I know, I know. Its the beginning of May, why am I worried about fantasy football? The Super Bowl was just a couple months ago and teams haven’t even met for OTAs. But football season seems so close, I can taste it. In fact, just the other day I found out that mock draft lobbies are now open on ESPN. So due to my undying love for fantasy football, and boredom, here are my top 10 player rankings as of right now.
1. Antonio Brown (WR)
I don’t care if its PPR league or a standard scoring league, AB should be atop of everyones draft board. He led all wideouts with 246.2 fantasy points, averaging 15.4 a week. More impressively, Brown put up these numbers while enduring a mixture of Michael Vick and Landry Jones under center for four weeks. AB will rack up a ton of yards and touchdowns in 2016, as he continues to see a ton of targets.
2. Odell Beckham JR. (WR)
Just when people thought he wouldn’t be able to follow up his rookie year, he did. Odell’s dominance during his sophomore campaign was reflected through 1,450 receiving yards and 13 visits to pay dirt. His reliance on the deep ball can lead to inconsistency, but Beckham was tied for second amongst wide receivers in average fantasy points per game with 14.9. Stats aside, drafting OBJ allows you to root for one of the most entertaining players in the league.
3. Julio Jones (WR)
If you haven’t caught my drift yet, you should by now. A plethora of teams in the NFL have running back conundrums. With RBBCs (running back by committee) becoming exponentially popular in the NFL, this is the year of the wide receiver. Coming in at number three is good old Julio Jones. Garnering a substantial 1,871 receiving yards last season, Jones was second to AB by just seven for most fantasy points amongst wideouts. He also set a career high with nine games of 100+ yards. Expect Julio to again be the focal point of the Falcon’s offense, as he led the league in targets with 203.
4. Le’Veon Bell (RB)
Its a shame that his season was cut short due to injury, but we have all seen what Le’Veon is capable of. In 2014, he rushed for 1,361 yards and 8 touchdowns, while averaging 4.7 YPC. Before getting injured, Bell was on pace to build off 2014’s performance with 556 yards and 4.9 YPC through 6 games. With talent as both a pass catcher and runner, Le’Veon is poised for a big year.
5. DeAndre Hopkins (WR)
2015 plagued the Texans with quarterback troubles, bouncing between Hoyer, Mallet, and Yates, but star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins remained unaffected. The Clemson product finished top three in the league in catches (111) and yards (1,521), while compiling a career high 11 touchdowns. Another receiver whose offensive relies heavily on him, Hopkins came in third amongst wide receivers for targets last season with 192. Bringing in Brock Osweiler will seemingly help Hopkins remain one of the leagues top receivers and fantasy options.
6. Jamaal Charles (RB)
Proven running back in the league? Check. Can serve as a runner and a pass catcher? Check. In a system built for running backs? Check. Running backs thrive in Andy Reid’s offense. Just look at LeSean McCoy in Philly, or even Charcandrick West/Spencer Ware this year. Charles has, and will continue to, flourish in Kansas City. Its going to take more than last season’s torn ACL to keep this man out of our fantasy endeavors.
7. Adrian Peterson (RB)
AP is no stranger to a top 10 list and rightfully so. Probably the best running back in the past decade, Peterson is coming off of yet another 1,000+ yard and 10+ touchdown season. He ranked second amongst running backs in fantasy points scored last season (230.7) and, at 31 years old, was able to handle the wear and tear of leading the NFL in carries. When he plays at least 14 games,”All Day” has yet to rush below 1,000 yards.
8. Todd Gurley (RB)
How will the young running back handle the bright lights of Hollywood? If he plays anything like his rookie year, the answer will be pretty well. Those who took a shot on Gurley and stashed him on their bench during the early part of the season reaped in the benefits. After playing only 13 games, he ranked in the top five in fantasy points for running backs with (187.6) and tied for second in average fantasy points per game (14.4). Its going to be exciting to watch Gurley progress throughout his career.
9. Rob Gronkowski (TE)
People underestimate the value of consistent tight end production and its importance to fantasy football success. Gronk is a player that can make a good fantasy team into a great fantasy team. Five of his last six seasons consisted of 10 or more touchdowns and his fantasy football numbers last year would place him in the top 10 amongst wide receivers. Doesn’t matter if its Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo throwing him the ball, Gronk pairs his uncanny catching ability with brute strength to make him a top fantasy option.
10. Allen Robinson (WR)
I know that it’s a very bold statement to include Allen Robinson as a top 10 fantasy player, but I’m high on him. A-Rob put together a monstrous season with 1,400 receiving yards (6th in NFL) and 14 touchdowns (T-1st), good enough to rank him fourth in fantasy points amongst receivers (224.0). Considering his counterpart Allen Hurns contributed 10 touchdowns as well, its safe to say the Jags’ passing attack flourished last year. With tons of young talent, the Jaguars’ offense is on the rise and could materialize into something special. A productive Jaguars offense + tons of Allen Robinson red zone targets = happy fantasy owners. Buy in on A-Rob, I see him establishing himself as a top 5 fantasy receiver in the league this year.