2017 fantasy football rankings following the NFL draft

An early look at 2017

It’s never too early to take a look at next season’s rankings, especially now that the NFL draft has happened.

You can probably call the first through third picks 1A, 1B and 1C. It’s really that close, but David Johnson is a real candidate to gain 1,000 yards in rushing and receiving. That would make him the third player to ever accomplish that feat, joining Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk.

Keep in mind if you play in a league that awards six points per touchdown for quarterbacks, they should be ranked higher than what you see here.

1. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals

2. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

4. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

5. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants

6. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons

7. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills

8. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

9. Jordan Howard, RB, Bears

10. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers

11. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals

12. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons

13. DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans

14. Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers

15. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

16. Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins

17. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

18. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts

19. Lamar Miller, RB, Texans

20. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

21. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots

22. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

23. Brandin Cooks, WR, Patriots

24. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

25. Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers

26. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders

27. Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs

28. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams

29. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks

30. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

31. Davante Adams, WR, Packers

32. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles

33. Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings

34. Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars

35. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

36. C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos

37. Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills

38. Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins

39. Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs

40. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs

41. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns

42. Drew Brees, QB, Saints

43. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos

44. Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons

45. Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders

46. Adrian Peterson, RB, Saints

47. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

48. Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins

49. Brandon Marshall, WR, Giants

50. Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals

51. Terrelle Pryor Sr., WR, Redskins

52. Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers

53. Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks

54. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers

55. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

56. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots

57. Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals

58. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans

59. Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers

60. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers

61. Robert Kelley, RB, Redskins

62. Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks

63. Frank Gore, RB, Colts

64. Bilal Powell, RB, Jets

65. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals

66. Ty Montgomery, RB, Packers

67. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders

68. Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts

69. Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos

70. Delanie Walker, TE, Titans

71. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers

72. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys

73. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos

74. Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins

75. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders

76. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars

77. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

78. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions

79. Golden Tate, WR, Lions

80. Kenneth Dixon , RB, Ravens

81. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers

82. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings

83. Matt Forte, RB, Jets

84. Rishard Matthews, WR, Titans

85. Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers

86. Paul Perkins, RB, Giants

87. Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins

88. DeSean Jackson, WR, Buccaneers

89. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

90. Mike Gillislee, RB, Patriots

91. Danny Woodhead, RB, Ravens

92. Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings

93. Randall Cobb, WR, Packers

94. Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

95. Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans

96. Eric Decker, WR, Jets

97. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks

98. Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots

99. Theo Riddick, RB, Lions

100. Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers

Tony Romo: Fantasy Football Hall of Famer

It will be a hotly contested debate, whether Tony Romo’s resume is that of a Hall of Famer. He finished his career as the Cowboys’ top passer, throwing for 34,183 yards and 248 touchdowns. His lack of success in the playoffs, a 2-4 record, is solid ammunition for naysayers, however. We’re not here to debate whether or not Romo is a real life Hall of Famer. We’re here to affirm that he most definitely belongs in the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame.

The proof is in the numbers, and that’s all that matters in fantasy football—numbers. Any playoff failings by the 14-year quarterback mattered little to his fantasy football owners. Even when he was losing late-season games the Cowboys needed to win to make the playoffs, he was still putting up big numbers.

He missed pretty much all of 2015 and 2016, but from 2006 to 2014 he was consistently a top-10 quarterback in standard scoring. Injury in 2010 was his only fantasy blemish in that stretch.

Romo’s rank in standard scoring, with 6 points for touchdown passes:

2014—8th most fantasy points for quarterbacks

2013—7th

2012—5th

2011—7th

2010—only played in six games due to injury

2009—4th

2008—6th

2007—2nd only to Tom Brady and his 50 TD passes

2006—9th

Romo was on many fantasy championship teams during his tenure in Dallas, including mine in 2007. (Having Adrian Peterson that year helped a lot, too.)

So you can argue about Romo’s real life football legacy, or lack thereof, all you want. One thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that he was a consistently great fantasy football quarterback.

Here’s a look at some of his late-game heroics that probably lifted a lot of fantasy owners to wins.

Fantasy football free agent outlook

By now most of the pieces have fallen into place in the puzzle that is NFL free agency. While Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Jay Cutler have yet to find new homes, there have been quite a few moves that will affect the upcoming fantasy football season. Here’s a look at 15 of the biggest names, where they ended up and what kind of impact their new situations will have on fantasy football.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles—If you have any faith in Jeffery’s ability to stay healthy, this is the situation you want him to be in. Though he’s with a new team, he signed a one-year deal which automatically puts him in a contract year. He should be the No. 1 WR on the team, unless Jordan Matthews shows improvement. He’s a mid-level to high end WR2 with a second-year quarterback at the helm in Philly.

Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears walks across the field after another Bears turnover in the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on December 18, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Brandon Marshall, WR, Giants—Either this will turn out to be a major shot in the arm for an offense that is already pretty good, or Marshall’s interest in life outside football becomes even more apparent. He made sure he stayed in New York, which allows him to keep hosting Inside the NFL during the season. He called himself the No. 2, alongside Sterling Shepard, behind Odell Beckham Jr. Check out his ADP before you waste a WR2 spot on him. Do not reach for him.

Terrelle Pryor, WR, Redskins—It’s unclear whether or not he’ll be able to reproduce the numbers he put up in Cleveland. Josh Doctson should be healthy this season and Jamison Crowder is likely to be the No. 1 receiver on the team. Pryor is a unique talent and could end up recording similar numbers to last season, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in Washington especially if Jordan Reed can stay healthy.

Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks—You may not want to touch him with a ten-foot pole after last season. But that means he might be available on the cheap. I don’t think you can expect to take him as a No. 1 or No. 2 running back on your team with Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise in Seattle. He’s going five RB spots after Thomas Rawls in some early mock drafts. If he slips to the sixth round, go ahead and give him a shot.

Kemal Ishmael #36 of the Atlanta Falcons defends against Eddie Lacy #27 of the Green Bay Packers in the second half at Lambeau Field on December 8, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

DeSean Jackson, WR, Buccaneers—If he can be himself for at least three quarters of the season, it will be a big help for Mike Evans owners. Evans had a monster season and that was with Adam Humphries being the second-most effective wideout. Jackson will be good for WR1 numbers in a handful of games but most likely a good flex option for most of the season.

Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings—His situation in Oakland has been really good for the past few years but he hasn’t been more than solid. He enters a much tougher situation in Minnesota so we’ll get a clearer picture of what kind of running back he really is. He’s going late in the third round in mock drafts, but even that is too early for me.

Martellus Bennett, TE, Packers—It always seems to be about potential with Bennett. He has a lot of it, but will this be the set of circumstances that will help him truly break out? If I had to choose, I’d say yes. Aaron Rodgers all but catches the ball for tight ends. He is going as early as the fourth round and as late as the 14th. Don’t pay too much, but if you get him late it could be a nice surprise.

Martellus Bennett #88 of the New England Patriots celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first half at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Kenny Britt, WR, Browns—He has the talent and the size to put up solid WR2 numbers. He might put up numbers comparable to Pryor’s from 2016, but getting him early would be a risk.

Jared Cook, TE, Raiders—The playoff hero for Green Bay will try to add some firepower to a solid receiving corps. With Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree putting up nearly equal numbers on the outside, Cook could make some hay in the middle of the field.

Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers—He’s reunited with his old coordinator from Washington in head coach Kyle Shanahan. The last time the two worked together, Garcon put up career numbers (113 receptions, 1,346 yards) with the Redskins in 2013. He should be the clear No. 1 in San Francisco and could do a lot worse than Brian Hoyer at quarterback.

Danny Woodhead, RB, Ravens—The versatile veteran puts a dent in the hopes people have for Kenneth Dixon. Woodhead will be a good dump off option and third down back for Baltimore.

Shaun Draughn, RB, Giants—This move is more about the impact it will have on Paul Perkins. The Giants signing Draughn seems to be a sign that they are happy with the backfield they have in place, meaning Perkins will have the best shot to be the 1st and 2nd down back.

Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots—Something tells me he may end up getting the ball in goal line situations. Dion Lewis and James White are threats to catch the ball out of the backfield so I would be surprised if Burkhead is anything more than a bye-week desperation play.

Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans tackles Rex Burkhead #33 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Brian Hoyer, QB, 49ers—He regains some fantasy relevance as the likely starter for the 49ers. He has some pieces to work with in Garcon and Carlos Hyde.

Mike Glennon, QB, Bears—Much like Hoyer, he may end up being serviceable in a pinch as a starter in Chicago.