May 23, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 12

Two Saturdays ago, we began a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft with four of our contributors. While it was a "slow" mock draft that we posted round by round, we have now completed our 12-round mock.

Here are the Round 12 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

12.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Williams is essentially a short-term rental for Dan (and fantasy owners) as he'll lead the team in touches during Le'Veon Bell's three-game suspension. Beginning in Week 4, the 32-year-old back will become droppable in 12-team leagues like this as Bell will assume his every-down role again.

12.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Small but ultra quick, Brown had a solid rookie season especially given the team's injuries at quarterback and finished with 48 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns. Improved year-over-year production should be expected, but his personal outlook is less bullish than it would have been without Larry Fitzgerald back in Arizona.

12.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

There were a few potential breakout receivers going into the 2014 that disappointed, but Patterson was easily the poster child of that group. Going in the first four rounds (ouch!) in many fantasy drafts last August, Patterson's numbers dropped in his sophomore campaign to 33 catches for 384 yards, 117 rushing yards and two total touchdowns in 2014. Over the final five games of the season, Patterson played just three, one, nine, nine and six offensive snaps, respectively.

Coach Zimmer recently said of Patterson that he's "doing a good job in this offseason. He has been in better shape coming in, and he is doing a better job of running routes, of competing each and every down. I look forward to him coming on and I’m a big fan of his." With a much lower ADP, perhaps Patterson exceeds diminished expectations in 2015.

12.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Fleener finished with 774 yards and eight touchdowns, both of which were career highs, on 51 receptions last season. Unsurprisingly, Fleener's best games last season came in games that Dwayne Allen was out. In the four games that Allen missed or left early due to injury, Fleener had 355 yards and four touchdowns. In the other 12 games, he had just 419 yards and four touchdowns. Assuming that Fleener and Allen are healthy for the entire season, I actually prefer Allen over Fleener but the Colts often use two-TE sets and both are heavily involved in the passing offense.

12.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers

Woodhead missed all but three games last season, but prior to the 2014 season, he had finished as a top-30 fantasy running back (in standard-scoring leagues) in three of his previous four seasons. In his first full season with the Chargers (2013), which also coincided with the only full season for Ryan Mathews, Woodhead had 1,034 yards from scrimmage, 76 receptions and eight total touchdowns. As the RB53 in this mock, Woodhead should easily exceed value provided he stays healthy.

12.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Going into his second season, Seferian-Jenkins certainly has plenty of breakout appeal. Not only is it difficult for rookie tight ends to make significant impacts, but ASJ battled some injuries in his rookie season that limited his production as well. Seferian-Jenkins was highly productive (146/1,840/21) in three seasons at Washington and should be featured more often within Dirk Koetter's offense.

12.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Andre Williams, RB, New York Giants

As a rookie, Williams led the team in carries (217), rushing yards (721) and rushing touchdowns (seven), but he averaged just 3.3 YPC and exceeded 3.5 YPC in only three games. Over the final four games of the season, the 230-pound back had 83 carries for 328 yards (3.95 YPC) and two touchdowns. Williams may only be the third-most productive fantasy back behind Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, but he could be first in line for goal-line carries and has some upside if/when the 30-year-old Jennings gets injured.

12.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Moncrief (6-foot-2, 220 pounds, 4.4 speed) flashed his potential with a couple of big games last season -- 7/113/1 in Week 8 and 3/134/2 in Week 13. Playing only 39.1 percent of the team's offensive snaps last season, Moncrief should improve upon last year's 32/444/3 rookie campaign. The signing of Andre Johnson, who was released by the Texans, and selection of Phillip Dorsett in Round 1, however, will limit his opportunity for a true breakout season.

12.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Generating plenty of buzz prior to the draft highlighted by a pair of sub-4.3's run at the UCF Pro Day, Perriman is the son of ex-NFL receiver Brent Perriman, who has a 1,400-yard season under his belt with the Lions. Much bigger than his father, Perriman (6-1, 212) has had some issues with drops and needs to improve as a route-runner, but he's a big play waiting to happen. Coming off a career-best 50/1,044/9 season, Perriman has averaged more than 20.0 Y/R over the past two seasons and is an excellent fit to replace Torrey Smith as a vertical threat in this offense.

12.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2014, but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Fortunately Rivers didn't need back surgery this offseason and he should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015.

12.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Marquess Wilson, WR, Chicago Bears

One of my favorite sleepers last offseason before he broke his clavicle, Wilson, still only 22 years old, had less than 20 receiving yards in all but one of his seven games played last season. Even though the Bears traded Brandon Marshall, they used the seventh-overall pick on Kevin White, which lessens his breakout potential in 2015. In fact, ESPN's Jeff Dickerson wrote recently that "Wilson needs a strong preseason to ensure he’s on the 53-man roster."

12.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Dwayne Bowe, WR, Cleveland Browns

The good news is that Bowe can't have fewer touchdown receptions in 2015. After back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2010 and 2011, Bowe has 801, 673 and 754 receiving yards, respectively, in his past three seasons with the Chiefs. Bowe may be one of a few free-agent wide receivers where Cleveland as a landing spot didn't necessarily hurt his fantasy stock. Although it doesn't necessarily help it, either. (No team threw fewer touchdowns than the Browns last season, but at least some of them went to wide receivers.)

> Go back to Round 11 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 1 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 22, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:: Round 11

We are down to the final few picks in our new 12-round 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

Here are the Round 11 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

11.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos

Three different Broncos running backs had more than 20 touches in a game last season -- Ball (Week 1), Ronnie Hillman (Weeks 6 and 8) and C.J. Anderson (Weeks 12 through 16). Going into 2015, Anderson is the clear favorite for the featured role under new head coach Gary Kubiak, but it wouldn't be a complete surprise if Ball or Hillman occupies that role at some point in the season as well so Ball is certainly worth the gamble in Round 11. That said, he averaged just 3.13 yards per carry in the games he did play last season.

11.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins

A downhill runner with excellent size (6-0, 221), Ajayi is a versatile back with excellent receiving skills (50 receptions for 536 yards last season) that slipped further than expected in the draft due to long-term medical (knee) concerns. That said, his skill set profiles as a three-down back and he would have likely been a second-round pick had their not been concerns about his knee. He'll back up Lamar Miller, but the Dolphins have seemed reluctant to feature Miller. Despite his production on a per-carry basis (5.09 YPC), Miller exceeded 15 carries only four times last season.

11.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Knile Davis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

The best handcuff among fantasy running backs, Davis had some big games when given the opportunity as he finished as a top-eight fantasy running back four times last season. With Jamaal Charles leaving Week 2 early (only two carries) and missing Week 3, Davis had a combined 60 touches for 237 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in those two games. In the other games, Davis averaged just 6.92 touches per game but he had double-digit touches in four of those games as well.

11.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Carolina Panthers

With DeAngelo Williams no longer in Carolina, Artis-Payne should win the backup role to Jonathan Stewart going into the 2015 season. Given Stewart's durability track record (only 28 games in past three seasons), it's certainly possible that CAP could find himself as the team's lead back for a game or two this season.

11.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Setting career highs in both receptions (63) and yards (890), Walker led the team in both categories last season. It will be difficult for Walker to repeat that production, however, with rookie Marcus Mariota under center, but this team needs a tight end and he's my top-ranked tight end still on the board.

11.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams

Tearing his rotator cuff in Week 8 last season, Quick played just seven games, but he started the season strong. In the first four games of the year, Quick had a total of 21 receptions for 322 yards and three touchdowns and finished as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver in all four games. Although he had just four catches for 53 yards in his other three games, Quick was on his way to a breakout season. Depending on Quick's recovery and health, that breakout season could come for the former Appalachian State receiver in 2015.

11.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Cody Latimer, WR, Denver Broncos

As a rookie, Latimer played just 37 offensive snaps and had just two receptions for 23 yards on four targets. Two of the team's top pass-catchers -- Wes Welker and Julius Thomas -- have departed via free agency. Going into his second season, Latimer should see a big bump in snaps as Emmanuel Sanders could move inside in three-WR sets and Latimer has plenty of upside as Brendan's WR5.

11.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

Stills set career highs with 63 receptions for a team-high 931 yards in his second season with the Saints, but he was traded to the Dolphins this offseason. One of the areas in which Ryan Tannehill has struggled is his downfield accuracy, which doesn't necessarily bode well for the speedy Stills, but he's a solid WR5 on this team for Brendan.

11.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Reggie Bush, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, Bush missed five games and gained a total of only 550 yards from scrimmage (50.0 per game) while averaging only 3.9 yards per carry and scoring just two touchdowns. Released by the Lions, Bush signed with the 49ers and will at least own a change-of-pace role to unproven second-year back Carlos Hyde.

11.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders

Since his breakout 2012 season (85/1,105/9) and tearing his Achilles the following offseason, Crabtree has a total of 87 receptions for 982 yards and five touchdowns in 21 regular-season games. Crabtree signed a one-year free-agent deal with the Raiders, but rookie Amari Cooper should emerge as Derek Carr's go-to receiver sooner rather than later.

11.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints

Colston, who turns 32 in June, finished with 59 receptions for 902 yards, both of which were the lowest of his career apart from an 11-game season in 2008. On a per-game basis, however, his 3.69 receptions, 6.25 targets and 56.38 yards per game were all career lows. One positive for Colston personally, not the offense in general, is that the team traded away both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills (and drafted no receivers) so perhaps his targets and production will see a bump in 2015.

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

On a positive note, Garcon played a full 16-game season in back-to-back years for the first time in his career. Things weren't all positive for Garcon, however, as his production was nearly cut in half to 68 catches for 752 yards and three touchdowns. (Garcon had 113/1,346/5 in 2013.) Dan should expect a small bump from last year's numbers, but there is no chance that he returns to his 2013 level of production.

> Continue to Round 12 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 10 of our fantasy football mock draft

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2016 NFL Mock Draft Update: Four QBs in Top 16

Roughly one month prior to the 2015 NFL Draft, I took a way-too-early look ahead to the 2016 NFL Draft and posted my initial 2016 NFL Mock Draft.

With the 2015 draft now behind us, it makes sense to redo my 2016 NFL Mock Draft now that we know what needs teams were able to fill (or not).

It's nearly impossible to nail a mock draft minutes before it starts -- let alone 11-plus months beforehand. More than anything, the goal here is to highlight some prospects and potential fits at this point. It's fair to say, this mock is going to look a lot different in the days leading up to the draft than it does today.

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

In future updates, the draft order used will be the inverse of our NFL power rankings until the real draft order is known.

For this update, I've used Super Bowl 50 odds from Sportsbook.ag beginning with teams with the lowest odds to the best odds to win it. Where the order differs is that I made sure 12 playoff teams, six from the AFC and six from the NFC, had picks 21-32 with all eight divisions represented.


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

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

As in the first version of my 2016 NFL mock at the end of March, there are once again four quarterbacks in the first round. With the Titans using the second overall pick this year on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, however, they obviously won't be selecting a quarterback if they finish with the first overall pick and don't trade out.

Per Phil Savage, one organization used Bosa's freshman campaign as a measuring stick for evaluating draft-eligible tackles in 2014 that faced Bosa in 2013. Building upon his strong freshman campaign, Bosa, whose father John was a first-round pick by the Dolphins, posted 13.5 sacks and 20.0 tackles for loss with four fumble recoveries for the national-champion Buckeyes as a true sophomore last season.

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

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

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

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

A few different quarterbacks could be in play as the first-drafted quarterback in 2016. As noted above, this mock has four signal-callers selected in the top 10. If Washington is picking in the top three, it likely means that the team didn't get strong quarterback play from RG3.

If Cook had declared for the 2015 NFL Draft, I would have slotted him in behind Winston and Mariota but ahead of any other quarterbacks in the draft class. Cook has prototypical size (6-4, 220) and arm strength and all of the physical tools to be successful at the next level. Returning for his senior year should help him work on his footwork and improve his accuracy -- only 58.1 and 58.7 completion percentages over the past two seasons, respectively.

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

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

5. Cleveland Browns (team draft history): Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State

After a strong freshman season (2,955 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions), Hackenberg threw more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (12) as a sophomore and his Y/A and completion percentages dropped from 7.54 to 6.15 and 58.9 to 55.8 percent, respectively. A new coaching staff (Bill O'Brien departed for the NFL), loss of his best receiver (Allen Robinson) and poor offensive line play (44 sacks vs. 21 in 2013) all contributed to his regression in year two. With a bounce-back season, Hackenberg, who has prototypical tools, could certainly be the most-coveted signal-caller in the 2016 draft class.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (team draft history): Robert Nkemdiche, DT/DE, Mississippi

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



7. Chicago Bears (team draft history): A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

With the size of a nose tackle (6-4, 320), Robinson has played both nose tackle and defensive end for the Crimson Tide. As a freshman, he actually led Alabama with 5.5 sacks. Although the Bears used their second-round pick on Florida State's Eddie Goldman, Robinson could play five technique for the Bears as well.

8. Minnesota Vikings (team draft history): Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Had Stanley decided not to return to Notre Dame, there is a good chance that he would have been the first offensive lineman selected in this year's draft. Stanley started his (redshirt) freshman season at right tackle and took over for Zack Martin at left tackle in 2014. Stanley possesses the length and agility teams want in a left tackle and Matt Kalil, who is coming off a disappointing season, will be an unrestricted free agent in 2016. The Vikings used some mid-to-late round picks on offensive tackles -- T.J. Clemmings (fourth round), Tyrus Thompson (sixth) and Austin Shepherd (seventh) -- but Stanley would become the team's starting left tackle for the next decade, if available here.

9. New York Jets (team draft history): Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

I debated slotting a quarterback here, but with the team using a pick just outside the top 100 on Baylor's Bryce Petty, I think they will go in a different direction here. They did use a third-round pick on Louisville outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, but starter Calvin Pace turns 35 in October and is a free agent after the 2015 season. In addition, the team's other starting outside linebacker, Quinton Coples, will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season so adding an explosive edge rusher like Floyd adds depth in both the short and long term.

10. Houston Texans (team draft history): Jared Goff, QB, California

Give the team's quarterback woes, it's not a surprise that no team ran the ball more than the Texans last season and only the Seahawks (28.4/G) and Cowboys (29.8/G) threw it less than the Texans (30.3/G). While Bill O'Brien will roll with a pair of former Patriots backups atop the team's depth chart in 2015, it's likely the team will be in the market for a franchise quarterback next spring. As a true sophomore, the 6-foot-4 Goff threw for 3,973 yards with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

11. San Francsico 49ers (team draft history): Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

The 49ers lost starting cornerbacks Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver in free agency and did not draft any cornerbacks in the 2015 draft. The 49ers will go with Tramaine Brock and Shareece Wright as their starting corners in 2015 and Wright will be a free agent again in 2016. Younger brother of Kyle Fuller, who was selected in the first round by the Bears in 2014, Kendall has started all but one of his 26 games with Virginia Tech and has a total of eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups in his two seasons.

12. San Diego Chargers (team draft history): Laquon Treadwell, WR, Mississippi

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

13. New Orleans Saints (team draft history): Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh

Boyd has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in both of his seasons at Pitt and has racked up 163 receptions for 2,435 yards and 15 touchdowns in his two seasons. Only 190 pounds at 6-foot-2, Boyd would benefit from adding some weight and strength, but Boyd has excellent ball skills, body control and athleticism to become the Saints No. 1 wide receiver opposite Brandin Cooks.

14. Carolina Panthers (team draft history): Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

Surprisingly, the Panthers did not select an offensive tackle on either of the first two days of the draft. While they drafted Oklahoma right tackle Daryl Williams in the fourth round, they enter the 2015 season with Michael Oher slated to protect Cam Newton's blind side. While Oher's story is amazing (enough to make a movie about it), his recent struggles suggest that the Panthers will be in the market for an offensive tackle in 2016.

15. St. Louis Rams (team draft history): Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

With exceptional quickness for his size (6-4, 275), Ogbah had a breakout season with 17.0 tackles for loss and 11.0 sacks as a redshirt sophomore in 2014. If Ogbah builds upon last year's success, there's a good chance that he doesn't last to this spot in the draft. The Rams have Robert Quinn signed through the 2019 season, but Chris Long will become a free agent after the 2016 season.

16. Buffalo Bills (team draft history): Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State

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

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

- Also, check out our 2016 NFL Mock Draft Database

Follow @EDSFootball on Twitter to keep track of my updates.

May 20, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 10

We're closing in on the end of the 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft that began roughly 10 days ago.

Our mock draft will run 12 rounds and we now have just two rounds to go.

Here are the Round 10 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

10.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jordan Cameron, TE, Miami Dolphins

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

10.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The current regime inherited Doug Martin, but used a relatively early pick last year on the versatile Sims, who rushed for 3,465 yards in college but also added 203 receptions for 2,108 yards. After missing the first-half of his rookie season due to a ankle injury, he was less than impressive when healthy over the final eight games of his rookie season -- 2.8 yards per carry. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if he led the Bucs' backfield in fantasy points this season.

10.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings

As mentioned earlier in this mock, this team has three strong positions -- wide receiver, quarterback and tight end. This mock assumes two starting receivers (although a third could be started as a flex), but Sean has four starters at those three positions that are ranked inside my top five at each respective position -- Dez Bryant (WR3), Odell Beckham (WR5), Russell Wilson (QB3) and Greg Olsen (TE4).

What the team does lack, however, is a strong running back position as he waited until Round 4 (39th-overall pick) to draft his first running back. McKinnon is Sean's fifth running back and I'd use at least one, if not both, of his final two picks on another running back.

McKinnon clearly enters the season second on Minnesota's depth chart behind Adrian Peterson, but he was productive when he was on the field last year. McKinnon averaged 4.76 YPC as well as 16.38 touches per game from Weeks 4 to 12 before missing the rest of the year due to injury. If the 30-year-old Peterson misses any games, McKinnon would become a solid RB2.

10.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Williams saw his receptions (37), yards (621) and targets (66) drop year-over-year from his rookie campaign, but he did set a career high with eight touchdowns in 2014. Williams had more than two receptions in only four of 16 games despite starting opposite Bryant for the entire season. Perhaps the Cowboys will throw it more often with DeMarco Murray no longer on the roster, but I think the Cowboys prefer to stay heavily committed to their rushing attack, which could limit Williams ability to post solid numbers on a consistent basis. Tony Romo averaged a career-low 29.0 pass attempts per start last season.

10.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Brendan used his ninth-round pick on Tom Brady, who's currently suspended for the first four games of the season, although I expect the suspension to be reduced after his appeal. To fill the void, however, Tannehill is a more-than-competent fill-in during that suspension. In fact, Tannehill (QB8) outscored Brady (QB9) in 2014.

Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season.

10.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

While it appears that the Cardinals remain committed to Andre Ellington in a workhorse role, Johnson is a big back (6-1, 224) with excellent receiving skills. In fact, Johnson had over 200 receiving yards in the game against Iowa last season. Coach Bruce Arians said of Johnson, "[h]e’s got good power, but his receiving ability is as close to Andre’s as anybody I’ve seen." In addition, general manager Steve Keim described him as a "three-down" back. If Ellington misses games, like last season, I'd expect Johnson to assume the lead-back role during that stretch.

10.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

Although his targets (98), receptions (69) and yards (821) were down year over year, Gates finished with 12 touchdowns, the second-most of his career, and scored more fantasy points than all tight ends not named Rob Gronkowski. Gates finished as a weekly top-two tight end four times and top eight at the position eight times last season. While I don't expect another top-two finish from the 35-year-old Gates, a top-10 finish is certainly within reach. (Gates is the TE10 in this mock.)

10.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots

In his first season with the Patriots, LaFell had his best NFL season, by far, as he set career highs in receptions (74), yards (953) and touchdowns (seven). As solid as LaFell's overall numbers were, there was plenty of weekly inconistency as he had four weekly top-12 finishes but he finished outside the top-36 eight times. At best, he's the team's third option in the passing game behind Gronkowski and Edelman, but he's this squad's fifth wideout.

10.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Smith's first season as a Raven went better than expectations as he posted a 79/1,065/6 full-season stat line. With all four of his 100-yard games occurring in the first six games of the season, Smith was much less effective over the final 10 games. That said, he did have at least five catches in each of the final four games for a total of 25 catches during the final month of the season. Now 36 years old, it's unlikely that Smith posts another 1,000-yard season, but he has made a career out of disproving his doubters.

10.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Replacing LeSean McCoy with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews means that Sproles goes from second in line for touches to third. That said, Chip Kelly should continue to find ways to get Sproles the ball in space and recently described him as a "Swiss army knife," but he's probably more value to the Eagles than to Dan's fantasy team.

10.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): David Cobb, RB, Tennessee Titans

Last year's first running back selected, Bishop Sankey, was a disappointment for the Titans. With that said, it's certainly possible that Cobb, the team's fifth-round pick this year, could lead the team's backfield in touches as early as his rookie season. Coach Ken Whisenhunt described Cobb as a potential three-down back.

10.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills

Following his former head coach Rex Ryan to Buffalo this offseason, Harvin is a dynamic playmaker in the open field. In 13 games with the Seahawks and Jets last season, Harvin had a total of 51 receptions for 483 yards, 33 carries for 202 yards and three total touchdowns. There is some upside with Harvin as the 48th receiver selected based on his skill set, but he's the third option, at best, in an offense with a subpar quarterback play.

> Continue to Round 11 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 9 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 19, 2015

Updated Top 150 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet

Late last week, I updated my 2015 fantasy football rankings by position. Today, I updated my top 150 fantasy football cheat sheet.


Here are my updated fantasy football rankings (standard scoring):

1. Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Despite a somewhat disappointing season, Charles finished as the seventh-highest scoring fantasy running back in 2014. The 28-year-old back rushed for 1,033 yards, his fifth 1,000-yard season, and added 40 catches for 291 yards while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns. Despite a year-over-year decline in all of those numbers, the biggest concern was a reduction in workload. After 320-plus touches in back-to-back seasons, Charles had just 246 touches -- 15 running backs had more -- in 2014. Perhaps we won't see Charles get in the 320-range ever again, but it would be a surprise to see him as low as 246 again this season.

2. Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
Starting slowly while facing three elite rush defenses to start the season, only DeMarco Murray and Le'Veon Bell scored more fantasy points than Lacy did from Weeks 4 to 17. Over those final 13 games of the season, he averaged 18.92 touches for 108.85 YFS per game and scored a total of 13 touchdowns. The benefit of playing with Aaron Rodgers means that opposing defenses are less likely to stack the box to (try to) slow down Lacy. After averaging a relatively modest 4.15 yards per carry as a rookie, Lacy averaged 4.63 YPC last season (and 4.89 YPC over final 13 games).

3. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
With his production spiking to 1,361 rushing yards, 83 receptions for 854 yards and 11 total touchdowns in his second season, Bell was named to the 2014 AP First-Team All-Pro Team. Whether the Steelers have the lead (and want to use the clock) or trail (and need to throw), Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow. Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners), he's suspended for the first three games of the season.
Over the course of last year, Bell averaged 17.97 fantasy points per game although his production spiked to 24.7/G with LeGarrette Blount out of the picture. If he maintained his full-season average of 17.97/G over 13 games this year, however, Bell would score 233.59 fantasy points, which would have ranked him sixth among running backs in 2014. In other words, a replacement-level back for the first three weeks combined with Bell, who I expect to lead the league in per-game production, for 13 games could certainly finish as a top-three back (or better) in 2015.

4. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks
In his four full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in those seasons. During that four-year span, no running back has more rushing yards (5,357) or rushing touchdowns (48) and no player has more total touchdowns (56). Beast Mode's production hasn't slowed at all, but his physical running style (granted, he seems to dish out more punishment than he receives), heavy workload (league-high 1,479 regular-season and playoff touches over that four-year span) and age (turned 29 in April) is at least somewhat concerning. That said, Lynch seems to be a lock for another 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses.

5. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
One of the league's all-time best running backs, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards back just a couple of seasons ago. After last year's lost season, it was unclear where he would play in 2015, but the draft has come and gone with Peterson still on the Vikings roster. Assuming that he plays all 16 games (or close to it), the 30-year-old Peterson should finish as a top-five (or better) back in 2015.

6. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
Not only did Forte lead all running backs in receptions (102) last year, but only three players had more -- Antonio Brown (129), Demaryius Thomas (111) and Julio Jones (104) -- as he broke the record for receptions by a running back. With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions again, but he could certainly finish with around 70 catches. And although Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has at least 929 rushing yards in all seven of his NFL seasons. Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season and I'd expect the Bears to be more committed to the run in 2015.

7. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
When it comes to fantasy tight ends, he's in a tier all by himself. Named the 2014 AP Comeback Player of the Year after two injury-plagued seasons, Gronkowski posted an 82/1,124/12 stat line over 15 games. Scoring 184.4 fantasy points, Gronk had 30.3 points more than Antonio Gates, who had the second-most among tight ends. So, in other words, he had 19.66 percent more than the guy that had the second-most. Gronkowski finished as a top-five fantasy scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-11 scorer in all but two games.

8. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Surprisingly, Brown never finished as the highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in any given week in 2014. (In fact, that applies to both standard- and PPR-scoring formats.) Yet no wide receiver had more fantasy points over the course of the season -- in either format -- than Brown. Over the past two seasons, Brown has a combined 239 receptions for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns. More impressive than his overall level of production, however, is his consistency. Counting the playoffs, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in 33 consecutive games.

9. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
Barely finishing as a top-12 fantasy running back last season, McCoy finished third in the league in rushing (1,319 yards) and was one of only two backs with 300-plus carries. Not only did he average nearly a yard per carry less in 2014 than 2013, McCoy also saw his receptions (52 in 2013) and touchdowns (11 in 2013) drop roughly in half to 28 and five, respectively. Despite running behind an inferior offensive line (compared to Philadelphia's), McCoy should see a healthy volume of work within Buffalo's ground-and-pound offense.

10. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Despite his slow start, Thomas went over 100 yards in 10 of his final 13 games and finished with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. With the Broncos using their franchise tag on Thomas (in hopes of finalizing a long-term deal prior to the July 15th deadline) and Peyton Manning returning for at least one more season, a fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility.

11. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Targeted only 136 times, a three-year low, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns. Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons. The Cowboys used their franchise tag on Bryant, but I'd be surprised if they found common ground on a long-term deal prior to the July 15th cutoff.

12. DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Murray has always been productive on a per-game, per-touch basis. Before last season's career year, Murray averaged 4.95 yards per carry in his first three seasons combined. The issue with Murray (before 2014) was durability as he missed multiple games in each of those three seasons. With a total of 497 touches including the playoffs last year, durability could remain Murray's biggest concern in 2015 as well. Even though the team added another talented (and injury-prone) running back (Ryan Mathews) in free agency, I'd expect Murray to still get roughly 20 touches per game, when healthy. But will he hold up for another full season?

13. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Did you know that the Houston Texans led the NFL in rush attempts in 2014? When healthy, Foster is one of the league's few workhorse backs. Although Foster missed three games in 2014, he averaged 95.8 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, both of which were four-year highs, and scored double-digit touchdowns (13). Not only did Foster finish as a top-five fantasy running back last season, but he also finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in 10 of 13 weeks last season.

14. Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Over the final nine games of the season, Hill had 22-plus carries and 100-plus rushing yards five times including the final three games of the regular season. During that nine-game span, Hill had 172 carries for 929 yards and six touchdowns and no running back had more rushing yards than Hill during that stretch. (Lynch was second with 824 yards.) Going into the 2015 season, Hill is clearly the team's lead back with Giovani Bernard back as the change-of-pace option.

15. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
Including playoff appearances, Megatron has more 200-yard games (six) than any other receiver in league history. And while he still has as much potential as any receiver to take over a given game, he has battled some injuries over the past couple of seasons and missed a total of five games in 2013 and 2014. Johnson also appeared in a few games as a decoy, which can be even worse for fantasy owners than missed games. With five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Megatron has averaged a stat line of 90/1,467/11 during that span.

16. Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants
Closing the season with nine consecutive games of 90-plus yards, Beckham racked up a massive stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets during that nine-game stretch. In fact, only 11 other receivers had more yards in all of 2014 than OBJ had in his final nine games. And as impressive as that sounds, he was even more dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets. While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules.

17. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
On the season, Jones finished with 104 catches for 1,593 yards, both of which shattered his previous career highs, and six touchdowns. After scoring 0.62 TD/G on 74.4 YPG in his first two seasons, Jones has averaged just 0.40 TD/G despite a jump to 1087.7 YPG over the past two seasons. With plus size and speed, Jones should bounce back in terms of red-zone production and could put together a 100/1,500/10 season in 2015 with good health.

18. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Injuries kept Green from building upon 2013's numbers (98/1,426/11), but he extended his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career to four. Only Megatron (6,214), Brown (5,092) and Demaryius (5,034) have more yards during that four-year span than Green (4,874). With good health, Green is a good bet for at least 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015.

19. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Not only is wide receiver deep, it's deep with elite wide receivers. The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Brown. While Nelson may not finish as a top-two producer at the position once again, he's certainly one of a group of eight wideouts that has the talent and opportunity to do so.

20. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
If Anderson were assured a massive workload as the featured back, I'd be all-in on him this year. From Week 10 to 17 last year, Anderson finished as a top-five fantasy running back in six of eight games. In the other two games, he was still very productive as the RB10 and RB16 for those given weeks. With a healthy backfield and a new coaching staff heading into 2015, how will Gary Kubiak allocate the workload between Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball?

21. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Since becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback in six of seven seasons with the lone exception due to injury (broken clavicle, 2013). Over the past four seasons, Rodgers has compiled a combined 139:25 TD-to-INT ratio with an average of 8.5 yards per attempt, 112.6 passer rating and 67.0 completion percentage.

22. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets and using a top-seven pick on West Virginia's Kevin White, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) and finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last season.

23. Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers
For re-draft purposes, I expect Gordon to be the most productive rookie running back in 2015. MG3 has drawn some comparisons to Jamaal Charles and enters a favorable situation with the injury-prone Ryan Mathews no longer in San Diego. The Bolts should give Gordon a significant share of the early-down work and I expect him to approach 250 touches as a rookie.

24. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans started and finished slowly in terms of yardage, but he was one of three rookie receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last year. From Weeks 9 to 11, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when things really click as he posted a massive 21/458/5 line over that three-game stretch. And the 6-foot-5 receiver is already one of the league's best red-zone threats as he scored 10 touchdowns over his final nine games as a rookie.

25. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
Set to turn 25 in August, Cobb re-signed with the Packers prior to the official start of NFL free agency. Of course, playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense helps to maximize his fantasy value this year and going forward. Cobb finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, all of which set career highs, but I would be surprised if he scored 12 touchdowns again in 2015.

- Continue to: Players 26-50 - Players 51-100 - Players 101-150 - Full List

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May 18, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 9

A week ago Saturday, four of our contributors began a 12-round "slow" 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft and we are nearing the end of the mock.

With Round 9 in the books, we have just three rounds to go. Not only are we posting the mock by round, but you can also view the mock draft by teams or by positions selected.

Here are the Round 9 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

9.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans

One year after his 94/1,079/2 breakout season in 2013, Wright's production dropped year over year to 57/715/6 although the issues at quarterback were at least partly to blame. And even though the Titans lost 14 games and nine of them by double digits, Wright saw 10 targets in only one game last season. Assuming that second-overall pick Marcus Mariota is the full-season starter, it's possible that Wright doesn't have a bounce-back season in 2015.

9.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz saw a year-over-year jump from 36 catches and 469 yards as a rookie to 58 catches for 702 yards, 11th-most among tight ends last season. With Jeremy Maclin leaving Philadelphia for Kansas City, Ertz could become more involved in the passing game than he was last season.

9.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Other than his rookie season, Witten's 64 receptions and 703 yards last year set or tied career lows. Witten lacks upside at this point in his career, but he's a solid late-round option that should come close to last year's top-10 performance once again.

9.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans

Off-the-field issues with Green-Beckham led to his dismissal from the Mizzou program and he sat out the entire 2014 season, as required, with his transfer to Oklahoma. While he gets some comparisons to Calvin Johnson, DGB isn't nearly as athletic as Megatron, but he has sub-4.5 speed with tremendous size (6-5, 237). Green-Beckham, the No. 1 overall high school recruit in 2012 (via Rivals.com), has the upside and potential to emerge as the best fantasy receiver out of this draft class, but a fellow rookie at quarterback and sitting out a year should limit his first-year impact.

9.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Two seasons ago, the oft-injured Mathews played a full 16-game season and rushed for a career-high 1,255 yards. Playing only six games last season and gaining a yard shy of 400 yards from scrimmage, Mathews has now missed multiple games in four of his five NFL seasons. Although Mathews will be (at least) second in line for touches behind DeMarco Murray, the Eagles play at such a fast pace and Murray has his own durability concerns that I would not be surprised if Mathews reaches 200 carries if he can stay healthy.

As my fourth running back, I won't need much from Mathews, but he would become a plug-and-play RB2 behind Marshawn Lynch (this team's RB1) in weeks that Murray misses. And after nearly 500 touches in the regular season and playoffs last year, there is a good chance that Murray misses a game or two this season.

9.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets

Decker's first year with the Jets (74/962/5) was worse (no surprise) than his recent seasons in Denver, but he still finished as a top-30 fantasy wide receiver in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats. Both of Decker's 100-yard games came in the final three weeks of the season including a massive 10/221/1 line against the Dolphins in Week 17. Given the team's quarterback situation, Decker's upside is capped, but the addition of Brandon Marshall as a true No. 1 wide receiver could actually help (take the attention off) Decker.

9.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins certainly had some buyer's remorse after signing him to a big free-agent contract two offseasons ago and traded him to the Vikings this offseason. Wallace has three consecutive mediocre seasons of less than 1,000 yards and has averaged just 13.1, 12.7 and 12.9 Y/R over the past three seasons, respectively. Perhaps the change of scenery and Norv Turner's vertical-passing attack will help Wallace live up to his potential and exceed this draft slot.

9.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

As Brady faces a four-game suspension for the DeflateGate scandal, it's unclear whether -- and by how much -- his suspension will be reduced following his appeal. (My guess is that it gets cut to two games.) Brady had a rough four-game start to last season as well as he averaged just 197.75 Y/G with only four total touchdowns during that span. From Week 5 on, however, things clicked as only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29) over that stretch. With good health once again for Rob Gronkowski, Brady could post top-five production on a per-game basis in 2015.

9.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans

Whoa! To me, this is the biggest surprise (reach) of the mock so far, by far. If you were wondering, yes, Sean is a Titans fan. (Perhaps this pick gave it away.) Not only does Sean's (fantasy) team already have a starter (Tony Romo), but there are still a dozen or so fantasy quarterbacks that I'd take ahead of Mariota in re-draft leagues.

When I asked Sean about why Mariota, he pointed to his ceiling (due to his rushing ability) and the potential to move him if he gets off to a hot start in terms of fantasy production. Without a previous track record in the NFL, a hot start from Mariota (compared to non-rookie options available) would keep other fantasy owners from putting the same limitations on his rest-of-season outlook as they might with other fantasy quarterbacks (in Sean's view).

I disagree with the pick for a few reasons. As noted above, I have more than a dozen QBs ranked higher. Given the relative stability of quarterback production compared to the volatility of running backs, I'd rather use this pick on a running back where there is a greater chance of hitting a home run as opposed to a second QB. (Four of the top-12 fantasy running backs in 2014 had ADPs outside the top-30 running backs.) Last but not least, Sean could have waited to the last round of this mock if he really wanted Mariota.

[To be fair, Sean was the most-accurate fantasy expert in 2014 quarterback rankings (via FantasyPros) so who am I to question this pick?]

9.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

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

9.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

While he started slowly, Manning finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback in five of his final 10 games last season. (And a sixth game was inside the weekly top 10.) With a full season of Odell Beckham, the (likely) return of Victor Cruz, the free-agent addition of one of the league's better receiving backs (Shane Vereen) and more comfort and familiarity within Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015, which is coincidentally a contract year. In addition, only Tampa and Washington have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.

9.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants

One of the league's better receiving backs, Vereen set career highs last year with 52 catches for 447 yards. Especially with both Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams likely to get more carries, Vereen is a much better fantasy running back in PPR formats. That said, he should be to outproduce his draft status (RB42) in this mock.

> Continue to Round 10 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 8 of our fantasy football mock draft

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Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins agree to 6-year extension

The Miami Dolphins and quarterback Ryan Tannehill have agreed to a six-year contract extension that keeps the signal-caller under contract through the 2020 season.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the deal is worth $96 million with $45 million guaranteed; PFT's Mike Florio tweeted it includes only $21.5 million fully guaranteed.

Tannehill, the Dolphins first-round pick in 2012, has improved in all three seasons and threw for 4,045 yards, 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season. Not only were all of those numbers career bests, but he set career highs in completion percentage (66.4 percent), yards per attempt (6.9) and passer rating (92.8).

In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards and a touchdown. Tannehill was one of only five quarterbacks to rush for at least 300 yards last season.

Last season, Tannehill finished with the eighth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks.

With the exception of second-year receiver Jarvis Landry, all of the Dolphins top pass-catchers are newcomers -- Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings, Jordan Cameron and DeVante Parker.

Going into the 2015 season, Tannehill is my 13th-ranked fantasy quarterback, but it wouldn't surprise me if he once again exceeds my ranking.

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 8

Another round of our new 2015 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft is in the books. With our new post-NFL Draft mock, we are drafting 12 rounds and excluding kickers and team defenses.

With that said, here are the Round 8 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

8.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

In Week 17 and their two playoff games, Adams was on the field for 91.2, 88.7 and 90.4 percent, respectively, of the team's snaps. While his numbers won't see a major spike with the Packers re-signing Randall Cobb, Adams will certainly improve upon his 38/446/3 rookie numbers and we've seen instances in which the Packers have had three productive fantasy wide receivers at the same time.

8.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans

After back-to-back 1,400-yard seasons, Johnson finished with 85 receptions for just 936 yards and three touchdowns in 2014. Johnson's 62.4 Y/G and 11.0 Y/R were his lowest since 2005. Released by the Texans this offseason, Johnson signed with the Colts and gets a major upgrade in quarterback situation with Andrew Luck. A return to his 1,400-yard days is out of the question, but I wouldn't be surprised if he exceeds 1,000 yards once again and think he's an excellent value in the eighth round.

8.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

At only 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, Abdullah may lack the ideal size to be a bellcow back and he's had some ball-security issues (13 career fumbles at Nebraska). That said, Abdullah was highly productive at Nebraska with three consecutive 1,100-yard seasons including back-to-back 1,600-yard campaigns. Among running backs at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, Abdullah finished first in the vertical jump (42.5 inches), broad jump (10-10), 3-cone drill (6.79) and 20-yard shuttle (3.95).

While Sean's team is strong at receiver (OBJ and Dez), quarterback (Wilson) and tight end (Olsen), it's weak at running back (Gio, Coleman and Sankey) and I like the value of Abdullah here.

8.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Over his past three seasons, Romo's pass attempts have dropped from 648 (2012) to 535 (2013) to 435 (2014). Despite the drop in volume, Romo threw 34 touchdowns, the most for him since 2007, with only nine interceptions, a four-year low. In addition, Romo led the league in Y/A (8.5), completion percentage (69.9), touchdown percentage (7.8) and passer rating (113.2) last year. Assuming the team stays committed to the run game without DeMarco Murray, who signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles, Romo's upside is somewhat limited if he throws in that 450-attempt range again this year. Despite his career year in efficiency, Romo finished just outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks last season.

8.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Slowed by injuries, Thomas followed up a breakout 2013 season with only 43 catches for 489 yards, but he once again scored 12 touchdowns. Signing a massive free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Thomas is virtually guaranteed to not duplicate that red-zone production again. Aside from the Browns (12), no other team threw fewer touchdowns than the Jaguars (15) last season.

8.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Based on 2014 average draft position (ADP), Roethlisberger was one of the biggest values last season. Only four quarterbacks scored more fantasy points than Roethlisberger -- Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning. Big Ben threw for a career-high 4,952 yards, which tied Drew Brees last season for the league lead, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a previous career high. As the 10th quarterback off the board in this mock, it appears that Roethlisberger has been overlooked once again, but Brendan gets a nice value here.

8.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

During the draft process last year, Freeman drew some comparisons to Frank Gore. Meanwhile, new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said that he "loved" Freeman when evaluating him last year. Averaging just 3.8 yards per carry, Freeman had eight or fewer carries in all but one game, but he also finished with 30 receptions. Freeman played on just 21.5 percent of Atlanta's offensive snaps last season, but he should see a huge bump in snaps, touches and production in 2015 even after drafting Indiana's Tevin Coleman.

8.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Even though the 49ers were one of only four teams to average less than 200 passing yards per game, Boldin is now two-for-two in 1,000-yard seasons with the Niners. In addition, both of his yardage totals (1,179 and 1,062, respectively) were higher than any of his previous six seasons. Boldin is unlikely to blow up for 150 yards and two touchdowns in any given week, but he provides owners with consistent production. He exceeded 50 receiving yards in 12 of 16 games last season.

8.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Dan Herron, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Part of last year's Boom (Herron) and Bust (Trent Richardson) backfield, Herron was the more productive back in the duo down the stretch after Ahmad Bradshaw was placed on IR in the middle of the season. And in the team's three playoff games, Herron was a workhorse with a total of 298 yards from scrimmage on 65 touches including 20 receptions.

With the release of Richardson but addition of Gore, Herron should handle a secondary role to Gore, who has been extremely durable -- no missed games in the past four years. That said, Gore turns 32 in May and has the third-most touches (1,301 including playoffs) over that four-year span.

8.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Failing to live up to my expectations last season, White still averaged a respectable 5.71 catches and 65.79 yards per game with seven touchdowns. Had he not missed two games, he was on a 16-game pace of 91/1,053/8. With White turning 34 in November and Julio Jones now the clear-cut No. 1 wideout on the team, I wouldn't expect much more than 1,000 yards in 2015.

8.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Overall, it was a disappointing season for Smith, who either set or tied career lows with 49 receptions for 767 yards. On a positive note, however, Smith set a career high with 11 touchdowns and he was much more productive from Week 6 to 17. During that span, Smith averaged 3.8 catches for 59.1 yards and a touchdown per game and scored the 14th-most fantasy points among wide receivers on a per-game basis. One of the league's more dangerous vertical threats, Smith fills a void for the 49ers, but his weekly production could remain relatively volatile.

8.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2012 feels like it was 10 years ago for Martin and his fantasy owners. Just a couple of seasons ago, The Muscle Hamster racked up 1,926 yards from scrimmage, 49 receptions and 12 touchdowns in 16 games as a rookie. Over the past two seasons (combined), however, Martin has only 1,080 YFS, 25 receptions and three touchdowns in 17 games. To complicate matters for 2015, Charles Sims, the new regime's third-round pick from last year, will be healthy to start the year.

> Continue to Round 9 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 7 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 16, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 7

This morning, we posted Round 6 in our new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft. Now another round, Round 7, is in the books.

Here are the Round 7 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

7.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

With the exception of Jarvis Landry, all of Miami's top pass-catchers are newcomers including first-round rookie DeVante Parker. The 6-foot-3 Parker missed the first seven games of the season with a foot injury, but he closed the season with 43 catches for 855 yards and five touchdowns in just six games. Parker gives the Dolphins someone who can develop into a true No. 1 wideout, but this is a little earlier (WR31 in this mock) than I'd select Parker.

7.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Landing in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense bodes well for Agholor's short- and long-term fantasy outlook. While the Eagles lost Jeremy Maclin (6-0, 198, 4.48 forty) in free agency, Agholor (6-0, 198, 4.42 forty) has earned comparisons to the departed receiver. An excellent route runner, Agholor has the ability to play both inside and outside and finished with a 104/1,313/12 stat line last year for USC.

7.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan has more than 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons and has thrown 26-plus touchdowns in five straight. Over his past five seasons, Ryan has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of them. During that same span, however, he has never finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback. Even though he is the 10th-ranked quarterback in my rankings, perhaps being the seventh quarterback off the board is the perfect spot for him ...

7.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

With his season cut short after after six games due to a torn patellar tendon, Cruz may or may not be ready for the start of the season although early reports appear positive. Cruz averaged a four-year low of 56.2 yards per game before his injury last year and he will clearly be the team's No. 2 receiver behind Odell Beckham once he returns to the field. I think there is a good chance that Cruz would have still been available for Dan a few rounds later than this.

7.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

One of two second-round receivers selected by the Jaguars last season, A-Rob's season was cut short with a season-ending foot injury in Week 10. From Weeks 2 to 10, however, Robinson averaged 5.22 receptions and 60.89 yards per game. During that nine-game span, Robinson had a minimum of four receptions every game and more than 50 receiving yards in seven of nine games. Especially if Blake Bortles takes a step forward going into his second season, Robinson could make a substantial leap forward in Year 2 as Cecil Shorts is in Houston and Justin Blackmon reportedly had his application for reinstatement rejected.

7.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

It was a down year for Newton, but he dealt with numerous injuries throughout the season and missed two games. That said, Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Over those four seasons, he has averaged 3,606 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns per season as well as 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Despite the down year, Newton finished seventh in fantasy points per game (17.78) among QBs.

7.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Since entering the league as a top-four pick for the Raiders, McFadden has largely disappointed fantasy owners. Even though he averaged 121.6 YFS per game and 5.27 YPC over 20 games played in 2010 and 2011, he has missed at least three games in each of his first six seasons before finally playing a full 16-game season in 2014. In addition, he has averaged just 3.34 YPC over the past three seasons. While I'd prefer Joseph Randle, who averaged 6.7 YPC last season, over McFadden, I'll target both backs as I expect at least one of the two to finish as a top-20 fantasy back in 2015 behind the Cowboys dominant offensive line.

7.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Floyd opened (5/119) and closed (8/153/2) the season with a bang, but there weren't many bright spots in between. Floyd had zero, one or two receptions in eight games last season and finished the year with a 47/841/6 line after his breakout second season (66/1,054/5). Given the team's quarterback injuries, however, it's no surprise that we didn't see Floyd take another step forward in 2014. With less buzz entering 2015 drafts, Floyd has some bounce-back appeal at a lower draft-day cost than in 2014.

7.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns

While this is earlier than I'd select Johnson in re-draft leagues, Sean believes that Johnson is better than both Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West and could win the lead job early in his rookie season. Personally, I expect Crowell to lead the team's backfield, but I do like Johnson's versatile skill set and he is the all-time leading rusher at The U, which says plenty considering their talented alumni. Sean also told me that he made this selection as a "swing-for-the-fences" type of pick as Johnson is his fourth running back. That said, one of those running backs is Todd Gurley, who could possibly start the season on the PUP list.

7.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans

Not only was Sankey the first running back selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, but he seemed (at least when he was drafted) that he had the clearest path among rookie backs to a sizable workload. Sankey's workload instead fluctuated quite a bit, but his lack of productivity on a per-touch basis remained consistent. Sankey averaged less than four yards per carry in 10 of his final 12 games and the two exceptions were modest (4.2 and 4.5 YPC) as well.

On a positive note, Sankey's rookie campaign -- 170 touches, 702 yards from scrimmage and 3.7 YPC -- has set the bar low for year two. All of those should increase in 2015, but the question remains: by how much? Given that the team used their fifth-round pick on Minnesota's David Cobb, it may not be by much.

7.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

While he had only 51 carries in 2014, 11 of those 51 (21.6 percent) of those carries resulted in runs of more than 10 yards and he averaged 6.73 yards per carry on the season. More than anything, that production is a result of running behind one of the best offensive lines in football, which should be even better this year. The YPC average will certainly decline with a spike in volume, but Randle has RB2 upside if he can get around 12 carries per game. And some reports project him as the favorite (over McFadden) to lead the team in carries. Randle could turn out to be a steal here.

7.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots

On a full-season basis, Blount is the clear favorite to lead the Patriots' backfield in both real and fantasy production. The only question is how much can we rely on his production on a week-to-week basis as we've seen with Blount in the playoffs -- one yard on three carries (vs. BAL) one week to 30 carries for 148 yards and three touchdowns the next week (vs. IND). With that said, he should be able to outproduce his draft slot (RB36) in our mock.

> Continue to Round 8 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Continue to Round 6 of our fantasy football mock draft

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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 6

Last weekend, we began a new and "slow" 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

We are drafting 12 rounds with no kickers or team defenses so we are now halfway through the mock as Round 6 is in the books.

Here are the Round 6 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

6.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

No quarterback underachieved expectations more last season than Stafford, who finished as the QB15 in 2014. Even with the free-agent signing and breakout season from Golden Tate (99/1,331/4), Stafford threw for only 4,247 yards, a four-year low, and 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. With better health from Calvin Johnson, who missed a few games and was a decoy in others, Stafford should post better numbers in 2015.

6.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints

Spiller's free-agent landing spot certainly does not maximize his opportunities for the volume of his workload as part of the team's three-headed rushing attack. That said, I have faith in Sean Payton's ability to utilize Spiller correctly (or at least much better than Doug Marrone had) to maximize his production on a per-touch basis. While Spiller may never rush for 1,000 yards again, he should be productive as this team's RB3/flex option.

6.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Posting career highs of 84 catches for 1,008 yards last season, Olsen has now finished with at least 69 receptions and 816 yards while finishing as a top-seven fantasy tight end in each of the past three seasons. Over that three-year span, Jimmy Graham (3,086) is the only tight end with more yards than Olsen (2,667) and only Graham (256) and Jason Witten (247) have more receptions (226). Olsen has never had more than eight touchdowns in any season of his career, but he has at least five scores for seven consecutive seasons. In addition, Olsen is extremely durable and has played all 16 games in seven consecutive seasons.

6.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants

Dealing with multiple injuries, Jennings played in just 11 games in his first season with the Giants and had a total of only three carries in Weeks 14 and 15. Although he had 20-plus touches in six of his first eight games, rookie Andre Williams led the team in carries (217) last season. Williams will steal some goal-line opportunities and Shane Vereen will steal some of his passing-down work, which limits the weekly upside of the soon-to-be 30-year-old Jennings. On a positive note, the Giants used the ninth-overall pick on Ereck Flowers, one of the best run-blocking offensive linemen in this year's draft class.

6.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Possessing an impressive combination of size (6-2, 215) and athleticism (sub-4.4 forty), Johnson was reunited with Norv Turner in Minnesota after being released by the receiver-deficient Browns last offseason. In the final six games of the season, Johnson was on the field for all but 19 of the team's offensive snaps. And over his final seven games, Johnson posted 25 receptions for 415 yards and two touchdowns. With a full offseason and the continued development of rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, things should only be better for Johnson in 2015 and beyond.

6.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce's offensive snaps jumped to 86.7 percent (Weeks 11 to 17) after being on the field for only 52.3 percent of them through Week 10. That said, he still managed to finish with 67 receptions, 862 yards and five touchdowns. With good health, the sky is the limit for Kelce in 2015 and I was hoping he would make it one more pick to me at 6.07.

6.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The good news is that V-Jax eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive season and sixth time in the past seven years -- the exception was his holdout-shortened 2010 season. The bad news is that Jackson had just two touchdowns, the lowest of his career since his three-catch rookie season (2005). With Peterson and Miller at running back, Green and Matthews at wide receiver and Gore at flex, Jackson will essentially be a bye-week fill-in at WR/flex. I'll be hoping that he has one of his few boom weeks during those weeks.

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

On a positive note, the coaching staff wants to lean on the rushing attack and the Browns have one of the better run-blocking offensive lines when center Alex Mack is healthy. On a less positive note, the coaching staff's allocation of carries was unpredictable on a weekly basis as the guy with the "best practice" during the week got the most carries. Ultimately, I expect Crowell to be the most productive Browns running back in 2015, but the team's coaching staff will keep us guessing on a week-to-week basis.

6.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

Bennett set career highs across the board in 2014 with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns. Finishing as a top-five scorer among tight ends, Bennett led the position in receptions and his 916 yards ranked third behind Rob Gronkowski and Greg Olsen. With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, Bennett has the potential to post even better numbers this season.

6.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

While Mason didn't get his first carry until Week 6, he averaged 18.11 touches per game from Week 9 on. Unfortunately for Mason, the team used the 10th-overall pick on stud running back Todd Gurley. Mason may have a few games early this season as the featured back while Gurley rehabs from his ACL injury, but once Gurley is fully healthy, it's his job.

6.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets

Although he averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC, Ivory once again rushed for more than 800 yards and set a career high with six touchdowns in 2014. The Jets signed Stevan Ridley in free agency and traded a seventh-round pick for Zac Stacy, but Ivory should lead the team's backfield in both workload and fantasy production. More productive than most probably realized, Ivory finished as a top-20 fantasy running back last season.

6.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark with 4,952 yards, which tied Big Ben for the NFL lead, in 2014 and threw (only) 33 touchdowns, which ties a seven-year low. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. Brees has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and he led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, but a transition to a more run-based offense has begun in earnest.

> Continue to Round 7 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 5 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 15, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 5

As we continue our new (and "slow") 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft, another round is in the books.

Here are the Round 5 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

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

Long term, there is a lot to like about White as a prospect and NFL wide receiver, but this is probably a little earlier than I'd select him in re-draft formats. While some may label White as a "one-year wonder" after going the JUCO route to begin his collegiate career, White possesses a special combination of size (6-3, 215), speed (4.35 forty) and strength. During the draft process, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared White to Atlanta's Julio Jones and he should start early in his career, likely Week 1, opposite Alshon Jeffery.

5.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

Loaded with potential and upside, Murray is a physical freak that runs a sub-4.4 forty at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Murray finally got a chance to showcase what he could do down the stretch last season and he gained 478 yards from scrimmage over his final five games on a total of 83 touches (72 carries and 11 receptions). With Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew out and Trent Richardson and Roy Helu in, Murray should be given every opportunity to be the team's lead back in 2015 and I was hoping he'd slide a couple more spots to me at 5.05.

5.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions

Tate had a career year with 99 catches for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns plus five carries for 30 yards. With Calvin Johnson missing three games and being a decoy in a couple of others, Tate was especially productive over the middle of the season when he racked up a nine-game line of 64/935/3. If Megatron is healthy for the entire season, Tate is unlikely to repeat last year's career numbers, but he's otherwise a solid low-end WR2 in 2015.

5.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Inactive for the first six games, Bryant went on a scoring spree in his first four NFL games with a total of six touchdowns in those four games. After that point, Bryant had just 12 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns in the final six games of the season. Although Bryant could reach double-digit scores in 2015 and should start ahead of Markus Wheaton in two-WR sets, there will likely be some week-to-week inconsistency from Bryant as well but he has plenty of upside.

5.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

With a slow finish to the season, Manning finished the year as the QB4 (312.68 fantasy points) behind Aaron Rodgers (354.14), Andrew Luck (350.74) and Russell Wilson (327.6). In the first 11 games of the season, Manning averaged 23.96 fantasy points per game (323.45 YPG, 34 TDs and nine INTs). In the final five games of the season, he averaged 9.83 FPPG (233.8 YPG, five TDs and six INTs) and never scored more than 13.02 fantasy points in any of those games. Much of that decline can be attributed to his thigh injury, but Manning also struggles (in relative terms) as the weather gets colder. I like the value of Manning in the middle of the fifth round.

5.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Except for an 11-game season in 2010, Gore has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in eight of his past nine seasons with at least 1,100 rushing yards in the past four seasons. Underutilized as a receiver (18 receptions per year over past four seasons), Gore, once one of the league's top receiving backs, should see an uptick in targets with the Colts. Ranked as the RB19 in my rankings, Gore is a solid RB2 option in Indy's high-powered offense, but I really like him as my RB3/flex.

5.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins

Despite the revolving door at quarterback, Jackson was one of the few bright spots for Washington's offense in 2014. In his first season with Washington, D-Jax finished with 56 catches for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns and led the NFL in yards per reception (20.9). It was the second time in his career that he posted a Y/R average greater than 20.0.

Even though he finished as the 16th-highest scoring fantasy wide receiver, the big drawback of owning Jackson is the boom-or-bust nature of his production. Jackson finished as a top-17 fantasy wide receiver in eight of 15 games last year; in all of the seven other games, he finished as the WR53 or worse. Stated differently, Jackson had zero games within the range of WR18 and WR52 in a given week last year.

5.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

After sitting out all of 2013 with a torn ACL, Maclin returned to the Eagles on a one-year deal and posted a career-best season (85/1,318/10) in Chip Kelly's offense. Among players changing locker rooms in free agency, few players, if any, have seen their stock drop more than Maclin, who signed a five-year deal with the Chiefs to reunite with former head coach Andy Reid.

5.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Selected with a top-40 pick in this year's draft, Yeldon has excellent size (6-1, 225) and should immediately go to the front of the line in terms of the team's backfield depth chart. In fact, general manager David Caldwell said that he sees Yeldon as "a three-down back." The Jags ranked in the bottom two in both scoring and total offense last year and the general offensive struggles could limit Yeldon's fantasy upside as a rookie.

5.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

The biggest home run threat among backs in the 2015 NFL Draft, Coleman rushed for 2,036 yards on his 270 carries last season with four 200-yard games and eight 60-yard runs, most in both categories. Clearly, that won't be repeated at the NFL level, but it clearly illustrates his big-play ability as he joins one of the league's better offenses. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives Coleman the slight edge (1A to 1B) over Devonta Freeman in his early projected depth chart.

5.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

2013 seemed to be a perfect storm for Edelman as he was surrounded by other first-year receivers (either rookies or free agents) and Rob Gronkowski missed more than half of the season due to injury. After his breakout 2013 season (105/1,056/6), however, Edelman actually averaged slightly more receptions (6.57 in 2014 vs. 6.56 in 2013) and yards (69.43 in 2014 vs. 66.0 in 2013). While I'd prefer for Edelman to be my third receiver (instead of my second), he's my 23rd-ranked receiver and the 27th receiver off the board in this mock.

5.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Among rookies, only his ex-LSU teammate Odell Beckham (91) had more receptions than Landry (84) last season. Over the final nine games of the season, Landry had a minimum of five receptions each game and racked up a total of 59 catches over that span. In addition, he had at least nine targets in six of his final eight games. While's much better in PPR formats, Landry should improve upon his 84/758/5 rookie numbers.

> Continue to Round 6 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 4 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 14, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Post-Draft Update

It was the first time in a decade that it didn't happen.

Three of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation -- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees -- all finished outside the top-three fantasy quarterbacks in 2014. From 2005 to 2013, at least one of those three quarterbacks had finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback every season.

Could that happen for a second year in a row? Based on my rankings, my answer is yes.

With that said, here are my post-free agency fantasy football quarterback rankings for 2015:

1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

The best quarterback in (real) football and the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as either the No. 1 or No. 2 fantasy quarterback in six of those seven seasons with the lone exception being his injury-shortened (broken clavicle) 2013 campaign.

In his past four seasons, Rodgers has compiled a combined 139:25 TD-to-INT ratio with an average of 8.5 yards per attempt, 112.6 passer rating and 67.0 completion percentage. And although he hasn't rushed for 300-plus yards with four-plus touchdowns since 2010, Rodgers still is a good bet for 250 yards and a couple of scores on the ground.

2. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). As T.Y. Hilton battled a hamstring injury over the final three games of the season, that coincided with Luck throwing for less than 200 yards in the final three regular-season games of the season. Otherwise, he was on pace for 5,000 yards for nearly the entire year. Earlier in the season, however, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (nine games, twice) has ever had a longer streak.

Like with Rodgers, Luck gets a boost from his mobility and he rushed for 263 yards and three touchdowns last year. Luck has rushed 62-64 times in all three seasons with at least 255 yards each year and a total of 12 touchdowns.

It wouldn't surprise me if Luck finishes as the highest-scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015, but either way, he and Rodgers are close and alone in the top tier of fantasy quarterback options for 2015.

3. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Rodgers. Luck. That's it.

Not only are they the only quarterbacks ahead of Wilson on this list, but that's the list of quarterbacks that scored more fantasy points than Wilson last season. Of course, the primary reason behind Wilson's fantasy production was his rushing stats with 849 yards and six touchdowns, both of which were career highs, and he even had three 100-yard rushing games this season. It may be unrealistic to expect 800-plus rushing yards again, but he has at least 489 rushing yards in all three of his seasons and should rush for 500 yards (or more) in 2015.

While his passing numbers haven't been gaudy in Seattle's run-first offense, Wilson has thrown at least 20 touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in all three of his NFL seasons. Not only is Wilson the only quarterback to do that in each of his first three NFL seasons, he's the only one in NFL history to do that more than once over that span, per Pro Football Reference.

Wilson's volume of pass attempts may not jump a ton in 2015, but the Seahawks pulled off a blockbuster trade for tight end Jimmy Graham, which significantly boosts the team's weapons in the passing game. Graham (51 TDs) is one of only four players with 50-plus touchdowns since 2010, Graham's rookie season.

4. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

With a slow finish to the season, Manning finished the year as the QB4 (312.68 fantasy points) behind Rodgers (354.14), Luck (350.74) and Wilson (327.6). In the first 11 games of the season, Manning averaged 23.96 fantasy points per game (323.45 YPG, 34 TDs and nine INTs). In the final five games of the season, he averaged 9.83 FPPG (233.8 YPG, five TDs and six INTs) and never scored more than 13.02 fantasy points in any of those games. How much of that decline should be attributed the thigh injury he battled down the stretch?

5. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

It was a down year for Newton, but he dealt with numerous injuries throughout the season and missed two games. That said, Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Over those four seasons, he has averaged 3,606 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns per season as well as 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Despite the down year, Newton finished seventh in fantasy points per game (17.78) among QBs.

6. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark with 4,952 yards in 2014 and threw (only) 33 touchdowns, which ties a seven-year low. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. Brees has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and he led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, but a transition to a more run-based offense has begun in earnest.

Not only did the Saints trade Graham to the Seahawks (and get one of the league's best run-blocking centers in return), but they traded away Kenny Stills, the team leader in receiving yards last season. In addition to Mark Ingram, they signed C.J. Spiller in free agency and have a three-headed rushing attack with Ingram, Spiller and Khiry Robinson.

7. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Based on 2014 average draft position (ADP), Roethlisberger was one of the biggest values last season. Only four quarterbacks scored more fantasy points than Roethlisberger -- Rodgers, Luck, Wilson and Peyton. Big Ben threw for a career-high 4,952 yards, which tied Drew Brees last season for the league lead, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a previous career high. Admittedly, it wouldn't surprise me if he exceeded my ranking once again.

8. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

As Brady faces a four-game suspension for the DeflateGate scandal, it's unclear whether -- and by how much -- his suspension will be reduced following appeal. If I had to guess, I'd expect that it's cut to two games. Coincidentally, it was a rough four-game start to last season for Brady as well as he averaged just 197.75 Y/G with only four total touchdowns. From that point on, however, things clicked as only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29) from Weeks 5 to 17. Provided that Rob Gronkowski remains healthy for the full season, Brady could post top-five production on a per-game basis in 2015.

9. Eli Manning, New York Giants

In the first six games of the season, Eli finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in all but one game. Beginning with Odell Beckham's third NFL game (Week 7), Manning finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback in five of his final 10 games last season. (And a sixth game was inside the weekly top 10.) With a full season of ODB, the return of Victor Cruz, the free-agent addition of one of the league's better receiving backs (Shane Vereen) and more comfort and familiarity within Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015, which is a contract year. In addition, only Tampa and Washington have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.

10. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Over his past five seasons, Ryan has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of them. During that same span, he has never finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback. In other words , he's a solid option to settle on later in drafts even if he's not someone that I typically target. Ryan has more than 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons and 26-plus touchdowns in five straight.

11. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

No quarterback underachieved expectations more last season than Stafford, who finished as the QB15 in 2014. Even with the free-agent signing and breakout season from Golden Tate (99/1,331/4), Stafford threw for only 4,247 yards, a four-year low, and 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. With better health from Calvin Johnson, who missed a few games and was a decoy in others, Stafford should post better numbers in 2015.

12. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Over his past three seasons, Romo's pass attempts have dropped from 648 (2012) to 535 (2013) to 435 (2014). Despite the drop in volume, Romo threw 34 touchdowns, the most for him since 2007, with only nine interceptions, a four-year low. In addition, Romo led the league in Y/A (8.5), completion percentage (69.9), touchdown percentage (7.8) and passer rating (113.2) last year. Assuming the team stays committed to the run game without DeMarco Murray, who signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles, Romo's upside is somewhat limited if he throws in that 450-attempt range again this year. Despite his career year in efficiency, Romo finished just outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks last season.

13. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season. Starting in Week 6, Tannehill finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of 11 weeks.

There has been some turnover among pass-catchers -- Kenny Stills replaces Mike Wallace, Jordan Cameron replaces Charles Clay, the team drafted DeVante Parker in the first round and both Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson were released. That said, Tannehill has plenty of upside for those that wait on quarterback in 2015.

14. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Fortunately Rivers didn't need back surgery this offseason and he should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015.

15. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles

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

16. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

Bridgewater improved throughout his rookie season, which is something you always want to see but especially with a young quarterback. All four of his games with a completion percentage of at least 70 percent occurred within the final five games of the season. In addition, Bridgewater posted a 1:5 TD-to-INT ratio in his first four games and then a 13:7 TD-to-INT ratio for the rest of the season. With the attention that Adrian Peterson commands from opposing defenses, it should open up the passing offense for Bridgewater in Year 2.

17. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick averaged fewer yards per attempt (7.0), threw fewer touchdowns (19) and more interceptions (10) than he did in 2013 (7.7 Y/A, 21 TDs and eight INTs) despite throwing more pass attempts (478 in 2014 vs. 416 in 2013). Given the changes to the roster and coaching staff, the 49ers should find themselves trailing (and throwing) more often in 2015. (Based on Super Bowl 50 odds from sportsbook.ag, only eight teams are longer shots than the 49ers to win the Super Bowl.) The addition of Torrey Smith gives the 49ers a vertical threat that can take advantage of Kaepernick's strong arm.

Not only did he set a career high in pass attempts, but Kaep also set career highs in rush attempts (105) and rushing yards (639). After rushing for nine scores in 2012 and 2013 combined, however, he rushed for only one touchdown last year. Despite that dip, Kaepernick still finished as a top-16 fantasy quarterback last year.

18. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

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

19. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

It was mostly a lost season for Palmer, who missed a total of 10 games with significant injuries, but he actually finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game (17.26) last season. Provided he stays healthy, Palmer is a high-end backup fantasy quarterback in Bruce Arians' vertical passing attack with Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown forming a good trio of receivers.

20. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

Benched in the final three games of the 2013 season, the Shanahans wanted RG3 to be healthy for the 2014 offseason. While he did have a healthy offseason, little was healthy about Griffin in the regular season. Not only did he miss time due to injury, but he was benched by new coach Jay Gruden, who also called him out publicly in a press conference. In response to a recent mailbag question, ESPN's John Keim responded, "If it were up to the coach, Griffin would be gone."

In his nine games last season, Griffin threw only four touchdowns and six interceptions. He also averaged only 19.6 rushing yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry, both of which were career lows. Griffin's fantasy upside is derived largely from his rushing ability, but he has just one rushing touchdown in 22 games over the past two seasons. Plus, his rushing attempts exposes him to greater injury risk. RG3 remains a high-risk, (potential) high-reward option as a QB2 heading into 2015.

21. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Flacco quietly finished as fantasy's QB13 last season ahead of Cutler, Stafford, Kaepernick and others. While the team lost Torrey Smith and Owen Daniels in free agency, they used their first two picks in this year's draft on replacements -- Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams. Flacco may lack the upside to be an elite fantasy quarterback, but he has never finished worse than QB19 in his seven NFL seasons and the hire of Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator is certainly a positive.

22. Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams

Two seasons ago, Foles had a breakout season (27:2 TD-to-INT ratio and 9.1 Y/A in 13 games) and Chip Kelly said he would be the team's quarterback for the "next 1,000 years." After a disappointing half-season prior to breaking his collarbone, the 1,000 years are up and Kelly traded him to the Rams. The transition to the Rams is a downgrade on a number of fronts -- leakier offensive line, lesser talent at skill positions (compared to 2013/2014 Eagles) and much tougher pass defenses in the NFC West compared to NFC East.

23. Geno Smith, New York Jets

It wasn't a great 2014 season for Geno, but he did improve his completion percentage to 59.7 percent (from 55.8 percent as a rookie) and his TD-to-INT ratio to 13:13 (from 12:21). Going into the 2015 season, Smith has some upside with an improved group of weapons with Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and rookie Devin Smith as his top three wide receivers and Jace Amaro going into his second season.

24. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Despite his past off-the-field concerns, Winston possesses strong on-field intangibles (leadership skills and football intelligence) that you'd want in a franchise quarterback. Based on the style of Florida State's offense and the pair of 6-foot-5 1,000-yard receivers (Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson) already on the roster, Winston will likely make more of a fantasy impact early in his career than fellow rookie Marcus Mariota. In addition, Winston has the most-favorable fantasy football strength of schedule among QBs going into the 2015 season.

25. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Through four seasons in the NFL, Dalton has finished as the QB18, QB12, QB5 and QB19, respectively. In his first season in Hue Jackson's offense, his pass attempts dropped from a career-high 586 in 2013 to a career-low 481 in 2014. With A.J. Green missing several games and Marvin Jones missing all of 2014, it's possible that this is way too low for Dalton.

26. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
27. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
28. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
29. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Ryan Mallett, Houston Texans
31. Matt Cassel, Buffalo Bills
32. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns

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2015 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Post-Draft Update

Among fantasy football's major positions, running back is arguably the most difficult to predict.

While I generally prefer to draft at least two running backs within my first three picks, plenty of late(r)-round selections will pay huge dividends for fantasy owners.

As an example, four of the top-12 fantasy running backs last season were drafted, on average, outside the top-30 fantasy running backs last year — Lamar Miller (No. 9, ADP: RB31), Jeremy Hill (No. 10, ADP: RB42), C.J. Anderson (No. 11, ADP: RB65) and Justin Forsett (No. 8, ADP: Undrafted).

With that said, here are my fantasy football running back rankings for 2015:

1. Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

While it was a relatively disappointing season for Charles, selected first or second in most leagues last season, he still finished as the seventh-highest scoring fantasy running back in 2014. The 28-year-old back rushed for 1,033 yards, his fifth 1,000-yard season, and added 40 catches for 291 yards while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.

Despite a year-over-year decline in all of those numbers, the biggest concern was the reduction in his workload. After 320 touches in 2012, Charles had 329 touches in Andy Reid's first season as head coach in 2013. Last year, however, Charles had just 246 touches -- 15 running backs had more. Perhaps we won't see Charles get in the 320-range ever again, but it would be a surprise to see him as low as 246 again this season.

2. Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

Starting slowly and worrying those that did not heed the general advice of Aaron Rodgers ("R-E-L-A-X"), Lacy carries plenty of positive momentum into Year 3. Lacy faced three elite rush defenses (SEA, NYJ and DET) in the first three weeks of the season, but only DeMarco Murray and Bell scored more fantasy points than he did from Weeks 4 to 17. Over the final 13 games of the season, Lacy averaged 18.92 touches for 108.85 YFS per game and scored a total of 13 touchdowns.

The benefit of playing with the league's best quarterback means that defenses are less likely to stack the box to slow down Lacy. After averaging 4.15 yards per carry as a rookie, Lacy averaged 4.63 YPC last season (4.89 YPC over final 13 games).

3. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell's production spiked across the board -- 1,361 rushing yards, 83 receptions for 854 yards and 11 total touchdowns -- in his second season as he was named to the 2014 AP First-Team All-Pro Team. Bell finished second to only DeMarco Murray in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage (2,215) and the two backs were tied for the most games with at least 100 YFS (13).

Whether the Steelers have the lead (and want to use the clock) or trail and need to throw, Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow. Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners), his discipline stemming from last August's DUI/marijuana arrest has netted him a three-game suspension.

Over the course of last year, Bell averaged 17.97 fantasy points per game although his production spiked to 24.7/G with LeGarrette Blount out of the picture. If he maintained his full-season average of 17.97/G over 13 games this year, however, Bell would score 233.59 fantasy points, which would have ranked him sixth among running backs in 2014.

The bottom line is I expect Bell to finish as a solid RB1 on his full-season numbers and to lead all backs in fantasy points per game.

4. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

In his four full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in those seasons. During that four-year span, no running back has more rushing yards (5,357) or rushing touchdowns (48) and no player has more total touchdowns (56). Beast Mode has shown no signs of slowing down, but his physical running style (granted, he seems to dish out more punishment than he receives), heavy workload (league-high 1,479 regular-season and playoff touches over that four-year span) and age (turned 29 in April) is at least somewhat concerning. That said, Lynch seems to be a lock for another 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses.

5. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards back in 2012 and is one of the league's all-time best running backs. After last year's lost season, it was unclear where he would play in 2015, but the draft has come and gone with Peterson still on the Vikings roster. Assuming that he plays all 16 games (or close to it), Peterson should finish as a top-five (or better) back in 2015.

6. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

Not only did Forte lead all running backs in receptions (102) last year, but only three players had more than him -- Antonio Brown (129), Demaryius Thomas (111) and Julio Jones (104) -- as he broke the record for receptions by a running back. With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions again, but he could certainly finish with around 70 catches. While Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has at least 929 rushing yards in all seven of his NFL seasons. Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season and I'd expect the Bears to be more committed to the run in 2015.

7. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

The good news first -- McCoy rushed for 1,319 yards, third-most in the NFL behind Murray and Bell, and he was one of only two backs to get 300-plus carries. That said, McCoy barely finished as a top-12 fantasy running back as he scored only 0.5 fantasy points more than Washington's Alfred Morris (RB13). In addition, McCoy averaged nearly a yard per carry less in 2014 than 2013 while also seeing his receptions (52 in 2013) and touchdowns (11 in 2013) drop roughly in half to 28 and five, respectively.

When it comes to the offensive skill positions, the Bills have revamped themselves by trading for McCoy while also signing wide receiver Percy Harvin and tight end Charles Clay. The addition of Harvin and Clay to a group of pass-catchers that already includes second-year receiver Sammy Watkins should help keep opposing defenses from stacking the box, but Rex Ryan won't move away from his preferred ground-and-pound approach, especially given the limitations at quarterback.

8. DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Murray has always been productive on a per-game, per-touch basis. Before last season's career year, Murray averaged 4.95 yards per carry in his first three seasons combined. The issue with Murray (before 2014) was durability as he missed multiple games in each of those three seasons. With a total of 497 touches including the playoffs last year, durability could remain Murray's biggest concern in 2015 as well. Even though the team added another talented (and injury-prone) running back (Ryan Mathews) in free agency, I'd expect Murray to still get roughly 20 touches per game, when healthy.

9. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

Quick question: What team led the NFL in rushing attempts? (Perhaps the placement of this question gave the answer away, but you'd be correct if you said the Houston Texans.)

With Foster, who turns 29 in August, it boils down to his health. Although Foster missed three games in 2014, he averaged 95.8 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, both of which were four-year highs, and he scored double-digit touchdowns (13). Foster had at least 23 touches in 10 of his 13 games last season.

Finishing as a top-five fantasy scorer at running back last season, Foster finished as a top-12 fantasy running back in 10 of 13 weeks last season including a nine-game streak from Weeks 5 to 16 (he missed two games and Houston had their bye during that stretch, though).

10. Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

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

For part of that stretch, Giovani Bernard was sidelined, but Bernard was healthy from Week 12 through the end of the season. Going into the 2015 season, Hill is clearly the team's lead back with Bernard as the change-of-pace option.

11. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos

If Anderson were assured a massive workload as the featured back, I'd be all-in on him this year. From Week 10 to 17 last year, Anderson finished as a top-five fantasy running back in six of eight games. In the other two games, he was still very productive as the RB10 and RB16 for those given weeks. With a healthy backfield and a new coaching staff heading into 2015, how will Gary Kubiak allocate the workload between Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball?

12. Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers

For re-draft purposes, I expect Gordon to be the most productive rookie running back in 2015. MG3 has drawn some comparisons to Jamaal Charles and enters a favorable situation with the injury-prone Ryan Mathews no longer in San Diego. The Bolts should give Gordon a significant share of the early-down work and I expect him to approach 250 touches as a rookie.

13. Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

Morris averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC last season, but he rushed 265 times for 1,074, also career lows, and eight touchdowns. Despite the shaky quarterback situation, Alf should benefit on a per-carry basis if RG3 is back as the starter with his athleticism putting additional strain on run defenses. Washington's offensive line struggled last year, but the team should used the fifth-overall pick on Brandon Scherff and the addition of Bill Callahan to the coaching staff is certainly a positive for the team's offensive line play and rushing attack overall.

14. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins coaching staff seemed reluctant to give Miller as much work as his fantasy owners would have liked, but Miller was highly productive on a per-touch basis (5.09 YPC, 7.24 Y/R). With more than 15 carries in only four games last season, Miller still managed to post his first-ever 1,000-yard season (1,099 rushing yards). In addition, Miller was very consistent throughout the season as he finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in 12 of 16 weeks. Although they didn't draft Jay Ajayi until the fifth round (due to long-term concerns about his knee), Ajayi profiles as a potential three-down back in this league and puts a limit on Miller's upside.

15. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers

With Frank Gore signing a free-agent deal with the Colts, Hyde projects atop the 49ers depth chart at running back although they signed Reggie Bush in free agency and drafted Mike Davis as well. With Gore ahead of him last year on the depth chart, Hyde had just 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. Not only will the volume of his workload expand significantly, but I expect his effectiveness on a per-carry basis to increase from last year's 4.0 yards-per-carry average. And as a 235-pound back, Hyde has the potential to approach double-digit touchdowns as the team's primary early-down back.

16. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

Once again, Ingram missed multiple games and has now missed a total of 14 games over his four-year career. That said, Ingram set career highs in the 13 games he did play in 2014 -- 226 carries, 964 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and 29 receptions. Ingram has re-signed with the Saints and should lead the team's three-headed rushing attack in carries. Given the team's offseason moves, a transition to more of a run-based offense appears to be in the offing.

17. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

The long wait from Stewart's fantasy owners for him to be the featured guy is finally here. Over the final five games of the season, Stewart, who recently turned 28, rushed for 486 yards on 91 carries (5.34 YPC) and only DeMarco Murray (491) had more rushing yards during that span. With DeAngelo Williams now in Pittsburgh, it appears that the team finally recognizes that The Daily Show gives their offense the best opportunity for success.

18. Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Arguably the biggest surprise in fantasy football last season, Forsett scored more fantasy points than all but seven other running backs in 2014. While it's a positive that Forsett re-signed with the Ravens, Lorenzo Taliaferro should see a larger share of the workload and the Ravens also drafted USC's Buck Allen.

That said, Forsett rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards last season and averaged an RB-high 5.4 YPC while adding 44 receptions for 263 yards. With Marc Trestman hired as the team's new offensive coordinator, Forsett should finish with another career high in receptions, at least, and Forte set the position record last season under Trestman.

19. Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts

With the exception of an 11-game season in 2010, Gore has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in eight of his past nine seasons with at least 1,100 rushing yards in four consecutive seasons. I'm not sure if that streak will continue, but I expect the Colts to give Gore 200-plus carries in 2015. One of the league's better pass-catching backs earlier in his career, I'd also expect to see Gore, who's outstanding in pass protection, to be more involved as a receiver than he has been over the past four seasons (average of 18 catches per season) in San Francisco.

20. Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

Loaded with potential and upside, Murray is a physical freak that runs a sub-4.4 forty at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Murray finally got a chance to showcase what he could do down the stretch last season and he gained 478 yards from scrimmage over his final five games on a total of 83 touches (72 carries and 11 receptions). With Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew out and Trent Richardson and Roy Helu in, Murray should be given every opportunity to be the team's lead back in 2015.

- Continue to Fantasy RBs 21-40

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2015 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Post-Draft Update

A wide receiver has scored 250-plus fantasy points 12 times in the history of the NFL.

Nearly half of those 250-point seasons belong to one player, Jerry Rice (five). Only four of them have occurred since the turn of the century — Randy Moss (2003 and 2007), Calvin Johnson (2011) and Antonio Brown (2014).

Amazingly, Brown never finished as the highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in any given week throughout the 2014 season. (In fact, that applies to both standard- and PPR-scoring formats.) Yet no wide receiver had more fantasy points over the course of the season -- in either format -- than Brown.

Over the past two seasons, Brown has a combined 239 receptions for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also has 17 rushing yards and two return touchdowns. More impressive than his overall level of production, however, is his consistency. Brown had at least five receptions and 70 yards in all 17 games (counting their playoff loss) last season. Going back to the start of 2013, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in 33 consecutive games.

One of the things that you'll often hear in fantasy football is that you can't win your league in the first round, but you can lose it. With Brown's production and consistency, there isn't a safer pick among wide receivers.

Here are my fantasy football wide receiver rankings for 2015:

1. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

See above.

2. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Despite his slow start, Thomas finished the season strong. Going over 100 yards in 10 of his final 13 games, Thomas finished with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. With the Broncos using their franchise tag on Thomas (in hopes of finalizing a long-term deal prior to the July 15th deadline) and Peyton Manning returning for at least one more season, a fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility.

3. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Even though he was targeted only 136 times, a three-year low, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns. Even with the team's new-found commitment to the ground game (although DeMarco Murray signed with the Eagles in free agency), Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons.

Like with Demaryius Thomas, the Cowboys used their franchise tag on Bryant. Compared to Thomas and the Broncos, however, the Cowboys and Bryant appear less likely to find common ground on a long-term deal prior to the July 15th cutoff.

4. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Including playoff appearances, Megatron has more 200-yard games (six) than any other receiver in league history. And while he still has as much potential as any receiver to take over a given game, he has battled some injuries over the past couple of seasons and missed a total of five games in 2013 and 2014. Johnson also appeared in a few games as a decoy, which can be even worse for fantasy owners than missed games. With five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Megatron has averaged a stat line of 90/1,467/11 during that span.

5. Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants

From Week 9 through the end of the season, Beckham was simply unstoppable. Not only was he consistent (90-plus yards in all nine of those games), but his nine-game stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets was better than the full-season production of most receivers. There were only 11 receivers not named Odell that had more than 1,199 yards over the full season. And as impressive as that sounds, he was especially dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets.

While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules. If there is any concern, it's the return of Victor Cruz, who missed the final 10 regular-season games, but ODB should be one of the first receivers off the board on draft day.

6. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

On the season, Jones finished with 104 catches for 1,593 yards, both of which shattered his previous career highs, and six touchdowns. After scoring 0.62 TD/G on 74.4 YPG in his first two seasons, Jones has averaged just 0.40/G despite a jump to 1087.7 YPG over the past two seasons. With plus size and speed, Jones should bounce back in terms of red-zone production and could put together a 100/1,500/10 season in 2015 with good health.

7. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Injuries kept Green from building upon 2013's numbers (98/1,426/11), but he extended his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career to four. Only Megatron (6,214), Brown (5,092) and Demaryius (5,034) have more yards during that four-year span than Green (4,874). With good health, Green is a good bet for at least 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015.

8. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Not only is wide receiver deep, it's deep with elite wide receivers. The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Brown. While Nelson is far from a lock to finish as a top-two producer at the position once again, he's certainly one of a group of eight wideouts that has the talent and opportunity to do so.

9. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears

With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets and using a top-seven pick on West Virginia's Kevin White, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. That said, he still finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last year. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) last season.

10. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans started and finished slowly in terms of yardage, but he was one of three rookie receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last year. From Weeks 9 to 11, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when things really click as he posted a massive 21/458/5 line over that three-game stretch. And the 6-foot-5 receiver is already one of the league's best red-zone receivers as he scored 10 touchdowns over his final nine games as a rookie.

11. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Set to turn 25 in August, Cobb re-signed with the Packers prior to the official start of NFL free agency. Of course, playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense helps to maximize his fantasy value this year and going forward. Cobb finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, all of which set career highs, but I would be surprised if he scored 12 touchdowns again in 2015.

12. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton had a breakout 82/1,345/7 season last year. And that breakout year would have been even better if he weren't limited down the stretch by a hamstring injury. With good health, I'd expect Hilton to set new career highs in both receptions and yards this season.

13. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Hopkins delivered with a 76/1,210/6 second-year stat line and emerged as the team's most productive wide receiver. In fact, the Texans released Andre Johnson this offseason. If there's any concern when it comes to Hopkins taking another step forward in his third season, it's the team's less-than-inspiring quarterback play, but he's a borderline WR1/WR2 option in fantasy leagues heading into 2015.

14. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers

Along with Mike Evans and Odell Beckham, Benjamin was one of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers in 2014. Like Evans, Benjamin is a big-bodied (6-5, 240) receiver that wins in the red zone. As a rookie, Benjamin was the focal point of the passing attack along with tight end Greg Olsen and he should only see his stream of targets increase in his sophomore campaign. That said, Benjamin will need to cut down on the drops as only Mohamed Sanu (14) had more drops than Benjamin (11) last season, according to PFF.

15. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

In his first season with the Broncos, Sanders blew his previous career highs out of the water. With previous career highs set in 2013 of 67/740/6, Sanders finished with 101 receptions for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns. Even though Sanders is a better option in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, he's a solid mid-tier WR2 option in standard-scoring leagues heading into 2015.

16. Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets

A lot went wrong for Marshall and the Bears offense last season as he missed multiple games, was limited in others, Jay Cutler struggled and was benched, there was a rift between Marshall and Cutler, etc. Marshall posted his lowest totals for receptions (61) and yards (721) since his rookie season, but he was traded to the Jets in the offseason and gets a fresh start. A return to his 2012 or 2013 numbers may be unlikely, but I expect a bounce-back season with more than 1,000 yards. Before last year, Marshall had seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

17. Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints

Playing only 10 games as a rookie before landing on season-ending Injured Reserve, Cooks, like most rookie receivers, was inconsistent on a week-to-week basis. That said, Cooks had three top-12 performances last season including two in his final four games before the injury. Through Week 11, his 86.3 fantasy points ranked 25th among wide receivers.

Going into 2015, I expect better production from Cooks on a per-game basis with a full offseason to get more comfortable with the offense. In addition, the team traded away two of its best weapons -- Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills -- in the passing game.

18. Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Playing 65.0 percent of the team's offensive snaps as a rookie, that ratio will spike in his second season as the team lost Jeremy Maclin via free agency. Even if the Eagles were able to re-sign Maclin, I would have expected Matthews to play in two-WR sets ahead of Riley Cooper, who played in 81.7 percent of offensive snaps. In his first season in the league, Matthews finished with 67 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns, which placed him in the top five in all three categories among rookies.

19. DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins

Despite the revolving door at quarterback, Jackson was one of the few bright spots for Washington's offense in 2014. In his first season with Washington, D-Jax finished with 56 catches for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns and he led the NFL in yards per reception (20.9). It was the second time in his career that he posted a Y/R average greater than 20.0.

Even though he finished as the 16th-highest scoring fantasy wide receiver, the big drawback of owning Jackson is the boom-or-bust nature of his production. Jackson finished as a top-17 fantasy wide receiver in eight of 15 games last year; in all of the seven other games, he finished as the WR53 or worse. Stated differently, Jackson had zero games within the range of WR18 and WR52 in a given week last year.

20. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

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

-> Continue to WRs 21-40 in our Fantasy WR Rankings

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2015 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: Post-Draft Update

Here are my post-free agency fantasy football tight end rankings for 2015:

1. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

When it comes to fantasy tight ends, Gronkowski is in a tier all by himself. After two injury-plagued seasons, Gronkowski was named the 2014 AP Comeback Player of the Year as he posted an 82/1,124/12 stat line over 15 games. Scoring 184.4 fantasy points, Gronk had 30.3 points more than Antonio Gates, who had the second-most among tight ends. So, in other words, he had 19.66 percent more than the guy that had the second-most.

While he had some huge games, he was consistent on a weekly basis. Gronkowski finished as a top-five fantasy scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-11 scorer in all but two games. (The two exceptions were TE25 in Week 2, only nine months post-ACL tear, and TE13 in Week 16.)

2. Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks

With a shoulder injury slowing Graham down, he had 54 yards or less in six of his final seven games last season and finished with only 889 yards, a four-year low. The good news, however, is that Graham will avoid surgery on his shoulder. Over his past four seasons, Graham has averaged 89 catches, 1,099 yards and 12 touchdowns per year.

The bad news is that Graham was traded to the Seahawks. Graham goes from an offense that averaged 41.2 pass attempts per game, second-most in the NFL last year, to one that averages the fewest (28.4/G).

3. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

It appeared as though Andy Reid was doing his best to limit Kelce early in the season. Kelce played only 52.3 percent of the team's offensive snaps from Weeks 1 to 10, but that percentage jumped to 86.7 percent from Weeks 11 to 17.

That was part of the plan, however, as Kelce said during a recent radio interview (via Arrowhead Pride):

"Everybody last year thought I wasn't getting the reps I was supposed to at the beginning of the year but in reality I only had about a month before training camp where I was allowed to start running ... If I went out there playing more snaps than I did, I mean who knows. I might not have been able to make it. My knee still wasn't full strength last year which is why I'm excited about this year. Now I get the time to take a full offseason and get my legs ready and get my upper body and my explosiveness back that I know I really had. I didn't really feel that comfortable out there on the field but we made it work."

Kelce "made it work" to a tune of 67 receptions, 862 yards and five touchdowns as he finished with the ninth-most fantasy points (sixth-most in PPR formats) among tight ends last season. With good health, the sky is the limit for Kelce in 2015.

4. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Posting career highs of 84 catches for 1,008 yards last season, Olsen has now finished with at least 69 receptions and 816 yards while finishing as a top-seven fantasy tight end in each of the past three seasons. Over that three-year span, Graham (3,086) is the only tight end with more yards than Olsen (2,667) and only Graham (256) and Jason Witten (247) have more receptions than Olsen (226). Olsen has never had more than eight touchdowns in any season of his career, but he has at least five scores for seven consecutive seasons.

While he doesn't have the same upside as Gronk, Olsen is about as safe and consistent as they come at tight end, which has more than its fair share of question marks. In addition, Olsen is extremely durable and has played all 16 games in seven consecutive seasons.

5. Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

Bennett set career highs across the board in 2014 with 90 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns. Finishing as a top-five scorer among tight ends, Bennett led the position in receptions and his 916 yards ranked third behind Gronkowski and Olsen. With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets, Bennett has the potential to post even better numbers this season.

6. Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Slowed by injuries, Thomas followed up a breakout 2013 season with only 43 catches for 489 yards, but he once again scored 12 touchdowns. Signing a massive free-agent deal with the Jaguars, Thomas is virtually guaranteed to not approach double-digit touchdowns again. Aside from the Browns (12), no other team threw fewer touchdowns than the Jaguars (15) last season.

7. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

Although his targets (98), receptions (69) and yards (821) were down year over year, Gates finished with 12 touchdowns, the second-most of his career, and scored more fantasy points than all tight ends not named Gronkowski. Gates finished as a weekly top-two tight end four times and top eight at the position eight times last season. While fantasy owners shouldn't expect another top-two finish from the 35-year-old Gates, a top-10 finish is certainly within reach.

8. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Other than his rookie season, Witten's 64 receptions and 703 yards last year set or tied career lows. Witten lacks the upside at this point in his career, but he's a solid option that should come close to last year's top-10 performance once again.

9. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz saw a year-over-year jump from 36 catches and 469 yards as a rookie to 58 catches for 702 yards, 11th-most among tight ends last season. With Jeremy Maclin leaving Philadelphia for Kansas City, Ertz could be more involved in the passing game than he was last season.

10. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Walker set career highs in both receptions (63) and yards (890) and led the team in both categories last season. It will be difficult for Walker to repeat that production, however, with rookie Marcus Mariota under center.

11. Owen Daniels, Denver Broncos

Once again, Daniels is reunited with Gary Kubiak. Daniels had 48 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns last season in Baltimore. While I don't expect 12 touchdowns from Daniels, which is something that Julius Thomas has done in back-to-back years in Denver, I would expect an improvement across the board over his 48/527/4 line last season.

12. Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins

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

13. Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts

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

14. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

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

15. Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Fleener finished with 774 yards and eight touchdowns, both of which were career highs, on 51 receptions last season. Unsurprisingly, Fleener's best games last season came in games that Dwayne Allen was out. In the four games that Allen missed or left early due to injury, Fleener had 355 yards and four touchdowns. In the other 12 games, he had just 419 yards and four touchdowns. Assuming that Fleener and Allen are healthy for the entire season, I actually prefer Allen over Fleener.

16. Josh Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints

Trading Graham (and Kenny Stills) should open up plenty of opportunities for Hill, who now sits atop the team's depth chart at tight end. Hill was only targeted 20 times last season, but he turned those targets into 14 receptions for 176 yards and five touchdowns.

17. Larry Donnell, New York Giants

Nobody projected that Donnell would finish as a top-12 fantasy tight end at this point last year, however, that's exactly what he did last season. Donnell was especially good in the first four games (25/236/4 and fifth-most TE fantasy points). After scoring 45.6 fantasy points in the first four games of the season, Donnell scored only 44.7 fantasy points (3.73/G) in the final 12 games.

18. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills

Rex Ryan and the Bills have made a concerted effort to improve the skill-position players around E.J. Manuel Matt Cassel. Not only did they trade for LeSean McCoy and sign Percy Harvin to a free-agent deal, but they signed Clay away from the Dolphins, who had used their transition tag on the versatile tight end.

Although he started the season slowly, Clay averaged 4.56 catches for 51.0 yards per game and scored all three of his touchdowns from Weeks 7 to 17 while finishing fifth among tight ends in fantasy points per game (7.1) during that stretch.

19. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

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

20. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions

It's difficult for rookie tight ends to make a significant impact and Ebron posted modest numbers (25/248/1) in 13 games as a rookie. The second-year tight end, who won't turn 22 until April, should be in line for a larger role in 2015 with plenty of upside appeal.

The best of the rest:

21. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
22. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
23. Rob Housler, Cleveland Browns
24. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
25. Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams
26. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
27. Jace Amaro, New York Jets
28. Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders
29. Maxx Williams, Baltimore Ravens
30. Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers
31. Niles Paul, Washington Redskins
32. Gavin Escobar, Dallas Cowboys
33. Dion Sims, Miami Dolphins
34. Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
35. Luke Willson, Seattle Seahawks

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May 12, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 4

Four of our contributors began a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft over the weekend.

As picks are made in our "slow" mock draft, I am posting the individual picks along with my comments.

With that said, here are the Round 4 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

4.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

The good news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. The bad news is that Ellington averaged more than 20 touches per game last season. Given Ellington's size (5-9, 199), it's not a huge (no pun intended) surprise that Ellington was unable to hold up for a full season and he missed the final four regular-season games of the year.

With the substantial bump in workload in his second season, Ellington underwhelmed as his yards-per-carry average plummeted from a league-best 5.5 YPC as a rookie to 3.3 YPC on 201 carries last season. Instead of feeding Ellington 20 to 25 touches per game, he would be better suited for a change-of-pace role with 12 to 15 touches per game although comments from Bruce Arians suggest that Ellington could see a similar volume of touches (while healthy). The Cards used a third-round pick on David Johnson, who's a bigger back and also possesses excellent receiving skills.

4.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers

Along with Mike Evans and Odell Beckham, Benjamin was one of three rookie 1,000-yard receivers in 2014. Like Evans, Benjamin is a big-bodied (6-5, 240) receiver that wins in the red zone. As a rookie, Benjamin was the focal point of the passing attack along with tight end Greg Olsen and he should only see his stream of targets increase in his sophomore campaign. That said, Benjamin will need to cut down on the drops as only Mohamed Sanu (14) had more drops than Benjamin (11) last season, according to PFF.

4.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Sean has a pair of stud receivers -- Odell Beckham and Dez Bryant -- and Russell Wilson, a top-three fantasy quarterback, but the sacrifice is having Bernard as his RB1. That said, there are a few running backs, such as Justin Forsett and Jonathan Stewart, that I would prefer over Bernard at this spot.

Settling back into a change-of-pace role behind Jeremy Hill, Bernard is better-suited to be a fantasy team's second back as well. Even with Hill going over 100 yards on large workloads in the team's final three regular-season games, Bernard still finished as the weekly RB11, RB17 and RB13, respectively, in standard-scoring formats. It would make sense for Sean to load up on running back in the upcoming middle rounds in hopes of hitting on one that could turn out to be an RB1 type.

4.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

In his first season with the Broncos, Sanders blew his previous career highs out of the water. With previous career highs set in 2013 of 67/740/6, Sanders finished with 101 receptions for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns. Even though Sanders is a better option in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, he's a solid mid-tier WR2 option in standard-scoring leagues heading into 2015.

4.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Arguably the biggest surprise in fantasy football last season, Forsett scored more fantasy points than all but seven other running backs in 2014. While it's a positive that Forsett re-signed with the Ravens, Lorenzo Taliaferro should see a larger share of the workload and the Ravens also drafted USC's Buck Allen.

That said, Forsett rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards last season and averaged an RB-high 5.4 YPC while adding 44 receptions for 263 yards. With Marc Trestman hired as the team's new offensive coordinator, Forsett should finish with another career high in receptions, at least, as Matt Forte set the position record last season under Trestman.

With Forte, C.J. Anderson and Forsett as his team's three running backs and Hilton at receiver, I like how this team is shaping up for Brendan.

4.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

The long wait from Stewart's fantasy owners for him to be the featured guy is finally here. Over the final five games of the season, Stewart, who recently turned 28, rushed for 486 yards on 91 carries (5.34 YPC) and only DeMarco Murray (491) had more rushing yards during that span. With DeAngelo Williams now in Pittsburgh and only fifth-rounder Cameron Artis-Payne added to the backfield, it appears that the team finally recognizes that The Daily Show gives their offense the best opportunity for success.

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

In his first season in the league, Matthews finished with top-25 fantasy production of 67 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. Playing just 65.0 percent of the team's offensive snaps as a rookie, that ratio will spike in his second season as the team lost Jeremy Maclin via free agency. Even if the Eagles were able to re-sign Maclin, I would have expected Matthews to play in two-WR sets ahead of Riley Cooper, who played in 81.7 percent of offensive snaps.

4.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets

A lot went wrong for Marshall and the Bears offense last season as he missed multiple games, was limited in others, Jay Cutler struggled and was benched, there was a rift between Marshall and Cutler, etc. Marshall posted his lowest totals for receptions (61) and yards (721) since his rookie season, but he was traded to the Jets in the offseason and gets a fresh start. A return to his 2012 or 2013 numbers are unlikely, but I expect a bounce-back season of more than 1,000 yards. Before last year, Marshall had seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

4.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

Scoring the 14th-most fantasy points among running backs in 2014, Bell finished with 223 carries for 860 yards, both of which were career highs, as well as 34 receptions for 322 yards and eight total touchdowns. The addition of second-rounder Ameer Abdullah puts Bell's role as a featured back in jeopardy, but I still expect him to lead the team in touches for at least the 2015 season.

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

No rookie receiver is more pro-ready than Cooper, the first Biletnikoff winner in Alabama history, and racked up 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Cooper should become Derek Carr's go-to receiver immediately for a team that ranked fourth in the league in pass attempts per game (39.3) in 2014.

4.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

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

4.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers

While his receptions increased from 71 to 77 in 2014, Allen's yardage (1,046 to 783) and touchdowns (eight to four) both dropped and he finished as only the 48th-highest scoring wide receiver last season. Turning just 23 in April, Allen should have a bounce-back season in 2015.

> Continue to Round 5 of our fantasy football mock draft

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> Go back to Round 1 of our fantasy football mock draft
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2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 3

Here are the Round 3 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

3.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks

With a shoulder injury slowing Graham down, he had 54 yards or less in six of his final seven games last season and finished with only 889 yards, a four-year low. The good news, however, is that Graham avoided surgery on his shoulder. Over his past four seasons, Graham has averaged 89 catches, 1,099 yards and 12 touchdowns per year. With Graham traded to the Seahawks, he goes from an offense that averaged 41.2 pass attempts per game, second-most in the NFL last year, to one that averages the fewest (28.4/G) although the red-zone opportunities should remain relatively consistent.

3.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

So far, this team has an all-Green Bay roster with Eddie Lacy, Randall Cobb and now Rodgers. All things being equal, I'd prefer to not have my quarterback, top running back and top wide receiver on the same team, but it's not something that I would avoid -- and clearly Brendan doesn't have any concerns about it either.

The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Since becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as either the No. 1 or No. 2 fantasy quarterback in six of those seven seasons with the lone exception being his injury-shortened (broken clavicle) 2013 campaign. In his past four seasons, Rodgers has compiled a combined 139:25 TD-to-INT ratio with an average of 8.5 yards per attempt, 112.6 passer rating and 67.0 completion percentage.

3.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

Morris set career lows in carries (265), yards (1,074) and yards per carry (4.1) last season. The addition of Brandon Scherff with a top-five selection in the draft and Bill Callahan to the coaching staff should bode well for Alf in 2015. Even though the team drafted running back Matt Jones in the third round, Jay Gruden says that Morris will continue in his featured back role.

3.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). During the season, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history; only Drew Brees (nine games, twice) has ever had a longer streak.

Like with Rodgers, Luck gets a boost from his mobility and he rushed for 263 yards and three touchdowns last year. Luck has rushed 62-64 times in all three seasons with at least 255 yards each year and a total of 12 touchdowns. It wouldn't surprise me if Luck finishes as the highest-scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015, but either way, he and Rodgers are close and alone in the top tier of fantasy quarterback options for 2015.

3.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers

With Frank Gore signing a free-agent deal with the Colts, Hyde projects atop the 49ers depth chart at running back although they signed Reggie Bush in free agency and drafted Mike Davis as well. With Gore ahead of him last year on the depth chart, Hyde had just 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. Not only will the volume of his workload expand significantly, but I expect his effectiveness on a per-carry basis to increase from last year's 4.0 yards-per-carry average. Still a big back that could thrive at the goal line, Hyde has shed roughly 10 pounds to the mid 220-pound range.

3.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins coaching staff seemed reluctant to give Miller as much work as his fantasy owners would have liked, but Miller was highly productive on a per-touch basis (5.09 YPC, 7.24 Y/R). With more than 15 carries in only four games last season, Miller still managed to post his first-ever 1,000-yard season (1,099 rushing yards). In addition, Miller was very consistent throughout the season as he finished as a top-21 fantasy running back in 12 of 16 weeks. Although they didn't draft Jay Ajayi until the fifth round (due to long-term concerns about his knee), Ajayi profiles as a potential three-down back in this league and that puts a limit on Miller's upside, but I still expect him to be a solid RB2 for this team.

3.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Hopkins delivered with a 76/1,210/6 second-year stat line and emerged as the team's most productive wide receiver. In fact, the Texans released Andre Johnson this offseason. If there's any concern when it comes to Hopkins taking another step forward in his third season, it's the team's less-than-inspiring quarterback play, but he's a strong WR2 (behind Julio Jones) for Brendan heading into 2015.

3.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Hilton had a breakout 82/1,345/7 season last year. And that breakout year would have been even better if he weren't limited down the stretch by a hamstring injury. With good health, I'd expect Hilton to set new career highs in both receptions and yards this season.

3.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams

Based on his long-term view, I'm as high on Gurley as anyone and the talented rookie ranks fourth in my dynasty running back rankings. In terms of his re-draft value, however, I expect the Rams to be extra cautious with the young (turns 21 in August) running back as he continues to rehab from his ACL injury. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Gurley began the season on the PUP list and I'd probably wait another round before taking Gurley in re-draft leagues. When healthy though, Gurley will be the centerpiece of Jeff Fisher's offense and has a rare combination of size and speed to run over and/or outrun opposing tacklers.

3.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson would have been a productive fantasy running back based on his rushing stats alone. His 849 rushing yards were tied for 16th in the NFL with Denver's C.J. Anderson. It is probably unrealistic to expect another season of 800-plus rushing yards, but Wilson has rushed for at least 489 yards in all three seasons. In large part to his gaudy rushing statistics, Wilson finished third last season in fantasy points scored behind only Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck.

Despite playing in a run-dominant offense, Wilson became the first quarterback in league history to throw at least 20 touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in each of the first three seasons to begin a career. Wilson's volume of pass attempts may not jump a ton in 2015, but the Seahawks blockbuster trade for tight end Jimmy Graham significantly boosts the team's weapons in the passing game.

3.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

Once again, Ingram missed multiple games and has now missed a total of 14 games over his four-year career. That said, Ingram set career highs in the 13 games he did play in 2014 -- 226 carries, 964 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and 29 receptions. Re-signing with the Saints, Ingram should lead the team's three-headed rushing attack in carries as a transition to more of a run-based offense appears to be in the offing.

3.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints

Playing only 10 games as a rookie before landing on season-ending Injured Reserve, Cooks, like most rookie receivers, was inconsistent on a week-to-week basis. That said, Cooks had three top-12 weekly performances last season including two in his final four games before the injury. Through Week 11, his 86.3 fantasy points ranked 25th among wide receivers.

Going into 2015, I expect better production from Cooks on a per-game basis with a full offseason to get more comfortable with the offense. In addition, the team traded away two of its best weapons -- Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills -- in the passing game, which will help to pave the way for Cooks to have a breakout season.

> Continue to Round 4 of our fantasy football mock draft

> Go back to Round 2 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 11, 2015

Tom Brady suspended four games, Patriots lose 1st- and 4th-round picks

Less than one week since Ted Wells released his findings, the NFL announced its punishment and it was much stiffer than expected.

Not only was Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suspended for four games, which is the top end of the range most expected, but the Patriots will lose a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017. In addition, the Pats were fined $1 million.

Don Yee, Brady's agent, has announced that they will appeal the discipline, as expected.

Even if Brady wins the appeal, it's "more probable than not" that he still be suspended for at least two games. If the suspension holds, however, he would miss games against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars and Cowboys.

With Brady and running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount suspended as well, we'll get Jimmy Garoppolo, DeAngelo Williams and Jonas Gray in primetime instead for the NFL season opener.

Based on odds from Sportsbook.ag, the line for opener against the Steelers has dropped to a pick'em.

Last season, Brady threw for 4,109 yards, 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions and finished with the ninth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks.

After his slow start in the first four games, however, Brady scored the fifth-most fantasy points per game (20.1) from Weeks 5 to 17 and only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29), who was tied for second with Aaron Rodgers, during that span.

May 10, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 2

Four of our contributors began a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft on Saturday and now another round is complete and posted.

As noted yesterday, we will post the rounds of our "slow" mock draft as they are completed instead of waiting until the end to post them all.

With that said, here are the Round 2 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

2.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

Including playoff appearances, Johnson has more 200-yard games (six) than any other receiver in league history. And while he still has as much potential as any receiver to take over a given game, he has battled some injuries over the past couple of seasons with five missed games in 2013 and 2014. With five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Megatron has averaged a dominant stat line of 90/1,467/11 during that span. While I'd personally take Demaryius Thomas or Dez Bryant ahead of him, Johnson is one of seven or eight elite wideouts wtih the ability to be the top-scoring fantasy receiver provided he stays healthy.

2.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

Did you know that no team had more rushing attempts than the Texans (551) last season? (The Seahawks were second with 525.) While there have been some changes within the passing offense, the Texans will continue to rely on the ground game in 2015.

With Foster, who turns 29 in August, it boils down to his health. Although Foster missed three games in 2014, he averaged 95.8 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, both of which were four-year highs, and he scored double-digit touchdowns (13). Finishing as a top-five fantasy scorer at running back last season, Foster was a weekly top-12 fantasy running back in 10 of 13 weeks last season.

2.03 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Even with the team's new-found commitment to the ground game, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns last season. Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons.

2.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Thomas started 2014 slowly but eclipsed 100 yards in 10 of his final 13 games to finish with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. With the Broncos using their franchise tag on Thomas (in hopes of finalizing a long-term deal prior to the July 15th deadline) and Peyton Manning returning for at least one more season, a fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility.

2.05 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos

From Week 10 to 17 last year, Anderson finished as a top-five fantasy running back in six of eight games. In the other two games, he was still very productive as the RB10 and RB16 for those given weeks. With a healthy backfield and a new coaching staff heading into 2015, how will Gary Kubiak allocate the workload between Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball? Provided Anderson remains in a featured role throughout the season, he has top-five upside.

2.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

On the season, Jones finished with 104 catches for 1,593 yards, both of which shattered his previous career highs, and six touchdowns. After scoring 0.62 TD/G on 74.4 YPG in his first two seasons, Jones has averaged just 0.40/G despite a jump to 1087.7 YPG over the past two seasons. With plus size and speed, Jones should bounce back in terms of red-zone production and could put together a 100/1,500/10 season in 2015 with good health.

2.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Injuries kept Green from building upon career-best 2013 numbers (98/1,426/11), but he still extended his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career to four despite missing a few games. Only Megatron (6,214), Brown (5,092) and Demaryius (5,034) have more yards during that four-year span than Green (4,874). With good health, Green is a good bet for at least 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in 2015 and I'd be glad to settle for Green as the seventh receiver off the board.

2.08 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

Not only is wide receiver deep, it's deep with elite wide receivers. The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Antonio Brown. While Nelson is far from a lock to finish as a top-two producer at the position once again, he's certainly one of a group of eight wideouts that has the talent and opportunity to do so.

2.09 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans started and finished slowly in terms of yardage, but he was one of three rookie receivers to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark last year. From Weeks 9 to 11, he gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when things really click as he posted a massive 21/458/5 line over that three-game stretch. And the 6-foot-5 receiver is already one of the league's best red-zone receivers as he scored 10 touchdowns over his final nine games as a rookie.

2.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears

With the Bears trading Brandon Marshall to the Jets and using a top-seven pick on West Virginia's Kevin White, Jeffery now takes over as the team's clear No. 1 wide receiver. That said, he still finished with the 11th-most fantasy points among wide receivers last year. Despite year-over-year dips in both receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,133), Jeffery posted a career high in touchdowns (10) last season.

2.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Set to turn 25 in August, Cobb re-signed with the Packers prior to the official start of NFL free agency. Of course, playing in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense helps to maximize his fantasy value this year and going forward. Cobb finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns, all of which set career highs, but I would be surprised if he scored 12 touchdowns again in 2015.

2.12 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers

As much as I prefer Todd Gurley from a long-term dynasty outlook, Gordon has the potential to be the most productive rookie for re-draft in 2015. With Danny Woodhead healthy and expected to handle third-down responsibilities, MG3 should dominate the early-down touches as he fills the role of the departed (and oft-injured) Ryan Mathews. It wouldn't surprise me if MG3 finishes with 250-plus touches and rushes for 1,000-plus yards as a rookie.

> Continue to Round 3 of our fantasy football mock draft
> Go back to Round 1 of our fantasy football mock draft

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May 09, 2015

2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 1

With the 2015 NFL Draft now behind us, four of our contributors -- Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly -- have begun a new 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

While it's a "slow" mock, we will post picks when they are made instead of waiting until the entire mock draft is complete.

With that said, here are the Round 1 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:

Note: Picks and comments will be posted here when they are made.

1.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

While it was a relatively disappointing season for Charles, selected first or second in most leagues last season, he still finished as the seventh-highest scoring fantasy running back in 2014. The 28-year-old back rushed for 1,033 yards, his fifth 1,000-yard season, and added 40 catches for 291 yards while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.

Despite a year-over-year decline in all of those numbers, the biggest concern was the reduction in his workload. After 320 touches in 2012, Charles had 329 touches in Andy Reid's first season as head coach in 2013. Last year, however, Charles had just 246 touches -- 15 running backs had more. Perhaps we won't ever see Charles get in the 320-range again, but it would be a surprise to see him as low as 246 again this season.

1.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

Starting slowly and worrying those that did not heed the general advice of Aaron Rodgers ("R-E-L-A-X"), Lacy carries plenty of positive momentum into Year 3. Lacy faced three elite rush defenses (SEA, NYJ and DET) to begin last season, but only DeMarco Murray and Le'Veon Bell scored more fantasy points than he did from Weeks 4 to 17. Over the final 13 games of the season, Lacy averaged 18.92 touches for 108.85 YFS per game and scored a total of 13 touchdowns. The benefit of playing with the league's best quarterback means that defenses are less likely to stack the box to (try to) slow down Lacy. After averaging 4.15 yards per carry as a rookie, Lacy averaged 4.63 YPC last season (4.89 YPC over final 13 games).

1.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell's production spiked across the board -- 1,361 rushing yards, 83 receptions for 854 yards and 11 total touchdowns -- in his second season as he was named to the 2014 AP First-Team All-Pro Team. Bell finished second to only DeMarco Murray in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage (2,215) and the two backs were tied for the most games with at least 100 YFS (13).

Whether the Steelers have the lead (and want to use the clock) or trail and need to throw, Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow. Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners), his discipline stemming from last August's DUI/marijuana arrest has netted him a three-game suspension.

Over the course of last year, Bell averaged 17.97 fantasy points per game although his production spiked to 24.7/G with LeGarrette Blount out of the picture. If he maintained his full-season average of 17.97/G over 13 games this year, however, Bell would score 233.59 fantasy points, which would have ranked him sixth among running backs in 2014.

Like Dan did here, I'd be willing to select Bell with a top-three pick. As noted above, it wouldn't be a stretch if Bell still produced mid-RB1 numbers even while missing three games. If you added three games of replacement-level production in his absence, that duo should combine for close to a top-three finish.

1.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

McCoy rushed for 1,319 yards, third-most in the NFL behind Murray and Bell, and was one of only two backs to get 300-plus carries last season. That said, McCoy barely finished as a top-12 fantasy running back as he scored only 0.5 fantasy points more than Washington's Alfred Morris (RB13). In addition, McCoy averaged nearly a yard per carry less in 2014 than 2013 while also seeing his receptions (52 in 2013) and touchdowns (11 in 2013) drop roughly in half to 28 and five, respectively. While McCoy gets a downgrade in quarterback situation and blocking, the Bills will make sure that Shady gets a sizable workload in a ground-and-pound offense.

1.05 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

In his four full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns every year. During that four-year span, no running back has more rushing yards (5,357) or rushing touchdowns (48) and no player has more total touchdowns (56). Beast Mode has shown no signs of slowing down, but his physical running style (granted, he seems to dish out more punishment than he receives), heavy workload (league-high 1,479 regular-season and playoff touches over that four-year span) and age (turned 29 in April) is at least somewhat concerning. That said, Lynch seems to be a lock for another 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses.

1.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards back in 2012 and is one of the league's all-time best running backs. After last year's lost season, it was unclear where he would play in 2015, but the draft has come and gone with Peterson still on the Vikings roster. Assuming that he plays all 16 games (or close to it), Peterson should finish as a top-five (or better) back in 2015.

1.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Murray has always been productive on a per-game and per-touch basis. Before last season's career year, Murray averaged 4.95 yards per carry in his first three seasons combined. The issue with Murray (before 2014) was durability as he missed multiple games in each of those three seasons. With a total of 497 touches including the playoffs last year, durability could be the biggest concern for Murray's fantasy owners (like Brendan) in 2015 as well. Even though the Eagles have added another talented (and injury-prone) running back (Ryan Mathews) in free agency, I'd expect Murray to still get close to 20 touches per game, when healthy.

1.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

Not only did Forte lead all running backs in receptions (102) last year, but only three players had more than him -- Antonio Brown (129), Demaryius Thomas (111) and Julio Jones (104) -- as he broke the record for receptions by a running back. With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions again, but he could certainly finish with around 70 catches. While Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has at least 929 rushing yards in all seven of his NFL seasons. Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season, but I'd expect the Bears to be more committed to the run in 2015.

1.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

In 16 games this season, Brown never finished as the highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in any given week. (In fact, that applies to both standard- and PPR-scoring formats.) That's a surprise given that no wide receiver had more fantasy points over the course of the season -- in either format -- than Brown.

Over the past two seasons, Brown has a combined 239 receptions for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also has 17 rushing yards and two return touchdowns. More impressive than his overall level of production, however, is his consistency. Brown had at least five receptions and 70 yards in all 17 games (counting their playoff loss) last season. Going back to the start of 2013, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in all 33 games.

One of the sayings that you'll often hear in fantasy football is that you can't win your league in the first round, but you can lose it. With Brown's production and consistency, there isn't a safer pick among wide receivers (and perhaps among all first-round picks).

1.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants

From Week 9 through the end of the season, Beckham was simply unstoppable. Not only was he consistent (90-plus yards in all nine of those games), but his nine-game stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets was better than the full-season production of most receivers. There were only 11 receivers not named Odell that had more than 1,199 yards over the full season. And as impressive as that sounds, he was especially dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets. While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules.

1.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

Yo soy fiesta ... Not only is Gronkowski in a tier all by himself among tight ends, no player is more dominant at his respective position, which makes him somewhat of a value this late in the first round. With 82 receptions for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns over 15 games, Gronk scored 184.4 fantasy points, 30.3 points more than Antonio Gates, who had the second-most among tight ends. In other words, he had 19.66 percent more than the guy that had the second-most. While he had some huge games, Gronk was consistent on a weekly basis and finished as a top-five fantasy scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-11 scorer in all but two games.

1.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Over the final nine games of the season, Hill had 22-plus carries and 100-plus rushing yards in five games including the final three of the regular season. During that nine-game span, Hill had 172 carries for 929 yards and six touchdowns and no running back had more rushing yards than Hill during that stretch. (Lynch was second with 824 yards.) Going into the 2015 season, Hill is clearly the team's lead back with Giovani Bernard as the change-of-pace option.

> Continue to Round 2 of our fantasy football mock draft

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Most-Accurate 2015 NFL Mock Draft
EDSFootball.com owner Kevin Hanson had the most accurate 2015 NFL Mock Draft among the 113 analysts/experts tracked by The Huddle Report.

> Hanson's early 2016 NFL Mock Draft