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2016 NFL DFS and Season-long Preview Series



Here at, we want to give you the information you need to draft your winning DFS and championship season-long rosters. This year, that begins with our 2016 Fantasy Preview Series. Each week leading up to the start of the regular season we will provide you analysis and information you need to succeed and bring home that BACON! For even more insight and access to our NFL Optimal Lineups, check out our membership options for daily, monthy subscriptions!

Without a lot of DFS contests really kicking off until September, and a lot of season-long drafts coming up, this week’s preview looks at season-long format draft strategy: who we like, who we don’t, and who we recommend avoiding at all costs. We’ve run thousands of mock drafts to generate ADP (average draft positions) and strategies to help you lock up those 2016 championships.

In this edition, we take a look at who you need to target, who you need to avoid and the handcuffs you need to know for the 2016 season

Positional Breakdown: Running Backs

Tier 1:

Todd Gurley – Gurley erased any doubt surrounding his surgically repaired knee in 2015 after tearing his ACL as a Georgia Bulldog the previous season. The Rookie of the Year was phenomenal as he rolled over opposing defenses on his way to five 100 yard performances and 10 touchdowns in about ¾ of a season. The Rams return to Los Angeles and the bright lights of Hollywood will be shining directly on Gurley. There’s no denying it, the Rams are awful. With Jared Goff, the Rams #1 pick, potentially starting at QB, there is no ceiling high enough for Gurley. He could push for 2,000 yards and double digit touchdowns. Handcuff – Benny Cunningham

David Johnson – Johnson is another freak of nature running back whose potential plants him squarely in the tier 1 category. My only concern with Johnson is the other Johnson, Chris Johnson. CJ was effective through the first half of the season before breaking his leg and turning the reigns over to David. David grabbed them and never looked back, scoring 7 total touchdowns from weeks 11 – 17 and providing fans with some of the most impressive runs of any running back in 2015. If David can dominate and avoid a timeshare, he could be the #1 overall fantasy player in 2016. Handcuff – CJ

Adrian Peterson – Three things are certain, death, taxes and Adrian Peterson. There is no safer pick at the running back position that Peterson. Handcuff – Matt Asiata

Ezekiel Elliot – Elliot is a wildcard here. On paper, he’s the most complete rookie running back in the history of the NFL running behind the greatest offensive line in football and a quarterback that’s made out of glass. If all that actually translates to the football field, Elliot is a no doubt stud. The reality of the situation is that Elliot has been hit exactly 0 times by an opponent in the NFL and no one has a clue how good he’s actually going to be. I’m avoiding him because I don’t like risk in my “elite” options, but he could have a monster season. Handcuff – Alfred Morris and/or Darren McFadden

Lamar Miller – Miller is very intriguing to me. Arian Foster thrived in the Texans offense and was one of the most productive running backs during that time. Miller has been severely underused during his time in Miami, averaging just 196 carries in his last 3 years in a timeshare. He’s a complete back with great hands and the Texans will feed him the rock as long as he stays productive. Handcuff – Alfred Blue

Le’Veon Bell – Bell is potentially facing a 4 game suspension. Reports indicated that an answer should be announced soon on his appeal for missing multiple drug tests. Take a wait and see approach. Handcuff – DeAngelo Williams

Devonta Freeman – Last year’s surpise, breakout performer was Devonta Freeman. He did most of his damage early on, wearing down as the season progressed. Freeman has worked this offseason to get stronger to survive the 17+ week grind. If he can stay healthy and productive, Freeman will again finish as a top-5 running back. Handcuff – Tevin Coleman


Tier 2:

LeSean McCoy – McCoy just hasn’t looked the same since his monster seasons in Philly. He’s still an elite rusher and all reports out of Buffalo have been positive. However, he’s fallen out of Tier 1 category and, if he can’t step it up at age 28, we don’t see that improving. Handcuff – Karlos Williams

Jamaal Charles – The only reason Charles isn’t a Tier 1 option is the ACL injury that shortened his 2015. If he’s healthy, he’s a locked-in, surefire number 1 back. Handcuff – Spencer Ware/Charcandrick West

Mark Ingram – I really like Mark Ingram. ESPN has him projected to score 10 touchdowns on nearly 1000 yards. I absolutely believe he will go over on both of those. With Drew Brees under center, opposing defenses will have to scheme to stop the pass. Ingram will take advantage and feast on soft schemes up front. Handcuff – Tim Hightower

Doug Martin – The Bucs think so highly of the “Muscle Hamster” that they rewarded their running back with a five-year, $35.75 million contract. The Bucs are trotting out number #1 overall pick Jameis Winston and there are some issues with the offensive line, but Martin has the potential to rip off another 1000 yard season. Handcuff – Chris Simms

C.J. Anderson – The formula is pretty simple: Broncos + Mark Sanchez = a lot of rushing opportunities of C.J. Anderson. Handcuff – Devontae Booker

Carlos Hyde – If Hyde can stay healthy, he should have a monster season in Chip Kelly’s offense. The 49ers are likely trotting out Colin Kaepernick at QB, which means Hyde will need to shoulder the load. Handcuff – Shaun Draughn

 Eddie Lacy – All reports out of Packers camp is that Lacy has lost the required weight that slowed him down in 2015. If he can keep his weight down, stay healthy and Aaron Rogers is under center, Lacy could easily move back into the Tier 1 category. Handcuff – James Starks


On the Rise:

Latavius Murray

Matt Jones

Ryan Matthews

Arian Foster

Derrick Henry / DeMarco Murray

Melvin Gordon

Ameer Abdullah

Rashad Jennings

Buyer beware:

Frank Gore

Jonathan Stewart

Matt Forte

Justin Forsett

Jeremy Hill

PPR Specialists:

Danny Woodhead

Dion Lewis

Duke Johnson Jr.

Giovani Bernard

Theo Riddick

Shane Vereen

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