To accompany the initial projections, as we continue to review, research, analyze the projections, and create cheatsheet rankings, we provide the following commentary by division to give some insight into why we have players projected the way we do at this time.
- Don’t you hate projecting quarterback performance when you are virtually certain the expected starting QB for Week 1 is not going to be the same starting QB for Week 17? (Or if he is there will still be 2-3 switches in between.) The Texans are particularly bad this year. And I like Brian Hoyer as a player. Appeared to be a great leader and teammate with the Cleveland Browns. Hard to imagine Ryan Mallett not getting a chance to show his stuff at some point.
- Dave pointed out in his early rankings series that Foster had the second most fantasy points per game last season. That is great, and worthy of a high draft pick, but two ways to look at his career in deciding to draft him this season. One, he’s missed time 3 of the past 4 seasons. Two, he’s played 13 or more games 3 of the past 4 seasons. This is one where I’d rank him a little lower than his projections, but don’t discount him too much.
- Andre Johnson is gone to the Colts, leaving DeAndre Hopkins the heir apparent. He can fill those shoes. Looking at a 90-1,275-6 season on 144 targets, good for Top 12 in PPR. Uncertain QB situation is still okay here given they are veterans, and Cecil Shorts and a rookie won’t command nearly the targets of Hopkins.
- Positive reports for C.J. Fiedorowicz recently, but the Texans just didn’t pass to their TE position very much at all last season. It would have to be a pretty deep league to draft any of these guys.
- Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers as first QB off the board this season? We’ve got Rodgers slightly ahead, but Luck’s got a strong argument in his favour since we’ve projected him for 50 more pass attempts. They run about the same, too. Rodgers is more efficient but wouldn’t argue with you taking Luck.
- Welcome to the Colts, Frank Gore. There are a lot of bullish opinions on Gore from fantasy players since the signing. Respect where respect is due, but lets not get too crazy over a 32 year old RB who shouldn’t be that far north of 200 carries. We’ve got him sub-1,000 yards, and if anything, I think our 8 TD projection is a little high. Never really a big TD guy, Gore has hit 8 TD five times, only once with under 258 carries. That said, there isn’t much behind him on the depth chart.
- Is it still T.Y. Hilton’s show or Andre Johnson’s to take over? Luck and Hilton have a great rapport. Don’t see that changing. Johnson is a better receiver than he’s probably given credit for having played with some terrible quarterbacks in his career. If Luck can tap into that early, our AJ projections might be conservative at 77-925-7. Don’t automatically assume Donte Moncrief beats out rookie Phillip Dorsett as WR3.
- Dwayne Allen is the preferred TE on the Colts, but will never excel as long as Coby Fleener is healthy, and even then it is tough with the receiver depth.
- Overall, this is an offense you want a piece of on your fantasy team – even edging out Denver at this point – but many mouths to feed.
- Are we looking at something like a second season Ryan Tannehill or a second season … dare I say? … Blaine Gabbert, from Blake Bortles in 2015? The former. The Jaguars appear to be doing the right things putting talented skill players around Bortles, this offseason signing Julius Thomas and drafting T.J. Yeldon. Still modest projections, nothing that is going to help fantasy teams cruise to the playoffs this season, but one to watch for his progress.
- It’s a pretty full depth chart at RB to keep track of, but signs indicate Yeldon will be the main ball carrier and someone else like hot prospect Bernard Pierce will be out of a job. Denard Robinson is a dynamic player who should catch a fair number of passes.
- The wide receiver depth chart is perhaps worse than the running backs in terms or no one really stands out. Justin Blackmon would be but he is out of the picture. Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee
, Allen Hurns – we’ve got Robinson the top dog but still projected 40th at WR.
- Thomas takes a big hit in value losing Peyton Manning. His double-digit TD seasons are over but he could keep the receptions and yards up with a lot of targets in a 16-game season (something he’s never done, by the way).
- Not a lot to say about rookie QB Marcus Mariota. The projections are for redraft. He isn’t a draft consideration in all but the deepest leagues and ones that start two quarterbacks.
- The Bishop Sankey experiment didn’t last long, as fantasy owners are ready to forget him and anoint rookie David Cobb, “the guy”. A player’s rookie season to second season can make a world of difference. Maybe Sankey falls in that category. We’ve got him projected ahead of Cobb, but its going to be tough for any RB to have sustained success on the Titans, because…
- … the passing game looks potentially terrible. Rookie QB and young, questionable receivers. Not expecting any receiver to top 900 yards.