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Preseason predictions are a central part of Fantasy Football. Whether you make a cheat sheet of rankings or your own player projections, you are effectively making predictions on the final outcomes of each player.

The type of prediction that brings the most fun is the absolute prediction. Who will be the best (or worst). Who will be the breakout/sleeper/bust. These black and white forecasts can cause arguments as heated as a Trump/Hillary battle.

So the staff here at SCFE thought we would put together our best estimations with some preseason predictions. We will give you our Sleeper (outside of the Top 100 in ADP), Bust (Top 50 ADP, will not live up to it), and breakout (somewhere around 50-100 ADP, but will finish much higher) for each position.

We will also give our best predictions at the top overall player for each position as well as the player that more often than not ended up on our teams in the early drafts and mocks. These are called “My” players.

Be sure to check out our draft kit for more in-depth analysis regarding sleepers, busts and breakouts along with rankings. As always, should you need an outside opinion please submit your question here to get some SCFE advice.

2016 SCFE Staff Pre-Season Predictions

Quarterbacks

David Gonos Joe Bond John LaPresto Mark Strausberg Michael Tomlin
QB Sleeper Trevor Siemian Tyrod Taylor Derek Carr Jameis Winston Matthew Stafford
QB Bust Philip Rivers Cam Newton Cam Newton Ben Roethlisberger Cam Newton
QB Breakout Teddy Bridgewater Derek Carr Eli Manning Drew Brees/Jameis Winston Derek Carr
MY QB Drew Brees Carson Palmer Kirk Cousins Drew Brees/Jameis Winston Matthew Stafford
Top QB Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers

 

    • All five of us are on board with Aaron Rodgers bouncing back to his perch atop the Fantasy Quarterback landscape
    • The majority of us also believe that some serious regression is heading Cam Newton’s way.
    • In general, we all prescribe to the “Wait for a QB” theory. The majority of quarterbacks listed will be drafted in the double-digit round range.
    • Derek Carr gets a lot of love as the majority of us believe he will breakout this season into a bona fide Fantasy QB1.

Running Backs

@davidgonos @FantasySixPack @TheJohnLaPresto @MarkStrausberg @Tomlin3
RB Sleeper T.J. Yeldon Devontae Booker Dwayne Washington Christine Michael Tevin Coleman
RB Bust Ezekiel Elliott Matt Forte Jonathan Stewart C.J. Anderson David Johnson
RB Breakout Melvin Gordon Jeremy Langford Ameer Abdullah Ameer Abdullah Ameer Abdullah
MY RB Matt Forte LeSean McCoy Isaiah Crowell Frank Gore Danny Woodhead
PPR RB Lamar Miller Giovani Bernard DeAndre Washington Danny Woodhead Duke Johnson
Top RB Todd Gurley Todd Gurley Todd Gurley Todd Gurley Jamaal Charles

 

  • There is a near consensus that Todd Gurley will finish the season as the top-scoring back. I am the lone dissenting opinion and think the Jamaal Charles bounces back in a huge way.
  • Ameer Abdullah was about the only other back a lot of us agreed on. Three of the five writers are picking him to break out this year. He is the epitome of a post-hype sleeper: someone who is widely seen as a breakout pick one year and fails, but has the ability to perform well the next season.
  • David Gonos and Joe Bond are going head-to-head with Matt Forte, as Gonos has drafted him more often than not while Bond thinks he will bust. I’ll side with Gonos in this battle.
  • Our writers are swinging for the fences with our bust picks with a couple of consensus first round picks listed. Gonos refuses to trust a rookie that much and I think David Johnson is too similar to C.J. Anderson from last year.
  • The “PPR RB’s” are guys that shoot up our draft boards in PPR formats. I agree with all five guys listed. I usually end up with at least two of these guys in my early drafts, because every league I play in has some sort of PPR.
  • Some of the sleepers listed are pretty deep and you should be able to grab with your last positional pick.

 

Wide Receivers

Gonos Bond LaPresto Strausberg Tomlin
WR Sleeper Bruce Ellington Sammie Coates Rishard Matthews Bruce Ellington Tajae Sharpe
WR Bust Sammy Watkins Kelvin Benjamin Jordy Nelson Kelvin Benjamin Alshon Jeffery
WR Breakout Donte Moncrief Donte Moncrief Sterling Shepard Donte Moncrief Jordan Matthews
MY WR Demaryius Thomas Jordy Nelson Willie Snead Steve Smith Jordy Nelson
PPR WR Deandre Hopkins Randall Cobb Kamar Aiken Donte Moncrief Jarvis Landry
Top WR Antonio Brown Antonio Brown Antonio Brown Odell Beckham Odell Beckham
    • This is a great point to explain the difference between a “Top” pick and a top ranking. While I have Beckham as my top scoring receiver, I would still take Antonio Brown over him. With the first pick in the draft, you need absolute safety and Brown provides a much higher floor than the loose cannon Beckham. However, I think Beckham will be force fed in the Giants’ offense and end up scoring more should he keep his mouth shut and stay on the field.
    • Another battle! This time it is LaPresto thinking Jordy Nelson will bust this season, while Bond and I are drafting him on multiple teams. This one is all about health: if Nelson is healthy, he is a Top 5 option. If he has nagging injuries in his recovery, he will not be worth the price tag.
    • Kelvin Benjamin was mentioned on multiple bust predictions and he was my next option after Jeffery. Between the reports of him showing up out of shape and Devin Funchess looking strong, combined with the overall regression due for Carolina, Benjamin is not worth the hefty price tag (ADP 36).
    • After this weekend’s games, I changed my sleeper from Chris Hogan to Tajae Sharpe. The Titan looks to be the lead target for Marcus Mariota, especially after the Green-Beckham trade. Sharpe showed some excellent ball skills and will get plenty of one-on-one coverage with their exotic smash-mouth.
    • Donte Moncrief is getting listed in a positive manner. I am not sold on him and think he is getting over-hyped. Give me Jordan Matthews or John Brown over Moncrief, both going after him by ADP.
    • I just wanted to point out again, after I submitted it for our last-minute facts, that Jarvis Landry has the most catches of any receiver ever through their first two seasons. In his last 25 games, he has averaged over 16 PPR points a game.

 

Tight Ends

Gonos Bond LaPresto Strausberg Tomlin
TE Sleeper Jordan Cameron Dwayne Allen Eric Ebron Clive Walford Martellus Bennett
TE Bust Jordan Reed Jordan Reed Greg Olsen Jordan Reed Jordan Reed
TE Breakout Dwayne Allen Zach Ertz Zach Ertz Zach Ertz Delanie Walker
MY TE Dwayne Allen Dwayne Allen Tyler Eifert Jason Witten Delanie Walker
PPR TE Coby Fleener Delanie Walker Jason Witten Coby Fleener Coby Fleener
Top TE Rob Gronkowski Rob Gronkowski Rob Gronkowski Rob Gronkowski Greg Olsen

 

  • There is a strong consensus that Jordan Reed will be a bust this year. I think that it has more to do with his high draft positioning and injury history than his production.
  • I bucked the Gronkowski trend of top tight end. With no Brady for four weeks and no severe injuries last year, I think he has a severe dip in production. Olsen will reap the benefits of defenses worrying about the Panthers taking it over the top. LaPresto and I are against each other on the Carolina tight end.
  • Dwayne Allen and Delanie Walker also get some love from the SCFE Staff, for completely different reasons. Walker had the quietest stud season imaginable last year, leading all tight ends in targets and receptions. Allen will finally be the sole tight end in Indianapolis with Fleener making the move to New Orleans. Fleener in his own right, should be a solid PPR play this season.
  • Zach Ertz was the other tight end mentioned more than once as three guys think he will break out this season. I just drafted him in our SCFE league and am on board with it.

We didn’t include defenses and kickers… because I mean really? Be sure to bookmark this page. At the end of the season we can give each writer grades on their predictions!

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Michael Tomlin
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Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog, Dirkland.blogspot.com, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.
Michael Tomlin
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