References to player rankings are based on ESPN's scoring system.
Dallas Cowboys: Be wary of drafting
Romo too high once that quarterback run starts. While heís
had four seasons of 4,000+ passing yards and four seasons with
30 or more touchdown throws, Romo has been among the top-five
fantasy scorers at his position just once Ė and that was in 2007.
Since then, heís ranked 12th, 6th, 30th (injury), 7th, 10th, 11th
New York Giants: Donít sleep on
Cruz. Sure, his injury is something to keep an eye on but
heís done nothing but produce when healthy. Cruz actually averaged
more yards per catch in his limited time last season than Odell
Beckham Jr. and with double teams surely coming OBJís way,
Cruz could see plenty of targets.
Philadelphia Eagles: DeMarco
Murrayís workload is concerning. His 392 carries last year
were tied for the seventh-most all-time in a single season, and
the precedent for the year after that many carries isnít good.
All nine of the players in NFL history who posted that many carries
saw their production drop the year after, and the drop for many
Inconsistent: DeSean Jackson can frustrate
fantasy owners with is boom-or-bust style.
Washington Redskins: Prepare for
some lean weeks with DeSean
Jackson. The explosive wideout is a valuable fantasy commodity,
but fantasy owners should be aware of the gaps in his performance.
He had five games with 115 or more receiving yards last season,
but three games with fewer than 20 yards, and five games with
less than 40.
Fitzgeraldís decline is real. The quarterback play in Arizona
has been atrocious recently, but Fitzgerald simply isnít what
he once was. Now 31 years old, the former Pitt star has gone three
consecutive seasons without gaining 1,000 receiving yards and
hasnít been in the top-15 in fantasy scoring among WRs since 2011.
San Francisco 49ers:Vernon
Davis is barely relevant. The freakishly athletic tight end
was one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy last season,
with less than 250 receiving yards and only two touchdowns. But
heís really only had a few productive seasons (in fantasy terms)
over his nine-year career. Davis has caught more than seven touchdowns
only twice, and only three times had at least 850 receiving yards.
Wilson is a bit of a gamble. Wilson is extremely talented,
but from a fantasy perspective there are things to be cautious
Graham should help, but he alone doesnít make Wilson an automatic
top-three quarterback. Wilson threw only 20 touchdowns last year
and his fantasy numbers were propelled by his running ability.
He led quarterbacks with 849 yards and six rushing scores last
year, but it seems unlikely heíll hit those numbers again.
St. Louis Rams: The Rams defense
should be even better this year. St. Louis had a top-five D/ST
unit last season, and they could challenge to be this yearís highest-scoring
bunch. The recent high draft picks they invested in are maturing,
so itís natural to expect improvement from the likes of DL Aaron
Donald and LB Alec Ogletree, not to mention the continuing
excellence of DE Robert Quinn.
Cutler is a QB2. The quarterback everyone loves to hate has
all the physical tools and plenty of weaponry available, but that
just hasnít translated to fantasy success. Cutler was 16th in
fantasy scoring among quarterbacks last season, which was the
first time since 2010 he was inside the top-20.
Abdullah is legit. The rookie from Nebraska was taken by the
Lions in the second round, but has a chance to be a serious fantasy
contributor this season. The book on Abdullah is his smooth pass-catching
ability, and that makes him a perfect fit in Detroit. There were
158 passes thrown to Lions RBs last year and with Joique Bellís
health in question and the departure of Reggie
Bush, Abdullah will be there to pick up the slack.
Green Bay Packers:Aaron
Rodgers is absolute gold. This is surely not breaking news,
but his level of consistency is still something to marvel at.
Rodgers has been either first or second in fantasy scoring among
quarterbacks in all but one season since 2008. His only season
outside the top pair was 2013, when he played just nine games
but still ranked 22nd.
Peterson is now 30 years old. While AP is still going to be
impactful for fantasy owners this season, the age 30 wall for
running backs is not a myth. Peterson did miss almost all of last
season due to suspension, so maybe heíll be fresher as a result,
but spending a top-five pick on a 30-year-old back remains a risk.
White isnít done yet. The 33-year-old wideout is now clearly
the teamís number two receiver, behind Julio
Jones. But White did lead the team in touchdown receptions
last year with seven and had over 900 receiving yards. The team
Douglas and still doesnít have a threat at tight end, meaning
White should continue to be an integral part of the teamís passing
Newton will get better. Most quarterbacks donít have their
best seasons their rookie years and then see their numbers decline.
But Newton has seen his passing attempts and yards go down in
every consecutive season. Itís difficult to believe that will
happen again, especially with Kelvin
Benjaminís emergence and Newtonís own health problems from
last year hopefully behind him.
New Orleans Saints:Drew
Brees isnít free-falling. True, Brees has seen his touchdown
totals drop from a high of 46 in 2011 to 33 last season and just
missed hitting 5,000 passing yards for the first time since 2010.
Losing Jimmy Graham will hurt, but a steady Marques Colston, an
Cooks, and a healthy C.J.
Spiller will give Brees plenty of weapons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:Vincent
Jackson is better than what he showed last season. It was
a dismal 2014 for Jackson. He did amass 1,002 receiving yards,
but had a paltry two touchdown receptions. Mike
Evans, meanwhile, had 12, a number that Jackson has never
reached. Jackson may not be a touchdown machine this year, but
Winston providing serviceable quarterback play, Jackson will
put up better numbers in 2015.