Rejoice fantasy fans, we’re less than two weeks away from officially kicking off the 2016 NFL Season. As such, drafts are full in swing, and staying up-to-date with all the latest preseason action and news is essential. Lucky for you, The RSJ eats, sleeps, and definitely (wet) dreams football 24/7, leaving you with the most current and comprehensive rankings out there.
This is particularly crucial during preseason Week 3, aka the “dress rehearsal,” where we get extended looks at the starters and the action most resembles regular season ball. After breaking down all the game film and scouring every headline, we’ve crafted our third Top 150 Big Board (which will be updated all weekend with each game and noteworthy story).
As the necessary preface, these rankings are based on full PPR scoring, and rosters that would feature 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE) + whatever for bench. Another reminder: just because I have Cam Newton at #34 does not mean I think 33 others will outscore him; it reflects the depth at QB, the opportunity cost and drop offs for the skill players, and the consistency with hitting on late QBs and playing the match-ups. Different positions fall off cliffs at different times, which is why the looking at a Big Board and getting a sense of the ebbs and flows of each position is crucial before a draft.
If you’re looking for thoughts on specific positions, the tiered cheat sheets are linked below:
? = guy I’m significantly higher on.
? = guy I’m significantly lower on
↗️ = slight bump up
↘️ = slight bump down
⬆️ = major bump up
⬇️ = major bump down
? = 30+
? = rookie
? = health risk
Talent Tier 1 – The PPR Almighty – $70+
1. Antonio Brown (WR1, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Talent Tier 2 – Cases to be Antonio’s Robin – $60-$65
2. Odell Beckham (WR2, New York Giants)
3. Julio Jones (WR3, Atlanta Falcons)
4. David Johnson (RB1, Arizona Cardinals)
The options that I’d consider at #2 overall have been widdled down to four. In a no huddle attack that could approach the league lead in plays run and points scored, Odell Beckham remains locked in as my #2 option. Sterling Shepard’s presence will only help him.
Julio is the play for the risk averse, as he remains a dead lock for another insane tsunami of targets as Shanahan’s X-horse. David Johnson might just be the play in a high-stakes format where you’ll need differentiation among a diverse field i.e. the NFFC. He offers the potential highest edge of all: a true three-down back in an explosive offense that’s done it at this level, comes with no red tape, and is quite possibly ascending.
Talent Tier 3 – Remaining First Rounders $55-$60
Because I want to nail production with my Round 1 pick and I’m getting more comfortable with the Round Two RBs, I like going WR at the top. Still, quality backs, especially those with three-down upside, are growing increasingly rare, and nailing consistent, dependable RB production is far more difficult after these first few rounds.
5. DeAndre Hopkins (WR4, Houston Texans)
6. A.J. Green (WR5, Cincinnati Bengals)
7. Todd Gurley (RB2, St. Louis Rams)
8. Allen Robinson (WR6, Jacksonville Jaguars)
9. ?↗️ Ezekiel Elliott (RB3, Dallas Cowboys)
August 27th update – As Chris explored in his excellent Elliott breakdown, the rookie back’s fantasy stock actually improves with Dak Prescott starting: “Prescott’s dual-threat ability will only open up more lanes for Elliott. The Cowboys can run more plays out of the shotgun, which is what the tailback ran 100 percent of his plays out of at Ohio State and they can run the zone read with Dak and Zeke.” This helps Elliott leap Dez Bryant, who’s value is a little murkier without Romo.
August 26th update – On the field, Elliott erased any concerns in ripping off 48 yards on only seven carries. He found the right holes, showed speed to the edge, flashed his high-end protection skills, and most impressively, bulled over Kam Chancellor with his raw power. In short, Elliott did it all (here’s a breakdown of his night).
Unfortunately, he was also spotted at a marijuana dispensary before the game. While this will be a non issue, the off-field negative fodder is starting to pile up, which creates some added risk. Should he play all 16 behind this beastly offensive line, Elliott would have a great shot to be 2016’s top scoring back.
10. ↗️ ? Le’Veon Bell (RB4, Pittsburgh Steelers)
August 27th update – Making his 2016 debut, Bell immediately shook off any onfield concerns surrounding his knee by compiling 58 yards on only eight touches. He averaged a sturdy 7.0 YPC on his three totes, while remaining as heavily involved as ever in the passing game, hauling in all five of his targets for 31 yards. This offense is going to run through Antonio and Le’Veon now that Martavis is out, and with DeAngelo’s price tag falling into the ninth round, you should stay afloat in Bell’s three game absence for cheap. Upon his return, you’ll be rolling out a weekly top three (often #1) RB, and Bell is a safe bet to lead the position in points from Weeks 4- 17 as long as health permits (no guarantee with Le’Veon, however).
11. Dez Bryant (WR7, Dallas Cowboys)
August 27th update – Both of Dez’s preseason TDs have come on dimes from Dak Prescott, so I’m not overreacting to Tony Romo’s broken back bone. Yes, this could hurt Dez’s outlook, yet there’s also a chance it helps. He remains my WR7, but drops a few spots overall on the Big Board.
12. Lamar Miller (RB5, Houston Texans)
13. Brandon Marshall (WR8, New York Jets)
14. Rob Gronkowski (TE1, New England Patriots)
After doing various mock drafts and Draft Wizards, I always feel better about my team when I go RB and WR early, as compared to Gronk. Given how fast the RBs and WRs thin out, I prefer targeting a value TE like Gary Barnidge or Gronk’s teammate Martellus Bennett while I boost my multi-starter depth.
15. ?Adrian Peterson (RB6, Minnesota Vikings)
16. ⬆️ ?LeSean McCoy (RB7, Buffalo Bills)
Shady’s rapid rise up the Big Board continues as his three-down workhorse status was emphatically confirmed on Saturday. First, Karlos Williams was released, giving Shady a clear path to Buffalo’s goal line carries all season. Moreover, Shady flashed his third down skills against the Giants, absolutely dusting their coverage for four catches, 58 yards and a TD. He’s scheduled for one of the highest workloads in the league in Greg Roman’s run-obsessed scheme, and is now a highly viable RB1 option. If you’re getting him anywhere beyond the middle of Round 2, you’ve landed a steal.
Talent Tier 4 – Last acceptable RB1 and WR1s $45-$50
At this stage, team need becomes relevant. I like to generally have a top WR and top RB in my first two picks, as I feel the drop off after this tier is real at both positions, and I want #1 options I’m comfortable with in both slots. Consequently, my first round pick will often influence this selection, as will general draft flow. Example – I have Gurley, so I go Landry over Ingram even though the Saint is technically ahead on the Big Board.
17. ⬆️Mike Evans (WR9, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
August 27th update – Evans and Winston reportedly worked on their rapport all offseason, and Week 3 served as the glaring evidence of this. His five catch, 115 yard, TD performance was impressive, as Evans was leaping all over the place and dusting the coverage with regularity. Even scarier, Evans and Winston just missed on an additional 85 yard TD. With a final preseason line of 8 catches 143 yards and 2 TDs, Evans has flashed all the necessary signs of a WR primed to ascend to the elite level. There’s a real chance he beats his 12 TDs from his rookie season.
18. ?Keenan Allen (WR10, San Diego Chargers)
19.? Jordy Nelson (WR11, Green Bay Packers)
20. Devonta Freeman (RB8, Atlanta Falcons)
Devonta looked far better in Preseason Week 2, ripping off 42 yards, including a 19 yard TD, on only four carries. His vision and wiggle in the hole were far better, and Freeman was the back in for every red zone, third down, and short yardage carry. Moreover, Tevin Coleman looked pretty horrible, so this might not end up a committee no matter how badly the team would love that.
Unfortunately, his Week 3 preseason effort was pretty horrendous, as Freeman only gained eight yards on five totes. The whole offense sputtered big time, including Coleman, but there’s room for concern here. He could fall below some names on this list if they show better this weekend.
21. ?Jamaal Charles (RB9, Kansas City Chiefs) – I’m happy he finally returned to the practice field this week, and he stands for a boost if he’s looking like prime JaCha.
22. ↗️Eddie Lacy (RB10, Green Bay Packers) –
August 27th update – This marks the third week in a row Lacy receives an up arrow, making him one of the preseason’s biggest winners. He was rumbling again, and particularly impressive on a 21 yard scamper in which he outran the defense to the edge. Even with Starks involved, Lacy should see enough quality volume for an RB1 season with his regained explosion. His 20 carry, 114 yard, TD preseason seems consistent? with what his weekly stat lines should look like
23. ?Alshon Jeffery (WR12, Chicago Bears)
24. ?Jarvis Landry (WR13, Miami Dolphins)
25. Sammy Watkins (WR14, Buffalo Bills)
26.⬆️ Amari Cooper (WR15, Oakland Raiders)
August 27th update – In an effort to build chemsitry, Carr and Cooper have been rooming together, studying film every day after practice with one another, occassionally sharing a sleeping bag and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. But in all seriousness, the trust & rapport shown on Cooper’s 29 yard diving TD snare was incredible, and the sophomore wideout finished with three catches, 52 yards and a TD. Cooper reportedly played through painful plantar fasciitis all last season, and was so embarrassed with his play that he struggled watching 2015 film. Cooper’s ceiling is far from established, and the sophomore could explode for elite WR1 numbers in 2016.
Talent Tier 5 – Elite #2 Options $35-$40
While I wouldn’t be comfortable with any of these guys as my top WR or RB, I’d be ecstatic to see them in my #2 spot. In general, I feel WR thins out faster than RB this year, particularly in PPR when starting four WRs is a recommended play. Plus, there’s plenty of mid and late round backs with upside who I love, so I’m far more inclined to go WR heavy in these next few rounds.
27. ↘️ Demaryius Thomas (WR16, Denver Broncos)
So much for Sanchez looking competent. He was a horror show in Week 2, and now there’s a real chance a thing named Trevor Siemian is going to be throwing Demaryius the rock (as covered by Jimbo Slice here). While the downgrade might not be overly steep from Peyton Manning’s corpse, it’ll still be a downgrade. Yes, the targets should still be there in a Kubiak offense that loves funneling looks to the X-receiver. Targets won’t matter if they come from a garbage heap QB.
28. ↘️?Mark Ingram (RB11, New Orleans Saints)
August 27th update – Nevermind that Ingram hasn’t looked overly effective in any preseason action, what has me most concerned is CJ Spiller’s newfound role in the first team offense. For two straight weeks now Spiller has rotated in extensively with the ones, and the consistent hype train has actually looked pretty good. Spiller has been particularly involved on passing downs, which puts a noteworthy damper on Ingram’s outlook; a major piece of Ingram’s PPR appeal was his every-down role and 50 receptions from 2015. Ceding this work would limit Ingram’s ultimate ceiling, although there’ll be enough TDs to keep him productive as long as his health is sustained.
29. ⬆️C.J. Anderson (RB12, Denver Broncos)
August 27th update – Anderson again showed midseason burst and speed to the edge. He’s going to be fed all the carrries he can handle. Now that he appears truly ready to be a bell cow, there’s a real chance we get a classic Kubiak workhorse type of season, which has yielded high-end RB1 numbers to lesser talents. Booker’s impressive preseason is the only minor pause I have with Anderson now.
30. ⬆️? Donte Moncrief (WR17, Indianapolis Colts)
August 27th update – During the team’s dress rehearsal, Moncrief dominated Luck’s attention and defensive backs alike. He led the team with six targets, and hauled in all five Luck threw his way for 52 yards, including a couple impressive jump ball wins. He’s my favorite to lead the Colts in all meaningful receiving categories, and as a guy who will be a possession guy, deep ball threat, and red zone jump ball terror, ‘Crief has all the tools to be a bonafide WR1. He’s my bet to emerge as 2016’s Allen Robinson, after all.
31. ?Doug Baldwin (WR18, Seattle Seahawks)
While I like Baldwin to finish this high, you can generally get him a round or even two later. I might go another guy here if I think Baldwin will fall to me on the way back.
32. ↗️Randall Cobb (WR19, Green Bay Packers)
August 27th update – Cobb should return to form with Jordy Nelson’s attention-hogging presence back. He looked nimble on his Week 3 TD reception, and Cobb should be utilized similarly to 2014 when he finished as a top 10 PPR wideout.
33. Brandin Cooks (WR20, New Orleans Saints)
34. ?↘️Julian Edelman (WR21, New England Patriots)
August 27th update – Edelman showed no chemistry with Jimmy Garoppollo, who favored Chris Hogan and was generally underwhelming yet again. Though Edelman still has blow up potential when Brady returns in Week 5, he might not yield much value to begin 2016. This, plus his checkered injury history, make Edelman a riskier buy than his on-field PPR consistency suggests.
35. T.Y. Hilton (WR22, Indianapolis Colts)
August 27th update – While Hilton still looks solid, he was the clear #2 to Moncrief during the team’s dress rehearsal, consistent with practice reports throughout camp. He’ll still explode for some monster efforts, keeping him a highly viable #2 option. ‘Crief feels like the better bet for a true WR1 ceiling here
36. Doug Martin (RB13, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
37. Cam Newton (QB1, Carolina Panthers)
38. ?Latavius Murray (RB14, Oakland Raiders)
39. Jordan Reed (TE2, Washington Redskins)
**Wide Receivers drop off big here**
Talent Tier 6- Intriguing RB2s, Solid WR3s, High End QB1s + TE1s – $25-$35
I’m hoping to have my RB2 and WR3 by the end of this tier; the QBs also represent an edge over the pack at this stage of the draft, despite how deep the position is. Locking up safe points at the TE spot is also a highly viable option here.
40. ⬆️ Jeremy Langford (RB15, Chicago Bears)
For all the committee talk earlier this offseason, Langford has sure looked like a feature back. He’s taken virtually all first team reps, stayed in on passing downs, and received all of the early red zone carries against the Patriots. More importantly, he’s looked very solid in all three phases. Week 3 will mark an extended showing of the first team offense, and Langford could rise even higher if he continues showing a stranglehold on the touches again.
41. ⬆️?Jeremy Hill (RB16, Cincinnati Bengals)
After seeing the lack of perimeter options in Cincy, I feel like the Bengals are going to try real hard to establish the run behind their beastly offensive line and what is truly looking like a recharged Hill. He looked like he had some juice in his 3 carries for 16 yards, including a powerful 9 yard TD. Beat writers have also been noting his improved explosion and high motivation for a bounce back, with the Enquirer’s Paul Dehner predicting “a huge season.” Yes, there’s serious bust potential here after a horrid 2015, but if he’s in rookie-year form for a full 16 game slate, the ceiling is limitless. Falling to Round 5 and beyond, Hill is well worth a look.
42. ⬆️?? DeMarco Murray (RB17, Tennessee Titans)
Exotic Smashmouth, 2016. Murray’s looked fantastic this preseason, and he’s a high-upside RB2 for however long he holds up. Of course, Henry is a must draft, but this backfield is a great investment.
DeMarco Murray looking powerful & nimble. Rush TD already. Mouths, again, are being exotically smashed by Tennessee. #FantasyFootball
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) August 28, 2016
43.?↗️ ?Matt Forte (RB18, New York Jets)
August 27th update – Forte looked spry, even if the final numbers weren’t overly impressive, and his creative usage was encouraging. He could go off in Gailey’s system which milks the most out of versatile backs, and Forte’s fit appears glove-like. Only his age makes me uncomfortable.
44. ↗️Greg Olsen (TE3, Carolina Panthers) – This represents the fall in quality RB options here, as I’d rather grab a sure thing and guaranteed production among a shallow TE spot than roll the dice on a risky RB
45.↗️ Eric Decker (WR23, New York Jets)
August 27th update – Decker reminded us of his red zone chops on a powerful 22 yard TD recepton against the Giants. If Marshall’s hip injury proves to be problematic, Decker has a huge ceiling.
46. ?↘️Thomas Rawls (RB19, Seattle Seahawks)
August 26th update – Rawls is falling fast as Christine Michael continues to climb. There’s still so much juicy upside with his talent, but a three-headed committee might keep it completely capped. After rookie CJ Prosise saw the field on numerous third down opportunities on Thursday night, we’ll continue to search for signs of backfield clarity, but Rawls is getting tougher to trust.
47. Russell Wilson (QB2, Seattle Seahawks)
48. Aaron Rodgers (QB3, Green Bay Packers)
49. ?Larry Fitzgerald (WR24, Arizona Cardinals)
50. ↗️?????Ryan Mathews (RB20, Philadelphia Eagles)
Clearly I understand the health risks, but man is he going to do some solid things when on the field. His backups become must owns.
51. Andrew Luck (QB4, Indianapolis Colts)
Talent Tier 7- Still starter worthy talents, with a few more ?s
52. ⬇️Kelvin Benjamin (WR25, Carolina Panthers) – The reports of him being out of shape and struggling with conditioning, combined with Devin Funchess’s ascension, have me very nervous about Kelvin. The ceiling is still very high, but the floor is a lot lower than previously imagined.
53. ? Jeremy Maclin (WR26, Kansas City Chiefs)
54.⬆️ ?Josh Gordon (WR27, Cleveland Browns)
August 27th update – With only two preseason catches, Gordon has erased all on field concerns. He was as long and deceptively fast as ever on his two catches for 87 yards, and literally hung dong on Brent Grimes’ face during his 43 yard score. Paired with the best deep ball thrower of his career (and one who he already has established chemistry with nonetheless), Gordon will carry as much upside as any WR in the game from Week 5 on. As soon as I’ve filled in my top three WR starters, Gordon becomes the first name on my list. Pair him with DeAngelo Williams as a flex option, and you could very well inject a WR1 into your line up for the stretch run at minimal cost.
55. ?↗️Desean Jackson (WR28, Washington Redskins)
August 27th update – DeSean Jackson led the team with four catches for 56 yards in preseason dress rehearsal against the Bills, and will enter 2016 as Cousins’s #1 WR. He flashed that extra gear which makes him so special on his 39 yard catch and run, and has added motivation in a contract year. Redskins color analyst Joe Theismann noted that Jackson has been in great shape this offseason, even packing on six pounds of muscle, which is evidence of his 2016 drive. He could have a WR1 type of season.
56. Marvin Jones (WR29, Detroit Lions) – He looks like the real deal, and his rapport with Stafford is clearly strong.
57. ?Delanie Walker (TE4, Tennessee Titans)
August 27th update – Walker left the field with an undisclosed injury , but early tea leaves suggest it isn’t overly serious. The dominant run game could open up the seams and play action game for Delanie to feast.
58. Drew Brees (QB5, New Orleans Saints)
59. ? Carlos Hyde (RB21, San Francisco 49ers)
60. ? Golden Tate (WR30, Detroit Lions)
61. ?Gary Barnidge (TE5, Cleveland Browns)
Similar to Baldwin, I am way higher on Barnidge than most, so I’ll probably take him a round or two later than this and abuse the ADP.
62. ⬆️?Melvin Gordon (RB22, San Diego Chargers)
Gordon showed more power and burst in that Week 1 44-yard TD reception than we saw all last season. Ken Whisenhunt has frequently stated his intention to get the running game jump-started, and he oversaw Ryan Mathew’s career year. Though I took a little while arriving, I’ve officially joined the Gordon post-hype bounceback train. He could emerge as a high-end RB2 when all’s said and done.
Talent Tier 8 – Upside WR4s, Desirable QB1s, Last Startable RBs
Note – As your starting stable of WRs and RBs fills out, it’s important to start going after your favorite high-upside talents in these rounds. I won’t just draft a QB because I already have three wideouts if there’s a talent I love still out there. Building depth, and finding the guys you explode, is what the late rounds are all about.
63. Tyler Lockett (WR31, Seattle Seahawks)
64. Michael Floyd (WR32, Arizona Cardinals)
65. Allen Hurns (WR33, Jacksonville Jaguars)
66. ??Tom Brady?? (QB6, New England Patriots)
67. ↗️Blake Bortles (QB7, Jacksonville Jaguars)
68. ↗️ ??Derrick Henry (RB23, Tennessee Titans)
August 27th update – For the second time in three preseason contests both Murray and Henry found the end zone; this could be a sign of things to come. Mouths are going to be exotically smashed all season in Tennessee, and Henry will win people leagues if/when he becomes the starter as the next David Johnson.
69. ?Ben Roethlisberger (QB8, Pittsburgh Steelers)
70. ?Jordan Matthews (WR34, Philadelphia Eagles)
71. ?Sterling Shepard (WR35, New York Giants)
72.⬆️ ?Rashad Jennings (RB24, New York Giants)
73. ↘️Duke Johnson (RB25, Cleveland Browns)
August 27th update – While I’m a firm believer in Johnson’s talent, especially as a reciever, Crowell remains heavily involved on all the early downs and has looked pretty impressive himself. A full-blown committee caps the upside of either back, but both would vault into the high-end RB2 conversation if the other were to miss time.
74. ↘️Carson Palmer (QB9, Arizona Cardinals)
75. ↘️. Danny Woodhead (RB26, San Diego Chargers)
Gordon’s newfound emergence, particularly as a red zone threat, limits Woodhead’s appeal. He’ll outperform this spot, and makes sense earlier than this if your team is full of risky investments.
76.?↗️ Martellus Bennett (TE6, New England Patriots)
My love for Bennett has been no secret. He’s one of 2016’s biggest steals at his current ADP.
77. Stefon Diggs (WR36, Minnesota Vikings)
78.⬆️ Willie Snead (WR37, New Orleans Saints)
August 27th update – The blonde muskrat rises after Friday’s battle with the Steelers provided a glaring reminder of his strong rapport with Drew Brees. Snead hauled in all four of his looks for 58 yards, including an incredible 17-yard score over two defenders. He’s a dependable WR4 and flex play if you rolled the dice early, an would make a great Josh Gordon fill-in over the early season.
79. ⬆️ James White (RB27, New England Patriots)
White shoots up the Big Board in light of Dion Lewis’s second knee surgery. He’ll spend the majority of 2016 as the team’s primary third down back, which has always played a role (albeit unpredictable at times) in the Patriots’ offense. White’s looked strong in the preseason, and he scored double digit PPR points in five of eight games without Lewis, including three games above 18 points. He’ll be a useful RB2 most weeks.
80.⬇️ John Brown (WR38, Arizona Cardinals)
These lingering concussions are very concerning, particularly if they were to ever arise again during the season. They should be a non-issue come Week 1, but he’s missing time to establish himself as the #2, and re-injury would be devastating.
81. ↗️?Isiah Crowell (RB28, Cleveland Browns)
I’m a buyer in the Browns offensive revival in 2016, and think Crowell is a real threat for double-digit TDs with more red zone chances.
82. ?DeAngelo Williams (RB29, Pittsburgh Steelers)
A necessary investment for Le’Veon Bell drafters, and useful for anyone uncomfortable with their RB2 who could use three weeks to figure it out. I would draft him higher than a few of these guys as a pure upside bench stash as well.
83.? ?Frank Gore (RB30, Indy Colts)
84. ?Travis Kelce (TE7, Kansas City Chiefs)
Would be the starting TE on the all-hype, no production team
85.↗️? Corey Coleman (WR39 Cleveland Browns)
August 27th update –Coleman’s zero catch preseason debut was particularly disappointing because not only did he underwhelm, but Gordon also flashed and ended Coleman’s hopes at being the top target beyond Week 5. He still has plenty of chances to establish himself as a top target, and carries a tantilizing skillset, but he’s tough to trust as a flex or starter at this point.
86.⬆️?Michael Thomas (WR40, New Orleans Saints)
August 27th update – Fleener’s ineptitude should open up even more targets for this massively talented rookie. I think he’s the best all-around wideout on this team, but Brees’s well-established rapports with others like Snead could slow Thomas’s fantasy roll.
There are a lot of mouths to feed, but damn did Thomas look special in his first live game action. A talent like this in such an explosive aerial attack cannot be ignored.
87. ⬆️?Devin Funchess (WR41, Carolina Panthers)
Nothing but positive praise has been heaped onto Funchess this offseason, with people close to the team predicting he could outperform his more heralded teammate Kelvin Benjamin. Clearly, I don’t buy this, but I do feel his production could be damn close. He’ll keep rising if these reports continue.
Tier 9 – Useful Depth, last QB1s, Startable TEs
88. ?Jonathan Stewart (RB31, Carolina Panthers)
Nothing excites me about Stewart, other than the ability to get a fair floor for cheap. Cam’s goal line abilities really cap his ceiling.
89. ?Chris Ivory (RB32, Jacksonville Jaguars)
I love his TD upside in Jacksonville, but don’t love he started below Yeldon, or that Yeldon looked pretty solid in his carries.
90. ⬇️? Giovanni Bernard (RB33, Cincinatti Bengals)
Although I once thought Gio might be a sneaky bet to lead RBs in receptions, the latest reports suggest his role should remain unchanged. He’ll outperform the RB30 spot for sure, but I see minimal ceiling here.
91. Michael Crabtree (WR42, Oakland Raiders)
92. ⬇️DeVante Parker (WR43, Miami Dolphins)
August 26th update – I’m officially hopping off the DeVante Parker train. He’s running behind Kenny Stills in two WR sets, which isn’t a major issue given the Dolphins will roll with three wideouts most of the time. Still, Parker hasn’t flashed anything special yet this preseason, while Stills is showing tremendous chemsitry with Tannehill. There’s a real chance Stills outscores Parker despite the latter’s more imposing natural ability, making DeVante one of the most overdrafted players in all of fantasy. He’s still worth a look late given his incredible natural skillset, but Parker probably won’t ever fall to where I’d draft him.
93. ⬆️? Mike Wallace (WR44, Baltimore Ravens)
August 27th update- Week 3 gave us our first brief glimpse at the Wallace/Flacco rapport, and the results were highly encouraging. Wallace accounted for three of Flacco’s first seven completions, netting 37 yards. The #1 WR in pass-happy OC Marc Trestman’s scheme carries serious fantasy value, and Wallace appears to have the inside track to this job. Steve Smith was #8 in WR PPG last season in this role.
I loved the report that Flacco and Wallace are clicking for highlight plays on a daily basis. Wallace has always been at his best with a strong-armed signal caller, and neither Bridgewater nor Tannehill fit that bill. Flacco, however,throws one of the most frozen ropes in the league, and the two meshing has me giddy. OC Marc Trestman will call one of the pass-heaviest scripts every week and Wallace should have a few chances for monster plays on a weekly basis. Remember, Steve Smith was 8th in PPG in this scheme last year. Wallace is a poor man’s DeSean Jackson.
94. ↘️ Kevin White (WR45, Chicago Bears)
White appears to be playing both hesitant and confused, which is rendering his imposing physical skillset useless.
95. ↘️Matt Jones (RB34, Washington Redskins)
For a guy who will be dependent on volume, this AC Joint injury is highly discouraging to see. Jones still has upside with heavy volume in an explosive offense, but none of that matters if he can’t sustain the load. I’m very intrigued to figure out how work will be distributed in his absence.
96.? Emmanuel Sanders (WR46, Denver Broncos)
The Gio Bernard of WRs. He’ll outperform plenty above him, but his ceiling just doesn’t excite me in the least.
97. Phillip Rivers (QB10, San Diego Chargers)
98. Eli Manning (QB11, New York Giants)
99. ?↗️ Jameis Winston (QB12, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
August 27th update – We’ve been high on Winston since Day 1, as he was our QB13 during OTAs. Here’s what I wrote in June when I released my first round of QB rankings:
Here’s my favorite upside QB2. I love Winston’s dedication throughout the offseason, with countless reports noting he’s been slimming down and spending time with his receivers establishing rapport. New head coach Dirk Koetter has coordinated some explosive attacks in Atlanta, and the first year head coach has the weaponry (Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins) for similar production… if Winston can deliver the mail. Up all the way at 12, I clearly expect a sophomore leap from Jameis.
Similarly, offensive coordinator Todd Monken has made his affinity for the long ball known, and Koetter confirmed the offense will be more aggressive in 2016. I think we’ve got an under-the-radar offensive juggernaut brewing in Tampa Bay, and Winston will be leading the charge. Did we mention the rushing TD upside? Winston ranked second behind Cam with six, and is now leaner and more mobile than ever in his career.”
Well, everything on the field has validated this aggressive ranking, and then some. The offense has been pushing the pace with a no-huddle attack, and the vertical game has been the focus, as Winston has repeatedly connected with his receivers for major chunk plays. Winston’s improved chemsitry with top dawg Mike Evans has been most notable, as these two could form a dangerous duo.
This all led to a dominant 16-for-25, 259 yard, two TD performance in preseason Week 3. Winston was putting the ball wherever he wanted it, and the touch on his deep balls was superb. He also showed great escapability and pocket awareness throughout the night, especially on his first TD throw to Charles Sims. Reports about him losing weight and improving his mobility were spot on. When I write The Next Blake Bortles, Winston will likely be my cover boy.
100. ?Julius Thomas (TE8, Jacksonville Jaguars)
101. ??Antonio Gates (TE9, San Diego Chargers)
102. ↗️??Arian Foster (RB35, Miami Dolphins)
August 26th Update – After a huge tumble in Week 2, Foster regained some ground with a decent Week 3 showing. Similar to his brief 2015 appearance, Foster looked great in the passing game, catching two balls for 20 yards, including an impressive catch-and-run in space where he delivered a powerful stiff arm. Nonetheless, he continued struggling in the run game, averaging a meager 2.0 YPC on his five carries. He did have a nice cutback on his TD score, and his vision has always made him one of the most dangerous red zone assets. Foster still rotated behind Jay Ajayi, which keeps him lower than I’d like, but the veteran back showed enough in Week 3 (nifty TD run) that he could rise even further with a depth chart ascension.
103. Derek Carr (QB13, Oakland Raiders)
104. Coby Fleener (TE10, New Orleans Saints)
105. ⬆️LeGarrette Blount (RB36, New England Patriots)
He seemed to have run away with the big back role in preseason Week 2, posting 69 yards on 11 carries (6.3 YPC). More importantly, after both Brandon Bolden and Tyler Gaffney failed to convert multiple goal line attempts, Blount pounded in his first chance in emphatic fashion. If he indeed has a stranglehold on the “goal line back” role, Blount will be a fair bet for a weekly TD. With Lewis coming along slowly, LeGarrette has more upside than he’s currently given credit for.
106. Zach Ertz (TE11, Philadelphia Eagles)
107. Dwayne Allen (TE12, Indianapolis Colts)
Talent Tier 10 – Bench options with some upside
108. ⬆️? Darren Sproles (RB37, Philadelphia Eagles)
Sproles has really grown on me as a late round fantasy lottery ticket, especially in PPR formats. As explored in our Daily Stock Report, OC Frank Reich wants to feature him extensively, and the team has been scripting up numerous plays for him. Recall, Reich last coordinated in San Diego, where Danny Woodhead was a PPR force. While Doug Pederson falls from Andy Reid’s coaching tree, we all know how Brian Westbrook and Jamaal Charles fared under him. As such, Sproles offers plenty of standalone value, and is also one of the highest upside handcuffs behind Ryan “Mr. Glass” Mathews. He’s a late round PPR investment that could be a league-winner.
109. ⬆️ ?Christine Michael (RB38, Seattle Seahawks)
August 26th Update –Michael’s tremendous preseason continued, as the talented back racked up 58 arms on only seven carries. Granted, most of these yards came against the backups on some highly impressive runs, but Michael’s supreme ability is finally translating onto the field. He finishes with 157 yards on 24 preseason carries, good for a 6.5 YPC. He’s forced his way into a committee, and offers an RB1 ceiling if Rawls gets hurt again.
110.↗️ T.J Yeldon (RB39, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Yeldon is growing on me as a late round investment. He seems firmly entrenched as the starter, even though he’ll cede most of the six point chances to Ivory. He’ll have room to roam underneath with this aerial attack looking very solid. I was admittedly too low on Yeldon and underrated his ceiling, but still don’t see a ton of upside.
111. Charles Sims (RB40, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
112. Bilal Powell (RB41, New York Jets)
113. ↗️Kirk Cousins (QB14, Washington Redskins)
August 27th update – ?Cousins’s 12-of-23, 188 yard, 3 TD half of action emphasized two main points: A) His supporting cast is completely stacked, and B) This offense is going to throw the ball A TON. Even if Cousins isn’t all that special himself, everything is in place for strong fantasy numbers
114. Tyrod Taylor (QB15, Buffalo Bills)
115. ?RGIII (QB16, Cleveland Browns)
August 27th update – While Week 2 (still below) gave me a major pants tent, Week 3 achieved minimal movement. On the positive side, Josh Gordon looks like his vintage self, hauling in two catches for 87 yards and a TD in which he hung dong on Brent Grimes. I no longer have any on-field concerns with the elite wideout. This ensures RGIII will have a trio of dangerous, atheltic freaks to maximize his beautiful deep ball.
On the flip side, Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor underwhelmed, as did RGIII’s offensive line. He was under duress for the majority of the game, and Griffin will need more time to capitalize on his beautiful deep ball. For me, his night was neutral, as RGIII’s upside remains very real, as do his risks.
Previous – I wrote this before preseason Week 2: “I won’t lie, I’m intrigued by his raw skills, particularly his running ability, in Hue Jackson’s system. If Josh Gordon rebounds, Griffin’s cast is fairly explosive. I wouldn’t be shocked if he exploded.”
Well, after going 6/8 for nearly 100 yards and 2 TDs, plus another 36 on the ground, I think it’s safe to say he could make some waves. I’d love to stash him and see what happens… I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s the late round guy to explode for QB1 numbers by any means.
116. ⬆️ Vincent Jackson (WR47, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
August 27th update – All of Tampa’s ships rise with Jameis Winston’s step forward, including Vincent Jackson. The #2 option in a potential offensive juggernaut generally holds value, and V-Jax showed he has some tread left on those 33 year old tires with 4 catches for 78 yards on Friday night. While he’s not the most exciting pick, Jackson can add some relaible depth to a bench
117. Phillip Dorsett (WR48, Indianapolis Colts)
118. ? ⬆️Kenny Stills (WR49, Miami Dolphins)
August 26th update – Stills is officially Ryan Tannehill’s most-targeted wideout this preseason, and has shown well with these looks. The four catches and 46 yards he tallied in Week 3 bring stills to seven catches for 117 yards and two TDs. Stills was one of my key takeaways from preseason Week 2, and is now even further up my rankings. His chemistry with Tannehill is very real, and Gase should maximize his deep ball skills.
119.↗️? Jason Witten (TE13, Dallas Cowboys)
Though there’s nothing sexy about him, Witten has appeared to be every bit as snuggly of a security blanket as he’s ever been this preseason. He hauled in two catches for 24 yards in Romo’s lone sustained drive, and then made a nice adjustment on a 17-yard TD bullet from Prescott. Amidst an uncertain, injury riddled 2016 TE selection, there’s plenty to like about Witten’s floor, especially now that Dak won’t be a season ruiner.
120.↘️ ? Tyler Eifert (TE14, Cincinnati Bengals)
News that Week 4 is his best-case is highly discouraging. Still, the fact you’ll get a rock solid TE1 for two thirds of the season is worth a double-digit round stash.
121. ⬆️ Jared Cook (TE15, Green Bay Packers)
August 27th update – Cook had already received a Stock Up arrow before the game, and his highly impressive Week 3 against the 49ers keeps him trending upwards. Cook hauled in 4 of 5 targets for 54 yards, including a fantastic 37 yard chunk play. More importantly, Cook was the clear TE1, playing 19 of 26 snaps with Aaron Rodger while his “competition”, Richard Rodgers, saw the field for only two. Cook needs to be owned in nearly all formats and league sizes
He’s a decent bet to be 2016’s Jordan Reed. I love the reports Cook is building a strong rapport with Aaron Rodgers, catching everything in sight, and hauling in numerous touchdowns. Cook’s the most athletic tight end the Packers have had since Jermichael Finley, and Rodgers will maximize these measurables if Cook is truly something worthwhile. For a late round stab, Cook’s double-digit TD upside is well worth a look.
Tier 11 – Less desirable bench options
122.? Ameer Abdullah (RB42, Detroit Lions)
123. ?⬆️ Tyler Boyd (WR50, Cincinnati Bengals)
124. ↗️Steve Smith (WR51, Baltimore Ravens)
Smith was finally activated off the PUP, and instantly should be on fantasy radars. He was #8 in WR PPG, but this injury was terrifying given his age. He could fly up the board if he shows he still has it.
125. ⬇️Tavon Austin (WR52, LA Rams)
Those Goodell socks on Hard Knocks really changed my opinion on Tavon as a human. Don’t think I could stomach drafting him now.
126. Tajae Sharpe (WR53, Tennessee Titans)
The Tajae Sharpe Express is pumping ahead at full steam, with the UMass stud flashing yet again in Week 3 of the preseason:
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) August 28, 2016
This 60 yard catch-and-run raised Sharpe’s preseason stat line to 9 catches for 153 yards. His quarterback and coaches love him, and Sharpe is a sneaky bet to make a major splash in 2016. No, this run-heavy offense isn’t the most appealing place for WRs, but Sharpe has looked like Mariota’s go-to guy on pressured situations. A #1 WR is always exciting, epecially one who’s gotten as much positive press as Sharpe.
126. ↘️Justin Forsett (RB43, Baltimore Ravens)
A four-headed committee? Yuck. OC Marc Trestman’s offense carries so much upside, but not when the work is divided four ways. Trestman left the possibility a lead guy emerges, and this role would carry RB1 upside. Until we know more, I have a hard time spending anything than a late round stab on a Ravens runner.
127. Theo Riddick ( RB44, Detroit Lions)
Riddick could carry some real upside in this no-huddle attack if he remains the primary passing down back.
128.↘️Jay Ajayi (RB45, Miami Dolphins)
Though he remained #1 on the depth chart, Foster received equal work and looked better (which isn’t saying much). A fruitful opportunity in Gase’s strong offense seems to be going to waste.
129. ?⬆️Devontae Booker (RB46, Denver Broncos)
He’s essentially taken Ronnie Hillman‘s job, meaning he only has CJ Anderson (a historically slow starter) in between him and Kubiak’s wildly successful zone scheme.
130. Marcus Mariota (QB17, Tennessee Titans)
131. ⬆️Dak Prescott (QB18, Dallas Cowboys)
August 27th update – Now opening 2016 as the starter, Prescott immediately enters the fantasy radar following Tony Romo’s broken back bone. Dak was a preseason sensation, completing 39-of-50 passes (an insane 78% completion rate) for 454 yards and five TDs, while also collecting 53 yards and two TDs on the ground; indeed, the rushing makes him particularly attractive, but Prescott also showed sound decision making with zero turnovers. He also appeared pro-ready in performing well against Seattle, one of the league’s top defenses, without his top target Dez Bryant. Prescott has the weapons and natural skillset to make some serious fantasy noise, and is well worth a late round look.
132. ↘️ Tevin Coleman (RB47, Atlanta Falcons)
He simply hasn’t looked good in the least in his preseason action, and Freeman has a stranglehold on all the touches. He still carries tons of upside as a handcuff, but standalone value seems like a pipe dream at this point.
133. ⬇️ Dion Lewis (RB48, New England Patriots)
We have our first true preseason casualty, with Lewis expected to miss at least eight to ten weeks after needing a second knee clean up. Lewis still belongs on fantasy rosters as a potential difference maker for your stretch run, and at this stage of the draft RBs are likely stashes anyways. Nonetheless, this is a terrible blow for the Patriots and anyone who’s already drafted. He could become undraftable if his recovery timeline changes again.
134.↗️ DeAndre Washington (RB49, Oakland Raiders)
135. ⬆️ Robert Kelley (RB50, Washington Redskins)
August 27th update – Filling in for an injured Matt Jones, Kelley was highly serviceable en route to 12 carries for 51 yards. He also flashed well in blitz pickup, creating true three-down upside in the ideal scenario. Amidst such a lackluster collection of backs, Kelley has a real shot at a meaningful 2016 role in an explosive offense. Throw him on the late round sleeper list.
136. Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB19, New York Jets)
137.⬆️ James Starks ( RB51, Green Bay Packers) –
August 27th update –Indeed Lacy has been highly impressive, but Starks has remained involved with the first team regardless. The split has been about 60 / 40 thus far in the preseason, and anyone receiving 40% of the work in a Rodgers-led offense is worth a look. Plus, he remains one of the highest upside handcuffs in the Rotosphere. He belongs on most benches.
138. ↗️??Kenneth Dixon. (RB52, Baltimore Ravens)
August 27th update – Kenneth Dixon has looked like the best all around back and fit for Trestman’s scheme all summer, and had earned him an extended look with the first team offense during dress rehearsal week. Dixon wasn’t disappointing, tallying up 41 impressive yards on only six totes before being carried off with a knee injury. Early reports suggest Dixon’s injury isn’t serious, keeping him on the late round fantasy radar. He carries real RB2 upside if he lands the pass catching role in Trestman’s attack. But the consistent durability woes already make Dixon little more than a dice roll.
139. ⬆️Terrance West (RB53, Baltimore Ravens)
One of 2016’s preseason darlings, West didn’t disappoint in his Week 1 debut. He scored two TDs, and if this backfield wasn’t so congested, he’d be far higher up. This is a backfield I will continue to pay very close attention to, as a feature back would be highly valuable.
140. ⬆️Austin Seferian Jenkins (TE16, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
August 27th update -While ASJ didn’t make much of an on-field splash in Week 3, the fact that he ran as the first tight end is a splash in itself. Winston looks like he’s taken a major step, giving ASJ some real TD upside even if he’s the third or fourth target on the totem pole.
Koetter recently praised his work ethic, which is a huge step in the right direction. ASJ is 6’6″, which can’t be taught, and Koetter has maximized big and athletic tight ends in the past with guys like Tony Gonzalez. No, ASJ’s not a Hall of Famer, but he had some massive efforts last season when on the field, so there’s a serious ceiling here if everything bends right. That’s asking a lot, but isn’t impossible either. Step one is cementing the #1 role, something Cameron Brate has made difficult.
141. ⬆️Will Fuller (WR54, Houston Texans)
Fuller becomes highly relevant after ascending to the clear #2 WR in Houston and thriving in this role: 4 catches, 73 yards and a TD. He could have some week-winning performances in 2016.
142. ↗️Markus Wheaton (WR55, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Wheaton gets a bump strictly because of Sammie Coates’s struggles. Mike Tomlinson and Big Ben will roll strictly with who they trust, and Wheaton will be that guy. The #2 guy in this explosive attack is always worth a look.
143. ⬆️ Terrelle Pryor (WR56, Cleveland Browns)
Why not? Pryor’s an athletic freak, and is showing good chemistry with RGIII so far. He also dusted Marcus Trufant, 2015’s least targeted CB, by a few strides. I’m a believer in the Browns in 2016.
144. Ted Ginn Jr. (WR57, Carolina Panthers)
145. Matthew Stafford (QB20, Detroit Lions)
146. ⬆️ Chris Hogan (WR58, New England Patriots)
August 27th update – Even with Edelman back on the field, Hogan was the most trusted target of both Garoppolo and Brady. He hauled in a gorgeous 33 yard TD throw from the GOAT, and seems to be thriving in this system. He seems reliant on injury to hold true relevance, but Hogan could step in and be an upside flex play if he’s ever filling in.
147. ⬆️Chris Conley (WR59, Kansas City Chiefs)
In a class of talent like Kevin White and Amari Cooper, it was Chris Conley who ran the fastest 40 (4.35), posted the highest vertical (45 inch?) and broad jump (139 inch) at 6’2″. Sure, he could just be a workout warrior, but he definitely looked smooth on his 3 catches for 66 yards in preseason Week 2. I’m not sure this ball-control offense yields enough aerial volume for consistency, but Conley possesses the athleticism for some blow-up performances. Why not chuck him on a deep bench
148. ⬆️Eli Rogers (WR60, Pittsburgh Steelers)
August 27th update –The nifty slot WR is operating as the clear #3 guy in Todd Haley’s explosive attack. In fact, Haley has already gushed about having a true slot WR for the first time. There’s upside here.
149. Zach Miller (TE17, Chicago Bears)
150. Eric Ebron (TE18, Detroit Lions)
QBs: Ryan Tannehill (Mia), Andy Dalton (Cin)
RBs: Shaughn Draughn (49ers), Shane Vereen (NYG) ⬆️CJ Spiller (NO) ⬆️ Alfred Morris (Dal)
WRs: Torrey Smith (49ers), Sammie Coates (Pit), Travis Benjamin (SDG)
TEs: Ladarius Green (Pit), Jimmy Graham (Sea), Vance McDonald (49ers)
Where was The Wolf 100% right? Who is he way too high and way too low on? Any name glaringly absent? Sound off below!
Stay tuned for our upcoming RSJ Expert League Draft, recaps of the remaining preseason action, more breakouts and busts, and of course daily news updates as we help you land that 2016 championship.