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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

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    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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    Can Bills’ Dez Lewis Help your Fantasy Team in 2016?

    If you’ve been following the Bills recently, you would know that most of the talk has centered around Rex and Rob Ryan shenanigans, Sammy Watkins‘ leg injury and the potential breakout for second-year receiver Dezmin Lewis.

    For some background, Lewis is a 2015 seventh-round pick by the Bills that stands at a towering 6’4″ and weighs 214 pounds. He also ran a 4.46 40-yard dash with a 37-inch vertical jump at his pro day. Obviously, just by looking at him and seeing his measurables, he a physical specimen that should be able to outmatch smaller corners.

    The few knocks on Lewis a year ago were the poor level of competition he faced at Central Arkansas, his route running, and he didn’t always use his size to his advantage.

    All those issues were written a year ago, and now an entire year later it seems the former seventh-round pick has really upped his game.

    According to Rex Ryan, in the absence of Sammy Watkins, Dez Lewis has stood out the most amongst the other receivers.

    With Sammy Watkins still nursing his foot injury, Lewis’ competition has come from Leonard Hankerson and Greg Salas in the battle for the third receiver job. I’m assuming that Robert Woods has the number two job locked up and that Marquise Goodwin and Kolby Listenbee won’t see many snaps.

    So, with Dez Lewis performing so well, are we looking at someone that could potentially be worthy of a spot on your fantasy? Probably not, but you should at least take notice of him.

    The Bills aren’t the Steelers or the Cardinals with potentially three receivers worth starting at any given week, but I don expect the Bills to be more pass-heavy in 2016.

    Even though the Bills had the best rushing attack in the NFL in 2015, Tyrod Taylor showed more than enough promise that could potentially change Greg Roman’s play calling a bit in 2016.

    If the Bills are throwing the ball more and if Sammy Watkins does wind up missing a game or two earlier in the season, Dez Lewis could be someone that gets five to eight looks per game with plenty of red zone potential.

    It’s still too early for Dez Lewis to be anointed a legit fantasy sleeper, but if he can fend off Leonard Hankerson and if the Bills ramp up their passing offense, Lewis could be worth something.

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    Avoid Allen Robinson in your 2016 Fantasy Football Draft

    It’s always hard coming to terms with avoiding someone in your fantasy drafts that carried your team to a championship the previous year. In 2016, Allen Robinson is that player whose skyrocketing value makes him nearly undraftable.

    We all know what Robinson did in 2015, 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. He only had six games without a touchdown, but still posted 80 yards or more in four of those games without a touchdown. Simply put, he was amazing and Blake Bortles consistently forced the ball his way for big plays and red zone scores.

    So, if Robinson was so good in 2015 then why am I so low on him this year?

    1. The Jaguars spent a lot of money to upgrade their defense and even brought in Chris Ivory which could greatly slower the pace in which they play. Last year, when the Jaguars were trailing, Robinson put up 57 catches for 1,045 and 11 touchdowns. 

    2. Piggybacking my previous point, Blake Bortles basically did all his damage in garbage time or when the Jaguars were down. Twenty-nine of Bortles’ 35 touchdowns came when the Jaguars were down and 14 of his touchdowns were made in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars will not be as bad in 2016 and they will likely try to wear defenses down with T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory in the event that the game is close or they are ahead.

    3. Even if the Jaguars are down in a lot of games in 2016, you just have to plan on natural regression and the possibility of the ball being spread out more. We all know Allen Hurns by now, but Marqise Lee is a weird entity that just hasn’t put it together but, if healthy, could get plenty more looks as a third receiver. Lastly, Julius Thomas is too much of a mismatch to only get 10 targets in the red zone, like he did in 2015, and could severely cut into Robinson’s touchdown production.

    Which Receivers Should you Take Instead of Robinson in the First or Second Round?

    On top of all those reasons, there are too many other good receivers with better outlooks that would be better picks late in the first or sometime in the second.

    For instance, Robinson and A.J. Green, according to Fantasypros, seem to be in a battle for the consensus sixth-ranked receiver. With all that Cincinnati has lost this offseason at receiver, I don’t see any way A.J. Green doesn’t sniff 170 targets and there is no one to even challenge him for targets other than Tyler Eifert.

    Keenan Allen is another receiver I’d take over Robinson. In five of the eight games that Allen played in, he was targeted 10, 13, 15, 17 and 18 times. It’s obviously hard to imagine Allen replicating those numbers in 2016, but when given the opportunity of two similarly ranked receivers I’m usually going to go with the guy I expect to get more targets.

    Lastly, I’d probably take Alshon Jeffery over Robinson but I wouldn’t necessarily love either. Like many, I’m a big fan of Alshon Jeffery, when he’s on his game and healthy he is as good as any receiver in the NFL. Unfortunately, when you draft Jeffery, you’re going to spend your Sundays waking up at 5 in the morning freaking out about him being a game-time decision. The one thing in Jeffery’s favor for 2016 is the fact he will likely play out the season under the franchise tag, so him staying healthy and putting up big numbers should be extremely important to him during his trek for a huge payday.

  • in ,

    Must-have 2016 Fantasy Football Targets

    Matthew Stafford

    Considering how Stafford’s 2015 season started, it should be extraordinarily surprising that he finished with 32 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and completed 67 percent of his passes.

    Once Jim Bob Cooter took over, it was all systems go for Matthew Stafford and the passing game. Over the course of his final seven games, Stafford threw for 17 touchdowns and only one interception.

    The biggest question for Stafford, as we all know, is how he’ll deal with the loss of Calvin Johnson. Yes, Megatron was a special receiver, but I don’t think it will affect Stafford has much as people think.

    Golden Tate is no slouch and should be Stafford’s reliable receiver in 2016, just like he was in 2015. Also, Marvin Jones is a receiver that has just been waiting to get out of the shadow of A.J. Green for the past few years, and should solid be big play receiver with some red zone value. Fingers crossed Eric Ebron takes the next step in year three.

    Right now, it seems like Stafford is a quarterback being taken in the 15 to 20 range, that is a value I would pounce on.

    Ryan Tannehill

    It’s unlikely that owning Tannehill will let you sleep easy at night, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid him altogether. In my opinion, he and Matthew Stafford are two of the best quarterback bargains of 2016.

    Overall, 2015 was just a horrible season for the Dolphins and their starting quarterback. There were obvious issues with Joe Philbin and the rest of the team that obviously affected the way everyone was playing.

    Now, that isn’t to say Tannehill should get a pass just because no one liked his head coach. Often times, Tannehill looked lost and confused and I feel like every other week a snap was flying over his head and going out of the end zone.

    As bad as 2015 was, that’s all in the past now and Tannehill has a new head coach in Adam Gase. I don’t know how good Gase will be, after all, he did get to coach Peyton Manning when he was actually good, but Jay Cutler also had success in his system last year.

    The reasons to draft Tannehill are obvious, he’s a quarterback that should put up decent numbers, especially considering their running back situation isn’t exactly set, and he’s likely going outside of the top-20 quarterbacks.

    He’s got plenty of weapons and a new coach, so hopefully 2016 breathes new life into Tannehill’s career and fantasy value.

    Lamar Miller

    Most of the running backs that are ranked in the top 10 I have major concerns about, Lamar Miller is not one of them.

    I’ve spent a lot of time already writing about Lamar Miller, which you can reader here: Lamar Miller Will be a Top 5 Fantasy Running Back in 2016so I’ll keep this short.

    Finally, after two years of being underutilized in Miami, Miller heads to Houston where the plan is for him to be the centerpiece of the Texans’ offense. Word is, he’ll be involved plenty running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield.

    I have no qualms about drafting Miller as a top-five running in 2016 and fully expect him to get around 300 touches while consistently breaking off big runs.

    Latavius Murray

    Latavius Murray was supposed to do big things in 2015 but after a disappointing season it seemed like initially some of the Raiders coaches soured on him, but guess what? The only upgrade to their stable of running backs was drafting DeAndre Washington in the fifth round of the draft, so I think it’s safe to say Murray will once again be leading the Raiders rushing attack.

    Like I said, 2015 was disappointing for Murray considering he only averaged 4 yards per carry, and only had six touchdowns on 307 touches. While you’d obviously like more out of your running back, considering the way 2015 panned out for a lot of other backs, it really wasn’t so bad.

    You have to like Murray simply because the Raiders have arguably the best offensive line in football and his price tag isn’t likely going to be so high that you have to reach for him. It’s likely he’ll be one of the first 17 to 20 running backs off the board, which makes for a nice value for someone hoping to strike big on a freakish athlete with big potential.

    Jay Ajayi

    Thanks to Lamar Miller finding greener pastures in Houston, the door swung open for Jay Ajayi to snag Miami’s starting running back role.

    Right now, we don’t know much about how successful Ajayi is going to be, he’s only entering his second season, but he had a prolific career running the ball at Boise State.

    In three years there, he ran the ball 678 times for 3,796 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns. Keep in mind, most of those numbers were accumulated in his final two years after only 82 rushing attempts in his first season. So, yeah, he was pretty good.

    Like Murray, the Dolphins didn’t exactly address their running back situation in a way that is going to necessarily affect Ajayi. They drafted Kenyan Drake in the third round but right now he doesn’t necessarily profile as much more than a pass-catcher.

    Without anyone to take carries from him, Ajayi has all the makings of a potential fantasy steal that is going around the fifth or sixth round.

    A.J. Green

    Green has really become a younger version of Larry Fitzgerald over the past two years. He kinda just goes out, takes care of business, but just sorta stays behind the scenes amongst the more attention hungry NFL receivers. in 2016, Green is a player that fantasy owners need to make sure they target. As it stands, according to Fantasypros.com, Green and Allen Robinson are in a close battle for the consensus seventh-ranked receiver. Don’t get me started on Robinson just yet but I will surely be letting someone else snag him in 2016.

    In 2016, Green is a player that fantasy owners need to make sure they target. As it stands, according to Fantasypros.com, Green and Allen Robinson are in a close battle for the consensus seventh-ranked receiver. Don’t get me started on Robinson just yet but I will surely be letting someone else snag him in 2016.

    Anyway, the Bengals offense is going to look quite a bit different in 2016 with the loss of Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu. That’s 153 targets up for grabs that are going to go to who? Some will go to Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd, but I don’t see them making the impact that Jones and Sanu were making in 2015.

    A lot of responsibility is going to be placed on Green’s shoulders, especially with Tyler Eifert’s status up in the air for week one, and we just don’t know the type of rapport that Andy Dalton is going to build with his new weapons.

    Last year, A.J. Green only had 132 targets, which is low for a high-profile number one receiver these days, but I fully expect Green to get near 170 or so targets at least.

    With fantasy drafts getting closer, I’m completely comfortable drafting Green has a top-five receiver at the end of the first round.

    Sammy Watkins

    It has not been a pretty offseason for the Buffalo Bills, and Sammy Watkins’ foot injury made it quite a bit worse.

    The first part of 2015 was rough for Watkins as we saw him struggle for targets and eventually use the media to voice his concern about his lack of opportunities.

    Fortunately for him, Tyrod Taylor started forcing the ball his way and Watkins looked like a man amongst boys. Over his last six games, Watkins averaged 113 yards per game and caught six touchdowns.

    Despite having missed just three games in his career, Watkins does have an injury history, but his recent foot injury could make him a fantasy steal in 2016.

    Right now, experts are ranking Watkins inside the top 30, but he could fall to the fourth or even fifth round depending upon how your competition feels about drafting injured players. If it’s me, I have no problem spending a fourth round pick on Sammy Watkins.

    Behind Watkins, the Bills don’t have much besides Robert Woods and I expect the Bills to come out swinging on offense with Tyrod throwing the ball a lot more than he did in 2015. Even though you have to imagine the Bills defense is going to improve in 2016, I think Rex Ryan knows his job may be on the line if the Bills miss the playoffs,so, he’s going to want his offense scoring in droves.

    Golden Tate & Marvin Jones

    I am all in on the Lions offense in 2016 and that includes Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and tight end Eric Ebron.

    Calvin Johnson is a once-in-a-lifetime receiver, but I don’t think his retiring is going to have horrific effects on the Lions offense.

    With Johnson retiring there are going to be a lot of targets up for grabs, he accounted for 150 targets alone in 2015. Most of those targets are likely going to end up in the hands of Marvin Jones and Golden Tate.

    Tate will likely account for more than the 128 targets he got in 2015 and be a reliable outlet for Matthew Stafford. Also, even though Tate’s 2015 was impressive, he only averaged 9 yards per carry after averaging 14.2 yards per carry the last three years. I think we’ll see him grab 80 to 90 catches but also pass the 1000-yard mark.

    The only thing keeping Tate from a bonafide low-end WR2 is his lack of touchdown production, but that could change without Megatron in the fold.

    Then there’s Marvin Jones, who figures to be the big play, red zone threat that Calvin Johnson was for the past nine years.

    There’s not much to say about Jones other than he has made his fair share of big plays over the past two years and he’s jumping into an offense that really found it’s grove late in 2015. Go grab him or Golden Tate.

    Donte Moncrief

    There aren’t many receivers that will be drafted outside the top 20 overall receivers that have as much potential as Moncrief. The stage is set for a huge breakout season.

    Let’s get the obvious out of the way, Andrew Luck will be back in 2016 and as long as he doesn’t get hurt, everything should go as planned for Moncrief.

    Also, the Colts offense as a whole seems a little emaciated these days. Frank Gore isn’t what he used to be, Coby Fleener is gone and after Moncrief, their top two receivers are small speedsters. That’s not a knock on TY Hilton, but he just can’t be relied upon to do what Moncrief can do.

    Like I said Moncrief is one of the few post top 20 receivers that could actually have WR1 value. Do not let anyone in your league draft him, even if his value does skyrocket between now and late August.

    Ladarius Green

    Heath Miller has been a staple on offense for the Steelers over the past 11 season and his retirement opens a huge opportunity for newly signed Ladarius Green.

    In tandem with losing Miller, Martavis Bryant is also suspended for the season, creating an even bigger hole in the Steelers offensive game plan.

    Fear not, however, the Steelers went out and roped in one of the most intriguing and athletic tight ends in the NFL in Green.

    The fantasy community has been waiting for what seems like years for Green’s breakout season, but it never came thanks to Antonio Gates.

    Now in Pittsburgh, and thanks to a bit of uncertainty behind Antonio Brown, Green enters 2016 with a decent shot at being a top 10 tight end.

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