Saturday, July 23, 2016


1.  Antonio Brown (WR):  Brown as the number 1 pick in a PPR formats is a no-brainer as he continues to set all sorts of receptions records with or without Ben Roethlisberger healthy.  Don't overthink it. 

2.  Le'Veon Bell-Odell Beckham Jr. (WR):  With Bell out of the picture, Beckham moves up to number 2 and yes another wideout.  Beckham, Brown, and Julio Jones are in a clear tier all to themselves in PPR formats given their monstrous reception and yardage totals.  Beckham is the better TD producer over Jones so he gets the nod in terms of who goes after Brown in the WR hierarchy.

3.  David Johnson (RB):  Again with Bell out of the picture, Johnson becomes the top back in PPR formats.  From mid-November onward a year ago, there was not a better running back in fantasy football and it was not even close as Johnson did everything.  Yes Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington remain but Johnson is set to have another huge season for the explosive Arizona offense.

4.  Todd Gurley (RB):  There is no denying the electricity that Gurley is capable of as a major home-run threat and explosive runner.  The issue I have with Gurley is that he is not a great receiving yet and he wore down as the season went along in 2015.  There is legit injury concern here and it would not shock me in the least if Gurley went bust under a hail of injuries just as much as he would lead the league in rushing.  Boom or bust.

5.  Julio Jones (WR):  The third of the top tier of fantasy football PPR wideouts, Jones has kicked his previous injury prone label to the curb at least for now.  The only knock on Jones is that he doesn't score as many TD's as Brown or Beckham and there could be some Andre Johnson in him in that respect.

6.  Ezekiel Elliott (RB):  Yes it is a tough call making any rookie a mid-first round pick but Elliott is a true three-down guy who can both run and catch the football at the highest level.  The Cowboys have the best offensive line in the game and will run it a ton to protect the fragile Tony Romo. 

7.  Adrian Peterson (RB):  Peterson led the NFL in rushing at the age of 30 in 2015 so he is far from finished and he has always hit double-digits in rushing scores outside of the year he was disciplined by the league.  The trends of backs wearing down at 30 don't apply here but keep in mind Peterson has never been a big receptions guy so he is a bit behind the other backs above him on this list. 

8.  DeAndre Hopkins (WR):  The fact that Hopkins caught over 100 balls a year ago with arguably the worst batch of quarterbacks throwing him the ball was amazing stuff.  With the capable and power-armed Brock Osweiler under center in 2016, Hopkins could off again. 

9. Cam Newton (QB):  Still would never recommend going with a QB in Round 1 in single-passer formats but this seems to be around the right spot for Newton who set all sorts of passing/running marks in a fantasy football MVP-type 2015 campaign.  While we would draw back on those numbers a bit in 2016, Newton should be the top passer off the board. 

10. Lamar Miller (RB):  This is me projecting a top five running back season for Lamar Miller in 2016 as I have spoken about in a Player Analyzer about the guy previously.  There is no holding Miller back now as the main runner for the Houston Texans and head coach Bill O'Brien has said repeatedly that he will run him and throw passes to him all game long. 

11. Rob Gronkowski (TE):  Gronk once again holds his spot at the end of Round 1 which is where his combination of big TD production and top tier tight end reception numbers reside.  The injury risk remains but Gronk is by far better than any other tight end in fantasy football. 

12. A.J. Green (WR):  Yet another wideout goes in Round 1 as Green is set to challenge his career-high in receptions now that QB Andy Dalton is back healthy and with very few other receiving options to target.  

Here is what a standard league would look like in Round 1 without Bell. 

1.  Brown
2.  Bell-Beckham
3.  Johnson
4.  Newton
5.  Peterson
6.  Gurley
7.  Elliott
8.  Hopkins
9.  Aaron Rodgers
10. Gronkowski
11. Dez Bryant
12. A. J. Green


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