This time of year, there's only one way to channel your football energy until the season starts. We all know preseason football isn't going to scratch that itch.

It's time for fantasy football talk.

Here's our positional rankings and an overall top 50 to make sure you're ready for your draft. Study up: Class is in session.


1. David Johnson, ARI

He gets as many guaranteed touches as anyone (373 in 2016, including 80 catches), because he's so active in the passing game. And coach Bruce Arians says he wants to give him even more in 2017, possibly as many as 30 a game. He doesn't have a suitable backup to vulture carries, and he's young with no health concerns. Pro Football Focus charted him with 71 broken tackles last year, the most in the league. He's a solid co-No. 1 pick this year, even more so in PPR leagues.

2. Le'Veon Bell, PIT

Bell is right on Johnson's heels as the No. 1 running back. You can't go wrong with either. He's on a powerhouse offense and when Pittsburgh gets ahead, the Steelers lean on him. He averaged almost five yards on his 261 carries and caught 75 passes, despite missing the first four games of 2016. He's not quite as elusive as Johnson, but he's a patient runner and makes the most of his high volume of touches.

3. LeSean McCoy, BUF

At age 29, he's flirting with the dangerous running back wall, but he's not showing signs of slowing down. He averaged almost 5.5 yards a carry and played his best ball when it meant the most in fantasy. From Weeks 12-16, he ran for at least 100 yards four times and scored six of his 13 touchdowns.

4. Melvin Gordon, LAC

Gordon was a breakout star in 2016 after falling short of his rookie hype in 2015. That should continue in 2017. His biggest asset is consistency. Before suffering a season-ending hip injury in Week 14, he scored at least nine points in every game, including six games with 19 or more points.

5. Devonta Freeman, ATL

He's stuck in an awkward committee with the immensely talented, explosive Tevin Coleman, but he's still the No. 1 option. Nobody runs harder than Freeman right now, but he also had 57 fewer touches last year than in 2015. That's a concern, but when he does get the ball, he makes the most and he's fun to watch when he does. He's also a major factor in the passing game. 5. Jordan Howard, CHI

It's always nice to have a running back who's a threat in the passing game, and Howard got 46 targets last season. It only took a few weeks for him to become the offense's bellcow back, scoring at least 12 points 11 times from Weeks 3-17. He might not score often, but there are very few backs you can count on for at least 20 touches a game.

6. Jay Ajayi, MIA

He came out of nowhere last year with 500 yards in three games, but slowed late in the season. Still, he's faster than anyone realized and he's extremely difficult to bring down. His biggest problem is he's a running back on a below-average offense for a below-average team, and now his quarterback might end up being Jay Cutler. *shudders*

7. Todd Gurley, LAR

It can't be worse than 2016, can it? Defenses stacked the box to stop Gurley last year and neither Case Keenum nor Jared Goff could loosen them up. Adding Sammy Watkins to the offense can't hurt, and Goff should be at least a little better. Gurley showed in 2015 that on a different roster, he would be a juggernaut. For now, he's just solid, but you know he's going to get touches.

8. DeMarco Murray, TEN

There are plenty of carries to go around in the Titans' run-heavy offense, and Murray still managed 4.4 yards per carry against stacked boxes all last season. He finished sixth in scoring among running backs last year, despite rushing for just three touchdowns all season.

9. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL

There are, of course, many other more important issues regarding Elliott's six-game suspension stemming from 2016 domestic violence incidents than his fantasy value. But just from a strategy perspective, the best way to mitigate your risk is by drafting his handcuff, Darren McFadden, even if you have to reach to do it.

10. Leonard Fournette, JAX

The Jaguars have been waiting for a franchise back to pair with Blake Bortles and an underrated set of receivers. They have one now. Expect the No. 4 pick in this year's draft to be the featured back right away. And hey, at least he sounds confident.


Terrance West, BAL

Danny Woodhead's arrival produced most of the offseason enthusiasm for the Ravens, but don't forget about West. Woodhead has struggled with injuries and is expected to mostly play in passing downs. West isn't being drafted until the 20s among running backs, but still managed 1,000 yards and six scores in a timeshare with Kenneth Dixon last year. He should still get around 220 touches or more like last year, and has a high upside. He's undervalued.

Deep sleeper: Derrick Henry, TEN


Marshawn Lynch, OAK

The Beast Mode hype is out of control. Running backs take more punishment than any position on the field. Do you really want to spend a second-round pick on a 31-year-old with 2,144 carries on his odometer, who hasn't played a snap in almost two years? He already looked like he was hitting the running back wall during an injury-plagued 2015. It'll be fun to see Lynch back, but don't expect him to spend the whole season as the so-called feature back. DeAndre Washington is a promising backup with Latavius Murray gone to Minnesota, and might steal carries almost immediately.



1. Antonio Brown, PIT

Hopefully you can find room on your roster for one of the fastest receivers in the league with special hands who runs great routes on a great offense with an experienced, consistent quarterback. He's the clear No. 1 at the position.

2. Julio Jones, ATL

3. Odell Beckham, Jr., NYG

Beckham is more consistent and more explosive of this pair, but Jones is the biggest weapon on the NFL's best offense. Either way, you can't go wrong using an early pick on Jones or Beckham. Beckham is a safer pick in a PPR league, but both are healthy and rack up huge target numbers.

4. A.J. Green, CIN

5. Mike Evans, TB

DeSean Jackson's arrival in Tampa won't cut into Evans' production. Just the opposite. His speed should threaten defenses out of applying bracket coverage and he already led the NFL with 173 targets last season. He might see fewer targets, but look for his 96 catches to see a bump, especially as his quarterback, Jameis Winston, continues to develop. He's a 6-foot-5 freak who gets and even higher volume of targets in the red zone. Only Jordy Nelson had more touchdown catches last year.

6. Jordy Nelson, GB

He bounced back from a torn ACL in 2015 to essentially equal his career year in 2014. It helps playing in a pass-happy offense with the league's best passer. Nelson has a knack for always being open and has some of the league's softest hands. Even at age 32, he should be strong again in 2017. He finished as a top 10 receiver seven times last season.

7. Michael Thomas, NO

8. Dez Bryant, DAL

Both Dallas and New Orleans have a lot of weapons, but Thomas and Bryant are the surest things in the passing game. And both get the most targets in the red zone. Thomas got 19 last season and Bryant got 12 in 13 games.

9. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU

Hopkins is a freak with giant hands, and his quarterback situation can't be worse than being shackled to Brock Osweiler last season. Don't be surprised if Deshaun Watson grabs the starting job away from Tom Savage early in the season.

10. Amari Cooper, OAK

He's topped 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and he's only getting better, just like his quarterback, Derek Carr.


Jarvis Landry, MIA

He lives in the slot and doesn't go downfield often, but he makes the most of his catches and targets. Last season, he scored at least 12 points 12 times and finished as a top-10 receiver five times last season. That's not bad for a WR being drafted outside the top 20. The QB situation in Miami is rough, but a receiver who gets open often on short/intermediate routes is valuable there, especially in PPR leagues.

Deep sleeper: Zay Jones, BUF


Allen Robinson, JAX

The inconsistency at quarterback isn't changing, but Robinson never learned to adjust to increased attention from defenses after his breakout season in 2015. Robinson's up-and-down production will lose you games. He's being drafted around the top 20 receivers but scored fewer than eight points in six games last year.



1. Aaron Rodgers

A slam-dunk pick at No. 1. He's the best passer in the league and the fantasy numbers back it up. Rodgers is one of just six quarterbacks to throw at least 600 passes last year. He turned it into a league-high 40 touchdown passes and now he gets Jordy Nelson back at full strength with a full offseason of work.

2. Drew Brees

3. Matt Ryan

Brees and Ryan aren't far behind Rodgers. Both have a chance to challenge Rodgers for the top quarterback in fantasy with weapons everywhere on both of their offenses.

4. Tom Brady

5. Kirk Cousins

Cousins has a wide disconnect between a QB you'd want for your hometown team vs. your fantasy team, but don't overlook the numbers. From Week 3-13 last year, he threw multiple touchdowns eight times and threw for 286 yards or more nine times throughout the season. His value far outpaces his perception, even in fantasy. No QB is a better bargain.

6. Russell Wilson, SEA

7. Andrew Luck, IND

Health has been an issue for both, but like Luck in 2016, look for Wilson to bounce back in 2017 after limping through 2016 with knee and ankle injuries. Neither is a sure thing, but both should be No. 1 quarterbacks and every week starters in 2017.

8. Jameis Winston, TB

Bank on breakout years for Winston and the man below him, Mariota. Winston added speedster DeSean Jackson to his arsenal, and he should take some heat off No. 1 weapon Mike Evans. He could play his way into being a top five quarterback.

9. Marcus Mariota, TEN

Mariota should be fine after suffering a broken leg in Week 16. He showed promise and consistency in 2016, scoring 20 points nine times and at least 30 points four times. He's expected to run more this season, and the Titans added Eric Decker and drafted Corey Davis in the first round to give him more weapons in the passing game.

10. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT

Simply put: When you're throwing the ball to Antonio Brown, your floor is very, very high. Martavis Bryant and Sammie Coates don't hurt, and second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster is icing on the cake.


Andy Dalton, CIN

His numbers don't wow you, but he's consistent and will likely not be drafted until around the 12th round. Tyler Eifert is healthy and so is Green. Now, the Bengals have added rookie weapons John Ross and Joe Mixon who will boost the passing game. Dalton is not going to put up 35 points very often, but don't be surprised if he becomes an every week starter who quietly gives you 15-20 per start and allows you to stack the rest of your roster.

Deep sleeper: Brian Hoyer, SF


Cam Newton, CAR

The former MVP had rotator cuff surgery after a nightmare 2016 and has high bust potential, but the offense is still built around him. Not many quarterbacks can say that. However, coach Ron Rivera wants Newton to run less to protect himself and he lost deep threat Ted Ginn, Jr. Examining his career as a whole, 2015 looks more than an outlier than a sign of future greatness.



1. Rob Gronkowski, NE

You know what you're getting with Gronk. If he's healthy, he's a touchdown machine. In 2015, he had 19 red zone targets. But his health is no small issue. He's missed half the season twice in the last four years.

2. Travis Kelce, KC

Kelce is an integral piece of Kansas City's offense and doesn't rely on red-zone touches like many others at his position. He racked up 100 receiving yards five times from Weeks 11-16 last year.

3. Greg Olsen, CAR

Life is good as Newton's safety blanket, and his targets could go up without Ted Ginn on the roster. Last year, Olsen finished third in points among tight ends, despite catching more than six passes just once and scoring only three times.

4. Jordan Reed, WAS

Don't sour on Reed because he looked so awful trying to play through a painful shoulder injury late last season. He's still a big part of one of the league's best passing attacks. Last year, he was only healthy for eight games and scored at least 12 points in six of them. Ironically, his best game came in the game he suffered the shoulder injury. He scored 31 points against Dallas after leaving the game early.

5. Tyler Eifert, CIN

It's science: Bionic elbows make great tight ends. Health has been a major issue for Eifert, but he's been special when he's on the field. He's missed 11 games in two years but scored 18 times. He's a divisive player in fantasy, but if he stays healthy, he might be the top overall scorer at the position.

6. Kyle Rudolph, MIN

7. Jimmy Graham, SEA

Graham has to find a more consistent role in an inconsistent Seattle offense, but he's a huge talent who's healthy after recovering from a torn patellar tendon.

8. Delanie Walker, TEN

9. Martellus Bennett, GB

Bennett could be a breakout star at the position this year in Green Bay's pass-happy offense.

10. Hunter Henry, LAC

Antonio Gates is still around, but Henry is a reliable option in the red zone and his role should only grow as Gates gets older.


Jack Doyle, IND

The Colts traded Dwayne Allen to New England this offseason, which tells you plenty about what they think about Doyle. He could easily play his way into a top 7-8 player at the position but he's going undrafted in some leagues.


Coby Fleener, NO

He's a borderline TE1, but he could be irrelevant before you know it. Brees infamously spreads the love in his offense, and Fleener was already losing snaps to Josh Hill late last season.



The three best rules for drafting kickers: Make sure they have a great offense. Give bonus points for playing in a dome. Subtract points for playing in a cold-weather city. That will cost you a playoff spot or worse, a playoff game.

1. Justin Tucker, BAL
2. Stephen Gostkowski, NE
3. Matt Bryant, ATL
4. Dan Bailey, DAL
5. Mason Crosby, GB
6. Matt Prater, DEN
7. Adam Vinatieri, IND
8. Sebastian Janikowski, OAK
9. Chris Boswell, PIT
10. Will Lutz, NO



It's the most unpredictable position in fantasy and a top-ranked defense is only separated from a borderline startable defense by an average of a few points per week. Don't waste an early pick on a defense. The value is never worth it. And lean into good teams. Even a bad team with playmakers on defense can't make plays if its opponent is constantly running out the clock on the ground for the fourth quarter.

1. Denver
2. Kansas City
3. Seattle
4. Houston
5. Arizona
6. New England
7. Carolina
8. Atlanta
9. Minnesota
10. Pittsburgh



1. David Johnson, RB, ARI
2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
3. Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
4. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
5. Julio Jones, WR, ATL
6. Odell Beckham, WR, NYG
7. LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF
8. A.J. Green, WR, CIN
9. Melvin Gordon, RB, LAC
10. Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL
11. Mike Evans, WR, TB
12. Jordan Howard, RB, CHI
13. Jay Ajayi, RB, MIA
14. Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
15. Todd Gurley, RB, LAR
16. DeMarco Murray, RB, TEN
17. Michael Thomas, WR, NO
18. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL
19. Leonard Fournette, RB, JAX
20. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
21. Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
22. Isaiah Crowell, RB, CLE
23. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
24. Amari Cooper, WR, OAK
25. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
26. T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
27. Brandin Cooks, WR, NO
28. Terrelle Pryor, WR, WAS
29. Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
30. Lamar Miller, RB, HOU
31. Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR
32. Drew Brees, QB, NO
33. Jarvis Landry, WR, MIA
34. Mike Gillislee, RB, NE
35. Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
36. Tyreek Hill, WR, KC
37. Carlos Hyde, RB, SF
38. Tom Brady, QB, NE
39. Alshon Jeffrey, WR, PHI
40. Travis Kelce, TE, KC
41. Davante Adams, WR, GB
42. Michael Crabtree, WR, OAK
43. Julian Edelman, WR, NE
44. Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
45. Ty Montgomery, WR/RB, GB
46. Joe Mixon, RB, CIN
47. Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN
48. Keenan Allen, WR, LAC
49. C.J. Anderson, RB, DEN
50. Kirk Cousins, QB, WAS