Ok, so it’s near the end of October and it’s time to Mock Draft the Top 25 Fantasy Football Players (Dynasty) heading into the 2016 fantasy football season. It’s never too early to mock draft, and while this is more of a top 25 player list with commentary, it will help us all get a feel for what 2016 is going to look like – for now. Of course, we fully expect these values to change in the coming weeks and months! Enjoy, and comment below!
1. Le’Veon Bell (RB/PIT)
After dropping 1,361 rushing yards, 8TDs, 83 receptions, 854 receiving yards and 3TDs, it’s hard to argue against this ranking. Soon the runner will be back from his two-game suspension, so we will truly get to see if he is ready to regain his No. 1 overall fantasy football position. Redraft or dynasty, he is the No. 1 overall-ranked player moving forward heading into Week 2.
2. Julio Jones (WR/ATL)
As with LeVeon Bell above, it makes no difference, redraft or dynasty, this is the top-ranked player at his position. His foot worries me, I won’t lie, but predicting injury is a risky business. It’s riskier to predict injury than to undervalue this stud, who is fully capable of pulling in 100-110 receptions for 1,400+ yards and 12-15TDs during any given season. The only way I trade Julio away in any format, at this point, is if you can buy-low on a wide receiver also capable of being the No. 1 overall receiver in fantasy (like AJ Green) while also getting something silly-good, like a free Ameer Abdullah, or a huge upgrade at a WR3 into like a Jarvis Landry. I’ve seen these kinds of deals get done, and have recently executed one myself. Again, that’s the ONLY way I trade away Julio, but I’d trade anyone if the price is right, that’s just smart fantasy football managing.
3. Antonio Brown (WR/PIT)
As it stands right now, in late September, 2015, it’s quite strange how strongly I feel about the three names inside the top three. Not necessarily the order, but the names. Most seasons when I do this type of “early look” at next year’s rankings, the top three could change each time I attempt to crank out the ranking. This feels pretty locked-in… for now. Brown is worth the 1.01. All three of Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Julio Jones are equally worth the 1.01. I can see the order in which I list them being different from week to week, no doubt, but not the three names inside this top three are pretty secure if you ask me. The next player likely up could very well turn this into a locked-in top four, he is Antonio Brown capable.
4. Odell Beckham Jr. (WR/NYG)
This is the one player from the remaining players that I feel can jump into that top tier of players above. I think by mid-season, or at least by the end of the 2015 NFL season, we will have a relatively clear-cut top 4 overall players heading into 2016 and beyond. Now, the order of these top 4 so far can be debated, and will be all off-season (2016); but, I think the names listed above, so far, are going to be the norm heading into all 2016 fantasy football mock drafts (dynasty or redraft).
5/6-Tie. Dez Bryant (WR/DAL) / AJ Green (WR/CIN)
AJ Green was a doubted man heading into 2015 fantasy football drafts, and he was one of my biggest draft-low players. He was also my top early season buy-low all last week and the week prior… He had low second-round value, but easily held top 4-7 overall upside (dynasty and redraft). His Week 3 performance, where he dropped 2TDs and over 200 yards receiving, is a quick reminder he can be the top fantasy wide receiver in the league any given season. As for Dez Bryant, the foot injury has a lot of people already bumping him down, yes, even in dynasty. That’s natural. Injuries scare people, even in dynasty formats. This should be taken advantage of. Of course, you won’t exactly steal him away from current fantasy owners in dynasty, but you will likely get him a touch cheaper than normal in some leagues. Bryant easily has top 5 overall fantasy upside moving forward in dynasty, and he is capable of being the leagues’ top fantasy wide receiver during any given season. That’s safe. That’s secure. Wide receivers are a much safer/long-term bet in dynasty start-ups. Send out some trade offers now on Dez, as you might catch someone doubting merely due to the current injury (And, they might be wanting points now to win that 2015 first-place price. So, strike!).
7/8-Tie. Rob Gronkowski (TE/NE) / Todd Gurley (RB/STL)
Rob Gronkowski has clearly pulled ahead of all tight ends in fantasy football. It use to be that we had two monsters, almost three at one point, but now that Jimmy Graham has faded into the night, at least as an elite fantasy tight end, Gronk Smash is the best game in town, and that makes him top 5-10 overall worthy in all formats. So, being ranked at the 7 or 8 spot almost feels too low, but when building a fantasy football team, your team will be less balanced if you rank/draft/trade for Gronk as anything higher than No. 6 or 7 overall. As for Todd Gurley, some might feel this is too high, and this was more the case before his breakout Week 4 outing against the Cards. After that performance, though, my guess is that this ranking is looking more acceptable to those hesitant to crown him a top 1-4 overall RB of the future. Well, my friends, I think he can be as good as the 1.01 by this time next year. You heard me.
9. DeAndre Hopkins (WR/HOU)
DeAndre Hopkins, a rookie we came out and ranked #1 overall (for rookies) heading into January of his rookie season, is truly developing into a top 1-5 fantasy wide receiver. He has No. 1 overall receiver upside, but is a safe 1-5 rank. Through six games so far this year, Hopkins is on pace for 138 receptions for 1,936 receiving yards and 13TDs… His last four-straight lines: 8/101/1TD, 9/157, 11/169, and 10/148/2TDs… that’s incredible. It could easily be argued that ranking him here at 1.09 isn’t high enough.
10/11-Tie. Aaron Rodgers (QB/GB) / Andrew Luck (QB/IND)
Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck are about two whole tiers ahead of every other fantasy football quarterback right now, at least in terms of dynasty value, and that makes them top 12 overall players in all dynasty formats. Whether you actually draft either in that range, that can be debated based on draft strategy, and whether or not one of these two will fall further in your startup draft (or can be traded at lower value than that in existing leagues). Rankings don’t always equal where you should take a player, always keep that in mind! Always! One should always use ADPs to drive where you select players and use rankings to guide you as to when and where to pull the trigger on sleepers/players.
12. Devonta Freeman (RB/ATL)
This is just one of those rankings that can change in just a matter of weeks. He could climb these rankings in a few weeks, or he could fall completely out of our top 25. That’s the way it goes with quick risers like Devonta Freeman, who is currently playing at a 1.01 overall value. He is, plain and simple. You can argue against it if you wish and continue to fight the “What about Tevin Coleman?” fight, or you can recognize that, for at least the time being, this guy is a future first rounder (and clearly a top 1-5 overall player for the remainder of the 2015 fantasy football season. Hey doubters, the guy is on pace for 26 total touchdowns, 1,346 rushing yards, 85 receptions and 789 receiving yards. I’m not suggesting he will keep up that pace all year, but that’s an insane pace given we are already six games into the season!
13. Demaryius Thomas
14. LeSean McCoy
15. Amari Cooper
16. Eddie Lacy
17. Randall Cobb
18. Alshon Jeffery
19. Carlos Hyde
20. DeMarco Murray
21. Matt Forte
22. Keenan Allen
23. Adrian Peterson
24. Melvin Gordon
25. Jarvis Landry
Note: A grip of players like Ty Hilton, Calvin Johnson, Josh Gordon (yes, despite the risk), Doug Martin, Chris Ivory, Mike Evans, Emmanuel Sanders, Jeremy Hill, Lamar Miller, among many others, all deserve consideration in that 20-24 range. Much depends on your building style, future vs. now, so it can easily be argued that Mike Evans deserves a spot in place of let’s say an Adrian Peterson. That said, it’s not shocking for AP to be ranked higher than No. 23 in dynasty, again, it just depends on style, draft flow, and league style.