2016 Preseason Rankings: Top 15 Quarterbacks

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that quarterback is an extremely deep position, especially in one-quarterback formats.  It’s easy to look towards the later rounds in the draft and see productive options being available, so there isn’t necessarily a need to reach in the early rounds.  That’s not to say that all quarterbacks are created equal and that there is reason to simply ignore the top names.  Who is the best heading into 2016?  Who has under-the-radar value?  Let’s take a look at our first rankings of the year:

  1. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
  2. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
  3. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
  4. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
  5. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints
  6. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
  7. Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals
  8. Tom Brady – New England Patriots
  9. Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars
  10. Eli Manning – New York Giants Read more

Is The Raiders’ DeAndre Washington A Sleeper Worth Selecting?

by Ray Kuhn

Where a player was selected in the draft obviously matters as roster decisions, depth charts and initial playing time can all generally be tied back to it. For the most part, anyways, though it’s a little bit less of a factor today than it once was.  That is especially true when it comes to the running back position. That is the position where depth charts have an ever decreasing value, and most teams will have multiple running backs who will have fantasy value throughout the season.

There were many running backs taken in the draft ahead of DeAndre Washington (Oakland), and the majority of them came with greater buzz and name recognition. However there will likely be any better values coming out of this year’s rookie class. I’m not going to say that he is going to outperform Ezekiel Elliot or Derrick Henry, but Washington will likely be just a step or two behind.

Let’s start by taking a quick look at Washington’s college career at Texas Tech. Read more

Bust Candidate (2016): Why The Risk Of Selecting Matt Jones May Outweigh The Reward

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Barring adding a running back late the Washington Redskins appear primed to lean on Matt Jones in 2016.  A third round pick in 2015, he shared time with Alfred Morris last season and posted less than impressive marks:

  • Rushing – 144 carries, 490 yards (3.4 YPC), 3 TD
  • Receiving – 19 receptions, 304 yards, 1 TD

You could argue that those numbers were about what we should’ve expected, after he never had more than 166 carries in a season at Florida (and he never averaged more than 5.3 YPC).  Sure he has the size that you look for (6’1”, 231 lbs.), but it’s easy to argue that he is going to be mislabeled as a “lead” back.

Just look at this scouting report from NFL.com prior to the draft:

“Has very good athleticism for a big running back and is a physical pile-mover who is difficult to stop for negative yardage. Unfortunately, Jones lacks the instincts and vision to fully maximize his physical tools. Jones could become the physical member of a running-back-by-committee approach, with upside as a third-down option.” Read more

Is There Too Much Risk To Invest In Brock Osweiler As Anything More Than A Bench Option?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It was a bit of a surprise when Brock Osweiler bolted Denver to sign with the Houston Texans.  Obviously money talks, though you could also argue that he moves somewhere that he will be in position to thrive:

  • DeAndre Hopkins (arguably the premier WR in the league) is at his disposal
  • The team added Will Fuller to start across from him
  • Lamar Miller was added in the offseason, which will give the team a running game to help keep defenses honest

It’s hard not to like the situation, the question is if Osweiler can take advantage of it.  In his first true taste in the NFL he completed 61.8% of his passes, throwing for 1,967 yards, 10 TD and 6 INT.  That said there obviously is a question as to whether or not he’s going to be able to thrive on deeper throws: Read more

Bounce Back Candidate: Beyond The Weight Loss, There Are Ample Reasons To Believe In Eddie Lacy

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Eddie Lacy was thought of as a can’t miss option entering 2015, though that ultimately proved to be far from accurate.  Instead of producing like a Top 5 running back Lacy found himself benched and buried down the depth chart for much of the season.  Sharing time with James Starks, here’s how things ended up being split:

  • Eddie Lacy – 187 carries, 758 yards, 3 TD
  • James Starks – 148 carries, 601 yards, 2 TD

While the numbers look close, Starks added 43 receptions for 392 yards and 3 TD compared to 20 receptions for 188 yards and 2 TD from Lacy.  The question now is if we should anticipate a similar split as we head into 2016, or if Lacy can once again stake claim to the lead role.

According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN early this offseason (click here for the article):

“According to one source, Lacy has lost between 15-18 pounds since the end of last season.” Read more

2016 Breakout Candidate: Why Jay Ajayi Could Post A Top 15 Season

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Miami Dolphins had been trying to replace Lamar Miller all offseason to no avail.  The finally added a running back to their stable on the second day of the draft, grabbing Alabama’s Kenyan Drake in the third round.  The question that leaves for fantasy owners is who is likely going to be the “lead” back in Miami?  Will it be Drake or Jay Ajayi?  Will it be a committee?  Let’s take a look:

Jay Ajayi
Had there not been long-term concerns about his knee Ajayi would’ve been drafted significantly earlier then he was in ’15 (5th round, 149th overall).  Long-term is one thing, but how long do most running backs last anyways?  Unfortunately the NFL is a short-term game and it’s hard not to like what Ajayi brings to the table.

His numbers were underwhelming in his NFL debut (3.8 YPC on 49 carries, 7 receptions in 9 games), but just look at the numbers he posted during his final year at Boise State: Read more

Thank You For A Great 2015 Season!

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who visited/supported Rotoprofessor throughout the 2015 season.  We couldn’t do this without you and your support is very much appreciated.

We will keep the site going in the offseason, though the articles will be a bit more sporadic, and we’ll also be posting NFL Mock Drafts and prospect profiles over on our prospect page.  In other words, make sure to keep checking back!

Thanks again and for those of you who are still battling for a title good luck today!

Week 17 Rankings (2015): Top 15 Kickers

by Ray Kuhn

Kickers can truly decide a game, but the goal is always to avoid that occurrence. Of course that cannot be completely avoided, so here is how the Kickers rank to close out the season.

  1. Shayne Graham – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  2. Chandler Catanzaro – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Seattle
  3. Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at Miami
  4. Caleb Sturgis – Philadelphia Eagles – at New York Giants
  5. Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – at Cincinnati
  6. Dustin Hopkins – Washington Redskins – at Dallas
  7. Graham Gano – Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
  8. Nick Novak – Houston Texans – vs. Jacksonville Read more

Week 17 Rankings (2015): Top 15 Defenses

by Ray Kuhn

As we close out the season, the best opportunities we have seen all year for defenses is upon us. At this point only about a third of teams have something to play for and there are no risks being taken. There are a lot of injuries and teams that are at less than full strength, so we will be seeing a lot of backups this week. While that also covers defensive players, this is most felt at the offensive skill positions. With that in mind let’s take a look at how the Defenses rank to close out the season.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Baltimore
  2. Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
  3. Denver Broncos – vs. San Diego
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
  5. Arizona Cardinals – vs. Seattle
  6. Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Oakland
  7. New England Patriots – at Miami
  8. St. Louis Rams – at San Francisco Read more

Week 17 Rankings (2015): Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Will Overton

There’s a lot on line for all of those who are still playing fantasy football in Week 17, so lineup decisions are more important than ever before. Here is how I see the Wide Receiver position breaking down in the rankings this week:

  1. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans
  2. Odell Beckham Jr – New York Giants vs. Philadelphia
  3. DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville
  4. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland
  5. Brandon Marshall – New York Jets @ Buffalo
  6. Brandin Cooks – New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta
  7. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore
  8. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos vs. San Diego
  9. Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston
  10. Eric Decker – New York Jets @ Buffalo Read more