The 2017 NFL Fantasy Football Guide

How To Use This Guide

The keyword here is guide, as nothing in this guide is an exact science. It is meant to be used as to what to expect. Feel free to use this as a research piece, a base, or to cross-check it with other fantasy experts. Using only this guide could hurt your team this upcoming season, as much I was would like to say or think how smart I am. I am constantly checking my research with others, and making changes as needed. Finally, do not let this guide change your gut feelings. If you have a bad feeling about taking an individual in a certain spot, then don’t. One of the worst feelings is looking at your roster and not feeling good about it, because it tends to lead to bad trades or bad add/drops.

Each year, fantasy owners go into their drafts with a few misconceptions. The biggest misconception being I have to take a certain position first. Why trap yourself with the first pick? You should be focusing your draft around players, not positions. Not to say that positions are all equal, but if you trap yourself into thinking you have to take a certain position at in a particular round, then your opponents already have an advantage on you. Now, I’m not going to try to justify taking a kicker (notice how there isn’t a kicker section) or a defense with the first pick, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one position. The best owners keep an open mind, and take the time to analyze each decision they ultimately make.

Nailing your draft is important, there’s just no other way about it, but keep in mind you’re going to have to utilize free agency. I say this to take pressure off of you when draft day comes around. It’s important to have an efficient draft, but even the best will make mistakes. Keep in mind that Jordy Nelson and Kelvin Benjamin went down during preseason a couple years ago, and if you happened to draft before they went down, you may have found yourself replacing some key players. Throughout the season, injuries will happen, and a lot of them tend to be freak ones. Do well in your draft, while keeping in mind that you may end up replacing a player or two on your roster down the road.

Draft Day Do’s and Don’ts

The most exciting day of the year for fantasy owners happens to be Draft Day. Whether you won it all last year, or failed miserably trying, none of that matters on this day. Your job should be focused on picking the best team possible. The goal on Draft Day is to win the championship, so how you does today decide where you’ll be when that final game is played? Follow this list of drafting rules, and I guarantee your chances of achieving championship glory will be greatly improved.

Do: prepare more than any of your opponents at your draft. Why wing it? If you’re not going to be the most prepared, why even set your lineups? Do the research, and know not only who you are willing take at certain spots, but why. I have seen multiple individuals go to drafts with a cheat sheet ripped out of a magazine page, which leaves them to wonder why their team isn’t doing so hot. I like to see where others rank players, not because I can’t wait to prove them wrong, but to make sure I’m not missing something. One set of rankings is usually “experts” opinion, and I have yet to see one expert be right every occasion.

Don’t: take last year’s stats as what to expect from everyone this upcoming season. Sure, there’ll be a few guys who will end up posting close to what they did the year before, but we’re talking about a handful of talents, not 90% of the league. You should be ranking and thinking of players as to what they’ll do this year. It’s more of an art than a science, but if you’re picking players based off of what they did last year you’ll always be a year behind essentially. Some sort of change has happened to every single franchise this offseason, some good, some bad, and some more drastic than others in either direction. Consider the stats from last year, and consider how the changes affected the players, and then make your assessment. You may find that not much has changed to certain players, so it’s reasonable to believe that he’ll score close to the same amount of points, which is fine. You may also find that your player got a new position coach, think that might change things? Of course it will, but you should just do your best to figure out how to work around that.

Do: make sure you have your personal cheat sheet ready, and that it’s easy to read. I type mine personally, and break it down by round. If you have never built your own cheat sheet, experiment with it. It took me a few years to create a template that is easy for me to understand. I recommend that serious players build one, and also pay attention to mock drafts, and assess any trends that take place. It’s important when you mock draft, and it’s even more important that you join a mock draft that has similar settings to the league you are partaking in. 

Don’t: mock draft from only one position. Unless you already know where you’ll be drafting from, you should be mock drafting from several positions. Everything changes in the early rounds, and not just players. If you practice only from positions 1-4, or even just the top pick, you will likely find that you always get Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson. What if you get the fifth or tenth pick instead? Who are you going to pick then? Practice from multiple spots, and I would say as many as you can, as it will make you more prepared come draft day.

Do: study previous drafts. As long as there hasn’t been major changes to the rules, you can see who likes to take certain positions where. This is why I also like to save my rankings from the previous year. I tend to cross-check it with mine and keep notes, so once you get a sense of how people draft and value players, you’ll know what players you must grab. 

Quarterbacks

Quarterbacks are one of the least valued positions in fantasy football, but typically, the top individuals wind up being some of the top scorers in most leagues. The reason for this fact is that you can usually find quality starters in the middle rounds of virtually any draft. The drop in talent from upper tiers isn’t as steep as you would find at the other positions.

I tend to take quarterbacks in the middle rounds. For example, in my 14-team league last year, I drafted Matthew Stafford, who ended up being the seventh best quarterback in fantasy football. Do you think you’ll find Melvin Gordon there (the seventh best running back)? The point is, you should wait on selecting your quarterback if you can. However, if Aaron Rodgers drops to you, and your rankings say he’s the best player available, make sure you grab him. 

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CBS Sports Images

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

I think Tyrod Taylor is going to put up similar numbers as to what he did last season. Buffalo really didn’t surround him with a draft class around him, outside of picking up Zay Jones and Dion Dawkins as their pair of second round picks. As far as free agency goes, the Bills gave Taylor some mediocre additions at wideout with Corey Brown and Andre Holmes. Current weapons Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay are the most familiar with Taylor, so look for them to get most of the targets.

 

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Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Tom Brady is poised for another big year at quarterback, which begs the question; When will we see his decline? For the answers to that one, your guess is as good as mine. I know it’s inevitable, but I will not speculate on the matter until I see some sort of physical or statistical decline. From 2011-2014, you could say Brady was slowly declining, but he also had a bit of a resurgence in 2015. I expect a respectable season for TB12 this year, as you should keep in mind that he now has Gronk, Edelman, and Cooks to choose from as far as elite weapons go.

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Josh McCown, New York Jets 

This will probably be a pretty bleak season for the Jets, especially as far as their quarterback situation goes. I think Josh McCown will be the starter this year, but if things start to look bad, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg stepped in order to gain some experience. One other thing to keep in mind is that McCown has yet to play a full season ever as a starter in his thirteen-year career.

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Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco is a player that I am going to lean on playing it safe with. If he falls to a spot where I think is reasonable value for him, I have no problem taking him. With Flacco, you have to weigh the pros and cons. The pros are the fact that four of his first five games this upcoming season features teams with poor pass defenses (Browns, Jaguars, Steelers, and Raiders). The cons include the fact that his first option happens to be Mike Wallace, and his second option is Breshad Perriman, who’s coming into his third year with essentially one year of experience under his belt. I don’t find myself excited with Pitta at tight end either, so I view Flacco as a high-end QB2 who can have some big games, given the right matchup. Keep in mind he may miss some time this season with a back injury.

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Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton will be a strong bench quarterback to have stored. I think I may have him projected a little low here, but it should still be close. I don’t mind his receivers, and no matter who wins the job at running back, opposing teams will respect the run game of the Bengals. The offense could compete with the Steelers as the best in the AFC North, but I think the slight edge goes to Pittsburgh. Either way, Dalton has two dominant options with A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, and also contains a run game that defenses will fear. 

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Cody Kessler, Cleveland Browns

Obviously I am not projecting Kessler to play a full season, but if I believed he would, I still wouldn’t draft him. Let’s face it, the Browns haven’t had a quarterback play a full successful season since Tim Couch in 2001. Although I approved of what the Browns did in the draft, they still have holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball.. The franchise still has Osweiler on the roster, and could experiment with their newest quarterback DeShone Kizer as well. At best, Kessler is a cheap stash for deep dynasty leagues.

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Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

When Roethlisberger is healthy and on the field, he’s always poised for a big game, but he can just as easily let you down. If you do draft Big Ben, he’s most likely going to be your week-to-week starter, but be sure to draft a decent backup as well. In his thirteen-year career, Roethlisberger has only played a full season on three occasions. He doesn’t miss a bunch of games, but he usually will miss a few. Also, if Brown has an injury, Roethlisberger takes a huge hit in his value as well. Overall, I’d grab him at the right price, but if Roethlisberger is on my team, I’ll be closing my eyes and crossing my fingers every time he takes a hit.

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Tom Savage, Houston Texans

Much like Cody Kessler, I wouldn’t expect a full season from Tom Savage. I’m sure the Texans don’t want to rush Deshaun Watson into action right away, but poor quarterback play from Savage may leave Bill O’Brien no choice to play either Watson, or veteran Brandon Weeden. Again, this is just an assumption that Tom Savage will win the job. He does have an advantage by spending last year learning a very complicated Bill O’Brien offense. Unless you’re in a deep dynasty league, I wouldn’t even think about taking Savage this year.

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Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck is a solid quarterback to have in fantasy football. He has a lot of potential, and while he doesn’t have the best receiving corps in the game, there’s a lot of signal callers who would love to have T.Y. Hilton and Phillip Dorsett on their roster. I do have a love/hate relationship on one of his stat lines, and that’s the rushing yards. Those numbers are great, but he rarely slides or ducks out of bounds. With Luck, you have to be weary of the amount of hits he takes, and the Colts basically did nothing to address their offensive line issues in either free agency or the draft.

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Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars 

Last year was what most would call an off-year for Blake Bortles, but only time will tell if 2015 was an anomaly or not. With the same amount of games and more pass attempts last year vs. 2015, fantasy owners want to see a lot more improvement. I think the Bortles of 2016 is closer to the kind of quarterback we can come to expect in future years. He’ll be a backup fantasy quarterback at best, and this year is no different, as he should only fill in on bye weeks or in the case of injury.

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Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota showed quite the improvement in his sophomore season in the NFL. Obviously with more attempts, Mariota threw for more yards and more touchdowns, but he also threw one less pick. The advantage experts saw in the Mariota vs. Winston debate is that Mariota would take better care of the football, and has so far been true. The Titans’ brass has continued to build around him, and I think he’ll continue to improve this upcoming season. I would say he’s a low end QB1/high-end QB2, depending on the size of the league.

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Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos

Last year was essentially Trevor Siemian’s rookie season, which makes projecting his 2017 performance almost impossible. As I noted previously, don’t take these projections as gospel. The projections are a guideline as what to expect based on past performance. I don’t think the Denver really improved on the passing game this offseason, but they didn’t take a major loss either. I think we can expect similar numbers from Siemian, but in my opinion, these numbers could take a sharp fall. If Semian strings together a few bad games, I could see Paxton Lynch taking over under center. Semian is not on my draft board, and I probably won’t grab him unless I lose multiple quarterbacks to injury.

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Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

Coaches love it, and fantasy owners hate it, as Alex Smith’s conservative play is what makes him a top quarterback in the NFL, but also a fantasy blunder. In typical twelve-team leagues, he rides the border of a QB2. Smith is not a bad quarterback by any means, but he just doesn’t put up big numbers. Not often, if at all, do you see him put up a 300+ yard game with 4+ touchdowns. My advice would ultimately be to find a more consistent backup than Smith this year. 

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Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

Rivers is going to be a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 in 2017. Preferably, I would target this guy as a backup, especially if I have someone closer ranked to him. The quarterback position can be a tough play in fantasy, and having a couple guys that you can play depending on the matchup really isn’t a bad option. Of course I would love to contain Aaron Rodgers and a mid-grade backup, but that’s not always going to happen. Say you end up with Rivers and Kirk Cousins, neither one of these guys is going to be consistently favored over each other. If you had these two, your first four games could feature defenses who never ranked above 14th in either yards allowed, nor touchdowns allowed. Sure you’ll have tough decisions to make on some weeks, but more often than not, it’ll be pretty easy to make the smart play.

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Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

I am expecting Derek Carr to have a great season, and I certainly believe he’ll outplay his ranking spot. I tend to get weary of players coming off of an injury, especially ones where they spend multiple weeks out. If it was an ACL tear instead of a broken finger, I would avoid Carr, but along with the possibility of a strong running game, Carr could be a top five quarterback in fantasy this year. Also, with his hefty pay raise, Carr will have to show his fans and teammates that he was worth the investment. I typically don’t like owning players coming into the year with a large contract, but my gut is telling me that Derek Carr is going to be a great quarterback to have this year.

 

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Photo from Dayandadream.com

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott had a phenomenal rookie season, posting 300 plus fantasy points, and leading the Cowboys to 13-3 a mark they hadn’t reached since 2007. This is going to be a gut call on how you feel about him. Some experts aren’t worried about him (from my projections neither am I), but others are afraid of the possible sophomore slump. The fear of the run game will not allow defenses to key in only him, and will force them to play conservatively against him. Bottom line is the tools are there for this guy to do great things once again.

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Eli Manning, New York Giants- The Giants are on the verge of building something special, however overall I would say they are an average playoff team. For Eli Manning’s sake he has some options in the passing game. The addition of Brandon Marshall will take away some looks from Odell Beckham Jr, but now teams can’t just key in on Beckham. I expect Eli Manning to make the most of these opportunities given his time clock of being a very good quarterback is about to expire. Early in Eli’s career he was horrible at reading defenses, but I think the 14 year vet has a good grasp on it now and should have a decent year.

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Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles have done a nice job building around Wentz, and this should be an exciting year for the kid out of North Dakota state. While they spent their first three picks on the defense, they acquired Alshon Jeffery. This will only be a great if Jeffery can keep healthy, but his career attendance is about 80%, which equals out to about 13 games a season. A four wide receiver set including Alshon Jeffery, Dorial Green-Beckham, Nelson Agholor, and Torrey Smith won’t be exactly easy to cover, especially if LeGarrette Blount or Ryan Mathews are sitting in the backfield as well. They also have a great tight end in Zach Ertz. The tools are there for Wentz to improve, and I think this guy will have a great sophomore season in the NFL.

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Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

 I think it’s safe to assume that Kirk Cousins will have another solid season, but it’s not a guarantee. Outside of Jordan Reed, he has no other reliable options. His success will rest primarily on how Terrelle Pryor Sr. and Josh Doctson play, which isn’t a nightmare, but isn’t an ideal situation either. I currently have him ranked at eighth among QB’s, which is basically a mid-QB1. I would put a decent backup behind him, and pay attention to the matchups.

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Mike Glennon, Chicago Bears

I did not rank Glennon, but if I did. he would be around the QB30 mark, making him a QB3 in dual quarterback leagues. The Bears’ offense is atrocious, and the front office did him zero favors by getting rid of Alshon Jeffery. Yes, they have Cameron Meredith and Zach Miller, but Glennon needs much more help than that. They have a decent enough pass protection to allow Glennon some time, but he’s very inexperienced, having only 21 games under his belt. I’d stay away from him in almost all formats.

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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

 I think Stafford is going to have a decent year, but nothing more, and nothing less. While he doesn’t have great wide receivers, he has decent enough weapons that a guy with his experience can work with. The Lions will likely be involved in shootouts, which as always will give Stafford points via volume. I currently have Stafford ranked at QB13, which is a high-end backup/low-end starter, depending on your league size. Either way, he’ll be a quality guy to own this year.

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Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

 Aaron Rodgers is the consensus top quarterback this year. He was the best to own last year, and I don’t think much has changed. In fact, the Packers added tight end Martellus Bennett, which makes their already outstanding receiving corps that much harder to defend. Ty Montgomery has done well running the ball, and has made one of the best position swaps in the NFL, but these guys are all about the pass. I like Rodgers this year as the cornerstone of this high-powered offense.

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Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings

Currently, I have Bradford ranked at QB23. The question here is, who will win the starting job under center for Vikings? Bradford certainly did a enough last year, and Rick Spielman did give up a first-round pick for him. The fear here is if he strings together a few bad starts, he could lose the starting job. If I could guarantee he would start the whole season, I would probably have Bradford ranked higher, The other haunting issue is that as soon as Bridgewater is cleared to play, Bradford owners will very likely have to think about replacing him. I am staying very cautious of Bradford, and only taking him if he falls to a very favorable spot.

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Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

I have Matt Ryan at fifth among quarterbacks. He’s in a solid offense, and is with a running game that defenses will have to respect (don’t forget about Julio Jones either). He will have a new offense to learn with Steve Sarkisian in at offensive coordinator, but Ryan is smart, and I don’t see it really becoming an issue. The Falcons have a great offense that can beat you on the ground or through the air, and I would expect the Falcons to pass more often than not. 

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Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

I have Cam Newton at QB7, so he is basically viewed as a quality starter. Newton had a rough year last year, finishing 17th among fellow signal callers. Newton is a lot better than 17th, has talented enough receivers, and not to mention a top tight end in Greg Olsen. Last year was an off-year for Cam, and I would take it for just that: An off-year. This year will be better for Newton, and he’ll prove to be a quality starter you can grab in the middle rounds of a twelve-team league.

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Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees should have another solid year. Sure, he’s declined over the years, but New Orleans has slowly transitioned to a run-first team. With that, Brees still finished third last year among quarterbacks, and I have him at third once again this year. He still gets a lot of volume, and has a solid group of guys to throw the ball to. With one of the worst defenses in the league, Brees and company will be involved in a fair amount of shootouts. His age doesn’t scare me here, as I still like him as a top-five quarterback.

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Photo from the Tampa Bay Times

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If you don’t get penalized for picks in your league, I’d quickly shoot Winston up in your rankings a few spots. The reality is, interceptions are penalized in most fantasy leagues, and they continue to be an issue for him. He has a top five receiver in Mike Evans, along with some decent role players in their pass attack. I currently have Winston ranked ninth among quarterbacks, and I think he’ll be a fair option to have. I have him going around the middle of the eighth round in twelve-man leagues, which is a fair price.

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Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

I’m not as keen on Palmer this year as I have been in the past. He’s nearing the end of his playing days, which really only matters in dynasty leagues, but also for redraft leagues as well, because he’s not the same guy anymore. His best option is near retirement as well (Larry Fitzgerald), and their best offensive player at the moment is David Johnson. The Cardinals have a pretty tough defense, so I expect for David Johnson to get his number called the most. I have him ranked at 19th among quarterbacks, making him a mid-level backup in most leagues. If I take Palmer, it’s only to fill in for a bye week or an injury. I’ll probably trust my starter over him about 95% of the time.

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Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are still putting together pieces around Goff. I doubt he loses the starting job to Sean Mannion, but even if Goff plays the full season, he just doesn’t have the help to make him a draftable quarterback this year. In fact, he didn’t make my top 200, or my general quarterbacks rankings list. He would rank around 25th to 28th if I did go that deep. I’m not drafting Goff this year, and I’m only considering grabbing him if either starts posting monster numbers frequently, or if I’m in some serious injury trouble. Other than that, I advise staying away from Goff this year.

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Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers

Brian Hoyer is a band-aid at quarterback for the 49ers. He just doesn’t have the ability or the receivers to have any fantasy relevance this year. The 49ers are in full rebuild mode, and judging by their 2017 rookie draft class, they’re addressing the defense first. I am not convinced that Hoyer will even play the whole season, as I’m sure Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard will get a fair amount of reps. I am taking no part in owning any 49ers quarterback, and I could list a million more reasons to stay away from Hoyer.

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Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Finally, a quarterback from the NFC West we can get excited about. Russell Wilson is by far the best option out of this division, and I have him ranked as the sixth-best quarterback in the league. The Seattle offense is good, not great, but good. While Wilson doesn’t have the best receivers, he has the experience to make plays with either his arm or legs. The Seattle offense does feature two solid backs in Eddie Lacy and C.J. Prosise (Thomas Rawls is no slouch either), which should only benefit Wilson. 

Running Backs

The running back position is arguably the most important position to remain competitive at, even in PPR leagues. I try not to go into any draft planning on a drafting a certain position no matter what. The truth is, you should be targeting a running back within the first four rounds (three if you don’t have a history of drafting well). There is no worse feeling than looking at your roster knowing that for most of the year, you’ll be starting a guy that probably won’t score double digits on a weekly basis. It’s also not very fun trying to play the matchup game with them either. I like to have a guy that no matter what his matchup may be, I feel confident he’ll do well. If you wait too long in the draft, you won’t get that guy. Let’s take a peek at this years crop of backs, and discuss their value.

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LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

I ranked LeSean McCoy as the fourth-best among running back, and in the top ten in both standard and PPR formats. McCoy is in a near perfect situation in Buffalo. There defense is respectable, their passing game isn’t quite the best, and he still has the ability to take heavy workload. He’s not a slam dunk first round guy pick, but he’s a gem if he falls to the second round in twelve-team league. He is a back that you can almost count on double-digit points each week, as long as he remains healthy. Overall, McCoy is a solid pick at the tail end of the drafts, and an outstanding pick in the second.

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Jonathan Williams, Buffalo Bills

Jonathan Williams is going to be the handcuff to own if you end up taking LeSean McCoy. My strategy is usually to handcuff a top-ten back if I get one. It is like having insurance that actually works in your favor. We hate when our star guys go down, but it happens, and you can either burn a draft pick on his handcuff, or pray that you can grab him off of the waiver wire.

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Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins

In my eyes, Jay Ajayi is a top-10 back in both standard and PPR formats. He is a guy you should be able to grab in the early or middle stages of the second round. Ajayi is in a similar situation as McCoy, although Miami has a slight advantage in the passing game. On the other hand, he wasn’t a great passing back last year by any means. The word out of the Dolphins camp this year is that he has done well catching passes out of the backfield, which at least gives him a slight boost in PPR leagues.

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Damien Williams, Miami Dolphins

I would opt not to use a pick to handcuff unless under these conditions: You have at least six or more bench spots, it’s a PPR league, of if he’s available in the last round. I’m not fully convinced Damien gets a huge workload, even if Ajayi goes down, as Kenyan Drake will be sitting there at the three spot. If Ajayi goes down, I’m definitely going to try to get Williams, especially in PPR leagues. Williams gets a huge boost if Ajayi goes down, but until we see it, I’m not convinced he gets as big of a boost as some the other backups in the same position.

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Mike Gillislee, New England Patriots

I hate trying predicting the New England backfield during the offseason, and I’m not much of a fan predicting what they’ll do mid-season. From the reports I have heard, Gillislee is the favorite to win the starting job, which was left open by the departure of LeGarrette Blount. I have Gillislee ranked 30th among running backs, but he could certainly work his way into a more prominent role in the New England backfield. The unknown in New England is what scares me here, but he’s somewhat of a sleeper of mine. If you happen to find him available around the sixth or seventh round, I would advise that you pull the trigger.

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Photo from NESN.com

James White, New England Patriots

As I stated before, the New England backfield is going to be tough to predict. Even if you take Gillislee out of the picture, the franchise still has James White, Dion Lewis, and Rex Burkhead, giving New England the option to turn it into an RBBC (Running Back By Committee). White would be the one to own in PPR leagues. The truth here is, Bill Belichick is unpredictable. If you take White around the eighth or ninth round, it’ll be a sit and wait game. 

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Dion Lewis, New England Patriots

If your league has six or more bench spots, Lewis could be a sneaky pick here. Yes, some injuries or bad play (probably a mixture of both) will have to happen, but if it does, Dion Lewis could be a really strong flex play towards the end of the year. If Gillislee and White were to somehow be out of the picture, Lewis has showed signs before of being a decent back. I’m not saying it will work out that way, but there’s a slight chance it could. He should be available around the 13th round in twelve-team leagues, and if you feel like you’ve drafted well enough to take some risks, this would be one I would be willing to take. Also, if a back goes down not in a Patriot uniform, you have a guy you can dump to snipe an opponent’s backup. 

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Bilal Powell, New York Jets

There has been differing reports out there on who’s going to be the starter for the Jets in 2017, but I’m putting my money on Powell. This December, Matt Forte turns 32-years old, the days of Matt Forte being a great back are essentially over. I have Powell ranked as the 21st best running back in PPR leagues and 22nd in standard, essentially making him a low-end RB2/high-end FLEX play. I think Powell will have a solid season, especially in PPR formats.

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Matt Forte, New York Jets

Since my money is on Powell to win the starting job, I obviously have Forte ranked lower, but there’s still some fantasy relevance here if things go right for him. The assumption that Powell will be the weekly starter is based on both health and strong play. Forte could sneak his way into the starting job, and if that happens, he will have his share of double digit games. The Jets will end up passing a lot, simply because they’ll likely be trailing in most games. The problem with that is you’ll be tying up a bench spot with Forte, but there are worse players that you might also be doing that with. If you can find Forte in the ninth round or lower, don’t be afraid to grab him and see how things pan out.

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Photo from the team’s official site

Danny Woodhead, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens passed more than any other team last year, with 142 completions going to running backs. In PPR leagues, I’m going to try to target Woodhead as either my RB2 or FLEX. With Kenneth Dixon’s suspension, Terrance West should be the starter for the first four games, but no matter who’s the starter, Woodhead will get his share of time, especially on passing downs. Woodhead always seems like the best running back to have out of all the guys who aren’t weekly starters, and this year will be no different.

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Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens

Want to make that guy who picked Kenneth Dixon cuss up a storm? Take Terrance West around ninth or tenth round, and see what happens. He will be the projected starter for the first four games, and if you have owners that don’t pay attention, you should ship him away in a trade around week 3. Don’t worry, I have a sneaky play for Dixon as well. Terrance West had a rough go last year, scoring only two touchdowns over the final ten games, also posting a sub four yards per carry.

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Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

I think it’s safe to assume that Mixon is going to be lead back here in Cincy. I don’t think you should take this guy as high as they did in the draft, and the smarter option would be to just to have him ride the bench. It’s still a bit of a gray area as far as what his workload is going to look like, but I have Mixon ranked at RB20. If you end up taking Mixon, pay close attention to how he’s used in the last couple weeks of the preseason. If it appears he’s getting the majority of the carries, I would play him in week one. If not, it may take a week or two to determine his value. I’m not a big fan of rookies in redraft leagues, so I’ll probably pass on Mixon.

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Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

I’m not very big on Bernard this year, not just because he’s down in the rankings, but because regardless of who gets the start in Cincy, the workload is still gray. I could see Mixon, Bernard, and even Hill all sharing the carries. I have Bernard ranked slightly above Hill at #42 among running backs. He becomes a low-end FLEX play, but only if Mixon or Hill are out. I don’t want to waste precious bench space waiting for that, as I’d rather carry players with more upside.

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Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals

Jeremy Hill may share the carries with Mixon this year, but what I do know for sure is that his numbers will go down. Even with a Mixon injury, we may go back to the Jeremy Hill/Giovani Bernard combo that we’ve come to hate over the years. I have Hill ranked as the #52 RB this year, but much like his teammate Mixon, I’ll probably pass on him as well. As always, when the starter goes down, the guys behind him go up, but I don’t think Hill will see a large boost in numbers that you would expect from other backups.

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Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns

I put Isaiah Crowell as the 13th-best RB this year, a mark that’s incredible for him to reach, despite the uniform that he wears. I like Crowell in both standard and PPR formats. He placed 14th last year in both formats, and I think that’s a fair mark that he can shoot for this year. I think you get Crowell at a very reasonable price, as I have him going at the tail end of the third round in twelve-team leagues. If you can grab him there, do it, as he’ll be a solid starter this year.

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Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns

Duke Johnson is currently ranked as the 38th-best running back, and I think that’s a fair ranking, as I don’t see him stealing many carries from Crowell. If Crowell goes down, Johnson gets an astounding boost. His situation is much better than other backups within his division. Nobody will really be in Johnson’s way if he is forced to step up. If the Browns were a better team, both Isaiah and Duke would be ranked higher, but by playing in Cleveland, there’s room for disappointing games, no matter who the starter is.

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Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

I have a feeling that this year is likely going to be one of Bell’s best. All signs are pointing to the Steelers using him like a rented mule. Big Ben is getting older, and the Steelers only franchise tagged him (instead of signing him to even a three-year deal). For the last three years, Bell’s per game usage has jumped from 18 carries a game in 2014, to almost 22 carries a game last year. He even saw a jump in that average in 2015 from 18 to 19 carries a game as well. I think the Steelers are going to use as much tread on Bell as they can before his price gets to be too much. That means he’s a lock in as a top-five back, if not a top-five player in PPR leagues this year.

James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers

I believe that James Conner has potential, but as long as Bell is either healthy or not suspended, we really won’t be able to fully see what this kid can do. I don’t have Conner in my top 200, and it’s really a coin-flip decision on whether to handcuff him or not. I can see it either way here. The Steelers offensive line is pretty good in terms of run blocking, which could help Conner out a lot. Knile Davis is sitting at third within the depth chart, which makes me wonder how much time Connor would really get if Bell went down. I would roll the dice on Conner in one of the final rounds, given if you have the bench space to store him. 

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Lamar Miller, Houston Texans

The situation this year for Miller is a lot better. Last year, the Texans thought they had a gem in Brock Osweiler, but we all saw how that turned out. This year, Tom Savage appears to be the projected starter, but it’s obvious he’s not the future of the team. Why am I talking about their quarterbacks instead of Miller? Well, it shows us why the workload will increase for running back. Miller disappointed us last year, but his volume this year should shake the worries we have with him. I have him ranked 11th among running backs, but I think he could certainly step up into the top-ten. There’s really no backup here that will cut into his time, as the stage is set for Miller.

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D’Onta Foreman, Houston Texans

I think Foreman is going to be the clear backup in Houston. Not only will he be the backup, but he’ll also get the majority of the work if Miller goes down. The unknown is how his game will translate to the pros. I’m probably going to pass on Foreman this year, both in the draft and on the waiver wire (unless he puts up ungodly numbers of course). I currently have him ranked at 66th among running backs, which shows how much I don’t trust him, for now at least.

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Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts

I have Gore ranked outside of my top-25, but he has top-15 potential. Age really doesn’t matter in redraft leagues, but at the same time, it does to an extent. Frank Gore is 34-years old, which leads me to believe he’s one bad shot away from being done for good. Yes, it could happen to anyone, but the odds are more against Gore, given his age. I have Gore ranked as the 26th-best running back available, but you should make sure you have a couple of studs on your roster before taking him. 

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Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

Ezekiel Elliott gave us hope again that we can trust rookie running backs, but can we really do so based off ones performance? I would say no, but I have a gut feeling Fournette will do well. I have him ranked as the 12th-best running back this year, and I have him going early stages of the third round. The key here is your preference, do you trust the guy that much? Rookies tend to be tougher to project, as their often doesn’t correlate at the NFL level. I would take Fournette where you ultimately see fit.

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T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars

I have Yeldon ranked as the 59th-best running back, and this ranking is based off of Fournette playing well and staying healthy. If I thought it was really possible that Fournette would fail, I would have Yeldon ranked a lot higher. Injuries do happen though, so I don’t mind stashing Yeldon on my bench to see what happens. I’m not necessarily handcuffing Yeldon to Fournette, although that may be a good idea. I would keep an eye on this backfield, and keep tabs on the backs in this system.

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DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans

I have Murray as the seventh-best running back, and ranked 15th overall. This will probably be his last year ranked this high, but that’s all that matters in redraft fantasy football. Murray is in a great situation in Tennessee. It’s not as great as Dallas, but the Titans passing game is respectable, and can also keep Murray fresh. The running game is there when they need it, and this offense has enough firepower to keep defenses honest. I like Murray, and an early second round round pick is a fair price for him.

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Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry is in a great situation as far as backups go, and is a must to handcuff to DeMarco Murray. There’s no real threat to steal carries behind him, and Murray is at an age (and not to mention the tread wear) where injuries become more prevalent. The problem is, Murray is not an injury prone guy, but you never know. Derrick Henry will be drafted this year, make sure it’s you who gets him if you drafted Murray.

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C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos

C.J. Anderson is the top running back in Denver, despite being ranked 23rd among his position. The Denver backfield is likely going to drive fantasy owners crazy this year. between the Broncos containing C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, and Devontae Booker. If an injury, string of fumbles, or a few bad games occur, it will only muddy the waters. Anderson will likely share the carries with one of the other two lead backs. At best, I think Anderson will be a decent FLEX play. I’ll probably let him fall to fifth round if I can before I consider drafting him.

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Jamaal Charles, Denver Broncos

It appears as though Charles will be the backup to C.J. Anderson, but take that with a grain of salt. With Devontae Booker three, I’m not convinced Charles gets a huge value boost if Anderson goes down, not to mention Charles’ own injury history. I like Charles more in PPR formats, and I have him ranked at #48 among running backs. 

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Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs

Much like C.J. Anderson, Spencer Ware will get the start, but he’ll likely share time with the two guys below him. I like Ware’s chances of getting more of a workload than Anderson, as I have Ware ranked at #22 among running backs. The Chiefs don’t have as good of options as Denver does behind their respective starter. Although I have them ranked closely to one another, I’ll most likely pick Ware, instead of passing on him. 

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Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

Kareem Hunt is probably going to be the backup to own for Kansas City. Either Charcandrick West or Hunt is going to be pretty volatile if Ware is to go down. West has disappointed before, and has shown he’s not worthy of being a workhorse. I would draft Hunt over West, but I’m still taking a look a West in the waiver wire if Ware goes down.

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Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

I think Melvin Gordon has found his footing in the NFL, although it did look grim not too long ago. I have Gordon at 12th overall, and as the sixth-best fantasy running back this year. He is by far the best back on the roster, and will likely get the most carries by an overwhelming margin. He showed us last year what he can do, and I expect similar numbers, and even a near top-five finish. I would wait to see who wins the backup spot before using a draft pick to handcuff him.

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Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders

What kind of “Beast Mode” will we see after taking a year off? A top five back? No, that seems a little too optimistic. A guy riding the bench all year due to injuries? No, that’s a little harsh, but possible. In fact, I could see both scenarios to an extent, but I have Lynch ranked as the 14th-best running back in 2017, at around #40 overall. It will be interesting to see how Coach Del Rio uses him, but he’ll certainly get the most carries. I would definitely have a backup plan at RB2 if you elect to draft Lynch.

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Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders

Richard is not the ideal backup plan I was talking about for Marshawn Lynch. He will likely share carries, unless both Lynch and DeAndre Washington are down (due to injury). I have Richard ranked at #58 among running backs, and I will likely pass on him because of his situation. He has the potential to be a low-end FLEX player if he moves up a spot on the depth chart, but that’s the very best case scenario I see for him.

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DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders

The value of Washington climbs the most if an injury happens, but I doubt any injury will make him an instant starter fantasy-wise. To make him an instant fantasy starter, both Richard and Lynch will have to go down. While Washington got more carries than Richard last year, he wasn’t as productive, and even had the least amount of receptions between the two. I’m avoiding Washington, both in the draft and off the waiver wire.

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Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys did Elliott a favor by drafting this him last year, giving him a home that can actually block. Elliott steadily improved throughout the year, and showed fantasy owners that he was worth the pick. I think we’ll see similar numbers from Elliott this season, and one thing that certainly helps is the emergence of Dak Prescott. I would expect teams to take turns to stop one or the other next year, but expect Elliot to punish any opponents that underestimate his talent. 

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Paul Perkins, New York Giants

Paul Perkins is most likely going to lead the the backfield for the Giants in 2017, but unless he makes the most out of every single carry, he won’t have the chance to be a top scorer in fantasy football this year. You would have to go back to 2010 to find that the Giants gave the lead back the ball more than 250 times in a single season. I think Perkins will improve this year, but no matter how good he is, part of the formula to success in fantasy football is having the opportunity. He just won’t have the opportunity this year.

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Shane Vereen, New York Giants

Shane Vereen will be the passing down back this year for the Giants, as there just won’t be enough volume for him to start on fantasy rosters. If Perkins loses the starting job somehow, Vereen is likely to become the next in line to take the bulk of the carries. I have Vereen ranked as the 57th-best running back, and if I can find him around the 14th round or so, I’ll stash him and wait to see what happens.

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LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles

I could basically echo here what I put for Marshawn Lynch, except for the fact that Blount didn’t take a year off. Fantasy owners always struggle with the older guys in redraft leagues, just because of the unknown factor. The unknown is, how much do these older guys have left in the tank? It makes it tough to rank them all, because on one hand, you want to give them credit for how well they have played. On the other, you have to know if their playing days are at a high enough level, or if they’re nearly over. I have Blount ranked as the 37th-best running back, as I don’t believe he has enough left in his tank to take on a large workload.

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Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles

I currently have Darren Sproles as the 44th-best running back in fantasy. I love this guy in PPR formats, and if Blount goes down somehow, Sproles will step into the lead back role. As far as carries go, he’ll either share them with Smallwood or Blount. I think he gets more with Blount out, but either way, he’ll be the man within the passing game. I’ll have no issue using a draft pick on Sproles if possible, as he may be a guy I push up my board a couple spots.

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Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins

Rob Kelley is going to have to prove his fantasy relevance this year. He went from being essentially undraftable last year, to being recognized, and now has to use 2017 to boost his way up. I have him ranked 35th among running backs, and he’s even in my top 100 overall. The worry with him is Chris Thompson stealing some of the carries in the backfield. Kelley is a low-end FLEX play at best, but if Thompson falls out of the picture, he could work his way up to RB2..

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Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins

I like Chris Thompson as the backup, but he’ll have to move up to number one on the depth chart before I play him. If he gets there, I think he will have a benefit to fantasy owners. In fact, Thompson becomes a FLEX play if he gets an opportunity with the Redskins. If you roster both of their backfield options, you’ll be covered. I like Thompson, but if I already have Kelly, I doubt I’ll grab him this year. 

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Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

Howard is a top-ten back, as I have him ranked at eighth. He’s going to be the guy either Glennon or Trubisky lean on, as they adjust to the Dowell Loggains offense. The Bears will likely be behind in most games, and will be forced to pass the ball, thus limiting Howard’s carries. He’s the type of back that can make the most of limited opportunities though. I like Howard at 16th overall, and I feel comfortable taking him there, because I don’t see him falling any further than that. It’s either a second round pick or not for this guy, but look for him at this point in the draft.

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Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions

Theo Riddick is going to be the more productive back this year, and I think he will steal the starting job at some point in the season. If you’re in PPR leagues, you have to favor Riddick here. Abdullah has to completely blow the doors off the place to gain back some carries he’s losing from Riddick. At the current pace, Riddick could steal some carries from Abdullah and take over in Detroit. 

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Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions

Abdullah is in a weird spot, but he’s one of those guys that seems like he should be the main guy, but may not be. I currently have Abdullah ranked right underneath Riddick at RB29. His durability is definitely a question now after last year, but putting that aside, I still favor Theo Riddick in PPR leagues. The Lions will be tough to figure out this year, but I like Riddick a touch better here in Detroit.

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Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers

Montgomery made a decent transition from receiver to running back last year. Even though he seems to be the starter, I have him ranked 19th among running backs, as I’m a little concerned about the Packers drafting three running backs. Jamaal Williams could possibly steal a little work here from the converted running back, but I also could see the argument that they drafted to add depth. I lean a little more towards the latter, considering their first running back selected didn’t come until the fourth round. I like Montgomery as an RB2, and you should be able to find him in the fifth round in twelve-team leagues.

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Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers

I have the aforementioned rookie here as the 60th-ranked running back this year, but he could be an injury away from elevating that status. However, if Montgomery goes down, it’s quite possible that the Packers could toy around with their new backs and turn it into an RBBC. The passing offense is good enough for them to experiment a bit in that situation, which could cap how much value Williams would gain by the way of a Montgomery injury. He’s worth a pick up if Ty goes down, but not much more. I’ll probably not burn a pick on this rookie, and will let another owner take a chance on him if they choose to.

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Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

It seems as though the rookie is going to get the start in Minnesota, but he’s going to have to prove he’s worthy of being a starter. I currently have him ranked as the 24th-best running back in PPR formats, which is where I think he’ll earn his spot on fantasy rosters. He was a great as a pass-catching back in college, so I think he has something to bring in that respect. In PPR leagues, I’d say he’s worth a sixth round pick, but I’d probably pass on him in standard formats.

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Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings

If I end up selecting Latavius Murray, I’m drafting him in the hopes that Cook doesn’t live up to his true potential. I have Murray ranked as the 47th-best among running backs, and he’s either going to play past that or under it. It’s possible he could end up around there, but I see it as one of two ways. Either Dalvin Cook will perform well and Latavius Murray barely sees any playing time, or Cook will fail and Murray may see the bulk of the carries. If I end up taking Murray, I’m going to hold on to him for a few weeks.

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Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons

Last year, we were all a little scared of Freeman and his time share between him and Tevin Coleman. Freeman put that fear to rest, finishing within the top-ten, and doing so with around 40 less carries from the year prior. I have him ranked 12th overall, and as the fifth-best running back. He’s still going to get 200+ carries, and he seems to be the favorite back in the passing game as well for you PPR owners out there. He’s worth the tail-end in a first round pick, or he may even fall somehow to you in the second.

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Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons

Even being the least favored in two back system, Tevin Coleman put up RB2/FLEX numbers, and I bet he does it again this year. I have him ranked at 25th amongst running backs. If you end up with Freeman, I think it’s worth reaching a bit on him to handcuff him to Freeman. Yes, he’ll be a touchdown dependent kind of guy, but he had eight last year, three less than Freeman. He’s FLEX playable if you find yourself in a jam, and an instant RB1 if Freeman goes down. In 12 team leagues he should be available in the seventh round, which is good value for a guy who’s a FLEX play even with Freeman in the lineup, and has arguably the most value to gain if the guy above goes down. If you like to draft for value, you’ll be lucky find better value than Coleman.

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Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

At the time I started this, McCaffrey’s value was skyrocketing, but as reports are coming out that Jonathan Stewart might still be the lead back, his value is falling. I don’t think Stewart is going to be the main back, but I believe he could still have a significant role. I currently have McCaffrey as the 15th-best running back, just because out of all the rookie running backs, I think he has the most potential. 

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Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers

Stewart finds himself in a similar situation as Latavius Murray, but I think Stewart has less of a chance of the represented rookie falling on his face compared to Murray. I think Stewart will at best keep it as a RBBC, but won’t ever get the main load. I am not pleased with either of these guys as PPR backs, just because Cam Newton traditionally doesn’t give his backs a lot of looks. I have Stewart ranked as the 41st-best running back, but I think he’ll be dead space on rosters.

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Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints

The move to bring Adrian Peterson in has somewhat scared fantasy owners and experts. Viewed as a typical top-ten running back candidate, he has been moved down for me, as he’s ranked 17th in my books. The days of the elite Adrian Peterson are over, but I think he can still play well enough to create a timeshare. I believe Ingram will still get close to 200 carries, and I think he’ll still be effective in the passing game. Ingram will be an average RB2 with low-end RB1 potential. 

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Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints

I’m not sure what to think of this New Orleans rushing attack. How much time will Peterson really get? Will he get enough time to be at least a FLEX play? I think he’s just shy of a FLEX play in most standard leagues, but the potential is there. I think he’ll have a similar role as Tim Hightower did last year. If Ingram goes down, Peterson is certainly considered an RB1. I have him ranked as the 33rd-best running back, and 90th overall.

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Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Coming into the year serving a four-game suspension (three left, as he served one game out last year), fantasy owners can get Doug Martin at a bit of a discount. His early July ADP has him generally going 70th overall (97th in ESPN). I have him ranked as the 34th-best running back, and 98th overall, s not a bad price. Think of it this way, if David Johnson was to go down for four weeks after Week 1 would you drop him? I know David Johnson is a much higher caliber player, but you get my point. If you can find Martin in the 90th or lower range I would grab him.

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Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers-

Will Charles Sims steal the top running back spot from Martin? The answer is no, the reason is volume. He’ll likely share carries with Jacquizz Rodgers, thus not really giving him the chance to win the job. He’ll be great in PPR leagues while Martin is out, but he’s likely going to be the passing down back when Martin does return. I have Sims ranked as the 50th best running back, but I would grab him for a cheap first three games, although I’m keeping him rostered after those games in case Martin goes down.

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David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals-

I have David Johnson ranked as number one overall. I don’t think he’s the slam dunk number one pick, but if my leagues mates want to pass on this guy at the one spot by all means, please do it. He’s a great athlete, that can beat you on any down or distance. I expect another great season from Johnson, he’ll only lose carries when he needs a breather. Otherwise he should picked first and is a nice anchor to the running back position.

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Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams-

Ranked as the 10th best running back, Todd Gurley should have a very good season, but he’ll have to do it facing the fourth toughest schedule for running backs. The nice thing about Gurley is that he’ll get the volume of a top five back, while also being favored in the passing game. The Rams will likely be behind in most games, and end up passing a lot. Gurley will score good points most games, may disappoint a couple times, but he’s still an RB1.

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Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers-

Hyde is the epitome of a good back in an awful situation. He’s going to put up decent numbers because that’s just the guy he is. He only reached 100 plus rushing yards twice last year, and 20 or more carries four times. The 49ers will be behind in most games, usually by double digits, and usually swiftly. I have Hyde ranked as the 15th best running back in both formats. He’s an average RB2, that’ll likely have a handful of bad games, and a couple unbelieveable games. Since I have him ranked as the 15th ranked running back, I’d be more inclined to draft him as my FLEX/RB2 matchup dependent.

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Eddie Lacy, Seattle Seahawks-

If Seattle had no name backs on it’s roster, we’d be done here talking about running backs at Eddie Lacy. The fact that it’s not clear who will see what kind of playing time is why have Eddie Lacy ranked lower than I’ve ever had him before. Right now I have him at 31st among running backs in PPR leagues and 26th in standard leagues, and it’s because Seattle could have three back rotation this year between, Lacy, Prosise, and Rawls. Lacy has been slimming down showing that he wants the top spot, but he’s going to have to play like it. I think he can play well, but I also think the guys behind him can play well to, Eddie Lacy will get enough usage to be a FLEX play in most leagues.

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C.J. Prosise, Seattle Seahawks

Prosise will likely get used in the passing games, which is why I have him ranked as the 39th running back in PPR formats. He’s around 42nd in standard formats. He’s likely to get rostered in any format, but he’s more useful in PPR leagues. I’m going to pass on Prosise in standard formats, but I’m buying his stock in PPR leagues. Hopefully preseason clears the water on how the backs will be used in Seattle.

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Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks

Thomas Rawls simply won’t get enough volume to make an impact for those who decide to draft him this year. He’ll likely be an early down back when Lacy and Prosise need a breather. I think he’ll be productive when he gets a chance, but he’s going to have to get a more prominent role to have any fantasy impact. He’s in the bottom third of my top 200, and unless we see him gain a better role in the offense that’s a fair spot for him.

Wide Receivers

This is arguably one of the toughest positions to play each week in fantasy. Unless you have a top-five receiver, you’re constantly checking stats, matchups, injury reports, etc. It’s a no-brainer to play either Antonio Brown or Julio Jones each week, but what about those mid-tier players? We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, as I’ll roll out my weekly ranks. For now, let’s talk about the wide receivers value going into the year.

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Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills

Rookie Zay Jones may start the year off as a bit of a sleeper, as defenses will spend most of their time and energy trying to shut down Sammy Watkins or LeSean McCoy. I would plan for Jones to see softer coverage, but once opponents realize he can be effective, that will change. This is all assuming that he wins the spot opposite of Watkins, but if he doesn’t, he’s a stash at best.

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Kevin Dietsch/ UPI.com

Jordan Matthews, Buffalo Bills

Of course, a couple of blockbuster trades in the middle of this project. Nonetheless, we got our analysis here. I don’t expect Matthews to have much fantasy value here. He was ineffective in Philadelphia, and it’s not like he moved to a team with a far better quarterback. Regardless of who’s under center for the Bills, they are a run first team. I have Matthews ranked 46th in both formats which makes a last resort back up in the FLEX at best.

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Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins

Landry is going to be very effective in PPR leagues, and somewhat effective in standard leagues as well. One note to make is that the Dolphins still have weapons in DeVante Parker, Julius Thomas, and even Jay Ajayi. Landry will still get a majority of the looks on passing plays, but it’s a question of how much that majority is.

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Photo from the Miami Herald

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins

Most wide receivers break out around their second or third year in the NFL. While Parker didn’t necessarily have a breakout year in 2016, he did consistently improve. I have Parker ranked as low-end FLEX2 option, although most leagues have only one FLEX slot. I am drafting Parker with the hopes that he’s a decent enough fill in for bye weeks and injuries. However, if an injury in the Miami receiving corps does occur, Parker could cash in.

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CBS Sports Miami Photo

Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins

I may have him ranked at 60th among receivers in PPR leagues and 56th in standard leagues, but there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic about Stills, who the Dolphins resigned on a four-year, $32 million deal. I think Stills is worth a late draft pick, just to see what the Dolphins have in store for him. While he is merely viewed as a depth player within the franchise, he may shock some of his harshest critics. 

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Rogelio Solis/ Associated Press

Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots

Cooks got a huge boost going to play for the Pats, or did he? Tom Brady has a tendency to be as hassle to fantasy owners, rather their wide outs. In games where defenses can’t seem to stop him, you’ll love owning Cooks, especially since the Patriots won’t ever be afraid to throw the ball late in the game. However, if another receiver on this team can’t be stopped, Brady will likely target him almost exclusively. I think Cooks is a solid option, and should be available around the third round.

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Photo by Mike Dietsch/ UPI.com

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots

Edelman had an excellent year in terms of fantasy in 2016, as he usually does. He had 158 targets last year, which is almost double of the next closest Patriots option, James White, with 86. The addition of Cooks suggests that those numbers could take a but of a hit. Defenses are going to have a tough time defending both Edelman and Cooks in 2017. I doubt the hit to Edelman’s numbers this year are going to be major. I have Edelman as low-end WR2/top-notch FLEX play. He should go off the draft board shortly after Brandin Cooks does.

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Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens

Wallace is a deep threat that can score at any time, but the Ravens are likely not going to be a Hail Mary-type of offense. Sure, they’ll take their shots, but that’s not what Joe Flacco is about. The Ravens have a fairly balanced team, and may ask Wallace to run shorter, yet efficient routes. For this season, I have Wallace as the 42nd best receiver, making him a very low-end FLEX play. His big weeks will likely be matchup-dependent. I’ll look for the veteran around the seventh or eighth round in twelve-team leagues.

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Jeremy Maclin, Baltimore Ravens

I have Maclin ranked a little bit lower than Wallace, although their targets may end up to be similar. The difference between Wallace and Maclin for me is the rapport they have with signal caller Joe Flacco. It’s only been one year, but still I like the rapport Wallace has a little bit more.

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Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens

I’ve ranked Perriman a bit lower than both Wallace and Maclin, just because this guy is going to be fighting them to get targets, not to mention that the most targeted guy on the Ravens in 2016 happened to be tight end Dennis Pitta. It seems as though Perriman is going to be third on the Ravens depth chart, and will likely only be in on three receiver sets. He has had a rough start to his career, and unless he moves up a spot in the depth chart, it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better.

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A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green is a top-ten player, or at least I have him ranked that way. If you’re in a keeper league, I would hold on to him for as long as possible. The running game in Cincinnati isn’t rock solid yet, and they’ll likely be forced to throw a lot this year. Green is a first round pick, and will definitely be an anchor to teams that select him.

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John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals

Ross is one of the few rookies I like for redraft leagues, but I do have him ranked at 59th among receivers. On the other hand, just because I have a gut feeling about a guy, doesn’t mean I am going to unfairly rank him. I think Ross has a good chance of drawing light coverage, and will find a lot of open looks. I like Ross for his value here, as he has the opportunity to grow into Andy Dalton’s second option. In all reality, you should be able to target him around the 12th round. 

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Associated Press

Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns

Corey Coleman is most likely going to be the go-to guy in the Browns pass attack scheme, which is why I have him ranked at 48th or 49th among wide receivers. The Browns offense is going to be awful, there is no way around that. We have yet to see who’s going to win the starting quarterback job, and that will affect any rhythm Coleman might get during camp. I doubt any quarterback on this roster is going to be the every week starter, further hurting Coleman’s grove. Expect a few rough games, but I’ll target Coleman around the eighth round in twelve-team leagues. 

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Kenny Britt, Cleveland Browns

If you’ve been paying attention to the order of how these players are listed, you’ll see there in order of how I have them ranked on their respective teams. My rankings have Britt ahead of Corey Coleman, but only by one spot. There’s going to be minimal difference between these guys, as they’re both low-end FLEX plays who are matchup-dependent. 

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Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

I think the majority consensus in the fantasy world has Brown ranked 1st among wide receivers, and third overall. I would have to agree, but doing so is assuming that Big Ben stays healthy all year. It’s possible Ben could get hurt, but if that’s how you pick your players, you better be luckier than most. If you’re at the third pick, and both David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell are gone, taking Antonio Brown is a no-brainer for me.

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Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers

Coming off a full-year suspension, there’s a lot of unknowns about Bryant, but I’ve tried not to let that dictate my rankings. I have Bryant at 33rd among receivers, and inside my top 100. Although he’s the second receiver in the target pecking order, he’s in a great offense that can hurt you through either the air or the ground. I expect Bryant to have a bounce-back in 2017, as he will evolve into an average FLEX play.

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DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

Hopkins is usually considered a top-ten wide receiver in fantasy. For me, he’s close, but the fact of not knowing who’s going to be under center to start the season scares me a little bit. No matter who gets the start, the Texans will rely on Hopkins pretty heavily, as he is by far the best passing option here. He’s a fair value pick, and is likely going to become available in the second round. I have him ranked 13th among receivers, but if you have him in the top-ten, I wouldn’t blame you.

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Photo from ESPN.com

Will Fuller, Houston Texans

Fuller has declined on my rankings, and that is because he’s going to have to prove to the new quarterback in town that he’s capable of becoming a reliable target. I get that he was a first round pick, but the worry was when the Texans drafted him, he had a tendency of dropping passes, and still does. If the drops continue, it could be hard to trust him, not to mention that both Jalen Strong and Braxton Miller are knocking at the door for the WR2 spot in Houston. He’s going to miss a fair amount of time with that broken collar bone, so if your league has an IR maybe make a waiver claim and stick him there.

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T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

Chuck Pagano is tied to Andrew Luck, and if Luck fails, Pagano fails. This brings us to to Hilton, Luck’s best passing option. The Colts have need a huge year in order for Pagano to keep his job, which means he’ll have to attack teams through the air, because the running game is not as effective. I would expect Luck to get tons of volume when he’s fully healthy, and that volume will ultimately get transferred to Hilton. With that reasoning, I have him ranked 7th among wide receivers in PPR leagues, and 8th standard leagues.

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Photo from the Team’s Official Website

Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts

The nice thing about Luck getting a lot of volume is that it has to get spread around somehow. Being the second option in a pass-heavy offense makes for a fantasy feast in PPR leagues. I like Moncrief as a decent FLEX play, as he’ll get a lot of looks, and draw less coverage. Ultimately, he’s worth a sixth round pick who can score a lot of points, and gets a fair amount of touchdowns.

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Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

The key here is which Blake Bortles are we going to see this year. Allen Robinson reminds me a little bit of Antonio Brown, just because when Big Ben plays well, Brown has a lot of value. On the other hand, when Roethlisberger plays poorly (or doesn’t play at all), Brown’s value declines. Even with his drop in points from the year previous, Robinson is still a strong WR2/weak WR1. I think we see Robinson score more than he did in 2016, but less than he did in 2015. Although he makes some fantasy suitors nervous, he is still a smart option within the third round.

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Photo from the Florida Times-Union website

Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars

I have that feeling Lee is going to steal the WR2 job from Allen Hurns. If it doesn’t look like any opportunities are really opening for him, I’ll swap the two in my rankings. I have Lee ranked at 64th among wideouts, and Hurns at around 65th. If your draft is nearing, and Lee isn’t getting many targets by Bortles in preseason games, I would ignore this advice. However, as low as these guys are going in drafts, they shouldn’t hurt your roster by any means.

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Jake Roth- USA Today Sports

Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars

I pretty much explained how I felt about Hurns by ranking Lee higher. However, if I was to draft today, I would have to make sure that Lee was placed higher on the Jaguars depth chart. I have both these guys ranked lower than expected, and that is because they’re going to be on an offense with a struggling quarterback. Unless the receiver is named Allen Robinson, I’m shying away from Jacksonville receivers this year.

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AP Photo

Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans

Eric Decker landed in a better offense this off-season, but outside of going to the Browns or 49ers, I don’t think he could’ve done worse. In Tennessee, Decker has the chance to become Marcus Mariota’s favorite target. I have Decker ranked at 37 or 38 among receivers, and can provide great value for when the Titans play weak pass defenses.

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AP Photo

Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans

He may be first on the depth chart as far as wide receivers go, but the biggest worry about all Titans receivers is that they’ll be fighting each other for targets. Every time Mariota drops back, he’ll have any combination of Eric Decker, Delanie Walker, Rishard Matthews, and Corey Davis, and that’s not even counting the plays he can make with his legs. I have Rishard Matthews ranked at 46th among receivers, making him a standard FLEX play on bye weeks and injury fill-in’s.

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Photo Credit- Donn Jones Photography.com

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans

I think Davis has a great shot to be a favorite target of Mariota, but like I stated above, he’ll be fighting other guys on the roster for looks. I’m not a big fan of rookies in redraft leagues, as I would rather let others take that gamble. I have Davis going around the eighth round, so if he drops lower than that, I’ll think about grabbing him. I’d say he’s a 50/50 player on whether he’ll pan out or not. My advice is to not reach on this guy, and to stick with your original rankings.

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Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos

I have mixed feelings about Thomas. I want to believe he’s a WR1, but the truth is that we don’t know who will win the starting quarterback position yet. Regardless of who is under center to start the season, they will likely rely on Thomas to get them out of a bind. I have DT ranked round 12th-13th among receivers, which makes him a low-end WR1/ high-end WR2 in most leagues. If he ends up being your WR1, I wouldn’t be too worried, especially in PPR leagues.

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Jack Dempsey/ Associated Press

Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos

I like Sanders a lot as a FLEX play this year. It wouldn’t surprise me that people will value him as a WR2, especially in PPR leagues. He doesn’t have to really fight anyone over targets, and he’s the clear-cut number two option in Denver’s passing game. If Thomas isn’t open, the ball is likely going to Sanders. I have Sanders ranked at 23rd to 25th among wideouts. I feel he will be a low-end WR2/strong FLEX play in 2017, as you should be able to snag him around the fourth round this year.

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Photo from the Kansas City Star

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

In standard leagues, I’m avoiding Tyreek Hill like the plague. The conservative Kansas City offense offers the most scoring opportunities to running backs out of anyone in the league. In PPR leagues, I’m very optimistic about him, especially since Alex Smith will likely dunk and dink to him a lot in games. In close games, the Chiefs may be forced to throw a lot. I like Hill as a low-end FLEX in both standard and PPR scoring formats, but if you play the matchups right, he could become quite valuable.

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Photo from Yahoo Sports

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Allen finds himself in a pretty good situation in Los Angeles. The Chargers have a solid defense, but in close games, quarterback Philip Rivers will be forced to throw the ball a lot. The lengthy receiver is a great talent, can catch about anything thrown his way, and makes moves with his legs. I have Allen ranked as a strong WR2 candidate that can be found in third round of twelve-team leagues.

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Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders

The Raiders are building something special in Oakland, and Amari Cooper is at the pinnacle of it. The running game in Oakland features a 31 year-old Marshawn Lynch, and a couple of young guys who still have a lot to learn. The Raiders invested heavily in Derek Carr, and while he didn’t target Cooper enough in 2016, Cooper was the most productive after the catch, gaining 1,153 yards (about 150 more yards than Crabtree). Cooper will be a great guy to have, and can be found in the second round in most leagues.

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Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders

Crabtree has found a great home in Oakland, and he’s had a lot of production here as well. Last year, he found himself as the favorite to Derek Carr in terms of targets, getting 145, as opposed to the 132 Cooper got. He also led the team in receiving touchdowns with eight. The Raiders seem to be going all in on the passing game, which only benefits Crabtree more. I have Crabtree ranked as the 20th best receiver, and should be considered as a top FLEX play, or can even fill in at WR2 in favorable matchups.

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Richard W Rodriguez/ TNS

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

Dez Bryant is poised for another big year with the Cowboys. He’s gained more of a rapport with quarterback Dak Prescott, and the Cowboys may trust him more to keep teams off-balanced. The Cowboys have a powerful offense, which ultimately force defenses to pick and choose which weapons to focus on. Bryant was the second-most targeted receiver last year, but also scored the most. I have Dez ranked 9th among receivers, so if you use that first round pick on a running back, aim for Bryant in the second round.

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Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys

Beasley likely won’t put up the same numbers as he did the year before. With Terrance Williams coming back on a contract extension, he won’t be on the field nearly as much. I have Beasley ranked at 65th among receivers, but he has upside for being available around 13-14th round. If either Williams or Dez Bryant go down, we know Beasley can be a decent FLEX play.

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Photo from the Team’s Official Site

Odell Beckham Jr, New York Giants

I could tell you how great Beckham Jr is, and how he’ll put up great numbers, but I have him ranked 2nd among receivers, and 4th overall. He got off to a rough start last year, but I doubt that happens again. He does need to mature a bit, but the beauty of fantasy football is that you don’t lose points for picking fights with nets. In all seriousness, he’s a top talent that should be taken within the top five.

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Brandon Marshall, New York Giants

Marshall ended up in a better offense by going to the Giants, but is he aware that he is no longer the top target for once? I think he’ll be a decent FLEX play this year, but Marshall will have to earn his touches in order to be considered a WR2. If he does, Marshall could be a great weapon in certain matchups. He’ll be a fun guy to keep an eye on, and should be available around the middle rounds in most twelve-team leagues.

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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants

Shepard had his value take a huge hit once the Giants signed Marshall. He will likely become a slot receiver, and probably won’t get enough playing time to be effective. When he is on the field, keep in mind that Eli Manning has Beckham Jr and Marshall to throw to as well, and we have yet to see what kind of targets rookie tight end Evan Engram will get. I have Shepard ranked 52nd among receivers, and because of his situation, I’ll likely avoid him this year.

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Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles

I typically get nervous when players change teams, just because there’s worry if they won’t fit into a new scheme. I like the change of scenery for Jeffery, and that is because he is moving to a better offense, and is even getting a better quarterback to throw him the ball. I have Jeffery ranked 14th among receivers, as he’ll come into Philly and become a top target. I think he’ll have a solid year, and is a guy you should be able to find in the middle of the third round in twelve-team leagues.

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Photo from the Team’s Official Site

Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins

Right before I wrote this section, I had a chance to watch some of Pryor’s training camp tape. Even though it’s just camp, I have to say, Pryor looks great. It seems that quarterback Kirk Cousins feels comfortable throwing him the ball, even when guarded by their top corner Josh Norman. I have Pryor ranked at 23rd among receivers, and he should be a decent FLEX option with WR2 numbers in favorable matchups.

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Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins

I’m confident in Crowder as a standard FLEX play. While I think Pryor will lead the team in targets, I could see Crowder becoming a close second. I am not convinced Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson will lead a strong running game, forcing Cousins to throw a lot. If you take Crowder, expect for him to have a solid season.

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Photo from CSN Mid Atlantic News Site

Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins

Doctson has talent, but he’s going to be overshadowed too much in the Redskins passing attack. Just look at the depth chart, as Pryor, Crowder, and Reed will likely be looked at before Cousins fires the ball to Doctson. I have him ranked at 54th among receivers, which means he’ll likely be sitting on your bench until he proves he can provide production.

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Andy Lyons/ Getty Images

Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears- 

Cameron Meredith broke on to the fantasy scene last year, being one of the top targets in Chicago. Being in a weak Chicago offense he just won’t have the opportunity to be an every week top 15 scorer, he’ll likely be very streaky. I have Meredith ranked 38th among receivers, I am likely to take Meredith around the eighth round if he’s available, hopefully to see if there’s any consistency in his scoring. If he’s a very up and down player like I predict, he could find himself on the waiver wire in exchange for a key FA pick up.

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Kevin White, Chicago Bears- 

If I believe Meredith could possibly struggle this year, it would be crazy to think Kevin White will do any better. Kevin White has struggled to get on the field since being drafted in 2015. Keep in mind, White only has four games experience in the NFL. I have him ranked at 56th among receivers, we really don’t know much about this guy, and that bothers me, especially since he’s in a weak passing offense.

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Photo from Bleacher Report

Golden Tate, Detroit Lions- 

Golden Tate is the top receiver in an offense that will pass the ball a lot. Sounds like a WR1 right? Wrong. Tate has to prove he can score more often to be considered a WR1. Tate only crossed the goal line four times last year. In PPR, I like the receptions, but for standard leagues I need this guy to score if he’s on my team. I have him ranked 19th among receivers in my PPR rankings, which makes him a run of the mill WR2/ super strong FLEX play.

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Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions- 

Marvin Jones scores about as many touchdowns as Tate does, but gets less targets. I have Jones ranked 56th among receivers because he tends to have a fair share of drops. If he can clean that up this season, he’ll certainly outplay what I have him projected for, but until we see it we can’t predict it.

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Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers- 

Jordy Nelson is easily a top ten receiver, partly because he’s in a high powered offense, but it also helps that one of the best currently playing is throwing to him as well. The Packers pass the ball a lot, fifth most last year. Look I know last year was last year, but still they have a high powered offense, and I doubt they just suddenly drop off. I have him ranked at 6th among receivers, and I’ll have zero issue if he’s leading my receiving corp.

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USA Today Sports

Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers- 

Adams will be the WR2 in Green Bay, and a weak WR2/ strong FLEX play. Jordy Nelson and Martellus Bennett will get the most scoring opportunities, but Davante Adams will get quite a few looks everywhere else on the field. I like where he’s at both in Green Bay, and in fantasy. He’ll be a good pick in the fourth round which is where I would draft him in 12 team leagues.

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Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers- 

Randall Cobb will have a rough time this year getting targets. Between all the options Rodgers has, Cobb will not get enough looks to be an effective or viable fantasy option. If Nelson or Adams goes down, then yes he’ll have a huge spike in fantasy value, but until then he’ll be low on my list (WR49 is where I have him ranked).

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CBS Sports Image

Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings- 

My message to Vikings fans here, look at the stats before you read this. I have Stefon Diggs ranked 29th among receivers this year, and I each time I went back to double check my work I was reminded how ineffective he was. His first two years in he’s missed three games each year, and last year despite leading the team in receptions he failed to reach 1,000 yards. I have him as basically your run of the mill FLEX play, which given his track record is a fair spot to put him. The good news is, wide receivers usually breakout their third year in, so it’s not inconceivable this guy could out play his projection.

 

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Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings- 

I have Adam Thielen ranked 44th among wide receivers. He’s likely going to be the third most targeted receiver, in an offense that is still mostly about the run game. I just don’t think you go after Latavius Murray in the offseason, draft Dalvin Cook in the second, and keep McKinnon on the roster if you plan on throwing a lot, especially for a team who allowed the 10th most sacks in the league. Don’t get me wrong Adam Thielen is a sleeper candidate of mine, but because I have an odd feeling he might do well, doesn’t mean I’m going to unnecessarily push him up my draft board.

 

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Photo from the Team’s Official Site

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons- 

I expect another great year from Julio Jones. He’s the top target in arguably the best offense currently in the NFL. The Falcons have a really good running game, but they also find themselves in a good amount of shootouts. Jones is really good with the ball in hand, last year he gained around 1,400 yards on only 83 receptions. I would like to see him score more (being a keeper of mine in one of my leagues), but he get’s plenty of yards making his touchdowns a nice bonus.

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Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons- 

I have Sanu ranked 71st among receivers. Last year I made the mistake of believing that since he was going to a better team that he would flourish. I was wrong, being in a better offense didn’t translate into better numbers. Now, this year he may improve, but I doubt it. Julio Jones is Matt Ryan’s favorite target by far, meaning Sanu likely won’t get enough looks to be effective. I like Sanu only if Jones goes down, but over the last three years Jones has only missed three games.

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Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers- 

Kelvin Benjamin is honestly one of the toughest guys I had ranking. For me it came down to trust, can I trust this guy? I really couldn’t give myself a straight answer. I want to trust him, and I want to believe Cam Newton will bounce back from last year. I have Benjamin ranked at 29th- 31st among receivers, making him a weak FLEX play in most leagues. Let’s see him get through preseason, and see how he looks. He’s definitely a guy I could see pushing up my rankings if I see signs of improvement from both him and Cam.

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Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints- 

Michael Thomas had a great rookie campaign last year, and the fact that the Saints traded away Brandin Cooks leads me to believe that Thomas is going to be a huge part of the New Orleans offense. Thomas led the Saints last year in targets, receptions, and touchdowns. I have him ranked 8th among receivers, and number 15 overall. If you’re picking early in the second round, Thomas is a great pick in either PPR or standard formats.

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AJ Sisco/ UPI.com

Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints- 

Willie Snead dropped off a little bit from last year, but he the Saints added Thomas last year, kind of explaining the drop off. This year I think you can expect about the same numbers as he put up his rookie season. I have him ranked around 30- 34 among receivers. Matchup permitting he could put up FLEX worthy numbers, but not much more. He doesn’t score a ton, and is a good little handcuff to Michael Thomas.

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Kathy Willens/ Associated Press

Ted Ginn Jr, New Orleans Saints- 

I don’t really know Ted Ginn’s role in New Orleans offense yet. Is he going to line up wide right? Will he play slot? I think wide right is the most likely option. We’ll have to see how he jives with Drew Brees before we really know his value. I currently have him ranked 52nd among wide outs because of the unknown. He’s certainly draftable where I have him ranked, but usable is yet to be seen.

 

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Photo from the Team’s Official Site

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 

Mike Evans is going to have another great year I believe. He’s a guy that finds himself in an excellent situation. He’s by far the most targeted, on a team that doesn’t that doesn’t have any other really good options. They did add DeSean Jackson, but I doubt he steals a significant amount of targets from Evans, who had 175 last year (most in the NFL).

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DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 

Despite not being the top receiver anymore, DeSean Jackson went to a WR2 friendly team. Now, where I have him ranked (35th among receivers), he’s basically a Bye Week fill in player. He has huge upside if Evans were to go down, and will likely have a few games that he’ll put up starter numbers. As stated above though, Mike Evans is the favorite target by far for Winston, so looks may be tough to come by in most games.

 

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CBS Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals- 

Larry Fitzgerald may be near the end of his career, but he’s still going to be effective. I currently have him ranked around 23rd among receivers, making him a very strong FLEX play. Over the last two years he’s managed to haul in over 100 receptions each year, and surpass 1,000 yards each year as well. I’m looking for him around early fifth in 12 team leagues.

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Photo from the Team’s Official Site

John Brown, Arizona Cardinals- 

John Brown likely won’t be very effective this year. Unless Fitzgerald is sidelined, John Brown will likely be your bench. Brown was targeted 50 less times than David Johnson last year. I know Brown missed a game, but still he’ll have to wait for an injury before he really gets a chance to shine. I would say draft him this year, but if you can unload him for a better free agent do so.

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Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams- 

Sammy Watkins got shipped to St. Louis this preseason, really hurting his fantasy stock. He didn’t have a great quarterback throwing to him in Buffalo, but now it’s even worse having Jared Goff throwing to him. Now, from the preseason games I have watched, Goff is improving, but this isn’t the first choice I want Watkins going to if I own him.

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Otto Greule Jr/ Getty Images

Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams- 

The Rams passing game has been ineffective for awhile now. It seems as those Jared Goff will be the staring quarterback this year, and there has been zero sign pointing to him being an effective starter in the league. It’s still to early to tell if Goff will be a bust or not, but Tavon Austin has yet to show any effectiveness himself. I have him ranked outside my top 200, and I’ll personally be avoiding him this year.

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Photo from the Team’s Official Site

Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers- 

Pierre Garcon’s move to San Francisco may not bring him closer to winning a Super Bowl, but he’s now the main man in for the Bay area team. I like that role for Garcon, but I’m not too excited as it’s just the 49ers. I have Garcon ranked 32nd- 36th among receivers making him a weak FLEX play. I’ll look for Garcon around the sixth round, and he could be a good fill in, although it would be very matchup dependent.

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CBS Sports Image

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks- 

As far as NFC West receivers go, Doug Baldwin is far and away the best option there is. Doug Baldwin doesn’t score a bunch of touchdowns, but he’s the clear first option for signal caller Russell Wilson to throw to. I have Doug Baldwin ranked 10th among receivers, making him a weak WR1/ strong WR2.

Tight Ends

The tight end position is one of the toughest positions to nail in fantasy drafts. Everyone wants a top tier tight end, but nobody wants to pay top tier prices. Often times even the most experienced fantasy players fumble this position. The most common mistake is they (myself included) reach on mid level tight ends. As I have stated before, trust your rankings, don’t reach on a guy to simply fill a position. I would rather take a low ranked tight end at that right spot than reach on a higher ranked guy. Let’s take a look at this years crop of tight ends.

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Photo from the Team’s Official Site

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills- 

Charles Clay is a guy I’m avoiding this year no matter the format. The Bills are a run first team, and with Robert Woods and Zay Jones eating up a majority of the already small amount of targets Clay won’t get the ball enough to be effective. I have Clay ranked at 26th among tight ends, which makes him a stream candidate at best. He just hasn’t been the same guy since he went to Buffalo, so I don’t see any magic turn around for him this year.

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Photo from Yahoo Sports

Julius Thomas, Miami Dolphins- 

With Tannehill out for the season, this could be tough year for the newly acquired tight end. Julius Thomas has dropped off cliff of fantasy relevancy ever since leaving Denver. The jump over to Miami was initially thought of as a good move for the tight end, but I disagree. Even with a healthy Tannehill, they still have Landry, Parker, and Stills to throw the ball to. I have Thomas ranked 20th among tight ends, but I will likely not call his name in my drafts this year.

 

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Kelvin Ma/ UPI.com

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots- 

If you’ve been burned by Gronk you’ll probably whole heartedly disagree with me here. I have Gronkowski ranked as the top tight end. He’s in a very good offense, and this is a team that will feed him the ball even when they are up by multiple scores late in the game. The injury risk here scares me a bit, but it holds true for a lot of tight ends. Guys that size running routes and making sharp cuts are all injury risks. If Gronk plays a full season he’ll finish either at the top or close to, have a back-up plan ready if you draft him.

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John Sommers/ UPI.com

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals- 

I have Eifert ranked 6th-8th among tight ends this year. He’s one of my bounce back candidates this year as well. He’s a great find if you get him in this years draft, and here’s why. He has top five TE upside and his schedule has been ranked 9th easiest for tight ends. He already has rapport with quarterback Andy Dalton. We could very likely see the Tyler Eifert that we did in 2015, if not better.

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David Njoku, Cleveland Browns- 

David Njoku reached my top 200, but barely so (#191 in PPR and 199 in standard leagues). He’s the 24th tight end according to my rankings. I think he’ll show some flashes of good games, but I am not really seeking him in any of my drafts. He has the chance to be a Gary Barnidge like candidate, but the jury is still out on that. Pay attention to the preseason, if he shows you enough promise, take him the last round or so, this guy could certainly end up being a great pick.

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Houston Chronicle Image

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans- 

C.J. Fiedorowicz’s value is up in the air right now due to his current quarterback situation. Early in the season he has the chance to shine with Will Fuller likely missing the first few weeks of the season. I currently have him ranked 16th among tight ends, but will likely play within the top 10 during Fuller’s absence. Even with Fuller being in, Fiedorowicz is viable back up option for bye weeks and injuries.

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ESPN.com Image

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts- 

I have Jack Doyle ranked as the 13th best tight end, making him a low end TE1/ really strong TE2. Jack Doyle is possibly a guy you could sneak into your FLEX when the matchup is right. Being the top tight end with Andrew Luck does present some upside, but if you’re in a 12 team league or less, I wouldn’t roll with Doyle as your top option.

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Moddie Myers/ Getty Images

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans- 

I have Walker ranked 6th in the tight end department. He’s one of the guys I’m really looking for in this years draft. He’s a top tight end that should likely be available around the seventh round. That kind of value is perfect, you can add depth and get a better tight end. Delanie Walker will have his games where he disappoints you, but you’re going to get that from about fifth ranked and down. Not everyone can have a top tier tight end.

 

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Kelvin Ma/ UPI.com

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs- 

Travis Kelce has a great quarterback for tight ends, especially in PPR leagues. It’s common knowledge that Alex Smith is a very conservative passer, and would rather throw to the guy five yards away than the guy who’s  15 yards away or more. I have Travis Kelce ranked as the 2nd best tight end this year. This may be the last year he’s in the upper tiers of tight end ranks, if the rumors about Mahomes are true.

 

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Sean M Haffey/ Getty Images

Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers- 

This possibly could be Antonio Gates’ last year. Which means nothing to redraft owners, but it should. Gates is not playing at near the level he needs to be considered a top tight end. I currently have Gates ranked at 21st among tight ends, which will likely make him a stream candidate for favorable matchups.

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Photo via Bleacher Report website

Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders- 

Jared will have a tough time finding targets from quarterback Derek Carr. Last year Clive Walford was targeted less than Seth Roberts, and the year before as well. The fact of the matter is, Derek Carr doesn’t target his tight ends very often. Jared Cook will not get a enough work this year to make an impact. Hence why I have him ranked 25th among tight ends.

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Pete Marovich/ UPI.com

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys- 

Jason Witten will liekly be an effective backup at best this year. I have him ranked around 14th for tight ends. This isn’t a shot a Dak Prescott, it’s just a matter of where I see Witten landing statistics wise. I think if you have him as your every week starter you’ll go through extreme high’s and low’s with the Dallas vet.

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Streeter Lecka/ Getty Images

Evan Engram, New York Giants- 

We’ll have to see how Engram fits into the New York Giant offense. Rookies usually take three-four years to break out at tight end. Yes, there are exceptions. I doubt Engram is the exception, don’t forget the other targets Eli has to throw to as well. I’ll keep Engram ranked 23rd among tight ends.

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David Tulis/ UPI.com

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles- 

Zach Ertz will likely be your run of the mill, starting tight end this year. I have him ranked 9th among tight ends, making him toward the lower tiers of starters. Zach Ertz will let you down at times, over score at times, and often times score just what you expect. I have no issue drafting Ertz as my tight end, and neither should you.

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Pete Marovich/ UPI.com

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins- 

Jordan Reed will be a top tier tight end this year, or at least I think so, the future is hard to predict. The signs are pointing to Reed having a big year though. Reed is one of the more familiar faces returning for Kirk Cousins this year. Of returning faces he received the 2nd most targets (Jamison Crowder got the most). I think Reed gets plenty of looks, and solidifies his role as a top tier tight end this year.

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Bill Greenblat/ UPI.com

Zach Miller, Chicago Bears- 

Zach Miller could have the most talent in the world and he’d still be ranked outside my top 200 Okay maybe not that extreme, but the point I’m trying to make here is that he plays for the Bears. Mike Glennon is not the guy you want throwing if you expect big points. Miller is likely a stream candidate for the week your tight end is on his bye week. Other than that, there’s not much for fantasy value here.

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A.J. Sisco/ UPI.com

Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions- 

Eric Ebron is going to be a decent tight end to own in fantasy this year. There are better options, and usually I don’t roster backups for tight ends. Eric Ebron is I guy I’ll be eyeing as a backup. I have him ranked 11th and 12th in PPR and standard respectively. I like the volume Stafford gets, which could translate into nice points for Ebron.

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Matthew Healey/ UPI.com

Martellus Bennett, Green Bay Packers- 

Bennett found himself in a good situation, moving to the former rival Green Bay Packers. I have Bennett ranked 10th in both formats, as I think he’ll become one of Rodgers’ top targets. I like the volume the passing game sees, and Bennett still has the talent to make an impact. He’ll be an up and down player in scoring each week, but should likely start more often than if you draft him.

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Streeter Lecka/ Getty Images

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings- 

Kyle Rudolph finally showed some signs of life last year, finishing among the top tight ends in fantasy scoring. He even scored more than Eifert and Gronkowski combined, tell me that didn’t surprise you. I think he’ll do well once again. I have him ranked in the 7th-8th range, so he’ll be an average starter.

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Justin Edmonds/ Getty Images

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons- 

You would think that by merely being a starter in a high powered offense, you would have said player automatically within the top 10. The fact of the matter is, in the past three years a tight end on the Falcons roster has got 82 targets at best (Jacob Tamme). Matt Ryan doesn’t show much love for his tight ends. I have Austin Hooper ranked around 15th in both formats, and is a guy who’s stock is growing. He’ll make a nice back up this year.

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Steeter Lecka/ Getty Images

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers- 

Greg Olsen is going to be the last reliable tight end off the board. Not discount the other players, or scare you into taking a tight end earlier than you want. Greg Olsen is generally a guy you can rely on each week, from 5th and below at this position, I’m not sure I’ll have the same confidence in those guys. Greg Olsen will still have a couple bad games, but overall I like the value he provides. I have him ranked as the 4th tight end in both formats, and I would be okay if he falls in my lap.

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Shelley Lipton/ UPI.com

Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints- 

Coby Fleener will have a tough time getting targets, and scoring opportunities. Brandin Cooks has switched teams, but Michael Thomas and Willie Snead will make up for those targets. I think Fleener will be a decent enough back up to, if you choose to roster two tight ends. I have him ranked 15th-17th among tight ends, which is draftable, and he’ll make for a capable back up.

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Sean Gardner/ Getty Images

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 

Cameron Brate finds himself in a similar situation in Tampa Bay. There’s people in front of him that will have priority as far as targets go. People often think that receptions and targets only affect PPR leagues, but how are guys supposed to get yards and scores if they never get the ball? I like Cameron Brate as a back up, and not much more than that. Although, for future purposes he is gaining a nice rapport with quarterback of the future Jameis Winston.

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Stephen Brashear/ Getty Images

Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks- 

I have Graham ranked as the sixth best tight end in both formats. Jimmy Graham is finally getting the hang of the Seattle offense, and he’s starting to build a rapport with Russell Wilson. Jimmy Graham is going to have a solid year. His ADP has him going in the sixth round which is a little more than I’m willing to pay, but he could certainly make his ADP projection.

Team Outlooks

Some of the information in these team outlooks has been talked about in the individual profiles of the players above. I put this section in so you the reader could see how the team as a whole is regarded fantasy wise. I thought it would also be helpful, to show their schedule and depth chart. The guys worth owning section is explanation of the must target players for that respective team, that will likely be every week starters. The other guys section, shows what I would consider their draftable players, or players on that team who will likely be viable back ups to own.

Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills spent this offseason building their defense. Adding two safeties on multi year deals, they nabbed Micah Hyde from Green Bay and Jordan Poyer from Cleveland. For the draft they traded back and picked CB Tre’Davious White out of LSU in the first round. They did draft Zay Jones from East Carolina in the second round, but he’ll have to compete with the likes of Corey Brown and Andre Holmes to earn a meaningful spot in the wide receiver rotation this year.

Guys Worth Owning: Starting at Quarterback Tyrod Taylor should be drafted in most leagues and is very likely to be an everyday starter in two quarterback leagues, however in standard leagues he’ll most likely be played as a fill in for bye weeks or as favorable matchup presents itself. LeSean McCoy will be a mid to late first round pick in standard leagues, and late first round to early second in PPR leagues, and should be in every week except the obvious bye-week or injury. 

The Other Guys: It’s going to depend on who wins the number two spot this year. Andre Holmes, Corey Brown, or Zay Jones should be guys to keep an eye as depth charts start to form. Charles Clay will also be someone to look out for if you’re need of some tight help, he’ll probably be readily available for the first owner that truly needs TE help, Clay led the Bills in targets and receptions last year, however only scored four touchdowns and plays for a team that was 30th in passing yards, 27th in passing touchdowns, and 32nd in passing attempts. The Bills defense is a streamable defense at best, look for favorable matchups this season.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Tyrod Taylor Cardale Jones Nathan Peterman
RB LeSean McCoy Jonathan Williams Joe Banyard
WR Sammy Watkins Corey Brown Andre Holmes
TE Charles Clay Nick O’Leary Logan Thomas

Schedule:

Week 1: vs. New York Jets

Week 2: @ Carolina Panthers

Week 3: vs. Denver Broncos

Week 4: @ Atlanta Falcons

Week 5: @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 6: BYE WEEK

Week 7: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 8: vs Oakland Raiders

Week 9: @ New York Jets

Week 10: vs. New Orleans Saints

Week 11: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 12: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 13: vs. New England Patriots

Week 14: vs. Indianapolis Colts

Week 15: vs. Miami Dolphins

Week 16: @ New England Patriots

Week 17: @ Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins: The Miami Dolphins are one of the trickiest teams in the NFL fantasy wise. Take last year for example, it was widely considered to be a breakout year by Ryan Tannehill, but it never happened. Tannehill finished as the 27th best quarterback last year, and a lot of people had him as high as top 10 quarterback. Jay Ajayi overperformed last year in my opinion, I honestly didn’t have him in the top 15 of running backs last year, whereas Jarvis Landry finished near where I had him for receivers. Ryan Tannehill is the possibly the biggest question mark on the team this year, but Julius Thomas is also going to be a huge question going into the 2017 season.

Guys Worth Owning: The easy answer here is Jay Ajayi. Jay Ajayi is quite possibly going to be a top 10 running back, but at worst I think 15th barring injury, which is still really good (high RB2) in most leagues. Another guy that should definitely be owned is Jarvis Landry, he’ll be a low end WR2/ very good FLEX play. These two will be the must own players for this team, and will likely be every week starters in most leagues.

The Other Guys:  DeVante Parker is another guy that will be drafted, but once again I don’t think he’s a guy who you should specifically target. Julius Thomas, is the on fence guy here. I could see a scenario where he gets drafted, but I could also see him on the waiver wire on Week 1.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Jay Cutler Matt Moore Brandon Doughty
RB Jay Ajayi Damien Williams Kenyan Drake
WR Jarvis Landry DeVante Parker Kenny Stills
TE Julius Thomas Anthony Fasano Thomas Duarte

 

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 2: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 3: @ New York Jets

Week 4: vs New Orleans Saints

Week 5: vs Tennessee Titans

Week 6: @ Atlanta Falcons

Week 7: vs New York Jets

Week 8: @ Baltimore Ravens

Week 9: vs Oakland Raiders

Week 10: @ Carolina Panthers

Week 11: BYE WEEK

Week 12: @ New England Patriots

Week 13: vs Denver Broncos

Week 14: vs New England Patriots

Week 15: @ Buffalo Bills

Week 16: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 17: vs Buffalo Bills

 

New England Patriots: When it comes to the Patriots their passing game is a no doubter, and no matter which receiver you end up with Tom Brady always finds a way to feed everyone the ball, which is good in PPR formats. The rushing game is question here, it keeps going back and forth between James White and Mike Gillislee getting the start. It appears Gillislee will win the early down role, while James White will primarily be the passing down back. The truth is though, Bill Belichick is never consistent on how and when he uses his backs. With that information we’ll roll right into the guys worth owning.

Guys Worth Owning: Obviously the answer here is, Tom Brady, Brandin Cooks, and Rob Gronkowski. Brady and Gronk’s floor at their position is fifth in their respective positions. Brandin Cooks is certainly going to be a quality starter. I’d also put Julian Edelman here in this list. Edelman may be a FLEX play in either standard and PPR leagues, but he could sneak into a WR2 if he gets more targets than Cooks.

The Other Guys: Mike Gillislee and James White both land here, because the Patriot backfield is the most evil to fantasy owners. Belichick is famous for picking a new favorite running back each week. This section is for the guys who are going to get drafted, but isn’t going to be a guy you can rely on each week. As the season evolves, certainly one of these two could be the clear cut answer, but as it stands right now the New England backfield is one of the most mysterious in the NFL. I like Gillislee more in standard leagues, and White in PPR leagues.

Depth Chart:

 

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Tom Brady Jimmy Garoppolo Jacoby Brissett
RB James White Mike Gillislee Rex Burkhead
WR Julian Edelman Brandin Cooks Chris Hogan
TE Rob Gronkowski Dwayne Allen James O’’Shaughnessy

Schedule: 

Week 1: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 2: @ New Orleans Saints

Week 3: vs Houston Texans

Week 4: vs Carolina Panthers

Week 5: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 6: @ New York Jets

Week 7: vs Atlanta Falcons

Week 8: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Week 9: BYE WEEK

Week 10: @ Denver Broncos

Week 11: @ Oakland Raiders

Week 12: vs Miami Dolphins

Week 13: @ Buffalo Bills

Week 14: @ Miami Dolphins

Week 15: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 16: vs Buffalo Bills

Week 17: vs New York Jets

New York Jets: The New York Jets are in rebuild mode. The quarterback spot is up for grabs, well… pretty much every spot is up for grabs. The depth chart below displays what I think (based off research) is the most likely scenario for each of the main fantasy positions. The reality here is that the Jets will likely have some awful outings, in other words they’ll have more bad games than good. That will negatively impact each player on this roster. Let’s breakdown the players here and determine the fantasy value specifically for the starters.

Guys Worth Owning: The only one I can see here as a must own is Bilal Powell. Powell is going to be a decent running back to own, I think he sees the majority of the work, but as I said above, he’s not the guaranteed starter for every week. This makes him most likely a FLEX play even if he wins the job based purely on location. If Powell was on a better team, and was the clear cut starter I would call him a must own guy, but on the Jets he’s borderline worth owning.

The Other Guys: We would really have to make some exceptions here for some of these guys. I’ll give you the exception as to why I put these guys here. First, Josh McCown, he’s a guy you’ll likely have to draft in 2QB leagues, not because he may get a good matchup or two, but because bye weeks and injuries happen. Second, Matt Forte and Quincy Enunwa. Yes, in standard and PPR leagues these guys should get drafted, but unless that league is super deep I’m avoiding these guys. I would much rather have a backup in a high powered offense than a starter in a weak offense.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Josh McCown Bryce Petty Christian Hackenberg
RB Bilal Powell Matt Forte Elijah McGuire
WR Charone Peak Robby Anderson Jalin Marshall
TE Jordan Leggett Austin Seferian-Jenkins Eric Tomlinson

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Buffalo Bills

Week 2: @ Oakland Raiders

Week 3: vs Miami Dolphins

Week 4: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 5: @ Cleveland Browns

Week 6: vs New England Patriots

Week 7: @ Miami Dolphins

Week 8: vs Atlanta Falcons

Week 9: vs Buffalo Bills

Week 10: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 11: BYE WEEK

Week 12: vs Carolina Panthers

Week 13: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 14: @ Denver Broncos

Week 15: @ New Orleans Saints

Week 16: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Week 17: @ New England Patriots

Baltimore Ravens- While writing this draft guide I’m starting to get scared of guys on this roster. In the middle of this Kenneth Dixon has been ruled out for the year getting his meniscus repaired, and Joe Flacco went down for 3-6 weeks hurting his back while lifting. Kenneth Dixon had his value drop due to suspension at first, but now being out for the year he’s obviously not even draftable in redraft leagues. As for Joe Flacco, it looks like he’ll miss just one game of the regular season. I had Flacco ranked at 22nd among quarterbacks, I plan to keep him around there as he was really just a bye week fill in for me.

Guys Worth Owning: Danny Woodhead was likely going to lead this team as the highest drafted Raven, and with the Dixon injury it only amplifies that belief. I think Woodhead will provide the most value in PPR leagues, as is usually the case with him. In standard leagues I think Terrance West stands a decent chance to do well in standard leagues, but I wouldn’t specifically target him as a must own guy.

The Other Guys: Joe Flacco should still get drafted in most 12 team or deeper leagues. The back injury is a little scary, and yes he’ll likely miss the first week, but we’re not drafting this guy to play him every week. Joe Flacco is simply a bye week fill in or if your starter goes down for the year. Mike Wallace is one of Flacco’s favorite targets, missed being the most targeted receiver by two to Dennis Pitta. I think Wallace is worth owning and can provide upside when the matchup is right. I would also give Maclin a look for the right price (late eighth round), in PPR leagues.

Depth Chart:

 

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Joe Flacco Ryan Mallett Dustin Vaughn
RB Terrance West Danny Woodhead Lorenzo Taliaferro
WR Mike Wallace Jeremy Maclin Breshad Perriman
TE Ben Watson Crockett Gillmore Maxx Williams

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 2: vs Cleveland Browns

Week 3: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 4: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 5: @ Oakland Raiders

Week 6: vs Chicago Bears

Week 7: @ Minnesota Vikings

Week 8: vs Miami Dolphins

Week 9: @ Tennessee Titans

Week 10: BYE WEEK

Week 11: @ Green Bay Packers

Week 12: vs Houston Texans

Week 13: vs Detroit Lions

Week 14: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 15: @ Cleveland Browns

Week 16: vs Indianapolis Colts

Week 17: vs Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals: Cincinnati went from a team over the last few years having a backfield that frustrated fantasy owners, then we finally get use to Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard knowing what they are. Then they draft Joe Mixon and mix things up again. Thankfully for the other positions we know what to expect, weather that happens or not is a different story, but the other positions are solidified.

Guys Worth Owning: I think there’s no doubt that A.J. Green is a must own if you have the chance. I’m not saying take him with the first overall pick, but if you’re sitting in the back half of the first round he has to be up there as an option. Green will be Dalton’s first look, and I expect the Bengals to be involved in a fair amount of shoot outs. Tyler Eifert has to be strongly considered as well. He was on track to putting up similar numbers as he did in 2015 last year before going down due to injury. Given his history on the infirmary report, there’s a risk here. Eifert can probably be picked up around the seventh round, and if he stays healthy can provide a great return on that pick.

The Other Guys: Andy Dalton will be a standard backup, nothing special, but you could certainly do worse. Jeremy Hill will be a good handcuff to own in case Mixon goes down. I like John Ross to be third in targets behind Green and Eifert, making him a good value pick if either Green or Eifert go down.

 

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Andy Dalton A.J. McCarron Jeff Driskel
RB Jeremy Hill Giovani Bernard Joe Mixon
WR A.J. Green Brandon LaFell John Ross
TE Tyler Eifert Tyler Kroft Mason Schreck

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Baltimore Ravens

Week 2: vs Houston Texans

Week 3: @ Green Bay Packers

Week 4: @ Cleveland Browns

Week 5: vs Buffalo Bills

Week 6: BYE WEEK

Week 7: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 8: vs Indianapolis Colts

Week 9: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 10: @ Tennessee Titans

Week 11: @ Denver Broncos

Week 12: vs Cleveland Browns

Week 13: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 14: vs Chicago Bears

Week 15: @ Minnesota Vikings

Week 16: vs Detroit Lions

Week 17: @ Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns: I am going to try to be nice talking about the Browns in terms of fantasy value. The truth is though we don’t who will be starting under center for the Browns. I’ll agree, only guys that are in 2QB leagues will likely draft a Brown’s quarterback, but the uncertainty at that position hurts the value of Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt. This is going to be another rough year for the Browns, and will have their share of disappointing games. If you do draft a player on the Browns pay very close attention to the matchups before playing anyone on this roster.

Guys Worth Owning: I can only think of one guy here as a must own, and that’s Isaiah Crowell. Despite popular belief the Browns have a decent offensive line, in fact behind that line Crowell averaged 4.8 yards a carry. Because the team was so awful he was only able to secure just under 200 carries. I think the team improves a little bit this year, but as bad as they’ll be Crowell still has the making for a low end RB2/ high end FLEX.

The Other Guys: I think Corey Coleman, Kenny Britt, and David Njoku will shine at times, but it won’t be consistent enough. For Coleman and Njoku I like them in dynasty formats, but not for redraft. Keep in mind this team will still be wildly inconsistent this year, and we could very well see three different starters this year. If you draft Coleman or Britt, I would hold on and see if there numbers are consistent, if not wait for to have huge game and see if you can’t move them for a more consistent player or one with more upside than these two.

 

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Cody Kessler Brock Osweiler Deshone Kizer
RB Isaiah Crowell Duke Johnson Matt Dayes
WR Corey Coleman Kenny Britt Rashard Higgins
TE David Njoku Randall Telfer Seth Devalve

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 2: @ Baltimore Ravens

Week 3: @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 4: vs Cincinnati Bengals

Week 5: vs New York Jets

Week 6: @ Houston Texans

Week 7: vs Tennessee Titans

Week 8: vs Minnesota Vikings

Week 9: BYE WEEK

Week 10: @ Detroit Lions

Week 11: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 12: @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 13: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 14: vs Green Bay Packers

Week 15: vs Baltimore Ravens

Week 16: @ Chicago Bears

Week 17: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Pittsburgh offense has to be considered as one of the top five currently in the game. I can’t remember ever in my short 12 years of playing fantasy football where the top running back and receiver on the same team were both ranked in the top three. It’s unheard of because teams generally are much better at one than the other. The Steelers can run the ball just as effective as they can pass, which means that the matchups for both Bell and Brown usually won’t matter. I’d play either one of them any week against any opponent. With that being said let’s look at the rest of the team.

Guys Worth Owning: The obvious answer here is Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. We know what these guys about, and there’s really nothing profound I can say about these two, as they are both top notch talent. The only thing really to debate about these guys is where in the top five should they go. I have Bell and Brown going number two and three respectively.

The Other Guys: I have Ben Roethlisberger ranked as a low end QB1 (13th among quarterbacks), but will have games where he plays like a strong QB1. Ben’s divisional opponents don’t offer very good passing defenses, as the Bengals are slightly above average at best. The Browns and Ravens addressed their defenses in the draft, but neither team got anyone that I think will effectively cover AB. Keep an eye Martavis Bryant this year, I have him ranked 33rd among receivers, and he’ll have the most to prove this year. I generally avoid players with off the field issues, but this is a guy who could likely have some big games, draw lesser coverage, and be difference maker as well.

Depth Chart:

 

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Ben Roethlisberger Landry Jones Joshua Dobbs
RB Le’Veon Bell Fitzgerald Toussaint James Conner
WR Antonio Brown Martavis Bryant Juju Smith-Schuster
TE Jesse James Xavier Grimble David Johnson

Schedule: 

Week 1: @ Cleveland Browns

Week 2: vs Minnesota Vikings

Week 3: @ Chicago Bears

Week 4: @ Baltimore Ravens

Week 5: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 6: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 7: vs Cincinnati Bengals

Week 8: @ Detroit Lions

Week 9: BYE WEEK

Week 10: @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 11: vs Tennessee Titans

Week 12: vs Green Bay Packers

Week 13: @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 14: vs Baltimore Ravens

Week 15: vs New England Patriots

Week 16: @ Houston Texans

Week 17: vs Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans: The Houston Texans shook things up this offseason getting rid of the ineffective Brock Osweiler. While that was probably for the best, they really didn’t upgrade for this year. Lamar Miller will be a top 10 rusher, and DeAndre Hopkins will likely be a top 15 receiver.

Guys Worth Owning: I think this year you definitely have to consider Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins. Both of these guys are in my top 25, and think they both will slightly improve from last year. Neither one of them scored a ton of touchdowns last year, they had 10 combined. DeAndre Hopkins is likely going to see the large majority of targets again, and Miller is likely going for another 1,000 yards. These guys are the must own players of this team.

The Other Guys: C.J. Fiedorowicz is a sleeper candidate of mine, but just recently so. In the middle of writing this guide I got word that Will Fuller broke his collar bone. Braxton Miller will likely step up, but I’m betting Fiedorowicz steps up even more so. Tight ends usually break out in year three, well it’s the fourth year and I’m liking how he’s coming along.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Tom Savage Deshaun Watson Brandon Weeden
RB Lamar Miller Alfred Blue D’Onta Foreman
WR DeAndre Hopkins Will Fuller Braxton Miller
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz Ryan Griffin Stephen Anderson

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 2: @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 3: @ New England Patriots

Week 4: vs Tennessee Titans

Week 5: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 6: vs Cleveland Browns

Week 7: BYE WEEK

Week 8: @ Seattle Seahawks

Week 9: vs Indianapolis Colts

Week 10: @ Los Angeles Rams

Week 11: vs Arizona Cardinals

Week 12: @ Baltimore Ravens

Week 13: @ Tennessee Titans

Week 14: vs San Francisco 49ers

Week 15: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 16: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 17: @ Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts are interesting team fantasy wise, we know what their players can be, but the question is will they hit that mark. Luck will likely finish in the top five, again, and T.Y. Hilton within the top 10, again. I like this team a lot fantasy wise, and they feature players with nice upside.

Guys Worth Owning: Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton are the must own guys of this team. Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton finished in the top five of their respective teams in terms of fantasy points, and will be elite producers once again. I have Hilton dropping off a little bit, but nothing that should concern fantasy owners. These two are both great talents that should be every week starters in all leagues.

The Other Guys: Frank Gore, Donte Moncrief, and Jack Doyle all make the list of draftable players who won’t exactly be every week starters, but rather very nice backups to own. Frank Gore is ranked around 24th to 26th running back range, making him a very good backup. Donte Moncrief and Jack Doyle both have excellent upside if an injury in the receiving corps occurs.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Andrew Luck Scott Tolzien Stephen Morris
RB Frank Gore Robert Turbin Marlon Mack
WR T.Y. Hilton Donte Moncreif Kamar Aiken
TE Jack Doyle Erik Swoope Darrell Daniels

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Los Angeles Rams

Week 2: vs Arizona Cardinals

Week 3: vs Cleveland Browns

Week 4: @ Seattle Seahawks

Week 5: vs San Francisco 49ers

Week 6: @ Tennessee Titans

Week 7: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 8: @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 9: @ Houston Texans

Week 10: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 11: BYE WEEK

Week 12: vs Tennessee Titans

Week 13: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 14: @ Buffalo Bills

Week 15: vs Denver Broncos

Week 16: @ Baltimore Ravens

Week 17: vs Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars: I know everyone is tired of hearing it, but there’s a part of me that believes the Jaguars are going to take a big leap this year. My rankings don’t show it, because they’re based 80 percent of off player history, 10 percent other experts, and the other 10 percent based off gut feeling. Most of the players on this team fall under that last 10 percent.

Guys Worth Owning: I think Allen Robinson and Leonard Fournette are the must own guys on this sqaud. I’m hopeful Blake Bortles will have a bounce back season, but the jury is still out, and that’s a debate for another day. The uncertainty about Bortles will bring down the price on Robinson even in PPR leagues. I think Fournette will bring a good swagger and balance to the offense, making the team tough to defend as a whole.

The Other Guys: There are no other guys on this team… that are draftable. I think Bortles and Hurns are going to possibly be good free agent pick ups this year. Imagine the boost Hurns could receive if Robinson goes down. Now, imagine if Hurns and Robinson both have good years. Like I said, this is a possibility, not a guarantee, but stranger things have happened before.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Blake Bortles Chad Henne Brandon Allen
RB Leonard Fournette T.J. Yeldon Chris Ivory
WR Allen Robinson Allen Hurns Marqise Lee
TE Marcedes Lewis Mychal Rivera Ben Koyak

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Houston Texans

Week 2: vs Tennessee Titans

Week 3: vs Baltimore Ravens

Week 4: @ New York Jets

Week 5: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 6: vs Los Angeles Rams

Week 7: @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 8: BYE WEEK

Week 9: vs Cincinnati Bengals

Week 10: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Week 11: @ Cleveland Browns

Week 12: @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 13: vs Indianapolis Colts

Week 14: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 15: vs Houston Texans

Week 16: @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 17: @ Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans: The Tennessee Titans are a young, up and coming team. I’m not sure if they’re ready to take that next big step, but there is plenty of fantasy value here. The starters in each position here are all guys I would like to have on my fantasy roster, and I can’t say that for every team. I think these guys will all have at least a solid season, and I can’t say that for every team as well.

Guys Worth Owning: DeMarco Murray and Delanie Walker are the guys that lead this list for me. I have Murray ranked 15th overall in PPR and 17th overall in standard formats. Murray had a bounce back year with the Titans, he is aging a bit, but I’m confident he’ll have another good year. Delnie Walker is another guy I’d like on my team, I have him ranked as a top five tight end in PPR formats. He’s reached 100 or more targets in the past three years, and you can likely find him in the sixth or seventh round.

The Other Guys: Marcus Mariota and Rishard Matthews find themselves in the other guys category. They’ll definitely get drafted, but I’m looking at these two to add depth to my roster. Mariota is ranked as a starter, but a weak one at that. Rishard Matthews is another low ranked guy with some upside. He’ll likely be a every down player, that could earn himself the most targets. His ADP is way under where I have him, so you should be able to get him at a discount cost.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Marcus Mariota Matt Cassell Alex Tanney
RB DeMarco Murray Derrick Henry David Fluellen
WR Rishard Matthews Corey Davis Taywan Taylor
TE Delanie Walker Jonnu Smith Philip Supernaw

Schedule: 

Week 1: vs Oakland Raiders

Week 2: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 3: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 4: @ Houston Texans

Week 5: @ Miami Dolphins

Week 6: vs Indianapolis Colts

Week 7: @ Cleveland Browns

Week 8: BYE WEEK

Week 9: vs Baltimore Ravens

Week 10: vs Cincinnati Bengals

Week 11: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 12: @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 13: vs Houston Texans

Week 14: @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 15: @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 16: vs Los Angeles Rams

Week 17: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Denver Broncos: The Denver Broncos are one of the least appealing teams in terms of fantasy. No matter who wins the starting quarterback job, I’m not interested. The backfield has too many options to be appealing, and none of their tight ends made my top 200 rankings. This is a pretty bleak roster, and not much fantasy value here outside of Thomas and Sanders.

Guys Worth Owning: Look at my last sentence. DT and Emmanuel Sanders would be the only guys I’m looking for this year, from this team. Thomas is ranked 12th and 13th in PPR and standard formats respectively, and will be an every week starter. Emmanuel Sanders is ranked 26th and 23rd in those areas, he’s likely to be an every week starter, mostly in the FLEX, but still the same. Both of these guys could take a huge hit in value if both Siemian and Lynch play poorly.

The Other Guys: Really this section should be called the other guy. I think C.J. Anderson is obviously draftable, but an every week starter I doubt it. Unless you’re in a 16 team league or deeper then yes he is an every week starter, but outside of that he’s a reach to be an every week starter. I like the fact he’s still the main guy, I think if you draft him and he see’s 15-20 carries a game, he’ll be a good back up to have later in the season. With as crowded as the backfield is in Denver, I think Anderson is more likely to lose value than gain any.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Trevor Siemian Paxton Lynch Chad Kelly
RB C.J. Anderson Devontae Booker Jamaal Charles
WR Demaryius Thomas Emmanuel Sanders Bennie Fowler
TE Virgil Green A.J. Derby Jeff Heuerman

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Week 2: vs Dallas Cowboys

Week 3: @ Buffalo Bills

Week 4: vs Oakland Raiders

Week 5: BYE WEEK

Week 6: vs New York Giants

Week 7: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 8: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 9: @ Philadelphia Eagles

Week 10: vs New England Patriots

Week 11: vs Cincinnati Bengals

Week 12: @ Oakland Raiders

Week 13: @ Miami Dolphins

Week 14: vs New York Jets

Week 15: @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 16: @ Washington Redskins

Week 17: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs are another team that isn’t very appealing fantasy wise. Kelce is about the best option this team has. Dynasty wise I love this team, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt have great potential, and not to mention Mahomes could quite possibly turn into something special. In redraft there’s just not much doing here for me.

Guys Worth Owning: As I said above, Kelce is really the only guy I’m targeting this year from the Chiefs. I have Kelce ranked as the second best tight end in both formats. He’s a reliable tight end, but is going to cost you at the cheapest a fourth round pick. In PPR formats I’m more likely to buy, in standard formats I’m more likely to pass.

The Other Guys: Spencer Ware and Tyreek Hill are a couple of guys I’ll keep an eye out for in the middle to late rounds. Tyreek Hill had a good rookie season, and could be useful in PPR leagues. Spencer Ware could be sharing carries, but it’s not unlikely that if West and Hunt show to be ineffective Ware becomes the main man.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Alex Smith Patrick Mahomes Tyler Bray
RB Spencer Ware Charcandrick West Kareem Hunt
WR Tyreek Hill Chris Conley De’Anthony Thomas
TE Travis Kelce Demetrius Harris Gavin Escobar

Schedule:

Week 1: @ New England Patriots

Week 2: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 3: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 4: vs Washington Redskins

Week 5: @ Houston Texans

Week 6: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 7: @ Oakland Raiders

Week 8: vs Denver Broncos

Week 9: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 10: BYE WEEK

Week 11: @ New York Giants

Week 12: vs Buffalo Bills

Week 13: @ New York Jets

Week 14: vs Oakland Raiders

Week 15: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Week 16: vs Miami Dolphins

Week 17: @ Denver Broncos

Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers as a team is about average in terms of fantasy value. Rivers and Henry are draftable, but not every week starters, while Allen and Gordon are guys I’d like to own. I’d place them in second place of the AFC West as far as fantasy appeal goes.

Guys Worth Owning: I let the cat out of the bag, Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon are the guys here to own. I currently have Keenan Allen ranked 16th in PPR, and 20th in standard formats. He’s an average WR2, that will put up WR1 numbers every so often. Melvin Gordon I have ranked 6th in PPR leagues, and 5th in standard. He’ll be an every week starter, and without a viable backup should get a heavy work load. Although I sill advise you draft Kenneth Farrow as a handcuff.

The Other Guys: Philip Rivers is likely going to be an average backup, and his value will be dictated each week by the matchup. He’ll likely overall post backup numbers, but will fluctuate weekly between his points. He’ll be a good backup to own, and keep in mind he plays Oakland twice who has a weak pass defense. Hunter Henry is another guy who could be a useful back up. He’s ranked TE12/TE11 in PPR and standard respectively. He’s a guy I’d like to draft as a backup if I end up with a tight end outside of the top five.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Philip Rivers Kellen Clemens Mike Bercovici
RB Melvin Gordon Kenneth Farrow Branden Oliver
WR Keenan Allen Tyrell Williams Mike Williams
TE Hunter Henry Antonio Gates Jeff Cumberland

Schedule: 

Week 1: @ Denver Broncos

Week 2: vs Miami Dolphins

Week 3: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 4: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 5: @ New York Giants

Week 6: @ Oakland Raiders

Week 7: vs Denver Broncos

Week 8: @ New England Patriots

Week 9: BYE WEEK

Week 10: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 11: vs Buffalo Bills

Week 12: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 13: vs Cleveland Browns

Week 14: vs Washington Redskins

Week 15: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 16: @ New York Jets

Week 17: vs Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders: The Oakland Raiders are for the first time in awhile showing some promise in both fantasy, and in real NFL competition. The Raiders have been irrelevant since I was in the sixth grade, I’m now 25 almost 26, and have held my current full time job for over five years now. To say the least, I’m excited as a fan of this team.

Guys Worth Owning: The fan in me wants to put every guy on this team here, but in fantasy if you want to win, you have to be realistic. Really I can put only one guy here, and that’s Amari Cooper. He’s not the clear cut favorite target by Carr, but the most productive. He had 13 less targets, and six less receptions than Crabtree, but out gained him by 150 yards. I have him ranked 10th in both formats, making him a weak WR1/ really strong WR2. He’ll likely land within the top 10 in scoring and if he’s your WR2, you could be in for a huge year.

The Other Guys: This is where I would put most of the fantasy relevant players on this roster. I think there’s a lot of unknown about Marshawn Lynch to pick him very high. In fact, my ranking of RB15 in both formats for him may be a little generous. Michael  Crabtree will make a good WR2, but mostly in standard format leagues, as he tends to be tuchdown dependent on his scoring. Derek Carr will also probably be a good back up to own, but if he’s your starter, you might end up pulling your hair out playing the matchup game.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Derek Carr Connor Cook EJ Manuel
RB Marshawn Lynch Jalen Richard DeAndre Washington
WR Amari Cooper Michael Crabtree Seth Roberts
TE Jared Cook Clive Walford Lee Smith

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Tennessee Titans

Week 2: vs New York Jets

Week 3: @ Washington Redskins

Week 4: @ Denver Broncos

Week 5: vs Baltimore Ravens

Week 6: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Week 7: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 8: @ Buffalo Bills

Week 9: @ Miami Dolphins

Week 10: BYE WEEK

Week 11: vs New England Patriots

Week 12: vs Denver Broncos

Week 13: vs New York Giants

Week 14: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 15: vs Dallas Cowboys

Week 16: @ Philadelphia Eagles

Week 17: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Dallas Cowboys: A lot has changed since I started this draft guide. Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended six games. I knew there had been rumblings about him getting suspended, but I didn’t think any would come without him being charged or found guilty in any courts. He is likely to appeal, although we’ve seen how that has gone in the past. Let’s look at what’s being said now about America’s team.

Guys Worth Owning: Look, Zeke still has to be considered here. He’ll appeal his suspension, and I think it will get reduced. Even if it stands at six games he’s still a guy you should target. The trick is not drafting him too high. Dez Bryant is another must own guy, especially for PPR leagues. It’s now up to him and Dak Prescott to step up big and I think they will.

The Other Guys: Dak Prescott is not a quarterback I have to own, I’d like to own him, but you can find a better quarterback without paying a huge price. I have him ranked as the 12th best quarterback in fantasy, and while I don’t think he’ll have a sophomore slump, I don’t think he’ll be as lights out as he was last year.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Dak Prescott Kellen Moore Jameill Showers
RB Ezekiel Elliott Alfred Morris Darren McFadden
WR Dez Bryant Terrance Williams Cole Beasley
TE Jason Witten Geoff Swaim James Hanna

Schedule:

Week 1: vs New York Giants

Week 2: @ Denver Broncos

Week 3: @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 4: vs Los Angeles Rams

Week 5: vs Green Bay Packers

Week 6: BYE WEEK

Week 7: @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 8: @ Washington Redskins

Week 9: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 10: @ Atlanta Falcons

Week 11: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 12: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Week 13: vs Washington Redskins

Week 14: @ New York Giants

Week 15: @ Oakland Raiders

Week 16: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 17: @ Philadelphia Eagles

New York Giants: The New York Giants are an interesting team fantasy wise. Players in the number two spot of their respective position always seem to have some upside. With Shane Vereen he has upside in PPR leagues, and Brandon Marshall is a good redzone threat and could do some good drawing the lesser coverage.

Guys Worth Owning: The big one here is obviously OBJ. Despite struggles early in the year he managed to finish fourth among wide receivers in PPR leagues. He’s ranked as the second best receiver in both formats for me, and I think he’ll have another monster year.

The Other Guys: Brandon Marshall and Paul Perkins are some other guys I’ll be watching during my drafts. I have them both ranked around the 30’s in their respective positions, but that’s mostly due to the unknown. I think the opportunity is their for both these guys to outplay their projection, and to me they’re worth a late round pick to see what they can do.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Eli Manning Geno Smith Davis Webb
RB Paul Perkins Shane Vereen Wayne Gallman
WR Odell Beckham Jr Brandon Marshall Sterling Shepard
TE Will Tye Evan Engram Jerell Adams

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 2: vs Detroit Lions

Week 3: @ Philadelphia Eagles

Week 4: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 5: vs Los Angeles Chargers

Week 6: @ Denver Broncos

Week 7: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 8: BYE WEEK

Week 9: vs Los Angles Rams

Week 10: @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 11: vs Kansas City Chiefs

Week 12: @ Washington Redskins

Week 13: @ Oakland Raiders

Week 14: vs Dallas Cowboys

Week 15: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 16: @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 17: vs Washington Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles this offseason did a good job I think. They added a great target for Wentz (Alshon Jeffery), picked up LeGarrette Blount, while adding some fresh legs in Donnel Pumphrey. This team could be ready to make some serious playoff runs in the near future, and I like the fantasy value that goes with it.

Guys Worth Owning: I think Alshon Jeffery has to be considered in this category. If you’ve owned him the past two years you probably disagree with me, but given a full season we know he can go for over 1,000 yards receiving. If he was able to do that on the Bears, imagine what he could do with a better team. The injuries do worry me slightly, but I’m still going to be happy if he’s my WR2.

The Other Guys: This is where I’m going to put Carson Wentz, and Zach Ertz. Ertz will likely be an every week starter for most teams, but not as solid as some of the other tight ends. Some weeks he’ll leave you pulling your hair out, but others make you look like a genius. Wentz I think will be a decent back up, and if he and Jeffery can put some big games together, there’s reason to believe Wentz can outplay where I have him ranked.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Carson Wentz Nick Foles Matt McGloin
RB LeGarrette Blount Darren Sproles Donnel Pumphrey
WR Alshon Jeffery Torrey Smith Nelson Agholor
TE Zach Ertz Brent Celek Trey Burton

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Washington Redskins

Week 2: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 3: vs New York Giants

Week 4: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 5: vs Arizona Cardinals

Week 6: @ Carolina Panthers

Week 7: vs Washington Redskins

Week 8: vs San Francisco 49ers

Week 9: vs Denver Broncos

Week 10: BYE WEEK

Week 11: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 12: vs Chicago Bears

Week 13: @ Seattle Seahawks

Week 14: @ Los Angeles Rams

Week 15: @ New York Giants

Week 16: vs Oakland Raiders

Week 17: vs Dallas Cowboys

Washington Redskins: The Redskins are a pretty shaky team fantasy wise. I could make arguments for either why their players will do well or why they will not do well. In instances like this you have to trust your gut, no one can tell the future. And if it’s 50/50 you hear about a player having a good or bad season, how do you pick? I use my gut instinct. Sometimes all the analysis in the world won’t help, you need to feel confident at all times, and trust your instincts.

Guys Worth Owning: Jordan Reed is the answer here. I have him ranked at third among tight ends, and he’ll likely be a reliable tight end this year. He has the strongest rapport with Kirk Cousins, and I expect him to hit near his 2014 numbers. I am a little worried about his injury history, but there’s other tight ends in the top 10 that I am worried about as well. It just comes with the position these guys play.

The Other Guys: Terrelle Pryor, Kirk Cousins, and Jamison Crowder are some guys I would like to stash. Despite losing some of his receivers from last year, I think Washington has a good receiving corps he can trust. Jamison Crowder is a familiar face, and should see a nice increase in targets. Terrelle Pryor is likely to lead the team in all receiving categories, and it’s always nice to own a guy who leads the team.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Kirk Cousins Colt McCoy Nate Sudfeld
RB Robert Kelley Samaje Perine Chris Thompson
WR Terrelle Pryor Josh Doctson Jamison Crowder
TE Jordan Reed Vernon Davis Jeremy Sprinkle

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 2: @ Los Angeles Rams

Week 3: vs Oakland Raiders

Week 4: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 5: BYE WEEK

Week 6: vs San Francisco 49ers

Week 7: @ Philadelphia Eagles

Week 8: vs Dallas Cowboys

Week 9: @ Seattle Seahawks

Week 10: vs Minnesota Vikings

Week 11: @ New Orleans Saints

Week 12: vs New York Giants

Week 13: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 14: @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 15: vs Arizona Cardinals

Week 16: vs Denver Broncos

Week 17: @ New York Giants

Chicago Bears: There’s very little to get excited about in Chicago this year. This shouldn’t come as news, as it’s obvious this team needs a major overhaul. I think there’s a couple guys on this roster that can provide some value, and if this isn’t your first year in fantasy you should know who they are. However, if it is your first year there’s no need to worry that’s why I am here to help spell things out for you.

Guys worth Owning: I think the only guy here to get excited about is Jordan Howard. He’ll likely carry a strong workload, and is a top 10 running back that you should be able to grab in the second round in most leagues. Who ever wins the starting quarterback job will be a new face to the team, who will rely on Howard a lot. The only downside is this team could find itself in large deficits quick, forcing them to pass a lot in games.

The Other Guys: Some will probably look for Cameron Meredith in the later rounds, but I won’t be one of those guys. I can see the upside here though, he’s the number one receiver in a team that could pass a lot. I see the down side though, he’s playing for a team that will either start an ineffective quarterback or an inexperienced one. It doesn’t matter if you have all the talent in the world, if your quarterback can deliver the ball effectively.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Mike Glennon Mitch Trubisky Mark Sanchez
RB Jordan Howard Jeremy Langford Ka’Deem Carey
WR Cameron Meredith Kendall Wright Kevin White
TE Zach Miller Dion Sims Adam Shaheen

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Atlanta Falcons

Week 2: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 3: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 4: @ Green Bay Packers

Week 5: vs Minnesota Vikings

Week 6: @ Baltimore Ravens

Week 7: vs Carolina Panthers

Week 8: @ New Orleans Saints

Week 9: BYE WEEK

Week 10: vs Green Bay Packers

Week 11: vs Detroit Lions

Week 12: @ Philadelphia Eagles

Week 13: vs San Francisco 49ers

Week 14: @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 15: @ Detroit Lions

Week 16: vs Cleveland Browns

Week 17: @ Minnesota Vikings

Detroit Lions: The Detroit Lions are interesting team fantasy wise. I know I say that a lot, but because it’s true. The Lions have mid range players, in other words, most of the players on this team will finish middle of the pack in terms of scoring at their respective position. I think most of this team has good stash value, as opposed to immediate value.

Guys Worth Owning: I don’t think there’s a must own on this team. Either Eric Ebron or Matthew Stafford will finish the highest at their respective position, but neither one will finish in the top five. If I don’t end up with a player on this roster, I’ll be alright.

The Other Guys: This is where I would put the starting four. I think all these guys at the very least are suitable backups. Matthew Stafford finished seventh among quarterbacks last year, although I have him ranked 14th, a top 10 finish is not hard to imagine. Ameer Abdullah has the talent to be a good rusher, and will be a good backup to own. Golden Tate and Eric Ebron could both be good back ups considering the volume of passes the Lions get.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Matthew Stafford Jake Rudock Brad Kaaya
RB Ameer Abdullah Theo Riddick Zach Zenner
WR Golden Tate Marvin Jones Kenny Golladay
TE Eric Ebron Darren Fells Michael Roberts

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Arizona Cardinals

Week 2: @ New York Giants

Week 3: vs Atlanta Falcons

Week 4: @ Minnesota

Week 5: vs Carolina Panthers

Week 6: @ New Orleans Saints

Week 7: BYE WEEK

Week 8: vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 9: @ Green Bay Packers

Week 10: vs Cleveland Browns

Week 11: @ Chicago Bears

Week 12: vs Minnesota Vikings

Week 13: @ Baltimore Ravens

Week 14: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 15: vs Chicago Bears

Week 16: @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 17: vs Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers: The Green Bay Packers are a stacked team fantasy wise, especially compared to their divisional foes. It’s no doubt they have one of leagues fiercest passing attacks, if not the fiercest. They’re running game could be questionable, but in terms of how and who to draft when. They will have a good rush attack, but how the workload will be distributed is still a good question.

Guys Worth Owning: I would really like to own either Aaron Rodgers, or Jordy Nelson, or both. Aaron Rodgers is the perennial favorite at quarterback, and always seems to do well. Jordy Nelson is the top target for the top ranked quarterback, he’ll finish easily in the top 10 among wide receivers, and is easily worth at least a late first round pick.

The Other Guys: Of course Ty Montgomery has to be put here, he’s going to lead the Packer rushing attack this year. How much of a workload he gets is still yet to be determined, we know he’ll get the majority which is why I have him here. I think Montgomery will be a good backup fantasy wise to own. I would also put Devante Adams here. Just running routes for Aaron Rodgers is a plus to your stock. Jordy Nelson won’t get every target, the Packers have a great passing attack that receives a lot of volume. With Adams ranked within that WR2 range, he’ll at the very least be a good FLEX player to own.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Aaron Rodgers Brett Hundley Joe Callahan
RB Ty Montgomery Jamaal Williams Aaron Jones
WR Jordy Nelson Davante Adams Randall Cobb
TE Martellus Bennett Lance Kendricks Richard Rodgers

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 2: @ Atlanta Falcons

Week 3: vs Cincinnati Bengals

Week 4: vs Chicago Bears

Week 5: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 6: @ Minnesota Vikings

Week 7: vs New Orleans Saints

Week 8: BYE WEEK

Week 9: vs Detroit Lions

Week 10: @ Chicago Bears

Week 11: vs Baltimore Ravens

Week 12: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 13: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 14: @ Cleveland Browns

Week 15: @ Carolina Panthers

Week 16: vs Minnesota Vikings

Week 17: @ Detroit Lions

Minnesota Vikings: What do the Vikings do at quarterback? I think they stick with Sam Bradford. Teddy Bridgewater did nothing wrong to lose his job, but he still isn’t cleared. Kyle Rudolph did well with Bradford under center, outscoring Rob Gronkowski and Tyler Eifert…combined. Having Bridgewater comeback could mess up the value of Viking recievers, but I think they stay with Bradford.

Guys Worth Owning: I think the guy I’m most excited about in this roster is Kyle Rudolph. I’m not going to jump in real early and draft Dalvin Cook, especially in redraft leagues. Why reach on a player you haven’t seen play in a real NFL game before? Yes there are exceptions like Ezekiel Elliot, but draft by the rules not the exceptions, you’ll thank me later.

The Other Guys: This is where I have Stefon Diggs, and Dalvin Cook. I’ll look for these guys in the middle rounds, when I’m trying to bolster my bench. Diggs will do well while there is a quarterback that does good in the pocket, Sam Bradford is that guy. Dalvin Cook will be interesting to watch, I like him in PPR formats. If I do draft him I’ll wait to make sure he can do well before I put him in my lineup.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Sam Bradford Teddy Bridgewater Case Keenum
RB Dalvin Cook Latavius Murray Jerick McKinnon
WR Stefon Diggs Adam Thielen Laquon Treadwell
TE Kyle Rudolph David Morgan Bucky Hodges

Schedule:

Week 1: vs New Orleans Saints

Week 2: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 3: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 4: vs Detroit Lions

Week 5: @ Chicago Bears

Week 6: vs Green Bay Packers

Week 7: vs Baltimore Ravens

Week 8: @ Cleveland Browns

Week 9: BYE WEEK

Week 10: @ Washington Redskins

Week 11: vs Los Angeles Rams

Week 12: @ Detroit Lions

Week 13: @ Atlanta Falcons

Week 14: @ Carolina Panthers

Week 15: vs Cincinnati Bengals

Week 16: @ Green Bay Packers

Week 17: vs Chicago Bears

Atlanta Falcons: Coming off a tragic blown lead in the super bowl, I expect Falcons players to be hungrier than ever. They know how to get there, and the recipe for success. There’s a lot to get excited about fantasy wise here. This is probably the best team all around fantasy wise.

Guys Worth Owning: The Falcons have their own big three with Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, and Julio Jones. All three of these guys will be every week starters, in fact Julio Jones is a keeper of mine in a 14 team league. Matt Ryan is a top five quarterback, that you’ll likely be able to get in the fifth round. Devonta Freeman is the best running back that sees a time share like he does. Julio Jones is smooth with the ball in hands, over the last three yards he’s averaged over 100 yards a game.

The Other Guys: I think Telvin Coleman is worth putting here, because of the fact that he’s draftable and could likely be useful. If you draft Freeman, I would advise drafting Coleman as the handcuff. If Freeman goes down, Coleman could very likely put up RB1 like numbers. It’s just too risky to let a league mate accumulate those points.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Matt Ryan Matt Schaub Alex Torgerson
RB Devonta Freeman Tevin Coleman Terron Ward
WR Julio Jones Mohamed Sanu Taylor Gabriel
TE Austin Hooper Levine Toilolo Joshua Perkins

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Chicago Bears

Week 2: vs Green Bay Packers

Week 3: @ Detroit Lions

Week 4: vs Buffalo Bills

Week 5: BYE WEEK

Week 6: vs Miami Dolphins

Week 7: @ New England Patriots

Week 8: @ New York Jets

Week 9: @ Carolina Panthers

Week 10: vs Dallas Cowboys

Week 11: @ Seattle Seahawks

Week 12: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 13: vs Minnesota Vikings

Week 14: vs New Orleans Saints

Week 15: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 16: @ New Orleans Saints

Week 17: vs Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers: The biggest story out of Carolina this year is, can Cam Newton bounce back this year? I am on the fence, hence why I have him ranked 7th among quarterbacks. I find it hard to believe that the Cam of last year is the norm, but I also don’t believe he’s a top five fantasy quarterback. With or without Cam the Panthers as a whole are a pretty bleak fantasy wise.

Guys Worth Owning: I think Greg Olsen is about the only guy I’ll try and get from this team. I know his age is creeping up there, but that doesn’t really bother me for redraft. He’s still a reliable top five tight end. If I have the chance to set up my running backs and receivers, while still getting a top tight end, that’s a no brainer to pull the trigger.

The Other Guys: For Cam, Benjamin, and CMC, I have them here. Why? For Cam, the question here is whether or not he’ll have a comeback year. I think it’s quite possible, but players coming off a bad season concern me a little bit. Kelvin Benjamin hasn’t been his same dominant self since his rookie season. Until he proves he can be that dominant again, I really don’t see a reason to reach on him at all. CMC needs to prove he can be dominant. He’s a great pass catching running back, but Newton rarely throws to his backs, we’ll see what kind of value he can have.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Cam Newton Derek Anderson Garrett Gilbert
RB Christian McCaffrey Jonathan Stewart Fozzy Whittaker
WR Kelvin Benjamin Devin Funches Russell Shepard
TE Greg Olsen Ed Dickson Scott Simonson

Schedule:

Week 1: @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 2: vs Buffalo Bills

Week 3: vs New Orleans Saints

Week 4: @ New England Patriots

Week 5: @ Detroit Lions

Week 6: vs Philadelphia

Week 7: @ Chicago Bears

Week 8: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 9: vs Atlanta Falcons

Week 10: vs Miami Dolphins

Week 11: BYE WEEK

Week 12: @ New York Jets

Week 13: @ New Orleans Saints

Week 14: vs Minnesota Vikings

Week 15: vs Green Bay Packers

Week 16: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 17: @ Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints: I think the Saints are poised to start taking steps forward and becoming dominant once again. Offensively this team’s a beast, they have a top five quarterback, two good running backs, and really good receivers. The last time the Saints didn’t average 25 or more points a game was 2010, and they averaged 24 points a game that year. There’s a lot of points to be had here with the Saints.

Guys worth Owning: The guys here I really want is Drew Brees and Michael Thomas. I typically wait until the sixth or seventh round before I start my quarterback search, but Drew Brees is a guy that you can find around the fifth round and I would happily take him there. Michael Thomas is the number one guy now, and the Saints are another team that likes to chuck the ball… a ton. I think the table is set for Thomas to build off last year, and have another outstanding year catching the ball.

The Other Guys: Over the last couple years I have usually ended up with Mark Ingram, and over the last couple years I have been happy with that arrangement. This year could be a different story. The Saints picked up Adrian Peterson, and drafted Alvin Kamara which leads me to believe that shared carries are coming for Ingram. I think Mark Ingram is draftable, but usage wise it may take a couple weeks to see what kind of numbers he puts up, or what new percentage of the carries are his. If he dips below 15 carries a day, it could be the end of Mark Ingram being a solid fantasy player.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Drew Brees Chase Daniel Justin Thomas
RB Mark Ingram Adrian Peterson Alvin Kamara
WR Michael Thomas Willie Snead Ted Ginn
TE Coby Fleener Josh Hill Michael Hoomanawanui

Schedule: 

Week 1: @ Minnesota Vikings

Week 2: vs New England Patriots

Week 3: @ Carolina Panthers

Week 4: @ Miami Dolphins

Week 5: BYE WEEK

Week 6: vs Detroit Lions

Week 7: @ Green Bay Packers

Week 8: vs Chicago Bears

Week 9: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 10: @ Buffalo Bills

Week 11: vs Washington Redskins

Week 12: @ Los Angeles Rams

Week 13: vs Carolina Panthers

Week 14: @ Atlanta Falcons

Week 15: vs New York Jets

Week 16: vs Atlanta Falcons

Week 17: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay is an up and coming team. They have a young quarterback, and the Tampa Bay brass are really trying to build a team around him. This team is about an average team fantasy wise, they feature solid starters and a stud receiver. I like the Bucs from a fantasy perspective, let’s see where these guys land individually.

Guys Worth Owning: Mike Evans is the guy to own here in Tampa Bay. He’s a top five receiver in either format. He’s easily the best receiver on this roster, and is a guy no matter who the team brings will not lose a large amount of the targets. If you can get him any cheaper than eighth overall in either format you’re doing good.

The Other Guys: Jameis Winston and Doug Martin are some guys I’ll be considering late in the draft. Ranked as the ninth quarterback in my rankings, Winston will be an average starter that you can find rather late this year. Doug Martin won’t be immediately available due to the suspension he still has to finish out, but if you get two solid starters plus Martin, you’ll have a very good FLEX option upon his return and some trade value to make a playoff push.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Jameis Winston Ryan Fitzpatrick Ryan Griffin
RB Doug Martin Charles Sims Jacquizz Rodgers
WR Mike Evans DeSean Jackson Adam Humphries
TE Cameron Brate O.J. Howard Luke Stocker

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Miami Dolphins

Week 2: vs Chicago Bears

Week 3: @ Minnesota Vikings

Week 4: vs New York Giants

Week 5: vs New England Patriots

Week 6: @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 7: @ Buffalo Bills

Week 8: vs Carolina Panthers

Week 9: @ New Orleans Saints

Week 10: vs New York Jets

Week 11: BYE WEEK

Week 12: @ Atlanta Falcons

Week 13: @ Green Bay Packers

Week 14: vs Detroit Lions

Week 15: vs Atlanta Falcons

Week 16: @ Carolina Panthers

Week 17: vs New Orleans Saints

Arizona Cardinals: The window for this team to win now is closing, and closing fast. I know it has nothing to do with fantasy, but don’t you feel better about players when they are on a team that can contend? There are a few good players on this team, but they play in a tough division defensively. Let’s see how much I like who in Arizona.

Guys Worth Owning: It comes at no surprise the guy I want here is David Johnson. For me it’s a slam dunk pick to take him at one overall. Now, if you prefer Le’Veon Bell I don’t blame you. For me, it’s got to be DJ first. He puts up great numbers, and has zero issues on or off the field.

The Other Guys: Larry Fitzgerald is still a guy I’d like to stash on my roster. He can still provide good numbers at times, especially in PPR leagues. I have ranked as a backup/WR2. If your league has multiple FLEX spots he’d be a good guy to plug in there. Just keep in mind this is probably his last year, if you’re in a dynasty league.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Carson Palmer Drew Stanton Zac Dysert
RB David Johnson Kerwynn Williams T.J. Logan
WR Larry Fitzgerald J.J. Nelson John Brown
TE Jermaine Gresham Troy Niklas Hakeem Valles

Schedule: 

Week 1: @ Detroit Lions

Week 2: @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 3: vs Dallas Cowboys

Week 4: vs San Francisco 49ers

Week 5: @ Philadelphia Eagles

Week 6: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 7: @ Los Angeles Rams

Week 8: BYE WEEK

Week 9: @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 10: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 11: @ Houston Texans

Week 12: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 13: vs Los Angeles Rams

Week 14: vs Tennessee Titans

Week 15: @ Washington Redskins

Week 16: vs New York Giants

Week 17: @ Seattle Seahawks

Los Angeles Rams: The Rams are in the second year of their rebuild. I think it’ll still be a tough year for this team. Just recently they added more fantasy appeal by bringing in Sammy Watkins. This will likely be another tough year for the Rams, who will likely struggle offensively. Let’s take a look at what fantasy value is left here.

Guys Worth Owning: I can only pick one here, and that’s Todd Gurley. He’s ranked around the top ten and I think that’s a reachable goal for the young running back. At times he’ll struggle, because the Rams are still working on their offensive line. I would still be happy to own him.

The Other Guys: I lost a little bit of my appeal, but I think Sammy Watkins could be a good guy to own. Although he’s now on a team with a young (still ineffective) quarterback, I think there’s still some FLEX value here. The Rams have a good defense, but could still find themselves in a fair amount of passing situations.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Jared Goff Sean Mannion
RB Todd Gurley Lance Dunbar Malcolm Brown
WR Sammy Watkins Robert Woods Tavon Austin
TE Tyler Higbee Gerald Everett Temarick Hemingway

Schedule:

Week 1: vs Indianapolis Colts

Week 2: vs Washington Redskins

Week 3: @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 4: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 5: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 6: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 7: vs Arizona Cardinals

Week 8: Bye Week

Week 9: @ New York Giants

Week 10: vs Houston Texans

Week 11: @ Minnesota Vikings

Week 12: vs New Orleans Saints

Week 13: @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 14: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 15: @ Seattle Seahawks

Week 16: @ Tennessee Titans

Week 17: vs San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers will have a rough year. They have a new GM, new coach, and new quarterback. It’s going to be a tough year all around for this team. They have a horrible offense in a division full of good defenses. In fact, I am going to save you some reading and let you know right here I want zero part of any player in a 49er jersey this year.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Brian Hoyer C.J. Beatherad Matt Barkley
RB Carlos Hyde Tim Hightower Joe Williams
WR Pierre Garcon Marquise Goodwin Jeremy Kerley
TE Vance McDonald Garrett Celek Blake Bell

Schedule: 

Week 1: vs Carolina Panthers

Week 2: @ Seattle Seahawks

Week 3: vs Los Angeles Rams

Week 4: @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 5: @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 6: @ Washington Redskins

Week 7: vs Dallas Cowboys

Week 8: @ Philadelphia Eagles

Week 9: vs Arizona Cardinals

Week 10: vs New York Giants

Week 11: BYE WEEK

Week 12: vs Seattle Seahawks

Week 13: @ Chicago Bears

Week 14: @ Houston Texans

Week 15: vs Tennessee Titans

Week 16: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 17: @ Los Angeles Rams

Seattle Seahawks: The Seattle Seahawks will feature a decent team fantasy wise this year. I would like to own just about anyone on this team, although there are no first round pick worthy players on this team. The Seahawks are perennial contenders, which doesn’t mean much for fantasy, but it’s nice when the players on our team are on the winning team.

Guys Worth Owning: I would really like to own Doug Baldwin this year. I just really like the value this guy has. Baldwin’s ADP is around 27th overall, and I have him rabked 21st overall. Doug Baldwin has done a really good job emerging as the top receiver on this team. This year will be his cash in year fantasy wise.

The Other Guys: Jimmy Graham and Russell Wilson will be some good guys to own, but I’m not sure I would specifically target them. Russell Wilson will have a solid year no doubt, but is currently going way higher than I’m willing to pay. Jimmy Graham should be an every week starter, but will have a fair amount of bad games, driving owners mad at times.

Depth Chart:

Position Starter Back Up Third String
QB Russell Wilson Trevone Boykin Austin Davis
RB Eddie Lacy Thomas Rawls Alex Collins
WR Doug Baldwin Tyler Lockette Jermaine Kearse
TE Jimmy Graham Luke Wilson Nick Vannett

Schedule:

Week 1: @ Green Bay Packers

Week 2: vs San Francisco 49ers

Week 3: @ Tennessee Titans

Week 4: vs Indianapolis Colts

Week 5: @ Los Angeles Rams

Week 6: BYE WEEK

Week 7: @ New York Giants

Week 8: vs Houston Texans

Week 9: vs Washington Redskins

Week 10: @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 11: vs Atlanta Falcons

Week 12: @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 13: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 14: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 15: vs Los Angeles Rams

Week 16: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 17: vs Arizona Cardinals

Top 200 PPR Rankings 

(as of 8/17/2017)

Overall Rank Name Position Rank
1 David Johnson RB1
2 Le’Veon Bell RB2
3 Antonio Brown WR1
4 Odell Beckham Jr. WR2
5 Julio Jones WR3
6 LeSean McCoy RB3
7 Mike Evans WR4
8 A.J. Green WR5
9 Devonta Freeman RB4
10 Jordy Nelson WR6
11 Melvin Gordon RB5
12 DeMarco Murray RB6
13 Jordan Howard RB7
14 T.Y. Hilton WR7
15 Michael Thomas WR8
16 Jay Ajayi RB8
17 Dez Bryant WR9
18 Doug Baldwin WR10
19 Amari Cooper WR11
20 Rob Gronkowski TE1
21 Demaryius Thomas WR12
22 Todd Gurley RB9
23 Leonard Fournette RB10
24 DeAndre Hopkins WR13
25 Lamar Miller RB11
26 Brandin Cooks WR14
27 Isaiah Crowell RB12
28 Ezekiel Elliott RB13
29 Alshon Jeffery WR15
30 Keenan Allen WR16
31 Terrelle Pryor WR17
32 Allen Robinson WR18
33 Golden Tate WR19
34 Michael Crabtree WR20
35 Marshawn Lynch RB14
36 Aaron Rodgers QB1
37 Travis Kelce TE2
38 Carlos Hyde RB15
39 Christian McCaffery RB16
40 Ty Montgomery RB17
41 Jarvis Landry WR21
42 Davante Adams WR22
43 Larry Fitzgerald WR23
44 Jordan Reed TE3
45 Tom Brady QB2
46 Julian Edelman WR24
47 Greg Olsen TE4
48 Joe Mixon RB18
49 Danny Woodhead RB19
50 Emmanuel Sanders WR25
51 Sammy Watkins WR26
52 Dalvin Cook RB20
53 Bilal Powell RB21
54 Drew Brees QB3
55 Mark Ingram RB22
56 Jamison Crowder WR27
57 Tyreek Hill WR28
58 Stefon Diggs WR29
59 Spencer Ware RB23
60 Frank Gore RB24
61 Matt Ryan QB4
62 Willie Snead WR30
63 Kelvin Benjamin WR31
64 Pierre Garcon WR32
65 C.J. Anderson RB25
66 Martavis Bryant WR33
67 Andrew Luck QB5
68 Tevin Coleman RB26
69 Theo Riddick RB27
70 Mike Gillislee RB28
71 Paul Perkins RB29
72 Russell Wilson QB6
73 Ameer Abdullah RB30
74 Brandon Marshall WR34
75 Donte Moncreif WR35
76 Eddie Lacy RB31
77 Kyle Rudolph TE5
78 Jeremy Maclin WR36
79 Delanie Walker TE6
80 DeSean Jackson WR37
81 Jimmy Graham TE7
82 Tyler Eifert TE8
83 Adrian Peterson RB32
84 LeGarrette Blount RB33
85 Eric Decker WR38
86 Cameron Meredith WR39
87 Duke Johnson RB34
88 Tyrell Williams WR40
89 Kirk Cousins QB7
90 Cam Newton QB8
91 Terrance West RB35
92 Kenny Britt WR41
93 Zach Ertz TE9
94 Mike Wallace WR42
95 Doug Martin RB36
96 DeVante Parker WR43
97 Jameis Winston QB9
98 Adam Thielen WR44
99 John Brown WR45
100 James White RB37
101 Matt Forte RB38
102 C.J. Prosise RB39
103 Jordan Matthews WR46
104 Robert Kelly RB40
105 Marcus Mariota QB10
106 Kareem Hunt RB41
107 Martellus Bennett TE10
108 Randall Cobb WR47
109 Derek Carr QB11
110 Corey Coleman WR48
111 Rishard Matthews WR49
112 Darren Sproles RB42
113 Eric Ebron TE11
114 Dak Prescott QB12
115 Jonathan Stewart RB43
116 Darren McFadden RB44
117 Corey Davis WR50
118 Hunter Henry TE12
119 Giovani Bernard RB45
120 Ben Roethlisberger QB13
121 Jack Doyle TE13
122 Derrick Henry RB46
123 Matthew Stafford QB14
124 Sterling Shepard WR51
125 Jacquiz Rodgers RB47
126 Philip Rivers QB15
127 Ted Ginn WR52
128 Samaje Perine RB48
129 Marvin Jones WR53
130 Josh Doctson WR54
131 Tyrod Taylor QB16
132 Broncos D/ST D/ST1
133 Seahawks D/ST D/ST2
134 Latavius Murray RB49
135 Chris Thompson RB50
136 Texans D/ST D/ST3
137 Chiefs D/ST D/ST4
138 Kevin White WR55
139 Zay Jones WR56
140 Jamaal Charles RB51
141 Anquan Boldin WR57
142 Thomas Rawls RB52
143 Andy Dalton QB17
144 Jason Witten TE14
145 Vikings D/ST D/ST5
146 Jeremy Hill RB53
147 Robert Woods WR58
148 John Ross WR59
149 Eli Manning QB18
150 Kenny Stills WR60
151 Alvin Kamara RB54
152 Justin Tucker K1
153 Breshad Perriman WR61
154 Cardinals D/ST D/ST6
155 Stephen Gostkowski K2
156 Patriots D/ST D/ST7
157 Carson Wentz QB19
158 Cole Beasley WR62
159 Austin Hooper TE15
160 C.J. Fiedorowicz TE16
161 Shane Vereen RB55
162 Coby Fleener TE17
163 Carson Palmer QB20
164 Marqise Lee WR63
165 Matt Bryant K3
166 Tyler Lockette WR64
167 Cameron Brate TE18
168 O.J. Howard TE19
169 Rex Burkhead RB56
170 Dan Bailey K4
171 Charles Sims RB57
172 Jamaal Williams RB58
173 Dion Lewis RB59
174 DeAndre Washington RB60
175 Panthers D/ST D/ST8
176 Julius Thomas TE20
177 Allen Hurns WR65
178 Mason Crosby K5
179 Blake Bortles QB21
180 Taylor Gabriel WR66
181 J.J. Nelson WR67
182 Antonio Gates TE21
183 T.J. Yeldon RB61
184 Robby Anderson WR68
185 Jalen Richard RB62
186 Joe Williams RB63
187 Giants D/ST D/ST9
188 D’Onta Foreman RB64
189 Joe Flacco QB22
190 Marlon Mack RB65
191 David Njoku TE22
192 Evan Engram TE24
193 Jared Cook TE25
194 Nelson Agholor WR69
195 Mohamed Sanu WR70
196 Kenny Golladay WR71
197 Sam Bradford QB23
198 Charles Clay TE26
199 Jonathan Williams RB66
200 Cooper Kupp WR72

Top 200 Non-PPR Rankings

(as of 8/17/2017)

Rank Name Position Rank
1 David Johnson RB1
2 Le’Veon Bell RB2
3 Antonio Brown WR1
4 Odell Beckham WR2
5 LeSean McCoy RB3
6 Julio Jones WR3
7 Melvin Gordon RB4
8 Mike Evans WR4
9 A.J. Green WR5
10 Jordy Nelson WR6
11 Devonta Freeman RB5
12 Jordan Howard RB6
13 Jay Ajayi RB7
14 DeMarco Murray RB8
15 Michael Thomas WR7
16 T.Y. Hilton WR8
17 Dez Bryant WR9
18 Leonard Fournette RB9
19 Todd Gurley RB10
20 Amari Cooper WR10
21 Doug Baldwin WR11
22 Rob Gronkowski TE1
23 Lamar Miller RB11
24 Ezekiel Elliott RB12
25 DeAndre Hopkins WR12
26 Demaryius Thomas WR13
27 Isaiah Crowell RB13
28 Brandin Cooks WR14
29 Marshawn Lynch RB14
30 Alshon Jeffery WR15
31 Carlos Hyde RB15
32 Allen Robinson WR16
33 Terrelle Pryor WR17
34 Aaron Rodgers QB1
35 Joe Mixon RB16
36 Davante Adams WR18
37 Michael Crabtree WR19
38 Travis Kelce TE2
39 Keenan Allen WR20
40 Tom Brady QB2
41 Christian McCaffery RB17
42 Ty Montgomery RB18
43 Jordan Reed TE3
44 Sammy Watkins WR21
45 Drew Brees QB3
46 Dalvin Cook RB19
47 Golden Tate WR22
48 Emmanuel Sanders WR23
49 Greg Olsen TE4
50 Mark Ingram RB20
51 Larry Fitzgerald WR24
52 Spencer Ware RB21
53 Bilal Powell RB22
54 Mike Gillislee RB23
55 Jarvis Landry WR25
56 Frank Gore RB24
57 Julian Edelman WR26
58 C.J. Anderson RB25
59 Martavis Bryant WR27
60 Tyreek Hill WR28
61 Kelvin Benjamin WR29
62 Matt Ryan QB4
63 Jamison Crowder WR30
64 Eddie Lacy RB26
65 LeGarrette Blount RB27
66 Ameer Abdullah RB28
67 Andrew Luck QB5
68 Stefon Diggs WR31
69 Paul Perkins RB29
70 Brandon Marshall WR32
71 Russell Wilson QB6
72 Danny Woodhead RB30
73 Tevin Coleman RB31
74 Donte Moncreif WR33
75 Willie Snead WR34
76 Jimmy Graham TE5
77 Adrian Peterson RB32
78 Tyler Eifert TE6
79 DeSean Jackson WR35
80 Pierre Garcon WR36
81 Terrance West RB33
82 Eric Decker WR37
83 Robert Kelly RB34
84 Delanie Walker TE7
85 Jonathan Stewart RB35
86 Kyle Rudolph TE8
87 Kirk Cousins QB7
88 Cam Newton QB8
89 Jeremy Maclin WR38
90 Tyrell Williams WR39
91 Devante Parker WR40
92 Doug Martin RB36
93 Theo Riddick RB37
94 Kenny Britt WR41
95 Cameron Meredith WR42
96 Derrick Henry RB38
97 Jameis Winston QB9
98 Mike Wallace WR43
99 Kareem Hunt RB39
100 John Brown WR44
101 Derek Carr QB10
102 Marcus Mariota QB11
103 Matt Forte RB40
104 Adam Thielen WR45
105 Zach Ertz TE9
106 Darren McFadden RB41
107 Dak Prescott QB12
108 Jordan Matthews WR46
109 Rishard Matthews WR47
110 Martellus Bennett TE10
111 Randall Cobb WR48
112 Corey Coleman WR49
113 Corey Davis WR50
114 Ben Roethlisberger QB13
115 Hunter Henry TE11
116 C.J. Prosise RB42
117 Duke Johnson RB43
118 James White RB44
119 Eric Ebron TE12
120 Jacquizz Rodgers RB45
121 Samaje Perine RB46
122 Matthew Stafford QB14
123 Philip Rivers QB15
124 Darren Sproles RB47
125 Marvin Jones WR51
126 Giovani Bernard RB48
127 Thomas Rawls RB49
128 Latavius Murray RB50
129 Jack Doyle TE13
130 Jeremy Hill RB51
131 Tedd Ginn WR52
132 Sterling Shepard WR53
133 Tyrod Taylor QB16
134 Broncos D/ST D/ST1
135 Josh Doctson WR54
136 Seahawks D/ST D/ST2
137 Texans D/ST D/ST3
138 Chiefs D/ST D/ST4
139 Zay Jones WR55
140 Jamaal Charles RB52
141 Andy Dalton QB17
142 Vikings D/ST D/ST5
143 Kenny Stills WR56
144 J.J. Nelson WR57
145 Kevin White WR58
146 Eli Manning QB18
147 Carson Wentz QB19
148 Tyler Lockett WR59
149 Cardinals D/ST D/ST6
150 Justin Tucker K1
151 Rex Burkhead RB53
152 John Ross WR60
153 Carson Palmer QB20
154 Stephen Gostkowski K2
155 Jamaal Williams RB54
156 Robert Woods WR61
157 Anquan Boldin WR62
158 Breshad Perriman WR63
159 Patriots D/ST D/ST7
160 Alvin Kamara RB55
161 Austin Hooper TE14
162 Dion Lewis RB56
163 Coby Fleener TE15
164 Marqise Lee WR64
165 Matt Bryant K3
166 Dan Bailey K4
167 Chris Thompson RB57
168 Jason Witten TE16
169 Shane Vereen RB58
170 Panthers D/ST D/ST8
171 Blake Bortles QB21
172 C.J. Fiedorowicz TE17
173 Cameron Brate TE18
174 DeAndre Washington RB59
175 Cole Beasley WR65
176 Mason Crosby K5
177 Antonio Gates TE19
178 D’Onta Foreman RB60
179 Joe Williams RB61
180 Julius Thomas TE20
181 Allen Hurns WR66
182 Charles Sims RB62
183 Robby Anderson WR67
184 Joe Flacco QB22
185 Jalen Richard RB63
186 Giants D/ST D/ST9
187 Taylor Gabriel WR68
188 Sam Bradford QB23
189 Devin Funchess WR69
190 O.J. Howard TE21
191 Jonathan Williams RB64
192 Marlon Mack RB65
193 Jay Cutler QB25
194 Will Fuller WR70
195 Alex Smith QB26
196 Mohamed Sanu WR71
197 Kenny Golladay WR72
198 Jared Cook TE22
199 David Njoku TE23
200 Rams D/ST D/ST10

First I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read this, even if it was just partially. If just one person is able to take my advice and do well this year I’ll be happy, but certainly I want everyone to do well with my advice. I have been playing fantasy football for close to 12 years now, and it’s a lot of fun. Writing guides like this is hardly work for me as I enjoy it. Next year I plan to have stats involved as that’s one of my self critics. However, I am always open to suggestions. Please comment how I can make this better for next year, as I plan to do one every year from here on out. Once again thanks for reading, and I wish everyone good luck for the upcoming fantasy football season.

 

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