2017 NFL Fantasy: Top 15 RB Rankings

It’s time to rank running backs, arguably the most frustrating position in fantasy football. With the exception of a few players, the days of the “workhorse back” are gone, and what we’ve been left with is an annoyingly hard to predict “running back by committee” scenario. We’ve all been there, you’re player drives his team down the field, breaking off a couple of big runs in the process. Then when it’s time to punch in the touchdown for a big payoff, the back up running back, or in some cases, the “goal line back” comes in and steals it.

It’s flat out irritating, and unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more common. In some cases, a fantasy owner is left in the unenviable position of having to burn a roster spot to draft two members of the same backfield. The New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals are the two teams that jump to mind immediately.

Barring injury, the Patriots are possibly the hardest team to predict, in terms of running back usage, but the Bengals aren’t far behind. From the days of the “Stevan Ridley or Shane Vereen games” in New England. To the more recent days of Cincinnati running backs, Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill, dipping into each other’s fantasy value, the running back position has transformed into a cluttered mess. A cluttered mess that I get to rank! So let’s get to it!

15. Matt Forte

Forte will turn 32 during the 2017 season, but a handful of backs, including Forte, have proven that age is just a number. He’s no longer the elite player he once was, but he’s still an effective option to have at the #2 RB position, or flex. Last season Forte totaled over 1000 yards from scrimmage. He rushed for 813 yards, and 7 touchdowns, while racking up 263 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown through the air. He scored a total of 183.6 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. If Collin Kaepernick finds himself starting for the New York Jets at any point this season, the added threat of a mobile QB could open up some more room for Forte to operate.

Where I’d draft him: 5th round. Forte is no longer the consistent scorer he once was. He’s also no longer on a proficient offense like he was in Chicago, but he’s going to have some pretty big games this season. It’s getting harder to predict when the big games will come nowadays, but the potential is still there.

14. Carlos Hyde

Carlos Hyde was a standout talent coming out of Ohio State, and, at times, he’s shown glimpses of amazing ability. Unfortunately, Hyde has also been injury prone during his 3 years as a pro. He tore his MCL in week 16 of last season, but not before rushing for 988 yards, 6 touchdowns, and scoring 192.1 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. If he can manage to stay on the field this season, new 49ers Head Coach, Kyle Shanahan might have a “workhorse back” on his hands. That’s proven to be a big “if” though.

Where I’d draft him: 4th or 5th round. Carlos Hyde can definitely be frustrating to own at times. He can put up duds in favorable match ups, but he can also go over 100 yards rushing, and 2 touchdowns at any time. If you can pair him with a consistent RB #1, Hyde might just be what wins you a couple of games.

13. Leonard Fournette 

I’m excited about Fournette’s rookie season. His college career didn’t end the way he wanted it to. He had an injury plagued 2016 season and failed to get over 1000 yards rushing for the first time in his college career. I think Fournette will channel his disappointment, and bounce back with a great rookie campaign. The Jaguars’ backfield is a bit crowded with TJ Yeldon, and Chris Ivory also there, but I believe Fournette will separate himself more and more as the season goes on.

Where I’d draft him: 4th round. You might be able to get him later in some drafts but starting RB’s don’t usually last long. If Fournette is sitting there, pick him up. He should be in line for a big season.

12. Lamar Miller

I wasn’t big on Miller heading into last season, but he proved he can be valuable. Last year Miller rushed for 1,073, and 5 touchdowns. He also had 1 touchdown, and 188 receiving yards, for a total of 191.1 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. If DeShaun Watson ends up being the starting QB for the Texans, I can see Miller taking full advantage of the open running lanes his presence should create.

Where I’d take him: 3rd or 4th round. He has better value in the 4th round, but he might not last until then. Last season, the Texans weren’t exactly setting the world on fire on offense, but Miller still produced. He’s had a bit of an injury history too, but if healthy he could easily be a top 10 back.

11. Latavius Murray

Murray traded in his eye patch for a set of Viking horns, and I like the move. Last season Murray played in 14 games and managed to rush for 788 yards, and a staggering 12 touchdowns. He also added 264 yards through the air for a total of 208.2 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. The NFC north has historically been a run heavy division, and that could be great news for Murray owners.

Where I’d draft him: 2nd or 3rd round. The Vikings’ offensive line struggled last season, and Jerick McKinnon will certainly cut into some of his snaps, but I think Murray will still put up the numbers. He’s going to be a great #2 RB, and even a borderline #1 RB.

10. Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley. Todd, Todd, Todd. Unfortunately, Gurley didn’t live up to expectations last season rushing for only 885 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Gurly did add a new dimension to his game though, becoming a receiving threat for the Rams last season. He hauled in 43 receptions for 327 yards, and totaled 198.2 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. That’s a disappointing season for a guy that was taken top 5 overall in some drafts. He could bounce back, but I’d stay away.

Where I’d draft him: 2nd or 3rd round. The Rams didn’t exactly do much to inspire hope for the upcoming season. A repeat of last year is definitely a possibility for Gurly. The talent is there, but sadly that’s pretty much the only talent on the Rams’ roster, and the other team knows that too.

9. Marshawn Lynch

The return of “Beast Mode!” This might not go as great, but I’m being optimistic. The Raiders have a super talented offense, and if Lynch has anything left in the tank, he could put this team over the top. Lynch obviously didn’t play last season, and his 2015 season was injury plagued, so it’s been a while since we’ve really seen him play. It could backfire. But taking Lynch could also be crazy enough to pay off big.

Where I’d draft him: 2nd round. Like I said above, this could backfire on you. There’s a possibility that Lynch doesn’t have it anymore, and that he resembles former great Maurice Jones-Drew when he wore the Silver and Grey. If you’re a risk taker, Lynch could be your guy.

8. Jay Ajayi

I was a skeptic of Ajayi last season. I thought he’d eventually fizzle out, but he was a solid back all year. Last season Ajayi rushed for 1,272 yards, and 8 touchdowns, for 215.3 total fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. Adam Gase likes sticking to one RB for the most part and entering the season that’ll be Ajayi. That makes him very valuable.

Where I’d draft him: 2nd round. Ajayi might have just been a one-year apparition, but if he follows up his 2016 season he could be a #1 RB, and even sneak into the top 5 by the end of the year. He had some game changing performances last season, and a few more could be coming this year.

7. Jordan Howard

I’m not a big fan of the Bear’s offense, but Howard is the exception. Last season he rushed for 1,313 yards, and 10 touchdowns. He also added 419 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns through the air, totaling 230.1 fantasy points, per ESPN scoring. The Bears are going to need to run the ball early and often to be able to win games this year, and that’s great news for Howard and his owners. I’m excited about his season.

Where I’d draft him: 1st or 2nd round. You could get lucky and get him in the 2nd round, but he’ll go in the 1st in most drafts. A starting RB who’s going to get a lot of volume. That’s music to any fantasy owner’s ears. Draft him early, and watch the points roll in.

6. Melvin Gordon

There’s a chance you got Melvin Gordon in the 3rd or 4th round last year. That won’t happen this year. Not after Gordon rushed for 997 yards, and 10 touchdowns, last season. He also added 419 yards, and 2 touchdowns through the air, totaling 250.6 fantasy points, per ESPN scoring. Danny Woodhead’s departure will only serve to keep Gordon’s touches healthy. He will be a #1 running back option this season for sure.

Where I’d draft him: 1st round. Melvin Gordon was a dual threat, and a touchdown machine last season. Sadly, his owner’s lost him in the playoffs. I see him picking right back up where he left off. Be happy if u get him.

5. LeSean McCoy

I was pretty low on “Shady” going into last season. I thought the hamstrings would be a bigger issue. They did bother him all season, but they didn’t stop him from rushing for 1,267 yards, and 13 touchdowns. He also had 356 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown, totaling 298.3 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. With his “elite” status still intact, McCoy will look to keep the train rolling. Another top 5 season is likely coming.

Where I’d draft him: 1st round. McCoy has been an elite fantasy option basically his whole career, and don’t see that changing this year. When you start drafting running backs in the 1st round, you might want to consider a handcuff, but McCoy is as solid as they come.

4. Devonta Freeman

I’ve never been a big believer in Freeman, but even I can’t deny the talent anymore. Last season he rushed for 1,079 yards, and 11 touchdowns. He added 462 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns, for a total of 284.1 fantasy points. All that came while sharing a substantial amount of carries with Tevin Coleman. Freeman missed the end of the SuperBowl, and I think he’s going to be out for blood this season. Making him a superb fantasy RB for all owner’s.

Where I’d take him: Top 10 overall. Freeman will likely still share carries with Coleman this season, but they both proved last year that there are enough carries in Atlanta to go around. Freeman will be a beast all season long. I strongly suggest drafting him.

3. Ezekiel Elliott

Elliot was a flashback to the glory days of fantasy running backs last season. The rookie rushed for a league leading 1,631 yards, and an amazing 15 touchdowns. He added 363 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown through the air, totaling 325.4 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. Eliott might face a suspension to start the season, but if your team can stay alive until he gets back, he’s worth it. I hate the Cowboys, but I’d be ecstatic to own Elliot.

Where I’d draft him: Top 10. Eliott is a once in a generation type talent like Adrian Peterson, and LaDainian Tomlinson, before him. If he’s there take him and be happy. The suspension might be an issue, but he’s still worth the pick, especially with that offensive line to run behind.

2. David Johnson

Last season I had the chance to draft either Johnson or Todd Gurley. I chose Gurly, and I regret it every single day! Last season Johnson rushed for 1,239 yards and scored a whopping 16 touchdowns. He added an impressive 879 receiving yards, and 4 touchdowns, for a total of 407.8 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. The Cardinals’ offense might be in store for a bounce back season, and that could just mean more scoring opportunities for Johnson. He’s well worth an early pick.

Where I’d draft him. Top 5. Johnson could have easily been #1 on this list, it’s honestly all about preference. Johnson is going to get the ball plenty in Arizona, and with his type of talent, that’s going to equal huge fantasy days. If I got the chance to draft Johnson, I’d right my wrong, and take him.

1. Le’Veon Bell

I owned Bell his rookie season, and I haven’t been able to land him since, but I wish I had. Despite missing 4 games last season, due to suspension, Bell rushed for 1,268 and 7 touchdowns. Always an elite receiving option, Bell added 616 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns, totaling 317.4 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. This guy is the definition of a stud running back. Despite the awesome numbers last year, Bell could’ve actually scored even more had DeAngelo Williams not stolen a few scores.

Where I’d draft him: #1 overall. Elite running backs are an endangered species in fantasy football, and although they can be frustrating, the right one can be worth his weight in gold. I consider Bell to be the best running back in the league, and I consider him to be on the best offense in the league as well. All signs point to him being the top back in the game this season. I’d want him over any other running back.

Wesly Avendano
Baseline Times NFL Contributor

ICYMI: Check out Wesly’s top 15 Quarterback rankings here

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2017 NFL Fantasy: Top 15 QB Rankings

Football is right around the corner! In less than 60 days, the Kansas City Chiefs will travel to Foxborough to face the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, and officially kick off another season of America’s favorite sport. It’ll also mark the beginning of the 2017 fantasy football season, and over the last few years, that’s become almost as important as the NFL season itself. The scouting and mock drafting have already begun for some fantasy GM’s, so let’s start looking forward at some of the top QBs for the upcoming fantasy season.

15. Phillip Rivers

Our first entry on the list will drive you nuts, but he’s also too good to pass up in the later rounds. I owned Rivers last season, and it was a roller coaster ride throughout the entire year.  River did pass for 4,386 yards and 33 TD’s last season. However, turnovers were an issue. His 21 interceptions, and 5 fumbles, last season brought his total fantasy points down to only 258.9, per ESPN standard scoring.  That’s not a bad point total, but when you pass for over 4,000 yards and throw over 30 TD’s, you should be scoring a bit more points. The return of Keenan Allen should provide Rivers with another reliable target out there. Rivers is an excellent option for those who chose to wait on QB, just be aware that he’s going to be bringing a lot of turnovers to your team with him.

Where I’d draft him: 10th round or later. Rivers will no doubt put up some big points for you during the season, but be warned, he’s going to throw his fair share of heart breaking, and potentially game losing, interceptions as well. The later you can get Rivers, the better. He’s a good complimentary QB to have on a team with a lot of talent. Just don’t expect to be able to anchor your entire team with him. He’s a solid option, but he does present a risk.

14. Eli Manning

From one turnover machine to another. In all seriousness, Eli Manning is probably going to catch some people by surprise this year. Manning has never really been an eye popping fantasy QB. He turns the ball over a lot, and he’s not much of a runner, so you’re not getting any unexpected points from him.  This season, however, I feel like Eli is going to shock a few folks with his numbers.  last season Manning put up 4,027 passing yards and 26 TD’s, but 16 picks and 4 fumbles aren’t ideal.  He ended last year with only 224.2 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. That’s a low total for a QB. I expect that number to go way up though, especially considering that Brandon Marshall’s 6 foot 4′ frame will now be running across the middle of the field, and pulling defenders away from Odell Beckham Jr. That probably has Manning itching to get out there and start throwing the ball around.  The Giants still don’t have a strong running game, which means Manning will probably be passing early and often.

Where I’d draft him: 9th or 10th round. I’m a believer in Manning’ upcoming season, but I’m not insane. There’s obviously plenty of safer options out there other than Manning, but if you find yourself scrambling to find a decent QB in the later rounds, you should definitely consider kicking the tires on Eli. Be prepared for some mind numbing interceptions, but also know that some big games are bound to come with the type of weapons that Eli will have at his disposal.

13. Kirk Cousins

This one was a tough decision to make. Last season, Cousins had a magical run. He passed for 4917 yards, 25 TD’s, and 12 interceptions. He also added 4 rushing TD’s, which brought his season total to 300.3 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. So why do I have Cousins outside my top 10? Call it a hunch. I just feel like the contract disputes between Cousins and Washington are going to have a negative effect on him. Football is hard enough without dragging contracts into it. That’s not to say he’s going to have a bad season. The addition of Terrell Pryor is very intriguing to me, but the health of Jordan Reed is always an issue, and DeSean Jackson took his home run hitting abilities to Tampa Bay with him, so Cousins could be looking at a down year.

Where I’d draft him: 8th round. I understand that I’m a bit low on Cousins, so the odds are he won’t be around til the 8th round in your league. If somehow he is though, consider it a gift and snatch him up. Whether he has a down year or not, Washington is pretty much reliant on his passing to create offense. The only problem is, opposing defenses are aware of that too. DeSean Jackson not being there to “take the top off the defense” is going to take some getting used to for Cousins, but all in all he should still have a solid year. Just don’t expect him to repeat his performance from last season.

12. Marcus Mariota

I’m excited about Mariota’s upcoming season. I see him having a career year.  Last season Mariota threw for 3,426 yards, 26 TD’s, and 9 interceptions. He added 349 yards and 2 TD’s on the ground, bringing his total to 259.9 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. His season ended early due to a broken fibula in week 16. Had he played in week 17, perhaps his numbers would’ve been bit higher? The addition of veteran wide receiver, Eric Decker, during the off season, will provide Mariota with a bit more fire power, and a sure handed playmaker to go along with Delanie Walker. I’d feel comfortable rolling Mariota out as my starter next season.

Where I’d draft him: 7th or 8th round. I feel confident that Mariota will take the next step this year, but he still presents some risk. Eric Decker is a solid addition to the offense, and he’s going to help, but he’s not the kind of star wide receiver that can cover up his young QB’s mistakes. The Titans possess a solid running game, so that could pose a potential problem for Mariota owner’s, but if he takes the next step-year like I think he will, there should be plenty of points to go around.

11. Matthew Stafford

Remember when everyone thought Matthew Stafford was only good because he had Calvin Johnson? He obliterated that narrative last season, throwing for 4327 yards, 24 TD’s, and 10 interceptions, totaling 279.8 fantasy points, per ESPN scoring. I don’t see any reason why Stafford wouldn’t be able to repeat that performance again this year. The Lions still don’t have anything solid in terms of a running game, so you have to figure it’s going to be the Matthew Stafford Show. I expect him to pass, and pass a lot.

Where I’d draft him: 7th round. Stafford is a safe pick to me. The departure of Megatron made him a better overall QB, he spreads the love around evenly, and he managed to avoid too many turnovers last year. The usage is going to be there. If he can keep taking care of the ball, Stafford could easily end the season as a top 10 QB.

10. Jameis Winston

This one might seem a bit high to some people, but I’m pretty excited for Winston’s upcoming season, and I actually wanted to rank him higher. The addition of DeSean Jackson and the continued improvement of Mike Evans should help the young QB reach career highs this season. Last year Winston had 28 TD’s and 18 interceptions, passed for 4,090 yards, and scored 256.1 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. With a home run hitter like DeSean Jackson in Tampa Bay now, those numbers should go up. As long as the TD’s go up a bit without dramatically increasing the interceptions, Winston should be a bargain in most drafts.

Where I’d draft him: 6th or 7th Round. I’m not the only one high on Winston, so someone in your league might jump on him early, but I think if you can get him in the 6th round or later, you’re going to end up getting a steal. I could see him ending the season as a top 5 QB.

9. Ben Roethlisberger

This one could turn out to be low. Anytime you have the weapons that Roethlisberger has, you’re gonna put up points, but Big Ben has a bit of an injury history, so assuming that he won’t play all 16 games of the season isn’t much of a stretch. Ben will get a very big weapon back this year though, in the form of Martavis Bryant. Last time we saw Bryant on the field, he looked every bit like a potential #1 WR. Adding him to the combo of a bona fide #1 WR like Antonio Brown, and possibly the best RB in football, Le’Veon Bell, has to boost Big Bens numbers if he can stay on the field. Last year, Roethlisberger threw 29 TD’s, 13 interceptions, passed for 3,819 yards, and put up 252.2 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. He also added 1 rushing TD. My advice would be to just make sure you have a solid back up if you’re going to draft Big Ben. You wouldn’t want your fantasy season depending on his health. That has the potential of ending badly.

Where I’d draft him: 7th or 8th Round. He’s too much of an injury risk for me, but when healthy he’ll put up some big numbers. He could possibly win you some games by himself. Just don’t be shocked if he misses any time. I’m personally not a fan, but then he’s a solid QB option.

8. Russell Wilson

I’m a huge fan of duel threat QB’s, and now that we’re getting into the top 10, we’ll be coming across a few. The first one on the list, Russell Wilson (Winston isn’t really a rushing threat). Last season, Wilson threw for 4,219 yards, 21 TDs, and 11 interceptions. He also added 259 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, and a receiving TD, for a total of 270.1 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. Wilson took more control of his offense last season, after the departure of Marshawn Lynch, and with still no solid running game in town (Eddie Lacy is hardly solid), we’ll most likely see a repeat this season. Wilson has improved as a pocket passer every season since he’s been in the league, assuming that he continues that trend this season, he should be an excellent option at QB.

Where I’d draft him: 5th or 6th round. I’m a big believer in Wilson. I expect him to be even better than he was last season. Plus, a returning Jimmy Graham could finally give Wilson an elite receiving option, something he’s sorely lacked during his entire career. His interceptions were a bit higher than I’d personally like last season, but he’s historically been very stingy with the football. As long as he gets back to that, I’d be ecstatic to have him as my QB.

7. Andrew Luck

Speaking of duel threat QB’s, here’s one of the best in the league. Last season Luck passed for 4,240 yards, 31 TD’s, and 13 interceptions. He added 341 rushing yards, and 2 rushing TD’s, to bring his total to 307.7 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. Luck could be ranked a little higher. After all, he’s got elite talent, and Elite weapons to throw the ball to. T.Y. Hilton will no doubt be the recipient of a couple Andrew Luck bombs during the season, and that just means fat points for all Andrew Luck owners.

Where I’d draft him: 3rd or 4th round. Like I said, Luck has elite talent and plenty of targets. My one knock on him is actually one of the attribute that makes him special, his ability to run. It’s awesome when he scrambles and creates point generating opportunities, but sometimes in the process of doing that, he opens himself up to hits that other QB’s simply aren’t exposed to. He’s an elite option at QB, just be aware that his injury risk is slightly higher than even your average running QB. If you take him, you’ll most likely be happy. Just get a good back up.

6. Derek Carr

I’m expecting big things from Carr this year. A broken fibula in week 16 (apparently that was a common occurrence that week) cut Carr’s season short last year, but before it did, he managed to pass for 3,937 yards, 28 Td’s and 6 interceptions. He scored 268.5 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. The addition of Marshawn Lynch over the off season, will no doubt create a few ideal play action situations for Carr, and his talented receiving duo of Amari Cooper, and Michael Crabtree, to take advantage of. I expect the Raiders to be competing for a playoff spot next year, so Carr should be playing meaningful games down the stretch, and that’s always good for fantasy owners.

Where I’d draft him: 3rd round. I see a big year coming for Carr. If he can keep his turnovers as low as he did last season (9 total), then I see no reason why we Carr can’t follow up and improve on his great 2016 campaign. If he falls to you past the 3rd round, consider yourself lucky.

5. Matt Ryan

The blown lead in the SuperBowl is going to do one of two things. It’s could haunt Matt Ryan, and the Falcons, all season long, preventing them from focusing on the season at hand. I don’t subscribe to that notion. I think the blown lead will serve as motivation for Ryan, and his favorite weapon Julio Jones. Last season, Ryan threw for 4944, 38 TD’s, and 7 interceptions, totaling 347.5 fantasy points, per ESPN fantasy scoring. I fully expect ‘Matty Ice” to go out there and wreck the league next season. Ryan is going to try his hardest to erase the memory of 28-3. I for one, wouldn’t mind him doing that on my fantasy team. I could see Ryan ending the year as the #1 QB.

Where I’d draft him: 2nd or 3rd round. Ryan has been a solid fantasy QB for nearly his entire career. Even if he doesn’t go on the tear I expect him to go on, he’s worth an early round pick. Ryan will rarely ever cost you a game, and when he’s feeling it, he can be just as lethal as any other top 5 QB. Draft him with confidence, he won’t burn you very often.

4. Dak Prescott

This one hurts me the most to have to rank. I’m an Eagles fan and absolutely hate the Cowboys, but I have to be impartial. I see big things on Dak’s horizon. Last season, Dak Passed for 3,667 yards, 23 Td’s, and only 4 interceptions. He also added 282 rushing yards, and 6 rushing TD’s, for a total of 286.7 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. All that was without a full off season to prepare as the starter. This year he’ll have that time to prepare, so assuming that he’ll be that much better doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.

 Where I’d draft him: 2nd round. Legitimate passing threat. Legitimate rushing threat. Best line in football. Potentially the best RB in football, and an elite WR in the form of Dez Bryant. Enough said.

3. Drew Brees

My top 3 QB’s are honestly interchangeable. If you manage to land either of these guys you should be happy, and very hopeful about your upcoming season. That being said, they’re all flawed, so it just depends on how you personally feel about them. To me, Brees is the 3rd best out of them. Last season he passed for whopping 5,208 yards, 37 TD’s, and 15 interceptions, totaling 332.3 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. Those are impressive numbers, but the addition of Adrian Peterson might inspire the Saints to run the ball a bit more this season. Plus, the departure of a home run hitter like Brandin Cooks can’t be expected to go unfelt. Despite all that, Brees will be an elite QB again this year, just like he always is.

Where I’d draft him: 1st or 2nd round. I don’t typically agree with taking a QB early, then again I’ve never owned Drew Brees. The volume he gets makes him a desirable QB, but he does turn the ball over a bit, and unless Michael Thomas lives up to all the hype he’s entering the season with, Brees doesn’t have an elite receiving option. He’ll probably still overcome all that and pass for close to 5,000 yards, and over 30 TD’s.

2. Tom Brady

Starting in week 6 of last season, Tom Brady passed for 3554 yards, 28 TD’s, and only 2 interceptions, scoring 258.6 total fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. If my top 3 are interchangeable, then that goes double for my top 2. You can’t go wrong either way. The way I picked it was fairly simple, age. Brady is getting up there in age now, and despite the amazing season he just had last year, I can’t comfortably invest my season in an aging QB. Even if he potentially is the best QB ever. All that said, if he’s sitting right there in front of me, I’d probably be a hypocrite and draft him. I mean cmon, it’s Tom Brady.

Where I’d draft him: 1st round. Barring a freak injury, you’re most likely not going to regret anywhere you draft Brady. The combo of Julian Eddleman, Rob Gronkowski, and newly acquired, Brandin Cooks is going to make Brady that much more lethal. the best way to make sure you’re not in Brady’s path of destruction? Draft him.

1. Aaron Rodgers

Is anyone surprised? Rodgers is a bad man. Last season he passed for 4,428 yards, 40 TD’s, and 7 interceptions, totaling 380 fantasy points, per ESPN standard scoring. He’s not always going to go on the type of tear he went on to end last year, but he’ll come close on many occasions. Rodgers has everything you want in a fantasy QB. He has elite weapons and just got another one in the form of Martellus Bennett. He plays in a tough division, which forces him to usually play out the whole season. Oh yeah, and he also possesses the mobility to stretch plays, and make something out of absolutely nothing. just ask the Cowboys about that. Last season Rodgers rushed for 369 yards and punched in 4 TDs too. That type of versatility is rare in such an elite arm talent. Needless to say, if you land Rodgers, you have a player that will keep you in most games by himself.

 Where I’d draft him: 1st round. You might be able to get him in the 2nd round depending on your league, but I wouldn’t risk it. If he’s there in front of you, take him. If you pass on him, you might regret it. As far as when in the first round to take him, I’d say whenever you feel like it. I do not endorse early drafting of most QB’s, but if you insist on doing it, there is absolutely no one better than Rodgers. Draft him, and you won’t have to worry about your QB position all year.

 

Wesly Avendano
Baseline Times NFL Fantasy Insider

 

Top TV shows to watch while the sports world vacations

Summer time! Summer is filled with BBQ, beach days, and pool days. For a sports fan that doesn’t entertain baseball, it’s a rough time. No College Football or basketball, no NBA, and no NHL. Even if you’re enjoying America’s favorite pastime sport it tends to drag mid-season. So what to do doing these tough times you can’t go to the beach every day or eat BBQ every day? Too bad you can’t be on vacation every day unless of course, you win the lotto or a pro-athlete in the off-season. That evening time slot you used to dedicate to game day just opened up and your flat screen TV is collecting dust. Below I give you options for that time slot.

1. Ballers

Network: HBO

Premiere: July 23

If you want an inside look at how NFL players and agents handle business tune into Ballers. Ballers is on is now airing its third season. The star of the show is Dwayne Johnson (The Rock). A former football player turns financial manager. The show is featured in Miami and gives a perspective of how NFL players spend their time off the field from partying,  working out, and contract negotiations with teams. Ballers also illustrates the tough time of a former player trying to find his identity after football.  Ballers can be a show you can watch and chat about with the homies. A nice accolade of the how is that it is HBO’s most watched comedy in its first season.

2. Game Of Thrones

Network: HBO

Premiere: July 16

I love this show, don’t judge me but I watched all six season in three days #BingeWatchKing. I was a little skeptical about Game of Thrones at first but don’t knock it until you try it. If you like violence, family feud, greed and fantasy you will love Game of Thrones. The show has announced it will premiere it’s final season this summer. I highly suggest you watch the first six seasons prior. Game of Thrones is about a three different powerful families House of Westeros, Stark family, Casterly Rock. All three try to control the Iron Throne by killing each other and occasionally working with each other. Game of Thrones is very different but great show to watch.

3. Power

Network- Starz

Premiere: June 25

This is honestly my favorite show out right now. Power is based in New York. Power was created by Curtis “50 cent” Jackson. Power is about two childhood friends (Tommie, Ghost) growing up turning into drug dealers. Ghost struggles from being a drug dealer and wanting a clean life with his family, while Tommie just wants to be a rich drug dealer. With Ghost seeking to change his life Tommie feels betrayed and decides to befriend Ghost. Ghost is having a tough time trying to change his future due to his past mistakes. Power is filled with gun violence, funny moments, drugs and street beef. Power is your modern day wire.

4. Snowfall 

Network: FX

Premiere: July 5

Snowfall is making a series premiere. Snowfall is based on the cocaine epidemic that occurred in Los Angeles during the 80s. Snowfall created by John Singleton, follows a young African American drug dealer and a Mexican wrestler with crime family ties and a CIA agent. Snowfall illustrates the tough time in a city filled with drug violence and power struggle. One of the closest comparisons is a cross between Boyz n the Hood and Straight out of Compton.

5. Insecure

Network: HBO

Premiere: July 23

Insecure is really funny. Insecure follows star Issa Rea an educated African American in her woman late 20s trying to find her way in life, work, and relationships. Insecure in its second season will keep you laughing and also crying. Insecure is one of those shows that portray all the different struggles one can have no matter gender or races.

NFL Owners vote to move Super Bowl LV to Tampa

Photo by: Matthew Paulson

Super Bowl LB was set to take place in a new stadium in Inglewood, CA the site where the Chargers and Rams would call home. Due to the record rainfall, it has held up construction of the the new site and pushing back the completion date to 2022 instead. With the delay the owners wisely voted to push back LA hosting Super Bowl LV and instead award Tampa Bay.

“From our standpoint, we felt this was an appropriate thing to do,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday. “We were fortunate that Tampa had a very competitive presentation when they bid on the Super Bowl earlier [in 2016]. So this was a solution the membership got on very quickly.”

Source: NFL.com

NFL relaxes penalties for Touchdown celebrations

Photo By: Keith Allison

Today Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the NFL will be easing up on penalties for Touchdown celebrations. In an open letter to the public

Goodell explains, “Today, we are excited to tell you about another change that comes after conversations with more than 80 current and former players: we are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays. We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown. And players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.”

Accepted forms of celebration will be using the ball as a prop after a Touchdown, group celebrations, and celebrating on the ground (such as the infamous snow angel celebration).

The league however, will still ban celebrations that involve offensive demonstrations, any celebration against a team, or any celebration that prolongs the game. We can assume that “twerking” will not be on the accepted list, sorry Antonio Brown.

You can read the letter from Goodell here.

Leonard Fournette hopes to bring the run game back to Jacksonville

It has been several seasons since the Jaguars have had a power threat out of the backfield. The Jags featured “Fragile” Fred Taylor after selecting him in the 1998 Draft. Taylor was the Jaguars go to guy until being released in 2009 after the human bowling ball, Maurice Jones-Drew, took over the Jags running game after his breakout rookie season of 2006. But that was then, and this is now.  Jones-Drew became a free agent after the 2013 season and left Jacksonville for Oakland, where he retired after the 2014 season, and Taylor is only a memory in the Jaguars’ Ring of Pride.

For the next two years after MJD’s departure, the Jaguars struggled at the running back position. They picked up injury plagued RB, Chris Ivory from the Jets in 2016, who struggled to find a consistent game. TJ Yeldon has also served the Jaguars as a versatile RB and pass catcher, and still has a lot of promise for the Jaguar faithful.

With the Leonard Fournette acquisition, the Jaguars once again have a solid, explosive back that they have sorely missed for the past few seasons since the days of their staples, Taylor and Jones-Drew. Fournette will be the Jaguars go to back this upcoming season, leaving the Jaguars’ other physical RB, Ivory, as well as the versatile Yeldon for third downs as well as in split backfield scenarios.

Fournette, selected fourth overall, was a superstar running back out of LSU. In his sophomore season of 2015, Fournette became a consensus All-American after setting single season school records for both running yards (1,953), and rushing touchdowns (22). His sophomore season would turn out to be his best however, having suffered a high ankle sprain early in his junior, and final, season only playing in seven games. Fournette joined a number of players in sitting out their team’s bowl games in order to protect themselves entering into the 2017 NFL Draft. LSU played in the Citrus Bowl against Louisville.

Fournette brings his large, linebacker like frame to a needy Jaguar backfield. His 6-foot, 240-pound frame places him in the “heavyweight” class of running backs in the league.  Fournette thrives on plowing through defenders, which is a mixed blessing as it could lead to a shortened career. His larger stature garners comparisons to Bo Jackson, and more recently, Adrian Peterson.  The Jaguars certainly hope that if he can become a fraction of what those backs meant to their respective teams, the running game of the late 90’s and early 2000’s could be back in Jacksonville.

Ed Coleman
NFL Senior Writer

Episode 2: NFL Draft Recap

Baseline Times Media brings back football and NFL chatter. This time Chevy and DeMario return with a special guest. Anna Logan from a CBS affiliate network joins us to talk the NFL Draft. Best picks, worst picks and steals of the draft are discussed. A deep conversation about the domestic violence issues in the NFL is covered from Anna’s perspective as a female.

NFL Draft First Round Highlights

Philadelphia played host to this year’s NFL draft, and boy was it an action packed first round. 32 of College Football’s brightest stars would achieve their live long dreams on Thursday night, and bring hope to their new teams. Lets just jump right in. After a bit of speculation over what’d they’d do with the first pick, the Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett, Defensive End from Texas A&M. It was the right move for the Browns, who would turn out not to be done form the night. Garrett had 32 tackles and 8.5 sacks last season, and has all the tools to anchor an NFL defense for years. The 2nd pick belonged to the San Francisco 49ers, but they traded it to the Chicago Bears for the 3rd overall pick, the Bears’ 3rd and 5th round picks (67th and 111th overall), and a 3rd round pick in 2018. The Bears would select Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback from North Carolina. Only time will tell if this was a good pick or not, but at the time, it seems like a steep price for such an unprover product. The 49ers would go next and take Solomon Thomas, Defensive End from Stanford. With the 4th pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars picked up Leonard Fournette, Running Back from LSU. I like this pick for the Jags. Last year at this time, every NFL scout was salivating over Fournette, and now Jacksonville can add him to a backfield that already has TJ Held in and Chris Ivory. The Tennessee Titans would round out the top 5 by selecting Corey Davis, Wide Receiver from Western Michgan. The pick came via the Los Angeles rams as a part of last year’s Jared Goff trade.

The New York Jets took Jamal Adams, Safety out of LSU, with the 6th pick. While the Los Angeles Chargers took Clemson Wide Receiver, Mike Williams with the 7th pick. The Chargers are hoping Williams is as successful as fellow Clemson alumns DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. With the 8th pick, the Carolina Panthers selected Christian McCaffrey, Running Back from Stanford. McCaffrey should be a nice compliment to Jonathan Stewart, and should help Carolina’s running attack. With the 9th pick, The Cincinnati Bengals took Wide Receiver John Ross from Washington. The Chiefs would trade up with the Buffalo Bills to select Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback from Texas A&M. The Bills received the Chiefs’ 1st and 3rd round picks in this years draft (27th and 91st overall) and a 1st round pick in the 2018 draft. John Gruden approves of this pick for the Chiefs!

The Saints went with Marshon Lattimore, Corner Back from Ohio State, with the 11th pick. While Clemson Quarterback, Deshaun Watson, went 12th overall like many experts had projected. However, Watson is headed to Houston, as the Texans traded their 25th overall pick in this years draft and their first round pick in next years draft, to the Cleveland Browns for the 12th pick. The pick came to the Browns via last years trade with Philadelphia for Carson Wentz. The Arizona Cardinals had the 13th pick, and they took Temple Line Backer, Haason Reddick. The hometown Philadelphia Eagles were up with the 14th pick they got from the Minnesota Vikings via the Sam Bradford trade, and they selected Tennessee Defensive End, Derek Barnett. The Indianapolis Colts selected Safety, Mailk Booker, from Ohio State with the 15th overall pick. While the Baltimore Ravens took Alabama Corner Back,  Marlon Humphrey, the round out the first half of the 1st round.

Alabama Defensive Tackle, Jonothan Allen, went to the Washington Redskins with the 17th pick. The Tennessee Titans, who were making their second selection of the 1st round, took Adored Jackson, Corner Back from USC, with the 18th pick. The 19th pick belonged to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they took Alabama Tight End, O.J. Howard. Howard will try and fill the whole left by Austin Sefferian-Jenkins last year. The Denver Broncos took Utah Offensive Tackle, Garrett Bolles (and his well dressed son) with the 20th pick. While the Detroit Lions selected Jarred Davis, Line Backer from Florida, with the 21st pick. The Dolphins made it two Line Backers in a row when they went with Missouri’s Charles Harris, with the 22nd pick. The Giants were up at pick number 23, and they selected Tight End, Evan Engram from Ole Miss. The controversial Oakland Raiders selected equally controversial Corner Back Garcon Conley from Ohio State. Conley has been accused of rape, but no files have been charged as of this time. “Just win Baby!”….I guess.

With the 25th pick, the Cleveland Browns, who had traded down with the Houston Texans, got perhaps the biggest steal of the draft. They selected Jabril Peppers, Safety out of Michigan. Peppers had been projected to go much much higher, but a diluted urine sample at the combine in March dropped his draft stock. Its a tough break for Peppers, who lost a lot of money by dropping so far, but its a lucky break for a Browns franchise that hasn’t had too many. The Atlanta Falcons acquired the 26th pick from the Seattle Seahawks for their 1st, 3rd, and 7th round picks (31st, 95th, and 249th) in this years draft. They took Takkarist McKinley, Defensive End from UCLA. The Buffalo Bills picked 27th, with the pick they got from the Chiefs, and took Tre’Davious White, Corner Back lut of LSU. With the 28th pick, the Dallas Cowboys took Viduantae “Taco” Charlton, Defensive End from Michigan. The Cleveland Browns, who had already picked twice in the first wound weren’t done yet. They traded their 2nd and 4th round picks (33rd and 108th overall) to the Green Bay Packers for the 29th pick. They took Miami Tight End, David Njoku.

With the 30th pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers welcomed in anothe Watt brother into the NFL. This time it was Line Backer T.J. Watt put of Wisconsin. The San Francisco 49ers would trade their 2nd and 4th round picks (34th and 111th overall) to the Seattle Seahawks for the 31st pick. They took take Alabama Line Backer, Ruben Foster. At this point, San Francisco just needs to stockpile as much talents as they possibly can. The New Orleans Saints were up last in the first round, with the pick they received from the New England Patriots as part of the Brandin Cooks trade. They selected Ryan Ramczyk, Offensive Tackle from Wisconsin. So that was it. Another first round in the books. I’d have to say the big winners of the night were the Cleveland Browns. This is the first time in a long time, maybe ever that I can remember coming out of a draft and thinking the Brwons had a decent night, let alone the best night. Maybe things are finally going to change in Cleveland. They just picked up two young studs who could make them a defensive juggernaut for a long time. That’s why you have to love the draft, it brings fans and teams hope. There’s still big names left on the board like Florida State Running Back, Dalvin Cook, Alabama Offensive Tackel, Cam Robinson, and Notre Dame Quarterback, DeShone Kizer, so be sure to tune in and see where they go.

Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft start Friday at 7 pm EST on ESPN and NFL Network

Wesly Avendano
Baseline Times Staff Writer

Myles Garrett not heading to Philly for this year’s NFL Draft

Myles Garrett, the coveted defensive end out of Texas A & M, won’t be heading to Philadelphia on Draft Night, choosing to stay at home in Arlington with his family and friends.  Garrett follows the trend of NFL draftees choosing to stay home instead of going to the festivities to be held on Draft Night in Philadelphia.  This leaves whomever the San Francisco 49ers select as the second pick to be the first player to shake hands with the Commish.  Former number one overall selection, Jameis Winston, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2015 NFL Draft, also chose to stay home with his family in Alabama.  In that same year, the number two overall selection, Marcus Mariotta, who was selected by the Tennessee Titans, also stayed home with family in his home state of Hawaii.

While Garrett seems to be a shoe-in as the number one overall pick, other athletes who have anticipated becoming the coveted first overall selection, have seen their share of embarrassment on Draft Night.  Geno Smith attended the draft in 2013 with high hopes of being the first to walk the stage and grab his #1 jersey, however, his draft stock fell sharply, and left him waiting around the table awkwardly until the 39th pick, landing him with the New York Jets.  This won’t be the case with Garrett, although any number of teams would celebrate him falling in their lap.

Garrett is widely projected to end up with the Cleveland Browns, however, as of 24 hours prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, sources were still reporting that the Browns may choose North Carolina Tar Heel Quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky at the first pick.  We are speaking about the Cleveland Browns though, and almost anything goes in unpredictable Cleveland.  If Cleveland were to go rogue and select Trubisky over Garrett, this could send the first round of the draft into a tailspin, or at the very least make one team extremely happy by leaving Garrett on the board.

Garrett comes from a family of athletes.  His older brother, Sean Williams, who played collegiate basketball with Boston College, went on to play in the NBA.  His older sister, Brea, was a track and field athlete with Texas A & M, is the current NCAA champion in the weight throw category.  Garrett himself, was also a track and field athlete in his high school years.

Myles Garrett’s collegiate career with Texas A & M has earned him a lot of respect and has earned him his spot on top of most analysts’ draft boards.  In just his Freshman year, Garrett broke South Carolina’s monster DL/DE, Jadeveon Clowney’s 8 sack record in his first 9 games.  He improved on his 11.5 sacks of his Freshman year by gathering 12 sacks as a Sophomore.  During his Junior, and final, season with Texas A & M, Garrett had limited duty after suffering a high ankle sprain early in the season.  His limited, but effective work, along with his remarkable Freshman and Sophomore seasons, left Garrett a Unanimous Consensus All American.

Garrett declared his intention to enter this year’s draft on New Year’s Eve of 2016.

Ed Coleman
Baseline Times Staff Writer

Ed will be keeping us posted on the Jacksonville Jaguars and Florida State Seminoles throughout the upcoming 2017 football season.

Marshawn Lynch to join Raiders in trade from Seahawks

 

Per sources sources confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. the retired Running Back is back in the NFL except this time with the Oakland Raiders. Pending a physical Marshawn Lynch is headed to Oakland where he was born and raised.

Source: ESPN