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The Rotobahn 200

The Rotobahn 200

Early rankings (updated 8/13)
By: Pete Davidson : August 04, 2017 11:01am

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Welcome back, Rotobahners! Drafting season is going to heat up over the next few weeks and Rotobahn is ready. Today I am releasing the Top 200 and I have comments for the first 100 players or so. I’ll be updating this over the weekend—adding more comments and players. By next week we’ll be in the usual August swing, with updates a few times a week and often every day as these lousy August injuries continue to pile up and force changes to our boards.

On or about August 12th, I’ll introduce the 2017 Rotobahn Draft Plan. I can tell you right now, that it will be similar to last year’s plan, but it will focus even more on how to take advantage of the depth in the player pool—with extra emphasis on the players who won’t even be drafted. Understanding the size and shape of the real pool of actionable talent is one of the things we do best here. I think you’ll like the 2017 plan.

Jimmy Hackett and I will be podcasting on WEEI.com later today. We’ll be tackling some of the early tidbits like Tannehill, Zeke, the NE backfield, Eddie Lacy’s weight and Carlos Hyde. We’ll also talk about these rankings and the team I drafted in Rotoworld’s mock auction.

I’ll also be dropping a solo pod tomorrow—just to give some added context to these early rankings and talk a bit about what’s next. I can’t tell a lie. I am really jacked for fantasy football. It’s been a long summer. My Wife and my Mother both got Lymes disease and Mr. Mom’s been crazy busy as a result.

It’s football time, baby!

These ranks are based on .5 PPR scoring. 

Rank Pos Rank PLAYER POS TEAM BYE THE SKINNY
1 1 David Johnson RB ARI 8 I have my concerns about DJ. Of the three backs universally accepted as elite, Johnson gets the least help from his teammates and plays behind a run of the mill offensive line. The good news is that Arizona plays a much better schedule this year compared to 2016. Barring injury, DJ is a lock for elite production—especially in full PPR scoring. He’s my number one in all formats unless Zeke ends up with no suspension.
2 2 Le’Veon Bell RB PIT 9 There’s some mild concern here. Bell had core muscle surgery. This is a player who has played 16 games once in his four NFL seasons. Having said that, he’s an elite option when healthy and that’s probably an understatement. He’s even more valuable in full PPR scoring. He is as yet unsigned and if that extends too far, his value could lessen, but it would take a lot for me to draft any receiver over him or any RB not named Zeke or DJ.
3 1 Antonio Brown WR PIT 9 Still in his prime and should post big numbers. A viable option at the top spot in full PPR leagues. His stat output is a proven thing and he’s healthy.
4 2 Odell Beckham Jr. WR NYG 8 Should have an easier time posting numbers this year as teams are forced to deal with Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram—two big athletes unlike anything the Giants have had during Beckham’s time in NY. He will have more chances to make the big plays this year. His targets should be close to last year’s 169, but I expect him to do even more with them. He’s a potential league winning pick who could easily post his career best numbers.
5 3 Julio Jones WR ATL 5 Assuming he is totally recovered from his bunion surgery, Jones is primed for another monster season. Draft him as high as you want and do it with confidence.
6 4 AJ Green WR CIN 6 A proven WR1 when healthy and he projects to be fully healthy. The OL issues in Cincy could mean more grinding it out and less deep shots, but Green can get it done either way. I like that there are two starting caliber Abs in Cincy. If Dalton goes down, McCarron can still feed the ball to the receivers.
7 5 Mike Evans WR TB 11 Tampa brought in a ton of new receiving talent and that should prevent teams from leaning on Evans as they have in the past. The thing is, the expected rise in efficiency should be blunted by a down tick in volume. I expect Evans to stay in the same general area in terms of production or maybe take a small step back. He’s a strong WR1 option either way, and there’s also the possibility that he explodes for a lot of touchdowns in an improving offense. No way I am fading a proven elite producer with an improving young quarterback.
8 3 Melvin Gordon RB LAC 9 Huge projected workload with current depth chart. Gordon is head and shoulders above the rest of the Chargers’ RBs. The question is, can he play a full season? If he does, even with a very tough schedule, he’s a strong RB1.
9 4 LeSean McCoy RB BUF 6 I have my concerns with McCoy as I always do, but the table is set for him this year. He has a good OL to run behind and he has scant competition for snaps and touches. The only concerns are injury and a relatively tough schedule. His talent is still there and based on last year, it’s not going to dry up any time soon.
10 5 Devonta Freeman RB ATL 5 There’s a volume cap due to the presence of Tevin Coleman, but Freeman has really established himself and should continue to get his 15-20 touches per game. He’s also going to be the main guy at the stripe because he’s not a fumbler and Coleman is.
11 6 Jordan Howard RB CHI 9 No question as to his role in my estimation. We told you loud and clear in 2016 that Howard was the only lead back in Chicago. Nothing has changed this year. He’ll play major snaps and he’ll be the man at the stripe. If you want to roll the dice and take him a bit earlier (over Freeman), I can support that, but his offense is in flux, and that makes game scripts a slight concern.
12 6 Michael Thomas WR NO 5 He’s going to eat consistently with Cooks gone and no other big time receivers in Big Easy. He’s a solid value in the middle of round two.
13 7 Dez Bryant WR DAL 6 He’s a sleeper stud. If you could promise me 16 starts, I’d put him in the top ten without hesitation. Sadly, Dez’s style of play lends itself to injury and I see a bit more risk with him than with some of the other guys in this area. He also plays a tough schedule and will see a lot of top corners. This concerns me more with Romo retired. Dak is still green in some respects.
14 8 Jordy Nelson WR GB 8 Still playing at a high level and NOT coming off of an injury this season. Draft Nelson with confidence. He could be a good pick a few spots earlier than I have him ranked here. The players are all very close in this area of the draft. At least they are on my board.
15 1 Rob Gronkowski TE NE 9 If he’s 100% then he’s the man. Nothing else much matters. Kelce is a great player but please. If your league uses TE premium scoring or uses more than one TE, Gronk’s viable even higher. Obviously you’ll need some tolerance for risk. Obviously.
16 7 DeMarco Murray RB TEN 8 Not sure if I totally trust the Titans to keep the playing time ratios from 2016. They may be tempted to play Derrick Henry more. So, while Murray’s 2016 production puts him squarely in round one, I am being careful with him. His toe injury is also a mild concern.
17 8 Jay Ajayi RB MIA 11 He showed off a huge ceiling last season, but there are reasons for skepticism in terms of taking him really high. The Dolphins’ interior OL will fall apart if anything happens to Pouncey—and things happen often to Pouncey. The news on Ryan Tannehill only adds to my worries.
18 9 T.Y. Hilton WR IND 11 He is far and away Luck’s top target and that will not change in 2017. Durability is really the only concern here, along with Luck’s shoulder, but I doubt Luck’s problems will ruin Hilton’s season. I’ve lowered him a few slots, but Luck should be there when it really counts.
19 10 Amari Cooper WR OAK 10 If his back is a non-issue, I expect a bit of a breakout. The issue is the schedule. Two games against the teams in the AFCW is tough this year. Great corners everywhere.
20 2 Travis Kelce TE KC 10 He’s a stud and with Maclin’s departure, he should eat that much more consistently. If Alex Smith gets benched, he could get even more dangerous with the strong-armed Pat Mahomes under center.
21 9 Todd Gurley RB LAR 8 The volume will be there and he’s a bounce back candidate, but there are some realities that I can’t brush aside. Goff looked like a light chicken gravy in 2016 and teams will be loading up the box until he becomes a threat on the intermediate and deep levels of the field. I see more RB2 production with a few big games mixed in.
22 10 Dalvin Cook RB MIN 9 I’m a fan and screw his combine digits. This kid can run the ball and he’s a good receiver too. He’ll lose snaps to Jerick.
23 11 Doug Baldwin WR SEA 6 I think he could lose some volume this year because Seattle’s depth is greater than in years past. Still a very solid high-end WR2 or low end WR1. Russ Wilson is healthy going into 2017 and these two have a seriously strong connection at this point.
24 11 Christian McCaffrey RB CAR 11 I know some folks want to pump the brakes, but I am all in on this kid. He’s got a perfect NFL skill set and I think folks are sleeping on him as a potential slot receiver and not just a running back. The possibility of Jonathan Stewart and McCaffrey playing TOGETHER is a very real one. Like David Johnson, CM has the ability to break formation—to go in motion and to change positions on the fly. It’s a rare skill to truly have and this kid has it. He doesn’t need 25 touches if they are using his full skill set. If he is getting 15 touches per game, he’ll be a stud in PPR as a rookie. I think he gets at least that.
25 12 Leonard Fournette RB JAC 8 Rookie risk is real and Jax’s OL is not anywhere near as good as the one Zeke Elliott ate behind last season. Still, Fournette should be a true workhorse and I like the Jag’s schedule plenty.
26 12 DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU 7 QB uncertainty limits his statistical ceiling to some extent. I’m not in love with any of the 2017 options though both should be an improvement on what we saw from Brock Osweiler in 2016. Will Fuller’s injury could mean more vertical routes and more targets in general.
27 13 Sammy Watkins WR LAR 6 You really need to keep your head on a swivel in the NFL. Watkins is now a Ram. I’m less perturbed than most of the experts I’ve seen weigh in for far. First of all, this is a NEW Rams offense. Sean McCoy wants to throw more and his results from Washington as OC would indicate the same. Watkins is exactly what Jared Goff needs—a player would can separate and separate quickly. He’s also a top shelf deep threat. Watkins’ route work is outstanding and I doubt that have much trouble working him in quickly. Now, is Sammy worth as much as he was in Buffalo? I think it’s actually close. I’ve given him a slight downgrade due to a potential slow start.
28 14 Brandin Cooks WR NE 9 As much as I love him, he went out of the frying pan and into the fire as far as competition for targets is concerned. I expect Cooks to have a fine career in New England, but for now, he is one of many cogs in Brady’s unstoppable machine. He should have some big games, but there’s Gronk, Edelman and a strong ensemble after that … and just one football. Keep your expectations realistic.
29 13 Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL 6 Alrighty then! Then again, who knows. Zeke’s been suspended for 6 games but there will be an appeal so there is still a bit of limbo. For now, you have to drop him down into the third round and taking him there is far from a no brainer. In the fourth, I think I’m taking him if I can. This is a NOW take. Things can still change, but for now, fading Zeke is probably best for your team and your sanity. I really don’t want my season to be about Zeke Elliott right now.
30 14 Lamar Miller RB HOU 7 I’m not a huge fan of D’Onta Foreman and with the rookie’s recent off-field issues, Miller is looking more and more locked in as the main guy. He’s a good solid back as we’ve maintained for years.
31 3 Jordan Reed TE WAS 5 Keep a close eye on his health, but Reed is a monster in PPR leagues. I’ll gladly take the risk in full PPR and in TE premium leagues. A little more hesitant in standard.
32 15 Ty Montgomery RB GB 8 I think a lot of folks fail to realize what a big back Montgomery is. He intrigued us as a receiver, but we like him a lot more as a RB. Obviously teams cannot stack the box with Rodgers at QB. There’s a ton of upside with this player and he fits all formats. He should be well ahead of the two rookies Green Bay drafted, though we like both of them.
33 16 Isaiah Crowell RB CLE 9 I’m not really buying into his success as a receiver last year (40 receptions) because I think it was more stat-based than football-based. In short, it was a high-water mark and will not be improved on. More likely there will be some light regression. Still, he’s a very strong early down runner and a good back near the goal line. Cleveland should be a better offense this year with a solid OL. Crowell is trending up.
34 17 Joe Mixon RB CIN 6 Talent. Mixon is loaded with it—and not just the running kind. This kid can do it all and is a pretty good fundamental player. If the Bengals OL wasn’t in such peril, I’d be begging you to draft Mixon. Of course, this assumes you can stomach having him on your team. As we discussed in the rookie articles this spring and on the pods, he hit a woman and could have killed her. The bottom line is that Cincy is giving him a chance and his talent says he should crush it. Rookie issues and the OL are the main concerns as far as statistical performance goes.
35 1 Aaron Rodgers QB GB 8 He’s a ninja. Only injury stops him.
36 15 Alshon Jeffery WR PHI 10 He needs to be healthy when you draft, but if he is, he's ticketed a pretty big target load now that Jordan Matthews is in Buffalo. And, we know AJ is a big time talent.
37 18 Carlos Hyde RB SF 11 Who knows what to believe? There are rumors that he could get cut and the new GM said he looks great. I’m reverting to the basics here. He’s a great talent and he fits the scheme. Hyde works for me as a RB2 with a big ceiling if Shanahan can get things going early with the 49ers.
38 16 Keenan Allen WR LAC 9 He is risky for sure, but as long as he is all systems go when I draft, I am looking to add him in rounds four or five if I get lucky. We’ll see if ADP cooperates for me. Rivers obviously likes Allen. The targeting numbers are clear as day on this one. Yes, there are other sharks in the water, but a healthy Allen is far and away the lead receiver. He’s got legit WR1 upside in PPR formats.
39 17 Terrelle Pryor WR WAS 9 Pryor embodies the Rotobahn draft plan for 2017. He has league-winning upside. He can drastically outperform his draft position. You can also make legitimate arguments against his floor, but we can get floor in a lot of places. This guy switched to WR and put up a thousand yards in year one. Now he has a real QB and some weapons around him. He could make big plays with regularity and be a huge weekly option even with a drop in targets. Don’t forget this dude was a good sized QB. He tips the scales in the area of 240 pounds and is six foot five. He moves like a cat—with athletic grace that few men his size possess. Again, switched to WR and posted 1K as a Cleveland Brown. You can’t tell me that he’s already peaked. If there’s a better example of unexplored ceiling in the league right now, I want to know who it is. He’s the receiver I am looking to draft in rounds 5-6.
40 18 Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 8 His volume isn’t going anywhere and he could up the TD total a bit with a healthy Carson Palmer and a favorable schedule. He still has fringe WR2 appeal.
41 19 Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 5 He’s a big time player but the QB situation is not great nor is the OL. I expect something very close to last year’s line of 90 catches for 1,083 and five scores. The QBs need to improve for the TD total to rise much.
42 20 Golden Tate WR DET 7 A lot of people gave up on Tate last year amidst the Marvin Jones hype and Tate’s slow start. That’s why they play all 16 games. Tate returned to form over the final 11 weeks and ended up posting typical GT numbers.
43 4 Greg Olsen TE CAR 11 He should have at least one more strong season in him, so a pretty safe pick in round four if your league is full PPR or TE premium.
44 2 Tom Brady QB NE 9 He’s now at the center of a well oiled machine. Only Father Time or injury can stop Brady in 2017.
45 21 Davante Adams WR GB 8 If you were a Rotobahn reader last year, you probably made some profit with Adams, who we touted early as the best WR in free agency. We are still bullish on his value thanks to Aaron Rodgers’ awesomeness. There’s more ceiling here and I like adding him in round four or five. Having said that, teams will be looking for him more this year and I expect Cobb to be more involved. I think the people taking Adams early may be disappointed.
46 3 Drew Brees QB NO 5 I have a hunch that N.O. is going to run the ball a bit more this year. I’ve also detected a drop off in arm strength for Drew Brees. He’s still a stud, but some drop-off is possible. Losing Cooks is not a plus.
47 5 Jimmy Graham TE SEA 6 His ceiling may be as high as it used to be now that he is all the way past his knee injury, but there’s a strong cast of receivers in Seattle and I expect more balance in 2017. I’ll definitely have some Jimmy shares this year.
48 22 Brandon Marshall WR NYG 8 Father Time is a concern, but Marshall is a special talent who is only one season removed from a career year. He also gets to feast on second corners for the first time in ages while OBJ gets the stud corners. Eli Manning represents a solid upgrade as his QB. Unless his price rises for some reason, I’m liking Marshall as a value WR2. I’ve gotten him as late as round nine, but I suspect that his ADP will eventually settle in or around the middle of round six.
49 23 Allen Robinson WR JAC 8 I expect Robinson to play well, but people need to understand that this team is going to run more than they have in the recent past. Robinson’s targets are very likely to fall. There should be less garbage time for the Jags this year because the defense should be better and because they now have a ground game.
50 6 Kyle Rudolph TE MIN 9 He and Bradford worked well together and Rudolph finally stayed healthy. He’s got plenty of appeal once the big four are gone.
51 7 Tyler Eifert TE CIN 6 Health is always a concern, but he’s a great producer when he’s playing. One area of concern is that Eifert runs a lot of deep routes for a tight end, and the OL problems could take some big plays away.
52 24 Tyreek Hill WR KC 10 I’m a believer. Don’t expect the guy to be Antonio Brown overnight and Alex Smith’s limitations hurt downfield receivers more than gadget guys who run screens and sweeps and the like. There’s some risk, but the things that worked last year can always be sprinkled in on an as-needed basis. He’s a strong weekly WR3 who stays in your lineup.
53 19 Marshawn Lynch RB OAK 10 A great OL in Oakland and an aging star who is un-retiring. There’s an element of roulette here but the upside is hard to ignore. Bill Parcells used to talk about players who don’t want to get hit anymore. Lynch used to talk about being the guy to inflict the damage. To me, the question is, can Lynch still be that guy, or is he now one of those players who no longer wants the contact at the NFL level? He retired once, so the old love may no longer be there.
54 20 C.J. Anderson RB DEN 5 I like him as a player and barring injury he should be the most valuable RB in Denver this season. The risk is that he’s not a true alpha back and there is other talent on the roster. I’m not sold that Jamaal Charles can ever be what he was, but if he can, then CJ’s value goes way down. Devontae Booker is a back I like quite a bit. If he gets healthy, he can be a threat to CJ’s snap total. So CJ’s floor is not exactly made out of concrete. Denver plays a tough schedule.
55 25 Martavis Bryant WR PIT 9 Assuming he is all systems go, Bryant is a potential steal in the 5th round, but I’m not reaching any higher because he’s always going to be one failed test away. He fits our draft plan as a guy who can drastically outperform his draft position.
56 4 Russell Wilson QB SEA 6 He’s healthy. He hurt his wheel early on in 2016 and that caused a down season across the board. I expect more running this year and more success in the air too. He’s a sneaky sleeper for the overall QB1 at year’s end.
57 26 Stefon Diggs WR MIN 9 If he stays healthy, he could be a PPR machine, but he’s also a guy with a nose for the end zone and that gives him some hope for standard value as well. Diggs is a good fit for an accurate thrower like Bradford. I think he hits big if he plays 16 games.
58 27 Michael Crabtree WR OAK 10 Very solid, but I think we’ve seen his best at this point so don’t buy into a career year or anything. More likely to go the other way.
59 21 Adrian Peterson RB NO 9 I’m not buying his demise. I think he can still play. AP is a potential league winner and he’s a guy you may be able to get as your RB4 based on what I’ve seen in early drafts. He may get lost in a deep committee, but unless his ADP really rises, I’m willing to roll the dice on one of the best ever.
60 22 Mark Ingram RB NO 5 Most people will have Ingram ahead of AP and that’s understandable, but my stance is that AP has a better shot at making Ingram irrelevant than the other way around. I’m not buying into the notion that we were seeing AP’s best early last year. I think he’d have come around if he’d stayed healthy. He’s healthy now, and Ingram was losing big snaps last year to Tim Hightower.
61 23 Spencer Ware RB KC 10 He’s my bet to hold the starting gig in 2017, but it’s a deep group of backs in KC, so his floor is not as safe as I’d like it to be. You also have a potential QB switch coming, and that could upset the apple cart for a period of time as the kid adjusts.
62 28 Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN 5 Love him, but Denver’s offense has QB controversy and it did not click in 2016. Now they are without Kubiak.
63 29 Kelvin Benjamin WR CAR 11 He’s a great guy to target as a WR3 with upside to be a high-end WR2. He’s a full year away from his major injury and he’s a huge individual. I say that because there are big receivers and there are BIG receivers. KB is about as big as they come and when you are a DB and you are giving up 50 pounds and half a foot, you really have your hands full.
64 24 Eddie Lacy RB SEA 8 Lacy will be a guy to watch closely. He is a guy I could target or fade based on what goes down over the next two weeks. He’s got other good backs to outplay in Seattle and CJ Prosise could take all of the passing down work if he stays healthy. Plenty of upside here if Lacy finds his form and stays healthy, but don’t take hm too early.
65 30 Jarvis Landry WR MIA 11 I never felt the love for Landry as a monster for fantasy purposes, but I really think his versatility has been lost as folks argue about his role/value. This guy is a natural playmaker and a phenomenal route runner. The Dolphins will probably regret it if they let him go. He’s a very solid WR3 for my money. I don’t think matters who is at QB. He can play with Tannehill or Moore.
66 5 Andrew Luck QB IND 11 Shoulder is a concern. Indy should stand trial for how they’ve conducted their business since they were fortunate enough to get Luck. It’s a football crime what’s gone down in Indy. Still, if he is healthy, he’s a fantasy monster. I’ll move him up when he is cleared to play or perhaps move him down if he has issues.
67 25 Ameer Abdullah RB DET 7 I understand the concerns and the risks, but some people are sleeping on Abdullah’s ceiling. I like him in the 6-8 round area as a guy who can give you RB1 production if he hits. He needs 15-20 touches a game. I think he's got at least a 50/50 chance at doing that.
68 26 Paul Perkins RB NYG 8 We never loved him and you know that if you read our rookie reports in 2015, but we didn’t hate him either. Perkins has some plus traits. Good feet and can make strong lateral cuts when he is in the flow. I think he’s better in the passing game than he gets credit for. He will be what the Giants’ offense allows him to be. If Eli and OBJ get the thing going downhill, there’s no reason that Perkins can’t go along for the ride.
69 27 Tevin Coleman RB ATL 5 He’s shown some serious ability but he’s still striving for consistency. If he continues to improve, he will earn even more playing time—some of it at Devonta Freeman’s expense. He’s too expensive to be a handcuff, but I’ll definitely be targeting him if he’s there at the right time. If he has the starting job due to a Freeman injury, his value skyrockets. He’s a good anti-fragility pick.
70 31 Jamison Crowder WR WAS 5 I like him a lot if he slips a bit and falls to me, but I’m not jumping up to take him in the 5th round as I have seen happen in some of my drafts so far. I think he has league-winning upside in full PPR leagues, but that outcome sort of relies on Jordan Reed going down.
71 28 Doug Martin RB TB 11 Martin will miss the first three games in 2017, but he should be the primary RB the rest of the way if he stays healthy. That should be good for RB2 value on most weeks with RB1 potential in better matchups.
72 6 Marcus Mariota QB TEN 8 The Titans love to run, otherwise I would be even higher on Mariota, but if they opt to feed Murray and Henry on the ground as their top priority, then Mariota could be better for real football than fantasy. Still, since they can run and since they have really upgraded the receiving corps, Mariota should be dealt and efficient when they do throw.
73 32 Willie Snead WR NO 5 I love him for the solidity, but I’m not buying the upside that a lot of folks are selling. Maybe a slight uptick in targets but efficiency could take a hit as Cooks is no longer there to draw tougher corners away from Snead. Good solid player, especially in PPR, but I don’t see him drastically outperforming his draft slot if you are taking him in round six.
74 33 Randall Cobb WR GB 8 He’s being left for dead and it’s premature. Still, he’s part of a solid foursome now that Martellus Bennett is in town. Cobb feels like a WR3 without his old upside, but things can change fast. He’s one of Rodgers favorites so you never know when a hot streak is coming.
75 34 Julian Edelman WR NE 9 Should have his share of big games, but there are so many great options at Brady’s disposal, that Edelman should lose some volume. Give him a bump in full PPR scoring.
76 29 Bilal Powell RB NYJ 11 Powell’s production the last two years is no fluke, but as a guy who knows this player really well, I have concerns about how he would hold up to a lead role. He’s always been a back that gets nicked up once you give him heavier work. I’m not reaching for him like some folks seem to be. If the Jets wake up and trade Forte, that would really change things, but for now, I’ll take him as a RB3 if he falls to me. It’s going to be tough sledding for NYJ backs this year. Teams will be daring the Jets to throw.
77 35 Eric Decker WR TEN 0 He may be a steal if he continues to be sold as the slot receiver. Decker is an every down player and I’d be blown away if a healthy Decker was just a role player. He’s the best receiver they have until proven otherwise. Decker scores touchdowns. Always has.
78 36 DeSean Jackson WR TB 11 My expectation is that D-Jax gives you about what you got in 2016. He misses games at times, but he still has a good QB and defenses cannot send extra defense at him with Mike Evans tilting the field. I’ve drafted him as my WR5 a few times already. He’s going pretty late. We’ll have to see if the price holds up.
79 30 Mike Gillislee RB NE 6 He’s rightly valued higher than the other Patriots RBs, but I think folks are seriously underestimating the other RBs in this backfield. Rotobahn had a positive review on Gillislee when he came out of Florida, so we like his skills fine, but I’m not sure when he became the next great thing. He’s being oversold right now and I think he’s a really dangerous pick if you go there earlier than round six. James White, Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis bring a lot to the table, and two of them have been in this system for multiple seasons. Tread lightly my friends. The notion that MG just gets Blount’s scores is a shaky one. White & Burkhead both bring a lot to the table in the red zone because NE loves backs who are multiple in terms of their skill set.
80 8 Eric Ebron TE DET 7 There’s reason for optimism as he enters his 4th NFL season. Ebron was a young rookie and he’s had a solid start to his career with incremental improvement in each of his first three seasons. His TDs dipped to almost nothing last season and that’s a small concern, but he’s still a primary weapon and should be a red zone weapon. I expect a return to the five touchdowns he posted n 2015 and perhaps a few more. Health is the big key with Ebron. He’s already suffered a hamstring tweak in camp so keep an eye on that.
81 9 Hunter Henry TE LAC 9 I liked him coming out last year, but I think I underestimated his ball skills. Henry was really good in the opportunities he had last year, and Antonio Gates is nearing the end. Gates could earn the nominal starter’s title to begin the year, but I’d be very surprised if he was out snapping Henry and by the time Gates has his TD record, I’m thinking he’s in a clear backup role as far as snaps and targets are concerned.
82 31 Derrick Henry RB TEN 8 Tricky player to value. I see NO WAY he overtakes a healthy Demarco Murray, so if you are jumping up to take Henry early, you are banking on a Murray injury for the move to truly pay off. Karma concerns aside, there’s a limit to how early I will employ this type of strategy. Round six is too early for me in most cases. Having said that, if he slips a bit, and I am in really good shape, I might do it. Round 8-9 is where I have done it so far—both times in best ball.
83 37 DeVante Parker WR MIA 11 Will they throw enough to support all three of their receivers on a regular basis? I’m not sure. I do expect Parker to continue improving and you never know when he might break out a bit. Losing Ryan Tannehill is not a death blow to his value.
84 38 Tyler Lockett WR SEA 6 Criminally underrated and he’s a steal right now. Yes, I am ranking him way higher than his ADP, but that doesn’t mean I am targeting him here. Lockett is a player we want to steal if we can. I think he’s a weekly starter in 12-team leagues if he reaches full health as expected.
85 7 Matt Ryan QB ATL 5 Regression? Sure, but he’s not been expensive in most of the drafts I’ve been in.
86 8 Jameis Winston QB TB 11 He’s played well in years one and two. Now he has some serious weapons around him. I like Winston as a bargain QB1 with upside to outperform his cost. Definitely one of the guys I am targeting.
87 9 Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT 9 He carries more injury risk than he used to, but I love the weapons at his disposal and he knows how to you use them at this stage of his career. I expect big numbers as long as he is healthy and has the big three at his disposal. Bell, Bryant & Brown.
88 10 Martellus Bennett TE GB 9 Played hurt most of last year and was asked to block often. He could rack up a lot of catches with Rodgers as his QB and he’s a primary red zone weapon. This is a guy who caught over 90 balls a few years back. TE is deep this year.
89 39 Pierre Garcon WR SF 11 He can still play and he knows Shanahan’s system well. Factor in that he’s pretty obviously their best receiver and you have some guaranteed target volume. It would be surprising to see Garcon as less than a WR3 in PPR leagues, but he lacks ceiling. He’s going to see a steady diet of #1 corner backs.
90 40 Jeremy Maclin WR BAL 10 Unless really bad things start coming out the Ravens camp, I assume that Maclin will be his usual self in 2017—meaning he should be the possession guy in this offense but a possession guy who can make some big plays. I’m not taking him early just to have him, but he’s yet another example of how you can wait on non-elite receivers until later on. The depth at the light WR3 level is staggering—meaning that the receivers between 30-60 on my board have less separation than ever before.
91 41 Donte Moncrief WR IND 11 Luck’s issues are his issues, so I’m shying away early, but he gets very interesting if he slips far enough … say round nine.
92 42 John Brown WR ARI 8 It’s about health. A healthy John Brown is a weekly WR3 option, but I’m drafting him more like a WR4 or WR5.
93 10 Kirk Cousins QB WAS 5 Weapons. This dude has weapons. Even if he loses Jordan Reed (pick an injury), Cousins has TONS of talented receivers. He even has Vernon to lessen the blow at tight end if anything befalls Reed. Best thing is, Cousins is cheap enough to allow for you to draft another strong option just in case.
94 32 Frank Gore RB IND 11 He’s not what he was, but it’s important to remember just how good he was, because 90 percent of the old Gore is still a solid runner. He’s really fallen off in terms of receiving numbers, but he should give you respectable RB2 numbers in deeper formats.
95 11 Zach Ertz TE PHI 10 He has breakout potential and he has a solid floor, especially in PPR leagues. The trading of Jordan Matthews could open up more looks for Ertz.
96 12 Delanie Walker TE TEN 8 The quality depth at receiver should start to cost him targets in 2017. I’m fading him a bit, but he can be your TE1 if he slips. Still viable.
97 11 Cam Newton QB CAR 11 I’m not buying most of what people are saying when it comes to Cam. First, I do not buy that he’s not going to run. I see a slight down tick in called runs for him, which makes good sense given the new influx of speed and quickness in the form of Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. As for Cam improving his feel and accuracy, I think it starts to happen this season as they push him to get the ball out quick and help him get more rhythm as a thrower. In time, he’ll be addicted to feeding his weapons because he finally has enough of them. Yes, I love the rookies. They more than make up for the loss of Ted Ginn’s explosiveness.
98 43 Mike Wallace WR BAL 10 Like him after what he’s done the last two years, but there’s some QB concern and there’s no ground game to speak of. Team will lean on the receivers more than usual. There’s also some mild concern that Wallace in the age bracket where you can lose a step during the offseason. He can be a WR3 for you if need be and he’s less expensive than that in almost all drafts. A decent value if you need him but I’m not targeting him outside of specific situations.
99 44 Tyrell Williams WR LAC 9 He’s legit, so if Mike Williams really is going to have a lost rookie season, Williams could be a legit WR3 with WR2 potential. It’s all about playing time. Not sure why this team took Williams in the first place, to be honest.
100 45 Kenny Britt WR CLE 8 He’s a high floor pick and I like him as a depth receiver in Hue Jackson’s offense. Britt should see steady targets on a weekly basis.
101 46 Marvin Jones WR DET 7 He’s a sleeper because he burned a ton of folks who bought into him with both feet in August and then went gaga after a few good games. Jones is a solid receiver who can score some touchdowns. He’s a potential bargain and he can be a starter for a team that goes with a lot of RBs early in drafts.
102 33 LeGarrette Blount RB PHI 9 He’s not a guy I am targeting because I don’t love this offense with Blount on the field. He’s the obvious goal line back, but his game works much better in NE than it will here. He’ll have a few good games, but I worry that he is less of a team guy outside of the NE system. Worth more in non-PPR, obviously.
103 34 Samaje Perine RB WAS 5 He’s my choice as the back to own in Washington, but there are other legit backs to consider when deciding how early to go after Perine, who is the rookie of the group and who has the least time in the offense. It sounds like it could be a committee for a while, but only one of their backs is good on all downs, and that back is Perine.
104 13 Jack Doyle TE IND 11 He’s a product of Andrew Luck, so stay sober here and use your head. The riskier Luck becomes the more you should fade Doyle. As for now, I anticipate Luck being ready for Week 1 or shortly thereafter.
105 35 Theo Riddick RB DET 7 In PPR, I’m interested but only in PPR. I’m not totally sold on his role if Abdullah finds his groove, but it’s also important to know that this is a player who has always had issues staying healthy. Don’t forget, this is a player who lives off of his receiving ability—coming off surgery on both of his wrists. I love this kid ever since Notre Dame, but reality says you could do well to fade him.
106 12 Dak Prescott QB DAL 6 I see no reason why he should not be as good for fantasy as he was last season, but keep an eye on Zeke’s situation, because having Zeke is big for Dak. If Das is my number one, I want a strong plan B.
107 36 Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 11 Should retain much of his role, but he’s always an injury risk and the rookie should shave off some of his upside.
108 37 Matt Forte RB NYJ 11 Way under the radar as people buy into Bilal Powell, but there’s a solid chance that this is a straight time share. Forte could be a decent value.
109 38 Danny Woodhead RB BAL 9 Worth more in full PPR.
110 39 Darren McFadden RB DAL 6 He has some ceiling for six games and he’s worth owning in all leagues, but obviously he basically evaporates when Elliott comes back. I’m also unconvinced that he is really the main guy. This backfield could be a three back committee and I have no reason to think that McFadden is the goal line back. Alf Morris makes much more sense there.
111 14 Julius Thomas TE MIA 11 Obviously a huge injury risk, but at some point his upside has to be the more important factor. I really like the idea of taking him as your early starter and then riding him for as long as he can stay healthy. Then dovetail him with a younger ascending talent like Hoopper, Njoku, Engram, Howard or Seferian-Jenkins.
112 40 Duke Johnson RB CLE 9 More PPR appeal than standard appeal, Duke is caught behind Crowell on early downs, but they like him and he’s a very good player. An injury to Crowell could make Duke a star. He’s a nice anti-fragility pick.
113 41 C.J. Prosise RB SEA 6 Lacy’s arrival is a concern for his 2017 value but Promise is still a huge talent and should be owned in all leagues. Seattle is going to throw more in 2017 and with their weak OL, they need to get the backs involved more as receivers. Prosise has David Johnson upside in the passing game. His routes are that good.
114 42 Terrance West RB BAL 10 His value will rise if they fail to add a significant RB in the coming weeks. West is better than most seem to think, but he’s not special and the Ravens are scuffling right now—with injuries everywhere on offense.
115 47 Adam Thielen WR MIN 9 There are three receivers who will get meaningful weekly reps in Minny and Thielen is one of them. I love this kid. He runs great routes and I think some folks aren’t fully aware of how big he is at six two and 200 pounds. AT is no fluke and with Diggs’ propensity to get nicked up, Thielen is a good bet to post even better numbers than he did in 2016. The opportunity should be there.
116 48 Jordan Matthews WR BUF 10 He should be the lead dog in this passing game. His competition is an old Anquan Boldin and rookie Zay Jones. Matthews is a more diverse receiver than a lot of folks give him credit for. He should play outside and inside for the Bills. All three of the Buffalo’s primary receivers are multiple and can line up wherever you ned them to. This trade is a boost to JM’s value.
117 13 Derek Carr QB OAK 10 Tough schedule, but he’s really coming on. I want to pair him with a strong second option, but I like him plenty.
118 43 Rob Kelley RB WAS 5
119 44 Rex Burkhead RB NE 6
120 45 Jonathan Williams RB BUF 6
121 46 James White RB NE 9
122 47 Kareem Hunt RB KC 10 He has upside if he can somehow steal the job from Ware. The thing is, Ware is entrenched in the KC system and will not be displaced easily. Hunt is a solid anti-fragility play, but he’s far from a lock.
123 49 Corey Davis WR TEN 8
124 48 Giovani Bernard RB CIN 6
125 14 Philip Rivers QB LAC 9
126 15 Matthew Stafford QB DET 7
127 16 Eli Manning QB NYG 8
128 50 Kenny Stills WR MIA 11
129 17 Tyrod Taylor QB BUF 6 Tyrod’s been a very solid fantasy QB since becoming a starter and he has a healthy Sammy Watkins as we speak. I love his ceiling this year if he stays healthy. Obviously he’s a smallish running QB, so if your league has a light waiver wire, you may want to go after a strong 1A to go with him.
130 51 Corey Coleman WR CLE 9 We want ceiling and Coleman has it. He also has a pretty good grip on significant playing time as long as his hamstrings cooperate. I think he’s a risky guy but I love his playmaking potential. This kid can rip the top off the defense and he can take most plays to the house.
131 52 John Ross WR CIN 6
132 53 Breshad Perriman WR BAL 10
133 54 Marqise Lee WR JAC 8
134 15 Austin Hooper TE ATL 5
135 16 CJ Fiedorowicz TE HOU 7
136 18 Andy Dalton QB CIN 6
137 19 Carson Palmer QB ARI 8
138 17 Coby Fleener TE NO 5
139 49 Jamaal Williams RB GB 8
140 50 Thomas Rawls RB SEA 6
141 18 David Njoku TE CLE 9
142 19 OJ Howard TE TB 11
143 20 Evan Engram TE NYG 8
144 51 Devontae Booker RB DEN 5 People may be sleeping n this guy. He had some rookie struggles but also some positive moments. I mean seriously, where did all this guy’s fans go? Ye of little faith. Booker could be a legit story at some point if he gets healthy. CJ Anderson is the main man, but he’s had health issues.
145 55 Josh Doctson WR WAS 5
146 20 Sam Bradford QB MIN 9
147 21 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE NYJ 11 He had my attention when he got serious this offseason, but now he is blinking green with a huge target vacuum at the center of the Jets’ offense. Not only does the loss of Quincy Enunwa open up targets—it opens up interior targets. If ASJ is even decent, he should make a fantasy impact.
148 56 Cameron Meredith WR CHI 9
149 52 Alvin Kamara RB NO 5
150 57 Kevin White WR CHI 9
151 53 Jacquizz Rodgers RB TB 0
152 54 Jerick McKinnon RB MIN 9
153 21 Jay Cutler QB MIA 11 Could be a Dolphin soon and he’s shoot up boards if that happens. Solid QB2 upside in that scheme with Miami’s weapons.
154 58 JJ Nelson WR ARI 8
155 59 Ted Ginn WR NO 5
156 60 Robby Anderson WR NYJ 11 He is unpredictable but very talented and the best bet for value among what’s left of the jets’ receiving crew in the wake of Enunwa’s season ending injury.
157 61 Rishard Matthews WR TEN 8
158 55 James Conner RB PIT 9
159 56 Darren Sproles RB PHI 10
160 62 Cole Beasley WR DAL 6
161 22 Carson Wentz QB PHI 10
162 57 DeAndre Washington RB OAK 10
163 23 Blake Bortles QB JAC 8
164 58 Chris Thompson RB WAS 5
165 1 Chiefs DEF KC 10
166 24 Joe Flacco QB BAL 10
167 63 Devin Funchess WR CAR 11
168 59 D'Ontae Foreman RB HOU 7
169 60 Tim Hightower RB SF 11
170 64 Paul Richardson WR SEA 6
171 2 Texans DEF HOU 7
172 65 Chris Hogan WR NE 9
173 22 Jermaine Gresham TE ARI 8
174 3 Broncos DEF DEN 5
175 23 Jason Witten TE DAL 6
176 24 Jesse James TE PIT 9
177 25 Charles Clay TE BUF 6
178 66 Sterling Shepard WR NYG 8 Has a sprained ankle that could affect his availability in the regular season so fade him in redraft for now.
179 67 Zay Jones WR BUF 6 He’s a damn good receiver and he has the type of skill set (outstanding technical player) that should work right away. He could be the Bills’ second receiver depending on how much Boldin has left in the tank.
180 61 Jamaal Charles RB DEN 10
181 68 Nelson Agholor WR PHI 10 He’s back on the radar. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I’ve never really given up on Agholor. He has some legitimate talent and he should be the primary slot receiver. It also would not surprise me if he competed for snaps outside with Torrey Smith, whose route work is not in the same class as Agholor’s. He’s a player to watch closely now.
182 4 Seahawks DEF SEA 6
183 62 Jeremy Hill RB CIN 6
184 5 Vikings DEF MIN 9
185 63 Alfred Morris RB DAL 6
186 69 Braxton Miller WR HOU 7 He’s going to get some attention in deeper drafts now that Will Fuller is out, but I’m not sure how much they will be willing to play him outside at this point. It’s going to be interesting. An increase in targets seems possible for Miller and the tight ends.
187 70 Curtis Samuel WR CAR 11
188 6 Cardinals DEF ARI 8
189 71 Kendall Wright WR CHI 9 Here’s a nice deep target because he has the ability to be the best receiver in Chicago this year. Wright could have a big camp and become a riser in the coming weeks. He’s definitely a guy to know about late in deep 12 team drafts.
190 25 Jared Goff QB LAR 8
191 72 Chris Conley WR KC 10 I love his long term with Mahomes now future at QB, but he’s still an Alex Smith target for now, so trans him accordingly. Conley is a player to keep tabs on but if he ever takes off, I think it’ll be in 2018 or late this season.
192 26 Cameron Brate TE TB 11
193 73 Phillip Dorsett WR IND 11 I’m still a believer in this kid’s talent, but we need to determine if he’s the third receiver and we need to determine Luck’s stays before we decide how and where to target Dorsett. He’s still on my radar for sure.
194 27 Antonio Gates TE LAC 9
195 28 Dwayne Allen TE NE 11
196 64 Latavius Murray RB MIN 9
197 65 Joe Williams RB SF 11
198 74 Cooper Kupp WR LAR 8 He’s a polarizing rookie from a small school and with questionable measurables. That said, Kupp can play and he’s a demon after the catch. I like him as a sleeper because there are loads of targets up for grabs in LA.
199 75 Robert Woods WR LAR 6
200 7 Giants DEF NYG 8