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Wide Receivers to Doubt in 2016?

Below you will find a few big name wide receivers we caution against drafting in 2016, unless the price is right. Everything comes down to value.

Brandon Marshall | WR Jets

He is coming off a phenomenal season in 2015, posting 109 receptions for 1502 yards and 14TDs. But, he is also entering his 11th NFL season. I’ve seen him drafted as high as 9-11 for WRs, and seen him go at 15-17 for WRs. I like him in that 15-20 range, no question, but as a top 10WR, I worry about him breaking down in 2016. So, draft accordingly and let others reach based on last year’s numbers.

Alshon Jeffery | WR Bears

He always seems banged up, and his ADP is too high for our liking top 8-10WR range. If he can be drafted as a WR2, by all means, draft the guy with a smile. But, he is a risky fantasy WR1, he just is.

Kelvin Benjamin | WR Panthers

The receiver is fully expected to be ready for 2016, as he recovers from last year’s ACL tear. While he had a big 2014, pulling in 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and 9TDs, he feels a bit overrated heading into 2016 fantasy football drafts and mocks. He is sometimes ranked inside the top 15-20 receivers, and while he could post such numbers in 2016, there are a number of safer options at that higher end of 15-20 (like Jarvis Landry for example). Don’t consider Benjamin a bust candidate, we aren’t predicting bust, but don’t draft too high, and consider selling high in leagues where you already own him, as his trade value seems awesome!

Running Backs to Doubt in 2016?

Below you will find a few big name running backs we caution against drafting in 2016, unless the price is right. Everything comes down to value.

Mark Ingram | RB Saints

It’s not that we doubt the guy’s talent, as he can play like a top 10RB when fed the ball. However, his ADP is in the top 10RB range, and that’s a bit high given his injury history and the potential he doesn’t get the carries he deserves. Don’t trade him away on the cheap if you own him in dynasty, but make sure you rank him in the low, low end of the RB2s heading into 2016, this way he won’t disappoint. We’ve seen some value him as a low end RB1 and that’s risky.

CJ Anderson | RB Broncos

Not only is his lack of experience a red flag, so is his inability to stay on the field. And, with Devontae Booker, the new rookie in Denver, now on the Denver roster, Anderson ‘could’ disappoint in 2016. Again, like with Ingram above, don’t sell cheap if you already own him in dynasty, but don’t draft him in upcoming drafts expecting elite RB1 numbers. His ADP is super high and we just don’t like the value even if he is relatively talented. If you plan to roll with CJ this year, just be sure to cuff him to Booker!

Thomas Rawls | RB Seahawks

He is still equal parts sleeper and risk, so know that the potential is there. This is great for those that bought low months and months ago in dynasty. Keep him, or trade him high… but don’t sell dirt cheap. All that said, don’t go drafting him at high-end RB2 value at this point, as the Seahawks drafted two rookies that have big skill sets, one being CJ Prosise. Cuff him to Rawls if you roll with Rawls this year! If drafting today, though, I think I avoid Rawls at his current asking price. I bought low in a lot of leagues, and I’m happy about that, but values change and some players turn into risks at the going rates. This is that situation.

2016 Rookie Rankings (Post Draft)

Below are our post-draft 2016 Rookie Rankings. We still rounds 4-7 to go, so note that some of the players ranked below could jump up, or down, depending on what team drafts them, or doesn’t draft them, in rounds 4-7. An example of a guy who could jump high is Kenneth Dixon, or even Devontae Booker.

Top Fantasy Football Rankings – Post Draft

  1. Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL – He couldn’t have landed in a better spot. He has top 5RB upside for the future and possibly top 5-10 upside for 2016.
  2. Corey Coleman WR CLE – Very talented, he just needs consistent QB play, which may or may not happen in CLE.
  3. Josh Doctson WR WAS – Also very talented. Great landing spot.
  4. Laquon Treadwell WR MIN – Not elite speed wise but if he gets enough targets, which is questionable in MIN, he could develop into a solid NFL wide receiver in 2-3 years.
  5. Derrick Henry RB TEN – Horrible landing spot, as DeMarco Murray is the main man in TEN.
  6. Will Fuller WR HOU – Decent spot, but given Hopkins is a top 1-3 fantasy WR, it’s tough seeing Fuller ever becoming a stud in fantasy.
  7. Kenneth Dixon RB TBA – Hopefully he lands in a good spot in rounds 4-7. If not, he could drop on these rankings. He could also climb high if he finds a great situation. Sleeper!
  8. Carson Wentz QB PHI – Solid situation, good talent. Not sure he is ever going to be a top 5 fantasy QB, though.
  9. Jared Goff QB LA – Same thing said about Wentz goes here.
  10. Paxton Lynch QB DEN – He excites us a touch more than the other two QBs above, but he is more raw and could take longer to develop.
  11. CJ Prosise RB SEA – Not a great spot, but Rawls isn’t exactly a for sure – yet.
  12. Devontae Booker RB TBA – Could be huge if he gets drafted into the right spot in rounds 4-7, or he could drop off the map if drafted as a total backup.
  13. Alex Collins RB TBA – Where will he go? If drafted into a good spot, he jumps a ton! Sleeper!
  14. Michael Thomas WR NO – Good spot, good talent.
  15. Kenyan Drake RB MIA – Good spot, but we don’t love his upside, so this is a good thing for Jay Ajayi.
  16. Tyler Boyd WR CIN – Not elite.
  17. Sterling Shepard WR NYG – Not likely elite.
  18. Braxton Miller WR HOU – Crowded situation.
  19. Leonte Carroo WR MIA – Solid talent, but very, very crowded situation.
  20. The Rest

  21. Keith Marshall RB TBA
  22. Christian Hackenberg QB NYJ
  23. Wendell Smallwood RB TBA
  24. Deandre Washington RB TBA
  25. Hunter Henry TE SD
  26. Austin Hooper TE ATL

2016 Rookie-Only Fantasy Mock Draft

1.01 – Ezekiel Elliott (RB)
1.02 – Derrick Henry (RB)
1.03 – Laquon Treadwell (WR)
1.04 – Josh Doctson (WR)
1.05 – Kenneth Dixon (RB)
1.06 – Tyler Boyd (WR)
1.07 – Alex Collins (RB)
1.08 – Michael Thomas (WR)
1.09 – Cj Prosise (RB)
1.10 – Devontae Booker (RB)
1.11 – Will Fuller (WR)
1.12 – Corey Coleman (WR)

Comments: There really is zero question who the top-ranked rookie is in this year’s 2016 NFL Draft class. Ezekiel Elliott would have to get drafted into a very, very bad situation to not remain the consensus 1.01 post-draft. Landing spots are clearly important, and a great landing spot for Derrick Henry could very well close the gap between he and Elliott, but that’s the only scenario we see, as of now, where Elliott isn’t miles ahead of the pack on any dynasty/rookie rankings.

Worth Consideration:

Keith Marshall (RB)
Wendell Smallwood (RB)
Deandre Washington (RB)
Josh Ferguson (RB)
Paul Perkins (RB)
Aaron Green (RB)
Johnathan Williams (RB)

Ranking the top 20 Dynasty RBs

Below are our Top 20 Fantasy Football Dynasty Running Backs for 2016. If you feel someone is out of place, or missing, post a comment below!

Tier One

Todd Gurley – The clear top rusher heading into 2016 and beyond.
Le’veon Bell – A case could be made for him being equal to Gurley, but the injury has to have him slightly below when all is said and done. He is easily top 1-5 overall worthy, though.
David Johnson – Capable of being a top 1-3RB, but should be valued near the 3-6RB range in order to still get some value out of his draft value.
Devonta Freeman – He comes with risk of the unknown, but he still has top 2-5RB appeal, so being ranked at the bottom of this group is safe, and if you can get him even later in a draft/trade, even safer!

Tier Two

Lamar Miller – Capable of being in the bottom of the above tier when all is said and done in 2016, but this is a safe place to rank him.
Doug Martin – Top 4-7RB appeal for sure but little risk around this range.
LeSean McCoy – Same said about Martin above can be said here.
Demarco Murray – Same said about Martin and McCoy above can be said here.
CJ Anderson – A mixed amount of risk and upside with CJ right here. Denver is paying him big, so by default, it’s time to not doubt the workload and just evaluate his talent, and middle of the road RB2 value seems right.
Eddie Lacy – Capable of low-end tier one upside, so this is low risk. He shouldn’t be bought higher, the risk is big if his asking price/draft value climbs.
Carlos Hyde – Huge upside, and maybe even RB1-type upside, but the risk of Chip Kelly not using him near as much as he should, that’s why he is ranked so low, and rightly so. He is a great breakout candidate for 2016 but at the right price, like this kind of price.
Adrian Peterson – Even though he might have just one to two years left at an elite level, his ability to be a top 1-5RB in 2016 makes it tough to rank him even this low, dynasty or not.

The rest..

Tier Three & Four Players

Thomas Rawls
Jeremy Langford
Mark Ingram
Jeremy Hill
Jamaal Charles
Matt Forte
Matt Jones
Tj Yeldon
Melvin Gordon
Jay Ajayi
Duke Johnson
Buck Allen
Giovani Bernard
Latavius Murray
Arian Foster

Ranking the top 15 Dynasty TEs

Below are our Top 20 Dynasty Tight Ends for 2016. Feel a player is too high or too low? Comment below!

TEs 1-10

1. Rob Gronkowski – There just isn’t any debate at the top TE spot. As usual, he has first-round value.
2. Greg Olsen – Until he slows down, he has to be respected in the 2-3 range for TEs.
3. Jordan Reed – Always an injury risk, he must be considered a top 2-5 TE this year, and he will get drafted like one, so expect to pay that price and hold the risk that comes with Reed.
4. Travis Kelce – To 2/3 TE upside.
5. Tyler Eifert – Top 2/3 TE upside.
6. Delanie Walker – Always capable of getting hurt or disappointing, but huge upside, so this is a safe place to rank him. He definitely has top 2-4 upside.
7. Coby Fleener – This is boom or bust, so be careful where you take him this year. That said, on the boom side, if he gets fed the rock in New Orleans, and stays healthy, watch out!
8. Zach Ertz – Chip Kelly really held him back. He could have a nice little top 4-6TE season this year.
9. Gary Barnidge – Lots of talent, but offensive changes make him safer in this 8-10 range. Good upside here, though.
10. Eric Ebron – Should be counted on more with Calvin retired. Can he take that next step forward?

The Rest

Julius Thomas
Austin Seferian-jenkins
Jimmy Graham
Ladarius Green
Jason Witten
Antonio Gates
Charles Clay
Jordan Cameron
Martellus Bennett
Ben Watson
Crockett Gillmore
Kyle Rudolph
Zach Miller
Richard Rodgers
Maxx Williams (R)
Clive Walford (R)
Vernon Davis
Dwayne Allen
Owen Daniels
Will Tye
Jacob Tamme
Larry Donnell
Jesse James
Jared Cook

Ranking the top 20 Dynasty WRs

Below are our Top 20 Dynasty Wide Receivers for 2016. Feel a player is too high or too low? Comment below!

WRs 1-10

1. Antonio Brown – It’s hard to argue against him being the 1.01 overall.
2. Julio Jones – Like with Antonio Brown, a strong case can be made for Julio being the 1.01, especially in PPR.
3. Deandre Hopkins – He is as capable of both Julio and Antonio.
4. Odell Beckham Jr. – He has a big more risk than the three receivers above, but he has as much upside. He is a top 2-4 fantasy WR in any format.
5. Dez Bryant – Capable of being the top WR during any season, but also capable of getting hurt or disappointing. The risk has him falling somewhere between 4-6 for 2016 WRs, which is safe.
6. AJ Green – Good value for a guy fully capable of being a top 1-5 WR. Great value.
7. Allen Robinson – Sometimes WRs explode and then vanish, so there is some logic to playing it safe with ranking Allen too high. I think this is a very safe range to rank him.
8. Demaryius Thomas – Will he see enough targets in DEN in 2016?
9. Amari Cooper – Of all the WRs in this lower half of the top 10, this guy has the most ceiling.
10. Mike Evans – Both he and Cooper have high, high ceilings at 8-10WR rankings/values.

WRs 11-20

11. Sammy Watkins
12. Josh Gordon
13. Alshon Jeffery
14. Keenan Allen
15. Jarvis Landry
16. Jordan Matthews
17. Brandin Cooks
18. Emmanual Sanders
19. Randall Cobb
20. Brandon Marshall/Doug Balwin/Julian Edelman/TY Hilton/Jordy Nelson

Ranking the Top 20 Dynasty QBs

Who are the Top 25 Dynasty Quarterbacks right now?

Top Dogs by Tier

Tier One

1. Aaron Rodgers – Only the guy below him holds near the same value, especially in leagues that award 6 points per TD.
2. Andrew Luck – He had a bad 2015, but he is just as elite and long-term valuable as A-Rod. No QBs below these two hold first-round value. Note, neither should be grabbed in even the second-round, though, as the ADPs of both Luck and Rodgers are in the 3rd-round (at the earliest), which is awesome news.

Tier Two

3. Blake Bortles – Big upside, but some risk in this 3-5 range, which is where you’ll need to grab him moving forward.
4. Russell Wilson – Not a ton of risk given he is proven and has an ADP a round or two below the two top dogs above.
5. Cam Newton – Again, not a ton of risk here, and he too, like Wilson, is going a round or two below A-Rod and Luck.

Tier Three

6. Tom Brady – In dynasty, there is great value in grabbing one of Brady or Brees, as they can be elite for 1-2 more years. Even if just 1 year, it’s great value, as these guys are falling so far. Not every draft selection in dynasty has to be for the future. Veteran picks like Brady or Brees can win leagues if acquired at ADP values.
7. Drew Brees – Everything said about Brees above applies here.
8. Marcus Mariota – Great upside. If you can get him in the 6-8 range, the risk isn’t too bad.
9. Ben Roethlisberger – Injury risk, sure, but in the 8-10 range, the risk is still low given the potential.
10. Kirk Cousins – Here is the question mark of this top 10… is he going to be elite, or will he disappoint? It’s tough to say, but in the 8ish range, the risk is low enough to invest. If his value climbs into the 4-6 range, we’d have some concerns.
10. Derek Carr – He has top 4-6 appeal, so this is great value, and most rankings have him right here and no higher. By default, given the depth of the QB pool right now, the risk is minimized for sure.
12. Jameis Winston – Good value.

The Next Group

Tier Four

13. Tony Romo
14. Sam Bradford
15. Matt Ryan
16. Eli Manning
17. Brock Osweiler
18. Teddy Bridgewater
19. Ryan Tannehill
20. Tyrod Taylor

The Rest

Carson Palmer
Philip Rivers
Matthew Stafford
Andy Dalton
Joe Flacco
Colin Kaepernick
Robert Griffin III
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Jay Cutler
Blaine Gabbert
Alex Smith
Johnny Manziel
Nick Foles

2016 Free Agent Tracker Update

Below is our 2016 NFL Free Agent Tracker update. We have each skill position sorted by signed and unsigned.

Quarterbacks

Signed

Kirk Cousins (Re-signed 1-year, $19.953M deal with WAS)
Sam Bradford (Re-signed 2-year, $36M deal with PHI)
Brock Osweiler (Signed 4-year, $72M deal with HOU)
Chase Daniel (Signed 3-year, $21M deal with PHI)
Matt Moore (Re-signed 2-year, $3.5M deal with MIA)
Chad Henne (Re-signed 2-year, $8M deal with JAX)
Matt Schaub (Signed 1-year, $1.75M deal with ATL)
Colt McCoy (Re-signed 3-year, $9M deal with WAS)
Drew Stanton (Re-signed 2-year, $6.5M deal with ARZ)
Dan Orlovsky (Re-signed 1-year, $1.065M deal with DET)
Matt Cassel (Signed 1-year, $2M deal with TEN)
Luke McCown (Re-signed 2-year, $3M deal with NO)
Scott Tolzien (Signed 2-year, $3.5M deal with IND)
Kellen Clemens (Re-signed 1-year, $1.065M deal with SD)

Still Free Agents/Unsigned

Robert Griffin III
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Tarvaris Jackson
Brandon Weeden
Jimmy Clausen
Bruce Gradkowski
Charlie Whitehurst
T.J. Yates
Michael Vick
Matt Flynn
Josh Freeman

Running Backs

Signed

Matt Forte (Signed 3-year, $12M deal with NYJ)
Doug Martin (Re-signed 5-year, $35.75M deal with TB)
Lamar Miller (Signed 4-year, $26M deal with HOU)
C.J. Anderson (Re-signed 4-year, $18M deal with DEN)
Chris Ivory (Signed 5-year, $32M deal with JAX)
Khiry Robinson (Signed 1-year, $1.75M deal with NYJ)
Bilal Powell (Re-signed 3-year, $11.25M deal with NYJ)
Shaun Draughn (Re-signed 1-year deal with SF)
Robert Turbin (Signed 1-year deal with IND)
Travaris Cadet (Re-signed 1-year, $840K deal with NO)
Jacquizz Rodgers (Re-signed 1-year deal with CHI)
Mike Tolbert (Re-signed 2-year, $3.3M deal with CAR)

Still Free Agents/Unsigned

Arian Foster
James Starks
Chris Johnson
Christine Michael
Alfred Morris
LeGarrette Blount
Ronnie Hillman
Tim Hightower
Ahmad Bradshaw
Chris Polk
Bobby Rainey
Jonathan Grimes
Donald Brown
Stevan Ridley
Pierre Thomas
Lance Dunbar
Anthony Dixon
Bryce Brown
Matt Asiata
Reggie Bush
Dan Herron
DuJuan Harris
Jordan Todman
Joique Bell
Fred Jackson
Steven Jackson
Kendall Hunter
Toby Gerhart
Bernard Pierce
Montee Ball

Wide Receivers

Signed

Alshon Jeffery (Re-signed 1-year, $14.599M deal with CHI)
Brandon Marshall (Second-Round Tender)
Travis Benjamin (Signed 4-year, $24M deal with SD)
Marvin Jones (Signed 5-year, $40M deal with DET)
Rishard Matthews (Signed 3-year, $15M deal with TEN)
Brian Quick (Re-signed 1-year, $1.75M deal with LAR)
Mohamed Sanu (Signed 5-year, $32.5M deal with ATL)
Mike Wallace (Signed 2-year, $11.5M deal with BAL)
Andre Holmes (Re-signed 1-year, $3M deal with OAK)
Jermaine Kearse (Re-signed 3-year, $13.5M deal with SEA)
Marc Mariani (Re-signed 1-year deal with CHI)
Rod Streater (Signed 1-year, $810K deal with KC)
Darrius Heyward-Bey (Re-signed 3-year, $3.8M deal with PIT)
Keshawn Martin (Re-signed 2-year, $3M deal with NE)
Brandon Tate (Re-signed 1-year deal with CIN)

Still Free Agents/Unsigned

Anquan Boldin
Rueben Randle
James Jones
Brandon LaFell
Percy Harvin
Nate Washington
Roddy White
Leonard Hankerson
Lance Moore
Marques Colston
Hakeem Nicks
Jordan Norwood
Chris Givens
Jeremy Kerley
Riley Cooper
Andre Johnson
Wes Welker
Greg Jennings
Andre Caldwell
David Nelson
Bryan Walters
Seyi Ajirotutu
Jason Avant
Ricardo Lockette
Brian Tyms
Nick Toon

Tight Ends

Signed

Antonio Gates (Re-signed 2-year, $11M deal with SD)
Ladarius Green (Signed 4-year, $20M deal with PIT)
Dwayne Allen (Re-signed 4-year, $29.4M deal with IND)
Coby Fleener (Signed 5-year, $36M deal with NO)
Ben Watson (Signed 2-year, $7M deal with BAL)
Zach Miller (Re-signed 2-year, $5.5M deal with CHI)
Marcedes Lewis (Re-signed 3-year, $12M deal with JAX)
Craig Stevens (Re-signed 1-year, $2M deal with TEN)
Jermaine Gresham (Re-signed 1-year, $3.5M deal with ARZ)
Logan Paulsen (Re-signed 1-year, $840K deal with WAS)
Garrett Celek (Re-signed 4-year, $14M deal with SF)
Rhett Ellison (Re-signed 1-year, $2.25M deal with MIN)
Michael Hoomanawanui (Re-signed 3-year, $5.1M deal with NO)
Tim Wright (Re-signed 1-year deal with DET)
Rob Housler (Re-signed 1-year, $760K deal with CHI)
Kellen Davis (Re-signed 1-year, $965K deal with NYJ)

Still Free Agents/Unsigned

Vernon Davis
Jared Cook
Clay Harbor
Andrew Quarless
Scott Chandler
Owen Daniels
Daniel Fells
Tony Moeaki
Jim Dray
Garrett Graham
David Johnson
Jeff Cumberland

Two Players to Buy-Low For 2016?

Jay Ajayi | RB Dolphins

With Lamar Miller likely playing elsewhere in 2016, the Dolphins could turn to Jay Ajayi. Now, it’s important to call him a sleeper, not a sure bet, so don’t treat him as such, meaning do not buy-high or draft him, or trade for him, at stud levels. He is a sleeper! The Dolphins believe in him and he looks like an every-down back. His YPG weren’t impressive on the year last year, but if you watched him run, he has the ability to grind it out between the tackles and he has a smoothness to his game. We truly believe he will thrive if the Dolphins both do not retain Miller and do not draft a big name rusher (or acquire one through free agency), both possible. Stay tuned on this one, but scooping this runner up on the cheap in dynasty/keeper leagues is advised.

Andrew Luck | QB Colts

It’s easy to want to avoid Luck in 2016, as he frustrated so many all year long in 2015. Not only did he play below mediocre for much of the year, he got hurt around mid-season and did not return. He failed many. That said, it’s important to remember that he threw for 4761 yards and 40TDs the year prior (adding 3TDs rushing), and he is easily capable of 4500/38+TDs during any given season. He is 2nd-round worthy, but luckily his ADP (in redraft) is in the 3rd- to 4th-round range, which is STEAL territory. In redraft, if he continues to go in the late 3rd- or 4th-round, he will arguably be one of the biggest steals of 2016 drafts. The same can be said of Aaron Rodgers. Even if his value rises back in the 3rd and locks in, that’s still great value, yes, even if you can grab guys like Bortles rounds later. A 40TD QB in the 3rd or 4th is crazy good value. In dynasty, see if you can get close to this value… if so, strike a trade!