Thursday - Jan 21, 2021

Home / Draft / WEILER: Top 100 Fantasy Players – Late-August Update

WEILER: Top 100 Fantasy Players – Late-August Update

With about half of 2017 NFL Pre-Season in the books, here is my updated list of the overall Top-100 fantasy players, which reflects any new developments since my last one. Though list assumes standard scoring, the right-most column includes the following indicators for you to adjust the rankings accordingly:

PPR+ These players have higher value in leagues that reward points per reception (PPR).
PPR- These players have less value in PPR leagues.
TD+ These players have touchdown scoring upside.
TD- These players do not have touchdown scoring upside.
These players are band-aid boys and either coming off a serious injury or historically injury prone.


Rank (Change) Player Name Pos. Rank Team Commentary Adjustments
1 (-) David Johnson RB1 Arizona The most well-rounded back since Marshall Faulk, Johnson can do it all: run, catch, maybe even pass if the coaches let him. Bank on another season of 2,000-plus total yards. PPR+
2 (-) Le’Veon Bell RB2 Pittsburgh Right behind Johnson as an offensive centerpiece who gobbles up total yards. Averaged an insane 157 total yards per game average in 2016. It would be nice if Bell reported to camp sometime soon, though. PPR+
3 (-) Antonio Brown WR1 Pittsburgh Four straight seasons of 100-plus catches and 1,200-plus receiving yards. ConsisTennesseecy at its finest. PPR+
4 (-) Odell Beckham WR2 New York Giants Giants did add some reinforcements to their receiving corps this offseason, but Beckham’s role as a target hog shouldn’t change.
5 (+1) Julio Jones WR4 Atlanta Has averaged 1,624.3 receiving yards per season over the past three seasons, although injuries are starting to mount up. Would like to see more touchdowns. TD-
6 (+1) LeSean McCoy RB4 Buffalo Buffalo’s trade of Sammy Watkins should solidify McCoy’s role as the offensive focal point further, but I’m sure he’ll miss the threat of Watkins stretching the field to keep those opposing safeties from creeping up into the box. TD+
7 (+1) A.J. Green WR5 Cincinnati Averaged 107.1 receiving yards per game over nine healthy games in 2016. Green is the funnel through which the Cincinnati passing game flows. PPR+
8 (+1) Melvin Gordon RB5 Los Angeles Chargers Rookie guard Forrest Lamp’s season-ending knee injury hurts, but Gordon is going to be a snap hog with no legitimate competition for playing time.
9 (+1) Mike Evans WR6 Tampa Bay Has improved his catches and receiving yards each season since being drafted seventh overall in 2014, and has never finished a season with fewer than 1,000 receiving yards. TD+
10 (+1) Jordy Nelson WR7 Green Bay At 32 years old, Nelson should have at least one more season in the tank as Green Bay’s WR1, and his statistical floor is fairly safe playing with Aaron Rodgers. TD+
11 (+1) Devonta Freeman RB6 Atlanta Just received a monstrous contract extension that should put any concerns of Tevin Coleman eating into Freeman’s workload to bed. PPR+
12 (+5) Michael Thomas WR8 New Orleans Reportedly dominating training camp. Thomas appears poised to blow by the 1,137 receiving yards and nine touchdowns he posted as a rookie.
13 (+3) Dez Bryant WR9 Dallas With Ezekiel Elliott suspended for six games, Bryant becomes the Dallas’ top offensive playmaker in the running back’s absence. TD+
14 (+1) Jordan Howard RB7 Chicago The Chicago offense looked atrocious in its first preseason game with Mike Glennon at the helm. A switch to Mitchell Trubisky might be the best for Howard’s game. PPR-
15 (+7) Todd Gurley RB8 Los Angeles Rams Gurley is looking at more receiving work in the wake of Lance Dunbars injury. Also, the recent addition of Sammy Watkins should open up more running lanes.
16 (-3) Jay Ajayi RB9 Miami Ajayi seems no worse for wear following the concussion that caused him to miss significant camp time. His inconsistent rushing stats from last season still have me leery though.
17 (+7) Rob Gronkowski TE1 New England No news is good news on the Gronkowski injury front. Reportedly looks to be all systems go in camps. TD+
18 (+1) Amari Cooper WR10 Oakland Finally returned to practice after missing a little over a week with an unspecified leg injury and looked healthy in his preseason debut.
19 (-5) T.Y. Hilton WR11 Indianapolis The lack of positive news regarding Andrew Luck’s shoulder does not bode well for Hilton’s early season value PPR-
20 (-2) Leonard Fournette RB10 Jacksonville Nursing a minor foot ailment, Fournette’s team is also undergoing a quarterback controversy.
21 (-16) Ezekiel Elliott RB11 Dallas The NFL brought the hammer down on Elliott, suspending him for six games. He has filed for an appeal, but without further clarity, you have to assume he is going to miss significant time.
22 (+1) Doug Baldwin WR12 Seattle QB Russell Wilson appears locked on to Doug Baldwin through two preseason games.
23 (+2) DeAndre Hopkins WR13 Houston Will Fullers injury opens the door for Hopkins to resume being the quarterback magnet he was in 2015, when he averaged 12 targets per game. The missed preseason game snaps worries me though as Hopkins gets adjusted to QB Tom Savage. PPR+
24 (-4) Lamar Miller RB12 Houston Increasing chatter of Houston decreasing Miller’s workload, making it unlikely he sees close to the 299 total touches from last season. Also, the offensive line continues to look dicey while Duane Browns continues his holdout.
25 (-4) DeMarco Murray RB13 Tennessee A hamstring injury resulted in Murray being sidelined for two weeks of camp. One would expect Tennessee to balance out Murray’s workload a little more evenly with Derrick Henry‘s this season.
26 (-) Demaryius Thomas WR14 Denver Trevor Siemien appears to be leading the Denver QB battle, which should be viewed as a positive for Thomas’ fantasy prospects.
27 (+3) Brandin Cooks WR15 New England Building solid chemistry with Tom Brady. Just be willing to accept a few down weeks as New England spreads the ball around.
28 (-) Isaiah Crowell RB14 Cleveland Crowell should be a solid second running back if Cleveland can remain competitive this season as opposed to being blown out by halftime. PPR-
29 (+2) Alshon Jeffery WR17 Philadelphia Jordan Matthews trade to Buffalo should free up some more targets for Jeffery.
30 (+1) Aaron Rodgers QB1 Green Bay No argument that Rodgers isn’t the consensus #1 fantasy QB, and should be the safest bet for 300 passing yards and three passing touchdowns each week.
31 (-4) Allen Robinson WR17 Jacksonville Reportedly getting open at will in camp, but the concern surrounding Blake Bortles‘ QB skills has officially gone from code orange to code red.
32 (-3) Sammy Watkins WR18 Los Angeles Rams The trade to the Rams looks like a lateral move to me. There’s a little more inherent risk though in relying upon Jared Goff make drastic improvement from his rookie year though.
33 (-) Tom Brady QB2 New England Comes into 2017 with possibly the most stacked receiving corps since the Randy Moss/Wes Welker era. Brady will be 40 years old when the 2017 season begins.
34 (+4) Carlos Hyde RB15 San Francisco Reports of Joe Williams taking Hyde’s job turned out to be greatly exaggerated. Hyde has Top 10 running back upside in what should be an improved offense, health permitting. PPR-
35 (-) Marshawn Lynch RB16 Oakland Wouldn’t expect to see Lynch play much in the preseason, but neither of Oakland’s backup running backs seem to be doing much to threaten his workload. PPR-
36 (+20) Dalvin Cook RB17 Minnesota By all accounts, the starting job is Cook’s to lose. High priced free agent pickup Latavius Murray is still not ready for game action.
37 (-) Travis Kelce TE2 Kansas City Finally returned to practice after missing about a week with knee swelling, and should resume being the team’s offensive focal point. TD-
38 (-1) Davante Adams WR19 Green Bay Appears to have swiped the WR2 role right out from under teammate Randall Cobb, and has earned the trust of his quarterback in the process.
39 (+2) Terrelle Pryor WR20 Washington On track to open the season as the WR1 and has immense upside given the pieces around him. However, Kirk Cousins has not looked sharp through the first two preseason games.
40 (-) Drew Brees QB3 New Orleans No other NFL quarterback has passed the 5,000 passing yard threshold in more seasons than Brees (four). The loss of Brandin Cooks hurts, but Brees always makes the most out of the assets he has.
41 (-7) Joe Mixon RB18 Cincinnati Halfway through the preseason, and it seems clear Jeremy Hill is not going away. You have to think Mixon’s talent will win out at some point, but he needs to be downgraded in the short-term.
42 (+2) C.J. Anderson RB19 Denver Losing Devontae Booker for the preseason due to injury leaves one less body in the backfield to compete with Anderson, and he’s looked spry through two preseason contests.
43 (-1) Keenan Allen WR21 Los Angeles Chargers The knee recovery has been going smoothly by all accounts, so Allen should slide back in as quarterback Philip Rivers’ top receiving target, albeit within a crowded group. PPR+
44 (+5) Christian McCaffrey RB20 Carolina McCaffrey continues to look like an explosive weapon the Panthers need to keep on the field. His touches could be limited by Jonathan Stewart’s presence, but it may not matter PPR+
45 (-6) Ty Montgomery RB21 Green Bay A leg injury allows Jamaal Williams to continue his push for more snaps. Montgomery will be involved in the offense, but how much? PPR+
46 (-) Mark Ingram RB22 New Orleans Should get the first crack at starting duties despite the additions of Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara. Head coach Sean Payton does like to use all his backs though.
47 (-) Golden Tate WR22 Detroit Tate has at least 90 catches in three straight seasons. The addition of Kenny Golladay hurts Marvin Jones more than Tate. PPR+
48 (-) Tyreek Hill WR23 Kansas City Reportedly looks the part of a No. 1 receiver in training camp. It would be foolish to expect a repeat of Hill’s 12 touchdowns from last season, though.
49 (-6) Spencer Ware RB23 Kansas City Ware’s grip on the starter role appears tenuous after Kareem Hunt put on a show in the Chiefs’ second preseason game.
50 (-) Martavis Bryant WR24 Pittsburgh Finally received full reinstatement from the NFL, but folks need to remember Bryant is still just the second receiving option in this offense at best. TD+
51 (-) Greg Olsen TE3 Carolina Getting a little long in the tooth (32 years old), but still projects as quarterback Cam Newton‘s top receiving target.
52 (+3) Emmanuel Sanders WR25 Denver Trevor Siemien’s upper hand in the Denver quarterback battle should be good news for Sanders.
53 (+1) Larry Fitzgerald WR26 Arizona If this truly is to be his last season, reliable Fitzgerald is going to make every bit sure he goes out on a high note. PPR+
54 (+9) Stefon Diggs WR27 Minnesota A full offseason to train with quarterback Sam Bradford seems to be paying off, as their connection has been evident throughout the preseason. TD-
55 (+2) Julian Edelman WR28 New England While Brandin Cooks’ arrival should cut into Edelman’s targets significantly, the trust factor with Tom Brady should keep him heavily involved. PPR+
56 (-11) Jordan Reed TE4 Washington Perpetually banged up, Reed has finally been activated from the PUP list, but it remains to be seen how his toe injury will affect him on the field. PPR+
57 (-5) Jarvis Landry WR29 Miami Unclear how Landry fits into the new-look Dolphins offense with Jay Cutler at the controls. Also has a potential domestic violence investigation hanging over his head. PPR+
58 (-) Ameer Abdullah RB24 Detroit Detroit has confirmed his status as the starter, but it appears Abullah will lose pass-game work to Theo Riddick and potentially goal line carries to Zach Zenner. PPR-
59 (+2) Michael Crabtree WR30 Oakland Though still David Carr’s favorite red zone target, I expect Crabtree’s receiving stats to decline some as Amari Cooper’s rise. TD+
60 (+9) Jimmy Graham TE5 Seattle Reportedly showed up to training camp 20 pounds lighter than last year and showing no lingering effects from 2015’s gruesome knee injury.
61 (-2) Bilal Powell RB25 New York Jets Appears to be the favorite for lead back duties, but the Jets offense projects to be historically disastrous in 2017. PPR+
62 (+8) Frank Gore RB26 Indianapolis Advanced age is always a concern, but if nothing else Gore’s workload appears firmly secure.
63 (+10) Tyler Eifert TE6 Cincinnati Currently healthy and projects as the No. 2 receiving option in Cincinnati given the fluidity of the receiver depth chart behind A.J. Green. TD+
64 (-4) Jamison Crowder WR31 Washington Comes back from a two week layoff since injuring his hamstring early in camp. Crowder’s history of hammy issues is mildly worrisome. PPR+
65 (+10) Kelvin Benjamin WR32 Carolina Judging from Carolina’s first preseason game, the weight concerns appeared overblown with Benjamin showing-casing his trademark leap-and-snatch ability. TD+
66 (+1) Matt Ryan QB4 Atlanta Be wary of the Super Bowl hangover. Ryan had a career-year in 2016, but his offensive coordinator is now gone and his stats were well above his season norms.
67 (+1) Russell Wilson QB5 Seattle An onslaught of injuries last season sapped Wilson’s mobility all year. He should bounce-back nicely entering training camp healthy and all of his weapons still in the fold.
68 (-3) Donte Moncrief WR33 Indianapolis Suffered a shoulder injury in camp that just turned out to be minor, but concerns around Andrew Luck’s health brings down the value of all of Indianapolis’ pass-catchers. TD+
69 (+11) Doug Martin RB27 Tampa Bay Reportedly receiving the most first-team work of all Tampa Bay’s backs, making it likely he’s re-installed as the starter after his three-game suspension ends.
70 (+1) Willie Snead WR34 New Orleans Underrated second option in the New Orleans passing attack. Snead should help account for some of the targets left behind by Brandin Cooks. TD-
71 (+1) Brandon Marshall WR35 New York Giants All the defensive attention paid to teammate Odell Beckham Jr. should allow Marshall to run rampant against single coverage. PPR+
72 (-19) Mike Gillislee RB28 New England Gillislee is still on the shelf with a hamstring injurt, and Rex Burkhead‘s mini-outburst in preseason Week 2 makes one wonder what TD Mike’s role will be once healthy.
73 (+3) Marcus Mariota QB6 Tennessee Tennessee made some major additions to its receiving corps by bringing in Corey Davis and Eric Decker. Mariota’s rushing upside is the cherry on top.
74 (+4) Jameis Winston QB7 Tampa Bay Set to explode in his third year as a pro. Having DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard as complimentary weapons should help Winston refrain from forcing passes to Mike Evans.
75 (+6) Cam Newton QB8 Carolina Not expected to play during the preseason, but has begun throwing and is reportedly on track to start Week 1.
76 (-11) Paul Perkins RB29 New York Giants Reportedly being pushed for carries by Orleans Darkwa, so Perkins’ workload may not be as secure as originally thought.
77 (+2) Adrian Peterson RB30 New Orleans Unclear how the workload will be split between Mark Ingram and Peterson. Peterson will certainly have role in this high-powered offense though.
78 (+8) DeVante Parker WR36 Miami Appeared to pass the sniff test in his first game action with Jay Cutler, as Parker was targeted 4 times in less than a quarter of action.
79 (-5) LeGarrette Blount RB30 Philadelphia So far, Blount has not looked like same guy who rushed for 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns last season with the Patriots TD+
80 (-16) Eddie Lacy RB31 Seattle Continues to look sluggish throughout the preseason, and the Seahawk’s appears increasingly fluid.
81 (-4) Kirk Cousins QB9 Washington On a whole, Washington’s offense has looked stagnant through two preseason games. Cousins looks like he really misses Jordan Reed.
82 (-20) Andrew Luck QB10 Indianapolis Luck has resumed throwing, but we still have not received any assurances from anyone he will be ready to roll by Week 1. Even if Luck doesn’t miss time, he could be limited or rusty.
83 (-1) Pierre Garcon WR37 San Francisco The undisputed WR1 for San Francisco, if by default. Garcon projects to be a target vacuum, especially if the team struggles to stay competitive each week. PPR+
84 (-1) DeSean Jackson WR38 Tampa Bay The speedster should be able to rack up yardage while Mike Evans deals with double-teams. PPR-
85 (-1) Kyle Rudolph TE7 Minnesota Won’t put up eye-popping numbers, but Rudolph is a fixture in the Minnesota passing game and a favorite of Sam Bradford. PPR+
86 (+4) Zach Ertz TE8 Philadelphia Ertz becomes Philadelphia’s top candidate to work the middle of the field following Jordan Matthews’ trade.
87 (-2) Danny Woodhead RB33 Baltimore Still projects as the top receiving option out of the backfield on a team that had the most pass attempts in 2016. PPR+
88 (-) Hunter Henry TE9 Los Angeles Chargers This should be the season Antonio Gates passes the torch off to Henry. Expect an uptick in the yards and catches from last season.
89 (-) Martellus Bennett TE10 Green Bay A mutually beneficial situation: Bennett makes a lateral quarterback move* from Aaron Rodgers to Tom Brady, while Bennett is arguably the best tight end Rodgers has ever had. Win-win.
90 (-2) Jonathan Stewart RB34 Carolina Nothing has changed regarding Stewart’s starting role, but it is tough to deny that Christian McCaffrey has looked like the real deal. PPR-
91 (+3) Rob Kelley RB35 Washington Appears to have a stranglehold on the starter job with rookie Samaje Perrine initially struggling with ball security and pass-protection. Kelley has not looked good through two preseason contests though. PPR-
92 (-1) Delanie Walker TE11 Tennessee A trustworthy target for Marcus Mariota, but the Tennessee receiving corps is suddenly crowded, meaning the target upside isn’t what it used to be.
93 (-1) Derek Carr QB11 Oakland A young gun-slinger in an ascending offense. Carr could take another step forward if Amari Cooper elevates his game to an elite level.
94 (new) Thomas Rawls RB36 Seattle Was running as the No. 1 running back in Seattle prior to injuring his ankle. It’s unclear if the job is Rawls’ to lose or if he’s just keeping the seat warm for when Eddie Lacy gets up to speed. Both backs expected to lose pass-game work to C.J. Prosise. PPR-
95 (-2) Theo Riddick RB37 Detroit Never going to be a featured back, but Riddick’s role is secure as a primary pass-catching option. Expected to receive more red zone this season, too. PPR+
96 (+2) Eric Decker WR39 Tennessee Has an opportunity to curry favor with Marcus Mariota while rookie first-rounder Corey Davis is on the shelf with a hamstring injury. TD+
97 (new) Tyrell Williams WR40 Los Angeles Chargers Appears destined for the No. 2 receiver role, at least while Mike Williams recovers from his back injury. Don’t forget that Tyrell Williams was a 1,000-yard receiver in this offense last year.
98 (new) Terrance West RB38 Baltimore Appears headed towards a 50/50 backfield split with Danny Woodhead, where West is the favorite for most of the carries. PPR-
99 (+1) Derrick Henry RB39 Tennessee Has looked the part of an RB1 while DeMarco Murray rests his hamstring injury.
100 (-5) Tevin Coleman RB40 Atlanta Teammate Devonta Freeman just got paid in a major way, so it’s possible the new contract has a trickle-down effect on Coleman’s stand-alone usage. Still an elite handcuff though.
Off the Board: Matt Forte (New York Jets), Cameron Meredith (Chicago), Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh)
*Note: In my last edition of this list, I incorrectly identified Aaron Rodgers as the best quarterback Martellus Bennett has ever played with, and completely disregarded the season Bennett spent with Tom Brady in New England. I just wanted to point out the error has been identified and remedied.






























































































































































































































































































About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.