AFC North

Quarterback—Andy Dalton and Big Ben

 

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This division has been chaotic to say the least this past couple weeks, but let’s start with the quarterback race. Big Ben seems to have faded off everyone’s radar since he thought about retirement this off-season. I can’t blame the guy…No team in the AFC stands a chance against the Patriots. Andy Dalton has A.J. green back and healthy, which makes him relevant. I gave these two a tie for this coming season. I know most people would chose Big Ben because he’s got Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and now Martavis Bryant returning, but I’m convince Dalton with have QB1 numbers as well.

Both of these teams have extremely easy schedules, but Dalton and Green were on pace to have monster seasons last year until Green got hurt. His touchdowns were low at 18, but still he still managed to throw for 4,206 yards with a sub-par wide receiver corps.  I think both Marvin Lewis and Dalton know that they have to make it out of the first round of the playoffs this year so the city, fan base, and ownership will stop viewing them as stagnant and complacent. Don’t forget that they drafted Joe Mixon and reports have come out stating that he’s something extremely special. If Lewis is considering handing him the reigns, then we should take it seriously since he never makes it easy for rookies to get playing time. Dalton’s ADP is currently around 138. If you’re the type of fantasy owner that likes to stack their team and draft a quarterback in the later rounds or stream quarterbacks, then I would highly recommend going with Dalton. With Green back, an easy schedule, and a better running game, Dalton should finish the year with 4,300 passing yards and 25 touchdowns.

I need Big Ben to get excited about football. It seems like he has lost the drive and passion to play the game. His heart doesn’t seem to be in it anymore, which concerns me a little bit. He has all the tools to have a fantastic season, the number one wide receiver, arguably the number one running back, and a pretty solid defense. I believe he definitely will score more touchdowns than Dalton. With this high powered offense he should have no problem throwing 30 plus touchdowns with 4,100 plus passing yards. Ben’s ADP is around 90. This is great value you for a quarterback that owners are able to draft later that will get 30 plus touchdowns. He’s only 35, he’s got at least 2-3 more productive seasons still in him. He just needs someone to light the fire under him once again.

 

Running Back- Le’Veon Bell

 

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The talk of the town, Mr. Le’Veon Bell. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Bell failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension and now Bell hasn’t signed his franchise tender either. I have no doubt in my mind that Bell will report to camp eventually. My opinion? Pay the man. He deserves to be paid like the number one running back and a number two wide receiver. Bell had 1,884 total yards with 9 total touchdowns and that was in 12 games. I’m very biased with it comes to Bell since every championship I’ve won I’ve had the start running back. It’s an easy decision for everyone, take Bell with the first or second pick.

 

Wide Receiver- Antonio Brown

 

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We continue with the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can probably figure out who will win the division by now… It was somewhat of a down year for Brown, but he still managed to pull out great numbers with 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns. With Martavis Bryant back it will help take some of the load off Brown. In all drafts Brown should be the number 3 pick especially since Zeke is having some off the field issues. Brown is a workhorse that is able to carry you far in all fantasy leagues. He will be producing 1,500 receiving yards and 12 plus touchdowns, which will make him the number one wide receiver once again.

 

Tight End- Question Mark

 

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Not very great options here…Some believe that the Cleveland Browns new tight, David Njoku, would be the pick here, but I’m not sold on him having a great year with the Browns offense. They still don’t know who to start at quarterback, which has been their issue for the past decade, and that concerns me.

Another option people would say is Tyler Eifert, which I would pick too, but he just was medically cleared. He’s extremely injury prone and isn’t worth taking a draft pick around the 9th round. I would only take him if he fell to me in the 11 round or later.

Let’s not even get started with the Ravens tight end situation. Everyone who steps foot on that team at that position gets injured. All in All, stay away from all tight ends in this division.

Honorable Mention: Ravens Backfield

 

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The Ravens backfield is slowly being determined due to the injury of Kenneth Dixon. This now leaves Danny Woodhead and Terrance West. West was a solid RB2 last season finishing with 774 yards and 5 touchdowns. He only started 13 games because Dixon was supposed to be the chosen one to bring this backfield back to its glory days.

I thought West out produced Dixon last year. West will show the Ravens that he should’ve been the guy chosen all along. West will get the full load of the early down work for the Ravens, and his only contender to steal touches is Woodhead. We all know what Woodhead’s capabilities are and he will certainly be a threat in the passing game. Both are great value and will complement each other well. Woodhead will dominate 3rd downs and all the passing plays, while West will get the early down work and the red zone touches. Fantasy owners will be able to get great value with these guys in the later rounds. Be comfortable taking either one as an option. They will be great Flex Plays with high upside.

Fantasy Profile: AFC East

 Quarterback: Tom Brady

 

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There’s no competition in the AFC North. Tom Brady is G.O.A.T.. He will finish number 1 or 2 for fantasy quarterbacks. He missed 4 games last season and still had 28 touchdowns. Gronk is back and healthy and the Patriots added Brandin Cooks, a consistent number one receiver to go alongside Julian Edleman. This offense will never die and Brady could very well play till he’s 50.  Enough said, Brady will produce well over 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns.

 

Running Back: Shady McCoy

 

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills

 

Shady always produces. He’s been one of the most consistent running backs since 2010. For some reason fantasy owners, critics, and insiders always seem to think that he’s injury prone. Sure he’s been banged up, but he’s never missed more than 4 games since he entered the league. I will agree that he does get easily banged up, but he still manages to play through it. The best thing about Shady this year is that Mike Gillislee has departed. Gillislee managed to vulture 577 yards and 8 touchdowns from McCoy, which was very frustrating for McCoy owners. Now there are no worries, the Bills new head coach, Sean McDermott, will make McCoy the focal point of this offense and there will be no one else to steal away touches.

 

Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins

 

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This division has lacked a standout wide receiver for a couple of years now. Most of the receivers in this division have been over hyped. The reason I chose Watkins is because he has the most to prove and he must prove it this upcoming season. Injuries have left doubt in the minds of fantasy owners and critics. Watkins was injured last season and has seemed to be injury prone since he arrived in the league.

We have a small sample size of what he can do because he hasn’t played a full 16 games. I’m a big believer in contract years, which this is for Watkins, and he has to have a productive season to stay relevant in the league. I believe he will have a similar season to that of 2015 when he had 1, 047 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. Not to mention that he only played 13 games that season. If Watkins can play at least 14 games, then there is no question that he will be a WR1. He’s the only relevant wide receiver that the Buffalo Bills have. Everyone else on their roster is sub-par at best. Watkins will have a bounce back year. He’s good value in the 4th round where he has been consistently going in mock drafts.

 

Tight End: Gronk

 

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There’s no challenge for Gronk. He was injured last season and still no one can name or cares about any other tight end in this division. Gronk is not only the best tight end, but the best receiver in the AFC North. We all know that Gronk loves to party, but he’s extremely focused this year since he didn’t contribute to last year’s Super Bowl run. Gronk is practically a WR1, so don’t be concerned with taking him late in the second round or early third round. Expect nothing less than another fantastic year from the big guy.

 

Watch List: Quincy Enunwa

 

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I know, the first thing that comes to mind is that I picked someone from the New York Jets. Someone has to get the ball though, right? Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are long gone and those targets will be heading in the direction of Enunwa. He had 857 yards and 4 touchdowns being the 3rd wide out for the Jets. Josh McCown is most likely to be the starter for the Jets this season and we all know that the veteran journey man loves to air out the football. Enunwa will be highly targeted by McCown or whatever other quarterback the Jets decided to play during the season.

In addition to all this, Enunwa’s ADP is currently at about 146. This is great value in rounds 13-16 and I’ll gladly take a WR1 who will be highly targeted because he’s the only decent receiver for the Jets. This will be a steal for all you fantasy owners out there. Enunwa will turn out to be a great flex play and possibly a borderline WR2 this season.

Fantasy Profile: Ty Montgomery

Fantasy Player: Ty Montgomery

Rank: RB #17

ADP: 54

Risk Level: Medium

Pros:

  • Only running back in Green Bay
  • Possibility of being a 3 down back
  • Can Catch out of the backfield
  • Packers want to establish the run game
  • Stays Healthy
  • Can play both RB and WR positions

 

Cons:

  • Not as experienced
  • Blocking issues might not let him stay on the field
  • Packers have always been inconsistent with the running game
  • Less touches-Offense predominately throws the ball
  • Sample Size season at RB

 

Analysis:

I think everyone was shocked when Ty Montgomery was inserted at the running back position for the Green Bay Packers. They got extremely low on the depth chart due to injuries and Montgomery did well when handed the touches. Last season he finished with 457 rushing yards, 348 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns.

I like Montgomery this year. His ADP is around #59 and he’s ranked close to #20 for the RB position. However, Montgomery has been slowly climbing up the rankings. In mock drafts, fantasy owners have started taking him late 3rd round or early 4th round. People are starting the see the value and potential that Montgomery could have. The Packers have such a dominate aerial attack , that it would be easy for a consistent running back to put up solid numbers in their system. Montgomery made the transition from WR to RB look easy. Last season he showed that he has good vision between the tackles, he’s explosive, and he of course can catch the ball since he was formerly a wide out. He’s also trained extremely well this off-season. He’s put on the proper muscle for a running back build and has been working on his footwork. If Montgomery can learn the blocking schemes and positions, then he wouldn’t have to come off the field. And with Aaron Rodgers there is always a great chance of getting those receiving touchdowns for Montgomery.

The Packers depth chart at running back is still very weak. I understand it’s hard to trust the Packers running game since they have arguably the Quarterback in the game. They do have the 27th easiest schedule for running backs this coming season. Montgomery will get about 15 plus touches per game this season. It may not be as much as the other starting running backs, but these 15 touches will be more quality touches than other starting running backs around the league. Montgomery averaged 5.1 yards per carry and 7.9 yards per reception. He has the upside of cracking into the top 12 RB’s this year if he can sustain this type of production with the touches he will be receiving.

Hopefully the Packers can finally move on from the disappointing Eddie Lacy era. Fantasy owners should look at Montgomery as a great flex play or RB2 as of right now, but by seasons end he will be low end RB1. Montgomery’s upside continues to grow week by week. The job is his and no one is threatening him for it. I’m expecting over 1,100 total yards, with about 6 touchdowns.  

NFC West Fantasy Profile

Quarterback: Russell Wilson

 

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This division was disappointing last season at this position. Wilson had a lack luster 2016 season to say the least. Although he played every game, his injuries got the best of him. He should have sat at least 2 games out to let the ankle injury fully heal. He finished with 4,219 yards, 22 total touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He also added 259 rushing yards. These numbers are decent, but with Wilson’s expectations set high every season he definitely fell short.

He’s had the off-season to rest up and get back to full strength. I expect Wilson to have 4,000 plus passing yards, 28-30 total touchdowns, with a minimum of 400 rushing yards. He should be back to his old self. No other quarterback in this division is worth taking a second glance at for a starting position in fantasy leagues. Carson Palmer is to inconsistent, Goff is awful, and Hoyer will have his games here and there because of the system he’s in with Kyle Shanahan, but won’t pan out to be anything special.

 

Running Back: David Johnson

 

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It’s not even fair… Johnson is phenomenal and is the number one overall player in all fantasy leagues. He’s young and only getting better, he will produce similar numbers to that of last year. I expect him to get flirt with 2,000 total yards and 15 plus touchdowns. Don’t be surprised if he gets 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving. If you have the opportunity to take him and don’t, then it would explain why you don’t win your fantasy leagues.

 

Wide Receiver: Doug Baldwin

 

NFL ACTION:  ST. LOUIS RAMS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

 

This division doesn’t provide that many good options at wide receiver. Larry Fitzgerald would have been the favorite in the past, but age is catching up to him. I do believe he will have another productive season and will be a bargain in drafts. However Doug Baldwin is the winner in this division. Over the past two years he’s been extremely dependable. He had 1,128 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2015, he had 14 touchdowns. Baldwin is currently WR 11 and has an ADP of 29. I do believe this is a little high for Baldwin.

He may not be the most sexy pick, but Bottom line is he’s  good in the red zone, he’s Wilson’s favorite target, and has proven to be consistent over the past few years. Not to mention that they don’t have any other relevant wide receivers besides Jimmy Graham.

 

Tight End: Jimmy Graham

 

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Can anyone name the other tight ends in the division besides Graham? Probably not… As I expected, Graham had a great bounce back season in 2016. Wilson has another established threat in the red zone. Seattle has done a great job of getting Graham more involved in the offense since he first arrived on the scene. I have him in my top 5 at the tight end position. No doubt, he will produce the same numbers as last season.

 

Honor Roll: Pierre Garcon

 

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I was saddened to see Garcon leave Washington since I’m a Redskins fan, but I understand the move. It was his last big pay day and Washington wasn’t going to front the money. He had his first 1,000 yard season last year since 2013, which was very productive. He put himself in a good situation in San Francisco. He’s the number one WR for the 49ers and he’s in Kyle Shanahan’s system.

Now, he’s not Julio Jones, but he should put up solid numbers this coming season. Brian Hoyer knows how to get the ball to his wide outs. You can argue that Hoyer started the careers of DeAndre Hopkins and Cameron Meredith, so why wouldn’t he be able to make Garcon put up good numbers? You may think I’m crazy, but if you go back and look at the numbers you will find out that I’m right.

Right now Garcon has an ADP of 94. In the mock drafts that I’ve been a part of so far, Garcon has fallen to the 12th round or later. Owners seem to be forgetting about him. Pierre will be tremendous steal in drafts. Fantasy owners need to keep an eye out for Garcon, he will be a WR2 by seasons end. Now don’t reach, but stash him if you can. You will be thanking me at the end of the season.

NFC East Fantasy Preview

Quarterback: Kirk Cousins

 

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I chose to follow the Captain into battle at the quarterback position for the NFC East. Dak Prescott had a great season last year and as much as I believe that he’s going to have another decent season, I need Prescott to prove it to me one more time. Although Cousins is surrounded by drama in D.C., He’s proven the past two years that he’s a top 10 quarterback. He averaged 307.3 yards a game. He finished the 2016 season with 4,917 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Let’s not forget that he added 4 touchdowns on the ground as well. Kirk has great weapons around him this year even with the departure of Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson. Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed are solid assets and the Redskins made a great acquisition in Terrelle Pryor to help the deep game out.

It looks like Cousins and the Redskins aren’t coming to a contract agreement, but since it’s basically a contract year for him, Cousins is bound to put up solid numbers to prove to NFL teams that he will be worth the money next season. The Redskins need to realize that they haven’t had a franchise quarterback like Cousins for years. The Redskins always seem to make the unpopular move, but let’s save that conversation for another day.

 

Running Back: Ezekiel Elliott                        

 

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I will never support anything Dallas related, but talent is talent. Zeke is something special. Dallas got the running back the franchise has been searching for since Emmitt Smith. He had 322 carries resulting in 1,631 rushing yards, 16 total touchdowns, and 363 receiving yards. Elliott is a no brainer top 3 pick in all fantasy drafts this year. The only thing that might bring some hesitation to fantasy owners is that he has the possibility of being suspended up to 4 games. He could have a similar situation to that of LeVeon Bell last season. The question that remains is when you would draft him if he faces suspension. If you can be sure to hand-cuff him, Zeke still needs to be drafted in the first round of leagues. His production when he comes back from the suspension cannot be overlooked. Even though he could be out for a quarter of the season, he will win your match-ups as soon as he comes back. Another monster year coming up for Ezekiel Elliott.

 

Wide Receiver: Odell Beckham Jr.

 

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No one comes close in this division. He’s averaged 96 receptions over the past 3 years, which is incredible. He’s also had double digit touchdowns in every season that he’s been in the league. I have him as the second best wide receiver behind Antonio Brown. In my opinion, Beckham could take the title this coming year. His off-season workouts are insane. The Giants also got him help on the outside with adding Brandon Marshall. Beckham will now have single coverage against him, which is scary. I expect nothing less than 1,400 and 10 touchdowns. Beckham will be exciting to watch as usual.

 

Tight End: Jordan Reed

 

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Last season was a disappointing season for Reed. He under- performed and it was filled with injuries. He only played 12 games. We have really only seen his full potential in 2016, and even then he didn’t play in every single game. Reed has to stay healthy this season if he doesn’t want his reputation damaged. Without question he is the second best tight end in the league next to Rob Gronkowski. The targets and opportunities will be there for Reed. He just needs to stay healthy. I expect Reed to play 14 games have around 850 yards with 9 touchdowns.

 

Honor Roll: Paul Perkins

 

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I’m extremely excited about Paul Perkins. The Giants backfield has been terrible to say the least. They haven’t had a solid running game in years. Rashad Jennings was disappointing and the Giants have been terrible at focusing on their ground game, which is why they haven’t exceeded to the next level in the past couple of seasons. Perkins finished strong last season. He averaged 4.1 yards per game. All reports coming out of New York is that they are excited about what Perkins can do and he will be handed the reigns in the backfield.  He’s currently ranked as the RB 29 with an ADP of 77. This is great value that fantasy owners will be able to grab in the mid to late rounds. Perkins will be a great flex play with the high possibility of being an RB2 this year. Take a chance this year with the New York Giants backfield.

NFC South Fantasy Preview

Quarterback: Drew Brees

 

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This is one of the best divisions at the quarterback position. Cam Newton has been phenomenal before, Matt Ryan just got off his best season, and Jameis Winston is a great young quarterback that is continuing to progress. The decision came down to who is the most consistent, which is Drew Brees.

Brees came off another stellar year. He threw for 5,208 yards, 37 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, with a completion percentage of 70%. Brees is similar to Brady in the fact that he seems to only get better with age. He’s 38 and continues to make everyone around him better, which is a big reason I believe why Adrian Peterson signed with the Saints. The development of Michael Thomas will only continue to help Brees with his production. The last time he threw for under 30 TD’s was in 2007. Weather the Saints are in playoff contention, Brees always puts up elite numbers. It does benefit fantasy owners that the Saints defense is always extremely bad and airing it out is Brees’s specialty. Until he decides to hang it up, Brees will always be in the top 5 for fantasy quarterbacks.

 

Running Back: Devonta Freeman

 

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My heart wants to pick AP, since I believe he’s going to come back and dominate, but I had to give the nod to Devonta Freeman. I am a little concerned with Kyle Shanahan leaving, but Freeman will continue to dominate. He’s guaranteed to get fantasy owners 1,000 rushing yards and 10 plus touchdowns. One of the biggest features that Freeman brings to the table, if the not the biggest, is his receiving abilities. He’s so effective in the passing game. The past two seasons he had 462 and 578 receiving yards. If Tevin Coleman wasn’t in the picture stealing some rushes and passes away, Freeman hands down would be in the conversation with David Johnson, LeVeon Bell, and Ezekiel Elliott. Two more additional factors that will play into Freeman have another monster year; Freeman desperately wants a new contract and the Falcons want to prove to the NFL that they should have won the Super Bowl. This is a recipe for success.

 

Wide Receiver: Julio Jones

 

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Close draw between Julio Jones and Mike Evans. Evans will have targets taken away due to the signing of Desean Jackson. Not to take anything away from Evans, he will still have a monster year, but Jackson will eat up some fantasy value. I have Jones as my 3rd ranked wide receiver behind Beckham and Brown. He’s one of the best deep threats in the game. He also has a quarterback that is great at throwing the deep ball in Matt Ryan. People might see this last season as a letdown compared to his season in 2015, but I’ll take 1,400 yards with 6 touchdowns any day of the week. The Falcons have already come out and said that they want to go to Julio more in the red zone. The fact that the Falcons want to force Jones the football even more excites me, but scares me more if I have to go against him in fantasy leagues. Expect similar receiving yards, but more touchdowns this coming season.

 

Tight Ends: Greg Olsen

 

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I almost had Greg Olsen as the best wide receiver in this division. The only thing that he lagged in this past season was his touchdowns. He’s had three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. I’ll keep this short and simple, no other tight end comes close to Olsen in this division. He’s mad about his contract and he wants a big payday one last time. Olsen will get another 1,000 receiving yards this season with about 6 touchdowns.

 

Honor Roll: Desean Jackson

 

NFL: MAR 11 Buccaneers Free Agency Press Conference

 

Most people would chose Christian McCaffrey as the breakout candidate in this division. I’m not high on McCaffrey for a few reasons. The Panthers haven’t committed the starting job to him. Jonathan Stewart is still on schedule to get the bulk of the carries. This means that McCaffrey would be a glorified version of Danny Woodhead. He’s a rookie with great potential, but I won’t risk taking one of my first two picks on a rookie that is only going to be involved in the passing game.

This leads me to Desean Jackson. He had a bounce back season last year with a Redskins offense that isn’t consistent. Now he’s the WR2 in an up and coming offense. Mike Evans draws so much attention, and Jackson will finally get the one-on-one coverage that he desires. Winston’s life is going to be so easy with these two receivers. No one in the league can stay with Jackson, thus he will easily get 1,000 yards with 7 touchdowns. He will be a great WR2 for fantasy owners. He’s currently ranked at a WR #35 with an ADP of 83. This is great value in the middle of the draft. Desean Jackson is about to go back to his Philly days where he took the league by storm.

Player Profile: Jamison Crowder

Jamison Crowder

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Rank: WR 31

ADP: 73

Risk Level: Low

 

Pros:

  • Last two seasons has averaged over 10 yards a catch
  • Caught almost 70% of his targets
  • 7 touchdowns
  • Fighting to be the number one WR after Garcon and Jackson left
  • Good value going around the 6th or 7th round
  • Plays against Philly and Dallas; who have defenses that are on the weaker end of the NFL

 

Cons:

  • Terrelle Pryor being brought in COULD demand more targets.
  • Only 3 games over 100 yards
  • 8 games with 3 catches or less

 

Analysis:

Jamison Crowder is getting over looked a lot this year due to the acquisition of Terrelle Pryor. Crowder is going into his third year and looking to make a huge splash. We saw last season that Crowder and Cousins had extremely good chemistry, which they only have been building on this off-season. Cousins also trusted Crowder in crucial situations. I don’t see this changing this coming season. Coach Gruden has already mentioned that Crowder could be looking for a bigger role coming into the 2017 season which is exciting to hear.

 

The big question mark is the fact that the Redskins brought in Terrelle Pryor. A lot of people, including fantasy gurus, are high on Pryor this year. Don’t get me wrong, I think Pryor is going to put up good numbers, but I think you could get similar numbers from Crowder with better value in the later rounds. Terrelle Pryor is going at the WR 18 and off the board around the 38th position, which is around the middle of the 3rd round. Other players that you could get around that area would be Sammy Watkins and Keenan Allen, who have proven that if healthy, they can be WR1’s. The guys going around Jamison Crowder are Paul Perkins, Stefon Diggs and Frank Gore. I would take Crowder over all of those guys. I think you are going to get more consistency from Crowder than the not so sexy Frank Gore or a questionable Stefon Diggs. The return on your investment will be more significant if drafting Crowder. He had 99 targets last season with a good wide out tandem in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. Crowder is next up after Reed on Cousin’s favorites list.

 

I really do like the Washington Redskins offense a lot this year. I think they are going to be a high power offense that will put up a lot of big numbers against a bunch of weaker defenses. The big question mark in Washington has been there defense. For fantasy owners this isn’t necessarily bad news. If the Redskins continue to be in shoot outs and get caught playing catch-up, Crowder will see a lot of garbage time. This only adds more value to him.

 

If I had to choose between Crowder and Pryor I’d have to give the edge to Crowder. He’s got more significant upside and has been in the offense for three years. He’s a better value than giving up your third round draft pick for a question mark player in Pryor.

NFC North Top Fantasy Players

We will be going through each division in the NFL and informing you of who the top fantasy players are at each position. We will start with the NFC North.

Quarterback– Aaron Rodgers

 

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Would you really choose someone else in this division? Matthew Stafford is a far distant second. Rodgers takes the position without question. Predicted as the number one fantasy quarterback, Rodgers looks to top his phenomenal season last year with 40 touchdowns, 4,428 passing yards, only 7 interceptions, and 4 touchdowns on the ground. He didn’t finish the way he wanted to last season after a late exit in the playoffs. I would say that he is playing with a chip on his shoulder, but Rodgers always seems to be playing with a chip on his shoulder. I expect nothing less than the numbers produced last season for Rodgers. I don’t like picking a quarterback in the first round, but he’s the only quarterback that can be justified to draft in the first round of fantasy drafts.

 

RB-Jordan Howard

 

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Yes I know what you’re thinking…  How can anything good come from the Chicago Bears organization? It’s just been full of letdown fantasy performers—a.k.a. Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffrey, and Martellus Bennett. For some reason players aren’t that successful in Chicago, except for the running back situation. Matt Forte was always a reliable stud and it seems that Jordan Howard will be that way as well. He started 13 games and produced 1,313 yards with 6 touchdowns. It would have been great to see how he would have finished with another 3 games as the starter. The fact is, Chicago will run their offense through Howard. They have no other offensive weapons, especially with the quarterback situation. Weather Glennon starts for more than 6 games or Trubisky comes in, John Fox will have no choice but to hand the ball off as a safety net for these in-experience quarterbacks. The volume is going to be there for Howard. He will be a good bell cow this coming season for fantasy owners.

 

WR-Jordy Nelson

 

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We didn’t have a choice but to choose the number one quarterback’s number one target, Jordy Nelson. He’s starting to get up there in age, but Rodgers makes life at the wide receiver position easier. Nelson finished with 14 touchdowns last season, which is why fantasy owners are drafting him extremely high this season. I don’t blame them at all, averaging almost a touchdown a game is great reliability to count on in your week-to-week matchups. Rodgers will throw about an average of 3 touchdowns per game. Nelson is guaranteed to get at least 1 per game and he proved that last year. Yes, Adams has finally stepped up and become the second wide receiver that Green Bay needs and will take targets and touchdowns away, but Nelson will be left in more one-on-one coverage. I’ll take a less guarded Jordy Nelson any day, especially in the red zone. Nelson is one of the few wide receivers that I would recommend leaning on like a bell cow.

 

TE-Kyle Rudolph

 

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It was tough choice between Kyle Rudolph and Martellus Bennett. I gave the edge to Rudolph because he has proven to be more durable. Rudolph has come off his best overall season with 840 yards and 7 touchdowns. He had 83 receptions on 132 targets, which made him the number one targeted tight end in the NFL. I don’t see that changing this upcoming season. Sam Bradford has shown his entire NFL career that he loves his tight ends and loves throwing the football 15 yards or less. Kyle Rudolph is the biggest target and red zone threat that the Minnesota Vikings have. Bradford had great chemistry with him last season and looks to build on it here this season. He will no doubt produce the same type of numbers or better. I have him producing 850 receiving yards with 9-10 touchdowns this season. No doubt you will easily be able to rely on him as a TE1 that you will be able to get late in fantasy drafts.

 

Breakout Candidate: Ameer Abdullah

 

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Not really a sleeper pick anymore, but anyone chosen out of the Detroit backfield is considered a sleeper or high risk. He’s been injured prone and looks to prove that he can handle the workload of a starting running back in the NFL. It’s do or die for Abdullah this year. If he doesn’t produce significant numbers or shows that he can’t stay healthy, his days as being a starter in the NFL will be shattered. With this being said, I believe that he will be productive this season. He should get around 700 rushing yards with 400 receiving yards and 6-7 total touchdowns. Abdullah will be a great flex play and a productive RB2/RB3. His ADP is around 72, which I believe is a perfect match with his value. This year is the year to bet on Ameer Abdullah, you will get the return on your investment.