Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 13

Tyreek Hill highlight? Tyreek Hill highlight.

Some of his success can be attributed to Special Teams coach Dave Toub (who helped make Devin Hester a household name), but the dude is pure speed. Expect him to be a consistent weapon as you (and the Chiefs) make the playoff push.

Mail Time!

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I’ll start with Thomas Rawls. I think it’s time the Seahawks let him off his leash, because you can’t trust anyone else on that side of the ball. The Panthers are also allowing nearly 400 yards rushing in their past 2 games…

Then I would start Todd Gurley due to the fact that Jay Ajayi has crashed to Earth faster than the first asteroid in Armageddon.

 

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Diggs is likely to play tonight. So Crabtree. 

 

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Dak is indeed the realness, but I would have a hard time sitting Matthew Stafford. Think about it this way. The Lions DON’T run the ball. Volume should be astronomical for him. I’m not really afraid of the Vikings entirely as a defense, but I do worry about Dez Bryant paired with Xavier Rhodes.

 

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It’s C.J. Fiedorowicz Time. He’s the 2nd most targeted receiver for the dreadful Brock Osweiler.

 

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Woof – Steve Sr. 

 

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See my response to Donald’s question. Stafford. You also don’t want to leave your do or die game to a Thursday Nighter.

 

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This will help you out better than any stats I can give you. It’s unlikely that Jordan Reed will play this weekend, per Adam Schefter.

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 12 (Thanksgiving Edition)

Rather than write something elaborate about what I’m thankful for in Fantasy Football this year, I’ll just leave this here…

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…and say Happy Thanksgiving.

Mail Time!

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TE – Have you seen how bad the Packers defense is? They are allowing the 5th most yards to TEs per game (72) and have allowed at least 60 yards and a TD to the position in each of the last 3 games. Trust in Ertz!

Flex – Tough call. The Mariota-Matthews combo is almost too hot to pass up. Despite the Bears being a dreadful football team, Tracy Porter just shut down Odell Beckham Jr. and has similar results against most #1 WRs. That, and the fact the Dolphins play the Niners, is why I would go with Jarvis Landry.

 

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First off, that is a really silly flex situation. Why not just have 2 QBs in your lineup? Regardless, you should play Kirk Cousins, because he’s thrown multiple TDs in 5 straight games.

Luck was officially ruled out yesterday. So there you go. And talk to your commissioner about that flex position. If you’re the commissioner, shame on you.

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I feel like your gut is telling Julian Edelman, and that’s what you should trust. The #TomBradyRevengeTour is clicking on all cylinders and with Gronk out, J-Edel is reeping all the benefits. Ya know, like 17 targets last weekend…

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RB – Especially in a PPR, Devonta Freeman. Even with Coleman returning, Freeman was getting the same amount of touches when his backfield-mate was and wasn’t in the lineup.

Flex – Kyle Rudolph has 2 TDs in his last 3 weeks and he’s basically the only Vikings red zone option. He’s the safer pick.

 

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Carr.

 

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1st – Jennings and I would say leave Benjamin in your flex. While the Raiders have improved in their secondary, that will still be the Panthers best shot at beating them. Start him for the potential of shootout.

2nd – Unless one of the guys is an absolute scoring stud, I’m always going to suggest taking the full-time bell-cow back over one that splits carries. Have to go with Jordan Howard’s volume this weekend.

3rd – While I like Jameis better overall, I like Carson Palmer’s matchup way more.

 

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Eli is playing Cleveland. That is all.

 

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WR – Crowder

RB1 – Shady

RB2 – Ware

 

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 10

I think you can now officially believe the hype on Melvin Gordon.

He has 120+ total yards in each of the last 3 weeks. Call it the “sans-Danny Woodhead Effect” but he is also getting at least 25 touches in each of his last 4 games. He’s coming off the best game of his career (261 total yards and 2 touchdowns) and should be hungry to eat against a Dolphins defense that has allowed 113 yards a piece to DeMarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell and Matt Forte.

 

Mail Time!

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Definitely NOT Allen Robinson. While he might be leaned on more with Allen Hurns banged up, I don’t trust the Jaguars offense as far as I can throw them. Kelvin Benjamin is the safest play. Despite not scoring a TD in his last 4, he’s still picking up at least 70 yards in each of those games and should thrive against a Chiefs defense that doesn’t move their cornerbacks with WR matchups. Also leave Matt Forte in, although I’m confused by that part of the question. Leave him in regardless.

 

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Yes, leave Zach Miller in, as he is a security blanket for Jay Cutler.

I do feel like there was a fire lit under Mark Ingram’s ass last week, despite the skew in production against San Francisco. Unfortunately, I like Tim Hightower’s game against the Broncos more than Ingram’s. The silver lining though: Broncos gave up 286 yards and 2 touchdowns to a similar tandem in Davonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. I also think you have to ride a hot RB until he slows down before resorting to Jordan Matthews.

 

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I think we’re learning now that Russell Wilson is simply a 2nd-half-of-the-season quarterback. We recall his gaudy numbers a year ago after his team’s bye week, but his matchup quite frankly sucks this weekend. The Seahawks are also a very different team on the road. Your safer bet is Carson Wentz.

 

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Can I say neither? The only plus among these two is the fact that Matt Asiata is a goal line back with Jerick McKinnon back. If you have to play either and there is nobody better on the waiver wire, play Asiata and pray to whatever omniscient being you worship.

 

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TE: Miller for the likely volume playing with Cutler.

Flex: If he plays, go with Doug Martin. Crowder is going to draw Terrance Newman in the nickel this weekend, and that will not be pretty.

 

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 7

Can we talk about LeSean McCoy for a minute?

McCoy is 150 yards from scrimmage away from surpassing both Shaun Alexander and Marshawn Lynch for 39th on the all-time list. Among backs with 10,000 career yards total, McCoy ranks 7th all-time with 4.7 yards per carry. When many (me included) thought he was close to being done, he proved to us that he is still an elite back in the league after scoring 7 touchdowns this season(2nd in the NFL).

He is set to face a Miami defense that is allowing the 4th most rush yards to opposing RBs. He left practice early this week with hamstring tightness and should be worth monitoring before kickoff though. If healthy, McCoy will be a great play this week. If not, be ready to pick up Mike Gillislee.

 

Mail Time!

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It’s never comfortable to play someone on Thursday Night, but Cameron Meredith is legitimate play this week against a Packers defense that is missing its TOP 3 defensive backs. He ranks 3rd in receiving yards and 1st in receptions over the last 2 weeks. Meredith is also a favorite of Brian Hoyers when in the red zone. While I DO believe in Kenny Britt, you have to play Meredith.

 

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If Jordan Reed sits, you should go with Vernon Davis. If he doesn’t, Charles Clay is your next best play against a Dolphins defense that has allowed touchdowns to tight ends in 2 of their last 4 games.

 

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TE: Anyone who had Coby Fleener a week ago (*raises hand*) finally got to unleash the power of an athletic tight end in Sean Payton’s system. This week, however, I would recommend going with Kyle Rudolph. He is second among TEs in touchdowns and is averaging 7.4 targets per game. He is also getting 40% of the Vikings red zone targets and it’s hard to pass on that consistency.

WR: Demaryius Targaryen and Brandin ‘Too Many’ Cooks’

 

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WR: I feel bad about this because I do really like Kenny Britt going forward, but Julian Edelman is healthier and on the Tom Brady Revenge tour. If it doesn’t all come together this weekend against a Steeler’s defense that will be too busy with the tight ends, then bench him.

DEF: Seattle is the better defense but I like Cincinnati’s matchup WAY MORE.

QB: It’s time to unleash #HoyerTheDestroyer.

 

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 6

The highest scoring non-quarterback in Fantasy Football right now is David Johnson (aka #DJ2K). He added two touchdowns and 157 rush yards to his total last week against San Francisco.

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Johnson has gained over 100 yards from scrimmage in every game, so far this season, and faces a Jets defense that has allowed 16 receptions, 125 yards and two touchdowns to running backs in the last two weeks. He may not see as many carries as he got against the 49ers (27) because Carson Palmer is set to return, but you can count on his receiving skills to do some heavy damage against the J-E-T-S…blah blah blah.

Mail Time!

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TE: The perennially slow starting Seahawks offense seems to have found a connection between Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham. Graham has recorded back-to-back 100-yard performances for the first time since 2003. The Falcons are also the second worst (to the Browns) at giving up TDs to the position.

Flex: Jordan Howard recorded the 9th most yards from scrimmage by a rookie in Bears franchise history. Names like Anthony Thomas, James Allen, and yes…Walter Payton…produced better games in their first year, and just by up to 30 yards. In terms of matchups, Howard doesn’t have an easy one in Jacksonville. They have allowed 104 rush yards per game and only 2 touchdowns on the ground. Based on the volume Howard gets in the Bears offense (running and receiving) you can’t let him sit.

DEF: I’m not sure about the Panthers in the long-term, due to their young secondary being taken advantage of nearly every weekend and having one takeaway in their last 3 games. Short term, their matchup with the Saints has shootout potential, and that’s bad for any defense. I like your Titans pick against Cody Kessler and the Browns. The Titans are making a lot of noise with back-to-back multi-interception games and ranking 6th in sacks.

 

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Steve Sr. is (1) not a tight end and (2) dealing with an ankle injury that knocked him out of last week’s game. Go with James White.

 

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If I learned anything last week, it’s not to doubt Devonta Freeman. Against the best defense in football, Freeman totaled 123 yards and a touchdown. You can look at the yards per carry as a negative, but 26 touches is proof he is Atlanta’s every down back (with Coleman getting his work receiving). The upside is in Freeman’s favor, while Frank Gore will give you either 75+ yards or a touchdown…like he has in every game so far this season. Up to you.

 

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TE: In the Brian Hoyer era for Chicago, Zach Miller is averaging 6 catches, 61 yards and a touchdown. While Hoyer is spreading the ball around, he does seem to have favorite targets in 3rd down situations and Miller is one of them. Keep riding that train as Zach Ertz is facing a defense that gave up less than 60 yards to both Gary Barnidge and Dennis Pitta.

Flex: Matt Forte is that guy we all want to love (with good reason) but we really shouldn’t. He hasn’t done anything close to his monster Week 2 and Bilal Powell is taking more and more pass targets away from him. I also don’t think this will be a good week to play Travis Benjamin. As you know, Broncos are probably looking for blood on Thursday Night Football this evening. Jordan Matthews is your best call.

 

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Well, Quincy Enunwa would’ve been a pretty great pickup. Sammie Coates would be outstanding, if you can find him. Outside of those two? Chris Hogan, Jeremy Kerley and Devante Adams are decent week-to-week fill-ins, but I would try to make a trade if you are looking for a dependable solution for the rest of the season.

 

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Melvin Gordon is going to get the touches against a Broncos D (that has given up the 10th most points to RBs) and has averaged a score in every game. If I’m looking for a safer play though, it’s Kelvin Benjamin against the Saints. They have allowed 86+ yards to 6 different receivers in 4 games and are letting quarterbacks just CHUCK IT on them. Love the shootout potential at the Superdome this weekend, Cam Newton or not.

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter

Fantasy Mailbag 2016: Week 4

Bears safety Chris Prosinski was just minding his own business, serving as a backup on defense and contributing on special teams. Next thing you know, he’s forced into the game because of injuries and is immortalized on posters for years to come…because Ezekiel Elliott did this to him.

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Aside from the shame that Prosinski has to harbor, in film sessions and highlight shows for years to come, the Cowboys have something special on their hands. Elliott had his coming out party against Chicago on Sunday Night Football last week, rushing for 140 yards and adding 20 more receiving. He was a workhorse down the stretch. Gashing a beat up Bears defense, but running harder on every down. He is currently the league’s 3rd leading rusher, with 2 touchdowns, and should only impress more behind the NFL’s best offensive line.

The Cowboys are also led by another rookie at quarterback, who is making a lot of us wonder how he fell to the 4th round in this year’s draft. Dak Prescott doesn’t have gaudy numbers, yet, but he appears to be looking better by the week. He threw his first career touchdown pass in Week 3, averages 33 attempts per game, and goes up against the 28th ranked pass defense on Sunday (San Francisco). He won’t necessarily carry your team, but a spot start by Prescott doesn’t appear shabby in Week 4 if you need one.

Quick Hits

  • Terrelle Pryor became the first player in NFL history to record over 140 receiving yards, 20 rushing yards, and 30 passing yards all in the same game. He is the Browns’ best source for offense and even played safety, at one point, against the Dolphins in Week 3. You can also tell that Cleveland coach Hue Jackson is scheming specifically to put the ball in Pryor’s hands AND in open space…because why wouldn’t you, when the guy is 6’6, 240 pounds and can run a 4.4 40-second drill.

 

  • Christine Michael looked like he was in a video game in the first quarter against San Francisco in week 3. 9 carries, 71 yards and 2 touchdowns (the first on his first touch for 41 yards). He came back to Earth though, only rushing for 35 on 3.1 yards per carry after that. Michael is the guy many people have waited on, with all the physical tools to be a star in the league. The injuries Thomas Rawls has dealt with have given Michael his 3rd or 4th chance to prove it, as it seems. He has a tough matchup this week against the Jets, a Top-3 rush defense.

 

  • In tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup, your first thought for best fantasy option may be AJ Green, but I lean toward Jarvis Landry. He is commanding 30% of his team’s targets, is lethal in the return game, and is LITERALLY putting up Antonio Brown numbers (even though he went 4 rounds later in your draft). Landry is tied with Brown for the league lead in receptions (24) and has recorded more yards in 3 games (314). He’s even stealing Brown’s touchdown celebrations…

 

Mail Time!

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If Dez Bryant plays, he’ll be doing so with a fractured knee…So, I’ll let you decide on that one.

 

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For PPR’s sake, you’ll for sure want to start Mark Ingram. The Chargers are allowing NINE CATCHES PER GAME to running backs, so far this season. Being without Manti Teo (who is still without his imaginary girlfriend. Sorry too easy), makes the Chargers way more susceptible to the run.

Carlos Hyde may have gone off on the Seahawks, but they didn’t allow Arian Foster or Todd Gurley to go over 51 yards the weeks prior. Travis Benjamin will continue to get is targets and shoot EAT against the Saints secondary.

 

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The Giants have done some impressive things rushing the passer and against the run, but they are THE WORST against the pass through 3 weeks this season. Stefon Diggs should be in for a solid day of receiving yards on Sunday.

Despite facing his toughest matchup of the season, I have to recommend Mike Evans over Emmanuel Sanders because he is 2nd in targets this season to Antonio Brown. Jameis Winston may not play particularly well, but you can count on him at least throwing it Evans’ way.

 

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This one will be quick:

League leader in receiving yards Marvin Jones against the depleted Bears secondary. Then Brandin Cooks, for the real potential of a shootout with San Diego.

 

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You have to play Julio Jones if you have him. Last week was a bit of an enigma with him. Look for Julio to take advantage of a young Panthers secondary that has only faced Trevor Siemian, Blaine Gabbert, and Sam Bradford so far this season and Matt Ryan has all of a sudden shown up as a top quarterback again. I get the temptation for Marvin Jones, but Julio is far more proven and that deal needs to be sweetened much more for me to trade him.

 

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Hey man, I just give advice. I don’t lock your lineup for you.

Have more Fantasy lineup questions? Don’t hesitate to ask on Facebook or Twitter

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks 3.0

The quarterback position is the most important in the NFL game today, which was evident when the first two picks in the draft were quarterbacks despite them not being the best overall players. The game has evolved so much that throwing 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns is considered average.

Yet while quarterbacks are valued and paid more than anyone else in the league, it has become customary in Fantasy Football not to draft the position until the 3rd round at the earliest. There are some quarterbacks who can win games for you all by themselves (Cam Newton), some who will give you a solid output week-to-week (Carson Palmer) and those who could lose games for you (Hopefully not ranked here).

After publishing the first list back in February and another on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, let’s take a look one last look at the Top-25 quarterbacks who will likely be drafted in your league this year.

1. Cam Newton, Panthers

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Cam Newton scored touchdowns, whether it was through the air or on the ground, in EVERY game he played during the 2015 season. He recorded 45 in total (35 passing, 10 rushing), plus 3,837 yards passing and 636 yards rushing. It was an unprecedented year for a quarterback, and sure it’s hard to expect him or anyone to do it again…but Newton’s talent and skill-set are too unique to doubt it.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

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Aaron Rodgers saw his numbers dip a little last season without Jordy Nelson. 31 TD/8 INT are nice for anyone, but down from the 38/5 the year before. Twice he threw 4 or more touchdowns in a game in 2015, but he wasn’t helping fantasay owners much down the stretch averaging just 1 TD and 1 INT a game in the final 3 games of the season. How often, though, have you seen Rodgers make throws and finish drives like the best quarterback in the league should? The Packers offense appears to be returning to normalcy in 2016, and that bodes well for the Discount Double-Check.

3. Carson Palmer, Cardinals

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Carson Palmer consistently gave those who likely stole him in the middle rounds last year a stat line of 2 touchdowns and 290 yards per game. That consistency goes a long way when everyone after Palmer on this list (outside of Tom Brady) has proven to give you a much worse output on any given Sunday. Palmer is 36 and not getting any younger, but the talent around him should continue the momentum he has built following his best statistical season to date (35 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and 4,671 yards).

4. Russell Wilson, Seahawks

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If there was another quarterback who could put up similar numbers to Cam Newton, Russell Wilson may have the tools to do so. Take a look at 7-game sample sizes from 2015 where both quarterbacks completely lit it up:

Wilson (Weeks 10-16) – 25 total touchdowns, 1 interception

Newton (Weeks 8-14) – 29 total touchdowns, 2 interceptions

The Seahawks offense found an incredible groove in that span, and it was built around both Russell and Thomas Rawls. With most of the offense returning and hopefully a better Year 2 of Jimmy Graham, it’s not inconceivable to see Wilson sustain that production for a full season.

5. Tom Brady, Patriots

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The Patriots (and the rest of the league) appear to have accepted Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension, but that shouldn’t stop you from drafting him by the 5th or 6th round. The caveat should be that you have your fill-in quarterback drafted not long after, but Brady will be returning after throwing the most touchdown passes in 2015. He’ll also have the best tight end combo in the league (Gronk & Bennett) to absolutely terrify opposing red zone defenses.

6. Blake Bortles, Jaguars

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Despite being the most sacked quarterback in the league in each of the 2 seasons of his career, Blake Bortles was one of the most improved players overall from one season to the next. Additions to the offensive line and Chris Ivory should improve Bortles’ protection, and his wide receiver tandem of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are one of the best in the NFL.

7. Drew Brees, Saints

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Although it’s been a slight decline year-to-year, Drew Brees has averaged 5,127.4 yards thrown over the past 5 seasons. Yardage hasn’t been a problem for the 37-year-old quarterback, neither have attempts or completions as he ranked 2nd in both last season. Also declining have been his touchdown numbers though, throwing 32 last season when he averaged 40 the four years prior. He did throw multiple touchdowns in 9 of his 15 games last season, including a 7-touchdown performance Week 8 against the Giants.

8. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

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Despite missing 4 games last season, Ben Roethlisberger still got after it with the high-powered Steelers offense. For the 2nd season in a row, Roethlisberger led the league in passing yards per game (328.2). Even without Martavis Bryant, he’ll have Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Ladarius Green, and Le’Veon Bell available to make big plays for him.

9. Eli Manning, Giants

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There is only one Manning brother in the league, and he’s coming off a season where he threw the most touchdowns of his career. Eli Manning threw multiple touchdowns in 11 of his 16 games, 5 of which were for 3+ (including the 6-touchdown battle with Drew Brees). The Giants spent most of their free agency spending on the defensive side of the ball, but upgraded their pass catching group by drafting WR Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma) and TE Jerell Adams (South Carolina). Year 3 of Odell Beckham Jr. should also lead to plenty more “throw it up and catch it” plays from Eli.

10. Andrew Luck, Colts

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 After awarding him with the league’s biggest contract, 6 years for $140 million, the Colts are betting a lot on Andrew Luck to be the quarterback who threw 40 touchdowns and 4,761 yards in 2014…not the one who only played 7 games in 2015 and threw just 15 touchdowns. When you invest that kind of money in a quarterback, the pressure is on for him to produce.

11. Derek Carr, Raiders

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Derek Carr is a star in the making. Like Bortles, Carr had a much better sophomore season by throwing 11 more touchdowns than he had in his rookie season. He also led the league in comeback victories with 4 total. I expect his chemistry with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree to improve even more, for Latavius Murray to compliment him better, and for their incredible offensive line to make all of that possible.

12. Philip Rivers, Chargers

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The pass-happiest quarterback of them all started out so incredibly hot in 2015. In the first half, Rivers averaged 344 yards per game with 15 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Then EVERYONE around him got injured, including Keenan Allen, Malcolm Floyd, Antonio Gates and a majority of his offensive line. It was Rivers and Danny Woodhead against the world (which needs to be a buddy comedy). Ken Whisenhunt has returned to San Diego as offensive coordinator, who helped resurrect Rivers’ Pro Bowl production in 2013. He should be available in the middle rounds as a late QB1 or top tier QB2, and his weapons will be touch to pass on as well.

13. Andy Dalton, Bengals

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I found myself rooting hard for Andy Dalton last season. He always gets the Bengals to the playoffs but can’t get them out of the first round, so he takes a lot of heat for that. Before getting injured early in his 13th game of the season, Dalton was on pace to match his career high passing touchdown total (33). 9 of the 12 games prior, he recorded multiple touchdowns and added rushing TD’s in 3 of them. There’s some concern with the departures of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, but #ADalt will still be throwing to AJ Green, Gio Bernard and Tyler Eifert when he returns. Also, don’t sleep on new addition Brandon LaFell filling in the WR2 role.

14. Tony Romo, Cowboys

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ROMOLICIOUS is back! *he says with tongue-in-cheek*

Tony Romo will, in fact, return this season and the front office has provided him with a gift from the NFL Draft in Ezekiel Elliott. We saw what Romo and the rest of the Cowboys offense was able to accomplish with an every-down back like DeMarco Murray (34 touchdowns and 9 INTs in 2014). Enter Elliott, who can run, catch, block and everything Boobie Miles’ uncle talked about in the Friday Night Lights movie. Behind the league’s best offensive line, Romo has less pressure on him and more time to throw to his favorite downfield target, Dez Bryant. Your biggest concern should be “what will happen when he takes another big hit?”

15. Kirk Cousins, Washington

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Kirk Cousins stepped up big in his first full season of starting in the NFL. He threw 29 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and 4,166 yards and that earned him a franchise tag from the Washington front office. His gamelogs don’t flash many multi-touchdown pass games, but he did record 5 with 3+ and 3 of those were for 4. He’ll be motivated even more to earn a longterm deal and the combo of Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson at their healthiest will be helpful in getting there.

16. Jay Cutler, Bears

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Despite injuries to his Top 3 WRs (Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal), #1 TE (Martellus Bennett), #1 RB (Matt Forte) and having to manage his offense in spite of a leaky defense, Jay Cutler produced his best statistical season since joining the Chicago Bears. He recorded multiple touchdowns in 8 of the 15 games he played with a receiver group that resembled one from the 4th quarter of a preseason game. A very much improved defense, a franchise tag motivated Jeffery, the debut of Kevin White, and offensive play-calling that compliments his strengths should help Cutler and his numbers immensley in 2016.

17. Matt Ryan, Falcons

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Despite having arguably the best WR to throw to and breakout RB Devonta Freeman, Matt Ryan threw as many touchdowns (21) and MORE interceptions (16) than Jay Cutler in more games played. Just watching him week-to-week, you wanted to yell at your television out loud, “JUST THROW IT UP TO JULIO!”, but Ryan would appear overmatched by the pass rush. Ryan will have better protection with new offensive linemen, like Pro Bowler Alex Mack at Center, and new WR2 Mohamed Sanu. The improvements to the offense should help Ryan bounce back but this will be the last straw for many people.

18. Matthew Stafford, Lions

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There was Matthew Stafford before Jim Bob Cooter (not great) and Matthew Stafford AFTER the OC took over for Joe Lombardi in Detroit. It began with 4 touchdowns against the division rival Bears in Week 6, then 8 multi-touchdown games over the next 10 games (including a 5 TD performance against Philly). Stafford’s issues over his career have always been consistency. He threw 41 TDs in 2011 but then just 20 the next. Fantasy owners better hope history doesn’t repeat itself in the now post-Megatron era.

19. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers

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Jameis Winston was clearly the best rookie quarterback last season after going #1 overall and backing it up with 22 touchdowns and 4,042 yards. Unfortunately for Winston, the Bucs didn’t do much upgrading around him on offense after elevating his offensive coordinator to head coach. If Doug Martin lives up to his new contract and Mike Evans catches more balls in the end zone than he drops, Winston could ascend to monster levels, like he had on the field at Florida State.

20. Brock Osweiler, Texans

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Brock Osweiler left Denver for an excellent situation in Houston. The Texans added multi-talented RB Lamar Miller and drafted two ridiculously athletic WRs in Will Fuller and Braxton Miller to compliment the very elite DeAndre Hopkins. Osweiler showcased why he belongs in NFL with a comeback win against Chicago, a statement win against New England, and keeping pace with the high-powered Steelers offense. However, there were times when Osweiler wasn’t inspiring confidence, which setup the welcomed return of aging Peyton Manning. Head Coach Bill O’Brien will be excited to sculpt Osweiler into his kind of quarterback with a great set up weapons. It will be on Osweiler, though, to make it work.

21. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins

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Adam Gase should be the best thing to happen to Ryan Tannehill. Gase made TIM TEBOW work for a season, managed Peyton Manning’s offense, and helped Jay Cutler look like the quarterback he was meant to be. Tannehill is ridiculously skilled in play-action and option-style offenses, capable of running and throwing for big plays. With budding star WR Jarvis Landry as his #1 option, Tannehill can play more like the the QB who 4 touchdowns against JJ Watt’s Texans and not the one who contributed nearly nothing in 4 different 2015 games.

22. Marcus Mariota, Titans

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In 1/3 of the 12 games Marcus Mariota played in his rookie season, he threw 3+ touchdowns (tying Peyton Manning’s Rookie record). He became the first player to throw 3 touchdowns and 250+ yards, plus run for over 100 yards as well. Overall, he proved to be a big playmaker. The Titans comitted to continuity by sticking with interim HC Mike Mularkey and also their running game by adding DeMarco Murray and Heisman winner Derrick Henry. If Dorial Green-Beckham finally emerges as a true #1 receiver and the offensive line keeps him in one piece, Super Mariota could continue to grow as Fantasy producing force.

23. Joe Flacco, Ravens

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Joe Flacco’s 3-year extension was Baltimore’s attempt to answer the age-old question “Is Joe Flacco elite?”. He’s never thrown more than 27 touchdowns in a season but can surprise you with a 5-touchdown spot, like he did against Tampa in 2014. In Steve Smith Sr’s farewell season, it shouldn’t be far fetched to see Flacco throwing deep and often to bounce back from his injury-ended 2015 season.

24. Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings

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Since coming into the league in 2014, Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t taken the next step being a viable Fantasy option. 2016 looks like an opportunity for it though, as the Vikings bulked up their offensive line and added the best wide receiver from the draft, Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell is excellent as possession option and Stefon Diggs emerged as a playmaker downfield last season. Now it’s on Bridgewater to make those plays.

25. Alex Smith, Chiefs

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Alex Smith is the safest spot-start option out of anyone that isn’t named on this list. He’s back to throwing touchdowns to wide receivers, has an excellent #1 option in Jeremy Maclin, mini-Gronk Travis Kelce, and Jamaal Charles returning. It’s also worth noting that he threw multiple touchdowns in 4 of the final 6 games of the season and has one of the league’s best defenses to enable him to score more.

More Position Rankings:

Running Backs (3.0)

Quarterbacks (2.0)

Wide Receivers (2.0)

Tight Ends (1.0)

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