1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Just trust Hue Jackson on this one, like he said to do with Cody Kessler.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
Whoever is coaching the 49ers in 2017 may only do it for one season, so hopefully they don’t get too attached to Jonathan Allen.
3. Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
If everything worked out in 2016, sans injuries and suspensions, the Bears should have contended for a playoffs spot. If John Fox has his way then Jay Cutler won’t be starting for the Bears in 2017.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Saint Doug gets another shot at head coaching, and Adams could be the pick with a few impending free agents at safety for Jacksonville.
5. Tennessee Titans: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
As boring a hire as Mike Mularkey was, it seems to have paid off thanks to a great job by the front office. The defensive is still quite bad, so Humphrey would be a solid addition.
6. New York Jets: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Watson likely won’t save the Jets from dysfunction, but he also likely won’t be the reason for the team’s continual downfall.
7. San Diego Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Malik Hooker may be the best safety in this class, but I feel bad for him for having to don the new Chargers’ logo.
8. Carolina Panthers: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Derek Barnett won’t help Cam Newton get more roughing the passer calls, but he will be a big addition to a team that could be losing a few players across the defensive line.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Cam Robinson, T, Alabama
The Bengals need a linebacker and a tackle so they might feel like reaching on a left tackle in a pretty weak class.
10. Buffalo Bills: Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Doug Whaley isn’t privy to a lot of important conversations in Buffalo so he might not know who they’re picking either. Yes, Mahomes played in a wonky offense but get over it, he has as much talent as any quarterback in this class.
11. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
The Saints have a defense that Rob Ryan couldn’t fix, so maybe they’ll give Rex a call?
12. Cleveland Browns: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Isaiah Crowell is more than good enough to be a starting running back in the NFL, but Fournette is probably too hard to pass up.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
At one point, the Cardinals were thought to have a great group of receivers, then Michael Floyd went and got kicked off the team, John Brown couldn’t stay healthy, and Larry Fitzgerald may ride off into the sunset.
14. Indianapolis Colts: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The Colts are bad, but Andrew Luck doesn’t get enough of the blame. Frank Gore ran well for an old man, but it’s time he takes a back seat.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Jim Schwartz is one of the best defensive minds in the NFL, but it is hard to have success with the group of cornerbacks he had in 2016.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Tim Williams, LB/DE, Alabama
The last time the Ravens took a pass rusher from Alabama it did not go well, hopefully, Williams can do better than five sacks in four years.
17. Washington Redskins: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Whoever is going to be coaching the Redskins defense, maybe Gus Bradley, desperately needs a linebacker to lead the team.
18. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
I think Davis is the best wide receiver in this draft, maybe I’m wrong, but I’d take him over Mike Williams.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
The Buccaneers could be losing a slew of defensive linemen in free agency this year and need to find a companion to play next to Gerald McCoy.
20. Denver Broncos: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
The Broncos defensive line is a bit weak and Charlton could potentially play defensive end in Denver’s 3-4 defense.
21. Houston Texans: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Despite a variety of issues, the Texans are just good enough in a bad division to sneak into the playoffs. They need a safety, and I’m probably too low on Peppers in this mock.
22. Detroit Lions: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Kerry Hyder’s breakout was unexpected in 2016, but the Lions could use another pass rusher with Ezekial Ansah possibly heading to free agency in 2018.
23. Miami Dolphins: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
An aging Cameron Wake can’t be the only pass rusher in Miami in 2017.
24. New York Giants: Ryan Ramczyk, T, Wisconsin
The Giants have to address the offensive line.
25. Oakland Raiders: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
Who knows what would have happened had Derek Carr not gotten injured, but their defensive is still quite bad.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Roderick Johnson, T, Florida State
The Seahawks offensive line is terrible, you already know this.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinle, LB, UCLA
A 38-year-old man led the Steelers in sacks this year.
28. Atlanta Falcons: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
The Falcons could need another safety with a few of theirs up for a free agency, but there just isn’t one worth the first-round selection at this point.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Quincy Wilson, CB, Chiefs
The Chiefs finally get a replacement for Sean Smith.
30. Dallas Cowboys: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Also, wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cowboys go for O.J. Howard.
31. New England Patriots: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
I don’t think Elandon Roberts is the long-term answer.
32. Green Bay Packers: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
An obvious pick considering how the Packers secondary has played.
It sucks that Rob Gronkowski is going to miss the rest of the season, but it’s probably for the best for fantasy owners. If there’s one thing you don’t want, it’s someone that only plays limited snaps and is constantly leaving games early. Gronk is going to take care of his back injury, and now you don’t need to worry about what-ifs.
So, now that you can safely drop Gronk, who should you add?
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans
While it’s been a somewhat up and down season for Fiedorowicz, he’s gotten at least five targets per game since week four, and he’s caught three touchdowns. While he isn’t in the best offense and has to deal with fifth-year rookie Brock Osweiler, he seems to be the number two target in Houston’s offense. Also, he has a few nice matchups with Green Bay, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville.
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers
Brate’s season has been less consistent compared to Fierorowicz, he’s put up a few big games but has also disappointed a lot. He does have the benefit of having a much better quarterback and he does take on New Orleans twice in the next four weeks.
Lance Kendricks, Rams
In two games with Jared Goff starting, Kendricks has posted seven targets and four catches per game with one touchdown against the Saints. It’s hard to trust anyone in the Rams passing game, or offense for that matter, but it seems like Goff is going to look Kendricks way a lot in the coming weeks.
Daniel Brown, Bears
If you are in a big league and desperate, Brown could be a pretty good option in Matt Barkley’s high-flying offense. Brown came out of nowhere to replace Zach Miller and catch a touchdown against the Titans. In the coming weeks, the Bears could be in a few shootouts against the 49ers, Lions, and Packers.
Vance McDonald, 49ers
With Colin Kaepernick becoming a fantasy stud once again, Vance McDonald has been targeted at least six times since week seven. He’s clearly the best receiving option for Kaepernick and there’s no reason he won’t keep getting targeted.
Colin Kaepernick, QB 49ers
Kaepernick has been about as good as anyone could have hoped for since he usurped the starting job from Blaine Gabbert. It may not be pretty to watch, but all Kaepernick does is put up points with his legs and arm. He’s not going to slow down anytime soon with great matchups against the Bears, Jets, and Falcons.
Matt Barkley, QB, Bears
Barkley is strictly a deep-league option, but wow, he looked pretty good on Sunday while getting absolutely zero help from his receivers. While he doesn’t have many weapons at his disposal, but Marquess Wilson and Jordan Howard aren’t too bad. With a matchup against the 49ers, Barkley could be a decent play.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
Hill deserved waiver wire consideration ever since Jeremy Maclin went down, but now he’s a must-add. Against the Broncos, Hill touched the ball 10 times for 55 yards with three touchdowns. Hill is probably one of the five faster receivers in the NFL, and needs to be owned if he’s going to be getting 8 to 10 targets per game.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Falcons
Like Hill, Gabriel is one of the faster players in the NFL and has turned in four touchdowns in his past four games. My only concern with Gabriel is that he is more touchdown dependent than Hill. Gabriel hasn’t seen more than five targets in a game this year, and needs to score to have a useful fantasy day.
Marquess Wilson, WR, Bears
The Bears have a very fantasy-friendly schedule to end the year, and Wilson could be very useful over the next two games while Alshon Jeffery is still suspended. Wilson, never short on talent, registered eight catches for 125 yards and one touchdown. Unlike Hill and Gabriel, Wilson is a physical specimen with red zone ability. As long as Matt Barkley keeps up his pace, Wilson could have big games against San Francisco and Detroit.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Patriots
Mitchell was a hot sleeper to start the year, and has finally turned it up a notch with three touchdowns in his past two games. While Mitchell is in a much better offense, I don’t really like his outlook with the Patriots about to take on Los Angeles, Baltimore and Denver.
Justin Hunter, WR, Bills
If you’re in a really deep league or things just aren’t going your way, Hunter is one of the better Hail Mary plays this week. He doesn’t do much other than score touchdowns, but the Bills take on a horrendous Oakland defense this week.
Kenneth Dixon, RB, Ravens
Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West have been equaling each other out, but after week 12 it looks like Dixon’s outlook is back on the rise. Against the Bengals, Dixon didn’t really do much but he did touch the ball 17 times, and that’s enough to put him back on fantasy radars.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
You already know, Henry would probably help you win your league if Murray gets hurt, but Murray is still trudging along. It’s been brought up that Henry could begin to get more work as the end of the season nears, he could become a decent RB3/Flex if that happens.
If you didn’t know, Pro Bowl center for the Bills, Eric Wood, holds a weight gain competition on Thanksgiving.
Last year, Richie Incognito won the competition by gaining over 10 pounds. It’s safe to say there probably aren’t many leftovers for the patented post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich.
In comparison, Wood gained a measly 8.4 pounds in 2015 after winning the competition in 2014.
So, you’re all probably wondering who won this year’s competition.
Well, it looks like Richie Incognito is celebrating back to back victories with a 9.4-pound weight gain.
This was a grueling battle between two of football’s finest that was filled with plenty of trashing talking.
— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) November 23, 2016
— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) November 23, 2016
It’s clear these two take Thanksgiving seriously. I should note, Woods’ numbers haven’t been made public to the media, so one could assume he’s embarrassed by his performance.
A year ago this time, Sammy Watkins was entering week 12 and about to finish the 2015 season as one of the hottest receivers in the NFL. Over the course of his final six games, Watkins reached at least 80 yards in every game and caught six touchdowns. He actually looked like the receiver many thought he would be when the Bills drafted him.
Well, can he do it again this year?
Ya know what? I think Watkins repeats and helps a lot of people reach their fantasy championship.
First, I have no idea if Watkins is really healed from his foot injury. He recently said he was 100%, but as we know, NFL players lie about their health or have no idea what they’re talking about. Before week one, I believe Watkins also said he was 100% and looked what happened.
So, in regards to health, even though he is practicing, I won’t believe it till I see him on the field.
Health issues aside, if Watkins is really healthy then he should immediately see plenty of targets coming his way.
If I have to remind you, the Bills’ current group of receivers consist of Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Percy Harvin, Justin Hunter, and Charles Clay. It’s gotten pretty horrible in Buffalo at receiver, and I can’t really think of a team with a worse group of receivers other than the 49ers. On top of all their issues, Robert Woods has been playing injured for the past few weeks, and he looks doubtful to play this week.
The Bills need Sammy Watkins to step up, and if anything, I’m sure Doug Whaley is whispering in Rex Ryan’s ear to force the ball to Watkins so his horrific decision to trade up for Watkins can be somewhat validated.
Looking ahead, the Bills have an extremely fantasy-friendly schedule to close out the season.
This week, they get a revenge game against Doug Marrone and the Jaguars, followed by matchups with Oakland, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Miami, and the Jets. If Sammy Watkins is out there, he has some pretty enticing matchups that he can take advantage of.
So, Watkins has a lot going for him if he can return, and I haven’t even mentioned Tyrod Taylor yet.
To this point, Taylor has pretty much mirrored his 2015 season with one big exception. Last year, it seemed like every week Taylor was tossing beautiful passes 50 plus yards down the field, but not so much this year. With a pretty disappointing group of receivers, Taylor’s yards per completion has dropped from 7.99 to 6.56. He’s dropped a full yard and a half, which is a pretty big decline.
In my opinion, watching Tyrod Taylor this year, he’s been every bit as good as he was last year, except it seems like he’s opting for shorter passes rather than taking a shot down the field. Now, that could do with the fact that he hasn’t had a receiver with an elite skill-set to get down the field quickly and make a contested catch. Woods and Goodwin have some pretty decent skills, but they are one-trick ponies compared to Watkins.
Watkins career has been a huge disappointment filled with flashes of greatness. If he truly is healthy, Watkins should want to come out of the gate quickly and prove all his doubters wrong.
Right now, I’m saying Watkins will have a big impact on your fantasy team, and could be the push you need to get into the playoffs and do some damage.
1. Everyone in Jacksonville at Detroit
In a game that was supposed to be a shootout that turned out to be anything but one. Matthew Stafford had zero touchdowns and only 278 yards. He continued to show a lack of chemistry with Marvin Jones and only threw to him twice. Can we please go back to the first few weeks of the season when Jones was dominating fantasy leagues?
On top of his issues with Jones, Golden Tate was only targeted four times for 27 yards and lost a fumble. The only salvageable aspect of Detroit’s offense was a fluke rushing touchdown for Eric Ebron and Theo Riddick catching eight passes.
As for Jacksonville, it wasn’t much better, you know things are bad when Chris Ivory leads your team in catches. Blake Borltes was his usual interception-happy self, and Allen Robinson only caught three passes. Oh, and Allen Hurns did nothing.
2. Spencer Ware
Against a defense that is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs, one would have expected Ware to run wild. Well, there’s a reason he’s on this list, and it’s because he only totaled 85 yards in week 11. He did touch the ball 19 times but failed to turn any of his touches into a big play or score.
3. Tyler Eifert
It’s hard not to expect big things from Eifert considering he is the number two passing option for Andy Dalton. Unfortunately, Eifert was a huge let down considering A.J. Green left the game early against Buffalo, and Eifert wasn’t gobbling up targets in Green’s absence.
Eifert only caught three of six passes for 37 yards and no touchdowns. I didn’t see much of this game but, considering the score, I don’t’ suspect Eifert saw too many red zone opportunities.
4. Delanie Walker
This should have been a higher scoring game, but it was fairly tame for what many thought. Adding to it being a bad game for Walker, the Titans were down big early and were forced to throw the ball in an attempt to catch up.
Walker was unable to turn the Titans’ deficit into anything positive and only caught four passes for 36 yards.
5. Kenneth Dixon
Wasn’t Dixon supposed to get more touches this week? Well, it didn’t happen and he only touched the ball six times for 40 yards. He didn’t even have a single catch after snagging five in week 10.
To make matters worse, the Ravens were down for the entire second half against Dallas and it didn’t turn into a single catch for Dixon. This was supposed to be his breakout, but it turned out to be a bland performance overall.
Almost every year it seems like some random running back or receiver comes out of nowhere leading fantasy teams to a championship. A few years ago it was Arian Foster, and this year it’ll probably someone that’s just as obscure.
Fortunately, the guy that could win you your league just still might be on your waiver wire. Here are a few names to keep in mind when thinking of how you’re going to win your way to a championship.
The good thing about Kenneth Dixon is that he doesn’t need an injury to help his fantasy value. Sure, Terrence West getting hurt would probably be for the best, but if last Thursday was any indication, Dixon has a defined role in Baltimore’s offense.
In the Ravens’ 28-7 win over the Browns, Dixon ran the ball six times for 38 yards, and caught five of seven targets for 42 yards. With West struggling and being a less effective pass-catcher, Dixon got his most work on the season and looked better than West.
As I said, an injury to West would catapult’s Dixon fantasy value, but even if West hangs around for 10 touches a game, Dixon is the running back to own in PPR leagues. The Ravens don’t have the best group of receivers, and Dixon has clear ownership as the Ravens pass-catching running back.
I wasn’t going to mention Henry at all, but I did notice his ownership dipped below 50-percent in Yahoo leagues.
It’s clear that the Titans are going to force-feed DeMarco Murray, but if anything were to happen to Murray then Dixon immediately becomes a top 10 running back.
Henry hasn’t touched the ball much this year, but he was a monster against Jacksonville while pulling in 20 touches. If Henry stays healthy he won’t be worth much, but I’d hate to have to cross my fingers in hopes of getting him with a winning bid or anything less than the number one waiver priority.
Hill is one of the most explosive players in the NFL and Andy Reid has made a point to get the ball in his hands on offense. In week 10, against Carolina, Hill caught 10 of 13 targets for 89 yards. You’d obviously like more yards, especially with 10 catches, but I assume most of his targets came from within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.
As for Hill’s outlook, whenever Jeremy Maclin is out then he should be a decent player, but the Chiefs’ do have some fantasy-friendly matchups coming up. Between weeks 11 and 16, the Chiefs play the Buccaneers, Raiders, Titans, and Falcons.
While the Chiefs don’t have the most prolific passing offense, Hill has a few nice matchups coming up and has the ability to turn a dead play into a 70-yard touchdown.
With Vincent Jackson out for the year, Humphries has been hit or miss the past few weeks but has seen a recent spike in targets. In his past two games, Humphries has 15 targets, 10 catches, 92 yards, and one touchdown. Not amazing, but not horrible either.
The reason he could lead you to a championship has everything to do with his upcoming schedule. In weeks 14 through 16, Humphries gets New Orleans TWICE!, Dallas, and San Diego.
Those are three amazing matchups, and Humphries should be a high-end WR3 at worst heading into the fantasy playoffs in a few weeks.
Woods is one of the best blocking receivers in the NFL but doesn’t quite get the recognition he deserves as a receiver. He’s not the biggest or the fastest, but he’s a decent possession receiver that can make a few tough catches.
Woods posted a big week nine against the Seahawks with 162 yards and 10 catches. During the next few weeks, Woods gets Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Miami. Not too shabby at all, especially considering Woods is basically the only receiver the Bills have.
Rogers got a lot of attention before the season started, and following a decent week one performance, but fell off quite a bit before a week 9 resurrection.
In his past two games, Rogers has accumulated 15 targets, nine catches, 145 yards and one touchdown.
He has full ownership of the Steelers slot-receiver job and could see quite a few more targets going forward with Markus Wheaton and Darius Heyward-Bey out for the season.
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