The players within this publication aren’t contingent on Average Draft Position (ADP) necessarily, but rather on my opinion and personal perception. Some of the following names are based solely on talent; while others are based on the nature of attrition, recent reports and performance. And then there are a handful that I’ve decided to include based on a gut feeling. It’s often frowned upon playing (drafting) fantasy football with your heart as opposed to your mind, but, we are human. Here goes!
Arizona Cardinals – WR Michael Floyd – There are a lot of mouths to feed in Arizona but I think it’s time for the real Michael Floyd breakout; not the “lite” version in (2013).
Atlanta Falcons – RB Tevin Coleman – Make no mistake Devonta Freeman is the lead back in Atlanta; but the Falcons’ coaching staff understands that Coleman offers a different element to the offense. Home-run speed. Freeman is more complete but Coleman will be heavily involved and may end up carrying the load by season’s end.
Baltimore Ravens – RB Kenneth Dixon – Terrance West has grabbed headlines and appears to have the inside track to goal line touches. That being said I am targeting RB Kenneth Dixon in dynasty and keeper leagues as I don’t foresee much fantasy production from the Ravens in 2016.
Buffalo Bills – RB Mike Gillislee – Prior to Karlos Williams’ release and considering that the former FSU running back was overweight, had off-field concerns and was facing a four-game suspension I had a sneaking suspicion that Gillislee would be the tailback that would be tapped first to spell LeSean McCoy and handcuff the Bills’ featured back. Sticking to my guns even with Reggie Bush and Jonathan Williams on the roster assuming he gets cleared from his concussion.
Carolina Panthers – WR Devin Funchess – He came on late last season and is climbing the depth chart. His confidence is growing. His quarterback’s confidence in him is growing. I’m thinking Benjamin type numbers from his rookie season for Funchess in 2016 is a distinct possibility.
Chicago Bears – RB Jeremy Langford – The hype train has slowed down throughout the offseason but I am an admitted Langford fan and even though HC John Fox is notorious for deploying a running back by committee approach he has indicated that Langford has separated himself from the pack. This comes as no surprise to me, he’s the best running back on the Bears roster and it’s not close.
Cincinnati Bengals – WR Tyler Boyd – Arguably the most polished wideout from the 2016 rookie class (Sterling Shepard) what he “lacks” in athleticism he makes up for in terms of being a really good football player. Pigeonholed as a slot receiver… Brandon LaFell is hurt and I expected him to lose snaps to Boyd anyway due to inconsistency. I think Boyd enters the starting lineup sooner rather than later and has an Allen Hurns (2015) type campaign upside with a few less TDs.
Cleveland Browns – RB Duke Johnson – I believe he has a similar skill-set to Gio Bernard and Devonta Freeman but with more “Big Play” upside and he’s available later in your draft.
Dallas Cowboys – RB Alfred Morris – I probably won’t pull the trigger on Ezekiel Elliott but if anything were to happen to him Alfred Morris would be a “MUST OWN” player in all Fantasy Football leagues rather than Darren McFadden.
Denver Broncos – WR Demariyus Thomas – The hate has gone a bit too far. Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler weren’t good last season and Thomas still managed 105/1304/6. I don’t expect the TD total to rise but 90-100 receptions and 1150-1250 yards is certainly within reason.
Detroit Lions – WR Marvin Jones – I could have went with Ebron here but I have a sneaking suspicion Jones is the Matthew Stafford weapon to own in Detroit, not Golden Tate and Jones can be had several rounds later.
Green Bay Packers – TE Richard Rodgers – Did you know Rodgers caught eight touchdowns last season? The return of Jordy Nelson will open up the field even more for Rodgers and Jared Cook poses no threat to his playing time. Rodgers reportedly is in better shape heading into 2016 as well which should help him improve upon his 8.8 yards per reception average.
Houston Texans – RB Lamar Miller – I lied. Everyone loves Lamar Miller… except for Headley.
Indianapolis Colts – WR Phillip Dorsett – He could be the Colts version of Arizona’s John Brown.
Jacksonville Jaguars – WR Allen Robinson – He pulled a “NUK” last season. The talent is real.
Kansas City Chiefs – WR Jeremy Maclin – Don’t make the same mistake you did last year and avoid Maclin. He managed 87/1088/8 with Alex Smith at the helm.
Miami Dolphins – WR Jakeem Grant – With Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Leonte Carroo all ahead of the diminutive Grant on the depth chart he holds virtually zero fantasy value in 2016…but I recommend stashing him in your dynasty/keeper leagues as a long term flier.
Minnesota Vikings – QB Teddy Bridgewater – Show them Teddy! The counting stats are coming (Most pressured QB in 2015; highest adjusted completion percentage; ranked 13th among all QBs — according to Pro Football Focus). The supporting cast has gotten better and Bridgewater is throwing the deep ball better.
New England Patriots – RB LeGarrette Blount – With Dion Lewis’ injury history and Tom Brady to miss a month LeGarrette Blount will be in-line for a ton of carries early on. He will inevitably fall off but ride him early and trade him before his value completely diminishes.
New Orleans Saints – RB Mark Ingram – No 1,000 yard seasons to his credit, only played 16 games in 1 of 5 seasons, and no double digit touchdown seasons. However, I am encouraged by his work ethic and development as a ball-carrier and receiver out of the backfield. Ingram had 50 receptions in 12 games last year. Still hoping HC Sean Payton realizes what type of player he has at his disposal.
New York Giants – WR Sterling Shepard – My pick for Rookie of the Year.
New York Jets – WR Eric Decker – Over the last five seasons Decker has averaged just under 10 TDs a year. He’s like Jeremy Maclin lite from a fantasy perspective.
Oakland Raiders – TE Clive Walford – Flashed as a rookie, set to make the 2nd year leap. An non-football related injury has tempered expectations for Walford but he may very well be the missing link to the Raiders offense.
Philadelphia Eagles – RB Ryan Mathews – He’s a 2-down back that’s always injured…that’s why YOU don’t like him. However, he has been effective when healthy averaging 4.5 yards per carry during his career. He’s a solid spot starter with RB2 upside.
Pittsburgh Steelers – RB Le’Veon Bell – Juice recognize Juice.
St. Louis Rams – TE Tyler Higbee – I debated Higbee and Pharoh Cooper but settled on Higbee because of the mismatches he will create despite being a rookie tight end.
San Diego Chargers – RB Melvin Gordon – “Disaster” is the word most commonly used to describe Gordon’s rookie year. Gordon struggled as a rookie which is not uncommon. The game will slow down in year two and he will earn more snaps on passing downs. He will be the exception to Ron Dayne and Montee Ball.
San Francisco 49ers – RB Carlos Hyde – See Ryan Mathews.
Seattle Seahawks – RB Christine Michael – It seems like Christine Michael has been generating fantasy buzz for years never once earning the opportunity to really showcase his talents. Routinely in the coach’s dog house, bounced from Seattle-to-Dallas-to-Seattle but apparently the proverbial light bulb has gone off and on the strength of his performance this offseason/preseason he appears to have carved out a weekly role in the Seahawks’ game plan. Thomas Rawls isn’t 100% and Michael has a leg up on rookies C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins. He’s always had the physical tools; it now appears he has the coach’s trust.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – TE Cameron Brate – Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a disappointment and Brate and Jameis Winston have developed quite the rapport.
Tennessee Titans – WR Tajae Sharpe – The UMass product is the reason why Dorial Green-Beckham is no longer in town.
Washington Redskins – RB Matt Jones – He has a great opportunity and talent; if, IF, he’s healthy he could have a special season.