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Fantasy Index Magazine – Experts Entries Locked!


By Alan Satterlee, DFW Senior Writer and Co-Owner, @Speedkills_DFW

// DFW / REDRAFT 2016 SERIES

Each year (for exactly 25 years now), Fantasy Index Magazine has its annual “Experts Rankings” in its magazine. I rememberFantasyIndex2015 buying that magazine back in the day when it was literally the first place you could get last year’s stats (that was before the Internet existed). Fantasy Index invites 20 experts from leading websites throughout the United States to submit their Top 20 by position which is then featured in their magazine, some 12 pages of coverage. Last year I finished 7th, which again I qualified for the Experts Mock as the top 11 are invited to participate in that. Last year’s champ was Cory Bonini of USA Today Fantasy Sports won. They also post an all-time and I am in 6th place, with Scott Pianowski and Bob Henry at number one and number two. In addition to Dynasty Football Warehouse being 1 of the 20 entries into the competition, this field includes a long list of big names in the industry.

Here are a few bits of house-keeping. It is non PPR, so yards and TDs are what count. Each position counts the same, so kicker is just as valuable — it is what it is I guess on that. Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback and suggestions on the rankings, and the DFW community in general for all their great insights.

Last year I came out strong with my running back rankings (#4) and wide receiver rankings (#2), but tight ends and defense really did me in (15th in both), to eventually net the 7th place finish.

Ian Allan of Fantasy Index did an analysis of “outlier picks” for this year’s rankings. Who knows if those are good or bad — depends on if you hit or miss of course (some of then were a little dicey to me, but then again maybe some of mine do to others). Last year’s champ Cory Bonini had 30 outliers, easily the most. I had 12. I think “outlier picks” are players you ranked that don’t average in the top twenty (for example, I had Ameer Abdullah in my top 20 among running backs but he wasn’t in the top 20 running backs on average). The lowest for what it’s worth were Mike Clay (Pro Football Focus) with just 4 outlier picks and Lenny Papano from Draftsharks with 5.

So here we go — my expert rankings for the magazine, this was locked in back on Sunday, May 22th, 2016.

Quarterback
1. Cam Newton
2. Russell Wilson – I am only one spot higher actually, the average for Wilson among all 20 experts was QB3
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Andrew Luck
5. Drew Brees
6. Ben Roethlisberger
7. Jameis Winston – First major gamble as I am +8 on Winston — LOVE IT
8. Philip Rivers – I got a little juice on Rivers, +2 on my ranking versus average — adding Travis Benjamin and Hunter Henry is huge, and with Keenan Allen back
9. Kirk Cousins – Huge gamble on Cousins (+4) – Cousins was a top three quarterback over the final two months last year
10. Blake Bortles – I am actually LOW on Bortles so rooting again him as he comes out as QB7 on average
11. Carson Palmer – Rooting against Palmer too, who comes out as QB8 on average
12. Eli Manning
13. Derek Carr
14. Marcus Mariota- +3 on Mariota, and feel good about that as his running prowess could really pay fantasy dividends
15. Matthew Stafford
16. Tom Brady – where to put Brady with the four game suspension and total fantasy point handicap; he was QB12 on average
17. Ryan Tannehill
18. Matt Ryan
19. Brock Osweiler – I am four spots higher than the industry on Osweiller, happy to sneak him into my Top 20 QB list
20. Joe Flacco – I have Flacco on here — he is a QB2 sleeper in my book with good receiving weapons and Marc Trestman now as offensive coordinator (heads up – Flacco was averaging 279.1 yards passing per game last year)

Guys I didn’t rank: No Andy Dalton on this list. I think he will have a bust season relative to expectations and I would much rather gamble on Flacco. Dalton was QB16 on average. Also, I have a major bet AGAINST Tony Romo. How can you trust him to make it through the season?

 

Running Back
1. Todd Gurley – and Gurley is RB1 this year on average, but 1.03 pick based on expert ADP (I had Gurley 1.01 however)
2. David Johnson – just a +1 here on Johnson
3. Ezekiel Elliott – a +2 on Zeke, swinging for the fences a bit with the high ranking
4. LeVeon Bell – I am two spots lower on Bell than average, so pulling for David Johnson and Elliott to deliver
5. Lamar Miller
6. Adrian Peterson- Low on AP, down two spots, in part, to swing for the fences with Lamar Miller
7. Devonta Freeman
8. Eddie Lacy
9. Doug Martin
10. Jamaal Charles – Down two versus the average on Charles
11. Matt Forte – A little bit of a gamble here (+3), and comfortable backing Forte
12. Mark Ingram
13. Matt Jones – Nice +4 bump on Jones versus the field — Jones could have a big year
14. Jeremy Hill – Little surprisingly to me, I have some action on Hill (+4)
15. Carlos Hyde
16. LeSean McCoy – Low on McCoy, and feel okay about that
17. Isaiah Crowell – I love Duke Johnson, but in a non PPR format, Isaiah Crowell was added — he is a safe pick for good production in my opinion with red zone work
18. Frank Gore – Gore got no love as he was RB 25 (there were 36 running backs that were ranked for a Top 20 listing), but to me he is a safe addition to the list
19. Derrick Henry – Getting a little crazy and sneaking in Henry yet no DeMarco Murray (who was RB 20 anyway)
20. Ameer Abdullah – HUGE sleeper for me here — he was RB 33 so got nearly no votes except for me and maybe one or two others

Guys I didn’t rank: It is a massive bet versus the field — no Thomas Rawls in here (who was RB13 on average). No C.J. Anderson also bucked the norm.

 

Wide Receiver
1. Antonio Brown – in overall rankings, the experts go 1. Brown, 2. ODB and then 3. Todd Gurley
2. Odell Beckham Jr.
3. DeAndre Hopkins
4. Julio Jones – top four receivers are the same more or less, I am +1 on Hopkins and -1 on Julio
5. A.J. Green
6. Allen Robinson
7. Dez Bryant – give me -2 on Dez vs. averages, and Dallas should not be a pass-first team with that offensive line and those running backs
8. Amari Cooper – major +5 bet on Cooper — sure, all in
9. Mike Evans – little high on Evans who was WR11, while a little low on Jeffery and Marshall
10. Keenan Allen – nice +4 gamble on Allen and feel good on that one
11. Alshon Jeffery
12. Brandon Marshall
13. Jordy Nelson – I am five under the average on Jordy and got called out for a quote — sort of surprised he would be WR8 on average; I think we see Jordy of 2013, not 2014 and those crazy-high numbers
14. Kelvin Benjamin – taking a swing on Kelvin at +4
15. Demaryius Thomas – surprising to me, but this is exactly at the average for DT
16. Sammy Watkins
17. Golden Tate – big old gamble on Golden Tate, could pay dividends
18. Brandin Cooks – coming in six off the average on Cooks he is a major root against (I like Cooks though, but thinking Coby Fleener and Michael Thomas take away some targets)
19. Jarvis Landry
20. T.Y. Hilton

Guys I didn’t rank: I had 18 of the top 20 WRs with the two in the top 20 average that I don’t have as Jeremy Maclin and Randall Cobb who were WRs #19 and #20 on average, while the two I had in that did not crack the top 20 on average were Golden Tate and Jarvis Landry.

 

Tight End
1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Jordan Reed
3. Tyler Eifert – rankings were before the injured foot announcement
4. Travis Kelce
5. Greg Olsen – little low on Olsen (TE2 on average), but wanted to take a swing with Reed and Kelce
6. Coby Fleener
7. Ladarius Green – huge gamble here (+4), thinking he gets high targets in this offense given his unique size and downfield speed, with no Martavis Bryant this year
8. Zach Ertz
9. Eric Ebron – putting in an order for some Eric Ebron sleeper potential (+4)
10. Gary Barnidge – a little off average of TE8
11. Delanie Walker – much lower (-5) than average
12. Julius Thomas – I wish I had slotted Thomas a little higher in hindsight, maybe ahead of Walker anyway
13. Dwayne Allen – little higher than average (+2) and I wish people were lower as Allen is a very nice sleeper for 2016, great candidate if you wait on a tight end or platoon the position
14. Jimmy Graham – this was exactly Graham’s average ranking FYI
15. Zach Miller
16. Clive Walford – huge gamble on Walford as a sleeper and getting him into the top 20 which most did not
17. Antonio Gates – low on Gates and fine with that — I think Hunter Henry will have an immediate impact
18. Jared Cook – gambles here on Cook and Tye who weren’t included by most
19. Charles Clay
20. Will Tye

Guys I didn’t rank: I had 100% overlap on my first 16 tight ends. There are three tight ends who I don’t have who were TEs 17-19, in Jason Witten, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Martellus Bennett.

 

Kicker
1. Graham Gano – let’s go Graham Gano who I have slotted as my number one kicker, +3 versus the field
2. Stephen Gostkowski
3. Steven Hauschka
4. Justin Tucker
5. Mason Crosby
6. Chris Boswell – big Chris Boswell gamble, +7
7. Josh Brown
8. Blair Walsh
9. Josh Lambo – huge gamble here, +12
10. Chandler Catanzaro – three lower than average
11. Dustin Hopkins – plus 7
12. Dan Bailey – five spots lower than average
13. Adam Vinatieri – three lower than average
14. Greg Zuerlein – let’s go Legatron, +13 on Zeuerlein could pay off huge (up and coming Ram offense)
15. Mike Nugent
16. Nick Folk – plus four
17. Nick Novak – plus six
18. Brandon McManus
19. Matt Prater
20. Kai Forbath

Defense
1. Denver
2. Houston – plus three on Houston, so let’s go JJ Watt!
3. Carolina
4. Seattle – I am two back the average here
5. Kansas City
6. St. Louis
7. Arizona – Four off the average
8. Cincinnati
9. Pittsburgh – Six higher than average
10. New England
11. NY Giants – Big gamble here, +7
12. Green Bay
13. NY Jets
14. Jacksonville – Three higher on Jacksonville than average
15. Tampa Bay – Big gambles on the Bucs and Colts who generally weren’t ranked
16. Indianapolis
17. Minnesota – Eight back from the average, wish I had slotted MN higher in hindsight
18. Buffalo
19. Detroit – I am +3 on the Lions DT
20. Baltimore

Didn’t Rank: Philadelphia, who came in 14th and Oakland (16th).