropped to the second. Cook will win the job outright in Minnesota and could be the top back of this draft if he stays healthy.

4. Joe Mixon (RB, Cin) - Some have said he was the most talented back in the draft. I didn't see that, but I also didn't watch as much film as they did. He should have the backfield by the second half of the season and be productive in the passing game.

5. O.J. Howard (TE, TB) - He's already a top-6 tight end. Jameis Winston keeps getting toys, and this one could be the second best one.

6. Corey Davis (WR, Ten) - Davis is the most talented wide receiver in the draft and should step right in and be, at worst, the second WR. Tennessee wants to run the ball, but Davis will get his shots downfield also.

7. Mike Williams (WR, SD) - A big guy that should get plenty of targets in an offense that will throw the ball, a lot. Williams could very easily end the season as the top WR in this class.

8. Joe Ross (WR, Cin) - "Fast" doesn't do Ross justice, but Cincy has an issue throwing rookies into the fire. Ross is a better real-life option than fantasy option, think DeSean Jackson light.

9. Zay Jones (WR, Buf) - Sammy Watkins now has a legit WR2 to go along with him. Jones could play his way into the target leader, assuming Watkins does Watkins and misses a few games.

10. David Njoku (TE, Cle) - Njoku was the second best TE in this draft, and should end the season as a TE1. Cleveland QBs have to throw it to someone other than Corey Coleman.

 DeShaun Watson (QB-Hou) should be the starting quarterback for the Texans early in the 2017 season.

DeShaun Watson (QB-Hou) should be the starting quarterback for the Texans early in the 2017 season.

11. Deshaun Watson (QB, Hou) - If you have another QB, maybe go for one of the higher upside guys. If you need a guy that could start this season, Watson should, at least, have a couple games worth a first-round draft slot.

12. Kareem Hunt (RB, KC) - Hunt might not break camp as the starter in KC, but he should break the first quarter of the season with the top spot.

13. Samaje Perine (RB, Was) - Perine and Rob Kelly are similar players. Perine is better, though. Perine will win the starting job before mid-season.

14. Evan Engram (TE, NYG) - Engram doesn't have any real competition, and this offense should be able to score.

15. Chris Samuel (WR, Car) - Samuel is the inverse of his new teammate, McCaffrey. He will start at the slot, but will also get touches everywhere. I can see Samuel moving up in the rankings.

16. Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC) - The highest variance of any player in the draft. He could be Brett Favre or Ryan Leaf. If you have time to wait, he could pay off huge.

17. Mitch Trubisky (QB, Chi) - League scouts thought he was the best QB in this draft. They might be right. He won't start this season, but will have the reigns in 2018.

18. James Conner (RB, Pit) - As of now, Conner is the handcuff to Le'Veon. That alone is reason for a draft spot. The fact that he was their guy all along gets me excited for Conner.

19. Jamal Williams (RB, GB) - If you don't believe in Ty Montgomery, he should be much higher on your draft list. I do believe in Montgomery, so Williams has value, but will only be the banger.

20. Marlon Mack (RB, Ind) - Frank Gore can't cheat father time forever, can he? I don't believe he can, so Mack, who is a smaller back, should be drafted. Indy will throw to him also.

21. D'Onta Foreman (RB, Hou) - Lamar Miller is entrenched as the starter, but has injury concerns. Foreman is extremely talented and could be very productive in this offense.

22. Alvin Kamara (RB, NO) - Watch to see if Mark Ingram gets moved. If he does, Kamara is a first-round rookie pick.

23. Joe Williams (RB, SF) - When the coach bangs the table for you, he will give you run. They have Carlos Hyde and traded for Kapri Bibbs on draft night.

24. Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR) - Working in the slot, look for Jamison Crowder type of production. For a rookie, that's pretty good.

Priority Free Agents

 Josh Reynolds (WR-LAR) could be the playmaker the Rams have needed at wide receiver for a long time.

Josh Reynolds (WR-LAR) could be the playmaker the Rams have needed at wide receiver for a long time.

Josh Reynolds (WR, LAR) - The Rams need playmakers. Reynolds can be that. This could be one of the QB/WR combos we hear from in later years.

Taywon Taylor (WR, Ten) - Rishard Matthews doesn't always have a clean bill of health, and Davis is hurt now. Taylor could factor in the offense earlier than you think.

Juju Smith-Schuster (WR, Pit) - If Martavis Bryant can't stay clean, or healthy, this could be a steal for both the Steelers and his fantasy owners.

Chris Godwin (WR, TB) - Godwin comes in as the third WR behind Jackson, who will miss some games. Expect Godwin to impress you.

Wayne Gallman (RB, NYG) - He's the goal line back immediately, and he could work himself into more carries, especially if Paul Perkins struggles.

Jonnu Smith (TE, Ten) - A Delaney Walker clone, and has Walker to learn from. Smith could have value, but expect it when Walker retires or moves along.

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New York Jets 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

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New York Jets 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

 Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB-NYJ) is a low-end QB1 or streamer with the potential for a lot more in the 2016 fantasy football season.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB-NYJ) is a low-end QB1 or streamer with the potential for a lot more in the 2016 fantasy football season.

The Jets surprised a lot of people last season with a double-digit win season. The offense was great for fantasy players. You knew both backs were going to be involved, and both receivers were going to score a touchdown. If not this week, then next week. Even Ryan Fitzpatrick was relevant on certain weeks for fantasy.

The Jets off-season was a very odd one. They decided to wait until the last possible moment to sign Fitzpatrick, they let Chris Ivory go elsewhere, they signed Matt Forte, Khiry Robinson, and re-signed Bilal Powell. For a coach that you would expect to want to run the ball, they didn't sign a banger. Instead, they signed guys that are proficient at catching the ball.

To me, it looks like they are going to throw the ball more than people might think, Brandon Marshall might have a chance to top Antonio Brown in yards. Here are the 2016 fantasy football projections for the New York Jets:

The Core

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) - 4000 yards, 30 TDs, 15 INTs, 180 yards, 1 TD.

Fitzpatrick is another streaming option that could turn into more. If the Jets do decide to throw the ball more, Fitzpatrick is the biggest beneficiary. He's going at the end of drafts, if he's drafted at all, so if you believe he can do what he did last season, draft him with your last pick.

Matt Forte (RB-NYJ) is a potential bust this 2016 fantasy football season.

Matt Forte (RB) - 800 yards, 4 TDs, 50 catches, 400 yards, 1 TD.

Forte is being drafted in the fourth round, which is entirely too high. Forte is a 30-year-old running back switching teams. Unless Forte falls dramatically, he won't be on any of my teams.

Brandon Marshall (WR-NYJ) and Eric Decker (WR-NYJ) are both safe, high-floor fantasy football receiver options in 2016

Brandon Marshall (WR) - 90 catches, 1200 yards, 10 TDs.

Marshall is one of the safest picks in the draft. You have to take him in the second round now, but that's worth it for security. Marshall should be on any team that wants consistency. His upside, especially long term is long past, but for re-drafts, that's not a problem.

Eric Decker (WR) - 80 catches, 1000 yards, 8 TDs.

We can't talk about high floor and low ceiling players without talking about Decker. His ADP (average draft position) is 57, which is a little rich for my blood. If you want safe, Decker is your guy. If you want upside, you need to look elsewhere.

Sleeper - Bilal Powell (RB).

He's Forte light, and younger. The team paid Forte and Powell roughly the same amount. Powell will be heavily involved. He's going late, if at all, in drafts. He's a great bargain.

Bust - Matt Forte (RB).

Forte is 30 and that doesn't usually bode well for RBs joining new teams. Forte is being drafted too high to be of any value. Take Powell later in the draft.

The Jets should be a fun team to watch in 2016.

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New England Patriots 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

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New England Patriots 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

Tom Brady's (QB-NE) suspension leaves a few question marks in New England, but expect Brady to be a top fantasy football QB when he returns.

The New England Patriots have historically been a source of fantasy football gold. Tom Brady is always among the top fantasy quarterbacks. Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end in the NFL, and Julian Edelman is a perennial top-20 wide receiver. Where the Pats traditionally frustrate fantasy owners is at the running back spot.

However, the only sure consistency this year is that fantasy owners will once again be frustrated by Patriots running backs. The rest remain question marks. Tom Brady's suspension will lower his value, but how much? It probably lowers Gronk's and Edelman's as well, but how will they be affected? How will Jimmy Garropolo perform as Brady's replacement?

Interesting questions to be sure, but only time will tell. Gronk is still a first-round pick. Edelman is still a solid WR1 if healthy. And Brady should be great when he returns if you can hold on until then.

Here are TJ's 2016 fantasy football projections for the New England Patriots:

The Core

Rob Gronkowski (TE-NE) is as close to a can't-miss fantasy option as there is. He's the No. 1 tight end in fantasy football again in 2016.

Tom Brady - 3800 yards, 28 TDs, 6 ints.

Brady started last season's Gronk-you tour on fire, but he tailed off toward the end. I expect when he returns this year he'll be a madman again, and I don't know if his season will be long enough for him to tail off much at all. Draft the ageless one and pair him with a Rivers type for the first month of the season. You won't regret it.

LeGarrette Blount (RB) - 800 Yards, 8 TDs.

With Dion Lewis (RB-NE) out for a significant amount of time, one would presume the running back job in New England is LeGarrette Blount's to lose. And I'm assuming that, but you never know with Belichick and backs. Blount is a bruiser who should score a few touchdowns. In fact, TJ's touchdown projection for Blount could be a little low - if Blount is the guy. You just never know with Belichick and running backs. I will say this with certainty, Blount will either be a stud or a dud. Did I say you never know? I'm drafting Blount, but I'm doing so at my own risk.

Julian Edelman (WR) - 90 rec., 1000 yards, 7 tds.

The reports out of Pats' camp are that Edelman is looking good. Because of the Brady suspension and Edelman's injury history, you might be able to get him cheap. His current average draft position (ADP) is 41, or the 18th receiver off the board. That's not a bad place, but it's not great value either with all of the if's. In a PPR (point per reception) league, he's fine as a fourth rounder, but I'd try and wait until the fifth in a standard league.

Rob Gronkowski (TE) - 76 Rec., 1100 Yards, 10 TDs.

He's Gronk. Draft him!

It doesn't matter who's throwing the ball to him. He's easily a mid to late first rounder. If you don't draft him, someone else will and you'll be sorry.

Danny Amendola (WR-NE) is a potential sleeper and bust for the 2016 fantasy football season.

Sleeper/bust - Danny Amendola.

More than anything I didn't want to pick Danny Amendola as the sleeper this year. Not because I don't like Amendola, I do, but because I pick Danny Amendola every year. So in keeping with tradition, and because Edelman is something of a question mark, I'm saying draft Danny Amendola as your Patriots sleeper this year. If I'm wrong, he's my bust and I've saved about 150 words writing about someone else.

The Patriots will be contenders again this year. They always are. I'm sure Belichick & Co. have answers for all these question marks, and I can't wait to learn what they are.

 

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Miami Dolphins 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

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Miami Dolphins 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

Ryan Tannehill (QB-Mia) has been hyped a lot over the last couple of years, but the 2016 fantasy football season could be when Tannehill finally lives up to the hype.

Every year, the Dolphins are supposed to be the next best thing. So, in keeping with tradition, the Dolphins offense has a chance to be the next best thing. They have two capable running backs, a fun receiving group, and a former Pro Bowl tight end. Add a mobile quarterback and a Head Coach known for making the QB position great, and what could go wrong?

Adam Gase is now the Head Coach in Miami. As a Lions fan, I was hoping that he would find his way to Detroit, but that didn't happen. Gase was credited for Jay Cutler's success last season, and Peyton Manning gave Gase a lot of credit for his record-breaking season. Gase is going to do great things for this offense, especially Ryan Tannehill.

The Core

Ryan Tannehill (QB) - 4000 yards, 24 TDs, 10 INTs, 200 rushing, 1 TD.

Tannehill has been hyped that last couple of years, so this is the same verse type of deal. Tannehill now has Gase with him, which should mean good things in 2016. Tannehill will get you a few sneaky rushing yards to go along with his passing numbers. His ADP is 147, which means he's basically free. He's a great guy to pair with another QB1/Streamer type.

Jay Ajayi (RB) - 800 yards, 5 TDs, 20 catches, 200 yards.

Ajayi was thought to have the starting job at the start of the off-season. The first wave of free agents went, and the Dolphins didn't sign a running back. Then the draft came and went, and Kenyon Drake was drafted, a pass catching back. Ajayi looked to be in good shape going into OTAs. Unfortunately for Ajayi, the Dolphins didn't feel the same. Late in the process, Miami signed Arian Foster.

Ajayi has shown flashes, but has never been a full-time back, so the signing of Foster does make sense for that reason. I believe that Ajayi is the best fantasy option in Miami and doesn't need to be drafted as such. Ajayi is being drafted at 111, which for what will be a starting back is a steal. There's a lot of buzz for Foster, but that will dissipate when the season starts. Draft Ajayi after Foster goes, then talk mess to the Foster owner for the rest of the season.

Jarvis Landry (WR-Mia) is a PPR (point per reception) machine and is a high-floor receiver to take in your fantasy football draft.

Jarvis Landry (WR) - 100 catches, 1100 yards, 5 TDs.

Landry is a PPR machine. I heard a story this training camp that during practice Tannehill was told not to throw the ball to Landry anymore, and Landry got 17 targets after that. Landry is a great WR2 in PPR leagues and a good WR3 in standard leagues. His ADP is 65, which is a good spot to take him. Landry will give you a high floor, but his ceiling is lower than other receivers. He's one of the truly safe picks in the 6th round range.

DeVante Parker (WR) - 80 catches, 1100 yards, 8 TDs.

Parker is the opposite of Landry. Parker has all the upside in the world, but lacks a floor that's worth talking about. Parker is going two picks after Landry, which shows that there's different strokes for different folks. I take Parker often because Gase likes the big outside receiver (Demaryius Thomas, Alshon Jeffery), so I can see tremendous upside. Expect Tannehill to have a new favorite toy.

Sleeper - Kenny Stills (WR).

Stills is also an outside receiver, which Gase tends to lean on in his offense. Stills also has looked good this pre-season. He's a great late round flyer. He's basically free in drafts at this point.

Arian Foster (RB-Mia) carries plenty of fantasy football name recognition, but let others draft him in your 2016 draft.

Bust - Arian Foster (RB).

Let the buzz from Foster being on the field die down. Foster can't stay healthy and after an Achilles injury, I'm better against him being relevant again.

I will not be drafting Foster anywhere.

This time the Dolphins are going to turn the corner, we hope...

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Buffalo Bills 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

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Buffalo Bills 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

Tyrod Taylor (QB-Buf) is a good late-round option at quarterback for the 2016 fantasy football season because of his high floor.

The Bills finally found their quarterback in 2015, which is, of course, the most important part of any NFL team. Outside of that, it was a disappointing season for Buffalo. Sammy Watkins is a stud, LeSean McCoy is a stud, Tyrod Taylor looks like a good QB, and there is nothing else on offense.

Karlos Williams was just released, which opens up the handcuff role for Mike Gillislee or Jonathan Williams. Whichever player takes this role, they will be relevant at some point this season. Other than that, there's not much else to talk about in Buffalo. Here are the 2016 fantasy football projections for the relevant Bufalo Bills.

The Core

Tyrod Taylor (QB) - 3300 yards, 25 TDs, 10 INTs, 500 yards, 5 TDs.

Taylor came out of relative obscurity in 2015 to become a very relevant fantasy option. With over 3000 passing yards and over 500 rushing yards last year, Taylor presents a great floor. Taylor is going in the double-digit rounds in drafts. Taylor is a great late round flyer and should be taken in all drafts.

LeSean McCoy (RB-Buf) could be a steal in the 3rd or 4th round as a solid RB1 in 2016.

LeSean McCoy (RB) - 1100 yards, 6 TDs, 40 catches, 400 yards, 2 TDs.

In 2015, McCoy was going much later than he used to in fantasy drafts. There were some injury concerns, but he still ended up with almost 900 yards rushing and almost 300 yards receiving. Not bad for 12 games of work.

He's now going around the 3rd/4th round turn which is a steal. If you draft at the end of the first and go WR/WR, he's an amazing RB1 at that spot. He has no competition and he should be great again.

Sammy Watkins (WR) - 80 catches, 1200 yards, 9 TDs.

Sammy Watkins (WR-Buf) might be the most talented wide receiver in the NFL, but he does not play in an offense that allows him to showcase all of that talent.

Watkins could be the most talented wide receiver in the NFL. It's hard to argue that either way since he's on a team that doesn't give him the opportunity to show all of that talent. In regards to fantasy, he's boom or bust. He's going at the 30 spot. If you take risks, take him. If you don't, stay away. He does have a foot thing, which is another reason you could be scared. He will end up on a few of my teams.

Charles Clay (TE) - 60 catches, 700 yards, 5 TDs.

Clay is a low-end TE1 or streaming option. He will have some boom games, so be hopeful you have him in your lineup on those days. He's draftable, but only as the last pick in your draft. He is also a weekly DFS play in good matchups.

Sleeper/Bust - Sammy Watkins (WR).

No player in football has more possible outcomes per week than Watkins. He's extremely talented and, because of the offense, extremely inconsistent. Draft accordingly per your risk-taking quotient.

The Bills have already sustained a few injuries this off-season, so it looks like another 8-8 season in Buffalo.

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AFC North 2016 Fantasy Football Team Previews and Projections

The AFC North is full of fantasy football studs, sleepers, and bargains for the 2016 NFL season.

Drama seems to accompany the AFC North teams.

For years, the Cincinnati Bengals were the lovable losers, although they've been pretty good lately - maybe one day they'll win a playoff game. The Pittsburgh Steelers - one of the NFL's most storied franchises - have been plagued with suspensions. The Baltimore Ravens have yet to recover from the knockout blow that was the Ray Rice saga. And the Cleveland Browns are, well, the Cleveland Browns.

However, the Bengals should be good again led by a healthy Andy Dalton. The Steelers will get Le'Veon Bell back after three games, and they should contend for the AFC North title again. The Ravens are still looking for a running back, but they're never too far out of the hunt. And the Browns with RGIII & Co. should be entertaining at the very least.

In 2016, the AFC North is full of fantasy studs, sleepers, and bargains. To read each team's preview, click on the logo below.

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Cincinnati Bengals 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

With the loss of Marvin Jones (WR-Det), Mohamed Sanu (WR-Atl), and the injury to Tyler Eifert (TE-Cin), A.J. Green (WR-Cin) is TJ's No. 4 ranked wide receiver in fantasy football for 2016.

The Bengals are my son's favorite team, so I get to watch a lot of their games. They lost a lot in the off-season with the departure of Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and, most notably, Hugh Jackson. This offense could look a bit different going forward.

The Bengals have one of, if not. the best RBBC's (running back by committee) in the NFL. Jeremy Hill is the hammer, and Giovani Bernard is the scat back. Both players are good to great players and have found a way to be productive in spite of each other getting touches. The usage rate is important in fantasy and is something to remain mindful of throughout the season with these two.

The Core

Andy Dalton (QB-Cin) is a low-end QB1 who should outperform his average draft position (ADP) for the 2016 fantasy football season.

Andy Dalton (QB) - 4000 yards, 30 TDs, 10 INTs.

Dalton was in line to be a top-10 fantasy football quarterback last season before his injury. The loss of a few weapons, and, more importantly, his Offensive Coordinator could mean Dalton will go through growing pains. He's a great QB to pair. He's being drafting in the double-digit rounds, and at that point, there's no reason not to draft Dalton if you need QB help.

Giovani Bernard (RB) - 700 yards, 3 TDs, 50 catches, 500 yards, 3 TDs.

Deciding which of the Cincy running backs to select for the core was difficult. Bernard is the safest of the two in regards to his floor. Bernard is one of the best dual-threat backs in the NFL and should have another fantastic season. His average draft position (ADP) is 72 which is a steal. I've ended up with Gio everywhere. You should also.

AJ Green (WR) - 100 catches, 1400 yards, 10 TDs.

To start the season, Green is going to be the only receiver that has any rapport with Andy Dalton. Green has risen to my No. 4 ranked wide receiver, and I've been happy to take him in the back half of the first round. If he slides anymore than that, he's a steal and should be taken.

Tyler Eifert (TE-Cin) will miss a few games due to injury, but when he plays he could be a top-3 fantasy football tight end.

Tyler Eifert (TE) - 55 catches, 650 yards, 8 TDs.

Eifert would be much higher in my rankings if he wasn't coming into the season injured. When he gets back, he will be a guy you want on your roster. He's currently being drafted at the 80 spot. That's high if you don't roster two tight ends. If you like to take high risk-high reward players, he's your best chance at a top-three finish from the time he gets back.

Sleeper - Tyler Boyd (WR).

Boyd started the off-season behind Brandon LaFell on the depth chart. An injury to LaFell and Boyd playing out of his mind has changed that. Boyd is a fantastic late round flyer.

Bust - Tyler Eifert (TE).

Even thought Eifert is one of my favorite players to watch, he's a huge injury risk. Nobody is exactly sure when he'll be back, which is scary.

The Bengals are going to be a good team again. There is something to be said about drafting players from good teams. If you believe in that, draft Bengals.

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Baltimore Ravens 2016 Fantasy Football Team Preview

Joe Flacco (QB-Bal) will throw the ball a lot, but he is only a streaming and DFS option for the 2016 fantasy football season.

Mark Trestman likes to throw the ball, a lot. The Ravens led the NFL in pass attempts last season, but that didn't really give us any fantasy goodness, outside of the sneaky Kamar Aiken. Let's hope all of those pass attempts make Joe Flacco a fantasy relevant quarterback in 2016.

Steve Smith is coming off a horrific Achilles injury, Breshard Perriman hasn't played a down and isn't a lock to do that this season, and Dennis Pitta is past the point of no return. The pass catchers for the Ravens are few and far between, but don't expect that to hamper the passing game, at least not for fantasy. There should be plenty of targets to go around.

The Core

Joe Flacco (QB) - 4000 yards, 25 TDs, 15 INTs.

Flacco ended his 2015 season with an ACL tear. He is the quintessential better-in-real-life-than-fantasy player. He is a low-end streamer, even with all the pass attempts. Play the matchups with Flacco. He's an option in 2-QB leagues and DFS. That's really about it.

Justin Forsett (RB-Bal) is not a top-level fantasy football running back, but he is much better than his 122 average draft position (ADP).

Justin Forsett (RB) - 800 yards, 5TDs, 40 catches, 300 yards, 2 TDs.

Forsett was a third-round pick in 2015, now he's going 122 overall. He wasn't fantastic before he got hurt, but he wasn't terrible either. The hate has gone too far. Draft Forsett late and be pleasantly surprised.

Kamar Aiken (WR) - 80 catches, 1000 yards, 6 TDs.

Aiken is the No. 1 wide receiver in Baltimore. Steve Smith should be back soon, but he won't be the player we are used to seeing. Aiken is going to get peppered with targets. Aiken is going 124, which means no investment cost. Draft Aiken.

Ben Watson (TE) - 50 catches, 500 yards, 5 TDs.

Watson is a low end TE1 streamer. He will have some boom weeks, but he should be a match up guy. Watson shouldn't be drafted.

Kamar Aiken is the No. 1 wide receiver in Baltimore, which means he will outperform his fantasy football average draft position (ADP) in 2016.

Sleeper - Kamar Aiken (WR).

Aiken is going to be a flex option most weeks, and you get to draft him as a low-end bench player. It's an easy draft pick.

Bust - Kenneth Dixon (RB).

A lot of the industry has been on Dixon. Dixon is 4th in line in a crowded backfield. If you're drafting him as a late round flyer, okay. If you're drafting him expecting him to be starting sometime soon, I'm sorry but you'll be disappointed.

The Ravens outlook seems bleak, but they could surprise and be a middle-of-the-pack offense.

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