Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are wrapping up, and NFL minicamps will soon be in full swing. We are in an information-gathering stage of the offseason, trying to determine how coaching staffs envision players and their roles before training camp.
In addition to keeping tabs on re-draft Average Draft Positions (ADPs), I’ve participated in nearly 50 MFL10 best-ball drafts since the offseason began, and feel like I have a good handle on how the community as well as common drafters are valuing players for the 2015 season. Below are rough preliminary rankings with training camp about a month and a half away. If you’re interested in more extensive player writeups, check out my Pre-Draft Top 150 at this link. Some of the information is outdated — it was written before the draft — but there are a lot of useful numbers and observations in those Top 150 writeups.
1. Le’Veon Bell — Ban may still be reduced on appeal. My 1.01 regardless.
2. Eddie Lacy — Touchdown-scoring machine in the NFC’s best offense.
3. Rob Gronkowski — The most dominant skill-position player in football.
4. Adrian Peterson — Will benefit from best Vikings offense since Favre.
5. Marshawn Lynch — Including playoffs, has played in 66 straight games.
6. Jamaal Charles — Looked out of gas late in 2014. Cuff with Knile Davis.
7. DeMarco Murray — Usage will drop, but still safe bet for RB1 numbers.
8. Julio Jones — Will ball hog as Kyle Shanahan‘s featured “X” receiver.
9. Dez Bryant — Passing-game volume will increase in Dallas this season.
10. Antonio Brown — Has caught at least five balls in 33 straight games.
11. Demaryius Thomas — Increased TD upside with Julius Thomas gone.
12. Arian Foster — The overall RB3 in fantasy points per game last year.
13. Odell Beckham — Already a top-five WR pick after only 12 NFL games.
14. Calvin Johnson — 98-1,458-12 pace in the second half of last season.
15. C.J. Anderson — NFL-rushing title upside if he keeps job. (He should.)
16. Matt Forte — Loss of Trestman & sharp YPC dip are causes for concern.
17. Jeremy Hill — Will lose work to Gio, but TD ceiling as high as anyone’s.
18. A.J. Green — Recency bias has rendered Green a likely 2015 value pick.
19. Randall Cobb — He’s still only 24 years old. High-floor 2nd-round pick.
20. Jordy Nelson — Coming off hip surgery at age 30. Monitor his health.
21. LeSean McCoy — Usage locked in, but effectiveness & situation flags.
22. Andrew Luck — Another huge year coming with best weapons in NFL.
23. Alshon Jeffery — The Bears’ 1A receiver with Brandon Marshall gone.
24. Justin Forsett — Even if rushing stats regress, receptions should spike.
25. Mark Ingram — The new centerpiece of New Orleans’ revised offense.
26. Frank Gore — Will see big upticks in catches & scoring chances on Colts.
27. Mike Evans — Big upgrades at QB and OC in Tampa Bay this offseason.
28. Melvin Gordon — Instant feature RB in good offense with improved OL.
29. T.Y. Hilton — Many mouths to feed, but the Luck-T.Y. bond is bankable.
30. DeAndre Hopkins — Projects as a target monster post-Andre Johnson.
31. Jimmy Graham — Volume will dip in Seattle. Still good bet for 10+ TDs.
32. Aaron Rodgers — Has been a top-2 fantasy QB in 6 of the last 7 seasons.
33. Jordan Matthews — Favorite to lead Chip Kelly‘s offense in receiving.
34. Andre Johnson — Can’t underestimate The Luck Effect. WR1 upside.
35. Brandin Cooks — 100-catch candidate as Saints new No. 1 receiver.
36. Lamar Miller — Highly-quality runner underrated by his own team.
37. Jonathan Stewart — Major workhorse potential *if he stays healthy.*
38. Brandon Marshall — Should catch a ton of balls in Chan Gailey‘s spread.
39. Kelvin Benjamin — Great value last year. Slightly overvalued this year.
40. Alfred Morris — Not sexy, but always safe bet for top-15 RB production.
41. T.J. Yeldon — Will be Jags 3-down back, but low TD ceiling in bad offense.
42. C.J. Spiller — Pierre Thomas/Travaris Cadet combined for 83 catches in ’14.
43. Travis Kelce — Could give Graham a run to be fantasy’s No. 2 tight end.
44. Golden Tate — His 2014 production took a big hit with Calvin in lineup.
45. Emmanuel Sanders — Expects his own stats to dip in ball-control offense.
46. Russell Wilson — Last year’s No. 3 fantasy passer added Jimmy Graham.
47. LeGarrette Blount — Stars have aligned for Blount to be a premium value.
48. Latavius Murray — Scary raw & unproven, but opportunity at heavy usage.
49. Carlos Hyde — Limited two-down back on potential dumpster-fire team.
50. Ameer Abdullah — Should emerge as Lions lead RB before midseason.
51. Andre Ellington — David Johnson is a threat to his receiving workload.
52. DeSean Jackson — WR2 fantasy pick with weekly WR1 scoring upside.
53. Allen Robinson — Sneaky bet to finish top-ten in NFL in targets this year.
54. Jeremy Maclin — From WR1 in Philly to low-ceiling WR2 with Alex Smith.
55. Julian Edelman — Good bet for 85-90 catches, but Brady suspension hurts.
56. Joseph Randle — Early favorite to open season as Cowboys lead runner.
57. Tevin Coleman — OROY sleeper in Kyle Shanahan‘s RB-friendly offense.
58. Sammy Watkins — Rough situation, but should still flirt with WR2 stats.
59. Jarvis Landry — Will vacuum targets, especially after DeVante Parker injury.
60. Todd Gurley — Coming off torn ACL in one of NFL’s most-putrid offenses.
61. Peyton Manning — Top-6 fantasy QB in each of his last 15 healthy seasons.
62. Keenan Allen — Addition of Stevie Johnson could eat into Allen’s targets.
63. Greg Olsen — Devin Funchess more likely to hurt Olsen than Benjamin.
64. Rashad Jennings — Still the Giants best all-around running back at age 30.
65. Isaiah Crowell — Favorite for early-down carries in league-worst offense.
66. Nelson Agholor — Replacing Jeremy Maclin, who saw 143 targets in ’14.
67. Amari Cooper — The immediate centerpiece of Oakland’s passing game.
68. Vincent Jackson — Good bet to bounce back to stable WR2/3 production.
69. Martavis Bryant — Including playoffs, had 9 TDs in 11 games as rookie.
70. Giovani Bernard — Figures to handle 7-12 touches per game behind Hill.
71. Tre Mason — Could be very useful if Todd Gurley lands on reserve/PUP.
72. Anquan Boldin — Annually underrated WR3/4 pick who scores like a WR2.
73. Martellus Bennett — Regression likely after leading all TEs in ’14 catches.
74. Steve Smith Sr. — Like his chances at an 80+ catch season with Trestman.
75. Brandon LaFell — Should hover around last year’s numbers (74-953-7).
76. Breshad Perriman — Arguably more upside than any rookie wide receiver.
77. Eric Decker — WR3/4 pick who should deliver fair share of WR2 weeks.
78. Ben Roethlisberger — Steelers will field one of NFL’s best offenses in ’15.
79. Roddy White — 34 in November, but likely to remain steady WR3 in PPR.
80. Charles Johnson — Will play the Irvin/V-Jax role in Norv Turner‘s offense.
81. Mike Wallace — Norv’s vertical stretcher a la Alvin Harper/Malcom Floyd.
82. Kevin White — Lots of mouths in Chicago; Jeffery, Martellus, Forte.
83. Torrey Smith — 49ers beat writers think he may struggle to hit 750 yards.
84. Antonio Gates — Still as good a bet as any TE for a weekly red-zone score.
85. Zach Ertz — This year’s top breakout TE candidate.
86. Jordan Cameron — Still offers top-five TE ability.
87. Chris Ivory — Favorite for Jets lead back duties.
88. Reggie Bush — Could play more snaps than Hyde.
89. Ryan Mathews — Flex option behind Murray. RB1 if Murray goes down.
90. Shane Vereen — Lots of hype at spring workouts, but he’s a role player.
91. Joique Bell — Carries every red flag in the book. Let someone else draft.
92. John Brown — Playmaker. Sneaky bet to lead Cardinals in 2015 receiving.
93. Kendall Wright — Wright wins in the areas Marcus Mariota throws it best.
94. Pierre Garcon — Redskins making concerted effort to get him more balls.
95. Larry Fitzgerald — Higher floor than Brown & Floyd. Not as much ceiling.
96. Julius Thomas — May struggle for top-10 tight end stats in Jacksonville.
97. Brian Quick — Rams best receiver. Coming off major shoulder surgery.
98. Michael Floyd — No reason to think his high-volatility role will change.
99. Doug Martin — Still the Bucs’ top pure runner, but RBBC seems likely.
100. David Johnson — A bigger, faster 1B back to Andre Ellington‘s 1A.
101. Jason Witten — Likely regression from DAL run game will help him.
102. Tom Brady — Moves up if his four-game suspension gets reduced.
103. Eli Manning — Offers 35+ TD potential in Year Two of Ben McAdoo.
104. Philip Rivers — 30+ TD passes in back-to-back years w/ Mike McCoy.
105. Matt Ryan — In 7 NFL seasons, has never finished higher than QB7.
106. Cam Newton — Volatile fantasy QB1 not for the faint of heart.
107. Ryan Tannehill — Quality fantasy QB1 with a questionable ceiling.
108. Tony Romo — Pass attempts will increase, but is that a good thing?
109. Danny Woodhead — Will play big pass-game role behind M. Gordon.
110. Charles Sims — The likely pass-game specialist in Tampa’s backfield.
111. Roy Helu — Third-down back floor with sneaky lead back ceiling.
112. Bishop Sankey — Likely RBBC member in one of NFL’s worst offenses.
113. David Cobb — Better inside runner than Sankey, but mediocre talent.
114. Devonta Freeman — Role-player type competing with Tevin Coleman.
115. Drew Brees — Aging, volume-dependent QB set to lose lots of volume.
116. Matthew Stafford — Fringe QB1. The QB11, QB7, QB16 last three years.
117. Rueben Randle — Went 71-938-3 in ’14. Benefits if Cruz can’t rebound.
118. Marques Colston — High-floor, but low-ceiling WR3/4 type at age 32.
119. Kenny Stills — Usage in question, but upside is there for a WR4 pick.
120. Terrance Williams — Will see uptick in targets as run game falls off.
121. Knile Davis — One of the top running back handcuffs in fantasy football.
122. Jerick McKinnon — Handcuff for AP, who is 30 and barely played in ’14.
123. Montee Ball — Handcuff for C.J. Anderson with outside chance to start.
124. Buck Allen — Handcuff for Justin Forsett, who turns 30 in October.
125. Duke Johnson — All-purpose playmaker who will push Isaiah Crowell.
126. Darren McFadden — Expected to be part of Cowboys RB committee.
127. Davante Adams — Gets huge bump in value if Jordy or Cobb goes down.
128. Dwayne Bowe — 60-catch floor on Browns team devoid of WR talent.
129. Stevie Johnson — Replaces Eddie Royal, who saw 91 targets last year.
130. Marvin Jones — An injury-ruined year removed from 10-TD season.
131. Dwayne Allen — “TD-dependent” low-end TE1 in prolific offense.
132. Sam Bradford — Early reports grim, but still favorite to be Eagles QB.
133. Jay Cutler — Weapons as strong as ever, but job security a concern.
134. Joe Flacco — Top weapons are rookie TE & WR, 36yo Steve Smith Sr.
135. Colin Kaepernick — Fine QB2. Badly needs Vernon Davis bounce back.
136. Heath Miller — Low-cost investment into one of NFL’s top offenses.
137. Delanie Walker — Walker & K. Wright should be Mariota’s top targets.
138. Kyle Rudolph — Perennial disappointment with lots of opportunity.
139. Owen Daniels — Peyton’s TEs eat, but Daniels is going on age 33.
140. Charles Clay — Bills are paying Clay more money than Gronk.
141. Larry Donnell — Became a 2014 fantasy liability when OBJ emerged.
142. Jameis Winston — Soft schedule + great weapons. My 2015 OROY pick.
143. Andy Dalton — Underrated LRQB target in underrated Cincy offense.
144. Carson Palmer — Going on 36 and coming off 2nd career ACL tear.
145. Austin Seferian-Jenkins — I think he’s a year away from a breakout.
146. Josh Hill — Upside TE2 pick. Beat writers have expressed caution.
147. Teddy Bridgewater — Rich man’s Andy Dalton on likely run-first team.
148. Alex Smith — No real week-to-week ceiling, but still a steady QB2.
149. DeVante Parker — Setback with foot has dramatically lowed his cost.
150. Vernon Davis — Lots of “washed-up” symptoms. Turned 31 in January.
Also Considered: Robert Griffin III, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Geno Smith, Blake Bortles; Khiry Robinson, Stevan Ridley, Andre Williams, DeAngelo Williams, Darren Sproles, Denard Robinson, Jay Ajayi, Theo Riddick, Terrance West; Dorial Green-Beckham, Doug Baldwin, Eddie Royal, Malcom Floyd, Michael Crabtree, Devin Funchess, Marqise Lee, Percy Harvin, Victor Cruz, Cecil Shorts, Markus Wheaton, Kenny Britt, Donte Moncrief, Nick Toon, Stedman Bailey, Cole Beasley, Cody Latimer; Eric Ebron, Coby Fleener, Jace Amaro, Tyler Eifert, Jared Cook, Mychal Rivera, Jordan Reed, Rob Housler, Maxx Williams, Niles Paul.
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