Football is back people!
Well not completely, but the draft is over, teams have started OTAs, and we are getting our first glimpse of how every team’s roster is shaping up. It is still way too early to know exactly what every team has planned, but at this point we can definitely get a great idea of what everyone is thinking. There are only two months until the preseason starts and I for one am extremely excited!
The lead writer for Fantasy Fusion, Donald Gibson, already has his initial rankings up and they are awesome!
...for the most part.
You will not find two fantasy analysts out there that have the same exact rankings. so there are bound to be discrepancies. In this article, you will find some players that Donald is simply not getting right.
These will reference Donald's half-PPR rankings. Updated rankings are always found here or on FantasyPros.
Devonta Freeman- RB4
Don’t get me wrong, I think that Freeman is an excellent running back and should have a solid year. He has proven that he belongs in the top-tier of running backs after his non-PPR RB6 finish last season.
The Falcons also had an amazing year on offense but lost their offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan. Under Shanahan, Matt Ryan and the rest of the offense thrived and put up huge numbers. I just do not see how the Falcons can replicate the offense they had last year, so I expect a substantial amount of regression out of the Atlanta offense.
Tevin Coleman missed three games in 2016 and still had a very good season. Coleman has a ton of talent and you can tell that the Falcons want him on the field. If anything, Coleman should be getting increased touches this year. I expect to see more of a shared workload between these two backs.
If there is any kind of regression in the Atlanta offense, it is likely to come directly from Freeman. Right now, Donald has him as the number 4 overall running back. I would prefer drafting other running backs like LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon, Jay Ajayi, DeMarco Murray, and Jordan Howard over Freeman.
Keenan Allen- WR11
Look, Allen has the potential to be an outstanding player for you fantasy team. I get it. When he has played, Allen has been a pass-catching machine. We must also realize that he has played a total of nine games the last two seasons. I think it is fair to officially label Allen as “injury prone.”
Take a look at the other pass catchers that are on the Chargers roster. Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, Travis Benjamin and Hunter Henry all put up respectable numbers last season. Tyrell Williams actually was a borderline top 20 wide receiver. The Chargers also just used the 7th overall pick on another wide receiver: Mike Williams!
There are just so many mouths to feed in this offense.
Allen could pay off in a huge way, but with my second or early third round pick I will be avoiding the kind of risk that could put my entire fantasy season in jeopardy. Donald has him ranked as his number 11 overall wide receiver. That is way too much of a gamble for me, especially when I look at the names behind him such as Brandin Cooks, Amari Cooper, Alshon Jeffery, Sammy Watkins, and Demaryius Thomas.
Mike Gillislee - RB23
Patriots running backs are scary! How do you like that science?
Golden Tate - WR15
Just a bit too early for me buddy.
Davante Adams - WR21
Is he a one year wonder? Are his touchdowns fluky?
Frank Gore- RB37
I know I know, a lot of people out there are going to see the name “Frank Gore” and think to themselves, “hasn’t he retired yet?" He’s 34 years old now, he plays for a team that isn’t known for running the ball, and they just drafted a running back (Marlon Mack) in the fourth round. It seems like everyone is ready to throw in the towel and say that Gore is washed up.
Having said that, I will probably end up having a lot of Gore on my fantasy teams this year. Now, am I saying that I want him as my number 1 running back? No.
Am I saying that he is just about as reliable as they come? Yes!
Every single year he produces, and it just seems like age isn’t a factor with this guy. He has finished under 1,000 rushing yards only three times in his entire career and he was a top-15 running back last year. He also plays in a very high-powered offense that will be on the field a lot, which will lead to more opportunities for him. Marlon Mack is more a pick for the future, and he should learn a lot playing under Frank Gore.
Right now Donald has him ranked has the number 37 overall running back. That probably puts his draft position somewhere in the 9th or 10th round. At that point Gore is a steal and a great security blanket, especially if you made some risky picks early on. I would prefer to have Gore over other running backs ranked ahead of him like Jeremy Hill, Latavius Murray, Theo Riddick, Samaje Perine, and Rob Kelley.
Michael Crabtree- WR27
There are certain players that get disrespected by the fantasy football community every year but still always out-produce their average draft position. Larry Fitzgerald, Eric Decker and Frank Gore ring any bells?
Whether it’s because of age or other factors, these guys just can’t catch a break. We can definitely put Crabtree in that category. He has finished as a top 15 wide receiver each of the past two seasons. Donald has Crabtree ranked as his number 27 overall wide receiver, and I would gladly take him at that position.
Last year everyone assumed that Amari Cooper would take over and become the true #1 receiver for Oakland.
...that didn't happen.
Crabtree is Derek Carr’s safety blanket, especially in the red zone. Look, if I had the choice of taking Cooper or Crabtree at the same price, I would take Cooper without much hesitation. Cooper has a ton of potential and could truly explode this year, but their Average Draft Position (ADP) is the key.
Cooper will probably be going somewhere in the second round, while you can get Crabtree in the 5th round or later! Last year Crabtree had 89 catches, 1003 receiving yards, and 8 touchdowns. Cooper had 83 catches, 1153 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. Hmmm those stats seem pretty close to me, in fact I would say that Crabtree had a better season.
Give me the guy that is going 3-4 rounds later with the talent to produce top-15 wide receiver numbers. Either way, the Raiders look primed to have a fantastic season this year. I am buying in on Crabtree over guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Stefon Diggs, Pierre Garcon, Jarvis Landry, and Davante Adams.
Donte Moncrief - WR52
The #2 WR on a high power offensive; could easily be a top 20 fantasy WR
Breshad Perriman - WR58
3rd year WR; could be #1 option on Ravens; a lot of potential
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