fantasy football way too early rankings 2016

By Chad Stapley

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Fantasy Football Way Too Early Rankings 2016




Blake Bortles, Ryan Tannehill, and Marcus Mariota are three QBs that should have significant jumps in fantasy value. Bortles showed steady progressions in year two and the Jaguars seem to be going all in to make them a win now football team. Bortles has his top three WRs returning and they made some solid moves in free agency to add depth to their roster. Mariota entering his second season is due to make strides. When he was healthy last season you saw flashes of elite talent in his play which should only improve if the Titans draft and offensive linemen to block for him. Finally, matching Tannehill with Adam Gase is a match made in heaven. Gase got the best out of Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler well past their prime. Enter Tannehill who is just entering his prime and has oodles of talent to go with plenty of talent on the roster. Tannehill could be a top 10 QB this season.


Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger are two QBs that could have a steep drop in production this season and maybe you want to shy away from having them be your starting QB for your fantasy football team. Luck is dealing with a below average offensive line, and old starting RB, and just decent WRs. Roethlisberger lost his #2 WR for the season due to suspension and he is very injury prone.

Rookie Watch:

Carson Wentz and Jared Goff look to be the only QBs that should be drafted in the 1st round, however a team at the bottom of the first round could get desperate and reach for a QB who should be drafted in the later rounds. Wentz has more fantasy potential as he can beat you with his arm and his legs however Goff could get drafted into a system offensively that suits his style of play perfectly and flourish right away. Paxton Lynch, Dak Prescott, & Cardale Jones all have the potential to make some noise in their rookie season if they get called on early to play.


Running Backs


Three RBs that have new homes and could see a significant jump in their fantasy football value this season are Matt Forte, Lamar Miller, & DeMarco Murray. Forte is now with the Jets and should be their #1 RB by no later than week 3 if not sooner. Forte takes over for the departed Chris Ivory and he should be an even better version of what Ivory was able to accomplish last season. Miller joins the Texans who have desperately needed a dependable lead RB for years, enter Miller who has been dying to get the ball 20-25 times a game and prove how talented he truly is. Miller could enter top five RB status if he stays injury free, the Texans are going to give him the ball often and early. Finally, Murray just two seasons removed from being the leading rusher in the NFL is now playing with the Titans. The Titans have a young QB who needs a good RB like Murray to relieve some pressure off Mariota. Murray should regain form and return to being one of the better RBs in the league this season.


Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, and Todd Gurley are all RBs that could see a steep drop in their fantasy football production. Bell and Charles are coming off of injuries and they have young RBs behind them eager to earn their keep and getting playing time. Bell is the best RB in the NFL when he is completely healthy but that might not be until several weeks into the regular season. Charles is injury prone and has two able RBs sitting behind him that more than succeeded in playing for him when he got injured. Gurley is the wild card, the Rams moved to LA and are going with a guy who was cut by the Texans in Case Keenum as their starter at QB. Gurley is entering year two and NFL teams have now watched game tape and should be better prepared to game plan for him. Add that to the fact that they have a nobody starting at QB and he is in for a long sophomore season.


Rookie Watch:

This should be a two horse show with Ezekiel Elliott and Derick Henry battle for who truly is the better RB of the two. A RB needy team in the mid-late first round shouldn’t hesitate to draft either of these guys as they are franchise players in their own way. Elliot offers to flash and speed to make people think WOW every time he touches the ball and Henry will run over and through anyone and everyone that stands in his way.


Wide Receivers:


Jordan Matthews could be in for a career year entering this season with a new coach and new offensive game plan. Eric Pederson did wonders for the fantasy football value of Jeremy Maclin last year in Kansas City and you could easily see the same happening for Matthews this season as he is the clear cut #1 WR on the Eagles roster. Dorial Green-Beckham is another youngster to keep an eye on as he seemed to hit his stride late last season. He has the size, tools, and talent to be a true #1 WR for Mariota and the Titans if he can continue to put it all together on the field. Last year Willie Snead came out of nowhere to quietly be the Saints second best WR as a rookie. In the pass happy Saints offense with Drew Brees leading the way look for Snead to continue to flourish in his role on offense and increase his TD total from last year.



Brandon Marshall should see his production drop for a few reasons, none bigger than the fact that they really don’t know who will be throwing him the ball next season. The Jets also added Matt Forte and Khiry Robinson in free agency which points to the trend of them running the ball more than they throw. Marshall is also getting older and the Jets have tremendous uncertainty at QB. Randall Cobb could be in for another down year given the fact that he didn’t really produce when he was needed the most for the Packers, when Jordy Nelson went down with injury. Nelson is coming back and the Packers have some young guys with talent on the roster like Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery that are eager for more touches. Cobb didn’t even lead the team in yards or TDs last year, the old man James Jones beat him in both categories.


Rookie Watch:

Corey Coleman and Will Fuller are both guys who have a ton of upside when it comes to WRs in this draft as they are both fast and have pretty decent hands. Both guys ran under a 4.5 40-Yard dash and they both excelled at big time football programs in Baylor and Notre Dame respectively.


Tight Ends:


Richard Rodgers seemed to get better as each game went on last season and was Aaron Rodgers safety valve constantly. Rogers caught eight TDs for over 500 yards in his second season in the pass happy Packer offense, look for him to increase his yard total and be a more consistent threat on offense. Another youngster to keep an eye on is Will Tye the TE for the Giants. In his rookie season where he only played in parts of 13 games, Tye caught three TDs and had 464 yards receiving. He has all the tools and talent to continue his rise amongst the best TEs in the league and he has Eli Manning throwing to him which doesn’t hurt.



Tyler Eifert could see a drop in his fantasy football production purely based on all the targets the Bengals lost on offense in general due to free agency. The Bengals lost two of their top five pass catchers which is going to lead to more eyes being on Eifert and AJ Green this season. Eifert will still get his catches but he won’t be running as freely across the field as he will be drawing a lot more attention now. There is no way Gary Barnidge has another season like he did in 2015 when he caught nine TDs for over 1,000 yards, especially when in his entire eight year career he only has 12 TDs total. Barnidge is a decent TE who was mainly known as a blocking TE until last season, look for his production to take a steep step back. The Browns still have uncertainty at QB, they lost a ton in free agency, and they don’t have anyone to throw the ball to.


Rookie Watch:

Hunter Henry is head and foot above everyone in the rookie TE class and could come in right away and be an instant fantasy football stud. Henry was underutilized as a pass catcher in college but he possesses the size and strength to exceed in the NFL. Austin Hooper out of Stanford is another guy to keep an eye on as he might break on to the scene early as a rookie. Hooper is a bit undersized for a TE in the NFL but he has tremendous ball skills and competes for every catch. Hooper could thrive in a pass heavy offense that utilizes multiple TEs.


Fantasy Football Way Too Early Rankings 2016


    RK        ADP        QUARTERBACKS   
    1        5:06        Newton, Cam (CAR)   
    2        6:03        Luck, Andrew (IND)   
    3        6:06        Rodgers, Aaron (GNB)   
    4        7:07        Wilson, Russell (SEA)   
    5        8:05        Roethlisberger, Ben (PIT)   
    6        8:09        Brady, Tom (NWE)   
    7        9:10        Brees, Drew (NOR)   
    8        10:01        Bortles, Blake (JAC)   
    9        10:09        Palmer, Carson (ARI)   
    10        11:05        Winston, Jameis (TB)   
    11        11:08        Carr, Derek (OAK)   
    12        11:10        Mariota, Marcus (TEN)   
    13        11:10        Rivers, Philip (SDG)   
    14        12:07        Manning, Eli (NYG)   
    15        12:08        Dalton, Andy (CIN)   
    16        13:06        Cousins, Kirk (WAS)   
    17        13:06        Romo, Tony (DAL)   
    18        13:07        Ryan, Matt (ATL)   
    19        13:10        Taylor, Tyrod (BUF)   
    20        13:11        Stafford, Matthew (DET)   
    21        14:01        Tannehill, Ryan (MIA)   
    22        16:01        Flacco, Joe (BAL)   
    23        16:02        Cutler, Jay (CHI)   
    24        16:03        Smith, Alex (KAN)   
    25        16:05        Fitzpatrick, Ryan (NYJ)   
    26        17:03        Bridgewater, Teddy (MIN)   
    27        17:08        Osweiler, Brock (HOU)   
    28        18:02        Bradford, Sam (PHI)   
    29        18:06        Kaepernick, Colin (SFO)   
    30        19:08        Griffin III, Robert (CLE)   
    31        19:09        Wentz, Carson (FA)   




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