Big Board: Beckham, Brown best bets for '16

Roto Arcade

The Big Board takes into consideration past returns, current performance and expected future gains in determining who should be included among the top 50 fantasy football players. Essentially, the Big Board is a cheat sheet designed for a fantasy owner who is planning to participate in a draft today. Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football default scoring settings are used as the baseline for the Big Board.

(Note: This football Big Board update is the first look ahead at the 2016 season)

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Big Board 50: Fantasy Football '16

1. Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)

WR

 

RB injury rate in '15 has me running right into the arms of a WR for the top pick, and that WR is ODB, who (at 23) is perfect blend of talent, mileage and situation - 25 TDs in 1st 26 NFL games

2. Antonio Brown (PIT)

WR

 

Can beat you from anywhere on the field - deep, middle, short - fantastic chemistry w/ QB Big Ben has led to 3 straight seasons of 110+ catches, 1,500+ YFS

3. David Johnson (ARI)

RB

 

Don't want to hear 'unproven' argument - has size, speed, versatility, and now looks entrenched as featured RB for one of the NFL's top juggernaut offenses - that's all you can ask for

4. Todd Gurley (STL)

RB

 

If the Rams can develop any kind of realistic threat in the passing game before next season, the ultra-talented Gurley becomes an easy top 5 pick, and a strong argument for No. 1 overall

5. Julio Jones (ATL)

WR

 

Perhaps the perfect WR weapon in terms of his physical makeup, which makes his (lack of) TD production in ATL perplexing - expect ATL to upgrade the help in the pass game this offseason

6. Le'Veon Bell (PIT)

RB

 

No longer No. 1 overall w/ a bullet after knee injury (MCL/PCL), but he's right now expected to be good to go for Week 1, and he's got the youthful vitality to return at near-100%

7. Adrian Peterson (MIN)

RB

 

Mileage will be the biggest concern in '16 as he'll be 31 years old and his December YPC dropped to a lowly 3.6 mark - will Minnesota look for an understudy to groom this offseason?

8. DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)

WR

 

Breakout star of '15 had 5+ catches in all but 1 game, this despite HOU QB carousel - had 80 catches that went for a 1st Down (thru Week 16), only ATL's J. Jones had more

9. Allen Robinson (JAC)

WR

 

To own him was to love him in '15 - only Beckham had more FAN PTS at WR from Weeks 2-16 - led all WRs in catches of 25+ yards and was 2nd at the position in Goal Line targets

10. Dez Bryant (DAL)

WR

 

Romo reunion should put Dez back in the 1,200+ yards, 12+ TD world - at 27, plenty of tread left on the tires

11. Rob Gronkowski (NWE)

TE

 

Still the top TE, but the position continues to get stronger with each passing year - Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert gave him a run for his money in '15, making Gronk less of a Round 1 slam dunk

12. Thomas Rawls (SEA)

RB

 

Beast-Mode era in Seattle backfield has likely come to an end, though Rawls, expected to make full recovery from ankle injury, has a Beastly style as well - my expectation is that Lynch retires

13. Jamaal Charles (KAN)

RB

 

Coming back from ACL injury is becoming easier to do these days, and JC expected to be ready for training camp, but concern is, after 2nd ACL surgery, that KC may minimize his workload

14. Mark Ingram (NOR)

RB

 

Shoulder surgery cut short '15, but will be fully recovered and ready to go for '16 - before injury, he had become consistency king - 9+ FAN PTS in 21 of past 25 games

15. Cam Newton (CAR)

QB

 

Here's where he's finished among QBs in Yahoo default scoring in 5 NFL seasons: 3rd, 5th, 5th, 8th, 1st - w/ return of WR Benjamin in '16, easy to makes case for repeat as top QB

16. Devonta Freeman (ATL)

RB

 

YPC waned down home stretch, and he may have to share more w/ T. Coleman, but w/ his versatility (70+ catches), breakaway ability (30+ runs of 10+ yards), will be ATL's featured RB again in '16

17. Brandon Marshall (NYJ)

WR

 

Arguably the Consistency King of '15, had 10+ FAN PTS in 12 of 1st 15 games of '15, and 6.7 FAN PTS (@ NE in Week 7) was his worst effort - now has 1,200+ yards for 4 different teams

18. Doug Martin (TAM)

RB

 

Had 273 carries thru Week 16 (2nd most in the league), and no other RB w/ at least 150 carries was able to match his 5.0 YPC mark - Bucs motivated to keep the free agent RB in Tampa

19. Lamar Miller (MIA)

RB

 

Set to finish as a top 10 RB for the 2nd year in a row despite under 200 carries in each season - can have a J. Charles type fantasy impact in right spot - as free agent, maybe he'll find it

20. Eddie Lacy (GNB)

RB

 

Perhaps the most disappointing RB that didn't suffer a significant injury, but GB offense as a whole struggled - if he comes into '16 camp in shape, I'll be willing to give him a pass for '15

21. Jeremy Langford (CHI)

RB

 

Despite good size and speed, YPC mark (3.7) was lackluster - that said, strong receiving skills and expected featured role w/ Forte gone, should prove plenty lucrative for fantasy purposes

22. Latavius Murray (OAK)

RB

 

Despite a ton of natural physical ability, he was nothing to write home about in '15, except for his major workload - that worked out to top 10 RB value, and little likely to change for '16

23. Sammy Watkins (BUF)

WR

 

He stamped his ticket for elite class of WRs for '16 drafts w/ 6 TDs and 108 YPG clip in 5-game stretch from Weeks 12-16 - BUF not ideal offense for WR, but Watkins has transcendent talent

24. Alshon Jeffery (CHI)

WR

 

Heading into his age 26 season, with 3 NFL years under his belt, he'll be in his peak prime in '16 - despite injuries in '15, expect free agent market to be hot for physically imposing Jeffery

25. Demaryius Thomas (DEN)

WR

 

Drops were an issue in '15, but he still managed 100 catches for 2nd straight season despite shaky QB situation - only 28, should continue to be a 1-on-1 matchup nightmare in '16

26. A.J. Green (CIN)

WR

 

Has shown a little too much all-or-nothing to his fantasy game going back to late '14 - very few can match his talent at WR position, but many mouths to feed in Cincy

27. Jordy Nelson (GNB)

WR

 

Oh, how QB Rodgers missed his verticality, his post-up moves, and his back-shoulder magic - with more than a year of recovery time for his ACL injury, he should return in '16 in good shape

28. Aaron Rodgers (GNB)

QB

 

Not worried for a second that Packers won't address A-Rod's need for playmakers on outside - return of WR Nelson will help, but expect more help in free agency or draft

29. LeSean McCoy (BUF)

RB

 

When he played, he delivered for the Bills and his fantasy owners, but staying on the field was tough for Shady - expect durability issues and backup Karlos Williams to dog his '16 stock

30. Amari Cooper (OAK)

WR

 

There was inconsistency in '15, but you have to expect that from a rookie - when the dust settles, he'll finish north of 70 catches and 1,000 yards, with all arrows pointing up for '16

31. Martavis Bryant (PIT)

WR

 

Went quiet during fantasy playoffs, but still talking about a towering, athletic 2nd-year wideout w/ 16 TDs in his 1st 21 NFL games starting for one of the league's top passing offenses

32. Russell Wilson (SEA)

QB

 

Has increased pass attempts every season, and expect him to do that again in '16 after leading QBs in FAN PTS in 6-game span from Weeks 11-16 (285 pass YPG, 21 TD passes, 1 INT)

33. Tom Brady (NWE)

QB

 

Hell hath no fury like Brady scorned: Showed no signs of slowing down in '15 as he produced the 3rd best fantasy PPG clip of his career despite all kinds of injury problems in NE offense

34. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)

QB

 

Arguably best surrounding talent of any QB, and Big Ben takes full advantage of it - one cause for concern is that he's been outside the top 15 fantasy QBs on the road each of past 2 seasons

35. Carlos Hyde (SFO)

RB

 

He was a Yards After Contact standout in '15 before landing on the IR (foot) - if SF can create any kind of optimism for the 49ers offense in the offseason, I'll be a motivated Hyde buyer

36. Jordan Reed (WAS)

TE

 

Kirk Cousins' BFF actually bested Gronk in PPG value in PPR formats (thru Week 16) - his concussion history is a major concern - he'd be several spots higher on this board if it wasn't

37. Tyler Eifert (CIN)

TE

 

At 6-foot-6, the athletic 25 year old is Baby Gronk - unfortunately, his ability to stay healthy is also Gronk-esque - in potent Cincy offense, should continue to be a TD per game threat

38. Andrew Luck (IND)

QB

 

Assuming INDY spends every last dollar on O-line help this offseason, a healthy Luck should be back in elite QB mix - Luck doesn't escape all blame for '15 (he was awful), but he was still top 7 in FAN PPG value despite the myriad of issues

39. Matt Forte (CHI)

RB

 

As a free agent, may have a hard time finding the kind of featured role he enjoyed in CHI, though it looks like he still has gas in the tank - his stock can easily rise if he finds the right home

40. Mike Evans (TAM)

WR

 

Was 2nd in dropped passes at WR (thru Week 16), but still posted impressive avg. of 85 YPG - TDs were down in '15, but w/ his size and go-to role, TDs should go up in '16 w/ the improvement of QB Winston in Year 2

41. Brandin Cooks (NOR)

WR

 

Only 2 of his 9 TDs (thru Week 16) have come on red zone targets which makes his TD upside concerning going forward - but he's a lightning quick go-to talent in a pass heavy offense

42. Calvin Johnson (DET)

WR

 

At 30, he's not officially over the hill, but the signs that he's headed that direction are obvious - still can be an extremely difficult matchup when fully healthy, but that's hard to bank on these days

43. Julian Edelman (NWE)

WR

 

Was top 8 in FAN PPG at WR in '15, but foot injury limited him to just 9 games - reckless nature of role will always make health a concern, but the Brady/Edelman chemistry ranks among the best in the NFL

44. Blake Bortles (JAC)

QB

 

Took fantasy game to elite level thanks to excellent surrounding talent, garbage time and mobility (6th most rush yards @ QB)- if Jags D remains shaky, another QB top 5 finish likely

45. Carson Palmer (ARI)

QB

 

Can he play another full season? That's the only concern here as he's sitting pretty in terms of surrounding talent/offensive system - if he can stay healthy, another top 5 QB finish is in the Card

46. Kelvin Benjamin (CAR)

WR

 

Like Jordy Nelson, he tore his ACL in August, so no worries about him being ready for '16 campaign - he should be able to at least replicate his rookie numbers (1000 yards, 9 TDs)

47. T.Y. Hilton (IND)

WR

 

In 1st three seasons, trended up in WR fantasy finishes from 25th to 19th to 10th - deserves medal for managing another top 25 finish in '16 given Indy QB situation - Luck's return should mean return to top 20 for Hilton

48. Jonathan Stewart (CAR)

RB

 

He finished '14 strong, and was a top 15 RB value on a per game basis in '15, but he'll always be swimming upstream in this offense in terms of TD potential, and he's certainly no ironman when it comes to health

49. John Brown (ARI)

WR

 

Was a top 10 WR from Weeks 5-16, and finished with 6 catches of 40+ yards (4th-most) - from a WR standpoint, in a catbird seat offense

50. Michael Floyd (ARI)

WR

 

Was No. 11 WR from Weeks 5-16, and finished with 5 games of 100+ rec yards (tied for 3rd most) - from a WR standpoint, in a catbird seat offense

Note: "vs. ECR" compares my rank to the Expert Consensus Rank (ECR) as compiled by FantasyPros.

ON THE BUBBLE:
(QBs) Drew Brees, NO; Tony Romo, Dal; Derek Carr, Oak; Andy Dalton, Cin
(RBs) Jeremy Hill, Cin; T.J. Yeldon, Jac; DeMarco Murray, Phi; Melvin Gordon, SD; C.J. Anderson, Den: Karlos Williams, Buf; Arian Foster, Hou; Chris Ivory; Marshawn Lynch (retirement?)
(WRs)  Keenan Allen, SD; Doug Baldwin, Sea; Jarvis LAndry, Mia; Allen Hurns, Jac; Eric Decker, NYJ; Randall Cobb, GB; Emmanuel Sanders, Den; Jeremy Maclin, KC; DeSean Jackson, Was; Josh Gordon, Cle; Jordan Matthews, Phi



(TEs) Greg Olsen, Car; Gary Barnidge, Cle; Delanie Walker, Ten 

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