With the preseason starting, it’s time to start digging into players for the 2015 season.
1. Le’Veon Bell – He’s the focal point of Steelers’ offense, even with a 2 game suspension is arguably the only safe and high ceiling running back.
2. Eddie Lacy – In a pass first offense, but will get a ton of red-zone looks. Doesn’t provide the highest ceiling, but arguably safest running back.
3. Marshawn Lynch – Mr. reliable with 4 straight seasons of 1200+ yards and 11+ TDs.
4. Adrian Peterson – Obviously a huge disappointment last season, but his talent is undeniable. Huge ceiling player in a much-improved offense.
5. Jamaal Charles – Injuries in 2014 prevented Charles from having as big a season as owners hoped, but when healthy, he’s as big a playmaker as it gets.
6. Rob Gronkowski – Gives you the biggest positional advantage in the game.
7. Dez Bryant – With the loss of Murray, expect Dez’s numbers to climb even more.
8. Antonio Brown – Averaged 100 yards and 7.5 receptions over the past two seasons, arguably the safest pick in the draft.
9. Julio Jones – 1,593 yards on 104 receptions last season and gets an upgrade at offensive coordinator with Kyle Shanahan in town.
10. Odell Beckham Jr. – Posted a ridiculous 91/1305/12 stat line in only 12 games last season.
11. C.J. Anderson – I know it’s hard to trust Denver RBs, but Anderson seems like the sure bet to be the Broncos’ bell cow.
12. Calvin Johnson – Certainly low for ‘Megatron’; but after two down seasons in receptions and yards, missing 3 games with an ankle injury last year, and approaching his 30th birthday, it’s cause for concern. If Johnson can be ‘Megatron’, the sky’s the limit, though.
13. DeMarco Murray – Ryan Mathews will eat into his totals, but in such a high volume offense, he should put up numbers.
14. Matt Forte – Seems low considering he had a great year in 2014, however, points were bloated from an insane amount of receptions. Yards per carry went down 0.7 to 3.9.
15. Demaryius Thomas – Most have Thomas higher, but I think Denver will rely on the run much more this season with an aging Peyton Manning. Should still put up double digits TDs though.
16. LeSean McCoy – Rex Ryan’s teams are known to have a ‘ground and pound’ philosophy and Shady’s talent is evident, however, the Bills have perhaps the NFL’s worst QB situation. McCoy will get a lot of attention from defenses.
17. Jeremy Hill – Not worried about Gio Bernard eating into Hill’s totals too much, should mostly play a Shane Vereen role for the Bengals. Hill is a 3 down bruiser running behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines.
18. A.J Green – After a down 2014 Green should be a nice value WR1.
19. Randall Cobb – Good bet for a 100 receptions, entering his prime as Nelson exits his.
20. Alshon Jeffery – Will be Jay Cutler’s go-to guy with Brandon Marshall out of town.
21. Jordy Nelson – Should still be Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target, but at age 30 and coming off hip surgery, I like the guys above him more.
22. Mark Ingram – The Saints moves this offseason show they want to run the ball much more in 2015. Trading away Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills, trading for Pro Bowl center Max Unger, and drafting a big tackle with their first pick. Ingram is a back that can handle a load and should see a lot of carries.
23. Melvin Gordon – Pretty high for a rookie, but last season we saw multiple RBs have success for San Diego, Gordon is a workhorse that should put up big numbers.
24. Jimmy Graham – It’s uncertain how Graham will fit in Seattle’s run-first offense, but he should be Russell Wilson’s best friend with their lack of talent at WR. If I miss out on Gronk I’m targeting Jimmy, as there’s a definite drop at TE after.
25. Andrew Luck – Should post huge numbers with added vets Andre Johnson and Frank Gore, along with dynamic #1 draft selection WR Phillip Dorsett, to an already impressive offense.
26. Aaron Rodgers – Only 2 QBs in the first tier this season, not a fan of going QB early, but with their superior talent and weapons, Luck and Rodgers are a great value anywhere in the 3rd round.
27. Mike Evans – Posted 68/1,051/12 as a rookie despite bad QB play. With #1 overall pick Jameis Winston at QB, that provides a huge ceiling if the two can click.
28. Frank Gore – Forget last year’s Frank Gore. As the Colts lead back, he should get a big jump in receptions and red-zone looks.
29. Justin Forsett – Unexpectedly, Forsett had a great year in 2014 with 1,266 rushing yards and 5.4 yards per carry. Now with new OC Marc Trestman, he should see a huge spike in receptions. Trestman’s RB last season, Matt Forte, broke the record for receptions by an RB with 102, so look for Forsett to get similar work.
30. T.Y. Hilton – Although the Colts do a good job of spreading the ball, T.Y. has become Luck’s favorite target.
31. Jordan Matthews – Should get a load of receptions working the slot of Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense. Early career Marques Colston type production very possible.
32. Joseph Randle – Has as high a ceiling as anyone running behind what could possibly be one of the greatest offensive lines in history. A lot of people are over-hyping his 6.7 yards per carry last year, however, so he could go very early. With only 51 carries last season, 105 in his career, I think there are much safer players to take in the first 2-3 rounds.
33. DeAndre Hopkins – With Andre Johnson gone the only viable WR behind Hopkins is 3rd round rookie Jaelen Strong, “Nuk” should see a ton of targets.
34. Brandin Cooks – Another 2nd year WR that should see a jump in targets with the departure of veterans. It’s a good bet he’ll become Drew Brees’ go-to man.
35. Lamar Miller – Starting RB on a much-improved team.
36. Kelvin Benjamin – Will lose targets to 2nd round rookie Devin Funchess, going a little high at current ADP (average draft position), but good value in this area.
37. Jonathan Stewart – With DeAngelo Williams out of town has RB1 potential. Injuries always a concern, however.
38. Emmanuel Sanders – Sanders should have a nice year, but going too early for me with a 3rd round ADP.
39. C.J. Spiller – I think New Orleans will find a way to use Spiller much more effectively than Buffalo did. When in space, Spiller can be electrifying.
40. Andre Johnson – Playing with the best QB he’s ever had and all the motivation in the world, great value WR2 with WR1 upside.
41. Rashad Jennings – Andre Williams showed last year he’s nothing more than a short yardage back and we all know Shane Vereen is predominately a pass catcher out of the backfield. Jennings should easily be favorite for the Giants lead back role.
42. Alfred Morris – Not a flashy pick, but you’re getting a starting RB with an improved offensive line.
43. DeSean Jackson – Can give you 8 weeks of 20+ points and 8 weeks of 5 or less, ultimate boom or bust player.
44. Brandon Marshall – Bad QB play will hurt him, but talent is still there, should be solid WR2/3.
45. Latavius Murray – We witnessed Murray’s potential week 12 last season when he rushed for 112 yards and scored 2 TDs on FOUR carries, before suffering a concussion. The Raiders think he’s ready to be a 3 down back, I’d handcuff with Roy Helu though, just in case the kid can’t stay healthy.
46. Tevin Coleman – Nursing a hamstring injury, but perfect RB for the Falcon’s new system. High ceiling if he can lock down the starting job.
47. Todd Gurley – Absolutely love his talent, but ceiling is capped playing on a poor offense with a bad offensive line. Plus, might have to split carries with Tre Mason.
48. T.J. Yeldon – Unlike most rookies Yeldon can pass protect, potentially making him an instant 3 down back. Jacksonville has a bad offensive line, but you can’t get too picky with RBs once you reach this area.
49. Russell Wilson – Averaged 53 rushing yards and 217 passing yards a game last season with 20 passing and 6 rushing TDs. Adds a huge playmaker and red zone threat in Jimmy Graham, good bet to be overall QB3.
50. Travis Kelce – Could have a breakout year if Kansas City makes it a point to get him involved more.
51. Carlos Hyde – 3rd round ADP too high for me, losing OG Mike Iupati and OT Anthony Davis will really hurt San Fran’s running game. Not to mention talks about a RBBC (running back by committee) approach, no thanks.
52. LaGarrette Blount – Suspended for a game, but should be the Pats lead back. New England is notorious for the unexpected at RB, however, so draft with caution.
53. Julian Edelman – 6.6 receptions a game over the past two seasons, losing Brady for 4 games will hurt, but should be the 2nd option in the passing game after Gronk.
54. Sammy Watkins – Talent is there but who’s throwing him the ball? The Bills don’t even know at this point.
55. Keenan Allen – Big sophomore slump after a breakout rookie campaign, still only 23 on an improved offense, though.
56. Peyton Manning – I mentioned earlier how I think the Broncos will focus on the run more this season, but Peyton is still a TD machine and good value in this area.
57. Drew Brees – Copy and paste from above.
58. Vincent Jackson – 4 straight 1,000 yards seasons despite some bad QB play, could be a steal at current ADP if Winston is the real deal.
59. Amari Cooper – Already drawing praise for his route running and NFL readiness, him and 2nd year QB Derek Carr could form something special.
60. Ameer Abdullah – Will likely start off in Reggie Bush’s old role, but with so much talent, I think he could easily take over as the Lions’ 3 down back some time during the season.
61. Andre Ellington – Too fragile to handle a load, explosive back, but should see limited carries.
62. Golden Tate – Safe WR2/3, ceiling limited with a healthy Calvin Johnson.
63. Jarvis Landry – 84 receptions in his rookie year, should catch a bunch of balls from the slot for Miami this season.
64. Jeremy Maclin – Ceiling is capped with Alex “dink and dunk” Smith as his QB.
65. Mike Wallace – Minnesota’s system seems to be a much better fit for Wallace than Miami’s short passing offense. Norv Turner likes to stretch the field and Wallace is one of the best vertical threats in the game.
66. Martavis Bryant – Limited role, only played in final 10 weeks of his rookie season and only 43% of snaps in those games. Obvious playmaker though, scoring 8 TDs from only 26 receptions, big upside if he can land a starting role.
67. Breshad Perriman – Favorite to start opposite Steve Smith this year in Marc Trestman’s pass happy offense, OROY candidate.
68. Shane Vereen – Passing down specialist with great catching and pass blocking ability, could see a lot of work in New York’s improved offense.
69. Joique Bell – Liked him as a sleeper last season, but way over valued at his current 4th round ADP. Coming off knee and Achilles surgeries and has to fight off rookie Abdullah.
70. Giovani Bernard – Dynamic back, but will work behind Jeremy Hill. FLEX player at best unless something happens to Hill.
71. Nelson Agholor – According to local reports Agholor hasn’t impressed much yet, with the lack of talent behind Jordan Matthews though, it shouldn’t be hard locking down a starting spot. Provides big upside in that high tempo offense.
72. Ben Roethlisberger – awesome weapons + bad passing defense always make for good QB numbers.
73. Greg Olsen – In the 3rd tier of TEs, but is being slightly over valued. Like his production, but at current ADP, I’d rather wait and get someone similar later if I strike out on the first 3 guys.
74. Martellus Bennett – Production should increase with B. Marsh gone.
75. Allen Robinson – The Jags #1 WR with little behind him, should soak up targets.
76. Chris Ivory – Favorite to be the Jets starting RB, would be a steal at current ADP if he gets and keeps job.
77. Doug Martin – Disappointing past 2 seasons, but at full health and confirmed lead back for Tampa Bay.
78. Alfred Blue – With Arian Foster possibly missing around half the season, Blue gives you a starting RB for at least that time and possibly more if Foster has any setbacks.
79. Tre Mason – Would be much higher if not for the Rams drafting Todd Gurley. Should start off as the Rams lead back, but highly likely he won’t keep it.
80. Julius Thomas – A good TE will provide a big help to 2nd year QB Blake Bortles. Thomas won’t see nearly as many TDs as he did in Denver, but in this area is a good value.
81. Steve Smith Sr. – Big potential in Baltimore’s new offense, but father time could catch up with him.
82. Larry Fitzgerald – Puts up much higher numbers with Carson Palmer at the helm. Averaged 5.33 receptions and 80.5 yards in the 6 games Palmer started.
83. Tony Romo – Best offensive line and WR in the league, and might have to throw more this season with DeMarco Murray gone.
84. Cam Newton – Rushing totals boost his point total nicely, averaging 41 yards a game and 8 TDs a season through his first 4 years. Adding another big WR this offeason will help his passing production as well.
85. Arian Foster – Could be out until week 10 if he’s placed on the short term I.R. after having groin surgery, but if he comes back 100%, gives you an RB1 for the playoffs. Targeting anywhere in round 8 and on.
86. Anquan Boldin – Should be a solid WR3, but the 49ers could be very bad this year after their disaterous offseason.
87. Torrey Smith – Provides San Francisco a deep threat and the 9ers could be playing from behind a lot this season.
88. Eric Decker – Capped by bad QB play, but should see less attention with the additions of Brandon Marshall and rookie Devin Smith.
89. Jason Witten – Romo’s go-to man in crucial spots, last of the 3rd tier of TEs.
90. Charles Johnson – Favorite to start opposite Mike Wallace as Norv Turner’s X receiver.
91. Roddy White – Turns 34 in November and injuries are catching up with him. Big upside if he stays on the field though.
92. Brandon LaFell – 3rd option for the Pats, boom or bust player.
93. Ryan Matthews – A DeMarco Murray injury away from being an RB1.
94. Isaiah Crowell – Will have good weeks, but hard to predict which ones with Cleveland’s RBBC approach.
95. John Brown – Moves up to #2 on the depth chart with Michael Floyd nursing a broken hand. Teammates and coaches have been hyping the 2nd year wide out up this offseason, could be a great sleeper.
96. Matt Ryan – With an aging Roddy White, doesn’t have the best weapons after Julio Jones.
97. Tom Brady – Missing 4 games, but should be a top QB after that.
98. Ryan Tannehill – Good bet to have a breakout season with a new contract and much improved team.
99. Tyler Eifert – With Jermaine Gresham out of the way, Eifert is poised to be the Bengals #2 option behind only A.J. Green.
100. Brian Quick – Nick Foles big arm should fit nicely with Quick’s deep threat ability.