Stars of Week  15

QB: Eli Manning, NYG: 37-57, 434 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

RB: Todd Gurley, LAR: 21 carries, 152 yards, 3 TDs (3 catches, 28 yards, 1 TD)

WR: Keelan Cole, JAX: 7 catches, 186 yards, 1 TD

TE: Greg Olsen, CAR: 9 catches, 116 yards, 1 TD

With Eli Manning’s future with the Giants in question, he made sure to return to fantasy relevance at least one last time in the royal blue jersey. Manning threw for more than four hundred yards against the Eagles, while also tossing three TD passes in the loss. It will be interesting to see what team Manning lands on next season. In what was the changing of the guard in the NFC West, Todd Gurley scored four TDs in an absolute dismantling of the Seahawks. Gurley is comfortably a top 5 RB, and his growth in the passing game has elevated him to the next level. Jumping from two well known names to another who was started in a small percent of fantasy leagues – Keelan Cole of the Jaguars! The rookie from Western Kentucky now has TDs in three straight games, and he could be appealing especially if Marqise Lee has to miss any time due to his ankle injury. And we end the honor roll with Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, who hauled in 9 passes for 116 yards, while finding the end zone once. Olsen looks back to health, which means he returns to top 5 TE status.

Week 15 Special – Projection of First Two Rounds of 2018 Fantasy Football Drafts

Each week we’ve taken a close look at noteworthy performances and sorted out what they meant for the season and beyond. With the NFL regular season nearly done, as hinted above I’m mixing it up this week and throwing in a way too early mock draft for 2018 – the first two rounds. 

Round 1 

Team 1: Le’Veon Bell

Team 2: Todd Gurley

Team 3: Antonio Brown

Team 4: David Johnson

Team 5: Ezekiel Elliott

Team 6: Leonard Fournette

Team 7: DeAndre Hopkins

Team 8: Kareem Hunt

Team 9: Odell Beckham Jr.

Team 10: Julio Jones

Team 11: Devonta Freeman

Team 12: Alvin Kamara

Comments: Continuing the trend from last year, more top RBs will ascend into the first round slots. This is the result of a rebound season from Gurley, along with strong rookie seasons for Fournette, Hunt and Kamara. I may be too low on Kamara here. On the flip side, wide receivers have caused increased concern for owners due to injury (Odell Beckham), lack of production (Mike Evans) or uneven weekly production (Julio Jones). I prefer Hopkins as the second receiver off the board behind Antonio Brown. I also may be a bit high on Kareem Hunt here, but I consider him a strong first round value. 

Round 2

Team 12: Mark Ingram

Team 11: AJ Green

Team 10: Mike Evans

Team 9: Mike Thomas

Team 8: Rob Gronkowski

Team 7: LeSean McCoy

Team 6: Adam Thielen

Team 5: Keenan Allen

Team 4: Melvin Gordon

Team 3: Jordan Howard

Team 2: Davante Adams

Team 1: Brandin Cooks

Comments: Starting at the top of round two, there’s a chance that Mark Ingram could become a free agent, in which case of course he could land with a new team. We’ll assume for our mock purposes that he returns to the Saints. The top half of round two should be where Gronk and a glut of wide receivers are selected. Adam Thielen belongs in the second round, but we’ll need to keep an eye out for the Vikings quarterback situation. If not for injury concerns, Keenan Allen could go even higher than mid-second round. Davante Adams’ ranking assumes that he returns to the Packers, although he’s a free agent as well – so it bears watching. Last point here – Penn State rookie RB Saquon Barkley could find himself in round 2 as well, depending on what team selects him. Alright, so that’s an early peak at a mock draft for 2018 leagues.

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in most leagues. 

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo, SF

RB: Kerwynn Williams, ARZ

RB: Mike Davis, SEA

WR: Damiere Byrd, CAR

WR: Dede Westbrook, JAX

TE: Eric Ebron, DET 

Final Note: 

With Week 16 serving as the championship week for most leagues, this will be my last write up for the 2017 season. For those of you with your championship round next week, tweet me and I’ll give you my thoughts on who to start/sit. Thanks to all of you for yet another great year and for engaging with me on Twitter – it’s been a blast connecting with so many of you and to see you do so well in your leagues! And to those of you competing for titles – I’m pulling for you! Lastly, keep an eye out for my fantasy football podcasts, which will resume in the spring. Best of luck and talk soon.

Week 16 Rankings


  1. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. TB)
  2. Tom Brady, NE (vs. BUF)
  3. Russell Wilson, SEA (at DAL)
  4. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (at HOU)
  5. Drew Brees, NO (vs. ATL)
  6. Philip Rivers, LAC (at NYJ)
  7. Matthew Stafford, DET (at CIN)
  8. Jared Goff, LAR (at TEN)
  9. Case Keenum, MIN (at GB)
  10. Alex Smith, KC (vs. MIA)
  11. Dak Prescott, DAL (vs. SEA)
  12. Nick Foles, PHI (vs. OAK)
  13. Blake Bortles, JAX (at SF)
  14. Matt Ryan, ATL (at NO)
  15. Jameis Winston, TB (at CAR)
  16. Tyrod Taylor, BUF (at NE)
  17. Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. DEN)
  18. Joe Flacco, BAL (vs. IND)
  19. Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (vs. JAX)
  20. Derek Carr, OAK (at PHI)

Running Backs:

  1. Le'Veon Bell, PIT (at HOU)
  2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. SEA)
  3. Todd Gurley, LAR (at TEN)
  4. Kareem Hunt, KC (vs. MIA)
  5. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. ATL)
  6. Mark Ingram, NO (vs. ATL)
  7. Melvin Gordon, LAC (at NYJ)
  8. Leonard Fournette, JAX (at SF)
  9. LeSean McCoy, BUF (at NE)
  10. Devonta Freeman, ATL (at NO)
  11. Kenyan Drake, MIA (at KC)
  12. Dion Lewis, NE (vs. BUF)
  13. Alex Collins, BAL (vs. IND)
  14. Jordan Howard, CHI (vs. CLE)
  15. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs. TB)
  16. Latavius Murray, MIN (at GB)
  17. Jay Ajayi, PHI (vs. OAK)
  18. Carlos Hyde, SF (vs. JAX)
  19. Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. PIT)
  20. Jerick McKinnon, MIN (at GB)
  21. Marshawn Lynch, OAK (at PHI)
  22. Samaje Perine, WAS (vs. DEN)
  23. Jamaal Williams, GB (vs. MIN)
  24. C.J. Anderson, DEN (at WAS)
  25. Joe Mixon, CIN (vs. DET)
  26. DeMarco Murray, TEN (vs. LAR)
  27. Isaiah Crowell, CLE (at CHI)
  28. Jonathan Stewart, CAR (vs. TB)
  29. Mike Davis, SEA (at DAL)
  30. Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. LAR)
  31. Kerwynn Williams, ARZ (vs. NYG)
  32. Frank Gore, IND (at BAL)
  33. Theo Riddick, DET (at CIN)
  34. Giovani Bernard, CIN (vs. DET)
  35. Peyton Barber, TB (at CAR)
  36. Duke Johnson, CLE (at CHI)
  37. Wayne Gallman NYG (at ARZ)
  38. Tevin Coleman, ATL (at NO)
  39. Bilal Powell, NYJ (vs. LAC)
  40. James White, NE (vs. BUF)

Wide Receivers:

  1. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. PIT)
  2. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. ATL)
  3. Keenan Allen, LAC (at NYJ)
  4. Adam Thielen, MIN (at GB)
  5. Julio Jones, ATL (at NO)
  6. Brandin Cooks, NE (vs. BUF)
  7. A.J. Green, CIN (vs. DET)
  8. Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. MIA)
  9. Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ (vs. NYG)
  10. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (vs. OAK)
  11. Jarvis Landry, MIA (at KC)
  12. Mike Evans, TB (at CAR)
  13. Marvin Jones, DET (at CIN)
  14. Michael Crabtree, OAK (at PHI)
  15. Devin Funchess, CAR (vs. TB)
  16. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (at HOU)
  17. Doug Baldwin, SEA (at DAL)
  18. Dez Bryant, DAL (vs. SEA)
  19. Josh Gordon, CLE (at CHI)
  20. Stefon Diggs, MIN (at GB)
  21. Golden Tate, DET (at CIN)
  22. Robert Woods, LAR (at TEN)
  23. Sterling Shepard, NYG (at ARZ)
  24. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (at WAS)
  25. Martavis Bryant, PIT (at HOU)
  26. Mohamed Sanu, ATL (at NO)
  27. Dede Westbrook, JAX (at SF)
  28. Mike Wallace, BAL (vs. IND)
  29. Marquise Goodwin, SF (vs. JAX)
  30. Jamison Crowder, WAS (vs. DEN)
  31. Rishard Matthews, TEN  vs. LAR
  32. Cooper Kupp, LAR (at TEN)
  33. Nelson Agholor, PHI (vs. OAK)
  34. Sammy Watkins, LAR (at TEN)
  35. Robby Anderson, NYJ (vs. LAC)
  36. Keelan Cole, JAX (at SF)
  37. T.Y. Hilton, IND (at BAL)
  38. Randall Cobb, GB (vs. MIN)
  39. Jordy Nelson, GB  (vs. MIN)
  40. Tyrell Williams, LAC (at NYJ)

Tight End:

  1. Rob Gronkowski, NE (vs. BUF)
  2. Travis Kelce, KC (vs. MIA)
  3. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. OAK)
  4. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. TB)
  5. Evan Engram, NYG (at ARZ)
  6. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. LAR)
  7. Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at GB)
  8. Jack Doyle, IND (at BAL)
  9. Jimmy Graham, SEA (at DAL)
  10. Eric Ebron, DET (at CIN)
  11. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. SEA)
  12. Jared Cook, OAK (at PHI)
  13. Jesse James, PIT (at HOU)
  14. Cameron Brate, TB (at CAR)
  15. Ricky Seals-Jones, ARZ (vs. NYG)
  16. Antonio Gates, LAC (at NYJ)
  17. Vernon Davis, WAS (vs. DEN)
  18. Benjamin Watson, BAL (vs. IND)
  19. Charles Clay, BUF (at NE)
  20. O.J. Howard, TB (at CAR)

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Baltimore Ravens (vs. IND)
  2. Los Angeles Chargers (at NYJ)
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (at SF)
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers (at HOU)
  5. Minnesota Vikings (at GB)
  6. Chicago Bears (vs. CLE)
  7. Carolina Panthers (vs. TB)
  8. Kansas City Chiefs (vs. MIA)
  9. Los Angeles Rams (at TEN)
  10. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. OAK)
  11. Arizona Cardinals (vs. NYG)
  12. New England Patriots (vs. BUF)
  13. Washington Redskins (vs. DEN)
  14. Detroit Lions (at CIN)
  15. San Francisco 49ers (vs. JAX)