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July 31, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 1st Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 1 pick, PPR scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.01 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: In his second season, Bell set franchise records for most receptions (83) by a running back and yards from scrimmage (2,215). While he'll miss the first two games due to suspension, Bell's a true three-down back and should lead running backs in PPR fantasy points per game this season.

2.12 - Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers: Cobb set career highs across the board in his age-24 season -- 91 catches, 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. He may not duplicate the red-zone production, but he has the benefit of playing with the league's best quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, within the league's highest-scoring offense.

3.01 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Hilton has seen his yardage increase in all three seasons: 861 (2012), 1,083 (2013) and 1,345 (2014). Like Cobb, Hilton has the benefit of playing in a high-powered offense with an elite quarterback (Andrew Luck).

4.12 - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers: Over the final five games of the season, only DeMarco Murray rushed for more yards than Stewart. There is durability concern as he has missed 20 games over the past three seasons, but he has plenty of upside if he can stay healthy.

5.01 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Speaking of upside, the sky's the limit for Kelce without any health or snap restrictions entering the 2015 season. Even though he played only 52.3 percent of the team's offensive snaps in the first 10 games last season, Kelce finished with 67/862/5 in 2014.

6.12 - Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers: With Frank Gore now in Indy, Hyde is set to lead the team in touches in 2015. Compared to his current ADP (4.09), Hyde is a steal at this point in the mock.

7.01 - Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions: There is some concern with Bell, who's had a couple of offseason surgeries and has "no timetable" to return from PUP. In addition, the Lions drafted Ameer Abdullah in the second round. That said, he's a solid RB4 and finished as a top-13 fantasy running back last year despite averaging less than 4.0 YPC.

8.12 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Freeman currently tops the team's depth chart, but it's possible/likely that rookie Tevin Coleman takes over that role by the end of the season. That said, both backs should be heavily involved in the team's rushing attack.

9.01 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Finishing as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in 2014, Tannehill posted career highs of 66.4-percent completion rate, 4,045 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns and 311 rushing yards. It wouldn't surprise me if he duplicated last year's production.

10.12 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald failed to reach 1,000 yards for a third straight season, but the team has struggled with injuries at quarterback. If Carson Palmer can stay healthy, it's possible that drought ends this year as Fitzgerald has averaged 1,045 receiving yards per 16 games in games he's played with Palmer.

11.01 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Despite the 49ers ranking second-to-last in the NFL in passing yards over the past two seasons, Boldin has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns. Considering the turnover from last year's roster, the 49ers should (trail and) throw the ball more often in 2015.

12.12 - Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins: Only two seasons ago, Garcon led the NFL in receptions (113). With that total nearly cut in half in his first year in Gruden's offense, it's expected that Garcon will be more frequently targeted, but it's highly unlikely that he approaches triple digits again.

13.01 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.12 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle posted career highs as Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz missed a total of 14 games last season. Given the frequency with which the team uses three-WR sets, it's possible that he duplicates last year's numbers in his age-24 season.

15.01 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

- View full mock draft results here

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Seahawks, Russell Wilson agree to 4-year extension

The Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson have agreed to a four-year extension, which keeps him under contract through the 2019 season, per SI's Peter King.

The deal makes Wilson the second-highest paid quarterback in the league behind only Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. And as King notes, it puts him ahead of Ben Roethlisberger ($21.85 million per year), Cam Newton ($20.76M) and Matt Ryan ($20.75M).

Since the Seahawks drafted Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, no team has fewer pass attempts than the Seahawks (1,279). But only Rodgers and Andrew Luck scored more fantasy points than Wilson last season.

Wilson threw for 3,475 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions and now has thrown 20-plus touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in each of his first three seasons. Based on data from Pro Football Reference, no other player has more than one such season in his first three years.

Of course, Wilson's fantasy success is largely derived from his rushing stats, but the addition of tight end Jimmy Graham finally gives him an elite red-zone weapon.

Setting career highs with 118 rush attempts, 849 yards and six touchdowns, Wilson averaged 7.56 fantasy points per game from his rushing stats alone last year. While he's unlikely to rush for 849 yards again, he should rush for 500-plus yards.

Going into the 2015 season, Wilson is my third-ranked fantasy quarterback.

More 2015 Fantasy Football Content:
- 2015 Fantasy Football Projections
- 2015 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule
- 2015 Fantasy Football Profiles
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator
- 12 Players Undervalued Compared to Current ADPs

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July 30, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Projections: Minnesota Vikings

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the Minnesota Vikings:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Teddy Bridgewater353530403924.913.8542321.14.3
Bridgewater improved throughout his rookie season, which is something you always want to see with a young quarterback. All four of his games with a completion percentage of at least 70 percent occurred within the final five games of the season. In addition, Bridgewater posted a 1:5 TD-to-INT ratio in his first four games but improved to a 13:7 TD-to-INT ratio for the remainder of the season. With the attention that Adrian Peterson commands from opposing defenses, it should open up the passing offense for Bridgewater in year two.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Adrian Peterson298135611.6382720.9237.8
One of the league's all-time best running backs, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards back just a couple of seasons ago. After last year's lost season, it was unclear where he would play in 2015, but the draft has come and gone and Peterson reported to the team. Assuming that he plays all 16 games (or close to it), the 30-year-old Peterson should finish as a top-five (or better) back in 2015.
Jerick McKinnon723351.5281820.362.5
When McKinnon was on the field last year, he was productive (4.76 YPC) and he averaged 16.38 touches per game from Weeks 4 to 12 before missing the rest of the year due to injury. McKinnon's volume of work won't approach anything close to 16 touches per game with Adrian Peterson back as the team's workhorse.
Matt Asiata361302.115950.336.9
DuJuan Harris0000000

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Charles Johnson7410295.5000135.9
Possessing an impressive combination of size (6-2, 225) and athleticism (sub-4.4 forty), Johnson was reunited with Norv Turner in Minnesota after being released by the receiver-deficient Browns last offseason. In the final six games of the season, Johnson was on the field for all but 19 of the team's offensive snaps. And over his final seven games, Johnson posted 25 receptions for 415 yards and two touchdowns. With a full offseason and the continued development of second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off last season.
Mike Wallace537956.4180118.7
The Dolphins certainly had some buyer's remorse after signing him to a big free-agent contract two offseasons ago and traded him to the Vikings this offseason. Wallace has three consecutive mediocre seasons of less than 1,000 yards and has averaged just 13.1, 12.7 and 12.9 Y/R over the past three seasons, respectively. Perhaps the change of scenery and Norv Turner's vertical-passing attack will help Wallace live up to his potential and exceed this ranking.
Cordarrelle Patterson293282.3121261.568.2
Jarius Wright364902.2436065.8
Stefon Diggs101310.300014.9

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Kyle Rudolph494905.380.8
Rudolph has failed to reach double-digit games in each of the past two seasons. While he has the potential to excel in the red zone (nine touchdowns in 2012), Rudolph has just five touchdowns in 17 games over the past two years. While Norv Turner runs a tight end-friendly offense, Rudolph actually posted three-year lows on a per-game basis in receptions (2.67/G) and receiving yards (25.7/G) in his only season with Turner.
MyCole Pruitt212271.431.1

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July 29, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 14 Teams, 3rd Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 14 teams, No. 3 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.03 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: With the league reducing his suspension to two games, it wouldn't surprise me if Bell scored the most fantasy points among running backs this season. Either way, I expect him to lead all running backs in per-game fantasy scoring.

2.12 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Scoring the 10th-most fantasy points among wide receivers as a rookie, Evans was one of three rookies to exceed 1,000 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Only 21 years old (turns 22 next month), Evans could be in store for even better production in year two.

3.03 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Replacing (the oft-injured) Ryan Mathews as the team's featured back, Gordon is likely to lead all rookie running backs in fantasy production in 2015.

4.12 - Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets: On all levels, it was a disappointing season for Marshall, who ended a seven-year streak of 1,000-yard seasons. Despite transitioning to one of the league's weaker passing offenses, Marshall is projected for 1,000-plus yards in my 2015 fantasy football projections (WR16).

5.03 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Despite playing roughly half of the team's offensive snaps in the first 10 games, Kelce had 67 receptions for 862 yards and five touchdowns last season. Without any health restrictions or snap counts, the sky's the limit for him in 2015.

6.12 - Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: Starting slowly in a new offensive scheme, Manning still finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback on the season while finishing as a weekly top-five fantasy quarterback in five of his final 10 games. Only Aaron Rodgers had as many during that stretch. With better health from the team's receivers and more familiarity with the offense, Eli should post even better numbers in 2015.

7.03 - Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions: The Lions used a second-round pick on Abdullah, who was highly productive at Nebraska (back-to-back 1,600-yard seasons). Abdullah isn't the biggest back (5-8 3/4, 205), but he led all running back prospects in the vertical jump (42.5) and broad jump (10-10) as well as the 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. Joique Bell is coming off multiple offseason surgeries and has averaged less than 4.0 YPC in each of the past two seasons.

8.12 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: With excellent size (6-2, 225) and speed (sub-4.4 forty), Johnson emerged in the second half of the 2014 season as a viable WR2/3. Going into 2015, Johnson should pick up where he left off and I expect him to lead Vikings receivers in fantasy production even though they traded for Mike Wallace this offseason.

9.03 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Even though the 49ers have the second-fewest passing yards over the past two years, Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

10.12 - Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins: Lamar Miller was highly productive last season and should lead the team's backs in production once again this season. That said, the Dolphins have been reluctant to give Miller a large workload, which means the talented rookie should get a fair amount of touches as the team's No. 2 back.

11.03 - Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns: Likely to be third in production behind Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson, West adds some depth to this team's running back corps, but his weekly production is likely to be very inconsistent.

12.12 - Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins: It's been a rough two years for Griffin. The 24th QB off the board in this mock, however, RG3 has some upside as a backup given his unique athleticism.

13.03 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle set career highs with 71 catches and 938 yards in his age-23 season. Even if Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz play all 16 games, Randle could potentially post similar numbers to last season. If either misses time, there is the potential that he takes another step forward statistically.

14.12 - Miami Dolphins D/ST

15.03 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

- View full mock draft results here

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2015 Fantasy Football Projections: San Francisco 49ers

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the San Francisco 49ers:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Colin Kaepernick324522386323.213.1944942.2296.82
Kaepernick averaged fewer yards per attempt (7.0), threw fewer touchdowns (19) and more interceptions (10) than he did in 2013 (7.7 Y/A, 21 TDs and eight INTs) despite throwing more pass attempts (478 in 2014 vs. 416 in 2013). Given the changes to the roster and coaching staff, the 49ers should find themselves trailing (and throwing) more often in 2015. Meanwhile, the addition of Torrey Smith gives the 49ers a vertical threat that can take advantage of Kaepernick's strong arm. He also set career highs in rush attempts (105) and rushing yards (639) even though he rushed for only one touchdown last year (after nine touchdowns in the previous two years combined). While I wouldn't want to count on him as my every-week starter, few QB2 options have as much upside as Kaepernick.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Carlos Hyde2309898.3191180.4162.9
With Frank Gore signing a free-agent deal with the Colts, Hyde projects atop the 49ers depth chart at running back although they signed Reggie Bush in free agency and drafted Mike Davis as well. With Gore ahead of him last year on the depth chart, Hyde had just 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. Not only will his workload expand significantly, but I expect his effectiveness on a per-carry basis to increase from last year's 4.0 yards-per-carry average. On a positive note, Hyde has shed some weight and is now in the "mid 220-pound range," which should improve his elusiveness yet still allow him to flourish near the goal line. On a not-so-positive note, the 49ers have lost Anthony Davis (retirement) and Mike Iupati (free agency) along the offensive line.
Reggie Bush753082.9513641.794.8
Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Bush missed five games and gained a total of only 550 yards from scrimmage (50.0 per game) while averaging just 3.9 yards per carry and scoring just two touchdowns. Released by the Lions, Bush signed with the 49ers and will at least own a change-of-pace role to unproven second-year back Carlos Hyde.
Kendall Hunter642882.41068050
Mike Davis502101.5642034.2

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Anquan Boldin7710255.3140134.7
Even though the 49ers have the second-fewest passing yards over the past two seasons, Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Niners. In addition, both of his yardage totals (1,179 and 1,062, respectively) were higher than any of his previous six seasons. Boldin is unlikely to blow up for 150 yards and two touchdowns in any given week, but he provides owners with consistent production -- 50-plus receiving yards in 12 of 16 games last season.
Torrey Smith508257.2000125.7
Overall, it was a disappointing season for Smith, who either set or tied career lows with 49 receptions for 767 yards. On a positive note, however, Smith set a career high with 11 touchdowns and he was much more productive from Week 6 to 17. During that span, Smith averaged 3.8/59.1/0.9 per game and scored the 14th-most fantasy points among receivers on a per-game basis. One of the league's more dangerous vertical threats, Smith fills a void for the 49ers, but his weekly production could remain relatively volatile.
Jerome Simpson202781.400036.2
Quinton Patton172070.800025.5
Bruce Ellington9970.65260.217.1
DeAndre Smelter8980.600013.4

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Vernon Davis395154.880.3
After a 4/44/2 game to open the season, it was all downhill for Davis from there. Last season's 245 yards, 9.4 Y/R and two touchdowns either set or tied career lows for Davis, who had 792-plus yards in four of his previous five seasons with a total of 44 touchdowns during that span.
Vance McDonald121560.116.2
Blake Bell4460.25.8
Rory Anderson2240.13

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2015 Fantasy Football Projections: San Diego Chargers

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the San Diego Chargers:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Philip Rivers379565446431.615.830780.1297.56
Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Rivers should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Melvin Gordon25511737.1231751.2184.6
For re-draft purposes, I expect Gordon to be the most productive rookie running back in 2015. MG3 has drawn some comparisons to Jamaal Charles and he enters a favorable situation with the injury-prone Ryan Mathews no longer in San Diego. The Bolts should give Gordon the bulk of the early-down work as I have him projected for more than 275 touches as a rookie.
Danny Woodhead833492.3483603.3104.5
Woodhead missed all but three games last season, but prior to the 2014 season, he had finished as a top-30 fantasy running back in three of his previous four seasons. In his first full season with the Chargers (2013) which also coincided with the only full season for Ryan Mathews, Woodhead had 1,034 yards from scrimmage, 76 receptions and eight total touchdowns. Even though Gordon will get the bulk of early-down work, Woodhead should get the majority of third-down snaps.
Branden Oliver381441.212890.231.7
Donald Brown401360.68590.123.7

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Keenan Allen8210456.6000144.1
While his receptions increased from 71 to 77 in 2014, Allen's yardage (1,046 to 783) and touchdowns (eight to four) both dropped and he finished as only the 48th-highest scoring wide receiver last season. Allen turned 23 this spring and should have a bounce-back season in 2015.
Malcom Floyd447045.4000102.8
For only the second time in his career, Floyd played a full 16-game season and finished with 856 yards and six touchdowns, both of which tied career highs. Floyd played just two games in 2013, but he has averaged 17.5 Y/R and 61.7 Y/G over the past five seasons. And during that five-year stretch, he has finished as a top-38 receiver four times.
Steve Johnson526404.400090.4
Dontrelle Inman151990.900025.3
Jacoby Jones6780.1320010.4
Titus Davis3320.10003.8

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Antonio Gates455135.483.7
Although his targets (98), receptions (69) and yards (821) were down year over year, Gates finished with 12 touchdowns, the second-most of his career, and scored more fantasy points than all tight ends not named Gronkowski. That said, he enters the 2015 season facing a four-game suspension for PEDs and turned 35 years old last month.
Ladarius Green415703.980.4
Disappointing those that expected an expanded role for him within the offense last season, Green had just 19 receptions for 226 yards and no touchdowns in 2014. Meanwhile, Antonio Gates finished second among all tight ends in fantasy points in his age-34 season. For at least the first four games of the season, however, Green will see his role expand with Gates suspended.

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July 28, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 7 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 7 pick, point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.07 - Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: In his young NFL career, Lacy has rushed for 1,100-plus yards in both seasons. Playing in a high-powered offense led by Aaron Rodgers means that Lacy will get plenty of scoring opportunities; he has 24 total TDs over the past two years.

2.06 - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: While he missed three games last season, Green now has four 1,000-yard seasons in his young four-year career. Green has averaged a 16-game line of 94/1,357/10 over the past three seasons.

3.07 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Hopkins took a big step forward in year two with a 76/1,210/6 stat line. Building upon his breakout season may be constrained by the team's less-than-ideal quarterback situation, but he's a high-end WR2.

4.06 - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Ellington had a disappointing and injury-plagued season, but there are a few reasons for optimism in 2015. Not only should he once again get 20 or so touches per game (perhaps that causes worries, not optimism), but Ellington's foot is healthy and the team upgraded their offensive line via the draft and free agency.

5.07 - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers: Over the final five games of the season, only DeMarco Murray rushed for more yards than Stewart. If Stewart can stay healthy, a big if considering he's played only 28 games over the past three years, he has plenty of upside here as my flex.

6.06 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Not only did Olsen post his first-ever 1,000-yard season last year, but he has three consecutive 800-yard seasons and only Jimmy Graham has more yards among tight ends during that span. Olsen is a reliable, consistent and durable option at a position with a lot of question marks.

7.07 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton has four consecutive 3,000/500 seasons to start his career, which are the most in NFL history. While he had a disappointing 2014 season, Newton finished seventh among QBs in fantasy points per game last year and finished as a top-four fantasy QB in each of his first three seasons.

8.06 - Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: A little earlier than I'd like to take Colston, who was my top-ranked receiver available at this point, he should bounce back some after posting per-game career lows in targets, receptions and yards last year given the team's offseason moves.

9.07 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Freeman currently tops the team's depth chart, but it's likely that rookie Tevin Coleman moves into that role by season's end. Either way, the duo will both be heavily involved and Freeman is a solid RB4.

10.06 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: While Melvin Gordon will dominate the early-down work in place of the departed (and oft-injured) Ryan Mathews, Woodhead should continue to handle the bulk of third-down snaps. Woodhead played only three games last year due to injury, but he had 76 receptions in 2013 (his first season in San Diego).

11.07 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz missed a total of 14 games last season as Randle set career highs in receptions and yards last year. With ODB and Cruz healthy going into the 2015 season, Randle may not duplicate last year's numbers but he just turned 24.

12.06 - Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Smith is a TD-dependent fantasy option, but he provides some depth as my WR5.

13.07 - Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams: Quick was off to a great start before a torn rotator cuff ended his season prematurely. Provided he can stay healthy, perhaps this will be Quick's breakout season.

14.06 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

15.07 - Dwayne Bowe, WR, Cleveland Browns: With zero touchdowns for Bowe (and all of the Chiefs' receivers last year), it feels so long ago that he led the NFL in receiving touchdowns (2010).

16.06 - Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys:

- View full mock draft results here

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NFL cuts suspension for Le'Veon Bell to two games

Although the league upheld the four-game ban for Tom Brady, the NFL reduced the suspension for Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell from three to two games.

Missing games against the Patriots and 49ers in Weeks 1 and 2, Bell will be eligible to return in Week 3 against the Rams.

Even though the Steelers signed veteran running back DeAngelo Williams, Bell will remain a true three-down back once he returns from his suspension.

Before the reduced suspension, Bell was projected to score only 0.3 fantasy points less than my projected top fantasy running back (Jamaal Charles).

With the reduction of his ban, Bell will move to the top spot in my fantasy rankings in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats. Bell was already the top-ranked back in my PPR running back rankings.

Bell was the top-scoring fantasy running back in PPR formats last season and only DeMarco Murray scored more than Bell in standard-scoring formats. Setting the franchise record for most yards from scrimmage (2,215), Bell rushed for 1,361 yards while adding 83 receptions for 854 yards and 11 total touchdowns.

With LeGarrette Blount out of the picture down the stretch, Bell gained 1,002 yards (167.0/G) on 156 touches (26.0/G) with eight touchdowns over the final six games of the season.

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NFL upholds Tom Brady's four-game suspension

The NFL announced on Tuesday that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's suspension will be upheld and keep him off the field for the team's first four games.

For now, at least ...

Brady and the NFLPA will take the league to court and is likely to seek an injunction to allow him to play while the case plays out in court.

"(Brady has) a lot of obstacles to get back on the field and the key one is trying to get a quick release, and the quick release would have to come through an injunction," [Temple's Gabe] Feldman told NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano. "It's very difficult for anyone to get a court to grant an injunction -- very high standards -- and it's particularly high in this case where you'd be asking a judge to interfere with the Commissioner's internal decision."

If an injunction is granted, the risk is that Brady loses the case and has to serve his four-game suspension at some point later in the season, perhaps in the playoffs, depending on when it's resolved.

That said, the league's track record in these types of cases has not often worked in favor of the NFL.

While I expect Brady to win in court, Jimmy Garoppolo would start against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars and Cowboys with Brady eligible to return against the Colts in Week 6. (The Patriots have their bye in Week 4.)

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July 27, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 2 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 2 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.02 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Finishing second to only DeMarco Murray in fantasy points scored among running backs last season, Bell racked up 2,215 yards from scrimmage and 11 scores in his age-22 season. With LeGarrette Blount out of the picture, Bell totalled 1,002 YFS (167.0/G) on 156 touches (26/G) with eight touchdowns over the final six games.

2.11 - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Green missed three games last season, but he still posted the fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season in his young NFL career. With better health in 2015, Green should finish with roughly 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns.

3.02 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: One of three rookie receivers to exceed 1,000 yards, Evans was also one of five receivers to score 12-plus touchdowns. Going into the 2015 season, no team's wide receivers have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Evans and the Bucs' wideouts.

4.11 - C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints: Following his 2012 breakout season, Spiller was misused in his past two seasons in Buffalo, but that's unlikely to happen with the Saints. Better in PPR formats, Spiller could haul in 60 receptions as the Saints focus on getting Spiller the ball in space.

5.02 - T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Selected with a top-36 pick by the Jaguars to be the team's three-down back, Yeldon could finish among the top-10 backs in workload in 2015. The biggest concern with Yeldon is the general sluggishness of Jacksonville's offense, but he's a strong flex option for this squad.

6.11 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton had a somewhat disappointing season last year, but he's now had four consecutive 3,000/500 seasons to begin his career. In his first four seasons, Newton has finished as a top-four fantasy QB three times and another one is certainly possible with better health.

7.02 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Ertz took a step forward in year two with 58 receptions for 702 yards, but he barely played more than half of the team's offensive snaps last year. With Jeremy Maclin now in Kansas City and positive reports this offseason, Ertz could be poised for a breakout in 2015.

8.11 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: Rookie Duke Johnson has generated plenty of buzz this offseason, but I expect Crowell to lead the Browns' backfield in both touches and production.

9.02 - Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Floyd was unable to build upon his 2013 breakout campaign, but a significant part of that was due to the team's injuries at quarterback. Provided Carson Palmer stays healthy, Floyd should improve upon last year's disappointing season.

10.11 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: In the 22 games that Palmer and Fitzgerald have played together over the past two years, Fitzgerald has averaged 5.18/65.32/0.55 per game -- equivalent to 83/1,045/9 over 16 games. If both players can stay healthy over a full 16-game season, perhaps Fitzgerald breaks his three-year drought of 1,000-yard seasons.

11.02 - Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots: LaFell shattered previous career highs playing with Tom Brady and the Patriots last year. With the current group of pass-catchers essentially the same as last year, LaFell could duplicate last year's production and is a nice value as my WR5.

12.11 - Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills: With the trade for LeSean McCoy, the Bills are likely to give Jackson less than the 207 touches he had last year. While he set a career low of 3.7 YPC, he set a career high with 66 receptions.

13.02 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle set career highs in both receptions (71) and yards (938) last season in his age-23 season. With better health from the team's wide receivers, it's possible that Randle won't exceed last year's production, but Eli Manning has talked about Randle taking another step forward in 2015.

14.11 - Baltimore Ravens D/ST

15.02 - Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks

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2015 Fantasy Football Average Draft Position (ADP) Weekly Movement: July 27th Update

Every Monday this offseason, we post an update in players that have had the biggest moves — both up and down — in fantasy football average draft position (ADP) from the previous week.

With this information, we can get a better sense of changes in the collective perceptions of fantasy football owners (mock drafters); in essence, it's a version of fantasy stock up/down for players. If a player is moving up the ADP chart, it may lead us to using a higher pick than his current ADP to make sure we secure a targeted player.

Of course, a player's ADP (and movement) is just one (small) piece in determining who to draft and our strategy used to assemble a fantasy roster.

For purposes of our weekly comparison(s), we use ADP data from 12-team mock drafts from Fantasy Football Calculator.

Biggest weekly gainers in ADP.

Quarterbacks:

  1. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens: -3.7 (144.6 on 7/20 to 140.9 on 7/27)
  2. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles: -2.8 (128.9 to 126.1)
  3. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys: -1.2 (78.1 to 76.9)

Running Backs:

  1. Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers: -4.4 (146.1 to 141.7)
  2. Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans: -2.6 (108.9 to 106.3)
  3. Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars: -2.6 (157.7 to 155.1)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Stevie Johnson, San Diego Chargers: -6.4 (161.1 to 154.7)
  2. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals: -4.3 (146.4 to 142.1)
  3. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts: -2.9 (157.4 to 154.5)

Tight Ends:

  1. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings: -5.8 (155.0 to 149.2)
  2. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys: -5.5 (115.0 to 109.5)
  3. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts: -3.4 (154.6 to 151.2)

Biggest weekly fallers in ADP.

Quarterbacks:

  1. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears: +5.2 (150.9 on 7/20 to 156.1 on 7/27)
  2. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers: +4.4 (136.5 to 140.9)
  3. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals: +3.9 (127.9 to 131.8)

Running Backs:

  1. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +7.3 (120.9 to 128.2)
  2. Terrance West, Cleveland Browns: +3.3 (152.7 to 156.0)
  3. Reggie Bush, San Francisco 49ers: +3.1 (115.9 to 119.0)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Percy Harvin, Buffalo Bills: +6.6 (121.7 to 128.3)
  2. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs: +4.8 (156.8 to 161.6)
  3. Rueben Randle, New York Giants: +3.7 (138.1 to 141.8)

Tight Ends:

  1. Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints: +8.0 (111.2 to 119.2)
  2. Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers: +4.3 (146.1 to 150.4)
  3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles: +2.3 (83.6 to 85.9)

[Note: Negative numbers mean the player's ADP is improving (i.e., being drafted earlier) and vice versa.]

- Fantasy Football ADP Risers/Fallers: See full grid of player changes in ADP over past week

Our 2015 fantasy football rankings:

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2015 Fantasy Football Projections: Chicago Bears

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the Chicago Bears:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Jay Cutler359552398827.316311460.9272.72
Benched a game in favor of Jimmy Clausen, Cutler played only 15 games and led the league in multi-interception games (seven) last season. Despite the massive contract given to Cutler from the last regime in the previous offseason, he's clearly not in the team's long-term plans and could have a short leash if he doesn't cut down on the turnovers. Per CSN Chicago, the plan is to "take some things away from Cutler and shrink the game for him," which will hopefully cut down on his interception rate. On a positive note, they drafted the talented Kevin White with the seventh overall pick to give him another dynamic weapon opposite Alshon Jeffery.
Jimmy Clausen24392631.31.525014.72

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Matt Forte28011906.7584522.5219.4
Not only did Forte lead all running backs in receptions (102) last year, but only three players had more -- Antonio Brown (129), Demaryius Thomas (111) and Julio Jones (104) -- as he broke the single-season record for receptions by a running back. With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions again, but he could certainly finish in the neighborhood of 60-70 catches. And although Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has exceeded 1,400 yards from scrimmage in all seven of his NFL seasons. Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season and I'd expect the Bears to be more committed to the run in 2015 to limit Jay Cutler's turnovers.
Jeremy Langford461960.76440.128.8
Jacquizz Rodgers24860.3161070.624.7
Ka'Deem Carey381630.6321022
Daniel Thomas12440.40006.8

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Alshon Jeffery8611759.58490179.4
With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets and using a top-seven pick on West Virginia's Kevin White, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) and finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last season.
Kevin White426434.6214093.3
White has a special combination of size (6-3, 215), speed (4.35 forty) and strength and I really like his long-term outlook. During the draft process, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared White to Atlanta's Julio Jones and White should start early in his career, perhaps Week 1. With Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett on the roster, however, White figures to be no better than fourth in line for targets/touches as a rookie. And it's certainly possible that Eddie Royal finishes ahead of him in targets as well.
Eddie Royal536043.2320081.6
Royal posted a 62/778/7 line last year with the Chargers and finished as a top-32 fantasy wide receiver (both scoring formats). Reunited with Jay Cutler via free agency this offseason, Royal's best season was his rookie campaign (91/980/5 with 109 rushing yards) with Cutler as his quarterback.
Marquess Wilson353361.800044.4
One of my favorite sleepers last offseason before he broke his clavicle, Wilson, still only 22 years old, had less than 20 receiving yards in all but one of his seven games played last season. Even though the Bears traded Brandon Marshall, they used the seventh-overall pick on Kevin White, which lessens his breakout potential in 2015.

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Martellus Bennett747776.2114.9
Setting career highs across the board in 2014 with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns, Bennett finished as a top-five scorer among tight ends and led the position in receptions. With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, Bennett has the potential to match those numbers this season.
Dante Rosario10920.19.8

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July 26, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Projections: New Orleans Saints

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the New Orleans Saints:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Drew Brees422630470632.115.1311181.5322.34
After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark in 2014 but still tied for the league lead with 4,952 passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. And while he has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and he led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, a transition to a more run-based offense appears set to begin with their offseason moves.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Mark Ingram24410749.3261590179.1
Once again, Ingram missed multiple games and has now missed a total of 14 games over his four-year career. That said, Ingram set career highs -- 226 carries, 964 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and 29 receptions -- in the 13 games he did play in 2014. Re-signing with the Saints, Ingram should lead the team in carries. And given the team's offseason moves, a transition to more of a run-based offense appears to be in the offing.
C.J. Spiller1487254.7604862.6164.9
Spiller's free-agent landing spot may not maximize his opportunities for workload volume given the presence of Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. That said, I have faith in Sean Payton's ability to utilize Spiller correctly (or at least much better than Doug Marrone had) to maximize his production on a per-touch basis. While Spiller may never rush for 1,000 yards again, he should be a low-end RB2 option in standard-scoring leagues with plenty of upside in PPR formats.
Khiry Robinson652992.3746048.3
Before the team re-signed Mark Ingram and upgraded Pierre Thomas' roster spot with C.J. Spiller in free agency, there was some optimism that this could be the year that fantasy owners got a breakout season from Robinson. At this point, however, a breakout is unlikely without an injury to either Ingram or Spiller. A big back (6-0, 220), Robinson has been productive when given the opportunity (4.8 yards per carry in 2014), but how many opportunities will he get in 2015?

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Brandin Cooks9410435.5121101.2155.5
Before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 11, Cook's 86.3 fantasy points ranked 25th among all wide receivers and his 53 receptions led all rookie receivers. Once again generating plenty of buzz in the offseason, Cooks is poised for a major breakout with the offseason trades of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.
Marques Colston679116.1000127.7
On a per-game basis, Colston's 3.69 receptions, 6.25 targets and 56.38 yards per game were all career lows. One positive for Colston personally, not the offense in general, is that the team traded away both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills so perhaps his targets and production will see a slight bump in 2015.
Nick Toon354663.700068.8
Appearing in only eight games last season, Toon had just 17 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown on 23 targets. Entering 2015 as the team's No. 3 receiver, Toon will see a big bump in snaps, targets and receptions this season.
Brandon Coleman242762.800044.4
Seantavius Jones242952.300043.3
Joe Morgan18257116032.3

More Fantasy Football WR Resources:


Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Josh Hill394765.580.6
Trading Graham (and Kenny Stills) should open up opportunities for Hill, but ESPN beat reporter Mike Triplett recently wrote that he doesn't expect a "major breakthrough" for Hill in a mailbag response to a fantasy question. Targeted just 20 times last season, Hill turned those targets into 14 receptions for 176 yards and five touchdowns.
Ben Watson282912.644.7

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 9th Pick, Super Flex

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 9 pick, PPR scoring, QB-eligible flex
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Super Flex (QB, RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.09 - Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Lacy started last season slowly against three stout run defenses, but he averaged 108.9 scrimmage yards and a touchdown per game with 4.89 yards per carry over the final 13 games. Playing with the league's best quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) in the league's highest-scoring offense, Lacy won't face many eight-men fronts and will get plenty of scoring opportunities.

2.04 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones shattered previous career highs with 104 receptions and 1,593 yards in his age-25 season. Not only do I expect Jones to post another 100/1,500 season, I expect more touchdowns than the six touchdowns he had last season.

3.09 - Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: With the ability to start two quarterbacks in this league, it is a de facto 2-QB league and hence QBs will be drafted earlier than usual. The 11th signal-caller off the board in this mock, Manning finished as a top-10 fantasy QB last year despite a slow start in a new offense. Over the final 10 games, Manning posted five weekly top-five games, tied with Rodgers for the most during that span. With healthier and better weapons as well as more comfort with the offensive scheme, Manning should build upon last year's bounce-back season.

4.04 - Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens: Breaking out in his age-29 season, Forsett rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards, more than doubling his previous career high, and finished as the RB8 in PPR formats last year. WIth Marc Trestman running the offense, Forsett should easily establish a new career high in receptions. Forte broke the single-season record for running backs with 102 catches in Trestman's offense last year.

5.09 - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: Last year was a disappointing season for Kaepernick, who still finished as a top-16 fantasy QB last year. Despite setting career highs with 104 carries and 639 rushing yards, he only rushed for one score after racking up nine of them over the previous two seasons. Not only does Kaepernick have upside due to his rushing ability, the 49ers should (trail and) throw more often this season than they have recently.

6.04 - Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Matthews finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver last year despite ranking third among the team's receivers in snaps. Entering the season as the team's No. 1 wide receiver, Matthews has plenty of upside heading into year two.

7.09 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Going into 2015, the roles for Bernard and Jeremy Hill will be reversed compared to last season with Bernard back in a change-of-pace role. In one of the league's most run-based offenses, Bernard still has RB2 upside especially in PPR formats. As an example, Bernard finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy RB (PPR) in the final three games of the season when Hill also rushed for 100-plus yards in each of those outings.

8.04 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Prior to his season-ending Week 10 foot injury, Robinson had nine consecutive games with four-plus receptions. Generating plenty of buzz this offseason, Robinson is poised for a breakout year in his age-22 season with good health.

9.09 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Currently sitting atop the team's depth chart, Freeman is likely to concede that role to third-round rookie Tevin Coleman by season's end. That said, the duo is likely to form a committee with both backs heavily involved.

10.04 - Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys: While I expect Joseph Randle to handle the largest share of the team's carries, it's far from a lock and McFadden is available more than six rounds later than Randle (4.01) in this mock. McFadden has three disappointing seasons in a row (3.4 YPC or less), but he's still only 27 years old (turns 28 next month) and the Cowboys offensive line is arguably the best in the league.

11.09 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Only the Jets have fewer passing yards over the past two seasons than the 49ers yet Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns with the Niners. As noted earlier, the 49ers could find themselves in more passing situations this year and Boldin is a nice value as my WR4.

12.04 - Owen Daniels, TE, Denver Broncos: Reunited for a third stint with Coach Kubiak, Daniels is a solid punt at tight end. I strongly considered Travis Kelce over Matthews in Round 6 and then I wasn't thrilled with any of the options earlier than this. While Daniels won't score the 12 touchdowns that Julius Thomas did in each of the past two seasons, playing with Peyton Manning in a TE-friendly offense is about as good of a free-agent landing spot as Daniels could have expected.

13.09 - St. Louis Rams D/ST

14.04 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

15.09 - Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants: Cruz missed the final 10 games with a torn patellar tendon, but he is expected to be ready for Week 1 against the Cowboys. Even though Odell Beckham is now the team's primary target, Cruz is a solid value in the 15th round.

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2015 Fantasy Football Projections: Indianapolis Colts

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the Indianapolis Colts:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Andrew Luck383617483737.614.8632773.2375.98
Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). During the season, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history. Not only does Luck lead one of the league's most prolific passing offenses, but he gets a boost from his mobility with at least 255 rushing yards each year and a total of 12 rushing scores.

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Frank Gore26011058.1342821.5196.3
With the exception of an 11-game season in 2010, Gore has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in eight of his past nine seasons with at least 1,100 rushing yards in four consecutive seasons. Coach Pagano has said that he still views Gore as an every-down back, which means he should get the opportunity to extend the streak. One of the league's better pass-catching backs earlier in his career, Gore should be much more involved as a receiver than he has been over the past four seasons (average of 18 catches per season) in San Francisco.
Dan Herron723171.9181400.861.9
Part of last year's Boom (Herron) and Bust (Trent Richardson) backfield, Herron was the more productive back in the duo down the stretch. And in the team's three playoff games, Herron was a workhorse with a total of 298 yards from scrimmage on 65 touches including 20 receptions. With the release of Richardson but addition of Gore, Herron should handle a secondary role to Gore, who has been extremely durable -- no missed games in the past four years. That said, the 32-year-old Gore has the third-most touches (1,301 including playoffs) over that four-year span.
Josh Robinson542191.812780.141.1

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
T.Y. Hilton8413446.72120175.8
Hilton had a breakout 82/1,345/7 season last year. And that breakout year would have been even better if he weren't limited down the stretch by a hamstring injury. With good health, Hilton could set new career highs in both receptions and yards this season.
Andre Johnson8610816.6000147.7
After back-to-back 1,400-yard seasons, Johnson finished with 85 receptions for just 936 yards and three touchdowns in 2014. Johnson's 62.4 Y/G and 11.0 Y/R were his lowest since 2005. Released by the Texans this offseason, Johnson signed with the Colts and gets a major upgrade in quarterback situation with Andrew Luck. Johnson, who turns 34 in July, may never record another 1,400-yard season, but 1,000-plus yards seems likely.
Donte Moncrief385474.2210080.9
Moncrief (6-foot-2, 220 pounds, 4.4 speed) flashed his potential with a couple of big games last season -- 7/113/1 in Week 8 and 3/134/2 in Week 13. Playing only 39.1 percent of the team's offensive snaps last season, Moncrief should improve upon last year's 32/444/3 rookie campaign. The signing of Andre Johnson, who was released by the Texans, and selection of Phillip Dorsett in Round 1, however, will limit his opportunity for a true breakout season.
Phillip Dorsett283782.7321056.1
Griff Whalen44200004.2

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Dwayne Allen364468.595.6
With eight touchdowns on only 29 receptions in 13 games, Allen is one of the league's better red-zone options at the position. In weeks he doesn't score, however, Allen's lack of volume (2.23 catches per game) will lead to mostly boom (scores a touchdown) or bust (doesn't score a touchdown) outcomes.
Coby Fleener434996.588.9
Fleener finished with 774 yards and eight touchdowns, both of which were career highs, on 51 receptions last season. Unsurprisingly, Fleener's best games last season came in games that Dwayne Allen was out. In the four games that Allen missed or left early due to injury, Fleener had 355 yards and four touchdowns. In the other 12 games, he had just 419 yards and four touchdowns. Assuming that Fleener and Allen are healthy for the entire season, I prefer Allen over Fleener.

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Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants - 2015 Fantasy Football Profile and Outlook

Leading up to the start of the 2015 NFL season, we will post a fantasy profile and outlook for all fantasy-relevant players. We are tracking our 2015 fantasy football profiles here.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning followed three consecutive top-10 fantasy finishes from 2009 through 2011 with back-to-back disappointing seasons -- QB15 (2012) and QB22 (2013).

By many counts, 2013 was Manning's worst season of his career as the full-year starter.

Not only did he lead the league with a career-worst 27 interceptions, but it was the first time since his rookie season that he threw more picks than touchdowns (18). With his lowest passer rating (69.4) since his rookie season, his completion rate (57.5 percent) and yards-per-attempt average (6.9) were also multi-year lows.

Bouncing back in 2014 with 4,410 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, both of which were the second-most of his career, Manning finished the year as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In addition, Manning cut his interceptions nearly in half (to 14) while posting a career-high completion rate of 63.1 percent.

With the transition to a new offense and offensive coordinator, however, there were some bumps in the road early in the season for Manning and the offense.

In the first six games of the season, Manning finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback only once. During that span, Manning averaged just 220.83 passing yards and 1.83 touchdowns per game.

Over the final 10 games, however, Eli was much more productive. Averaging 308.5 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game, Manning finished as a weekly top-five fantasy quarterback five times. (And he had a sixth top-10 performance during that span as well.)

No quarterback had more top-five fantasy performances during that stretch than Manning, who was tied with Aaron Rodgers. Four other quarterbacks had four top-five weeks over that stretch -- Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Tony Romo and Ryan Tannehill.

Several factors suggest improvement is in the cards for Manning heading into 2015: (1) offensive scheme continuity, (2) healthier and better weapons and (3) a stronger arm.

It's common for rookies to make big second-year jumps with a full offseason to gain a much deeper understanding of the intricacies of their team's offensive scheme. While Manning obviously isn't a rookie and the in-season improvement was a positive, his level of comfort and familiarity within Ben McAdoo's offense should be much stronger in year two.

A huge part of Manning's second-half success coincided with Odell Beckham's historic nine-game stretch to close the season. During that span, Beckham racked up 81/1,199/9 (133.22 YPG) with 90-plus yards in every game, which ties Michael Irvin for the longest streak in NFL history.

Not only did ODB miss the first four games of the season, but Victor Cruz missed the final 10 games. Both should be healthy to start the season. Along with Rueben Randle, who posted a 71/938/3 line in his age-23 season, the Giants have one of the league's better receiving corps.

In addition, Larry Donnell's 63 catches were the most by a Giants tight end since 2006 (Jeremy Shockey) and the Giants added one of the league's best receiving backs (Shane Vereen) in free agency. Vereen has 99 receptions in his past 24 games.

One other positive with Manning is improved arm strength by working with some baseball trainers in the offseason. That led to Manning overthrowing some of his receivers.

"I don't recall that ever happening," Randle said (via Newsday). "That's something we noticed when we were down at Duke working with him [in the spring], we noticed that his arm is stronger. That's exciting for us."

While the weapons are even better, there is concern with the offensive line. The Giants used the ninth-overall pick on Miami offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, who played left tackle at The U. but was projected to start on the right side as a rookie.

With the injury to Will Beatty, Flowers will need to protect Eli's blind side. The offensive scheme allows Manning to get the ball out quicker as his sacks were cut from a career-high 39 in 2013 to 28 last year. The good news is Beatty's injury isn't season-ending; he should return at some point in the middle of the year.

Fantasy Strength of Schedule: Based on the cumulative points allowed last year of the Giants' opponents this year, only Tampa and Washington have a more favorable fantasy schedule than Manning and the Giants quarterbacks. Aside from their six division matchups, the Giants face the AFC East, NFC South as well as the 49ers and Vikings.

Bottom Line: Based on ADP from Fantasy Football Calculator, Manning is currently going in Round 9 as the 12th quarterback off the board. As noted above, there are several reasons for Eli to improve upon last year's bounce-back season and he finished as the QB10. Quarterbacks like Matt Ryan (7.02), Tony Romo (7.05) and Matthew Stafford (8.05) are going ahead of him, but I expect Eli to outperform all of those QBs in 2015. Appearing on my list of 12 undervalued fantasy options in 2015, Manning offers tremendous value to those that wait on a QB in 2015.

2015 Fantasy Football Projection: (Passing) 4,680 yards; 32.6 TDs; 15.4 INTs; (Rushing) 32 yards; 0.4 TDs

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July 25, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Projections: Miami Dolphins

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the Miami Dolphins:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Ryan Tannehill381592415627.213583361.5304.64
Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season. Starting in Week 6, Tannehill finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of 11 weeks, but he finished with the eighth-most fantasy points over the full season. The team's group of top pass-catchers was entirely turned over except for Jarvis Landry, but Tannehill has some upside for those that wait on quarterback in 2015.

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Lamar Miller22010676.6332340.5172.7
The Dolphins coaching staff seemed reluctant to give Miller as much work as his fantasy owners would have liked, but Miller was highly productive on a per-touch basis (5.09 YPC, 7.24 Y/R). With more than 15 carries in only four games last season, Miller still managed to post his first-ever 1,000-yard season (1,099 rushing yards). In addition, Miller was very consistent throughout the season as he finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in 12 of 16 weeks. Although they didn't draft Jay Ajayi until the fifth round (due to long-term concerns about his knee), Ajayi profiles as a potential three-down back in this league and could cap Miller's upside in 2015.
Jay Ajayi1074714.7271840.496.1
There were concerns with Ajayi's knee, but it really surprised me that he slipped all the way to fifth round. As noted earlier, the Dolphins seemed fairly reluctant to give Lamar Miller a large workload and the versatile Ajayi is a downhill runner with excellent size (6-0, 221) that also displayed excellent pass-catching ability (50 receptions for 536 yards) last season as well.
Damien Williams25950.38540.117.3
LaMichael James62300002.3

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Jarvis Landry929295.2270124.8
Among rookies, only his ex-LSU teammate Odell Beckham (91) had more receptions than Landry (84) last season. Over the final nine games of the season, Landry had a minimum of five receptions every game and racked up a total of 59 catches over that span. In addition, he had at least nine targets in six of his final eight games. Even better in PPR formats, Landry should improve upon his 84/758/5 rookie numbers.
Kenny Stills476634.400092.7
Stills set career highs with 63 receptions for a team-high 931 yards in his second season with the Saints, but he was traded to the Dolphins this offseason. One of the areas in which Ryan Tannehill has struggled is his downfield accuracy, which doesn't necessarily bode well for the speedy Stills.
DeVante Parker466095.100091.5
With the exception of Jarvis Landry, all of Miami's top pass-catchers are newcomers including first-round rookie DeVante Parker. The 6-foot-3 Parker missed the first seven games of the season with a foot injury, but he closed the season with 43 catches for 855 yards and five touchdowns in just six games. Parker gives the Dolphins someone who can develop into a true No. 1 wideout, but unfortunately he underwent another surgery on the same foot and may miss most/all of training camp, but he is expected to ready for Week 1.
Greg Jennings323683.300056.6
Rishard Matthews10111100017.1

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Jordan Cameron637375.2104.9
In 2013, Cameron had a breakout season with 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. When healthy, he is clearly a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Unfortunately, Cameron missed six games last season and has a history of concussions. Perhaps no injury is more worrisome from a fantasy outlook given the greater susceptibility and unpredictability of a recurrence. If Cameron plays 16 games in 2015, however, he has top-five upside.
Dion Sims23267238.7

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2015 Fantasy Football Projections: New York Giants

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the New York Giants:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Eli Manning397615468032.615.415320.4307.8
In the first six games of the season, Eli finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in all but one game. Over the final 10 games of the season, however, Manning posted five weekly top-five performances. With better health from his wide receivers and the free-agent addition of Shane Vereen, a talented receiver out of the backfield, plus more comfort and familiarity with Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015. In addition, only Tampa and Washington have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Rashad Jennings2068245.4262000.5137.8
Dealing with multiple injuries, Jennings played in just 11 games in his first season with the Giants. Second-year back Andre Williams will steal some goal-line opportunities and Shane Vereen will steal some of his passing-down work, which limits the weekly upside of the soon-to-be 30-year-old Jennings. On a positive note, the Giants used the ninth-overall pick on Ereck Flowers, one of the best run-blocking offensive linemen in this year's draft class. Only the Cardinals (3.3) and Chargers (3.4) averaged fewer YPC than the Giants (3.6) last season and at least part of those struggles can be attributed to the line play.
Shane Vereen783351.5544562.5103.1
Vereen is one of the league's better receiving backs and he set career highs last year with 52 catches for 447 yards. Especially with both Jennings and Andre Williams likely to get more carries, Vereen is a better fantasy running back in PPR formats, but he should be in the flex mix on a weekly basis in standard-scoring formats as well.
Andre Williams1043544.2638064.4
As a rookie, Williams led the team in carries (217), rushing yards (721) and rushing touchdowns (seven), but he averaged just 3.3 YPC and exceeded 3.5 YPC in only three games. Over the final four games of the season, the 230-pound back had 83 carries for 328 yards (3.95 YPC) and two touchdowns. Williams may only be the third-most productive fantasy back behind Jennings and Vereen, but he could be first in line for goal-line carries.

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Odell Beckham97133910.59500201.9
Closing the season with nine consecutive games of 90-plus yards, Beckham racked up a massive stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets during that stretch. In fact, only 11 other receivers had more yards in all of 2014 than OBJ had in his final nine games. And as impressive as that sounds, he was even more dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets. While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules.
Rueben Randle618726.2000124.4
A top-35 fantasy wide receiver last season, Randle finished with 71 receptions for 938 yards and three touchdowns on 127 targets. Part of the improvement was due to Victor Cruz's injury, but Randle just turned 24 years old and Eli Manning has predicted a "breakout" season for Randle in 2015.
Victor Cruz688646.2000123.6
With his season cut short after six games due to a torn patellar tendon, Cruz averaged just 56.2 yards per game, a four-year low, with only one touchdown. On a positive note, Tom Coughlin has said that he doesn't expect Cruz to begin the camp on the PUP list. That said, there is still significant separation between Cruz and and the team's new No. 1 wide receiver, Odell Beckham.
Corey Washington91061.400019
Dwayne Harris101150.614015.5

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Tight Ends
PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Larry Donnell515203.472.4
At this point last year, nobody projected that Donnell would finish as a top-12 fantasy tight end, but that's exactly what he did in 2014. Donnell was especially good in the first four games (25/236/4 and fifth-most TE fantasy points). After scoring 45.6 fantasy points in the first four games of the season, however, Donnell scored only 44.7 fantasy points (3.73/G) in the final 12 games. Coincidentally, Odell Beckham missed the first four games of the season and Victor Cruz expected back in Week 1 from his patellar tendon injury.
Daniel Fells131501.322.8
Adrien Robinson22002

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 10 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 10 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.10 - Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans: Despite missing three games last season, Foster still finished as a top-five fantasy running back in 2014 as his 4.8 yards per carry and 95.8 rushing YPG were four-year highs. Durability is obviously a concern with Foster, but the Texans led the NFL in rush attempts (551) last season and Foster is a true workhorse back when healthy.

2.03 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Once Hill became the team's lead back, he led the NFL in rushing (929 yards) over the final nine games last year. While Giovani Bernard will get plenty of work as a change-of-pace option, Hill has legitimate upside to lead all backs in rushing and fantasy production in 2015.

3.10 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Hopkins made a huge second-year jump with a 76/1,210/6 line and should improve upon those numbers in his age-23 season, but he'll limited somewhat by the team's mediocre quarterback play.

4.03 - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints: Speaking of second-year breakouts, Cooks is poised for a monster 2015 season as the team traded two of its top pass-catchers this offseason without adding any playmakers of significance. Cooks, who was fantasy's WR25 before his season-ending injury, enters 2015 as the team's clear-cut top option in the passing game.

5.10 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Especially considering his early-season snap counts, Kelce's 2014 was extremely impressive. Going into 2015, however, the sky's the limit for "Baby Gronk" with a clean bill of health and no snap limitations.

6.03 -Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers : Based on my 2015 Fantasy Football Projections, only Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers are projected to score more points than Newton. Despite his disappointing 2014 season, Newton still averaged the seventh-most fantasy points among QBs last year and finished as a top-four fantasy QB in each of his three seasons before that.

7.10 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Quietly off to a strong start to his rookie season prior to a Week 10 foot injury ended his season prematurely, Robinson had a nine-game streak with four-plus receptions. Generating more than his fair share of buzz this offseason, the 21-year-old receiver (turns 22 next month) is poised for a breakout in 2015.

8.03 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: Speaking of offseason buzz, Browns third-round rookie running back Duke Johnson generated plenty of it. That said, I still expect Crowell to be the most productive of the team's running backs in 2015.

9.10 - Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: In case I'm wrong, why not take Johnson too? Not only do I like Johnson's skill set, there is no arguing with his production as The U's all-time leading rusher. Given their history of producing NFL running backs, that says a lot.

10.03 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald has three consecutive seasons with less than 1,000 yards, but the team's quarterback play (and injuries) has certainly contributed to that lack of production. In the 22 games that Carson Palmer and Fitzgerald have played, Fitzgerald has averaged 83/1,045/9 over a 16-game span.

11.10 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Johnson carries momentum into 2015 after emerging in the second half of 2014. With continued development from second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson is poised for bigger and better things this season.

12.03 - Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins: I'm a huge fan of Ajayi's skill set. As a Cowboys fan, I was hoping that they would have drafted him in the third round (and fourth round) as Ajayi slipped to Round 5 due to long-term concerns about his knee. That said, he's a downhill runner with good hands (50 receptions last year).

13.10 - Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans: As noted above, Foster's durability is always a question mark and the Texans ran the ball more than any other team in the NFL. I'm not a huge fan of handcuffing in general, but there are a few players like Foster or Jamaal Charles that I always try to handcuff, when applicable.

14.03 - Denver Broncos D/ST

15.10 - Nick Novak, K, San Diego Chargers

- View full mock draft results here

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July 24, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Projections: Buffalo Bills

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team. Throughout the offseason and preseason, we will continue to update our projections.

Below you find our 2015 fantasy football projections for the Buffalo Bills:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
E.J. Manuel280462314219.617.6381520.8206.48
With the trade that Matt Cassel, it appeared that he would be the favorite to start for the Bills this season. Not only is it possible that Cassel doesn't start, ESPN's Mike Rodak left Cassel off his 53-man roster projection for the Bills. And Rodak has described Cassel's spring performance as being "cringe-worthy." In other words, this is as much of a case of Cassel losing the job as it is of former first-rounder Manuel winning it.
Matt Cassel24392611.41.2623017.14

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
LeSean McCoy30813716.5342361.3207.5
Barely finishing as a top-12 fantasy running back last season, McCoy finished third in the league in rushing (1,319 yards) and was one of only two 300-carry backs. Not only did he average nearly a yard per carry less in 2014 than 2013, however, McCoy also saw his receptions (52 in 2013) and touchdowns (11 in 2013) drop roughly in half to 28 and five, respectively. Despite running behind an inferior offensive line (compared to Philadelphia's), McCoy should see a healthy volume of work within Buffalo's ground-and-pound offense, like last year, but will his per-touch effectiveness bounce back in a less-efficient offense?

Fred Jackson1054102.427202181.6
Although Jackson rushed for a career-low 3.7 yards per carry, he also set career highs with 66 receptions for 501 yards. In fact, Matt Forte (102) and Le'Veon Bell (83) were the only running backs that had more receptions than F-Jax last season. Now 34 years old, however, Jackson is likely to see fewer touches in 2015 especially considering the Bills upgraded the position by trading for LeSean McCoy. In fact, it appears that Jackson isn't a lock for the 2015 roster.

Bryce Brown361481.35470.127.9
Karlos Williams83400003.4
Anthony Dixon51701502.2

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Sammy Watkins6810136.43130141
The fourth overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, Watkins finished his rookie campaign with 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns. While Watkins had four 100-yard games including a career-high 157 yards against his new head coach's former team, he also had nine games with 35 receiving yards or less. In a run-first offense with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation, there will still be plenty of weekly inconsistency from Watkins even though his overall numbers should improve on a year-over-year basis.

Percy Harvin465202.243249196.1
Following his former head coach Rex Ryan to Buffalo this offseason, Harvin is a dynamic playmaker in the open field. In 13 games with the Seahawks and Jets last season, Harvin had a total of 51 receptions for 483 yards, 33 carries for 202 yards and three total touchdowns. There is some upside with Harvin based on his skill set, but he's the third option, at best, in an offense with subpar quarterback play.

Robert Woods465473.900078.1
Improving upon his rookie numbers (40/587/3), Woods finished with 65 receptions for 699 yards and five touchdowns last season. With the offseason additions of Percy Harvin and Charles Clay, Woods is unlikely to repeat last year's production, let alone build upon it.

Chris Hogan111030.900015.7
Dezmin Lewis5620.30008

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Tight Ends
PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Charles Clay465154.779.7
Although he started the season slowly, Clay averaged 4.56 catches for 51.0 yards per game and scored all three of his touchdowns from Weeks 7 to 17 while finishing fifth among tight ends in fantasy points per game (7.1) during that stretch. The concern for Clay's outlook -- and that of the other Bills' skill players -- is the team's quarterback situation.

MarQueis Gray8840.29.6
Nick O'Leary44204.2
Chris Gragg32702.7

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 16 Teams, No. 15 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 16 teams, No. 15 pick, PPR scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.15 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Anderson finished as a top-seven fantasy running back (PPR scoring) in seven of his final eight games last season. With the team expected to run more of a balanced offense in 2015, CJA has plenty of upside.

2.02 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Playing in the league's highest-scoring offense (30.4/G) with the league's best quarterback (Aaron Rodgers), Nelson set career highs of 98 receptions and 1,519 yards with 13 touchdowns last season. His 16-game pace over the past four years is 80/1,291/11.

3.15 - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers: Over the final five games of the season, Stewart rushed for more yards than all running backs not named DeMarco Murray. Going into 2015 season as the unquestioned lead back is obviously a positive, but there are some concerns about his ability to stay healthy for a full season after playing just 28 games over the past three seasons. If he plays 14-plus games, he could be a top-10 fantasy RB in 2015.

4.02 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Playing roughly half of the team's offensive snaps in his first 10 games, Kelce still posted a stat line of 67/862/5 in 2014. With no health restrictions or snap counts heading into 2015, the sky's the limit for Kelce.

5.15 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald has fallen shy of the 1,000-yard mark in three consecutive seasons, but his numbers in the 22 games he's played with Carson Palmer over the past two years give some hope if both can stay healthy. His per-game average of 5.18/65.32/0.55 in those games equates to a 16-game pace of 83/1,045/9.

6.02 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: It was a relatively disappointing season for Newton, who missed a couple of games and was at less than 100 percent in many others. That said, he ranked seventh among QBs in fantasy points per game and finished with his fourth consecutive 3,000/500 season to begin his career. It's certainly possible that he finishes as a top-four fantasy QB, something he did in each of his first three seasons.

7.15 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Not only did Jennings recently turn 30, but he struggled with durability prior to 30. When healthy, however, Jennings should lead the team's backfield in touches and fantasy production.

8.02 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Even if rookie Tevin Coleman takes over his spot atop the team's depth chart, Freeman provides depth as my RB4 and is a decent value here.

9.15 - Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins: Two seasons ago, Garcon led the NFL in receptions (113). With his production nearly cut in half last season, Garcon is expected to be featured more prominently in Washington's offense this season although there's no chance that he bounces back to his 2013 level of production.

10.02 - Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns: Of the team's top-three running backs, West appears to be the less likely to lead the team's backfield in production. But the team's weekly allocation of touches to their backs varied widely last season.

11.15 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle posted career highs of 71 catches and 938 yards in his age-23 season last year. Better health from the team's other receivers could cap Randle's upside, but Eli Manning has talked about Randle taking another step forward in 2015. He's a good value as the 175th overall pick.

12.02 - Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams: A torn rotator cuff halted what was beginning to be a breakout season for Quick, he should be ready for the start of the season and gets an upgrade at quarterback compared to the various backups that have filled in for an oft-injured Sam Bradford. If he can stay healthy in 2015, perhaps this is the year that the former Appalachian State receiver breaks out.

13.15 - Green Bay Packers D/ST

14.02 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

15.15 - Brian Hoyer, QB, Houston Texans: There wasn't much left at quarterback here so Hoyer guarantees me a spot starter in Big Ben's bye week.

- View full mock draft results here

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July 22, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 4th Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 4 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.04 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Bell will start the season by serving a three-game suspension, but he's still projected to finish as the RB2 in my 2015 Fantasy Football Projections. He's the clear favorite to lead all running backs in fantasy points per game.

2.09 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Hill scored the 10th-most fantasy points among running backs last season, but he was dominant in the second half as the team's lead back. Hill rushed for a league-high 929 yards over the final nine games of the season.

3.04 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: One of three 1,000-yard rookie receivers, Evans was also one of five receivers to haul in 12-plus touchdowns. Only 21 years old (turns 22 next month), Evans will benefit from improved quarterback play even if there is some early-season inconsistency with a rookie quarterback.

4.09 - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Battling a foot injury before finishing the season on IR, Ellington disappointed with a 3.3 YPC (compared to 5.5 YPC as a rookie) when he was on the field. He did average more than 20 touches per game and it's possible that he sees that kind of volume once again even with the Cards using a Day 2 pick on a back. Two positives for Ellington is he's healthy ahead of training camp and the team updated their offensive line via the draft and free agency.

5.04 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Despite playing a hair more than half of his team's offensive snaps in the first 10 games, Kelce still had a strong 2014 season. Without any health or snap limitations going into 2015, the sky's the limit for Kelce.

6.09 - Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Coleman may be second on the depth chart entering training camp, but he's likely to emerge as the guy that gets the largest share of the committee by season's end.

7.04 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Robinson's season was cut short by a Week 10 foot injury, but he was quietly having a strong rookie season. With four-plus receptions every week from Weeks 2 to 10, Robinson averaged 5.22 catches and 60.89 yards during that nine-game span. With good health, Robinson is poised for a breakout season in 2015.

8.09 - Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Martin has had two injury-plagued and disappointing seasons in a row. Based on reports this spring/summer, however, there is at least some reason for optimism for The Muscle Hamster.

9.04 - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Brady faces a four-game ban pending his appeal, but he's likely to take the league to court if his suspension isn't completely overturned. If it is overturned, Brady won't last until the ninth round. And given the league's (lack of) success in court in these cases, it's certainly possible that Brady is under center on Sept. 10th.

10.09 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald has three consecutive seasons with less than 1,000 yards, but the Cards were down to their third-string quarterback by the end of the year. In the 22 games that Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer have played together, Fitzgerald has averaged 5.18 receptions, 65.32 yards and 0.55 touchdowns -- a pace of 83/1,045/9.

11.04 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Johnson has good size (6-2, 225), outstanding speed (sub-4.4 forty) and emerged in the second half last season as a viable WR2/3. With continued improvement from Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off last season.

12.09 - Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants: Cruz is coming off a gruesome injury, but all reports suggest that he'll be ready to go for the start of training camp.

13.04 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.09 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

15.04 - Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals: Depending on how many games Brady actually misses, I'll need Palmer to fill the void. While he missed most of last season with an ACL injury, he posted top-12 per-game fantasy numbers last season.

- View full mock draft results here

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July 21, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 10 Teams, No. 5 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 10 teams, No. 5 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Eight bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.05 - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Lynch has four consecutive seasons with 1,200-plus rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns. With good health, there's no reason Beast Mode won't extend the streak to five straight seasons in one of the league's run-heaviest offenses.

2.06 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Over the final eight games of the season, Anderson finished as a weekly top-five running back in six games. (The other two games were RB10 and RB16.) In what should be a more balanced offense overall in 2015, CJA has loads of upside as my RB2.

3.05 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: One of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers in 2014, Evans was also one of five receivers with 12-plus touchdowns. Things should only get better for the 21-year-old wideout.

4.06 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Hopkins took a huge step forward in year two with a 76/1,210/6 line. Continued improvement is expected, but the team's less-than-ideal quarterback situation keeps the upside in check.

5.05 - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks: Fueled by career-best rushing stats, Wilson finished last season as fantasy's QB3. Duplicating those rushing numbers seems unlikely, but the addition of Jimmy Graham significantly upgrades the team's red-zone weapons.

6.06 - C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints: After a 2012 breakout season, Spiller's usage over the past two seasons certainly frustrated his fantasy owners. The transition to New Orleans significantly boosts Spiller's 2015 outlook.

7.05 - Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger led the NFL in passing (tied with Drew Brees) and Bryant is a high-upside WR3 for this team.

8.06 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Before a Week 10 foot injury ended his season, Robinson was off to a strong rookie season. With good health, ARob is poised for a breakout in 2015.

9.05 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Ertz has generated plenty of positive buzz this offseason and should see his snaps increase significantly in year three.

10.06 - Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Floyd had a disappointing follow-up season to his 2013 breakout, but the team was down to its third-string quarterback by the end of the season. If Carson Palmer can stay healthy, Floyd should improve upon last year's numbers.

11.05 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Freeman currently tops the team's backfield depth chart. While he may lose that role by the end of the year, the team is likely to use a committee approach with Freeman and third-round rookie Tevin Coleman throughout the year.

12.06 - Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots: LaFell posted career highs across the board in his first year with the Patriots and Tom Brady. With no serious competition for targets added to the receiving corps via the draft and free agency, LaFell should come close to last year's numbers.

13.05 - Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: While he set per-game career lows in targets, receptions and yards, Colston should see improved 2015 performance given the team's offseason trades.

14.06 - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: Normally I wouldn't draft a second quarterback in a 10-team league, but there are two extra bench spots in this league for the high-upside Kaepernick.

15.05 - Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins: Lamar Miller should still lead the backfield in touches and production, but I like Ajayi's skill set and he's a good value in Round 15.

16.06 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

17.05 - Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers: Floyd played a full 16-game season last year for only the second time in his career. Even so, he has finished as a top-40 fantasy wide receiver in four of the past five years.

18.06 - Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers


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July 20, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Average Draft Position (ADP) Weekly Movement: July 20th Update

Every Monday this offseason, we post an update in players that have had the biggest moves — both up and down — in fantasy football average draft position (ADP) from the previous week.

With this information, we can get a better sense of changes in the collective perceptions of fantasy football owners (mock drafters); in essence, it's a version of fantasy stock up/down for players. If a player is moving up the ADP chart, it may lead us to using a higher pick than his current ADP to make sure we secure a targeted player.

Of course, a player's ADP (and movement) is just one (small) piece in determining who to draft and our strategy used to assemble a fantasy roster.

For purposes of our weekly comparison(s), we use ADP data from 12-team mock drafts from Fantasy Football Calculator.

Biggest weekly gainers in ADP.

Quarterbacks:

  1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots: -4.4 (84.7 on 7/13 to 80.3 on 7/20)
  2. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers: -1.9 (138.4 to 136.5)
  3. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans: -1.4 (157.2 to 155.8)

Running Backs:

  1. Terrance West, Cleveland Browns: -4.7 (157.4 to 152.7)
  2. Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens: -3.2 (166.9 to 163.7)
  3. DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers: -2.8 (118.0 to 115.2)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins: -3.9 (146.7 to 142.8)
  2. Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears: -3.8 (168.3 to 164.5)
  3. Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots: -3.4 (104.4 to 101.0)

Tight Ends:

  1. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills: -16.1 (168.2 to 152.1)
  2. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles: -4.5 (88.1 to 83.6)
  3. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers: -3.1 (147.3 to 144.2)

Biggest weekly fallers in ADP.

Quarterbacks:

  1. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals: +1.9 (158.5 on 7/13 to 160.4 on 7/20)
  2. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: +1.8 (68.8 to 70.6)
  3. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings: +1.2 (121.5 to 122.7)

Running Backs:

  1. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +8.1 (112.8 to 120.9)
  2. James Starks, Green Bay Packers: +4.7 (152.9 to 157.6)
  3. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons: +4.2 (92.3 to 96.5)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Stevie Johnson, San Diego Chargers: +8.1 (153.0 to 161.1)
  2. Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers: +3.4 (109.0 to 112.4)
  3. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings: +3.4 (155.5 to 158.9)

Tight Ends:

  1. Maxx Williams, Baltimore Ravens: +11.7 (154.8 to 166.5)
  2. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: +5.4 (145.1 to 150.5)
  3. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings: +4.1 (150.9 to 155.0)

[Note: Negative numbers mean the player's ADP is improving (i.e., being drafted earlier) and vice versa.]

- Fantasy Football ADP Risers/Fallers: See full grid of player changes in ADP over past week

Our 2015 fantasy football rankings:

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July 18, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 11 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 11 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.11 - Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Signing a five-year deal with the Cowboys on Wednesday, Bryant has finished with at least 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. During that span, no player has more receiving scores than Bryant (41).

2.02 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Hill led the NFL in rushing yards (929) over his final nine games and he finished as a top-10 fantasy running back last season. Entering 2015 as the team's lead back, Hill is poised for bigger and better things in year two.

3.11 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Hopkins set career highs across the board -- 76/1,210/6 -- last season. While I expect even better production in his age-23 season, the team's quarterback situation remains less than ideal.

4.02 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Gore has 1,100-plus yards in each of the past four seasons and has not missed a game during that span. There may be some concerns now that he is 32, but he'll be the workhorse in one of the league's top offenses.

5.11 - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: Brees failed to reach the 5,000-yard mark for a fourth consecutive season, but he still led the league (tied with Ben Roethlisberger) with 4,952 yards. And while the team traded away two of its top pass-catchers, Brees is still a top-five fantasy quarterback in my rankings.

6.02 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Not only does he have three consecutive 800-yard seasons, but Olsen set a career high last year with 1,008 yards. Olsen is a productive, consistent and durable option.

7.11 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Robinson was quiety off to a strong start to his rookie season before a Week 10 ended it prematurely. From Week 2 to 10, he averaged 5.22 receptions and 60.89 yards per game with four-plus catches in each game. With good health in 2015, Robinson is poised for a breakout campaign.

8.02 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Jennings has struggled with durability and turned 30 this offseason, but he should lead the team's backfield in touches and production when healthy even though the Giants signed Shane Vereen in free agency.

9.11 - Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: Johnson generated plenty of buzz this offseason and there's a lot to like about his skill set. I still believe that Isaiah Crowell leads the team's backfield, but The U.'s all-time leading rusher has plenty of upside.

10.02 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: Before his season was cut short in Week 3 last year, Woodhead finished as a top-27 fantasy running back in three of the previous four seasons. Even though the team drafted Melvin Gordon with a top-15 pick, Woodhead should handle the bulk of third-down snaps.

11.11 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: With an ADP of multiple rounds earlier than this, Johnson is a tremendous value here. Johnson should build upon the last year's second-half momentum especially with continued development from second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

12.02 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Only the Jets threw for less yards over the past two seasons, but Boldin still posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the 49ers.

13.11 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.02 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

15.11 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle posted career highs of 71 catches for 938 yards. Better health from the team's other top receivers may make it difficult to build upon last year's numbers, but he finished as a top-35 wideout and just turned 24 in May.

- View full mock draft results here

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2015 Fantasy Football Projections: Jacksonville Jaguars

In addition to viewing our 2015 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we have posted our preseason projections per team.

Here are our 2015 fantasy football projections for the Jacksonville Jaguars:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Blake Bortles316522353921.715.5613661.8260.26
Sacked a league-high 55 times in 2014, the second-year quarterback will have an improved level of talent around him on offense in 2015. While he's a big and strong quarterback, Bortles dealt with a bit of a "dead arm" down the stretch as a rookie. Bortles rushed for 419 yards (7.5 YPC) and only three quarterbacks rushed for more yards. Due to his dual-threat abilities and the talent upgrades on the offense, Bortles has some fantasy upside.
Chad Henne712780.60.50005.02

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
T.J. Yeldon26811526.2171050.2164.1
Selected with a top-36 pick in this year's draft, Yeldon has excellent size (6-1, 225) and immediately goes to the front of the line in terms of the team's backfield depth chart. General manager David Caldwell said that he sees Yeldon as "a three-down back." Playing in an offense that ranked in the bottom two in both scoring and total offense last year could limit Yeldon's fantasy upside as a rookie, but he could end up leading rookie backs in touches in 2015.
Denard Robinson452032221210.145
The Jaguars signed Toby Gerhart last offseason expecting him to be the team's featured back, but Gerhart was a major disappointment. Of the team's running backs, Robinson was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of effectiveness. Shoelace got a shot at the featured role in Week 7 and posted back-to-back 100-yard games and averaged 4.3 yards per carry last season, but he finished the season on IR due to a foot injury. Going into 2015, he'll be nothing more than a change-of-pace option to T.J. Yeldon, on whom the Jags used a top-40 draft pick.
Toby Gerhart16620.6161250.223.5
Bernard Pierce62200002.2
Storm Johnson41500001.5

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Allen Robinson7910696.1000143.5
While his season was cut short by a Week 10 foot injury, Robinson was quietly off to a strong rookie season. From Weeks 2 to 10, Robinson averaged 5.22 receptions and 60.89 yards per game with a minimum of four receptions every game during that span. With good health, Robinson is poised for a breakout season in 2015.
Allen Hurns435724.500084.2
Marqise Lee424541.5311055.5
Lee's rookie season was relatively quiet, but he exceeded 50 receiving yards in four of his final six games and averaged 4.0 receptions, 46.83 yards and 7.33 targets per game over that stretch. The Jags were without Allen Robinson down the stretch and the suspended Justin Blackmon for all of 2014. There have been reports that Justin Blackmon's reinstatement request was rejected due to a failed or missed drug test and Cecil Shorts has departed via free agency. That said, Lee appears to be behind both Robinson and Allen Hurns in two-WR sets going into training camp.
Rashad Greene212211.100028.7
Arrelious Benn44200004.2
Justin Blackmon0000000
Neal Sterling0000000

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Julius Thomas566536.2102.5
Slowed by injuries, Thomas followed up a breakout 2013 season with only 43 catches for 489 yards, but he once again scored 12 touchdowns. Signing a massive free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Thomas is unlikely to approach that red-zone success again this year. Aside from the Browns (12), no other team threw fewer touchdowns than the Jaguars (15) last season.
Marcedes Lewis121341.321.2
Clay Harbor101111.117.7
Ben Koyack11001

More Fantasy Football TE Resources:

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July 17, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 10 Teams, 8th Pick, 2-QB League

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 10 teams, No. 8 pick, PPR scoring, 2-QB league
  • Starting lineup: 2 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.08 - Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Lacy started slowly against three tough opponents, but he scored the fourth-most fantasy points (PPR) among running backs from Week 4 on. During that span, Lacy averaged 108.85 scrimmage yards and a touchdown per game.

2.03 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: My fourth-ranked receiver in standard-scoring formats, Jones is second behind only Antonio Brown in PPR formats. Jones shattered his previous career highs with 104 receptions and 1,593 yards last season and should come close to those numbers again in 2015.

3.08 - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Green missed a few games so he failed to build upon 2013's career numbers, but he has four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career. With good health in 2015, Green should finish in the ballpark of 1,300 yards and 10 scores.

4.03 - Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: Despite his slow start in a new offense, Manning still finished with the 10th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks last season. Over the final 10 games, he finished as a top-five weekly fantasy QB five times. With better health from his receivers, a new weapon out of the backfield and more comfort with the offense, Manning could post even better numbers in 2015.

5.08 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: The only concern with Gore is his age (32) and cumulative workload. (I guess that's two concerns, but his cumulative workload wouldn't be so high if he were younger.) That said, Gore has not missed a game in the past four seasons, during which he has rushed for at least 1,100 yards and finished as a top-16 fantasy running back or better. The Colts envision Gore as their workhorse and he gets a huge boost in quarterback and offense with Andrew Luck and the Colts.

6.03 - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings: Bridgewater didn't start the first few games, but it was nice to see his steady development throughout the season. Bridgewater completed 68-plus percent of his pass attempts in each of the final five games of the season. With better weapons and Adrian Peterson back, Bridgewater should be even better in year two.

7.08 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Olsen posted his first-ever 1,000-yard season and now has three consecutive 800-yard campaigns. At a position that lacks consistency, Olsen is a reliable, productive and durable option.

8.03 - Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins: Morris isn't much of a receiver, but he still finished as the RB17 in PPR formats despite the team's offensive struggles. Things could be even better in 2015 as the team improved their run blocking with top-five selection Brandon Scherff and hired Bill Callahan to coordinate the run game.

9.08 - Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants: Unlike Morris, Vereen's one of the league's best receiving backs. Over the past season and a half, Vereen has a total of 99 receptions and should at least be in the flex mix in PPR formats.

10.03 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Jennings turned 30 in March and has struggled with durability throughout his career; Jennings missed five games last season. When he is healthy, however, he should lead the team's backfield in touches and production. And he's a nice value as my RB5.

11.08 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald posted his third consecutive season with less than 1,000 yards. That said, the team was down to their third-string quarterback by the end of the year and Fitzgerald missed a couple of games as well. Meanwhile, his 16-game average (in the 22 games played with Carson Palmer) is 83/1,045/9.

12.03 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Despite the 49ers ranking 31st in passing yards over the past two seasons combined, Boldin has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. While the upside may be somewhat limited, he ranks in the top 10 in most games with five receptions (20) and games with 70-plus yards (15) over the past two seasons.

13.08 - Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: Carr provides some depth at the position, which is nice to have in a 2-QB league. Unlike a 12-teamer, it's possible for all 10 teams to own three QBs apiece, but the QB options on the waiver wire are often very limited in 2-QB formats.

14.03 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Johnson posted solid numbers in the second half of last season and he should build upon last year's momentum. I expect him to lead the team's receivers in fantasy points even though they traded for Mike Wallace this offseason.

15.08 - Denver Broncos D/ST

16.03 - Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys

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Poll: Which 2nd-year WR is a better fantasy option - Benjamin, Cooks or Matthews?

There are many talented second-year NFC wide receivers as five of them rank inside my top-16 fantasy wide receivers for 2015.

Clearly, the top option among the group is New York's Odell Beckham, who currently has a (late) first-round ADP at Fantasy Football Calculator. ODB may not lead the league with 108.8 yards per game again, but he enters 2015 with a streak of four consecutive 8/130/1 (or better) games. And no receiver finished as a top-12 fantasy receiver in a higher percentage (58.3 percent) of his games than Beckham.

While ODB is the consensus top option within the group, Tampa's Mike Evans is widely-viewed as the second-best option within the group. Not only was he one of three rookie receivers to haul in 1,000-plus yards, but he was one of only five receivers to rack up 12-plus scores last season. Playing with a rookie quarterback may lead to some early-season inconsistency, but Jameis Winston is clearly a long-term upgrade over the team's 2014 quarterback play.

That leads us to the other three within the group.

Not only are these three receivers next to each other in my rankings, but their ADPs are bunched together as well -- Kelvin Benjamin (3.12, WR15), Brandin Cooks (4.01, WR16) and Jordan Matthews (4.05, WR17).

Like Evans and Beckham, Benjamin exceeded the 1,000-yard mark last year. Like Evans, he's also a big-bodied receiver that can use his size as an advantage over all cornerbacks in the red zone. One area that he needs to improve considerably is the drops. Per PFF, only Cincinnati's Mohamed Sanu had more drops than Benjamin last season.

Through Week 11 when Cooks sustained a season-ending injury, he was leading all rookies in receptions (53) and had the 25th-most fantasy points among receivers. Once again, Cooks is generated plenty of offseason buzz and he has a tremendous opportunity to take a big step forward if he can stay healthy as the team traded Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills this spring.

Last but not necessarily least, Matthews finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver over the course of the full season despite ranking third among the team's receivers in snaps. With Jeremy Maclin signing with the Chiefs in free agency and Riley Cooper, well, being Riley Cooper, Matthews should lead the group in snaps in 2015. Rookie Nelson Agholor profiles similarly to Maclin, but Matthews could see his production spike to 2014 Maclin levels (85/1,318/10, WR9).

So, out of Benjamin, Cooks and Matthews, which second-year receiver will score the most fantasy points in 2015?

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2016 NFL Mock Draft: Joey Bosa to Titans, 4 QBs in Top 13

It's nearly impossible to nail a mock draft minutes before it starts -- let alone more than nine months beforehand.

With this update of my 2016 NFL Mock Draft, the goal is to highlight some prospects and potential fits at this point. It's fair to say, this mock is going to look a lot different in the days leading up to the draft than it does today.

Obviously one of the challenges of creating a mock draft this far in advance is that we have no idea what the draft order will be. Well, we have "some idea" given that the Seahawks or Packers aren't going to be picking first overall, but you get the point.

The draft order used in this mock is the inverse of our NFL power rankings and we'll continue to use our latest power rankings for future updates until the real draft order is known. Where the order differs is that picks 21-32 include playoff representatives from all eight divisions as well as two wild-card teams from each conference.

With that said, here is my (still) way-too-early 2016 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Tennessee Titans (team draft history): Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

While it's certainly possible that a quarterback gets pushed up to the top spot next April 28th, the teams with top-three selections in this mock all have selected a quarterback with a top-three pick either this year or last year. Meanwhile, there's a good chance that Bosa ends up being the first non-quarterback selected in 2016.

Since arriving in Columbus, Bosa has been one of the most dominant defensive lineman in the country. So much so that one team used Bosa's freshman campaign as a measuring stick for evaluating draft-eligible tackles in 2014 that faced Bosa in 2013. Building upon his strong freshman campaign, Bosa, whose father John was a first-round pick by the Dolphins, posted 13.5 sacks and 20.0 tackles for loss with four fumble recoveries for the national-champion Buckeyes in his true sophomore last season.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (team draft history): Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi

Perhaps Tunsil won't be the first offensive tackle off the board as Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley could certainly hold that honor, but the Jaguars allowed a league-worst 71 sacks in 2014. Even though the team used a top-two selection on Luke Joeckel a couple of drafts ago, the Jags would certainly consider Tunsil (or Stanley) if they don't significantly improve their protection for second-year quarterback Blake Bortles in 2015.

In his two seasons as the Rebels' starting left tackle, Tunsil was named First-Team All-SEC last season after being a Second-Team selection as a true freshman in 2013. Tunsil has allowed just two sacks in his two seasons with Ole Miss.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (team draft history): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

If Bosa and Tunsil were the first two picks, the Bucs would ideally trade back with a QB-needy team here. The Bucs used a pair of 2015 second-round picks -- Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet -- to address their needs along the offensive line. Meanwhile, Demar Dotson played well last year although he's slated to start at right tackle with Smith opposite him.

So, while this doesn't fill the team's most pressing need, GM Jason Licht could view Stanley as the top player available at this spot. Stanley would have likely been the first tackle off the board in 2015 had he not returned for another season in South Bend. Both Dotson and Logan Mankins are set to become free agents after the 2016 season. In addition, Smith could kick inside to Mankins' left guard spot and Dotson is unhappy about his contract situation.

4. Oakland Raiders (team draft history): Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

Selected First-Team All-SEC in both of his years in Gainesville, Hargreaves is the top cornerback prospect eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft. If he were eligible for the 2015 draft, he would have been the first corner off the board. After Hargreaves' freshman season, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared Hargreaves to ex-Gator Joe Haden. Hargreaves led the Gators with three interceptions as a true freshman and added three more last season despite offenses often looking the opposite direction.

5. Washington Redskins (team draft history): Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

A few different quarterbacks could be in play as the first-drafted quarterback in 2016, but if Washington is picking in the top five, it likely means that the team didn't get strong quarterback play from RG3. If Cook had declared for the 2015 NFL Draft, I would have slotted him in behind Winston and Marcus Mariota but ahead of any other quarterbacks in the draft class.

Playing in a pro-style system at Michigan State, Cook has prototypical size (6-4, 220) and arm strength and all of the physical tools to be successful at the next level. Returning for his senior year should help him work on his footwork and improve his accuracy -- only 58.1 and 58.7 completion percentages over the past two seasons, respectively.

6. Chicago Bears (team draft history): Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State

After a strong freshman season (2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions), Hackenberg threw more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (12) as a sophomore and his Y/A and completion percentages dropped from 7.54 to 6.15 and 58.9 to 55.8 percent, respectively. A new coaching staff (Bill O'Brien departed for the NFL), loss of his best receiver (Allen Robinson) and poor offensive line play (44 sacks vs. 21 in 2013) all contributed to his regression in year two.

With a bounce-back season, Hackenberg, who has prototypical tools, could certainly be the most-coveted signal-caller in the 2016 draft class. If the Bears are picking this high in 2016, it's likely that Jay Cutler had another turnover-prone season. Either way, he doesn't appear to be the long-term answer for the new regime in the Windy City.

Related: Ex-PSU WR Allen Robinson is on our list of 12 undervalued fantasy football options

7. Cleveland Browns (team draft history): Jared Goff, QB, California

Since the return of professional football to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had more than 20 different starting quarterbacks and they have used four first-round picks on quarterbacks -- Tim Couch (1999), Brady Quinn (2007), Brandon Weeden (2012) and Johnny Manziel (2014). Even worse, only three of their quarterbacks since 1999 have won double-digit games -- Couch (22), Derek Anderson (16) and Brian Hoyer (10). Goff could be the latest on the long list of Browns' starters. As a true sophomore, the 6-foot-4 Goff threw for 3,973 yards with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

8. New York Jets (team draft history): Robert Nkemdiche, DT/DE, Mississippi

Lofty expectations come with being the top-overall recruit in the nation and some may feel that hasn't fully lived up to those expectations, but Nkemdiche has a rare combination of size, power and athleticism. Along with USC's Leonard Williams, he was named to the 2014 AP All-American Second Team at defensive tackle and one of his strengths, like Williams, is his versatility to play multiple positions along the line.

Muhammad Wilkerson will become a free agent the 2015 season and Sheldon Richardson is due for free agency after the 2016 season. It's certainly possible that the Jets won't be able to re-sign both.

9. San Francsico 49ers (team draft history): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi

A gruesome (broken) ankle injury ended his season in early November, but Treadwell appears to be recovering well and expects to be 100 percent this summer and he's currently running routes "against air." Treadwell, who turned 20 in June, has a great combination of size (6-2, 229), strength and athleticism.

10. Atlanta Falcons (team draft history): Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

With exceptional quickness for his size (6-4, 275), Ogbah had a breakout season with 17.0 tackles for loss and 11.0 sacks as a redshirt sophomore in 2014. If Ogbah builds upon last year's success, there's a chance that he could land in the top 10. While the Falcons drafted Vic Beasley with a top-10 pick last year, adding more pass-rush help would still make sense. Over the past three seasons, the Falcons rank last in the NFL in sacks (83).

11. New York Giants (team draft history): Jalen Ramsey, S, Florida State

Playing both cornerback and safety at Florida State, the versatile Ramsey is an outstanding athlete (ACC indoor/outdoor long jump champion) and finished with 97 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and 12 pass breakups in 2014. Cornerback Prince Amukamara will be a free agent next offseason as well.

12. New Orleans Saints (team draft history): A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama

With the size of a nose tackle (6-4, 320), Robinson has played both nose tackle and defensive end for the Crimson Tide. As a freshman, he actually led Alabama with 5.5 sacks. Only the Giants allowed more yards per carry than the Saints (4.8) last season.

13. Houston Texans (team draft history): Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State

Give the team's quarterback woes, it's not a surprise that no team ran the ball more than the Texans last season and only the Seahawks (28.4/G) and Cowboys (29.8/G) threw it less than the Texans (30.3/G). While Bill O'Brien will roll with a pair of former Patriots backups atop the team's depth chart in 2015, it's likely the team will be in the market for a franchise quarterback next spring.

What a three-game run it was for Cardale Jones to close the 2014 college football season! There was some debate whether or not he should strike while the iron was hot and declare himself eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft, but he ultimately decided to return to school and gain more experience. Returning to Columbus with J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller complicates matters, but one excecutive told Fox Sports: "Maybe he would have gone in the second round, but I think it's just as likely we could have gone in the top 10 or 15. Look at that body, that arm -- and look at his competition (in the 2015 draft)."

14. St. Louis Rams (team draft history): Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Younger brother of Kyle Fuller, who was selected in the first round by the Bears in 2014, Kendall has started all but one of his 26 games with Virginia Tech and has a total of eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups in his two seasons. Meanwhile, two of the team's top three cornerbacks -- Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson -- are scheduled to become free agents after the 2015 season.

15. Minnesota Vikings (team draft history): Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

Starting left tackle Matt Kalil is coming off a disappointing season and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2016. The Vikings used some mid-to-late round picks on offensive tackles -- T.J. Clemmings (fourth round), Tyrus Thompson (sixth) and Austin Shepherd (seventh) -- but Decker would become the team's starting left tackle for the next decade.

16. San Diego Chargers (team draft history): DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

With similar size (6-7, 290) as ex-teammate Arik Armstead, who was the 17th overall pick in 2015, Buckner was the more productive and consistent of the two defensive linemen. Buckner led the team with 13 tackles for loss and led the defensive line with 81 tackles.

- Continue to picks 17-32 in our 2016 NFL Mock Draft

- For more mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database.

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July 16, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 6 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 6 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.06 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Scoring close to 20 percent more fantasy points than last year's TE2, there is no player more dominant atop their respective position than Gronkowski. While Gronk has the high upside of 100-yard, two-TD games, no tight end was more consistent -- Gronk had 13 top-12 weekly finishes in 15 games last year.

2.07 - LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: It was a disappointing season for McCoy, who barely finished as a top-12 fantasy running back despite being the first or second pick in most drafts. The transition to a less-potent offense with a worse offensive line and quarterback situation certainly doesn't bode well for McCoy, but he should once again rank near the top of the league in terms of touches.

3.06 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Tying career highs of 82 receptions and seven touchdowns, Hilton's per-game yardage spiked to 89.7/G -- compared to his previous career high of 67.7/G. Hilton was slowed by a hamstring injury down the stretch, however, and he actually averaged 99.6 YPG in his first 13 games before the injury.

4.07 - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: It was an injury-riddled season for Ellington as he dealt with a foot injury all season until landing on IR. Averaging more than 20 touches per game, Ellington's per-carry effectiveness dropped markedly (5.5 YPC in 2013 to 3.3 YPC last year) as a result. Even with the team drafting David Johnson in the third round, there are some reasons for cautious optimism with Ellington: (1) he's healthy, at least for now, (2) the upgrades to the offensive line and (3) the coaching staff still seems intent to feed Ellington the ball a lot. (Of course, the concern is that No. 3 impacts No. 1.)

5.06 - C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints: Since his 2012 breakout season, it has been a frustrating two seasons for Spiller's fantasy owners. No longer a square peg in a round hole, Spiller may not rush for 1,200 yards ever again, but his effectiveness should be maximized in both real and fantasy football by a better and more creative coaching staff.

6.07 - Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets: With the Jets ranking last in the NFL in passing yards over the past two years combined, it's far from an upgrade for Marshall in terms of offense. That said, I think a change of scenery may do him well after last year's disaster. Marshall missed a few games and played at less than 100 percent in others, but I expect him to bounce back with a 1,000-yard season.

7.06 - Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Devonta Freeman may top the team's running back depth chart currently, but I expect Coleman to occupy that role by season's end. No rookie running back is a bigger home-run threat every time he touches the ball, but we could see plenty of week-to-week inconsistency from Coleman.

8.07 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: As noted above, Freeman is currently atop the depth chart. And while he may not hold on to that role throughout the season, the duo will both be prominently involved in the ground game, putting both backs in the weekly flex mix.

9.06 - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Assuming that the league doesn't completely overturn Brady's suspension, he appears ready to take the NFL to court. And given the league's track record in those situations, it's at least a possibility that Brady is on the field in Week 1. Even if he's not, Brady has the potential to finish as a top-five QB in per-game fantasy production.

10.07 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: In his first season in Bill Lazor's offense, Tannehill posted career highs across the board and finished as the QB8 in 2014. At a minimum, Tannehill is a quality spot starter in games Brady misses, but it's certainly possible that he outscores Brady on a per-game basis (like last year) as well.

11.06 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: With an impressive combination of size (6-2, 225) and speed (sub-4.4), Johnson had a strong second half, emerging as a viable fantasy WR2/3. Reports this offseason have been positive and I expect Johnson to build upon last year's momentum and finish as the team's most productive fantasy receiver even though they traded for Mike Wallace this offseason.

12.07 - Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: Colston set career lows on a per-game basis in targets, receptions and yards last season, but the offseason moves should lead to expanded opportunities and production for him in 2015.

13.06 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.07 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Could Randle repeat last year's top-35 performance? Maybe not given better health from Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham, who missed 14 games combined last season, but Randle just turned 24 in May and the team will utilize three-WR sets often enough to keep Randle plenty involved in the team's passing attack.

15.06 - Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons

- View full mock draft results here

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2015 Fantasy Football Resources:

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July 15, 2015

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos agree to 5-year, $70M deal

Within the past hour, the Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant agreed to a five-year deal, which increased the odds of Demaryius Thomas and the Denver Broncos getting a deal done.

And they have.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the deal is also for five years and worth $70 million with $43.5 million guaranteed.

In his three seasons playing with Peyton Manning, Thomas has exceeded 90 receptions and 1,400 yards with double-digit scores each season and set career highs in receptions (111) and yards (1,619) last year.

During that span, Thomas ranks third in receptions (297) behind Andre Johnson (306) and Antonio Brown (305), second in yards (4,483) behind Calvin Johnson (4,533) and second in receiving touchdowns (35, tied with Jimmy Graham) behind Bryant (41).

Thomas is my second-ranked fantasy wide receiver heading into the 2015 season and I have him projected for a 102/1,459/12 stat line.

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Dez Bryant, Cowboys agree to 5-year, $70M deal

Ahead of today's 4:00 PM deadline, the Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Dez Bryant have agreed to a five-year deal worth a total of $70 million, of which $45 million is guaranteed, per ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Per PFT's Mike Florio, $23 million is guaranteed now via signing bonus and salary with the remaining $22 million becoming guaranteed in March 2016.

Earlier today, Kansas City's Justin Houston and New England's Stephen Gostkowski agreed to long-term deals, which means that Denver's Demaryius Thomas and New York's Jason Pierre-Paul are the only two franchised players yet to reach a long-term deal before today's cutoff.

With the Bryant deal in place, however, Thomas and the Broncos have the framework to get the deal done even though they only have roughly 30 minutes.

Bryant posted 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and an NFL-high 16 touchdowns last season. Over the past three seasons, his 41 touchdowns ranks first among wide receivers and only Marshawn Lynch has more total touchdowns (43) during that span.

Going into the 2015 season, Thomas and Bryant are my second- and third-ranked fantasy wide receivers, respectively.

Several high-profile wide receivers -- Atlanta's Julio Jones, Cincinnati's A.J. Green and Indianapolis' T.Y. Hilton -- become unrestricted free agents next offseason.

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 12 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 12 pick, point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.12 - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Lynch has exceeded 1,200-plus yards with double-digit touchdowns in all four of his full seasons in Seattle. In fact, no player has more rushing yards or total touchdowns than Lynch during that span. Perhaps better in standard-scoring formats, Lynch has at least 36 receptions in each of the past two years and finished as a top-four fantasy running back in PPR formats in 2014.

2.01 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Only a few hours until the 4 PM deadline to reach a long-term deal, Thomas and the Broncos have reportedly not had any dialogue over the past month. Without a new deal, it's unclear when Thomas would report and how that would impact his chemistry with Peyton Manning in a new system, but he has averaged 99/1,494/12 in his three seasons with Peyton.

3.12 - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints: Before a season-ending Week 11 injury, Cooks had scored the 25th-most fantasy points among receivers and was leading rookies in receptions (53). With the team's offseason moves, Cooks is poised for a major breakout in 2015.

4.01 - Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins: Highly productive on a per-touch basis (5.1 YPC), Miller exceeded 15 carries in only four games last season. Despite less work than his fantasy owners would have liked, Miller still finished as the RB9 in PPR formats last year. The addition of rookie Jay Ajayi keeps his upside in check, but it's unlikely that the Dolphins give him less work in 2015. He's a solid RB2 for this squad.

5.12 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton has now started his NFL career with four consecutive seasons of 3,000-plus passing yards and 500-plus rushing yards. And while he had a disappointing season in 2014, Newton had finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in each of his first three seasons. With good health in 2015, he has top-four upside and was the QB6 in this mock.

6.01 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Olsen posted his first-ever 1,000-yard season in 2014 and has at least 800 yards in each of the past three years. Over that three-year span, Jimmy Graham is the only tight end with more receiving yards than Olsen; only Graham and Jason Witten have more receptions.

7.12 - T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags used a top-36 pick on Yeldon to be the team's featured back. While the offense in general caps his upside, Yeldon could finish in the top-10 in the league in touches as a rookie.

8.01 - Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams: There is no denying Gurley's talent; many people he's the most-talented back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson. That said, it's unclear what he'll provide early in the season as he continues his rehab from a torn ACL last year.

9.12 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald has fallen short of 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons and had only four yards more than his rookie-season career low of 780 yards last year. With good health from Carson Palmer, however, Fitzgerald could end that streak. In 22 games with Palmer as his quarterback, Fitzgerald has averaged 5.18/65.32/0.55 per game -- equivalent to a 16-game pace of 83/1,045/9.

10.01 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Johnson emerged in the second half of last season as the team's top receiver. With continued development of their second-year quarterback, Johnson should pick up where he left off last season.

11.12 - Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots: A nice value as my WR5, LaFell shattered previous career highs in his first year with Tom Brady and the Patriots. Given that the team did not add much talent to the receiving corps through free agency or the draft, LaFell could repeat last year's career numbers.

12.01 - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: Kaepernick had a disappointing season in 2014, but he is a high-upside backup for this team due to his rushing ability. In addition, the team should throw the ball more often given the turnover in personnel.

13.12 - Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: Colston posted per-game career lows in targets, receptions and yards last season, but the trades of Graham and Kenny Stills should allow Colston to improve upon all of those numbers in 2015.

14.01 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

15.12 - Shaun Suisham, K, Pittsburgh Steelers

- View full mock draft results here

Mock Draft Simulator: Customize and complete your own mock drafts with our free simulator.

2015 Fantasy Football Resources:

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2015 Fantasy Football: 12 Undervalued Options Based on Current ADP

Regardless of your strategy on roster construction, one of the keys to fantasy football success is uncovering undervalued players throughout your draft(s).

Taking a look at average draft position (ADP) from Fantasy Football Calculator, I have identified several players that should generate positive returns for their owners if drafted at their current ADPs.

Later this summer, I'll examine the ADP of specific sites that run fantasy leagues (e.g., Yahoo!, ESPN, etc.) since ADPs tend to vary signficantly from site to site. (Of course, their ADPs are heavily impacted by the rankings of their analysts.)

With that said, here are 12 undervalued options based on current ADP from FFC:

QB - Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (current ADP: 6.10, QB7)

Missing two games and playing at less than 100 percent for much of last season, it was a down year for Newton. Despite the down year, Newton finished seventh in fantasy points per game (17.78) among QBs. Before last season, Newton finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in each of his first three NFL seasons.

Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons; no other quarterback in NFL history has more than three 3,000/500 seasons. Over those four seasons, he has averaged 3,606 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns per season with 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.

With better health in 2015, Newton has top-three upside and is available long after the first three quarterbacks are off the board -- Andrew Luck (2.03), Aaron Rodgers (2.07) and Peyton Manning (4.02).

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (ADP: 9.02, QB12)

With a new offensive coordinator and scheme, there was certainly an adjustment period for Eli and the Giants offense last season. In the first six games, Eli finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in all but one game. Over the final 10 games of the season, however, Manning posted five weekly top-five performances.

Over the course of the full season, Manning's 2014 numbers were good enough to finish as fantasy's QB10. Manning completed a career-high 63.1 percent of his pass attempts for 4,410 yards and 30 touchdowns, both of which were the second-most in his career, and cut his interceptions roughly in half (27 to 14).

As good as things were down the stretch last year, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015 assuming better health from his wide receivers -- Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz missed 14 games last season -- along with the free-agent addition of one of the league's best receiving backs, Shane Vereen. And of course, he will have more comfort and familiarity with Ben McAdoo's offense.

Based on the fantasy points allowed last year of this year's opponents, Manning faces the third-softest fantasy strength of schedule after Tampa and Washington.

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 2.05, RB11)

Over the final nine games of the season, Hill had 22-plus carries and 100-plus rushing yards five times including the final three games of the regular season. During that nine-game span, Hill had 172 carries for 929 yards and six touchdowns and no running back had more rushing yards than Hill during that stretch. (Marshawn Lynch was second with 824 yards.)

Hill finished as a top-10 fantasy running back in 2014 with only 222 carries, a number that I project to spike by more than 70 carries in 2015. Meanwhile, the 238-pound Hill was tied for third in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (nine) behind only Lynch and DeMarco Murray (13 each).

Going into the 2015 season, Hill is clearly the team's lead back with Giovani Bernard back as the change-of-pace option. As the lead back in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses, Hill should rank near the league leaders in workload and goal-line opportunities.

Given his top-10 finish last year on a lighter workload than he'll get this year, I don't understand why the second-year back is currently going outside the top-10 fantasy running backs. I'd confidently take Hill at the end of Round 1.

Related: My 2015 Fantasy Football Profile for Hill

RB - Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (ADP: 4.08, RB21)

Over the final five games of the season, Stewart, who recently turned 28, rushed for 486 yards on 91 carries (5.34 YPC) and only Murray (491) had more during that span. With DeAngelo Williams now in Pittsburgh, the team finally recognizes that The Daily Show gives their offense the best opportunity for success.

Durability has been a concern for Stewart, however, as he has played only 28 games over the past three seasons. That said, Stewart has been productive on a per-touch basis with a per-carry average of 4.63 over his career. If Stewart can play at least 14 games, something he hasn't done since 2011, he should easily outproduce his current ADP.

RB - Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers (ADP: 11.09, RB50)

Woodhead only played the first three games after breaking his ankle last season, but he has looked "fast and healthy" in OTAs. And even though Melvin Gordon will get the bulk of early-down work, Woodhead should get the majority of third-down snaps and plenty of red-zone snaps.

Prior to last year's injury-shortened season, Woodhead had finished as a top-27 fantasy running back in three of his previous four seasons. (And that's in standard-scoring formats.) In his first full season with the Chargers (2013) which also coincided with the only full 16-game season for Ryan Mathews, Woodhead had 1,034 yards from scrimmage, 76 receptions and eight total touchdowns.

WR - Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (ADP: 5.07, WR23)

Last year was a year to forget for Marshall, the team's offense and the team in general. Missing three games and hobbled in others, Marshall's 61 receptions and 721 yards were the lowest since his 2006 rookie season. Transitioning to the team that ranked last in the NFL in passing yards over the past two seasons combined shouldn't be viewed as a positive, but I think a change of scenery and fresh start could be a positive for Marshall.

While a return to his 2012 or 2013 numbers is unlikely, I expect a bounce-back season to 1,000-plus yards in 2015. Before last year, Marshall had seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in stints with Denver, Miami and Chicago. Based on my 2015 wide receiver projections, Marshall is the WR16 (83/1,013/8).

WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 6.08, WR28)

While his season was cut short by a Week 10 foot injury, Robinson was quietly off to a strong rookie season. From Weeks 2 to 10, Robinson averaged 5.22 receptions and 60.89 yards per game with a minimum of four receptions every game during that span. And while Robinson couldn't extend his streak of nine consecutive four-catch games due to his injury, only five players had a longer streak of games with four-plus catches last year.

By all accounts, the 21-year-old Robinson (turns 22 next month) has had an impressive offseason. As ESPN's Mike DiRocco writes, "Robinson had numerous 'wow' catches and was the most impressive offensive player on the field."

With good health, Robinson is poised for a breakout season in 2015. Compared to his June 1st ADP of 9.06, Robinson's draft-day cost continues to rise. As I tweeted earlier in the week, no player has seen their ADP rise more than Robinson over the past four weeks. That said, he still remains underpriced as he projects as my WR21 (compared to his WR28 ADP).

WR - Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 11.03; WR49

While the Jets have the fewest passing yards over the past two seasons, the 49ers have the second least. Despite that, Boldin has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Niners. In addition, both of his yardage totals (1,179 and 1,062, respectively) were higher than any of his previous six seasons.

Boldin is unlikely to blow up for 150 yards and two touchdowns in any given week, but he provides owners with consistent production. Over the past two seasons, Boldin has only three 100-yard games, but he ranks in the top-10 over that span in games with five-plus catches (20) and games with 70-plus yards (15).

Perhaps he slows down some as he turns 35 in October, but he's never been all that fast. There have been 12 age-35 1,000-yard receivers in NFL history. I expect Boldin to be the 13th.

Going late in draft's last season (2014 ADP: WR45), Boldin was tied for the 21st-most fantasy points among receivers in 2014. As my 31st-ranked wideout, Boldin should easily exceed his current draft position in 2015.

Related: My 2015 Fantasy Football Profile for Boldin

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 9.04, WR40)

Fitzgerald had 63 receptions for 784 yards and a career-low two touchdowns last season. In addition, his 784 yards were only four more than the career low he had as a rookie. Given the injuries to Carson Palmer and then Drew Stanton, the decline certainly wasn't solely the fault of Fitzgerald, who also missed two games. That said, Fitzgerald now has three consecutive seasons with less than 1,000 yards.

If Carson Palmer can stay healthy in 2015, there is upside for Fitzgerald based on his current ADP. Looking back at the 22 games in which Fitzgerald and Palmer have played together, Fitzgerald has averaged 5.18 receptions, 65.32 yards and 0.55 touchdowns. That pace extrapolates to a 16-game line of 83/1,045/9.

WR - Rueben Randle, New York Giants (ADP: 12.07, WR55)

Finishing as a top-35 fantasy wide receiver last season, Randle finished with 71 receptions for 938 yards and three touchdowns on 127 targets. Injuries to ODB and then Cruz opened up opportunities for Randle last season. Given the frequency that the team uses three-WR sets, however, that trio should be on the field together often in 2015.

While Randle is entering his fourth NFL season, he just turned 24 years old in May so his best should be ahead of him. Eli said of Randle last month, "I think Rueben’ll have a big year. I think Rueben can be a great receiver, a dominant receiver. ..." His upside may be capped some if both Cruz and Beckham stay healthy for a full season, but Randle should easily outperform his WR55 ADP.

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 8.04, TE7)

Ertz saw a year-over-year jump from 36 catches and 469 yards as a rookie to 58 catches for 702 yards, 11th-most among tight ends last season, despite playing roughly half of the team's offensive snaps. With Jeremy Maclin leaving Philadelphia for Kansas City, however, Ertz should become more involved in the passing game.

As Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice wrote, "I feel fairly ceretain (sic) that if the Eagles play him as much as they should this season, he's going to put up bigtime numbers." And Chip Kelly has praised Ertz work ethic this offseason:

"A lot of guys do things and try to get with a coach to prepare them for the Combine but then they forget about that. Zach [Ertz] is not that type. He was traveling all over the country trying to make himself a better blocker, a better receiver, doing all the little teeny things that's going to make him kind of take that next step, and that's what we're excited to see where he goes with that."

Ertz is my fifth-ranked tight end and currently the seventh off the board.

TE - Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: Undrafted)

If you're looking to punt tight end in a deeper league, Miller offers some value as (at least) 24 other tight ends are being drafted, on average, before Miller. Parlaying his 91 targets last season into a 66/761/3 stat line, Miller scored the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2014.

While he has only four touchdowns in 30 games over the past two seasons, he's one of 10 tight ends I have projected for 60-plus catches in 2015. While he's my 15th-ranked tight end going into the season, it wouldn't surprise me if Miller finished as a low-end TE1 once again in 2015. At a minimum, it's unlikely that 24 tight ends score more fantasy points than he does in 2015.

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July 14, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 14 Teams, No. 5 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 14 teams, No. 5 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Eight bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.05 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Once Bell serves his three-game suspension to start the season, I expect him to score the most fantasy points from Weeks 4 to 17. In fact, I have him projected to score just 0.3 fantasy points shy of my RB1, Jamaal Charles, for the full season despite missing three games.

2.10 - Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens: One of the biggest surprises in fantasy (or real) football last season, Forsett doubled his previous career high with 1,266 rushing yards and scored the eighth-most fantasy points among running backs. With Marc Trestman running the team's offense in 2015, Forsett may not rush for 1,200-plus yards again, but he should easily set a new career high in receptions.

3.05 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: The Chargers traded up to take Gordon with a top-15 pick in this year's draft and Gordon should lead all rookie running backs in 2015 production even though I like the long-term outlook of Todd Gurley more. MG3 gives this team three top-14 running backs to start my draft.

4.10 - Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers: After a 1,000-yard rookie season in 2013, it was a disappointing sophomore campaign for Allen -- 77/783/4. On a positive note, his receptions and targets increased and the four-game suspension of Antonio Gates should lead to more targets (and production) in 2015. The sacrifice of starting RB-RB-RB is that it leaves me with Allen as my WR1.

Related: Full 2015 Fantasy Football Projections for the San Diego Chargers

5.05 - Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: Tate posted career numbers (99/1,331/4) aided by Calvin Johnson's early-to-midseason injury. Megatron missed three games and was a decoy in a couple of others. That said, Tate is a solid WR2 in a 14-team league even if Johnson plays a full 16-game season, something he hasn't done since 2012.

6.10 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: With Jeremy Maclin signing a free-agent deal with the Chiefs, Ertz could end up more involved in the team's passing attack in 2015. As I tweeted yesterday, Ertz's ADP has risen by more than any other tight end over the past month.

7.05 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Setting career highs across the board, Tannehill scored the eighth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks and finished the season strong. Over the final 11 games, he finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six games.

8.10 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Freeman currently sits atop the team's running back depth chart. Although his role may (is likely) change by the end of the season with the team using a third-round pick on Tevin Coleman, both backs figure to be part of a committee throughout the season. Freeman provides some more running back depth.

9.05 - Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants: While he's better in a PPR format, Vereen has a total of 99 receptions over the past season and a half. My top-ranked running back available at this point, Vereen is at least in the flex mix for a 14-teamer although he's my RB5.

10.10 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: The sixth running back with my first 10 picks, Woodhead is often overlooked by fantasy owners. Before last year's injury-shortened season, Woodhead finished as a top-27 fantasy running back in three of the previous four years -- and that's in standard-scoring formats. While MG3 should dominate the early-down work, Woodhead should see the bulk of third-down snaps.

11.05 - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings: Bridgewater closed the season strong as he completed 70-percent of his pass attempts in four of his final five games. While it was good to see a young quarterback progress throughout the season, there is typically plenty of gains made in the offseason leading into a quarterback's second season. And the return of Adrian Peterson will certainly help open things up in the passing game.

12.10 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle posted top-35 fantasy numbers in his age-23 season as he finished with 71 receptions for 938 yards, both of which set career highs. Earlier this offseason, Eli Manning projected a breakout season for Randle. While a healthy Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham may cap his upside some, Randle just turned 24 years old this spring.

13.05 - Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers: Floyd played 16 games last year and that was only the second time in his career that he has done so. Over the past five seasons, however, Floyd has finished as a top-38 fantasy receiver in four of those seasons. (The exception was 2013 when he played just two games.)

14.10 - Kenny Britt, WR, St. Louis Rams: In 2014, Britt had 748 yards, the second-most in his career, but a huge portion of his production came after the injury to Brian Quick. That said, Britt gets a quarterback upgrade with Nick Foles and should finish as a top-70 receiver as my WR5.

15.05 - Steve Johnson, WR, San Diego Chargers: I expect Floyd to outscore Johnson, but I could be wrong and as noted earlier, Floyd has struggled with durability. Johnson barely has 1,000 yards over his past two seasons, but he had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2010 to 2012.

16.10 - Green Bay Packers D/ST

17.05 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens:

18.10 - Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers: Unintentionally, this team loaded up on Chargers, but I certainly didn't expect Green to last until the 248th pick. At a minimum, he should see a substantial role during Gates' suspension, but he has mismatch-creating athleticism and this opportunity may open the door for an expanded role even after Gates returns.

- View full mock draft results here

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2015 Fantasy Football Profile: San Francisco 49ers WR Anquan Boldin

Leading up to the start of the 2015 NFL season, we will post a fantasy profile and outlook for all fantasy-relevant players.

The Honda Civic of fantasy wide receivers, Anquan Boldin is not flashy but he's a reliable option that provides good value to fantasy owners.

Traded to the 49ers by the Ravens for a late-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Boldin enters his third season with the club after two productive campaigns. Even though the 49ers have the second-fewest pass attempts and passing yards over the past two seasons, Boldin has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns for the Niners.

With 83 receptions for 1,062 yards and five touchdowns, Boldin scored the 21st-most fantasy points among wide receivers last season. And Boldin was even better the previous season with an 85/1,179/7 stat line (WR15) in 2013.

Both of those 1,000-yard seasons ended a three-year streak with less than 1,000 yards, but Boldin's yardage in each of the past two seasons have been his highest since 2006 (1,203) with the Cardinals.

Comparing his average draft position (ADP) prior to the past two seasons -- 2013 (ADP: WR33, 7.11 overall) and 2014 (WR45, 10.05), Boldin vastly outperformed his draft status.

One obvious concern is that Boldin turns 35 years old in October, but his game isn't predicated on speed. In other words, I don't expect a precipitous drop in his production from the previous two seasons.

Plenty of 35-year-old receivers have recorded 1,000-yard seasons; 12 to be exact including Baltimore's Steve Smith last season. It's much more difficult at 36 years old; only three players have ever done so although Jerry Rice (age-36, -39 and -40 seasons) did it three times.

With the 49ers letting Michael Crabtree walk in free agency, they reunited Boldin with his ex-Ravens teammate Torrey Smith. Filling the vertical-threat void in the 49ers offense that can take advantage of Colin Kaepernick's strong arm, Smith is a bit of a boom-or-bust (TD-dependent) option among the team's receivers.

Given the turnover to the 49ers personnel (and coaching staff, for that matter), it's likely that they find themselves in more passing situations in 2015. Based on odds from Sportsbook.ag, the 49ers over/under is just 6.5 wins and their Super Bowl 50 odds are +6,500 (only six teams have worse odds).

Boldin began the 49ers stint of his career with a massive 13/208/1 game, but he isn't a high-ceiling receiver that will have a number of monster games.

In fact, he has just three 100-yard games over the past two seasons, but he provides fantasy owners with consistent production on a weekly basis.

Over the past two seasons, Boldin has five-plus receptions in 20 games, which is tied for ninth-most in the NFL during that span. In addition, Boldin has 15 games with 70-plus yards over the past two years; only seven receivers have more.

Fantasy Strength of Schedule: Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers last season of the team's opponents through Week 16 this year, the 49ers have the seventh-most difficult fantasy strength of schedule. All three of their opponents during the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16) ranked in the top-half of the league in fewest fantasy points allowed to receivers -- Browns (14th-fewest), Bengals (third-fewest) and Lions (ninth-fewest), respectively.

Bottom Line: Boldin's current ADP stands at 11.04 (WR50), per Fantasy Football Calculator. While I do expect a slight dip in production compared to his previous two seasons, he's still the WR31 in my fantasy projections. Comparing his WR50 ADP to last year's WR50 (Andrew Hawkins) in terms of fantasy points scored, the approximate bar that Boldin needs to reach value is a stat line 63/825/2 (Hawkins' 2014 stat line). Perhaps you won't be excited to draft Boldin, but maybe you should given the sizable draft-day discount.

2015 Fantasy Football Projection: 77 Receptions, 1,025 Yards, 5.3 Touchdowns

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July 13, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 7 Pick, Super Flex

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 7 pick, standard scoring, Super Flex
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and QB-eligible Flex (QB, RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.07 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Facing a three-game ban to start the year, Bell is still the RB2 in my 2015 Fantasy Football Projections. In fact, he's just 0.3 fantasy points behind my RB1 (Jamaal Charles).

2.06 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Before last year's disappointing season, Newton finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in each of his first three seasons. Despite playing at less than 100 percent, Newton still averaged the seventh-most fantasy points per game among QBs last year. The seventh QB off the board in this mock, Newton is the QB4 in my rankings.

3.07 - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Green missed three games last season so his numbers dipped year over year, but Green has four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to start his career. With good health, Green should finish with roughly 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns.

4.06 - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: Kaepernick set career highs in pass attempts (478) and passing yards (3,369) last season and the team should find themselves in more passing situations with the roster turnover this offseason. That said, Kaepernick's upside comes from his rushing -- 1,578 yards and 10 touchdowns over the past three seasons.

5.07 - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers: Durability is a concern for Stewart, who has played just 28 games over the past three seasons, but he was highly productive down the stretch as the team's featured back. Over the final five games of the season, Stewart ranked second in the NFL in rushing behind only DeMarco Murray.

6.06 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Despite playing roughly half of the team's snaps in his first 10 games, Kelce posted a strong stat line (67/862/5) in 2014. With no health/snap restrictions heading into 2015, the sky's the limit for Kelce.

7.07 - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Ellington battled injuries all season and finished the year on IR. That said, the Cardinals gave him more than 20 touches per game. The Cards have upgraded their run blocking in free agency and the draft and Ellington is a quality option here to at least fill the void during Bell's suspension.

8.06 - Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Bryant burst onto the scene with six touchdowns in his first four games. And while he was (much) less productive over the rest of the season, Bryant is a high-upside WR2 heading into 2015.

9.07 - Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: Tate posted career numbers (99/1,331/4), but that was partly Megatron-aided. Calvin Johnson missed three games and was a decoy in two others. Even if Megatron plays a full 16-game season, something he hasn't done since 2012, Tate is still a solid WR3 for this team.

10.06 - Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: With a couple of 1,000-yard seasons under his belt, Mathews enters 2015 second on the depth chart behind Murray. With 497 total touches last season, however, Murray has plenty of durability risk, which could lead to some big games for Mathews (provided he can stay healthy).

11.07 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald has finished with less than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, but quarterback injuries have also contributed to his modest production. In the 22 games played with Carson Palmer over the past two years, Fitzgerald has averaged 5.18/65.32/0.55 -- equivalent to 83/1,045/9 over 16 games.

12.06 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers have the second-fewest passing yards over the past two seasons yet Boldin has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He may not finish as a WR2-type (top-24) option for a third straight season with the Niners, but he's a nice value -- even if somewhat boring -- as my WR5.

13.07 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.06 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Finishing as a top-35 fantasy receiver in 2014, Randle posted career highs of 71 catches for 938 yards in his age-23 season. With a healthier receiving corps (Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz missed 14 games in total), Randle's upside may be capped, but Eli Manning has projected a breakout season for Randle.

15.07 - Nick Novak, K, San Diego Chargers:

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Dez Bryant tweets that he won't show without a long-term deal

We are roughly 48 hours from Wednesday's deadline for franchised players and their teams to reach long-term deals. If the two sides don't reach a deal prior to the July 15th deadline, the two sides can't negotiate a long-term deal until after the 2015 NFL season.

There was some speculation last week that the Dallas Cowboys and their franchised player, Dez Bryant, would reach an agreement prior to the cutoff, but that appears less likely as the deadline approaches.

If the two sides can't come to an agreement, Bryant has tweeted that he would sit out.

More than likely, this is a bluff. And more than likely, the Cowboys view it as such as well. After all, Bryant didn't even stay away from the last day of the team's mandatory three-day mini-camp last month when he wasn't obligated to report or participate.

If I were Bryant, I'd certainly threaten to sit out real games with the deadline looming. Absent a long-term deal, I'd also sit out training camp and preseason games.

But why forfeit more than $754,000 in weekly game checks to sit out regular-season games when it's impossible to sign a long-term deal beyond July 15th? How does that benefit Bryant?

Going into the 2015 season, Bryant is my third-ranked fantasy wide receiver and I expect him to be on the field on September 13th against the Giants.

Over the past three seasons, Bryant has a total of 273 catches for 3,935 yards and 41 touchdowns. The only player with more touchdowns over that span is Marshawn Lynch (43).

(As of now, the NFL season will kick off with Tom Brady and Le'Veon Bell (as well as LeGarrette Blount) suspended for the first primetime game of the year and with Bryant threatening to hold out of the second primetime game of the year.)

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2015 Fantasy Football Average Draft Position (ADP) Weekly Movers: July 13th Update

Every Monday this offseason, we post an update in players that have had the biggest moves — both up and down — in fantasy football average draft position (ADP) from the previous week.

With this information, we can get a better sense of changes in the collective perceptions of fantasy football owners (mock drafters); in essence, it's a version of fantasy stock up/down for players. If a player is moving up the ADP chart, it may lead us to using a higher pick than his current ADP to make sure we secure a targeted player.

Of course, a player's ADP (and movement) is just one (small) piece in determining who to draft and our strategy used to assemble a fantasy roster.

For purposes of our weekly comparison(s), we use ADP data from 12-team mock drafts from Fantasy Football Calculator.

Biggest weekly gainers in ADP.

Quarterbacks:

  1. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears: -6.3 (156.4 on 7/6 to 150.1 on 7/13)
  2. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans: -3.0 (160.2 to 157.2)
  3. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins: -2.2 (165.1 to 162.9)

Running Backs:

  1. Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers: -6.9 (151.1 to 144.2)
  2. Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers: -6.6 (136.2 to 129.6)
  3. James Starks, Green Bay Packers: -5.5 (158.4 to 152.4)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks: -6.4 (165.9 to 159.5)
  2. Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts: -4.8 (162.9 to 158.1)
  3. Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles: -4.2 (81.4 to 77.2)

Tight Ends:

  1. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans: -11.2 (134.4 to 123.2)
  2. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys: -4.2 (122.2 to 118.0)
  3. Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints: -3.9 (115.9 to 112.0)

Biggest weekly fallers in ADP.

Quarterbacks:

  1. Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams: +9.6 (154.1 to 163.7)
  2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots: +3.1 (81.6 to 84.7)
  3. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins: +2.4 (99.6 to 102.0)

Running Backs:

  1. Terrance West, Cleveland Browns: +8.2 (149.2 to 157.4)
  2. Dan Herron, Indianapolis Colts: +7.8 (148.4 to 156.2)
  3. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins: +2.7 (125.0 to 127.7)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals: +6.4 (139.0 to 145.4)
  2. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts: +4.9 (154.3 to 159.2)
  3. Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens: +4.3 (102.9 to 107.2)

Tight Ends:

  1. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: +28.9 (116.2 to 145.1)
  2. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills: +7.7 (160.5 to 168.2)
  3. Larry Donnell, New York Giants: +4.3 (154.3 to 158.6)

[Note: Negative numbers mean the player's ADP is improving (i.e., being drafted earlier) and vice versa.]

- Fantasy Football ADP Risers/Fallers: See full grid of player changes in ADP over past week

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2015 Fantasy Football Profile: Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill

Leading up to the start of the 2015 NFL season, we will post a fantasy profile and outlook for all fantasy-relevant players.

Going into last season, the Cincinnati Bengals had one of the league's better 1-2 rushing attacks with Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. They still do, but their roles are reversed entering the 2015 season.

As a rookie, Jeremy Hill posted excellent full-season numbers -- 1,124 rushing yards, 5.1 yards per carry, 27 receptions for 215 yards and nine touchdowns. Finishing as a top-10 fantasy running back on the season, Hill vastly outperformed his average draft position (ADP) of 9.02 (via Fantasy Football Calculator).

With Bernard missing three games starting in Week 9 last season, Hill emerged as the team's lead back.

In that Week 9 matchup against the Jaguars, Hill rushed 24 times for a season-high 154 yards and two touchdowns and added a catch for nine yards. Hill had another 100-yard game -- 27 carries for 152 yards against the Saints -- in the game before Bernard returned.

Once Bernard returned, Hill remained in the lead-back role.

Over the final nine games of the season (including the three Bernard missed), Hill rushed for a total of 929 yards on 172 carries (5.40 YPC) with six touchdowns and added 14 receptions for 84 yards. Hill's 929 rushing yards during that span led the NFL; Seattle's Marshawn Lynch was second (824). In addition, all five of Hill's 100-yard rushing games came during that nine-game span.

Hill's per-game rushing average over that stretch was 19.11 carries, 103.22 yards and 0.67 touchdowns per game. That's the equivalent of a 16-game pace of 306 carries, 1,652 yards and 11 touchdowns.

While he may not maintain a 306/1,652/11 pace over a full season, the 238-pound Hill was at his best when he received a heavy workload. As noted by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Hill averaged 5.6 YPC in games where he had at least 15 carries.

Looking back at that highly-productive nine-game span, Hill finished as the top-scoring weekly fantasy running back twice in addition to having three other top-12 weekly finishes. In 2014, he was one of only three backs to finish as fantasy's RB1 in more than one week. Lynch and Le'Veon Bell were the others.

While Hill can be a productive receiver out of the backfield, Bernard will likely handle the majority of third-down snaps. Using the the final three games as an example, Hill and Bernard showed that both backs can be productive fantasy options. In each of those games, Hill carried the ball 22-plus times for 100-plus yards and Bernard finished as the weekly RB11, RB17 and RB13 in those games, respectively.

That said, Hill should average 18-plus carries per game as the team's primary back on early downs. In Hue Jackson's first year of running the offense, Andy Dalton threw the ball a career-low 481 times while the Bengals had the league's fifth-highest run-play percentage (47.59 percent) in 2014.

In addition to the majority of carries between the tackles, Hill will get the bulk of goal-line carries as well. Only Lynch and DeMarco Murray (13 each) scored more rushing touchdowns than Hill last season.

Fantasy Strength of Schedule: The fantasy schedule is certainly tough for the Hill and the team's running backs as no team has a more difficult strength of schedule going into the 2015 season. In addition to the six divisional matchups, the Bengals face the NFC West and AFC West teams plus the Bills and Texans. Nine of their opponents ranked in the top-11 in rushing defense in 2014.

Bottom Line: Based on current ADP, Hill is being selected in the middle of Round 2 (19th overall) as the 11th running back off the board, which makes him undervalued compared to my rankings (RB7, 11th overall). If you take an elite option at another position (e.g., Rob Gronkowski, Dez Bryant, etc.) towards the end of Round 1, Hill is a great target on the way back as your RB1. Despite the difficult fantasy schedule, Hill should rank near the top of the league in both workload and goal-line opportunities, which should make him a safe weekly option with top-three upside for all of 2015.

2015 Fantasy Football Projection: (Rushing) 295/1,401/10.2; (Receiving) 24/178/0.3

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July 12, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 3 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 3 pick, PPR scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.03 - Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: The first time that Charles averages less than 5.0 yards per carry will be the first of his career. While the per-touch production has never been an issue, it was disappointing to see Charles get roughly five touches per game less in 2014 than 2013. Finishing as a top-seven fantasy running back in 2014, Charles should get more than the 246 touches he had last year.

2.10 - Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers: In his age-24 season, Cobb posted career highs across the board -- 91 receptions, 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. While the 12 scores may be difficult to repeat as a 5-foot-10 slot receiver, re-signing with the Packers (and still catching passes from Aaron Rodgers) was the best outcome for his fantasy outlook in 2015 and beyond.

- Related: 2015 Fantasy Football Projections: Green Bay Packers

3.03 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: One of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers, Evans was also one of just five NFL receivers to haul in 12-plus touchdowns. There may be some ups and downs with a rookie quarterback, but overall he gets an upgrade at the position and Evans is still only 21 years old (turns 22 next year).

4.10 - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers: Stewart enters the 2015 season as the team's lead back and was one of the more productive rushers down the stretch last season. J-Stew's 486 rushing yards over the final five games was second to only DeMarco Murray (491). The main concern is his durability, however, as he's played only 28 games in the past three seasons.

5.03 - Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets: The days of 1,500 receiving yards (like a couple of seasons ago) may never happen for Marshall again, but I still expect him to bounce back to 1,000-plus yards in his first season with the Jets. With this league starting three receivers, I'm happy with my trio of Cobb/Evans/Marshall.

6.10 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: I really considered taking Kelce at 5.03, which is actually one draft slot later than his current 5.02 ADP (PPR), but I'm surprised (and thrilled) that he was selected with the next 18 picks. Highly productive despite playing a limited number of snaps in the first half of the season last year, the sky's the limit for Kelce in 2015.

7.03 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. And while he missed two games and played at less than 100 percent for a good part of the year, he finished seventh among QBs in fantasy points per game last season. A top-four fantasy quarterback in his first three seasons, I have Newton projected to make it four top-four finishes in five years.

8.10 - Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions: Regardless of how you feel about Bell (and Ameer Abdullah), this is far too late for Bell, who's current ADP is 6.03. Even though he has averaged less than 4.0 YPC in each of the past two seasons, Bell scored the 13th-most fantasy points last year and has 139 receptions over the past three seasons.

9.03 - Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Coleman may start second on the depth chart, but I expect him to get the largest share of the workload near the end of the season. He adds some depth to this team's running back corps.

10.10 - Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: I don't normally draft two QBs in a one-QB league, but I really expect a big season from Eli. Not only does he have healthier receivers going into 2015, but he finished with five weekly top-five outings over the final 10 weeks as he gained comfort with the new offense.

11.03 - John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Brown had a solid rookie season especially considering the team's injuries at quarterback. With better health from Carson Palmer, Brown could make big improvements in 2015. I have Rueben Randle ranked higher, but the "Pick Predictor" feature of the DraftWizard shows that I have a better chance of landing both Brown and Randle by selecting them in that order.

12.10 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle finished as a top-30 fantasy wide receiver (PPR) in 2014 as he posted career highs in receptions (71) and yards (938). The return of Victor Cruz may keep the "breakout" season that Eli has predicted for Randle in check, but the fourth-year receiver just turned 24 years old in May.

13.03 - Knile Davis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: We've seen instances of Davis performing as a strong weekly RB1 in games that Charles misses. I don't typically handcuff my running backs, but the Charles/Davis is one of the few that I typically attempt to acquire.

14.10 - New England Patriots D/ST

15.03 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens:

16.10 - Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers: Floyd played a full 16-game season for only the second time in his career and posted a 52/856/6 (WR39 in PPR) season. He's a solid value as my WR6.

- View full mock draft results here

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July 11, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 9 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 9 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.09 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Yo soy fiesta! More dominant than any other player atop his respective position, Gronk scored nearly 20 percent more fantasy points than last year's TE2 (Antonio Gates).

2.04 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: With the legitimate upside to finish as fantasy's top-scoring running back, Hill enters 2015 as the team's clear lead back after rushing for more yards than any other back over the final nine games of his rookie season.

3.09 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Gore has 1,100-plus yards in four consecutive seasons and transitions to one of the league's most prolific offenses. Not only does he get a quarterback upgrade with Andrew Luck, but coach Pagano has indicated that he envisions Gore as an every-down back.

4.04 - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints: Before his season-ending injury, Cooks scored the 25th-most fantasy points among receivers and led all rookies in receptions (53) to that point. With the team's offseason moves, Cooks is poised for a monster season as the team's primary passing-game weapon.

5.09 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: While I don't normally draft two tight ends, Gronk and "Baby Gronk" give me two top-three options at a position with many question marks beyond the top five or six. Kelce posted a strong line (67/862/5) last season, but the sky's the limit for him as he enters this season with a clean bill of health.

6.04 - Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets: Marshall saw his 1,000-yard streak end last year as he battled some injuries and he was traded to the league's last-ranked passing offense over the past two seasons. That said, I have Marshall projected for a solid WR2 stat line (83/1,013/8, WR16).

7.09 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: Rookie Duke Johnson has generated the majority of buzz out of Cleveland, but I still expect Crowell to lead the team's backfield in touches and production.

8.04 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Tevin Coleman may emerge as the team's best back, but Freeman is my top-ranked running back available and provides some additional depth.

9.09 - Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: As noted earlier, Johnson has generated a ton of positive buzz this offseason. The all-time leading rusher for the Hurricanes, Johnson has a versatile skill set and plenty of upside as my RB5.

10.04 - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Several rounds later than Brady's ADP (8.01), Brady could be a top-five fantasy quarterback in per-game production. Will he play (only) 12 games? Or more? I expect his appeal to be reduced to two games, but it appears that he'll take the league to court in hopes of getting it completely overturned. If he's successful, he's an enormous value this late.

11.09 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: With a strong finish to 2014, Johnson should pick up where he left off with the continued development of second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

12.04 - Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: Colston set per-game career lows in receptions, targets and yards, but the trades of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills should lead to more opportunities for Colston in 2015.

13.09 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.04 - Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks

15.09 - Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With the uncertain status for Brady to start the season, Winston has some upside as he begins his pro career with a pair of six-foot-five 1,000-yard receivers and the softest fantasy schedule among quarterbacks this season.

- View full mock draft results here

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July 10, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 10 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 10 pick, point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.10 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones shattered his previous career highs with 104 receptions, 164 targets and 1,593 yards although he scored just six touchdowns. Based on fantasy wide receiver projections for 2015, only Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown is projected for more receptions, yards or PPR fantasy points than Jones.

2.03 - Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans: No team ran the ball more than the Texans (551 carries) last season and Foster is their workhorse. While Foster missed three games last season, he carried the ball 20-plus times in nine games, averaged 2.9/25.2/0.4 receiving last year and scored the fifth-most fantasy points among running backs.

3.10 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: The good news is that Gore has 1,100-plus rushing yards in four consecutive seasons. The better news is his upgrade in offense and the team's plans to use him as their three-down back. If there are any concerns, it's his age (32) and cumulative workload, but he hasn't missed a game over the past four seasons.

4.03 - Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets: With both starting backs on this roster, I turned my attention to my WR2 spot and Marshall was my highest-ranked receiver on the board. Perhaps this is a little high(er) than most would select him as his ADP in PPR leagues is currently 5.04, but I expect a bounce-back season (83/1,013/8 projection) for Marshall in 2015.

5.10 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Coming off his first-ever 1,000-yard season, Olsen has more yards than all tight ends not named Jimmy Graham over the past three seasons. Olsen gives me a highly productive, consistent and durable option at a position with many question marks beyond the top five or six tight ends.

6.03 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Beginning his career with three consecutive top-four fantasy finishes, Newton had a disappointing season but still finished seventh among QBs in fantasy points on a per-game basis. With better health in 2015, Newton could put up top-four (fantasy) numbers once again.

7.10 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Bernard moved back to his change-of-pace role down the stretch last year, but both Bernard and Jeremy Hill can be productive (especially in PPR formats). As an example, Bernard finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy back in the final three games of the year even though Hill rushed for 100-plus yards in each of those games. A top-15 PPR back in my rankings, Bernard is a steal this late.

8.03 - Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants: Vereen is one of the league's best receiving backs and has 99 receptions in his past 24 games.

9.10 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: In the 22 games that Carson Palmer and Fitzgerald have played together over the past two seasons, Fitzgerald has averaged 5.18 receptions, 65.32 yards and 0.55 touchdowns per game. That's a 16-game pace of 83/1,045/9.

10.03 - Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots: LaFell set career highs across the board and the team's receiving corps is virtually the same as last year's group. LaFell finished as the WR22 last season, giving him upside as my WR4.

11.10 - Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals: It was a disappointing season Floyd following his 2013 breakout, but the Cardinals were down to their third-string quarterback by the end of the year. With better health from the team's quarterbacks, specifically Palmer, Floyd should post better numbers in 2015.

12.03 - Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: Colston set per-game career lows in receptions, targets and yards last year. With the Saints trading two of their top pass-catchers this offseason (without adding anyone of significance via the draft or free agency), it should lead to more opportunities and production for Colston in 2015.

13.10 - Denver Broncos D/ST

14.03 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

15.10 - Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans: As noted above, no team ran the ball more than the Texans. Foster was highly productive on a per-game, per-touch basis, but he has struggled with durability. Handcuffing him here with Blue makes sense.

- View full mock draft results here

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Poll: Which NFC WR will score the most fantasy points in 2015?

Going into the 2015 season, my top-two fantasy wide receivers play in the AFC -- Pittsburgh's Antonio and Denver's Demaryius Thomas.

After that, the next five wide receivers in my rankings all play in the NFC and you could certainly make a case for any of them to be the most productive NFC wide receiver.

The gap in my 2015 fantasy wide receiver projections between Brown (239.0 fantasy points) and Thomas (218.5) is larger than the gap between Dez Bryant (WR3, 218.4) and Odell Beckham (WR7, 201.9).

Bryant set a three-year low in targets (136), but he had a career-high 16 touchdowns. In fact, only Marshawn Lynch (56) has scored more touchdowns than Bryant (50) over the past four seasons. It's unclear if Bryant and the Cowboys will reach a long-term deal prior to the July 15th deadline, but I expect Bryant to be there Week 1 under his franchise tag (if they don't) and he's a lock for 85-plus catches, 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015.

Atlanta's Julio Jones finished with 104 catches for 1,593 yards, both of which shattered his previous career highs, and six touchdowns in 2014. His TD/G rate has dipped to 0.4/G over the past two seasons (compared to 0.62/G in his first two seasons), but I expect that rate to bounce back given his size and athleticism. Jones is now the clear No. 1 receiver in Atlanta ahead of Roddy White.

No NFC wide receiver scored more fantasy points than Green Bay's Jordy Nelson last season. The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Brown. With the league's best quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) throwing his passes, Nelson posted a career-best 98/1,519/13 line last season and has averaged 1,210 yards and 10.75 touchdowns over the past four years.

Detroit's Calvin Johnson has a total of six 200-yard games in his career -- more than any other player. While he still has as much potential as any receiver to take over a given game, he has missed a total of five games in 2013 and 2014. With five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, however, Megatron has averaged a stat line of 90/1,467/11 during that span and still has WR1 potential if he can stay healthy for 16 games.

What New York's Odell Beckham did over the final nine games (81/1,199/9) was better than what most receivers did over 16 games last season. ODB's combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules, but he will receive more attention from opposing defenses this year and Victor Cruz is expected back in Week 1.

Even after these five NFC wide receivers, three of the next four in my rankings (Mike Evans, Randall Cobb and Alshon Jeffery) also play in the NFC and are 25 years old or younger.

Of the top NFC wide receivers, which one will score the most fantasy points in 2015?

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July 09, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 10 Teams, No. 4 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 10 teams, No. 4 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.04 - Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Fantasy owners that were worried about Lacy's slow start were able to "relax" (as Aaron Rodgers would say) after his scored the third-most fantasy points among running backs starting in Week 4. Lacy scored 13 touchdowns and 108.85 YFS per game during that 13-game span as the lead back for the league's highest-scoring offense.

2.07 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Anderson finished as a top-five weekly producer in six of the final eight weeks last year and was no worse than RB16 during that span. Going into 2015, CJA begins the year as the lead back in an offense that is expected to be more run-pass balanced than recent seasons.

3.04 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Evans, still just 21 (turns 22 next month), was one of three rookie receivers to exceed the 1,000-yard mark and also one of five receivers to score 12-plus touchdowns.

4.07 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: His age (32) and cumulative workload is a bit of a concern, but Gore has rushed for 1,100-plus yards in four consecutive seasons without missing a game. The move to Indy to play with Andrew Luck in one of the league's top offenses gives his fantasy outlook a boost.

5.04 - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints: Cooks led all rookies in receptions (53) and was a top-25 fantasy wide receiver when he landed on IR. With the team's offseason moves, he enters the season as the team's top pass-catcher and is poised for a monster season with good health.

6.07 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Not only does Olsen have three consecutive 800-yard seasons and the second-most yards among tight ends during that span, but he's coming off his first-ever 1,000-yard season. Olsen provides a high level of production, consistency and durability at a position with many question marks.

7.04 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton now has exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Last year was a bit of a disappointment, but he averaged the seventh-most fantasy points per game in 2014 and finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in each of his first three seasons.

8.07 - Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: His career numbers were aided by Calvin Johnson's early season injury (three missed games and two games as a decoy), but Tate is a solid WR3 for this team.

9.04 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: Rookie Duke Johnson has generated as much buzz as any running back this offseason, but I still expect Crowell to lead the team's backfield in touches and production.

10.07 - Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals: It was a disappointing season for Floyd after his breakout sophomore campaign, but at least part of that decline should be attributed to the team's injuries at quarterback.

11.04 - Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sims provides some running back depth as my RB5 and has some upside if Doug Martin struggles or misses time again.

12.07 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Like Floyd, Fitzgerald had a disappointing 2014 season, but I expect an improvement in his numbers (assuming good health for Carson Palmer).

13.04 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.07 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Emerging in the second half of the season, Johnson scored the 28th-most fantasy points among receivers from Weeks 11 to 17. With continued development from second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off in 2015.

15.04 - Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 15

The 15-round, 12-team 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft that we began at the end of June is now complete.

Here are Round 15 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

15.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Williams has had some really productive NFL seasons -- 1,515 rushing yards and 18 rushing scores in 2008, as an example -- and has averaged 4.78 YPC over his career. Now 32 years old, Williams won't be the featured back for his new team (starting in Week 4). With Le'Veon Bell suspended for the first three games, however, Williams is expected to lead the team's backfield in touches during that span, which works well for Sean since he took Bell at 1.01.

15.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Two seasons ago, Jones broke out with 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he missed all of last season. Healthy now, he should move back into the team's No. 2 receiver role, but the Bengals ranked near the bottom of the league in pass attempts (31.7/G) last season.

15.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Kenny Britt, WR, St. Louis Rams

Britt scored the 54th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last season and he gets a quarterback upgrade in Nick Foles. That said, he averaged 6.71 fantasy points per game after the injury to Brian Quick compared to 4.52/G prior to the injury. While the upside isn't high, Britt provides some depth for this team.

15.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans

The hype going into 2014 got out of hand and Hunter vastly underperformed expectations (28/498/3). Expectations are obviously much lower going into 2015, but the physical tools are there to make him worth a roll of the dice this late.

15.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams

Through two seasons, Austin has just 1,035 yards from scrimmage -- 660 receiving and 375 rushing -- and nine touchdowns. In fact, he was only targeted 44 times in 15 games last season.

15.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Like Buck Allen, Taliaferro will back up Justin Forsett, who is coming off a career year (1,266 rushing yards) for the Ravens. As noted earlier, hiring Trestman to run the offense will boost the pass-catching opportunities for the backfield.

15.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): James White, RB, New England Patriots

The departure of Shane Vereen in free agency opens the door for a new third-down back in New England. If that's White (and he appears to be the favorite), he's a nice value here.

15.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos

Hillman had a couple of very productive games last season, but he is currently third on the depth chart behind C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball. He's worth a flier this late, however.

15.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers

The backup to one of the league's best running backs, Starks isn't going to get a heavy workload barring an injury to Eddie Lacy. As much as the team blows out their opponents, however, there is the potential for him to get some fourth-quarter carries in addition to providing a breather for Lacy.

15.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

With the injuries to the team's top receivers, Sanu had the best season of his career with 56 catches for 790 yards and five touchdowns. As the team's No. 3 receiver, it will likely take more injuries for him to repeat that production.

15.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Miller parlayed 91 targets last season into a 66/761/3 stat line, which was good for the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2014. While he only has four touchdowns in 30 games over the past two seasons, he's one of 10 tight ends I have projected for 60-plus catches in 2015.

15.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

In five NFL seasons since being drafted first overall by the Rams, Bradford has played a total of 49 games -- and only seven of 32 games in the past two years. If, a big if, Bradford starts 16 games for the Eagles, however, he has the potential to finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in 2015. The duo of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez combined to throw 4,581 yards, 27 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season and score 258.74 fantasy points, which would have placed them 14th among quarterbacks last year.

- Go back to Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 14

Another round of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft is complete and posted.

Here are Round 14 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

14.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins

With Roy Helu now in Oakland, the team used a second-day pick on Jones, who is expected to take over Helu's third-down role. Jones is a bigger back (6-2, 231) that can handle a heavy workload in the event of an Alfred Morris injury, but he should be better in PPR formats given his initial role.

14.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys

With DeMarco Murray totalling close to 500 touches including the postseason, the team's other backs had a limited role. With Murray gone, Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden figure to handle the largest share of the workload, but ESPN's Todd Archer writes that the Cowboys "plan to get Dunbar more involved in 2015" -- and this time, "the Cowboys actually mean it." With Randle (6.03) and McFadden (6.07) long gone in this mock, Dunbar is a cheaper/additional way to get some exposure to the Cowboys backfield.

14.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Despite his past off-the-field concerns, Winston possesses strong on-field intangibles (leadership skills and football intelligence) that you'd want in a franchise quarterback. The Bucs will certainly want him to cut down his turnover rate, but Winston enters his pro career with a talented group of wideouts. And while the Bucs will find themselves trailing often in 2015, Winston has the softest fantasy football strength of schedule among QBs going into the 2015 season.

14.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick averaged fewer yards per attempt (7.0), threw fewer touchdowns (19) and more interceptions (10) than he did in 2013 (7.7 Y/A, 21 TDs and eight INTs) despite throwing more pass attempts (478 in 2014 vs. 416 in 2013). Given the changes to the roster and coaching staff, the 49ers should find themselves trailing (and throwing) more often in 2015.

Meanwhile, the addition of Torrey Smith gives the 49ers a vertical threat that can take advantage of Kaepernick's strong arm. Kaepernick also set career highs in rush attempts (105) and rushing yards (639) even though he rushed for only one touchdown last year (after nine touchdowns in the previous two years combined). While I wouldn't want to count on him as my every-week starter, few QB2 options have as much upside as Kaepernick.

14.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears

Cutler's turnovers really hurt the Bears and no quarterback had more multi-interception games (seven) than he did in 2014. If he doesn't cut down on his turnovers in 2015, he's likely to have a short leash with a new coaching staff in town. On a positive note, they drafted the talented Kevin White with the seventh overall pick to give him another dynamic weapon opposite Alshon Jeffery and have other talented pass-catchers on the roster with Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, etc.

14.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions

Rookie tight ends typically struggle and Ebron, the 10th-overall pick in 2014, posted a modest 25/248/1 stat line over 13 games last season. There is plenty of upside with Ebron, but he needs to cut down on drops, which were still a problem in the offseason.

14.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings

Rudolph has failed to reach double-digit games in each of the past two seasons. While he has the potential to excel in the red zone (nine touchdowns in 2012), Rudolph has just five touchdowns in 17 games over the past two years. And while Norv Turner runs a tight end-friendly offense, Rudolph actually posted three-year lows on a per-game basis in receptions (2.67/G) and receiving yards (25.7/G) in his only season with Turner. He has some upside here, but he needs to stay healthy.

14.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Carolina Panthers

The biggest appeal with taking Artis-Payne late is the durability of Jonathan Stewart. The Daily Show was one of the league's most productive backs down the stretch and he enters 2015 as the team's featured back, but he has missed 20 games over the past three seasons. If Stewart misses time, CAP should lead the team in touches in those games.

14.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Owen Daniels, TE, Denver Broncos

Playing for Kubiak last season in Baltimore, Daniels had 48 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns. With Julius Thomas leaving in free agency, Daniels doesn't have the 12-touchdown upside that Thomas had, but it's fair to expect the same or better production than his 48/527/4 line from last season.

14.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Malcom Floyd, WR, San DIego Chargers

For only the second time in his career, Floyd played a full 16-game season and finished with 856 yards and six touchdowns, both of which tied career highs. Floyd played just two games in 2013, but he has averaged 17.5 Y/R and 61.7 Y/G over the past five seasons. Finishing as a top-40 fantasy receiver last season, Floyd is a safe bet, barring injury, to outproduce his draft slot (WR65).

14.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills

Although he started the season slowly, Clay averaged 4.56 catches for 51.0 yards per game and scored all three of his touchdowns from Weeks 7 to 17 while finishing fifth among tight ends in fantasy points per game (7.1) during that stretch. The concern for Clay's outlook -- and that of the other Bills' skill players -- is the team's quarterback situation.

14.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

In two NFL seasons, Reed has played nine and 11 games, respectively, and that's the biggest concern (durability) with Reed. That said, he's been reasonably productive in those 20 games -- 95 receptions for 964 yards (plus 18 rushing yards) and three touchdowns. I like Reed's upside if he can stay healthy, but he also was invisible in too many games last season as he had 25 yards or less in five of his final seven games and didn't score a single touchdown last season.

- Continue to Round 15 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 13

Another round of our new 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft is complete and posted.


Here are Round 13 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

13.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens

With Justin Forsett having a breakout season in 2014 and re-signing with the Ravens this offseason, Allen is no better than second in line for touches among the team's backs. That said, Allen is a versatile back that rushed for 1,489 yards that also had 41 receptions for 458 yards last year at USC. With Marc Trestman now running the offense, all of the team's running backs benefit from a scheme standpoint in PPR formats.

13.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Andre Williams, RB, New York Giants

As a rookie, Williams led the team in carries (217), rushing yards (721) and rushing touchdowns (seven), but he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry on the season. Williams may only be the third-most productive fantasy back on the Giants behind Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, but he could be first in line for goal-line carries.

13.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Well, at least Bowe can't have fewer touchdown receptions in 2015. After back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011, Bowe has 801, 673 and 754 receiving yards in his past three seasons, respectively. Bowe may be one of a few free-agent wide receivers where Cleveland as a landing spot doesn't necessarily hurt his fantasy stock. As the 62nd wide receiver off the board in this mock, he's nothing more than some depth at the position.

13.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns

The frustrating part of owning a Browns running back is the inconsistency in carries. In West's final seven games played last season, here are his rush attempts: 26, 5, 14, 7, 15, 5 and 18. Reducing workload predictability for West is the selection of Miami's Duke Johnson in the third round of this year's draft. And based on the buzz Johnson has generated this offseason, it appears that West will be third in line for running back touches.

13.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Lee missed most of the offseason program due to a knee issue and he appears to be third behind Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns on the depth chart going into training camp. The majority of Lee's rookie-season production came with Robinson sidelined as four of Lee's five games with 50-plus yards came in the final six games of the season.

13.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts

With eight touchdowns on only 29 receptions in 13 games, Allen is one of the league's better red-zone options at the position. In weeks he doesn't score, however, Allen's lack of volume (2.23 catches per game) will lead to mostly boom (scores a touchdown) or bust (doesn't score a touchdown) outcomes.

13.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings

Bridgewater improved throughout his rookie season, which is something you always want to see with a young quarterback. All four of his games with a completion percentage of at least 70 percent occurred within the final five games of the season. In addition, Bridgewater posted a 1:5 TD-to-INT ratio in his first four games but improved to a 13:7 TD-to-INT ratio for the remainder of the season. With the attention that Adrian Peterson commands from opposing defenses, it should open up the passing offense for Bridgewater in year two.

13.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seferian-Jenkins played only nine games in his rookie season and finished with 21 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. With good health in 2015, there is some breakout appeal for ASJ and he gives Brendan two tight ends with upside. (Brendan also drafted Zach Ertz at 8.05.)

13.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills

Although Jackson rushed for a career-low 3.7 yards per carry, he also set career highs with 66 receptions for 501 yards. In fact, Matt Forte (102) and Le'Veon Bell (83) were the only running backs that had more receptions than F-Jax last season. Now 34 years old, however, Jackson is likely to see fewer touches in 2015 especially considering the Bills upgraded the position by trading for LeSean McCoy. In fact, it appears that Jackson isn't a lock for the 2015 roster.

13.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions

With Joique Bell and second-round rookie Ameer Abdullah ahead of Riddick on the running back depth chart, many of Riddick's snaps may come out of the slot. Either way, Reggie Bush missed five games last season and Riddick had only 20 carries on the year.

13.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers

There were high hopes this time last year that Green would see an expanded role in 2014, but fantasy owners were left disappointed. Green posted just 19 receptions for 226 yards (and no touchdowns) while Antonio Gates finished second among tight ends in his age-34 season. For at least the first four games of this season, however, Green will see his role expand with Gates suspended for PEDs, which could open the door for maintaining an expanded role once Gates is back.

13.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Baldwin set career highs of 66 receptions and 825 yards last season and his numbers post-Percy Harvin (4.55/58.0/0.27) were much better than they were prior to the trade (3.2/37.4/0.0). Adding Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett to the mix, however, there is little to no upside with Baldwin in Seattle's run-first offense. That said, he's more than a fair value as the WR64 in this mock.

- Continue to Round 14 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft


- Start from Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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July 08, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 1 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 1 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.01 - Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: One of the most productive backs in NFL history on a per-touch basis, Charles has never averaged less than 5.0 yards per carry in a season. While his touches dropped from 329 to 246, I expect a bump in touches for him in 2015.

2.12 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: One of three rookies to exceed the 1,000-yard milestone, Evans was also one of just five receivers to haul in 12-plus touchdowns. Evans is only 21 (turns 22 in August) with plenty of upside going into his second season.

3.01 - Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2015 season, Forsett more than doubled his previous career high with 1,266 rushing yards. With the offseason hire of Marc Trestman to run the offense, Forsett should set a new career high in receptions.

4.12 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Limited to about half of Kansas City's offensive snaps through Week 10, Kelce still had an impressive season (67/862/5). With no health restrictions, the sky's the limit for Kelce in 2015.

5.01 - C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints: Spiller may never rush for 1,000 yards again, but the Saints will certainly use Spiller's skill set better than the Bills have over the past two seasons. He's a high-upside flex for this squad.

6.12 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Before a Week 10 foot injury ended his season, Robinson was quietly having a strong rookie campaign. From Weeks 2 to 10, he averaged 5.22 catches and 60.89 yards per game. With good health in 2015, Robinson is poised for a breakout campaign.

7.01 - Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Even if Devonta Freeman opens up training camp atop the depth chart, Coleman is likely to get to the larger share of the weekly workload at some point during the season.

8.12 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Johnson emerged in the second half of last season and should pick up where he left off with the continued development of second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

9.01 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: An underrated fantasy option, Tannehill scored the eighth-most fantasy points among QBs last season as he set career highs across the board -- 4,045 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns and 317 rushing yards.

10.12 - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: It was a disappointing season for Kaepernick and the 49ers in general, but Kaepernick is a high-upside QB2 due to his dual-threat abilities. Kaepernick has 1,578 rushing yards over the past three seasons and the 49ers could certainly find themselves in more passing situations given all of the changes this offseason.

11.01 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Only the Jets have fewer passing yards than the 49ers over the past two seasons yet Boldin still posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns. He may not finish as the WR15 (like in 2013) or even WR22 (like last year), but there's a good chance that Boldin exceeds his draft position (WR40 in this mock).

12.12 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: Excluding last year's injury-shortened season, Woodhead finished as a top-27 fantasy running back in three of the previous four years. Even with Melvin Gordon handling the bulk of every-down opportunities, Woodhead should get the majority of third-down snaps.

13.01 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.12 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: A top-35 fantasy wide receiver last season, Randle set career highs in both receptions (71) and yards (938). Granted, Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz missed a total of 14 games, but Randle just turned 24 and Eli Manning has predicted a "breakout" season for him. At a minimum, he's a solid WR5 for this team.

15.01 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens:

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 12

Another round of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft has been posted.

Here are Round 12 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft:

12.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks

A second-round pick a couple of seasons ago, Michael may not be the heir apparent to Marshawn Lynch, as initially thought, and it appears even that he may enter training camp on the roster bubble. ESPN's Terry Blount wrote "[i]t's 'step up or step out' time for Michael" with undrafted free-agent Thomas Rawls impressive during OTAs. Blount went on to write that Michael "needs to do everything right in camp or he might find his days in Seattle have ended."

12.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Generating plenty of buzz prior to the draft highlighted by a pair of sub-4.3's run at the UCF Pro Day, Perriman is the son of ex-NFL receiver Brent Perriman, who has a 1,400-yard season under his belt with the Lions. Much bigger than his father, Perriman (6-1, 212) has had some issues with drops, which has continued during OTAs, and needs to improve as a route-runner, but he's a big play waiting to happen.

Coming off a career-best 50/1,044/9 season, Perriman has averaged more than 20.0 Y/R over the past two seasons and is an excellent fit to replace Torrey Smith as a vertical threat in this offense. At a minimum, he's worth a flier as the 57th wide receiver off the board in this mock.

12.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

With the Cowboys leaning heavily on their ground game last year, Williams saw a drop in targets (74 to 64), receptions (44 to 37) and yards (736 to 621). On a positive note, Williams had eight touchdowns with another three coming in the team's two playoff games. Going into his third season, however, Williams will likely remain a TD-dependent option as he finished with two or fewer receptions in 12 of 16 games last year.

12.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Jaelen Strong, WR, Houston Texans

Strong missed a bunch of time in OTAs due to a hamstring injury, but the competition for the No. 2 receiver role after DeAndre Hopkins is only Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington. Even if he wins that job, however, the team's quarterback situation isn't all that inspiring and the Texans were the most run-heavy team in the league last year (partly due to sub-mediocre quarterback play).

12.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Dan Herron, RB, Indianapolis Colts

While the Colts plan to utilize Frank Gore as a workhorse back and he hasn't missed a game in four years, he turned 32 in May and is approaching 3,000 career touches (2.784 going into 2015). Over the final nine games of last season including the playoffs, Herron rushed for 447 yards (4.43 YPC) and three touchdowns with 39 receptions for 292 yards and obviously has tremendous upside if Gore misses any time.

12.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Other than his rookie season, Witten's 64 receptions and 703 yards last year set or tied career lows. Witten lacks upside at this point in his career, but he's a solid option that should come close to last year's top-10 performance once again.

12.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Rivers should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015.

12.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans

Blue averaged just 3.1 YPC as a rookie last season and he backs up one of the league's few true workhorses in Arian Foster, but he finished as a top-40 fantasy running back in 2014. The Texans were more committed to the run than any other team in the league and Foster, who missed three games last season, is always a candidate to miss a game or two. Blue ranked 24th in carries (169) last season.

12.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Cody Latimer, WR, Denver Broncos

As a rookie, Latimer played just 37 offensive snaps and had just two receptions for 23 yards on four targets. Two of the team's top pass-catchers -- Wes Welker and Julius Thomas -- have departed via free agency. Going into his second season, Latimer should see a big bump in snaps as Emmanuel Sanders could move inside in three-WR sets and Latimer has plenty of upside.

12.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Walker set career highs in both receptions (63) and yards (890) and led the team in both categories last season. It may be difficult for Walker to repeat that production with a rookie quarterback, but the team's quarterback situation was less than ideal last year and Marcus Mariota has generated positive reviews during offseason workouts.

12.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season.

Starting in Week 6, Tannehill finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of the final 11 weeks, but he also finished with the eighth-most fantasy points over the full season. The team's group of top pass-catchers was entirely turned over except for Jarvis Landry, but Tannehill has plenty of upside as the QB15 in this mock.

12.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Patterson had 45 catches for 469 yards plus 158 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns as a rookie in 2013. Those that expected a breakout from him in 2014 were largely disappointed. Patterson had 238 yards from scrimmage in Weeks 1 to 3, but had two or fewer receptions in all but one game after that. With the trade for Mike Wallace this offseason, Patterson's 2015 outlook isn't much brighter.

- Continue to Round 13 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Start from Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 11

We have completed the 2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft that we began a couple of weeks ago and I am in the process of catching up on the comments.

Here are Round 11 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

11.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Eli Manning, QB,New York Giants

In the first six games of the season, Eli finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in all but one game. Beginning with Odell Beckham's third NFL game (Week 7), however, Manning finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback in five of his final 10 games last season. (And a sixth game was inside the weekly top 10.) With a full season of ODB, the return of Victor Cruz, the free-agent addition of one of the league's better receiving backs (Shane Vereen) and more comfort and familiarity within Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015, also a contract year. In addition, only Tampa and Washington quarterbacks have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.

11.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

Garcon played a full 16-game season in back-to-back years for the first time in his career, but things weren't all positive for Garcon as his production was nearly cut in half to 68 catches for 752 yards and three touchdowns. (Garcon had 113/1,346/5 in 2013.) That said, the team has said that it plans to get Garcon more involved in 2015 although he won't come anywhere near the 113 catches he had last season.

11.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Roy Helu, RB, Oakland Raiders

In four seasons, Helu has been relatively productive on a per-touch basis (4.4 YPC, 8.9 Y/R). At a minimum, Helu should get plenty of work as the team's third-down back, but there is upside with unproven Latavius Murray as the featured back.

11.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Smith's first season as a Raven went better than expectations as he posted a 79/1,065/6 full-season stat line. With all four of his 100-yard games occurring in the first six games of the season, Smith was much less effective over the final 10 games. That said, he did have at least five catches in each of the final four games for a total of 25 catches during the final month of the season. Now 36 years old, it may be unlikely that Smith posts another 1,000-yard season, but he has made a career out of disproving his doubters.

[Per Pro Football Reference, there have five 1,000-yard seasons by an age-36 receiver (or older) and Jerry Rice has three of them.]

11.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Fleener finished with 774 yards and eight touchdowns, both of which were career highs, on 51 receptions last season. Unsurprisingly, Fleener's best games last season came in games that Dwayne Allen was out. In the four games that Allen missed or left early due to injury, Fleener had 355 yards and four touchdowns. In the other 12 games, he had just 419 yards and four touchdowns. Assuming that Fleener and Allen are healthy for the entire season, I prefer a number of tight ends still on the board over Fleener.

11.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans

Long term, there is plenty of upside with Green-Beckham, who possesses great size (and athleticism for that size) and was the top recruit in the country coming out of high school. There are a couple of things working against him in re-draft formats, however, as he sat out all of 2014 following his dismissal from the Mizzou program and he will have to shake off that rust with a fellow rookie at quarterback.

11.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings

When McKinnon was on the field last year, he was productive (4.76 YPC) and he averaged 16.38 touches per game from Weeks 4 to 12 before missing the rest of the year due to injury. McKinnon's volume of work won't approach anything close to 16 touches per game with Adrian Peterson back as the team's workhorse.

11.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Small but ultra quick, Brown had a solid rookie season especially given the team's injuries at quarterback and finished with 48 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns. Improved year-over-year production should be expected and he's a solid WR5 for Brendan.

11.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams

Tearing his rotator cuff in Week 8 last season, Quick played just seven games, but he started the season strong. In the first four games of the year, Quick had a total of 21 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver each week. Although he had just four catches for 53 yards in his other three games, Quick was on his way to a breakout season. Depending on his health, that breakout season could come for the former Appalachian State receiver in 2015.

11.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders

The free-agent market for Crabtree's services was anything but robust, which led to his one-year deal with the Raiders. While Crabtree played a full 16-game season last year, he averaged only 10.3 Y/R and 43.6 Y/G, both of which were career lows. The good news is that the Raiders will trail often and need to throw (they ranked fourth in pass attempts last season), but the team drafted Amari Cooper fourth overall.

11.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Rueben Randle, WR,

A top-30 fantasy wide receiver in PPR scoring last season, Randle finished with 71 receptions for 938 yards on 127 targets, all of which shattered previous career highs. Randle benefitted from Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz missing a total of 14 games, but Randle just turned 24 years old this offseason and Eli Manning has predicted a "breakout" season for Randle in 2015.

11.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Moncrief had a couple of big games last season and earlier in the offseason, it appeared that 2015 would be a breakout year with Reggie Wayne no longer back in Indy. With the addition of Andre Johnson and Phillip Dorsett via free agency and the draft, respectively, modest improvement may come without a true "breakout" for Moncrief.

- Continue to Round 12 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
- Start from Round 1 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft

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July 07, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 8 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 8 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.08 - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Not only does he lead the NFL in rushing yards over the past four seasons, but Lynch has more total touchdowns (56) during than span than any other player. Assuming he stays healthy, Beast Mode is a virtual lock for another 1,200-yard season with double-digit touchdowns.

2.05 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Nelson set career highs in both receptions (98) and yards (1,519) last season and scored 13 touchdowns. Over the past four seasons, he has exceeded 1,200 yards three times and scored a total of 43 touchdowns.

3.08 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: With four consecutive 1,100-yard seasons, Gore joins one of the league's most prolific offenses and the Colts expect the 32-year-old back to be their workhorse. Granted, there is some durability concern due to his age and cumulative workload, but Gore has not missed a game over the past four seasons.

4.05 - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints: Many receivers (or players in general) make huge strides from their rookie to second season and 2015 is set up for Cooks to explode. Off to a strong start before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 11, Cooks had more receptions (53) than any other rookie and was a top-25 fantasy receiver up to that point. With the team's offseason trades, Cooks should be peppered with targets week in and week out.

5.08 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Limited in the first half of the season, Kelce still posted impressive full-season numbers. With no restrictions or limitations entering 2015, the sky is the limit for Kelce.

6.05 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Moving back to a change-of-pace role behind Jeremy Hill, Bernard still has the potential to be a productive fantasy back. As an example, Hill rushed for 100-plus yards in each of the team's final three games yet Bernard finished as a top-17 back in those same games.

7.08 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Like Cooks, Robinson was off to a solid rookie season before it ended prematurely (Week 10 in ARob's case). From Weeks 2 to 10, Robinson averaged 5.22 catches and 60.89 yards and is poised for a breakout in 2015.

8.05 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Freeman enters training camp atop the depth chart although Tevin Coleman will likely own that role by the end of the regular season. That said, Freeman was my top-ranked running back at this point and he adds some positional depth.

9.08 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Perhaps he won't repeat last year's success, but Tannehill finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in 2014. Tannehill set career highs across the board with 4,045 passing yards, 27 passing scores and 317 rushing yards in his first season playing in Bill Lazor's offense.

10.05 - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: It was a disappointing season for Kaepernick, but he's a perfect QB2 for this team given the upside from his dual-threat abilities. And given all of the offseason changes, the 49ers may find themselves in passing situations more often.

11.08 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: A height/weight/speed guy, Johnson emerged in the second half of last season as a productive fantasy wide receiver. With continued development of second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off last season.

12.05 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Only the Jets have thrown for less yards than the 49ers over the past two seasons, but Boldin still has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Niners. Even though he turns 35 in October, Boldin has finished as a top-30 receiver in each of the past three seasons: 29th (2012), 15th (2013) and 21st (2014).

13.08 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.05 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle set career highs with 71 receptions for 938 yards last season, but Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz missed a total of 14 games. Perhaps he finishes third among the team's receivers in 2015, but Eli Manning has said that expects a breakout season for the 24-year-old Randle.

15.08 - Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons:

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2015 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: July Update

It was the first time it happened (or should I say didn't happen?) in a decade.

Three of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation -- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees -- all finished outside the top-three fantasy quarterbacks in 2014. From 2005 to 2013, at least one of those three quarterbacks had finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback every season.

Could that happen for a second year in a row? Based on my rankings, my answer is yes.

With that said, here are my fantasy football quarterback rankings for 2015:

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). During the season, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history. Not only does Luck lead one of the league's most prolific passing offenses, but he gets a boost from his mobility with at least 255 rushing yards each year and a total of 12 rushing scores.

2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Since becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback in six of seven seasons with the lone exception due to injury (broken clavicle, 2013). Over the past four seasons, Rodgers has compiled a 139:25 TD-to-INT ratio with an average of 8.5 yards per attempt, 112.6 passer rating and 67.0 completion percentage.

POLL: Which QB will score more fantasy points this season - Luck or Rodgers?

3. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

A top-three fantasy quarterback in 2014, Wilson rushed for 849 yards and six touchdowns, both of which were career highs, and netted fantasy owners an average of 7.56 fantasy points per game from rushing stats alone. While he won't post gaudy passing statistics in Seattle's run-dominant offense, Wilson is the first quarterback in league history to throw 20-plus touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in each of his first three NFL seasons, per Pro Football Reference. Wilson's volume of pass attempts may not spike in 2015, but the Seahawks pulled off a blockbuster trade for tight end Jimmy Graham, which significantly upgrades the team's weapons in the red zone.

4. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Missing two games and at less than 100 percent for much of the season, it was a down year for Newton. That said, Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Over those four seasons, he has averaged 3,606 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns per season as well as 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Despite the down year, Newton finished seventh in fantasy points per game (17.78) among QBs. And before last season, Newton finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in his first three NFL seasons.

5. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark in 2014 but still tied for the league lead with 4,952 passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. And while he has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and he led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, a transition to a more run-based offense appears set to begin with their offseason moves.

6. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

With a slow finish to the season, Manning finished the year as the QB4 (312.68 fantasy points) behind Rodgers (354.14), Luck (350.74) and Wilson (327.6). In the first 11 games of the season, Manning averaged 23.96 fantasy points per game (323.45 YPG, 34 TDs and nine INTs). In the final five games of the season, however, he averaged just 9.83 FPPG (233.8 YPG, five TDs and six INTs) and never scored more than 13.02 fantasy points in any of those games. Much of the decline can be attributed to last year's thigh injury, but Manning's passing production also tends to slow as the weather turns colder. In a more balanced offense with some issues on the offensive line, it's possible that Manning fails to produce a top-five fantasy season.

7. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Based on his 2014 average draft position (ADP), Roethlisberger was one of the biggest draft values last season. Only four quarterbacks scored more fantasy points and he threw for a career-high 4,952 yards, which tied Drew Brees last season for the league lead, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a previous career high. With continuity on the offensive line and one of the league's best group of pass catchers, it wouldn't surprise me if Big Ben posted another top-five finish in 2015.

8. Eli Manning, New York Giants

In the first six games of the season, Eli finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in all but one game. Over the final 10 games of the season, however, Manning posted five weekly top-five performances. With better health from his wide receivers and the free-agent addition of Shane Vereen, a talented receiver out of the backfield, plus more comfort and familiarity with Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015. In addition, only Tampa and Washington have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.

9. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

As Brady faces a four-game suspension for the DeflateGate scandal, it's unclear whether -- and by how much -- his suspension will be reduced following appeal. (My guess is that it gets cut to two games, but Brady seems determined to take it to court if it's not completely overturned.) Brady had a rough four-game start to last season as well as he averaged just 197.75 Y/G with only four total touchdowns during that span. From Week 5 on, however, things clicked as only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29) over that stretch. With good health once again for Rob Gronkowski, Brady could post top-five production on a per-game basis in 2015 although the exact number of games he plays is a wild card.

10. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan has more than 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons with the third-most (13,928) over that span. In addition, he has 26-plus touchdowns in five consecutive seasons and the sixth-most (143) during that span. The good news is that Ryan has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of the past five years, which makes him a solid mid-QB1 option to target. That said, he has yet to finish as a top-six fantasy quarterback in his career.

11. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season. Starting in Week 6, Tannehill finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of 11 weeks, but he finished with the eighth-most fantasy points over the full season. The team's group of top pass-catchers was entirely turned over except for Jarvis Landry, but Tannehill has some upside for those that wait on quarterback in 2015.

12. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

No quarterback underachieved expectations more last season than Stafford, who finished as the QB15 in 2014. Even with the free-agent signing and breakout season from Golden Tate (99/1,331/4), Stafford threw for only 4,247 yards, a four-year low, and 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. With better health from Calvin Johnson, who missed a few games and was a decoy in others, Stafford should post better numbers in 2015.

13. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Rivers should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015.

14. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Over his past three seasons, Romo's pass attempts have dropped from 648 (2012) to 535 (2013) to 435 (2014). Despite the drop in volume, Romo threw 34 touchdowns, the most for him since 2007, with only nine interceptions, a four-year low. In addition, Romo led the league in Y/A (8.5), completion percentage (69.9), touchdown percentage (7.8) and passer rating (113.2) last year. Assuming the team stays committed to the run game without DeMarco Murray, who signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles, Romo's upside could be somewhat limited if he throws in that 450-attempt range again this year. Even with his career year in efficiency, Romo finished just outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks last season.

15. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick averaged fewer yards per attempt (7.0), threw fewer touchdowns (19) and more interceptions (10) than he did in 2013 (7.7 Y/A, 21 TDs and eight INTs) despite throwing more pass attempts (478 in 2014 vs. 416 in 2013). Given the changes to the roster and coaching staff, the 49ers should find themselves trailing (and throwing) more often in 2015. Meanwhile, the addition of Torrey Smith gives the 49ers a vertical threat that can take advantage of Kaepernick's strong arm. He also set career highs in rush attempts (105) and rushing yards (639) even though he rushed for only one touchdown last year (after nine touchdowns in the previous two years combined). While I wouldn't want to count on him as my every-week starter, few QB2 options have as much upside as Kaepernick.

16. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

Bridgewater improved throughout his rookie season, which is something you always want to see with a young quarterback. All four of his games with a completion percentage of at least 70 percent occurred within the final five games of the season. In addition, Bridgewater posted a 1:5 TD-to-INT ratio in his first four games but improved to a 13:7 TD-to-INT ratio for the remainder of the season. With the attention that Adrian Peterson commands from opposing defenses, it should open up the passing offense for Bridgewater in year two.

17. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Flacco quietly finished as fantasy's QB13 last season. While the team lost Torrey Smith and Owen Daniels in free agency, they used their first two picks in this year's draft on long-term replacements -- Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams. Flacco may lack the upside to be an elite fantasy quarterback, but he has never finished worse than QB19 in his seven NFL seasons and the hire of Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator is certainly favorable for his outlook.

18. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Despite his past off-the-field concerns, Winston possesses strong on-field intangibles (leadership skills and football intelligence) that you'd want in a franchise quarterback. Based on the style of Florida State's offense and the pair of 6-foot-5 1,000-yard receivers (Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson) already on Tampa's roster, Winston could make more of a fantasy impact early in his career than fellow rookie Marcus Mariota. In addition, Winston has the softest fantasy football strength of schedule among QBs going into the 2015 season.

19. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

It was mostly a lost season for Palmer, who missed a total of 10 games with significant injuries, but he actually finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game (17.26) last season. Provided he stays healthy, Palmer is a high-upside backup fantasy quarterback in Bruce Arians' vertical passing attack with Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown forming a good trio of receivers.

20. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

Described by ESPN's Jon Gruden as a "6-foot-4 Russell Wilson," Mariota possesses all of the physical tools to develop into an elite fantasy quarterback. Naturally, there will be an adjustment period for Mariota, as there is with all rookies, but Mariota's ability to create outside the pocket could lead to an occasional big week even as a rookie. And at least in early offseason workouts without pads, Mariota has impressed his coaches and teammates.

21. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Through four seasons in the NFL, Dalton has finished as the QB18, QB12, QB5 and QB19, respectively. In his first season in Hue Jackson's offense, his pass attempts dropped from a career-high 586 in 2013 to a career-low 481 in 2014. With A.J. Green missing several games and Marvin Jones missing all of 2014, it's possible that this ranking is too low for Dalton especially if his receivers can stay healthy in 2015.

22. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Benched a game in favor of Jimmy Clausen, Cutler played only 15 games and led the league in multi-interception games (seven) last season. Despite the massive contract given to Cutler from the last regime in the previous offseason, he's clearly not in the team's long-term plans and could have a short leash if he doesn't cut down on the turnovers. Per CSN Chicago, the plan is to "take some things away from Cutler and shrink the game for him," which will hopefully cut down on his interception rate. On a positive note, they drafted the talented Kevin White with the seventh overall pick to give him another dynamic weapon opposite Alshon Jeffery.

23. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles

In five NFL seasons since being drafted first overall by the Rams, Bradford has played a total of 49 games -- and only seven of 32 games in the past two years. If, a big if, Bradford starts 16 games for the Eagles, however, he has the potential to finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in 2015. The duo of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez combined to throw 4,581 yards, 27 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season and score 258.74 fantasy points, which would have placed them 14th among quarterbacks last year.

24. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

Coach Jay Gruden is clearly not RG3's biggest fan and there is plenty of dysfunction in the nation's capital. Appearing in nine games (missing some due to injury and others due to benching), RG3 threw just four touchdowns with six interceptions last season. Much of Griffin's fantasy upside is derived from his rushing ability, but he averaged only 19.6 rushing yards per game last year and has just one rushing touchdown in his past 22 games. And of course, his rushing attempts expose him to greater injury risk. RG3 remains a high-risk, (potential) high-reward option as a QB2 heading into 2015.

25. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

The good news is that Smith has averaged more passing yards per game over each of the past two seasons with the Chiefs than he ever did with the 49ers. The bad news, of course, is that he still has never averaged more than 220.9 YPG. Smith's mobility (685 rushing yards over the past two seasons), lack of turnovers and improved group of pass-catchers are positives, but the "game manager" has relatively limited upside.

26. Geno Smith, New York Jets

It wasn't a great 2014 season for Geno, but he did improve his completion percentage to 59.7 percent (from 55.8 percent as a rookie) and his TD-to-INT ratio to 13:13 (from 12:21). Going into the 2015 season, Smith has some upside with a much-improved group of weapons with Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and rookie Devin Smith as his top three wide receivers and Jace Amaro going into his second season.

27. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

Sacked a league-high 55 times in 2014, the second-year quarterback will have an improved level of talent around him on offense in 2015. While he's a big and strong quarterback, Bortles dealt with a bit of a "dead arm" down the stretch as a rookie. Bortles rushed for 419 yards (7.5 YPC) and only three quarterbacks rushed for more yards. Due to his dual-threat abilities and the talent upgrades on the offense, Bortles has some fantasy upside.

28. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

Only three teams threw the ball more than the Raiders in 2014 and Carr gets a boost to his receiving corps with rookie Amari Cooper and free-agent addition Michael Crabtree. While Carr posted a very solid 21-to-12 TD-to-INT ratio as a rookie, he averaged an anemic 5.5 Y/A.

29. Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams

Two seasons ago, Foles had a breakout season (27:2 TD-to-INT ratio and 9.1 Y/A in 13 games) and Chip Kelly said he would be the team's quarterback for the "next 1,000 years." After a disappointing half-season prior to breaking his collarbone, the 1,000 years are up and Kelly traded him to the Rams. Meanwhile, the transition to the Rams is a downgrade on a number of fronts -- leakier offensive line, lesser talent at skill positions (compared to 2013/2014 Eagles) and much tougher pass defenses in the NFC West compared to NFC East.

30. Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans

With less than an iron grip on the starting job, early reports have put Hoyer in the lead for the starting gig over former fellow Patriots backup Ryan Mallett. No team ran the ball more than the Texans, who ranked last in the NFL in passing-play percentage (48.07 percent) last year. There is little reason to expect a significant change in philosophy with any of the team's quarterbacks under center in 2015.

The best of the rest:

31. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns
32. E.J. Manuel, Buffalo Bills
33. Matt Cassel, Buffalo Bills
34. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
35. Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles
36. Ryan Mallett, Houston Texans
37. Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
38. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
39. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
40. Tim Tebow, Philadelphia Eagles
41. Jimmy Clausen, Chicago Bears
42. Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins
43. Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
44. Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans
45. Brandon Weeden, Dallas Cowboys
46. Scott Tolzien, Green Bay Packers
47. Matt McGloin, Oakland Raiders
48. Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
49. Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos
50. Tom Savage, Houston Texans

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2015 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: July Update

Among fantasy football's major positions, running back is arguably the most difficult to predict.

While I generally prefer to draft at least two running backs within my first three picks, plenty of late(r)-round selections will pay huge dividends for fantasy owners. Of course, identifying them is a little more difficult.

That said, four of the top-12 fantasy running backs last season were drafted, on average, outside the top-30 fantasy running backs last year — Lamar Miller (No. 9, ADP: RB31), Jeremy Hill (No. 10, ADP: RB42), C.J. Anderson (No. 11, ADP: RB65) and Justin Forsett (No. 8, ADP: Undrafted).

With that said, here are my fantasy football running back rankings for 2015:

1. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

Despite a somewhat disappointing season, Charles finished with the seventh-most fantasy points among running backs in 2014. The 28-year-old back rushed for 1,033 yards, his fifth 1,000-yard season, and added 40 catches for 291 yards while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns. Despite a year-over-year decline in all of those numbers, the biggest concern was his reduction in workload. After 320-plus touches in back-to-back seasons, Charles had just 246 touches -- 15 running backs had more -- in 2014. Perhaps we won't see Charles get in the 320-range ever again, but it would be a surprise to see him as low as 246 again this season.

2. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Whether the Steelers have the lead (and want to use the clock) or trail (and need to throw), Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow. Named 2014 AP First-Team All-Pro Team, Bell racked up 1,361 rushing yards, 83 receptions for 854 yards and 11 total touchdowns in his second season. Over the course of last year, Bell averaged 17.97 fantasy points per game although his production spiked to 24.7/G with LeGarrette Blount out of the picture down the stretch.

Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners), he's suspended for the first three games of the season. If he maintained his full-season average of 17.97/G over 13 games this year, however, Bell would score 233.59 fantasy points, which would have ranked him sixth among running backs in 2014. In other words, a replacement-level back for the first three weeks combined with Bell, who I expect to lead the league in per-game production, for 13 games could certainly finish as a top-three back (or better) in 2015.

3. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

Starting slowly while facing three elite rush defenses to start the season, only DeMarco Murray and Le'Veon Bell scored more fantasy points than Lacy did from Weeks 4 to 17. Over those final 13 games of the season, he averaged 18.92 touches for 108.85 YFS per game and scored a total of 13 touchdowns. The benefit of playing with Aaron Rodgers means that opposing defenses are less likely to stack the box to (try to) slow down Lacy. After averaging a relatively modest 4.15 yards per carry as a rookie, Lacy averaged 4.63 YPC last season (and 4.89 YPC over final 13 games).

4. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

One of the league's all-time best running backs, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards back just a couple of seasons ago. After last year's lost season, it was unclear where he would play in 2015, but the draft has come and gone and Peterson reported to the team. Assuming that he plays all 16 games (or close to it), the 30-year-old Peterson should finish as a top-five (or better) back in 2015.

5. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

In his four full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in those seasons. During that four-year span, no player has more rushing yards (5,357), rushing touchdowns (48) and or total touchdowns (56). Beast Mode's production hasn't slowed at all, but his physical running style (granted, he seems to dish out more punishment than he receives), heavy workload (league-high 1,479 regular-season and playoff touches over that four-year span) and age (turned 29 in April) is at least somewhat concerning. That said, Lynch seems to be a lock for another 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses.

6. Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Did you know that the Houston Texans led the NFL in rush attempts in 2014? When healthy, Foster is one of the league's few true workhorse backs. Although Foster missed three games in 2014, he averaged 95.8 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, both of which were four-year highs, and scored double-digit touchdowns (13). Not only did Foster finish as a top-five fantasy running back last season, he also finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in 10 of 13 weeks last season.

7. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals

Over the final nine games of the season, Hill had 22-plus carries and 100-plus rushing yards five times including the final three games of the regular season. During that nine-game span, Hill had 172 carries for 929 yards and six touchdowns and no running back had more rushing yards than Hill during that stretch. (Lynch was second with 824 yards.) Going into the 2015 season, Hill is clearly the team's lead back with Giovani Bernard back as the change-of-pace option.

8. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Not only did Forte lead all running backs in receptions (102) last year, but only three players had more -- Antonio Brown (129), Demaryius Thomas (111) and Julio Jones (104) -- as he broke the single-season record for receptions by a running back. With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions again, but he could certainly finish in the neighborhood of 70 catches. And although Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has exceeded 1,400 yards from scrimmage in all seven of his NFL seasons. Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season and I'd expect the Bears to be more committed to the run in 2015 to limit Jay Cutler's turnovers.

9. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos

From Week 10 to 17 last year, Anderson finished as a top-five fantasy running back in six of eight games. In the other two games, he was still very productive as the RB10 and RB16 for those given weeks. With a healthy backfield and new coaching staff entering 2015, there is perhaps some uncertainty about how the workload will be allocated, but it appears that CJA is set for a featured-back role. In his mailbag column, Troy Renck of the Denver Post projects Anderson to average 18 carries per game as the team's "bellcow" and to "roll for 1,400 yards."

10. DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles

Murray has always been productive on a per-game, per-touch basis. Before last season's career year, Murray averaged 4.95 yards per carry in his first three seasons combined. The issue with Murray (before 2014) was durability as he missed multiple games in each of those three seasons. With a total of 497 touches including the playoffs last year, durability remains Murray's biggest concern in 2015 as well. Even though the team added another talented (and injury-prone) running back (Ryan Mathews) in free agency, I'd expect Murray to still get close to 20 touches per game, when healthy. But will he hold up for another full season?

11. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

Barely finishing as a top-12 fantasy running back last season, McCoy finished third in the league in rushing (1,319 yards) and was one of only two 300-carry backs. Not only did he average nearly a yard per carry less in 2014 than 2013, however, McCoy also saw his receptions (52 in 2013) and touchdowns (11 in 2013) drop roughly in half to 28 and five, respectively. Despite running behind an inferior offensive line (compared to Philadelphia's), McCoy should see a healthy volume of work within Buffalo's ground-and-pound offense, like last year, but will his per-touch effectiveness bounce back in a less-efficient offense?

12. Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens

Arguably the biggest surprise in fantasy football last season, Forsett scored more fantasy points than all but seven other running backs in 2014. Forsett, who re-signed with the Ravens this offseason, rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards last season and averaged an RB-high 5.4 YPC while adding 44 receptions for 263 yards. With Marc Trestman hired as the team's new offensive coordinator, Forsett is likely to set new career highs in receptions with Marc Trestman hired to coordinate the offense.

13. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts

With the exception of an 11-game season in 2010, Gore has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in eight of his past nine seasons with at least 1,100 rushing yards in four consecutive seasons. Coach Pagano has said that he still views Gore as an every-down back, which means he should get the opportunity to extend the streak. One of the league's better pass-catching backs earlier in his career, Gore should be much more involved as a receiver than he has been over the past four seasons (average of 18 catches per season) in San Francisco.

14. Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers

For re-draft purposes, I expect Gordon to be the most productive rookie running back in 2015. MG3 has drawn some comparisons to Jamaal Charles and he enters a favorable situation with the injury-prone Ryan Mathews no longer in San Diego. The Bolts should give Gordon the bulk of the early-down work as I have him projected for more than 275 touches as a rookie.

15. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

Morris averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC last season, but he rushed 265 times for 1,074, respectable numbers but also career lows, and eight touchdowns. Despite the shaky quarterback situation, Alf should benefit on a per-carry basis if RG3 is back as the starter with his athleticism putting additional strain on run defenses. Washington's offensive line struggled last year, but the team used the fifth-overall pick on Brandon Scherff and the addition of Bill Callahan to the coaching staff is certainly a positive for the team's offensive line play and rushing attack overall.

16. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints

Once again, Ingram missed multiple games and has now missed a total of 14 games over his four-year career. That said, Ingram set career highs -- 226 carries, 964 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and 29 receptions -- in the 13 games he did play in 2014. Re-signing with the Saints, Ingram should lead the team in carries. And given the team's offseason moves, a transition to more of a run-based offense appears to be in the offing.

17. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins coaching staff seemed reluctant to give Miller as much work as his fantasy owners would have liked, but Miller was highly productive on a per-touch basis (5.09 YPC, 7.24 Y/R). With more than 15 carries in only four games last season, Miller still managed to post his first-ever 1,000-yard season (1,099 rushing yards). In addition, Miller was very consistent throughout the season as he finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in 12 of 16 weeks. Although they didn't draft Jay Ajayi until the fifth round (due to long-term concerns about his knee), Ajayi profiles as a potential three-down back in this league and could cap Miller's upside in 2015.

18. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers

Over the final five games of the season, Stewart, who recently turned 28, rushed for 486 yards on 91 carries (5.34 YPC) and only DeMarco Murray (491) had more rushing yards during that span. With DeAngelo Williams now in Pittsburgh, it appears that the team finally recognizes that The Daily Show gives their offense the best opportunity for success. Durability is a concern for Stewart, however, as he has played only 28 games over the past three seasons.

19. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers

With Frank Gore signing a free-agent deal with the Colts, Hyde projects atop the 49ers depth chart at running back although they signed Reggie Bush in free agency and drafted Mike Davis as well. With Gore ahead of him last year on the depth chart, Hyde had just 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. Not only will his workload expand significantly, but I expect his effectiveness on a per-carry basis to increase from last year's 4.0 yards-per-carry average. On a positive note, Hyde has shed some weight and is now in the "mid 220-pound range," which should improve his elusiveness yet still allow him to flourish near the goal line. On a not-so-positive note, the 49ers have lost Anthony Davis (retirement) and Mike Iupati (free agency) along the offensive line.

20. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

The good news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. The bad news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. Given Ellington's size (5-9, 199), it wasn't a huge (no pun intended) surprise that Ellington didn't hold up for a full season and missed the final four regular-season games. With the substantial bump in workload, Ellington underwhelmed as his yards-per-carry average plummeted from 5.5 YPC as a rookie to 3.3 on 201 carries last season. That said, the foot injury he battled all of last season is now healed and the Cardinals improved their offensive line in free agency and the draft.

- Continue to Fantasy RB Rankings 21-40

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2015 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: July Update

A wide receiver has scored 250-plus fantasy points 12 times in the history of the NFL.

Nearly half of those 250-point seasons belong to one player, Jerry Rice (five). Only four of them have occurred since the turn of the century — Randy Moss (2003 and 2007), Calvin Johnson (2011) and now Antonio Brown (2014).

Amazingly, Brown never finished as the highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in any given week throughout the 2014 season. (In fact, that applies to both standard- and PPR-scoring formats.) Yet no wide receiver had more fantasy points over the course of the season -- in either format -- than Brown.

Over the past two seasons, Brown has a combined 239 receptions for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also has 17 rushing yards and two return touchdowns. More impressive than his overall level of production, however, has been his consistency.

Brown had at least five receptions and 70 yards in all 17 games (counting their playoff loss) last season. Going back to the start of 2013, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in 33 consecutive games.

One of the things that you'll often hear in fantasy football is that you can't win your league in the first round, but you can lose it. With Brown's production and consistency, there isn't a safer first-round pick.

Here are my fantasy football wide receiver rankings for 2015:

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

See above.

2. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos

Despite his slow start, Thomas reached the 100-yard mark in 10 of his final 13 games and finished with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. With the Broncos using their franchise tag on Thomas, he's yet to sign the tender or reach a long-term deal ahead of the looming July 15th deadline. That said, a fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility with Peyton Manning back for (at least) one more year.

3. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

Targeted only 136 times, a three-year low, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns. Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons. The Cowboys used their franchise tag on Bryant and it appears unlikely that the two sides reach a long-term deal before July 15th. There have been some reports that Bryant would consider holding out into the season absent a long-term deal, but that appears unlikely.

4. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Jones finished with 104 catches for 1,593 yards, both of which shattered his previous career highs, and six touchdowns in 2014. After scoring 0.62 TD/G on 74.4 YPG in his first two seasons, Jones has averaged just 0.40 TD/G despite a jump to 1087.7 YPG over the past two seasons. With plus size and speed, Jones should bounce back in terms of red-zone production and could put together a 100/1,500/10 season in 2015 with good health.

5. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Brown. While he may not finish as a top-two fantasy receiver once again, Nelson posted a 98/1,519/13 line last season and has averaged 1,210 yards and 10.75 touchdowns over the past four seasons.

6. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

Including playoff appearances, Megatron has more 200-yard games (six) than any other receiver in league history. And while he still has as much potential as any receiver to take over a given game, he has missed a total of five games in 2013 and 2014. Johnson also appeared in a few games as a decoy, which can be even worse for fantasy owners than missed games. With five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, however, Megatron has averaged a stat line of 90/1,467/11 during that span.

7. Odell Beckham, New York Giants

Closing the season with nine consecutive games of 90-plus yards, Beckham racked up a massive stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets during that stretch. In fact, only 11 other receivers had more yards in all of 2014 than OBJ had in his final nine games. And as impressive as that sounds, he was even more dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets. While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules.

8. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Injuries kept Green from building upon his 2013 numbers (98/1,426/11), but he extended his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career to four. Only Megatron (6,214), Brown (5,092) and Demaryius (5,034) have more yards during that four-year span than Green (4,874). With good health, Green is a good bet for 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015.

9. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Not only was he one of three rookie receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last year, but Evans was one of five receivers to score at least 12 touchdowns. From Weeks 9 to 11, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when things really click as he posted a massive 21/458/5 line over that three-game stretch. Only 21 years old (turns 22 in August), Evans should take a step forward in 2015 despite playing with a rookie quarterback.

10. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

Set to turn 25 in August, Cobb re-signed with the Packers prior to the official start of NFL free agency. Of course, playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense helps to maximize his fantasy value this year and going forward. Cobb finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, all of which set career highs, but I would be surprised if he scored 12 touchdowns again in 2015.

11. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears

With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets and using a top-seven pick on West Virginia's Kevin White, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) and finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last season.

12. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton had a breakout 82/1,345/7 season last year. And that breakout year would have been even better if he weren't limited down the stretch by a hamstring injury. With good health, Hilton could set new career highs in both receptions and yards this season.

13. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

Emerging as the team's most productive wide receiver last season, Hopkins took a huge step forward in his second season with a 76/1,210/6 stat line and the team released Andre Johnson in the offseason. If there's any concern when it comes to Hopkins taking another step forward in his third season, it's the team's less-than-inspiring quarterback play, but he's a borderline WR1/WR2 option in fantasy leagues heading into 2015.

14. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints

Before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 11, Cook's 86.3 fantasy points ranked 25th among all wide receivers and his 53 receptions led all rookie receivers. Once again generating plenty of buzz in the offseason, Cooks is poised for a major breakout with the offseason trades of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.

15. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers

Along with Mike Evans and Odell Beckham, Benjamin was one of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers in 2014. Like Evans, Benjamin is a big-bodied (6-5, 240) receiver that wins in the red zone. As a rookie, Benjamin was the focal point of the passing attack along with tight end Greg Olsen and he should only see his stream of targets increase in his sophomore campaign. That said, Benjamin will need to cut down on the drops as only Mohamed Sanu (14) had more drops than Benjamin (11) last season, according to PFF. Plus, he'll need to cut some weight as he showed up to OTAs about eight pounds above his playing weight.

16. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles

Playing only 65.0 percent of the team's offensive snaps as a rookie, that ratio will undoubtedly spike in his second season as the team lost Jeremy Maclin via free agency. Even if the Eagles were able to re-sign Maclin, I would have expected Matthews to play in two-WR sets ahead of Riley Cooper, who played in 81.7 percent of offensive snaps. In his first season in the league, Matthews finished with 67 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver.

17. Brandon Marshall, New York Jets

A lot went wrong for Marshall and the Bears offense last season as he missed multiple games, was limited in others, Jay Cutler struggled and was benched, etc. Marshall posted his lowest totals for both receptions (61) and yards (721) since his rookie season, but he was traded to the Jets in the offseason and gets a fresh start. A return to his 2012 or 2013 numbers appear unlikely, but I expect a bounce-back season to more than 1,000 yards. Before last year, Marshall had seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

18. Andre Johnson, Indianapolis Colts

After back-to-back 1,400-yard seasons, Johnson finished with 85 receptions for just 936 yards and three touchdowns in 2014. Johnson's 62.4 Y/G and 11.0 Y/R were his lowest since 2005. Released by the Texans this offseason, Johnson signed with the Colts and gets a major upgrade in quarterback situation with Andrew Luck. Johnson, who turns 34 this month, may never record another 1,400-yard season, but 1,000-plus yards seems likely.

19. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos

In his first season with the Broncos, Sanders blew his previous career highs out of the water. With previous career highs set in 2013 of 67/740/6, Sanders finished with 101 receptions for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns. The Broncos offense will be more balanced this season, but Sanders is a solid mid-tier WR2 option heading into 2015.

20. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers

Inactive for the first six games, Bryant went on a scoring spree in his first four NFL games with a total of six touchdowns during that span. After that point, Bryant had just 12 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns in the final six games of the season. Bryant should start ahead of Markus Wheaton in two-WR sets and there will likely be some week-to-week inconsistency, but he has plenty of upside heading into his second season.

- Continue our Fantasy Football WR Rankings

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2015 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: July Update

Here are my post-free agency fantasy football tight end rankings for 2015:

1. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

When it comes to fantasy tight ends, he's in a tier all by himself. Named the 2014 AP Comeback Player of the Year after two injury-plagued seasons, Gronkowski posted an 82/1,124/12 stat line over 15 games. Scoring 184.4 fantasy points, Gronk had 30.3 points (or 19.66 percent) more than Antonio Gates, who had the second-most among tight ends. Not only dominant over a full season, but Gronk was consistent as well finishing as a top-five weekly scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-11 scorer in all but two games.

2. Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks

Slowed by a shoulder injury, Graham had 54 yards or less in six of his final seven games last season and finished with only 889 yards, a four-year low. Over his past four seasons, however, Graham has averaged 89 catches, 1,099 yards and 12 touchdowns per year. With his trade to the Seahawks, Graham goes from an offense that averaged 41.2 pass attempts per game, second-most in the NFL last year, to one that averages the fewest (28.4/G).

3. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce played only 52.3 percent of the team's offensive snaps from Weeks 1 to 10, but that percentage jumped to 86.7 percent from Weeks 11 to 17. Despite his snap-count limits during the first half of the season, Kelce still finished with 67 receptions, 862 yards and five touchdowns and the ninth-most fantasy points (sixth-most in PPR formats) among tight ends last season. With good health, the sky is the limit for Kelce in 2015.

4. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Posting career highs of 84 catches for 1,008 yards last season, Olsen now has at least 69 receptions and 816 yards while finishing as a top-seven fantasy tight end in each of the past three seasons. Over that three-year span, Graham (3,086) is the only tight end with more yards than Olsen (2,667) and only Graham (256) and Jason Witten (247) have more receptions than Olsen (226). He's never scored more than eight touchdowns in a season, but he has at least five scores for seven consecutive seasons. In addition, Olsen is extremely durable having played all 16 games in seven consecutive seasons.

5. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz saw a year-over-year jump from 36 catches and 469 yards as a rookie to 58 catches for 702 yards, 11th-most among tight ends last season. With Jeremy Maclin leaving Philadelphia for Kansas City, however, Ertz should become even more involved in the passing game.

6. Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

Setting career highs across the board in 2014 with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns, Bennett finished as a top-five scorer among tight ends and led the position in receptions. With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, Bennett has the potential to match those numbers this season.

7. Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins

In 2013, Cameron had a breakout season with 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. When healthy, he is clearly a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Unfortunately, Cameron missed six games last season and has a history of concussions. Perhaps no injury is more worrisome from a fantasy outlook given the greater susceptibility and unpredictability of a recurrence. If Cameron plays 16 games in 2015, however, he has top-five upside.

8. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Other than his rookie season, Witten's 64 receptions and 703 yards last year set or tied career lows. Witten lacks upside at this point in his career, but he's a solid option that should come close to last year's top-10 performance once again.

9. Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Slowed by injuries, Thomas followed up a breakout 2013 season with only 43 catches for 489 yards, but he once again scored 12 touchdowns. Signing a massive free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Thomas is unlikely to approach that red-zone success again this year. Aside from the Browns (12), no other team threw fewer touchdowns than the Jaguars (15) last season.

10. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Walker set career highs in both receptions (63) and yards (890) and led the team in both categories last season. It may be difficult for Walker to repeat that production with a rookie quarterback, but the team's quarterback situation was less than ideal last year and Marcus Mariota has generated positive reviews during offseason workouts.

11. Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts

With eight touchdowns on only 29 receptions in 13 games, Allen is one of the league's better red-zone options at the position. In weeks he doesn't score, however, Allen's lack of volume (2.23 catches per game) will lead to mostly boom (scores a touchdown) or bust (doesn't score a touchdown) outcomes.

12. Owen Daniels, Denver Broncos

Once again, Daniels is reunited with Gary Kubiak. Daniels had 48 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns last season in Baltimore. While I don't expect 12 touchdowns from Daniels, which is something that Julius Thomas has done in back-to-back years in Denver, I would expect an improvement across the board over his 48/527/4 line from last season.

13. Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Fleener finished with 774 yards and eight touchdowns, both of which were career highs, on 51 receptions last season. Unsurprisingly, Fleener's best games last season came in games that Dwayne Allen was out. In the four games that Allen missed or left early due to injury, Fleener had 355 yards and four touchdowns. In the other 12 games, he had just 419 yards and four touchdowns. Assuming that Fleener and Allen are healthy for the entire season, I prefer Allen over Fleener.

14. Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers

Disappointing those that expected an expanded role for him within the offense last season, Green had just 19 receptions for 226 yards and no touchdowns in 2014. Meanwhile, Antonio Gates finished second among all tight ends in fantasy points in his age-34 season. For at least the first four games of the season, however, Green will see his role expand with Gates suspended.

15. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers

Miller parlayed 91 targets last season into a 66/761/3 stat line, which was good for the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2014. While he only has four touchdowns in 30 games over the past two seasons, but he's one of 10 tight ends I have projected for 60-plus catches in 2015.

16. Rob Housler, Cleveland Browns

Under-utilized within Arizona's offense, Housler has averaged just 1.9/20.6 per game with only one touchdown in 55 games over four seasons with the Cardinals. With Josh Gordon suspended for the 2015 season, the Browns have one of the least-talented groups of pass catchers, which could lead to the athletic Housler setting new career highs in his first season with the Browns. He enters 2015 as a high-upside TE2.

17. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

Although his targets (98), receptions (69) and yards (821) were down year over year, Gates finished with 12 touchdowns, the second-most of his career, and scored more fantasy points than all tight ends not named Gronkowski. That said, he enters the 2015 season facing a four-game suspension for PEDs and turned 35 years old last month.

18. Josh Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints

Trading Graham (and Kenny Stills) should open up opportunities for Hill, but ESPN beat reporter Mike Triplett recently wrote that he doesn't expect a "major breakthrough" for Hill in a mailbag response to a fantasy question. Targeted just 20 times last season, Hill turned those targets into 14 receptions for 176 yards and five touchdowns.

19. Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams

Despite Sam Bradford playing just seven games over the past two seasons, Cook has exceeded 50 receptions and 600 yards and finished as a top-15 fantasy tight end in both of his seasons with the Rams. There has been some boom or bust to his game in the past, but he was one of just nine tight ends to have at least three receptions in 12 games last season.

20. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Eifert's 2014 season ended almost as soon as it began with a dislocated elbow injury in Week 1. As a rookie and part of a timeshare with Jermaine Gresham, Eifert posted a solid 39/445/2 line in 2013. With Gresham now gone, Eifert will be counted on to be a significant part of their passing attack if he can stay healthy.

21. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

In two NFL seasons, Reed has played nine and 11 games, respectively, and that's the biggest concern (durability) with Reed. That said, he's been reasonably productive in those 20 games -- 95 receptions for 964 yards (plus 18 rushing yards) and three touchdowns. I like Reed's upside if he can stay healthy, but he also was invisible in too many games last season as he had 25 yards or less in five of his final seven games and didn't score a single touchdown last season.

22. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

Rudolph has failed to reach double-digit games in each of the past two seasons. While he has the potential to excel in the red zone (nine touchdowns in 2012), Rudolph has just five touchdowns in 17 games over the past two years. While Norv Turner runs a tight end-friendly offense, Rudolph actually posted three-year lows on a per-game basis in receptions (2.67/G) and receiving yards (25.7/G) in his only season with Turner.

23. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills

Although he started the season slowly, Clay averaged 4.56 catches for 51.0 yards per game and scored all three of his touchdowns from Weeks 7 to 17 while finishing fifth among tight ends in fantasy points per game (7.1) during that stretch. The concern for Clay's outlook -- and that of the other Bills' skill players -- is the team's quarterback situation.

24. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers

After a 4/44/2 game to open the season, it was all downhill for Davis from there. Last season's 245 yards, 9.4 Y/R and two touchdowns either set or tied career lows for Davis, who had 792-plus yards in four of his previous five seasons with a total of 44 touchdowns during that span.

25. Larry Donnell, New York Giants

At this point last year, nobody projected that Donnell would finish as a top-12 fantasy tight end, but that's exactly what he did in 2014. Donnell was especially good in the first four games (25/236/4 and fifth-most TE fantasy points). After scoring 45.6 fantasy points in the first four games of the season, however, Donnell scored only 44.7 fantasy points (3.73/G) in the final 12 games. Coincidentally, Odell Beckham missed the first four games of the season and Victor Cruz expected back in Week 1 from his patellar tendon injury.

The best of the rest:

26. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
27. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
28. Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
29. Jace Amaro, New York Jets
30. Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders
31. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles
32. Tim Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
33. Maxx Williams, Baltimore Ravens
34. Lance Kendricks, St. Louis Rams
35. Tony Moeaki, Atlanta Falcons
36. Niles Paul, Washington Redskins
37. Virgil Green, Denver Broncos
38. Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons
39. Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints
40. Gavin Escobar, Dallas Cowboys

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July 06, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 2 Pick, 2-QB League

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 2 pick, PPR scoring, 2-QB league
  • Starting lineup: 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.02 - Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts: Typically, there are plenty of non-QB values that slip in 2-QB leagues so I decided to lock up a stud for QB1. The difference between Luck and Aaron Rodgers is small, but there is a significant gap between these two and the next tier of top quarterbacks.

2.11 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Coming off a career-best season (98/1,519/11), Nelson has averaged 1,210 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past four seasons.

3.02 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Anderson was dominant down the stretch and the Broncos figure to be more run-pass balanced in 2015. In the final eight games of the season, CJA finished as a top-seven fantasy running back (PPR scoring) in seven games. The lone exception was Week 15 (RB17).

4.11 - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints: With the trades this offseason, Cooks enters 2015 primed for a breakout campaign. And before his season-ending injury in Week 11, no other rookie had more receptions (53) than Cooks, who also ranked 25th in fantasy points among receivers up to that point.

5.02 - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings: With a young quarterback (especially so with a rookie), Bridgewater's development over the course of the season was a very encouraging sign. Bridgwater completed 70-plus percent of his pass attempts in four of the final five games. With Adrian Peterson garnering a ton of attention from opposing defenses, Bridgewater should build upon last year's strong finish.

6.11 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Limited to a little more than half of the team's snaps through Week 10, Kelce still posted impressive full-season numbers (67/862/5). Fully healthy this offseason, the sky's the limit for Baby Gronk in 2015.

7.02 - Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders: Murray has a rare combination of size and speed and he will get an opportunity to be the team's featured back in 2015. While he's unproven, he's a high-upside RB2 for this team.

8.11 - Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys: In limited action (51 carries), Randle had 11 runs of 10-plus yards and averaged 6.73 YPC behind one of the league's best offensive lines. While the Cowboys still have a great (and even better) offensive line, Randle figures to get the largest share of the committee backfield that will look to replace DeMarco Murray's production.

9.02 - Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: We've seen in the past the success a dual-threat quarterback can have as a fantasy quarterback even with limited production as a passer. That said, Mariota has impressed his coaches and new teammates this offseason and gives me a high-upside QB3.

10.11 - Reggie Bush, RB, San Francisco 49ers: It was a disappointing 2014 season for Bush, who signed a free-agent deal with the 49ers. At a minimum, Bush enters the season as the change-of-pace option to Carlos Hyde.

11.02 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald now has three consecutive seasons with less than 1,000 yards. With better health for the team's quarterbacks and Fitzgerald himself, it's possible he comes close to his 2013 numbers (82/954/10) in least in terms of receptions and yards.

12.11 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers have the second-fewest passing yards over the past two seasons yet Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns with the Niners. Granted, he's not a high-upside guy, but he finished as the WR18 in PPR formats last season.

13.02 - Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots: LaFell shattered previous career highs in targets (119), receptions (74) and yards (953) last season and provides value as my WR5.

14.11 - Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins: Garcon's numbers were nearly halved last season after leading the league in receptions (113) two years ago. While he won't lead the league in catches, the team will make more of a concerted effort to get the ball in his hands.

15.02 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

16.11 - Shaun Suisham, K, Pittsburgh Steelers

- View full mock draft results here

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2015 Fantasy Football Average Draft Position (ADP) Movers: July 6th Update

Every Monday this offseason, we post an update in players that have had the biggest moves — both up and down — in fantasy football average draft position (ADP) from the previous week.

With this information, we can get a better sense of changes in the collective perceptions of fantasy football owners (mock drafters); in essence, it's a version of fantasy stock up/down for players. If a player is moving up the ADP chart, it may lead us to using a higher pick than his current ADP to make sure we secure a targeted player.

Of course, a player's ADP (and movement) is just one (small) piece in determining who to draft and our strategy used to assemble a fantasy roster.

For purposes of our weekly comparison(s), we use ADP data from 12-team mock drafts from Fantasy Football Calculator.

Biggest weekly gainers in ADP.

Quarterbacks:

  1. Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams: -7.2 (161.3 on 6/29 to 154.1 on 7/6)
  2. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals: -6.3 (131.5 to 125.2)
  3. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans: -5.3 (165.5 to 160.2)

Running Backs:

  1. Dan Herron, Indianapolis Colts: -16.2 (164.6 to 148.4)
  2. Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers: -10.2 (161.3 to 151.1)
  3. Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns: -8.6 (106.2 to 97.6)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Steve Johnson, San Diego Chargers: -8.1 (163.1 to 155.0)
  2. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars: -4.7 (73.5 to 68.8)
  3. Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers: -4.1 (126.2 to 122.1)

Tight Ends:

  1. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles: -7.5 (95.0 to 87.5)
  2. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys: -6.6 (128.8 to 122.2)
  3. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans: -4.5 (138.9 to 134.4)

Biggest weekly fallers in ADP.

Quarterbacks:

  1. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders: +3.0 (159.4 on 6/29 to 162.4 on 7/6)
  2. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins: +2.7 (162.4 to 165.1)
  3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: +1.8 (67.1 to 68.9)

Running Backs:

  1. Matt Jones, Washington Redskins: +6.3 (155.4 to 161.7)
  2. James Starks, Green Bay Packers: +6.2 (152.2 to 158.4)
  3. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +5.2 (105.0 to 110.2)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Percy Harvin, Buffalo Bills: +4.4 (121.4 to 125.8)
  2. Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts: +4.3 (158.6 to 162.9)
  3. Eric Decker, New York Jets: +3.6 (125.0 to 128.6)

Tight Ends:

  1. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: +14.6 (101.6 to 116.2)
  2. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts: +4.2 (127.2 to 131.4)
  3. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills: +4.2 (156.3 to 160.5)

[Note: Negative numbers mean the player's ADP is improving (i.e., being drafted earlier) and vice versa.]

- Fantasy Football ADP Risers/Fallers: See full grid of player changes in ADP over past week

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July 05, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 10 Teams, No. 5 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 10 teams, No. 5 pick, PPR scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.05 - Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Lacy started slowly against three elite defenses last season, but he averaged 18.92 touches and 108.85 YFS per game with 13 touchdowns over the final 13 games.

2.06 - Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans: Even though he missed three games last season, Foster still finished as a top-five fantasy running back in 2014. With a less-than-stellar quarterback situation, the Texans will once again lean heavily on their ground game.

3.05 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Hilton finished with a career-high 1,345 yards and finished as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver in 2015.

4.06 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Although Gore is now 32 years old, he has four consecutive 1,100-yard seasons and figures to be a three-down back for the Colts. Once one of the league's best receivers out of the backfield, Gore should be more involved in the passing game with the move to Indy.

5.05 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: The most pro-ready receiver in this year's rookie crop, Cooper became the first Biletnikoff winner in Alabama last season. He will immediately become Derek Carr's go-to receiver and the Raiders ranked fourth in the league in pass attempts per game last year.

6.06 - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks: Largely due to his rushing stats, Wilson finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback last season. Even though the Seahawks will remain a run-first offense, the addition of Jimmy Graham significantly boosts Wilson's red-zone options.

7.05 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Moving back to his change-of-pace role behind Jeremy Hill, Bernard is a much better option in PPR formats. Over the final three games last season, Hill rushed for 100-plus yards yet Bernard finished as a weekly top-12 running back (PPR) in each of those games showing that both backs can be productive.

8.06 - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: Maclin is coming off a career season (85/1,318/10) and parlayed that into a huge free-agent contract. Unfortunately for Maclin and his fantasy owners, the change of scenery won't do his fantasy value any good. But he's a solid WR3.

9.05 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald has fallen short of 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons, but he missed a couple of games last year and the team started three different quarterbacks. If Carson Palmer can stay healthy, Fitzgerald may come close to his 2013 numbers (82/954/10).

10.06 - Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans: Walker is coming off a career-best season (63/890/4) and although he's unlikely to duplicate those numbers, he was my top-ranked tight end available at this point.

11.05 - Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: V-Jax had just two touchdowns last season, but he once again exceeded 1,000 yards in 2014.

12.06 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Even though the 49ers have the second-fewest passing yards over the past two seasons, Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns.

13.05 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: With excellent size and speed, Johnson emerged over the second half as a WR2/WR3. With continued development from second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off last season.

14.06 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

15.05 - Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons:

- View full mock draft results here

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July 04, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 20 Teams, No. 14 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 20 teams, No. 14 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.14 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: The debate here came down to the best-available players in my rankings at running back (Hill) and wide receiver (Demaryius Thomas). While I have DT ranked higher than Hill overall, the overall depth at receiver is greater and I felt I could build the strongest possible starting lineup going with Hill. Over the final nine games of the season, no running back had more rushing yards than Hill (929), who enters 2015 as the unquestioned featured back in the Bengals' run-heavy offense.

2.07 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Not only was Evans one of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers, but he was one of only five wide receivers in the NFL to haul in 12-plus touchdowns. Only 21 years old (turns 22 next month) and with the team's quarterback upgrade, Evans could be even better in year two.

3.14 - C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints: Round hole. Square peg. That's how it felt with Spiller over the past two seasons in Buffalo. It's certain that the Saints will better utlilize Spiller's abilities in space.

4.07 - Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Tied with Drew Brees, Roethlisberger threw for a league-leading 4,952 yards, more than 600 yards greater than his previous career high, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a career high. With talented skill players and continuity on the line, Big Ben should have another strong season after finishing as the QB5 in 2014.

5.14 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: While Duke Johnson has generated a disproportionate amount of buzz this offseason, I still expect Crowell to lead the team's backfield in touches and production. (That said, I was able to land Johnson two picks later.)

6.07 - Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: Coming off per-game career lows in targets, receptions and yards, the outlook for the 32-year-old Colston improves with the offseason trades of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.

7.14 - Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: I like Johnson's versatile skill set and he was uber productive at The U. as he became the school's all-time leading rusher last season. Given the NFL talent they have produced, that says a lot.

8.07 - Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams: A top-25 fantasy receiver in each of the first four weeks of last season, Quick's season ended a few weeks later with a torn rotator cuff. Depending on his health, Quick's breakout season may come in 2015.

9.14 - Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens: In a 20-team league, not every team can have two starting quarterbacks. I'll only need Flacco for one week, but the Marc Trestman hire should bode well for Flacco's 2015 production.

10.07 - Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers: Miller turns 33 in October and his upside is capped with the other talented pass-catchers they have. Miller posted a solid 66/761/3 line and exceeded 90 targets for only the third time in his career last season.

11.14 - Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Allen Robinson is clearly the Jaguars' top receiver in real and fantasy football and is poised for a breakout season. That said, the other Allen has the potential to be the team's second-most productive receiver.

12.07 - Miami Dolphins D/ST In a deeper league like this, I will usually take my starting defense a round or two earlier.

13.14 - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans: Hunter disappointed those that expected a second-year breakout in 2014. With diminished expectations, Hunter still has the physical tools to outproduce this draft slot as a high-upside WR5 (although I won't hold my breath).

14.07 - Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers

15.14 - Rob Housler, TE, Cleveland Browns: Few NFL offenses utilize the pass-catching abilities of their tight ends less than Arizona. Transitioning to a team that lacks (eligible-to-play) difference-makers in their group of pass catchers, Housler could end up setting career highs with his mismatch-creating athleticism. Either way, he's worth the flier in the last round.

- View full mock draft results here

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July 02, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 6 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 6 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.06 - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Although Rob Gronkowski is my highest-ranked non-RB, I went with Brown here considering this league would start a minimum of three wideouts. As impressive as Brown's overall numbers have been over the past couple of seasons, it's his consistency that really stands out. Brown has five-plus catches and 50-plus yards in his all of his past 33 games.

2.07 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: No running back rushed for more yards than Hill (929) over the final nine games of the season. The second-year back has legit RB1 upside as the lead back in a run-heavy offense, but he's a solid option as the 19th player selected either way.

3.06 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Gordon should get the bulk of early-down carries for the Chargers and should see north of 250 touches as a rookie.

4.07 - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers: Benjamin was one of three 1,000-yard rookie receivers and was just one score shy of double-digit touchdowns in 2014. Drops were an issue and he showed up to OTAs heavier than expected, but he should approach 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns once again.

5.06 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Not only is he coming off his first-ever 1,000-yard season, but Olsen has 800-plus yards in each of the past three seasons. The only tight end with more yards during that span is Jimmy Graham.

6.07 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton missed a couple of games and was less than 100 percent for much of the year, but he still finished seventh in fantasy points per game among QBs. Before last year, Newton as the QB4 or better in his first three NFL seasons.

7.06 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Averaging 5.22 catches and 60.89 yards per game from Weeks 2 to 10, Robinson was quietly having a strong rookie season before his Week 10 foot injury. With good health, a breakout season is on the horizon for ARob.

8.07 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: Rookie Duke Johnson has generated most of the buzz this offseason, but I expect Crowell to lead the team's backfield in workload and production.

9.06 - Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Only 27 years old (he seems much older, doesn't he?), McFadden has struggled with durability over his career and his per-touch production has really slipped over the past three years -- 3.4 YPC or less each year. That said, Joseph Randle is unproven and McFadden gets a huge upgrade in offensive line (and offense in general) to make him a high-upside RB4 for this squad.

10.07 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: With excellent combination of size and speed, Johnson emerged in the second half last season with the Vikings. With continued development from second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off.

11.06 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Even though the Jets were the only team to throw for fewer yards than the 49ers over the past two seasons, Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and I still expect him to lead the team's receiving corps in production despite the free-agent addition of Torrey Smith.

12.07 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: Before last year's injury-shortened season, Woodhead finished as the RB27 (or better) in three of his previous four seasons. While MG3 will fill the void of (the oft-injured) Ryan Mathews on early downs, Woodhead should get the majority of third-down snaps.

13.06 - John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Brown had a productive rookie season especially considering the injuries to the team's quarterbacks and he should build upon that success with good health from the team's signal-callers.

14.07 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Coming off his best season as a pro (71/938/3), Randle is still only 24 years old as he enters his fourth season. And for what it's worth, Eli Manning has predicted a "breakout" season for Randle in 2015.

15.06 - Denver Broncos D/ST

16.07 - Nick Novak, K, San Diego Chargers

- View full mock draft results here

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Chargers TE Antonio Gates suspended four games

Heading into the July 4th holiday weekend, the NFL announced a bunch of four-game suspensions for several star players.

Not only were Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson and Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain suspended for violating the substance-abuse policy, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Gates will miss games against the Lions, Bengals, Vikings and Browns and then be eligible to return for Monday Night Football in Week 5 when the Chargers host the Steelers.

Turning 35 years old last month, Gates posted a 69/821/12 stat line last season and finished second among tight ends in fantasy points behind only New England's Rob Gronkowski.

With Gates sidelined for the first four games of the season, it opens the door for 25-year-old tight end Ladarius Green. Although Green has yet to haul in 20 receptions in a single season and played just 27 percent of the team's offensive snaps last year, Green is a gifted athlete that ran a 4.53 forty at the Combine in 2012. Depending on how productive Green is over that four-game stretch, it's possible that Gates returns to a lesser role in favor of Green.

In addition, the suspension should lead to more targets for the team's top receivers -- Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd and Stevie Johnson.

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July 01, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 12 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 12 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.12 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: In three seasons with Peyton Manning, Thomas has exceeded 90 catches and 1,400 yards with double-digit touchdowns every season.

2.01 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Emerging as the Bengals lead back, Hill rushed for 929 yards in the team's final nine games. No running back had more during that span and he has legitimate RB1 overall upside going into his second season.

3.12 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: The Bolts used a top-15 pick on MG3 to replace the departed (and oft-injured) Ryan Mathews. I expect Gordon to exceed 250 touches as a rookie.

4.01 - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints: Productive before suffering a season-ending injury, no rookie receiver had more receptions than Cooks (53) through Week 11. Trading away of their top pass-catchers this offseason, the Saints should feed Cooks a healthy dose of targets.

5.12 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Playing slightly more than the team's offensive snaps through Week 10, Kelce posted strong numbers despite the limitations. With a clean bill of health this offseason, the sky is the limit for Kelce in 2015.

6.01 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton has four seasons with 3,000-plus passing yards and 500-plus rushing yards, the most ever in the NFL. Missing a couple of games and playing at less than 100 percent in many others last season, 2014 was the first time in his four-year career that he did not finish as a top-four fantasy quarterback.

7.12 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Quietly, Robinson posted strong rookie numbers on a per-game basis until suffering a Week 10 season-ending foot injury. Provided he stays healthy, Robinson, who has generated some buzz this offseason, is poised for a breakout season.

8.01 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: Speaking of buzz, Duke Johnson has generated his fair share with the Browns. That said, I still expect Crowell to lead the team's backfield in touches and fantasy production.

9.12 - David Cobb, RB, Tennessee Titans: With Bishop Sankey disappointing last year and the team using phrases like "three-down back" to describe Cobb's skill set, it wouldn't surprise me if Cobb outproduces Sankey in 2015.

10.01 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: Woodhead missed the final 13 games last season, but before that, he finished as a top-27 fantasy running back in three of the previous four seasons. While Gordon will dominate the early-down work, Woodhead should get the majority of third-down snaps.

11.12 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: With excellent size (6-2, 215) and sub-4.4 speed, Johnson emerged in the second half of last season with the Vikings, his third team in his two NFL seasons. With continued development from second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should pick up where he left off.

12.01 - Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers: I have Smith's new (and old Baltimore) teammate Anquan Boldin ranked higher, but I took Smith first figuring there would be a better chance of getting both if I did so. Off to a slow start in 2014, Smith set or tied career lows in receptions (49) and yards (767), but he posted a career high in touchdowns (11) and is bit of a boom-or-bust weekly receiver.

13.12 - Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Even though the Jets are the only team with fewer passing yards than the Niners over the past two seasons, Boldin has back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns in his two years in San Francisco. Given all of the turnover on the roster (and coaching staff), it's possible/likely that the 49ers (need to) throw more often in 2015.

14.01 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

15.12 - Shaun Suisham, K, Pittsburgh Steelers

- View full mock draft results here

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 3 Pick

Using the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros), we continue our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day Series for the 2015 season.

From May 28th through Labor Day weekend, we will complete one mock draft per day and post the results.

[Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter for updates.]

Here are the league settings (all customizable) for today's mock:

  • 12 teams, No. 3 pick, standard scoring
  • Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, TE, K, D/ST and Flex (RB, WR or TE)
  • Six bench spots, any position

With that said, here is my roster from today's mock draft:

1.03 - Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: One of the league's most gifted running backs, last year was a lost season for Peterson as he missed all but Week 1. The lack of wear and tear last season could do him well this year and he certainly has the poential to post a top-three season in 2015.

2.10 - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Green missed three games last season, but he now has four 1,000-yard seasons over his young four-year career. With good health, Green should post 90/1,300/10 numbers or very close to it.

3.03 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Not only was Evans one of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers, but he is already one of the league's best red-zone weapons with 12 touchdowns as a rookie.

4.10 - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Battling injuries all season and ending up on IR, Ellington played just 12 games and averaged 3.3 YPC one year after leading all running backs at 5.5 YPC. In addition, he averaged more than 20 touches per game. If he can stay healthy, a big if given his workload, there is plenty of upside here.

5.03 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Despite being limited to a snap count early in the season, Kelce had an outstanding season (87/862/5). Without limitations in 2015, the sky is the limit for Baby Gronk.

6.10 - Giovani Bernard, RB,Cincinnati Bengals: Jeremy Hill clearly enters the season back in his change-of-pace role to Jeremy Hill. That said, the duo has shown that they can be productive together. Even though Hill rushed 100-plus yards in his final three games, Bernard finished as a weekly top-17 RB or better in each of those games.

7.03 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Quietly, Robinson posted strong numbers as a rookie before a Week 10 foot injury ended his season. Less quietly, Robinson has generated buzz with a strong offseason and is poised for a breakout if he can stay healthy.

8.10 - Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Still only 27 years old, McFadden has struggled with durability for most of his career and he has struggled with production in each of the past three seasons. While he's expected to get a smaller share of the workload in a timeshare with Joseph Randle, his draft-day cost is now much cheaper than Randle's.

9.03 - Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: With a pair of 1,000-yard seasons in five years, Mathews has shown that he can be productive although durability has been an issue. DeMarco Murray is coming off a 497-touch season so it's no lock that he plays a full a 16-game season.

10.10 - Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: With a nice combination of size (6-2, 215) and sub-4.4 speed, Johnson emerged in the second half last year. With continued development from second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Johnson should build upon last year's second-half success.

11.03 - Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions: Stafford is coming off a disappointing season, but I like the value in Round 11. It will be his second year in his new offense and Calvin Johnson missed or was a decoy in five games last season.

12.10 - Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: Averaging career lows in targets, receptions and yards, Colston could bounce back from last season's disappointment with the offseason trades of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills.

13.03 - Arizona Cardinals D/ST

14.10 - John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Brown had a solid rookie season, especially considering the injuries to Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton. With better health from his quarterbacks, he should take a step forward in 2015.

15.03 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens:

- View full mock draft results here

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2015 Fantasy Football Resources:

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