Fantasy Football: Rest of Season Top 20

David Johnson

Rest of season rankings are something I have rarely taken into consideration. However, after watching the first six games of the year, I just had to throw a list together. If you have two or more of the guys I have listed below, enjoy your playoff run. If you don’t, you may want to start working the trade wire to get them onto your squad.

 

  1. David Johnson – Some doubted Johnson’s locked in role heading into the season, but those doubters have turned into believers over the first six weeks. Leading the league in yards from scrimmage, DJ is the real deal, and will continue rewarding his owners throughout the season.
  2. Le’Veon Bell – I firmly adhere to the theory that Bell is the best all-around running back in the game. The reasons he is not at number one for me is the sprinkling in of DeAngelo Williams that Pitt will likely continue, and his bagel in the touchdown department so far. He’s gone over 100 yards in each game he’s played, and the touchdowns will come. He’s a set it and forget it lineup decision every week.
  3. Antonio Brown – The clear number one pick heading into draft season will see a usage drop while Big Ben is out, but will pick up right where he left off when his signal caller returns. He will be force-fed the rock as usual, and still has a chance at 15-16 touchdowns on the season.
  4. Julio Jones – A 300 yard receiving game already this season has Jones owners salivating for more of the same. He will continue to see as many targets as he can handle, and after his recent show against Seattle’s Legion of Boom, there is no doubt that Jones is an unstoppable force.
  5. Ezekiel Elliott – First rookie in league history to rush for at least 130 yards in four straight games. There isn’t a whole lot else to say about this phenomenal rookie who gets to run behind the best line in football. Many saw him as a risky first round pick, but there is no doubt he will continue his strong play, and will have a legitimate shot to break the rookie rushing record of Eric Dickerson and lead the NFL in rushing.
  6. A.J. Green – Many believed the loss of the number two and three receivers in Cincinnati would lead to a spike in Green’s usage, and they were correct. Andy Dalton trusts him, wants the ball in his hands, and that is as much as you can ask for in your number one receiver.
  7. Odell Beckham Jr – A 220 yard, two touchdown performance in his last game is just what Beckham, and his fantasy owners, needed after a slow start to the season. His antics can frustrate anyone, but he is as talented as it gets, and many more big games are in store this season, assuming Eli face doesn’t derail his value.
  8. Rob Gronkowski – The dominant tight end returned to his full glory on Sunday, going off for 162 yards and a touchdown. He is uncoverable and will continue to win weeks from the fluid position he claims.
  9. Amari Cooper – For the first few weeks, Cooper looked like the second receiver in Oakland thanks to Michael Crabtree’s stellar play. Over the last two games, he has delivered on his high draft position and is emerging once again as the favorite target of Derek Carr. Still only in his second year, Cooper just has to prove he can keep the motor running late in the season, which shouldn’t be a problem.
  10. Marvin Jones – I couldn’t have imagined the impact Jones would have to start off the season. He has been Matt Stafford’s weapon of choice, and is a short, intermediate and deep threat with touchdown potential every week. Considering he wasn’t drafted anywhere close to the players I have above him, he’s looking like a true draft steal.
  11. DeMarco Murray – I fully admit that I was way off on Murray prior to the season. I thought his days as a dominant fantasy player were left in Dallas. Boy, was I wrong. The expected timeshare with Derrick Henry hasn’t happened, and Murray has crushed the opposition each and every week in Tennessee’s run-happy scheme. If he can stay healthy, a big if, he’s going to finish in the top 5 of RBs without a doubt.
  12. Christine Michael – The story fantasy analysts have been writing for years is finally taking place. Michael is a bonafide fantasy star, earning his role as the bellcow in the Seahawks offense. This is a guy that bounced around last season, only to return home and have 5 touchdowns through his team’s first 5 games. Thomas Rawls has a long road ahead of him if he thinks he can re-take the reigns of this running game. It’s Michael’s to lose at this point, and he seems to finally have it all figured out.
  13. Tom Brady – The lone QB on my list, Brady has thrown for nearly 800 yards and 6 touchdowns in his first two games back. Those are ridiculous numbers. He simply has too many weapons to fall off. If you were lucky enough to land Brady in a late round of fantasy drafts, congratulations. You’ve got yourself a nearly guaranteed 25 points each and every week.
  14. Greg Olsen – Still Cam’s favorite target, Olsen has been a stable component at an unstable position in fantasy. He’s good for double digit points every week, and that is unquantifiable at tight end. That’s the main reason he makes my top 20. Having a guaranteed player at tight end is worth almost as much as a stud receiver, more so in many cases.
  15. Mike EvansJameis Winston is going to continue having his ups and downs, but Evans owners can take comfort knowing that the third year stud is always going to get his looks and targets. He’s got a touchdown in all weeks but one, and that should continue, as he has proven himself far ahead of where he was last year, when he suffered from a significant amount of drops.
  16. Kelvin Benjamin – Benjamin quickly re-established his rapport with Cam Newton, and is once again one of the best red zone targets in the game. The Panthers are going to continue being in a lot of shoot-outs this season, and that means a lot of points for Benjamin.
  17. Lamar Miller – Touted as a top 5 RB heading into the season due to his new role in Houston, Miller finally delivered on that against Indy. Houston’s offense has stagnated under Brock Osweiler, but Miller’s role has continued at the same pace. Fantasy owners need to remember that Miller started off slow in 2015 as well, en route to a huge second half. I expect this to be the same case this year.
  18. T.Y. Hilton – Andrew Luck is devoid of serious threats outside of Hilton, and it has shown with his target share. Hilton has far exceeded my expectations this year, and I just can’t see him dropping off. Indy is going to have to score a lot of points to win games, and as the main beneficiary of that strategy, Hilton will be coming up with many more 15+ point weeks.
  19. DeAndre Hopkins – I know, Brock Osweiler doesn’t look good. The simple truth is that Hopkins is far too talented for the coaches not to develop ways to get the ball into his hands. He’ll bounce back in a big way, and trading for him now, while his value is far lower than it should be, will absolutely benefit your team come playoff time.
  20. Dez Bryant – Surprised I have Dez rounding out my top 20? Frankly so am I. What it comes down to is potential. When healthy, Bryant is a top 3 red zone target, and after the bye, he’s coming back with something to prove. No matter if Romo or Dak is under center, they’re going to get the ball to their playmakers, and Dez is still at the top of that list for the Cowboys. Just sit back and watch as he re-establishes himself as a top 10 receiver in the league.

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