As the football season approaches, so do your fantasy football drafts. And usually I like to go over some sleepers and busts for the upcoming season, but this year, instead, I thought I would look at the highest and lowest ranked fantasy teams in football. What I want to do is take the QB, RB, WR1, WR2, TE for various teams and compare them to their ADP (Average Draft Position) in different drafts across numerous sites and platforms. For the lower ranked teams, I will not use overall numbers, because some position players aren’t even drafted.
The numbers I am using are from here!
Top ranked teams, in no particular order:
Green Bay Packers
This team flew off the board to me immediately. They have a top 5 pick in Eddie Lacy (3.7), who, by all accounts should have a monster year. What makes him such a sneaky top pick is his ability to break tackles and rack up big yardage every play. The Packers also have a top 2 QB in Aaron Rodgers (18.6), who will most certainly keep his efficiency numbers up with the talented receivers around him. Or is it the other way around? His WR are near the top too with Jordy Nelson (18.1) and Randall Cobb (23.2), who could each top double digit TD this year. Tight End is their weakest position, as they aren’t even ranked here, which will, obviously, hurt their overall average rankings, but the rest of the team is so ridiculously stacked, I can overlook it.
Expectations need to be tempered for this offense, as it probably won’t be the run and gun shoot out offense of years past. With new coaches and coordinators in place, the Broncos seem determined to run the ball more and control the clock. That’s why their starting RB, CJ Anderson (7.7) is so highly rated, but I personally don’t see him as a first round pick. Demeriyus Thomas (10.8) is right behind him, and his numbers should take a small hit this year, but probably not too much. His receiving teammate, Emmanuel Sanders (32.6), might not have the touchdown success he had a year ago, but without Julius Thomas there, he could see additional targets. Peyton manning takes a dive to the #3 QB slot (39.2), and his numbers will take a hit with the new offense in place. Tight End is a weakness here too, but Owen Daniels (90.3) is a much better option than whoever starts for Green Bay.
With the top QB off the board in most drafts (15.1), I’ve seen him go even late in the first round of some. His numbers were outstanding last season, and he should improve given his offensive weapons and his experience. Surprisingly, Frank Gore is the next rated player (25.1), as he becomes the best RB option the Colts have had in many years. With the goal line success of his past, plus the Colts’ dependency on running the ball or with screen passes, Gore figures to have a great year. Right behind him is TY Hilton (26.3) and Andre Johnson (42.4), and while I do believe in Hilton, I’m not 100% sold on Johnson, and think his days are quite numbered. I’ll let others buy in on him, while I take a chance on a rebound from Keenan Allen. Of all of the teams listed here, the Colts have the best TE of the bunch in my opinion, in Dwayne Allen (136.3), since Luck likes to throw to the TE and Allen has big play abilities.
Pittsburgh Steelers – LeVeon Bell is a #1 pick in my opinion, as could be Antonio Brown. I’m just not believing the hype for the rest of the offense, but I could be wrong.
Cincinnati Bengals – Nothing in the first round, but Jeremy Hill and AJ Green make a fine fantasy duo. With their upcoming talent, shouldn’t Andy Dalton be a top 15 QB?
Low ranked teams, in no particular order:
It will be a slow season for the Browns, as their highest ranked player, Isaiah Crowell, hasn’t even been named the starter yet. And even still, he’s the 32 ranked RB, meaning that he should be your RB3 in most leagues. Good for bye weeks, injury replacements and for depth. Their highest ranked player off the board is Dwane Bowe, and although he’s their WR1, he should by no means be yours. Ranked as the 62nd overall WR, he should have more TD than last season (haha), but even then. PS, don’t bother drafting their QB, McCown, unless you’re in 2 QB leagues and it’s a 16 team league.
Despite being a favorite in the NFC, offensively, they look boring but solid. Andre Ellington is their best player in fantasy, but even then, his touches should diminish, he’s injury prone and, by Arians making a pitch for Chris Johnson, it shows how much confidence he has in the young back. John Brown is their highest ranked WR, but I’m not buying into his hype until I see it on a consistent basis. Sure he has TY Hilton-like talent, but there’s no Andrew Luck throwing him the ball. Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald round up their receiving core, and, while they’re all solid football options, they need to be at the bottom of your fantasy lineups and not counted on week to week. Carson Palmer has potential for a nice rebound, but I like many other QB better.
New York Jets
It’s saying something when a team’s defense is their best fantasy weapon. Offensively, and depressingly surprising, the Jets’ offense took a serious nosedive when Geno Smith got sucker punched and his jaw broken this week, rendering him even more useless and out for multiple months. That drops the stock of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to WR3 at best, because Ryan Fitzpatrick is throwing them the ball. Chris Ivory, ironically, takes a push forward, as they will be reliant on running the ball, and he is a nice little sleeper for 3 down play and goal line work. I don’t even know who their TE is and I’m too tired to look. I’m not drafting him.
San Francisco 49ers: They lost Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore, plus their offensive line is in shambles. Colin Kaepernick will need to go back to scrambling to become relevant. Who knows about their RB situation, but the winner of that battle should provide a long term spark.
Buffalo Bills: Outside of LeSean McCoy, who can you really trust on a week to week basis?
And there you have it.