Intro to Fantasy Hockey

Introduction to Fantasy Hockey
By: Steven Warren
In a world where fantasy football is king; fantasy hockey is the lesser known brother in the fantasy world. Personally, for someone who enjoys playing both fantasy hockey and football (a passive participant in fantasy baseball), I think that fantasy hockey offers a bit more of a challenge, as well as keeps one engaged as there are more games and more attention needs to be given to it. Fantasy hockey is typically played by people that are fairly invested into the sport. Fantasy football allows a casual fan and participant to have a successful season, whereas in fantasy hockey and pretty good knowledge of players in the sport and understanding of style of player, elite scorer, a grit guy, a penalty taker, etc. Line changes also happen on a frequent basis as hockey coaches are always trying to find that player combination that will be successful. So, a constant finger has to be kept on the proverbial pulse of the hockey world.

 

http://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=%2Fphoto%2F2015%2F1216%2Fr36540_1296x729_16%2D9.jpg

Now every sport has its sleepers and breakout performers on a yearly basis, but hockey, in my opinion is much more predictable. A fantasy hockey player knows who the top performers are going to be on a yearly basis (Crosby, McDavid, Lundqvist, etc.) Expectations out of players are a bit more consistent than fantasy football.
There are a few different formats that are predominant in fantasy hockey. The first is a categorical head to head. The league commissioner will setup what statistical categories will be included. A standard scoring structure (in my humble opinion) is Goals (G), Asssist (A), Penalty in Minutes (PIM), Plus/Minus (+/-) and Power Play Points (PPP) for skaters and Wins (W), Save Percentage (Sv %), Goals Against Average (GAA), and Shutouts (SO) for goaltenders. So on a statistical individual basis, stats are then played head to head and a winner for that category is determined, this is done for each stat until a total win/loss for the scoring period is finalized. Below is an example of what I mean (please note that the scoring criteria is not the same as the aforementioned standard scoring structure, shaded blue boxes indicate a categorical win).

 

https://i2.wp.com/cdn8.staztic.com/app/a/150/150935/yahoo-fantasy-hockey-1181613816-2-s-307x512.jpg

(This is a sample screenshot taken from a quick Google image search.)

So a typical Win-Loss for the week would look like 6-3-1. There are also leagues that will give a win or loss for the scoring period based on the most categorical wins, so the score for the end of the week would be 1-0-0.
The second, and easier to explain, scoring method is assigning points to the statistical categories and then getting a numerical score after adding up all points scored per category (similar to fantasy football). This is the scoring methodology is used in daily fantasy (Draft Kings, Fan Duel). This can be played head to head or in a contest format. In individual leagues, scoring will be set up as to what the commissioner wants. For DFS, scoring is standardized. I will go over DFS scoring and analysis is a future article. This way, certain categories can be weighted differently and will then be given more importance.
So how do I plan to contribute to fantasyisntfun.com? Over the years, I have tried a few different strategies to gain advantages. I have developed my own analysis I want to share with players of fantasy hockey. I will develop some analysis over the next week based on the standardized scoring structure I outlined earlier in this article. My analysis is also completely customizable to whatever league scoring structure you may have. I’m excited to be on board here on fantasyisntfun.com, and I wish you all the best of luck this season. Happy drafting!

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Wide Receivers Top 94 Rankings – June Edition

Here is my early Top 94 wide receivers for Point per Catch (PPR) formats. Rough exoskeleton of the final rankings due out by early August, but it gives you a pretty decent idea of guys I am high on and guys I don’t like so much.  Be on the lookout for projections and 2017 Outlook blurbs in the coming weeks. Here we go!

1. Antonio Brown, PIT
2. Michael Thomas, NO
3. Jordy Nelson, GB
4. Amari Cooper, OAK
5. Odell Beckham, NYG
6. A.J. Green, CIN
7. T.Y. Hilton, IND
8. Mike Evans, TB
9. Allen Robinson, JAX
10. Alshon Jeffery, PHI
11. Dez Bryant, DAL
12. Julio Jones, ATL
13. Sammy Watkins, BUF
14. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
15. Doug Baldwin, SEA
16. Deandre Hopkins, HOU
17. John Brown, ARI
18. Jarvis Landry, MIA
19. Demaryius Thomas, DEN
20. Rishard Matthews, TEN
21. Tyreek Hill, KC
22. Willie Snead, NO
23. Brandin Cooks, NE
24. Golden Tate, DET
25. Brandon Marshall, NYG
26. Quincy Enunwa, NYJ
27. Desean Jackson, TB
28. Davante Adams, GB
29. Adam Thielen, MIN
30. Stefon Diggs, MIN
31. Kelvin Benjamin, CAR
32. Michael Crabtree, OAK
33. Keenan Allen, LAC
34. Jamison Crowder, WSH
35. Kenny Britt, CLE
36. Devante Parker, MIA
37. Jeremy Maclin, BAL
38. Pierre Garcon, SF
39. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
40. Randall Cobb, GB
41. Donte Moncrief, IND
42. Terrelle Pryor, WSH
43. Robert Woods, LAR
44. Tyrell Williams, LAC
45. Marvin Jones, DET
46. Ted Ginn. Jr, NO
47. Allen Hurns, JAX
48. Marqise Lee, JAX
49. Jeremy Kerley, SF
50. Eric Decker, TEN
51. Cole Beasley, DAL
52. Mike Wallace, BAL
53. Will Fuller, HOU
54. Corey Davis, TEN
55. Kenny Stills, MIA
56. Tavon Austin, LAR
57. Torrey Smith, PHI
58. Phillip Dorsett, IND
59. Corey Coleman, CLE
60. Tyler Lockett, SEA
61. Terrance Williams, DAL
62. Chris Conley, KC
63. Julian Edelman, NE
64. Mohamad Sanu, ATL
65. JJ Nelson, ARI
66. Eli Rodgers, PIT
67. Sterling Shepard, NYG
68. Chris Hogan, NE
69. Cooper Kupp, LAR
70. Zay Jones, BUF
71. Breshad Perriman, BAL
72. Tyler Boyd, CIN
73. Brandon LaFell, CIN
74. Seth Roberts, OAK
75. Cameron Meredith, CHI
76. Kenny Golladay, DET
77. Victor Cruz, CHI
78. Mike Williams, LAC
79. Adam Humphries, TB
80. Robbie Anderson, NYJ
81. Travis Benjamin, LAC
82. Malcolm Mitchell, NE
83. John Ross, CIN
84. Taylor Gabriel, ATL
85. Curtis Samuel, CAR
86. Dontrelle Inman, LAC
87. Michael Floyd, MIN
88. Kevin White, CHI
89. Tajae Sharpe, TEN
90. Chris Godwin, TB
91. Cordarrelle Patterson, OAK
92. Ryan Grant, WSH
93. Juju Smith-Schuster, PIT
94. Taywan Taylor, TEN

Game Theory #2 Part 1 – Strength of Schedule (SOS) Analysis

Welcome back to a new series of articles I am introducing this summer, entitled Game Theory. In the Game Theory series, I will go into an in-depth discussion on various theories and sciences of fantasy sports and explain them to you in a way which helps you further understand the game, the draft itself, and handling daily operations after the draft. In this second edition of Game Theory, we will examine strength of schedule and it’s impact on predicting breakouts.

In this second edition of the Game Theory series, we are going to look into Strength of Schedule (SOS) and determine whether or not it is a helpful, neutral, or detrimental tool when constructing a season-long fantasy team. There is a lot of debate over this piece of data within the fantasy community each and every summer; some players swear by paying close attention to SOS, while others don;t even consider it when projecting and ranking the players on their draft boards. In this entry, I look to inform you a little bit more about SOS while also looking at some historical trends over the last few years to help you determine whether or not you will utilize SOS data during your draft.
This article will deal exclusively with season-long fantasy leagues. Obviously, SOS does not really factor into Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games due to the fact that you are constructing a new lineup each and every week. However, for season-long formats, SOS is a hotly debated data point that is worth exploring. SOS really isn’t as helpful of a tool when dealing with bonafide stud players; elite talent players at their positions like Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson, Antonio Brown, etc. will generally have a great chance to perform well each week. SOS is a more helpful tool for some when deciding between fifth-round receivers, tight ends, etc. I believe it is a smart idea to look back at some of the past few year’s breakout players who had great years seemingly out of nowhere and review their SOS to give us some insight into whether or not it is a helpful data point for drafters.
Let us go back a few years or so, to the 2013 season.
Top Breakout QB: Andy Dalton (354 points) – Preseason SOS: 12th toughest / 32 teams
Top Breakout RB: Demarco Murray (258 points) – Preseason SOS: 25th toughest / 32 teams
Top Breakout WR: Josh Gordon (314 points) – Preseason SOS: 21st toughest / 32 teams
Top Breakout TE: Jordan Cameron (213 points) – Preseason SOS: 21st toughest / 32 teams
From the 2013 data, we can see that, generally, the breakout players at their position had weak schedules. The exception to the rule was Andy Dalton, who, despite a tough schedule, returned Top 5 numbers that season. This is especially interesting because generally, the better teams will have better defenses; teams that are “good” are mostly more well-rounded than teams that are “bad” (or bottom 1/3rd of the league.) It’s clear to see that WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron both played a weaker schedule and returned great years. In addition, Demarco Murray and the Cowboys played plenty of bad teams, which resulted in a breakout year for him. All 4 of these players truly came out of nowhere in 2014, and it would seem that SOS played a part in 3/4 of their breakouts.
Let us now look at 2014:
Top Breakout QB: Andrew Luck (430 points) – Preseason SOS: 32nd toughest / 32 teams
Top Breakout RB: Le’veon Bell (370 points) – Preseason SOS: T-23rd toughest / 32 teams
Top Breakout WR: Emmanuel Sanders (302 points) – Preseason SOS: 2nd toughest / 32 teams
Top Breakout TE: Martellus Bennett (221 points) – Preseason SOS: 15th toughest / 32 teams
Here in this example we see a complete contrast to the year before as far as quarterbacks go. Andrew Luck had the best season for a player at the position, and had the easiest schedule of any team in the NFL. The year before, we saw Andy Dalton produce in a similar fashion against a tough schedule. This can help us deduce that the schedule for the quarterback doesn’t matter as much as continuity and the player itself. Both players were in their 3rd year in the NFL when they produced these seasons. It would seem that player progression plays more of a role in having a good fantasy year than the schedule does. Maybe the 3rd-year quarterback is the new predicator of success in these modern NFL times. If so, it spells a great year ahead for Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
Bell, in addition to Luck, had a particulary soft schedule.

It could be that this season helped Bell burst onto the fantasy scene, but it’s more likely that SOS had nothing to do with it. In 2017, we can now identify Bell as one of the best running backs in the world and a perennial Top 3 selection in every format. His staying power goes far in showing us that running back strength of schedule may not be an important piece of data when examining past trends.
Emmanuel Sanders and Martellus Bennett both had relatively tough schedules, but that didn’t stop either from putting up great statistics at their relative positions. Emmanuel Sanders in particular had over 1400 receiving yards that year. Yes, he had Hall of Famer Peyton Manning throwing him the ball, but he also had to contend with Demaryius Thomas for targets. He still turned in a Top 10 year for a low cost. In the following few examples of SOS, we will have more data to compare this wide receiver SOS against, but for now it seems to not really matter as much.

The same goes for Bennett; both Cameron and Bennett burst onto the scene and became weapons for fantasy teams in these years, and yet both faced resistance in the form of competent opponents during their breakouts. It seems as if SOS for tight ends isn’t as big of a point of data as others would make it seem, but again, let’s compare it to the 2015 and 2016 data in the following examples.

Leave your feedback in the comments. The remainder of this article will be published later this week. To be continued…

TO BE

2017 Defense / Special Teams Cheat Sheet – June Edition

Here is the introductory defense/special teams cheat sheet. It will be updated in the near future with projected points and analysis. In the meantime, here is the exoskeleton of the defense/special teams cheat sheet for the 2017 season.
1. Minnesota Vikings (155 points)
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Kansas City Chiefs
5. Denver Broncos
6. New England Patriots
7. Seattle Seahawks
8. New York Giants
9. Philadelphia Eagles
10. Houston Texans
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
12. Los Angeles Chargers
13. Buffalo Bills
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
16. Miami Dolphins
17. Atlanta Falcons
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
19. Carolina Panthers
20. Detroit Lions
21. Cincinnati Bengals
22. Dallas Cowboys
23. Los Angeles Rams
24. Tennessee Titans
25. Indianapolis Colts
26. Oakland Raiders
27. Cleveland Browns
28. Washington Redskins
29. New Orleans Saints
30. San Francisco 49ers
31. Chicago Bears
32. New York Jets

2017 Running Back Rankings (PPR) – Top 41-66 Rankings / Projections / Outlook Blurbs

Welcome back to another installment into the 2017 Running Back PPR Cheat Sheet. Here is my Top 41-66 Rankings with 2017 Projection and Outlook insight. Please feel free to like, share, and subscribe to my content as we here at fantasyisntfun aim to produce free fantasy football content for you every day. Keep in mind this is for point per catch formats – my standard scoring cheat sheets will be releasing soon!

41. Matt Forte, NYJ
2017 Projection: 120 attempts / 420 rushing yards / 5 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 200 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdowns (123 points)
Outlook: Matt Forte returns for his second year in New York and appears to hae been overtaken in the backfield by Bilal Powell, who looks something like a young Matt Forte. The New York offense isn’t scaring anyone, and as the most proven threat on offense, defenses will be keying in on Forte early in most games, forcing the Jets to beat them through the air. I think this projects as a tough year for Matt Forte. Powell looks to snare the #1 role at running back.

42. Legarrette Blount, PHI
2017 Projection: 170 attempts / 680 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions / 25 yards / 0 touchdowns (123 points)
Outlook: LeGarrette Blount finally found a home in Philadelphia after a long portion of the offseason was spent on the street. Last year’s leader in rushing touchdowns, Blount brings his newfound scoring prowess to a Philadelphia offense that hasn’t been set at the position in many years. Blount has always played poorly on good teams outside of New England, and I expect a bit of a regression for Blount now that he has earned himself some money. I also expect him to split plenty of time with the younger, fresher backs on the Eagles roster, along with Darren Sproles. Don’t buy.

43. Jonathan Stewart, CAR
2017 Projection: 180 attempts / 666 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions / 35 yards / 0 touchdowns (122 points)
Outlook: The Panthers brought in a new backfield mate for Stewart this offseason, investing their first round pick in the dynamic Christian McCaffery. McCaffery will eat into Stewart’s time in the backfield, and he projects to take over completely if the brittle Stewart suffers an in-season injury. I expect the time to be split pretty evenly between the two of them, with Newton stealing red zone and goal line opportunities from both. I think Stewart still has some scoring upside left to his name, but the yards may not be there. He will be valuable at the right price.

44. Thomas Rawls, SEA
2017 Projection: 100 attempts / 500 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 16 receptions / 120 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (120 points)
Outlook: Rawls returned from a broken leg in 2016 only to experience more complications which ultimately torpedoed his fantasy season. After showing off some serious skills in a limited sample size in 2015, Rawls returns to split backfield work with free agent signee Eddie Lacy. I expect Rawls to form the smaller part of the committee but still have some value. He also has to contend with receiving specialist C.J. Prosise. This is an ugly backfield and though talented, I think Rawls will struggle for relevance.

45. Darren Sproles, PHI
2017 Projection: 70 attempts / 280 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 40 receptions / 280 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (120 points)
Outlook: Sproles had a pretty serviceable year last year in Philadelphia, but the Eagles brought in LeGarrette Blount and Donnel Pumphrey, and return Wendell Smallwood to this crowded backfield. Sproles is a hit-or-miss option in most leagues, but could have PPR value in weeks that the Eagles project to be behind. I’d avoid Sproles in most leagues unless you want to stream him in tougher matchups.

46. Kenneth Dixon, BAL
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 320 rushing yards / 3 rushing touchdowns; 35 receptions / 210 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (118 points)
Outlook: Kenneth Dixon showed us he could play in the NFL last year. The problem is, I believe Terrance West is a better overall back. Dixon is suspended for the first four weeks of the 2017 season, and I believe West cements himself as the top option in the backfield during his absence. The Ravens signed somewhat of a redundant pass-catching talent in the offseason by bringing in Danny Woodhead, who is more likely to eat into Dixon’s snaps than West’s. Overall, I think Dixon does well with his opportunities, but I also think they are limited.

47. Tim Hightower, SF
2017 Projection: 110 attempts / 440 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 18 receptions / 162 receiing yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (114 points)
Outlook: Hightower revived his career down in New Orleans, and parlayed it into a new deal with the 49ers. A pass-protecting dynamo with some receiving skills as well, I project Hightower to get some work near the goal line and on long yardage downs. He can clearly still play and the time off seems to have served him well. A trade or injury to Carlos Hyde will have him playing much more than he currently projects to. A great real-life player and a mediocre at best fantasy option.

48. Rex Burkhead, NE
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 352 rushing yards / 3 rushing touchdowns; 24 receptions / 240 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (113 points)
Outlook: Rex Burkhead is very quietly an excellent player. He literally does everything you need a third-string running back to do, and he does it well. He is also an excellent athlete. Landing in New England, there are a ton of mouths to feed and Burkhead finds himself in a position battle with Mike Gillislee. If Burkhead wins, he will smash these projections. I just don’t expect him to. A great third-down option and special teams ace who will have opportunities due to the mismatches he creates. The hype could be justified.

49. Danny Woodhead, BAL
2017 Projection: 25 rushes / 100 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown; 50 receptions / 350 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (113 points)
Outlook: Woodhead left San Diego for Baltimore this offseason, and with him he brings his excellent passing game skills. However, he is 31 and coming off of a torn ACL, which could hamper the start he is able to get with the Ravens. There is a crowded backfield in Baltimore, and it’s possible that Dixon beats out Woodhead for passing down work. In any case, West is the lead dog and Woodhead’s role remains to be seem. I think we’ve seen the best from Woodhead already and that he becomes a small part of the offense as a result. Too small of a role for fantasy.

50. Zack Zenner, DET
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 320 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 225 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (109 points)
Outlook: I think Zack Zenner is an excellent football player. He just isn’t as athletic as the other players at his position on the Lions roster. Riddick is a great pass catcher, and Abdullah is a better pure runner. He will still get his opportunities, as the Lions like to spread the love at the position, however he will struggle for relevance unless there is an injury in front of him.

51. Marlon Mack, IND
2017 Projection: 110 attempts / 440 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 150 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (108 points)
Outlook: The Colts drafted Mack in the fourth round of this year’s draft as Frank Gore’s successor in the near future. However, Robert Turbin had a mega-efficient year last year when carrying the ball near the goal line, and is a proven commodity in the league. Mack will get his share of chances, but Turbin would be the back to own if you were looking to handcuff Gore.

52. Shane Vereen, NYG
2017 Projection: 40 attempts / 180 rushing yards / 0 rushing touchdowns; 40 receptions / 340 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (104 points)
Outlook: Vereen is the most competent pass catcher ona team that throws the ball a ton. Unfortunately, he’s about the fifth option or so on passing downs. He will get a few targets per game and be playing when the Giants are behind, but ona team that projects to be pretty good, I find it hard to believe that Vereen grasps fantasy relevance as a pass catching specialist on an offense so loaded.

53. Giovanni Bernard, CIN
2017 Projection: 60 attempts / 228 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 30 receptions / 240 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (100 points)
Outlook: A once highly thought of prospect is now an afterthought in the Cincinnati offense, especially due to the fact that Bernard is coming off of a torn ACL. A close call for Week 1, he will be eased back in and have even more limited opportunities with the drafting of Joe Mixon. He needs a change of scenery to return to fantasy relevance.

54. Joe Williams, SF
2017 Projection: 100 attempts / 380 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 28 receptions / 224 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (100 points)
Outlook: A favorite of the new regime, the front office talked up Joe Williams all offseason long. However, reports out of 49ers OTAs state that UDFA Matt Breida is performing better, and with Carlos Hyde and Tim Hightower still in tow, it’s going to be hard for Joe Williams to make a rookie year impact. He could factor into things on passing downs, but I’d ignore him for fantasy purposes.

55. Adrian Peterson, NO
2017 Projection: 100 rushes / 500 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 10 receptions / 60 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (96 points)
Outlook: A lot of websites and cheat sheets have Adrian Peterson ranked pretty high. However, I don’t really like him in New Orleans. I don’t think he fits the offense too well, and I believe his skills and durability have really declined badly. Mark Ingram is the best running back in New Orleans – a hot take? Yes, but there is certainly truth to it. He knows the offense, catches the ball well and can protect Drew Brees from the blitz. I think Peterson contributes in small batches, but don’t feel like he still has the skills or durability necessary to become a reliable, weekly fantasy option.

56. Eddie Lacy, SEA
2017 Projection: 120 attempts / 576 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 10 receptions / 50 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (96 points)
Outlook: The Seahwks signed Eddie Lacy to a one-year deal this offseason, and he is now firmly entrenched in a committee with Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise. Lacy’s motivation has always been in question, however he is now reportedly as committed to the game as he has ever been. Unfortunately, he’s in a committee behind the worst offensive line in the game. I don’t expect much from the Seahawks ground attack this year. Let someone else worry about Eddie Lacy.

57. Samaje Perine, WSH
2017 Projection: 110 attempts / 440 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 10 receptions / 80 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (92 points)
Outlook: A lot of people are high on Perine, but a rookie running back needs to nail down pass protection if they are going to get playing time. Rob Kelley does it better and proved himself to be a competent running back last year. I think Perine gets opportunities in certain spots, but struggles to find consistent playing time. An injury to Kelley puts him firmly on the map, however. I just don’t buy the hype on this kid at this point in the offseason.

58. Jacquizz Rodgers, TB
2017 Projection: 110 attempts / 450 rushing yards / 3 rushing touchdowns; 15 receptions / 120 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (90 points)
Outlook: The projected starter for the first 3 weeks of the season until Doug Martin returns, Rodgers is a servicebale NFL backup. He won’t break many tackles or kill you with speed, but he will get the yards that are there. He needs 25+ carries in a game to have a great day. I don’t see him having much relevance once Martin comes back from suspension. He could help you in Weeks 1-3 as long as the cost associated isn’t too high. Afterwards, he will be waiver wire fodder.

59. Jamaal Charles, DEN
2017 Projection: 70 attempts / 280 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 22 receptions / 154 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (83 points)
Outlook: Charles’ knees are shot. I think he finds a small healthy window this season, but as the distant third of a committee behind CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker, Charles won’t be able to be relied upon as a fantasy starter. He’s near the end. He will make a few plays for the Broncos for sure, but not enough to warrant serious consideration as a rosterable guy.

60. Jerrick McKinnon, MIN
2017 Projection: 50 attempts / 190 rushing yards / 0 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 150 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (71 points)
Outlook: McKinnon had his chance last year to run away with the Vikings starting running back job and rolled over. He isn’t an NFL caliber running back. Behind Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook, McKinnon is closer to being out of the league than to grasping fantasy relevance. The SPARQ freak can be left on the wire.

61. Robert Turbin, IND
2017 Projection: 40 attempts / 140 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 20 receptions / 100 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (68)
Outlook: The handcuff to own behind Frank Gore, Turbin is deadly efficient on the goal line. The problem is that he doesn’t get too many cracks at it. Marlon Mack is the better all around running back, but Turbin has proven that he can do most things at least at an average rate. He will vulture touchdowns in this backfield, but it will take an injury for him to gain relevance in the fantasy world.

62. Damien Williams, MIA
2017 Projection: 30 attempts / 102 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 18 receptions / 162 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (68 points)
Outlook: Kenyon Drake is the handcuff to own in Miami. Williams chips in in spots and around the goal line, but Drake is the guy to cuff Ajayi with. I expect Drake to be very good if Ajayi goes down, however if he doesn’t I expect Drake to have similar stats as Williams here. Not a very messy fantasy situation, which is good.

63. Chris Ivory, JAX
2017 Projection: 60 attempts / 234 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 10 receptions / 90 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (66 points)
Outlook: A huge free agent miss by Jacksonville, Ivory’s role has now been stolen by Leonard Fournette. Will still get carries here and there when Fournette needs a breather, but totally avoidable for fantasy purposes for anything other than handcuffing Fournette.

64. Jonathan Williams, BUF
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 320 rushing yards / 3 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions / 35 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (64 points)
Outlook: Hasn’t shown much yet and couldn’t find his way into any meaningful time in the Buffalo backfield last season. McCoy will dominate work in Buffalo, and again, this is only a player you take as a handcuff, if you want to burn a roster spot. Avoidable.

65. Charcandrick West, KC
2017 Projection: 60 attempts / 216 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown; 18 receptions / 144 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (59 points)
Outlook: An afterthought on offense, West will only be usable if there is an injury in the KC backfield. He’s a fringe NFL prospect and could get cut by the end of camp.

66. Jamaal Williams, GB
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 300 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions / 50 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (52 points)
Outlook: I’m pretty high on Ty Montgomery as the Packers running back, so while many think Williams can be a sneaky pick-up, I’m of the opposite opinion that he won’t have much value this season unless Montgomery completely face plants as the starter. Could have huge value with an injury, so he isn’t a bad stash if your handcuffs get scooped up.

2017 Tight End Rankings (PPR) – Top 26 Rankings / Projections / Outlook Blurbs

Welcome to the 2017 Tight End PPR Cheat Sheet. Here is my Top 26 Rankings with 2017 Projection and Outlook insight. Please feel free to like, share, and subscribe to my content as we here at fantasyisntfun aim to produce free fantasy football content for you every day. Keep in mind this is for point per catch formats – my standard scoring cheat sheets will be releasing soon! Also be on the lookout for the Top 250 cheat sheet, created to help you dominate your drafts.
1. Travis Kelce, KC
2017 Projection: 86 receptions / 1152 yards / 7 touchdowns (243 points)
Outlook: Kelce hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year and is Alex Smith’s #1 target. Far and away the best player on this offense, Kelce will be targetted all over the field, early and often. A lock for Top 3 production at a pretty volatile position, Kelce is firmly in his prime and the centerpiece of the offense. Draft with confidence at #1.

2. Rob Gronkowski, NE
2017 Projection: 72 receptions / 1008 yards / 10 touchdowns (232 points)
Outlook: The guard is changing at tight end as Gronkowski is another year older and even less durable. He hasn’t played a full season’s worth of games since 2011. With many mouths to feed in the New England offense, it’s still clear that Gronkowski will get his. I just think he will miss at least one game, and with a just-as-talented and more durable option in Travis Kelce available, I think it’s risky to take Kelce behind Gronk. Still one of the best tight ends in league history, but he will be banged up and disappear some weeks.

3. Jimmy Graham, SEA
2017 Projection: 71 receptions / 979 yards / 6 touchdowns (204 points)
Outlook: Jimmy Graham and Russell Wilson seem to finally have it all together. Last year represented Graham’s best season in a Seattle uniform, and the offense has shifted a little bit to feature him more at the expense of a running game that has all but disappeared since the retirement of Marshawn Lynch. Graham returns to Seattle another year removed from his devastating patella tendon tear, and in an offense built for him. He has a lot of opportunity to terrorize his divisional opponents, and I believe he continues his dominance at the position this year in a Seattle offense that will need him badly.

Graham

4. Greg Olsen, CAR
2017 Projection: 75 receptions / 975 yards / 5 touchdowns (202 points)
Outlook: Greg Olsen has been one of the best tight ends in the game for almost a decade now, and it’s because he does it all: blocking, receiving, and making plays. Cam’s favorite target, Olsen is aiming for a fourth-straight 1,000 yard season and a new contract on top of that. While I don’t think he quite makes it there with the influx of youth on the Carolina offense, a Top 5 finish at the position is guaranteed for Olsen barring any serious injury.

5. Kyle Rudolph, MIN
2017 Projection: 78 receptions / 780 yards / 6 touchdowns (192 points)
Outlook: 2016 was the year for Kyle Rudolph: the young tight end seemingly put it all together and flashed the promise that the Vikings were hoping to see when they selected him in the first round a few years back. A perfect fit for the conservative Sam Bradford, Rudolph was a big time red zone threat last year en route to a year that may go down as his best as far as statistics go. Never a big threat for YAC, Rudolph makes his money on short conversions and in the red zone. He will be trusted again in this role and I believe the rapport with Bradford is real. A great option that you can find later in the draft.

6. Jordan Reed, WSH
2017 Projection: 66 receptions / 726 yards / 8 touchdowns (188 points)
Outlook: There isn’t a more athletic tight end in the NFL than Jordan Reed. If health was guaranteed in this game, he would be the #1 overall tight end each year without question. Unfortunately, he never plays a full season, and those injury concerns are built into this projection. If he plays every game, he will threaten for Top 3 production at the position. It’s just that he won’t. Still a good option, but be sure to back him up with someone reliable if you end up with Reed.

7. Jack Doyle, IND
2017 Projection: 70 receptions / 714 yards / 7 touchdowns (183 points)
Outlook: Jack Doyle came out of nowhere in 2016 to become a pretty reliable target for Andrew Luck. It seems as if the trust was built more and more each week, and their season culminated in the release of longtime tight end Dwayne Allen. Doyle returns as the #1 option at tight end on an offense that loves throwing the football. Luck has always loved his starting tight end, so the targets will be there for Doyle. The unquestioned #1 and no longer in a time share, Doyle will produce and could be the bargain tight end of the year. His ADP is currently pretty low, and he is a somewhat proven player. I expect him to be a great piece on many fantasy teams this year.

Doyle

8. Eric Ebron, DET
2017 Projection: 68 receptions / 816 yards / 5 touchdowns (179 points)
Outlook: We’ve been waiting for Eric Ebron to break out for years now. I think this is the year. Anquan Boldin’s departure frees up a lot of red zone targets, and Ebron is entering his fourth year in the league. It’s so hard to make the transition from college to the pros at the tight end position, but the light usually comes on in this year. Still only 23, I project Ebron to finally cement himself as a top tight end in the game and begin to dominate in the red zone. This touchdown projection could be a little too low.

9. Delanie Walker, TEN
2017 Projection: 68 receptions / 782 yards / 5 touchdowns (176 points)
Outlook: One of the most reliable tight ends of this generation, Walker returns to an offense he seemed to own for the last two years. Unfortunately, Tennessee has brought in a ton of offensive talent this offseason, and Walker stands to suffer the most from Eric Decker’s arrival in Nashville. Still the surest pair of hands that Marcus Mariota has, I don’t expect Walker to fall off completely, but I don’t expect him to have as great of a year as he had last year. He’s still a low-end TE1.

10. Tyler Eifert, CIN
2017 Projection: 56 receptions / 728 yards / 8 touchdowns (176 points)
Outlook: Coming off of a career best year in 2015, Eifert struggled with injury and inconsistency in 2016 and tumbled down the tight end ranks as a result. The offense introduces many young playmakers in 2016, and Eifert stands to lose some targets as a result. A beast in the red zone, Eifert will still get his, but will struggle for consistency. A great targetted play against teams weak against the tight end for sure, but he will bite you some weeks as well.

11. Zach Ertz, PHI
2017 Projection: 72 receptions / 777 yards / 4 touchdowns (173 points)
Outlook: Much like Eric Ebron, it seems like we have been waiting forever for the Ertz breakout. I don’t think it’s as likely as Ebron, but I do expect Ertz to be a significant weapon. A player who usually comes on at the end of the year, Ertz has demonstrated clear rapport with Carson Wentz. However, in an offense full of weapons, I don’t expect the consistency to quite be there. He’s a great player in a loaded offense, which is hard to bank on when the quarterback situation isn’t elite. Right now in Philadelphia, it isn’t.

12. Martellus Bennett, GB
2017 Projection: 61 receptions / 732 yards / 6 touchdowns (170 points)
Outlook: The tight end position always seems like it should be awesome in Green Bay. However, it rarely is. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers add their best weapon at the position since Jermichael Finley (remember him?) in Martellus Bennett. A capable blocker and receiving threat, the Packers upgraded to Bennett from Jared Cook in the offseason. I don’t really expect the tight end role to be too huge this year in Green Bay, but much like Jared Cook last year, Bennett will get his. I think his name will cause him to be a bit overdrafted, but Bennett will be a solid TE2 if you find that he fell to you at a comfortable round.

13. Hunter Henry, LAC
2017 Projection: 56 receptions / 705 yards / 7 touchdowns (168 points)
Outlook: Hunter Henry really looked good at tight end last year for Los Angeles. The problem, if you want to call it that, is the presence of Antonio Gates. Henry still made some noise with his opportunities though, and flashed playmaking ability similar to the Antonio Gates of years past. He will still be in a time share at the position, however I feel as if Henry will seize the larger piece of the share and take the next step in his development this year. Gates will break the record for tight end receiving touchdowns this year, but after that, I can see Henry taking over the majority of the passing down snaps. He is a great weapon for this team.

NFL: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

14. Jason Witten, DAL
2017 Projection: 65 receptions / 617 yards / 4 touchdowns (150 points)
Outlook: Jason Witten went from being Tony Romo’s famous security blanket, to becoming the exact same thing for rookie Dak Prescott in 2016. Firmly in the twilight of his career, Witten is no longer a downfield threat at tight end, but still offers reliable hands on short-yardage downs. He will grab a few scores, but the upside on Witten is clearly limited. Let someone else draft him on name value.

15. Zach Miller, CHI
2017 Projection: 51 receptions / 550 yards / 7 touchdowns (148 points)
Outlook: A weapon inside the red zone and nowhere else, Miller is attempting to come back from a season-ending foot injury. As injury prone as any player in the league, he must now compete for his job with second-round raw rookie Adam Shaheen. I think Miller wins and becomes a red zone threat for the yougn quarterbacks on Chicago’s roster, however I don’t think he is consistent or trustworthy in any sense this year.

16. Coby Fleener, NO
2017 Projection: 52 receptions / 676 yards / 4 touchdowns (143 points)
Outlook: Coby Fleener is not a smart football player. He is inconsistent, has bad hands, and just isn’t a very good player. However, he is in one of the best offenses for tight ends in New Orleans, which means automatic production some weeks. I would not rely on him in any sense. Josh Hill is a better player and will factor in to the tight end position in New Orleans. I’d avoid this situation for fantasy purposes. Fleener has tantalizing size and upside, but I just don’t think he can put it all together.

17. Julius Thomas, MIA
2017 Projection: 43 receptions / 516 yards / 8 touchdowns (142 points)
Outlook: Julius Thomas isn’t a player with much heart. It doesn’t seem as if he likes the game much. However, he is back with old friend Adam Gase, who figures to use him a lot in the red zone. Outside of that area, I don’t feel like Thomas will have much value outside of the red zone. I’d avoid for fantasy purposes.

18. C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU
2017 Projection: 57 receptions / 604 yards / 4 touchdowns (141 points)
Outlook: Fiedorowicz was useful at a lot of times last year, as Brock Osweiler made plenty of use out of him in the early to middle parts of the season. The offense turns to Tom Savage this year, which I think destroys his value. I think Deshaun Watson will make some use out of him, as he actually is a good tight end, however I don’t expect much from the Houston passing attack until Savage hits the bench.

19. Cameron Brate, TB
2017 Projection: 52 receptions / 546 yards / 4 touchdowns (130 points)
Outlook: I actually love Cameron Brate as a player. The Bucs, apparently, aren’t as high on him as I am. They drafted OJ Howard in the first round this year, the top tight end in the class. Brate and Jameis Winston have obvious rapport, especially in the red zone, and I think there is a chance that both Brate and Howard figure into the offense as the year goes on. I just don’t think Brate will be as trusty as he was last year. He’s a better blocker than Howard, but that isn’t saying much. I expect his production to fall from 2016.

20. Antonio Gates, LAC
2017 Projection: 45 receptions / 441 yards / 6 touchdowns (125 points)
Outlook: Antonio Gates, one of the three best tight ends to ever do it, is near the end. This year, he will break the record for receiving touchdowns by a tight end, tack on a few more, and that will be it. I expect Hunter Henry to be the tight end to own in Los Angeles, but after that, I expect Gates to chip in a few receptions per game. He doesn’t exist outside of the red zone and for that reason, he is impossible to rely on. Thank you, Antonio.

21. Jesse James, PIT
2017 Projection: 45 receptions / 450 yards / 5 touchdowns (120 points)
Outlook: The Steelers admitted their mistake by releasing Ladarius Green earlier this offseason, leaving Jesse James as the de facto #1 tight end on the Pittsburgh depth chart. However, Xavier Grimble poses a threat as he had a few flashes last season. In an offense that loves to throw, I expect James to be a reliable piece of it, and chip in with his fair share of chain-moving receptions and red zone scores. I just don’t think there is enough production there to warrant consistent fantasy consideration.

22. Jared Cook, OAK
2017 Projection: 42 receptions / 504 yards / 5 touchdowns (122 points)
Outlook: The Oakland offense has never really made much use out of the tight end. They have had athletes at the position before, but the consistency is rarely there. A distant 4th in line for opportunities in this offense, Cook has never been the picture of consistency. He will have a big game or two this season, and everything else, as always, will leave much to be desired. Avoid Jared Cook’s name and game on draft day.

23. Charles Clay, BUF
2017 Projection: 50 receptions / 500 yards / 3 touchdowns (118 points)
Outlook: There isn’t a more overpaid player in the league than Charles Clay. He makes too much and simply is not an effective player. Combine that with a quarterback who doesn’t like throwing to tight ends, and you get a horrible fantasy situation. Avoid Charles Clay. I’m talking to you, Bills fans.

24. Austin Hooper, ATL
2017 Projection: 35 receptions / 490 yards / 5 touchdowns (114 points)
Outlook: An ascending player who isn’t quite there yet, Hooper is a great dynasty hold and a dart-throw daily fantasy proposition. As far as season-long goes, he’s going to struggle for consistency in an Atlanta offense full of weapons. He will be good soon, just not this soon.

25. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ
2017 Projection: 34 receptions / 510 yards / 4 touchdowns (109 points)
Outlook: ASJ is a good player. He’s cleaned up his act and has all of the opportunity in the world. Unfortunately, he’s the starting tight end for the Jets. With bad quarterbacks aplenty filling out the Jets roster, ASJ will struggle hard. However, he will have his own share of bright spots as well. A good building block for a Jets team low on playmakers.

26. O.J. Howard, TB
2017 Projection: 28 receptions / 476 yards / 3 touchdowns (93 points)
Outlook: The first-drafted tight end in this year’s NFL draft, Howard lands in a situation where he has all of the opportunity in the world. Unfortunately, he enters an offense where there are a ton of weapons and plays at a position where the transition to the NFL is the toughest. With incumbent Cameron Brate still in the fold, I expect Howard to be brought along slowly. Too slowly for fantasy purposes.

2017 Wide Receiver Rankings (PPR) – Top 13-30 Rankings / Projections / Outlook Blurbs

Welcome back to another installment into the 2017 Wide Receiver PPR Cheat Sheet. Here is my Top 13-30 Rankings with 2017 Projection and Outlook insight. The rest of the Top 65 is slowly being produced, but for now here is my Top 13-30 with projections and justification. Please feel free to like, share, and subscribe to my content as we here at fantasyisntfun aim to produce free fantasy football content for you every day. Keep in mind this is for point per catch formats – my standard scoring cheat sheets will be releasing soon!

13. Sammy Watkins, BUF
2017 Projection: 74 receptions / 1184 yards / 9 touchdowns (246 points)
Outlook: Seemingly at full health entering 2017, Watkins enters the season in a “prove it” year, meaning he is essentially playing for a new contract. A true playmaker when on the field, if Watkins can get his health together this season and stay on the field, he is a lock for a few huge games and a few weeks where he wins the matchup for you single handedly. His upside is TY Hilton; his downside is filling your IR slot for half of the year. I think Sammy finally figures it all out in 2017 and even finds some weekly consistency as well. A fine gamble if you can snare one of my Top 12 options early in your draft.

14. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
2017 Projection: 100 receptions / 1000 yards / 7 touchdowns (242 points)
Outlook: The ageless wonder, the Canton-bound Fitzgerald returns to an offense that actually wasn’t as bad as it seemed over the last half of last season. There is speculation that this will be Fitzgerald’s last season in the NFL, and if so, he will undoubtedly go down as one of the all-time greats. He has been consistent even as he as aged, and returns again as the Cardinals #1 passing game weapon. With the departure of Michael Floyd and the uncertainty in the health of some of the other Cardinal pass catchers, I like Fitzgerald to provide the same consistency that he has put forth for his entire career.

15. Doug Baldwin, SEA
2017 Projection: 88 receptions / 1108 yards / 7 touchdowns (240 points)
Outlook: Two years ago, Doug Baldwin cemented himself as an excellent weekly fantasy option by scoring 14 touchdowns in the season. Last year further cemented that position for Baldwin as he was an excellent fantasy WR2. I expect him to remain as such this year in an offense full of weapons, especially at running back. A porous offensive line really limit Baldwin’s deep opportunities, however as Russell Wilson’s favorite target, Baldwin will get his targets and opportunities as a true target all over the field.

Baldwin

16. Deandre Hopkins, HOU
2017 Projection: 88 receptions / 1144 yards / 6 touchdowns (238 points)
Outlook: Deandre Hopkins would be a top 5 fantasy receiver on most teams in the NFL. Unfortunately, he is on a team that has never really had a great quarterback situation at any point in their history. Houston drafted Deshaun Watson in this year’s NFL Draft, hoping to find that stability for the quarterback position. Unfortunately, they project to have a subpar starter in Tom Savage, at least in the early going of the 2017 season. If Watson hits the field, I like Hopkins even more. Until we reach that point, I think Hopkins is a middling WR2 limited by a passer who struggles in most situations as a quarterback.

17. John Brown, ARI
2017 Projection: 72 receptions / 1051 yards / 9 touchdowns (231 points)
Outlook: Another surprise Top 20 entrant, John Brown is the second option in the Cardinals once-feared passing attack who has done well in the past (see 2015.) 2016 was supposed to be a big year for Brown as well, but he was severely hampered by a sickle-cell trait and other soft tissue injuries that made it difficult to play. Brown is now healthy and ready to assume the #2 role in the Cardinals offense once more. He is an excellent compliment to Larry Fitzgerald, and with Fitzgerald and running back David Johnson drawing attention from the defense, I expect Brown to get many opportunities this season and to cash in on most of them. A great bargain at his ADP.

18. Jarvis Landry, MIA
2017 Projection: 95 receptions / 1045 yards / 5 touchdowns (229 points)
Outlook: Landry has the most receptions in NFL history through his first 3 seasons in the NFL (he is actually tired with Odell Beckham for this record.) Not known for scoring touchdowns, Landry does a lot of his work between the 20s. A security blanket for Ryan Tannehill, Landry projects to have a ton of receptions yet again this year in an offense that seems to be ascending. His touchdown upside is not too high however, and he is a much safer bet in PPR leagues than in standard leagues. He’s a safe choice, and not necessarily a sexy one. You can do better for upside with other players around his ADP.

19. Demaryius Thomas, DEN
2017 Projection: 92 receptions / 1067 yards / 5 touchdowns (228 points)
Outlook: Thomas has six straight 1,000 yard seasons, and is one of the most dominant receivers in the league. Built in the mold of Calvin Johnson, Thomas is yet another wide receiver who is severely limited by a terrible stable of quarterbacks. It’s hard to rely on a player like Thomas, who can become completely obsolete in some match-ups due to bad quarterback play combined with a tougher secondary assignment. We all know what Thomas can do with a great passer – see: the Manning years. Unfortunately, it looks as if the Broncos will have poor quarterback play yet again this year, which is a sure sign that Thomas will produce like the WR2/3 he has been since the departure of Peyton Manning.

20. Rishard Matthews, TEN
2017 Projection: 72 receptions / 1080 yards / 8 touchdowns (228 points)
Outlook: A free agent signing in the 2016 offseason, Matthews burst onto the scene in a big way last year, almost hitting 1,000 yards and showing that he can be the guy for an offense. He displayed skills that were never able to be shown in a crowded Miami receiving corps, and really grew into a true downfield weapon for the Tennessee offense. Matthews is an excellent player and seems to have a serious rapport with young gun Marcus Mariota. Tennessee added a lot to their offense this offseason in Eric Decker, Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor, but I expect Matthews to hold down his role as a familiar, downfield weapon for Mariota and provide excellent value for his price.

APTOPIX Titans Bears Football

21. Tyreek Hill, KC
2017 Projection: 68 receptions / 720 yards / 7 touchdowns; 28 rushes / 336 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns (227 points)
Outlook: A fifth-round draft pick in last year’s draft, there is perhaps no player in the NFL that is faster than Tyreek Hill. A home-run threat from literally everywhere on the field, Hill displays an ability to separate, run deep, and take little dump offs to the house. He is even a threat out of the backfield and on special teams, and can truly score from anywhere on the field. In return yardage leagues, he is truly a bonafide WR1 – even with the news that he won’t be returning kicks this year. In standard and PPR leagues, it’s hard to buy in to his stat line from last year – was it all a fluke? Or is he the real deal? Suddenly thrust into the #1 role this season with the departure of Jeremy Maclin, Hill seems primed for even more opportunities to get touches. Will other teams figure him out? Or will he just outrun them?

22. Willie Snead, NO
2017 Projection: 80 receptions / 1040 yards / 7 touchdowns (226 points)
Outlook: From undrafted free agency to starting wide receiver for the Saints, Willie Snead has quietly put together two excellent fantasy seasons for the Saints. As stated in the Michael Thomas blurb, there ar eplenty of targets to be had in New Orleans, and Snead stands to benefit from his departure just as Thomas should. Snead is a reliable, possession-type threat for Drew Brees who has shown the ability to score and move the chains consistently. Snead is a Brees favorite and he will have an increase in targets as well. A seemingly-forgotten man for fantasy purposes, Snead will be a great player you can get a bit later on this year.

23. Brandin Cooks, NE
2017 Projection: 70 receptions / 1085 yards / 8 touchdowns (226 points)
Outlook: A lot of websites have Cooks rated extremely high. I’m not as high on him at all, to be frank. There are so many mouths to feed in the New England offense, and Cooks has never really been the picture of consistency at his position. I do expect him to play well, but not have the Randy Moss-like effect that many other fantasy communities are projecting. Cooks will get his, but will have to contend with Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell, Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen, James White, Mike Gillislee, and Rex Burkhead for offensive attention. Yes, you don’t trade a first round pick for a guy you don’t plan to incorporate at least moderately, but I don’t think he’s a 10-target per week guy. I think he becomes a boom-bust option that isn’t as reliable as we think he will be at this current point in the offseason. Tread carefully.

24. Golden Tate, DET
2017 Projection: 94 receptions / 996 yards / 5 touchdowns (223 points)
Outlook: Golden Tate is a sneaky good player. He started really slowly last year but came on as the Lions made their late-season playoff push, and has grown into being Matt Stafford’s favorite weapon. A yearly threat for 100 receptions and 1,000 yards, Tate boasts big time PPR value as a forgotten man in an offense that loves th throw the ball around. Paired with Marvin Jones, Matt Stafford has a variety of weapons to utilize in this aerial attack. However, Tate is the most dynamic player of the bunch, able to play both short and long while always being a threat to take the ball to the house. His game is bigger than his name, and he will be an excellent WR3 or low-end WR2 again this year. Don’t sleep on him.

25. Brandon Marshall, NYG
2017 Projection: 75 receptions / 975 yards / 8 touchdowns (220 points)
Outlook: Heading to his 4th team in the last 5 years, Brandon Marshall has never lacked for talent or opportunity. The question with him has always been if he can keep his composure. Known for his locker room antics and unstable nature, Marshall lands with the Giants with perhaps the best quarterback he has ever played with. Now drawing the #2 cornerbacks in coverage, Marshall stands to be a huge red zone threat next to Odell Beckham. In an offense that throws the ball a ton, Marshall will get his touchdowns this year. The yards may not be there, but if he stays healthy, he will be a tremendous red zone weapon for the Giants.

26. Quincy Enunwa, NYJ
2017 Projection: 75 receptions / 1087 yards / 6 touchdowns (219 points)
Outlook: The projected #1 wide receiver on an offense with no real threats around it, #1 receivers always have value based on volume alone. Enunwa had a pretty good year last year despite an average catch rate, and looks to take the next step in 2017 as the team’s biggest threat at wide receiver. He will be hammered with targets by the below-average trio of Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, but fantasy is a game of volume and that alone is what will make Enunwa valuable. They will be behind a lot, and that means a lot of throws. Enunwa may end up turning half (or even less) of his targets into receptions, but he will be a weekly option based on volume alone.

27. Desean Jackson, TB
2017 Projection: 65 receptions / 1170 yards / 6 touchdowns (218 points)
Outlook: Tampa Bay saddled up the big bucks to land Desean Jackson in free agency, and his arrival finally gives Jameis Winston the perfect #2 wide receiver he has been looking for. It’s Year 3 for Winston and he has an offense ripe with weapons. Jackson will be drawing the #2 cornerbacks with Mike Evans commanding much attention from the defense, and this alone will give Jackson a ton of opportunities in the passing game. Still in his (late) prime at 30, Jackson is going to be an excellent weapon for the Tampa Bay offense. I don’t expect WR1 numbers, since it’d be so hard to get to that level in an offense full of options, but a weekly WR3 in an ideal world. He is a candidate to be overdrafted. Not that I think he won’t be any good, but the consistency may not be there.

28. Davante Adams, GB
2017 Projection: 72 receptions / 864 yards / 10 touchdowns (218 points)
Outlook: Davante Adams finally cashed in on his draft position from 2014 last season, as he caught a ton of touchdown passes and seemed to earn the trust of Aaron Rodgers. He still drops his share of passes, however he has developed into an excellent red zone weapon and all-over-the-field option. The passing game volume will always be there for Green Bay, and as the #2 weapon at wide receiver, Adams will have his useful weeks. However, the arrival of tight end Martellus Bennett threatens Adams opportunities, especially in the red zone, and I feel that this addition will impact Adams in the final rankings. A WR3 based on passing game volume, but again, he may struggle for consistency.

29. Adam Thielen, MIN
2017 Projection: 74 receptions / 1036 yards / 6 touchdowns (213 points)
Outlook: Thielen was a very good player in 2016. From relative unknown to weekly WR3, Thielen showed an ability to play all over the field and cemented himself as the #1 threat in the Minnesota passing game. He doesn’t score too often, but the passing game volume is there. His weekly floor seemed to be 4 receptions, which is excellent for a WR3. I definitely expect him to get better as he enters his 4th year in the NFL, and as Bradford’s favorite target, I think he can make a modest improvement on last year’s line. A great WR3 you can probably get late. Don’t sleep on the Minnesota offense this year: if the line improves a little bit, they will be able to score.

30. Stefon Diggs, MIN
2017 Projection: 90 receptions / 990 yards / 4 touchdowns (213 points)
Outlook: Much like Deandre Hopkins, on many other teams, Diggs would be a top fantasy option. He showed well as a rookie in 2015 and drew a fair amount of hype, but injuries and inconsistencies have plauged his career thus far. He’s the #2 option in the passing attack, a passing attack that doesn’t take too many downfield shots. By now, we know what Sam Bradford is. He’s a conservative guy who limits his risks. This doesn’t bode well for Diggs. There will be games where he flashes his ability to take over, but overall I think his name is a bit bigger than his final statline this season. He is going 4 rounds higher than Adam Thielen, which I believe is a huge mistake. He is being drafted way too high.

2017 Wide Receiver Rankings (PPR) – Top 1-12 Rankings / Projections / Outlook Blurbs

Welcome back to another installment into the 2017 Wide Receiver PPR Cheat Sheet. Here is my Top 12 Rankings with 2017 Projection and Outlook insight. The rest of the Top 65 is slowly being produced, but for now here is my Top 12 with projections and justification. Please feel free to like, share, and subscribe to my content as we here at fantasyisntfun aim to produce free fantasy football content for you every day. Keep in mind this is for point per catch formats – my standard scoring cheat sheets will be releasing soon!

1. Antonio Brown, PIT
2017 Projection: 104 receptions / 1372 yards / 11 touchdowns (317 points)
Outlook: The safest player in fantasy football returns to the same offense where he has been going nuts for years now. With trusted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back in the fold and the dynamic Martavis Bryant back to draw some coverage, Brown is in store for yet another #1 overall finish at the position. Always a great player to build a team around.

2. Michael Thomas, NO
2017 Projection: 101 receptions / 1313 yards / 12 touchdowns (304 points)
Outlook: Curveball! Michael Thomas turned in one of the most prolific rookie years for a wide receiver in history, putting up almost 1200 yards and 9 touchdowns on 92 grabs. The departure of Brandin Cooks frees up a TON of targets in the New Orleans offense, and Thomas looks to capitalize on his departure by taking it to an extra level. With great hands and ability to create in the end zone, I expect Thomas to take yet another step as Drew Brees top weapon and cement himself as an elite wide receiver in the game today.

3. Jordy Nelson, GB
2017 Projection: 95 receptions / 1216 yards / 11 touchdowns (282 points)
Outlook: Another ho-hum year for Jordy Nelson, who is seemingly ageless. Nelson returned from a torn ACL that cost him all of 2015 to remain the same reliable weapon for MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers. With a few more years left in the tank and the trust of one of the best passers in the game, Nelson sits right behind Antonio Brown as the safest play in the game and is a sure-fire bet to post solid numbers every week despite the presence of other weapons in the Green Bay offense.

4. Amari Cooper, OAK
2017 Projection: 90 receptions / 1305 yards / 10 touchdowns (280 points)
Outlook: This is the year for the Oakland offense. It’s Derek Carr’s fourth year and Amari Cooper’s third year – a time-tested and proven recipe for fantasy success. I like the entire offense to take a huge step forward with the addition of Marshawn Lynch and the return of a dominant offensive line. This is the year that the former Top 10 pick puts it all together and justifies his high draft slot for the Raiders. Cooper left a TON of points on the field last season, and I expect him to shore up those mistakes and finish in the Top 5 in 2017.

5. Odell Beckham, NYG
2017 Projection: 90 receptions / 1260 yards / 10 touchdowns (276 points)
Outlook: The arrival of Brandon Marshall stands to both help and hurt Odell Beckham’s chances of fantasy success here in 2017. On one hand, he is a huge, dynamic target with great red zone chops, basically made for the jump ball. On the other hand, this can take a chunk of ODB’s production away, as he has a history of being a dynamic red zone target as well. I expect ODB’s stats to take a bit of a hit this year, but in an offense that throws the ball so much, I still expect him to get his. There will be shootouts that the Giants engage in this year, and Odell knows his way around the burnable secondaries of the NFC East.

6. A.J. Green, CIN
2017 Projection: 90 receptions / 1350 yards / 8 touchdowns (273 points)
Outlook: There really wasn’t a player as safe yet explosive as AJ Green was before the 2015 season started. After losing time to injury the last two seasons, it seems as if the public is sleeping on Green this year. Don’t be fooled: this guy is still an elite talent and firmly in his prime. The addition of Joe Mixon and John Ross to this offense will take a bit of the heat off of Green, and the trusty connection between him and Andy Dalton will prove effective yet again in all fantasy leagues this season. Draft early and target Green, who will single handedly win you a few weeks on his own.

7. T.Y. Hilton, IND
2017 Projection: 88 receptions / 1400 yards / 7 touchdowns (270 points)
Outlook: One of the most quietly consistent fantasy wide receivers returns in his prime to an offense that does a lot of damage through the air. Andrew Luck isn’t afraid to let it fly, and the sixth year of this connection should be yet another explosive display of offense. Once thought of as a one-trick pony, Hilton is truly a threat on every route he runs, and I expect him to lead the NFL in receiving yards. One of the best players in the NFL, quietly. Draft with confidence.

8. Mike Evans, TB
2017 Projection: 88 receptions / 1232 yards / 9 touchdowns (265 points)
Outlook: This offense tooled up with Desean Jackson, OJ Howard and Chris Godwin this offseason, and Evans stands to lose a bit of production due to these additions. Still Jameis Winston’s favorite target, Evans will still do plenty of damage from any point in the field, yet I don’t think he will be as good as he has been before. Still a lock for WR1 production as a guy who has grown to be more and more reliable in a division where it’s easy to throw the ball all around the field. He becomes a bargain if any of the other pieces on the offense miss any time. Evans will be a big part of Winston’s blow-up this year.

9. Allen Robinson, JAX
2017 Projection: 82 receptions / 1230 yards / 10 touchdowns (265 points)
Outlook: 2015 was a disaster for the entire Jacksonville franchise. Robinson, who was a consensus Top 10 pick at his position at this point last season, enters the 2017 season as the undisputed #1 wide receiver again in an offense that looks to rebound. A lot of that depends on Blake Bortles development, however. It is interesting to note that Robinson had excellent fantasy days during the final few weeks of last season in which Doug Marrone took over as head coach of the franchise. He returns this year to lead the Jaguars, and I expect a bounce back season for most players on the team. One of the more physically dominant players in the league, I expect a bounce back for Robinson at a very agreeable price.

10. Alshon Jeffery, PHI
2017 Projection: 86 receptions / 1247 yards / 9 touchdowns (264 points)
Outlook: One of the worst contract years in league history was had by once-elite Alshon Jeffery, and it was reflected in the meager 1-year deal he received from Philadelphia. However, reports out of Eagles practices show a rapport with quarterback Carson Wentz, who severely lacked a big time weapon on offense last year. Once again playing for a deal with the best quarterback he has ever played with, I expect Jeffery to take control of the #1 role at wide receiver in this offense and for the connection between him and Wentz to be pretty strong. We have seen what Jeffery can do in the past, and everything is in line for him to duplicate things if he can stay in shape and stay healthy. If those two things happen, Jeffery will be a value at most draft slots.

11. Dez Bryant, DAL
2017 Projection: 82 receptions / 1230 yards / 9 touchdowns (259 points)
Outlook: Bryant returns to an offense that features a great young quarterback in Dak Prescott and the offensive Rookie of the Year in Zeke Elliott. Still in his prime in his late twenties, Bryant offers huge upside as a receiver who can simply take over a game. With Jason Witten another year older and no real threat at the position other than Bryant, if he can stay healthy for the entire year, he is going to be a great player. A dominant force on a great young team, Bryant has a chance to outscore these projections. Health, as always, is the wild card.

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12. Julio Jones, ATL
2017 Projection: 86 receptions / 1209 yards / 8 touchdowns (254 points)
Outlook: Another curveball! It’s not that I dislike Julio. I have had him on my teams many times and he is simply an animal. I just think there are plenty of great receivers in the NFL and that their situations are a bit better for fantasy purposes this year. I expect the Atlanta offense to regress as a whole, as they lost one of the sharpest offensive coordinators in the game in Kyle Shanahan, and bring in an unproven coach in Steve Sarkisian. I also think that Matt Ryan played way over his head last season and I expect him to come back down to what his usual career stats are, somewhere around 4000 yards and 28 touchdowns or so. Julio also had offseaosn foot surgery, which is a concern given his history. Julio can make me look like a complete idiot with these projections, or like a genius. The odds are he makes me look like an idiot, however I believe that there is so much talent at this position in today’s NFL that Julio, while still elite, falls back a little bit.

Stay tuned for the rest of the Top 20, plus the entire Top 65 WRs, coming later this week!

2017 Running Back Rankings (PPR) – Top 21-40 Rankings / Projections / Outlook Blurbs

Continued from my blog post last week featuring #1-20, found at this link:

21. Marshawn Lynch, OAK
2017 Projection: 200 attempts / 1000 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 200 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (180 points)
Outlook: Marshawn Lynch returns to the NFL for his hometown team, the Oakland Raiders. Bringing life to a disenfranchised fan base due to their impending move to Las Vegas, Lynch returns healthy and with a renewed focus as he looks to be the missing piece to spurring his hometown team to new heights in 2017. Always a threat to run over multiple defenders and seemingly will himself into the end zone, I expect him to have value if his body holds up. After a year away from the game and with new motivation, I’d never bet against Lynch.

22. Kareem Hunt, KC
2017 Projection: 140 attempts / 700 rushing yards / 9 rushing touchdowns; 28 receptions / 182 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (176 points)
Outlook: I’m pretty high on Kareem Hunt. Andy Reid running backs are always excellent fantasy plays (see: Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, and Spencer Ware when he is healthy.) The problem with Ware is that he is frequently banged up and had concussion issues last year. I think the Chiefs added Hunt to their already-crowded backfield for a reason and as a result, believe he will put up low-end RB2 numbers in what is sure to be a time share. The hype won’t die on this kid and I believe he plays well despite it.

23. Duke Johnson Jr., CLE
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 360 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown; 60 receptions / 600 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (174 points)
Outlook: The complimentary back to Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson has some of the best hands and moves out of the backfield in the entire NFL. Playing for a coach dedicated to getting every running back involved, combined with young quarterbacks aplenty on the roster, means that the check downs will be there. Hue Jackson realizes that Crow and Johnson are the two best weapons on the team and give the Browns their best chance to win; both will be fed early and often. A good flex play based on passing game volume.

24. Christian McCaffery, CAR
2017 Projection: 100 attempts / 500 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 26 receptions / 286 receiving yards / 4 receiving touchdowns (164 points)
Outlook: The Panthers seemed locked in on Christian McCaffery from the beginning of draft season, and they made him a Top 10 pick in April’s draft. A dynamic threat from everywhere on the field in college, McCaffery is one of the most polarizing prospects at the position in years. He lands in Carolina with Cam Newton, who will help McCaffery become an instant hit in the run-option game. With brittle Jonathan Stewart in front of him, McCaffery will be a playmaker from Week 1 in the Carolina offense. Beware the time share with Stewart… but if he goes down, McCaffery is a great play.

25. C.J. Prosise, SEA
2017 Projection: 35 attempts / 175 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown; 58 receptions / 580 receiving yards / 4 receiving touchdowns (163 points)
Outlook: It took Prosise a little while to get going last year in Seattle, but once he established himself as a weapon (albeit briefly,) he really got a lot of buzz in the Seattle backfield. A dynamic passing game weapon, a healthy Prosise brings another element to the Seattle offense as a back with breakaway speed who can take little dump off passes all the way to the end zone. Prosise is going to get a lot of play when Seattle is behind, which may happen more often than not this year. This defense is getting older, and I project Prosise to have his fair share of opportunities. If he figures out how to run the ball in the NFL, he will have massive value.

26. C.J. Anderson, DEN
2017 Projection: 150 attempts / 675 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 20 receptions / 160 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (163 points)
Outlook: The Denver backfield has all the makings of a messy running back by committee in 2017, but Anderson is by far the most talented. After an injury-plagued 2016, the Broncos signed free agent Jamaal Charles to help out and return fantasy flame-out Devontae Booker. Anderson is the best player in this committee and will likely play on the first two downs. With a history of being a bell-cow back, he could take over the lion’s share of the backfield work in Denver on a team that projects to grind clock each week. A great pick at his current ADP.

27. Dalvin Cook, MIN
2017 Projection: 160 attempts / 640 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 30 receptions / 240 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (160 points)
Outlook: A prolific running back at Florida State, Cook lands in a situation where he can quickly and easily ascend to the top of the depth chart. Free agent signing Latavius Murray is incredibly mediocre, and Jerrick McKinnon can’t handle more than 5 carries a game. That leaves plenty of room for Dalvin Cook to run away with the Vikings running back job. Will he? I can see it. Already deemed “special” by the coaching staff, I expect Cook to take over by the middle of the season and run away with the majority of the carries. How involved will he be in the first few weeks is the real question. Pass protection is always a big thing with rookie running backs. He will have to master that before he gets a big role.

28. Doug Martin, TB
2017 Projection: 180 attempts / 792 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 20 receptions / 180 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (159 points)
Outlook: Suspended for the first four weeks of this season, perhaps no player was a bigger bust in 2016 than Doug Martin. After losing the final few weeks of last season due to an addiction problem, Martin returns to a backfield that really didn’t add much in 2017. He appears to have a renewed focus on both football and fitness, and has historically played well when playing for more guaranteed money. With no guarantees left on his current deal, Martin has all the motivation – and opportunity, in the world, to win many teams some championships. A value at his current ADP (as of mid-June.)

29. Spencer Ware, KC
2017 Projection: 140 attempts / 630 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 28 receptions / 280 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (155 points)
Outlook: Ware has proven to be a pretty good NFL running back in his career. After being a late-round pick by Seattle, he established himself in Kansas City and earned an extension as a stop-gap running back to whoever the Chiefs may find next. A bigger back, Ware lacks the speed and elusiveness to be a lead NFL runner. However, he is an excellent back-up and all-around weapon for the Chiefs. I believe he starts the year as the starter, and then gives way to upstart rookie Kareem Hunt. Still will be useful if Hunt gets injured, and on his own, not a bad option some weeks.

30. Frank Gore, IND
2017 Projection: 160 attempts / 576 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 30 receptions / 228 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (154 points)
Outlook: Another ho-hum year for the ageless wonder Frank Gore. Gore led the Indy backfield in usage again last year, and seems to have settled in as a guy the Colts can rely on for a bunch of carries per game and a few receptions as well. The Colts drafted Marlon Mack in the fourth round this year to take some heat off of Gore, and I believe this has the makings of a full-blown committee in Indy. I like Mack as a runner, and I also don’t trust Gore’s durability. In an aerial-attack oriented offense, I’d leave Gore to be someone else’s problem.

31. James White, NE
2017 Projection: 35 attempts / 140 rushing yards / 0 rushing touchdowns; 57 receptions / 558 receiving yards / 4 receiving touchdowns (151 points)
Outlook: Last year’s Super Bowl hero, White returns to a New England backfield that stocked up on runners this offseason, resigning Brandon Bolden and signing Mike Gillislee to an offer sheet. Even with Dion Lewis already in tow (but reportedly on the way out,) White is still the primary passing down weapon in New England and will be the go-to guy for receptions. I don’t think he’s a great NFL runner, but he has the trust of Brady and the coaching staff in the passing game, which I believe will make him valuable most weeks, and especially in games where the Patriots fall behind.

32. Paul Perkins, NYG
2017 Projection: 170 attempts / 731 rushing yards / 5 rushing touchdowns; 20 receptions / 220 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (151 points)
Outlook: Perkins returns for his second year in New York with no real competition for carries. Selected by the current front office regime in New York, Perkins will have an opportunity to run away with the job in training camp. The incumbent #1 running back on the depth chart, it’s up to Perkins to determine the pecking order at the position. Will he cash in? Even if he does, Shane Vereen looms for passing formations on a team that throws it more than most in the NFL. He will have value and be worth a roster spot, however New York passes the ball so much, and it’ll be tough to predict when Perkins will be startable.

33. Mike Gillislee, NE
2017 Projection: 160 attempts / 800 rushing yards / 10 rushing touchdowns; 6 receptions / 36 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (149 points)
Outlook: A touchdown dynamo during his time in Buffalo, Gillislee signed with rival New England in pursuit of a feature back role. Gillislee projects to be the running back when the Patriots are ahead and also on early downs, which is a role that carries huge fantasy value. Gillislee will get his opportunities to pound the ball into the end zone and grind clock. He could easily outperform these yardage projections this year, but the Patriots figure to involve the swiss army knife in Rex Burkhead on early downs as well. He will produce scores in this offense.

34. Rob Kelley, WSH
2017 Projection: 140 attempts / 644 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 15 receptions / 105 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (143 points)
Outlook: Kelley burst onto the scene last year and had a few good weeks of fantasy production. However, the new Redskins regime selected running back Samaje Perine in the fourth round of this year’s draft, and he is naturally more quick, elusive, and plainly talented than Kelley. Jay Gruden is always a fan of incorporating multiple runners in his history as an NFL coach, and I expect this backfield to be pretty evenly cut between Kelley and Perine. Chris Thompson will also have a role as well, which leads me to believe that Kelley regresses a bit from last year’s stats (through no fault of his own.)

35. Derrick Henry, TEN
2017 Projection: 130 attempts / 624 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 18 receptions / 180 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (134 points)
Outlook: Derrick Henry is a bad man. He runs so angry and is impossible to take down one on one. Unfortunately, Demarco Murray has a stranglehold on the lead back job in Tennessee, leaving Henry as just a change of pace guy and grinder. He is a very talented runner who showed skill in a variety of situations during his rookie year last year, and he will find ways to maximize his opportunities in the Tennessee offense. If Murray goes down, Henry is an instant RB1. One of the only handcuffs worth actually rostering. Henry will surprise in a starting role.

36. Latavius Murray, MIN
2017 Projection: 120 attempts / 480 rushing yards / 7 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 163 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (131 points)
Outlook: From one of the best offensive lines in the NFL to one of the worst, no player made out as well in free agency this year than Latavius Murray. A completely mediocre running back with no real quickness (who also can’t break tackles,) Murray enters a backfield with rookie Dalvin Cook, who is naturally much more talented. Murray was a beast on the goal line last year though, and figures to have a similar opportunity for production in this new Vikings offense. I don’t believe he holds the starting job all season, but I believe he finds his niche on the goal line for sure. Not a threat in the receiving game, let someone else draft Latavius Murray, even at his falling ADP.

37. Carlos Hyde, SF
2017 Projection: 160 attempts / 672 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 18 receptions / 90 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (130 points)
Outlook: Carlos Hyde is on his way out of San Francisco. An injury-prone enigma, Hyde enters Year 4 with San Francisco with his role in flux. The new front office brought in rookies Matt Breida and Joe Williams to compete with Hyde, and early reports are that both look impressive and are fixing to have roles. I don’t feel like Hyde makes it to the season with the 49ers, truthfully. I think he will be moved for a pick to an AFC team. He’s not a reliable running back as far as durability goes, and on a team that projects to be very, very bad offensively, I’d let him be someone else’s headache.

38. Jalen Richard, OAK
2017 Projection: 100 attempts / 500 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 32 receptions / 240 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (130 points)
Outlook: Jalen Richard is a playmaker. He won’t have the opportunity this year with Marshawn Lynch in town, but this kid can play. Settling in as the third down back and passing game contributor, Richard is a force in the passing game and has elite quickness. Lynch is obviously the back to own, but in games that project to be shootouts, Richard has some sneaky value. Will be a better DFS piece than season-long piece for owners, but he will make some noise in the league this year. A great piece for the Raiders offense.

39. Chris Thompson, WSH
2017 Projection: 55 attempts / 275 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 45 receptions / 324 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (128 points)
Outlook: Chris Thompson will always have a role on the Redskins. A true passing down weapon, he will be in the game when the Skins are behind and airing it out. The problem is, they are usually in some close games and like to grind the clock, and project to run more with the loss of passing down weapons Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson. Thompson will have good weeks and have very bad weeks. Players like him are great weapons for teams, but practically unusable unless you know something the general public doesn’t know. A much better real-life player than fantasy player.

40. Jeremy Hill, CIN
2017 Projection: 120 attempts / 456 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 18 receptions / 135 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (124 points)
Outlook: No player is more efficient at scoring touchdowns over the last 3 years than Jeremy Hill. He leads the league in touchdowns scored at his position, thanks in large part to owning the feature back role in Cincinnati over that time. However, Hill struggles a bit between the 20s and this inefficiency caused the Bengals to select the all-purpose runner Joe Mixon in the second round of this year’s draft. I expect Hill to take a back-seat to Mixon but still retain his role down near the goal line. I also expect this Cincinnati offense to score a lot more than recent years, with some new passing game weapons and a continued dedication to running the ball. I like Mixon a lot more, but in touchdown-only leagues, much like Latavius Murray before him, Hill can have some sneaky value.

Tight End Cheat Sheet – Sneak Peak

Hard at work on the 2017 Tight End cheat sheet. Here’s a sneak peek at the Top 25 PPR TEs for this year. Look out for the projections and blurbs in full next week.

1. Travis Kelce, KC
2. Rob Gronkowski, NE
3. Jimmy Graham, SEA
4. Greg Olsen, CAR
5. Kyle Rudolph, MIN
6. Jordan Reed, WSH
7. Jack Doyle, IND
8. Eric Ebron, DET
9. Delanie Walker, TEN
10. Tyler Eifert, CIN
11. Zach Ertz, PHI
12. Martellus Bennett, GB
13. Hunter Henry, SD
14. Jason Witten, DAL
15. Zach Miller, CHI
16. Coby Fleener, NO
17. Julius Thomas, MIA
18. C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU
19. Cameron Brate, TB
20. Antonio Gates, SD
21. Jesse James, PIT
22. Jared Cook, OAK
23. Charles Clay, BUF
24. Austin Hooper, ATL
25. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ
26. O.J. Howard, TB

2017 Running Back Rankings (PPR) – Top 20 Rankings / Projections / Outlook Blurbs

Welcome back to another installment into the 2017 Running Back PPR Cheat Sheet. Here is my Top 20 Rankings with 2017 Projection and Outlook insight. The rest of the Top 65 is slowly being produced, but for now here is my Top 20 with projections and justification. Please feel free to like, share, and subscribe to my content as we here at fantasyisntfun aim to produce free fantasy football content for you every day. Keep in mind this is for point per catch formats – my standard scoring cheat sheets will be releasing soon!

1. David Johnson, ARI
2017 Projection: 310 attempts / 1364 rush yards / 14 rushing touchdowns; 82 receptions / 943 receiving yards / 4 receiving touchdowns (420 points)
Outlook: In just his second season in the NFL, David Johnson took the NFL and the fantasy world by storm en route to a historic fantasy campaign. Entering his second full year as the lead dog in the Arizona backfield with no real competition or threat to steal carries, DJ is the consensus #1 overall player in most formats this year, PPR included.

2. Le’veon Bell, PIT
2017 Projection: 320 attempts / 1600 rush yards / 12 rushing touchdowns; 70 receptions / 577 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (371 points)
Outlook: Le’veon Bell had a great year last year despite missing time due to a suspension. A full 16 game schedule and the motivation of the mystical contract year mean Le’veon pushes the limits of what we have seen from him through his first four years in the NFL en route to a #2 overall running back finish. Draft with confidence.

3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
2017 Projection: 310 attempts / 1590 rushing yards / 12 rushing touchdowns; 38 receptions / 40 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (322 points)
Outlook: Running behind the dominant Dallas offensive line, Elliott set all kinds of team and rookie records last season in a great year for the Cowboys offense. However, with some pieces missing from that offensive line this year and the development of Dak Prescott at quarterback, I believe Elliott takes a small step back from his massive 2016. Still a clear and easy top 3 option at the position, however.

4. Demarco Murray, TEN
2017 Projection: 275 attempts / 1237 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 48 receptions / 336 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (264 points)
Outlook: Murray looked revitalized after a trade sent him to the Tennessee Titans during the 2016 offseason after a down year in Philadelphia. One of the best all-around backs in the game, Murray returns to an offense dedicated to pounding the run every which way they can and has some new weapons around him on offense to hopefully take some of the defenders out of the box on early downs. I think Murray has a few years of relevance left and I am quite high on the Tennessee offense as a whole, Murray included, in 2017.

5. Jordan Howard, CHI
2017 Projection: 275 attempts / 1265 rushing yards / 7 rushing touchdowns; 38 receptions / 418 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (259 points)
Outlook: After taking over the starting role in Week 4, Howard literally ran away with the job. He performed extremely well on a sub-par Bears offense in 2016 and seemed to earn the confidence of the coaching staff almost instantly. With no real threat for carries behind him while being the object of many pre-season puff pieces in the media this year, Howard projects to be the bell cow running back on a team which has shown a dedication to handing him the ball each week.

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6. Lesean McCoy, BUF
2017 Projection: 215 attempts / 1032 rushing yards / 9 rushing touchdowns; 45 receptions / 360 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (250 points)
Outlook: McCoy was simply a great running back in 2016 despite numberous touchdowns being vultured by backup Mike Gillislee. After losing Gillislee to the rival Patriots, McCoy returns as the clear favorite for every-down work in the Buffalo backfield. Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Williams will get their carries here and there, but 2016 demonstrated that McCoy has plenty left in the tank and will be the centerpiece, yet again, for the Buffalo offense. Attempts will be down as the Bills aim to keep McCoy fresh, but he is still a playmaker and will finish very well yet again this year (barring injury.)

7. Melvin Gordon, LAC
2017 Projection: 280 attempts / 1148 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 38 receptions / 304 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (242 points)
Outlook: Melvin Gordon burst onto the fantasy scene in 2016 after the Week 1 losses of Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead. He quickly began to live up to his draft pedigree, demonstrating great hands in the passing game and good running out of the I-formation. However, a sub-4.0 yards per rush stat gives owners pause heading into 2017. I project Gordon to perform well again in a Los Angeles attack that projects to be much better at full health.

8. Devonta Freeman, ATL
2017 Projection: 240 attempts / 1080 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 40 receptions / 320 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdowns (240 points)
Outlook: Since 2015, Devonta Freeman has been one of the premier backs in the game while splitting time with Tevin Coleman. The guy simply gets it done week in and week out and usually finds a way to impact the game most weeks. He will be splitting duties with Coleman again this year, however he will be heavily involved in the Atlanta offense. I predict rushing attempts to rise in Atlanta with the loss of incumbent OC Kyle Shanahan, paving the way for excellent fantasy production for both Freeman and Coleman.

9. Mark Ingram, NO
2017 Projection: 180 attempts / 882 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 40 receptions / 280 receiving yards / 4 receiving touchdowns (228 points)
Outlook: The arrival of Adrian Peterson seemingly puts a large dent in Ingram’s fantasy value… or does it? Appearing to be on his last legs last year in Minnesota, there is perhaps not a more talked-about free agency arrival in the league than Peterson. Ingram, however, has continued to thrive when splitting time between guys like Darren Sproles, CJ Spiller and Tim Hightower throughout his career, and we cannot forget his passing game chops. I expect Ingram to be, well… Ingram, and catch his way to PPR value this year at a lower price than what he was valued at over the past few seasons. A good bargain.

10. Isaiah Crowell, CLE
2017 Projection: 240 attempts / 1080 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 34 receptions / 289 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (225 points)
Outlook: No running back did more with less last year than Isaiah Crowell. He averaged the fewest carries per game for a running back scoring in the Top 15 last year. This year, coach Hue Jackson has promised to get Crowell more involved on a team that projects to be a bit better this year than last. With Duke Johnson an option on passing downs, Crowell will still be involved through the air on a team with plenty of young and not-so-good options at quarterback. A dedication to establishing the run and grinding the clock in 2017 gives me a lot of faith in Crowell as a Top 10 producer this year.

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11. Jay Ajayi, MIA
2017 Projection: 290 attempts / 1392 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 22 receptions / 143 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (223 points)
Outlook: One of 2016’s surprise performers, Ajayi demonstrated his skills as one of the NFL’s most balanced runners between power, speed, and swiftness. He ran wild in a few games and brought the Dolphins back to the playoffs. This year, the coaching staff wants to get him even more involved, with rumors of 350+ touches being floated out there. Obviously, that’s a heavy burden, but if there is any year to get on the Ajayi bandwagon, it’s this year. Volume hog on an offense that projects to be better led by underappreciated coach Adam Gase. This is a team on the rise.

12. Tevin Coleman, ATL
2017 Projection: 130 rush / 625 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 42 receptions / 504 receiving yards / 5 receivinng touchdowns (220 points)
Outlook: Tevin Coleman has always had tantalizing talent, even in a time-share situation in Atlanta. Though he has been a bit frail through his first two NFL seasons, his talent is made clear every time he suits up as healthy for a game, especially through the air. Coleman and Freeman combine to form the most dangerous running back duo in the NFL. In a year where I expect him to be even more involved in the offense, Coleman offers great PPR upside for his modest price compared to the rest of the Top 12 and I believe he runs with his opportunities this year. If he plays all 16 games, he is a lock for Top 12 production in PPR leagues.

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13. Bilal Powell, NYJ
2017 Projection: 150 attempts / 750 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 60 receptions / 420 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (213 points)
Outlook: Powell really caught on in the second half of the 2016 season as Matt Forte began to slow down. Young quarterbacks have a tendency to check down a lot to running backs, and the Jets boast two of the youngest (and worst) quarterbacks in football. Josh McCown has demonstrated a knack for involving running backs in the passing game in his career as well, and on a team that projects to be behind quite frequently (which leads to more passing plays being called) I like Powell to heavily outdo Matt Forte in both offensive snaps and fantasy production.

14. Joe Mixon, CIN
2017 Projection: 220 attempts / 1056 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 20 receptions / 200 rushing yards / 3 receiving touchdowns (211 points)
Outlook: A first round talent, Mixon fell in the 2016 draft due to major character concerns. He was drafted to a team that doesn’t really have a truly great running back, but just a couple of guys who do certain things very well in Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard (coming off of a torn ACL.) Bernard will not be ready for Week 1, which bodes well for Mixon’s involvement in the passing game early. Said to look fast, strong, and shifty in his early practices with Cincinnati, and coming out of a program that has produced many NFL talents in Adrian Peterson and Demarco Murray, I expect Mixon to be the runaway Rookie of the Year and put some good games on tape. A great RB2 if you can get him. Beware the hype machine.

15. Todd Gurley, LAR
2017 Projection: 260 attempts / 1040 rushing yards / 10 rushing touchdowns; 22 receptions / 176 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (203 points)
Outlook: Gurley had an absolutely horrific 2016. The offense was horrible under old coach Jeff Fisher, and first overall pick Jared Goff looked like a deer in the headlights on every single drop back. After adding to the offensive line with the addition of Andrew Whitworth and adding some actual threats on offense, combined with adding a great new offensive mind in head coach Sean McVay, I project Gurley to be a great bounce-back player this year en route to a season we expected him to have last year.

16. Lamar Miller, HOU
2017 Projection: 200 attempts / 840 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 35 receptions / 245 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (197 points)
Outlook: Lamar Miller is not an every-down NFL running back. He just isn’t. He breaks down constantly and gets progressively worse with more carries. The Texans invested a draft pick in D’Onta Foreman this offseason to take heat off Miller, and this addition will negatively impact Miller’s opportunities in 2017. However, when used properly, he is a dangerous weapon on a team full of them. I expect the coaching staff to better manage Miller’s touches this year, which I believe will actually lead to slightly less production but a higher chance of durability and consistency in Miller’s game. When the Texans are up, I can see him coming out of the game, which is a dangerous proposition on a team with such a great defense. Opportunities for him to score will still be there, though.

17. Theo Riddick, DET
2017 Projection: 45 attempts / 157 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown; 75 receptions / 600 receiving yards / 6 receiving touchdowns (192 points)
Outlook: A receiver in a running back’s body, Theo Riddick is one of the most proficient receiving backs in the NFL today. Signed to an extension last offseason, Riddick is a cemented part of the Lions aerial attack. The departure of Anquan Boldin frees up some red zone opportunities for other members of this offense, and I expect Riddick to thrive in his reprised role as passing-game specialist. Always a threat for big weeks in PPR combined with his relatively low-cost to others in the Top 20, Riddick will continue to be a great pick and valued part of the Lions attack. Stafford loves him, and it will show again this year.

18. Leonard Fournette, JAX
2017 Projection: 230 attempts / 920 rushing yards / 10 rushing touchdowns; 15 receptions / 160 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (189 points)
Outlook: The first running back taken in this year’s NFL Draft lands on a team which has not experienced much success on the ground since the days of (prime) Maurice Jones-Drew. New coach Doug Marrone brought life to a dead offense after taking over as coach late in 2016, and has a history of running the ball well and letting his quarterbacks manage the game, in a sense, after his run in Buffalo. The team seemed to play much better for Marrone last year after he took over, and Fournette’s power, tenacity and strong lower body will bode well for his chances at a Year 1 impact. On an offense that seems poised to bounce back to respectable, I expect Fournette to get carries early and often and turn those carries into a Top-20 fantasy season.

19. Terrance West, BAL
2017 Projection: 220 attempts / 924 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 28 receptions / 196 receptions / 0 receiving touchdowns (187 points)
Outlook: After revitalizing his career in Baltimore in 2016, West looked the part of a two-down running back in the Baltimore attack. Looking spry and decisive as a runner, things he lacked in Cleveland to start his career, West got accustomed to the lead back role and turned in a respectable fantasy season. Continuity in Baltimore and the increase in weapons in the attack, combined with the loss of tight end Dennis Pitta, lend me to believe that the opportunities will be there for West on a team that projects to slow the game down and grind the clock. Kenneth Dixon is a threat to his production, but he is suspended for the first four games of the season, and as a result I like West to produce low-end RB2 production in his role. He is probably likely to average 10-12 points a week, and he can be had much later in drafts.

20. Ameer Abdullah, DET
2017 Projection: 160 attempts / 768 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 32 receptions / 256 receiving yards / 2 recieving touchdowns (181 points)
Outlook: After missing the entire 2016 season due to a Lisfranc injury in his foot, Abdullah looks to return to form and cash in on his draft pedigree that the Lions trusted in the 2015 draft. On a team with a lot of guys who only do certain things right in the running game, Abdullah returns with clear opportunity to run away with the job. A shifty, small runner with passing game talent, Abdullah will get his chances in the Detroit backfield this season. The question is: will he hold up? He has never rushed for 80 yards in a game in his career. Will his time away harm him, or get him healed up and ready to produce? This is a player well-worth the risk in 2017.

Wide Receiver Cheat Sheet – Sneak Peek

Hard at work on the 2017 Wide Receiver cheat sheet. Here’s a sneak peek at the Top 30 PPR WRs for this year. Look out for the full Top 75 next week (gasp! No Keenan Allen?!)

1. Antonio Brown, PIT
2. Michael Thomas, NO
3. Jordy Nelson, GB
4. Amari Cooper, OAK
5. Odell Beckham, NYG
6. A.J. Green, CIN
7. T.Y. Hilton, IND
8. Mike Evans, TB
9. Allen Robinson, JAX
10. Alshon Jeffery, PHI
11. Dez Bryant, DAL
12. Julio Jones, ATL
13. Sammy Watkins, BUF
14. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
15. Doug Baldwin, SEA
16. Deandre Hopkins, HOU
17. John Brown, ARI
18. Jarvis Landry, MIA
19. Demaryius Thomas, DEN
20. Rishard Matthews, TEN
21. Tyreek Hill, KC
22. Willie Snead, NO
23. Brandin Cooks, NE
24. Golden Tate, DET
25. Brandon Marshall, NYG
26. Quincy Enunwa, NYJ
27. Desean Jackson, TB
28. Davante Adams, GB
29. Adam Thielen, MIN
30. Stefon Diggs, MIN