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October 23, 2016

Jay Ajayi becomes 4th RB to rush for 200-plus yards in back-to-back games

Before Week 6, Miami Dolphins second-year back Jay Ajayi had just 31 carries for 117 yards (3.77 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Things were different in Week 6 as the ex-Boise State Bronco ran wild for 204 yards and two scores on 25 carries.

While it was fairly obvious that Ajayi would remain in a lead-back role even though Arian Foster had returned from a multi-week absence last week, nobody could have expected him to be as productive in Week 7 as he was last week.

But he was.

Ajayi ran for a career-high 214 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries and added a two-yard reception. Over the past two weeks, Ajayi has a total of 54 carries for 418 yards and three touchdowns plus two catches for five yards.

Now the fourth running back to reach the 200-yard rushing mark in consecutive games, Ajayi joins Hall-of-Famers Earl Campbell and O.J. Simpson (twice) as well as ex-Dolphin Ricky Williams.

Going forward, I've moved Ajayi my top-20 running backs in my rest-of-season fantasy rankings.

Six teams will be on bye in Week 8 including the Miami Dolphins and their lead back deserves some rest. Following the bye, Ajayi and the Dolphins will face the stingy Jets run defense in Week 9.

Continue reading "Jay Ajayi becomes 4th RB to rush for 200-plus yards in back-to-back games" »


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October 22, 2016

Week 7 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Mike Wallace is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 7 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Wallace and can only start two receivers, you should start Jones and Cooper -- and in turn, bench Wallace.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 7:

WR - Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens (at NYJ)

The volume of targets has been there for Wallace, who has seen 30 targets in his past three games. With Steve Smith Sr. out again this week, 60 Minutes should be busy in Week 7 as well. Averaging 2.10 fantasy points per touch, Wallace gets a soft matchup against a burnable Jets secondary.

Provided Joe Flacco is active, the Ravens should try to push the ball down the field as only the Raiders (nine) have allowed more 40-yard receptions than the Jets (eight). Among teams left to play this week, the Ravens and Jets allow the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers through Week 6. The Jets have allowed a league-high 71.79-percent catch rate to opposing wide receivers and 84/1,209/8 (14.39 Y/R) to the position.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

WR - Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at SF)

You don't need me to tell you to start Evans, but I will anyways. And part of that is because I have Evans ranked higher than Odell Beckham Jr., who just posted a career-high 222 yards and two touchdowns in Week 6. That's how much I like Evans this week. Both Julio Jones and A.J. Green have phenomenal matchups, but it wouldn't surprise me if Evans finished as the WR1 this week. Either way, I have him ranked as a top-three option.

Before the bye, Evans had nearly a 30-percent target share (29.56 percent) and that should increase with Vincent Jackson placed on IR. Before the bye, Evans had double-digit targets in his previous four games with an average of 13.25 per game over that span. Evans is averaging 89.8 yards per game and has scored a touchdown in four of five games this season.

The 49ers have been middle of the road (17th-most) in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers, but only the Ravens (12) have allowed more receiving touchdowns to opposing wideouts than the 49ers (10). But their mediocrity in FPA to receivers can be partly attributable to allowing five consecutive 100-yard rushers. With Doug Martin out for another week, Evans has a legitimate chance to get 15-20 targets this week even though I expect Jacquizz Rodgers to have a good game as well.

WR - Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (at JAX)

Normally, I wouldn't list Cooper on this list as he's fairly obvious to start every week, but the second-year receiver has been dominant over the past couple of weeks with a great matchup upcoming. While Cooper has nine-plus targets in five of six games, he has a total of 25 targets that have resulted in a total of 16 catches for 267 yards and a touchdown in the past two weeks.

So far this season, the Jaguars have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Not only is Cooper a strong start this week, but Crabtree is a viable WR2 for fantasy owners this week as well.

WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (vs. BUF)

Landry has only one touchdown this season, but the high-volume receiver has at least seven catches in all but one game so far this season. No receiver has a higher team target share than Landry (31.32 percent). The matchup isn't necessarily great, but Landry had a total of 18 catches on 25 targets in his two games against the Bills last season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 7:

WR - Will Fuller, Houston Texans (at DEN)

With DeAndre Hopkins more of a fringe WR2 type this week, it's impossible to trust Fuller in such a difficult matchup. Ex-Broncos (and current Texans) quarterback Brock Osweiler has struggled especially in difficult matchups. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season than the Broncos.

Since Week 2, the only receiver to finish as a top-30 performer against the Broncos is A.J. Green (WR30 in Week 3). Some of the other top receivers that they have shut down during that span are T.Y. Hilton (4.1 fantasy points in Week 2), Mike Evans (5.9 in W4), Julio Jones (2.9 in W5), etc. Start Hopkins and Fuller at your own risk this week.

WR - Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (vs. SEA)

Floyd has scored a touchdown every other game this season, but he has finished no higher than the weekly WR29 in any week this season. Through six games, Floyd has only 14 catches (2.3/G) and 192 yards (32.0/G). Even though John Brown won't play this week, it's hard to trust Floyd against the stingy Seahawks pass defense.

WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (vs. WAS)

Tate is coming off his best game of the season and he actually set a career high in receiving yards (165). Before his 8/165/1 outburst in Week 6, however, Tate had a total of 17/134/0 in five games. With talented corners on the perimeter, Washington could slow down Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. and it wouldn't surprise me if Anquan Boldin has a solid game this week. Maybe Tate will surprise me and put up back-to-back big games, but he is outside my top-30 fantasy receivers this week.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIN)

Matthews joins the other "Mathews" and Zach Ertz as the team's top skill-position players to appear on the sit'em side of our weekly Start'em, Sit'em. Since his 7/114/1 outing in Week 1 on 14 targets, Matthews has scored a solid but not spectular 6-8 fantasy points every week. That means that he has finished in the WR28-WR42 range in each of those games. Based on my rankings, I expect more of the same (WR35 in my Week 7 rankings) as the Vikings defense should be able to slow down the Eagles this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 7

Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 7 DFS Resources:

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Week 7 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jacquizz Rodgers is listed below as a "start" for Week 7. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 7 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned DeMarco Murray, Melvin Gordon and Rodgers and can only start two running backs, you should start Murray and MG3 -- and in turn, bench Rodgers.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 7:

RB - DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans (vs. IND)

Clearly the lead dog of the team's exotic smashmouth offense, Murray (76.67 percent of RB usage) has 138 touches -- 114 carries and 24 receptions -- through six games. Not only is the overall volume high, but Murray has a minimum of 18 touches every week and 21-plus touches in four consecutive games.

While I expected Derrick Henry to see his workload expand as the season progressed, some others thought that he may actually lose his featured-back role to the rookie at some point. It's actually gone in the opposite direction -- Henry has 27 combined touches in his first three games and only 14 touches in the past three games.

At this point in the season, Murray is an obvious start. I list him here, however, because he is the RB1 in my Week 7 rankings for the first (perhaps only) time this season. The Titans are projected to score the sixth-most points this week based on Vegas implied point totals and Murray gets a soft matchup to exploit.

Only the Saints have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. The Colts have allowed 4.95 yards per carry (fifth-most) to opposing running backs, 352 receiving yards (fourth-most) and a total of nine touchdowns (tied for second-most) -- five rushing and four receiving -- to the position. In addition, the Colts have allowed seven top-16 fantasy running backs in only six games.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

RB - Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (vs. SD)

In our Week 7 DFS Round Table post, Freeman was my choice as favorite DraftKings play for Week 7. Here's what I wrote earlier this week: "Freeman (59.44% of team's RB usage) is getting the larger share of the workload than Coleman (38.33%). Not only does Freeman have a minimum of 15 touches in all six games this season, but he has five targets in three of the past four games. So far this season, no team has allowed more receptions to RBs than the Chargers (54) and only the Saints (10) have allowed more TDs to RBs than the Chargers (nine)." Freeman is a top-four running back in both standard and PPR-scoring formats for Week 7.

- Related: We paired Freeman with Tevin Coleman in our DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 7

RB - Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at SF)

Playing a starting running back against the 49ers has been a profitable strategy in both season-long and daily fantasy this season. Allowing 140 yards and three touchdowns to LeSean McCoy last week, the 49ers have now allowed five consecutive 100-yard rushers. Only the Redskins (5.22 YPC) have allowed more yards per carry to opposing running backs than the 49ers (5.13) this season. And only the Saints (10) have allowed more rushing touchdowns to RBs than the 49ers (nine).

Before the bye, Rodgers filled in for Doug Martin and Charles Sims (IR) as the starter. Rodgers had 30 carries for 101 yards and five catches for 28 yards in that game against the Panthers. While I don't expect 35 touches for Quizz this week, he should dominate touches (20-plus or so) as Martin (hamstring) had an injury setback and will miss (at least) another game.

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. NO)

As noted a few times above, the Saints defense is not good against the run. (Or in general, for that matter.) Therefore, Ware and Jamaal Charles are both starts this week. Favored by nearly a touchdown at home, only the Falcons are projected to score more points this week than the Chiefs.

Like in last week's blowout win against the Raiders, it's certainly possible that Ware sees another massive workload. Ware had 24 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown plus two catches for 32 yards even though Charles had 11 touches last week. On the season, Ware has averaged 5.32 YPC and 17.77 Y/R.

RB - Mike Gillislee, Buffalo Bills (at MIA)

Assuming that McCoy misses this week's game, Gillislee should handle the bulk of the team's running back workload in Week 7. One report suggested that McCoy would miss multiple weeks, but he is listed as a game-time decision this week. The good news is that the Bills play at 1 PM so we will have plenty of time to adjust, if necessary. During their current four-game winning streak, the Bills have run the ball on 51.72 percent of their plays and there is no reason for them to deviate from their run-heavy approach as road favorites in Miami.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 7:

RB - Matt Forte, New York Jets (vs. BAL)

The Ravens rush defense is one of the best in the league and they have allowed the following rushing stats to opposing running backs: 110/393/2 (3.57 YPC). They've also limited opposing backs to only 6.76 Y/R; the league-average is 7.96 Y/R to opposing running backs.

After getting 59 combined touches in the first two games of the season, Forte has seen his usage decline to 17, 16, 14 and 10 over the past four weeks, respectively. All four of those games have been double-digit losses and this week's game is a pick'em, but Forte's involvement in the passing game has been dwarfed by that of Bilal Powell.

Over the past four weeks, Powell has 28 targets that he has converted into 21 receptions for 148 yards. During that same span, Forte has been targeted only nine times and those targets have resulted into 25 yards on seven receptions.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (at JAX)

After missing the past two games with turf toe, Murray is expected to return this week even though he is listed as questionable. Given how the workload was allocated prior to his injury, Murray deserves to remain on your fantasy bench. In his four games played, Murray had 15, 14, 11 and 10 touches, respectively.

Not only was his volume heading in the wrong direction before the injury, he has been less efficient (4.30 YPC) than both DeAndre Washington (5.34 YPC) and Jalen Richard (6.10 YPC) this season. More than anything, this is a running back situation to avoid for Week 7.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. MIN)

Effective on a per-touch basis (60 yards on nine carries) in a favorable matchup against the Redskins, Mathews had just nine total touches last week. Mathews may get a larger workload this week, but it won't be easy to produce. The Vikings have allowed running backs to average just 3.51 YPC, fifth-lowest in the NFL, and only one rushing touchdown.

RB - Arian Foster, Miami Dolphins (vs. BUF)

Foster returned from a multi-game absence last week, but he had just five touches for 15 yards. Meanwhile, teammate Jay Ajayi ran wild (25/204/2) and finished as the week's top-producing fantasy running back. Perhaps the workload differential won't be so vast between these two backs in Week 7, but I would expect Ajayi to maintain his current lead-back role this week (and perhaps for the rest of the season).

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 7

Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings:

Week 7 DFS Resources:

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October 19, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 7 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 6 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 7-16):

1. New York Giants (Will Tye, Larry Donnell): 9.43
2. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis): 9.12
3. San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry): 9.06
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Zach Ertz): 8.26
5. Dallas Cowboys (Jason Witten): 8.16

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 7-16):

28. Tennessee Titans (Delanie Walker): 6.50
29. Indianapolis Colts (Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle): 6.37
30. Denver Broncos (Virgil Green): 5.90
31. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 5.42
32. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 5.03

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 7 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 6 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 7-16):

1. Dallas Cowboys (Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley): 25.77
2. Chicago Bears (Alshon Jeffery, Cam Meredith): 25.41
3. Washington Redskins (DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder): 25.32
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Jordan Matthews): 24.98
5. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs): 24.92

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 7-16):

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns): 22.20
29. New York Jets (Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa): 22.13
30. New England Patriots (Julian Edelman): 21.78
31. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 21.63
32. Kansas City Chiefs (Jeremy Maclin): 21.57

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football WR SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 7 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 6 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 7-16):

1. Cincinnati Bengals (Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard): 20.11
2. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart): 20.04
3. Green Bay Packers (Eddie Lacy): 19.87
4. Dallas Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott): 19.72
5. Philadelphia Eagles (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles): 19.68

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 7-16):

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon): 17.00
29. Minnesota Vikings (Jerick McKinnon): 16.90
30. Seattle Seahawks (Christine Michael, Thomas Rawls): 16.88
31. Indianapolis Colts (Frank Gore): 16.38
32. Washington Redskins (Matt Jones, Chris Thompson): 15.86

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football RB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.

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October 18, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 7 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 6 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 7-16):

1. New York Giants (Eli Manning): 18.52
2. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 18.31
3. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 18.30
4. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 18.28
5. Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz): 18.04

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 7-16):

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 15.25
29. Denver Broncos (Trevor Siemian): 15.21
30. Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck): 14.90
31. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 14.19
32. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 13.93

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 7

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some tight end waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (34 percent)

With or without Antonio Gates in the lineup, Henry has been highly productive over the past four weeks. With more than 60 receiving yards in each of those games, Henry has also scored a touchdown in three consecutive outings. During that four-game span, Henry has a total of 18 catches (on 24 targets) for 290 yards and three scores.

The good times should continue to roll for Henry with a couple of favorable matchups coming up. Henry, Gates and the Chargers next face the Falcons, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position this season. After Atlanta in Week 7, the Chargers get a rematch against the Broncos and Henry just had a 6/83/1 line against them on Thursday Night Football last week.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19 percent)

Prior to Tampa's Week 6 bye, Brate had just one catch for 38 yards on three targets against the Panthers. Before that, however, Brate had five catches in back-to-back games and a total of 113 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets over that two-game span.

While he may not get eight-plus targets like he had in Weeks 3 and 4, Brate gets a nice stretch of favorable matchups with San Francisco, Oakland and Atlanta next up on the schedule. All three of those teams rank in the top-12 most fantasy-friendly defenses to opposing tight ends this season.

3. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (24 percent)

Since firing their offensive coordinator, the Bills have won four consecutive games in large part to their success in the running game. With Sammy Watkins (foot) sidelined, however, Clay has emerged as a more integral component of the passing game.

In each of his past three games, Clay has a minimum of five receptions. While he has yet to score a touchdown this season, he gets a fantasy-friendly matchup against his former team (Dolphins) in Week 7. The Dolphins have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

4. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (four percent)

Davis has the potential to make for an excellent Week 7 streamer for Greg Olsen or Jason Witten owners -- both tight ends on bye in Week 7. With Jordan Reed (concussion) out in Week 6, Davis got the start and was productive with a 2/50/1 performance.

Given Reed's troubling history with concussions, it's certainly possible that this turns into a multi-game absence for him. If so, Davis and Washington's tight ends get a favorable matchup against the Lions, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

5. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (one percent)

Fiedorowicz has gone from barely used (two catches for seven yards) in his first three games to finishing as the weekly TE7, TE13 and TE3, respectively, over the past three weeks. During that three-game span, he has 14 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Following a Week 7 matchup against the Broncos, Fiedorowicz has a great schedule in the second half.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 7

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 7

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Kenny Britt, Los Angeles Rams (13 percent)

Britt scored his first touchdown, and second, on Sunday, but he has been consistently productive all season. With a minimum of 67 yards in five of six games, Britt now has a total of 30 catches for 492 yards and two scores.

From 1999 to 2007, it was an annual tradition for the Rams to have one (or two) 1,000-yard receivers every year with Torry Holt and/or Isaac Bruce. Not only is Britt on pace to become the team's first 1,000-yard receiver in nearly a decade, he's currently on pace for 1,312 yards. Only four other receivers in franchise history have ever reached the 1,300-yard mark.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (45 percent)

Not only has Beasley scored double-digit PPR fantasy points in every game this season, he has been productive in standard-scoring formats as well. Through Week 6, Beasley has scored the 19th-most fantasy points (15th-most in PPR) and has averaged 5.5/64.8/0.5 per game during that span.

The team is on bye in Week 7 and Beasley's weekly production will likely dip once Dez Bryant returns (likely following their bye), but he's worth picking up in all formats and league sizes. While Tony Romo (back) may be ready to return following the bye, Dak Prescott is playing well and Beasley has shown plenty of chemistry with the rookie signal-caller.

3. Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (39 percent)

Coleman had 104 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 and has missed the past four games with a broken hand. Although he hasn't yet been cleared to practice, he will immediately become a WR3 (or better) once he's able to return.

4. Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (47 percent)

On the season, Enunwa is averaging 5.0/56.0 on 7.33 targets per game, but he had his lowest number of targets (five, 14.71% target share) in Week 6. He now has finished outside the top-40 fantasy wide receivers in four consecutive weeks. With Eric Decker (shoulder) out for the season and better matchups on the horizon, however, we should expect more production going forward.

5. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (one percent)

Lining up often in the backfield and getting three carries, Montgomery had a team-high 12 targets, 10 catches and 98 receiving yards. With no other catches this season, we obviously shouldn't expect double-digit receptions from Montgomery every week, but Davante Adams (concussion) is unlikely to play on a short week against the Bears. In addition, James Starks (knee) will miss roughly a month.

6. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (22 percent)

Over the past four weeks, Woods has a minimum of six targets every week and five-plus catches in three of four games. While he has converted 20-of-30 receptions into 210 yards and a score during that span, Woods has exceeded 51 receiving yards only once this season. With Sammy Watkins sidelined, Woods is the team's top receiving option albeit in a run-dominant offense.

7. Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (25 percent)

With Colin Kaepernick taking over as quarterback, it's certainly a positive for Smith. With the Blaine Gabbert under center, the speedster was virtually invisible. In Kaepernick's first game, Smith had a 25-percent target share for only the second time this season. (In the previous two games, he was targeted on 8.7 and 3.23 percent of Gabbert's pass attempts, respectively.)

Smith turned his seven targets into three catches for 76 yards and a touchdown and finished the week as a top-10 fantasy receiver. While I wouldn't expect another top-10 finish, the 49ers face the Buccaneers in Week 7. Tampa has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.

8. Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (29 percent)

Even though he has three or fewer receptions (and four or fewer targets) in each of his past three games, Crowder continues to be productive. The diminutive receiver has now finished as a top-30 wide receiver (standard scoring) in four of his past five games.

Crowder and the Redskins receivers have a favorable matchup in Week 7 against the Lions, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers.

9. Anquan Boldin, Detroit Lions (20 percent)

Boldin reached the 50-yard mark for the first time in Week 6, but the veteran wideout has a minimum of four catches in five consecutive games. In addition, he has scored a touchdown in three of those five games. With the bulk of bye weeks on the horizon, Boldin provides some consistent bye-week production.

10. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (19 percent)

Here's the good news: Matthews has 70-plus yards and/or a touchdown in three consecutive games. In those games, he has finished as the weekly WR32, WR28 and WR11, respectively.

What's the bad news? Even though he has a 100-percent catch rate during that stretch, Matthews has only nine targets in those three games. Unless his production is followed by an increase in volume, it's unlikely that he continues to maintain his recent level of production.

11. Brian Quick, Los Angeles Rams (nine percent)

Quick had a season-high five catches in Week 6, but he now has 50-plus yards in four consecutive games. Over that four-game span, the ex-Appalachian State receiver has 12 catches for 234 yards and three touchdowns. While I'd prefer Britt or Tavon Austin over Quick, he's worth a look in deeper leagues.

12. Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens (four percent)

Perriman had a season-high eight targets in Week 6 and turned those targets into three catches for a season-high 48 yards. If Steve Smith Sr. misses another game, Perriman is a deep-league flier in Week 7 versus a poor Jets secondary that allows a league-high 9.2 yards per pass attempt.

13. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (three percent)

Coming off his best game of the year, Wright is unlikely to come anywhere close to his Week 6 production (8/133/1 on nine targets). While his upcoming matchups won't all be as good as his last week's against Cleveland, Wright and the Titans receivers have a favorable schedule upcoming -- Colts, Jaguars, Chargers, Packers, Colts (again) and Bears.

14. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (14 percent)

With Jordan Reed (concussion) sidelined, Garcon had a season-high 11 targets last week. He turned those 11 targets into six catches for 77 yards. As noted above, Washington gets a top-five fantasy matchup this week against the Lions.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 7

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (30 percent)

Clearly, you shouldn't expect a 200-yard, two-TD game every week from Ajayi. That said, Ajayi has now been usable in three of the past four weeks as he has finished as the RB25, RB38, RB17 and RB1, respectively. Given that Arian Foster (hamstring) returned in Week 6 but had just five touches, it wouldn't surprise me if Ajayi once again dominated backfield touches in Week 7 and perhaps even longer if he continues to be effective. That said, the Dolphins have a bye in Week 8.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (43 percent)

Following Jacksonville's bye, Ivory had 11 carries for 32 yards and a touchdown and added two catches for three yards. While it wasn't an efficient performance, he did get nearly twice as many touches (13) as teammate T.J. Yeldon (seven). Ivory now has 13 touches in two of three games since returning from an undisclosed condition that sidelined him for the first two weeks of the season. Perhaps difficult to trust as a starter, Ivory (and Yeldon) have a favorable matchup in Week 7 against the Raiders, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

3. Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (27 percent)

After getting 20-plus touches in three of the first four games, C.J. Anderson has a season-low 14 touches in back-to-back games. In terms of workload share with CJA, Booker has gone from 25.5 percent of the touches (28 of 110) in the first four games combined to 37.8 percent (17 of 45) over the past two games.

While I'm not sure that his share will increase to much better than a 60/40 split as long as both backs are healthy, Booker could certainly maintain his current usage rate going forward. In addition, the volume of overall RB touches should increase considering the Broncos have back-to-back losses.

4. Dion Lewis, New England Patriots (25 percent)

It's unclear when Lewis might return, but Lewis has shown how productive he can be in a Tom Brady-led offense. Once he returns, he's likely to get the majority of passing-down snaps sooner rather than later. Lewis is technically eligible to return now, but a return following their Week 9 bye is probably the most-likely scenario.

5. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23 percent)

After missing the previous three games, Doug Martin (hamstring) is expected to return against the 49ers in Week 7. If he does, he gets a great matchup against a team that has allowed a 100-yard rusher in five consecutive games. If he doesn't, Rodgers should get another massive workload.

Before the bye, Quizz had 30 carries for 101 yards and five catches for 28 yards against the Panthers. Either way, Rodgers will fill the change-of-pace role once Martin is healthy considering Charles Sims was placed on Injured Reserve.

6. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (28 percent)

Terrance West has been highly productive with three strong performances since the Ravens have released Justin Forsett. In those three games, West has 55 carries for 295 yards (5.36 YPC) and three touchdowns plus six catches for 30 yards. In other words, Dixon's opportunity to take over as lead back may only come from an injury to West.

In Week 6, West had 27 of 35 RB touches. Appearing in only his second NFL game since sustaining a preseason knee injury, Dixon has the talent to create a larger role as the season progresses.

7. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (37 percent)

So far this season, only Matt Forte (72.5 percent) and Powell (27.5) have RB touches for the Jets. After getting only eight combined touches in the first two weeks of the season, Powell has double-digit touches in three of his past four games.

If Forte were to miss time, Powell has plenty of upside all league formats. With Forte healthy, however, Powell has been useful in PPR formats with 11-plus fantasy points in three of his past four games. During that four-game span, Powell has 21 receptions for 148 yards on 28 targets.

8. DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (45 percent)

With Latavius Murray (toe) out another week, Washington had a team-high and season-high 10 carries for 49 yards against the Chiefs. Washington has been efficient (5.341 yards per carry) and has been a deeper-league flex option as a top-38 performer in four of the past five weeks. Once Murray returns, Washington will likely get a lighter workload, but he's worth owning in all league sizes.

9. Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions (11 percent)

Not only is Ameer Abdullah on Injured Reserve, but Theo Riddick and Dwayne Washington were inactive in Week 6. The only two running backs to get touches for the Lions in Week 6 were Zach Zenner (77 yards on 16 touches) and newly-signed Justin Forsett (five yards on five carries).

Washington did participate in a limited practice on Friday of last week before being declared inactive so it's possible that he returns for next week's matchup against the Redskins. The Redskins have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

10. Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (eight percent)

Thompson has been productive so far this season -- RB33 in standard, RB29 in PPR. Thompson has not had any big games, but he has been consistently productive. He has finished as a top-40 weekly running back (standard scoring) in all but one game this season. Thompson is worth a look by owners in deep(er) standard leagues as well as 12-team PPR leagues.

11. Zach Zenner, Detroit Lions (one percent)

Depending on the health of the rest of the backfield, Zenner may be in line for another heavy workload. Against the Rams, he gained 58 yards on 14 carries and added 19 yards on two receptions. As noted above, the Lions have a favorable matchup against the Redskins this week.

12. Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (17 percent)

Asiata had a season-high 17 touches in a lopsided win over the Texans prior to his Week 6 bye. It was the first time that he had more than eight touches in a game this season, but Asiata now has a touchdown in back-to-back games. Considering Week 5 was the first time he rushed for more than 15 yards in a game this season, Asiata remains a TD-dependent boom-or-bust option.

13. Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins (one percent)

Even though Matt Jones has exceeded 100 rushing yards in two of the past three games, Kelley could see his role in the rushing attack continue to expand as the season progresses. The UDFA had five carries for 59 yards, both of which were season highs, against the Eagles in Week 6.

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 7

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 7 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

1. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (27 percent)

Bad news first: Smith failed to exploit a favorable matchup against the Raiders. Part of that lack of fantasy production should be attributed to the run-heavy game plan (40 of 64 offensive plays were runs) in the team's double-digit win on an inclimate weather day. While Smith completed an efficient 19-of-22 pass attempts (86.36 percent) for 224 yards (10.18 Y/A), but he failed to reach nine fantasy points.

Going forward, Smith has a number of favorable matchups to (potentially) exploit. Most immediately, Smith and the Chiefs will host the Saints, who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Following that matchup, he faces the Colts, Jaguars, Panthers and Buccaneers -- all of whom rank in the top half in terms of favorable matchups to the position.

Of course, the concern is that the Chiefs will take the air out of the ball in any game where they have a commanding lead. As we are about to enter the heart of the bye weeks, however, Smith provides streaming value as a fringe top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback nearly every week from Weeks 7 to 11.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 7 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (20 percent)

While Hoyer failed to throw a touchdown, he extended his streak of 300-yard passing games to four. Not only is that the longest such streak this season, but Philip Rivers is the only quarterback with a three-game streak of 300-yard games. There is a quick turnaround this week, but the Bears will face the Packers, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. At some point, the Bears may turn back to Jay Cutler, but Hoyer is a potential plug-and-play for owners in need of a starter this week.

3. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (eight percent)

Starting for the first time this season, Kaepernick was a better fantasy -- than real -- quarterback as he completed only 13-of-29 pass attempts for 187 yards. That said, the dual-threat quarterback scored a total of 18.08 fantasy points and nearly finished inside the top-12 (QB14) fantasy quarterbacks in Week 6. In the next three weeks, the 49ers face the Buccaneers, have a bye and then get the Saints. Kaep has plenty of upside in both of those matchups vs. leaky NFC South secondaries.

4. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (31 percent)

In his past four games, Fitzpatrick has thrown just two touchdowns and 10 interceptions. It's been a brutal stretch of matchups for Fitzpatrick (and he was even benched at the end of Monday night's loss to the Cardinals). Coach Todd Bowles has said that Fitzpatrick will continue to start and it's about to get better (from a schedule standpoint) with Baltimore, Cleveland and Miami up over the next three weeks.

The Ravens haven't allowed a lot of yards (260 or less in their first five games), but Eli Manning threw for 403 yards and three scores against them in Week 6. In addition, they have allowed a total of 12 passing touchdowns in five games since Week 2. Meanwhile, the Browns and Dolphins have allowed the third- and 15th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, respectively.

5. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

The good news is that Flacco has thrown 40-plus pass attempts in five consecutive games and has averaged 46.2 over that five-game stretch. The bad news is that he has only two passing touchdowns over his past four games (186 pass attempts) and he has finished as a top-15 fantasy quarterback only once this season despite several favorable matchups.

But, if you're in need of a streamer, Flacco is worth a roll of the dice against the Jets. The Jets have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points this season to the position.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 7

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October 16, 2016

Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 over Oakland Raiders (5 Units)

Andy Reid is 15-2 after the bye week. The weather is supposed to be ugly Sunday with rain and high winds, which should favor Kansas City’s style of offense. Kansas City 24, Oakland 19.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Seattle Seahawks -6.5 over Atlanta Falcons (4 Units)

Atlanta has been one of the biggest surprises if the NFL this season, and Seattle at times has looked like they should be picking in the top 5, not challenging for a Super Bowl. I believe Seattle eats on Sunday. Fire up all Seahawks in DFS this week. Seattle 38, Atlanta 21.

Houston Texans -3 over Indianapolis Colts (5 Units)

The Colts have been dominated at both lines of scrimmage this year. I expect a big game from Lamar Miller, and I think the Texans D will be able to put loads of pressure on Luck and get some sacks/turnovers. Houston D is one of my favorite fantasy options this week as well. Texans 27, Colts 17.

Miami Dolphins +7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

Ben Roethlisberger is a different QB on the road than he is at home. The Steelers defense can be beat, and this is a must-win game for the Dolphins if they want to get back into the wildcard race. I think the return of Arian Foster will be the difference to keep this one close. Steelers 26, Dolphins 20.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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October 15, 2016

Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are my Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Cincinnati Bengals +9 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

This is really just a case of the line being too large in my opinion. The Patriots are pretty clearly the best team in the league with Tom Brady back, and the angry-Brady narrative will likely lead to the Pats spreads being more inflated than normal. It's tough to bet against them, but the Bengals are a pretty good team, and there's just too many ways that they cover nine points. It's possible they keep it fairly close - it's also possible they're trailing much of the game and sneak into a back-door cover. Either way, I think there's too much value on the Bengals getting nine not to take them.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Miami Dolphins +7.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

This is another line that's too high. Miami has not been good - in fact they've been one of the worst teams in the league. They're coming off a bad loss to the Titans at home, while the Steelers are coming off a big 31-13 win over the Jets. It's a week-to-week league, though, and Ben Roethlisberger has historically been much better at home than on the road. I like Le'Veon Bell to have a huge game, but I think Miami bounces back from last week and keeps this one close.

San Francisco 49ers +9 over Buffalo Bills (5 Units)

Ok - I know this is my third game taking a ton of points - but this line is perhaps the most egregious of them all. The Bills have gotten hot since firing their offensive coordinator, with big wins over the Cardinals and Patriots. Last week's win over the Rams was more expected, but they've clearly been playing pretty well of late. The 49ers, on the other hand, have been going in the wrong direction since a Week 1 thrashing of the Rams and have made the switch to Colin Kaepernick. Buffalo is likely to win the game, but I think the quarterback switch gives the 49ers a bit of a spark, and this one won't be decided until late. Take the nine.

Washington Redskins +3 over Philadelphia Eagles (5 Units)

The Redskins have righted the ship since an 0-2 start, and have an important division game at home this week. Carson Wentz finally threw his first interception in the final minute of the game last week, and the Eagles suffered their first loss of the year. Although they've been quite impressive, I expect some regression from Philadelphia. The defense looks legit, but Wentz is likely to make a few more mistakes. I don't think the level they've played at in the first four games of the year is truly reflective of how good they are. By season's end, I think Philly will be a more middle-of-the-road team, and Washington will be the team on top of the division. I like the Redskins to win at home outright - even without Jordan Reed, who is likely out with a concussion, so I'll certainly take the three.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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October 11, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 6 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 6 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 6-16):

1. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed): 9.37
2. New York Giants (Will Tye, Larry Donnell): 8.94
3. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 8.68
4. San Diego Chargers (Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry): 8.35
5. Dallas Cowboys (Jason Witten): 8.33

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 6-16):

28. Denver Broncos (Virgil Green): 5.94
29. Cleveland Browns (Gary Barnidge): 5.82
30. Oakland Raiders (Clive Walford): 5.45
31. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 5.04
32. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 4.49

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 6 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 6 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 6-16):

1. Dallas Cowboys (Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams): 25.46
2. Washington Redskins (DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder): 25.36
3. New York Giants (Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz): 25.04
4. Philadelphia Eagles (Jordan Matthews): 24.83
5. Minnesota Vikings (Stefon Diggs): 24.77

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 6-16):

28. Miami Dolphins (Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker): 22.17
29. Los Angeles Rams (Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin): 22.13
30. New England Patriots (Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan): 21.73
31. San Diego Chargers (Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams): 21.28
32. New York Jets (Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa, Eric Decker): 20.51

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football WR SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 6 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 6 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 6-16):

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles): 20.31
T2. Cincinnati Bengals (Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard): 19.85
T2. Oakland Raiders (Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard): 19.85
4. Green Bay Packers (Eddie Lacy, James Starks): 19.43
5. Arizona Cardinals (David Johnson): 19.02

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 6-16):

28. Chicago Bears (Jordan Howard, Jeremy Langford): 17.00
29. Minnesota Vikings (Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata): 16.97
30. Miami Dolphins (Arian Foster, Jay Ajayi): 16.59
31. Washington Redskins (Matt Jones): 16.35
32. Indianapolis Colts (Frank Gore): 15.98

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football RB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 6 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 6-16):

1. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 18.98
2. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 18.90
3. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 18.80
4. New York Giants (Eli Manning): 18.04
5. Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz): 17.80

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 6 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 6-16):

28. Cleveland Browns (Cody Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst): 14.89
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 14.87
30. Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck): 14.28
31. New England Patriots (Tom Brady): 14.01
32. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 13.16

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

Full Strength of Schedules:

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October 07, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 5

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 5 games.

Essentially, it was a draft with each of us alternating picks for the lineup. Sean had the first and odd-numbered picks; I had the second and even-numbered picks.

Below we will include analysis of each pick, but here is how the final roster shaped up:


Below are the players in the order they were "drafted" (with comments by boths us):

1. Sean - Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets: Marshall may be part of my GPP core this week as I think he is in a great spot this week vs. the Steelers on the road. The Jets should be playing catchup this week, which should lead to a surplus of targets headed towards Marshall. With Eric Decker out last week, Marshall led the team with 12 targets. I think Marshall could be a sneaky top-three WR option this week.

Comments by Kevin: Despite the volume (22 targets) in his past two games, Marshall has been somewhat disappointing. In fact, Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown more interceptions (nine) than Marshall completions (seven) during that span. Not only does Marshall have a career-low catch rate (41.0 percent), but he has a TD/target rate of only 2.564 percent compared to 7.3+ percent in each of the past three seasons. In other words, it would not surprise me if he caught a TD (or two) as that percentage regresses closer to his career average (5.323 percent).

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 5 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

2. Kevin - Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots: During Tom Brady's four-game suspension, Edelman has averaged a 4.75/49 line with no touchdowns. Yawn! In his past 16 games with Brady, however, Edelman has racked up 119 catches (on 176 targets) for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not only do the Patriots get Brady back this week, no team is projected to score more points this week as the Browns are tasked with slowing down a pissed-off Brady. As the 18th-priced receiver for DraftKings main slate of Sunday games, Edelman should easily exceed value (for the first time this season).

Comments by Sean: This will be the cheapest you will get Edelman all season. He is in a great spot vs. the Browns in the classic F.U. spot in Brady’s return. If Brady shows any sign of rust, he will look towards Edelman early and often. He makes for a safe GPP play who should have a floor in the 15-20 point range.

3. Sean - DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders: This backfield has been up for grabs all season. Latavius Murray had had a decreased workload each week and now he is expected to miss this week's game. I’m rolling the dice with Washington over Jalen Richard. I have had success targeting San Diego’s run defense this season.

Comments by Kevin: I prefer this pick in cash games, not GPPs. I don't hate it; I just don't love it. Here's the good news: Washington has been highly efficient on limited touches (6.68 YPC), Latavius Murray (turf toe) is considered doubtful for Week 5 and the Chargers have allowed eight RB touchdowns (six rushing and two receiving) in four games. The bad news? It's been close to a 50-25-25 split with Murray, Washington and Jalen Richard so (close to) a 50-50 split is possible for Washington and Richard, which could cap Washington's ceiling.

4. Kevin - Todd Gurley, RB, Rams: To modify an old series of antacids commercials, how do you spell disappointment? G-U-R-L-E-Y. Even though Gurley has a league-high 90.91 percent of his team's RB touches, the über-talented second-year back is facing 12-men boxes (or so it seems). Given his struggles (a brutal 2.63 YPC), he should be fairly low-owned this week. From a talent standpoint, however, there is always the chance that he busts out for 150 yards and two scores regardless of matchup, but he has a more favorable matchup compared to the past few weeks.

Comments by Sean: I have heard a lot of talk about Gurley this week. I am just not that excited with the play this week, or playing any Rams in DFS for that matter. Gurley is only averaging 2.6 YPC this year, which is by far the worst in the NFL among qualifying backs. If I make 100 lineups this week, I'll probably only have 1 percent exposure to Gurley (this lineup ... haha). Much better options in this price range and below.

5. Sean - Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Jets: As discussed with Marshall, I like the Jets passing attack this week. Pittsburgh has given up nearly 300 yards of passing in every game this year, which bodes well for a QB at pretty much minimum salary. I think Fitz is more than likely to hit that 4x his price point that you want in GPPs on DK (20 points) than Tom Brady (30 points).

Comments by Kevin: You can't spell "Ryan Fitzpatrick" without an "INT." With a one-to-nine TD-to-INT ratio over his past two games, it can only get better for Fitzpatrick, right? Compared to his salary, however, there is certainly upside and I don't mind this choice.

6. Kevin - Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons: With Tevin Coleman saying that he will play this week, it's not clear how much work he'll get. Considering his health condition (sickle cell anemia), it would be wise to not play given the elevated (no pun intended) risks. What I'm hoping is that Coleman is "active" but not a major part of the action. Even with a 55-45 split in workload so far this season, Freeman has 66 touches (16.5/G) through four games. Assuming the Falcons are playing in catch-up mode and Coleman plays less (than usual), Freeman could get 20-plus touches including a ton of targets on Sunday.

Comments by Sean: At first look, Freeman is a terrible play vs. the league's best defense. But if you really dig deeper, this is a brilliant GPP play. Tevin Coleman’s status is up in the air still for Sunday which could lead to Freeman seeing the bulk of the work. The one place you can attack this defense is with pass-catching backs. Freeman is very cheap giving the opportunity he should see this week.

7. Sean - Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: After the Freeman pick, we were left with a good chunk of change left. I didn't want to pay up for TE this week, so by spending 4K or less on TE and even taking a top-tier defense, it would leave us with a very odd price point for this spot. So, I went with Brown here. Obviously you don't need to know why you should play AB84. If you solely look at roster construction this play fits in perfectly with Fitz & Marshall. The QB-WR1-Opposing WR1 is one of my favorite ways to stack games.

Comments by Kevin: With such a high floor and ceiling, it's always a good idea to own Brown. Only the Patriots are projected to score more points this week than the Steelers. I agree with Sean about the QB with both WR1's being a great GPP stack. Here's a stat I find interesting: Sammie Coates has a league-high five 40-yard receptions with no touchdowns. (That almost seems impossible.) Meanwhile, the Jets have allowed a league-high 16.6 Y/R to opposing WRs. At $3,600, Coates is a nice roll-the-dice GPP play this week as well.

8. Kevin - Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles: The only concern with Ertz is his return from a multi-game injury. Assuming he plays a full complement of snaps, however, Ertz is in a great spot against the Lions. In GPPs, you want upside and Ertz provides that. Only the Falcons have allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends and the Lions have allowed six touchdowns to the position.

Comments by Sean: I wrote up Ertz as one of my favorite plays in our DFS Round Table post for Week 5. Detroit is horrible vs TEs and I will have plenty of Ertz this week.

9. Sean - Miami Dolphins DST: The Titans offense has been pretty bad this year. They aren't allowing a lot of sacks, but Marcus Mariota has thrown some costly INTs and D/STs have already scored three touchdowns vs. them this year. If the game is played Sunday, the conditions will be sloppy so I would expect another low-scoring game.

Comments by Kevin: I'm fine with this. D/STs are so hit or miss since defensive scores are so important. It's unclear where or when this game will be played due to Hurricane Matthew, but the Titans have shown a propensity to allow big plays to opposing defenses.

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September 27, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football QB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 4 to 16

Curious which quarterbacks have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 4 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 4-16):

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Carson Wentz): 17.72
2. Chicago Bears (Brian Hoyer, Jay Cutler): 17.26
3. Minnesota Vikings (Sam Bradford): 17.22
4. Houston Texans (Brock Osweiler): 16.70
5. Washington Redskins (Kirk Cousins): 16.62

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for QBs (Weeks 4-16):

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Blake Bortles): 13.34
29. New England Patriots (Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett): 13.19
30. Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck): 12.83
31. Oakland Raiders (Derek Carr): 12.75
32. Miami Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill): 12.36

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football QB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 4 to 16

Curious which running backs have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 4-16):

1. Green Bay Packers (Eddie Lacy): 20.39
2. Philadephia Eagles (Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles): 19.65
3. Oakland Raiders (Latavius Murray): 18.78
4. Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart, Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker): 18.56
5. Detroit Lions (Theo Riddick, Dwayne Washington): 18.30

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for RBs (Weeks 4-16):

28. New England Patriots (LeGarrette Blount): 15.53
29. New York Giants (Rashad Jennings): 15.52
30. Miami Dolphins (Arian Foster, Jay Ajayi): 15.10
31. Buffalo Bills (LeSean McCoy): 14.90
32. Indianapolis Colts (Frank Gore): 13.72

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football RB SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 4 to 16

Curious which wide receivers have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire (our Week 4 waiver-wire post) or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 4-16):

1. Philadelphia Eagles (Jordan Matthews): 24.29
2. Dallas Cowboys (Dez Bryant): 24.27
3. New York Giants (Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard): 24.24
4. Chicago Bears (Alshon Jeffery): 23.57
5. Washington Redskins (DeSean Jackson): 23.43

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for WRs (Weeks 4-16):

28. Atlanta Falcons (Julio Jones): 19.13
29. New Orleans Saints (Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead): 18.72
T30. New York Jets (Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker): 18.64
T30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson): 18.64
32. Oakland Raiders (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree): 18.56

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football WR SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Strength of Schedule (SOS): Weeks 4 to 16

Curious which tight ends have the most (or least) favorable strength of schedule for the rest of the season?

Based on the average fantasy points allowed per team, our 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule ranks all 32 teams based on the average fantasy points surrendered by the remaining opponents on their schedule.

A Fantasy SOS may not be the most important factor in determining which player(s) to add off of the waiver wire or evaluating trade proposals, but it gives you an idea of which players will have the best weekly matchups over the rest of the season.

Five most favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 4-16):

1. Washington Redskins (Jordan Reed): 8.79
2. New York Giants (Larry Donnell, Will Tye): 8.77
3. Philadephia Eagles (Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton): 8.38
4. Arizona Cardinals (Darren Fells): 8.15
T5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Cameron Brate): 7.85
T5. Minnesota Vikings (Kyle Rudolph): 7.85

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter here.

Five least favorable Fantasy SOS for TEs (Weeks 4-16):

28. Cleveland Browns (Gary Barnidge): 5.46
29. New England Patriots (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett): 5.36
30. Indianapolis Colts (Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle): 5.10
31. Miami Dolphins (Jordan Cameron): 4.53
32. Oakland Raiders (Clive Walford): 4.45

View Full 2016 Fantasy Football TE SOS

* Note: Totals above are the average fantasy football points allowed based on their remaining opponents.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 4

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

TE - Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (40 percent)

Scoring a pair of garbage-time touchdowns, Miller finished as fantasy's TE1 in Week 3 with an 8/78/2 stat line against the Cowboys. Miller won't score multiple touchdowns every week, of course, and his Week 3 production was as much as he had in Weeks 1 and 2 combined.

That said, Miller is set up for success in Week 4 with a favorable matchup against the Lions. Through three weeks, no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing tight ends than the Lions. Miller is an excellent streaming option this week.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 4 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (41 percent)

Through the first three weeks of the season, only Greg Olsen has scored more fantasy points than Rudolph. In each of his first three games, Rudolph has finished with at least 65 yards and/or a touchdown and he has finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end every week.

Not only is he second behind only Olsen (27) among tight ends in targets (26), but Rudolph has a minimum of eight targets in each game. Even though the Giants have defended tight ends better this season, he gets a favorable matchup in Week 4 and is a strong streaming option.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (two percent)

After being targeted four times in each of the team's first two games, Brate was targeted 10 times on Sunday and turned those targets into five catches for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Jameis Winston threw it 58 times on Sunday after throwing 52 pass attempts in Week 2. In other words, it's possible that Brate sees a consistent stream of targets, especially with Austin Seferian-Jenkins recently released following a DUI arrest. That said, his next two matchups aren't great as the Bucs will face the Broncos and Panthers in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively.

TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (10 percent)

With Donte Moncrief sidelined four to six weeks, we should see a higher volume of two-TE sets for the Colts over the next month. Since leading all tight ends in fantasy production in Week 1 with his two-TD performance, Doyle has been targeted five-plus times in the past two games with a total of 10 catches for 102 yards over that two-game span.

TE - Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (six percent)

Starting in place of the injured Antonio Gates (hamstring), Henry caught all five of his targets for 76 yards in Sunday's loss to the Colts. Unfortunately, he lost a key fourth-quarter fumble, but he's in a great spot if Gates misses another game. The Chargers will face the Saints and Raiders in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively.

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2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 4

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some wide receiver waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

WR - Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns (21 percent)

What didn't Pryor do on Sunday? The converted wide receiver and former quarterback threw for 35 yards, ran for 21 yards and a touchdown to go along with eight catches for 144 yards on 14 targets on Sunday.

With Josh Gordon suspended for one more week and Corey Coleman (hand) out for several more, Pryor will be the focal point of Cleveland's offense in Week 4 against Washington. Pryor has double-digit targets in back-to-back games and 31 through three games.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 4 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

WR - Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens (39 percent)

In Sunday's win, Smith had eight receptions for 87 yards on 11 targets. Through three weeks, he now has 16 catches for 170 yards on 25 targets. Smith and his fellow Ravens receivers have a favorable matchup in Week 4 against the Raiders, who have allowed the most fantasy points to the position this season.

WR - Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (34 percent)

Enunwa had only four receptions for 37 yards on Sunday, but he had a team-high 11 targets. Through three games, only Brandon Marshall (27) has more targets than Enunwa (25, 22.12 percent market share). Enunwa leads the Jets in receptions (17) and only Eric Decker (194) has more yards (183). Week 4's matchup (vs. Seattle) isn't great, but Enunwa figures to be a key component of the Jets offense for the entire season.

WR - Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (20 percent)

Beasley should be owned in all PPR leagues as the Cowboys slot receiver has shown great rapport with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. In his three games, Beasley has a minimum of five catches, six targets, 65 yards and 12.5 PPR points every week. Beasley has the 31st-most fantasy points in PPR formats (43rd-most in standard). The Cowboys face the 49ers in Week 4.

WR - Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (15 percent)

Through three weeks, Crowder has 16 catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 25 targets. That puts Crowder on a full-season pace of 85.3/933.3/10.7 on 133.3 targets. Of course, the 5-foot-8 Crowder is unlikely to score double-digit touchdowns, but he is tied with Jordy Nelson for the most red-zone targets (eight) through Sunday's games. Crowder currently has the 28th-most fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues (WR24 in PPR).

WR - Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (one percent)

It's unclear whether Sammy Watkins (foot) will play in Week 4 after being inactive in Week 3. If he's out another week, however, Woods should lead the team's receivers in targets like he did last week. Woods had six catches for 51 yards on eight targets against the Cardinals on Sunday.

WR - Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles (eight percent)

The Titans were quick to give up on the second-year, second-round receiver, but the Eagles plan to get Green-Beckham more involved in the offense. Coach Doug Pederson recently said, "... we'd love to obviously get him a little more involved from a standpoint of getting more targets thrown in his direction." DGB had just 3/33 on four targets in Week 3, but it wouldn't surprise me if he finishes the rest of the season as a top-50 receiver with upside for much better.

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 4

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some running back waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

RB - Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (21 percent)

Navigating the running back injury minefield can be tricky and Jeremy Langford is the latest starter set to miss multiple games. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Langford will miss the next four to six weeks with an ankle injury.

With Langford sidelined, Howard is set to take over as the team's lead back. Howard has 12 carries for 67 yards (5.58 yards per carry) and six catches for 58 yards so far this season.

Howard gets a pair of favorable matchups in Weeks 4 and 5 against the Lions and Colts. The Lions have limited opposing running backs to the eighth-fewest fantasy points, but they have allowed opposing running backs to average 5.31 YPC this season. Meanwhile, the Colts have allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 4 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

RB - Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (39 percent)

Earlier this summer, Philadelphia's current (and San Diego's former) offensive coordinator Frank Reich asked the following question in reference to Sproles: "How can we get this guy the football?" (And then sometimes, this happens.)

Carrying the ball only twice for negative one yard on Sunday, Sproles caught all six of his targets for 128 yards and a touchdown. On pace for close to last year's 55 catches (current pace: 53.3), Sproles is a top-25 running back early this season. (Last year, he finished as the RB25 in PPR.)

RB - Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions (23 percent)

Washington (10) and Theo Riddick (10) split carries evenly although Riddick added seven receptions on nine targets as well. Considering the Lions were down by as much as 31-3 at one point in the second half, it's natural for Riddick to get a larger share of the workload. In games that are close, I'd still expect Riddick to lead the team's backfield in touches, but I'd expect Washington to get a little more work than he had in Week 3. More importantly, he remains the goal-line back.

RB - Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (three percent)

With Shane Vereen (torn triceps) placed on IR, Darkwa would get the start if Rashad Jennings (thumb) is unable to go in Week 4. It seemed likely that Jennings would be ready for Week 3 so it's possible that Jennings misses more time. On Sunday, Darkwa had 10 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown in addition to a nine-yard reception on Sunday.

RB - Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (12 percent)

With a three-down skill set, Dixon rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three out of four seasons and posted 30-plus catches in back-to-back seasons at Louisiana Tech. Dixon has missed the team's first three games with a knee sprain, but he has the talent to emerge as the team's lead back at some point this season. It's possible that he makes his debut in Week 4. If not, he should be getting close.

RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (37 percent)

Arian Foster (groin) missed Week 3 and the Dolphins have a short turnaround as they face the Bengals on Thursday Night Football. And it appears likely that Foster will miss at least one more game.

Technically, Kenyan Drake got the start for the Dolphins, but Ajayi scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime. It would be difficult to trust any of Miami's backs, but I expect Ajayi to lead the group in workload and fantasy production.

RB - DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (11 percent)

Through three weeks, it's been a 50/25/25 split between starter Latavius Murray (40 touches) and backups Jalen Richard (20) and Washington (20). On a per-touch basis, Washington has been efficient -- 6.88 YPC and 7.0 Y/R -- and that has led to back-to-back top-36 weekly performances. Unless or until he sees an increase in usage, Washington is worth stashing on your bench.

RB - Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers (19 percent)

Fozzy Whittaker deserves to be listed as well, but it was Artis-Payne that led the team in workload (13 touches), as expected, over Whittaker (10) with Jonathan Stewart sidelined. Stewart is expected to miss a couple more weeks, but both CAP and Whittaker are relatively low-upside options.

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (21 percent)

The good news is that West has double-digit touches in all three games this season. The bad news is that he has yet to finish as a weekly top-30 fantasy running back. Through three weeks, he has 148 yards from scrimmage on 37 touches and no touchdowns. At some point, I expect Dixon to emerge as the lead guy (as mentioned above) in Baltimore's backfield.

RB - Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (one percent)

With Ryan Mathews (ankle) aggravating an ankle injury in Sunday's win over the Steelers, Smallwood handled nearly half of the running back touches (17, 48.6 percent). Productive in his expanded role on Sunday, Smallwood finished with 79 rushing yards (4.65 YPC) and a touchdown. The team has a Week 4 bye and Mathews appears likely to return in Week 5, but Smallwood should get the largest share of the workload if Mathews misses Week 5 (or any time in the future).

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 4

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (19 percent)

Wentz and the Eagles go into their Week 4 bye with a perfect 3-0 record and the games haven't been close (+65 scoring differential). Playing beyond his years, the rookie from North Dakota State has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in two of three weeks and has thrown five touchdowns with no turnovers. In fact, the Eagles are the only team with no turnovers yet this season.

As is typical for a rookie, Wentz is sure to have some ups and downs (eventually), but he has vastly exceeded expectations so far. A strong streaming option in favorable matchups, Wentz gets the Lions out of his bye in Week 5. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Lions.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 4 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 4 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (44 percent)

Tannehill threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns (as well as two interceptions) in Sunday's overtime win over the Browns to finish as the weekly QB10. Tannehill has now finished as a weekly top-10 fantasy quarterback in back-to-back games and would have done so in all three games had Kenny Stills not dropped a wide-open 70-yard touchdown in the opener against the Seahawks. Either way, Tannehill has thrown for 708 yards and five touchdowns (with four interceptions) in his past two games and has scored the eighth-most fantasy points early this season.

Next week's matchup isn't great against the Bengals, but they just allowed Denver's Trevor Siemian to throw for 312 yards and four touchdowns as fantasy's Week 3 QB1. Actually, the Bengals have allowed a total of nine passing touchdowns in their first three games and the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season.

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys ( percent)

Completing two-thirds of his pass attempts (66 of 99), Prescott has played efficiently in leading the Cowboys to a one-point loss away from a perfect 3-0 start. Finally throwing his first touchdown of the season in Week 3, Prescott has also rushed in a score in back-to-back weeks. While he uses his mobility primarily to buy more time as a passer, he has the potential to pick up fantasy points with his legs.

Prescott and the Cowboys get a favorable matchup in Week 4 against the 49ers, who have allowed more than 48 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in their past two games.

QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

Flacco has had a favorable schedule so far this season but has yet to capitalize on his opportunities as he has finished as the weekly QB23, QB19 and QB21 against the Bills, Browns and Jaguars, respectively. Ranking near the top of the league in pass attempts (118), Flacco has thrown more interceptions (four) than touchdowns (three) in this young season.

With a top-three Week 4 matchup, Flacco faces a Raiders defense that has allowed a league-high 1,020 passing yards through three weeks. While Drees Brees (423 yards and four TDs) and Matt Ryan (396 yards and three TDs) lit them up, they played much better against Marcus Mariota (214 yards, no TDs and two INTs) in Week 3.

QB - Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (two percent)

Filling in for an injured Jay Cutler, Hoyer threw for 319 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a loss to the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football to finish as fantasy's weekly QB11. Much of that production occurred in garbage time as the Cowboys had a commanding lead for most of the game, but the Bears have a favorable schedule over the next few weeks.

If Cutler misses another game, Hoyer will draw a start against the Lions, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through Week 3. The Bears will then face the Colts, Jaguars and Packers in Weeks 5 to 7.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 4

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September 25, 2016

Week 3 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Travis Benjamin is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 3 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Benjamin (and could only start two receivers), you should start Jones and Cooper -- and in turn, bench Benjamin.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 3:

WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (vs. CLE)

With double-digit targets in each of the team's first two games, Landry has a total of 17 catches for 196 yards going into Week 3. Not only do the Dolphins have one of the highest implied point totals this week, but he gets a favorable matchup against the Browns. So far, Cleveland has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Editor's note: NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

WR - Eric Decker, New York Jets (at KC)

Brandon Marshall may be on a snap count so it could lead to a few more targets for Decker this week. Either way, Decker has been incredibly consistent. Extending his touchdown streak to six games, Decker led the Jets in receiving with 6/126/1 last week. Decker has now scored a touchdown in 15 of his past 18 games. In addition, he has 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 18 consecutive games.

WR - Travis Benjamin, San Diego Chargers (at IND)

Given the season-ending ACL injury to Keenan Allen, the Chargers will rely on Benjamin as their No. 1 receiver. In addition, Danny Woodhead, who led RBs in receptions last year, is out for the season and Antonio Gates (hamstring) is doubtful for Week 3. Especially if Vontae Davis (questionable) sits once again in Week 3, Benjamin has plenty of upside. Only the Saints/Falcons have a higher over/under this week than the Chargers/Colts. Catching all six of his targets, Benjamin had 115 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 against the Jags.

WR - Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (at GB)

With Golden Tate and Jones described as 1(a) and 1(b) options, Jones is clearly the 1(a) out of the duo with 12 catches on 21 targets for 203 yards, all of which are team highs, and a touchdown. Averaging 16.9 Y/R, Jones has at least 85 yards in each game this season. The Packers have a number of key defensive players ruled out for Week 3 including cornerback Sam Shields (concussion).

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 3:

WR - Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (at GB)

Even though Jones has more targets, the good news is that Tate has a total of 16 targets (20.25 percent target share) through two games. The bad news is that Tate has turned those targets into only 54 yards on nine catches. Averaging just 6.0 Y/R, Tate's long reception so far is only 11 yards. Tate is more of a WR3/flex than a must-start WR2.

WR - Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (at CIN)

Sanders has exactly eight targets in each of his first two games, but Sanders has finished as the WR60 (or worse) with 5/49 and 3/39 lines. The Bengals have limited opposing receivers to the 12th-fewest fantasy points early this season. One of eight teams projected to score less than 20 points this week based on Vegas odds, things may not be much better for Sanders this week.

WR - Kevin White, Chicago Bears (at DAL)

Like Sanders, White has finished as the WR60+ in both of his first two games. With a total of 13 targets in those games, White had 3/34 against Houston and 4/36 against Philadephia. With a rare skill set that made him a top-seven draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, White has all of the physical tools to one day develop into a dominant (real and fantasy) receiver. For now, however, he should remain on your bench.

WR - John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (at BUF)

Finishing with 1,003 yards in his second NFL season (2015), Brown has played less than half of the team's offensive snaps (49.6 percent) through the first two weeks of the 2016 season. Targeted a total of seven times, Brown has only one catch in each game. Until Brown's role and snaps increases, I'd take a wait-and-see approach with him and keep him on the bench.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3

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Week 3 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Charles Sims is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 3 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned C.J. Anderson, Matt Forte and Sims, you should start CJA and Forte -- and in turn, bench Sims.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 3:

RB - Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers (at IND)

His rookie season was a year to forget as Gordon averaged a pedestrian 3.48 yards per carry with zero touchdowns on 217 touches. Things are off to a much better start for the sophomore back. Rushing for a career-high 102 yards last week, MG3 scored his third touchdown of this young season. Finishing as a top-10 fantasy running back in both games, Gordon has scored the fourth-most fantasy points among running backs through Week 2.

With Danny Woodhead (ACL) out for the season, MG3 had a total of 27 touches in Sunday's rout of the Jaguars. Given the team's injuries on offense, Gordon should be a lock for a massive workload each and every week. Two weeks into the season, the Colts have already allowed a trio of top-10 fantasy running backs and no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs.

- Related: Gordon is my Favorite Play on DraftKings in Week 3

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (vs. SD)

The other running back in this game has upside as an RB2 this week as well. With the 20th-most fantasy points through two weeks, Gore is averaging only 3.81 YPC but he has at least 16 touches in each game. Only seven teams allow more fantasy points to the position this season than the Chargers, who allowed the fourth-most to opposing running backs last season. As home favorites, Gore and the Colts are projected to score the third-most points this week based on Vegas odds.

Editor's note: NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

RB - Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. LA)

As a change-of-pace option to Doug Martin last season, Sims finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015. With Martin (hamstring) out this week (and expected to miss a few games), Sims will lead the backfield in usage over the next few weeks. Among running backs that ranked inside the top-40 running backs last season, no running back averaged more yards per touch (6.90) than Sims. Favored by 5.5 points at home against the low-powered Rams, Sims could benefit from positive game flow, but his receiving prowess should keep him on the field regardless of the score.

RB - DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans (vs. OAK)

Through two weeks, Murray has the eighth-most fantasy points (RB4 in PPR) with 222 yards from scrimmage, an RB-high (tied with T.J. Yeldon) 12 receptions and two touchdowns. While their pass defense has been lit up by Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, the Titans will likely rely on a ground-and-pound game plan with Murray and rookie Derrick Henry and should have plenty of success. Allowing an average of 517.5 yards and 34.5 points per game, the Raiders have allowed 4.40 YPC (eighth-most) to opposing running backs so far this season.

RB - Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)

Through two weeks, Michael has 25 carries for 126 yards (5.04 YPC) and five receptions for 31 yards. With Thomas Rawls out this week, the Seahawks will rely on Michael as their lead back. Nearly double-digit favorites, positive game flow should lead to a heavy workload (and perhaps multiple scoring opportunties) for C-Mike. Coach Pete Carroll said (via the Seattle Times): "He’s had 20-something carries so far. He’s ready to carry the ball 20-something times in a game. He could be fine with that."

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 3:

RB - Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (at CAR)

The Star Tribune's Matt Vensel has projected that McKinnon could handle the "65" part of a 65/35 split with Matt Asiata in Adrian Peterson's absence. Most of McKinnon's yardage will likely come between the 20's, however, as the team seems to trust Asiata more in the red zone. In fact, Asiata has a league-high three games with three-plus rushing scores since 2013. While I'd prefer not to use McKinnon or Asiata as my RB2, both are in the flex mix for me.

RB - T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BAL)

The good news is that Yeldon had a total of 40 touches in Weeks 1 and 2 as Chris Ivory was a scratch. The bad news for Yeldon fantasy owners is that he generated an inefficient 107 YFS on those touches -- 21/39 rushing (1.86 YPC) in Week 1 and 8/10 receiving (1.25 Y/R) in Week 2. Due to his passing-game volume, Yeldon finished as the RB18 in PPR last week despite finishing as the RB46 in standard-scoring formats. With Ivory due to make his Jacksonville debut this week, Yeldon (and Ivory) should remain on your bench.

RB - Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (at SEA)

Productive in the opener, Hyde had 25 touches and scored two touchdowns as he finished as fantasy's RB5, but he managed only 3.83 YPC in Week 1. Even less efficient in Week 2 against the Panthers, Hyde averaged just 2.43 YPC and he also lost a fumble.

Things won't get any easier in Week 3 as the 49ers head north to Seattle. Only the Packers (1.84) and Vikings (2.65) have allowed fewer yards per carry to opposing running backs than the Seahawks (2.86) this season.

Facing a tough Seahawks defense, no team is projected to score fewer points than the 49ers this week based on Vegas odds. Nearly double-digit underdogs, game flow could limit Hyde's opportunities if the 49ers get down early, as expected.

RB - Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (at NYG)

Jones had 13 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown last week against Dallas as he scored the 14th-most fantasy points among running backs in Week 2. That said, the matchup isn't great for Jones in Week 3 as a road underdog against a revamped Giants defense. Not only have the Giants allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, but they have allowed only 3.18 YPC to opposing backs as well.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3

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Week 3 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Ryan Tannehill is listed below as a "start" for Week 3. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 3 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Drew Brees and Tannehill, you should start Brees -- and in turn, bench Tannehill.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 3:

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at NO)

Through the first two weeks of the 2016 NFL season, no quarterback has scored more fantasy points than Ryan (52.2). Throwing for a total of 730 yards and five touchdowns, Ryan has finished as the weekly QB6 and QB2, respectively.

Aside from his career 5-10 record against the Saints, Ryan has played well against the Saints. In the previous 10 games (over five seasons), Ryan has averaged 329.5 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and only four interceptions against the Saints. In addition, he has thrown for less than 290 yards only once over that 10-game (five-year) span.

Granted, I was low (perhaps too low) on Ryan entering the season, but he's a top-five play at the position for me in Week 3.

Editor's note: NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

QB - Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (vs. OAK)

Starting your quarterback against the Raiders has been a profitable strategy so far this season. Through two weeks, no team has allowed more fantasy points per game than Oakland. One week after Drew Brees lit them up for 423 yards and four scores, Ryan threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns against them.

While I don't expect that type of production through the air from Mariota, the favorable matchup puts him inside of my top-12 quarterbacks for the week. Through two weeks, Mariota has thrown for 509 yards and four touchdowns and added 30 rushing yards.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. CLE)

The NFL schedule makers did not do the Dolphins any favors by scheduling the Seahawks and Patriots on the road to start the season. But things get easier, much easier, in Week 3 as Miami makes their home debut against the Browns.

Double-digit favorites, the Dolphins have an implied point total of 25.75 based on Vegas odds; only three teams (Saints, Packers and Colts) have a higher total for Week 3. In two games, the Browns have allowed a total of 580 passing yards and four passing touchdowns.

Through two weeks, Tannehill is the QB11 and he would have been much higher on his list if Kenny Stills did not drop a wide-open 70-yard touchdown pass against the Seahawks in Week 1. Even though much of last week's production occurred in garbage time, Tannehill finished as Week 2's QB7 in fantasy and that's my ranking for him this week as well.

- Related: Tannehill was the QB in our DraftKings tournament "drafted" lineup

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BAL)

We saw some garbage-time Jags and Bortles last week as they were blown out in San Diego and didn't score any points until the fourth quarter. There was plenty of optimism about the Jaguars heading into the season, but they have been a major disappointment thus far. (No team has a worse scoring differential and they are 31st in my NFL Power Rankings.)

Tied for the league lead in pass attempts (89) through Week 2, Bortles has thrown for 320-plus yards in each of his first two games. On paper, the Ravens have a stingy pass defense -- fourth-fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks -- but that was against the Bills and Browns. Josh McCown showed in the first half how vulnerable Baltimore's secondary can be.

Even though Bortles has finished as the QB19 and QB15 in each of his first two games, respectively, I expect him to finish as a top-10 perfomer in Week 3 as the offense starts to get on track.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 3:

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. DEN)

With a league-high 732 passing yards through Week 2, Dalton has thrown exactly 366 yards in each of his first two games. Holding Cam Newton (194) and Andrew Luck (197) to less than 200 passing yards in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively, the Broncos will provide Dalton with a stiffer challenge in Week 3. Despite passing volume, Dalton has managed to throw only one touchdown per game. Even though the Bengals are favored by 3.5 points on Sunday, they are still projected to be one of the bottom-half scoring offenses in Week 3.

QB - Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (at ARI)

Shortly after Taylor threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns as the Bills put up 31 yards, the Bills fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman. While a tweet from Sammy Watkins (foot) on Saturday night suggested he may give it a go, ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that Watkins will sit on Sunday. Through two weeks, the Cardinals have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and intercepted Jameis Winston four times last week.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (at NYG)

In back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Cowboys, Cousins has thrown the ball a total of 89 times for 693 yards, but he has only one touchdown to three interceptions. Spending heavily on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, the Giants have limited opposing quarterbacks to the sixth-fewest fantasy points through the first two weeks of the season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 3

Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings:

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September 23, 2016

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 3

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 3 games.

Essentially, it was a draft with each of us alternating picks for the lineup. Sean had the first and odd-numbered picks; I had the second and even-numbered picks.

Below we will include analysis of each pick, but here is how the final roster shaped up:

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (vs. CLE), $6,200
RB - Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers (at IND), $5,800
RB - Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (at CAR), $3,000
WR - Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. BAL), $7,500
WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (vs. CLE), $6,600
WR - Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts (vs. SD), $4,400
TE - Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (at NYG), $6,500
FLEX - Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. CHI), $6,900
DST - Green Bay Packers (vs. DET), $3,000

Below are the players in the order they were "drafted" (with comments by both of us):

1. Sean - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, $7,500: I wrote up Robinson as my favorite DK play this week. I absolutely love him in this matchup vs. Baltimore. Jason Verrett and the San Diego secondary shut down Robinson last week so giving recency bias I am hoping Robinson gets overlooked this week. I am projecting Robinson to be the No. 1 WR this week in fantasy. I think a line of 8-140-2 is definitely attainable.

Comments by Kevin: It's been a slow start for Robinson (nine catches for 126 yards), but he has 20 targets through two games and a more favorable matchup in Week 3. One of the most talented young receivers in the NFL, I expect bigger and better things from A-Rob both this week and the rest of the season. With lots of upside, his ownership levels should be relatively low due to his slow start. I like this pick.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

2. Kevin - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins, $6,200: Projected to score the fifth-most points (tied) based on Vegas odds, the Dolphins enter Week 3 as the biggest favorites of the week. Through two weeks, the Browns have allowed 580 passing yards and four touchdowns to rookie Carson Wentz and Joe Flacco. DeVante Parker (hamstring) was limited in yesterday's practice, but he had a strong debut (8/106) last week. The trio of Jarvis Landry, Parker and Kenny Stills should give the Browns secondary fits.

Comments by Sean: Tannehill and Dolphins stacks this week will not be sneaky. That being said, most multi-entry GPP players pick a core group of players and rotate in different QB/WR stacks. Ownership will never be too high on a QB. Tannehill has a great matchup vs. the Browns this week. Tannehill also has the ability to rush one in, which is huge. I think Tannehill should pay off this price tag.

3. Sean - Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins, $6,600: Landry is the safe WR to stack with Tannehill, but safe doesn't necessarily rule out a good GPP play. Landry should be targeted heavily as Arian Foster will miss this week's game. Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake are not backs I would trust to move the chains even in a potential blowout. I think a 10/120/1 game is quite possible this week for Landry.

Comments by Kevin: In a full-PPR format like DraftKings, I'm fine with Landry here as the option to pair with Tannehill. Landry has double-digit targets in both games and a total of 17 catches through two weeks. With Arian Foster expected to miss this week's game, the Dolphins could end up using the short passing game with Landry to substitute for some of their running game.

4. Kevin - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers, $5,800: With Danny Woodhead out for the year, the Chargers will rely heavily on Gordon (like they did last week). MG3 had a 24/102/1 rushing line last week and has a total of three scores through two weeks. In a favorable matchup against the Colts, who have allowed the most PPR fantasy points to opposing running backs, MG3 should get 20-plus touches and easily exceed value on his $5,800 salary.

Comments by Sean: Gordon is the mega chalk at RB this week facing the Colts, who just bleed yardage and points. The only thing that could worry me here is if the Colts get up big early. We could see the Chargers abandon the ground game. Given his salary and opportunity, Gordon should produce enough to pay off. I will have a lot of shares of Gordon on Sunday.

5. Sean - Phillip Dorsett, WR, Indianapolis Colts, $4,400: This game has the highest total of the slate and without Donte Moncrief this week, Dorsett’s targets should increase. T.Y. Hilton plays about 60 percent of his snaps from the slot, which could result in more Jason Verrett coverage for Dorsett, but I’m willing to take the gamble here. I will be targeting both wideouts heavily this week. The Colts defense cannot stop anyone, so I expect Andrew Luck to throw the ball 40-plus times.

Comments by Kevin: With Donte Moncrief (shoulder) out for a month-plus, Dorsett will start in two-receiver sets opposite T.Y. Hilton. At only $4,400, the speedy second-year receiver always has the potential for a big play or two and should be more involved overall.

6. Kevin - Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings, $3,000: As weird as it feels to pick Asiata, I think the potential reward is big. The matchup isn't great and there are a lot of other cheap RBs this week including Asiata's teammate. I think his ownership level should be fairly low despite the bargain-basement price tag. Given that the Vikings trust him at the goal line and in pass protection, there could be opportunities for a score (or three) and some receptions. From 2013 to 2016, the leader in games with three rushing TDs is ... you guessed it ... Asiata (three such games). All three of those games came in an 11-game span overlapping the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Comments by Sean: Matt YOLO Asiata! We know what the negative factors are here with this play. (Matchup, less workload than Jerick McKinnon). The positive play is that this is the perfect pivot off McKinnon. It worked great last week if you faded the chalk, Danny Woodhead, for MG3. Also, I expect the ownership to be high on Stefon Diggs as well since his salary was released before the monster game on Monday night. Asiata should get all the goal-line carries as well. He could be very sneaky this week. I'm on board for $3K.

7. Sean - Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins, $6,500: My final pick was Jordan Reed. Paying up at a position most people pay down at is optimal GPP strategy. The Giants defense is one of the worst defenses vs. the TE. The Redskins are 0-2, so I think they go back to what got them to the playoffs last year; a heavy dose of Reed. Reed will be the No. 1 TE in fantasy this week.

Comments by Kevin: It's been a somewhat slow start for Reed, but he has 18 targets and 12 catches through two games. Reed is tied for the positional lead in both categories. In two games against the Giants last year, Reed had 14 catches for 194 yards on 18 targets. There is plenty of upside here.

8. Kevin - Ezekiel Elliott, RB/Flex, Dallas Cowboys, $6,900: Things haven't gone as well as most had hoped so far with Elliott, who has a total of 139 yards on 44 touches. Favored by a touchdown at home in a favorable matchup against the Bears, however, Elliott should get another hefty workload (assuming he holds onto the ball) with the potential for some goal-line opportunities.

Comments by Sean: Zeke has scored in both of his first two NFL games this year, but hasn’t looked great in either game. Perhaps wearing a full jersey is what is slowing him down this year. He is only averaging 3.3 YPC behind arguably the best O-line in football. I’m not high on Elliott this week, but game script looks good here with the Cowboys being a 7.5-point favorite. Paying up for RB this week is contrarian as well as most will spend down for the injury replacements.

9. Kevin - Green Bay Packers DST, $3,000: With the Packers and Dolphins priced the same ($3,000), the majority of owners will choose Miami in this spot. So, Green Bay's defense should be very low-owned.

Comments by Sean: The Dolphins are going to be the highest-owned defense of the week, and it's probably not even going to be close. A pivot here to Green Bay could make or break this GPP lineup as I would imagine if you are stuck on this price point, 99 percent of the players will take Miami.

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September 20, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 3

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 3 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

WR - Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers (49 percent)

As the team's No. 3 receiver entering the season, the 6-foot-3 speedster had some sleeper appeal. With Keenan Allen lost for the season in the opener, however, it has immediately opened up opportunities for the rest of the team's pass-catchers including Williams.

With a commanding lead (21-0 at the half and 35-0 after three quarters), the Chargers threw the ball only 25 times on Sunday. Tied with Travis Benjamin, Williams was targeted a team-high six times in the win. Williams turned those targets into three catches for 61 yards, which included an impressive 44-yard touchdown.

Williams and the Chargers receivers have a phenomenal three-game schedule upcoming with the Colts, Saints and Raiders in Weeks 3 through 5.

NFL $1.25M Play-Action Contest: DraftKings is running a $3 Week 3 contest with $50,000 paid to 1st place and is FREE for new depositors. Enter the Week 3 $1.25M Play-Action Contest.

WR - Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts (42 percent)

How much time Donte Moncrief (shoulder) will miss is unclear? But it seems that he will miss some time even though he hasn't officially been ruled out for Week 3 yet.

With Moncrief expected to miss time, Dorsett will move into the No. 2 receiver role behind T.Y. Hilton. The second-year speedster has played 83.6 percent of the team's offensive snaps in Week 2 after playing 72.9 percent in Week 1. Dorsett converted only one-of-five targets for 30 yards against Denver on Sunday.

The next few matchups are favorable. Not only do I expect Jason Verrett to shadow Hilton this week, but the Colts face the Jaguars and Bears in Weeks 4 and 5.

WR - Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets ( percent)

Once again, Enunwa had at least six catches. Once again, Enunwa appears on my receiver waiver-wire list.

Different than Week 1, however, the team's dynamic duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker both exceeded the 100-yard mark as well in Week 2. Through two games, Enunwa has a total line of 13/142/1 on 14 targets.

WR - Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (48 percent)

Through two weeks, Thomas has had two solid games: 6/58 and 4/56. Playing in a Drew Brees offense with a bad defense, it wouldn't surprise me if Thomas approaches 900 receiving yards on the season. (Based on his average through two games, Thomas is on pace for 80/912/0.)

WR - Victor Cruz, New York Giants (37 percent)

With the Giants often using three-WR sets, the trio of Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Cruz have all played greater than 90 percent of the team's offensive snaps. Given the durability concerns entering the season as he returned from his patellar tendon injury in 2014, Cruz has looked healthy. Cruz has a total of eight catches (on 12 targets) for 125 yards and a touchdown through two games.

WR - Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (10 percent)

Beasley is worth an add in PPR formats. Through two weeks, the slot receiver has 13 catches for 140 yards on 18 targets. Beasley's 18 targets is tied with Jason Witten for a team high. The Cowboys get a favorable matchup in Week 3 against the Bears.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 3

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 3

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 3 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

RB - Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (24 percent)

Adrian Peterson left Sunday night's game with a knee injury that has been diagnosed as a torn meniscus. While it could have been worse, Peterson is likely to miss a few games with the injury.

In his absence, it will be Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata that handle the workload. Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune projects a "65/35 split" in favor of McKinnon with Asiata getting the valuable goal-line opportunities assuming AP misses time.

On 168 career rushing attempts, McKinnon has averaged 4.9 yards per carry. The upcoming matchups aren't great as the Vikings face the Panthers, Giants and Texans over the next three weeks.

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RB - Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (27 percent)

A healthy scratch in Week 1, Ajayi had five carries for 14 yards in Week 2 as Arian Foster left Sunday's game early with a groin injury. It appears likely that Foster will miss Miami's Week 3 favorable matchup against Cleveland, but usage for Ajayi may be more committee-like even with Foster sidelined. Given Foster's durability track record, however, Ajayi deserves to be owned in all leagues.

RB - Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers (percent)

Artis-Payne has been a healthy scratch in each of the past two games, but he appears to be the favorite for touches (based on coach Ron Rivera's comments) assuming that Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) misses time.

"I've got a tremendous amount of faith in who CAP can be for us, and in knowing that you've got a good change-of-pace guy in Fozzy and a guy who can play situational football for you in Mike Tolbert," Rivera said. "CAP is a stout inside runner who runs the ball very well and has good vision. He makes good cuts, but he more plants the leg and drives straight ahead. Fozzy is more nifty, a little better lateral movement as you saw when he got outside, though he also ran inside a couple of times."

RB - Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (eight percent)

With a three-down skill set, Dixon rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three out of four seasons and posted 30-plus catches in back-to-back seasons at Louisiana Tech. Dixon sustained a left knee sprain in Baltimore's third preseason game so he may still miss a few more games.

Javorius Allen has been a healthy scratch and neither Justin Forsett or Terrance West has lit the world on fire in the first two games. SI's Peter King wrote before the season that he wouldn't be surprised if Dixon (knee) is the starter by the middle of the October.

(Me either.)

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (26 percent)

It's been a nearly even split between West (23/74, 3.2 YPC) and Justin Forsett (24/78, 3.3 YPC) through two weeks, but neither back has been all that inspiring. West has added three catches for 21 yards as well. With a couple of favorable matchups upcoming against Jacksonville, Oakland and Washington, West (and Forsett) could enter the flex discussion especially until Dixon is able to make his debut.

RB - Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (two percent)

As noted above, Asiata is the favorite for goal-line opportunities for as long as Peterson is sidelined. Even though he has never averaged four yards per carry in a season, Asiata scored double-digit touchdowns -- nine rushing and one receiving -- in 2014 when Peterson was suspended for 15 games.

RB - Dwayne Washington, Detroit Lions (one percent)

With Ameer Abdullah exiting Sunday's loss with a foot injury and scheduled to see a specialist today, Washington appears to see an expanded workload in the near future. In addition, Washington will continue to get the important goal-line touches.

RB - Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina Panthers (three percent)

With Stewart leaving Sunday's win early, Whittaker carried the ball 16 times for 100 yards and added three catches for 31 yards as well. Based on comments from Rivera (see above), however, the Panthers expect Whittaker to stay in a change-of-pace role (behind CAP).

RB - Shane Vereen, New York Giants (19 percent)

Rashad Jennings (hand) played less than half of the team's snaps last week and Vereen had more touches (17) than Jennings (14) in Week 2. Through two weeks, Vereen has a total of 127 yards from scrimmage on 20 carries and six receptions. Jennings should be ready to go in Week 3, but he has long had a shaky durability history.

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 3

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 3 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (28 percent)

Nearly overcoming a large deficit, Tannehill finished with 389 yards on 32-of-45 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions on Sunday. In addition, he added 35 rushing yards on six carries. Granted, (almost) all of that production was in garbage time, but there are a couple of reasons to be optimistic.

Not only did Jarvis Landry exceed the 100-yard mark, but DeVante Parker made his season debut on Sunday and the second-year receiver finished with eight catches for 106 yards. Tannehill has finished as the weekly QB17 and QB7 in his first two games, respectively, and was a Kenny Stills dropped 70-yard touchdown in Week 1 away from a pair of top-10 outings.

And after a pair of road games against the Seahawks and Patriots, Tannehill gets a more favorable matchup in Week 3 as the Dolphins host the Browns. The Browns have given up 25-plus points and multiple passing touchdowns in each of their past two games.

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QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

It was far from an efficient outing (25-of-45 passing and two interceptions), but Flacco led the Ravens to a come-from-behind win over the Browns as he threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns. And while I expected more fantasy production in a favorable Week 2 matchup, Flacco has a pair of top-five matchups coming up in Weeks 3 and 4.

The Ravens visit the Jags in Week 3 and host the Raiders in Week 4. Not only have the Raiders allowed at least 396 passing yards in each game, but the two defenses have combined to allow a total of 13 passing touchdowns to only one interception through Week 2.

QB - Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (45 percent)

Prescott showed good poise in the team's come-from-behind win on the road over their division rivals in Week 2. Prescott completed 22 of 30 pass attempts (73.3 percent) for 292 yards (9.73 Y/A) and added a six-yard rushing touchdown as well. In Week 3, the rookie gets a favorable matchup at home against the Bears, who will be playing on a short week.

QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (41 percent)

On a short week, Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards and a touchdown against his former team to score 21.06 fantasy points. Fitzpatrick, who finished as fantasy's QB11 in 2015, will have plenty of opportunities for streamers, but his upcoming schedule is pretty brutal. Over the next four weeks, Fitzpatrick and the Jets face the Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers and Cardinals. Three of those four teams finished among the six stingiest defenses to opposing quarterbacks in 2015.

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September 18, 2016

Week 2 Fantasy Football: Tight Ends Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jason Witten is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as my starting tight end.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Greg Olsen and Witten, you should start Olsen -- and in turn, bench Witten.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 2:

TE - Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (vs. BAL)

Targeted only twice in Week 1, it was a goose-egg performance for Barnidge in the opener. We never like to see injuries, but the injury to RG3 benefits the fantasy outlook for Barnidge, who was sensational with Josh McCown under center last season.

In the seven games that McCown had double-digit pass attempts, Barnidge racked up a total of 43 catches for 603 yards and six touchdowns on 64 targets. That's an average of 6.14/86.14/0.86 on 9.14 targets on a per-game basis.

Two of those games with McCown last season were against the Ravens last season. In those games, Barnidge had 8/139/1 and 7/91 with double-digit targets in both.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

TE - Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (at WAS)

No tight end had more receptions (nine) or targets (14) than Witten had in Week 1 against the Giants. The Giants struggle in defending tight ends, but it's clear that Witten is a trusted security blanket for rookie starter Dak Prescott. Given the volume of targets that Witten should/could get this week, he has a chance to once again finish as a top-10 fantasy tight end.

TE - Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (at SD)

Thomas got off to a good start as he caught all five of his targets for 64 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Thomas is in a good spot this week as well. Since signing with the Jags last offseason, his best game was last year's performance (9/116/1) against the Chargers. The nine catches tied his career high and it is one of only four 100-yard games in his career.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 2:

TE - Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks (at LA)

At one point in his career, Graham was an obvious no-brainer start along with Gronk. That has no longer been the case since Graham has joined the Seahawks. After a devastating patellar tendon injury last season, it's great that Graham was active and played in Week 1. That said, he played only 17 (or 21.0 percent) of the team's offensive snaps.

His snap count is expected to increase in Week 2, but he should still remain on your bench. Not only is he still less than 100 percent, but the Rams are one of the league's better teams at defending the tight end position.

TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (at MIN)

Load up Cook in DraftKings tournaments at his bargain $2,900 price tag was my thought last week. What a mistake that turned out to be!

Cook is a physical freak at the position, but he was not a major factor in the offensive game plan in Week 1. Playing roughly half of the team's offensive snaps (52.0 percent), Cook was targeted only twice and finished with one catch for seven yards.

Facing one of the best defenses in the league, the Vikings have an outstanding safety in Harrison Smith as well as athletic linebacker corps.

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at ARI)

The good news: Seferian-Jenkins scored on a 30-yard touchdown. The bad news: It was his only target.

Seferian-Jenkins is the most-talented of the team's tight ends, but he played on only 28 percent of the team's offensive snaps. Perhaps as (or if) his relationship with head coach Dirk Koetter improves, ASJ will become worth considering as a starter. But it's unlikely he finishes as a top-five fantasy tight end (like last week) playing only a quarter of the snaps.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Week 2 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Here are my Week 2 NFL picks against the spread:

Miami Dolphins +6.5 over New England Patriots (3 Units)

The Dolphins are coming into this game after a tough loss in Seattle, and I expect them to keep their defensive momentum going, as they always play the Patriots well. Miami has a very good front-four, and they will look to exploit the banged-up offensive line of New England, who may be missing both starting tackles again this week. The Patriots will also be missing All-World TE Rob Gronkowski, and also their defensive captain in the middle of the field in Donta Hightower.

While this will be a game that Belichick and company find a way to get the win, this game will be close throughout all four quarters, as New England is certainly missing quite a few players.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

Saints at Giants -- Over 54 (4 Units)

The Saints are really bad on defense, and apparently it was just not the Rob Ryan effect from last year, as they allowed Derek Carr to hit them up for 319 yards passing last week. Whenever these two teams get together, the scoreboard struggles to keep up, and with both high-powered passing offenses, I expect this one to be the same.

Last year the Saints outdueled the Giants 52-49, and already both Eli Manning and Drew Brees are in midseason form, as they passed for seven combined touchdowns in Week 1. I think this will be another huge offensive display, and I am going to take the points and over here.

Los Angeles Rams +6.5 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

Yes, the Rams looked downright awful on offense last week by getting shut out by the 49ers, and the usually stout defense didn't look much better. The Seahawks will be coming into this game after only putting up 12 points in the win against Miami, and now they have a hobbled quarterback in Russell Wilson (ankle).

The Rams have had the Seahawks number as of late, as they have gone 3-1 straight up in their last four matchups. I think this is a bounce-back week for the Rams, and also combined with the excitement of the first Los Angeles home game in 22 years will help propel the Rams to a close game. I think the trend continues, as Jeff Fisher always has his team ready to play Seattle.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Week 2 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jordan Matthews is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as one of my starting receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned A.J. Green, Amari Cooper and Matthews and could only start two receivers, you should start AJG and Cooper -- and in turn, bench Matthews.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 2:

WR - Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (vs. SF)

Expected to play 35 snaps in the opener, Benjamin instead led all of the team's wide receivers in offensive snaps (52, 71.0 percent) in Week 1's loss to the Broncos. With a team-high 36.4 percent of the targets, Benjamin posted a 6/91/1 stat line against the talented Broncos secondary and finished the week as fantasy's WR13.

In a (much) softer matchup against the 49ers, the only concern for Benjamin is that it could turn into an early blowout as Carolina is favored by nearly two touchdowns. If the game gets out of hand early, however, it's certainly possible that Benjamin will have already done enough damage to have a productive fantasy outing.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (at CHI)

The only wide receiver targeted more often than Matthews (14) in Week 1 was Jacksonville's Allen Robinson (15). Matthews converted those 14 targets into seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown against the Browns. Showing good early chemistry with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, Matthews is positioned for another productive outing in a favorable matchup against the Bears.

WR - DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins (vs. DAL)

A big play waiting to happen, his lone career 200-yard game came against the Cowboys several years ago, but he's been productive against the Cowboys more recently as well. Since signing with Washington, Jackson has at least 80 yards in each game and has scored in two of three Washington-Dallas games (he didn't play in Week 17 last year). In those three games, D-Jax has a combined line of 14/302/2 (21.57 Y/R).

- Related: D-Jax was "drafted" onto our DraftKings Tournament Lineup for Week 2

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB)

Starting Fitzgerald early in the season has been beneficial for fantasy owners over the past couple of seasons. Getting off to a hot start in Week 1 against the Patriots, Fitzgerald had eight catches for 81 yards and two scores on 10 targets. The Buccaneers have an underrated run defense so I would expect Arizona's game plan to focus on exploiting a relatively weak pass defense.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 2:

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (at DEN)

In a shootout against the Lions, Moncrief opened the season with six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown to finish with the 15th-most fantasy points among receivers in Week 1. In the eight games that Andrew Luck has played over the past two seasons, Moncrief has a total of six touchdowns. Moncrief was one of my favorite receivers entering the season, but expectations should be lowered in such a difficult Week 2 matchup against the Broncos. Outside my top-24 fantasy receivers for Week 2, Moncrief is still a WR3/flex for me this week, but expectations should be lowered.

WR - Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (vs. IND)

Listed as questionable on the injury report, Thomas (hip) will likely be a game-time decision for the Broncos on Sunday. If he suits up, it's unclear how effective he'll be and it's possible that he'll be used primarily as a decoy. Given the favorable matchup against a Vontae Davis-less Colts secondary, it's disappointing for Thomas' fantasy owners, but I expect Emmanuel Sanders to be more productive on Sunday.

WR - Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams (vs. SEA)

The good news? Austin was one of seven receivers to get 12-plus targets in Week 1. The bad news? He managed only 13 yards (on four receptions). Austin also had a rush attempt and had 15 total yards -- 3.0 per touch.

Perhaps he's more efficient in Week 2, but the matchup is terrible. In five career games against the Seahawks, Austin has a total of 45 receiving yards and 46 rushing yards.

WR - Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (at CAR)

Not only is Smith a "sit," he's a "drop." In a week where the 49ers had the second-most offensive plays (77), Smith was targeted only six times and finished with two catches for 13 yards. That followed up a catch-less preseason where he was targeted only once. I wouldn't be surprised if Jeremy Kerley, 11 targets last week, had more production than Smith this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Week 2 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Rashad Jennings is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Lamar Miller, C.J. Anderson and Jennings and could only start two running backs, you should start Miller and CJA -- and in turn, bench Jennings.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 2:

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (vs. NO)

While Eli Manning (as noted in my QB Start'em, Sit'em), Odell Beckham and the passing offense have a phenomenal matchup against New Orleans' inexperienced secondary, Jennings and the rushing attack do as well. In addition, only the Panthers are projected to score more points than the Giants this week based on Vegas odds.

In the season opener, Jennings carried the ball 18 times for 75 yards and added a reception for three yards. Going back to last season, he has a total of 81 touches in his past four games. With a large workload virtually guaranteed in arguably the best matchup of the weekend, Jennings is certainly a top-10 play for me this week.

- Related: I "drafted" Jennings in our Week 2 DraftKings tournament "draft"

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (at HOU)

In the season opener, Ware led the team in both rushing and receiving as he racked up 199 yards from scrimmage and a score. The 230-pound running back had three 20-yard receptions (45, 28 and 20 yards). With Jamaal Charles doubtful for Week 2, Ware should lead the team's backfield in touches and production once again.

Although the matchup is less favorable than last week's and it would be unreasonable to expect another 200-yard game, Ware is continuing to make a case for a large role even when all of the backs are healthy. Over the past two seasons (12 games) with the Chiefs, Ware has 83 carries for 473 yards (5.70 YPC) and seven touchdowns.

RB - DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CIN)

This is an obvious start for those who own him, but it's amazing how productive he has been as the featured back with Le'Veon Bell out. In Monday's opener, Williams carried the ball 28 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns and added six catches for 28 yards.

The oldest running back in the NFL, the 33-year-old continues to be an absolute must-start any time that Bell misses time. Excluding a meaningless Week 17 matchup vs. the Browns last season, here are Williams' fantasy outings in games without Bell: RB12, RB1, RB1, RB27, RB4, RB15, RB4, RB16 and RB1.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

RB - Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (vs. SF)

As noted above, the Panthers are projected to be this week's highest-scoring team. In addition, they are favored by nearly two touchdowns. Last year, Stewart (eight) had the second-most games with 20-plus carries after Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (nine).

Stewart (ankle) is listed as questionable on the injury report, but he is expected to play this week. This game should feature a heavy dose of The Daily Show. There is always a concern that Cam Newton will vulture Stewart's touchdown opportunities, but Stewart is a top-12 fantasy running back in my rankings this week.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 2:

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (at DEN)

Getting 75 percent of the team's 24 running back touches in Week 1, Gore had 14 carries and four receptions for 78 yards from scrimmage in Sunday's high-scoring loss to the Lions. Gore should once again dominate the opportunities for the backfield, but he faces a much tougher defense on the road this week. The Broncos allowed a league-low 3.08 YPC to opposing running backs last season.

RB - Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (vs. DAL)

Washington ran the ball on a league-low 21.82 percent of the plays in a 22-point loss to the Steelers in Week 1. Returning from a shoulder injury he suffered in the preseason, Jones had just eight touches for 33 total yards. Washington is a small favorite at home this against Dallas so Washington should run the ball more often, but Jones is more of a RB3/flex option (outside my top-24 running backs) against the Cowboys this week.

RB - Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions (vs. TEN)

Both Theo Riddick and Abdullah finished as top-10 fantasy running backs in Week 1. While the Titans offense gave up two defensive touchdowns to Minnesota, their defense did an excellent job of limiting Peterson and Minnesota's rushing attack. Tennessee allowed a total of 50 rushing yards to Minnesota's backs on 24 carries (2.08 YPC).

The Titans allowed only 3.91 YPC to RBs last season (10th-lowest) and were tied with the Browns for allowing the fewest receptions (56) to RBs as well. Like Jones, Abdullah is more of a flex than RB2 option for me this week.

RB - Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (at CAR)

Like in 2015, Hyde started the 2016 season with a huge multi-TD performance. Finishing as a top-five fantasy running back with 25 touches, Hyde rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and added two catches for five yards.

Last week, the Niners led the game wire to wire in their 28-0 shutout of the Rams. The game script won't be nearly as favorable for Hyde this week as the 49ers are double-digit underdogs and projected to score the second-fewest points of the week.

Although Hyde had three of the five backfield targets, it wouldn't surprise me if the 74-26 split between Hyde and Shaun Draughn last week is closer to 60-40 this week if the 49ers get down big early. Hyde is the highest-ranked back (RB27) among the "sits," but he's not an RB1/2 in 12-team leagues for most owners this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 2

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Week 2 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Matthew Stafford is listed below as a "start" for Week 2. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 2 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Cam Newton and Stafford, you should start Newton -- and in turn, bench Stafford.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 2:

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. NO)

With three touchdowns in the season opener, Manning now has a total of 68 touchdown passes in 33 games since 2014. Only three quarterbacks have more -- Aaron Rodgers (71), Tom Brady and Drew Brees (69 each) -- during that span. If recent history (and the matchup) is any indication, Manning will add multiple touchdowns to that total this week.

The last time these two teams met, they combined to score a total of 101 points in a 52-49 shootout at the Louisiana Superdome. In that game, Manning threw for 350 yards and six touchdowns. Coincidentally, the Giants have scored 101 points in their last two matchups against the Saints as Eli has a total of 10 touchdown passes in those two games.

Based on Vegas odds, only the Panthers are projected to score more points than the Giants this week. Helping Eli's cause, the normally generous Saints defense lost their best cornerback last week in their 35-34 shootout against the Raiders.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. TEN)

Winning a shootout against a bad and banged-up Colts defense, Matthew Stafford completed 31-of-39 pass attempts for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1. In his past seven games, Stafford has thrown 20 touchdowns and one interception. As six-point favorites over the Titans, only three teams -- Panthers, Giants and Cardinals -- are projected to score more points than the Lions this week.

QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (at CLE)

Appearing on my list of waiver-wire options for Week 1, Flacco makes for an excellent streaming option in Week 2. Flacco and the Ravens threw it only 33 times in a 13-7 win in the opener, but Sunday's matchup should be a higher-scoring affair.

Given up 29 points to Carson Wentz in his NFL debut last week, the Browns surrendered 270 yards and two touchdowns through the air as Wentz finished as a top-12 fantasy QB in Week 1. It may be difficult to isolate which of the team's pass-catchers to play, but Flacco is ranked inside my top-12 signal-callers in Week 2.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 2:

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (vs. JAX)

As one would expect, Rivers' numbers without his No. 1 receiver are not nearly as good as those with his No. 1 receiver. Last year, Keenan Allen played the first eight games and then missed the final eight games with a kidney injury. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him.

The matchup isn't terrible. In fact, Rivers threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns against the Jags last November AND was without Allen. That said, Rivers is just outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 2 at No. 13.

QB - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at OAK)

Ryan threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's loss to the Bucs and finished as fantasy's QB7 in Week 1. The Raiders defense had a rough showing against the Saints, but I expect to see a better effort at home in Week 2. Most defenses have a bad showing against Drew Brees and the Saints at the Superdome. In addition, Ryan averaged just 14.53 fantasy points per game on the road last season. If you're in a standard one-QB league, I'd keep Ryan on your bench.

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at PIT)

Sacked as many times (seven) as he threw incompletions, Dalton was 23-of-30 on Sunday for 366 yards and a touchdown. All-World talent A.J. Green accounted for more than half of that production (12/180/1).

Just outside my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week, Dalton's matchup isn't terrible. In fact, the Steelers pass defense is much more vulnerable than their run defense. AJG has torched the Steelers secondary with 45/649/3 in his past five regular-season games vs. the Steelers.

Despite Green's production against their division rivals, Dalton has had limited fantasy success against the Steelers. Not only has he thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (three) in his past three games vs. Pittsburgh, he has thrown for less than 250 yards in three of his past four (full) matchups.

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September 15, 2016

2016 NFL Power Rankings: Week 2



Here are our Week 2 NFL Power Rankings:

1. New England Patriots (Record: 1-0; Last: 3)

With Tom Brady suspended and Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) inactive, things went better for Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots than anyone could have expected as they escaped with a road win in the desert. There is a chance that the Patriots emerge from Brady's suspension with a 4-0 record as they have three winnable home games against the Dolphins, Texans and Bills over the next three weeks.

2. Seattle Seahawks (Record: 1-0; Last: 1)

It took a last-minute touchdown from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin (31 seconds to go) to avoid a home loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. There was some worry that Wilson (ankle) might miss Week 2, but he has returned to practice and is considered a "full go" for Week 2.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (Record: 1-0; Last: 4)

Once again, no Le'Veon Bell, no problem. The oldest running back in the NFL at 33, Williams racked up 171 yards from scrimmage and scored twice in the team's MNF win. Not that it's a good thing to be without a talent like Bell, but perhaps the suspension will turn out to be a blessing in disguise -- keeping him fresh for a full season (once he returns).

4. Green Bay Packers (Record: 1-0; Last: 5)

Aaron Rodgers threw for only 199 yards, but he accounted for three touchdowns -- two passing (one to Jordy Nelson) and one rushing -- in the team's 27-23 win over the Jags.

5. Denver Broncos (Record: 1-0; Last: 8)

C.J. Anderson averaged an RB-high 6.35 yards per carry from Weeks 7 to 17 last season and he picked up where he left off in Week 1. Anderson racked up a total of 139 yards and two scores on 24 touches against a stingy Panthers defense. Inexperience at quarterback is a concern, but the Broncos will rely heavily on their rushing attack and defense.

6. Arizona Cardinals (Record: 0-1; Last: 2)

Like last season, Larry Fitzgerald has begun the year with a hot start with 81 yards and two scores, but it wasn't enough. It was a disappointing loss in the opener against a Brady-less, Gronk-less Patriots, but the Cardinals are one of the most-balanced and talented teams in the NFL.

7. Carolina Panthers (Record: 0-1; Last: 6)

After a tough loss in a Super Bowl rematch, the Panthers are this week's biggest favorites and projected to score the most points based on Vegas odds.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (Record: 1-0; Last: 7)

Even though Andy Dalton was sacked seven times, A.J. Green went off with a 12/180/1 line against the Jets as the Bengals escaped with a one-point victory.

9. Minnesota Vikings (Record: 1-0; Last: 9)

Despite a slow start from Adrian Peterson (19 carries for 31 yards), the Vikings defense scored two more touchdowns than the Vikings offense in Week 1.

10. Oakland Raiders (Record: 1-0; Last: 10)

Trailing by a point in the final minute, it was a gutsy call to go for two, but it made sense considering the amount of offense (and lack of defense) in the team's 35-34 win over the Saints.

11. Houston Texans (Record: 1-0; Last: 12)

Under-utilized in Miami, Lamar Miller carried the ball a career-high 28 times for 106 yards and added four catches for 11 yards in his Texans debut.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (Record: 1-0; Last: 13)

Overcoming a 17-point deficit on Sunday, the Chiefs set a franchise record with their largest come-from-behind victory. Accounting for nearly 200 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, Spencer Ware led the team in both rushing (11/70/1) and receiving (7/129/0) in Week 1 against the Chargers.

13. Baltimore Ravens (Record: 1-0; Last: 18)

Since leaving the Steelers for free agency after the 2012 season, Wallace set a four-year high for his long reception (66 yards) in his first game with the Ravens.

14. New York Jets (Record: 0-1; Last: 11)

The good news? The Jets sacked Andy Dalton seven times. The bad news? They still lost and have a difficult upcoming schedule with the Bills on Thursday Night Football and then four consecutive 2015 playoff teams: Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers and Cardinals.

15. New York Giants (Record: 1-0; Last: 21)

Eli Manning threw three touchdowns as the Giants beat the Cowboys by a point. This week, the Giants host the Saints, who have surrendered 10 passing touchdowns to Manning in his past two games against them.

16. Detroit Lions (Record: 1-0; Last: 22)

Winning a shootout against a bad and banged-up Colts defense, Matthew Stafford completed 31-of-39 pass attempts for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1. In his past seven games, Stafford has thrown 20 touchdowns and one interception.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Record: 1-0; Last: 25)

2015 No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston threw four TDs in the season opener as the Bucs beat division-rival Atlanta. It was the second-most touchdown passes Winston has thrown in his young career.

18. Jacksonville Jaguars (Record: 0-1; Last: 15)

With Chris Ivory scratched, T.J. Yeldon managed only 39 rushing yards on 21 carries (1.9 YPC) against the Packers in Week 1. It seems unlikely that Ivory will play this week, but the Chargers gave up 199 YFS to Spencer Ware last week.

19. Indianapolis Colts (Record: 0-1; Last: 14)

Andrew Luck and the passing offense could be great this year. Their defense won't be.

20. Dallas Cowboys (Record: 0-1; Last: 16)

Rookie Ezekiel Elliott described his play as "average" in the opener. Not quite "average," Elliott gained just 51 yards on his 20 carries (2.55 YPC).

21. Philadelphia Eagles (Record: 1-0; Last: 30)

Rookie Carson Wentz played well (278 yards and two TDs) in his NFL debut and Wentz and the Eagles will face the Bears in prime time in Week 2.

22. Washington Redskins (Record: 0-1; Last: 17)

In Washington's MNF loss, they ran the ball only 12 times (a league-low 21.82 percent of their plays). Game flow obviously influenced that, but one of the concerns for Washington's offense this season will be their effectiveness (or lack therof) running the ball.

23. New Orleans Saints (Record: 0-1; Last: 19)

Drew Brees threw for 423 yards and four touchdowns as the Saints opened the season with a 35-34 loss. As always, it's the defense, not offense, that is the problem and the Saints have lost their best cornerback, Devin Breaux, to a fractured fibula.

24. Buffalo Bills (Record: 0-1; Last: 20)

Tyrod Taylor and the Bills offense got off to a slow start. Depending on the health of Sammy Watkins' foot, there is potential that the Bills offense underachieves all season.

25. Tennessee Titans (Record: 0-1; Last: 24)

The good news? The Titans defense did not allow any touchdowns in Week 1. The bad news? Their offense allowed two of them.

26. Miami Dolphins (Record: 0-1; Last: 26)

After nearly pulling off the upset in Seattle, the Dolphins head to New England for another tough road game. Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 300-plus yards in three consecutive (and four of his past five) games agianst the Patriots.

27. San Diego Chargers (Record: 0-1; Last: 28)

On pace for 134 catches last season before suffering a season-ending kidney injury, Keenan Allen will miss even more time in 2016 as he suffered a torn ACL in Week 1. It's a devastating blow to the Chargers offense and hopefully Allen will be able to stay healthy in 2017, but he will play only 38 total games in his first four NFL seasons combined.

28. Atlanta Falcons (Record: 0-1; Last: 27)

The Falcons ranked last in the NFL in sacks (19) last season. In Week 1, they failed to sack Jameis Winston.

29. Chicago Bears (Record: 0-1; Last: 29)

The team's offensive line struggled as Jay Cutler was sacked five times in the opener.

30. San Francisco 49ers (Record: 1-0; Last: 32)

Things went MUCH better than expected for the 49ers in Week 1. They should came back down to earth this week following a tough matchup against the Panthers in Week 2.

31. Los Angeles Rams (Record: 0-1; Last: 23)

With Jared Goff inactive, Case Keenum and the Rams generated no points and virtually no offense against the 49ers.

32. Cleveland Browns (Record: 0-1; Last: 31)

With RG3 placed on Injured Reserve, the Browns turn (back) to Josh McCown. McCown threw 12 touchdowns to four interceptions in eight games last season and he set a career high with 457 passing yards last year against this week's opponent (Baltimore).

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September 13, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football WR Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

WR - Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans (46 percent)

Houston rookie Will Fuller (51 percent) missed our self-imposed 50-percent rule, but he would top this list if he were eligible. Instead, another AFC South rookie tops this list.

After leading college football in receptions, Sharpe generated plenty of positive buzz throughout the offseason and had a productive preseason. It was more of the same for the rookie out of UMass as he led the Titans with seven catches for 76 yards on a team-high 11 targets.

While Marcus Mariota won't throw the ball 41 times per week, Sharpe should continue to lead the receiving corps in production. Even in a conservative, run-oriented offense, Sharpe should flirt with WR3/flex production on a weekly basis with upside for more once byes start in a few weeks.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

WR - Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons (45 percent)

Both targeted eight times in Sunday's loss to the Bucs, Sanu (5/80/1) was more productive than Julio Jones (4/66/1). That obviously won't happen often (or maybe ever again), but Sanu could be a productive WR3 going forward as Jones draws the bulk of the attention from opposing defenses. In addition, Sanu (and the Falcons) gets a couple of favorite matchups against the Raiders and Saints in the next weeks before a brutal three-game stretch against the Panthers, Broncos and Seahawks.

WR - Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts (39 percent)

With Coby Fleener in New Orleans, the Colts are expected to use more three-WR sets and Donte Moncrief (68/70 snaps), T.Y. Hilton (67/70) and Dorsett (51/70) all played more than 50 snaps each as the Colts trailed the majority of their Week 1 loss. Targeted six times, Dorsett finished with four catches for 94 yards (23.5 Y/R).

One of the fastest players in the NFL, Dorsett will have plenty of big plays as two of his four receptions were for more than 30 yards each (51 and 33 yards). It's difficult to rely on him as a weekly starter, but he's worth stashing on your bench and could move into the WR3/flex range in weeks with expected shootouts.

WR - Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati Bengals (five percent)

LaFell actually led the team's receivers in snaps (55) although that was only one more than A.J. Green, who had a monster game (12/180/1) on his visit to Revis Island. LaFell had a productive outing (4/91 on four targets) and he's the team clear No. 2 receiver after AJG. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if LaFell dropped to fourth on target depth chart at some point this season once Tyler Eifert returns and assuming Tyler Boyd continues to see his role expand within the offense.

WR - Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers (eight percent)

The absence of Markus Wheaton opened up some additional opportunities for Rogers, who finished with 6/59/1 on seven targets in the team's MNF win over Washington. That said, he's the team's No. 3/slot receiver when Wheaton is healthy and has drawn rave reviews this offseason from Ben Roethlisberger and OC Todd Haley. Rogers is especially worth consideration in PPR formats.

WR - Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens (36 percent)

A vertical threat that is finally playing with a quarterback that can push the ball down the field, Wallace had a 66-yard touchdown in the season opener. Wallace finished with three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown and the Ravens get a soft matchup in Week 2 against the Browns.

WR - Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens (46 percent)

While Wallace was more productive, Smith Sr. had more targets (nine) than Wallace (six) although he turned those targets into only 19 yards on five receptions. As he continues to get back into shape following last year's devastating Achilles' injury, Smith should continue to lead the team in targets (and perhaps production). Wallace has more weekly upside, while Smith will likely have more consistency from week to week due to his volume of targets.

WR - Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers (three percent)

The Chargers receiving corps was delivered a devastating blow in Week 1. One year after Keenan Allen was lost for half of the season with a kidney ailment, he's now going to miss 15 1/2 games due to a torn ACL. The injury diminishes the fantasy outlook for Philip Rivers, but one player that gets a boost from the injury is Williams. As the team's No. 3 receiver entering the season, the 6-foot-3 speedster had some sleeper appeal and now he's virtually guaranteed of a more prominent role in the offense.

WR - Jeremy Kerley, San Francisco 49ers (one percent)

Recently acquired from the Lions, the 49ers wasted no time in featuring Kerley. (Of course, that says as much about the quality of the healthy talent on the roster as it does about Kerley.) Either way, Kerley had a team-high 11 targets in a 28-0 blowout win only two weeks after joining the club. While he won't have much value in standard-scoring leagues, he has the potential to return WR3-type value in PPR formats.

WR - Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (three percent)

With Tony Romo sidelined, Beasley may be more trustworthy than Terrance Williams (not considering running the wrong direction on his final reception) on a weekly basis. Beasley actually had more targets (12) than the team's other three receivers -- Dez Bryant (five), Williams (four) and Brice Butler (two) -- combined. Especially in deeper PPR formats, Beasley is worth a long look.

WR - Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (one percent)

With Jace Amaro released, no Jets "tight end" was targeted in the opener. That said, Enunwa essentially operates as the team's tight end. Enunwa won't get seven catches for eight targets every week, but he played 63/71 snaps (88.73%) and he could have plenty of opportunities as defenses try to limit Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker as much as possible.

WR - Chris Hogan, New England Patriots (31 percent)

It's difficult to trust Hogan on a weekly basis, but the free-agent addition finished as fantasy's WR17 (12.0 fantasy points) in his debut with his new team. Hogan finished with 3/60/1, but he was targeted only four times.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 2

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2016 Fantasy Football RB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

RB - Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (43 percent)

The Falcons did what they said they would do: Get Tevin Coleman more involved. As feared, it was at the expense of Devonta Freeman. Both backs played a fairly even number of snaps (36 for Freeman to Coleman's 32). While Freeman (15) edged Coleman (13) in touches, Coleman was more productive with 77 more total yards (117 to 40).

Showing off his big-play ability, Coleman had a 47-yard reception and four of his five receptions went for at least 16 yards. Based on his Week 1 effectiveness, Coleman should continue to get (roughly) as much work as Freeman and deserves to be owned in all leagues.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

RB - Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (35 percent)

Playing only 24 snaps in Week 1, Riddick touched the ball on half of his snaps played. The versatile back had seven carries for 45 yards and a touchdown plus five catches for 63 yards and another score in Week 1's win over the Colts. Ameer Abdullah was productive -- 120 YFS and a score on 17 touches -- as well.

Riddick is unlikely to average seven carries per game and he only scored three touchdowns in all of last season, but he should be 100-percent owned in PPR formats and is worth a look in standard-scoring leagues. With 80 receptions last season, Riddick finished as the RB18 in PPR leagues (RB38 in standard-scoring formats) in 2015.

RB - Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (eight percent)

With a three-down skill set, Dixon rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three out of four seasons and posted 30-plus catches in back-to-back seasons at Louisiana Tech. Dixon sustained a left knee sprain in Baltimore's third preseason game so he may still miss a few more games.

In the opener, Javorius Allen was a surprise inactive and neither Justin Forsett (56 yards on 13 touches) or Terrance West (38 yards on 14 touches) lit the world on fire in Week 1. SI's Peter King wrote not too long ago that he wouldn't be surprised if Dixon is the starter by the middle of the October.

(Me either.)

RB - Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (29 percent)

As noted above, West was not very efficient in the opener with 12 carries for 32 yards (2.67 YPC) and two catches for six yards. Playing nearly as many snaps as Forsett (34 snaps), West (30 snaps) got one more touch than Forsett. With West more likely to get goal-line opportunities over Forsett as well, I'd prefer him over Forsett, who is owned in 60 percent of leagues.

RB - Shaun Draughn, San Francisco 49ers (three percent)

Draughn did lose a fumble last night, but the backup to Carlos Hyde still had nine touches in their Monday Night Football matchup against the Rams. Draughn only had 36 yards, but he did score a touchdown. Given the durability history of Hyde and his sizable volume with Hyde healthy, Draughn is worth a look in all formats.

RB - James White, New England Patriots (47 percent)

With Dion Lewis on the PUP list, White will be the team's passing-game back for at least five more weeks. Getting only one carry in the opener, White converted five of seven targets into 40 yards on Sunday night. Down the stretch last season with Lewis sidelined, White finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in three of the last seven games of the season and averaged 15.26 PPR points per game during that stretch.

It would take a leap of faith to actually start White given Bill Belichick's unpredictability with allocating running back touches, but White should have a few highly productive games over the next half season.

RB - Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (one percent)

Getting the second-most snaps (10) among Oakland's running backs after Latavius Murray (45), Richard had three carries for 84 yards, which included a 75-yard touchdown run, and had two receptions for 11 yards. Generating buzz in August, he's worth a look for those in deeper leagues.

- More Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Advice Heading Into Week 2

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2016 Fantasy Football QB Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some quarterback waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (seven percent)

In his NFL debut on Sunday, Wentz completed 22-of-37 pass attempts for 278 yards and two touchdowns as he scored more than 19 fantasy points and finished as a top-12 fantasy QB against the Browns. Especially given the amount of time that he missed in the preseason, it was an impressive performance for the rookie. Looking at his numbers, here are a couple of surprises: (1) Wentz threw it 37 times despite the Eagles winning by 19 points and (2) Wentz ran the ball only twice.

On the team's first offensive series, Wentz marched the team down the field on a drive that culminated with a TD pass to Jordan Matthews so Philadelphia led the game nearly wire to wire. I expected closer to 30 pass attempts for Wentz, although the team ran the ball a total of 40 times. Given his mobility, Wentz should run the ball more often in future weeks than he did in Week 1 and that helps boost his floor given what should be some ups and downs as a rookie passer.

The Eagles go into Week 2 as 3.5-point underdogs, but the Bears secondary offers Wentz another favorable matchup.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

QB - Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (18 percent)

Excluding last year's injury-shortened season, Flacco had finished as a top-20 fantasy quarterback in each of the first seven seasons of his career and as a top-16 performer in four of five seasons from 2010-2014. Flacco got off to a slow start in Week 1 with only 12 fantasy points against the Bills as he threw for 258 yards and one touchdown. His immediate fantasy outlook is looking up though as it's Flacco's turn to face the Browns in Week 2. Like Wentz last week, Flacco has top-12 upside as a streamer in Week 2.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (31 percent)

A slow start against the stingy Seahawks defense was expected and Tannehill threw for only 186 yards and no touchdowns against the Seahawks, but he did rush for the team's only score in the game. And if a wide-open Kenny Stills did not make a brutal drop of what would have been a 70-yard touchdown (and nearly seven fantasy points for Tannehill), it would have been a much different fantasy outcome for Tannehill. (He would have had 22-plus fantasy points and finished the week as a top-10 performer.)

The matchup against the Patriots in Week 2 isn't great either, but Tannehill has thrown for 300-plus yards in three consecutive games (and four of his last five) against his division rival. Meanwhile, Tannehill is on deck for a favorable matchup against the Browns in Week 3 if you're looking a little further ahead.

QB - Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans (28 percent)

Osweiler doesn't have a great matchup against the Chiefs in Week 2, but the Texans play as fast as any team in the league and he has plenty of talented options on offense with DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Will Fuller at receiver and Lamar Miller in the backfield. There will be plenty of streaming opportunities for Osweiler down the line.

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2016 Fantasy Football TE Waiver-Wire Options Heading Into Week 2

Every week, we examine players that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in the short- and/or long-term.

For a player to be listed, he must be owned in 50 percent (or less) of Yahoo! leagues. The goal is to provide recommendations of players that have a greater chance of being available on your league's waiver wire.

With that said, here are some tight end waiver-wire options that I like heading into Week 2 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

[Note: Players listed below are sorted by my preference to add.]

TE - Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (25 percent)

I expected a larger volume of targets (than three) for McDonald in the opener, but he did score on one of his two receptions. That said, the Rams defend tight ends well and McDonald has another difficult positional matchup against the Panthers in Week 2.

Over his final six games in 2015, however, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. As long as Blaine Gabbert remains the starting quarterback, I think McDonald could finish as a back-end TE1 in 2016.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 2 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

TE - Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers (21 percent)

James had seven targets, five catches and 31 yards in the season opener against Washington on Monday night. Only Antonio Brown (11) and DeAngelo Williams (nine) had more targets than James, but his long reception was just eight yards. A big-bodied tight end, however, James saw multiple targets inside the 10 this week and it's possible that James finishes the year with six to eight TDs.

TE - Clive Walford, Oakland Raiders (19 percent)

In a shootout with nearly 70 total points and a matchup as favorable as the one against the Saints, it was a disappointing performance for Walford, who finished with three receptions (on five targets) for 25 yards. Walford has another favorable matchup as the Falcons allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to the position in 2015 and they gave up a pair of touchdowns to tight ends in the regular-season opener against the Bucs on Sunday. I wouldn't necessarily trust Walford as a starter this week, but bigger and better performances should be in his near-term future.

TE - Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (18 percent)

Only Stefon Diggs (nine) drew more targets than Rudolph (eight), who finished with four catches for 65 yards. It's hard to get too excited about Rudolph as it was only his sixth game with at least 65 yards over 65 career games. With Shaun Hill (and eventually Sam Bradford, possible this week) under center, however, it's possible that he sees the second-most targets on Minnesota this season. (Granted, the Vikings threw the ball fewer than any other team in the league last year.)

TE - Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons (two percent)

Tamme had a productive Week 1 as he finished with six catches for 51 yards on eight targets. I don't expect those numbers on a consistent basis from Tamme, but he has a pair of favorable matchups in Weeks 2 and 3 against the Raiders and Saints and could be a good option for owners looking to find an injury fill-in for Zach Ertz (ribs). Along with the Giants, both teams finished in the top-three in terms of most fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends in 2015.

TE - Virgil Green, Denver Broncos (27 percent)

Behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, Green is no better than third in line for targets in a run-first offense with an inexperienced quarterback under center. If he finishes in the neighborhood of 80 targets (five times 16 games), however, that would have been good enough to finish 16th among tight ends last season. In other words, he has the potential to finish as a solid TE2 despite his modest Week 1 stat line (4/28).

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (nine percent)

Based on talent, Seferian-Jenkins is arguably the most-talented player on this list. That said, both Luke Stocker (37 snaps, 63.79%) and Cameron Brate (25, 43.10%) saw more action than Seferian-Jenkins (18, 31.03%). The third-year tight end did catch a 30-yard touchdown in the opener, but it was his only target in the game.

ASJ is too unreliable to start in the near future, but it's certainly possible that he sees his playing time and offensive involvement increase throughout the season if he can stay out of Dirk Koetter's dog house. And if (perhaps a big if) he eventually plays 60-plus percent of the team's snaps, he could post top-12 production from that point forward.

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (27 percent)

Targeted only three times and finishing with two catches for 40 yards in Week 1, Clay is limited by Buffalo's low-volume passing offense. Depending on the status of Sammy Watkins (foot), however, Clay could become the team's top passing-game option if Watkins misses time. Initial reports by Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News suggested Watkins could be shut down for a lengthy period, but Watkins says that his foot is "fine."

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September 10, 2016

Week 1 Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jarvis Landry is listed below as a "start" for Week 1. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 1 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned DeAndre Hopkins, Alshon Jeffery and Landry and could only start two receivers, you should start Hopkins and Jeffery -- and in turn, bench Landry.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 1:

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (vs. DET)

Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 as a rookie to 64 catches in year two for 733 yards and six touchdowns. Possessing an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), Moncrief, who recently turned 23, has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

ESPN's Mike Wells recently wrote that "Moncrief may not lead the Colts in receiving yards or yards per catch this season, but it won't be surprising if he leads them in receptions, because he'll be the receiver Luck turns to when a play breaks down." If it weren't for Andrew Luck's injuries last season, Moncrief would have posted better second-year numbers. In fact, five of his six touchdowns came within the seven games that Luck played.

With the Colts projected to score as many points as any other team in the NFL this week, Moncrief, T.Y. Hilton, et al, are set up for highly productive weeks.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

WR - Eric Decker, New York Jets (vs. CIN)

Scoring a touchdown in 12 of 15 games, Decker's weekly production was extremely consistent: 8.1 to 15.7 fantasy points every week (11.7-plus in PPR). While he finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy wide receiver only twice, he never finished worse than WR31 in any week last season. That consistency led to a top-10 full-season finish in fantasy points scored among wide receivers. A favorable matchup for Decker against Darqueze Dennard, who is doubtful with an ankle injury, means that Decker is in store for an even better matchup in Week 1.

WR - Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (at IND)

Jones set career highs in both receptions (65) and yards (816) in his final season with the Bengals last year. While the Lions could be more balanced this year, no team threw the ball on a higher percentage of their plays in 2015. Showing good chemistry with Matthew Stafford, Jones could be in store for career highs in receptions and yards in 2016. Both Jones and fellow receiver Golden Tate are starts this week in matchups against a depleted Colts defense missing its best cornerback.

WR - Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (at SEA)

In a record-setting season, Landry hauled in 110 receptions for 1,157 yards, added another 113 rushing yards and scored a total of six touchdowns. Not only did he finish as fantasy's WR8 in PPR formats, but he was the 13th-best receiver in standard-scoring formats as well. Despite facing a stingy Seahawks pass defense, Landry is a worthy start as Richard Sherman is unlikely to shadow the slot receiver. That said, the low projected total for the Dolphins (16.75, 32nd this week) limits Landry's upside.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 1:

WR - Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (at ARI)

Missing seven games with a broken foot, Edelman still posted a career high with seven receiving touchdowns and averaged 6.8 receptions and 76.9 yards per game, both of which were also career highs. Edelman is normally a high-volume receiver playing in lockstep with future HOFer Tom Brady. With Brady suspended for the first four games of the season, it's hard to trust Jimmy Garoppolo and Edelman to be on the same page in the opener, especially against a defensive challenge as difficult as the one they face against the Cardinals.

Once Brady returns, Edelman will be an every-week WR2 (or better). This week, however, he is nothing more than a WR3.

WR - Jordan Matthews, Philadephia Eagles (vs. CLE)

Improving on his rookie numbers (67/872/8), Matthews finished 2015 with 85 receptions for 997 yards and eight touchdowns. Fantasy owners had expected a bigger year-over-year improvement and Matthews was inconsistent, but I do expect this year's full-season numbers to exceed last year's production. That's the good news.

A knee injury kept Matthews out of the entire preseason, but he will be ready to play on Sunday against the Browns. Rookie Carson Wentz will make the start and it'll be the fourth Eagles quarterback with whom Matthews has played. As small home favorites with a rookie under center, the Eagles should dial up more running plays than passing plays, which undermines my confidence in all of the passing-game options.

WR - Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (at TEN)

Off to great start with 6/87 (or better) in his first four NFL games as a rookie, Diggs production fizzled down the stretch with 22 yards or less in four of his final five games. Even though the Vikings drafted Laquon Treadwell in the first round of this year's draft, Diggs enters the season as the team's clear No. 1 receiver.

Given Minnesota's low-volume pass offense (32nd in pass attempts last season) and the injury to Teddy Bridgewater, Diggs should be a productive yet unspectacular fantasy option in 2016. With Shaun Hill starting this week, the Vikings should rely heavily on Adrian Peterson in what should be one of the slowest-paced games of the weekend.

WR - Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (vs. LA)

By default, Smith seemed to have a plenty of fantasy value going into the 2016 season. With Anquan Boldin no longer in San Francisco, Smith theoretically moved to the front of the line for targets in what should be an up-tempo offense. And while he set career lows in receptions (33), targets (62) and yards (663) last season, he did lead the NFL in Y/R (20.1). Smith was a top-24 fantasy WR in each of his first four seasons (2011 to 2014) before disappointing fantasy owners (WR48) in 2015. With only one target, and no catches, in the preseason, however, Smith is not even a viable WR3 option for Week 1.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 1

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Week 1 Fantasy Football: Running Backs Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Ryan Mathews is listed below as a "start" for Week 1. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 1 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Ezekiel Elliott, DeAngelo Williams and Mathews and could only start two of those three running backs, you should start Elliott and Williams -- and in turn, bench Mathews.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 1:

RB - Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. SD)

With Jamaal Charles doubtful for Week 1, Ware is set to draw the start in the opener and should have a fairly large role for at least the first month of the season. Even though Reid suggested "all" running backs will have a role in Week 1, I still expect Ware to handle the bulk of the workload. On 72 carries last season, the 230-pound back averaged 5.6 YPC and rushed for six touchdowns.

Ware and the Chiefs backs get a fantasy-friendly matchup against the Chargers, who surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing backs last season. In fact, the Chargers were tied for a league-high 0.80 fantasy points per touch allowed to running backs last season.

In two games against the Chargers last season, Ware carried the ball 19 times for a total of 148 yards (7.79 YPC) and two touchdowns. Favored by nearly a touchdown at home, the game script sets up favorably for Ware to get a high volume of carries in this one.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (at NO)

Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307) last season, but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). In addition, Coach Del Rio has talked about how he wants Murray to get even more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

Perhaps the Raiders will need to play catch up if the Drew Brees-led Saints offense jumps out to an early lead, but the Saints are favored by only 1.5 points in a game with this week's highest point total. In fact, I think the Raiders would prefer to give Murray a heavy workload to keep Brees off the field.

If Murray gets a large workload (as expected), the Saints defense should put up little resistance. A defense that isn't much better than last year's version, the Saints allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and no team allowed more fantasy points per touch (0.80) to running backs last season.

RB - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CLE)

As the Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings, it transformed the status of rookie Carson Wentz from "redshirt" to opening-week starter. While the Browns defense may not pose much resistance via the air, the Eagles presumably would prefer to rely heavily on the ground game instead. Mathews has been productive, when healthy, and he averaged a career-high 5.08 YPC in his first season with Eagles. It wouldn't surprise me if Mathews gets 20-plus touches in the season opener and he has top-10 upside.

- Related: Mathews was selected in our DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 1

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (at DAL)

Durability has long been a concern with Jennings as he played the first full 16-game season of his career in 2015 and set career highs of 195 carries and 863 rushing yards. Dominating touches in the final three games of the season, Jennings racked up 419 yards from scrimmage, which led all running backs during that span, on 62 touches (third-most).

The Cowboys will try to control the clock with their run game and the Giants had their two lowest times of possession in these two divisional tilts last season. Despite the potential of a slow-paced game, Jennings should get 15 to 20 touches and is a solid RB2 in all formats. Not only did the Cowboys rank 22nd in the NFL in rush defense, but only four teams allowed more rushing touchdowns than Dallas (16) last season.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 1:

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (at NYJ)

One of my favorite players in terms of full-season outlooks, Hill starts the season with a less-than-favorable matchup against the Jets. Even though the Jets will be without Sheldon Richardson (suspension) and Damon "Snacks" Harrison (free agency), they possess one of the league's stingiest run defenses. Last year, they ranked second in run defense (83.4 YPG allowed) and third in YPC allowed (3.6) and limited opposing backs to the third-fewest fantasy points. While I think backfield mate Giovani Bernard will outperform Hill, Hill may be a solid flex option for Week 1 (RB25), but he is ranked much lower than he was in my preseason rankings (RB15).

RB - Arian Foster, Miami Dolphins (at SEA)

Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen had recently said (via the Miami Herald), “We really need someone to emerge as the guy. ... We don't want to substitute. ... We really need one guy to be a three-down back, stay in there for that drive.”

That guy is Foster. In fact, Jay Ajayi is expected to be a healthy scratch on Sunday.

While Foster should get enough volume to be a potential RB2, the matchup against last year's stingiest defense to fantasy running backs bumps him down to the flex range in my rankings (currently: RB28). Based on Vegas odds, the Dolphins have this week's lowest implied team total (16.75 points).

RB - Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks (vs. MIA)

In games without Marshawn Lynch, fantasy owners have seen a glimpse of what life could be like with Rawls as the full-time starter. In the six games that he has started and finished, Rawls had four 100-yard rushing games while averaging 118.67 rushing yards per game and 5.65 yards per carry.

That said, Christine Michael will get the start in Week 1 as Rawls (ankle) is eased back into a lead-back role. Here's what Pete Carroll said of Rawls role (and the manner in which he may be limited) in Week 1 (via ESPN):

"Just in the amount of plays. It’s the second preseason game for him, if you look at it that way, and we’re trying to take care of him as we’ve said all along, in every way that we can. We’re just going to watch and see how he does and how he handles it, that’s all. Just see how he handles it. That would be his only restriction, is how he’s taking the rigors of the game."

With the Seahawks being double-digit favorites in this game, it would make sense for the Seahawks to not overwork Rawls, especially if this game gets out of hand early. I don't have Michael listed as one of four starts above, but he is ranked inside my top-24 running backs and the preferred Seahawks running back in fantasy this week.

RB - Matt Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. PIT)

Jones hasn't played since suffering a shoulder injury in the second preseason game and "hasn't been hit" since then. Jones clarified that he has been "banged around" in practice, just not tackled to the ground, but the injury is just one part of the reason that Jones is outside my top-24 fantasy running backs this week. The other is the matchup. The way to beat Pittsburgh isn't on the ground -- they allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs last season -- but instead through the air.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 1

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Week 1 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Kirk Cousins is listed below as a "start" for Week 1. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 1 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Russell Wilson and Cousins, you should start Wilson -- and in turn, bench Cousins.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

With that said, here are some players to potentially start in Week 1:

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at IND)

Following his slow start, Stafford averaged 21.29 fantasy points per game and posted a 26-to-5 TD-INT ratio over his final 11 games last season. During that 11-game stretch, Stafford finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback seven times. Even without Calvin Johnson, who retired after the 2015 season, Stafford will have an excellent opportunity to pick up where he left off last season.

Despite being three-point underdogs, the Lions are projected to score the 11th-most points this week based on implied team totals using Vegas odds. Facing a mediocre (at best) defense when at full strength, Stafford and the Lions get a banged-up Colts defense that will be without its best cornerback (Vontae Davis). Stafford is a top-six fantasy quarterback for me in Week 1.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 contest with $100,000 in prizes (including $10,000 to 1st) and is FREE to enter. Enter here for free.

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (at NO)

Like the Lions, the Raiders are road underdogs (-1.5 at New Orleans) projected to score a lot of points (25.5, eighth-most) in Week 1. No team allowed more passing touchdowns (45) or Y/A (8.7) than the Saints last season. Not only did the Saints allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season, but they allowed a QB to finish as a weekly top-five performer in eight of 16 games.

Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. With Cooper healthy and a juicy matchup, Carr is a top-five play for me this week at QB.

QB - Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (vs. PIT)

Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. In addition, Cousins was much better at home (16:2 TD-INT ratio, 8.44 Y/A) than he was on the road (13:9 TD-INT, 6.98 Y/A).

While I don't expect Cousins to be as productive overall as he was last season, he still has a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group if DeSean Jackson stays healthy all season and with first-rounder Josh Doctson added to the mix. In what should be a high-scoring affair (one of three games with 50-point over/unders) and his positive home-road splits, Cousins could easily finish as a top-12 fantasy QB in Week 1.

QB - Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. GB)

A popular name to be a fantasy bust in 2016 after a breakout sophomore campaign, one of the arguments against Bortles was Jacksonville's overall improvement and commitment to the run game. After all, much was made of last season's fantasy production that occurred while trailing (often big). Bortles may not repeat last year's top-four fantasy season and 35 passing touchdowns, but the Jags are nearly a touchdown underdog in Week 1 as they will try to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.

Here are some players to potentially sit in Week 1:

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at KC)

One of my favorite fantasy quarterbacks for the 2016 season, Rivers was my sixth-ranked quarterback entering the season. And after Tom Brady, Rivers had scored the second-most fantasy points through Week 8 last season. (Keenan Allen missed the final eight games with a kidney injury.)

That said, Rivers draws a difficult Week 1 matchup against the Chiefs. Kansas City's defense had the second-most intercepted passes (22) and held opposing passers to the second-lowest completion percentage (57.5) last season. While Rivers did not have Keenan Allen (kidney) in either matchup last season, the Chargers scored a total of six points in their games against the Chiefs. In fact, Rivers has zero passing touchdowns and four interceptions in his past three matchups against the Chiefs.

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (at DAL)

I don't hate Eli this week, well as a Cowboys fan, I suppose I do. But from a fantasy perspective, I don't think he's the worse play of the week. That said, he is outside my top-12 weekly QBs (barely at No. 13, but still outside my top 12). Here are Manning's two games against the Cowboys last season: 20/36 (55.56%), 193 yards, no TDs in Week 1 in Dallas and 13/24 (54.17%), 170 yards, no TDs in Week 8 at home.

Manning threw for less than 200 yards in only three games, two of which were against the Cowboys, and had only four single-digit fantasy point games, two of which were against the Cowboys. Not only did he have disappointing performances against Dallas, these were New York's two games with the least amount of time of possession. Considering the Cowboys will start fourth-round rookie Dak Prescott for an injured Tony Romo, I expect them to employ a run-heavy game plan that will attempt to keep their defense (and Eli) off the field as much as possible.

QB - Andy Dalton, CIncinnati Bengals (at NYJ)

From Weeks 1 to 13, Dalton scored the fifth-most fantasy points last season. In Week 14, he injured his thumb after throwing five passes, the last of which was an interception (that led to the injured thumb that kept him out for the remainder of the season). Dalton is healthy; however, Tyler Eifert is not. In addition, the matchup isn't great as the Jets have limited opposing quarterbacks to a league-low completion rate (57.1 percent) and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position in 2015.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (at SEA)

Tannehill has finished as fantasy's full-season QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively, from 2013 to 2015 and enters the 2016 season as the QB14 in my preseason rankings. Higher on Tannehill's full-season fantasy outlook than most, I expect the coaching upgrade with Adam Gase to have positive impact on his production. That said, he gets a brutal start on the schedule against the Legion of Boom. Seattle allowed a league-low 14 passing touchdowns last season and no team is projected to score fewer points than Miami this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 1

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September 08, 2016

2016 NFL Preseason Predictions: Seahawks over Steelers in Super Bowl LI

The 2016 NFL season kicks off within the hour.

With that said, I've made division-by-division predictions as well as postseason predictions below:

AFC East

1. New England Patriots: 11-5
2. New York Jets: 9-7
3. Buffalo Bills: 7-9
4. Miami Dolphins: 6-10

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5
2. Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6
3. Baltimore Ravens: 8-8
4. Cleveland Browns: 4-12

AFC South

1. Houston Texans: 9-7
2. Indianapolis Colts: 8-8
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: 8-8
4. Tennessee Titans: 6-10

AFC West

1. Oakland Raiders: 9-7
2. Denver Broncos: 9-7
3. Kansas City Chiefs: 8-8
4. San Diego Chargers: 6-10

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys: 8-8
2. Washington Redskins: 7-9
3. New York Giants: 7-9
4. Philadelphia Eagles: 6-10

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers: 11-5
2. Minnesota Vikings: 9-7
3. Detroit Lions: 7-9
4. Chicago Bears: 6-10

NFC South

1. Carolina Panthers: 12-4
2. New Orleans Saints: 8-8
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-10
4. Atlanta Falcons: 6-10

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks: 12-4
2. Arizona Cardinals: 12-4
3. Los Angeles Rams: 7-9
4. San Francisco 49ers: 3-13

Wild Card Round

(3) Raiders over (6) Broncos

Raiders host Texans in regular season and higher seed means a third matchup against division rivals and Super Bowl champs.

(5) Bengals over (4) Texans

Andy Dalton, Marvin Lewis & Co. get their first playoff win since 1990 (season).

(3) Packers over (6) Vikings

Aaron Rodgers or Sam Bradford? At Lambeau? Easy choice.

(5) Cardinals over (4) Cowboys

Perhaps Tony Romo will be back this season. Maybe he won't, and Dak Prescott exceeds expectations. Either way, the Cowboys defense is no match for Carson Palmer and their high-powered offense.

Byes: (1) Patriots, (2) Steelers, (1) Seahawks, (2) Panthers

Divisional Round

Patriots over Bengals

Tom Brady is suspended for the first four games, but the Patriots get another first-round bye and get to a sixth consecutive AFC Championship Game.

Steelers over Raiders

It's been a while (2002 season) since the Raiders have made the playoffs, but Pittsburgh has been Oakland's most common playoff opponent (six of 43 playoff games including five from 1972 to 1976).

Packers over Panthers

The Panthers (obviously) have one of the league's best defenses, but Rodgers has faced them four times in his career with at least 29 points in all four games.

Seahawks over Cardinals

The two best teams in the NFC (and perhaps the NFL) are close, but the 12th Man advantage gives the Seahawks the edge.

AFC Championship Game: Steelers over Patriots

Ben Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to four AFC Championship Games; he's 3-1. The "1"? Versus Brady and the Pats in 2004 as a rookie. Big Ben gets his revenge.

NFC Championship Game: Seahawks over Packers

Russell Wilson now gets to his third Super Bowl in his first five seasons.

Super Bowl 51: Seahawks 24, Steelers 20

Wilson has faced the Steelers once in his career -- last November and finished with 345 yards and five TDs in a 39-30 shootout. I don't expect this one to be as high-scoring, but the Seahawks win their second Super Bowl in the Wilson era.

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September 04, 2016

Fantasy Football ADP: Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers in Average Draft Position

Every Sunday this offseason, we will 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 Risers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBJameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers-8.8 (123.7 on 8/28; 114.9 on 9/4)
RBSpencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs-42.0 (138.3 on 8/28; 96.3 on 9/4)
WRTavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams-12.2 (126.1 on 8/28; 113.9 on 9/4)
TEJulius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars-11.4 (97.5 on 8/28; 86.1 on 9/4)


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

Biggest Risers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBRussell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks-9.8% (51.0 on 8/28; 46.0 on 9/4)
RBSpencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs-30.37% (138.3 on 8/28; 96.3 on 9/4)
WRMike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers-26.87% (20.1 on 8/28; 14.7 on 9/4)
TEJulius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars-11.69% (97.5 on 8/28; 86.1 on 9/4)

Biggest Fallers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBAndrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts+4.0 (47.7 on 8/28; 51.7 on 9/4)
RBDion Lewis, New England Patriots+29.6 (112.5 on 8/28; 142.1 on 9/4)
WRMohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons+25.1 (126.8 on 8/28; 151.9 on 9/4)
TEDwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts+3.9 (135.1 on 8/28; 139.0 on 9/4)

Biggest Fallers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBAndrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts+8.39% (47.7 on 8/28; 51.7 on 9/4)
RBDavid Johnson, Arizona Cardinals+90.70% (4.3 on 8/28; 8.2 on 9/4)
WRDez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys+31.62% (11.7 on 8/28; 15.4 on 9/4)
TETyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals+3.69% (84.0 on 8/28; 87.1% on 9/4)

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

Our 2016 fantasy football rankings:

More of our content:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

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September 03, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 4 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 4
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.04 - David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Despite limited offensive touches (161) as a rookie, Johnson scored a total of 13 touchdowns -- eight rushing, four receiving and one return. Finishing as a top-five weekly performer in three of his five starts, Johnson is my top-ranked fantasy running back for 2016.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 Fantasy Football contest ($100K in prizes, $10K to 1st, FREE to enter).

2.09 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Nelson tore his ACL last preseason and then dealt with some tendinitis in the other knee early in camp, but he should be fully ready to go for Week 1 against the Jaguars. Nelson may not finish with a stat line comparable to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13), but he is still a top-eight receiver for me heading into 2016.

3.04 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: A top-10 fantasy receiver in 2014, Hilton disappointed fantasy owners with only 1,124 yards and five touchdowns, but Andrew Luck missed nine games. Through the first seven games, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.

4.09 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Burning many fantasy owners last season with only 794 rushing yards and a 3.6 YPC average, Hill appears intent on bouncing back from his disappointing sophomore campaign. Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner recently wrote of Hill: "His razor focus and desire to return to rookie form are very real this offseason."

- Related: Hill appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

5.04 - Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins: Setting a franchise record with 110 receptions last season, Landry had 1,157 receiving yards, 113 rushing yards and a total of six touchdowns. Even though he is/was better in PPR formats (WR8 in 2015), Landry finished as the the WR13 in standard-scoring formats last season. There is some breakout potential for second-year receiver DeVante Parker, but Landry could once again finish with triple-digit receptions.

6.09 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Failing to score a touchdown on 217 touches and averaging just 3.48 YPC, Gordon disappointed fantasy owners as a rookie. Provided MG3 stays healthy, it shouldn't be difficult for things to go better for Gordon in year two. Even though he had offseason microfracture surgery, Gordon looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.

7.04 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season and a 22/445/3 line (fantasy's WR18) over that stretch. Battling a few nagging injuries over the past month, Parker has his share of durability risk, but he's a high-upside WR4 for this team.

8.09 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Unfortunately, Rivers lost Keenan Allen for the season after Week 8. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with his go-to receiver; only 14.52/G without him.

9.04 - Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions: Better in the second half (4.7 YPC) than he was in the first half (3.6 YPC), Abdullah has some breakout potential as he sits atop the team's depth chart heading into his second season. No team ran the ball on a lower percentage of their plays last season, but the biggest concern with Abdullah is that most of his work will come between the 20's.

10.09 - Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts: Allen has struggled with durability -- 21 missed games over past three seasons. If he can stay healthy, however, Allen is poised for a much larger role within the offense given Coby Fleener's free-agency departure.

11.04 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, both he and Tajae Sharpe should finish as top-50 fantasy receivers.

12.09 - Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: During the final 10 games, Cousins posted a 23:3 TD-INT ratio, added four rushing scores and finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times. He won't duplicate that level of success, but he has an even better supporting cast going into 2016.

13.04 - Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Missing the 1,000-yard milestone in each of the past four seasons, Joe Flacco is a better match for Wallace's skill set than the QB at his previous two stops.

14.09 - Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans: An outstanding route-runner that led college football with 111 receptions last season, Sharpe may only be a rookie from UMass, but he has looked impressive this preseason.

15.04 - Los Angeles Rams DST

16.09 - Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings

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12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, 2.0

There are a number of viable strategies that will help lead fantasy owners to a championship. While I may start a fantasy football draft with a particular strategy in mind, it's important to maintain the flexibility to adjust based on the flow of the draft.

Regardless of your preferred strategy, the one thing that fantasy owners should do is select players that are relative values compared to their draft slots.

At the end of July, I posted my initial list of undervalued players for the 2016 season.

Not only have injuries, preseason games, depth chart moves, etc. occurred since then, but average draft position (ADP) looks different now than it did then for many players.

Keep in mind that these aren't the only players that I believe are undervalued; just 12 that I'd like to highlight. For an idea of which player(s) I'd draft over other players, please consult with my 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings.

With that said, below is a list of 12 players that I expect to exceed their current fantasy football average draft position (ADP).

[Note: Consensus ADP from FantasyPros was used as a comparison.]

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (ADP: 82, QB11 — My rank: QB6)

This list kicks off with the same quarterback that kicked off the previous list. The +5 difference between his ADP (QB11) and my ranking (QB6), however, has grown since then (+4). Among the 100-plus "experts" tracked by FantasyPros, none have Rivers ranked higher than I do (as of Sept. 3).

Not only do I have Rivers projected to score more points than QBs like Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer, but he's going a couple of rounds after them. More fantasy points at a multi-round discount? Yes, please.

The only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers through Week 8 last year was Tom Brady. Why am I using Week 8? That's when Keenan Allen last played in 2015 due to his lacerated kidney. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him.

Setting career highs in pass attempts (661) and passing yards (4,792) last season, Rivers has thrown at least 29 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. Along with Drew Brees, he's one of only two QBs to throw 29-plus passing scores in three consecutive seasons.

Not only did Allen miss eight games last season, but Antonio Gates missed five games last season. The addition of Travis Benjamin, who had a breakout season in Cleveland last year, gives Rivers a vertical threat to open things up underneath for Allen and Gates. Provided Allen stays healthy, it's possible that Rivers exceeds not only his QB11 ADP but my QB6 ranking as well.

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RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 39, RB17 — My rank: RB11)

Based on my rankings, Murray will repeat exactly what he did last season — score the 11th-most fantasy points among running backs.

Even though he struggled in fourth quarters (2.2 yards per carry) last season, Murray ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing (1,066 yards) and only three backs had more touches (307). Perhaps more impressive than his overall workload was his consistent weekly usage rate.

Murray had 15-plus touches in all but one game last season. As you might imagine, no other running back had as many 15-touch games as Murray.

Going into 2016, it's possible that Murray gets an even larger workload than he had in 2015. Not only has Coach Del Rio said that he would like to give Murray more carries, but an improved team outlook should mean more opportunities to play with the lead.

Last but not least, the Raiders offensive line is about as good as it gets. Perhaps it's not as good as the unit in Dallas, but it's close.

RB - Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 52, RB20 — My rank: RB15)

Hill's teammate, Giovani Bernard, appeared on the previous list and is still slightly undervalued (ADP of RB27 vs. RB25 in my rankings), but Gio's ADP has climbed a bit since the end of July (ADP: RB31). In fact, Bernard has never finished the season worse than fantasy's RB21 (last season) in standard-scoring formats.

Many fantasy owners were burned by Hill, who often went towards the end of Round 1 in 2015 drafts. Exploding for 1,124 rushing yards (5.1 YPC) as a rookie in 2014, Hill managed only 794 rushing yards with a 3.6 YPC average even though he scored 12 total touchdowns.

With that said, Hill appears intent on bouncing back following his disappointing sophomore campaign. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner recently wrote of Hill: "His razor focus and desire to return to rookie form are very real this offseason."

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 71, RB26 — My rank: RB20)

One of five players appearing on both versions of this list, Gore fell just shy of the 1,000-yard milestone and averaged a career-low 3.7 YPC in his first season with the Colts. Now 33 years old, perhaps it's unreasonable to expect better numbers for Gore in 2016.

That said, Gore finished as fantasy's RB12 last season despite the less-than-mediocre efficiency. And Gore was much more efficient in the games that Andrew Luck started (4.11 YPC) versus those he did not (3.44 YPC). In addition, he was a workhorse as he finished fifth in the NFL in touches.

To be fair, the Colts offensive line hasn't looked good in the preseason and only the Bucs (2.6) averaged fewer YPC than the Colts (2.7) during the preseason. That said, the Colts upgraded their offensive line in the draft so hopefully that means improved blocking for Gore as the season progresses.

Assuming Luck stays healthy for the full season, Gore should exceed value at his current ADP.

RB - Rashad Jennings, New York Giants (ADP: 84, RB32 — My rank: RB24)

Far from a model of durability, Jennings finally played a full 16-game season at age 30. Now 31 years old, it's fair to wonder whether he could put together back-to-back full seasons.

If he does, however, he has a great chance to exceed his current draft position. While Jennings posted career highs in both carries (195) and rushing yards (863), it wasn't until the final three games that the team abandoned their four-game rotation and gave Jennings the lion's share of the work.

During those final three games, Jennings amassed 419 yards from scrimmage -- no running back had more -- on 62 touches. (Receivers Julio Jones, 445, and Antonio Brown, 437, were the only players with more YFS than Jennings during that span.)

One other factor working in Jennings' favor going into 2016 — only the Bucs and Lions have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule. And he gets three top-12 matchups in the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16).

WR - Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 28, WR13 — My rank: WR10)

Willing to draft him a round earlier than his mid-third ADP, Cooper is my 10th-ranked wideout and inside my top-20 overall. Despite too many drops and dealing with a foot injury for much of the second half of the season, Cooper posted a solid rookie-season stat line of 72/1,070/6. Assuming good health and that he gets the drops under control, Cooper should easily build upon his rookie numbers. I have him projected for an 89/1,344/9 stat line in his age-22 season.

- Related: 2016 Fantasy Football Projections for the Oakland Raiders

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 57, WR26 — My rank: WR18)

On his way to a breakout season, Moncrief scored five touchdowns in his seven games with Luck. Doubling his 32 receptions as a rookie, Moncrief finished with 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns in his age-22 season. Had Luck not missed nine games, Moncrief would have posted better numbers as he saw nearly two more targets per game with Luck (7.71/G) than with Matt Hasselbeck (5.67/G).

With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), Moncrief is poised to breakout in a big way in 2016. ESPN's Mike Wells wrote the following of Moncrief recently: "... Moncrief may not lead the Colts in receiving yards or yards per catch this season, but it won't be surprising if he leads them in receptions, because he'll be the receiver Luck turns to when a play breaks down."

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 91, WR38 — My rank: WR24)

The fifth and final player to double-dip on my two undervalued lists, the excitement about Parker is much different now than it was then. One of the concerns with Parker is durability and recently Adam Gase compared Parker to Demaryius Thomas due to the nagging injuries with a left hamstring issue being the latest.

"We’re going to keep strengthening him up," Gase said (via the Miami Herald). “I feel like I’ve been through this with Demaryius [Thomas] in Denver. Felt like he was always hurt. One thing after the other."

That said, Parker closed his 2015 rookie season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games. During that six-game span, Parker racked up a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns as he scored the 18th-most fantasy points among wide receivers during that stretch.

If he stays healthy for 14 to 16 games, Parker should easily exceed his WR38 ADP and he's worth the potential injury risk as a fantasy team's WR4.

WR - Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 213, WR70 — My rank: WR46)

With their "exotic smashmouth" offense, it's two of the team's receivers that appear on this list. That said, it's not as though you will need to spend an early-round pick to get either Matthews or Tajae Sharpe, but both offer late-round value.

Speaking of Matthews, he missed the final five games with the Dolphins last season. Through the first 10 games (before his Week 11 injury), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, he is ranked inside my top-50 fantasy receivers for 2016.

WR - Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 174, WR58 — My rank: WR47)

Based on my projections and rankings, I slightly prefer Matthews (WR46) to Sharpe (WR47) in standard-scoring formats, but I'd rather have Sharpe in PPR formats.

Even though Sharpe is only a rookie from UMass, he's an outstanding route-runner and he led college football with 111 receptions last season. Expected to begin the season as a starter, Sharpe is one of the reasons the Titans gave up (traded) Dorial Green-Beckham, their second-round 2015 pick.

TE - Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 94, TE11 — My rank: TE7)

Ertz set career highs in 2015 with 75 catches for 853 yards, but he had just two touchdowns. Especially productive over the final four games (35/450/1) of the season, Ertz will obviously slow from his end-of-season torrid pace, but he carries plenty of positive momentum into the 2016 season.

Based on comments from Doug Pederson, Ertz should see expanded opportunities inside the red zone. If that materializes, he could vastly outperform his current ADP. Through three NFL seasons, Ertz has scored only nine touchdowns on 169 receptions and 258 targets.

TE - Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 267, TE29 — My rank: TE14)

Based on how he closed the 2015 season, McDonald could be poised for a 2016 breakout. Over his final six games, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. Extrapolating those numbers over a full season equates to a stat line of 56/699/8.

Most would argue that the 49ers have the least-talented group of offensive skill players in NFL. With lighter competition for targets, McDonald has the potential to pick up where he left off last season especially if Blaine Gabbert wins the starting QB job, as expected.

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September 02, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy QB Rankings

With the season beginning in less than a week, here are my updated top 25 fantasy quarterbacks for the 2016 NFL season:

1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
The top-scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015, Newton threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. Newton has now finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in four of his five NFL seasons. No quarterback has more weekly upside than the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player as he finished as the weekly QB1 in five of his final nine games in 2015.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The loss of Jordy Nelson (ACL) for the season hurt the offense in general and Rodgers' production in particular. Rodgers completed 60.7 percent of his attempts for just 6.7 Y/A, both of which were lows since becoming a starter in 2008. Before this season, however, Rodgers finished as the QB1 or QB2 in all full seasons as a starter and should finish as a top-two performer in 2016 with good health from the team's passing-game weapons.

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
After a slow start, Wilson's production spiked down the stretch as he once again finished the full season as fantasy's QB3. Not only did Wilson rush for 500-plus yards for a third consecutive season, he finished with career-best passing numbers — 4,024 yards, 34 touchdowns, 68.1 completion percentage and 110.1 passer rating. Perhaps the Seahawks throw a bit more following Marshawn Lynch's retirement, but the dual-threat Wilson should at least finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback once again.

4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
It was a lost season for Luck, who missed more games (nine) than he played (seven) in 2015. And when he was on the field, he was (much) less than 100 percent for many of those games. In addition to being in a high-volume passing offense, Luck benefits from his dual-threat abilities as he rushed for 255-plus yards per year with a total of 12 touchdowns in his first three seasons. With better health in 2016, I expect a bounce-back season and a top-four fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback.

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Even without Jimmy Graham last year, Brees averaged 324.7 yards per game, which was the second-highest of his career. Brees has averaged more than 320 yards per game in four of five seasons with a minimum of 32 passing scores for eight consecutive seasons. If it weren't for a missed game early in the season, Brees would have finished with his fifth 5,000-yard season of his career. Since becoming a Saint in 2006, Brees has finished as a top-six fantasy QB every year (10 seasons).

6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
With 661 pass attempts (previous career high: 582), Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game and threw 29 touchdowns despite multi-game absences by his top-two pass-catchers -- Keenan Allen (played eight games) and Antonio Gates (11 games). Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers offers plenty of upside at his current ADP to those who wait to draft a QB.

7. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
In his second season, Bortles threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions and ran for 310 yards and two more scores. Bortles needs to cut down on the turnovers and he's unlikely to throw another 35 touchdowns, but he was consistent in terms of fantasy production last year. Finishing with the fourth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks, Bortles was a top-10 weekly performer 10 times last season.

8. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Despite his four-game suspension to start the season, Brady should finish as a top-five (or better) quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game. Scoring more fantasy points than every quarterback not named Cam Newton last season, Brady threw for 4,770 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns in 2015. Given the depth at QB (at least in terms of fantasy), pairing Brady with a high-upside QB2 is certainly a viable strategy for fantasy owners in 2016.

9. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
For a second consecutive season, Big Ben has led the NFL in passing yards per game (328.2/G in 2015). Even with the full-season suspension of Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger has top-five upside provided he can stay healthy for 16 games. That said, Roethlisberger has now missed at least three games in half of his past six seasons.

10. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer set career highs in passing yards (4,671, fourth-most in the NFL) and passing touchdowns (35, second-most) in 2015 as the Cardinals led the NFL in total offense and finished second in scoring offense. With a talented trio of wide receivers in addition to one of the league's best young running backs, Palmer should finish as a top-10 fantasy QB with the upside to once again finish as a top-five fantasy QB. Through Week 16, Palmer threw for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in all but two games last season.

11. Eli Manning, New York Giants
For a second consecutive season, Manning finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In both seasons, Manning threw 600-plus times and exceeded 4,400-plus yards while throwing a total of 65 touchdowns. With one of the league's most dynamic players as his go-to receiver, Eli could finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for a third straight season.

12. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2015. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a back-end QB1 with upside.

13. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. Cousins is set up for success with a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group — and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).

14. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Not only has Tannehill thrown for 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons, but he's averaged 225 rushing yards per season over his young career. Outperforming his current ADP (QB22) in each of the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as fantasy's QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively, from 2013 to 2015. With Gase taking over as head coach (and some tutoring from Peyton Manning), Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.

15. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As a rookie, Winston threw for more than 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for another six scores and finished the season as fantasy's QB13. From a fantasy perspective, Winston was incrediby consistent as he never finished with less than 12 fantasy points in any week. Going into his second season, Winston is a high-upside QB2.

16. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Typical for a rookie quarterback, Mariota had an up-and-down season, but he finished as a top-six weekly fantasy quarterback in one-third (four) of his 12 games played. No team allowed more sacks than the Titans (54) last year, but they upgraded their offensive line this offseason. With better protection from his line and a full offseason of development under his belt, the dual-threat quarterback has plenty of upside entering 2016 especially if he runs more often.

17. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Averaging 8.0 Y/A and posting a 20:6 TD-INT ratio, Taylor averaged a mere 27.14 pass attempts per game. More than likely, the Bills will once again rank near the bottom of the league in pass attempts, but Taylor is a high-upside QB2 due to his rushing ability. Finishing as a top-10 weekly fantasy quarterback in half of his 14 starts in 2015, Taylor rushed for 568 yards and four touchdowns in his first year as an NFL starter.

18. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Before sustaining a thumb injury that essentially ended his season, Dalton was having a career-best year: 106.2 passer rating, 66.1 completion percentage, 8.4 Y/A and 25:7 TD-to-INT ratio. While Dalton is healthy again, the loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and several of his top weapons from 2015 means it's unlikely that he performs at that pace once again.

19. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
After an incredibly slow start, things turned up for Stafford, who finished as fantasy's QB9 in 2015. Through the first five games, Stafford averaged just 11.12 fantasy points per game and posted a 6-to-8 TD-INT ratio. In his final 11 games (most of which were with Jim Bob Cooter as coordinator), Stafford averaged 21.29 fantasy points per game and posted a 26-to-5 TD-INT ratio. During that 11-game stretch, Stafford finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback seven times. While Stafford has the most generous fantasy schedule (on paper), he lost Calvin Johnson to retirement this offseason.

20. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan has thrown for more than 4,500 yards in each of the past four seasons, but Ryan's 21 passing touchdowns were the lowest since his rookie season (2008). After finishing as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons, Ryan finished as fantasy's QB19 in 2015. If there's a positive for Ryan going into 2016, it's that he should feel more comfortable with a full season of running Kyle Shanahan's offense under his belt. Then again, he didn't look more comfortable in the preseason (for what it's worth): 48.6 completion rate, 5.59 Y/A and 0:1 TD-INT ratio on 37 pass attempts through three weeks.

21. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Despite missing six games due to a torn ACL, Flacco had six games with 40-plus pass attempts -- only Drew Brees (10), Eli Manning (eight), Philip Rivers (eight) and Matt Ryan (seven) had more such games. While I don't expect Flacco to sling it 41.3 times per game, like last year, his supporting cast -- when at full strength -- is better than he's had over the past few seasons. (Of course, the group isn't yet at full strength, though.) And prior to last season, he had finished as a top-16 fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons. In other words, he's a solid, if not spectacular, QB2 going into 2016.

22. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Despite all of the uncertainty about his status for the season, Fitzpatrick re-signed with the Jets on a one-year deal worth $12 million. Fitzpatrick has had his most productive seasons in a Chan Gailey offense and he threw a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes last year in his first season with the Jets.

23. Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns
Going into the 2016 NFL season, few starting quarterbacks have a wider range of possible outcomes than RG3. With more scout team reps at safety than pass attempts last season, Griffin was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 when he finished as a top-five fantasy QB. While a top-five (or even top-12) finish would be an unrealistic expectation, a fresh start in a new city with a QB-friendly head coach is certainly a positive for RG3 and his outlook.

24. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Injuries at wide receiver limited Cutler's fantasy production, but he still completed 64.4 percent of his pass attempts (second-most in his career) and averaged a career-high 7.6 Y/A. The team's top-three wide receivers -- Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal -- played a total of 18 games last season. Not surprisingly, Cutler averaged more than three fantasy points per game more with Jeffery (16.41/G) than he did without him (13.13/G). With a healthy supporting cast, Cutler should at least finish as a top-20 fantasy quarterback with top-12 upside.

25. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
With Tony Romo (back) expected to miss at least six games, Prescott will hope his preseason success (39-of-48 passing, 9.46 Y/A, seven total TDs and no INTs in three games) carries over into the regular season. As much as Prescott has exceeded expectations in the preseason, it certainly won't be as easy in the regular season. Not only does Dak have plenty of fantasy upside as a QB streamer and DFS option in the first half of 2016, but only Matthew Stafford and the Lions have a more favorable fantasy football strength of schedule in 2016.

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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy RB Rankings

Here are our 2016 fantasy football running back rankings:

1. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Injuries finally led to Johnson getting a shot at the featured role, but the third-rounder out of Northern Iowa had been productive in limited opportunities before that. Johnson scored a total of 13 touchdowns -- eight rushing, four receiving and one return -- on only 161 touches last season. Finishing as a top-five weekly performer in three of his five starts, Johnson could lead all running backs in fantasy points in 2016.

2. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Should you draft Gurley first overall? Well, if you ask Gurley, you should. Although Gurley shouldn't be the first player off the board in fantasy drafts (Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown should), you could argue that he should be the first running back off the board. Despite missing the first three games of last season, Gurley finished third in the NFL with 1,106 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Despite running behind a poor offensive line with a rookie quarterback (at some point) under center, Gurley will be one more year removed from his torn ACL and could lead the league in rush attempts in 2016.

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
With the skill set to be a true three-down back and workhorse, Elliott could not have ended up in a better situation as he gets to run behind the NFL's best offensive line. With Tony Romo (back) already set to miss the first half of the season, the Cowboys will rely heavily on Zeke and their ground game. It wouldn't be a big surprise if Elliott finished as fantasy's RB1 in 2016.

4. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
Perennially under-involved in Miami's offense, Miller has been highly productive on a per-touch basis. Despite his modest workload (194 carries, 18th-most in 2015), Miller scored the sixth-most fantasy points last year and has now finished as a top-10 fantasy running back in back-to-back seasons. Given the change of scenery, Miller is poised for a huge jump in workload as the new lead back in Houston. Since Bill O'Brien has taken over as coach, only the Seahawks (1,025) have run the ball more than the Texans (1,023).

5. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
After sitting out virtually all of the 2014 season, Peterson led the NFL in carries (327), rushing yards (1,485) and rushing touchdowns (11). The Vikings will continue to ride AP as their workhorse, especially with the injury to Bridgewater. Despite his superhuman physical traits, the only concern is that he turned 31 years old in March, but I have Peterson projected for the more touches (333) than any other back. [LA's Todd Gurley (332) is second.]

6. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Injuries at the position are obviously a huge risk with any running back and Bell missed a huge chunk of last season due to both injury and suspension. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, Bell is suspended three games (cut from four games) to start the 2016 season. A highly productive, true three-down back on the field, Bell has averaged 23.18 touches, 132.14 YFS and 0.64 touchdowns -- or more than 17 (standard) fantasy points -- per game over the past two seasons. In other words, Bell should lead all running backs in fantasy points on a per-game basis once he returns in Week 4.

7. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
While few (read: nobody) saw it coming, no running back scored more fantasy points in 2015 than Freeman. Not only did Freeman rush for more than 1,000 yards, but he hauled in 73 catches, third-most among running backs, for 578 yards, and scored a league-leading 14 total touchdowns last season. While he's shown a three-down skill set, the Falcons want to lower Freeman's workload and get second-year back Tevin Coleman more involved in the offense in 2016.

8. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Totaling 3,001 yards from scrimmage with 24 total touchdowns in his first two seasons, Lacy disappointed fantasy owners with less than 1,000 YFS and just five total touchdowns in 2015. Ceding more work than expected to James Starks last season, Lacy has shed weight this offseason and a fitter version is poised to bounce back as he enters a contract season.

9. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Coming off a second torn ACL in four seasons, Charles began camp on the active/PUP list but remains on track for Week 1. He's unlikely to appear in any preseason games, but Charles recently participated in full-team drills for the first time. In his five games last season, Charles averaged 18.4 touches, 108.2 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown per game. While Charles has never averaged less than 5.0 yards per carry, it's fair to project a slightly reduced workload given the other capable backs on the roster and his return from injury.

10. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After two injury-plagued and disappointing campaigns, Martin exceeded the value of his 2015 draft slot and finished second to only Adrian Peterson for the 2015 NFL rushing title. With 1,673 YFS and seven touchdowns last season, Martin should rank near the top of the league in workload and production provided he can stay healthy.

11. Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders
Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307), but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). Rookie DeAndre Washington may cut into Murray's workload some, but the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines and their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows when it comes to running the football. In addition, Del Rio has said that he wants Murray to get more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

12. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
The biggest issue with Ingram has been durability. The 26-year-old back has missed three or more games in four of five seasons including four games in 2015. Over the past two seasons, however, Ingram has averaged 18.84 touches, 91.32 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. Despite playing just 12 games, Ingram still finished as fantasy's RB15 (RB10 in PPR) in 2015.

13. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
Drafted as a late first-round pick in many 2015 fantasy drafts, Anderson started slowly and spent much of the season in a timeshare with Ronnie Hillman. In the second half of the season, however, CJA was much better than both his first half and Hillman. Starting with Week 8, Anderson carried the ball 85 times for 540 yards (6.35 YPC) and five touchdowns and he enters 2016 as the team's clear lead back.

14. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
Missing four games in his first season with the Bills, McCoy averaged nearly 20 touches (19.58/G) and 100 YFS (98.92/G) per game. Assuming good health, McCoy should rank near the top of the league leaders in usage and YFS in 2016 for the run-heavy Bills.

15. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
Disappointing fantasy owners in 2015, Hill's rushing yardage dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) as a rookie to 794 (3.6 YPC) last season. That said, he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. The 235-pound Hill seems to have greater focus as he looks to bounce back in 2016. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Paul Dehner recently wrote of Hill: "His razor focus and desire to return to rookie form are very real this offseason."

16. Matt Forte, New York Jets
One of the most versatile running backs in the league, Forte turned 30 in December and signed as a free agent with the Jets this offseason. Even though he missed three games last season, Forte averaged close to 100 yards -- 69.1 rushing and 29.9 receiving -- per game in 2015. Forte won't dominate touches in the Jets' backfield the way he did in Chicago, but he's a solid RB2 in 2016.

17. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans
After leading the NFL in rushing (1,845 yards) in 2014 and signing a large free-agent deal with the Eagles, Murray rushed for only 702 yards in 2015 and set career lows in YPG (46.8) and YPC (3.6). If things go according to (the coaching staff's) plan, Murray will get the largest workload share of a run-heavy offense. Both Murray and second-round rookie Derrick Henry have looked good in the preseason.

18. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
A stress fracture in his foot limited Hyde to just seven games last season, but he should benefit from playing in an up-tempo, run-heavy Chip Kelly offense. With Kelly as head coach, the Eagles are one of seven NFL teams with 1,400-plus rush attempts over the past three seasons. Provided he stays healthy, Hyde has a plenty of upside in 2016. That said, there are a couple of other concerns: (1) lack of offensive weapons to prevent opposing defenses from loading up the box and (2) a bottom-10 offensive line based on PFF's preseason rankings.

19. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy owners have seen a glimpse of what life could be like with Rawls as the full-time starter. In the six games that he has started and finished, Rawls had four 100-yard rushing games while averaging 118.67 rushing yards per game and 5.65 yards per carry. Rawls (ankle) began training camp on the active/PUP list, but he has been activated from the PUP list and will be ready to play in Week 1.

20. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 12th-most (14th in PPR) fantasy points among running backs last season. With a healthy Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

- Continue to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football RB Rankings: 21-40

- Go back to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football RB Rankings: 1-20

- 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Running Back Rankings

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September 01, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy WR Rankings

With only one week to go before the start of the 2016 NFL regular season, we have updated our fantasy football rankings.

Here are my updated 2016 fantasy football wide receiver rankings (standard scoring):

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
The consensus top receiver in fantasy, Brown is as safe and productive as it gets. While he set career highs of 136 catches and 1,834 yards, Brown's numbers may have been even better had Ben Roethlisberger not missed time last season. Brown averaged 9.92/133.25/0.83 per game in the 12 games Big Ben played -- that's equivalent to a full-season pace of 159/2,132/13.

[Poll: Will it be a record-setting season for Brown?]

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
One of only two players with 3,000-plus yards over the past two seasons combined, Jones has a total of 240 catches for 3,464 yards during that span. While he's second to Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown in both stats, Jones actually led the NFL in targets (204), receptions (136, tied with Brown) and yards (1,871) last season.

3. Odell Beckham, New York Giants
In his young career, Beckham has averaged more than 100 yards per game (2,755 yards in 27 career games). Even though he has missed five games over his first two seasons, OBJ has more 100-yard games (15) than he has with less than 100 yards (12) during that span. In fact, only Antonio Brown (17) and Julio Jones (16) have more 100-yard games. In addition, no player has more receiving touchdowns than Beckham (25) during his two NFL seasons.

4. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
One of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

5. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Averaging a career-low 8.25 targets per game, Green saw double-digit targets in only four of 16 games in 2015. Despite a relatively low volume of targets for an elite receiver, Green finished the season with 86 catches for 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns. With a minimum stat line of 86/1,297/10 in three of his past four seasons, Green has plenty of upside with a likely boost in targets given the team's free-agent departures at receiver. [As an FYI, there is the potential that Green misses a game with the birth of his first child due in the season's first month.]

Week 1 DFS: Join my FanDuel 20-team winner-takes-all league for Week 1.

6. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Breaking out in his second season, Robinson finished with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and scored the fourth-most fantasy points among wide receivers. In his final 12 games of the season, Robinson finished with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown (or more) in every game. Leading the NFL in 20-yard receptions (31), Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season. By all accounts, Robinson looks even better going into his age-23 season.

7. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
It was a disappointing season for Dez and the Cowboys. Not only was Bryant sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken foot, but Tony Romo broke his collarbone (two times). When healthy, however, Bryant is one of the most dominant receivers in the league and only Rob Gronkowski has more receiving touchdowns than Bryant (53) since 2011. Even though Prescott has looked good in the preseason, Romo's back injury knocks Dez down a couple of spots in my 2016 rankings.

8. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Nelson tore his ACL last preseason and then dealt with some tendinitis in the other knee early in camp, but he should be fully ready to go for Week 1 against the Jaguars. Nelson may not finish with a stat line comparable to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13), but he is a top-eight receiver for me heading into 2016.

9. Brandon Marshall, New York Jets
In all but two games last season, Marshall had either 100 yards and/or a touchdown (or more) as he set a career high in touchdowns (14) and nearly missed a career high with 1,502 yards. In fact, it was the first time since Randy Moss (2003) that a receiver had at least 109/1,502/14 and only the fifth time in NFL history. Repeating last year's numbers seems unlikely, but Marshall should finish in the neighborhood of 100/1,300/10.

10. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, but he finished with 20 yards or less in four of his final seven games. If he weren't battling a foot injury down the stretch, Cooper's rookie campaign would have been even better. With the second-year receiver at full strength now, however, I expect bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

11. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Although he set career highs of 74 catches for 1,206 yards, Evans had just three touchdowns (after 12 as a rookie) and led the league in drops. Not only will he benefit from the continued development of Jameis Winston, but the 23-year-old receiver has shed 10-15 pounds this offseason and has a chance to post markedly better numbers in 2016.

12. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
In an injury-marred 2015 season, Jeffery averaged 6.0 catches and 89.7 yards per game, both of which were career highs. If he can stay healthy for a full season, Jeffery should finish as a top-10 fantasy receiver. That said, Jeffrey has now missed six-plus games in two of his four NFL seasons.

13. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Playing only eight games last season, Allen hauled in 67 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns -- or a full-season pace of 134/1,450/8. Before sustaining his kidney injury, only Julio Jones (70) had more catches and only Jones (892) and DeAndre Hopkins (870) had more receiving yards than Allen. If he can stay healthy, the 24-year-old receiver should rank near the top of the league in targets and catches in 2016.

14. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
A top-10 fantasy receiver in 2014, Hilton disappointed fantasy owners with only 1,124 yards and five touchdowns, but Andrew Luck missed nine games. Through the first seven games, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.

15. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
With 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons, Thomas had 105 catches for 1,304 yards and six touchdowns in 2015. While the team's quarterback situation is less than ideal, which may cap Thomas' upside, Peyton Manning posted a 9-to-17 TD-INT ratio last season. In other words, there is a good chance that DT posts at least comparable numbers to 2015.

16. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
The breakout may not have been as great as some had expected, but Cooks finished the season with a productive stat line of 84/1,138/9 as he became the youngest (22) 1,000-yard receiver in Saints history. In fact, he became the first Saints wide receiver to reach the 1,000-yard mark since Marques Colston in 2012. (Tight end Jimmy Graham exceeded 1,000 yards in 2013.) Eight of Cooks' touchdowns came in the final nine games and three of his four 100-yard games happened in December so the speedster carries plenty of momentum into his age-23 season.

17. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
Not only did Watkins have at least 80 yards in his final six games, but he exceeded 100 yards in four of those games. During that six-game span, Watkins caught 35 of 57 targets for 679 yards (19.4 Y/A) and six touchdowns. The talent is elite; the only concerns is the run-dominant Bills offense and it took some public complaining/whining for his volume of targets to spike last season.

18. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts
In his sophomore campaign, Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), the 23-year-old has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

19. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
Through the first three games of the season, it was so far, so good with Cobb, who had hauled in 20 receptions for 245 and four touchdowns. From there on out, however, Cobb disappointed his fantasy owners. Over the final 13 games, Cobb averaged 47.85 YFS per game and scored only two touchdowns. That said, Cobb reportedly dealt with a shoulder injury all of last season. With Nelson back as the team's No. 1 receiver, however, it should take defensive attention off Cobb and lead to improved 2016 production.

20. Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins
Setting a franchise record with 110 receptions last season, Landry had 1,157 receiving yards, 113 rushing yards and a total of six touchdowns. Even though he is/was better in PPR formats (WR8 in 2015), Landry finished as the the WR13 in standard-scoring formats last season. There is breakout potential for second-year receiver DeVante Parker, but Landry could once again finish with triple-digit receptions.

- Continue to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football WR Rankings: 21-40

- 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Wide Receiver Rankings

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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy TE Rankings

The NFL preseason concludes tonight with a slate of meaningless games (from a fantasy football perspective).

(Of course, there is plenty of meaning to these games for those fighting for roster spots -- or auditioning for the next opportunity after getting cut.)

With that said, here is my updated 2016 fantasy football tight end rankings:

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Counting 10 playoff games, Gronkowski has a total of 75 touchdowns in 90 career games. And with the exception of his seven-game 2013 season, Gronk has double-digit touchdowns in five of his six NFL seasons. Gronk is one of the league's biggest mismatches and the clear-cut top option at his position. If there's any concern, it's a potential slow start (based on Gronk standards) with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension to begin the season, but Gronk is in a tier by himself atop the position group.

2. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
Dominant in the 2015 fantasy playoffs, Reed finished as the weekly TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 as he hauled in a total of 25 catches for 333 yards and five touchdowns during that three-game stretch. On the year, only Rob Gronkowski and Gary Barnidge scored more fantasy points than Reed. Durability is the obvious concern, but I expect Reed to average the second-most fantasy points per game at the position after Gronk.

Week 1 DFS: Join my FanDuel 20-team winner-takes-all league for Week 1.

3. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Olsen followed up his first career 1,000-yard season with another (77/1,104/7) and scored fourth-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2015. The durable and consistent tight end enters 2016 as a top-three tight end.

4. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce's 2015 numbers (875 yards and five touchdowns) were very similar to his 2014 numbers (862 yards and five touchdowns). Among tight ends, only Rob Gronkowski (2,300), Greg Olsen (2,112) and Delanie Walker (1,978) have more receiving yards than Kelce (1,737) over the past two seasons.

5. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
In his third season with the Titans, Walker blew away previous career highs in receptions (94) and yards (1,088) and tied a previous career high in touchdowns (six). Walker had 52-plus yards in each of his final 12 games of the season and due to that level of consistency, he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 11 of 16 weeks last year. While he may not repeat last year's production, he's a top-six fantasy tight end heading into 2016.

6. Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints
With 50-plus catches in each of the past three seasons, Fleener should have an opportunity to exceed that production by a considerable amount. In the team's first season without Jimmy Graham, Ben Watson essentially came out of nowhere to finish as a top-eight fantasy tight end in 2015. Playing with Drew Brees and with Watson gone, Fleener could not have landed in a better spot as a free agent.

7. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz set career highs in 2015 with 75 catches for 853 yards, but he had just two touchdowns. Ertz was especially good over the final four games of the season with a 35/450/1 line during that span. Obviously, he'll slow from his end-of-season torrid pace, but hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum. One thing working in his favor is that coach Doug Pederson has said that he "fully expects" to feature Ertz in the red zone.

8. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars
Missing much of training camp and the first four games last season, Thomas did not make the impact that he or the team expected when they signed him to a lucrative free-agent contract. Thomas should post much better numbers in 2016 provided he can stay healthy, but he has missed multiple games in each of his three seasons as a starter.

9. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Gates missed five games, but still finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 2015 at 35 years old. In fact, his 57.3 yards per game was a four-year high. If Keenan Allen stays healthy for a full season, he may average fewer yards, but he remains the favorite red-zone target of Philip Rivers and a top-12 option at the position despite heading into his age-36 season. In fact, Rivers recently stated that it's a goal to get Gates eight TDs to pass Tony Gonzalez for the most all-time by a tight end.

10. Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots
Bennett is at least a back-end TE1 heading into his first season in Foxboro as the Patriots will likely use plenty of two-TE sets with Rob Gronkowski and Bennett. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end with Gronk out.

11. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
Averaging a touchdown per game, Eifert finished 2015 with 52 catches for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns over 13 games and the sixth-most fantasy points among tight ends in 2015. Exceeding 53 yards in only three games with all of those games occurring by Week 5, Eifert averaged only 37.88 YPG over his final eight games played. When healthy, however, Eifert should see a per-game boost in targets given the turnover in the receiving corps. That said, durability has been an issue and Eifert (ankle) is targeting a return of Weeks 4-6 with Week 4 being "his hope."

12. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns
It was the atypical 30-year-old breakout for Barnidge last season as he finished with 79 catches for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which exceeded his NFL production from 2008 to 2014 combined. In fact, only Rob Gronkowski scored more fantasy points than Barnidge in standard-scoring formats (TE4 in PPR) last season. While he may not finish as a top-five producer once again, he enters the season as a viable starting tight end.

13. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
Allen has struggled with durability -- 21 missed games over past three seasons. If he can stay healthy, however, Allen is poised for a much larger role within the offense given Coby Fleener's free-agency departure.

14. Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
Over his final six games, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. Given the team's lack of offensive weapons, McDonald has the potential to pick up where he left off last season.

15. Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers
A seam-stretching tight end with freakish athletic ability, Cook has averaged 47 catches for 614 yards per year over his past five seasons. While he has averaged 13.1 Y/R, he has only 15 touchdowns during that five-year span including none last season. Cook has been consistently inconsistent, but he's the most-gifted weapon the Packers have had at the position since the days of Jermichael Finley.

16. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
In his second season, Ebron finished with 47 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns. It was an up-and-down year, but he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in half of his 14 games played. Following Megatron's retirement, the former top-10 pick should be more involved in the passing game and could finish as a top-12 fantasy tight end provided he stays healthy.

17. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
Graham failed to make the impact that many expected. In fact, Russell Wilson's strong performance in the second half of the season mostly occurred with Graham injured. Starting training camp on the active/PUP list, Graham (patellar tendon) has since been activated, but it's unclear how effective he'll be coming off his significant injury.

18. Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
With Martellus Bennett now in New England, Miller takes over as the team's top tight end. With Bennett sidelined over the final three weeks of the season, Miller hauled in 18 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown during that span.

19. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
Missing the final three games of first season with the Bills, Clay had 51 catches for 528 yards, both of which were three-year lows, and three scores. Scoring the 20th-most fantasy points among tight ends following back-to-back top-15 seasons, Clay is expected to be more involved in the offense in 2016. I expect Clay to finish second on the team in receptions behind Watkins.

20. Clive Walford, Oakland Raiders
OC Bill Musgrave says that Walford "has a lot of ability, so we’re looking for him to be a big part of what we do." Despite his ATV accident that required surgery, Walford says he's "more comfortable" in the offense and he should easily exceed his rookie-season production (28/329/3) in year two.

21. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
In his age-33 season, Witten finished with 77 catches for 713 yards (career-low 9.3 Y/A) and three touchdowns. While there is virtually no upside with Witten, he had 11 games with 40-plus yards. As much as that sounds like I'm setting the bar low (and I suppose I am), only four other TEs had as many such games last season: Rob Gronkowski (13), Greg Olsen (13), Travis Kelce (12) and Gary Barnidge (11).

22. Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers
With Ladarius Green placed on the reserve/PUP list, James will start at tight end for a minimum of six games and quite possibly more than that. Not only is he a large target (6-foot-7, 260 pounds), but the Steelers starting three receivers (Brown, Wheaton and Rogers) are all under 6-foot and 200 pounds. In other words, James should see plenty of red-zone targets from Big Ben.

23. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Based on talent, Seferian-Jenkins should be ready to take a big step forward. Based on immaturity and attitude as well as his durability track record, however, ASJ is hard to trust. So far in camp and the preseason, however, coach Dirk Koetter says that "ASJ has earned the right to share first-team reps with Cam Brate again."

24. Virgil Green, Denver Broncos
Only one quarterback on the roster has thrown an NFL pass and it's possible that quarterback does not make the final 53-man roster. Playing in a TE-friendly offense and with inexperience at quarterback, Green has some upside and sleeper appeal as the team's top tight end.

25. Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins
Cameron had a disappointing first season with the Dolphins and accepted a pay cut in part because Julius Thomas told Cameron that "he HAS to play for Gase." (Thomas had 24 touchdowns in 27 games over his two seasons as a starter with the Broncos.) That said, it's been a drop-filled and disappointing preseason and camp for Cameron so far.

More Rankings from Hanson:

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August 31, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 2 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 2
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.02 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Following Antonio Brown, Jones and Odell Beckham are consensus top-three picks. Leading the NFL in targets (204), receptions (136, tied with Brown) and yards (1,871) last season, Jones is less than three points ahead of OBJ in 2016 Fantasy Football Projections.

2.11 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: There are durability concerns and Nelson may not finish with a stat line comparable to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13), but he's a high-upside WR2 for this squad.

3.02 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: If it weren't for a foot injury down the stretch, Cooper would have posted a better stat line, but he still had a solid rookie season (72/1,070/6). Bigger and better things await Cooper in his age-22 season.

4.11 - Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins: Better in PPR (WR8 in 2015) than standard-scoring formats (WR13), Landry set a franchise record with 110 receptions last season. There is breakout potential for second-year receiver DeVante Parker (if he can stay healthy), but Landry could once again finish with triple-digit receptions.

5.02 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Disappointing fantasy owners in 2015, Hill's rushing yards dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) in 2014 to 794 (3.6 YPC) in 2015. That said, he scored 12 touchdowns last year and I expect a more efficient season from the 235-pound Hill.

6.11 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 12th-most fantasy points among running backs last season. With a healthy Andrew Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

7.02 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Closing the season with a bang (35/450/1 over final four games), Ertz carries positive momentum into 2016. More importantly, perhaps we will see improved red-zone production from Ertz.

8.11 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Racking up 419 YFS in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note and it's clear that he will enter the season as the lead back. With that said, he turned 31 in March and has historically struggled with durability despite playing a full 16-game season last year.

9.02 - Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions: Better in the second half (4.7 YPC) than the first half (3.6 YPC), Abdullah has some breakout potential as my RB4. While no team ran the ball on a lower percentage of their plays last season, the Lions plan to be more balanced on offense this season.

10.11 - Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even with Doug Martin rushing for more than 1,400 yards, Sims finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015. While his ceiling is capped if Martin stays healthy for a full season once again, something Martin has done only once in the past three years, it wouldn't surprise me if Sims comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs.

11.02 - Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Referring to Thomas Rawls and Michael, coach Pete Carroll described the duo as a "little 1-2 punch that we are really excited about.'' Michael has always possessed elite physical tools, but it appears that his maturity and leadership are starting to catch up to his athleticism.

12.11 - Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. Finishing as fantasy's QB14 in 2015, Carr is a back-end QB1 with upside in 2016.

13.02 - Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. Cousins is set up for success with a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group — and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).

14.11 - Houston Texans DST

15.02 - Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Missing the 1,000-yard milestone in each of the past four seasons, Wallace will play for his third team in as many seasons, but he has a chance to exceed expectations in Baltimore. While neither Ryan Tannehill nor Teddy Bridgewater excel in the vertical passing game, Joe Flacco is a better match for Wallace's skill set.

16.11 - Brandon McManus, K, Denver Broncos

- View full mock draft results here

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August 29, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football 2-QB PPR Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 3 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: 2-QB league with point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 3
  • Roster Setup: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.03 - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: With Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers off the board at 1.01 and 1.02, the best and safest fantasy option falls to me at 1.03. While he set career highs of 136 catches and 1,834 yards, Brown's numbers may have been even better had Ben Roethlisberger not missed time last season. Brown averaged 9.92/133.25/0.83 per game in the 12 games Big Ben played -- that's equivalent to a full-season pace of 159/2,132/13.

[Poll: Will it be a record-setting season for Brown?]

2.10 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: While few (read: nobody) saw it coming, no running back scored more fantasy points in 2015 than Freeman. Not only did Freeman rush for more than 1,000 yards, but he hauled in 73 catches, third-most among running backs, for 578 yards, and scored a total of 14 touchdowns last season. Even the Falcons want to lower his workload, he remains an elite PPR back.

3.03 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game even though Keenan Allen (kidney) missed half the season. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers is my QB6 and the 10th QB off the board in this mock.

4.10 - Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills: Not only did Watkins have at least 80 yards in his final six games, but he exceeded 100 yards in four of those games. During that six-game span, Watkins caught 35 of 57 targets for 679 yards (19.4 Y/A) and six touchdowns.

5.03 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Anderson started slowly, but he was highly productive in the second half. Starting with Week 8, Anderson carried the ball 85 times for 540 yards (6.35 YPC) and five touchdowns and he enters 2016 as the team's clear lead back.

6.10 - Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Matthews improved upon his rookie numbers with 85 receptions (67 as a rookie) and 997 yards (872 as a rookie) and once again hauled in eight touchdown receptions. Currently sidelined with a knee injury, Matthews expects to be ready for Week 1.

7.03 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Outperforming his 2016 ADP (QB22) in each of the previous three seasons, Tannehill has finished as fantasy's QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively, from 2013 to 2015. With the coaching change (and some tutoring from Peyton Manning), Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside. Either way, he's one of my favorite QB2 targets in 2-QB leagues like this.

8.10 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Setting career highs of 75 catches for 853 yards, Ertz was especially good over the final four games of the season with a 35/450/1 line during that span. Hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum and he is expected to be more featured in the red zone this year.

9.03 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Hill was a disappointment compared to his 2015 ADP, but he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. Not only do I expect a bounce-back from the 235-pound Hill, but he's a nice value in Round 9.

10.10 - Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns: The first receiver off the board in April's draft, Coleman is an explosive athlete and could wind up leading all rookie receivers in fantasy production. Few teams should find themselves trailing and needing to throw as often as the Browns.

11.03 - T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: While he'll get some early-down work as well, Yeldon should get the majority of third-down snaps and he provides some RB depth to this team.

12.10 - Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Smith is coming off a career-worst season -- 33 catches, 663 yards and four touchdowns all set or tied career lows -- even though he led the NFL in yards per reception (20.1). Smith becomes the No. 1 receiver in an offense that operate at a much faster pace.

13.03 - Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers: Starting slowly as a rookie, Funchess scored five touchdowns in the final nine games and his best performance (7/120/1) happened in Week 17. Positive momentum has carried over into the offseason program and training camp for the second-year receiver.

14.10 - Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: After an unsuccessful attempt to get himself traded to Denver, Bradford begins the season as Philadelphia's starting quarterback. It's possible that Carson Wentz takes over the starting gig down the stretch, but hopefully Bradford retains the job through the byes for Rivers and Tannehill.

15.03 - Houston Texans DST

16.10 - Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans: Even though Sharpe is only a rookie from UMass, he's an outstanding route-runner and he led college football with 111 receptions last season. Expected to begin the season as a starter, Sharpe is especially worth a late-round flier in PPR formats.

17.03 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

- View full mock draft results here

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August 28, 2016

Fantasy Football ADP: Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers in Average Draft Position

Every Sunday this offseason, we will 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 Risers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBTyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills-7.6 (118.3 on 8/21; 110.7 on 8/28)
RBAlfred Morris, Dallas Cowboys-33.2 (143.0 on 8/21; 109.8 on 8/28)
WRDevin Funchess, Carolina Panthers-14.2 (122.0 on 8/21; 107.8 on 8/28)
TEAntonio Gates, San Diego Chargers-8.4 (111.4 on 8/21; 103.0 on 8/28)


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

Biggest Risers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBTyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills-6.42% (118.3 on 8/21; 110.7 on 8/28)
RBEzekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys-24.47% (9.4 on 8/21; 7.1 on 8/28)
WRMarvin Jones, Detroit Lions-17.45% (79.1 on 8/21; 65.3 on 8/28)
TEAntonio Gates, San Diego Chargers-7.54% (111.4 on 8/21; 103.0 on 8/28)

Biggest Fallers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBMatt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons+6.6 (138.0 on 8/21; 144.6 on 8/28)
RBDion Lewis, New England Patriots+63.4 (49.1 on 8/21; 112.5 on 8/28)
WRSammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers+23.8 (120.8 on 8/21; 144.6 on 8/28)
TEJimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks+9.6 (109.6 on 8/21; 119.2 on 8/28)

Biggest Fallers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBMatt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons+4.78% (138.0 on 8/21; 144.6 on 8/28)
RBDion Lewis, New England Patriots+129.12% (49.1 on 8/21; 112.5 on 8/28)
WRSammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers+19.70% (120.8 on 8/21; 144.6 on 8/28)
TEJimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks+8.76% (109.6 on 8/21; 119.2 on 8/28)

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

Our 2016 fantasy football rankings:

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August 27, 2016

Miami Dolphins Fantasy Preview: 2016 Fantasy Football Projections

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the Miami Dolphins:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Ryan Tannehill380598433628.413.8351561.1295.44
Not only has Tannehill thrown for 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons, but he's averaged 225 rushing yards per season over his young career. Outperforming his current ADP (QB22) in each of the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as fantasy's QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively, from 2013 to 2015. With Gase taking over as head coach (and some tutoring from Peyton Manning), Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Arian Foster1656776.4393592.5157
Recently, Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said (via the Miami Herald), “We really need someone to emerge as the guy. ... We don't want to substitute. ... We really need one guy to be a three-down back, stay in there for that drive.” And it appears that Foster will be "the guy." The durability concerns with the soon-to-be-30 Foster are obvious, but there is plenty of upside from his current ADP if he can stay healthy.
Jay Ajayi1355813.812970.493
With Lamar Miller in Houston, Ajayi's workload was certain to jump in his sophomore campaign. Then the Dolphins signed free-agent running back Arian Foster to a one-year deal. Even though Ajayi has been the preseason "starter," he has averaged just 2.4 YPC on 15 preseason carries. When healthy, Foster should lead the backfield in workload and production.
Kenyan Drake351540.6161330.635.9
The Dolphins used a third-round pick on Drake, who was a change-of-pace back to Derrick Henry at Alabama last season. With Foster and Ajayi (and even Isaiah Pead) ahead of him on the depth chart, Drake missed a few weeks due to a hamstring injury and could even potentially end up on short-term IR.
Isaiah Pead351440.48520.122.6
Damien Williams21760.43230.112.9

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Jarvis Landry10111015.78450.5151.8
Setting a franchise record with 110 receptions last season, Landry had 1,157 receiving yards, 113 rushing yards and a total of six touchdowns. Even though he is/was better in PPR formats (WR8 in 2015), Landry finished as the the WR13 in standard-scoring formats last season. There is breakout potential for second-year receiver DeVante Parker, but Landry could once again finish with triple-digit receptions.
DeVante Parker6510477.7000150.9
The 2015 first-round pick out of Louisville, Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season. During that six-game span, Parker amassed a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that stretch. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.
Kenny Stills365363.200072.8
Griff Whalen171851.400026.9
Leonte Carroo121460.800019.4
Jakeem Grant8920.400011.6

More Fantasy Football WR Resources:

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Jordan Cameron394414.369.9
Cameron had a disappointing first season with the Dolphins and accepted a pay cut in part because Julius Thomas told Cameron that "he HAS to play for Gase." (Thomas had 24 touchdowns in 27 games over his two seasons as a starter with the Broncos.) That said, it's been a drop-filled and disappointing preseason and camp for Cameron so far.
Dion Sims141471.121.3
Thomas Duarte5540.47.8

More Fantasy Football TE Resources:

More AFC East Fantasy Projections:

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 10 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 10
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.10 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: One of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

2.03 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Bell is suspended three games to start the 2016 season, but he's a highly productive, true three-down back when he's on the field. In 22 games over the past two seasons, Bell has averaged 23.18 touches, 132.14 YFS and 0.64 touchdowns -- or more than 17 (standard) fantasy points -- per game. In other words, Bell should lead all running backs in fantasy points on a per-game basis.

3.10 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, but he finished with 20 yards or less in four of his final seven games. If he weren't battling a foot injury down the stretch, Cooper's rookie campaign would have been even better. With the second-year receiver at full strength now, however, I expect bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

4.03 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Disappointing fantasy owners in 2015, Hill's rushing yards dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) in 2014 to 794 (3.6 YPC) in 2015. That said, he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect similar efficiency as his rookie season, but I do expect to see a bit of a bounce-back from the 235-pound Hill.

5.10 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season. During that six-game span, Parker amassed a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that stretch. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

6.03 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 12th-most fantasy points among running backs last season. With a healthy Andrew Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

7.10 - John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: In Year 2, Brown finished with 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns and the 22nd-most fantasy points among wide receivers. There are concerns with the headaches/concussion he has dealt with this month, but the arrow is certainly pointing up for the speedy third-year receiver assuming good health.

8.03 - Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: For a second consecutive season, Manning finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In both seasons, Manning threw 600-plus times and exceeded 4,400-plus yards while throwing a total of 65 touchdowns. With Odell Beckham as his go-to receiver, Eli could finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for a third straight season.

9.10 - Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions: Better in the second half (4.7 YPC) than he was in the first half (3.6 YPC), Abdullah has some breakout potential as he sits atop the team's depth chart heading into his second season. While no team ran the ball on a lower percentage of their plays last season, the Lions plan to be more balanced on offense this season.

10.03 - Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints: Starting opposite Brandin Cooks, Snead nearly reached the 1,000-yard mark with a 69/984/3 stat line. Snead didn't have many big games, but he had at least four receptions in 11 of 16 games. Based on my projections, Snead could give the Saints a pair of 1,000-yard wideouts in 2016.

11.10 - Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts: Allen has struggled with durability -- 21 missed games over past three seasons. If he can stay healthy, however, Allen is poised for a much larger role within the offense given Coby Fleener's free-agency departure.

12.03 - James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers: Re-signed to a two-year contract, Starks (993) had more YFS than Eddie Lacy (946). And while both finished as top-25 fantasy running backs in 2015, it was Starks (RB24) that scored more fantasy points than Lacy (RB25). If Lacy struggles again this season despite his improved fitness, Starks will have an opportunity for another productive season.

13.10 - Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2016. He's a high-upside QB2 for this team.

14.03 - Los Angeles Rams DST

15.10 - Bruce Ellington, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Ellington had just 13 catches for 153 yards last season, but he enters 2016 as the favorite for the team's No. 2 receiver job. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee recently wrote that Ellington "appears to be a major component and is in excellent position to be the 49ers’ breakout player on offense."

16.03 - Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks

- View full mock draft results here

Complete your own mock drafts for free on our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator page.

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August 26, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 10 teams, No. 8 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • # of Teams: 10
  • Draft Slot: 8
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.08 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: One of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

2.03 - Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers: Playing only eight games last season, Allen hauled in 67 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns -- or a full-season pace of 134/1,450/8. Before sustaining his kidney injury, only Julio Jones (70) had more catches and only Jones (892) and Hopkins (870) had more receiving yards than Allen. If he can stay healthy, the 24-year-old receiver should rank near the top of the league in targets and catches in 2016.

3.08 - Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: Tate followed up a career-best season (99/1,331/4 in 2014) with another 90-catch season although he averaged just 9.0 Y/R in 2015. With the retirement of Calvin Johnson, however, Tate should lead the team in targets and he's been productive in the games that Megatron has missed.

4.03 - Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Totaling 3,001 yards from scrimmage with 24 total touchdowns in his first two seasons, Lacy disappointed fantasy owners with less than 1,000 YFS and just five total touchdowns. Lacy has shed weight this offseason and a fitter version is poised to bounce back as he enters a contract season.

5.08 - Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: One of the most versatile running backs in the league, Forte turned 30 in December and signed as a free agent with the Jets this offseason. Even though he missed three games last season, Forte averaged close to 100 yards -- 69.1 rushing and 29.9 receiving -- per game in 2015. Forte won't dominate touches in the Jets' backfield the way he did in Chicago, but he's a solid RB2 in 2016.

6.03 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: No running back had more receptions (80) or receiving yards (755) than Woodhead, who totaled 1,091 YFS and nine touchdowns last season. Woodhead finished as a top-three PPR fantasy running back (behind only Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson) in 2015.

7.08 - Arian Foster, RB, Miami Dolphins: Miami's OC recently said (via the Miami Herald), “We really need someone to emerge as the guy. ... We don't want to substitute. ... We really need one guy to be a three-down back, stay in there for that drive.” And it appears that Foster will be "the guy." The durability concerns with the soon-to-be-30 Foster are obvious, but there is upside as my RB4.

8.03 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Ertz set career highs in 2015 with 75 catches for 853 yards, but he had just two touchdowns. Ertz was especially good over the final four games of the season with a 35/450/1 line during that span. One thing working in his favor is more potential red-zone production.

9.08 - Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even with Doug Martin rushing for more than 1,400 yards, Sims finished as fantasy's RB17 in PPR in 2015. While his ceiling is capped if Martin stays healthy for a full season once again, something Martin has done only once in the past three years, it wouldn't surprise me if Sims comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs.

10.03 - Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns: The first receiver off the board in April's draft, Coleman is an explosive athlete and could wind up leading all rookie receivers in fantasy production. Few teams have a worse receiving corps than the Browns, especially with Josh Gordon on the sidelines for the first four games, and the team should find themselves trailing and needing to throw often.

11.08 - DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins: A hamstring injury limited Jackson to just nine games last season, but Jackson had 25 catches for 469 yards, 11th-most among wide receivers during that span, and all four of his touchdowns over the final six weeks of the season.

12.03 - Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Smith is coming off a career-worst season -- 33 catches, 663 yards and four touchdowns all set or tied career lows -- even though he led the NFL in yards per reception (20.1). That said, Smith becomes the No. 1 receiver in an offense that should rank in the top 10 in the league in number of plays and are underdogs in every game this season.

13.08 - Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: In his second season, Bortles threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions and ran for 310 yards and two more scores. Bortles needs to cut down on the turnovers and he's unlikely to throw another 35 touchdowns, but he was consistent in terms of fantasy production last year. Finishing with the fourth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks, Bortles was a top-10 weekly performer 10 times last season.

14.03 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, I expect him to be the team's most productive fantasy receiver, especially now that Dorial Green-Beckham has been traded to the Eagles.

15.08 - New England Patriots DST

16.03 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

- View full mock draft results here

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August 25, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 7 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 7
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.07 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: One of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

2.06 - Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Unlikely to appear in any preseason games, Charles (ACL) recently participated in full-team drills for the first time. In his five games last season, Charles averaged 18.4 touches, 108.2 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown per game. While Charles has never averaged less than 5.0 yards per carry, it's fair to project a slightly reduced workload given the other capable backs on the roster and his return from injury.

3.07 - Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills: Not only did Watkins have at least 80 yards in his final six games, but he exceeded 100 yards in four of those games. During that six-game span, Watkins caught 35 of 57 targets for 679 yards (19.4 Y/A) and six touchdowns. The talent is elite; the only concerns is the run-dominant Bills offense and his foot (but he will be ready for Week 1).

4.06 - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: In his first season with the Chiefs, Maclin had his second consecutive 1,000-yard season as he finished with a career-high 87 receptions for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns. Finishing as a mid-tier WR2 (WR17 in 2015, WR15 in PPR), Maclin is a nice WR3 value for this team.

5.07 - Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets: One of the most versatile running backs in the league, Forte turned 30 in December and signed as a free agent with the Jets this offseason. Even though he missed three games last season, Forte averaged close to 100 yards -- 69.1 rushing and 29.9 receiving -- per game in 2015. Forte won't dominate touches in the Jets' backfield the way he did in Chicago, but he's a solid RB2 in 2016.

6.06 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season. During that six-game span, Parker amassed a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that stretch. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

7.07 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Ertz set career highs in 2015 with 75 catches for 853 yards, but he had just two touchdowns. Ertz was especially good over the final four games of the season with a 35/450/1 line during that span. Obviously, he'll slow from his end-of-season torrid pace, but one thing working in his favor is that coach Pederson has said that he "fully expects" to feature Ertz in the red zone.

8.06 - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers: There are a couple of concerns with Stewart: (1) durability and (2) Cam Newton-vultured touchdowns. Stewart has missed three-plus games in four straight seasons. In addition, Newton has the third-most rushing touchdowns since entering the league in 2011. Before a Week 14 injury, however, Stewart had eight consecutive games with 20-plus carries so the workload is there when healthy. (The next longest 20-carry streak last season was three games.)

9.07 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: For the first time in his career, Jennings played all 16 games and posted career highs in both carries (195) and rushing yards (863). Racking up 419 YFS in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note and it's clear that he will enter the season as the lead back. With that said, he turned 31 in March and has historically struggled with durability.

10.06 - Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets: Powell was a PPR machine down the stretch as he finished as a top-25 weekly PPR performer in five of his final six games, which included three top-eight finishes. During that six-game stretch, Powell scored the fourth-most PPR points among RBs (10th-most in standard).

11.07 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game and threw 29 touchdowns despite multi-game absences by his top-two pass-catchers -- Keenan Allen (played eight games) and Antonio Gates (11 games). Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers offers plenty of upside this late.

12.06 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, I expect him to be the team's most productive fantasy receiver, especially now that Dorial Green-Beckham has been traded to the Eagles.

13.07 - Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers: Starting slowly as a rookie, Funchess scored five touchdowns in the final nine games and his best performance (7/120/1) happened in Week 17. Positive momentum has carried over into the offseason program and training camp for the second-year receiver.

14.06 - Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: All signs point to Charles starting in Week 1, but it's become clear that Ware, not Charcandrick West, is the preferred handcuff to Charles heading into the 2016 season. The 230-pound back averaged 5.6 YPC and rushed for six touchdowns on his 72 carries last season.

15.07 - New York Jets DST

16.06 - Chandler Catanzaro, K, Arizona Cardinals

- View full mock draft results here

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2016 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings

Here are our 2016 fantasy football wide receiver rankings:

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh SteelersThe consensus top receiver in fantasy, Brown is as safe and productive as it gets. While he set career highs of 136 catches and 1,834 yards, Brown's numbers may have been even better had Ben Roethlisberger not missed time last season. Brown averaged 9.92/133.25/0.83 per game in the 12 games Big Ben played -- that's equivalent to a full-season pace of 159/2,132/13.

[Poll: Will it be a record-setting season for Brown?]

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta FalconsOne of only two players with 3,000-plus yards over the past two seasons combined, Jones has a total of 240 catches for 3,464 yards during that span. While he's second to Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown in both stats, Jones actually led the NFL in targets (204), receptions (136, tied with Brown) and yards (1,871) last season.

3. Odell Beckham, New York GiantsIn his young career, Beckham has averaged more than 100 yards per game (2,755 yards in 27 career games). Even though he has missed five games over his first two seasons, OBJ has more 100-yard games (15) than he has with less than 100 yards (12) during that span. In fact, only Antonio Brown (17) and Julio Jones (16) have more 100-yard games. In addition, no player has more receiving touchdowns than Beckham (25) during his two NFL seasons.

4. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston TexansOne of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 #FantasyFootball contest ($100K in prizes, $10K to 1st, FREE to enter)

5. A.J. Green, Cincinnati BengalsAveraging a career-low 8.25 targets per game, Green saw double-digit targets in only four of 16 games in 2015. Despite a relatively low volume of targets for an elite receiver, Green finished the season with 86 catches for 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns. With a minimum stat line of 86/1,297/10 in three of his past four seasons, Green has plenty of upside with a likely boost in targets given the team's free-agent departures at receiver.

6. Dez Bryant, Dallas CowboysIt was a disappointing season for Dez and the Cowboys. Not only was Bryant sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken foot, but Tony Romo broke his collarbone (two times). When healthy, however, Bryant is one of the most dominant receivers in the league and only Rob Gronkowski has more receiving touchdowns than Bryant (53) since 2011.

7. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville JaguarsBreaking out in his second season, Robinson finished with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and scored the fourth-most fantasy points among wide receivers. In his final 12 games of the season, Robinson finished with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown (or more) in every game. Leading the NFL in 20-yard receptions (31), Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season. By all accounts, Robinson looks even better going into his age-23 season.

8. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay PackersTearing his ACL in one knee and dealing with tendinitis in the other, Nelson has been activated off the PUP list, but there are obviously some injury concerns going into the season. Nelson may not finish with a stat line comparable to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13), but he is a top-eight receiver for me heading into 2016 assuming he's ready for the start of the year.

9. Brandon Marshall, New York JetsIn all but two games last season, Marshall had either 100 yards and/or a touchdown (or more) as he set a career high in touchdowns (14) and nearly missed a career high with 1,502 yards. In fact, it was the first time since Randy Moss (2003) that a receiver had at least 109/1,502/14 and only the fifth time in NFL history. Repeating last year's numbers seems unlikely, but Marshall should finish with 100 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns.

10. Amari Cooper, Oakland RaidersCooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, but he finished with 20 yards or less in four of his final seven games. If he weren't battling a foot injury down the stretch, Cooper's rookie campaign would have been even better. With the second-year receiver at full strength now, however, I expect bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

11. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay BuccaneersAlthough he set career highs of 74 catches for 1,206 yards, Evans had just three touchdowns (after 12 as a rookie) and led the league in drops. Not only will he benefit from the continued development of Jameis Winston, but the 23-year-old receiver has shed 10-15 pounds this offseason and has a chance to post markedly better numbers in 2016.

12. Keenan Allen, San Diego ChargersPlaying only eight games last season, Allen hauled in 67 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns -- or a full-season pace of 134/1,450/8. Before sustaining his kidney injury, only Julio Jones (70) had more catches and only Jones (892) and DeAndre Hopkins (870) had more receiving yards than Allen. If he can stay healthy, the 24-year-old receiver should rank near the top of the league in targets and catches in 2016.

13. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago BearsIn an injury-marred 2015 season, Jeffery averaged 6.0 catches and 89.7 yards per game, both of which were career highs. Missing six-plus games in two of his four NFL seasons, Jeffery should finish as a top-10 fantasy receiver if he can stay healthy for a full season.

14. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis ColtsA top-10 fantasy receiver in 2014, Hilton disappointed fantasy owners with only 1,124 yards and five touchdowns, but Andrew Luck missed nine games. Through the first seven games, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.

15. Demaryius Thomas, Denver BroncosWith 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons, Thomas had 105 catches for 1,304 yards and six touchdowns in 2015. While the team's quarterback situation is less than ideal, which may cap Thomas' upside, Peyton Manning posted a 9-to-17 TD-INT ratio last season. In other words, there is a good chance that DT posts at least comparable numbers to 2015.

16. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans SaintsThe breakout may not have been as great as some had expected, but Cooks finished the season with a productive stat line of 84/1,138/9 as he became the youngest (22) 1,000-yard receiver in Saints history. In fact, he became the first Saints wide receiver to reach the 1,000-yard mark since Marques Colston in 2012. (Tight end Jimmy Graham exceeded 1,000 yards in 2013.) Eight of Cooks' touchdowns came in the final nine games and three of his four 100-yard games happened in December so the speedster carries plenty of momentum into his age-23 season.

17. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo BillsNot only did Watkins have at least 80 yards in his final six games, but he exceeded 100 yards in four of those games. During that six-game span, Watkins caught 35 of 57 targets for 679 yards (19.4 Y/A) and six touchdowns. Watkins (foot) is expected to be removed from the active/PUP list soon, which is obviously a good sign a month ahead of the regular-season opener against the Ravens.

18. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis ColtsIn his sophomore campaign, Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), the 23-year-old has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

19. Randall Cobb, Green Bay PackersThrough the first three games of the season, it was so far, so good with Cobb, who had hauled in 20 receptions for 245 and four touchdowns. From there on out, however, Cobb disappointed his fantasy owners. Over the final 13 games, Cobb averaged 47.85 YFS per game and scored only two touchdowns. With Nelson back as the team's No. 1 receiver, however, it should take defensive attention off Cobb and lead to improved 2016 production.

20. DeVante Parker, Miami DolphinsThe 2015 first-round pick out of Louisville, Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season. During that six-game span, Parker amassed a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that stretch. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

- Continue to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football WR Rankings: 21-40

- 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Wide Receiver Rankings

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Good luck in your 2016 fantasy football league(s)!

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August 24, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings

Here are my updated 2016 fantasy football running back rankings:

1. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Injuries finally led to Johnson getting a shot at the featured role, but the third-rounder out of Northern Iowa had been productive in limited opportunities before that. Johnson scored a total of 13 touchdowns -- eight rushing, four receiving and one return -- on only 161 touches last season. Finishing as a top-five weekly performer in three of his five starts, Johnson could lead all running backs in fantasy points in 2016.

2. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Should you draft Gurley first overall? Well, if you ask Gurley, you should. Although Gurley shouldn't be the first player off the board in fantasy drafts (Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown should), you could argue that he should be the first running back off the board. Despite missing the first three games of last season, Gurley finished third in the NFL with 1,106 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Despite running behind a poor offensive line with a rookie quarterback (at some point) under center, Gurley will be one more year removed from his torn ACL and could lead the league in rush attempts in 2016.

3. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
Perennially under-involved in Miami's offense, Miller has been highly productive on a per-touch basis. Despite his modest workload (194 carries, 18th-most in 2015), Miller scored the sixth-most fantasy points last year and has now finished as a top-10 fantasy running back in back-to-back seasons. Given the change of scenery, Miller is poised for a huge jump in workload as the new lead back in Houston. Since Bill O'Brien has taken over as coach, only the Seahawks (1,025) have run the ball more than the Texans (1,023).

4. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
After sitting out virtually all of the 2014 season, Peterson led the NFL in carries (327), rushing yards (1,485) and rushing touchdowns (11). The Vikings will continue to ride AP as their workhorse. Despite his superhuman physical traits, the only concern is that he turned 31 years old in March, but I have Peterson projected for the second-most touches (328) behind only LA's Todd Gurley (332).

5. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Elliott is a complete back with the vision, power and speed to excel as a runner and he possesses soft hands as a receiver. In addition, Elliott is also outstanding in pass protection, which tends to limit rookie playing time. From a fantasy football perspective, Elliott could not have ended up in a better situation. With the skill set to be a true three-down back, he gets to run behind the NFL's best offensive line. Provided Tony Romo and Dez Bryant stay healthy to keep opposing defenses honest, Zeke has the upside to finish as fantasy's overall RB1 in 2016.

6. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Injuries at the position are obviously a huge risk with any running back and Bell missed a huge chunk of last season due to both injury and suspension. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, Bell is suspended three games (cut from four games) to start the 2016 season. A highly productive, true three-down back on the field, Bell has 510 touches -- 403 carries and 107 receptions -- for 2,907 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns in 22 games over the past two seasons. That averages out to 23.18 touches, 132.14 YFS and 0.64 touchdowns -- or more than 17 (standard) fantasy points -- per game. In other words, Bell should lead all running backs in fantasy points on a per-game basis.

7. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Coming off a second torn ACL (right knee this time) in four seasons, Charles has begun camp on the active/PUP list but remains on track for Week 1. In his five games last season, Charles averaged 18.4 touches, 108.2 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown per game. While Charles has never averaged less than 5.0 yards per carry, it's fair to project a slightly reduced workload given the other capable backs on the roster.

8. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
While few (read: nobody) saw it coming, no running back scored more fantasy points in 2015 than Freeman. Not only did Freeman rush for more than 1,000 yards, but he hauled in 73 catches, third-most among running backs, for 578 yards, and scored a total of 14 touchdowns last season. While he's shown a three-down skill set, the Falcons want to lower Freeman's workload and get second-year back Tevin Coleman more involved in the offense in 2016.

9. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After two injury-plagued and disappointing campaigns, Martin exceeded the value of his 2015 draft slot and finished second to only Adrian Peterson for the 2015 NFL rushing title. With 1,673 YFS and seven touchdowns last season, Martin should rank near the top of the league in workload and production provided he can stay healthy.

10. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Totaling 3,001 yards from scrimmage with 24 total touchdowns in his first two seasons, Lacy disappointed fantasy owners with less than 1,000 YFS and just five total touchdowns. Ceding more work than expected to James Starks last season, Lacy has shed weight this offseason and a fitter version is poised to bounce back as he enters a contract season.

11. Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders
Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307), but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). Rookie DeAndre Washington may cut into Murray's workload some, but the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines and their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows when it comes to running the football. In addition, Del Rio has said that he wants Murray to get more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

12. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
The biggest issue with Ingram has been durability. The 26-year-old back has missed three or more games in four of five seasons including four games in 2015. Over the past two seasons, however, Ingram has averaged 18.84 touches, 91.32 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. Despite playing just 12 games, Ingram still finished as fantasy's RB15 (RB10 in PPR) in 2015.

13. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
Missing four games in his first season with the Bills, McCoy averaged nearly 20 touches (19.58/G) and 100 YFS (98.92/G) per game. Assuming good health, McCoy should rank near the top of the league leaders in usage and YFS in 2016 for the run-heavy Bills.

14. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
Drafted as a late first-round pick in many 2015 fantasy drafts, Anderson started slowly and spent much of the season in a timeshare with Ronnie Hillman. In the second half of the season, however, CJA was much better than both his first half and Hillman. Starting with Week 8, Anderson carried the ball 85 times for 540 yards (6.35 YPC) and five touchdowns.

15. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
A stress fracture in his foot limited Hyde to just seven games last season, but he should benefit from playing in an up-tempo, run-heavy Chip Kelly offense. With Kelly as head coach, the Eagles are one of seven NFL teams with 1,400-plus rush attempts over the past three seasons. Provided he stays healthy, Hyde has a plenty of upside in 2016.

16. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
Disappointing fantasy owners in 2015, Hill's rushing yards dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) in 2014 to 794 (3.6 YPC) in 2015. That said, he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect similar efficiency as his rookie season, but I do expect to see a bit of a bounce-back from the 235-pound Hill.

17. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy owners have seen a glimpse of what life could be like with Rawls as the full-time starter. In the six games that he has started and finished, Rawls had four 100-yard rushing games while averaging 118.67 rushing yards per game and 5.65 yards per carry. Rawls (ankle) began training camp on the active/PUP list, but he has been activated from the PUP list and should be ready for the start of the season.

18. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans
After leading the NFL in rushing (1,845 yards) in 2014 and signing a large free-agent deal with the Eagles, Murray rushed for only 702 yards in 2015 and set career lows in YPG (46.8) and YPC (3.6). If things go according to (the coaching staff's) plan, Murray will get the largest workload share of a run-heavy offense. So far, both Murray and second-round rookie Derrick Henry have looked good in the preseason.

19. Matt Forte, New York Jets
One of the most versatile running backs in the league, Forte turned 30 in December and signed as a free agent with the Jets this offseason. Even though he missed three games last season, Forte averaged close to 100 yards -- 69.1 rushing and 29.9 receiving -- per game in 2015. Forte won't dominate touches in the Jets' backfield the way he did in Chicago, but he's a solid RB2 in 2016.

20. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 12th-most (14th in PPR) fantasy points among running backs last season. With a healthy Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

- Continue to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football RB Rankings: 21-40

- Go back to 2016 Preseason Fantasy Football RB Rankings: 1-20

- 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Running Back Rankings

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 1 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 1
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.01 - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: The consensus top receiver in fantasy, Brown is as safe and productive as it gets. While he set career highs of 136 catches and 1,834 yards, Brown's numbers may have been even better had Ben Roethlisberger not missed time last season. Brown averaged 9.92/133.25/0.83 per game in the 12 games Big Ben played -- that's equivalent to a full-season pace of 159/2,132/13.

[Poll: Will it be a record-setting season for Brown?]

2.12 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Although he set career highs of 74 catches for 1,206 yards, Evans had just three touchdowns (after 12 as a rookie) and led the league in drops. Not only will he benefit from the continued development of Jameis Winston, but the 23-year-old receiver has shed 10-15 pounds this offseason and has a chance to post markedly better numbers in 2016.

3.01 - Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers: Playing only eight games last season, Allen hauled in 67 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns -- or a full-season pace of 134/1,450/8. Before sustaining his kidney injury, only Julio Jones (70) had more catches and only Jones (892) and DeAndre Hopkins (870) had more receiving yards than Allen. If he can stay healthy, the 24-year-old receiver should rank near the top of the league in targets and catches in 2016.

4.12 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Disappointing fantasy owners in 2015, Hill's rushing yards dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) in 2014 to 794 (3.6 YPC) in 2015. That said, he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect similar efficiency as his rookie season, but I do expect to see a bit of a bounce-back from the 235-pound Hill.

5.01 - Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: In his sophomore campaign, Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), the 23-year-old has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season provided Andrew Luck stays healthy.

6.12 - Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers: Failing to score a touchdown on 217 touches and averaging just 3.48 YPC, Gordon disappointed fantasy owners as a rookie. Provided MG3 stays healthy, it shouldn't be difficult for things to go better for Gordon in year two.

7.01 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season. During that six-game span, Parker amassed a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that stretch. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

8.12 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: For the first time in his career, Jennings played all 16 games and posted career highs in both carries (195) and rushing yards (863). Racking up 419 YFS in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note and it's clear that he will enter the season as the lead back. With that said, he turned 31 in March and has historically struggled with durability.

9.01 - Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: Only four running backs had more receptions than Johnson (61) had as a rookie last season. Better in PPR formats (RB23 in 2015), Johnson still managed to finish as a top-35 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats as well. In my 2016 projections, I have Johnson (216 touches) edging Isaiah Crowell (214) in usage.

10.12 - Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even with Doug Martin rushing for more than 1,400 yards, Sims finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015. While his ceiling is capped if Martin stays healthy for a full season once again, something Martin has only done once in the past three years, it wouldn't surprise me if Sims comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs.

11.01 - Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions: In his second season, Ebron finished with 47 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns. It was an up-and-down year, but he finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in half of his 14 games played. Following Megatron's retirement, the former top-10 pick should be more involved in the passing game and could finish as a top-12 fantasy tight end provided he stays healthy.

12.12 - Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2016. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a back-end QB1 with upside.

13.01 - Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. Cousins is set up for success with a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group — and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).

14.12 - Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: With just one catch in six games as a rookie, Coates is poised for an expanded role due to Martavis Bryant's full-season suspension. As a vertical threat possessing outstanding physical traits, Coates had a buzz-filled offseason and training camp. The preseason hasn't gone as smoothly for the potential breakout receiver. Getting him this late in the mock as my WR6, he is a low-risk, high-reward option for my team.

15.01 - Houston Texans DST

16.12 - Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings

- View full mock draft results here

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2016 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings


We are just 15 days away from the regular-season opener and Super Bowl rematch between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

Here are my updated top 25 fantasy quarterbacks for the 2016 NFL season:

1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

The top-scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015, Newton threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. Newton has now finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in four of his five NFL seasons. No quarterback has more weekly upside than the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player as he finished as the weekly QB1 in five of his final nine games in 2015.


2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

The loss of Jordy Nelson (ACL) for the season hurt the offense in general and Rodgers' production in particular. Rodgers completed 60.7 percent of his attempts for just 6.7 Y/A, both of which were lows since becoming a starter (2008). Before this season, however, Rodgers finished as the QB1 or QB2 in all full seasons as a starter and should finish as a top-two performer in 2016 with good health from the team's passing-game weapons.


3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

After a slow start, Wilson's production spiked down the stretch as he once again finished the full season as fantasy's QB3. Not only did Wilson rush for 500-plus yards for a third consecutive season, he finished with career-best passing numbers — 4,024 yards, 34 touchdowns, 68.1 completion percentage and 110.1 passer rating. Perhaps the Seahawks throw a bit more following Marshawn Lynch's retirement, but the dual-threat Wilson should at least finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback once again.


4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

It was a lost season for Luck, who missed more games (nine) than he played (seven) in 2015. And when he was on the field, he was (much) less than 100 percent for many of those games. In addition to being in a high-volume passing offense, Luck benefits from his dual-threat abilities as he rushed for 255-plus yards per year with a total of 12 touchdowns in his first three seasons. With better health in 2016, I expect a bounce-back season and a top-four fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback.


5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Even without Jimmy Graham last year, Brees averaged 324.7 yards per game, which was the second-highest of his career. Brees has averaged more than 320 yards per game in four of five seasons with a minimum of 32 passing scores for eight consecutive seasons. If it weren't for a missed game early in the season, Brees would have finished with his fifth 5,000-yard season of his career. Since becoming a Saint in 2006, Brees has finished as a top-six fantasy QB every year (10 seasons).


6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

With 661 pass attempts (previous career high: 582), Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game and threw 29 touchdowns despite multi-game absences by his top-two pass-catchers -- Keenan Allen (played eight games) and Antonio Gates (11 games). Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers offers plenty of upside at his current ADP to those who wait to draft a QB.


7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

For a second consecutive season, Big Ben has led the NFL in passing yards per game (328.2/G in 2015). Even with the full-season suspension of Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger has top-five upside provided he can stay healthy for 16 games. That said, Roethlisberger has now missed at least three games in half of his past six seasons.


8. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Despite his four-game suspension to start the season, Brady should finish as a top-five (or better) quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game. Scoring more fantasy points than every quarterback not named Cam Newton last season, Brady threw for 4,770 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns in 2015. Given the depth at QB (at least in terms of fantasy), pairing Brady with a high-upside QB2 is certainly a viable strategy for fantasy owners in 2016.


9. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Palmer set career highs in passing yards (4,671, fourth-most in the NFL) and passing touchdowns (35, second-most) in 2015 as the Cardinals led the NFL in total offense and finished second in scoring offense. With a talented trio of wide receivers in addition to one of the league's best young running backs, Palmer should finish as a top-10 fantasy QB with the upside to once again finish as a top-five fantasy QB. Through Week 16, Palmer threw for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in all but two games last season.


10. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

In his second season, Bortles threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions and ran for 310 yards and two more scores. Bortles needs to cut down on the turnovers and he's unlikely to throw another 35 touchdowns, but he was consistent in terms of fantasy production last year. Finishing with the fourth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks, Bortles was a top-10 weekly performer 10 times last season.


11. Eli Manning, New York Giants

For a second consecutive season, Manning finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In both seasons, Manning threw 600-plus times and exceeded 4,400-plus yards while throwing a total of 65 touchdowns. With one of the league's most dynamic players as his go-to receiver, Eli could finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for a third straight season.


12. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2016. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a back-end QB1 with upside.


13. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. Cousins is set up for success with a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group — and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).


14. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill has thrown for 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons and 24-plus touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. In addition, he's averaged 225 rushing yards per season over his career. Over the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively. With Adam Gase taking over as head coach (and Peyton Manning helping him learn the offense), Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.


15. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As a rookie, Winston threw for more than 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for another six scores and finished the season as fantasy's QB13. From a fantasy perspective, Winston was incrediby consistent as he never finished with less than 12 fantasy points in any week. Going into his second season, Winston is a high-upside QB2.


16. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Before sustaining a thumb injury that essentially ended his season, Dalton was having a career-best year: 106.2 passer rating, 66.1 completion percentage, 8.4 Y/A and 25:7 TD-to-INT ratio. While Dalton is healthy again, the loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and several of his top weapons from 2015 means it's unlikely that he performs at that pace once again. That said, he goes into 2016 as a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 option.


17. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

Typical for a rookie quarterback, Mariota had an up-and-down season, but he finished as a top-six weekly fantasy quarterback in one-third (four) of his 12 games played. No team allowed more sacks than the Titans (54) last year, but they upgraded their offensive line this offseason. With better protection from his line and a full offseason of development under his belt, the dual-threat quarterback has plenty of upside entering 2016 especially if he runs more often.


18. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

Averaging 8.0 Y/A and posting a 20:6 TD-INT ratio, Taylor averaged a mere 27.14 pass attempts per game. More than likely, the Bills will once again rank near the bottom of the league in pass attempts, but Taylor is a high-upside QB2 due to his rushing ability. Finishing as a top-10 weekly fantasy quarterback in half of his 14 starts in 2015, Taylor rushed for 568 yards and four touchdowns in his first year as an NFL starter.


19. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

After an incredibly slow start, things turned up for Stafford, who finished as fantasy's QB9 in 2015. Through the first five games, Stafford averaged just 11.12 fantasy points per game and posted a 6-to-8 TD-INT ratio. In his final 11 games (most of which were with Jim Bob Cooter as coordinator), Stafford averaged 21.29 fantasy points per game and posted a 26-to-5 TD-INT ratio. During that 11-game stretch, Stafford finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback seven times. While Stafford has the most generous fantasy schedule (on paper), he lost Calvin Johnson to retirement this offseason.


20. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan has thrown for more than 4,500 yards in each of the past four seasons, but Ryan's 21 passing touchdowns were the lowest since his rookie season (2008). After finishing as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons, Ryan finished as fantasy's QB19 in 2015. If there's a positive for Ryan going into 2016, it's that he should feel more comfortable with a full season of running Kyle Shanahan's offense under his belt.


21. Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns

Going into the 2016 NFL season, few starting quarterbacks have a wider range of possible outcomes than RG3. With more scout team reps at safety than pass attempts last season, Griffin was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 when he finished as a top-five fantasy QB. While a top-five (or even top-12) finish would be an unrealistic expectation, a fresh start in a new city with a QB-friendly head coach is certainly a positive for RG3 and his outlook.


22. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

What's worse than breaking your collar bone? Breaking it twice. Not only did Romo break his collar bone twice last season, but he had surgery in March. If he (and Dez Bryant) can stay healthy, Romo could finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. Then again, I expect the Cowboys to utilize a run-heavy attack similar to two seasons ago when Romo finished as only fantasy's QB11 despite having his most efficient season ever (69.9 completion percentage and 34:9 TD-to-INT ratio). On a positive note, Romo has a favorable fantasy strength of schedule -- 2nd-most favorable on paper to only Matthew Stafford and the Lions.


23. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Injuries at wide receiver limited Cutler's fantasy production, but he still completed 64.4 percent of his pass attempts (second-most in his career) and averaged a career-high 7.6 Y/A. The team's top-three wide receivers -- Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal -- played a total of 18 games last season. Not surprisingly, Cutler averaged more than three fantasy points per game more with Jeffery (16.41/G) than he did without him (13.13/G). With a healthy supporting cast, Cutler should at least finish as a top-20 fantasy quarterback with top-12 upside.


24. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets

Despite all of the uncertainty about his status for the season, Fitzpatrick re-signed with the Jets on a one-year deal worth $12 million. Fitzpatrick has had his most productive seasons in a Chan Gailey offense and he threw a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes last year in his first season with the Jets.


25. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Despite missing six games due to a torn ACL, Flacco had six games with 40-plus pass attempts -- only Drew Brees (10), Eli Manning (eight), Philip Rivers (eight) and Matt Ryan (seven) had more such games. While I don't expect Flacco to sling it 41.3 times per game, like last year, his supporting cast -- when at full strength -- is better than he's had over the past few seasons. (Of course, the group isn't yet at full strength, though.) And prior to last season, he had finished as a top-16 fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons. In other words, he's a solid, if not spectacular, QB2 going into 2016.

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August 22, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 6 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 6
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, 2 Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.06 - David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Injuries finally led to Johnson getting a shot at the featured role, but the third-rounder out of Northern Iowa had been productive in limited opportunities before that. Johnson scored a total of 13 touchdowns -- eight rushing, four receiving and one return -- on only 161 touches last season. Finishing as a top-five weekly performer in three of his five starts, Johnson could lead all running backs in fantasy points in 2016.

2.07 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Tearing his ACL in one knee and dealing with tendinitis in the other, Nelson has been activated off the PUP list, but there are obviously some injury concerns going into the season. Nelson may not finish with a stat line comparable to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13), but he is a top-eight receiver for me heading into 2016 assuming he's ready for the start of the year.

3.06 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, but he finished with 20 yards or less in four of his final seven games. If he weren't battling a foot injury down the stretch, Cooper's rookie campaign would have been even better. With the second-year receiver at full strength now, however, I expect bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

4.07 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Disappointing fantasy owners in 2015, Hill's rushing yards dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) in 2014 to 794 (3.6 YPC) in 2015. That said, he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect similar efficiency as his rookie season, but I do expect to see a bit of a bounce-back from the 235-pound Hill.

5.06 - Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: In his sophomore campaign, Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), the 23-year-old has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

Moncrief appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in Fantasy Football Drafts

6.07 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season. During that six-game span, Parker amassed a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that stretch. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

7.06 - Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: Only four running backs had more receptions than Johnson (61) had as a rookie last season. Better in PPR formats (RB23 in 2015), Johnson still managed to finish as a top-35 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats as well. In my 2016 projections, I have Johnson (216 touches) edging Isaiah Crowell (214) in usage.

8.07 - Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions: Better in the second half (4.7 YPC) than he was in the first half (3.6 YPC), Abdullah has some breakout potential as he sits atop the team's depth chart heading into his second season. While no team ran the ball on a lower percentage of their plays last season, the Lions plan to be more balanced on offense this season.

9.06 - Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even with Doug Martin rushing for more than 1,400 yards, Sims finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015. While his ceiling is capped if Martin stays healthy for a full season once again, something he's only done once in the past three years, it wouldn't surprise me if he comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs.

10.07 - Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots: Even though Gronk is ahead of him on the depth chart, Bennett is a low-end TE1/high-end TE2 heading into his first season in Foxboro as the Patriots will likely use plenty of two-TE sets with the duo. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end with Gronk out.

11.06 - Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2016. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a back-end QB1 with upside.

12.07 - Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers: In spite of poor quarterback play in Cleveland, Benjamin broke out with a 68/966/5 season. With better weapons on San Diego's roster, Benjamin may be third (or even fourth) in line for targets, but the improvement in quarterback play should allow Benjamin to come close to his 2015 numbers even if he falls a little short.

13.06 - Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos: The Broncos used a fourth-round pick on Booker and the rookie brings plenty of confidence to the team's backfield. "I’m not there to carry pads, I’m there to take someone’s job," Booker said. While he may not "take" C.J. Anderson's job, Booker is the Broncos running back to own (after CJA).

14.07 - Los Angeles Rams D/ST

15.06 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Over the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively. With Adam Gase taking over as head coach (and Peyton Manning helping him learn the offense), Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.

16.07 - Chandler Catanzaro, K, Arizona Cardinals

- View full mock draft results here

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August 21, 2016

Fantasy Football ADP: Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers in Average Draft Position

Every Sunday this offseason, we will 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 Risers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBTyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-1.7 (120.0 on 8/14; 118.3 on 8/21)
-1.7 (130.0 on 8/14; 128.3 on 8/21)
RBChristine Michael, Seattle Seahawks-33.0 (155.5 on 8/14; 122.5 on 8/21)
WRDevin Funchess, Carolina Panthers-15.0 (137.0 on 8/14; 122.0 on 8/21)
TEMartellus Bennett, New England Patriots-12.8 (135.2 on 8/14; 122.4 on 8/21)


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

Biggest Risers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBTyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills-1.42% (120.0 on 8/14; 118.3 on 8/21)
RBChristine Michael, Seattle Seahawks-21.22% (155.5 on 8/14; 122.5 on 8/21)
WROdell Beckham, New York Giants-14.71% (3.4 on 8/14; 2.9 on 8/21)
TEMartellus Bennett, New England Patriots-9.47% (135.2 on 8/14; 122.4 on 8/21)

Biggest Fallers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBMatt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons+5.2 (132.8 on 8/14; 138.0 on 8/21)
RBC.J. Prosise, Seattle Seahawks+29.9 (114.9 on 8/14; 144.8 on 8/21)
WRDorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles+13.4 (135.7 on 8/14; 149.1 on 8/21)
TELadarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers+45.7 (96.7 on 8/14; 142.4 on 8/21)

Biggest Fallers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBBen Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers+6.51% (63.0 on 8/14; 67.1 on 8/21)
RBC.J. Prosise, Seattle Seahawks+26.02% (114.9 on 8/14; 144.8 on 8/21)
WRJulio Jones, Atlanta Falcons+24.24% (3.3 on 8/14; 4.1 on 8/21)
TELadarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers+47.26% (96.7 on 8/14; 142.4 on 8/21)

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

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August 20, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 9 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • # of Teams:
  • Draft Slot:
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.09 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: One of the best young talents in the NFL, Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation last season, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

2.04 - Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: It was a disappointing season for Dez and the Cowboys. Not only was Bryant sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken foot, but Tony Romo broke his collarbone (two times). When healthy, however, Bryant is one of the most dominant receivers in the league and only Rob Gronkowski has more receiving touchdowns than Bryant (53) since 2011.

3.09 - Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders: Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307), but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). The Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines and their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows when it comes to their commitment to running the football.

4.04 - Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: Dominant in the 2015 fantasy playoffs, Reed finished as the weekly TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 as he hauled in a total of 25 catches for 333 yards and five touchdowns during that three-game stretch. Durability is the obvious concern with Reed, but I expect him to average the second-most fantasy points per game at the position behind Gronk.

5.09 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Disappointing fantasy owners in 2015, Hill's rushing yards dropped from 1,124 (5.1 YPC) in 2014 to 794 (3.6 YPC) in 2015. That said, he did score a total of 12 touchdowns. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect similar efficiency as his rookie season, but I do expect to see a bit of a bounce-back from the 235-pound Hill.

6.04 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed his rookie season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games. During that six-game span, Parker amassed a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that stretch. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

7.09 - Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals: Palmer set career highs in passing yards (4,671, fourth-most in the NFL) and passing touchdowns (35, second-most) in 2015 as the Cardinals led the NFL in total offense and finished second in scoring offense. With a talented trio of wide receivers in addition to one of the league's best young running backs, Palmer should finish as a top-10 fantasy QB with the upside to once again finish as a top-five fantasy QB. Through Week 16, Palmer threw for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in all but two games last season.

8.04 - Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: Only four running backs had more receptions than Johnson (61) had as a rookie last season. Better in PPR formats (RB23 in 2015), Johnson still managed to finish as a top-35 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats as well. Johnson should see a larger percentage of the workload split in 2016.

9.09 - Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Smith is coming off a career-worst season -- 33 catches, 663 yards and four touchdowns all set or tied career lows -- even though he led the NFL in yards per reception (20.1). Not only does he become the No. 1 receiver in an offense that should rank in the top 10 in the league in number of plays, the 49ers are underdogs in every game from Weeks 1 to 16 (based on odds from sportsbook.ag) so there could be plenty of garbage-time production for Smith.

10.04 - Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even with Doug Martin rushing for more than 1,400 yards, Sims finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015. While his ceiling is capped if Martin stays healthy for a full season once again, something he's only done once in the past three years, it wouldn't surprise me if he comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs.

11.09 - Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Aiken had 75 catches for 944 yards in 2015 and it wouldn't surprise me if Aiken ends 2016 as the team's most productive fantasy receiver once again.

12.04 - Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots: Bennett is a low-end TE1/high-end TE2 heading into his first season in Foxboro as the Patriots will likely use plenty of two-TE sets. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end with Gronk out.

13.09 - Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans: Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews was on pace for 69/1,059/6. While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, I expect him to be the team's most productive fantasy receiver, especially now that Dorial Green-Beckham has been traded to the Eagles.

14.04 - Houston Texans D/ST

15.09 - Christine Michael RB, Seattle Seahawks: Following the retirement of Marshawn Lynch, the team drafted a trio of running backs, but Michael seems to be the favorite for the second-largest role behind Thomas Rawls. Referring to Rawls and Michael, coach Pete Carroll described the duo as a "little 1-2 punch that we are really excited about.'' Michael has always possessed elite physical tools, but it appears that his maturity and leadership are starting to catch up to his athleticism.

16.04 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

- View full mock draft results here

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August 19, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football PPR 2-QB Mock Draft: 10 teams, No. 5 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: 2-QB league with point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • # of Teams: 10
  • Draft Slot: 5
  • Roster Setup: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.05 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: With my top-two QBs (Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers) off the board, Jones, who second-ranked player overall, fell to me at No. 5. Jones led the NFL in targets (204), receptions (136) and yards (1,871) last season.

2.06 - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: A complete back, Elliott could not have ended up in a better situation from a fantasy perspective. Running behind the league's best offensive line in a run-heavy scheme, Zeke has the upside to finish as fantasy's overall RB1 in 2016.

3.05 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Keenan Allen, who missed the final eight games; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers offers plenty of upside to those who wait to draft a QB.

4.06 - Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Recently activated from the PUP list, Charles (ACL) averaged 18.4 touches, 108.2 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown per game in his five games last season. While Charles has never averaged less than 5.0 yards per carry, it's fair to project a slightly reduced workload given the other capable backs on the roster. Even so, he's a great value as my RB2 in the fourth round.

5.05 - Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins: A better PPR option (WR8 in 2015), Landry hauled in a franchise-record 110 receptions for 1,157 receiving yards with 113 rushing yards and a total of six touchdowns.

6.06 - Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: Dominant in the 2015 fantasy playoffs, Reed finished as the weekly TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 with a 25/333/5 during that three-game stretch. Durability is the obvious concern with Reed, but I expect him to average the second-most fantasy points per game at the position behind Rob Gronkowski.

7.05 - Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), Moncrief has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his age-23 season.

8.06 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: No running back had more receptions (80) or receiving yards (755) than Woodhead, who totaled 1,091 YFS and nine touchdowns last season. Woodhead played just three games in 2014, but Woodhead has finished as a top-24 fantasy running back in each of his past three full seasons. In fact, he finished as a top-10 fantasy running back (RB3 in PPR behind only Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson) in 2015.

9.05 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Part of a platoon with Jeremy Hill, Bernard finished as the RB16 in PPR formats last season. In his three seasons, Bernard has averaged 213.33 touches (including 49.33 receptions) and 1,146.67 YFS per season. Another season with 200 touches, 50 receptions and 1,000-plus YFS is likely for Bernard, who offers plenty of value in Round 9.

10.06 - Ryan Tannehill, WR, Miami Dolphins: One of favorite QB2 options in 2-QB leagues, Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively. The coaching change (Gase) and potential breakout for DeVante Parker gives Tannehill sneaky top-12 fantasy upside. Despite his QB22 ADP, he's my 13th-ranked fantasy QB in 2016.

11.05 - Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Dangerous as a returner, Lockett became more involved in the team's offense in the second half of his rookie season. While he had a couple of return scores early in the season, all six of his receiving scores occurred in the final 10 games of the season. Lockett should improve upon his rookie receiving numbers (51/664/6) in 2016.

12.06 - Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets: Powell was a PPR machine down the stretch as he finished as a top-25 weekly PPR performer in five of his final six games, which included three top-eight finishes. In fact, he was the RB4 in PPR over that six-game span. Even with the free-agent addition of Matt Forte, Powell has plenty of upside here.

13.05 - Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears: The team's top-three wide receivers played a total of 18 games last season. Not surprisingly, Cutler averaged more than three fantasy points per game more with Alshon Jeffery (16.41/G) than he did without him (13.13/G). With a healthy supporting cast, Cutler should at least finish as a top-20 fantasy quarterback with top-12 upside (despite the loss of Gase).

14.06 - Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants: The Giants used a top-40 pick on Shepard, who should be the No. 2 option behind Odell Beckham. I could see Shepard finishing with 60-plus catches as a rookie.

15.05 - Tavon Austin, WR, Los Angeles Rams: Finishing as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver (WR27 in PPR) in 2015, Austin should lead the team's weak receiving corps in fantasy production once again even if he doesn't double his receptions total as Fisher has suggested.

16.06 - Minnesota Vikings D/ST

17.05 - Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers

- View full mock draft results here

Complete your own mock drafts for free on our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator page.

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August 18, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 16 teams, No. 3 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 16
  • Draft Slot: 3
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.03 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Leading the NFL in targets (204), receptions (136, tied with Antonio Brown) and yards (1,871) last season, Jones has averaged more than 100 YPG in each of the past three seasons.

2.14 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Through the first seven games last season, Hilton had 606 receiving yards -- only five wideouts had more. Provided Andrew Luck stays healthy, Hilton is poised for a bounce-back season and has top-10 upside.

3.03 - Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers: A stress fracture in his foot limited Hyde to just seven games last season, but he should benefit from playing in an up-tempo, run-heavy Chip Kelly offense. Provided he stays healthy, Hyde has a plenty of upside in 2016.

4.14 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 12th-most fantasy points among running backs last season. With a healthy Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

5.03 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season. During that six-game span, he scored the 18th-most WR fantasy points with a 22/445/3 stat line and brings plenty of breakout potential into 2016.

DeVante Parker 2016 Fantasy Football Profile

6.14 - Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: Thomas should post much better numbers in 2016 and be a major red-zone factor for the Jags provided he can stay healthy, but he has missed multiple games in each of his three seasons as a starter.

7.03 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game and threw 29 touchdowns despite multi-game absences by his top-two pass-catchers -- Keenan Allen (played eight games) and Antonio Gates (11 games). Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady.

8.14 - Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans: Joining DeMarco Murray as the other half of their "exotic smashmouth" backfield, Henry possesses great speed for his size (6-3, 247). Both backs looked great in the preseason opener, but Henry could see his role expand as the season progresses if Murray struggles for whatever reason.

9.03 - Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers: Starting slowly as a rookie, Funchess scored five touchdowns in the final nine games and his best performance (7/120/1) happened in Week 17. Positive momentum has carried over into the offseason program and training camp for the second-year receiver.

Related: Funchess was on my list of late-round fantasy football sleepers for 2016

10.14 - Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos: After being drafted, Booker said: "I’m not there to carry pads, I’m there to take someone’s job." Booker said. While he won't "take" C.J. Anderson's job, Booker is the Broncos running back to own (after CJA).

11.03 - Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants: The bulk of Vereen's production comes as a receiver (59/495/4, all of which were receiving career highs), but he still finished as the RB38 in standard-scoring formats (RB27 in PPR) in 2015.

12.14 - Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Coach Marvin Lewis has recently said that "Tyler's exceeded my expectations of things." Consistently receiving praise this offseason and given the team's offseason turnover at receiver, the second-round rookie provides solid depth as my WR5.

13.03 - Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: With better protection from his line and a full offseason of development under his belt, Mariota has plenty of upside entering 2016 especially if he runs more often.

14.14 - Kansas City Chiefs D/ST

15.03 - Vance McDonald, TE, San Francisco 49ers: Over his final six games, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. Given the team's lack of offensive weapons, McDonald has the potential to pick up where he left off last season.

16.14 - Cairo Santos, K, Kansas City Chiefs

- View full mock draft results here

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2016 Fantasy Football Sleepers: 12 Players to Target After Round 10

Fantasy Football Sleeper.

That term lacks a clearly-defined shared meaning and you could certainly argue that "sleepers" don't even exist in today's era of instant information.

For purposes of this post, we will define sleepers as players being drafted (on average) beyond the 10th round of fantasy football drafts. In other words, the top-120 players in terms of Fantasy Football ADP are excluded from consideration.

To be clear, the players that appear on this list aren't the only players going in Round 11 (or later) that I like. And if you want to do who I would draft (over other players), check out my Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet.

With that said, here are 10 fantasy football sleepers to target in your fantasy football drafts (ADP via FantasyPros):

QB — Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 169, QB22)

Being drafted outside the top-20 fantasy quarterbacks (on average), Tannehill should easily outperform his current ADP. Excluding his rookie 2012 season, Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17 over the past three seasons, respectively.

Among the top-10 quarterbacks in passing yards (15,460, ninth-most) and rushing yards (901, eighth-most) since entering the league, Tannehill has thrown for 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons and 24-plus touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

Not only does Tannehill get a coaching upgrade with Gase and Peyton Manning as an occasional tutor, but I expect big things from second-year receiver DeVante Parker. While Tannehill is one of my favorite QB2 targets in 2-QB leagues, he has sneaky top-12 upside.

Tannehill also appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

RB — Bilal Powell, New York Jets (ADP: 126, RB44)

Complementing Chris Ivory well, Powell was a PPR machine down the stretch last season. Powell finished as a top-25 weekly PPR performer in five of his final six games, which included a trio of top-eight finishes. During that six-game stretch (Weeks 11 to 16), only three running backs scored more PPR fantasy points than Powell. He was the RB10 in standard formats over that same span.

Perhaps the biggest potential concern with Powell's 2016 outlook is that the Jets replaced Ivory, who signed with the Jags in free agency, with Matt Forte, who excels as a receiver (like Powell). Based on my Jets fantasy football projections, however, I believe both Forte (56) and Powell (51) could end up with 50-plus receptions in 2016.

With the Jets giving Powell a three-year, $11 million contract to return, some expect the split between between the two backs to be fairly even. I have the split projected to be 61/39, but even so, Powell offers upside from his current RB44 ADP.

RB — DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 160, RB55)

Latavius Murray is one of my favorite fantasy running backs heading into 2016 and he appeared on my undervalued players post (link above) earlier this offseason. But especially for Murray owners, it makes sense to handcuff him with the fifth-round rookie. Either way, Washington should get plenty of work as Murray's change-of-pace option.

Not the biggest back (5-8, 204), the Texas Tech product received high praise from GM Reggie McKenzie shortly after the draft: “We think he’s a complete back, and when he gets out in space, he can make you look silly. He can catch the ball, but he can run between the tackles as well as well as bouncing it outside. We think he’s the total package as a runner. We really like him.”

It's so far, so good for Washington. In his preseason debut, Washington carried the ball five times for 43 yards and added a 32-yard reception.

RB — Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (ADP: 195, RB57)

Who will be Baltimore's starting running back? Going into the season, it appears to be Justin Forsett, but it is certainly possible that another running back on the roster finishes as the team's top fantasy producer.

Shedding 15 pounds this offseason, West has generated plenty of buzz in training camp. ESPN's Jamison Hensley recently wrote, "West has been the No. 1 playmaker for the Baltimore offense so far this training camp. He's hitting holes, making cuts to elude tackles and producing big gains consistently."

Scoring a pair of touchdowns in the preseason opener and with some uncertainty in Baltimore's backfield, West is at least worth a late-round flier.

RB — Josh Ferguson, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 236, RB68)

An undrafted free agent the Colts reportedly considered drafting as early as Round 4, Ferguson has impressed the coaching staff throughout offseason workouts. Leading up to the NFL Draft, NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote the following about Ferguson:

"Ferguson's ability to change direction instantaneously and create explosive yardage as a runner or pass catcher could make him a dangerous weapon in the hands of the right NFL team. Ferguson has the hands and route running potential to be considered as a slot receiver option to go along with being a change of pace back."

Frank Gore has been a durable back despite his age, but Ferguson got the start with Gore resting the preseason opener. At a minimum, Ferguson should get plenty of opportunities as a change-of-pace option to Gore. Given Gore's age and cumulative workload and the lack of competition elsewhere on the roster, Ferguson has plenty of appeal as a late-round flyer in fantasy drafts this summer.

Related: 2016 Fantasy Football Profile for Frank Gore

RB — Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks (ADP: 230, RB64)

Following the retirement of Marshawn Lynch, the team drafted a trio of running backs, but Michael seems to be the favorite for the second-largest role behind Thomas Rawls. Referring to Rawls and Michael, coach Pete Carroll described the duo as a "little 1-2 punch that we are really excited about.''

After being re-signed by the Seahawks late last season, Michael had a few productive games at the end of the season (16/84 in Week 15, 17/102 in Week 17 and 21/70/1 in Wild Card playoff game). Michael has always possessed elite physical tools, but it appears that his maturity and leadership are starting to catch up to his athleticism.

WR — Bruce Ellington, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 209, WR70)

Ellington had just 13 catches for 153 yards last season, but he enters 2016 as the favorite for the team's No. 2 receiver job. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee recently wrote that Ellington "appears to be a major component and is in excellent position to be the 49ers’ breakout player on offense."

Meanwhile, CSN Bay Area named Ellington the team's "most improved" player in a mailbag post, in which they wrote the following about Ellington:

"With the 49ers apparently featuring a ball-control passing attack, Ellington has the short-area quickness to get open quickly out of the slot. He figures to be an easy pitch-and-catch option as the 49ers’ quarterback will try to get the ball out quickly against unblocked pass-rushers.

If Ellington can remain healthy, he has a chance to be a big factor in the return game and as a pass-catcher who could blow away his previous reception totals early in the season."

WR — Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (ADP: 161, WR60)

Will Devin Funchess score more fantasy points than Kelvin Benjamin? Probably not, but "it wouldn't surprise" ESPN Panthers reporter David Newton if Funchess outperformed Benjamin.

With Benjamin (ACL) missing all of 2015, Funchess began his rookie season slowly, but he built some momentum in the second half. Over the final nine games of the season, Funchess scored all five of his touchdowns and he saved his best performance for the final week of the season with a 7/120/1 line.

It's likely that Funchess finishes third on the team in targets behind Benjamin and Greg Olsen, but all reports indicate that his positive momentum has carried over from last season into the offseason and training camp. The second-year receiver should easily exceed his rookie production (31/473/5) and offers fantasy owners plenty of late-round value.

WR — Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: 156, WR54)

With just one catch in six games as a rookie, Coates is poised for an expanded role due to Martavis Bryant's full-season suspension. Earlier this offseason, OC Todd Haley said Coates was having a "tremendous offseason" and his positive momentum has carried into training camp.

It's possible that Markus Wheaton and/or Darrius Heyward-Bey score more fantasy points than Coates. At a minimum, Wheaton is currently ahead of Coates on the depth chart. But with Bryant suspended for the first five games last season as well, Wheaton failed to capitalize with a total of only nine catches during Bryant's five-game suspension.

As a vertical threat possessing outstanding physical traits, Coates will have plenty of weekly upside that will likely find his way into many of my DFS GPP lineups as well.

Coates was the past week's biggest weekly riser in Fantasy ADP (via FFC)

WR — Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (ADP: 142, WR52)

The nephew of Keyshawn Johnson, Thomas has a chance to make an immediate and fantasy-relevant contribution as a rookie. Underutilized at Ohio State, Thomas will step into a fairly prominent role in one of the most prolific passing offenses in the NFL. And early reports from training camp have been glowing. And the rookie wideout impressed in the preseason opener with four catches for 67 yards against the Patriots.

ESPN Saints beat reporter Mike Triplett wrote of Thomas: "The big, sure-handed, 6-3, 212-pounder should emerge as a red-zone target. But he has also shown the potential to make big plays down the field, with spectacular catches throughout training camp and the first preseason game. Thomas has quickly drawn the trust of Payton and the quarterbacks, who have raved about his talent."

WR — Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 240, WR76)

Matthews missed the final five games last season due to injury. Through the first 10 games (before getting injured in his 11th), however, Matthews had 43 catches for 662 yards and four touchdowns -- equivalent to a 16-game pace of 69/1,059/6.

While I don't expect Matthews to reach the 1,000-yard milestone, I expect him to be the team's most productive fantasy receiver, especially now that Dorial Green-Beckham has been traded to the Eagles. His ADP is sure to rise considerably, but he quietly put up impressive numbers pre-injury last season so it's possible that he remains a late-round bargain for fantasy owners leading up to the start of the season.

TE — Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 284, TE30)

Through his first 31 games over 2 1/2 seasons, McDonald was essentially a non-factor on offense. During that span, he had a total of 18 catches for 193 yards and no touchdowns. Down the stretch last season, however, McDonald became a much bigger factor in the passing game.

Over his final six games, McDonald had 21 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns and he finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among tight ends over that span. In the preseason opener, McDonald caught a pair of passes for 54 yards including a 43-yard touchdown. Given the team's lack of offensive weapons, McDonald has the potential to pick up where he left off last season.

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August 16, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 12 pick

Practice is the key to doing anything well and that applies to drafting fantasy football teams as well.

Starting on May 31st, we began the process of drafting one fantasy football team per day using the 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2016 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, the number of teams, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, etc. For an easy way to keep track of our mocks, we will centralize the links to all of our daily fantasy football mock drafts here.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • # of Teams:
  • Draft Slot:
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.12 - Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: It was a disappointing season for Dez and the Cowboys. Not only was Bryant sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken foot, but Tony Romo broke his collarbone (two times). When healthy, however, Bryant is one of the most dominant receivers in the league and only Rob Gronkowski has more receiving touchdowns than Bryant (53) since 2011.

2.01 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Breaking out in his second season, the 22-year-old (turns 23 this month) Robinson finished with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 and scored the fourth-most fantasy points among wide receivers. In his final 12 games of the season, Robinson finished with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown (or more) in every game.

3.12 - Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders: Not only did Murray rank fourth in the NFL in touches (307), but no other running back had as many games with 15-plus touches than Murray (15). Rookie DeAndre Washington may cut into Murray's workload some, but the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines and their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows when it comes to running the football.

4.01 - Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: Dominant in the 2015 fantasy playoffs, Reed finished as the weekly TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 as he hauled in a total of 25 catches for 333 yards and five touchdowns during that three-game stretch. Durability is the obvious concern with Reed, but he's my second-ranked TE after Gronk.

5.12 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Falling short of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC average, Gore had the fifth-most touches and still scored the 12th-most (14th in PPR) fantasy points among running backs last season. With a healthy Andrew Luck and an improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

6.01 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed the season strong with 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season. During that six-game span, Parker posted a 22/445/3 stat line, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that stretch. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

Related: DeVante Parker 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook

7.12 - Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Dangerous as a returner, Lockett became more involved in the team's offense in the second half of his rookie season. While he had a couple of return scores early in the season, all six of his receiving scores occurred in the final 10 games of the season. Lockett should improve upon his rookie receiving numbers (51/664/6) in 2016.

8.01 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: With 661 pass attempts (previous career high: 582), Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game and threw 29 touchdowns despite multi-game absences by his top-two pass-catchers -- Keenan Allen (played eight games) and Antonio Gates (11 games). Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady.

9.12 - Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even with Doug Martin rushing for more than 1,400 yards, Sims finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015. While his ceiling is cap