"2016 Mark Me Down"- Who I Like/Who I'm Avoiding

Qb’s I Like

Andrew Luck- The former #1 overall pick in the NFL draft didn’t suddenly go from highly touted to a bum.  Luck is a natural leader who is intelligent, athletic, has a rocket arm, and throws with pinpoint accuracy.  He is playing on a team with a lousy defense and an offense who can’t run the ball.  The only thing stopping him is the Colts terrible offensive line.  Despite the risks the reward is huge- I’m buying.  He’s my top ranked quarterback this year. Elite Tier Pick

Eli Manning- A soft schedule, heavy passing attack, and the arguably best weapons he’s ever had to throw to.  If Sterling Shepard lives up to the hype Eli could have a career year. Value Pick

Derek Carr- The youngster looks like a steal for the Raiders who got him in the 2nd round.  If Amari Cooper can stay healthy this tandem will only improve.  Carr is a good guy to target if you’re waiting on quarterbacks or looking for a solid backup to Luck.  Value Pick

Dak Prescott- Dak is the wildcard. I was trying to figure out who he reminded me of and then it finally came to me- Donovan McNabb.  He has a gun for an arm, can run like the wind, has a big frame, and a natural poise in the pocket.  Usually I play the percentages and avoid rookie quarterbacks, but he has gotten all the reps with the starters this summer which helps his chemistry with the wide receivers.  I wouldn’t want to depend on him as my starter, but a backup with major upside is worth a shot.  Quarterbacks who get rushing yards can be sneaky good- worth a shot.  Longshot Pick

Qb’s I’m Avoiding

Drew Brees- Brees isn’t a spring chicken and he’s never had a strong arm.  If the shoulder issues from last season resurface it could hinder his production.  A tough schedule doesn’t help.  I’d rather be early than late to the party.  Remember where Peyton Manning was ranked last year by most pundits?  Exactly.  AVOID

Ryan Tannehill- Tannehill looks like a 1st round reach by the Dolphins according to scouts. He has failed to take the next step and looks like a bust.  Learning a new offense doesn’t help matters even if it is coached by Adam Gase.  Devante Parker and Kenny Stills injury woes add to the challenges Miami faces.  I’m throwing him back- let someone else go fishing for the Dolphins quarterback-  AVOID

 

Rb’s I Like

David Johnson- My #1 overall pick in any fantasy draft.  Yes you heard me correctly. Elite running backs are rare and if you get one it’s a tremendous advantage.   He is electric and can score any time he touches the ball.  An excellent receiver and an explosive offense make Johnson my breakout candidate.  Arizona coaches have compared him to Marshall Faulk.  The hype is real.  2,000 total yards is a possibility because of his excellent receiving skills.  Elite Tier Pick

Ezekiel Elliott- The loss of Tony Romo hurts, but if Dak Prescott comes through at all- the read option could be devastating for opposing defenses to stop.  Elliott is the real McCoy.  A talented running back like Elliott running behind that Cowboys line is gold Jerry- gold!  Zeke is also an excellent receiver.  Bell cow backs are rare- the Cowboys have one here.  Elite Tier Pick

Tevin Coleman- Coleman is an electric back who can take it to pay dirt anytime he gets the rock.  His speed is game changing.  He reminds me of a young Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden.  And CJ didn’t get the nickname CJ2K for nothing.  The addition of all pro center Alex Mack only helps the Falcon offense.  If he breaks a few long ones early he could take over as Atlanta’s feature running back.  At a minimum he’s in a committee with Devonta Freeman.  Longshot Pick

Christine Michael- I know I know- you’ve heard this one before.  After watching the preseason highlights- he looks legit to me.  If Thomas Rawls breaks down- the upside is even more appealing.  The Seahawks line isn’t good, but Russell Wilson keeps defenses’ honest with the read option and that stingy Seahawks defense will keep the score close.  Michael came on like gangbusters late last year.  I think he’s a big time sleeper ready to finally wake up.  Longshot Pick

 

Rb’s I’m Avoiding

Carlos Hyde - The 49’ers are a train wreck and this guy has done nothing so far to warrant a 3rd or 4th round pick. BUST

Matt Forte- In the twilight of his career and is now in a rbbc on the Jets.  No way is he worth a 4th rounder. BUST

Jeremy Langford- The Bears line is horrible.  They lost their starting center for the year and their best lineman, Kyle Long, is currently hurt.  Chicago will struggle all year offensively. AVOID

Jonathan Stewart- Cam steals a lot of touchdowns from him and Stewart has an extensive injury history.  I don’t see how he holds up and even if he does how he’ll score.  AVOID

 

Wr’s I Like

Donte Moncrief- The Colts can’t run and will need to pass to keep pace with opponents who light up the scoreboard against them.  He’s the biggest of the Colt receivers so he’ll get more looks in the red zone than T.Y. Hilton.  He has a chance to outscore AJ Green if things break right.  My reasoning- the Colts have a better quarterback and will pass more often than Cincinnati.  Value Pick

Michael Floyd- After his hand healed up midseason Floyd was by far the best Cardinals receiver.  He has youth as well as size and speed in an explosive offense.  John Brown’s concussion issues and Larry Fitzgerald age make Floyd the one who can rack up the yardage and the scores.  1400 yards and 11 touchdowns are possible. Value Pick

Josh Gordon- The Browns are terrible, but he is their best weapon.  He still has the talent, the question is if RGIII and McCown will have the time to get him the ball? If they do he’ll make things happen.  He’ll have a lot of chances- Cleveland will be trailing in most games so garbage yards and garbage points are there for the taking.  The other risk- he’s suspended for the first four games and another failed drug test ends his season.  The upside is still worth the risk in the mid rounds in my opinion.  Value Pick

Markus Wheaton- Sammie Coates has struggled with drops and there are points to be had as the 2nd banana wide receiver in the Steeler offense.  He asked to move outside from the slot which could utilize his speed for some big plays.  Longshot Pick

Marqise Lee- Lee is finally healthy and moves outside with Allen Hurns moving to the slot.  Has the pedigree- drafted in the best wide receiver class in years which included: the likes of Sammy Watkins, Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, and also his teammate Allen Robinson who Lee was picked ahead of.  Scouts compare him to Victor Cruz.  Prior to his senior year scouts pegged him and Sammy Watkins as the top two wide receivers coming out and a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft.  He can be had for a song in most drafts. He’s worth a flier in a resurgent Jaguars offense.  Longshot Pick

Mike Wallace- Finally works with a quarterback who can maximize his greatest weapon- blinding speed.  Flacco has one of the strongest arms in the NFL- this combo looks like a perfect match.  In addition, the Ravens schedule is soft.  He’s more valuable in non ppr leagues since he won’t get a lot of catches, but the ones he does grab will go for a lot of yards.  Longshot Pick

 

Others I like- Sterling Shepard (NY Giants), Tyrell Williams (San Diego), Will Fuller (Houston), Phillip Dorsett (Indy).   Longshot Picks

 

Wr’s I’m Avoiding

Alshon Jeffery/Kevin White- The Bears offense looks terrible and combined with Jeffery’s history of soft tissue injuries makes his adp way too high for me.  The word out of Bears camp is White is very raw with his route running.  He might be good but probably not this year. Neither is worth the risks.  AVOID

Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders-  Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch throwing to them- no thanks. The Broncos offense looks pedestrian.  They’ll run the ball and play tough defense more than pass it.  AVOID

John Brown- Concussion injuries are no joke.  He just recently returned to practice after three weeks of lingering effects, but that was only in non-contact drills.  I can’t see this getting better once he starts taking hits every Sunday.  AVOID

 

TE’s I Like

Dwayne Allen- plays in a pass heavy offense with only Donte Moncrief as a target threat in the red zone.  Value Pick

Jared Cook- Cook has elite speed and creates matchup problems for defenses.  He is finally working with a decent quarterback and Aaron Rodgers is not just decent, but among the game’s best.  The Packers offense should rebound and they love throwing to their tight ends.  Cook could be another Vernon Davis in the making.  Longshot Pick

Martellus Bennett- Will probably be a non-factor the first four games, but when Tom Brady returns things get interesting.  And if anything happens to Gronk his value goes through the roof. Longshot Pick

Clive Walford-  plays in an up and coming offense and scouts think highly of him.  Worth a flier.  Longshot Pick

 

TE’s I’m Avoiding

Any tight end taken before the last few rounds is a wasted pick in my opinion.  The exception might be Gronk, but with Brady’s four game suspension- his adp is a little rich for me.  It’s better to use you’re earlier draft picks on sleepers with upside at other positions.  Go for home run swings.  Tight ends rarely return that kind of upside.

 

Defenses I like

Arizona- An already stout defense adds Chandler Jones and Robert Nkemdiche to its stable.  When healthy, Tyrann Mathieu is a dangerous corner capable of returning interceptions for touchdowns.  Patrick Peterson makes big plays as a corner and kick returner.  If the Cardinals get ahead- the points roll in.  Playing the 49’ers and Rams twice a year helps. Elite Tier Pick

Seattle- The Seahawks are in a dead heat with Arizona for my top pick.  The offense might struggle to score which negates some of the Legion of Boom’s turnover possibilities.  That said, this unit is arguably the most talented in the NFL.  Tyler Lockett is a dangerous kick returner. And, like the Cardinals, they get to play in the NFC West.  Elite Tier Pick

Green Bay- The Pack gets to play offensive weaklings like the Bears & Lions twice as well as the pass challenged Vikings, who are now without their starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.  Dom Capers has his best secondary since joining the Pack and they always have home field advantage when the weather turns cold.  They’re flying under the radar.  Value Pick

Jacksonville- If I’m waiting on a defense the Jaguars are one of the ones I’m targeting. They added Malik Jackson, Prince Amukamara, and Tashaun Gipson through free agency as well as Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack through the draft.  Also returning is last year’s top pick Dante Fowler who missed last season because of injury.  They can be had for a song in most drafts.  Definitely worth a shot.  Longshot Pick

 

Defenses I’m Avoiding

Denver-  The top ranked defense by most pundits.  Two reasons for my trepidation- number one they’ll go too high in most drafts.  Number two- their quarterback situation is shaky.  If rookie Paxton Lynch gets the call, and he probably will sooner rather than later, he’ll probably do what most rookie quarterback’s do- make mistakes.  Those mistakes will turn into cheap points for the Broncos opponents and against their defense.  AVOID

LA Rams- Same song as the Broncos, but a different dance.  The Rams defense is good, but their quarterback situation is shaky.  Goff might have been a reach at #1 overall in the NFL Draft.  He doesn’t have the same grades from scouts that Andrew Luck or Eli Manning received.  And when Goff gets the call it could mean a lot of turnovers which will translate into cheap points counting against the Rams defense.   AVOID

 

Kickers I like

Well in all honestly- I hate them all, but especially Connor Barth who a few years ago missed a 48 yarder in Cincinnati which would have won me the title in my current league.  He was perfect with the Broncos until that kick.  Thanks Connor- appreciate it!  Let's see where was I? Damn early alzheimer's kicking in, oh yeah with kickers it's pretty much whoever is available with my last pick.  They’re so unpredictable it’s better to use higher picks on other positions.  Some things I usually look for- 1.) Do they have a good defense so the game stays close.  My reasoning- if a team falls too far behind then they are forced to go for touchdowns and two point conversions instead of field goals.  2.) A good offense and a hurry up offense. The more times a team is in the red zone the more chances for kicking points.  See Mr. Gostkowski in New England.  3.)  If I have a choice I'd rather have him kick indoors or somewhere warm or in Denver where the weather elements are less of a factor and the ball travels farther.  Pretty much common stuff and with that said a chimpanzee could have picked a better kicker for my championship than I did with Connor Barth.  Okay so with that said, here a few I'd consider if they were there, but like I said earlier- always wait for kickers.

Mason Crosby- The Packers offense should provide a lot of opportunities and their defense is good enough to limit their opponents scores.  Value Pick

Sebastian Janikowski- An improved Raider offense combined with Seabass’s strong leg could mean some big weeks. The Raiders defense should be a lot better especially in mideseason when Aldon Smith returns keeping games close.  Value Pick

 

Kickers I’m Avoiding

Any kicker taken before my last pick. 

Stephen Gostkowski- won’t be as valuable when Jimmy Garoppolo starts at quarterback for the Patriots.  It’s better to stream kickers or go with someone else- at least in the first four weeks.  Some knucklehead will reach a few rounds early for him.  Don't be that person.  AVOID

Adam Vinatieri- The Colts defense is brutal.  That could make field goal attempts less likely if they fall way behind.  Leg strength is also lacking since he’s older.  AVOID

 

 

Mark Bonadonna

Senior Fantasy Analyst