2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 200 Cheat Sheet- Updated: Tuesday, September 5th
Scoring: These rankings are based on standard scoring (one point per 25 passing yards, four points per passing touchdown, one point per 10 rushing yards, six points per rushing touchdown, one point per 10 receiving yards and six points per receiving touchdown) and are for the 2017 season only.
- More: 2017 Fantasy Football PPR Cheat Sheet (PPR Scoring)
Here is our Top-200 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet:
1. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Missing four games of the 2016 season, Bell has now missed three-plus games (suspension and/or injury) in three of his four seasons as a pro. When on the field last season, however, the (now) 25-year-old back was better than ever as he was on a 16-game pace of 2,512 yards from scrimmage, 100 receptions and 12 touchdowns. (The single-season YFS record is 2,509 by CJ2K in 2009.)
2. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
In his breakout sophomore campaign, Johnson led the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,118) and total touchdowns (20) and led running backs in receptions (80) and fantasy points scored (both standard and PPR-scoring formats). DJ's 2017 goal is to become the third player to record a 1,000-1,000 season. Listed 1-2 in my rankings, Johnson and Le'Veon Bell are more like 1(a) and 1(b) or even both T-1st.
3. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Finishing as the top-scoring wide receiver in PPR formats for three consecutive seasons, Brown has finished as the WR1, WR1 and WR3 in standard-scoring formats, respectively. Averaging more than 100 receiving yards per game over the past four years, Brown has triple-digit receptions in each of those four seasons with double-digit touchdowns in past three. No receiver has a higher floor than Brown.
4. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
With 1,400-plus yards in each of the past three seasons, Jones has averaged more than 100 yards per game in four consecutive seasons. With good health, he's a clear-cut top-three fantasy wide receiver. The only concern with Jones is his relative lack of productivity in the red zone -- 40 career TDs on 497 receptions and 777 targets -- despite his elite combination of size and speed.
5. Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants
Frustrating fantasy owners, teammates and fans at times, Beckham is now three-for-three in seasons with double-digit touchdowns and at least 90 catches and 1,300 yards. The only real concern with OBJ is the addition of Brandon Marshall.
6. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
Only two running backs -- Johnson and Elliott -- scored more fantasy points (standard scoring) than McCoy in 2016. In 15 games, McCoy had 1,267 rushing yards (a career-high 5.4 YPC), 50 catches for 356 yards and scored 14 total touchdowns. With the potential suspension for Ezekiel Elliott, the gap between RB3 and RB4 isn't that large.
7. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Despite averaging less than 4.0 YPC and missing the final three games, Gordon made huge strides in terms of fantasy production -- RB8 (RB7 in PPR) -- last season. Just three yards shy of 1,000 rushing yards, MG3 averaged 10.2 Y/R and scored 12 touchdowns. The Chargers plan to use more of a zone-based run scheme, which could help the run game overall and MG3 in particular improve efficiency.
8. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
The only player to rush for 1,000-plus yards in each of the past two seasons, Freeman finished as fantasy's RB6 last season despite 57 fewer touches than he had in 2015. Freeman has 1,500-plus YFS, 50-plus receptions and 13-plus touchdowns in back-to-back seasons.
9. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Missing the entire 2015 NFL season, Nelson's 2016 campaign (97/1,257/14 on 152 targets and second-most fantasy points) was nearly identical to his 2014 season (98/1,519/13 on 151 targets and second-most fantasy points). Given his rapport with Aaron Rodgers and being another year removed from his torn ACL, Nelson should be in store for another elite season.
- Related: 10 Bold Predictions in Fantasy Football for 2017
10. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Missing six games last season due to a hamstring injury, Green failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his six-year career. That said, he still averaged a career-high 96.4 yards per game despite a goose egg in his 10th and final game played in 2016.
11. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No receiver scored more fantasy points in standard-scoring formats and only Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson scored more in PPR formats last season. Setting career highs in receptions (96) and yards (1,321) with 12 touchdowns for the second time in his three NFL seasons, Evans also led the NFL in targets (175). The addition of DeSean Jackson will mean a few less targets for Evans but less defensive attention as well.
12. Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
There were four 200-yard rushing games last season and Ajayi had three of them. (Le'Veon Bell had the other.) Getting double-digit carries every week starting in Week 5, only Bell (243) had more carries than Ajayi (242) from Weeks 5 to 17 last season. Only Ezekiel Elliott (1,219) rushed for more yards than Ajayi (1,197) during that span. Entering 2017 as the team's bellcow back, Ajayi could challenge for the league lead in carries in 2017.
Exceeding expectations last season, Murray touched the ball 346 times for a total of 1,664 yards and 12 touchdowns as the clear lead back in the team's "exotic smashmouth" offense. Murray showed remarkable consistency as he finished as a weekly top-20 back in his first 14 games of the season. In fact, he finished as a top-10 weekly back in 10 of those 14 games as he averaged 22.7 touches per game over that span. Even if Derrick Henry's role expands in 2017, Murray remains "the guy" and should be in store for another top-10 fantasy season in Tennessee's run-based offense.
14. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
Along with Brandin Cooks, Thomas was one of two top-10 fantasy wide receivers for the Saints in 2016. The former Buckeye had at least four catches and 40 yards in all 15 games played and finished the season with a 92/1,136/9 statistical line. With Cooks now in New England, there is plenty of room for growth in his sophomore campaign as the clear top target for Drew Brees.
15. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Even though no team called a pass on a lower percentage of their plays, Bryant is a dominant presence in the red zone. Dez has a league-high 52 receiving touchdowns (in 70 games) over the past five seasons.
16. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Leading the NFL in rushing attempts (322) and rushing yards (1,631) as a rookie, Elliott had a minimum of 80 rushing yards in every game from Weeks 2 to 16. Suspended six games by the NFL, a reduction seems possible/likely and fighting it in court could even potentially delay the suspension until next year. (As noted above, Bell finished as fantasy's RB4 last season despite missing four games.)
17. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
One of the few bright spots for the Bears last season, Howard finished second in rushing (1,313 yards on 252 carries). Along with Matt Forte (1,339 in 2013), it was just the second 1,300-yard season for the Bears in the past decade. Howard may not finish second in rushing once again, but he should see an even larger workload in his second season.
18. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
When healthy, Gronkowski is as good as it gets. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old tight end has missed five-plus games in three of the past five seasons. That said, Gronk has averaged nearly 70 yards per game with a total of 69 touchdowns in 88 career games.
19. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
While Baldwin scored half as many touchdowns (seven) in 2016, he set career highs in both receptions (94) and yards (1,128) and has now finished as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver in back-to-back seasons. Another top-10 season should be within reach in 2017.
20. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Thomas set five-year lows across the board: 90 receptions, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns; not bad for "five-year lows." Before last season, he had averaged 100/1,447/10 in his previous four seasons. It's reasonable to expect an improvement over last year's numbers even if he doesn't return to a 100/1,400/10 level of production.
21. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
Overall his numbers were solid as Cooper set career highs in both receptions (83) and yards (1,153) in his sophomore campaign. That said, Cooper was much more productive in the first half (52/787/2) than the second half (31/366/3) of the season. Hopefully, he's able to put together a more consistent season from start to finish in his age-23 season.
22. Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots
Unhappy with his role in the Saints offense, Cooks goes from one (future) Hall-of-Fame quarterback (Drew Brees) to another (Tom Brady). A top-10 producer in both PPR and standard-scoring formats last season, it's possible that he does so again especially given the season-ending ACL injury to Julian Edelman.
23. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Fournette is a back with a rare combination of size, power and speed and the Jags should make him their workhorse sooner rather than later. Given their strong defense (and poor quarterback play), the Jags are likely to shift to a run-heavy approach.
24. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
A disappointment to those that took him in the first round last year, Gurley's numbers were consistently bad throughout his sophomore campaign. Averaging only 3.2 yards per carry on the season, Gurley averaged more than 4.0 YPC only once and never exceeded 85 rushing yards in any game in 2016. Some of the same concerns remain from last season, but a more creative offensive approach should bode well for Gurley.
25. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Extremely productive at Toledo with nearly 5,000 career rushing yards, there was speculation that Hunt would eventually emerge as the starter for the Chiefs. Given the season-ending knee injury to Spencer Ware, Hunt enters the season as the featured back and has a real chance to be the top-scoring rookie running back in 2017.
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