Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are wrapping up, and NFL minicamps will soon be in full swing. We are in an information-gathering stage of the offseason, trying to determine how coaching staffs envision players and their roles before training camp.
In addition to keeping tabs on re-draft Average Draft Positions (ADPs), I’ve participated in nearly 50 MFL10 best-ball drafts since the offseason began, and feel like I have a good handle on how the community as well as common drafters are valuing players for the 2015 season. Below are rough preliminary rankings with training camp about a month and a half away. If you’re interested in more extensive player writeups, check out my Pre-Draft Top 150 at this link. Some of the information is outdated — it was written before the draft — but there are a lot of useful numbers and observations in those Top 150 writeups.
1. Le’Veon Bell — Ban may still be reduced on appeal. My 1.01 regardless.
2. Eddie Lacy — Touchdown-scoring machine in the NFC’s best offense.
3. Rob Gronkowski — The most dominant skill-position player in football.
4. Adrian Peterson — Will benefit from best Vikings offense since Favre.
5. Marshawn Lynch — Including playoffs, has played in 66 straight games.
6. Jamaal Charles — Looked out of gas late in 2014. Cuff with Knile Davis.
7. DeMarco Murray — Usage will drop, but still safe bet for RB1 numbers.
8. Julio Jones — Will ball hog as Kyle Shanahan‘s featured “X” receiver.
9. Dez Bryant — Passing-game volume will increase in Dallas this season.
10. Antonio Brown — Has caught at least five balls in 33 straight games.
11. Demaryius Thomas — Increased TD upside with Julius Thomas gone.
12. Arian Foster — The overall RB3 in fantasy points per game last year.
13. Odell Beckham — Already a top-five WR pick after only 12 NFL games.
14. Calvin Johnson — 98-1,458-12 pace in the second half of last season.
15. C.J. Anderson — NFL-rushing title upside if he keeps job. (He should.)
16. Matt Forte — Loss of Trestman & sharp YPC dip are causes for concern.
17. Jeremy Hill — Will lose work to Gio, but TD ceiling as high as anyone’s.
18. A.J. Green — Recency bias has rendered Green a likely 2015 value pick.
19. Randall Cobb — He’s still only 24 years old. High-floor 2nd-round pick.
20. Jordy Nelson — Coming off hip surgery at age 30. Monitor his health.
21. LeSean McCoy — Usage locked in, but effectiveness & situation flags.
22. Andrew Luck — Another huge year coming with best weapons in NFL.
23. Alshon Jeffery — The Bears’ 1A receiver with Brandon Marshall gone.
24. Justin Forsett — Even if rushing stats regress, receptions should spike.
25. Mark Ingram — The new centerpiece of New Orleans’ revised offense.
26. Frank Gore — Will see big upticks in catches & scoring chances on Colts.
27. Mike Evans — Big upgrades at QB and OC in Tampa Bay this offseason.
28. Melvin Gordon — Instant feature RB in good offense with improved OL.
29. T.Y. Hilton — Many mouths to feed, but the Luck-T.Y. bond is bankable.
30. DeAndre Hopkins — Projects as a target monster post-Andre Johnson.
31. Jimmy Graham — Volume will dip in Seattle. Still good bet for 10+ TDs.
32. Aaron Rodgers — Has been a top-2 fantasy QB in 6 of the last 7 seasons.
33. Jordan Matthews — Favorite to lead Chip Kelly‘s offense in receiving.
34. Andre Johnson — Can’t underestimate The Luck Effect. WR1 upside.
35. Brandin Cooks — 100-catch candidate as Saints new No. 1 receiver.
36. Lamar Miller — Highly-quality runner underrated by his own team.
37. Jonathan Stewart — Major workhorse potential *if he stays healthy.*
38. Brandon Marshall — Should catch a ton of balls in Chan Gailey‘s spread.
39. Kelvin Benjamin — Great value last year. Slightly overvalued this year.
40. Alfred Morris — Not sexy, but always safe bet for top-15 RB production.
41. T.J. Yeldon — Will be Jags 3-down back, but low TD ceiling in bad offense.
42. C.J. Spiller — Pierre Thomas/Travaris Cadet combined for 83 catches in ’14.
43. Travis Kelce — Could give Graham a run to be fantasy’s No. 2 tight end.
44. Golden Tate — His 2014 production took a big hit with Calvin in lineup.
45. Emmanuel Sanders — Expects his own stats to dip in ball-control offense.
46. Russell Wilson — Last year’s No. 3 fantasy passer added Jimmy Graham.
47. LeGarrette Blount — Stars have aligned for Blount to be a premium value.
48. Latavius Murray — Scary raw & unproven, but opportunity at heavy usage.
49. Carlos Hyde — Limited two-down back on potential dumpster-fire team.
50. Ameer Abdullah — Should emerge as Lions lead RB before midseason.
51. Andre Ellington — David Johnson is a threat to his receiving workload.
52. DeSean Jackson — WR2 fantasy pick with weekly WR1 scoring upside.
53. Allen Robinson — Sneaky bet to finish top-ten in NFL in targets this year.
54. Jeremy Maclin — From WR1 in Philly to low-ceiling WR2 with Alex Smith.
55. Julian Edelman — Good bet for 85-90 catches, but Brady suspension hurts.
56. Joseph Randle — Early favorite to open season as Cowboys lead runner.
57. Tevin Coleman — OROY sleeper in Kyle Shanahan‘s RB-friendly offense.
58. Sammy Watkins — Rough situation, but should still flirt with WR2 stats.
59. Jarvis Landry — Will vacuum targets, especially after DeVante Parker injury.
60. Todd Gurley — Coming off torn ACL in one of NFL’s most-putrid offenses.
61. Peyton Manning — Top-6 fantasy QB in each of his last 15 healthy seasons.
62. Keenan Allen — Addition of Stevie Johnson could eat into Allen’s targets.
63. Greg Olsen — Devin Funchess more likely to hurt Olsen than Benjamin.
64. Rashad Jennings — Still the Giants best all-around running back at age 30.
65. Isaiah Crowell — Favorite for early-down carries in league-worst offense.
66. Nelson Agholor — Replacing Jeremy Maclin, who saw 143 targets in ’14.
67. Amari Cooper — The immediate centerpiece of Oakland’s passing game.
68. Vincent Jackson — Good bet to bounce back to stable WR2/3 production.
69. Martavis Bryant — Including playoffs, had 9 TDs in 11 games as rookie.
70. Giovani Bernard — Figures to handle 7-12 touches per game behind Hill.
71. Tre Mason — Could be very useful if Todd Gurley lands on reserve/PUP.
72. Anquan Boldin — Annually underrated WR3/4 pick who scores like a WR2.
73. Martellus Bennett — Regression likely after leading all TEs in ’14 catches.
74. Steve Smith Sr. — Like his chances at an 80+ catch season with Trestman.
75. Brandon LaFell — Should hover around last year’s numbers (74-953-7).
76. Breshad Perriman — Arguably more upside than any rookie wide receiver.
77. Eric Decker — WR3/4 pick who should deliver fair share of WR2 weeks.
78. Ben Roethlisberger — Steelers will field one of NFL’s best offenses in ’15.
79. Roddy White — 34 in November, but likely to remain steady WR3 in PPR.
80. Charles Johnson — Will play the Irvin/V-Jax role in Norv Turner‘s offense.
81. Mike Wallace — Norv’s vertical stretcher a la Alvin Harper/Malcom Floyd.
82. Kevin White — Lots of mouths in Chicago; Jeffery, Martellus, Forte.
83. Torrey Smith — 49ers beat writers think he may struggle to hit 750 yards.
84. Antonio Gates — Still as good a bet as any TE for a weekly red-zone score.
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