July 16, 2017

Fantasy Football ADP: Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers in Average Draft Position

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

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

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

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


Biggest Risers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBRyan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins-2.9 (162.6 on 7/9; 159.7 on 7/16)
RBDevontae Booker, Denver Broncos8.2 (163.7 on 7/9; 155.5 on 7/16)
WRMohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons-5.8 (168.6 on 7/9; 162.8 on 7/16)
TEEric Ebron, Detroit Lions-6.8 (148.4 on 7/9; 141.6 on 7/16)

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

Continue reading "Fantasy Football ADP: Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers in Average Draft Position" »

2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 35 Fantasy TEs

Training camp is right around the corner. In fact, rookies for the Dallas Cowboys report to camp tomorrow (July 17th).

Before you know it, the preseason will be here and it will be time for (the majority of) our fantasy football drafts. We will update our fantasy football rankings frequently throughout the rest of the offseason and our latest update was this morning.

Here are our 2017 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings (standard scoring):

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots: When healthy, Gronkowski is as good as it gets. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old tight end has missed five-plus games in three of the past five seasons. That said, Gronk has averaged nearly 70 yards per game with a total of 69 touchdowns in 88 career games.

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs: Expected to be ready for training camp after offseason shoulder surgery, Kelce set career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,125) and 100-yard games (six) and led the position in fantasy points scored despite scoring only four touchdowns. While Kelce has never scored more than five touchdowns in a season, he was targeted 16 times in the red zone last season -- only three TEs were targeted more inside the 20. With Jeremy Maclin now in Baltimore, Kelce should be the clear focal point of the passing offense and has a chance to finish as fantasy's TE1 even if Rob Gronkowski plays a full season.

3. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins: Durability, durability, durability. Like "location, location, location" being important in real estate, it's durability for Reed. Once again, Reed has missed multiple games -- four games -- and he was less than 100 percent in many others. If he were to maintain his per-game pace of the past two seasons over a full 16-game slate, Reed would post a 94/1,008/10 line.

4. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers: Olsen scored only three touchdowns, his lowest since his rookie season (2007). As steady as it gets, Olsen has finished with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and played all 16 games every year except his rookie season. Scoring more fantasy points last year than all tight ends not named Travis, Olsen has finished as a top-seven fantasy tight end in five consecutive seasons.

5. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks: In his comeback from a torn patellar tendon, Graham had 65 catches for 923 yards and six touchdowns. All three of his 100-yard games occurred in the first half of the season with a 38/545/3 split (compared to 27/378/3 over the final eight games). One more year removed from the injury, Graham has a chance to post similar (or even better) numbers in 2017.

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 35 Fantasy TEs" »

Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 8th Pick

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: PPR scoring
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 8
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DST, 6 Bench

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

1.08 - LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: Averaging a career-high 5.4 yards per carry, McCoy rushed for 1,267 yards and added 50 catches for 356 yards as he scored 14 total touchdowns last season. Only the Cowboys (499) ran the ball more than the Bills (492) last season.

2.05 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: A top-10 fantasy wide receiver as a rookie, Thomas had at least four catches and 40 yards in all 15 games played and finished with a 92/1,136/9 statistical line. With Brandin Cooks now in New England, there is plenty of room for growth in his sophomore campaign as the unquestioned top target for Drew Brees.

3.08 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: As Blake Bortles and the passing offense regressed, Robinson had a down year (73/880/6) following his 2015 breakout (80/1,400/14). With the team likely to employ a run-first offensive game plan, A-Rob is unlikely to fully bounce back to his 2015 numbers, but things should go better for him in 2017.

4.05 - Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers: Adams just missed the 1,000-yard mark last season, but he shattered previous career highs with 75 catches for 997 yards and 12 touchdowns. Going into the 2017 season, he is clearly the No. 2 option for Aaron Rodgers behind Jordy Nelson in one of the league's most-explosive offenses.

5.08 - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: After a career year in 2014 (101/1,404/9), Sanders has at least 75 catches and 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. A 75/1,000 season should be his floor with some upside for more than that.

6.05 - Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Some concerns (off field, ball security, etc.) led him to slip to Round 2, but Cook rushed for 100-plus yards in nine of his final 10 games for the 'Noles and averaged 190.7 YFS per game during that stretch. With a strong set of receivers, I'm happy with Cook as my RB2 and the plan was to load up on the position at this point, which I did ...

Continue reading "Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 8th Pick" »

2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

Training camp is right around the corner. In fact, rookies for the Dallas Cowboys report to camp tomorrow (July 17th).

Before you know it, the preseason will be here and it will be time for (the majority of) our fantasy football drafts. We will update our fantasy football rankings frequently throughout the rest of the offseason and our latest update was this morning.

Here are our 2017 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings from Kevin Hanson:

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: Finishing as the top-scoring wide receiver in PPR formats for three consecutive seasons, Brown has finished as the WR1, WR1 and WR3 in standard-scoring formats, respectively. Brown has triple-digit receptions in four consecutive seasons and double-digit touchdowns in three straight. Over his past four seasons, Brown has averaged 100.2 receiving yards per game. No receiver, or player, has a higher floor than AB84.

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: Jones had foot surgery on March 6th, but he's expected to be ready for the start of training camp and (more importantly) Week 1. With 1,400-plus yards in each of the past three seasons, Jones has averaged more than 100 yards per game in four consecutive seasons. With good health, he's a clear-cut top-three fantasy wide receiver that should go in the top half of Round 1 in fantasy football drafts this summer.

3. Odell Beckham, New York Giants: He may have frustrated fantasy owners, teammates and fans at times, but Beckham is now three-for-three in seasons with double-digit touchdowns and at least 90 catches and 1,300 yards. The only real concern with OBJ is the addition of Brandon Marshall. Only Tampa's Mike Evans (175) had more targets last season than Beckham (169), who could see perhaps 20 or so fewer targets in 2017.

4. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers: Missing the entire 2015 NFL season, Nelson's 2016 campaign (97/1,257/14 on 152 targets and second-most fantasy points) was nearly identical to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13 on 151 targets and second-most fantasy points). The main difference for Jordy was his drop in Y/R (13.0 in 2016 compared to 15+ in previous four seasons played). Another year removed from his torn ACL and given the rapport and trust that he and Aaron Rodgers have with each other, Nelson should be in store for another elite season.

5. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: Missing six games last season due to a hamstring injury, Green failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his six-year career. That said, he still averaged a career-high 96.4 yards per game despite a goose egg in his 10th and final game played in 2016.

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings" »

2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Training camp is right around the corner. In fact, rookies for the Dallas Cowboys report to camp tomorrow (July 17th).

Before you know it, the preseason will be here and it will be time for (the majority of) our fantasy football drafts. We will update our fantasy football rankings frequently throughout the rest of the offseason and our latest update was this morning.

Here are our 2017 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings (standard scoring) from Kevin Hanson:

1. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers: Missing the first four games of the 2016 season, Bell has now missed three-plus games (suspension and/or injury) in three of his four seasons as a pro. When on the field last season, however, the (now) 25-year-old back was better than ever as he was on a 16-game pace of 2,512 yards from scrimmage, 100 receptions and 12 touchdowns. (The single-season YFS record is 2,509 by CJ2K in 2009.)

2. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals: In his breakout sophomore campaign, Johnson led the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,118) and total touchdowns (20) and led running backs in receptions (80) and fantasy points scored (in both standard and PPR-scoring formats). Listed 1-2 in my rankings, Bell and Johnson are more like 1(a) and 1(b) or even both T-1st.

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys: Leading the NFL in rushing attempts (322) and rushing yards (1,631) as a rookie, Elliott had a minimum of 80 rushing yards in every game from Weeks 2 to 16. Finishing second to Johnson in fantasy points scored, Elliott had a minimum of 10.7 fantasy points (standard scoring) in all 15 games played. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, however, Elliott is "bracing for a short suspension." Considering that Le'Veon Bell was suspended the first four games of the season and still finished as fantasy's RB4 in 2016, I'll keep Elliott as my RB3 but I wouldn't take him third overall in fantasy drafts pending clarity on the NFL's investigation.

4. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills: In standard-scoring formats, only two running backs -- Johnson and Elliott -- scored more fantasy points than McCoy in 2016. In 15 games, McCoy had 1,267 rushing yards (a career-high 5.4 YPC), 50 catches for 356 yards and scored 14 total touchdowns. The return of Tyrod Taylor is a positive for McCoy's 2017 fantasy outlook.

5. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons: Despite getting 57 fewer touches year-over-year, Freeman finished as a top-six fantasy running back in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats in 2016. Setting career highs in efficiency (4.8 YPC and 8.6 Y/R), Freeman now has back-to-back seasons with 1,000-plus rushing yards, 1,500-plus YFS, 50-plus receptions and 13-plus touchdowns.

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Fantasy Running Back Rankings" »

2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 40 Fantasy QBs

Training camp is right around the corner. In fact, rookies for the Dallas Cowboys report to camp tomorrow (July 17th).

Before you know it, the preseason will be here and it will be time for (the majority of) our fantasy football drafts. We will update our fantasy football rankings frequently throughout the rest of the offseason and our latest update was this morning.

Here are 2017 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings from Kevin Hanson:

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: Posting an insane TD-INT ratio of 165 to 34 over the past five seasons combined, Rodgers led the league in passing touchdowns (40) last year while throwing for 4,428 yards, the third-most of his career. With injuries to the backfield, Rodgers ran for a career-high 369 yards and added four rushing touchdowns. Since becoming a starter in 2008, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback in seven of nine seasons (and one of those two outliers was his injury-shortened 2013 season). With good health, he's a virtual lock for a top-two fantasy season.

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots: Turning 40 years old in August, Brady has shown no signs of slowing down. In 12 games following his four-game suspension, Brady averaged 296.2 yards per game and 8.2 Y/A, a five-year high, while posting a 28-to-two TD-INT ratio. With the Patriots acquiring Brandin Cooks this offseason and Rob Gronkowski missing half of last season, Brady could post even better per-game numbers in 2017.

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: Tom Brady isn't the only quarterback that thinks he can play to 45. Regardless of how much longer he plays, Brees remains a top-five fantasy QB for the 2017 season. With passing statistics generally inflated in historical terms, Brees has five career 5,000-yard seasons (including 5,208 last year) and 32-plus touchdowns in nine consecutive seasons.

4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: Dealing with a shoulder injury for much of the past two years, Luck opted for shoulder surgery early this offseason and there's no clear timetable for when he will resume throwing. Even though he was less than 100 percent last year, Luck still scored the fourth-most fantasy points among QBs as he threw for 4,240 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In the four (of five) seasons that he has played more than seven games, Luck has rushed for more than 250 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of those seasons.

5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: Coming off an MVP-winning season, Ryan shattered previous career highs with 4,944 passing yards and 38 touchdowns while throwing a career-low seven interceptions. With Steve Sarkisian taking over as offensive coordinator, the plan is to not deviate from the team's current offensive scheme.

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 40 Fantasy QBs" »

July 15, 2017

2017 Fantasy Football Projections: Cincinnati Bengals Projections and Fantasy Outlook

We are now 10 days until rookies (and 12 days until veterans) report to training camp for the Cincinnati Bengals. Before we know it, (real) football will be here.

For now, we have updated our 2017 Cincinnati Bengals Fantasy Football Projections.

[More teams: 2017 Fantasy Football Projections]

Below is our 2017 projections for the Cincinnati Bengals:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Andy Dalton390.1598.4455425.711.544.41472.8293.46
Dalton has finished as a mid-tier QB2 (QB16-18) in each of the past three seasons, but a part of that mediocrity has been the injuries to the team's pass-catchers. During that span, Tyler Eifert has played a total of 22 games and A.J. Green has missed three-plus games in two of three years including six missed games last season. While the offensive line has become a concern, the Bengals used their early picks -- John Ross (first round) and Joe Mixon (second round) -- to give Dalton and the offense more weapons.

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Running Backs

PlayerAtt.YardsTDRec.YardsTDPoints
Joe Mixon206.2911.16.437.5319.21167.43
With 4.5 speed at 226 pounds, Mixon has the talent and versatility to stay on the field on all three downs and has drawn some comparisons to David Johnson. For the Sooners, Mixon carried the ball 187 times for 1,274 yards (6.8 YPC) and 10 touchdowns and added 37/538/5 (14.5 Y/R) receiving in 2016. Marvis Lewis has talked up Mixon's on-field ability this offseason and he should become the team's lead back by the end of the season, if not sooner.
Jeremy Hill130.6508.1513.6104.6091.27
After an impressive rookie season (1,124 rushing yards and 5.1 YPC), Hill has failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark and averaged under 4.0 yards per carry in back-to-back seasons. Not only did the Bengals draft Mixon, the team lost two of its best offensive linemen in free agency. Even if not to begin the season, I expect Mixon to out-touch Hill as the season progresses (as noted earlier).
Giovani Bernard52.62211.338.1331.21.370.82
Tearing his ACL last season, Bernard appears unlikely to start the season on the PUP list, Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson wrote, "I imagine they don’t want to rush him back into the first couple of regular-season games."
Ryan Hewitt0002.421.402.14

More Fantasy Football RB Resources:

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Projections: Cincinnati Bengals Projections and Fantasy Outlook" »

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 6th Pick

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 6
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), DST, 6 Bench

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

1.06 - Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants: I didn't plan to start this mock with four consecutive WRs, but the challenge with going WR in Round 1 is that there are major question marks with the RBs beyond the top 9-12 and those will be the options in the second half of Round 2. That said, Beckham has a minimum of 90/1,300/10 in each of his three NFL seasons and no player has more receiving scores during that span. Even with the addition of Brandon Marshall, OBJ remains a top-three fantasy wide receiver.

2.07 - Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: The two main concerns with Bryant are durability -- missed at least three games in each of past two seasons -- and the team's run-heavy offense. That said, Bryant can be dominant in the red zone and he was much better (and more featured) in the second half of the season as he and Dak Prescott built a stronger on-field rapport.

3.06 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Posting a disappointing 90/1,083/5 line in 2016, Thomas averaged 100/1,447/10 over the previous four seasons. I don't expect a 1,400-yard season, but things should be better in 2017 if he can avoid nagging injuries.

4.07 - Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: A disappointing season from A-Rob was primarily caused by a disappointing season from Blake Bortles. Even if Bortles is better in 2017, the concern is that the team will use a run-heavy approach with rookie Leonard Fournette. That said, A-Rob was the best available player here and there is tremendous upside with him as my WR4/flex.

5.06 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Especially if Jamaal Charles makes the 53-man roster and stays healthy, a committee approach should be expected in Denver. That said, I do expect CJA to lead the backfield in touches and Charles isn't a lock to make the roster given his salary situation (and knees).

6.07 - Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Not thrilled with CJA as my RB1, I loaded up on RB2/flex options here. Among the running backs on this mock draft roster, Cook has the potential to be the top producer. The offensive line is a concern (better than last year but still a concern). Going into the season, however, Cook should get the largest share of the workload with a chance to take control of the lead-back role early in the year.

Continue reading "Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 6th Pick" »

July 14, 2017

Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft (Super Flex): 10 Teams, 5th Pick

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: PPR scoring
  • # of Teams: 10
  • Draft Slot: 5
  • Roster Setup: QB, 3 RB, 4 WR, 2 TE, Super Flex (QB/RB/WR/TE), K, DST, 6 Bench

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

1.05 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: With 1,400-plus yards in each of the past three seasons, Jones has averaged more than 100 yards per game in four consecutive seasons. Given his combination of size and speed, it's odd that he has only one season with double-digit touchdowns (10 in 2012), but he's once again a top-three wide receiver in 2017.

2.06 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Missing the entire 2015 NFL season, 2016 (97/1,257/14 on 152 targets and second-most fantasy points) was nearly identical to 2014 (98/1,519/13 on 151 targets and second-most fantasy points). Another year removed from his torn ACL and given the rapport he shares with Aaron Rodgers, Nelson should be in store for another elite season.

3.05 - Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Even though no team called a pass on a lower percentage of their plays, Bryant is a dominant presence in the red zone. Dez has a league-high 52 receiving touchdowns (in 70 games) over the past five seasons.

4.06 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas set five-year lows across the board: 90 receptions, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. Not bad numbers as "five-year lows," but Thomas had averaged 100/1,447/10 in his previous four seasons. This mock features an unusual starting lineup combination and I didn't expect to start WR/WR/WR/WR, but all four of my receivers are inside my top-12 rankings.

5.05 - Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Given my wait until Round 5 to draft my RB1, there are certainly reasons for concern with Hyde. Not only has he missed 14 games over his three NFL seasons, but there are questions about his fit within the offense. That said, he almost certainly enters the season as the starter and there is upside in Shanahan's offense.

6.06 - Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: Finishing as fantasy's QB12 in 2016, things should be even better for this ascending quarterback. The QB6 in my 2017 rankings, Mariota has a much improved supporting cast around him.

Continue reading "Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft (Super Flex): 10 Teams, 5th Pick" »

July 13, 2017

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 16 Teams, 4th Pick

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 16
  • Draft Slot: 4
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DST, 6 Bench

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

1.04 - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Leading the NFL in rushing attempts (322) and rushing yards (1,631) as a rookie, Elliott had a minimum of 10.7 fantasy points (standard scoring) in all 15 games played. The only concern with Zeke is the potential for some league discipline.

2.13 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Poor quarterback play sabotaged Hopkins' 2016 production as he finished with just 78 catches for 954 yards and four touchdowns. Things shouldn't be any worse in 2017, but expectations for a major bounce-back should be tempered given inexperience at quarterback. I have Demaryius Thomas ranked higher than Hopkins, but due to their respective fantasy football ADPs, I was more likely to get both by taking Hopkins first.

3.04 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas set five-year lows across the board: 90 receptions, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. (Not bad for "five-year lows.") Before last season, however, Thomas had averaged 100/1,447/10 in his previous four seasons. It's reasonable to expect an improvement over last year's numbers even if he doesn't post another 100/1,400/10 season.

4.13 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Missing the final nine games due to a meniscus tear, Anderson averaged just 4.0 yards per carry in his seven games played. That said, CJA should get the largest share of early-down work even with the team adding Jamaal Charles in free agency.

5.04 - Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Garcon is coming off his second career 1,000-yard season (79/1,041/3) and he could be in store for a bigger season in San Francisco with limited competition for targets. Garcon had 113 catches on 181 targets in 2013 with Shanahan as his coordinator in Washington.

6.13 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: Preseason expectations were unfortunately greater than his actual production in 2016. Coaches, players and reporters have generally talked Parker up all offseason once again. There is some upside with Parker as my WR4.

Continue reading "Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 16 Teams, 4th Pick" »

July 12, 2017

Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 5th Pick

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: PPR scoring
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 5
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DST, 6 Bench

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

1.05 - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Finishing as the top-scoring wide receiver in PPR formats for three consecutive seasons, Brown has triple-digit receptions in four consecutive seasons and double-digit touchdowns in three straight. No receiver, or player, has a higher floor than AB84.

2.08 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Overall his numbers were solid as Cooper set career highs in both receptions (83) and yards (1,153) in his sophomore campaign. That said, Cooper was much more productive in the first half (52/787/2) than the second half (31/366/3) of the season. Hopefully, he's able to put together a more consistent season from start to finish in his age-23 season.

3.05 - Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans: Inefficient -- 4.0 YPC and 6.1 Y/R -- in his first season with the Texans, Miller gained 1,261 yards and scored six touchdowns on 299 touches in 14 games. With the team using its third-round pick on D'Onta Foreman, perhaps that keeps Miller fresh(er) and leads to a bounce-back in efficiency.

4.08 - Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders: Along with Cooper, Crabtree is part of one of the top wide receiver duos in the NFL. In both of his seasons in Oakland, Crabtree has a minimum of 85 catches, 900 yards and eight touchdowns each season and is coming off his first 1,000-yard season since 2012.

5.05 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: As steady as it gets, Olsen has finished with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and played all 16 games every year except his rookie season.

6.08 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Missing the final nine games due to a meniscus tear, Anderson averaged just 4.0 yards per carry in his seven games played. And even though there will likely be some form of a committee with CJA, Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker, I still expect CJA to lead the group in touches and production if he can stay healthy.

Continue reading "Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 5th Pick" »

July 09, 2017

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

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: PPR scoring
  • # of Teams: 10
  • Draft Slot: 10
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DST, 6 Bench

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

1.10 - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Green missed six games last season due to a hamstring injury so he failed to exceed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his six-year career. That said, he still averaged a career-high 96.4 yards per game despite a goose egg in his 10th and final game played in 2016.

2.01 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Despite getting 57 fewer touches year-over-year, Freeman finished as a top-six fantasy running back in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats in 2016. Setting career highs in efficiency (4.8 YPC and 8.6 Y/R), Freeman now has back-to-back seasons with 1,000-plus rushing yards, 1,500-plus YFS, 50-plus receptions and 13-plus touchdowns.

3.10 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas set five-year lows across the board: 90 receptions, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. Even though Thomas battled a hip injury for much of last season, those are not bad numbers as "five-year lows." Before last season, however, Thomas had averaged 100/1,447/10 in his previous four seasons.

4.01 - Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Using a top-four selection on Fournette, the Jags should make Fournette a workhorse sooner rather than later with the possibility of seeing 20-plus touches per game. Given their strong defense, the Jags are likely to shift to a run-heavy approach after calling a run on only 37.26% of their plays (seventh-fewest) in 2016.

5.10 - Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders: Along with Amari Cooper, Crabtree is part of one of the top wide receiver duos in the NFL. In both of his seasons in Oakland, Crabtree has a minimum of 85 catches, 900 yards and eight touchdowns each season and is coming off his first 1,000-yard season since 2012.

6.01 - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: After a career year in 2014 (101/1,404/9), Sanders has at least 75 catches and 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. Expecting a "pass-happy" offense under (old and) new OC Mike McCoy, Sanders said: "I had an opportunity to play in this offense my first year in 2014. I had 1,400 yards."

Continue reading "Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 10 Teams, No. 10 Pick" »

Fantasy Football ADP: Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers in Average Draft Position

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

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

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

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


Biggest Risers (Absolute Terms)
Pos.PlayerADP change
QBTyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills-2.2 (134.1 on 7/2; 131.9 on 7/9)
RBJamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers-7.7 (124.4 on 7/2; 116.7 on 7/9)
WRKenny Britt, Cleveland Browns-9.2 (151.4 on 7/2; 142.2 on 7/9)
TEJared Cook, Oakland Raiders-3.6 (159.9 on 7/2; 156.3 on 7/9)

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

Continue reading "Fantasy Football ADP: Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers in Average Draft Position" »

July 08, 2017

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 7 pick

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 7
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DST, 6 Bench

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

1.07 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: There is somewhat of a consensus top six in most drafts, but the debate here was Evans or LeSean McCoy. In three-WR leagues (like this mock), I'd go with Evans the majority of the time here. Given the team's added weapons in the passing game, Evans may not lead the NFL in targets again, but no wide receiver scored more fantasy points in standard-scoring formats last season.

2.06 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: Finishing as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver with Brandin Cooks in the mix, Thomas should at least post another top-10 season without Cooks and as the unquestioned No. 1 WR for Drew Brees.

3.07 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: While I'd prefer to have another (better) RB1, Crowell has plenty of upside. Coming off a career-best season (1,271 YFS), the team improved their offensive line this offseason, added no real threat to his touches and Hue Jackson expects to be more committed to running the ball in 2017.

4.06 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Kelce set career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,125) and 100-yard games (six) and led the position in fantasy points scored despite scoring only four touchdowns. With Jeremy Maclin now in Baltimore, Kelce should be the clear focal point of the passing offense and has a chance to finish as fantasy's TE1 even if Rob Gronkowski plays a full season.

5.07 - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: After a career year in 2014 (101/1,404/9), Sanders has at least 75 catches and 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. Expecting a "pass-happy" offense under (old and) new OC Mike McCoy, Sanders said: "I had an opportunity to play in this offense my first year in 2014. I had 1,400 yards." With (the 2014 version of) Peyton Manning no longer under center, the offense may not be exactly like the 2014 version, but there is some upside with Sanders as my WR3.

6.06 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Back for (at least) one more season, Fitzgerald has finished as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver with 100-plus catches and 1,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons.

Continue reading "Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 7 pick" »

July 05, 2017

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 16 Teams, No. 6 Pick

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., not PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 16
  • Draft Slot: 6
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DST, 6 Bench

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

1.06 - Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants: He may have frustrated fantasy owners, teammates and fans at times, but Beckham is now three-for-three in seasons with double-digit touchdowns and at least 90 catches and 1,300 yards. The only real concern with OBJ is the addition of Brandon Marshall. Only Tampa's Mike Evans (175) had more targets last season than Beckham (169), who could see perhaps 20 or so fewer targets in 2017.

2.11 - Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans: Inefficient -- 4.0 YPC and 6.1 Y/R -- in his first season with the Texans, Miller gained 1,261 yards and scored six touchdowns on 299 touches in 14 games. With the team using its third-round pick on D'Onta Foreman, perhaps that keeps Miller fresh(er) and leads to a bounce-back in efficiency.

3.06 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas set five-year lows across the board: 90 receptions, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. Even though Thomas battled a hip injury for much of last season, those are not bad numbers as "five-year lows." Before last season, however, Thomas had averaged 100/1,447/10 in his previous four seasons. It's reasonable to expect an improvement over last year's numbers even if he doesn't post another 100/1,400/10 season.

4.11 - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: After a career year in 2014 (101/1,404/9), Sanders has at least 75 catches and 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. Prefer to not have my WR2/WR3 to be on the same team, but I'm thrilled to have Sanders as my WR3 in a 16-team league.

5.06 - Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Once again, Coleman missed multiple games, but he showed his big-play ability when he was on the field. While Devonta Freeman will continue to lead the backfield in usage and production, Coleman had double-digit touches in 11 of his 13 games and finished the year as a top-20 fantasy running back.

6.11 - Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Garcon is coming off his second career 1,000-yard season (79/1,041/3) and he could be in store for a bigger season in San Francisco with limited competition for targets. Garcon had 113 catches on 181 targets in 2013 when Shanahan was his coordinator in Washington.

Continue reading "Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 16 Teams, No. 6 Pick" »

July 04, 2017

2017 Fantasy Football Projections: New York Jets

We have begun to post our 2017 Fantasy Football Projections on a team-by-team basis and next up are the New York Jets.

Below you will find our projections for the Jets:

Quarterbacks

PlayerComp.Att.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Josh McCown200.9343.4237613.410.918.1730.5137.14
When the Jets signed McCown, the expectation was that he'd enter the season as the starter. Based on offseason reports, however, the gap between McCown and second-year quarterback Christian Hackenberg isn't that large and it's likely that Hackenberg starts multiple games even if he's not the Week 1 starter.
Christian Hackenberg169.3262.9191112.46.314.2580.3121.04
The Jets invested (or wasted, depending on your perspective) a second-round pick on Hackenberg and are currently tied with the 49ers and Browns for last in Super Bowl XLII odds (300/1, via Sportsbook.ag). In other words, the only thing they are really playing for this season is the right to select USC's Sam Darnold with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Oddly enough, Hackenberg may be the guy they need this year to get them what they really need next year (a franchise quarterback).

More Fantasy Football QB Resources:

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Projections: New York Jets" »

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

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.


Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: PPR scoring
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 12
  • Roster Setup: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DST, 6 Bench

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

1.12 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Missing the entire 2015 NFL season, Nelson essentially picked up where he left off as his 2016 campaign (97/1,257/14 on 152 targets) was almost identical to 2014 (98/1,519/13 on 151 targets). Given the rapport he has with Aaron Rodgers, Nelson could be even better (at least in terms of his Y/R) as he's another year removed from his torn ACL.

2.01 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Despite getting 57 fewer touches year-over-year, Freeman finished as a top-six fantasy running back in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats in 2016. Setting career highs in efficiency (4.8 YPC and 8.6 Y/R), Freeman now has back-to-back seasons with 1,000-plus rushing yards, 1,500-plus YFS, 50-plus receptions and 13-plus touchdowns.

3.12 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas set five-year lows across the board: 90 receptions, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. Even though Thomas battled a hip injury for much of last season, those are not bad numbers as "five-year lows." Before last season, however, Thomas had averaged 100/1,447/10 in his previous four seasons.

4.01 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Kelce set career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,125) and 100-yard games (six) and led the position in fantasy points scored despite scoring only four touchdowns. With Jeremy Maclin now in Baltimore, Kelce should be the clear focal point of the passing offense and has a chance to finish as fantasy's TE1 even if Rob Gronkowski plays a full season.

5.12 - Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Missing seven games in 2016, Moncrief didn't have the breakout that many (including myself) expected. With a tantalizing combination of size (6-2, 220) and 4.4 speed, Moncrief could break out in his age-24 season.

6.01 - C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: The coaching staff has talked about a committee approach in Denver, but Anderson should get the largest share of the committee provided that he can stay healthy.

Continue reading "Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, No. 12 Pick" »

2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 35 Fantasy Tight Ends

Here are 2017 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings from Kevin Hanson:

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots: When healthy, Gronkowski is as good as it gets. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old tight end has missed five-plus games in three of the past five seasons. That said, Gronk has averaged 69.3 yards per game with a total of 69 touchdowns in 88 career games.

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs: Expected to be ready for training camp after offseason shoulder surgery, Kelce set career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,125) and 100-yard games (six) and led the position in fantasy points scored despite scoring only four touchdowns. While Kelce has never scored more than five touchdowns in a season, he was targeted 16 times in the red zone last season -- only three TEs were targeted more inside the 20. With Jeremy Maclin now in Baltimore, Kelce should be the clear focal point of the passing offense and has a chance to finish as fantasy's TE1 even if Rob Gronkowski plays a full season.

3. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins: Durability, durability, durability. Like "location, location, location" being important in real estate, it's durability for Reed. Once again, Reed has missed multiple games -- four games -- and he was less than 100 percent in many others. If he were to maintain his per-game pace of the past two seasons over a full 16-game slate, Reed would post a 94/1,008/10 line.

4. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers: Olsen scored only three touchdowns, his lowest since his rookie season (2007). As steady as it gets, Olsen has finished with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and played all 16 games every year except his rookie season. Scoring more fantasy points last year than all tight ends not named Travis, Olsen has finished as a top-seven fantasy tight end in five consecutive seasons.

5. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks: In his comeback from a torn patellar tendon, Graham had 65 catches for 923 yards and six touchdowns. All three of his 100-yard games occurred in the first half of the season with a 38/545/3 split (compared to 27/378/3 over the final eight games). One more year removed from the injury, Graham has a chance to post similar (or even better) numbers in 2017.

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 35 Fantasy Tight Ends" »

2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 100 Fantasy Wide Receivers

With training camp a few weeks away, we have updated our 2017 Fantasy Football Rankings and we continue with our wide receiver rankings.

Here are our updated 2017 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings:

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: Finishing as the top-scoring wide receiver in PPR formats for three consecutive seasons, Brown has finished as the WR1, WR1 and WR3 in standard-scoring formats, respectively. Brown has triple-digit receptions in four consecutive seasons and double-digit touchdowns in three straight. Over his past four seasons, Brown has averaged 100.2 receiving yards per game. No receiver, or player, has a higher floor than AB84.

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: Jones had foot surgery on March 6th, but he's expected to be ready for the start of training camp and (more importantly) Week 1. With 1,400-plus yards in each of the past three seasons, Jones has averaged more than 100 yards per game in four consecutive seasons. With good health, he's a clear-cut top-three fantasy wide receiver that should go in the top half of Round 1 in fantasy football drafts this summer.

3. Odell Beckham, New York Giants: He may have frustrated fantasy owners, teammates and fans at times, but Beckham is now three-for-three in seasons with double-digit touchdowns and at least 90 catches and 1,300 yards. The only real concern with OBJ is the addition of Brandon Marshall. Only Tampa's Mike Evans (175) had more targets last season than Beckham (169), who could see perhaps 20 or so fewer targets in 2017.

4. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No receiver scored more fantasy points in standard-scoring formats and only Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson scored more in PPR formats last season. Setting career highs in receptions (96) and yards (1,321) with 12 touchdowns for the second time in his three NFL seasons, Evans also led the NFL in targets (175). The addition of DeSean Jackson will mean a few less targets for Evans but less defensive attention as well.

5. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers: Missing the entire 2015 NFL season, Nelson's 2016 campaign (97/1,257/14 on 152 targets and second-most fantasy points) was nearly identical to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13 on 151 targets and second-most fantasy points). The main difference for Jordy was his drop in Y/R (13.0 in 2016 compared to 15+ in previous four seasons played). Another year removed from his torn ACL and given the rapport and trust that he and Aaron Rodgers have with each other, Nelson should be in store for another elite season.

6. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: Green missed six games last season due to a hamstring injury so he failed to exceed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his six-year career. That said, he still averaged a career-high 96.4 yards per game despite a goose egg in his 10th and final game played in 2016.

7. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints: Along with Brandin Cooks, Thomas was one of two top-10 fantasy wide receivers for the Saints in 2016. The former Buckeye had at least four catches and 40 yards in all 15 games played and finished the season with a 92/1,136/9 statistical line. With Cooks now in New England, there is plenty of room for growth in his sophomore campaign as the clear top target for Drew Brees.

8. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys: Even though no team called a pass on a lower percentage of their plays, Bryant is a dominant presence in the red zone. Dez has a league-high 52 receiving touchdowns (in 70 games) over the past five seasons.

9. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts: Not only did Hilton record his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season, but he led the NFL in receiving yards (1,448) in 2016. Furthermore, Hilton set career highs in both receptions (91) and targets (155), but he has scored five to seven touchdowns (six last year) in all five of his NFL seasons.

10. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders: Overall his numbers were solid as Cooper set career highs in both receptions (83) and yards (1,153) in his sophomore campaign. That said, Cooper was much more productive in the first half (52/787/2) than the second half (31/366/3) of the season. Hopefully, he's able to put together a more consistent season from start to finish in his age-23 season.

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 100 Fantasy Wide Receivers" »

2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 80 Fantasy Running Backs

With a few weeks to go before teams report to NFL training camps, we have updated our 2017 fantasy football rankings.

Here are our updated 2017 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings:

1. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Missing the first four games of the 2016 season, Bell has now missed three-plus games (suspension and/or injury) in three of his four seasons as a pro. When on the field last season, however, the (now) 25-year-old back was better than ever as he was on a 16-game pace of 2,512 yards from scrimmage, 100 receptions and 12 touchdowns. (The single-season YFS record is 2,509 by CJ2K in 2009.)

2. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
In his breakout sophomore campaign, Johnson led the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,118) and total touchdowns (20) and led running backs in receptions (80) and fantasy points scored (in both standard and PPR-scoring formats). A Week 17 knee injury gave fantasy owners a scare, but Johnson is already training "full throttle." When it comes to the top-three fantasy running backs in 2017, you could easily argue that it's more a 1(a)-1(b)-1(c) as opposed to a "1-2-3" in the rankings.

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Leading the NFL in rushing attempts (322) and rushing yards (1,631) as a rookie, Elliott had a minimum of 80 rushing yards in every game from Weeks 2 to 16. Finishing second to Johnson in fantasy points scored, Elliott had a minimum of 10.7 fantasy points (standard scoring) in all 15 games played.
4. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo BillsIn standard-scoring formats, only two running backs -- Johnson and Elliott -- scored more fantasy points than McCoy in 2016. In 15 games, McCoy had 1,267 rushing yards (a career-high 5.4 YPC), 50 catches for 356 yards and scored 14 total touchdowns. The return of Tyrod Taylor is a positive for McCoy's 2017 fantasy outlook.

5. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
Despite getting 57 fewer touches year-over-year, Freeman finished as a top-six fantasy running back in both standard- and PPR-scoring formats in 2016. Setting career highs in efficiency (4.8 YPC and 8.6 Y/R), Freeman now has back-to-back seasons with 1,000-plus rushing yards, 1,500-plus YFS, 50-plus receptions and 13-plus touchdowns.

6. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
Lacking efficiency as a runner (3.9 YPC), Gordon made huge strides in his sophomore campaign as he was only three yards shy of the 1,000-yard rushing mark, averaged 10.2 Y/R and scored 12 touchdowns in 13 games. If MG3 is able to stay healthy for a full season, new coach Anthony Lynn should help Gordon improve his efficiency and overall production in 2017.

7. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins
There were four 200-yard rushing games last season and Ajayi had three of them. (Le'Veon Bell had the other.) As great as he was in the 200-yard performances, Ajayi averaged less than 3.0 YPC in four of the team's final seven games counting their playoff loss. Getting double-digit carries every week starting in Week 5, only Bell (243) had more carries than Ajayi (242) from Weeks 5 to 17 last season. Only Ezekiel Elliott (1,219) rushed for more yards than Ajayi (1,197) during that span. Entering 2017 as the team's bellcow back, Ajayi could challenge for the league lead in carries in 2017.

8. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
The Bears did not have much on offense last year, but Howard was the clear exception as the rookie finished second in rushing (1,313 yards on 252 carries). Along with Matt Forte (1,339 in 2013), it was just the second 1,300-yard season for the Bears in the past decade. Howard may not finish second in rushing once again, but he should see an even larger workload in his second season.

9. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans
Once again, expectations will be for Derrick Henry to cut into Murray's workload, but Coach Mularkey has called Murray "the guy." As "the guy" last season, Murray touched the ball 346 times for a total of 1,664 yards and 12 touchdowns.

10. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
A disappointment to those that took him in the first round last year, Gurley's numbers were consistently bad throughout his sophomore campaign. Averaging only 3.2 yards per carry on the season, Gurley averaged more than 4.0 YPC only once and never exceeded 85 rushing yards in any game in 2016. Some of the same concerns remain -- lack of elite weapons to keep defenses honest, shaky quarterback play and poor offensive line.

Continue reading "2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 80 Fantasy Running Backs" »