Eric Ebron

2017 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Busts

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USA TODAY

2017 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Busts

As we inch closer to the 2017 NFL season, the CSN Fantasy crew unveiled their sleepers and busts on Thursday's edition of the Fantasy Football Fix Podcast.

Listen to our Podcast for more in-depth analysis and take a look at the complete list of sleepers and busts from Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Glynn Morgan below.

SLEEPERS

De'Angelo Henderson (RB), DEN - ADP: 170 (undrafted)

A true sleeper - a sixth round pick who has come out of nowhere (Coastal Carolina) to turn heads in camp. CJ Anderson is locked in as the starter in the Broncos backfield right now, but Jamaal Charles is far from a sure thing and Devontae Booker fell out of favor there toward the end of last year. Henderson is small (5-foot-7, 208 pounds) but he was a good receiver in college and was the featured back, showing he's more than just a change-of-pace guy. He's not currently being drafted in leagues and is drawing Maurice Jones-Drew comparisons.

CJ Prosise (RB), SEA - 128.5

From Weeks 7-11, when Prosise was actually healthy, he racked up 369 yards on 45 touches - an insane average of 8.2 yards per touch. Yes Eddie Lacy is in town, but Prosise is far and away the team's best receiver and he will surely get an opportunity to make an impact out of the backfield assuming he is healthy. He's a guy that has already proven he doesn't need a ton of touches to be fantasy-relevant. But imagine if he actually were fed the rock 12-15 times a game. Draft him in the 12th round and get hyped about his enormous breakout potential. About as much fantasy upside as an 11th or 12th rounder can get.

Dion Lewis (RB), NE - 170 (undrafted)

After returning from knee injury his touches per game:

8, 10, 9, 4, 20, 17, 13 then playoffs (15-8-7)

Yes they're fickle, but that was with LeGarrette Blount in town and is Mike Gillislee really going to change things all that much? Lewis totaled 489 yards in 10 games coming off an injury. You never know what you're gonna get in Belichik's backfield, but Lewis is their most dynamic running back and is now presumably healthy. White only had 5 touches in 2 playoff games before breaking out in the Super Bowl, while Lewis had 21 touches. Don't forget what Lewis did in only 7 games in 2015 - 234 rushing yards, 36 catches, 388 rec yds. He's tantalizing and you can get him shockingly late in drafts.

Rookie RBs: Joe Williams (SF), Jamaal Williams (GB), Marlon Mack (IND), Kareem Hunt (KC), Samaje Perine (WSH)

All rookie RBs that are flying under the radar and all five plus Henderson have the potential to be better than Cook, Fournette or McCaffery just based on opportunity. They're all emerging as the primary backups to more elder statesmen (some more elder than others, *COUGH* FRANK GORE *COUGH*) who have serious question marks, like Ty Montgomery's blocking, Frank Gore being old as shit, Spencer Ware not being able to handle feature back duties, Rob Kelley being unproven, CJ Anderson failing to live up to CJ Anderson and so on.

Cam Meredith (WR), CHI  - 108.4

Why is this guy still underrated? He was the top fantasy wide receiver for a few-week stretch last year and while you can't evaluate a guy just based off a few hot games, he's emerged as a legit top-flight receiver over the last two years and the ISU kid may very well be the Bears' No. 1 option even with a healthy Kevin White. Plus, they figure to throw a bunch - even if it is Mike Glennon taking those snaps - so Cam should get plenty of work. From Week 5 on, Meredith was a Top 20 fantasy WR, and that includes 3 straight clunkers in which he only had one catch a game from Weeks 7-10.

Kenny Golladay (WR), DET - 134.6

The under-the-radar NIU/Chicago receiver who's turning heads in Detroit during camp. He's 6-foot-4, 218 pounds and on a team that is searching for consistent WR play.

Donte Moncrief (WR), IND - 93.2

Been predicting a breakout for him for the last two years and it hasn't happened yet. With Andrew Luck's shoulder issue, there is legitimate concern about the value of the Indy receivers, but keep in mind, Moncrief is still only 24 years old, he has 16 tuddies in only 19 career starts (though he has played in 41 total games), he's in a high-powered passing offense and you won't need to invest a lot in him. If this is the year he breaks out, it won't cost you much of a gamble. Yeah, he's TD dependent, but he's going 94th overall, the NO. 37 WR.

Eric Ebron (TE), DET - 130.8

We're still waiting for him to breakout. Could that be this season? He finished as the No. 14 fantasy TE last year despite scoring 1 TD, missing essentially four games and dropping a bunch of balls. He had only 1 target in a Week 12 contest but averaged more than 7 targets/gm in his other 12 contests and set a new career high in catches and yards. This is the year he becomes a Top 10 TE and has the potential to be a Top 5 TE. Remember, he was the former 10th overall pick back in 2014.

MORE SLEEPERS

Eli Manning (QB), NYG

Deshaun Watson (QB), HOU

Bilal Powell (RB), NYJ

Doug Martin (RB), TB

Dalvin Cook (RB), MIN

Paul Perkins (RB), NYG

Jamison Crowder (WR), WSH

Terrelle Pryor (WR), WSH

DeVante Parker (WR), MIA

Martavis Bryant (WR), PIT

Zay Jones (WR), BUF

Cooper Kupp (WR), LAR

Martellus Bennett (TE), GB

Austin Hooper (TE), ATL

Gerald Everett (TE), LAR

BUSTS

Leonard Fournette (RB), JAX - 22.5

Going to be awfully tough to live up to draft stock, the Jags' line is rough, teams can stack the box, he's still a rookie, etc. He's going in the second or third round, as the 9th RB off the board. It's going to be nearly impossible for him to live up to that.

Devonta Freeman (RB), ATL - 9.9

I feel like I doubt Freeman every year. Is he really the No. 4 RB? He already has one concussion this year, he had one in 2015 as well and don't forget about Tevin Coleman now that it appears he's got his sickle cell under control. And OC Kyle Shanahan is gone now. And he just got paid, so no contract year anymore. There are plenty of causes for concern, and not a guy I can feel comfortable about drafting in the Top 10.

Joe Mixon (RB), CIN - 56.2

How could he possibly live up to this ADP? The off-field issues, he's a rookie, Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill are around, etc.

Dez Bryant (WR), DAL - 20.1

Over the last 2 years, Bryant has played in 22 games, but his stat line only looks like this: 82 rec, 168 tgt, 1,197 yds, 11 TD. That's right, he's caught only 48 percent of his targets, and those are season numbers, not 2 year/22 gm numbers. Yes, he's had some terrible QBs playing with and rookie Prescott last year, but still. He hasn't even been a per-game elite asset since 2014. Way too high a price tag for a guy with that bio.

Rob Gronkowski (TE), NE - 17.7

Has only played 16 games in a season once in his career. The last 5 years, he's missed 24 games and he had several games played last year where he didn't notch a fantasy point. He's clearly the top tight end and far and away the No. option on a game-to-game basis, but only when he's healthy and since that isn't a sure thing, can't justify drafting him in the second round.

MORE BUSTS

Dak Prescott (QB), DAL

Cam Newton (QB), CAR

Spencer Ware (RB), KC

Eddie Lacy (RB), SEA

Adrian Peterson (RB), NO

Matt Forte (RB), NYJ

Latavius Murray (RB) MIN

Julian Edelman (WR), NE

Brandon Marshall (WR), NYG

Alshon Jeffery (WR), PHI

DeSean Jackson (WR), TB

2017 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

2017 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

On Wednesday's edition of the Fantasy Football Fix Podcast, the guys unveiled their positional rankings for the 2017 season.

Listen to our Podcast for more in-depth analysis and take a look at the full rankings from Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Glynn Morgan below.

Andracki's positional rankings

QBs

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Drew Brees
3. Tom Brady
4. Marcus Mariota
5. Jameis Winston
6. Andrew Luck
7. Russell Wilson
8. Cam Newton
9. Kirk Cousins
10. Matt Ryan
11. Derek Carr
12. Ben Roethlisberger
13. Matthew Stafford
14. Philip Rivers
15. Dak Prescott
16. Tyrod Taylor
17. Eli Manning
18. Carson Palmer
19. Blake Bortles
20. Jay Cutler

Analysis: I could see any of the guys I ranked 1-6 ending the season at the top fantasy quarterback. Mariota and Winston are absolutely ascending, but in reality, this quarterback class this year is SO deep. I would be perfectly happy with my 15th (Prescott) or 17th (Manning) QBs being my only gunslinger on my team. 

This is proof you should draft QBs late and there's rarely any need for two on your fantasy roster. 

The other thing worth noting: Roethlisberger is not — and should not be considered — an elite option any longer. Over the last three seasons, his home/road splits are real and they're awful:

Home: 59 TD, 16 INT
Road: 23 TD, 22 INT

He's nothing more than a spot starter at this point in his career, but when he is playing in Pittsburgh, there's hardly anybody better.

RBs

1. David Johnson
2. Le'Veon Bell
3. Ezekiel Elliott
4. Jordan Howard
5. Jay Ajayi
6. Melvin Gordon
7. Devonta Freeman
8. Lamar Miller
9. LeSean McCoy
10. DeMarco Murray
11. Todd Gurley
12. Ty Montgomery
13. Mark Ingram
14. Tevin Coleman
15. Leonard Fournette
16. Christian McCaffrey
17. C.J. Anderson
18. Isaiah Crowell
19. Dalvin Cook
20. Bilal Powell
21. Duke Johnson
22. Paul Perkins
23. C.J. Prosise
24. LeGarrette Blount
25. Mike Gillislee
26. Danny Woodhead
27. Theo Riddick
28. Spencer Ware
29. Jonathan Stewart
30. James White
31. Derrick Henry
32. Doug Martin
33. Eddie Lacy
34. Carlos Hyde
35. Ameer Abdullah
36. Matt Forte
37. Frank Gore
38. Jeremy Hill
39. Gio Bernard
40. Latavius Murray

Take these 40 and add a bunch of late-round flyers on guys like Zach Zenner, Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson Joe Mixon, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Dion Lewis, Charles Sims, Darren Sproles, Kareem Hunt, Marlon Mack, Joe Williams, Jamaal Charles.

Analysis: For me, there are the top three backs (Johnson, Bell, Elliott) and then a major drop-off. There are serious question marks around every guy and most teams have two or three capable options that could make an impact, especially in PPR leagues.

Could make the case that anybody from 15-40 could be interchanged in my rankings and anybody from that list of flyers can bump into the 25-40 range. That's how finicky RBs are in 2017.

That being said, I'm really high on Howard and waiting for McCoy and Murray to just fall off a cliff, as I explain in the podcast.

WRs

1. Antonio Brown
2. Odell Beckham
3. Julio Jones
4. Mike Evans
5. A.J. Green
6. Jordy Nelson
7. Michael Thomas
8. T.Y. Hilton
9. Dez Bryant
10. Brandin Cooks
11. Jarvis Landry
12. Keenan Allen
13. Amari Cooper
14. Allen Robinson
15. Doug Baldwin 
16. DeAndre Hopkins
17. Demaryius Thomas
18. Alshon Jeffery
19. Jamison Crowder
20. Julian Edelman
21. Terrelle Pryor
22. Golden Tate
23. Willie Snead
24. Larry Fitzgerald
25. John Brown
26. Cam Meredith
27. Martavis Bryant
28. DeVante Parker
29. Eric Decker
30. Donte Moncrief
31. Rishard Matthews
32. Michael Crabtree
33. Brandon Marshall
34. Tyreek Hill
35. Jordan Matthews
36. Davante Adams
37. Randall Cobb
38. Pierre Garcon
39. Emmanuel Sanders
40. Corey Coleman
41. Sammy Watkins
42. Stefon Diggs
43. Kelvin Benjamin
44. Corey Davis
45. Sterling Shepard
46. Kevin White
47. Tyler Lockett
48. Phillip Dorsett
49. Malcolm Mitchell
50. Adam Thielen
51. Jeremy Maclin
52. Breshad Perriman
53. Tyrell Williams
54. Allen Hurns
55. Tavon Austin
56. Taylor Gabriel
57. J.J. Nelson
58. Cole Beasley
59. Josh Doctson
60. John Ross
61. DeSean Jackson
62. Mike Williams
63. Eli Rogers
64. Kenny Britt
65. Mike Wallace
66. Marvin Jones
67. Robby Anderson
68. Travis Benjamin
69. Robert Woods
70. Chris Hogan

LATE-ROUND SLEEPERS

Cooper Kupp
Kenny Golladay
Tanner Gentry
Marqise Lee
Laquon Treadwell
Zay Jones

Analysis: It's the Top 10 for me then some serious question marks, though I do love me some Jarvis Landry. I'd be happy with anybody from 11-40 as my Nos. 2/3/4 WRs and there are plenty of upside guys to be had late in the draft.

It's a deep position group this year, but my plan in drafts is to strongly target one of the Top 10 guys, as I'd rather bet my early-round picks on the more-stable WRs as opposed to the scary/iffy RB crop.

Can we dispel the notion that Sammy Watkins is an elite receiver? Dude is far from it. He can't stay healthy and he's one of the more inconsistent wideouts in fantasy, with nearly half of his career games (18 out of 37) finishing with fewer than 9 fantasy points, even in full point PPR leagues.

TEs

1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Travis Kelce
3. Jordan Reed
4. Greg Olsen
5. Tyler Eifert
6. Jimmy Graham
7. Kyle Rudolph
8. Delanie Walker
9. Eric Ebron
10. Hunter Henry
11. Zach Ertz
12. Martellus Bennett
13. Austin Hoooper
14. Jack Doyle
15. Coby Fleener
16. Julius Thomas
17. Jason Witten
18. C.J. Fiedorowicz
19. Cameron Brate
20. O.J. Howard

SLEEPERS

David Njoku
Evan Engram
Maxx Williams
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 
Adam Shaheen
Clive Walford

Analysis: Gronk's inability to stay healthy bumps him out of the first round, in my eyes. He's also no longer putting up the per-game production way above the rest of the position now that Kelce is finding the endzone and Reed/Olsen are gigantic parts of their team's offense. 

Ebron and Henry could be solid value late in drafts and Bennett has proved he has something left in the tank, plus he's just joined up with the best QB in the league in Aaron Rodgers. Don't sleep on Cameron Brate, even with O.J. Howard in town.

Krinch's positional rankings

QUARTERBACK

1. Aaron Rodgers (GB)
2. Drew Brees (NO)
3. Tom Brady (NE)
4. Andrew Luck (IND)
5. Marcus Mariota (TEN)
6. Russell Wilson (SEA)
7. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
8. Cam Newton (CAR)
9. Matt Ryan (ATL)
10. Derek Carr (OAK)
11. Jameis Winston (TB)
12. Kirk Cousins (WSH)
13. Philip Rivers (LAC)
14. Eli Manning (NYG)
15. Andy Dalton (CIN)
16. Dak Prescott (DAL)
17. Matt Stafford (DET)
18. Carson Palmer (ARI)
19. Blake Bortles (JAX)
20. Tyrod Taylor (BUF)

RUNNING BACK

1. LeVeon Bell (PIT)
2. David Johnson (ARI)
3. Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)
4. LeSean McCoy (BUF)
5. Jordan Howard (CHI)
6. Melvin Gordon (LAC)
7. Devonta Freeman (ATL)
8. DeMarco Murray (TEN)
9. Jay Ajayi (MIA)
10. Todd Gurley (LAR)
11. Lamar Miller (HOU)
12. Dalvin Cook (MIN)
13. Mark Ingram (NO)
14. Isaiah Crowell (CLE)
15. Marshawn Lynch (OAK)
16. Leonard Fournette (JAX)
17. Bilal Powell (NYJ)
18. C.J. Anderson (DEN)
19. Paul Perkins (NYG)
20. Ty Montgomery (GB)
21. Spencer Ware (KC)
22. Tevin Coleman (ATL)
23. Frank Gore (IND)
24. Christian McCaffrey (CAR)
25. Ameer Abdullah (DET)
26. LeGarrette Blount (PHI)
27. Doug Martin (TB)
28. Eddie Lacy (SEA)
29. Mike Gillislee (NE)
30. Carlos Hyde (SF)
31. Danny Woodhead (BAL)
32. Joe Mixon (CIN)
33. Matt Forte (NYJ)
34. Adrian Peterson (NO)
35. Jonathan Stewart (CAR)
36. Samaje Perine (WSH)
37. C.J. Prosise (SEA)
38. Kareem Hunt (KC)
39. Marlon Mack (IND)
40. Darren Sproles (PHI)

WIDE RECEIVER

1. Antonio Brown (PIT)
2. Julio Jones (ATL)
3. Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)
4. Mike Evans (TB)
5. Jordy Nelson (GB)
6. A.J. Green (CIN)
7. Michael Thomas (NO)
8. Dez Bryant (DAL)
9. T.Y. Hilton (IND)
10. Brandin Cooks (NE)
11. Doug Baldwin (SEA)
12. DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)
13. Amari Cooper (OAK)
14. Demaryius Thomas (DEN)
15. Terrelle Pryor (WSH)
16. Allen Robinson (JAX)
17. Keenan Allen (LAC)
18. Alshon Jeffery (PHI)
19. Jarvis Landry (MIA)
20. Tyreek Hill (KC)
21. Kelvin Benjamin (CAR)
22. Davante Adams (GB)
23. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)
24. Julian Edelman (NE)
25. Cameron Meredith (CHI)
26. Martavis Bryant (PIT)
27. Pierre Garcon (SF)
28. Michael Crabtree (OAK)
29. Eric Decker (TEN)
30. DeSean Jackson (TB)
31. Jamison Crowder (WSH)
32. Kenny Britt (CLE)
33. Golden Tate (DET)
34. Brandon Marshall (NYG)
35. Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)
36. Stefon Diggs (MIN)
37. Tyrell Williams (LAC)
38. Devante Parker (MIA)
39. Jeremy Maclin (BAL)
40. John Brown (ARI)
41. Willie Snead (NO)
42. Zay Jones (BUF)
43. Jordan Matthews (PHI)
44. Corey Coleman (CLE)
45. Marvin Jones (DET)
46. Sterling Shepard (NYG)
47. Rishard Matthews (TEN)
48. Sammy Watkins (BUF)
49. Randall Cobb (GB)
50. Mike Wallace (BAL)
51. Donte Moncrief (IND)
52. Adam Thielen (MIN)
53. Chris Hogan (NE)
54. Kevin White (CHI)
55. Robert Woods (BUF)
56. Corey Davis (TEN)
57. Malcolm Mitchell (NE)
58. Taylor Gabriel (ATL)
59. Tyler Lockett (SEA)
60. Allen Hurns (JAX)
61. Tajh Boyd (CIN)
62. Kenny Stills (MIA)
63. Breshad Perriman (BAL)
64. Tavon Austin (LAR)
65. Robby Anderson (NYJ)
66. Mohamed Sanu (ATL)
67. Josh Doctson (WSH)
68. Devin Funchess (CAR)
69. Kenny Golladay (DET)
70. Ted Ginn (NO)

TIGHT END

1. Rob Gronkowski (NE)
2. Travis Kelce (KC)
3. Greg Olsen (CAR)
4. Jordan Reed (WSH)
5. Tyler Eifert (CIN)
6. Delanie Walker (TEN)
7. Kyle Rudolph (MIN)
8. Zach Ertz (PHI)
9. Martellus Bennett (GB)
10. Jack Doyle (IND)
11. Jimmy Graham (SEA)
12. Hunter Henry (LAC)
13. Eric Ebron (DET)
14. C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU)
15. Julius Thomas (MIA)
16. Coby Fleener (NO)
17. Charles Clay (BUF)
18. Evan Engram (NYG)
19. Jason Witten (DAL)
20. Cameron Brate (TB)

Morgan's positional rankings

Running backs

David Johnson 
Le’Veon Bell
Ezekiel Elliott
Devonta Freeman
LeSean McCoy
Jay Ajayi
Todd Gurley
Lamar Miller
Leonard Fournette
Melvin Gordon
DeMarco Murray
Jordan Howard
Dalvin Cook
Joe Mixon
Isaiah Crowell

Wide receivers

Antonio Brown
Odell Beckham
Julio Jones
Jordy Nelson
Michaell Thomas
Mike Evans
Deandre Hopkins
A.J. Green
T.Y. Hilton
Doug Baldwin
Amari  Cooper
Dez Bryant
Jarvis Landry
Allen Robinson
Brandin Cooks

Quarterbacks

Tom Brady
Aaron Rodgers
Drew Brees
Matt Ryan
Jameis Winston
Ben Roethlisberger
Derek Carr
Eli Manning
Matt Stafford
Andy Dalton
Kirk Cousins
Russell Wilson
Philip Rivers
Andrew Luck
Marcus Mariota

Tight end

Travis Kelce
Rob Gronkowski
Greg Olsen
Jimmy Graham
Jordan Reed
Hunter Henry
Evan Engram
Kyle Rudolph
Delanie Walker
Zach Ertz
Colby Fleener
Martellus Bennett
Jack Doyle
Eric Ebron
Tyler Eifert