The last-minute 2016 fantasy football draft strategy cheat sheet
If you’re cramming last-minute for a fantasy football draft, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find the latest rankings, auction values, player notes, guys on the rise (video above), guys to buy, guys to sell, draft strategy podcasts, and more!
Trade Impact: Sam Bradford to the Vikings
No. 1 – Antonio Brown (WR) – more receptions, targets and receiving yards in EACH of the past three seasons. The Steelers receiver has averaged 125 receptions, 181 targets and 1,677 yards with 10-11 touchdowns per season over the same stretch.
No. 2 – Julio Jones (WR) – despite Devonta Freeman’s 97 targets and 73 receptions cutting into his potential workload, Jones ranked first in receiving (1,871) and targets (204) last season. Dating back to the 2000 season, only one other receiver finished with more than 1,871 yards – Calvin Johnson.
No. 3 – Todd Gurley (RB) – with fears caused by ACL rehab and timetable of regular season return, the Rams’ rookie running backs’ 2015 ADP settled at 51st overall / 5th round. Since 2007, only two other rookie running backs have averaged better than Gurley’s 85.1 YPG – Alfred Morris and Doug Martin (2012). With rookie quarterback Jared Goff the likely starting quarterback, Gurley is in a great position to produce more yards and touchdowns for owners following his 13-game freshman season.
No. 4 – Odell Beckham Jr. (WR) – It was nearly impossible for ODB to trump his 12-game rookie campaign. Why? Well, only one other receiver posted better numbers in a 12-game season. The Rams’ Elroy Hirsch finished with 1,495 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in a dozen games back in 1951 – his sixth professional season. Beckham is still in a position to average 90+ receiving yards per game and finish the season with 10+ touchdowns.
No. 5 – David Johnson (RB) – Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians isn’t the type of guy to swoon over rookie talent. So, it wasn’t a shock that D.J.’s rookie breakout came down the stretch. Plus, the Cardinals were enjoying above-average production out of Chris Johnson. Over his last five regular season games, D.J. averaged 21 touches 88 rushing and 43 receiving yards per game with five touchdowns. If he averaged 88 rush yards per game for the season, he’d rank RB3.
Click to continue reading our Top 100 fantasy football player notes.
Eli Manning will be a top-five fantasy QB.
Manning was fantasy’s No. 7 quarterback last season, but he’s being drafted 10th, behind the suspended Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Blake Bortles. Manning was fourth in the league in attempts with 618, is on a team that ranked second in pace of play in 2015, and gets an interesting new weapon in rookie wideout Sterling Shepard. If he’s your fantasy starter, you’ll be just fine. Getting to the top five would likely require an age-related decline from Drew Brees and maybe a Ben Roethlisberger injury (which isn’t uncommon).
Jameis Winston will be a top-10 fantasy QB.
Winston probably won’t run for six touchdowns again, but that shouldn’t scare you off. Head coach Dirk Koetter – who was promoted from offensive coordinator to maintain continuity for Winston – said during that offseason that the Bucs would "test the boundaries" with their second-year QB, giving him more responsibility. That should equal more chances to throw, especially downfield.
Winston dropped about 20 pounds during the offseason, impressing the staff with his work ethic. Also, remember that he improved during the second half of last season, averaging 36 pass attempts per game for 268 yards, and throwing 12 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He’ll be better – maybe a lot better. As the 17th fantasy quarterback off the board, Winston could be a significant bargain.
Click to continue reading our Ten Bold Fantasy Football Predictions.
1. …look at the injury list. It’s unfortunate, but players do get hurt in preseason games and you need to be aware of it. Don’t be the guy who takes Stevie Johnson or spends a high pick on Dion Lewis.
2. …observe the early matchups and bye weeks. I’m not saying to avoid multiple running backs on the same bye, but make sure if you have multiple quarterbacks, kickers or defenses (especially in deeper leagues), that the bye weeks are different.
Click to continue reading our Fantasy Football Draft Do’s and Dont’s.
DeSean Jackson, WR, WAS (ADP: 7.11, WR38)
I’ll type it out in big bold letters: CONTRACT YEAR. Jackson is motivated, fully healthy and playing for a new deal, which could lead to a career-year. Over his last 16 games, the 29-year-old burner has put up a 60-1169-7 line and is helped by all the attention tight end Jordan Reed will get over the middle. Jackson has little competition on the outside for targets and a history of racking up big yardage, as he’s registered at least 900 receiving yards in every single season (6 total) he’s played more than 12 games.
Jackson is usually a better pick in standard leagues than PPR, but he’s incredibly undervalued in both. With Kirk Cousins blowing up late last year, everything is trending the right way for Jackson to be a legitimate WR2 in fantasy once again.
Ryan Mathews, RB, PHI (ADP: 6.1, RB25)
Listen, I know. I’ve been burned by him too. At least now you’re getting him at a discounted rate because of the injury history. Instead of burning a first or second round pick on him, you can nab him as late as the sixth round.
The juice is worth the squeeze at that point, as there’s no question that Mathews is incredibly talented. In two of the last three seasons, he’s led the league in fantasy points per snap at the running back position, according to Pro Football Focus. With DeMarco Murray gone and a head coach more focused on running the ball taking over, Mathews is going to get plenty of work, so long as he can stay upright.
He’s a risk, but so are all running backs. Given his upside, role and draft day price, Mathews should absolutely be a target if you’re going with the "Zero RB" strategy.
Click to continue reading Foster’s Five to Buy and Sell.
John Halpin and D.J. Foster discussed Tony Romo‘s injury and its fantasy impact on the August 30 edition of the FOX Fantasy Podcast. Both Halpin and Foster think Romo’s absence will hurt Dez Bryant, but they’re still very high on rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott.
Check out our FOX Sports Fantasy Podcast Archive
- Alfred Morris
- Antonio Brown
- Arizona Cardinals
- Ben Roethlisberger
- Blake Bortles
- Carson Palmer
- Devonta Freeman
- Dez Bryant
- Dion Lewis
- Doug Martin
- Eli Manning
- Ezekiel Elliott
- Fantasy Football
- Jameis Winston
- Jared Goff
- Julio Jones
- Odell Beckham
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Sterling Shepard
- Stevie Johnson
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tony Romo