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    Waiver Wire Bigfoot Hunting Week 3: Grab Dwanye Washington

    A long time ago, before the 2016 NFL Draft, I wrote that Dwayne Washington could be a potential late-round breakout running back. I foresaw him being the next Karlos Williams.

    Fast forward to week two of the NFL season, Zach Zenner has fallen out of favor and Ameer Abdullah could have a somewhat serious injury.

    In limited opportunity, even with Abdullah and Theo Riddick playing, the offense has snuck in a few plays for Washington. In two games, Washington has six carries for 32 yards and one touchdown. Nothing special, but he hasn’t exactly had consistent touches to get any rhythm going.

    So, why am I so excited about Dwayne Washington, a sixth-round pick out of Washington that didn’t have a decorated college career?

    Well, he’s big, fast and a former receiver. That’s it, yeah. I’m the modern day Al Davis, all I care about is size and speed. Washington is a fluid athlete that doesn’t have the shiftiness of Ameer Abdullah, but he could have an opportunity at 10 or so touches. The Lions already showed in week one that they trusted him at the goal line, so don’t be surprised if he scores a few touchdowns in the coming weeks.

    If you’re huntin’ your waiver wire for some potential Bigfoots, here’s who else to target:

    Jamison Crowder

    Surprisingly, after two weeks, Crowder is tied for seventh in the NFL with 18 targets. Because he operates in the slot, he really hasn’t turned those targets into big plays, but he currently has 12 catches, 97 yards, and one touchdown on the season.

    Even though the Redskins have quite a bit of receiving options with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed, and even Josh Doctson, it seems like Crowders is locked into the slot position.

    Crowder is a no-brainer add for PPR leagues.

    Jerick McKinnon

    It appears that Adrian Peterson is going to miss quite a few weeks, which leaves the door open for the ultra-athletic Jerick McKinnon.

    McKinnon hasn’t done much of anything the past two season while playing second fiddle to Adrian Peterson, but like I said, his athletic ability is off the charts and he has an opportunity for 15 to 18 touches.

    I would be concerned with Matt Asiata poaching touchdowns or even getting the lion share of touches, but McKinnon is the home run threat that you need to add.

    Fozzy Whittaker

    In the absence of Jonathan Stewart, Whittaker tore up the 49ers for 131 total yards on 19 touches. As it looks, Stewart’s injury is potentially serious which could lead to Whitaker taking over the Panthers backfield.

    On paper, it’s nice he’ll be getting touches, but don’t expect anything big in week 3 considering he’ll be facing the stout Vikings defense. Also, I really wouldn’t be surprised if, after two inactive weeks, Cameron Artis-Payne comes out of nowhere and gets touches.

    Jay Ajayi

    In week one, Ajayi found himself in the doghouse for how he reacted to losing the starting gig to Arian Foster, then he went right back in the doghouse after losing a fumble. It’s been a rollercoaster two weeks for Ajayi.

    With that being said, Foster’s groin injury seems to be somewhat serious which opens up plenty of touches for Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake.

    Personally, I think Ajayi the more talented of the two options, but he seems to be falling out of favor with Adam Gase. Who knows how it will play out, but in really deep leagues I’d go after both Ajayi and Drake.

    Bilal Powell

    Powell is being cut from fantasy teams at a pretty quick rate because Matt Forte has been getting nearly 30 touches per game, but I wouldn’t mind finding a way to roster Powell.

    Forte is a 30-year-old running back with as much tread on his tires as any running back in the league. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Forte, whose been pretty durable over his long career, to suffer an injury and miss some time. In no way should you be starting Powell, but if he’s available or was cut and you have a spot open, considering letting him ride your bench.

    Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Spiller

    In week two, running backs were dropping like flies which could open the door for some free agent signings. Hillman and Spiller are the top two free agent runnings backs available and could find their way onto a team in no time. If you’re in a really deep league, it might not be a bad idea to consider these two free agents.

    Kyle Rudolph

    It looks like the Vikings should have thrown in another first round pick in their trade for Sam Bradford following how good he looked against the Packers. In that game, he clearly favored Stefon Diggs and the usually disappointing Kyle Rudolph. If you need a tight end it’s not a bad idea to go after Rudolph considering the Vikings will be throwing as much as ever with Adrian Peterson out.

    Jordan Howard

    So, um, Jeremy Langford. It’s become apparent that Langford just isn’t good, and his value was entirely built upon volume and he just isn’t doing anything with his touches.

    Following a fumble, and a few negative runs, Jordan Howard got quite a bit of run towards the end of the Eagles game and it could be the shape of things to come. Earlier in the week, John Fox was very discouraged by Langford’s week one performance, so it may be Jordan Howard time in Chicago.

    Jacob Tamme 

    Who leads the Falcons in targets and catches? Julio Jones, right? No, Jacob Tamme. It’s apparent that Tamme has become one of Matty Ice’s favorite targets, and with a lot of tight ends underperforming, Tamme has top 10 tight end value at the moment.

    Quincy Enunwa

    In two games, Enunwa has posted a very respectable 14 targets, 13 catches, 146 yards and one touchdown. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been looking his way more than anyone expected, and with Brandon Marshall dealing with some sort of MCL injury, Enunwa is a must-have for teams needing a wide receiver.

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    Week 2, Mostly Wrong, Fantasy Football Predictions

    1. Seth Roberts goes for 50 yards and a touchdown

    I’ve brought up Roberts twice this week so why not one more? My thinking is that Oakland vs. Atlanta has the chance to be a pretty high scoring game, and Desmond Trufant will be busy trying to stop Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Because of that, Roberts should be open more often than not with plenty of targets coming his way.

    2. Chris Thompson bust out for 5 catches, 70 total yards and a touchdown

    It was clear, following Washingtons’ week one loss that Thompson was the superior running back over Matt Jones. Thompson played 20 more snaps than Jones and even scored his first career rushing touchdown. Thompson’s pass-catching ability is going to keep him on the field more, and maybe we’ll even see him take over primary running duties.

    3. Eric Ebron scores another touchdown and will continue to cement himself as a top-five tight end

    Week one was a bad week for fantasy tight ends, but not for Eric Ebron. He caught all five of his targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. The Lions lack a true red zone threat outside of Ebron, and he’s in for what could be a Tyler Eifert-esque season.

    4. Jameis Winston destroys the Cardinals

    I don’t know what I mean by ‘destroys,’ but how about 300 yards and three touchdowns? Winston carved up the Saints in week one, and while the Cardinals pose a much more formidable threat, Winston is the type of quarterback that just somehow finds a way.

    5. Stefon Diggs snags seven catches for 130 yards and a touchdown

    With Shaun Hill at quarterback, Diggs was somehow able to post a decent fantasy line, but things are going to get much better with Sam Bradford. Side note: I do like Bradford more than most.

    Against the Packers, the Vikings are probably going to be playing from behind, unless their defense is as good as most people think, and that should lead to another productive day for Diggs.

    6. Don’t bench T.Y. Hilton, he’s going to catch a long touchdown

    Plenty of people are a bit down on Hilton because the Colts are taking on the Broncos, but I say otherwise. Hilton was targeted 12 times in week one but only turned that into six catches for 79 yards.

    Hilton should be in for another busy day, and if the Colts are struggling to score, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Luck launch a few down the field to ignite the offense.

    7. Victor Cruz outperforms Sterling Shepard

    When it was all said and done, Cruz and Shepard pretty much finished with the same stat line in week one against Dallas.

    My reasoning for preferring Cruz, I think he’ll be a little bit more active down the field versus Shepard in the slot, so I could see more yards and touchdown coming from Cruz.

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    Waiver Wire Bigfoot Hunting: Add Jeremy Kerley

    I don’t need to tell you to add Carson Wentz, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams or Mohamed Sanu because you already know that. Hopefully, in Waiver Wire Bigfoot Hunting, we’re able to uncover a few more obscure targets to help you on your long road to a fantasy championship.

    1. Jeremy Kerley

    The word is pretty much out on Kerley after an 11-target week one performance, but I’m sure a lot of people are down on him because Blaine Gabbert is his quarterback.

    Honestly, that really shouldn’t matter because it’s not like Gabbert can accurately throw the ball more than 20-yards down the field, and Kerley operates mostly out of the slot.

    There’s a lot to like about Kerley going forward simply because there’s not much else going on in the San Fran passing game to take targets away from him. On a side note, I’m not really concerned about Kerley against Carolina, I’d have no problem starting him if need be.

    2. Dontrelle Inman

    Inman is basically the contrarian add to those that missed out on Tyrell Williams so you need to talk yourself into Inman being the better add.

    It’s believed that Inman is going to be playing in the slot, and if the targets are there, he has a decent shot at value going forward. In deep leagues, he isn’t someone that should be sitting on the waiver wire.

    Also, Inman did have some success in 2015 with a 13 target, eight catch, 82 yards, and one touchdown game in week 15.

    3. Chris Thompson

    The Redskins looked horrible in week one, and Matt Jones was certainly part of the problem.

    With Jones struggling, Thompson was only afforded six touches, but he did score a touchdown and is the Redskins best receiving back. If Jones continues to look mediocre, and the Redskins continue to play from behind, Thompson could be seeing the field more often than not.

    4. Nelson Agholor

    I’m really surprised Agholor is only owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues. In week one, Carson Wentz was a revelation and while you can’t assume he’ll be consistent, Agholor is the clear number two receiver. I’d pass on Agholor for Kerley, but don’t be surprised if he carves out a decent role going forward.

    5. Seth Roberts

    I brought up in the FanDuel Fortune Finder, and he could be a decent play for those in dire needs of a receiver. He’s carved out the slot-receiver/third receiver role for the Raiders, and that resulted in 60 snaps and one touchdown in week one.

    Cornerbacks are going to be keying in on Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, which could lead to Roberts have success.

    6. Brent Celek or Trey Burton

    Tight ends were horrible in week two, for the most part, and that trend seems like it will continue. One of the lone bright sports was Zach Ertz, but it looks like he’ll be out week one.

    Someone is going to have to step up in his absence on Monday night, and Burton is definitely the more exciting option of the two.

    7. Chris Conley

    It’s hard to recommend Conley because Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense simply can’t sustain two fantasy receivers, but Conley needs to be on your radar based on measurables alone.

    He’s 6’2″, 205 pounds with 4.35 speed and was targeted seven times in week one. Jeremy Maclin is always an injury concern, and Conley has can’t-miss big play ability barring Alex Smith is willing to take a shot down the field.

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    FanDuel Fortune Finder: Guess Whose Back?

    FanDuel Fortune Finder is all about finding the best options in your daily fantasy games so that one day you’ll be as successful as Bradley C.

    Josh McCown – $6,000

    McCown isn’t even the oldest starting quarterback in the league but it certainly seems like it. I feel like whenever he gets the start, it’s like when they let the old people out of their nursing home once a week for their exciting trip to Walgreens.

    As old as he may be, last year, McCown still proved that he was no slouch, particularly against the Ravens. In two starts against Baltimore, McCown torched the Ravens for 669 yards, 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

    At $6,000, the price is right for McCown, and don’t be worried about how well the Ravens fared against the Bills in week one, the Bills are just really bad right now.

    Philip Rivers – $7,700

    People are going to fade Philip Rivers because he will be without Keenan Allen going forward, but I say otherwise.

    The Chargers are one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL, and in what has the potential to be a shootout against the Jaguars, Rivers isn’t just going to stop throwing the ball because he’ll be without his stud receiver.

    The Jaguars defense is much improved from a year ago, but Rivers has a few interesting receiving options in Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams that will step up in the loss of Allen.

    Rashad Jennings – $6,300

    Yawn, yes you’re obviously going to be using plenty of players from the Giants and Saints matchup. However, one thing worth noting that I discovered from the fantasy football subreddit, since week 14 of last season, Jennings leads the NFL in rushing yards and in rushes of over 10 yards. Start Jennings, start whoever you want from that game, I don’t care.

    Jeremy Langford – $6,500

    Cheap touches at a cheap price. Langford doesn’t really do anything that well, but he was pretty much on the field for the entirety of his week one matchup and touched the ball 19 times.

    He probably won’t have a flashy game, but he really is one of only 8 to 10 undisputed starting running backs in the league.

    Chris Thompson – $5,200

    As a whole, the Redskins were pretty horrific in their week one loss to Pittsburgh, but Chris Thompson was a dim bright spot. He only had six touches but did score his first touchdown, and looked quite a bit better than Matt Jones.

    Thompson is the third-down back for the Redskins, and if Matt Jones continues to look uninspiring, Thompson could be in for a heavier workload.

    Victor Cruz – $5,700

    I’m a bit confused about the Cruz vs. Sterling Shepard fantasy battle, but right now I’m giving the edge to Cruz. In week one, Cruz played 50 of 56 snaps and caught his first touchdown in two years.

    Like we all know, the Giants are in for a shootout against the Saints, but for some reason, I just feel better about Cruz over Shepard.

    Seth Roberts – $5,300

    Roberts is the slot receiver in the Raiders pass-heavy offense, and while he’s clearly behind Cooper and Crabtree, he does have some sneaky value.

    While the Raiders top two receivers gobble up most of the targets, Roberts was on the field for 60 snaps in week one and even caught a touchdown.

    With Desmond Trufant likely locked on Cooper and Crabtree, Roberts could find himself in for a pretty active day.

    Brent Celek – $4,800

    Rookie quarterbacks love their tight ends blah, blah, blah. We’ve all heard that a million times but it’s kinda true.

    In week one, Zach Ertz was targeted seven times by Carson Wentz, and it looks like he’ll be out on Monday against the Bears.

    Celek really isn’t an inspiring option but he could at least snag a touchdown. Also, keep in mind that Trey Burton could see more playing time at tight end too.

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    What can we Expect from Arian Foster in Miami?

    Arian Foster is one of the most special players in the NFL for me, at least in regards to fantasy football. The second year that I did fantasy was in 2010, the year that Arian Foster burst onto the scene.

    During that 2010 fantasy draft, I snagged Arian Foster in like the 12th round of our draft. That year we drafted a bit earlier than normal in August, and the Texans were playing a preseason game. No joke, about 15 minutes after I picked Arian Foster, Ben Tate went down with his ACL injury.

    The rest is history, but I came away with a huge steal, and we all know what Arian Foster went on to do in the following years.

    Now, after another injury-plagued season, Arian Foster has found his way onto the Miami Dolphins.

    So, is Arian Foster a draftable commodity in 2016?

    Well, if the Miami Herald report about Foster being the favorite to start is true, then Foster is probably going to go in the first eight rounds of your draft.

    As we know, Foster missed the first three games of 2015, and upon his return was pretty bad for the most part. He only averaged 2.6 yards per carry on 63 attempts. Pretty bad, but certainly excelled in the passing game, catching 22 passes for 227 yards.

    Foster is not the same running back he was five years ago, he’s going to be a 30-year old coming off an ACL tear, but could this be his last hurrah?

    It’s clear the Dolphins aren’t content with Jay Ajayi, despite a somewhat decent showing last year, so Arian Foster is probably going to lead a 60-40 timeshare at worst.

    Immediately when Foster signed, the first thing we really heard him say was that he expects to be heavily utilized in the passing game.

    As I stated before, Foster struggled running the ball and did pretty much all of his damage as a receiver.

    Adam Gase was only an offensive coordinator for three years before he became a head coach, so there really isn’t much to suggest how much he utilized running backs in the passing game, but it’s clearly something Foster excels at.

    Long story short, Arian Foster has found his way into another starting running back job, and this will likely be his last shot. He may not be as slick as he used to be or have the same cutting ability, but he’s going to get touches.

    He’ll likely be more valuable in PPR leagues, but Arian Foster is a big name which will likely cause his draft stock to soar.

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    2016 Fantasy Football Defense Rankings

    1. Arizona Cardinals 
    2. Denver Broncos
    3. Seattle Seahawks
    4. Houston Texans
    5. Carolina Panthers
    6. Buffalo Bills  
    7. New England Patriots
    8. New York Jets
    9. Minnesota Vikings
    10. Los Angeles Rams
    11. Kansas City Chiefs
    12. New York Giants
    13. Chicago Bears
    14. Philadelphia Eagles
    15. Miami Dolphins
    16. Cincinnati Bengals
    17. Green Bay Packers
    18. Detroit Lions
    19. Cleveland Browns
    20. Jacksonville Jaguars
    21. Baltimore Ravens
    22. Pittsburgh Steelers 
    23. San Francisco 49ers
    24. Oakland Raiders
    25. Washington Redskins
    26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    27. Indianapolis Colts

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    2016 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings

    1. Rob Gronkowski

    Number one tight end, nothing to see here.

    2. Jordan Reed

    Concussions and injuries are always a concern, but there is no denying the fact that Kirk Cousins love throwing to him.

    3. Greg Olsen

    4. Travis Kelce

    5. Delanie Walker

    6. Eric Ebron

    I think I’m going to make it my life’s goal to own every single Detroit Lions’ passing game options in 2016. I’m very high on the offense as a hole, just not their run game. Ebron had a much better sophomore season compared to his rookie year, he caught 47 passes for 537 yards and 5 touchdowns. With Ebron, you’re banking on that he’ll be able to turn his freaky athleticism into fantasy success, and that he’ll pick up a lot of slack with Megatron gone. I think both those things happen.

    7. Ladarius Green

    Green always had one or two moments that had fantasy owners salivating at his potential, but it never materialized into anything because he was always blocked by Antonio Gates. Thankfully, now in Pittsburgh, Green can put his monstrous 6″6′, 240-pound frame to work as Heath Miller’s replacement. Miller always had a decent role in the Steelers’ offense, and especially without Martavis Bryant, and Le’Veon Bell for the first four weeks, Green could finally turn in a monster season.

    8. Coby Fleener

    Fleener has been a solid, unspectacular tight end for the Colts over the past four seasons. Now in New Orleans, he replaces Ben Watson’s 74 catches, 825 yards, and six touchdowns a year ago. Tight end has always had a big role in Drew Brees’ offense, that should be no different this year.

    9. Gary Barnidge

    10. Zach Ertz

    11. Julius Thomas

    12. Charles Clay

    More was expected from Clay in 2015 after the Bills’ have him of the biggest tight end contracts in history, but he was only able to turn in a mediocre season. This year, Tyrod Taylor returns after an impressive season, and the Bills don’t have the most impressive group of receivers after Sammy Watkins. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Clay become a bigger piece of the offense in year two with the Bills.

    13. Antonio Gates

    14. Jason Witten

    15. Jordan Cameron

    Martellus Bennett, Zach Miller, and Julius Thomas have all had big seasons with Adam Gase as their offensive coordinator. Because of that, I am pretty high on Cameron, but he still may have a difficult time finding targets next to Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker.

    16. Jimmy Graham

    17. Dwayne Allen

    Coby Fleener is gone, and the Colts lack another legitimate redzone threat. A breakout could be coming.

    18. Zach Miller

    It had been three years since Zach Miller recorded a stat in the NFL, and in 2015, he surprised a lot of people with a decent showing. With Martellus Bennett gone, Miller could turn into Jay Cutler’s number two target.

    19. Martellus Bennett

    I’m likely skipping on Bennett, but there has always been a role for a second tight end in New England.

    20. Clive Walford

    21. Kyle Rudolph

    Many people, myself included have drafted Kyle Rudolph expecting a breakout, and yeah, we’re still waiting. The Vikings have a heavily run-based offense, and if Kyle Rudolph is going to breakout then Teddy Bridgewater needs to throw the ball more.

    23. Jared Cook

    23. Vance McDonald

    McDonald had a nice game here and there last year, and seemed to have a nice rapport with Blaine Gabbert. Vernon Davis is gone, and the 49ers don’t have the most loaded receiver group.

    24. Virgil Green

    I like Mark Sanchez more than most, and Virgil Green has mostly been a blocker in the past, but now he pretty much has the tight end job to himself. He has impressive athletic ability, and could catch a few touchdowns.

    25. Cameron Brate

    Brate came out of nowhere last year, and could once again thrive thanks to ASJ’s issues.

    26. Jace Amaro

    Amaro is someone that I will closely monitor and could definitely seem him being a top-15 tight end by the end of the season. Amaro has dealt with injuries, and has just always fallen out of favor with his coaching staff, but the potential is certainly there. Tight end has been a hole for the Jets for a few years now, and even with Geno Smith starting, Amaro could finally breakout.

    27. Will Tye

    28. Austin Seferian-Jenkins

    He’s too good to be ranked this low, but his attitude and relationship with the staff could keep him from playing.

    29. Lance Kendricks

    30. Richard Rodgers

    31. Hunter Henry

    32. Larry Donnell

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    2016 Fantasy Football Receiver Rankings

    1. Antonio Brown

    Antonio Brown is pretty much the unquestioned number one ranked receiver in 2016. I have no issues with that, and maybe he hits 150 catches this year.

    2. Julio Jones

    The only thing that has held back Julio Jones in his career is his lack of touchdowns, he only has one year over eight touchdowns. It isn’t that big a deal considering Jones is always a threat to surpass 100 catches and 1,500 yards. Matt Ryan was pretty bad in 2016, and I think he improves at least enough to the point where Jones hits 10 touchdowns for the second time in his career.

    3. Odell Beckham Jr.

    Beckham probably has the biggest play potential of any top-five receiver, and he proved that by averaging 15.1 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns. Not much will change in 2016, the only thing that could hold Beckham Jr. back is if Eli Manning reverts to 2013 form.

    4. A.J. Green

    Green is an elite receiver, but he doesn’t get the same amount of targets that elite receivers generally get. That will change in 2016 with Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu out of the picture, and with Tyler Eifert likely going to miss a few games. This is the year to draft Green.

    5. Keenan Allen

    Allen was a target monster through eight games and even had 13-plus targets in four games. Allen is going to be one of the league leaders in targets and should be at the top of everyone’s fantasy radars.

    6. DeAndre Hopkins

    I’m lower on Hopkins at most, I think he’s great, but it’s going to be hard replicating 192 targets, 1,512 yards, and 11 touchdowns. The Texans were pretty bad running the ball, and I expect Lamar Miller to get a really heavy workload. So, while I think Hopkins is a stud and has a better quarterback at his disposal in 2016, I think there are better options.

    7. Dez Bryant

    Everything was bad about the Cowboys’ offense last year, so there really isn’t much to say about Bryant considering he was injured. I am still a bit worried about how Tony Romo is going to fare coming off an injury, but Bryant is still one of the NFL’s best.

    8. Brandin Cooks

    Cooks had a slow start to the season but lit it up during the final nine games by catching eight touchdowns. Everything coming out of New Orleans has been about how Cooks is going to have a huge year, I buy it.

    9. Donte Moncrief

    I don’t think there’s another player that the fantasy community as a whole is as excited about. Moncrief has it all, size and speed, and is easily the Colts lone red zone threat as a receiver. As long as Andrew Luck is healthy, Moncrief should be on his way to what many expect to be a breakout season.

    10. Sammy Watkins

    There really isn’t a wide receiver that ended 2015 on a higher note than Watkins. In his last six games, Watkins averaged 113 yards, caught 35 passes and scored six touchdowns. He is a pretty big injury concern, but if his foot is okay, he could be one of the breakout studs of 2016.

    11. Allen Robinson

    I wrote a lengthy piece about why I’m ignoring Allen Robinson already. To keep it short, I think the Jaguars aren’t going to be playing from behind as much in 2016, their defense is going to be a lot better, and they’ll likely lean on the running game a bit more.

    12. Alshon Jeffery

    If he can stay healthy, Jeffery is one of the best receivers in fantasy. If he can’t stay healthy, Jeffery is one of the most annoying players in fantasy. However, I am slightly concerned about the emergence of Kevin White, but Jeffery should still be great.

    13. Mike Evans

    If Mike Evans could have actually caught the ball in 2016 he would be much higher on this list. Still, Evans has physical tools and height that most people can only dream of, so it’s hard to simply pass him up. Also, he is fortunate enough to be catching passing from Jameis Winston. In 2016, I expect Evans’ yards to stay around 1,200, but he should at least catch eight touchdowns.

    14. Jordy Nelson

    You have to at least be concerned about a 31-year-old receiver returning from an ACL injury, but the other Packer receivers did nothing to ignite much confidence for the upcoming season. As long as he is healthy, Nelson should be primed for his usual role as Aaron Rodger’s primary pass-catcher.

    15. Brandon Marshall

    I do think Ryan Fitzpatrick ends up back on the Jets, and though I do like Geno Smith more than most, I think best case scenario is Fitzpatrick returning. Marshall is an at least receiver that can handle heavy usage coupled with red zone opportunities.

    16. Demaryius Thomas

    In 2015, Thomas was far from his dominant self that we saw in the previous four years, but a lot of that has to do with being forced to catch passes from a severely washed up Peyton Manning. I’m admittedly a big Mark Sanchez fan, and I think he has more than enough left in the take to guide Thomas to a top-15 season.

    17. Amari Cooper

    Cooper had a pretty ho-hum rookie year, nothing horrible, but he didn’t really set the world a fire. Regardless, Derek Carr is an emerging talent at quarterback, and Cooper is an explosive and savvy wide receiver that should reap the rewards of the Raiders’ likely pass-heavy offense.

    18. Golden Tate

    I am extraordinarily high on Golden Tate, and pretty much all of the Lions passing weapons, including Eric Ebron in 2016. With Calvin Johnson gone, Tate is going to be the recipient of a few more targets and should at least raise his measly 9.0 yards per catch from a year ago.

    19. Jarvis Landry

    Jarvis Landry and Golden Tate are pretty much the same receiver, neither will jump off the screen, but they run crisp routes and act as high-volume possession receivers. I expect Ryan Tannehill to take at least a small step forward under Adam Gase, so I think Landry should at least replicate his 2015 season.

    20. Julian Edelman

    This was a small run on possession receivers in my rankings. I’m not worried about Edelman with Jimmy Garoppolo starting the first games, Edelman is locked in as the Patriots number one receiver regardless. However, I am a little bit concerned about Martellus Bennett and the possible emergence of Chris Hogan.

    The Rest

    21. Randall Cobb
    22. Jeremy Maclin
    23. Marvin Jones
    24. Corey Coleman
    25. TY Hilton
    26. Kelvin Benjamin
    27. John Brown
    28. Jordan Matthews
    29. Doug Baldwin
    30. Eric Decker
    31. Devante Parker
    32. Markus Wheaton
    33. Torrey Smith
    34. Tavon Austin
    35. Michael Crabtree
    36. Emmanuel Sanders
    37. Allen Hurns
    38. DeSean Jackson
    39. Michael Floyd
    40. Tyler Lockett
    41. Kevin White
    42. Sterling Shepard
    43. Kamar Aiken
    44. Stefon Diggs
    45. Rishard Matthews
    46. Willie Snead
    47. Terrance Williams
    48. Travis Benjamin
    49. Vincent Jackson
    50. Mohamed Sanu

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    2016 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings

    1. Cam Newton

    Nothing has really changed for Newton since the end of last year, so he’s still the unquestioned number one quarterback. On a plus note, Kelvin Benjamin will be returning which should at least help in the red zone.

    2. Andrew Luck

    It was a bad, injury-plagued year for Luck last year, and even when he was healthy he was horrible. Hopefully, the Colts offensive line is better in 2016 thanks to the additions of Ryan Kelly and Le’Raven Clark, and Luck desperately needs the running game to step up to take some pressure off his hands. Luck may be more Brett Favre than Tom Brady, but at least we know we’ll be getting a lot of yards and touchdowns.

    3. Aaron Rodgers

    Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL, no question, he just needs Jordy Nelson to return healthy and it should be all systems go.

    4. Russell Wilson

    Russell Wilson had an amazing run to end the season last year, but it was no thanks to his horrible offensive. The Seahawks didn’t make any big moves to improve the line for Wilson, other than draft two rookies, so protection could be an issue. Also, with the loss of Marshawn Lynch and the uncertainty of Thomas Rawls, the Seahawks running game is a bit up in the air. Regardless, Wilson proved last year that he can do it all, so he’ll probably set a career-high for passing attempts.

    5. Ben Roethlisberger

    The Steelers have the potential to be one of the best offenses in the NFL, but Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant just haven’t been able to keep up their end of the bargain. Even without two of his top weapons, the Steelers added LaDarius Green and still have Markus Wheaton and Sammie Coates. I think Big Ben will be fine in 2016, barring injury.

    6. Carson Palmer

    Carson Palmer is an aging quarterback with an injury history, but the Cardinals have as much receiver talent as any team in the NFL. Bruce Arians loves airing it out, and Palmer will likely keep that up, but David Johnson should see a big workload.

    7. Drew Brees

    Like Palmer, age is a concern, especially after seeing Peyton Manning completely fall off a cliff this past year, but Brees is the focal point of the Saints’ offense. The Saints also have plenty of receiving talent in Brandin Cooks, Mike Thomas, and Coby Fleener.

    8. Eli Manning

    Doing these rankings, it dawned on me that I actually like Eli Manning. Though he hasn’t always had the prettiest season, Manning has actually amassed 65 touchdowns and only 28 interceptions in the past two years. The Giants’ offensive line does need to step up quite a bit, but the addition of Sterling Shepard should give Eli Manning his Victor Cruz replacement.

    9. Matthew Stafford

    I don’t know if there is another quarterback that people are sleeping on as much as Stafford. Over the Lions’ final seven games, Stafford threw 17 touchdowns and one interception. He was amazing, and a lot of people are down on Stafford, most likely, because Calvin Johnson retired. I am a firm believer that Eric Ebron is going to breakout, and that the duo of Golden Tate and Marvin Jones will be more than serviceable. Do not overlook Stafford.

    10. Philip Rivers

    Rivers was great in 2015, and the return of Keenan Allen certainly increases his outlook for this season. I will say, I am a bit concerned about their receiver group as a whole. I do think Travis Benjamin was a nice addition, but after him, there really isn’t much. Also, I think they’ll certainly miss LaDarius Green, even though his role was never huge, I think he’s someone that should have gotten a bigger opportunity.

    11. Tyrod Taylor

    Taylor was probably the best late-round or free agent quarterback addition from last year. Despite missing four games, Taylor still produced over 3,500 total yards, 24 touchdowns, and just six interceptions. The Bills were very run-heavy in 2015, and with Taylor coming off as big a season as he did, I think the Bills will be more than comfortable giving him a bigger workload. All Taylor needs to do is stay healthy, have a healthy Sammy Watkins at his disposal, and keep being successful passing down the field.

    12. Tony Romo

    I am a little bit concerned about Tony Romo coming off an injury and being 36-years-old. He does now have a dynamic receiver out of the backfield in Ezekiel Eliott, but the Cowboys’ don’t have much after Dez Bryant. Terrance Williams is pretty average, and Jason Witten won’t be able to do it forever.

    13. Blake Bortles

    I already wrote a piece about why I’m down on Allen Robinson, and the same rings true for Blake Bortles. In short, the Jaguars won’t be down as much late in games, they’ll run the ball more, and their defense will be better. Bortles is still a gunslinger with plenty of weapons, but this isn’t the same Jaguars team from a year ago.

    14. Tom Brady

    I always drop players down quite a bit when their guaranteed to miss a few weeks to start this season. In Brady’s case, he’s great, but there are plenty of good quarterbacks available late in your draft, so you don’t need to waste a somewhat early pick on Brady.

    15. Derek Carr

    I never expected Carr to throw for 32 touchdowns and just 13 interceptions last year. I like him enough in 2016, but he’s in a weird spot where I’d just rather wait a little bit longer and go for Tannehill, Mariota or Winston.

    16. Marcus Mariota

    I go back and forth on how much I like Mariota. On one hand, he has the running ability that only himself, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, and Tyrod Taylor have. On the other hand, I don’t know how much of the offense is going to be given to him just yet, and could definitely see DeMarco Murray getting a large workload.

    17. Ryan Tannehill

    People like to trash on Tannehill because he’s a bad real-life quarterback, but in fantasy, he is a sneaky good option this year. My only concern is that Tannehill threw the ball almost 100 fewer times in 2015 compared to 2014, so I’d hope that Adam Gase ramps up the offense a bit. Regardless, the Dolphins have quite a few weapons, and I think Tannehill is the perfect quarterback for people that want to wait.

    18. Andy Dalton

    Through 13 games, Dalton easily had the best season of his career. However, his lack of interceptions seems a bit flukey to me, and he is going to be without three big weapons to start the 2016 season. No more Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, and Tyler Eifert is likely going to miss the start of the season. Dalton isn’t a horrible, and shouldn’t be overlooked, but his 2015 could have been a mirage.

    19. Jameis Winston

    Winston, like Mariota, had a great rookie season, but I’m worried about his interception count heading in 2016. I think he’ll throw for a lot of yards,  a few touchdowns, but his interceptions will hurt owners, and I don’t think he’ll be getting as many rushing touchdowns.

    20. Matt Ryan

    For his price in 2015, Matt Ryan was bad, but now he seems like a somewhat valuable late-round sleeper. The yards, 4,591, were there but he just wasn’t putting the ball in the end zone. I think Matt Ryan improves in 2016, Mohamed Sanu is a decent addition,  the touchdowns should go up.

    The Rest

    21. Kirk Cousins
    22. Jay Cutler
    23. Mark Sanchez
    24. Brock Osweiler
    25. Sam Bradford
    26. Alex Smith
    27. Joe Flacco
    28. Teddy Bridgewater
    29. Geno Smith
    30. Robert Griffin III
    31. Blaine Gabbert
    32. Jared Goff

  • in

    2016 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings

    2016 Fantasy Football Rankings

    1. David Johnson

    We all remember the four-game span last year where Johnson became a fantasy playoff god. He’s somewhat reminiscent of Le’Veon Bell in terms of his running/pass game ability, and the Cardinals’ offense as a whole has big plans for Johnson.

    2. Todd Gurley

    Five out of Gurley’s first six games were as impressive as almost any rookie running back. He had a four-game span with at least 125 rushing yards and five yards per carry. However, Gurley’s final seven games were pretty disappointing, he only surpassed four yards per carry twice and never topped 100-yards.

    Gurley is going to get all he can handle, but you have to be concerned with a rookie quarterback, and defensive loading up the box to stop him.

    3. Lamar Miller

    It’s safe to say I am seriously hitching my wagon to Lamar Miller in 2016. We all know how 2015 went, one minute Miller was the focal point of the Dolphins’ offense and the next he was nowhere to be seen.

    I expect Bill O’Brien to give Miller a huge workload, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him run the ball 280 times and catch 50 to 60 passes. Even though the Texans offense is transitioning to a new quarterback, and the offensive line is too special, Miller is going to get touches and consistently break off big runs.

    4. Mark Ingram

    Who would have thought Mark Ingram would catch 50 passes in just 12 games? Ingram was well on his way to top-10 running back season, but a shoulder injury derailed him. C.J. Spiller and Tim Hightower aren’t legitimate threats to Ingram, he should be set to continue where he left off.

    5. Ezekiel Elliott

    We all know Elliott is considered one of the most complete runnings backs to enter the NFL, and there is serious talk that he could see 300 carries. He has arguably the best offensive line in the NFL making lanes for him, sign me up.

    6. Adrian Peterson

    Yes, he is old, but he really didn’t show much wear and tear for a 30-year-old. It is possible the Vikings’ litter in Jerick McKinnon a bit more, but Peterson is still the focal point.

    7. Latavius Murray

    A lot more was expected from Murray in his first year as the Raiders starting running back. Murray isn’t really a grind-it-out running back like Peterson, Ingram or Gurley, but he should once again see the lion’s share of touches in the Raiders’ backfield. Also, like the Cowboys, the Raiders boast of the NFL’s best offensive lines coupled with an ascending Derek Carr.

    8. Doug Martin

    Doug Martin carried a few of my teams in 2015, but I’m not so sure I see as much light as the end of the tunnel in 2016. The Bucs seem to like Charles Sims more than I’m comfortable with, and Martin only had one red zone score in 2015.

    9. Carlos Hyde

    Hyde certainly had his moments, but an injury forced him to only play seven games. The 49ers are still a heaping pile of garbage, but Chip Kelly is going to need to lean on someone. Hyde should be near the top in carries in 2016, but I certainly expect a low yards per carry.

    10. Devonta Freeman

    Freeman came out of nowhere last year, and won a lot of championships, but was largely disappointing after a really ridiculous six-game span. Freeman is still likely going to lead the Falcons in touches, but I expect Tevin Coleman to be sprinkled in a bit more. For 2016, I think Freeman is going to make his money through the passing game while his carries get reduced.

    11. Le’Veon Bell

    Was my number one running back, moved down thanks to suspension.

    The Steelers offense may look a little different in 2016 without Martavis Bryant and Heath Miller, which should once again improve Bell’s chances of roping in 70 plus catches.

    The only issue for Bell, aside from injury concern, is the Steelers’ offensive line isn’t exactly the best in the NFL. Still, when you couple in Bell’s potential workload with his receiving ability, it’s hard to ignore Bell.

    12. LeSean McCoy

    I really didn’t want to be this high on McCoy, but the suspension of Karlos Williams and his weight gain, and the uncertainty surrounding Jonathan Williams, I simply can’t help myself. The Bills are one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses, but I think defenses are going to be sorry if they don’t pay more attention to Tyrod Taylor. McCoy should be set for a better 2016, barring he can stay healthy.

    13. Jamaal Charles

    A 29-year-old running back coming off another ACL tear, no thank you. I love Charles, but I think owners have to let his ship start to sail. The Chiefs would be foolish to rush Charles into action, barring he has much left, considering Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West are viable running backs.

    14. DeMarco Murray

    Let’s try to forget 2015, and focus on this year with Murray. Clearly, Murray was run into the ground in Dallas, but he also just wasn’t a fit with Chip Kelly. I think he has enough left in the tank for 275 carries, and some decent success considering Marcus Mariota is an emerging talent and the offensive line in Tennessee should be better.

    15. C.J. Anderson

    Anderson was a huge disappointment early, but his final four games, including the playoffs, proved what he is capable of doing. With a change at quarterback, the Broncos are going to lean on Anderson and the running game.

    16. Ryan Mathews

    Mathews was clearly the better running back in Philadelphia last year. Under Doug Pederson‘s very likely run-heavy offense, the only thing holding Mathews back is another injury. However, some people question Mathews fit in the new Eagles’ offense, Mathews is really all they’ve got, unless Wendell Smallwood steps up.

    17. Giovani Bernard

    Jeremy Hill is still going to vulture touchdowns, but Bernard was just better in 2015. The Bengals lost a lot of talent this offseason, and Bernard is going to be relied upon heavily in the passing game.

    18. Eddie Lacy

    A lot of owners expected big things from Lacy in 2015, but the only thing that was big for Lacy last year was his waistline. Jokes aside, Lacy is supposedly quite a bit skinnier thanks to P90X, so he hopefully won’t have as many lows as he did last year.

    19. Matt Jones

    With the exception of a great game against a great defense, the St. Louis Rams, Jones did next to nothing with the touches he was given. Jones, in my opinion, is a poor man’s Mark Ingram, the touches are going to be there, but don’t expect big weekly performances.

    20. Jonathan Stewart

    Stewart is injury-prone, but if you really look at his games play, he does do a pretty admirable job playing through his injuries. He was decent in 2015, 242 carries for 989 yards and six touchdowns. Cam Newton is the focal point of the offenses, and Stewart doesn’t get much work in the passing game, but defenses will be keying in on Newton more than ever which should open up holes for Stewart.

    The Rest

    21. Thomas Rawls
    22. Jeremy Langford
    23. Duke Johnson
    24. Justin Forsett
    25. Jay Ajayi
    26. Ameer Abdullah
    27. Melvin Gordon
    28. Dion Lewis
    29. Danny Woodhead
    30. Rashad Jennings
    31. Jeremy Hill
    32. T.J. Yeldon
    33. Bilal Powell
    34. Isaiah Crowell
    35. Charles Sims
    36. Arian Foster
    37. Theo Riddick
    38. James Starks
    39. Frank Gore
    40. Tevin Coleman
    41. Darren McFadden
    42. Jerick McKinnon
    43. Shane Vereen
    44. Ronnie Hillman
    45. DeAngelo Williams
    46. Javorius Allen
    47. C.J. Spiller
    48. LeGarrette Blount
    49. Josh Ferguson
    50. Spencer Ware

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