The time that we have all been waiting for is upon us. The NFL and Fantasy Football are back and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pumped for the season. Fantasy Football makes us go through all types of emotions, from excitement to disappointment. For me, Fantasy Football is a stress reliever, regardless of how things play out during the course of a season. Obviously, I’d like to win every league that I play in, but that’s not the way it happens most of the time, as there are many surprises that play out during the roller coaster year. Even if you do all the Fantasy homework in the world, the season is just too unpredictable to think you’re set for the next four months when your draft is over. That’s why I compiled a comprehensive list of who I think will best serve to help your team should disaster strike, or, simply, the team ahead of you drafted the player you wanted. Let’s hit it.
1. Le’Veon Bell (RB – Pittsburgh Steelers) – If you can get past the first two games of the season that he’s suspended for, you’ll be in the clear, as he should pick up right where he left off last year and have himself a monster year.
2. Adrian Peterson (RB – Minnesota Vikings) – He’s back with a vengeance this year. Peterson’s going to eat big time and see 20+ touches a game.
3. Jamaal Charles (RB – Kansas City Chiefs) – Charles will continue to be in charge this year. He’s Mr. Reliable when he’s not injured, especially in PPR formats.
4. Antonio Brown (WR -Pittsburgh Steelers) – He’s Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite weapon, who karate kicked a punter last year during a game. What’s not to love about him?
5. Eddie Lacy (RB – Green Bay Packers) – With the Jordy Nelson injury, the Pack are going to rely more on Fat Eddie.
6. Odell Beckham (WR – N.Y. Giants) – He’s the most dynamic player in the league, so I wouldn’t blame you if you took him earlier in the draft.
7. Marshawn Lynch (RB – Seattle Seahawks) – Like a fine wine, Beastmode just gets better with age.
8. C.J. Anderson (RB – Denver Broncos) – The best back in Denver, but he has Ronnie Hillman breathing down his neck, so proceed with caution.
9. Matt Forte (RB – Chicago Bears) – Bad boys move in silence and this guy produces quietly every season.
10. DeMaryius Thomas (WR – Denver Broncos) – He’s Peyton Manning’s go to guy and has his sight set on another big year.
11. Julio Jones (WR – Atlanta Falcons) – There’s a monster season on the horizon for Julio IMO.
12. DeMarco Murray (RB – Philadelphia Eagles) – Fantasy value down, but he’s a winner in life since he’s out of Dallas.
13. Dez Bryant (WR – Dallas Cowboys) – Needs to learn to shut his mouth, but the kid can flat out ball on the field.
14. Rob Gronkowski (TE – New England Patriots) – He’s the coolest guy on earth, who just happens to be the best TE in the league.
15. Jeremy Hill (RB – Cincinnati Bengals) – Hill could be the next Marshawn Lynch. Need I say more?
16. Calvin Johnson (WR – Detroit Lions) – Megatron’s looking to rebound after a down year, but someone will hit the jackpot if they select him in the second round.
17. A.J. Green (WR – Cincinnati Bengals) – Green’s foot is healed, so hopefully his QB, Andy Dalton has been cured of suckalotsis.
18. Randall Cobb (WR – Green Bay Packers) – Cobb is the new number one receiver in Green Bay, due to the Jordy Nelson injury, so he’s about to have an insane season. Snatch him up!
19. Alfred Morris (RB – Washington Redskins) – Sometimes in life, things come out of nowhere, but here I’ll give you a heads up. This guy will be much improved this year.
20. Andrew Luck (QB – Indianapolis Colts) – Mr. Luck has some new toys to play with, so he’ll be just as deadly this year as he was last year.
21. LeSean McCoy (RB – Buffalo Bills) – I think someone put bad JuJu on Shady. I’d avoid if possible, as I’m certainly not touching him. [Editor’s note: If he’s there in the 5th or 6th round, yeah, I’m taking him.]
22. Aaron Rodgers (QB – Green Bay Packers) – No Nelson, no problem. Don’t let the Nelson injury scare you off. Rodgers is going to be just fine. Some may think I’m ranking him too low, but, remember, you don’t need a quarterback early. If you want to draft Rodgers first, that’s your call.
23. Alshon Jeffery (WR – Chicago Bears) – Brandon Marshall out, Alshon Jeffery the Superstar in!
24. Justin Forsett (RB – Baltimore Ravens) – Solid year ahead for Forsett, especially in PPR.
25. T.Y. Hilton (WR – Indianapolis Colts) – The ball may be spread around more in Indy this year, but Hilton can strike at any time. He’s a bad, bad man.
26. Mike Evans (WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Mike Evans could be a top 5 receiver by year’s end.
27. Emmanuel Sanders (WR – Denver Broncos) – Sanders knows how to get open and he proves himself to be a reliable target for Peyton Manning, so he should contribute big time again this year.
28. Carlos Hyde (RB – San Francisco 49ers) – No more Frank Gore, so let’s see what the kid can do. He’ll either be a stud or dud.
29. DeAndre Hopkins (WR – Houston Texans) – Andre Johnson left in free agency, so Hopkins gets his shot to prove that he’s the man in Houston. This could be his breakout year.
30. Brandin Cooks (WR – New Orleans Saints) – Cooks could be the biggest beneficiary of Jimmy Graham being out in Seattle now. This kid has talent.
31. Jimmy Graham (TE – Seattle Seahawks) – Russ has a new weapon up in Seattle with Graham and he’ll be a giant target in the red zone for Wilson.
32. Frank Gore (RB – Indianapolis Colts) – Bye-Bye Bay area, hello offense central. The change of scenery will do wonders for Gore.
33. Lamar Miller (RB – Miami Dolphins) – I’m saying it now, if Miller doesn’t do anything this year, never again will I target him in a draft.
34. Mark Ingram (RB – New Orleans Saints) – Ingram will split RB duties with C.J. Spiller, but he should be a solid contributor on any Fantasy team, as he’ll remain the Saints lead back.
35. Peyton Manning (QB – Denver Broncos) – Not the same player he once was, but don’t discount the old man. He could have one big run left in him.
36. Latavius Murray (RB – Oakland Raiders) – It may not be this year, but this guy will be the truth at some point.
37. Ben Roethlisberger (QB – Pittsburgh Steelers) – Big Ben has a few weapons out in Steelers Nation, so I expect big things from him this year.
38. Russell Wilson (QB – Seattle Seahawks) – He just got a big payday. He has a hot “lady friend” and now he has a stud TE to throw to. Dude is straight winning.
39. Joseph Randle (RB – Dallas Cowboys) – If he can stay healthy, he may have a breakout year while rushing behind that big O-line.
40. T.J. Yeldon (RB – Jacksonville Jaguars) – I like this guy a lot, but I don’t think this is his year. You could do a whole lot worse though.
41. C.J. Spiller (RB – New Orleans Saints) – Spiller may get back to Fantasy relevance with Drew Brees as his QB. He also may vulture some Ingram touchdowns. He’ll have a nice season if he’s healthy.
42. Jordan Matthews (WR – Philadelphia Eagles) – Fly Eagles Fly!!! Matthews is a future star that’s set to have a big year in Philly.
43. Rashad Jennings (RB – N.Y. Giants) – Meh!! If you need a back, I guess draft Jennings, but just don’t expect much from him.
44. Julian Edelman (WR – New England Patriots) – Edelman should see plenty of touches with or without Tom Brady at QB.
45. Sammy Watkins (WR – Buffalo Bills) – The Bills QB situation is shaky in Buffalo, so beware.
46. Amari Cooper (WR – Oakland Raiders) – I think the Raiders actually struck gold here at WR in the draft for the first time ever. Things are looking up in Oakland.
47. Jonathan Stewart (RB – Carolina Panthers) – Big time bust here, but the RB position is thin, so you’ll probably need to take a chance with him as he’s a guaranteed starter.
48. Drew Brees (QB – New Orleans Saints) – Brees isn’t elite anymore IMO, but he still can produce some solid Fantasy numbers for you.
49. DeSean Jackson (WR – Washington Redskins) – The Redskins suck!
50. Brandon Marshall (WR – N.Y. Jets) – With Fitzpatrick at the helms in Jets country, Marshall may surprise a lot of people here. Marshall could end up being a Top 10 WR at the close of this year.
51. Andre Johnson (WR – Houston Texans) – Andrew Luck is now his QB. Johnson’s value goes way up instantly.
52. Vincent Jackson (WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Jackson is a better version of Roddy White. He doesn’t do anything for me though.
53. Golden Tate (WR – Detroit Lions) – With Calvin Johnson on the other side of the field, Tate will always get an opportunity to produce.
54. Joique Bell (RB – Detroit Lions) – The clock is ticking until Ameer Abdullah gets his shot.
55. Melvin Gordon (RB – San Diego Chargers) – There’s too many greedy little paws in the Chargers backfield. I’d stay away from Gordon.
56. Todd Gurley (RB – St. Louis Rams) – Gurley is coming of an ACL injury, so I’m not sure he’s going to see heavy action until the second half of the year.
57. Mike Wallace (WR – Minnesota Vikings) – Wallace could surprise people here and really help out second year QB, Teddy Bridgewater.
58. Jeremy Maclin (WR – Kansas City Chiefs) – If Alex Smith can throw further than 8 yards, the Chiefs may be onto something here.
59. Keenan Allen (WR – San Diego Chargers) – Can he rebound from a tough last year? I’m not convinced Allen is anything special.
60. Andre Ellington (RB – Arizona Cardinals) – Unless you’re desperate, I’d avoid Ellington at all cost. He’s the second coming of Darren McFadden.
61. Giovanni Bernard (RB – Cincinnati Bengals) – It’s Jeremy Hill’s world. Giovanni is just living in it.
62. LeGarrette Blount (RB – New England Patriots) – Vereen’s gone, so that’s one less mouth to feed. He should get plenty of touches this year.
63. Greg Olsen (TE – Carolina Panthers) – Kelvin Benjamin has a torn ACL, so insert Olsen as number one target for Cam Newton. They have nice chemistry, so expect some good value here.
64. Ryan Mathews (RB – Philadelphia Eagles) – A nice change of pace back for the Iggles. He may get more love on offense than one might think.
65. Shane Vereen (RB – N.Y. Giants) – Vereen could get more action here than Jennings, so he’ll play well in PPR leagues for sure.
66. Alfred Blue (RB – Houston Texans) – With Foster out at least the first 8 games of the season, Blue is the man for the job. Find out what Blue can do for you.
67. Ameer Abdullah (RB – Detroit Lions) – Prepare for a monster second half of the season, once the Joique Bell experiment fizzles out.
68. Tre Mason (RB – St. Louis Rams) – With Gurley most likely being eased into the O, Mason will get his opportunity early on in the season. However, temper your expectations for him.
69. Travis Kelce (TE – Kansas City Chiefs) – Every Fantasy fan’s second favorite TE behind Gronk. If the Chiefs throw it his way, he’ll gobble the ball up all year.
70. Jarvis Landry (WR – Miami Dolphins) – Landry could be a nice little sleeper here for you, since the Dolphins should be much improved on offense.
71. Chris Ivory (RB – N.Y. Jets) – Someone has to run the ball for the Jets. I’m not excited about Ivory at all.
72. Eric Decker (WR – N.Y. Jets) – Decker may see more balls thrown his way with Brandon Marshall in town. Me likey!
73. Martavis Bryant (WR – Pittsburgh Steelers) – Bryant will be a stud one day, I just don’t think this will be his breakout year.
74. Nelson Agholor (WR – Philadelphia Eagles) – Agholor is another big time weapon in Chip’s wonderland. He may see more action this year than a kid on prom night.
75. Roddy White (WR – Atlanta Falcons) – Ugh!!! Go away, Roddy!
76. Larry Fitzgerald (WR – Arizona Cardinals) – The Golden days of Fitzgerald are long gone. If you need a WR, maybe something good will come from him, though I doubt it.
77. Torrey Smith (WR – San Francisco 49ers) – Now in San Fran, I have low expectations for Smith and you should too.
78. John Brown (WR – Arizona Cardinals) – Sleeper, Sleeper, Sleeper!!!! That is all.
79. Martellus Bennett (TE – Chicago Bears) – Bennett should see heavy opportunity in Chi-Town, as he’s essentially the Bear’s second WR.
80. Isaiah Crowell (RB – Cleveland Browns) – I threw up in my mouth just writing his name. If you can avoid Crowell, please do so.
81. Charles Johnson (WR – Minnesota Vikings) – Nice upside here for Johnson, but I’m not sure he’ll ever be a big time WR.
82. Marques Colston (WR- New Orleans Saints) – Colston isn’t very trustworthy. I’ll pass.
83. Doug Martin (RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – What the hell happened to Doug Martin? He sucks now, but he’ll get one more chance to prove himself this year.
84. Tevin Coleman (RB – Atlanta Falcons) – Tevin who? I’m not a fan, but the Falcons like him. I have no clue how the backfield situation in Atlanta will end up playing out, so I’ll bypass him.
85. Allen Robinson (WR – Jacksonville Jaguars) – Robinson is a nice talent, with a young QB. I wouldn’t expect much from any Jaguar player in Fantasy.
86. Cam Newton (QB – Carolina Panthers) – Poor guy. Cam can never catch a break with his WR’s. Look for him to scramble for his life this year.
87. Jason Witten (TE – Dallas Cowboys) – Witten is Tony Romo’s best buddy. It’s almost the end of the line for Witten, so the Romo lifeline is the only thing that Witten has going for him.
88. Tony Romo (QB – Dallas Cowboys) – If the Cowboys running game doesn’t work, Mr. Romo is going to be laid out on his back more than an Atlantic City hooker.
89. Eli Manning (QB – N.Y. Giants) – Don’t let Eli’s stupid looking face deter you from taking a shot on him in the later rounds of your draft. I expect decent numbers from him this year.
90. Matt Ryan (QB – Atlanta Falcons) – With the Falcons running game the way it is, Matt Ryan may end up literally throwing on every down this year.
91. Jordan Cameron (TE – Miami Dolphins) – He’s out of Cleveland, so rejoice for the Cameron family.
92. Devonta Freeman (RB – Atlanta Falcons) – On paper, he’s the best back in the ATL. But, I’m not convinced he ends the season as the guy.
93. Bishop Sankey (RB Tennessee Titans) – Sankey couldn’t possibly be any worse than he was last year, can he?
94. Devante Adams (WR – Green Bay Packers) – With Jordy Nelson done for the season, Adams should be the Fantasy darling that many are projecting him to be.
95. Darren McFadden (RB – Dallas Cowboys) – McFadden and his noodle knees probably just got injured somewhere making a microwavable dinner.
96. Eddie Royal (WR – Chicago Bears) – With Kevin White going down with an injury, Royal’s a sneaky play here as a WR2 for the Bears. I wouldn’t mind rostering him later in the draft.
97. Arian Foster (RB – Houston Texans) – Foster could be back after week 8. If so, this may be a pick that gives you a late season boost.
98. Julius Thomas (TE – Jacksonville Jaguars) – Thomas has an injured finger, but with his size, he could be a favorite target of his young QB.
99. Brandon LaFell (WR – New England Patriots) – LaFell is nursing a foot injury at the moment, but as long as he’s part of the Patriot’s offense, he should have some value.
100. Anquan Boldin (WR – San Francisco 49ers) – Depending on their running game, Boldin should have a very solid year this year with Frank Gore out of San Fran. He’ll be Kaepernick’s go to guy in the pass game and will be targeted plenty.
My gut is telling me that this is going to be a season for the ages in Fantasy Football. The best advice that I can offer you is to just trust your gut. Try not to get caught up with what everyone else is saying, because sometime they’re trying to sabotage your efforts to build a great fantasy team. Do your homework and read up on various articles that can give you the information that you need to succeed in your league. But ultimately, the decisions are yours to make and yours only. Once you set your lineups, just sit back, relax, and watch how things play out on Gameday because before you know it, the season will be over.
You can stay up to date with everything fantasy football related by following me on Twitter (@ViggieSmalls765) and Instagram. I’ll be available on Twitter for upcoming Twitter Chats and to give out advice to help guide you through your fantasy seasons.