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September 11, 2016

Report: Keenan Allen has ACL tear based on initial tests

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen missed half of last season with a lacerated kidney. Unfortunately, it looks like he'll miss even more of the 2016 season with a knee injury.

Carted off in the first half, Allen is believed to have torn his right ACL based on initial tests.

One of the reasons I was high(er than most) on Philip Rivers this season was how productive he has been with Allen in the lineup.

Through the first eight games last season with Allen, Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game (second-most to only Tom Brady). From Week 9 through 17 without Allen, Rivers averaged 14.52/G (25th-most).

So, the loss of Allen is obviously a huge blow to the fantasy outlook for Rivers. In turn, it will boost the outlook of Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams as well as tight end Antonio Gates.

Benjamin is owned in three-quarters of Yahoo! leagues, but Williams is owned in only one percent.

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September 10, 2016

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 06, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 11 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: 11
  • 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:

1.11 - Allen Robinson, WR, 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.

2.02 - 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.


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.

3.11 - 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.

4.02 - 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). With one of the league's best offensive lines, the team's overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows conducive to running the football. In addition, the Raiders have said they want Murray to get more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

5.11 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: Olsen followed up his first career 1,000-yard season with another (77/1,104/7) and the durable and consistent tight end enters 2016 as a top-three tight end.

6.02 - 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. Gordon has looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.

7.11 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Racking up an RB-high 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. Turning 31 in March and historically struggling with durability, Jennings is worth the risk here as my flex.

8.02 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: With Keenan Allen (kidney) missing eight 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 to those who wait to draft a QB.

9.11 - 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). Looking dominant this preseason, Henry should see his role expand as the season progresses and it wouldn't be a shock if he's the "starter" by the end of the season.

10.02 - 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.

11.11 - DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders: Washington isn't the biggest back (5-8, 204), but Oakland's GM called Washington a "complete back" shortly after the NFL Draft. Both Washington and UDFA Jalen Richard have had good camps and preseasons, but Washington is Murray's primary backup and handcuff going into the 2016 season.

12.02 - 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 rookie Tajae Sharpe should finish as top-50 fantasy receivers.

13.11 - 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 2015. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a high-upside QB2 for this team.

14.02 - Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens: 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 the team's third preseason game and is expected to miss four weeks, but SI's Peter King wouldn't be surprised if he is the starter by the middle of the October. (Me either.)

15.11 - Minnesota Vikings DST

16.02 - Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks

- View full mock draft results here

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Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS): DraftKings Tournament "Draft" for Week 1

Sean Beazley and I collaborated recently on putting together a tournament lineup for DraftKings main slate (Sunday games only) of Week 1 games.

Essentially, it was a draft with each of us alternating picks for the lineup. I had the first and odd-numbered picks; Sean 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 - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at IND), $7,200
RB - Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NYG), $7,300
RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (at NO), $5,600
WR - Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers (at KC), $8,000
WR - Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions (at IND), $4,600
WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (vs. DET), $6,000
TE - Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers (at JAX), $2,900
FLEX - Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. CLE), $5,700
DST - Baltimore Ravens (vs. BUF), $2,700

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

1. Kevin - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys (vs. NYG), $7,300: Before the (latest) injury to Tony Romo, I expected the Cowboys to utilize a run-heavy attack similar to 2014 with DeMarco Murray. And while Dak Prescott looked as good as a fourth-round rookie could look in the preseason, it's natural to expect growing pains in the regular season. (As a Cowboys fan, I hope he picks up where he left off.) With that said, I expect Elliott to get a massive Week 1 workload as the Cowboys try to take some pressure off Dak. Plus, Elliott's ownership level may not be as high as I think it should with Prescott priced at contest minimum and likely the most-owned QB of the week.

[Comments by Sean: Elliott is the perfect double-pivot pick. Dak Prescott will be the highest-owned QB Week 1 on DraftKings since he is priced at the minimum. Also, most roster construction will be 1-2 elite WRs and cheap RBs. This is one of my favorite GPP picks.]

2. Sean - Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions (at IND), $7,200: The Colts/Lions game has the highest total of the week. I expect the Colts to win this game by a touchdown or more, which should lead to plenty of catch-up by Stafford and the Lions offense. I think the 300-yard bonus is definitely in play here as well as 2-3 touchdowns.

[Comments by Kevin: Stafford enters 2016 with the most favorable fantasy strength of schedule and the favorable schedule starts with the Colts. Not only do the Colts have some defensive issues at full strength, they are without several key defensive players including Vontae Davis, their best cornerback. A game in a dome tied for the highest over/under against a defense at less than full strength sounds good to me.]

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.

3. Kevin - Marvin Jones, WR, Lions (at IND), $4,600: With or without Stafford as our starting QB, Jones is an outstanding value with 40 Sunday wide receivers priced higher. In fact, he's priced at nearly $1,000 less than the average salary ($5,555; $50,000 salary cap divided by nine starters). Without Calvin Johnson in Detroit, it's really a case of Golden Tate and Jones being a 1(a) and 1(b) to each other and there is a $2,700 price difference between the two. By all accounts, Stafford and Jones have developed excellent chemistry as first-year teammates as well.

[Comments by Sean: Jones is the obvious pair to Stafford for $2,700 cheaper than Golden Tate. Jones ownership will be in the 20-25% range while Tate's should be in the 5-8% range. I like Tate a lot more for GPPs giving the ownership, but it's really tough to pass on Jones giving how well he has fit in this offense.]

4. Sean - Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts (vs. DET), $6,000: I think Moncrief will surpass T.Y Hilton as Andrew Luck's No. 1 option this year. I'm getting on board the Moncrief bandwagon early in a great matchup vs. the Lions. I love stacking games, picking players on both teams. If the game shoots out, you will have a big advantage on the field.

[Comments by Kevin: Moncrief is one of my favorite players this year -- the WR18 in my rankings ahead of guys like Randall Cobb, Jeremy Maclin, etc. In order words, I expect a breakout from Moncrief, who just turned 23 last month and has off-the-charts physical tools. In addition, no team has a higher projected points total than the Colts this week.]

5. Kevin - Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders (at NO), $5,600: The only reason I hesitated to "draft" Murray is ownership; Murray should be one of the highest-owned running backs this week. That said, the matchup is great, the Raiders have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and I expect the Raiders to run the ball a lot this season. Murray ranked fourth in the NFL in touches last season and Del Rio has said that he wants him to get more carries in 2016. This game is tied with IND/DET for the highest O/U of the week, but the Saints are favored by only a point. The Raiders will try to keep Drew Brees off the field as much as possible.

[Comments by Sean: ] Game flow, and ownership are the reasons why I will have little exposure to Murray in Week 1. I think it is more likely that the Saints get up in this game, and the Raiders are forced to play catch up, which will limit Murray's carries. Also, Murray has been one of the most talked about RBs headed into Week 1 against the Saints, who were terrible at stopping the run. Don't underestimate the casuals just picking Murray because he has that glaring "30th" in green next to his name. Murray should be one of the top-three highest-owned RBs Week 1.

6. Sean - Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers (at KC), $8,000: As I mentioned above, the most common GPP build will be having 1-2 elite WRs. Paying down for Allen gives us some wiggle room for the rest of our lineup and it differentiates us from the rest of the field. Allen only played eight games last year, but in three of those he had double-digit receptions. Allen's ownership should be fairly low as well considering some of the comps in his same price point.

[Comments by Kevin: DraftKings utilizes full-PPR scoring and Allen is an elite PPR option. Among high-end receivers, he had the biggest difference between my standard ranking (WR13) and PPR ranking (WR6) for 2016. Allen was on pace for 134 catches last season and he will one of the most targeted receivers of Week 1 -- and the season.]

7. Kevin - Jared Cook, TE, Packers (at JAX), $2,900: A physically-gifted player, Cook has never put it all together to be a consistent producer. Playing with Aaron Rodgers, the sky's the limit when it comes to Cook's weekly upside. It wouldn't be a complete shock if he had a long touchdown, or even two, in his debut. Hopefully it'll be like 2013 when Cook had 7/141/2 in the season opener (only to follow it up in Week 2 with 1/10/0).

[Comments by Sean: Cook was going to be my next pick, but Kevin snagged him here. Cook finally gets an elite QB to play with, and this guy has a ton of talent. He is a tall vertical threat that will open up all sorts of options for the Green Bay passing attack this year.]

8. Sean - Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles (vs. CLE), $5,600: I could have went with a number of different players here, but I ended up with Mathews. Mathews will be the lead back this year and has a very good matchup vs. the Browns. The Eagles are going to need to run a watered-down offense until Carson Wentz is up to speed. That should mean plenty of easy check downs to Mathews. Mathews should be the featured goal-line back as well now that Chip Kelly's hurry-up offense is gone.

[Comments by Kevin: If I were building this roster by myself and looking to fill the remaining FLEX/DST spots, Mathews would have not made the cut. I would have gone with the Eagles DST at $3,300 leaving me with $5,100 to spend. And then I would have gone with someone like Coby Fleener at $4,900 here.]

9. Kevin - Baltimore Ravens DST (vs. BUF), $2,700: As noted above, the Eagles would have been my choice, if we had the money. Two potential benefits with the Ravens: (1) Tyrod Taylor ranked near the lead in times sacked (36, 11th-most) last season and (2) the Ravens recently signed dangerous returner Devin Hester.

[Comments by Sean: The Ravens aren't a terrible play vs. the Bills at home this week, but I prefer the Titans at $2,600. Tennessee will be playing smash-mouth control-the-clock football. The Vikings are starting Shaun Hill, who is horrible. It is also the lowest total of the week.]

I've entered this lineup into the Week 1 Millionaire Maker so good luck fighting for the second-place prize. :)

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September 05, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football PPR 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: Point-per-reception (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.

2.12 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. Battling a foot injury down the stretch last season, Cooper should do bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

3.01 - 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 in 2015. Lacy has shed weight this offseason and a fitter version is poised to bounce back as he enters a contract season.


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.

4.12 - 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. Forte averaged close to 100 yards -- 69.1 rushing and 29.9 receiving -- per game in 2015 and although he won't dominate touches in the Jets' backfield the way he did in Chicago, but he's a high-end RB2 in PPR formats.

5.01 - Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets: Scoring a touchdown in 12 of 15 games, Decker's weekly production was extremely consistent: 11.7-plus PPR points every week. While he finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy wide receiver only twice, he never finished worse than PPR WR34 last season. That consistency led to WR14 full-season finish in PPR scoring in 2015.

6.12 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Closing the season strong (35/450/1 in final four games), Ertz will obviously slow from that pace but he carries positive momentum into 2016. One of my favorite tight end targets, Ertz appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

7.01 - 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 and he has looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.

8.12 - 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 14th-most PPR fantasy points among running backs last season. Gore is a nice value as the 96th player off the board in this mock.

9.01 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Racking up 419 YFS -- most among running backs -- in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note and will enter the season as the lead back. Despite his poor durability track record, there is plenty of upside as my RB5.

10.12 - Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans: The rookie from UMass is an outstanding route-runner and led college football with 111 receptions last season. Expected to begin the season as a starter, Sharpe is worth a late-round flier in PPR formats and it wouldn't be a shock if he led all Titans receivers in fantasy production.

11.01 - 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). 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. If the preseason is a preview of what's to come for Smith (one target and no catches in three preseason games), however, it could be another disappointment for fantasy owners.

12.12 - 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).

13.01 - 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.

14.12 - Marcus Mariota, QB, 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. Playing behind an upgraded offensive line and with a full offseason of development under his belt, Mariota is a high-upside QB2 especially if he runs more often.

15.01 - Los Angeles Rams DST

16.12 - Cairo Santos, K, Kansas City Chiefs

- View full mock draft results here

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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

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 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: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 8
  • 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:

1.08 - A.J. Green, WR, 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 given the team's free-agent departures at receiver.

2.05 - 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 league-leading 14 total touchdowns last season. Even if the Falcons want to lower Freeman's workload, he was the top-ranked player on my big board at this spot.

3.08 - 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.

4.05 - Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: After a disappointing season, 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."

5.08 - 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.

6.05 - 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.

7.08 - 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 (35/450/1). With the potential for more red-zone opportunities, Ertz appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

8.05 - 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 -- no RB had more -- in the final three games of the season, Jennings ended the season on a positive note enters 2016 as the clear lead back. When healthy, he'll be a solid RB2 (as this team's RB4).

9.08 - 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). Murray is the lead back to start the season, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he took over the lead-back role at some point based on how he looked this preseason.

10.05 - Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Referring to Thomas Rawls and Michael, coach 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. There is little risk, but plenty of upside, as my RB6.

11.08 - 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.

12.05 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Why Week 8? Keenan Allen lacerated his kidney and missed the final eight games of the season. Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Assuming Allen stays healthy, Rivers is a huge bargain this late.

13.08 - 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 entering his third season as Manning's go-to receiver, Eli could finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for a third straight season.

14.05 - Los Angeles Rams DST

15.08 - 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.

16.05 - Chandler Catanzaro, K, Arizona Cardinals

- View full mock draft results here

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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

- View full mock draft results here

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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.

Editor's note: DraftKings is running a FREE Week 1 Fantasy Football contest ($100K in prizes, $10K to 1st, FREE to enter).

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

San Diego Chargers 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 San Diego Chargers.

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Philip Rivers415629474931.513.221440.2308.36
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.

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Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Melvin Gordon24510546.6342241173.4
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 has looked great this preseason -- 13/81/1 rushing (6.2 YPC) and 2/49/1 receiving.
Danny Woodhead1084213.8726194.7155
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.
Kenneth Farrow16670.221409.3

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Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Keenan Allen11813518.5000186.1
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. Based on 2016 projections, only Antonio Brown and Jones are projected for more receptions in 2016 than Allen.
Travis Benjamin5082042120107.2
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.
Tyrell Williams325182.900069.2
Dontrelle Inman22297200041.7

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Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Antonio Gates596557.1108.1
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 at least eight TDs so he passes Tony Gonzalez for the most all-time by a tight end.
Hunter Henry262991.840.7

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2016 Fantasy Football PPR 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:
  • 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:

1.06 - 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.

2.07 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper posted a solid 72/1,070/6 stat line as a rookie, but he battled a foot injury for much of the second half of the season. I expect bigger and better things in his age-22 season.

3.06 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: While the team's quarterback situation is less than ideal, Peyton Manning posted a 9-to-17 TD-INT ratio last season. In other words, there is a good chance that DT posts comparable numbers to 2015 (105/1,304/6).

Week 1 DFS: Join my FanDuel 20-team winner-takes-all league for Week 1.

4.07 - 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). Not only do the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines, but their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows when it comes to running the football.

5.06 - 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. Only Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson scored more PPR points in 2015 than Woodhead.

6.07 - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: 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. And since becoming a Saint in 2006, Brees has finished as a top-six fantasy QB every year (10 seasons).

7.06 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Bernard finished as a top-16 PPR running back last season despite scoring just two touchdowns. In his three seasons, Bernard has averaged 213.33 touches (including 49.33 receptions) and 1,146.67 YFS per season.

8.07 - 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 14th-most PPR 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.

9.06 - 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.

10.07 - 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, it wouldn't be a shock if Sharpe led all Titans receivers in fantasy production.

11.06 - 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) and he finished as the RB27 in PPR last season.

12.07 - DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders: Oakland's GM called Washington a "complete back," but he at least provides this team with a handcuff for Murray.

13.06 - Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Missing the 1,000-yard milestone in each of the past four seasons, Wallace has a chance to exceed expectations in Baltimore as Joe Flacco's strong arm is a better match for Wallace's skill set.

14.07 - Los Angeles Rams DST

15.06 - Vance McDonald, TE, San Francisco 49ers: As my 13th-ranked PPR tight end, McDonald has a much lower ADP so I felt comfortable waiting with him as my target this late. 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 49ers weak group of receivers, McDonald should be heavily involved in the passing game.

16.07 - Graham Gano, K, Carolina Panthers

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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

More Rankings from Hanson:

More of our 2016 fantasy football resources:

Good luck in your 2016 fantasy football league(s)!

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy WR 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:

More of our 2016 fantasy football resources:

Good luck in your 2016 fantasy football league(s)!

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy TE Rankings" »


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August 30, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football PPR 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: 12
  • Draft Slot: 9
  • 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 - A.J. Green, WR, 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 an expected boost in targets given the team's free-agent departures at receiver.

2.04 - 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.

3.09 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Starting slowly, CJA was much better in the second half of the season. 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.

4.04 - 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 running the football. In addition, Del Rio has said that he wants Murray to get more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

5.09 - Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Matthews improved on 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.

6.04 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Despite scoring just two touchdowns, Bernard finished as PPR's RB16 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.

7.09 - Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers: Gates missed five games, but still finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 2015 at 35 years old. Gates remains the favorite red-zone target of Philip Rivers and should finish as a top-12 option at the position despite heading into his age-36 season.

8.04 - 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 improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

9.09 - 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, who could end up trading away talented-but-suspended Josh Gordon.

10.04 - Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets: A PPR machine down the stretch, Powell finished as a top-25 weekly PPR performer in five of his final six games and the fourth-most PPR points among RBs during that span. Even with the addition of Matt Forte, Powell has upside as my RB5.

11.09 - 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.

12.04 - 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.

13.09 - Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens: It's unclear exactly how 2016 touches will be allocated, but Allen has shown an ability to be productive when given the opportunity. With Justin Forsett sidelined over the final seven games of the season, Allen totalled 629 yards from scrimmage on 133 touches (including 37 receptions). The most-likely scenario for Allen would feature him in a third-down role in the team's committee.

14.04 - 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, I expect him to be the team's most productive fantasy receiver, especially now that Dorial Green-Beckham has been traded to the Eagles.

15.09 - Cincinnati Benagls DST

16.04 - Mason Crosy, K, Green Bay Packers

- 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

Complete your own mock drafts for free on our Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator page.

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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

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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.

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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

More Rankings from Hanson:

More of our 2016 fantasy football resources:

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 23, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 11 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: 11
  • 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:

1.11 - 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.

2.02 - 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.

3.11 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Starting with Week 8, Anderson carried the ball 85 times for 540 yards (6.35 YPC) and five touchdowns. In the post-Peyton Manning era, the Broncos should be a run-heavy team with CJA leading the way.

4.02 - 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). Not only do the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines, but Del Rio has said that he wants Murray to get more carries in 2016 than he had in 2015.

5.11 - Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Matthews improved on 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.

6.02 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Part of a platoon with Jeremy Hill, Bernard still finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats (RB16 in PPR) last season despite scoring just two touchdowns. In fact, RB21 was the worst finish of his young three-year career. In his three seasons, Bernard has averaged 213.33 touches (including 49.33 receptions) and 1,146.67 YFS per season.

7.11 - 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 that coach Pederson has said that he "fully expects" to feature Ertz in the red zone.

8.02 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Keenan 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 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers is my sixth-ranked QB heading into 2016.

9.11 - 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, but he's a nice value here.

10.02 - Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Diggs got off to a great start with six-plus catches and 87-plus yards in each of his first four games played and he was clearly the most productive of Minnesota's wide receivers last season. After the first four games, however, he exceeded 50 yards only twice and he closed the season with 22 yards or less in four of his final five games. He enters the season as the team's No. 1 receiver, but Minnesota's low-volume pass offense limits his upside in year two.

11.11 - LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots: In his 38 games (regular season and playoffs) as a Patriot, Blount has a total of 24 touchdowns. The biggest challenge with owning Blount — or any Patriots running back — is that he could go from 30 carries and three touchdowns one week to two carries the next week.

12.02 - Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Missing six games last season, V-Jax finished with just 33 catches for 543 yards (54.3/G) and three touchdowns in his age-32 season. If anything, he's just a late depth option at receiver at this point in his career.

13.11 - 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, which gives him plenty of late-round upside.

14.02 - James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers: Re-signed to a two-year contract, Starks (993) had more YFS than Eddie Lacy (946). If Lacy struggles again this season despite his improved fitness, Starks will have an opportunity for another productive season.

15.11 - New York Jets D/ST

16.02 - 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 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

Our 2016 fantasy football rankings:

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 14 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: 14
  • 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 - Julio Jones, WR, 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.

2.11 - Doug Martin, RB, 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.

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.

4.11 - 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 soon-to-be 23-year-old has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

5.04 - 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.

6.11 - 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.

7.04 - 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.

8.11 - 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 with Bennett and Rob Gronkowski. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end with Gronk out.

9.04 - 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.

10.11 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: Thomas has a chance to make a 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.

11.04 - 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.

12.11 - 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.

13.04 - Charles Clay, TE, 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.

14.11 - Jameis Winston, QB, 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.

15.04 - Minnesota Vikings

16.11 - Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings

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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

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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 17, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football PPR 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: Point-per-reception (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: Jones led the NFL in targets (204), receptions (136, tied with Antonio Brown) and yards (1,871) last season. While I'd like to see more red-zone production from Jones (16 TDs in past 36 games), he has averaged 112.3 YPG over the past three seasons.

2.11 - Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints: Durability is a concern as the 26-year-old back has missed three-plus games in four of five seasons. That said, Ingram has averaged 18.84 touches, 91.32 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game over the past two seasons and finished as fantasy's RB15 (RB10 in PPR) despite missing four games in 2015.

3.02 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: After three straight 1,400/10 seasons, Thomas finished 2015 with a 105/1,304/6 stat line. His 2016 QB situation is less than ideal, but Peyton Manning wasn't great (9-to-17 TD-INT ratio) last season either.

4.11 - 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.

Murray is one of my favorite running back values for 2016.

5.02 - Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: Before last season without Jordy Nelson (ACL), Rodgers finished as the QB1 or QB2 in all full seasons as a starter. Assuming good health from Nelson, who was activated from the active/PUP list today, Rodgers should have a bounce-back season.

6.11 - 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. All six of his receiving scores occurred in the final 10 games of the season and Lockett should improve upon his rookie receiving numbers (51/664/6) in 2016.

7.02 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Ertz will slow from his end-of-season pace (35/450/1 in final four games), but hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum.

8.11 - 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 and love the value in Round 8.

9.02 - 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. On a positive note, Gordon had a 44-yard TD reception in the preseason opener.

10.11 - 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.

11.02 - Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots: If Rob Gronkowski were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a weekly top-five fantasy tight end. That said, the Pats should use plenty of 12 personnel with both Gronk and Bennett on the field at the same time.

12.11 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: Underutilized at Ohio State, Thomas will immediately step into a fairly prominent role in one of the most prolific passing offenses as a rookie. And it's been so far, so good for Keyshawn Johnson's nephew.

13.02 - 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.

14.11 - Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks: 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.''

15.02 - Minnesota Vikings D/ST

16.11 - Cairo Santos, K, Kansas City Chiefs

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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 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 he comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs.

10.01 - 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 Smith become the team's No. 1 WR this season, but 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.

11.12 - Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions: Riddick had 80 catches for 697 yards plus 133 rushing yards and three total touchdowns last season. While he's much better in PPR formats (RB18 last year), he finished as a top-40 option in standard-scoring leagues as well and could do so again in 2016.

12.01 - Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: With just one catch in six games as a rookie, Coates is poised for an expanded role due to Bryant's full-season suspension. As a vertical threat possessing outstanding physical traits, Coates will have plenty of weekly upside. Earlier this offseason, OC Todd Haley said Coates was having a "tremendous offseason" and his positive momentum has carried into training camp.

Coates was the biggest weekly riser in Fantasy Football ADP in each of the past two weeks.

13.12 - DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders: Washington provides me with a handcuff for Murray and he should also get plenty of work as a change-of-pace option for Murray.

14.01 - Kansas City Chiefs D/ST

15.12 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Over the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively. With Gase taking over as coach and the potential breakout for Parker, Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.

16.01 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

- View full mock draft results here

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August 15, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 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: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • 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: Hopkins took another huge step forward in his age-23 season despite a less-than-ideal quarterback situation with career highs across the board — 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns.

2.05 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: There are plenty of injury concerns with his knees, but the 31-year-old receiver should finish with roughly 1,300 yards in 2016 assuming that he is ready for Week 1 and is able to stay healthy.

3.08 - LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: Missing four games last season, McCoy averaged nearly 20 touches (19.58/G) and 100 YFS (98.92/G) per game. Assuming good health, McCoy should rank among the leaders in usage and YFS in 2016.

4.05 - 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). In addition, the Raiders have one of the league's best offensive lines and their overall roster improvements should lead to more positive game flows conducive to running the football.

5.08 - 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, who turns 23 in August, has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

6.05 - 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's 22/445/3 was good for the 18th-most fantasy points among WRs. Along with Moncrief, Parker is one of my two favorite breakout receivers heading into 2016.

7.08 - Arian Foster, RB, Miami Dolphins: Miami's OC recently said (via the Miami Herald), “... 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 RB3.

8.05 - 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.

9.08 - 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.

10.05 - 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 hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum.

11.08 - 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 to those who wait to draft a QB (like me in this mock).

12.05 - Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots: Bennett is a low-end TE1/high-end TE2 as the Patriots will likely use plenty of two-TE sets with Bennett and Rob Gronkowski. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end.

13.08 - 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. 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. Earlier this offseason, OC Todd Haley said Coates was having a "tremendous offseason" and his positive momentum has carried into training camp.

14.05 - Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos: The Broncos should lean heavily on their running game (and defense) as they begin their title defense. The fourth-round rookie is the back to own after C.J. Anderson.

15.08 - New England Patriots D/ST

16.05 - Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers

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2016 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings

The 2016 NFL season kicks off three weeks from Thursday, which means that we are fast approaching the heart of fantasy football draft season.

With that said, I have updated my 2016 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings:

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. 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-three fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback.

4. 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 once again finish as a top-five fantasy 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 easily 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.

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 repeat the 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, 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 and he's a low-end QB1 going into the 2016 season.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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).

16. 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.

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. Upgrading their offensive line this offseason, no team allowed more sacks than the Titans (54) last year. 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. 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.

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. 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.

24. 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.

25. Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns
Going into the 2016 NFL season, few projected 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.

More Fantasy Football Rankings:

More of our 2016 fantasy football resources:

Good luck in your 2016 fantasy football league(s)!

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings" »


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August 14, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 12

Last weekend, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

The mock used standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor drafted for three (of 12) teams. The final round is now complete and posted.

Here is Round 12 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

12.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

At the turn to kick off the mock, Sean selected Lamar Miller (1.12) and Jamaal Charles (2.01). The best handcuff to Charles, who should be ready to go Week 1, Ware averaged 5.6 yards per carry and scored six touchdowns on 72 carries last season.

12.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears

Leading up to the NFL Draft, one AFC running backs coach called Howard the "best runner in this year's draft" (via NFL.com). While I wouldn't go that far, the Bears are expected to use a hot-hand approach with their backfield, which gives Howard some late-round upside.

12.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Shedding 15 pounds this offseason, West has generated plenty of buzz in training camp and scored a pair of touchdowns in the preseason opener. With some uncertainty in Baltimore's backfield, West is at least worth a late-round flier.

12.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): 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. While he's third in line for targets, his positive momentum has carried over into the offseason program and training camp.

12.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

Washington decided to not part ways with the overpaid Garcon, but it's unlikely that he duplicates last year's production (72/777/6) in 2016 with rookie Josh Doctson added to the mix of receivers and D-Jax missing half of last season. Garcon is outside my top-75 fantasy receivers and undraftable in 12-team leagues, in my opinion.

12.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Now 33 years old, Sproles finished as a top-25 fantasy running back in PPR formats (RB33 in standard) last season. Especially given the durability track record of Ryan Mathews, it wouldn't surprise me if he finished as a top-50 fantasy running back in standard-scoring leagues (he's the RB52 in this mock).

12.07 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): 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.

12.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): 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.

12.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks used multiple draft picks on running backs with Prosise being the earliest (Round 3). At a minimum, the team plans to use Prosise as their third-down/passing-down back. In fact, Prosise began his Notre Dame career as a wide receiver. With Christine Michael having an "awakening," however, it's possible that he has the second-most value after Thomas Rawls among the team's running backs this season.

12.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): 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).

12.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): 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 with the Bennett and Rob Gronkowski. And if Gronk were to miss any time, Bennett would instantly become a top-five fantasy tight end.

12.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens used their 2015 first-round draft pick on Perriman, but the big-play wideout missed all of 2015 due to a PCL injury. In June, Perriman avoided an ACL tear as was initially feared, but there is no timetable for him to be activated from the active/PUP list. Perriman is expected to be activated for Week 1, but it's hard to get excited about Perriman or really any of the Ravens receivers in fantasy.

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 1

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 12" »


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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
QBMatthew Stafford, Detroit Lions-4.2 (126.5 on 8/7; 122.3 on 8/14)
RBBilal Powell, New York Jets-16.9 (124.9 on 8/7; 108.0 on 8/14)
WRSammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers-19.5 (134.7 on 8/7; 115.2 on 8/14)
TEJulius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars-9.9 (103.0 on 8/7; 93.1 on 8/14)


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

Biggest Risers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBCarson Palmer, Arizona Palmers-5.03% (79.5 on 8/7; 75.5 on 8/14)
RBBilal Powell, New York Jets-13.53%(124.9 on 8/7; 108.0 on 8/14)
WRSammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers-14.48%(134.7 on 8/7; 115.2 on 8/14)
TEJulius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars-9.61% (103.0 on 8/7; 93.1 on 8/14)

Biggest Fallers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBAndy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals+3.1 (124.5 on 8/7; 127.6 on 8/14)
RBKenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens+25.4 (119.1 on 8/7; 144.5 on 8/14)
WRDorial Green-Beckham, Tennessee Titans+19.0 (116.7 on 8/7; 135.7 on 8/14)
TEEric Ebron, Detroit Lions+9.6 (150.6 on 8/7; 160.2 on 8/14)

Biggest Fallers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBAndy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals+2.49% (124.5 on 8/7; 127.6 on 8/14)
RBKenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens+21.33% (119.1 on 8/7; 144.5 on 8/14)
WRAlshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears+17.35% (21.9 on 8/7; 25.7 on 8/14)
TETyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals+6.57% (74.6 on 8/7; 79.5 on 8/14)

- 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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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 11

Last Sunday, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 11 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

11.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Diggs got off to a great start with six-plus catches and 87-plus yards in each of his first four games played and he was clearly the most productive of Minnesota's wide receivers last season. After the first four games, however, he exceeded 50 yards only twice and he closed the season with 22 yards or less in four of his final five games. Competing with first-round rookie Laquon Treadwell for targets in Minnesota's low-volume pass offense limits his upside in year two.

11.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns

Finishing in the top 25 in both categories, Crowell carried the ball 185 times for 706 yards last season. He also added 19 catches for 182 yards and scored a total of five touchdowns. New coach Hue Jackson has talked up Crowell (and backfield mate Duke Johnson) and he has some upside in what should be a run-heavy offense.

11.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Phillip Dorsett, WR, Indianapolis Colts

One of the fastest players in the league, Dorsett, the team's first-round pick in 2015, had two or fewer receptions in 10 of 11 games played last season. While he's clearly behind T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief on the depth chart, Dorsett has some breakout potential and his production should improve considerably in his second season.

11.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Injuries slowed Coleman, who missed four games as a rookie. While he lost three fumbles on just 87 carries, he did average 4.5 yards per carry and he has plenty of big-play ability. Assuming he stays healthy and does a better job of protecting the football, Coleman is set to see his opportunities expand — by a lot.

11.05 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Antonio Gates, TE, 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.

11.06 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants

Over the past couple of seasons at UCLA, Perkins ran for 2,918 yards, hauled in 56 receptions for 443 yards and scored a total of 26 touchdowns. With Rashad Jennings having a shaky durability track record and turning 31 this offseason, Perkins could find himself with a relatively large role at some point as a rookie.

11.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

With Martavis Bryant suspended for the season, it should lead to a higher volume of targets and production for Wheaton, who finished with 44 catches for 749 yards and five touchdowns last season. Over the first 10 games of the season, five of which Bryant missed last year, Wheaton had less than 20 yards seven times. Over the final six games, however, Wheaton had a total of 476 yards and four touchdowns. It's fair to wonder whether or not Wheaton will capitalize on his opportunity, especially considering the breakout potential of Sammie Coates.

11.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jason Witten, TE, 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). That said, I would prefer some other tight ends still available over Witten, such as Martellus Bennett, Dwayne Allen and Eric Ebron, to name a few.

11.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): 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. Even though the Jets signed Matt Forte in free agency to replace Chris Ivory, Powell has plenty of upside this late given reports that the workload could be split fairly evenly between Forte and Powell.

11.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

The nephew of Keyshawn Johnson, Thomas has a chance to make a 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.

11.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins

Many believed that Doctson was the best receiver in this year's rookie class, but it may be a season before his true impact is felt as DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are still on the team's roster. Both Garcon and D-Jax will become free agents next offseason. While Doctson's 2017 season should be much better than his 2016 season, his role in the offense will likely expand as the season progresses.

11.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Postponing his retirement by one year, the obvious concerns with Smith are that he is now 37 years old and coming off a torn Achilles injury. When he was on the field last year, Smith had 46 catches for 670 yards (95.7 YPG) and three scores in his seven games played last season. If he's ready for the opener and able to play a full season, I expect him to lead the team's receivers in fantasy production, but he certainly won't post similar per-game numbers as last year.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 12

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 10

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 11" »


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San Diego Chargers Fantasy Preview: Updated 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 San Diego Chargers:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Philip Rivers421629476831.513.221440.2309.12
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.
Zach Mettenberger35360.20.21-101.94

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Melvin Gordon23810006.2322050.9163.1
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 appears to be fully recovered from the injury. And on a positive note, Gordon had a 44-yard TD reception in the preseason opener.
Danny Woodhead1044063.4706024.6148.8
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.
Branden Oliver38135111860.329.9

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Keenan Allen11713408.7000186.2
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.
Travis Benjamin528584.22120112.2
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.
Tyrell Williams233801.800048.8
Dontrelle Inman233112.100043.7
James Jones141510.800019.9

More Fantasy Football WR Resources:

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Antonio Gates586446.7104.6
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.
Hunter Henry252881.839.6

More Fantasy Football TE Resources:

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 10

Last weekend, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 10 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

10.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Tony Romo, QB, 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.

10.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens

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. Justin Forsett should open the season as the starter, but Dixon should see his role expand as the season progresses although Buck Allen and Terrance West will vie for touches as well.

10.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

In his 38 games (regular season and playoffs) as a Patriot, Blount has a total of 24 touchdowns. The biggest challenge with owning Blount — or any Patriots running back — is that he could go from 30 carries and three touchdowns one week to two carries the next week.

10.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): 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.

Rivers appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in Fantasy Football Drafts

10.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions

Riddick had 80 catches for 697 yards plus 133 rushing yards and three total touchdowns last season. While he's much better in PPR formats (RB18 last year), he finished as a top-40 option in standard-scoring leagues as well and could do so again in 2016.

10.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): 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).

10.07 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders

There are some RBs still on the board that I'd prefer over Washington, who isn't the biggest back (5-8, 204), but GM Reggie McKenzie said the following of Washington 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.”

10.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Missing six games last season, Jackson had his worst season since signing with the Bucs in both absolute and per-game numbers. V-Jax finished with just 33 catches for 543 yards (54.3/G) and three touchdowns in his age-32 season. With Evans clearly the guy in Tampa, Jackson provides some depth for Sean as his WR5.

10.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): 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.

10.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Jimmy Graham, TE, 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.

10.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): 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 fourth) in line for targets, but the improvement in quarterback play with Philip Rivers should allow Benjamin to come close to his 2015 numbers even if he falls a little short.

10.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Chris Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Before breaking his leg, Johnson ranked near the top of the league in rush attempts and yards last season. In 11 games, Johnson finished with 196 carries for 814 yards. That said, he averaged 3.6 YPC or less in his final four games before the injury and the other Johnson (David) will lead the backfield in touches in 2016 as long as he remains healthy.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 11

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 9

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 10" »


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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 teams, No. 7 pick, Super Flex

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) with QB-eligible flex
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 7
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Super Flex (QB/RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.07 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: With this being a de facto 2-QB league, all four of my top-ranked QBs -- Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson -- were off the board before this pick. Jones led the NFL in targets (204), receptions (136, tied with Antonio Brown) and yards (1,871) last season.

2.06 - 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.

3.07 - 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.

4.06 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Starting with Week 8 last season, things picked up for Anderson, who carried the ball 85 times for 540 yards (6.35 YPC) and five touchdowns. With Peyton Manning retiring, the Broncos should rely even more on their running game in 2016.

5.07 - 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 and he's a lot cheaper on draft day.

6.06 - 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.

7.07 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Over the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively. With Gase taking over as coach and second-year receiver DeVante Parker poised for a breakout, Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.

8.06 - 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 Luck and improved offensive line, Gore made my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts.

9.07 - Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions: Atop the team's depth chart, Abdullah has some breakout potential in 2016. Abdullah rushed for 597 yards on 143 carries, added 25 catches for 183 yards and scored three total touchdowns as a rookie. No team ran the ball on a lower percentage of their plays last season, but the Lions should — and plan to — be more balanced on offense this year.

10.06 - 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 he has finished as a top-24 fantasy running back in each of his past three full seasons.

11.07 - Tavon Austin, WR, Los Angeles Rams: Even though Austin had just 473 receiving yards, the versatile receiver had a total of 907 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns including a punt return touchdown. 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.

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. Even though the Jets signed Matt Forte in free agency, the anticipated split in workload between the two backs appears to be relatively close.

13.07 - Jay Cutler, QB, 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).

14.06 - Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: With just one catch in six games as a rookie, Coates is poised for an expanded role due to Bryant's full-season 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. Earlier this offseason, OC Todd Haley said Coates was having a "tremendous offseason" and his positive momentum has carried into training camp.

15.07 - Minnesota Vikings D/ST

16.06 - Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys

- View full mock draft results here

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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 9

Last weekend, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 9 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

9.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans

Based purely on talent and physical tools, Green-Beckham is the most gifted of the team's receivers and no receiver on the roster has more upside. At least in part to send him a message, however, DGB was working with the second-string receivers during OTAs behind Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe. After less-than-impressive offseason workouts, Green-Beckham got training camp off to a good start by reporting at 228 pounds and running well in conditioning tests. A high-ceiling, low-floor selection for Dan, this is about three rounds earlier than his current ADP (11.12 via FFC).

9.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Filling in for Le'Veon Bell due to suspension and then injury, Williams finished as fantasy's RB4 in 2015. Williams racked up a total of 1,274 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns last year. With Bell facing a four-game suspension to open the season, Williams will have at least four startable weeks in fantasy (even though Bell believes he will win his appeal).

9.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): 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 and he's a steal as the WR44 in this mock draft.

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9.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Some will knock Treadwell for his (lack of) speed, but the Vikings first-round pick is a big-bodied (6-2, 221), physical receiver with strong hands that runs good routes. Perhaps a bigger problem than his speed is Minnesota's offense, as no team threw it less than the Vikings in 2015, but Treadwell should especially make his presence felt in the red zone.

9.05 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Ladarius Green, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Green had offseason ankle surgery, but recurring headaches threaten his availability for the start of the season and there is even speculation that he may retire. If Green is ready for the start of the season, however, he should shatter previous career highs and he has fantasy top-10 upside.

9.06 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Gary Barnidge, TE, 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 despite a change in coaching staff and quarterback.

9.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins

With Lamar Miller in Houston, Ajayi's workload was certain to jump in his sophomore campaign. To complicate matters, however, the Dolphins have signed free-agent running back Arian Foster to a one-year deal. Based on comments from Gase, it appears that Ajayi will be second in line for touches after Foster.

9.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): 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 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.

9.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): 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). With Anquan Boldin no longer in San Francisco and Chip Kelly taking over as coach, Smith becomes the No. 1 receiver in an offense that should rank in the top 10 in the league in number of plays. And as far as game flow is concerned, 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.

9.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins

A hamstring injury limited Jackson to just nine games last season so his overall numbers dropped to 30/528/4 after finishing with 56/1,169/6 in 2014. Over the final six weeks of the season, Jackson had 25 catches for 469 yards, 11th-most among wide receivers during that span, and all four of his touchdowns. With the team using a first-round pick on Josh Doctson, D-Jax remains a boom-or-bust weekly option, but he should finish with 1,000 yards or so provided he remains healthy.

9.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders

Slumping down the stretch, 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 and he's a low-end QB1 going into the 2016 season.

9.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Aiken had 75 catches for 944 yards in 2015, but his production should decline year over year with the addition of Mike Wallace and returns of Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman. Even so, it wouldn't surprise me if Aiken ends 2016 as the team's most productive fantasy receiver once again.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 10

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 8

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 9" »


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August 13, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 8

Last Sunday, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 8 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

8.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Tavon Austin, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Even though Austin had just 473 receiving yards, the versatile receiver had a total of 907 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns including a punt return touchdown. 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.

8.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): 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). Murray is expected to be the lead back, but Henry could also approach double-digit carries per game, or close to it. Plus, if Murray struggles for whatever reason again, Henry could see his role expand as the season progresses.

8.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Delanie Walker, TE, 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 my TE5 heading into 2016.

8.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Coby Fleener, TE, 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.

8.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): 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 repeat the 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.

8.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): 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.

Snead appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in Fantasy Football Drafts

8.07 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): 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.

8.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Missing four games as a rookie, Yeldon averaged more than 18 touches per game but finished with just two rushing touchdowns. With the team signing free-agent Chris Ivory in the offseason, Yeldon's workload should decline on a per-game basis. In fact, I'd prefer Ivory over Yeldon and I took Ivory at a few picks later.

8.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): 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 hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum. Beyond Jordan Matthews, the Eagles have a bunch of question marks at receiver.

8.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Julius Thomas, TE, 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.

8.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Rushing for more than 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, Ivory finished 2015 as a top-12 fantasy back (RB8 in STD, RB12 in PPR). Signing a free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Ivory will be part of a 1-2 punch with Yeldon in 2016 and may not get as many carries as he had last season.

That said, Ivory is expected to get the larger share of the workload split with Yeldon in addition to the majority of goal-line carries. And even though only the Lions ran the ball on a lower percentage of plays last season, I expect the Jags to run the ball more often in 2016 given the team's improved outlook.

8.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions

Jones set career highs in both receptions (65) and yards (816) in his final season with the Bengals last year. While the Lions should be more balanced this year, no team threw the ball on a higher percentage of their plays in 2015 (as noted above). And while Golden Tate should lead the receiving corps in targets and production, the retirement of Megatron and the team's relative lack of depth at receiver should lead to new career highs in catches and yards for Jones.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 8

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 6

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 8" »


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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 7

Last weekend, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.


Here is Round 7 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

7.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Forsett broke his arm in the team's 10th game and he missed the final six games of the season. In the first nine games, however, he averaged 16.33 touches per game. Forsett is currently atop the team's depth chart, but he turns 31 in October and rookie Kenneth Dixon as well as Buck Allen and perhaps even Terrance West will push him for snaps and touches.

7.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Drew Brees, QB, 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).

7.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Ben Roethlisberger, QB, 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.

7.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): 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.

7.05 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears

White missed all of his rookie season due to a stress fracture in his shin. Recovered from last year's injury, White has all of the physical tools to develop into a dominant receiver in the league and should finish second on the team in targets behind Alshon Jeffery in 2016.

7.06 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Tom Brady, QB, 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. And given the depth at the position, it would be easy for Sean (or any Brady owner) to find a quality suspension-replacement for him late.

7.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Tyler Eifert, TE, 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, all of which occurred by Week 5, Eifert averaged only 37.88 YPG over his final eight games played.

When healthy, Eifert should see a per-game boost in targets given the turnover in the receiving corps, but durability has been an issue. And it appears more likely than not that Eifert (ankle) won't be ready for Week 1.

7.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

A little earlier than I would select Shepard, but the rookie out of Oklahoma will be the No. 2 option in the Giants offense behind Odell Beckham. In addition, the Giants ranked sixth in the NFL in pass attempts (623) last season and 11th in offensive plays run in 2015, but the Giants could play at an even faster pace in 2016. I could see Shepard finishing with 60-plus catches as a rookie.

7.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears

Filling in as a starter for Matt Forte in Weeks 9 to 11, Langford racked up 366 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in his three starts. While he averaged more than 20 fantasy points per game in his three starts, Langford averaged only 3.63 yards per carry on the season. If Langford doesn't improve his efficiency, Jordan Howard and/or Ka'Deem Carey should see an expanded role as the season progresses.

Even though the team may go with the "hot hand" on a game-by-game basis, Langford is the favorite to lead the team in touches on a weekly basis. And with his ADP dropping mid-2nd round in mid-March to early-5th now (see ADP chart below), he's not a bad value near the end of the seventh round in this mock draft.

7.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): 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 he 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) in 2015.

7.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders

Crabtree tied previous career highs of 85 receptions and nine touchdowns last season and finished with 922 receiving yards, his most since 2012. Crabtree exceeded 55 yards only once in his final eight games after doing so five times in his first eight games, but he had a minimum of four receptions in 15 of 16 games. He's unlikely to finish as a top-20 fantasy receiver once again (as Amari Cooper takes a step forward), but he's a solid WR3 for this team.

7.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

This is a little earlier than I would have selected Coates, but he was someone that I was targeted a couple of rounds from here. No player saw their ADP increase more than Coates last week and it's a trend that may continue throughout fantasy draft season.

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 will have plenty of weekly upside that will likely find his way into many of my DFS GPP lineups as well. Earlier this offseason, OC Todd Haley said Coates was having a "tremendous offseason" and that momentum has carried into training camp.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 8

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 6

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 7" »


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2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 14 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: Point-per-reception (PPR) scoring
  • # of Teams: 14
  • Draft Slot: 10
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.10 - 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.

2.05 - Brandon Marshall, WR, 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. Repeating last year's numbers seems unlikely, but Marshall should finish with roughly 100 catches, 1,300 yards and 8-10 touchdowns.

3.10 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Drafted as a late first-round pick in many 2015 fantasy drafts, Anderson started slowly. Starting with Week 8, however, Anderson carried the ball 85 times for 540 yards (6.35 YPC) and five touchdowns and the team should be more run-heavy in the post-Peyton Manning era.

4.05 - Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots: Tearing his ACL only seven games into the season, Lewis was on pace for 1,422 yards from scrimmage, 82 receptions and nine total touchdowns. Provided he's ready for the start of the season (there was some speculation he could start the season on the reserve/PUP list) and maintains good health, Lewis is a high-end RB2 in this 14-team PPR mock draft.

5.10 - John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: In Year 2, Brown finished with 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns as he scored the 25th-most fantasy points (PPR) among wide receivers. All three of the team's top-three receivers, however, are limited some by the presence of the other two, but the arrow is certainly pointing up for the speedy third-year receiver.

6.05 - Ben Roethlisberger, QB, 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.

7.10 - 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 14th-most 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.

8.05 - 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.

9.10 - Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Aiken had 75 catches for 944 yards in 2015, but his production could decline year over year depending on the health of the team's other receivers. Even so, it wouldn't surprise me if Aiken ends 2016 as the team's most productive fantasy receiver once again.

10.05 - 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 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.

11.10 - 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.

12.05 - Jason Witten, TE, 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).

13.10 - Houston Texans D/ST

14.05 - Matt Ryan, QB, 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.

15.10 - Blair Walsh, K, Minnesota Vikings:

- View full mock draft results here

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August 12, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy Quarterback Rankings

With the preseason getting underway on Thursday, we have updated our 2016 fantasy football positional rankings.


Here are our 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. 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. Like Cam Newton (but to a lesser extent), 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-three fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback.

4. 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 once again finish as a top-five fantasy 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. 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.

7. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Despite his four-game suspension to start the season, Brady should easily 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.

8. 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.

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 repeat the 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, 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 and he's a low-end QB1 going into the 2016 season.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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).

- Full Top-40 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings

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August 11, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy Running Back Rankings

With the preseason kicking off on Thursday, we updated our preseason 2016 fantasy football 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, you could argue that he should be the first running back off the board. Despite missing the first three games of the 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 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
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.

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 a league-high 331 touches. (LA's Todd Gurley is second with 330 projected touches.)

5. 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 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).

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, Bell is facing another suspension 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 510 touches -- 403 carries and 107 receptions -- for 2,907 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns. That averages out to 23.18 touches, 132.14 YFS and 0.64 touchdowns -- or more than 17 (standard) fantasy points -- per game.

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. 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.

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.

- View Full 2016 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings

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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

Earlier today, we updated our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings.

Here are our 2016 fantasy football wide receiver rankings:

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. Over his past three seasons combined, Brown has a total of 375 receptions for 5,031 yards and 31 touchdowns with a minimum of 110 catches and 1,499 yards per season.

[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 15 100-yard games during that span. Only Antonio Brown (17) and Julio Jones (16) have more. 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, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Breaking out in his second season, the 22-year-old (turns 23 in August) 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. Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season.

8. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Rehab from a torn ACL last preseason seemed to be progressing well until a "hiccup" in the other knee landed him on the active/PUP list. Nelson and the team still say he's on track to suit up for Week 1, his and the team's stated goal, but obviously there is reason for some concern after he tweaked his other knee. With stat lines of 98/1,519/13 (2014) and 85/1,314/8 (2013) in his previous two seasons before the injury, the 31-year-old receiver should finish with roughly 1,300 yards in 2016 assuming that he is ready for Week 1 and is able to stay healthy.

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 with 100 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns.

10. 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. Only 22 years old (turns 23 in August) and with the continued development of Jameis Winston, Evans has a chance to post markedly better numbers in 2016.

- View Full 2016 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings

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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy Tight End Rankings

With the first season of the 2016 NFL preseason beginning today, we have updated our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings.

Here are our 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 if Tom Brady's four-game suspension is upheld, 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 with Reed, but I expect him to average the second-most fantasy points per game at the position behind Gronk.

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 my TE4 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.

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. 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 there's a good chance that Eifert (ankle) won't be ready for Week 1.

10. 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.

- View full 2016 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings

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August 10, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 6

Four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft this past Sunday.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well and we are now halfway through our mock draft.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 6 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

6.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): DeMarco Murray, RB, 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). Murray's 2016 outlook took a bit of a hit when Tennessee drafted last year's Heisman winner, but the Titans should rank near the top of the league in rush attempts with Murray as their lead back if things go according to script.

6.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Arian Foster, RB, Miami Dolphins

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 as Brendan's RB3.

6.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

It was a lost season for Luck, who missed more games (nine) than he played (seven). And when he was on the field, he was (much) less than 100 percent for many of those games. In his last full season, Luck threw for 4,761 yards and a league-high 40 touchdowns. Perhaps he won't duplicate his 2014 numbers, but I expect a bounce-back season and a top-three fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback provided he stays healthy.

6.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Matthews improved on 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, but fantasy owners had bigger expectations from Matthews. On a positive note, six of his eight touchdowns came in his final six games and he finished with 100-plus yards in two of his final three games.

6.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

In a breakout second season, Hurns finished with 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns. Along with teammate Allen Robinson, the two Allens were among only nine wide receivers to post 1,000/10 lines in 2015. With an improved team outlook, however, the Jaguars are unlikely to rank second in pass-play percentage (65.02%) once again, but Hurns is a solid WR3 in 2016 fantasy drafts.

6.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Part of a platoon with Jeremy Hill, Bernard still finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats (RB16 in PPR) last season despite scoring just two touchdowns. In fact, RB21 was the worst finish of his young three-year career.

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 should easily reach value at his RB27 draft slot even if his ceiling is limited by Hill's presence.

Gio appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in Fantasy Football Drafts

6.07 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

In Year 2, Brown finished with 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns as he scored the 22nd-most fantasy points among wide receivers. All three of the team's top-three receivers, however, are limited some by the presence of the other two, but the arrow is certainly pointing up for the speedy third-year receiver and he's a nice value as the WR33 in this mock.

6.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

In two seasons with the Broncos, Sanders finished with 101/1,404/7 (2014) and 76/1,135/4 (2015). Given the team's quarterback situation, however, it's likely that the Broncos rely heavily on their running game and defense and Sanders falls a little short of his of 2015 numbers. Even so, he's the WR34 in this mock and a top-30 receiver in my rankings.

6.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Earlier this offseason, Mathews was reportedly available for trade, but he should get the largest share of touches in Philadelphia's backfield. The Eagles drafted Wendell Smallwood in the fifth round and still have the versatile Darren Sproles, but Mathews could get close to 250 touches if, a big if, he can stay healthy for a full season.

6.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): 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 he's expected to enter the season as the lead back. That said, he turned 31 in March, has struggled with durability and the Giants drafted Paul Perkins in the fifth round of this year's draft.

6.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

Atop the team's depth chart, Abdullah has some breakout potential in 2016. Abdullah rushed for 597 yards on 143 carries, added 25 catches for 183 yards and scored three total touchdowns as a rookie. No team ran the ball on a lower percentage of their plays last season, but the Lions should — and plan to — be more balanced on offense this year.

6.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Travis Kelce, TE, 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.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 7

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 5

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
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August 09, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 5

Four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft over this weekend.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 5 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

5.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Aaron Rodgers, QB, 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. [Of course, Nelson is currently on the PUP list due to a "hiccup" with his other knee.]

5.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Greg Olsen, TE, 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 behind Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed.

5.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): 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.)

5.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Russell Wilson, QB, 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 once again finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback.

5.05 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Fitzgerald got off to a phenomenal four-game start: 30/432/5. Naturally, his pace slowed from that torrid start, but he finished the year with a career-high 109 receptions for 1,215 yards, his first 1,000-yard campaign in four years, and nine touchdowns. The trio of Brown, Floyd and Fitzgerald are separated by a fraction of a fantasy point in my projections (standard scoring).

5.06 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins

Impressive during the preseason (7.0 YPC), Jones had a couple of big games in the regular season -- 19/123/2 rushing in Week 2 and 187 YFS in Week 10. That said, the rookie averaged just 3.4 YPC on the season, fumbled five times on 163 touches and missed three games. The good news, though, is Jones will get a large workload as the Redskins have limited depth behind him.

5.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals

While Floyd once again failed to exceed 1,000 yards, he finished the season strong after a slow start. Floyd exceeded the 100-yard mark in five of his final eight regular-season games in 2015 and I have him projected to reach the 1,000-yard milestone in 2016.

5.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): 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.

5.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

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.

Related: DeVante Parker 2016 Fantasy Football Profile

5.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): 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.

5.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets

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 last season. That consistency led to a top-10 full-season finish in fantasy points scored among wide receivers.

5.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

Conditionally reinstated with a four-game suspension to the start the season, Gordon is a high-risk, high-reward fantasy receiver going into 2016. Only 25 years old, Gordon has served multiple suspensions including the entire 2015 season, but he also led the NFL in receiving in 2013 despite being suspended for the first two games of that season.

Through five rounds, Gordon is Sean's WR2 behind Randall Cobb (Round 3); I'd prefer to have Gordon as my WR3 (or WR4), but he has the potential upside to finish as a WR1 in terms of fantasy points per game.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 6

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 4

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 5" »


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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 4

Four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft on Sunday morning.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 4 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

4.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): 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. On the year, only Rob Gronkowski and Gary Barnidge scored more fantasy points than Reed. 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.

4.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): 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.

4.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

Not only did Watkins have at least 80 yards in each of 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. Recently passing his physical, Watkins (foot) has dealt with more than his fair share of injuries in his career so far, but he should be ready for the regular-season opener against the Ravens.

4.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): 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 third-year receiver has plenty of breakout appeal.

Moncrief appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

4.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): 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. My main concern with Landry is that I expect a breakout season from teammate DeVante Parker. In fact, I have Parker ranked ahead of Landry this season.

4.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

With one more carry than he had as a rookie, 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. Perhaps we 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.

4.07 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

Missing seven games with a broken foot, Edelman set a career high with seven receiving touchdowns and averaged 6.8 receptions and 76.9 yards per game, both of which were career highs. Edelman has missed multiple games in each of the past two seasons, but he's a high-volume receiver playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

4.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Reunited with his former coach, 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 remains a solid WR2 heading into 2016. While he's technically Sean's WR1, he's the 23rd receiver off the board in this mock.

4.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots

Tearing his ACL only seven games into the season, Lewis was on pace for 1,422 yards from scrimmage, 82 receptions and nine total touchdowns. (Only four running backs had 1,400-plus YFS in 2015 although injuries played a part in that as well.) Provided he's ready for the start of the season and maintains good health, Lewis is an elite PPR running back with plenty of upside in standard-scoring formats as well.

4.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Not only did he set career highs of 78 receptions, 1,069 yards and (a league-high) 14 touchdowns last season, but Baldwin scored 11 of those touchdowns during the five-game span from Weeks 12 to 16. Baldwin, who signed an extension through 2020, will likely perform more like a WR3-type in 2016 than the absolutely dominant version we saw in the second half of 2015. Over the final eight games of the season, Baldwin scored a touchdown on 19.05% of his receptions (12 of 63). Before that, the 5-foot-10 receiver scored a touchdown on 4.93% of his receptions (17 of 345) in his career.

4.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): 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.

4.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): 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.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 3

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 1

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 4" »


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August 08, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 16 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: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 16
  • Draft Slot: 5
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 2 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 - David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: 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 is my top-ranked fantasy running back heading into 2016.

2.12 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Through the first seven games, 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.

3.05 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: With 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons, Thomas finished with 105/1,304/6 in 2015 despite Peyton Manning's struggles (9-to-17 TD-INT ratio). In other words, there is a good chance that DT posts at least comparable numbers to 2015 despite the less-than-ideal quarterback situation.

4.12 - 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 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.

5.05 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: A breakout candidate for the 2016 season, Parker closed his rookie campaign strong — 80-plus yards in four of the final six games of the season and a 22/445/3 stat line, good for the 18th-most fantasy points over that span.

6.12 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Even with injuries to his top pass-catchers, Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 YPG with 29 TDs. Not only did Rivers average 21.05 fantasy points per game with Keenan Allen (only 14.52/G without him), but he had scored the second-most fantasy points after Tom Brady before Allen's Week 8 season-ending injury.

7.05 - Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers: Gates finished as a top-12 fantasy tight end in 2015 at 35 years old despite missing five games. With Gates as his favorite red-zone target, Rivers recently stated that it's a goal to get Gates eight (plus) TDs for him to get the all-time position record.

8.12 - LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots: The biggest challenge with owning Blount — or any Patriots running back — is that he could go from 30 carries and three touchdowns one week to two carries the next week, but he is a solid RB3 this late.

9.05 - 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. Based on my projections, Snead could give the Saints a pair of 1,000-yard wideouts in 2016.

10.12 - 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. Both Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen should get more targets, but positive momentum has carried over into the offseason program and training camp for the second-year receiver.

11.05 - Josh Ferguson, RB, Indianapolis Colts: If Gore misses any time, Ferguson is the most likely to fill Gore's void.

12.12 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins: Finishing as the QB16, QB9 and QB17 in his past three seasons, Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside with the coaching upgrade of Adam Gase and Parker's potential breakout.

13.05 - Los Angeles Rams D/ST

14.12 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

15.05 - 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.

- 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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Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 16 teams, No. 5 pick" »


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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 3

Yesterday morning, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

With that said, here is Round 3 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

3.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, but he battled a foot injury down the stretch. With 20 yards or less in four of his past seven games, his rookie campaign could have been even better, but I expect a stronger performance throughout all of 2016 for the talented second-year receiver.

3.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): 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.

3.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): LeSean McCoy, RB, 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.

3.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Demaryius Thomas, WR, 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.

3.05 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Cam Newton, QB, 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.

3.06 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Brandin Cooks, WR, 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.

3.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers

As a rookie in 2014, Benjamin finished with 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. Missing all of 2015 with a torn ACL, Benjamin resumes his role as the No. 1 receiver for the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. That said, this is a little early for me as Benjamin is the WR24 in my rankings and the WR17 off the board in this mock.

3.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Thomas Rawls, RB, 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 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.

3.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): C.J. Anderson, RB, 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. Especially given the quarterback depth chart, the Broncos will rely on their defense and run game to win games, leading to a heavy workload for Anderson.

3.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): 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.

Murray appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in Fantasy Football Drafts

3.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): 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. 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 here.

3.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Randall Cobb, WR, 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. With Jordy Nelson back as the team's No. 1 receiver, however, it should take defensive attention off Cobb and lead to improved 2016 production.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 4

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 2

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 3" »


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2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 2

Yesterday morning, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 2 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

2.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Coming off a second torn ACL (the other 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.

2.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Breaking out in his second season, the 22-year-old (turns 23 on Aug. 24th) 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. Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season.

2.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Rehab from a torn ACL last preseason seemed to be progressing well until a "hiccup" in the other knee landed him on the active/PUP list. Nelson and the team still say he's on track to suit up for Week 1, his and the team's stated goal, but obviously there is reason for some concern after he tweaked his other knee. I'll admit, I didn't great picking Nelson here (although he's my 14th-ranked player and the 15th-player off the board).

With stat lines of 98/1,519/13 (2014) and 85/1,314/8 (2013) in his previous two seasons before the injury, the 31-year-old receiver should finish with roughly 1,300 yards in 2016 assuming that he is ready for Week 1 and is able to stay healthy. But I'll be holding my breath ...

2.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): 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.

Freeman has shown a three-down skill set, but the Falcons want to lower Freeman's workload and get second-year back Tevin Coleman more involved in the offense in 2016. Even so, Freeman is still my seventh-ranked running back (and the RB7 so far in this mock draft).

2.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Alshon Jeffery, WR, 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. 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.

2.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Le'Veon Bell, RB, 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, Bell is facing another suspension to start the 2016 season.

A highly productive, true three-down back when he's 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. If there's a silver lining with the suspension, it gives Bell (knee) a little more time to get to 100 percent.

2.07 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): 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.

2.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Doug Martin, RB, 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.

2.09 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Brandon Marshall, WR, 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. Repeating last year's numbers seems unlikely, but Marshall should finish with 100 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns.

2.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): 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. Only 22 years old (turns 23 later this month) and with the continued development of Jameis Winston, Evans has a chance to post markedly better numbers in 2016.

2.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): 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. 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.

2.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Mark Ingram, RB, 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.

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 3

> Go back to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 1

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 2" »


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August 07, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 1

This morning, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- began a new 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

While this is a "slow" mock, we will post picks as they are made and I will add comments for the picks as well.

The mock uses standard scoring (i.e., and each contributor will draft for three (of 12) teams and will last 12 rounds.

Here is Round 1 of our 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

1.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

The consensus top receiver in fantasy, Brown is as safe and productive as it gets. Over his past three seasons combined, Brown has a total of 375 receptions for 5,031 yards and 31 touchdowns with a minimum of 110 catches and 1,499 yards per season.

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. In the 12 games that Big Ben played, Brown averaged 9.92/133.25/0.83 per game -- equivalent to a full-season pace of 159/2,132/13.

Poll: Will it be a record-setting season for Brown?

1.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Julio Jones, WR, 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.

1.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Odell Beckham, WR, 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 15 100-yard games during that span. Only Brown (17) and Jones (16) have more. In addition, no player has more receiving touchdowns than Beckham (25) during his two NFL seasons.

The trio of Brown, Jones and OBJ are the consensus top-three picks in fantasy drafts this year. It will get a little more interesting starting with pick 1.04 ...

1.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): 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.

1.05 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Adrian Peterson, RB, 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 a league-high 331 touches. (LA's Todd Gurley is second with 330 projected touches.)

1.06 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Todd Gurley, RB, 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, you could argue that he should be the first running back off the board.

Despite missing the first three games of the 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 under center, Gurley will be one more year removed from his torn ACL and could lead the league in rush attempts in 2016.

1.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): 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, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

If there's any concern, it's that his brief holdout to start training camp has ended without any negotiations of an extension according to reports, but Hopkins is the sixth-ranked player overall on my big board.

1.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

A complete back with the vision, power and speed to excel as a runner, Elliott also 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.

1.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Speaking of Dez, it was a disappointing season for Bryant, Romo and the Cowboys in general. Not only was Bryant sidelined for nearly half the season with a broken foot, but 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.

1.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): A.J. Green, WR, 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 an 86/1,297/10 stat line in three of his past four seasons, Green should see a boost in targets this season following some free-agent departures at receiver.

1.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Rob Gronkowski, TE, 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 if Tom Brady's four-game suspension is upheld, but Gronk is in a tier by himself atop the position group.

1.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Lamar Miller, RB, 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 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).

> Continue to Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 2

Our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- PPR Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

Check out more of our content:
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- NFL Power Rankings
- 2016 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)
- 2016 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator

Continue reading "2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 1" »


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2016 Fantasy Football Average Draft Position: Weekly Risers and Fallers in Fantasy ADP

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
QBRyan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets-5.1 (155.6 on 7/31; 150.5 on 8/7)
RBArian Foster, Miami Dolphins-17.6 (73.6 on 7/31; 56.0 on 8/7)
WRSammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers-19.0 (153.7 on 7/31; 134.7 on 8/7)
TEMartellus Bennett, New England Patriots-4.6 (140.8 on 7/31; 136.2 on 8/7)

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

Biggest Risers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBRyan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets-3.28% (155.6 on 7/31; 150.5 on 8/7)
RBArian Foster, Miami Dolphins-23.91% (73.6 on 7/31; 56.0 on 8/7)
WRBrandon Marshall, New York Jets-26.55% (22.6 on 7/31; 16.6 on 8/7)
TECoby Fleener, New Orleans Saints-5.00% (78.0 on 7/31; 74.1 on 8/7)

Biggest Fallers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBRG3, Cleveland Browns+5.7 (162.2 on 7/31; 167.9 on 8/7)
RBJay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins+13.6 (75.1 on 7/31; 88.7 on 8/7)
WRTed Ginn, Carolina Panthers+16.5 (144.6 on 7/31; 161.1 on 8/7)
TETyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals+6.6 (68.0 on 7/31; 74.6 on 8/7)

Biggest Fallers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBBen Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers+6.57% (59.4 on 7/31; 63.3 on 8/7)
RBJay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins+18.11% (75.1 on 7/31; 88.7 on 8/7)
WRTed Ginn, Carolina Panthers+11.41% (144.6 on 7/31; 161.1 on 8/7)
TETyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals+9.71% (68.0 on 7/31; 74.6 on 8/7)

- 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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August 04, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football PPR 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: Point-per-reception (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 - 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, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.

2.09 - 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.

3.04 - Doug Martin, RB, 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.

4.09 - Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots: Tearing his ACL only seven games into the season, Lewis was on pace for 1,422 yards from scrimmage, 82 receptions and nine total touchdowns. (Only four running backs had 1,400-plus YFS in 2015 although injuries played a part in that as well.) Provided he's ready for the start of the season and maintains good health, Lewis is an elite PPR running back.

5.04 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald got off to a phenomenal four-game start: 30/432/5. Naturally, his pace slowed from that torrid start, but he finished the year with a career-high 109 receptions for 1,215 yards, his first 1,000-yard campaign in four years, and nine touchdowns.

6.09 - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: 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).

7.04 - 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 hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum.

8.09 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Gore fell just shy of the 1,000-yard milestone with a career-low 3.7 YPC in his first season with the Colts. That said, Gore's efficiency was much better with Andrew Luck (4.11 YPC), who missed nine games last year. With a healthy Luck and improved offensive line, Gore should be more consistent week to week even though he recently turned 33 years old.

9.04 - Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even with 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 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.

- Related: Sims appeared on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

10.09 - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Some will knock Treadwell for his (lack of) speed, but the Vikings first-round pick is a big-bodied (6-2, 221), physical receiver with strong hands that runs good routes. Perhaps a bigger problem than his speed is Minnesota's offense, as no team threw it less than the Vikings in 2015, but Treadwell should especially make his presence felt in the red zone.

11.04 - 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 RB27 in PPR in 2015.

12.09 - Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Missing six games last season, Jackson had his worst season since signing with the Bucs in both absolute and per-game numbers. V-Jax finished with just 33 catches for 543 yards (54.3/G) and three touchdowns in his age-32 season, but he provides some depth as my WR5.

13.04 - 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 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.

14.09 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: The nephew of Keyshawn Johnson, Thomas has a chance to make a 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.

15.04 - Los Angeles Rams D/ST

16.09 - Brandon McManus, K, Denver Broncos

- 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 03, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Projections: San Diego Chargers Fantasy Preview

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 San Diego Chargers:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Philip Rivers432641484030.813.521440.2308.9
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.
Zach Mettenberger35360.20.21-101.94

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Melvin Gordon2279535.7322050.9155.4
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 appears to be fully recovered from the injury.
Danny Woodhead1044063.3706024.6148.2
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) in 2015.
Branden Oliver38135111860.329.9

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Wide Receivers

PlayerRec.YardsTDRushYardsTDPoints
Keenan Allen11413058.4000180.9
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.
Travis Benjamin528584.22120112.2
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 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.
Dontrelle Inman243242.200045.6
Steve Johnson222491.300032.7
Tyrell Williams142311.100029.7
James Jones111190.700016.1

More Fantasy Football WR Resources:

Tight Ends

PlayerRec.YardsTDPoints
Antonio Gates586446.7104.6
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.
Hunter Henry222531.534.3

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More AFC West Team Projections:

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August 01, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 16 teams, No. 14 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: 14
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.14 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Breaking out in his second season, the 22-year-old (turns 23 later this month) Robinson finished with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. In his final 12 games of the season, Robinson finished with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown (or more) in every game.

2.03 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: While few (read: nobody) saw it coming, no running back scored more fantasy points in 2015 than Freeman. While he's shown a three-down skill set, the Falcons want to lower Freeman's workload, but he's still my RB6 heading into 2016.

3.14 - Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers: With Jordy Nelson back as the team's No. 1 receiver, it should take defensive attention off Cobb and lead to a bounce-back season. I actually have the next guy ranked higher than Cobb, but I figured I'd have a better chance of getting both by taking Cobb first.

4.03 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: With a strong close to his rookie season, Parker had 80-plus yards in four of the final six games. During that six-game span, Parker had the 18th-most fantasy points among receivers and amassed a total of 22 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

- Related: DeVante Parker 2016 Fantasy Football Profile

5.14 - 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. I expect him to see a larger percentage of the workload split in year two.

6.03 - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Despite his four-game suspension to start the season, Brady should easily finish as a top-five (or better) quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game. Scoring the second-most fantasy points, Brady threw for 4,770 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns in 2015.

7.14 - Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Playing a full 16-game season for the first time in his career, Jennings racked up 419 YFS in the final three games of the season. Durability and age (31) are concerns, but Jennings should lead the team's backfield in touches.

8.03 - 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 Sims comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs.

- Sims was on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

9.14 - Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Missing six games last season, Jackson had his worst season since signing with the Bucs in both absolute and per-game numbers, but he provides some depth as my WR4.

10.03 - 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 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.

11.14 - Jason Witten, TE, 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.

12.03 - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins: Over the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively. With the coaching change and breakout potential of Parker, Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside, but he's at least a solid suspension replacement for Brady.

13.14 - New York Jets D/ST

14.03 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots

15.14 - 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.

- 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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July 31, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football Average Draft Position: Weekly Risers and Fallers in Fantasy ADP

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
QB(tie)Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans
-1.3 (131.6 on 7/24; 130.3 on 7/31)
-1.3 (163.1 on 7/24; 161.8 on 7/31)
RBDeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers-21.3 (83.3 on 7/24; 62.0 on 7/31)
WRJosh Gordon, Cleveland Browns-53.2 (133.3 on 7/24; 80.1 on 7/31)
TEEric Ebron, Detroit Lions-3.0 (152.0 on 7/24; 149.0 on 7/31)

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

Biggest Risers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBCarson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals-1.13% (79.6 on 7/24; 78.7 on 7/31)
RBDeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers-25.57% (83.3 on 7/24; 62.0 on 7/31)
WRJosh Gordon, Cleveland Browns-39.91% (133.3 on 7/24; 80.1 on 7/31)
TEEric Ebron, Detroit Lions-1.97% (152.0 on 7/24; 149.0 on 7/31)

Biggest Fallers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBBlake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars+5.1 (78.8 on 7/24; 83.9 on 7/31)
RBJay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins+15.1 (60.0 on 7/24; 75.1 on 7/31)
WRMike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens+9.7 (148.9 on 7/24; 158.6 on 7/31)
TEJulius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars+4.5 (97.8 on 7/24; 102.3 on 7/31)

Biggest Fallers (Percentage)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBBlake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars+6.47% (78.8 on 7/24; 83.9 on 7/31)
RBLe'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers+142.55% (4.7 on 7/24; 11.4 on 7/31)
WRJordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers+9.09% (14.3 on 7/24; 15.6 on 7/31)
TEJulius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars+4.60% (97.8 on 7/24; 102.3 on 7/31)

- 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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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: Currently holding out from training camp, it's highly unlikely that Hopkins misses any regular-season games with or without a new deal. Even with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation, Hopkins set career highs in his age-23 season with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns.

2.03 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: While few (read: nobody) saw it coming, no running back scored more fantasy points in 2015 than Freeman. One concern is that the Falcons want to lower Freeman's workload even though he has shown a three-down skill set. Freeman is currently my RB6 heading into 2016.

3.10 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton has now finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in four of his five NFL seasons. No quarterback has more weekly upside than Newton, who finished as the weekly QB1 in five of his final nine games in 2015. Even though this is a fair spot to take Cam, I'm not usually a fan of how my team turns out when drafting a QB early and this is another example of that. In real drafts, I'd be unlikely to take Cam here due to the value to be had later.

4.03 - Thomas Rawls, RB, 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 started and finished, Rawls had four 100-yard rushing games and averaged 118.67 rushing yards per game. There is risk with Rawls, however, following last year's broken ankle injury.

5.10 - 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 22-year-old (turns 23 next month) Moncrief has plenty of breakout appeal heading into his third season.

- Moncrief was on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

6.03 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: 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, which was good for the 18th-most fantasy points during that span. Like with Moncrief, there is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

- DeVante Parker 2016 Fantasy Football Profile

7.10 - Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers: No running back had more receptions (80) or receiving yards (755) than Woodhead, who totalled 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) in 2015.

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. Obviously, he'll slow from his end-of-season torrid pace, but hopefully Ertz can build upon last year's positive momentum.

9.10 - 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 he's expected to enter the season as the lead back. That said, he turned 31 in March, has struggled with durability and the Giants drafted Paul Perkins in the fifth round of this year's draft.

10.03 - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Treadwell is a big-bodied (6-2, 221), physical receiver with strong hands that runs good routes and should especially make his presence felt in the red zone early in his career.

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 - Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers: With Kelvin Benjamin (ACL) out for the season, Funchess underperformed expectations with a stat line of 31/473/5 in 2015. On a positive note, all five of his touchdowns came in the final nine games and his best performance (7/120/1) happened in Week 17. With Benjamin healthy, however, Funchess is no better than third in line for targets among Carolina's pass-catchers.

13.10 - Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants: As noted earlier, durability is always a concern with Jennings, which gives Perkins upside as his handcuff.

14.03 - 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. Earlier this offseason, OC Todd Haley said Coates was having a "tremendous offseason" and that is continuing into the early stages of training camp.

15.10 - Minnesota Vikings D/ST

16.03 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens:

- View full mock draft results here

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2016 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 10 teams, No. 8 pick, QB-eligible flex

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 with Super Flex
  • # of Teams: 10
  • Draft Slot: 8
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Super Flex (QB/RB/WR/TE), K, D/ST, 6 Bench

With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.08 - Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants: In his young career, Beckham has averaged more than 100 yards per game and no player has more receiving touchdowns than Beckham (25) during his two NFL seasons.

2.03 - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: From a fantasy 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.

3.08 - Alshon Jeffery, WR, 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. 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.

4.03 - Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Keenan Allen, who missed the second half of the season, and only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8 with Allen, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady.

- Rivers was on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

5.08 - Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: Finishing as the TE1 in Weeks 14, 15 and 16, Reed posted a 25/333/5 stat line during that three-game stretch. Durability is obviously a concern, but his fantasy playoff dominance demonstrated his upside when healthy.

6.03 - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: Reunited with Andy Reid, 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 top-15 PPR wide receiver, Maclin remains a solid WR2 heading into 2016.

7.08 - DeMarco Murray, RB, 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). The lead back in Tennessee's "exotic smashmouth" offense, Murray should get a heavy workload in his shot to bounce back.

8.03 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Part of a platoon with Jeremy Hill, Bernard still finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats (RB16 in PPR) last season despite scoring just two touchdowns. Bernard has averaged 213.33 touches (including 49.33 receptions) and 1,146.67 YFS per season in his career.

9.08 - Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Gore averaged a career-low 3.7 YPC in his first season with the Colts, but he finished fifth in the NFL in touches. With a healthy Andrew Luck and improved offensive line, Gore is a nice value as my RB4.

- 2016 Fantasy Football Profile for Frank Gore

10.03 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Parker closed his rookie 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. There is plenty of breakout potential for Parker heading into 2016.

11.08 - Willie Snead, WR, : 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.

12.03 - Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: 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.

13.08 - 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), but he becomes the No. 1 receiver in an offense that should rank in the top 10 in the league in number of plays. And as far as game flow is concerned, 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.

14.03 - Seattle Seahawks D/ST

15.08 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, 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. 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.

16.03 - Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers:

- View full mock draft results here

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July 29, 2016

12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts

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 strategy, the one thing that I try to do in every draft is consistently select players that are relative values compared to their draft slots.

Below you will find a list of 12 players that I expect to exceed their fantasy football average draft position (ADP).

[Note: Consensus ADP from FantasyPros was used as a comparison.]

QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (ADP: 101, QB12 — My rank: QB8)

Like many fantasy owners, I will wait to draft my fantasy quarterback(s) — unless one of the elite quarterbacks falls further than expected. One of my more frequent approaches to the position has been to pair Tom Brady with a replacement-level quarterback considering the depth of the position. So, I suppose Brady could have been listed here as well.

With that said, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers through Week 8 last year was 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 and Stevie Johnson missed five and six games, respectively. With the addition of Travis Benjamin and better health (and no suspensions) from the team's other pass-catchers, Rivers could outperform my QB8 ranking -- and certainly his current QB12 ADP.

QB - Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 160, QB21 — My rank: QB13)

A better fantasy quarterback than real quarterback (at least, so far in his career), Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively, over the past three seasons. Throwing for 24-plus touchdowns in each of those seasons, Tannehill has also exceeded 4,000 passing yards in back-to-back campaigns.

With the coaching change (Adam Gase), some tutoring from Peyton Manning and a potential breakout receiver (listed below), I expect improved year-over-year production from Tannehill. Not only does he offer plenty of upside to QB streamers, but Tannehill is my favorite QB2 value in 2-QB leagues with sneaky top-12 upside.

- DFS: Sign up at FanDuel and get a 100% deposit bonus (up to $200)

RB - Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 41, RB17 — My rank: RB14)

Scoring the 11th-most fantasy points among running backs, Murray finished fourth in the NFL in touches (307) and sixth in rushing (1,066 yards). Not only did he have a large workload overall, Murray was consistently given a large workload as he led the NFL in games (15) with 15-plus touches.

Comments by the coaching staff about Murray this offseason were a bit of a concern, but they waited until the fifth round to draft a running back (DeAndre Washington). If you draft Murray, however, handcuffing him with Washington makes sense.

A huge positive for Murray (or Washington or any Raiders running back) is their offensive line. In fact, PFF asked the following question earlier this offseason: Better offensive line in 2016: Cowboys or Raiders?

RB - Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 74, RB27 — My rank: RB20)

Gore fell just shy of the 1,000-yard milestone with 967 yards on 260 carries and a career-low 3.7 YPC in his first season with the Colts. That said, Gore's efficiency was much better with Andrew Luck (4.11 YPC) than with Matt Hasselbeck (3.44 YPC) under center. Provided Luck stays healthy and with their improved offensive line, Gore, who was fantasy's RB12 last season, should be more consistent week to week even though he recently turned 33 years old.

- Related: Frank Gore 2016 Fantasy Football Profile

RB - Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 80, RB31 — My rank: RB23)

Part of a platoon with Jeremy Hill, Bernard still finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in standard-scoring formats (RB16 in PPR) last season despite scoring just two touchdowns. In fact, RB21 was the worst finish of his young three-year career.

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 should easily reach or exceed value at his current ADP (RB31) even if his ceiling is somewhat limited by Hill's presence.

RB - Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ADP: 115, RB41 — My rank: RB34)

Doug Martin played 16 games for the first time in three years and finished second behind only Adrian Peterson in rushing. Despite that, Sims still finished as fantasy's RB22 (RB17 in PPR) in 2015.

Even more so than Gio (with Hill), Sims' upside is capped by the presence of Martin. But even if Martin stays healthy for a full season once again, it wouldn't surprise me if Sims comes close to duplicating last year's production -- 1,090 YFS, 51 receptions and four TDs.

In addition, Tampa's running backs have the most favorable fantasy strength of schedule for the full season and the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16). The Bucs face the Saints, Cowboys and Saints again in the fantasy playoffs.

WR - T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 33, WR17 — My rank: WR10)

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.

T.Y.’s had as good an offseason as anybody,” Pagano gushed a few weeks back (via the Indianapolis Star). “I’ve never seen this guy practice as fast as he is right now and compete at the level he is.”

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 69, WR31 — My rank: WR18)

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, which was good for the 18th-most fantasy points among wide receivers during that stretch. Not only is Parker poised for a breakout season, but I have him ranked ahead of Jarvis Landry (ADP: 47, WR23) in my standard-scoring receiver rankings.

- Related: DeVante Parker 2016 Fantasy Football Profile

WR - Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 78, WR33 — My rank: WR20)

The third Colt on this list, Moncrief doubled his reception total from 32 to 64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns in his sophomore campaign. With an ideal combination of size (6-2, 222) and athleticism (4.40 forty, 39.5-inch vertical), the 22-year-old (turns 23 in August) receiver would have posted even better numbers if it weren't for the injuries to Luck.

In the first seven games last season, Moncrief had a touchdown in five games and four-plus catches in six games. The true breakout that would have happened with a healthy Luck should happen this season for Moncrief.

WR - Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints (ADP: 116, WR45 — My rank: WR36)

Starting opposite Brandin Cooks, Snead nearly reached the 1,000-yard mark with a 69/984/3 stat line. Had he not missed one game, Snead would have covered the 16-yard shortfall.

Snead didn't have many big games, but he had at least four receptions in 11 of 16 games. Based on my projections, Snead will give the Saints a pair of 1,000-yard wideouts in 2016. An underrated but consistent performer, there aren't many (likely) 1,000-yard receivers being drafted as a low-end WR4 like Snead. Compared to other experts tracked by FantasyPros, I'm as high on Snead as nearly anyone (see above).

WR - Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 122, WR47 — My rank: WR33)

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). With Anquan Boldin no longer in San Francisco and Chip Kelly taking over as coach, Smith becomes the No. 1 receiver in an offense that should rank in the top 10 in the league in number of plays. Potentially playing the vast majority of their season in catch-up mode, the 49ers are underdogs in every game from Weeks 1 to 16 (based on lines from sportsbook.ag) so there could be plenty of garbage-time production for Smith.

TE - Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 102, TE11 — My rank: TE8)

Missing much of training camp and the first four games last season, Thomas has now missed multiple games in each of his three seasons as a starter. Before joining the Jaguars, however, Thomas scored 12 touchdowns in each of his previous two seasons as part of Denver's high-flying offense. Provided he can stay healthy, Thomas should post much better numbers in 2016 even if it's not the double-digit touchdowns that Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times Union projects for him.

More of our content:
- 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings (Standard scoring)
- PPR Fantasy Football Rankings
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator
- 2016 Fantasy Football Projections
- 2016 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts
- 2017 NFL Mock Draft
- NFL Mock Draft Database
- 2016 NFL Power Rankings

Continue reading "12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts" »


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July 26, 2016

Pre-Training Camp Update: 2016 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings

With NFL teams opening up training camps this week, we have updated our 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings.

Here are our 2016 fantasy football wide receiver rankings:

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. Over his past three seasons combined, Brown has a total of 375 receptions for 5,031 yards and 31 touchdowns with a minimum of 110 catches and 1,499 yards per season.
[Poll: Will it be a record-setting season for Brown?]


2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Over the past two seasons combined, Jones has a total of 240 catches for 3,464 yards, second in both categories to Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown. Aside from Brown, no other receivers have 3,000-plus yards over the past two seasons.


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 15 100-yard games during that span. Only Antonio Brown (17) and Julio Jones (16) have more. 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, Hopkins set career highs across the board with 111 receptions, 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.


5. 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.


6. 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 an 86/1,297/10 stat line in three of his past four seasons, Green should see a boost in targets this season following some free-agent departures at receiver.


7. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Breaking out in his second season, the 22-year-old (turns 23 in August) 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. Robinson is one of only five players in the past decade to have a 1,400/14 season.


8. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

Rehab from a torn ACL last preseason has progressed well and Nelson should be a full participant for training camp. With stat lines of 98/1,519/13 (2014) and 85/1,314/8 (2013) in his previous two seasons before the injury, the 31-year-old receiver should finish with roughly 1,300 yards in 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 has the potential to come close to 100 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns if the team re-signs Ryan Fitzpatrick.


10. 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.


11. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders

Cooper had 72 catches for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie and battled a foot injury down the stretch. With 20 yards or less in four of his past seven games, his rookie campaign could have been even better, but I expect a stronger performance throughout all of 2016 for the talented second-year receiver.


12. Alshon Jeffery,