5. Steve Smith Sr.
After a solid first season with the Ravens, racking up six touchdowns in 79 receptions for over 1,000 yards, it’s hard to think that Steve Smith will put up those type of numbers again at his age. This summer, he announced that this will be his last NFL season. As much as I would love to say that this guy will go out on a high note, his numbers will decline. Smith Sr. never was the big fantasy points scorer to begin with, so expect his numbers to dip this year. He will still be a good WR3 option or flex play if he is available later on. On the field, he will still bring that killer mentality with a fierce competitive nature that will never go away. The Ravens will depend on Smith to be that number 1 receiver and to also mentor their young wideouts. I think any young wideout can learn a thing or two from Mr. Smith Sr.
4. Julius Thomas
The Tight End is a gifted athlete which will make things easier for Blake Bortles, but his production is going to decrease heavily. Going into his second year, this is a player that still has questions when it comes to productivity. Then comes the injury concerns as Thomas will miss the rest of this preseason with a fractured finger. Jaguars officials say he should be ready to go for the first week. He’s had injury concerns before and I wouldn’t gamble and take him early as there are better options at tight end. If he is around still in the middle rounds, it would be a good value pick, but keep in mind you will not get the stats he got in Denver. It is going to be a more watered down version in an inconsistent Jaguars offense.
3. Brandon Marshall
Marshall usually is a guy that goes within the first couple rounds, but this year I wouldn’t bet on it. Marshall will be a nice weapon for the Jets and will still put up respectable numbers. The thing is, Jets receivers have a tendency to be awful fantasy options. This usually revolves around the Quarterback play. Fitzpatrick might make Decker and Marshall valuable in the middle rounds, but the years of being a WR1 or WR2 are over for Marshall. I do expect him to put up good numbers and still be an asset to which looks to be an improved Jets offense.
2. Drew Brees
Before everyone goes insane, listen for one second. Brees will have excellent numbers still and he will find a way to put his team in a position to win. The monster fantasy numbers wont be there, as his wide receivers and Tight ends are Brandin Cooks, a older and less productive Marques Colston, Nick Toon, Ben Watson and Josh Hill. This is not exactly the team that brought New Orleans a Super Bowl title. Brees still will be a better option than most quarterbacks, but you have to think what round he will go in and what can he do with a less talented group around him. Cooks will have a great season and i think is a sleeper going into most drafts, but Brees is just one of those players that is on the decline.
1. Demarco Murray Honestly I feel like I can put Lesean McCoy at number one as well, but I will go with Murray. Why you say? Murray is coming off a monster season in Dallas, he had the best offensive line in football creating holes for this superior one-cut back. The Eagles have a good line as well but it’s hard to predict the same success Murray had last year. His numbers will drop considerably if you are basing them off of last year. In a position so thin, Murray still has value, but I see him going in the later part of the second round. He will have a solid season for Chip Kelly’s Eagles, but don’t expect the dominant performance he had last year.
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