The first 40 fantasy picks are nothing special, really. You already know all the top players and it’s only a matter of putting one guy over another, especially in PPR. But as the list goes on, the deviation grows.
It’s where high-reception backs like Duke Johnson, Giovani Bernard and Theo Riddick come in and start to overtake some of the higher-end quarterbacks, which wouldn’t be the case in standard leagues.
So let’s pick up where we left off.
- Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
- Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts
- Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets
I was going to go with a couple RBs to start this list, but I saw no reason to put any of them over solid WR options such as above. Baldwin will probably step back down to earth this year, but will still be good due to Russell Wilson’s elusiveness. Benjamin’s workload is unknown, but there’s no denying his talent.
- Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders
- Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
- Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
- DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
I finally decided to go with a couple more tight ends. Reed’s risk is too big for me to ignore, and I put Olsen on the same level as him, even with Benjamin there. As for the Murrays, I think both of them will receive enough touches to be good, every-week starters. And some seem to be forgetting that both of them can catch the ball.
- Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets
- Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers
- Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
- Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
- John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Do we know how many touches any of these guys are going to get? No. But they are all great out of the backfield as receivers, which is why they jump this high in PPR.
- Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
- Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
- Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
- Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
- Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
- Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
I went with consistency and known production in this next group of players. I’m 100 percent not sold on Rawls yet for an entire season so he drops a bit for me. There’s nothing not to like about Kelce and Walker, both consistent tight ends. As for the quarterbacks, I think Luck provides some risk, coming off a poor and injury-riddled season. One guy that doesn’t have risk? Drew Brees.
- Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
- Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
- Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts
- Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals
- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
This next group of wide receivers is full of questions. While they’ll have a big week here or there, none of them can truly be considered consistent. As for Gore, I pushed him up this list because I think he’ll have a better year than 2015 when he was the No. 14 PPR RB.
- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
- Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
I think both of these wide receivers are getting underrated. Jones will take up a big role in the Lions offense with Calvin Johnson gone, while everyone wants to discredit Crabtree’s great 2015. There’s no reason Crabtree can’t do that again as he’ll still only be 29 this year.
- Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
- Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
- Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins
- Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants
Woah, look at all these running backs. I could’ve thrown a tight end or wide receiver into this mix, but I think all of these running backs are at or near the same level, to a certain extent. They all could have great seasons, but they all have flaws that have reared their heads in recent years. As for second-year players Abdullah and Jones, can they take the next step?
- Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints
- Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints
Once again, I’m moving some wide receivers higher because I know they’re going to get targets and targets lead to receptions. Would you rather have a receiver that can produce something each week, or have a running back that will undoubtedly get hurt or is in a timeshare?
- Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
- T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Arian Foster, RB, Miami Dolphins
I like all of these running backs, but Langford isn’t going to be the Bears dominant ball carrier for 16 games. Yeldon may not get goal line carries, but he’s a much better receiver than Chris Ivory. As for Foster, the odds of him staying healthy are slim. That said, I’m more interested in them than what follows.
With the first 80 picks gone, it’s time to set for depth and filling in your QB and TE positions. There are some decent options down here, but when going for depth, the main goal is upside. Without upside, what’s the point?
- Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
- Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Maybe this is a gamble on Brady, but it’s worth it. There are multiple late-round QBs to take for the first four weeks and then you get Brady back. I almost had him higher than Palmer, but couldn’t do it.
- Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers
- DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
I’m surprisingly higher on Thomas than most after being down on him a year ago. If he can stay healthy, double-digit touchdowns should be close to automatic.
- Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Bucs
- Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
- DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins
- Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears
- Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens
- Tavon Austin, WR, Los Angeles Rams
- Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
If Victor Cruz continues to have injury issues, Shepard is going to have a fantastic season. With OBJ getting most of the attention, I’ll trust the rookie over boom-or-bust option DeSean Jackson. As for Aiken, he’s getting underrated, while Austin could surprise in his fourth year. The Rams finally figured out how to use him last year and now he and Gurley will give them some electricity on offense.
- Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
- Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
These quarterbacks are all in the same tier for me and nothing much separates them. I don’t think Bortles matches where he was last season, while Manning and Rivers will be right around the top 10 again.
- Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns
- Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions
- Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions
- Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphons
- Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
- Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts
- Zach Miller, TE, Chicago Bears
- Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
Here’s a big run on tight ends, which is equal to about the ninth round in 12-team leagues. Ebron had an injury scare, but I like his potential this year and the same goes for Allen and Miller. Gates’ age/injury worries me and the upside of the aforementioned options is enough to put above him.
- Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns
- Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
This is a group of wide receivers that will be tough to trust and I probably won’t be drafting any of them personally. Meanwhile, Powell’s usage will be interesting considering he’s a lesser/younger version of Forte.
- Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
- Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
We’re getting into the 10th round and solid QB options are still here. I’ll take Carr’s gradual improvement in his third year above injury-riddled Romo, though.
- Travis Benjamin, WR, San Diego Chargers
- Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
- DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns
I have Williams lower than most, although he’ll be snagged way too early by whomever drafted Bell. And even then, is this position worth it if Williams is only usable for four weeks?
- Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers
- Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
- Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Bucs
- Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
Smith is an interesting option with Chip Kelly considering how much he has disappointed over the years. Coates’ upside is higher than most this far down the rankings, and the same can be said about Thomas. Of course, those guys have little experience and could easily bust, even on the most high-powered offenses.
The biggest name I passed over was Justin Forsett. How much upside does a 31-year-old running back have, especially when there are three other viable options on the team? This could end up being similar to the C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman situation last year, and having Forsett may be close to useless outside of a couple weeks.