These rankings are rooted in opportunity-driven statistical projections, adjusted for Average Draft Position (ADP), tweaked for feel, and submitted as a rough draft. It is mid-May, after all, and we are just now getting our magazine started.
I want to extend beyond-big congratulations to Rich Hribar for earning a full-time writing gig at Rotoworld. In-season diehards know Reebs for his Worksheet. He is the first-ever Rotoworld Football employee to not have to pay his dues as a player news blurber before getting the full-time gig. He is that friggin’ good, and everyone who has ever consumed his information knows it. It makes me feel proud that we hired him. Follow Rich on Twitter @LordReebs.
It should be noted that these rankings are for PPR. ESPN recently adjusted their standardized leagues to points-per-reception scoring, and most everyone drafting at this time of year is playing in a PPR league.
1. Le’Veon Bell (RB1) – Scored 18+ PPR points in 11/12 games. Martavis Bryant’s return helps.
2. David Johnson (RB2) – Scored 17+ PPR points in all but one game from Weeks 1-16 last year.
3. Antonio Brown (WR1) – Has averaged almost eight catches/game over the past four seasons.
4. Odell Beckham (WR2) – Has finished as a top-5 fantasy WR in each of his three NFL seasons.
5. Julio Jones (WR3) — Foot surgery on 3/6. NFL all-time leader in receiving yards/game (96.3).
6. Ezekiel Elliott (RB3) – Dallas needs to replace LG Ronald Leary and RT Doug Free on the line.
7. A.J. Green (WR4) – Led NFL in receiving yards before season-ending hamstring injury in ‘16.
8. Mike Evans (WR5) – Dating back to college, has scored 12 TDs in three of the last four years.
9. LeSean McCoy (RB4) – Set career high in yards per carry (5.41) last season. Turns 29 in July.
10. Melvin Gordon (RB5) – The overall RB3 in PPR before PCL sprain ended season in Week 14.
11. T.Y. Hilton (WR6) – Led the NFL in receiving yards on career-high 91 receptions last season.
12. Jordy Nelson (WR7) – Turns 32 later this month. Still Aaron Rodgers’ most trusted target.
13. Devonta Freeman (RB6) – Contract year. Has been a top-six RB1 in back-to-back seasons.
14. DeMarco Murray (RB7) – Top-7 RB in 3 of last 4 years. May lose GL work to Derrick Henry.
15. Michael Thomas (WR8) – Locked in as Drew Brees’ No. 1 WR after Brandin Cooks trade.
16. Jay Ajayi (RB8) – Finished 4th in NFL in rushing. Expected to see more passing-game usage.
17. Jordan Howard (RB9) – Averaged 114.5 total yards per game from Week 4 on last season.
18. Rob Gronkowski (TE1) – ADP way down after injury-halved year. Still NFL’s best TD scorer.
19. Doug Baldwin (WR9) – Overall WR9, WR6 in PPR last two years. Still criminally underrated.
20. Dez Bryant (WR10) – Must offset limited volume with TDs. Hasn’t been same sans Romo.
21. Amari Cooper (WR11) – Will remain volatile weekly as long as Michael Crabtree is around.
22. Todd Gurley (RB10) – Last 24 games: 3.43 yards/carry & one game above 90 rushing yards.
23. DeAndre Hopkins (WR12) – Teased us with perfect-storm 2015. Texans strong D hurts him.
24. Allen Robinson (WR13) – Run-game focus, potentially elite Jags D are concerns for A-Rob.
25. Davante Adams (WR14) – Set career highs in every stat last year. Hits big if Jordy declines.
26. Leonard Fournette (RB11) – New offensive centerpiece. Jags hope to “hide” Blake Bortles.
27. Lamar Miller (RB12) – Rookie D’Onta Foreman may threaten Miller’s scoring-position use.
28. Sammy Watkins (WR15) – Fair to question state of Watkins’ foot. Top-5 upside if healthy.
29. Terrelle Pryor (WR16) – Topped 1,000 receiving yards in 1st year at WR. Now has real QB.
30. Carlos Hyde (RB13) – Bad vibes from 49ers new regime. Noise, or signs guard will change?
31. Demaryius Thomas (WR17) – Has cleared 1,000 receiving yards five consecutive seasons.
32. Brandin Cooks (WR18) – Weekly reliability a concern. Has poor career outdoor-game splits.
33. Larry Fitzgerald (WR19) – Fitz has finished as a WR2 or better in 10 of the last 12 seasons.
34. Golden Tate (WR20) – Has 90+ receptions in 3 straight years. Still the Lions’ best receiver.
35. Jarvis Landry (WR21) – Overvalued. Jay Ajayi has passed him as focus of Dolphins offense.
36. Emmanuel Sanders (WR22) – Has finished as a top-25 fantasy WR in three straight years.
37. Stefon Diggs (WR23) – Small & brittle, but Vikings have identified him as high-volume WR.
38. Aaron Rodgers (QB1) – Rodgers has been a top-two fantasy passer in 7 of the last 9 years.
39. Ty Montgomery (RB14) – Job security feels tenuous. Will crush PPR points if he keeps role.
40. Christian McCaffrey (RB15) – Will Cam target RBs now? Will Panthers RBs score TDs now?
41. Joe Mixon (RB16) – Combines strengths of Gio Bernard & Jeremy Hill. Cincy O underrated.
42. Michael Crabtree (WR24) – Always underrated. The PPR WR17 and WR9 last two seasons.
43. Julian Edelman (WR25) – More weapons than ever in NE, but still Brady’s most trusted WR.
44. Isaiah Crowell (RB17) – Big OL upgrades. Browns seem committed to him as their top back.
45. Keenan Allen (WR26) – Another ‘if healthy’ caveat with increased competition for targets.
46. Jamison Crowder (WR27) – Lacks Pryor’s TD upside, but favorite to lead Skins in catches.
47. Willie Snead (WR28) – High-floor WR2/3 pick’s upside raised by Brandin Cooks’ departure.
48. Alshon Jeffery (WR29) – Complete unknown in Philadelphia. Weekly volatility seems likely.
49. Dalvin Cook (RB18) – Passable RB2 will battle Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon for snaps.
50. Travis Kelce (TE2) – Gronkowski the only true fantasy difference maker among tight ends.
51. Greg Olsen (TE3) – Top-7 fantasy TE 5 straight years.
52. Jordan Reed (TE4) – Durability Reed’s lone obstacle.
53. DeSean Jackson (WR30) – Landed in a plum spot.
54. Kelvin Benjamin (WR31) – Will crush ADP if in shape.
55. Tevin Coleman (RB19) – High floor, high-ceiling pick.
56. Tom Brady (QB2) – Weekly hammer at the QB spot.
57. Drew Brees (QB3) – See Brady. A threat every game to finish as that week’s fantasy QB1.
58. Danny Woodhead (RB20) – Top value pick in early PPR drafts. Will be monster pass catcher.
59. Marshawn Lynch (RB21) – 31yo RB back from one-year “retirement.” Looked washed in ’15.
60. C.J. Anderson (RB22) – Anderson’s RB2 value looks safe. Jamaal Charles’ knees likely shot.
61. Pierre Garcon (WR32) – Probable target monster in SF. Brian Hoyer’s new DeAndre Hopkins.
62. Martavis Bryant (WR33) – Rises when/if formally reinstated. Big-upside WR2 when eligible.
63. Tyreek Hill (WR34) – Overall PPR WR7 from Week 7 on last year. Role expected to expand.
64. Mark Ingram (RB23) – Increasingly scary pick with Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara additions.
65. Donte Moncrief (WR35) – Contract year. Has reached 70 yards just once over last 21 games.
66. Brandon Marshall (WR36) – Now 33 years old with heavy target competition & declining QB.
67. Rishard Matthews (WR37) – Top-15 WR on 9 TDs last season. How pro ready is Corey Davis?
68. Andrew Luck (QB4) – Luck has finished as a top-four fantasy QB in three of last four seasons.
69. Randall Cobb (WR38) – Cobb an intriguing bounce-back target with his ADP at five-year low.
70. Theo Riddick (RB24) – Riddick has averaged 5.1 receptions per game the past two seasons.
71. Bilal Powell (RB25) – Beat writers expect Powell to bypass Matt Forte as Jets 2017 lead back.
72. Frank Gore (RB26) – No longer weekly difference maker but RB13, RB12 finishes last 2 years.
73. Adrian Peterson (RB27) – Floor should be the “Tim Hightower Role” (10.3 touches per game).
74. Eric Decker (WR39) – Positioned to vacuum targets but leap of faith with health, awful QBs.
75. Jordan Matthews (WR40) – J-Matt has caught at least 65 passes in each of his 3 NFL seasons.
76. Adam Thielen (WR41) – Preseason star became real-life stud. Best receiver on the Vikings?
77. Tyler Eifert (TE5) – Coming off back surgery. Eifert has scored 18 TDs over his last 21 games.
78. Russell Wilson (QB5) – Limited by ankle/knee injuries in ‘16. Prime positive regression target.
79. Cam Newton (QB6) – Another QB set for statistical rebound after career-low 3.7% TD rate.
80. Kenny Britt (WR42) – Corey Coleman a sexier pick, but Britt favorite to lead CLE in receiving.
81. Cameron Meredith (WR43) – Favorite for targets on Bears. Move out of slot could hurt him.
82. Spencer Ware (RB28) – Worrisome job security after Chiefs traded up to draft Kareem Hunt.
83. Mike Gillislee (RB29) – Offers double-digit TD upside if he wins Pats goal-line/clock-killer job.
84. Ameer Abdullah (RB30) – “Offseason winner,” but Theo Riddick remains thorn in his PPR side.
85. Paul Perkins (RB31) – Fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman his only real competition for carries.
86. Doug Martin (RB32) – Suspended until Week 4. Early offseason reports have been glowing.
87. DeVante Parker (WR44) – Third-year breakout? Coaches say Parker has finally “matured.”
88. Samaje Perine (RB33) – I’m betting on Perine to win the Redskins’ RB job in training camp.
89. John Brown (WR45) – If health cooperates, “Smokey” Brown could be this year’s top steal.
90. Mike Wallace (WR46) – Wallace has finished as top-35 PPR receiver in 7-of-8 NFL seasons.
91. Delanie Walker (TE6) – Has 60+ catches all four years in TEN. Four straight Top-12 TE finishes.
92. Jimmy Graham (TE7) – Faded in 2016, but now further removed from patellar tendon tear.
93. Martellus Bennett (TE8) – Top-10 fantasy TE in 3 of last 4 years. Now gets Aaron Rodgers.
94. Kyle Rudolph (TE9) – Had 6+ catches and/or TD in 8/9 games coordinated by Pat Shurmur.
95. Darren Sproles (RB34) – Top-30 PPR back each of the last two years. Eagles are thin at RB.
96. Derrick Henry (RB35) – Big upside if DeMarco Murray goes down, but May ADP is too high.
97. Jeremy Maclin (WR47) – Top-40 WR in each of his first six seasons. Dipped to WR75 in ’16.
98. Kareem Hunt (RB36) – Chiefs traded up to draft Hunt at No. 86. Big threat to Spencer Ware.
99. Corey Coleman (WR48) – Coleman is a high-risk, low-floor pick overvalued at current ADP.
100. Marvin Jones (WR49) – Perceived disappointment, but has 3 top-40 WR finishes in a row.
101. Breshad Perriman (WR50) – Breakout candidate? Massive opportunity available on Ravens.
102. Zach Ertz (TE10) – Another overvalued tight end. Will lose targets & has never scored TDs.
103. Hunter Henry (TE11) – I get the fascination, but he’s being severely overdrafted right now.
104. Corey Davis (WR51) – Great prospect, but his ADP is shocking for rookie WR from the MAC.
105. C.J. Prosise (RB37) – Easily Seahawks best receiving back. Durability a concern since college.
106. Eddie Lacy (RB38) – A near-full fade for me at his ADP. Major injury, conditioning concerns.
107. Tyrell Williams (WR52) – Topped 1,000 yards as 2nd-year pro, but Mike Williams pick hurts.
108. Terrance West (RB39) – Will share with Woodhead, but favorite for Ravens early-down job.
109. Matt Forte (RB40) – Early indications are Forte will take backseat to Bilal Powell this season.
110. Dak Prescott (QB7) – Finished as QB6 as rookie with remarkable week-to-week consistency.
111. Matt Ryan (QB8) – Regression candidate after career-high 7.1% TD rate. Lost Kyle Shanahan.
112. Marcus Mariota (QB9) – The NFL’s most efficient red-zone QB through two seasons as a pro.
113. Kirk Cousins (QB10) – In another contract year after QB8, QB5 finishes the past two seasons.
114. Jameis Winston (QB11) – Plays in high-scoring division. Bucs made huge weapons upgrades.
115. Philip Rivers (QB12) – Chargers boast loaded pass-catcher corps, reinforcements on O-Line.
116. Derek Carr (QB13) – Has improved annually. Raiders added Jared Cook to receiver corps.
117. Ben Roethlisberger (QB14) – Top-five QB1 play for every home game. Low-end QB2 on road.
118. Jack Doyle (TE12) – Double-digit TD candidate. Favorite value pick of this year’s tight ends.
119. Eric Ebron (TE13) – Last year’s TE12 in points per game. No real competition added in DET.
120. James White (RB41) – After Tom Brady’s suspension, was the PPR RB22 from Weeks 5-16.
121. Ted Ginn (WR53) – Perfect best-ball pick unlikely to offer consistency for re-draft leagues.
122. Kenneth Dixon (RB42) – Suspended until Week 5, then has to deal with Danny Woodhead.
123. Robert Woods (WR54) – Favorite to lead Rams in targets. Likely high-floor, low-ceiling pick.
124. Devin Funchess (WR55) – 9 TDs on 54 career catches. Poised to climb depth chart ladder.
125. Alvin Kamara (RB43) – Saints want him in Sproles/Bush role. Offers PPR upside right away.
126. Cole Beasley (WR56) – Led 2016 Cowboys in catches. Has on-field rapport with Prescott.
127. D’Onta Foreman (RB44) – Threat to Lamar Miller’s early-down and scoring-position work.
128. Coby Fleener (TE14) – Last year’s TE16 in PPR, TE12 in non-PPR. Second year with Brees.
129. Kenny Stills (WR57) – Has defined role in Dolphins O, but career-high 9 TDs won’t repeat.
130. Will Fuller (WR58) – Big-play specialist finished rookie year ice cold after a hot beginning.
131. Kevin White (WR59) – Missed all of 2015, then looked awful in his four 2016 appearances.
132. Quincy Enunwa (WR60) – Has real chance to lead NYJ in targets. Quality of those targets?
133. J.J. Nelson (WR61) – Was Cardinals second best wideout last year behind Larry Fitzgerald.
134. Allen Hurns (WR62) – Some bounce-back appeal, but 2015 was likely his career-best year.
135. Josh Doctson (WR63) – Targets will be hard to come by behind Pryor, Crowder, and Reed.
136. Sterling Shepard (WR64) – Additions of Brandon Marshall, Evan Engram all but bury him.
137. Ladarius Green (TE15) – Hunting for potential difference makers this late. Green qualifies.
138. Andy Dalton (QB15) – This year’s ideal LRQB. Dalton surrounded by career-best weapons.
139. Matthew Stafford (QB16) – Stafford has finished as top-15 fantasy QB in 6 straight years.
140. Tyrod Taylor (QB17) – Same as last year: Will wreck ADP if Sammy Watkins stays healthy.
141. Carson Palmer (QB18) – Another attractive LRQB pick. AZ has pretty schedule Weeks 1-9.
142. Eli Manning (QB19) – Weapons among best of his career. How much does Eli have left?
143. Austin Hooper (TE16) – ‘Breakout’ TEs rarely pay dividends, but Hooper is 2017’s best bet.
144. C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE17) – Lacks high ceiling, but Fiedo is the Texans’ best possession target.
145. Julius Thomas (TE18) – Was it Adam Gase, or Peyton Manning that once made him great?
146. Giovani Bernard (RB45) – Tore ACL in late November, then the Bengals drafted Joe Mixon.
147. Jason Witten (TE19) – Going intentionally conservative here on low-ceiling late-round TE.
148. Dennis Pitta (TE20) – Severely undervalued. Last year’s PPR TE10 has no real competition.
149. Carson Wentz (QB20) – As rookie, got worse more he played. Now has big-time weapons.
150. Tyler Lockett (WR65) – Hail Mary late-round flier. Broke his fibula and tibia last December.
Also Considered: John Ross, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Williams, Tavon Austin, Zay Jones, Jared Cook, Charles Clay, Evan Engram, Blake Bortles, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, Ryan Tannehill, Alex Smith, Duke Johnson, Rex Burkhead, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Charles, Thomas Rawls, Mohamed Sanu, Marqise Lee, Curtis Samuel, Taylor Gabriel, Dion Lewis, Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims, Rob Kelley, LeGarrette Blount, Jeremy Hill, David Njoku, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Malcolm Mitchell, Dwayne Allen, Marlon Mack, Chris Thompson, Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon, Deshaun Watson, Jeremy McNichols, Jerick McKinnon, Wayne Gallman, Wendell Smallwood, Devontae Booker, Jonathan Williams, Shane Vereen, Joe Williams, Lance Dunbar, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington
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