The Infallible Fantasy Football Rankings (WR)

Drake is the biggest bandwagon fan ever. But if there's someone to get on the bandwagon for, it's Odell Beckham.

Drake is the biggest bandwagon fan ever. But if there’s someone to get on the bandwagon for, it’s Odell Beckham.

After all the injuries and the insistence from players, management, etc. to shorten preseason, big names are finding the shelf from a few games to the whole season. While guys like Kelvin Benjamin and Jordy Nelson are lost for the year, at least it doesn’t stop fantasy from happening. In fact, in this modern-day passing league, there will be someone that will undoubtedly step in and pick up the slack. Below are the top 20 receivers for PPR Fantasy Football. I hope there aren’t any more big injuries by the time I finally post this, but I won’t be surprised either way.

  1. Antonio Brown. While Martavis Bryant might not have been a huge loss (Markus Wheaton will sort of step in), Brown’s targets may go down slightly will increased attention towards him this season. On the flip side, they may increase while Le’Veon Bell is serving his suspension for substance abuse. Originally considered a high-volume receiver with speed, with Mike Wallace gone last year he became the do-everything guy. Over 100 catches and 1400 yards with 8+ TDs.
  2. Odell Beckham. Both a media sensation and an on-field dynamo, Beckham missed the first several games of the season and still finished with 91 receptions and over 1305 yards last year. The kid works as hard as anyone else in the off-season and is sure to make a big splash this year in fantasy. Expect big numbers with a solid showing from Eli Manning after sucking last year. With no obvious #2s (aside from a past-his-prime Victor Cruz), he should get the ball early and often.
  3. Demauryius Thomas. He’s not just good because Peyton Manning is his quarterback. He was reasonably productive with Tim Tebow behind center. But the impending decline of one of the best signal-callers ever might slow Thomas down slightly. Still, I don’t think Emmanuel Sanders can duplicate last season. And after CJ Anderson’s emergence and Gary Kubiak’s new system being put in place there will be more running in Denver this year.
  4. Julio Jones. Did anyone see what Jones did the last few weeks of these before he decided to screw everyone over and not play towards the end? Well, in case you missed it, Julio Jones fucking dominated. He was posting ridiculous numbers even when there was double-coverage and everyone watching on TV knew where the ball was going. With Roddy White is serious decline there’s a chance Jones leads the league in receptions and/or yards.
  5. Dez Bryant. Will Dez show why he deserved such a big contract or will he sit back and rake in the money? I’m thinking he shows up this season and takes advantage of one of the better QBs in the league (yes, I said it). Also, with no clear-cut option at the WR (Beasley or Williams? ha) Bryant is due a lot of looks.
  6. Randall Cobb. Two years ago when Cobb was a relative newbie and there was a plethora options at receiver (a la James Jones, Greg Jennings, even Jarrett Boykin), Cobb wasn’t yet viewed as a fantasy stud. Then last year he just blew up. Obviously having the best QB in the game as your team leader doesn’t hurt, but a healthy Jordy Nelson or not won’t keep this dude from putting up big numbers.
  7. Calvin Johnson. I really don’t care for Detroit or their fans. But damnit I love me some Megatron. After a few years of injuries that have limited his targets, Johnson limps into this year as an elite receiver who has managed to somehow become an afterthought. Golden Tate amazingly stepped in to become a more than reliable fantasy starter after playing a sizable role with the Seahawks. Don’t expect triple-digit catches, but don’t be completely surprised if that happens either.

    Fantasy owners feel like they've seen Megatron dressed like this suit more often the last couple seasons than in his Lions uniform.

    Fantasy owners feel like they’ve seen Megatron dressed like this suit more often the last couple seasons than in his Lions uniform.

  8. AJ Green. It’s borderline miraculous how Green has managed to stay relevant in an attack that still likes to pound the ball on the ground and has a mediocre (at best) QB. Sure, there’s never really be a WR2 that has emerged for Cincinnati. But it hasn’t really been a secret where the ball will be thrown either. He’s going to be one of those guys that will be drafted too high for most and then make others look brilliant for taking him ahead of others.
  9. TY Hilton. In a pass-friendly offensive scheme you’d expect a second receiver in these rankings from Indy, but there just hasn’t been a consistent second guy in a while. Andre Johnson is now with the Colts, but I’m not convinced he’s going to be anywhere near his best. But with two capable TEs and perhaps a real running game this year there’s a chance Hilton will be more than just “that guy that has 5 big games and 11 where he doesn’t show up”.
  10. DeAndre Hopkins. One of several guys that would be considered elite if they had a real quarterback, Hopkins will still manage to put up big numbers this year regardless of who is throwing the ball his way. Don’t be surprised to see him in the Top 10 at the end of the season if the Texans can somehow get the ball into the endzone regularly.
  11. Alshon Jeffery. With Brandon Marshall in New York and a new offensive coordinator in place it might be tough to envision Jeffery as a top option, but don’t expect as many targets for Matt Forte as last year. And that means the ball has to go somewhere. With Kevin White out, the ball is likely to find Alshon on the corners more often than not. Be surprised if he doesn’t register 1200 yards and 80 touchdowns, but keep your expectations no higher.
  12. Mike Evans. This guy is obviously a supreme talent. And while Vincent Jackson will be lined up opposite him there’s still high hopes for his season. A lot of will depend on how hard he works every play and how his route-running improves. Evans will always been a big play guy and all he really needs is a consistent QB to get him the ball. Will Jameis Winston be that guy? We shall see.
  13. Brandin Cooks. Drew Brees will make or break how well Cooks performs this year. If Brees throws as many INTs as last year it might not be as big of a year. But if the Saints don’t turn it over things might be pretty solid. Again, points will need to be scored to keep up and the running game is brittle at best with Mark Ingram and CJ Spiller.
  14. Emmanuel Sanders. Not likely to have the year he did last year. But Owen Daniels is not Julius Thomas and Wes Welker won’t be in the fold. So when Demauryius Thomas isn’t plowing through defenses, it’s likely that Peyton will be over-targeting Sanders like he did much of last season. Don’t expect a repeat of last year though.
  15. Amari Cooper. Another guy that I happen to like is Cooper. He’s one of the handful of impact receivers in this rookie class and he’s got a QB with potential (even though most football pundits would lead you to believe that Derek Carr isn’t vastly superior to his older brother). While the receiving corps is improved in Oakland, expect this young guy to produce similar to his college days as a new-age Marvin Harrison (minus the 100 catches-at least this season).

    Is Amari Cooper the next great young receiver? Or just another failed Raider draft pick?

    Is Amari Cooper the next great young receiver? Or just another failed Raider draft pick?

  16. Julian Edelman. If these rankings weren’t PPR it’d be tough to put Edelman this high. But he’s the guy that gets you 8 catches for 63 yards. Toss in a touchdown and you’ve got a big day from a guy that is being drafted in the 50s at best. Even without Tom Brady, Edelman is likely to excel. Who knows what Brandon LaFell will do this year. And Danny Amendola will probably stub his toe at some point. The guy might not get 1,000 yards, but he’s definitely good for 80+ catches.
  17. Jordan Matthews. I really wanted to put Matthews higher, but even Jeremy Maclin wasn’t that irreplaceable for the Eagles last year. Nelson Agholor is the other rookie wideout with starting potential and it’s not crazy to think that he may have the better year when all is said and done. If all goes well for Matthews, he will see heavy targets and get in the endzone enough times to be a legit option at the flex position if not slightly higher.
  18. Keenan Allen. A forgotten receiver paired with a forgotten quarterback. Allen underwhelmed last year as he wasn’t able to keep up his scoring pace of the previous year. But Eddie Royal among others was able to cut into his production. Keenan Allen’s targets were there last year. If all goes well in terms of the delivery, expect Allen to be a nice piece towards the end of the season when guys on better teams are getting a rest.
  19. Golden Tate. I really didn’t expect 85 catches and almsot 1100 yards last season. But when Calvin Johnson went down, Tate stepped up big. With Johnson back and healthy (so we assume), it would appear that Tate’s value would significantly decrease. Then you remember how much Matthew Stafford likes to throw the ball and he woeful the Lions running game is. Maybe Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell become a vaunted backfield along with Theo Riddick as a receiver out of the backfield. But Brandon Pettigrew has been a pricey bust and Ryan Broyles has to prove he can make it through an entire season.
  20. Davante Adams/Ty Montgomery. So it’s worth noting that Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson were both top 10 receivers before the Nelson injury. Not sure why this drops whoever is catching the ball this low, but for now this is where we will slot them. I have a feeling that Montgomery is going to win out at this position as he has a more dynamic presence that Adams, but Adams will likely get the first shot at the WR2 spot. Either one of these guys might be a great stash or pickup in few weeks in.

The 2015 Infallible Fantasy Football Rankings (RB)

We will rank 20 running backs this time around because there are just that many options. And that’s not as much of a good thing as you’d like to think. In fact, the number of feature backs has gone well below 10 as there are plenty of guys with star power and situational value (like when their team is up several scores), but there’s only a handful of guys that are used early and often in all facets of the game. Yet this is for PPR drafts, so know that there will be guys that aren’t ranked as high as you might think because they don’t get touches in the passing game even if they are essentially feature backs on their respective teams.

  1. Jamaal Charles. So there are other guys that get carries (Knile Davis) and usurp catches out of the backfield (De’Anthony Thomas). But even if his usage rate is down, scores will always be available to the guy that is a real threat every time he’s started. With a little bit of help at receiver, the pass game will be a little better. And that should only help the run game even more.
  2. Adrian Peterson. Cue the jokes about child abuse (even though it’s not really a funny subject). While he’s never going to win Man of the Year in the NFL, Peterson will be a force in the league assuming he comes back in the kind of shape we are accustomed to seeing. Bridgewater should be better this year, but there’s still no sure thing on offense quite like All Day.

    Funny? Or not funny but still kinda funny?

    Funny? Or not funny but still kinda funny?

  3. Eddie Lacy. You can tell me that he’s going to fall off after so many carries last year, but the Packers will find a way around that and still get the best out of him. He’s a decent threat in the passing game and should be a good guy to have over the course of the entire season. Having the best QB in the game leading his team doesn’t hurt his potential as a fantasy monster.
  4. C.J. Anderson. Is he Montee Ball of the last two years? Is he any of the other backs of the past couple years to run for the Broncos? Well, after he became the lead back for Denver things went smoothly. Anderson was a beast on the ground and through the air. And those receiving numbers are what will make him most versatile and dangerously important for PPR drafts. Provided Peyton Manning has the arm strength that he showed prior to his postseason run, then the receiving numbers will be up. If not, the rushing numbers might be up that much more.
  5. DeMarco Murray. The system is better for Murray to get the ball, but will he fit the system. And will he get the ball? For all the questionable guys that are getting paid to catch the ball in Philly, there’s plenty of options to run it. And more importantly, there’s plenty of options to catch it out of the backfield. Still, Murray is likely to get his fair share of rush yards and catches assuming the QB play is up to par. Don’t expect a season like the last.
  6. LeSean McCoy. Not sure who’s going to be throwing the ball to him. But the dude can flat out play (even if he can’t tip). Now if only Percy Harvin would show out the way we know he can and the Bills defense can give the Buffalo offense a chance to play slow and decisively. If McCoy proves durable enough, there’s a chance he gets close to 1400 yards on the ground.

    Pay it forward. Not backwards.

    Pay it forward. Not backwards.

  7. Marshawn Lynch. Every year we expect Lynch the regress. And every year he comes back with a bigger performance. Will this be the year? I think so. And not because he’s losing a step, but because Russell Wilson will throw the ball a little more and Jimmy Graham is expected to add a dimension this team hasn’t had before.
  8. Le’Veon Bell. Okay, you might laugh at this spot. But anyone who is anyone knows that the fantasy season is just like the actual season, and playing every game counts. Like C.J. Anderson last year and countless backs before him, the team playing the best at the end of the year is usually the one that wins. All I’m saying is, don’t draft Bell too high and then put yourself in position to have no chance to even get into the playoffs because you have only one guy worth starting the majority of the season.
  9. Matt Forte. After 102 catches last season, you’d think he’d be higher. But with this whole offense questionable, it’s tough to determine how they might come out this year. And after the low yards per carry last year it’s not crazy to assume that trend will continue. Still, Forte is a bulk back who will get tons of opportunities to score points (just maybe not touchdowns).
  10. Jeremy Hill. When Giovani Bernard went down last year Hill took over and never looked back. He might not have tons of versatility, but it’s not he’s got a golden arm quarterback to get him the ball. The Bengals have long been a running team in a running division. And both Ohio teams will continue to go against the grain. If Hill can get in the endzone often, he might be even higher by the end of this season.
  11. Lamar Miller. A lot of this depends on quarterback play. But Miller was very good last year even as fantasy owners had trouble trusting the guy. He’s a fast guy with the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and the durability to play the majority of his teams’ snaps. Getting some scores might send Miller over the top.
  12. Justin Forsett. One good year isn’t everything. But after seeing Forsett after last season continue to work, there’s little doubt he can match the previous season even at his advanced age. And with Marc Trestman calling the plays, he’s likely to get plenty of looks in the short passing game. Don’t expect huge numbers, but don’t think he will disappear either.
  13. Alfred Morris. He doesn’t play passing downs. But he runs a lot. The only problem for Washington last season was that they were down more often than not and running wasn’t a great option. If Griffin can improve (or just not be the worst QB in the league) then there’s a chance Morris might have more value. He’s the best talent they have with Jackson sidelined.
  14. Melvin Gordon. With all the uncertainty surrounding rookie RBs in past years it’s difficult to trust this based solely on Gordon, but then when you consider the QB with him in the backfield it makes sense. He’s a big guy that should get a lot of work in an offense that will likely score a healthy amount of points.
  15. Carlos Hyde. Kaepernick has been shaky at best if recent history and with all the defections within the last year, it’s Hyde that will make the biggest difference on offense. Reggie Bush might steal some catches, but Hyde will get the kind of work Frank Gore did in his best years. Just not sure we will see the kind of production that Gore was able to amass.
  16. Mark Ingram. He was good last year. Not Heisman good, but he was good. And CJ Spiller joining him in the backfield won’t do much to change his workload carrying the ball. He’s a change of pace guy that will get his carries. The bigger question mark will be how long the Saints offense stays on the field with all the impending turnovers and lack of big play threats.
  17. Joseph Randle. No one is expecting Randle to come in and be DeMarco Murray. But it’s fair to say that no one is expecting his to fall flat on his face and give way to Darren McFadden either. In his limited work last year, Randle was very good and should be an adequate replacement for last season’s rushing leader. Provided he gets some receptions, he might be much higher.
  18. Frank Gore. We all thought Gore was done before last year. He was splitting time with everyone and many were waiting for him to get hurt. But it hasn’t happened and this season will offer a big chance to get in the endzone lots with an explosive offense. Depending upon his workload (and there’s no one to really push him), then Gore could see more than 1,000 yards and even possibly double-digit scores.
  19. Jonathan Stewart. Who else is there in Carolina? Stewart has been the better back for a while. DeAngelo Williams always looked better on paper. But this year offers no real second option. So provided he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, Jonathan Stewart could have some very good numbers (especially if the passing game continues to make strides).
  20. Andre Ellington. Last year saw a regression in Ellington’s run game. But there’s no denying his ability to make plays. If the Cardinals offensive line can step up, then there’s a very real chance he becomes the guy that everyone thought he was last season. Having a healthy Carson Palmer back in the fold will only make things easier.

The 2015 Infallible Fantasy Football Rankings (TE)

Okay, so the obvious part of this list is the one guy that should actually get even more fantasy value out of his quarterback being out the first few games of the season. Beyond that, there are some guys on the downside of their careers as well as guys that need to turn things around after a tough year. So here we have the top 10 (because everything past that is exhaustive and who’s really going to have more than one productive tight end this year unless you draft stupidly or get lucky?)

  1. He's so good at football we will excuse this ugly excuse for a plaid suit.

    He’s so good at football we will excuse this ugly excuse for a plaid suit.

    Rob Gronkowski. Whether you like him, his quarterback, or his team; the guy just continues to produce. He’s the one consistently relevant offensive player the Patriots will have week to week (aside from Tom Brady when he gets back). There’s weeks where Brandon Lafell, Julian Edelman, or one of the various running backs will have a big game. But there aren’t any go-to superstars besides Gronkowski. If anyone goes before him in a draft it will be because something catastrophic happens after I write this.

  2. Jimmy Graham. He wasn’t as good last year as years past. There was once a time when no one was safe until Graham was done all 4 quarters. And it was at a time when the Saints were playing primetime games that were usually the last player or two in a fantasy matchup. But last year after struggling through an injury there wasn’t much of a burst in his route-running and he never really made many unbelievable plays. He’s going to be a security blanket for Russell Wilson and they don’t have many dynamic options on offense. Still, he’s better than any other option.
  3. Travis Kelce. When your best receiving threat is your running back somebody else has to get the ball. Eventually emerging last year was Kelce as a big play type guy. He’s more athletic than meets the eye and even with Jeremy Maclin on board he’s due to get a healthy number of targets as Jamaal Charles can’t get the ball every play.
  4. Martellus Bennett. Perhaps a day or two ago Bennett wouldn’t be ranked this high. Then again maybe he would have. Still, the injury to Kevin White (the Bears probable #2 wideout) leaves a huge void in potential production. And this comes after the offseason trade of Brandon Marshall to the Jets. Bennett is a big, athletic player with tons of ability. He probably won’t get 90 catches like last year only because the Bears offense likely won’t be on the field as long or as often (even if the Bears defense is as historically mediocre). But 80 isn’t an unrealistic number. Jay Cutler needs to throw the ball to someone.
  5. Greg Olsen. You might think that the addition of Devin Funchess to the receiving corps that Olsen would get less looks in the passing game, but I’m not so sure that’s gonna happen. With DeAngelo Williams gone (for however pathetic he was), the running game will lean heavily on Jonathan Stewart and he can never stay healthy. So to help along with all that, it’s likely that Olsen will see a fair amount of looks especially if Kelvin Benjamin drops the ball as often as he did last season. This is the year for Cam Newton to step it up. Olsen might get to 1,000 yards this season, but probably not.
  6. Dwayne Allen. Andrew Luck is going to be a beast again this year. There will be a fair amount of players with solid stats all over the field, but Allen was a great talent last year when healthy. He outplayed Coby Fleener who has a connection via college with Luck. The Colts will have tons of opportunities in the red zone. Even if time is split with Fleener, Dwayne Allen will get his fair share of opportunities.
  7. Jason Witten. Along with fellow long-tenured veteran Antonio Gates, fantasy owners have been waiting for Jason Witten to fall off the map. But with just over 6 targets a game last year and a receiving corps that hasn’t been improved upon much since last season and a backfield that lost some talent, there will be looks if Witten wants them.
  8. Julius Thomas. If Blake Bortles makes big strides in his second year Julius Thomas might have a lot to do with it. Justin Blackmon might have been a big play guy for the Jags. And the running game isn’t likely to be something they rely too heavily on, especially if they are down a lot like basically ever year since Fred Taylor was their starting running back.
  9. Jordan Cameron. Is he a better football player or actor on The League? Well he doesn’t get hurt in the TV show anyways. With Ryan Tannehill set to make a big step in becoming a top quarterback (or at least that’s what Miami is hoping), he’s going to need more than a few options in the passing game. Assuming Cameron stays healthy, he should get plenty of targets as a reliable guy across the middle of the field. While he’s a high risk/high reward guy, he’s one of the few that could be a game-changer.
  10. Zach Ertz. The Eagles have a new QB but won’t change the system. It feels like every year Ertz is expected to make a big jump and he continues to underwhelm. But this has got to be the year, right? With Jeremy Maclin gone to Kansas City and no one proven at the wide receiver, Philly won’t be dumping the ball of to DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews all day. Ertz will get up to 750 and a handful of touchdowns but don’t expect him to set the world on fire.

Cruisin’ For A Bruisin’

Sometimes I wish these guys would veer off into the woods or my car so I could run them over.

Sometimes I wish these guys would veer off into the woods or my car so I could run them over.

If there’s something I can’t stand on the road (well, there’s lots of things), the most annoying might be people that ride motorcycles. Unless your name is Charlie Hunnam and you’re on Sons of Anarchy, then I just think you’re a dumbass. It’s as if the rules are different for those that ride on two wheels rather than 4 or more.

When there’s a traffic jam or heavy traffic that makes switching lanes a headache, instead of being careful and putting everyone else’s safety first takes a backseat to the assholes that dart up the middle of the lanes through the broken lines. How many times does that work? Every time I see it, I think about how much I really want to swerve over to the side and clip those motherfuckers for not waiting their turn.

Sounds bitter, right? But everyone is in a hurry. Unless you’re driving a pissed off pregant women on the back of your hog then you’re not in that much of a hurry, dude. Bikers take so many liberties that any time you hear the revving of the engine you know something stupid is about to happen. Half the time it’s not even people on nice bikes or crotch rockets that really do go as fast as you might imagine. Usually it’s just assholes with those lame sidecars and fat, old wives with sagging tattoos that happen to swiftly weave in and out of traffic in trashy herds.


The 2015 Infallible Fantasy Football Rankings (QB)

As I throw out my yearly preseason rankings there’s a lot to take into account as the season approaches. We haven’t even reeeeally gotten the season started yet except for the Hall of Fame game, so there’s tons left to figure out. Several teams still have to name a starting QB (a group that now includes the NY Jets- thanks to Geno Smith’s big mouth). And after last night’s first big round of preseason games, there’s still tons of teams with glaring questions for the immediate future.

One thing that we can count on is that fantasy football is back and ramping up for another exciting season. While there is no definitive source for rankings in the world (yes, even Matthew Berry gets it wrong A LOT), there are a lot of great options to outsource when considering your drafts for the upcoming seasons. And while teams having gone from feature running backs to running back by committee; some have almost exclusively become passing teams. So what’s a QB good for now? You guessed it. If he’s mobile or big, there’s a chance he’s gonna become the next Mike Tolbert (touchdown vulture).

So here’s my take on the top 20 QBs available (because a standard 10-team league better not be drafting any deeper than that)

  1. Andrew Luck. No, he’s not the best QB in the game. Is he close? Maybe. Does that matter in fantasy football? Not in the least. Luck is mobile, smart, and instinctive. He’s got enough talent around him in speedster TY Hilton, sure-handed Andre Johnson, and dynamic TEs Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, along with a couple slot/speed guys looking to provide some punch (i.e. Donte Montcrief, Griff Whalen, Vincent Brown, and Phillip Dorsett). And finally a proven back to hand the ball of to, he’s got Frank Gore over for the depleted 49ers. After a big year with an aging Reggie Wayne as a secondary, it’s obvi someone will step up. And with a division filled with games against teams with mediocre offenses, he’s going to get plenty of possessions.
  2. Wait, this isn't a picture of Aaron Rodgers?

    Wait, this isn’t a picture of Aaron Rodgers?

    Aaron Rodgers. He won’t get the gaudy passing stats every week because his team will be likely be ahead more often than not. But the TDs will come in spades and the INTs won’t be too high. With a stable of receivers lead by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb with a beast RB in Eddie Lacy in the backfield, Rodgers is gonna have a good year. Who’s the X-factor this year? Ty Montgomery. The dynamo from Stanford is gonna be a big-play guy from day one. Drafting Rodgers in the 1st round isn’t a great idea, but you could do worse.

  3. Ben Roethlisberger. I hate him. I hate him. I hate him. But in fantasy, he’s golden. The Steelers offense is now their calling card. Once a team caught in the same mold as every other team in the division (run-first, run-second, run-third), Pittsburgh now has one of the most explosive offenses in the league. Antonio Brown helps, Le’Veon Bell (though missing some games) helps, and a reliable QB really helps. Is going to light the league on fire again this year? My guess is yes. Why? Because they have a shitty defense again. And if you’re giving up points, then you’ve gotta score more to win. And unfortunately, I think the Steelers should do plenty of that once again. Still, look for Big Ben to be available in the 4th round and later.
  4. Tony Romo. Again, not my favorite guy. But last year he lead the league in QBR. He might not be a winner, but he racks up great numbers. With Dez Bryant out to prove that he’s worth the money that was paid this offseason, Romo’s season looks headed in a good direction. While having a bad running game wouldn’t be great, having an okay running game will help the pass game in terms of numbers. On top of that, the Eagles are the only divisional opponent with a half-decent defense. The other two teams will yield lots and lots of points. QBs are worth even more this year and Romo will be a guy worth taking in the 3rd in your draft.
  5. Russell Wilson. Not saying this is out of default, but Wilson isn’t ever going to light the world on fire. Still, he’s good for his fair share of rushing TDs and should be elevated a bit in the passing game with the new addition of Jimmy Graham at tight end. With the Seahawks likely giving Marshawn Lynch a few less carries, the ball has got to go somewhere. If Paul Richardson can play more consistent ball and/or rookie Tyler Lockett can step in to play, Wilson should be worthy of a pick in the 5th round or sooner (depending on how dumb the other people are in your league).
  6. Looking at Peyton Manning makes me feel old. Hold up, I've gotta stretch.

    Looking at Peyton Manning makes me feel old. Hold up, I’ve gotta stretch.

    Peyton Manning. The dude is regressing. He’s quite possibly the best ever at his position (though Brady would have something to say about that in terms of wins and Marino might have something to say as far as production), and yet what you did last year doesn’t mean dick with regards to what you are going to do this year. Demauryius Thomas is back and getting paid. Emmanuel Sanders should be solid if not spectacular again this year. And Owen Daniels will be a nice plug-in after losing Julius Thomas to free-agency (provided he can stay healthy). CJ Anderson needs to continue improving after breakout success last year. And Manning needs to stop aging. Not sure that’s going to happen. His release his quick as ever, but his feet are slowing down. Manning’s numbers will still be very good this year. He’s just not going to win games for you single-handedly like he did a few years ago.

  7. Cam Newton. I’m not a huge fan of this guy either. But he’s gotta get better at some point. With a tough defense and an improved receiving corps, there’s no reason why Newton can’t improve this year. The guy has always been a tank and running the ball is something he can do, even if he won’t be doing it as often. With Devin Funchess lined up opposite to big boy Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers will have an imposing tandem few other teams can match in terms of physical presence. Don’t be surprised to see a 4,000 yard year out of Cam.
  8. Matt Ryan. Okay, so Roddy White is declining. But did anyone pay attention to what Julio Jones was doing while playing injured towards the end of last year? He’s a fucking stud. Ryan is gonna throw some INTs, but the Falcons defense is so porous that it makes me think of one of the funnier signs ever seen on College Gameday (to the right). With a young runner in Tevin Coleman and some other plug and play guys, Ryan will get plenty of chances to sling it to his fave guys (that sounded wrong). And what’s better? You can get him for a bargain in the 7th round or later (likely much later) if you play your cards right and again if you aren’t drafting with idiots.
  9. Drew Brees. No, I didn’t forget him. But last year wasn’t great. In fact, look past all the passing yards. Look past the terrible team record. Even with a decent run game, Brees isn’t doing as much as the Super Bowl year (and coinciding several other great years). His receiving talent continues to dwindle and Marques Colston is hardly a #1 guy anymore. Without Jimmy Graham, what can we expect? Well, Drew Brees is a great player still, just one in decline. So he’s going to get his numbers somehow. It will probably just be at the expense of those trusting him to score 20 points every week.
  10. Philip Rivers. If he had a better cast to back him, then it would be easy to call Rivers a top-5 guy. He continues to show out in fantasy and in real life. While Antonio Gates might be all but done, there’s no reason to believe we won’t see this dude rack up another 4,000 or more yards with 30-plus TDs. If someone other than Keenan Allen can consistently catch the ball and Melvin Gordon is as good as advertised, then we will see the same old guy drafted low and producing at a high rate. Starter quality? Probs not, but definitely worth taking a flyer yet again.
  11. Ryan Tannehill. This guy is quickly becoming a star player in the NFL (how do you like them apples Johnny Football?). With a hodge-podge of talent surrounding him in Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Devante Parker, and a hopefully healthy Jordan Cameron, there’s not an elite option but at least there’s something. And Lamar Miller is a whole hell of a lot better than given credit for. With an expensive defense that better play up to their salaries, this might be the year the Dolphins emerge as contenders. Sadly, the Bills look good (sans QB) and the Cheaters….whoops I meant the Patriots are still around.
  12. Is there a straight picture of Tom Brady?!? Anybody? Bueller?

    Is there a straight picture of Tom Brady?!? Anybody? Bueller?

    Tom Brady. See what I did there? So you might think it’s just because he’s missing a quarter of the season (Yes, 4 is twenty-five percent of 16) doesn’t mean he couldn’t be higher. Brady has been sliding down fantasy drafts for a few years now. The guy wins by any means necessary. And whether we like it or not, he’s a winner. But is he a fantasy must-have? It depends on how early we’re talking. It doesn’t really matter who is running the ball. Jonas Gray proved that for us last season. Who other than Rob Gronkowski will be catching the ball? Brandon LaFell? He kind of disappeared towards the end. Julian Edelman? He runs five yard routes. So yes for PPR. In terms of fantasy numbers, Brady’s real value will show itself by how many TDs he gets. So try to get a stacked lineup if he’s your main guy or just get someone else.

  13. Eli Manning. The Giants are so frustrating. They suck. They win the Super Bowl. They suck. They win the Super Bowl. They suck. They suck. Some guy burns his fingers off. Their coach won’t retire. Eli is color blind and throws the wrong guys. And then Odell Beckham becomes a bonafide superstar. And it’s Beckham that puts Eli this high. If we’re talking overall value, he’s still probably right around here. But with a suspect running game it’s not crazy to think Manning might put up numbers similar to his brother. 10th round or later.
  14. Matthew Stafford. Since when did Calvin Johnson stop being Megatron? It feels like no one thinks this guy is the best receiver in the game. Well, if that is indeed the case, at least Golden Tate is better than we thought. I haven’t given much of a look at the Lions roster but their defense is swiss cheese and their running game can’t be lead by Joique Bell so what’s Stafford going to do till he’s blue in the face? Yep, he’s gonna throw the ball. If he cuts down on the INTs then he might be top 10, otherwise this is about right for the guy.
  15. Joe Flacco. I’m not a homer. If I was, I would have been Broadway Joe (did I stutter?) higher than this. Unfortunately, Steve Smith isn’t fast and won’t be racking up the yards even at the rate of last year (before he got old and tired). And even with Dennis Pitta out again (will he ever play?), there’s reason for hope in Charm City. Justin Forsett is out to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke, while Breshad Perriman will be looked to as Torrey Smith’s replacement for big plays and dropped passes (oops). Worth taking a flyer on towards the back end of your draft.
  16. Carson Palmer. Old faithful. His team isn’t that great. It’s not that bad. Andre Ellington is okay. The o-line is kind of improved. Larry Fitzgerald is still alive (right?) and the defense is still relatively elite. Palmer was doing great last year before getting injured. He’s got one more very good season left in him before he’s toils in mediocrity to wind down his career.
  17. Sam Bradford. I want to believe this kid is going to be good. But he’s still yet to play a full season after being the first pick in the draft what feels like a lifetime ago. The cast of characters catching the ball is never terribly impressive. After DeSean Jackson left people wondered if Jeremy Maclin could be a #1 guy and now he’s gone to KC. Is Jordan Matthews a top of the line receiver? Probably not. But this system that Chip Kelly has will make the season interesting, provided Bradford stays healthy. At least he’s got both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews (with a little Darren Sproles mixed in) to hand the ball off to.
  18. Don't you do it, Jameis.

    Don’t you do it, Jameis.

    Jameis Winston. And now a guy that I don’t really like or want to see succeed. But with the talent surrounding him at receiver, how can it not work? Well, both Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson has reputations as jackasses. If both can stay out of trouble and Winston can avoid sexual assaults and standing up in large venues and yelling profane statements, then the Bucs should be okay. They’ve got great talent and a back in Doug Martin who was once a top-10 fantasy pick. Will the offensive line protect them? We will find out.

  19. Teddy Bridgewater. With All-Day (beating his son) Adrian Peterson back in the fold, Teddy ball-game has a security blanket with jacked biceps and a year under center to match. Mike Wallace should help some as well as a seasoned Charles Johnson and vet Kyle Rudolph along with rookie playmaker Stefon Diggs to toss the ball to whenever the occasion arises. Look for bigger than expected numbers assuming he takes care of the ball. Probably not a guy worth starting more than a handful of times, but certainly worth keeping from your opponents.
  20. Derek Carr. Did I just do that? Did I skip over Culter, Griffin, Kaepernick, Foles, Smith, Mariota, and Dalton to tell you that this guy is ten times the player his brother could have ever been (assuming he’s not still a backup with Giants, even so who gives a fuck?). Last year with little to play with Carr had a pretty good rookie season. Forget what is being said about his accuracy and decision-making problems. Honestly, he’s not going to start regularly anyways, but the talent he’s working with is enough to give him a look. Amari Cooper is a great start. Adding a diamond in the rough in Michael Crabtree ain’t half bad either. Whether Latavius Murray is more than just a one-game phenomenon or Trent Richardson decides that football is actually worth the effort, there’s a decent chance the Raiders offense doesn’t suck. Hell, with Khalil Mack and company on the other side of the ball who knows what might happen?