Evan Silva

Goal Line Stand

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Silva's July Top 150

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


With just over three weeks left before NFL training camps open, these are my updated Top 150 Rankings for PPR leagues. Fantasy leaguers just now getting into the swing of things should note ESPN adjusted their standard leagues to points-per-reception scoring, acknowledging a shift in PPR’s growing popularity and diminished interest in touchdown-driven formats. Succeeding in PPR leagues requires more skill simply because there is a new dimension of scoring to account for, more points to go around, and lessened emphasis on touchdowns, which are fickle in nature.

The most common argument against PPR goes something like this: “A reception for -2 yards is worth more than a 7-yard carry!” Which, is true. It is also true that negative-yardage receptions accounted for just 2.8% of the NFL’s completions over the past three seasons, and are low-probability outcomes. From a process standpoint, receptions and pass attempts in general are the most valuable plays in football. Whereas the average pass attempt gained around 6.8 yards last season, the average run play netted roughly 4.2 yards. The average pass completion gained nearly 11.0 yards. In both real life and fantasy football, it is more appropriate and realistic than not for participants to be rewarded for receptions due to the increasingly pass-first and pass-friendly nature of the on-field action.

While adjusting scoring rules in fantasy football toward a state of perfection remains a work in progress, I am in favor of the shift toward PPR as the industry’s dominant scoring system.

 

For deeper writeups on these ranked players, you can keep tabs on my Team Fantasy Preview series.

1. David Johnson (RB1) – Drafting D.J. is like drafting a running back and wide receiver in one pick.
2. Le’Veon Bell (RB2) – Outscored D.J. in PPR points/game. Steelers O is even stronger on paper.
3. Antonio Brown (WR1) – The last time A.B. didn’t lead all WRs in PPR points, the year was 2013.
4. Julio Jones (WR2) – New OC Sarkisian promises to increase Jones’ RZ involvement this year.
5. Odell Beckham (WR3) – Yet to finish outside the top-5 fantasy receivers through 3 NFL seasons.
6. A.J. Green (WR4) – Led all WRs in receiving yards & PPR points before his season-ending injury.
7. Ezekiel Elliott (RB3) – Off-field concerns make Zeke a high-risk investment in best-ball leagues.
8. LeSean McCoy (RB4) – Outlook improved by loss of Mike Gillislee, who swiped nine TDs in ‘16.
9. Melvin Gordon (RB5) – Gordon was the PPR RB3 before PCL sprain ended season last Week 14.
10. Mike Evans (WR5) – Likely to lose 30+ targets off last year’s total. Overvalued at his 1.07 ADP.
11. Jordy Nelson (WR6) – Jordy has been a top-2 fantasy WR in three of his last four full seasons.
12. DeMarco Murray (RB6) – Every-down back in high-ceiling offense. Derrick Henry overvalued.
13. Jay Ajayi (RB7) – Finished 4th in NFL in rushing. Dolphins want Ajayi’s receiving role to grow.
14. Devonta Freeman (RB8) – Limited volume ceiling, but lead RB in NFC’s most explosive offense.
15. Michael Thomas (WR7) – WR9 (non-PPR) & WR7 (PPR) finishes as rookie. Brandin Cooks gone.
16. Rob Gronkowski (TE1) – NFL’s premier TD scorer on what could be NFL’s highest-scoring team.
17. Jordan Howard (RB9) – Averaged 20.2 touches, 114.5 total yards per game from Week 4 on.
18. Doug Baldwin (WR8) – Top-10 PPR WR finishes back to back. Healthy Russell Wilson will help.
19. Dez Bryant (WR9) – Has caught 10 touchdowns from Prescott over their last 11 full games.
20. T.Y. Hilton (WR10) – Andrew Luck’s throwing-arm surgery is becoming an increasing concern.
21. Amari Cooper (WR11) – 3rd-year WR coming off consecutive 1,000-yard years. Just turned 23.
22. Travis Kelce (TE2) – Topped 100 receiving yards in 3/4 games missed by Jeremy Maclin in ‘16.
23. Todd Gurley (RB10) – Again high risk. Volume-based fantasy commodity on low-scoring team.
24. Leonard Fournette (RB11) – Jags centerpiece offers highest volume ceiling in rookie RB class.
25. Sammy Watkins (WR12) – Gamble I’m willing to take. Top-5 WR upside if he plays 14+ games.
26. Larry Fitzgerald (WR13) – Grossly undervalued. Has over 100 catches, 1,000 yds back to back.
27. DeAndre Hopkins (WR14) – Quarterback concerns remain, but Nuk is a lock for 140+ targets.
28. Allen Robinson (WR15) – High-variance WR2 pick hurt by Jaguars’ defensive improvement.
29. Demaryius Thomas (WR16) – Bubble screens expected to return. 90+ catches 5 straight years.
30. Lamar Miller (RB12) – D’Onta Foreman an overrated worry. Still locked-in Texans feature RB.
31. Joe Mixon (RB13) – Concerning floor, but offers highest peak potential in this rookie RB class.
32. Terrelle Pryor (WR17) – Pryor offers high TD, yardage ceilings in vacated DeSean Jackson role.
33. Davante Adams (WR18) – TD regression candidate, but role-secure No. 2 option for Rodgers.
34. Golden Tate (WR19) – 90+ catches all 3 years in Detroit. Departure of Anquan Boldin helps.
35. Brandin Cooks (WR20) – Better best-ball & DFS tournament than re-draft-league investment.
36. Jarvis Landry (WR21) – Volume-dependent producer losing volume on run-heavy Dolphins.
37. Stefon Diggs (WR22) – Played at 103.4-reception pace last year, but lost three games to injury.
38. Keenan Allen (WR23) – Health & volume concerns. Still heavy favorite to lead Bolts in targets.
39. Aaron Rodgers (QB1) – Has finished as top-two fantasy quarterback in 7 of the last 9 seasons.
40. Isaiah Crowell (RB14) – Secure lead back behind upgraded O-Line. Likely lacks elite RB1 ceiling.
41. Ty Montgomery (RB15) – Converted WR now heavy favorite for lead RB work in top-5 offense.
42. Carlos Hyde (RB16) – Amid job security concerns, Hyde took all 49ers first-team reps in spring.
43. Alshon Jeffery (WR24) – Made it through spring healthy. Should lead PHI in receiving yds, TDs.
44. Martavis Bryant (WR25) – Return more real every day. Reportedly beasted in OTA practices.
45. Tyreek Hill (WR26) – 4.29 burner inherits Chiefs top wideout role after Jeremy Maclin release.
46. Julian Edelman (WR27) – Safe WR3 lacks last year’s ceiling with Pats influx of offensive talent.
47. Christian McCaffrey (RB17) – Overvalued amid uncertain goal-line role, pass-game production.
48. Jordan Reed (TE3) – Always injury risk, but shoo-in top-3 PPR tight end if he lasts 12+ games.
49. Emmanuel Sanders (WR28) – Split stats suggest he will smash ADP if Siemian keeps QB job.
50. Michael Crabtree (WR29) – I think Amari Cooper takes step forward, Crabtree slight step back.


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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