The regular season just ended Sunday for 2015, and a lot will change between now and August. But that doesn't mean we can't start looking ahead to the 2016 Fantasy season.
With that in mind, Dave Richard and I have already put together an early look at our Top 12 rankings for next year in standard leagues. This what your first round could look like, with potentially a few tweaks.
Here you go:
Jamey Eisenberg's Top 12 for 2016
- 1) Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
- 2) Odell Beckham, WR, Giants
- 3) Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
- 4) Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
- 5) Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
- 6) Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
- 7) DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
- 8) Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
- 9) David Johnson, RB, Cardinals
- 10) Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks
- 11) Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons
- 12) LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
Dave Richard's Top 12 for 2016
- 1) Todd Gurley, RB, STL
- 2) Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
- 3) Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
- 4) Odell Beckham, WR, NYG
- 5) Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
- 6) Julio Jones, WR, ATL
- 7) DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
- 8) Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
- 9) Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
- 10) David Johnson, RB, ARI
- 11) Allen Robinson, WR, JAC
- 12) Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
You can see Dave's explanation for his Top 12 in the video above, but I'm not taking a running back at No. 1 overall or even with the first four picks. You still have to look at running backs in the first round, but I'm going with Brown, Beckham, Jones and Gronkowski with the Top 4 picks. And Hopkins could easily be in the discussion at No. 5 overall because he's that good.
Those picks are safe and elite, and you can't bank on running backs any more like in previous years. Just think about what happened with running backs in the first round in 2015 due to injuries or poor play from guys like Le'Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, C.J. Anderson and DeMarco Murray. The only one who paid off was Adrian Peterson.
When you do consider a running back in the first round the choice should still be Bell first because when healthy he's the best in the NFL, and I'm counting on him to return from his knee injury at 100 percent. Gurley is a close second, but you still have to worry about injury with him as well. Peterson could slow down, but until that happens he remains a first-round pick in all formats.
I like Johnson's upside as the starter for the Cardinals, and Rawls should be the starter for the Seahawks with Marshawn Lynch likely gone. I have Freeman and McCoy at the back end of the first round now, but I would easily replace them with Charles and Bryant if both are healthy coming off injuries in 2015.
Freeman could lose playing time to Tevin Coleman, and McCoy could also lose touches to Karlos Williams. But both are second-round picks in the majority of leagues, and they could still be first-round candidates depending on what happens this offseason.
Again, a lot will change between now and August, but this is an early look at a first round for next season. We're going to reveal our full rankings after the Super Bowl, and we're going to make sure you're ready to dominate your draft in 2016.