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Regular Season, Updated: 9/6/16

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FF Today Default Scoring: Review Scoring
 Derek Anderson, CAR (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’6”   Weight: 235   DOB: 1983-06-15   Age: 33
College: Oregon State   Draft: 2005 Round 6 (39) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013CAR30 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0.0 0.0
2014CAR565 97 701 5 0 8 24 0 57.5 11.5
2015CAR34 6 36 0 0 7 -2 0 1.6 0.5
2016 (Projected)CAR 6 9 66 0 0 0 0 0 3.3  

 Blake Bortles, JAC (Bye: 5)
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 232   DOB: 1991-12-16   Age: 25
College: Central Florida   Draft: 2014 Round 1 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014JAC14280 475 2,907 11 17 56 419 0 231.3 16.5
2015JAC16355 606 4,428 35 18 52 310 2 404.4 25.3
2016 (Projected)JAC 320 542 4,062 29 16 61 333 2 364.4  

Outlook: One of the absolute best values of the 2015 fantasy season, Blake Bortles showed obvious progress in his second year at the helm of the offense. His season was so good, narrowly finishing behind Tom Brady as fantasy’s third best QB, that it is difficult expecting more improvement in 2016. In fact, regression seems almost inevitable when looking more closely at the situations that paved the way for Bortles to reach such lofty totals. After a year that saw the offense toss up 40 or more passes six times and its quarterback sacked a league leading 51 times, the team went out and bolstered the rushing game. Look for OC Greg Olsen to mix high-percentage passing routes with a more effective play-action scheme to leverage Allen Robinson’s play-making ability down field. Any decrease in passing attempts will likely translate into a few less points this year but he the team should be more effective at moving the ball down field and creating scoring chances. He should be a solid QB1, but projecting another top five fantasy quarterback season from Bortles would be a bold move for 2016.

Chad Henne didn’t hesitate to resign with the team after not playing a single down in 2015. At this point in his career he is more of a mentor than a true backup quarterback. Brandon Allen was drafted out of Arkansas and could develop into a worthwhile backup down the road.

 Trevone Boykin, SEA (Bye: 5)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 213   DOB: 1993-08-22   Age: 23
College: Texas Christian   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016 (Projected)SEA 18 29 196 1 1 5 19 0 15.7  

 Sam Bradford, MIN (Bye: 6)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 224   DOB: 1987-11-08   Age: 29
College: Oklahoma   Draft: 2010 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013STL7159 262 1,687 14 4 15 31 0 143.5 20.5
2015PHI14346 532 3,725 19 14 25 39 0 266.2 19.0
2016 (Projected)MIN 277 453 3,129 19 11 28 42 0 236.7  

Outlook: For what seems like the one hundredth time in his career, Sam Bradford is faced with the prospect of learning a new offense during the off-season. Brought over in a trade by Chip Kelly, Bradford didn’t really thrive despite Kelly’s quarterback friendly system, but will now work under head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich in a system that should fit his skill set better. Pederson is expected to mirror the offensive system employed by his mentor Andy Reid, which is a variation of a West Coast offense built on the short passing game. Bradford is a fairly accurate quarterback and has impressed the staff during OTAs and the preseason according to published camp reports. He will of course need to hold off rookie Carson Wentz, who the team drafted No. 2 overall, but according to all reports out of Eagles headquarters the team would like Wentz to have a redshirt season in 2016. Of course if Bradford struggles, which isn’t all that hard to imagine based on a career of underachieving, or if the Eagles fall hopelessly out of the playoff picture, it is likely Wentz would see the field. Bradford finished last season with 3,725 passing yards and 19 touchdowns with 14 interceptions in 14 starts. While there is a chance that those numbers will improve in 2016, Bradford’s upside isn’t exciting enough to even warrant drafting him as a backup, especially if you would need to scour the waiver wire at some point if he were to be benched.

 Tom Brady, NE (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1977-08-03   Age: 39
College: Michigan   Draft: 2000 Round 6 (33) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013NE16380 628 4,343 25 11 33 18 0 319.0 19.9
2014NE16374 583 4,109 33 9 36 57 0 343.2 21.4
2015NE16402 624 4,770 36 7 34 53 3 405.8 25.4
2016 (Projected)NE 305 476 3,667 26 6 26 39 1 297.3  

Outlook: Tom Brady is coming off one of his better statistical seasons throwing for 4,770 yards with 36 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. By now anyone playing fantasy football is probably well aware of the “Deflate-Gate” drama and the resulting four game suspension. Brady will be sitting the first four weeks, causing his draft stock to plummet which potentially makes him a value. Fantasy owners should be able to find adequate replacements for the first month of the season before bye week crunches hit. The 38 year-old veteran may be facing his football mortality but he’s adapted his style making him one of the highest floor, yet highest ceiling options at the position. His deep passing accuracy has declined in recent seasons but he’s mastered the short passing game where he takes advantage of Julian Edelman’s and Rob Gronkowski’s run after the catch abilities. This season he’ll welcome back a healthy Dion Lewis and also add hulking tight end Martellus Bennett into the mix which will leave opposing defense having to “pick their poison” making the Patriots’ offense even more dangerous. Fantasy owners are also likely well aware of the Patriots “scorched earth” mentality when they feel like they’ve been wronged by the league, so don’t expect Brady to remove his foot from the pedal even when the Pats have a big lead late in games. According to FFToday’s Consistency Calculator, Brady had more “elite” games (10 games over 25 FPts) than any other fantasy quarterback in 2015.

 Drew Brees, NO (Bye: 5)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 209   DOB: 1979-01-15   Age: 38
College: Purdue   Draft: 2001 Round 2 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013NO16446 650 5,162 39 12 34 54 3 437.5 27.3
2014NO16456 659 4,952 33 17 27 68 1 392.4 24.5
2015NO15429 627 4,878 32 10 24 14 1 379.3 25.3
2016 (Projected)NO 410 613 4,655 31 15 14 26 1 365.4  

Outlook: Drew Brees has been one of the most consistent players in the fantasy realm for over a decade, yet there will be ample opportunity to buy him at a reasonable price heading into the 2016 season. On the surface, it is easy to write off the New Orleans veteran quarterback due to his advancing age (37) and three-year decline in total passing touchdowns and yardage. He also failed to finish amongst the top three fantasy QBs for the first time since 2005. Although it is hard to imagine Brees rebounding to elite status at this point in his career his “regression” may be getting overblown. This is not a case where a good quarterback has entered decline, but one where an elite option has seen his numbers fall back towards the pack. He finished 2015 as a top three fantasy quarterback on a points per game basis by throwing for more yards than anyone else while playing one fewer game than his peers. The quarterback position is tougher to navigate in today’s pass-happy NFL. Not only are the gaps between tiers closer, but the number of options within each tier have grown in the past year as well. Fantasy owners who choose to wait and watch the more popular flashy names come off the board will likely find themselves scooping up a boring old top six fantasy option.

Luke McCown is currently slated to open the season holding the clip board for New Orleans. He could become a plug and play option if forced to fill in on a short-term basis. However, the team has been very pleased with the progress of 2015 third rounder Garrett Grayson this off season. Grayson is raw and untested at the NFL level but will be given every opportunity to overtake McCown as the primary backup. He is on track to take over for Brees as the team’s quarterback of the future and carries speculative value in dynasty formats.

 Derek Carr, OAK (Bye: 10)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1991-03-28   Age: 26
College: Fresno State   Draft: 2014 Round 2 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014OAK16348 599 3,270 21 12 30 87 0 256.2 16.0
2015OAK16350 573 3,987 32 13 33 138 0 341.2 21.3
2016 (Projected)OAK 376 597 4,176 27 14 26 121 1 334.9  

Outlook: Now entering his third season as the signal caller in Oakland, Derek Carr has begun to establish himself as a leader in this offense and he has all the attributes of a franchise quarterback. Carr fell just 13 yards short of 4,000 yards off of just 350 completions, adding an impressive ratio of 32 touchdowns to only 13 interceptions. The improvements in the Oakland offense were some of the most dramatic of any team in 2015 and off-season workouts with star wide receiver Amari Cooper should help the two establish chemistry even earlier in the season. That duo, along with veteran Michael Crabtree, should once again be among the toughest combinations to stop for opposing defenses. Concerns with Carr’s fantasy value include the Raiders improved defense and the potential of a stronger running game, which could lead to fewer total pass attempts for the offense. Still, a more efficient passing game should lead to plenty of fantasy opportunities for Carr to again finish as a borderline QB1 by the end of the season.

 Matt Cassel, TEN (Bye: 13)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 230   DOB: 1982-05-17   Age: 35
College: -   Draft: 2005 Round 7 (16) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013MIN9153 254 1,807 11 9 18 57 1 146.1 16.2
2014MIN341 71 425 3 4 7 19 0 35.2 11.7
2015DAL8119 205 1,275 5 7 15 78 0 91.6 11.4
2016 (Projected)TEN 29 50 347 1 2 1 3 0 21.7  

 Kellen Clemens, SD (Bye: 11)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1983-06-07   Age: 33
College: Oregon   Draft: 2006 Round 2 (17) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013STL10142 242 1,673 8 7 23 64 0 122.1 12.2
2014SD11 3 10 0 0 0 0 0 0.5 0.5
2015SD25 6 63 1 0 1 -1 0 7.1 3.5
2016 (Projected)SD 14 24 169 1 0 0 0 0 12.5  

 Kirk Cousins, WAS (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1988-08-19   Age: 28
College: Michigan State   Draft: 2012 Round 4 (7) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013WAS581 155 854 4 7 4 14 0 60.1 12.0
2014WAS6126 204 1,710 10 9 7 20 0 127.5 21.3
2015WAS16379 543 4,166 29 11 26 48 5 359.1 22.4
2016 (Projected)WAS 372 581 4,355 27 16 20 39 2 341.7  

Outlook: Washington sent away a lot of assets for the rights to draft Robert Griffin III in Round 1 of the 2012 draft, a move many questioned at the time. The Redskins also drafted Cousins that same year in Round 4. Cousins is now being paid franchise tag money after leading the team to the 2015 playoffs while RGIII was allowed to leave for Football Siberia (a/k/a Cleveland). Head Coach Jay Gruden preferred Cousins’ pocket presence and conventional playing style from his first day on the job despite being forced into a relationship with Griffin, and he’s turned the former Michigan State Spartan into one of the league’s best young quarterbacks. Cousins threw for 4166 yards with 29 touchdown passes last season while most importantly limiting his interceptions (11). He was the most accurate quarterback in the league with a completion percentage of 69.8%, despite taking his shots downfield. After a terrific 2015, Cousins finds himself as the unquestioned leader of the team and surrounded by a talented and dynamic collection of skill players heading into the 2016 season. Cousins doesn’t impress anyone physically or even with his skill set, but even when he struggled early in his career, he showed the “it factor” that led many to believe he was capable of being a starting quarterback in this league. The team drafted TCU WR Josh Doctson in Round 1 of the NFL draft this season to give him yet another weapon in his arsenal. Cousins doesn’t yet have the name recognition of many of the other quarterbacks that he outperformed last season, which makes him a great target for those owners that like to wait out quarterbacks during their draft. He could easily see another top 10 finish.

 Jay Cutler, CHI (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1983-04-29   Age: 34
College: Vanderbilt   Draft: 2006 Round 1 (11) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013CHI11225 356 2,619 19 12 23 118 0 218.8 19.9
2014CHI15370 561 3,812 28 18 38 198 2 334.4 22.3
2015CHI15311 483 3,659 21 11 38 201 1 293.1 19.5
2016 (Projected)CHI 331 525 3,731 23 15 41 185 1 303.1  

Outlook: I don’t think there is any doubt that Cutler has improved his quality of play at the quarterback position over the last two years, but will the fallout of having his 3rd offensive coordinator in three seasons leave him in a dire fantasy position?

Under Marc Tressman in 2014 Cutler threw for a career high 28 touchdowns, but those also came along with 18 interceptions, many of them being the ugly variety. With Tressman getting the boot, new head boss John Fox brought in Adam Gase to reign in Cutler and remake the offense into a more balanced, run influenced approach. Gase did what many thought was impossible, getting Cutler to play within the framework of the game plan, and less on sandlot football. The result was fantastic for the team, as Chicago went from turning the ball over the sixth-most times (29) in the league in 2014 to turning it over the 18th-most (21). Cutler led the offense to a respectable 18th overall finish, and this was without dynamic rookie Kevin White, who missed the season with a leg injury, and Pro Bowl receiver Alshon Jeffery who missed seven games. Despite all the missing pieces, Cutler didn’t force throws, and had only one multi-interception game, the Week 17 loss to the Lions.

Even with Adam Gase moving on to be the head coach for the Dolphins, Cutler will enjoy some continuity as his former QB coach Dowell Loggains slides into the coordinator role. This is a huge positive for Cutler, as is the healthy return of Jeffery, White and slot man Eddie Royal. I feel like Cutler is being overlooked, and can envision a 25-28 touchdown season, and a push for 4,000 yards. If he can continue to keep the turnovers in check, and most importantly stay healthy, Cutler could have sneaky low end QB1 value, or at the very least be a solid QB2 that you wouldn’t feel bad about starting a few games. He could be worth a look for Brady owners, as Cutler faces the Texans, Eagles, Cowboys and Lions to start the year.

 Andy Dalton, CIN (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1987-10-29   Age: 29
College: -   Draft: 2011 Round 2 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2013CIN16363 586 4,296 33 20 61 183 2 377.1 23.6
2014CIN16310 483 3,398 19 17 60 169 4 286.8 17.9
2015CIN13255 386 3,250 25 7 58 141 3 294.6 22.7
2016 (Projected)CIN 311 494 3,755 24 11 56 157 3 317.5  

Outlook: With 25 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards passing in essentially only 12 games, Dalton turned out to be right on the cusp of QB1 status in 2015. Of course the year ended in embarrassing fashion for the Bengals, but it certainly wasn’t Dalton’s fault, as he missed the team’s final four regular season games, and their wildcard game with a broken thumb. In fact, Dalton was on pace for a very strong 4,000-plus yard, 30-plus touchdown season before going down, numbers than compare favorably with his elite 2013 season.

Before you get too excited and pencil Dalton in as a potential starter, there are a few things to consider. First, his pass catching options have been decimated, as Marvin Jones, and Mohamed Sanu both left via free agency, and dominating tight end Tyler Eifert suffered an ankle injury that might cost him some regular season games. All-pro A.J. Green remains to dominate targets, but sloppy route-running, poor handed Brandon LaFell is the current No.2 option out wide. Also gone is the steady hand of former offensive coordinator Hugh Jackson. After ascending to the coordinator position in 2014, Jackson has helped guide Dalton’s development the past several years, so it could take some time for Dalton to adjust to a new voice in his ear. And finally, don’t overlook the potential improvement of the AFC North defenses. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland have overhauled their secondaries and should provide more resistance than the 90-plus quarterbacking rating all three defenses gave up last year.

If you couldn’t tell by now I’m pretty down on Dalton’s prospects this season. Sure, Eifert should be back to help out early in the year, but he’s already proven to be injury prone, and any additional missed time would be detrimental to the Red Rifle. Having Green to throw to will certainly open Dalton up to a few huge games, but he’s going to be too inconsonant overall to approach QB1 value again. Settle on Dalton as a high floor backup, and work from there.