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Regular Season, Updated: 9/6/16


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 Antonio Brown, PIT (Bye: 8)
1
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 186   DOB: 1988-07-10   Age: 28
College: Central Michigan   Draft: 2010 Round 6 (26) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013PIT16110 1,499 8 7 4 0 198.3 12.4
2014PIT16129 1,698 13 4 13 0 249.1 15.6
2015PIT16136 1,834 10 3 28 0 246.2 15.4
2016 (Projected)PIT 118 1,626 12 5 28 0 237.4  

Outlook: We learned in 2015 that the best way to slow down Antonio Brown was beat the heck out of his quarterbacks. In the four games played with Michael Vick or Landry Jones as his quarterback, Brown averaged only 4 catches a game for 58 yards and no touchdowns. In the 12 games with Roethlisberger, Brown exploded for nearly 10 catches a game and more than 130 yards to go along with 10 total touchdowns. While Julio Jones relies on a freakish speed/size combination, Brown is the rare outside receiver that is under 6 feet tall. He uses his elite speed, quickness, and agility to beat coverage and make plays close to the line of scrimmage, as well as deep down field. As long as Roethlisberger remains under center, Brown should challenge the NFL record for receptions in a season. After setting career highs in 2015 with 193 targets, 136 receptions, and 1,834 yards, there isn’t a single receiver I’d take over Brown, and would easily make him the first overall pick again in PPR leagues.


 Julio Jones, ATL (Bye: 11)
2
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1989-02-03   Age: 28
College: Alabama   Draft: 2011 Round 1 (6) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013ATL541 580 2 1 7 0 70.7 14.1
2014ATL15104 1,593 6 1 1 0 195.4 13.0
2015ATL16136 1,871 8 0 0 0 235.1 14.7
2016 (Projected)ATL 116 1,629 10 0 0 0 222.9  

Outlook: Those who bought into Kyle Shanahan as the wide receiver whisperer were rewarded by Julio Jones’ huge 2015 fantasy output. As the only player to eclipse 200 targets, Jones joins Antonio Brown as fantasy football’s top two receiving options entering 2016. Can he repeat his gaudy numbers again? Considering the team missed the playoffs and went 2-5 in games where Matt Ryan had 40 or more passing attempts it seems likely that the offense won’t be trying to win ballgames through the air in 2016. The addition of a more capable No.2 option in the passing attack also makes it unlikely that Jones will see bulk targets as frequently as he did in 2015- he posted six games with at least 15 balls thrown his way. That doesn’t mean Jones won’t be a solid WR1 for fantasy purposes, however it does mean it will be tough for him to repeat last year’s huge season. Atlanta is counting on Mohamed Sanu’s presence and an established ground game to keep defenses from stacking coverage on Jones’ side of the field. If successful, Matt Ryan should be able to take advantage of more downfield passes in Jones’ direction. As a result, owners playing in “bonus” leagues that award extra points for long pass plays will want to pay a little more for Atlanta’s leading receiver. Owners will have to pony up for a high-volume and consistent player like Jones; especially in PPR leagues where he should be one of the first five players drafted.


 Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (Bye: 8)
3
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 198   DOB: 1992-11-05   Age: 24
College: Louisiana State   Draft: 2014 Round 1 (12) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014NYG1291 1,305 12 7 35 0 206.0 17.2
2015NYG1596 1,450 13 1 3 0 223.3 14.9
2016 (Projected)NYG 94 1,380 12 0 0 0 210.0  

Outlook: To say that Odell Beckham’s career is off to a great start is an understatement. Despite missing the first four games of his rookie year and one game last season, Beckham still holds the record for receiving yards during a player’s first two seasons in the league. He has an incredible 187 catches for 2,755 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first 27 games in the NFL. OBJ often looks uncoverable on the field, and he is obviously the “go to guy” for Eli Manning. Despite being only 5’11” and 198 pounds, he’s still one of the toughest players on the field week in and week out. However, his overly aggressive style can be a detriment at times, like last season where he was suspended for one game after mixing it up with Josh Norman in Week 15. His fantasy owners who made it to their championship games, couldn’t have been pleased, forced to leave him on their bench in Week 16 as a result. Teams now know they can get into his head by taunting and being aggressive with him, so it would be wise for Beckham to mature quickly. Beckham is a superb route runner, is lightning quick and his run after the catch ability is unmatched in the league. He’s one of the safest picks on draft day as his floor is higher than a lot of other player’s ceilings – as he’s shown he will rack up yards and touchdowns on a weekly basis. The Giants fast paced offense will only help, and as stated Eli Manning knows where his bread is buttered and will find Beckham often on Sundays (Mondays and Thursdays as well).


 DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (Bye: 9)
4
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 205   DOB: 1992-06-06   Age: 24
College: Clemson   Draft: 2013 Round 1 (27) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013HOU1652 802 2 0 0 0 92.2 5.8
2014HOU1676 1,210 6 0 0 0 157.0 9.8
2015HOU16111 1,521 11 0 0 0 218.1 13.6
2016 (Projected)HOU 105 1,456 10 0 0 0 205.6  

Outlook: A year after taking over as the team’s top option in the passing attack, DeAndre Hopkins solidified his place amongst the NFL’s elite wide receivers in 2015. Unfortunately, the results may not have been completely by design as the Texans didn’t head into last year thinking they would rank amongst the NFL’s top ten teams in passing attempts (T-9th with 609). Looking ahead to 2016, there doesn’t seem to be enough supporting evidence to provide Hopkins with another 192 targets. That isn’t to say he won’t hit the 150-mark as an elite WR1 option, but Houston is no longer a one-trick pony with the additions of rookie Will Fuller in the passing game and Lamar Miller in the running game. Brock Osweiler had a front row seat in Denver watching an offense methodically spread the ball around to move the chains and the blueprint laid out in Houston looks awfully familiar. Make no mistake, Hopkins has no competition as the top option in the passing game, comes without durability concerns and is as acrobatic of a pass-catcher as there is in the NFL. He is certainly capable of sustaining the success he had a year ago, but his team may not allow him to reach such lofty marks. A one-day holdout shouldn’t factor into your 2016 ranking for the former Clemson Tiger where his first round value isn’t likely to change much prior to opening kickoff.


 Allen Robinson, JAC (Bye: 5)
5
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1993-08-24   Age: 23
College: Penn State   Draft: 2014 Round 2 (29) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014JAC1048 548 2 0 0 0 66.8 6.7
2015JAC1680 1,400 14 0 0 0 224.0 14.0
2016 (Projected)JAC 92 1,248 11 0 0 0 190.8  

Outlook: Arguably the single most important player on Jacksonville’s offense, Allen Robinson emerged as the “go to guy” whenever Jacksonville needed a big play. With nice size and speed, Robinson has all the skills necessary to sustain his elite production into 2016 and beyond. As the lead man for the Jags passing attack, he should be primed for another big year but his touchdown total may suffer do to the addition of RB Chris Ivory and better play from TE Julius Thomas. Even with a little regression Robinson’s expected to continue to be one of the most consistent week-to-week wideouts across the league. Last season, the former Nittany Lion notched six 100-receiving-yard games and failed to produce double-digit fantasy points only four times. A minor hamstring injury popped up early this preseason so keep an eye out for any lingering effects once training camp begins. A lack of track record for him and his quarterback will make it tough for fantasy owners to make him a first rounder but he is fair game after the turn.


 A.J. Green, CIN (Bye: 9)
6
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 207   DOB: 1988-07-31   Age: 28
College: Georgia   Draft: 2011 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013CIN1698 1,426 11 0 0 0 208.6 13.0
2014CIN1269 1,041 6 2 2 0 140.3 11.7
2015CIN1686 1,297 10 0 0 0 189.7 11.9
2016 (Projected)CIN 89 1,286 10 0 0 0 188.6  

Outlook: Last year I pegged Green as my dark horse pick to finish as the highest scoring receiver in standard leagues, and guess what, I’m doing it again this year! If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. With Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu taking their 98 combined receptions elsewhere in 2016, and Tyler Eifert on the short-term shelf, Green should be an absolute target monster this year. Showing his injury plagued 2014 season was behind him, Green suited up for all 16 games and led the Bengals with 86 catches, nearly 1,300 yards and 10 scores, numbers I expect to see rise this season. Green has the skills and physical stature to beat the coverages that are sure to concentrate on him. I see Green nearing a career high in targets, and enjoying his first 100-catch season of his career. A double digit touchdown total is nearly guaranteed, all leading up to a season that should land him in the top-5 at his position.

Entering his sixth year, it’s time for Green to put this offense on his back, and become more of an emotional leader. The Bengals don’t lack for fire and brimstone, but if last year’s playoff loss was any indication, that fire is burning down the house. I really believe this is the season that Green puts it all together and carries not only the Bengals offense, but fantasy teams as well.


 Keenan Allen, SD (Bye: 11)
7
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1992-04-27   Age: 24
College: California   Draft: 2013 Round 3 (14) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013SD1571 1,046 8 0 0 0 152.6 10.2
2014SD1477 783 4 0 0 0 102.3 7.3
2015SD867 725 4 0 0 0 96.5 12.1
2016 (Projected)SD 115 1,380 8 0 0 0 186.0  

Outlook: One of the most forgotten stories of the 2015 season was the dominant start of wide receiver Keenan Allen. Through eight games, Allen was lighting up the fantasy scoreboard with 725 yards and four touchdowns on 67 receptions with an incredible 75.3 percent catch rate. These numbers put him on pace to finish with 134 receptions, 1,450 yards and eight scores. That would’ve put him in the top three in the league in both receptions and yards along with a respectable touchdown number, making him a surefire top 10 fantasy receiver for the season. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Allen’s season was cut short by a freak injury – a lacerated kidney.

With half of a season and an entire offseason to recover, Allen is expected to be fully healthy by Week 1, which should allow him to get back to producing WR1 numbers, especially in PPR formats. Certainly it would be difficult to imagine Allen producing quite what he did in 2015 on a per-game basis, but quarterback Philip Rivers seems to be very comfortable throwing him the ball in any situation. This gives Allen a nice, high floor. Unfortunately, Allen hasn’t shown that he has the ability to score at the pace of a top-tier WR1. Because of that, he’ll be drafted as a low-end WR1 in standard formats and just a mid-level WR1 in PPR formats.

With the addition of Travis Benjamin, one of the best players in the league at stretching a defense, the Chargers should have more opportunities to throw the ball underneath and complete more of the efficient, short-to-mid-range throws that are right in Allen’s wheelhouse. If he can stay healthy – which he hasn’t been able to do often in his career – Allen should be a consistent source of fantasy production for those who give him another chance.


 Dez Bryant, DAL (Bye: 7)
8
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 218   DOB: 1988-11-04   Age: 28
College: Oklahoma State   Draft: 2010 Round 1 (24) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013DAL1693 1,233 13 1 1 0 201.4 12.6
2014DAL1688 1,320 16 0 0 0 228.0 14.3
2015DAL931 401 3 0 0 0 58.1 6.5
2016 (Projected)DAL 82 1,157 11 0 0 0 181.7  

Outlook: Between his own foot injury, from which he likely came back too early, and Romo’s twice broken collarbone, Dez Bryant had by far his worst season in 2015. In nine games he only caught 31 balls for 401 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Cowboys did nothing to upgrade their backup quarterback position so Romo missing time again is a risk for Bryant, but as long as his foot is completely healed there’s little reason to doubt a complete bounce back season for the veteran. Bryant had 56 touchdown receptions in his first five seasons and has been an unstoppable force in the redzone given his hulking size and strength at 6’2” and 220 pounds.

Bryant has been cleared for the start of training camp and should quickly get over the mental hurdles associated with trusting his surgically repaired foot. Fantasy owners shouldn’t dismiss his 2015 season in their evaluation but should give considerable weight to his three-year averages from 2012-2014 (91-1311-13.7) when making their 2016 projections. Bryant is an emotional player who should come out with a chip on his shoulder and dominate, as he is clearly the best player on offensive side of the ball for Dallas. Those that draft him will need to cross their fingers and hope that Romo’s collarbone, and the rest of him as well, holds up for the entire season.


 Brandon Marshall, NYJ (Bye: 11)
9
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 230   DOB: 1984-03-23   Age: 33
College: -   Draft: 2006 Round 4 (22) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013CHI16100 1,295 12 0 0 0 201.5 12.6
2014CHI1361 721 8 0 0 0 120.1 9.2
2015NYJ16109 1,502 14 0 0 0 234.2 14.6
2016 (Projected)NYJ 83 1,177 9 0 0 0 171.7  

Outlook: Last offseason the Jets traded a 5th round pick for Brandon Marshall and were rewarded with a 109-1502-14 season from the veteran. Marshall had arguably the best season of his remarkable career at 31 years of age and helped make Ryan Fitzpatrick a $12 million dollar quarterback. Marshall was simply amazing, using his big body to shield off defenders and gain yards after the catch. He actually dropped 10 pounds coming into training camp this season in an effort to get even quicker. At 6’4”, 225 pounds he should still have little trouble outmuscling smaller cornerbacks.

Marshall lobbied hard for Fitzpatrick’s return and he will once again team up with the Amish Rifle who often locked onto him right from the snap, trusting the veteran to fight off his defender and make the catch. Last season’s 14 touchdowns were a career high and his receptions and yardage totals were only bettered by him in 2012 while he was in Chicago. Marshall has had a difficult past and has worn out his welcome which is why he’s on his fourth team despite being a perennial 100-catch receiver. He’s matured with age however and seems to be on solid ground with the Jets. While some regression is likely, it’s not hard to imagine another top 10 finish as he remains the focal point of the passing offense, while being surrounded by other players that demand attention from the defense.


 Jordy Nelson, GB (Bye: 4)
10
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 217   DOB: 1985-05-31   Age: 31
College: Kansas State   Draft: 2008 Round 2 (5) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013GB1685 1,314 8 0 0 0 179.4 11.2
2014GB1698 1,519 13 0 0 0 229.9 14.4
2016 (Projected)GB 78 1,145 9 0 0 0 168.5  

Outlook: 12 months and one ACL tear ago Jordy Nelson was a top-2 fantasy receiver. Able to score from anywhere on the field, Nelson commanded double teams, and help over the top. His loss was a tremendous blow to the Green Bay offense, and put his career at age 31 at a crossroads. Despite the nature of their position, receivers don’t suffer ACL tears as frequently as other positions. The most recent example we have is Jeremy Maclin, who tore his ACL in 2013. He returned a year late and had a career year, but he was also six years younger than Nelson. On the other end of the spectrum is Reggie Wayne, who tore his ACL in 2013 at the age of 34. He returned the next season, but was a shell of his former self, and retired. Nelson is nearly 12 months removed from the injury, and until the start of camp has had a pristine rehab. He’s yet to practice because of “minor” knee tendonitis, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable with Nelson as my WR1 unless he gets in some quality reps with his team prior to Week 1. If this “minor” injury lingers more than a few weeks, proceed with extreme caution, otherwise draft with value and tremendous upside in mind.


 Mike Evans, TB (Bye: 6)
11
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 231   DOB: 1993-08-21   Age: 23
College: Texas A&M   Draft: 2014 Round 1 (7) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014TB1568 1,051 12 0 0 0 177.1 11.8
2015TB1474 1,208 3 0 0 0 138.8 9.9
2016 (Projected)TB 84 1,267 7 0 0 0 168.7  

Outlook: Mike Evans was a relative fantasy bust in 2015 after finishing outside the top 25 at his position despite being taken as a borderline WR1. However, the underlying numbers suggest he continued to make strides in his second season as a pro and could have easily lived up to lofty expectations if not for a lack of touchdown catches. Although he did miss a couple of games and the number of drops (11) was concerning, his targets, receptions and receiving yards all increased from his rookie campaign as he produced like a WR1 in every other way. Evans remains the undisputed top receiving threat in this offense and should continue to see his target totals trend upward. The fantasy community continues to show strong interest in Evans and this offense by making the towering wideout the tenth receiver off the board. Those owners who feel his touchdowns will correct themselves will gladly snag him in the second round.


 Alshon Jeffery, CHI (Bye: 9)
12
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 216   DOB: 1990-02-14   Age: 27
College: South Carolina   Draft: 2012 Round 2 (13) 
SeasonTeamGameRec Yard TDAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013CHI1689 1,421 7 16 105 0 194.6 12.2
2014CHI1685 1,133 10 6 33 0 176.6 11.0
2015CHI954 807 4 0 0 0 104.7 11.6
2016 (Projected)CHI 81 1,185 8 1 11 0 167.6  

Outlook: They say the most important ability is availability, and unfortunately for fantasy owners, Jeffery wasn’t available much in 2015. After back-to-back monster WR1 seasons in 2013 and 2014, Jeffery simply couldn’t get on the field to give enough return on investment. A calf injury cost him five games early in the year, and more soft tissue injuries to his lower body cost him a few games down the stretch. All told, Jeffery only suited up nine times last year, but when he was on the field, he dazzled as expected. In six of the nine games he topped 10 targets, and racked up 85-plus yards and/or a score in seven of nine. His fantasy and on-field impact can’t be disputed, but the Bears failed to come to a long term deal with Jeffery, causing him to play out the 2016 season on the franchise tag. The 27 year-old possesses elite ball skills, speed, and Beckham like hands, and is a WR1 whenever he takes the field. His 11.6 points per game was 14th amongst receivers last year, and he should only benefit from the return of Kevin White. Jeffery is the classic boom/bust pick, but his recent production should outweigh any injury concerns. Heck, he played two full seasons prior to last year, and he’s playing for a monster contract so motivation won’t be an issue. He’s currently being selected as the 10th receiver off the board in early drafts, but possesses more upside than many of the players being selected before or around him.