A list of the top players to draft for the 2016 fantasy football season in PPR leagues.
1. Antonio Brown (PIT)
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2016 Projections||View Antonio Brown's 2016 projected stats.|
As great as Brown was in 2014, he was even better last year. While his streak of 21 straight games of at least 70 yards expired in Week 4 with Ben Roethlisberger out with a knee injury, Brown more than made up for it with four games of 187 yards or more. By season's end, he topped 2014's historic performance by seven catches and 136 yards - despite playing four games with Michael Vick and Landry Jones under center. Brown's 136 catches tied Julio Jones for No. 2 all time, and his 1,848 yards were fourth, behind only Calvin Johnson, Jones and Jerry Rice. Brown's upside is as high as ever. With Roethlisberger healthy and Martavis Bryant suspended for the year, Brown's target volume is likely to approach 200. At 5-10, 186, Brown does not cut an imposing figure, and his 4.47 speed is above average, though nothing special. But Brown is among the league's quickest and most sure-handed targets, nearly impossible to stay with and dangerous in space. He had eight catches of 40-plus (11st) and managed 9.5 YPT (6th) despite a massive workload and bottom-of-the-barrel QB play for four games. Brown's TD output dropped to 10 last year from 13 in 2014, but chalk that up to Roethlisberger's absence and variance - his 24 red-zone targets ranked fourth in the league, and his 11 targets inside the 10 were sixth.
2. Odell Beckham (NYG)
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2016 Projections||View Odell Beckham's 2016 projected stats.|
Quick, name the players in NFL history with more than 180 catches, 2,600 yards and 25 TDs in their first two years. There's only one, so let's ease the criteria and ask for 150 catches, 2,000 yards and 20 TDs. Still just Beckham. Did we mention he didn't see full-time snaps until Week 7 in 2014 and missed another game due to a (well-earned) suspension last year? Beckham has put on a show during his first two years like no WR since Randy Moss (149-2,726-28) in 1998-99. At 5-11, 198, Beckham has average size, but he plays bigger due to his huge hands and ability to snag the ball out of the air one-handed. The Giants didn't take full advantage of his red-zone skills last year, targeting him 20 times inside the 20 (19th) and seven inside the 10 (120th). Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo promoted to head coach, it's unlikely Beckham's usage changes much. That's OK because he does plenty of damage from deep - his eight catches for 40-plus yards tied for the NFL lead with Antonio Brown who had 35 more targets. While Beckham's 4.43 40 is merely good, he ran a blazing unofficial 4.31 at the Combine, more reflective of the damage he's done to DBs. While a healthy Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard could see their share of targets, they replace Rueben Randle and low-end options. None is a significant threat to Beckham.
3. Le'Veon Bell (PIT)
|Rushing Stats||Receiving Stats|
|2016 Projections||View Le'Veon Bell's 2016 projected stats.|
There's no question about Bell's ability— he was the top RB in fantasy two years ago, and the No.4 back in per-game PPR scoring last year. But how many Bell games are you paying for? Where is his body at after tearing his MCL in the eighth week of the 2015 season? As we approached press time, Bell was whistling a happy tune, saying he would be 100 percent for the start of training camp (he's also been playing pick-up basketball; we suppose that's an encouraging sign). That's what virtually every player is conditioned to say, be it from overconfidence, their superhero histories, or wanting to protect their turf and livelihood. We'd love to see Bell at full speed, because at his best he's the most talented back in the NFL today. He offers a terrific blend of speed and power; probably the best sense of patience and timing at the position; and the ability to play on all downs and packages. When the Steelers have their Triplets of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Bell on the field, it's probably the league's best offense, with no proper way to defend. Your summer assignment is to watch Bell like a bloodhound, monitor his every move. If he looks close to peak health, you can consider him at any point of the first round — even, theoretically, the No. 1 pick. But consider an insurance policy with DeAngelo Williams.
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2016 PPR Position Rankings
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