Listen to both Russ Bliss and Smitty talk Week 2 fantasy football on Russ’ Weekly Red Zone fantasy football radio show on NBC Sports Radio 1060am.
Listen to both Russ Bliss and Smitty talk Week 2 fantasy football on Russ’ Weekly Red Zone fantasy football radio show on NBC Sports Radio 1060am.
Below is Russ Bliss’ Red Zone fantasy football show on August 24th, 2016. Russ talks about sleepers, breakouts, fantasy football 2016.
It’s the middle of August and a lot has changed over the last couple months, especially in terms of the 2016 rookies… it’s time to revisit the 2016 Rookie Class. Below I will rank the rookies, and provide commentary for certain players.
Note: These rankings are ranked with a dynasty/keeper frame of mind, but I provide commentary for both yearly leaguers and dynasty leaguers.
1. Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL – By far the 1.01 in 2016 in any rookie-only draft. He has top 6-10 overall value in all redraft leagues, which is super high for a rookie. He has that much appeal in DAL in 2016!
2. Corey Coleman WR CLE – This kid could be a top 10WR of the future. He is polished and NFL ready. He is my No. 2 overall in terms of rookies in dynasty.
2. Derrick Henry RB TEN – While I wonder how many years he can play at his highest level (at this size), he has fantastic upside for the next few years. DeMarco Murray is the starter in TEN, but if he gets hurt, Henry should thrive in 2016. Then I consider selling high at that point (if in dynasty).
3. Laquon Treadwell WR MIN – Lots of future appeal, but with Bridgewater tossing him the ball, I think Treadwell could be spotty and inconsistent in 2016, as he will naturally have ups and downs as a rookie, but he will also be limited when Bridgewater isn’t throwing a lot.
4. Kenneth Dixon RB BAL – This is my monster sleeper of this class, as I think he thrives if getting the carries. It’s a crowded backfield, though, so it’s tough to predict this situation. Just grab and stash in redraft, and get excited for the long-term.
5. Devontae Booker RB DEN – After Dixon, this is my next biggest sleeper rookie. He could be starting by mid-season, if not sooner. That’s not a lock, that’s a bold prediction, so draft/trade accordingly, don’t reach, as that would defeat the term ‘sleeper’ and all the upside that goes along with acquiring a sleeper.
6. Josh Doctson WR WAS – Nice long-term appeal and decent redraft appeal.
7. Sterling Shepard WR NYG – An exciting player that I want to get excited about, as everyone seems to be expecting so much out of this kid; however, if Odell Beckham is healthy, you have to wonder if many could be disappointed in 2016. He has nice long-term appeal, though.
8. Michael Thomas WR NO – Exciting receiver in a situation that could have him maturing fast.
9. Josh Ferguson RB IND – Nice sleeper potential in Indy.
10. Tyler Boyd WR CIN – Nice future and solid skill set.
Will Fuller WR HOU
Wendell Smallwood RB PHI
DeAndre Washington RB OAK
Keith Marshall RB WAS
Alex Collins RB SEA
Pharoh Cooper WR LA
Leonte Carroo WR MIA
Paul Perkins RB NYG
C.J. Prosise RB SEA
Jordan Howard RB CHI
Kenyan Drake RB MIA
Jared Goff QB LA
Hunter Henry TE SD
Carson Wentz QB PHI
Jonathan Williams RB BUF
Tyler Ervin RB HOU
Braxton Miller WR HOU
Rashard Higgins WR CLE
Malcolm Mitchell WR NE
Paxton Lynch QB DEN
I enjoy reading Gil Bandt’s takes on NFL players. This week he has provided us with his predicted stat leaders for 2016. I can’t really put up an argument with his choices. I had the honor of meeting him in Las Vegas one year and shared some good conversation, a very intuitive and respected man.
Drew Brees – I can see that, no more Peyton, Brady on the back burner, I cant say if Carson Palmer garnered any thoughts that figured into his assessment?
Adrian Peterson – has not shown signs of slowing down though he is at that age where the running backs begin to taper off, many often wondered if this guy is even human?
Jeremy Hill – That is interesting, I have Hill projected at 9 Touch downs on the year. Julio will lead the league in receiving yards and Allen Robinson will receive the most receiving touch downs SACKS, Khalil Mack This guy is a force to be reckoned with. I believe the Raiders will surprise the masses this year- Does anybody want to see a Jaguars/Raiders AFC Championship game? Now this one made me smile and nod, Gils prediction for most tackles will go to a Dallas Cowboy (of Course) Can’t have Brandt write anything that does not include a Dallas Cowboy.
His prediction for 2016 Leading Tackles: Sean Lee, with the current state of the Cowboys defensive front I can believe that, this is one LB I believe is going to get worked into the ground and I have to wonder if he will even make it to week 8.
Good Luck Guys!
For those of you that don’t know, Josh Gordon (WR – Browns) has been reinstated by the NFL (but suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season), and the Browns have made it pretty clear, via several reports, that they will welcome him back with open arms. They will most likely have him on a short leash, no question, and one minor issue and he could be done in the NFL for good. Still, there is no denying the fact that the wide receiver has top 10WR upside, if not top 5WR upside, if healthy, on the field and trusted by his offense. It’s tough not to get excited, but it’s smart to play this right in early drafts and not reach too far for him. However, it’s important not to overlook him either. So, in redraft leagues, where do you take the guy? I would definitely shy away from grabbing him as a WR2, because you just won’t likely need to snag him at that value (yet). So, he makes for a risky WR3, and that still gives you plenty of upside, as again, he can be a fantasy WR1 if everything lines up. So, let’s take a look at the areas where Josh Gordon is worth the risk (at this very moment, and that could change in either direction in the coming weeks, so we will surely readdress this topic soon!):
Red = Don’t draft Gordon yet
Green = Gordon is likely worth the risk
4th Doug Baldwin WR SEA
5th Jeremy Maclin WR KC
5th Allen Hurns WR JAC
5-6th Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN
6th Jordan Matthews WR PHI
7th Michael Floyd WR ARI
6-7th Donte Moncrief WR IND
6-7th Eric Decker WR NYJ
6-7th Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI
6-7th DeVante Parker WR MIA
7th John Brown WR ARI
7-8th Kevin White WR CHI
As you can see, there is a place just before the Moncrief and Decker types that feels consistent and safe, but right where you see the players turn red, you have to admit that the upside of those players just doesn’t sniff the upside of Gordon’s, which means it’s time to strike in those areas. Again, I can’t stress this enough, this could change as his ADP climbs, or falls. If he keeps his head on straight and Cleveland appears to want him back in his old WR1 role, expect his ADP to possibly climb even higher than the 6th-round, and when that time comes, we might agree with wanting to take him higher than that. For now, though, after the medium name WRs are off the board, that seems to be the safe spot.
We have provided a few 2016 Rookie Rankings updates since the April NFL Draft, and because many of you have upcoming rookie drafts here in June and July, here is one more update for June. Expect at least one more in July.
We have addressed this topic earlier this off-season, but it’s time to address it again, as we are nearing June 1. Who is the 1.01 in fantasy football heading into 2016?. Of course, much depends on your scoring, as wide receivers are surely in the conversation if we’re talking about a PPR draft. And, for the most part, dynasty and redraft usually have slightly different top five ranked players. This year, dynasty and redraft look very much the same, so it really boils down to PPR or non-PPR, which we will mention below, however, we will rank the below players as if we are talking PPR.
Todd Gurley is the safest RB to rank at the 1.01, and because he might be heads and shoulders above the rest of the 2016 rushers (minus a few names, which we will list below), going RB over WR makes a lot of sense when Gurley is sitting there. Gurley posted 229 uards for 1,106 yards, 10TDs, and 21 receptions for 188 yards. However, he didn’t really get the start until Week 4, as he barely played Week 3. So, if you pace out his stats, he essentially was on pace for 1,462 yards, 13TDs rushing, 26 receptions for 244 yards. As a rookie! If he gets more production through the air, which I expect he will, I think he can easily drop 1,700 combine rushing/receiving yards and 12-15TDs in 2016. The thing is, he has upside for more. To me, he is the safest 1.01 in all formats, dynasty to redraft, and even in PPR… I say this because there aren’t a ton of 1.01 worthy RBs this year, however, there are up to 4-5 WRs, if not a few more, that can actually be the best fantasy WR in football this year.
All this said above, below are a handful of excellent choices for the 1.01, as there is not just one player worthy of the selection (despite Gurley feeling like the overall safest).
Julio Jones (ATL, WR) – In PPR especially, he could be the top overall scorer, so he needs to be considered. He is a top 1-3 lock in any draft. With a high first-round draft slot, that means you will likely have back-to-back, or near back-to-back, picks near the bottom of the second/early third, so RBs will be available to you later, which means going WR in the 1.01-1.04 range does not mean you will be weak at RB in 2016.
Antonio Brown (PIT, WR) – Everything said above about Julio can be said here.
Le’Veon Bell (PIT, RB) – Only his knee recovery has him not locked into the 1.01 above with Todd Gurley. If he proves 100 percent before draft day, which isn’t likely the case, as he will probably play it safe heading into Week 1, he would be absolutely tied with Gurley above.
Other players, like Odell Beckham and DeAndre Hopkins, should be talked about, but early ADPs suggest both will fall at least to the 3-5 range, meaning if you want one of these 1.01-capable studs in Beckham and Hopkins, consider trading down to the 3-5 range. Both are easily capable of being 1.01 good, though.
Below is our Breaking News Wire for Week 16. Check back all morning long, and stay tuned to our Smart Alerts as well, as news can often break last-minute!
NEWS: According to Rotoworld, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has confirmed that Saints QB Drew Brees (foot) will play today (Sunday/Week 16) against the Jaguars.
FANTASY: He is playing with a torn plantar fascia, know that, but he would be tough to sit in most any situation given his upside. Colston is out, but Ben Watson is expected to play (as of now). Anything can change last minute, so stay on the news and smart alerts all morning!
NEWS: Dez Bryant (foot, ankle) is inactive for Week 16 against Buffalo.
NEWS: Titans declared Marcus Mariota inactive for Week 16 against the Texans.
FANTASY: Zach Mettenberger will start.
NEWS: According to reports, Ravens QB Ryan Mallett will start Sunday against the Steelers.
FANTASY: Jimmy Clausen could be sent in if Mallett struggles early.
NEWS: Vincent Jackson (knee) has been ruled out for Week 16.
FANTASY: Austin Seferian-Jenkins could be a real sneaky Week 16 play, and of course, get ready for a ton of Mike Evans in this one.
NEWS: Jarvis Landry (knee), Lamar Miller (quad) and DeVante Parker (ankle) are all three expected to play Week 16.
FANTASY: Setbacks happen last-minute, so stay on the news if you plan to play any of these guys.
NEWS: Matt Hasselbeck (jaw, back, neck, ribs) is probable for Week 16 against the Dolphins.
FANTASY: This is a risky play. He should start, but anything can happen in warmups, and it’s just not a safe play. Charlie Whitehurst would start if for any reason Hasselbeck couldn’t go last-minute.
NEWS: Alshon Jeffery is looking to be out for Week 16.
FANTASY: Check back last minute but get him out of lineups.
Below is our Breaking News Wire for Week 14. Check back all morning long, and stay tuned to our Smart Alerts as well, as news can often break last-minute!
NEWS: According to reports, Browns TE Travis Benjamin (shoulder) and TE Gary Barnidge (ankle) are both expected to start Week 14 on Sunday.
FANTASY: Johnny Manziel loves Travis Benjamin, so as long as he remains a go, he is a strong WR this week.
NEWS: According to reports, Chargers QB Philip Rivers (flu) is expected to start Week 13 against KC.
FANTASY: “Expected” is the keyword here, so play this with caution, especially given the QB has lost so many weapons this year. Check back, but for now, he is ‘expected’ to play.
NEWS: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported that NE TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) will be ready “if needed” for Sunday’s Week 14 game against the Texans.
FANTASY: This went from him not looking likely to play, to looking very likely given that he made the flight with the team… now, he could be ready on an emergency basis, or decoy. This will be a game-time call, so keep checking back on this one!
NEWS: According to reports, Packers RB Eddie Lacy will be the Packers’ top runner on Sunday against the Cowboys.
FANTASY: Last week was a disaster, after Lacy missed curfew and killed fantasy owners in unexpected fashion. This week, he should be considered a RB2 with high upside, but also a touch of risk.
NEWS: According to Rotoworld, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Eagles have “weighed all options” in regards to RB DeMarco Murray including benching him, and the team has already announced that Darren Sproles will be the feature back in Week 14.
FANTASY: Murray owners have had enough, and hopefully most of you own Sproles. Sproles is a very solid flex play this week (with upside for more), while Murray, right now, is looking like a “hopefully something changes in his favor next season” type of player.
NEWS: According to reports, Ravens QB Matt Schaub (questionable, chest) is not expected to play Week 14 on Sunday.
FANTASY: Jimmy Clausen will likely start against Seattle in Week 14.
NEWS: Ravens TE Crockett Gillmore (back) is doubtful for Week 14 against the Seahawks.
FANTASY: If we hear more, we will let you know!
Hey everyone, below are the top pickups for Week 8. If you have other names that you are seeing available in your waiver pool, comment below!
Chris Polk/Alfred Blue (RB/HOU) – With Arian Foster out of the season (Achilles), these two will likely be this week’s top pickups. Who is going to start? Will either start? Will the team bring in someone else to muddy the situation? It’s tough to say. As of now, news wires all around suggest Polk is the clear lead here, but Blue has more talent if you ask me. Both are must-add players.
Orleans Darkwa (RB/NYG) – This kid looked good in 7, rushing eight times for 48 yards (6.0 YPC) and 1TD. He could see more carries moving forward and should be grabbed.
Danny Amendola (WR/NE) – He probably wont be consistent, but he had a nice Week 7 and looks healthy – for now.
David Cobb (RB/TEN) – He could return in Week 9, so monitor him on waivers if able.
Make sure all three of Jordan Reed, Charcandrick West and Stefon Diggs are not available in your league. All three are not likely available, but check, as all three are fantasy starters moving forward, not just good pickups.