Aug 31, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) smiles before the game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium.  Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

With the preseason officially over and cut-down day having come and gone, the NFL’s regular season is arriving. That also means fantasy football season is upon us.

Various outlets have published their top 25, 50, 75 and 100 fantasy players lists, but what about players from each individual team? Who is the best fantasy option from each organization? Well, look no further.

Here are the best fantasy players from all 32 NFL teams.

Arizona Cardinals – David Johnson, running back

A versatile do-it-all running back, David Johnson may be not only the best fantasy player on the Arizona Cardinals, but arguably all of football. He had over 2,100 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns a season ago, and there’s little reason to believe his workload will decrease in 2017. His 80 catches as a running back make him an utter monster in PPR leagues.

Atlanta Falcons – Julio Jones, wide receiver

Was there a more obvious choice than Julio Jones for the Falcons? Arguably the best wide receiver in football, it’s a near lock that Jones will put up over 100 yards a game and have a few chances to score. Of course, he’s also entirely capable of putting together a season like 2015, when he had nearly 1,900 yards and eight touchdowns.

Baltimore Ravens – Terrance West, running back

The Ravens don’t have too many dominant fantasy options heading into 2017, but Terrance West could be one. It should be stressed that he’s a high-risk, high-reward kind of player, but that reward could be substantial if he receives a heavy workload for Baltimore. West looked good in 2016, gaining a career-high 1,010 yards from scrimmage and scoring six touchdowns, but his role is far from guaranteed. He’ll be sharing time with Danny Woodhead.

Buffalo Bills – LeSean McCoy, running back

When healthy, LeSean McCoy is a viable fantasy option for anyone, and arguably one of the best running backs available. On a Bills team lacking other explosive talent, he’s far and away the best fantasy option. Both on the ground and through the air, McCoy provides a versatile option capable of putting up 2,000-plus all-purpose yards.

Carolina Panthers – Greg Olsen, tight end

Usually this place would be reserved for quarterback Cam Newton, but a schematic overhaul in Carolina coupled with Newton’s rapidly decreasing rushing attempts has paved the way for someone else. So, who would benefit from these changes? Tight end Greg Olsen, of course. Already one of the best fantasy tight ends, Olsen appears poised to improve upon his 1,073 yards and three touchdowns from a season ago.

Chicago Bears – Jordan Howard, running back

Jordan Howard is arguably one of the league’s best zone runners, and with Chicago’s interior offensive line looking healthy, it could mean even bigger things in 2017. A year ago, Howard yielded over 1,600 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns. With a year under his belt and an emphasis being put on the ground game, the Bears’ sophomore could be poised for an ever bigger season.

Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green, wide receiver

The argument could be made for running back Joe Mixon here, but given his background and the presence of other contributing backs, A.J. Green seems like the smarter choice. Despite missing six games a year ago, Green, who is one of the league’s elite receivers, still carries tremendous value. He’s good for at least 1,200 yards and nearly 10 touchdowns per season.

Cleveland Browns – Isaiah Crowell, running back

There’s not much value for the Browns offensively, even after acquiring Sammie Coates from the Steelers, but Isaiah Crowell certainly carries with him some potential. He gained a career-high 1,271 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns a season ago, and did so by gaining nearly 5.0 yards per carry and 8.0 yards per reception. If he continues his ascension, Crowell could become a legitimately valuable fantasy asset.

Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott, running back

Ezekiel Elliott is facing a six-game suspension (possibly reduced on appeal), but that doesn’t detract from his fantasy value on the field. Will it likely result in a damaged fantasy draft stock? Absolutely, but when he is on the field, there is no Cowboy better. The rookie had nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns a season ago. Suspension or not, his per-game averages are likely to increase in 2017.

Denver Broncos – Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver

If running back C.J. Anderson can find health and consistency, he’d arguably have a place in this spot. Of course, fantasy value relies on both of those things, and even with a down year in 2016, Demaryius Thomas fits the bills. He’s compiled five straight 1,000-plus yard seasons and has put up double-digit touchdowns three times. With a little consistency at quarterback, he will once again excel.

Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford, quarterback

Matthew Stafford is now the highest-paid player in NFL history, but that doesn’t necessarily make him the best quarterback in the league. That argument aside, one thing is for sure: he’s the best fantasy option on the Lions roster. Stafford is good for 4,200-plus yards and 25-plus touchdowns per season. He also carries with him the potential to put up even larger numbers.

Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers, quarterback

Aaron Rodgers is good for 4,000-plus yards and upwards of 40 total touchdowns per season. He limits himself to single-digit turnovers with consistency, completes 65-plus percent of his passes, and is consistent on a week-to-week basis. All in all, Rodgers is about as good a fantasy option as it gets without question.

Houston Texans – DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver

DeAndre Hopkins may have had a down year in 2016, but that was primarily because of the Texans’ issues at the quarterback position. And while some questions still linger, there’s no doubt about the sort of impact Hopkins can have. Fresh off an $81 million extension, expectations are that Hopkins returns to the player he was in 2015 when he gained over 1,500 yards with 11 touchdowns.

Indianapolis Colts – T.Y. Hilton, wide receiver

Andrew Luck could have just as easily been the guy here even in the face of potentially missing regular season time, but T.Y. Hilton’s 1,448-yard, six-touchdown performance in 2016 helped propel him to the top of the Colts’ fantasy charts. And while missing Luck for any extended period of time could hurt the team, it will only serve to benefit Hilton from a numbers perspective since he’d be the default security blanket offensively.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, running back

The Jaguars are building their entire offense around rookie Leonard Fournette, and even with other talented runners in their backfield, he’s likely to get the workload in 2017. Going with a rookie is always a potential gamble and it may come with a few setbacks throughout the year, but when all is said and done, Fournette will put up some big numbers this season.

Kansas City Chiefs – Travis Kelce, tight end

This space would have been designated for running back Spencer Ware, but a knee injury has ended his season before it began. With few other standout options, Travis Kelce seemed like the right choice from a fantasy perspective. He ended last season with a career-high 1,125 yards and four touchdowns. He’s expected to put up similar or better numbers in 2017.

Los Angeles Chargers – Melvin Gordon, running back

Like many of the other league’s multi-purpose backs, Melvin Gordon provides value on the ground and through the air. Is he at the level of Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson yet? Not quite, but his 1,416 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns a season ago are a good indicator of what’s to come.

Los Angeles Rams – Todd Gurley, running back

The Rams simply don’t provide a lot of fantasy value, so if you were forced to choose someone, it’d be running back Todd Gurley despite his down year in 2016. If, however, Gurley can run the ball as well as he did in 2015 and continue to improve as a receiver out of the backfield, he immediately propels himself up the fantasy value charts at running back.

Miami Dolphins – Jay Ajayi, running back

Jay Ajayi burst onto the scene in 2016 with 1,423 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns in 15 games. With a full season now under his belt, Ajayi is poised to be even better in 2017, especially when considering he’s likely the featured man offensively. So long as he can remain healthy, the multi-purpose back will provide a solid fantasy option.

Minnesota Vikings – Stefon Diggs, wide receiver

There are a lot of question marks facing the Vikings offensively and the argument could be made that Dalvin Cook should be the guy here. Ultimately however, Stefon Diggs is a speed demon who’s essentially guaranteed his catches, so that warrants serious fantasy consideration even if it’s not in the early rounds. So long as Minnesota can string together some consistent offensive line play, Diggs could put up some quality numbers.

New England Patriots – Tom Brady, quarterback

Who else could have possibly gone here? Tom Brady was the only correct answer and is arguably the best fantasy option in all of football, alongside a few others on this list. He completes nearly 65% of his passes on a yearly basis and is good for over 4,300 yards with relative ease. He’ll toss between 30-40 touchdowns per season and, on occasion, will give fantasy players a bonus touchdown or two with his legs.

New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees, quarterback

There are solid offensive options all over the Saints roster, but how could you pick against Drew Brees? He has not passed for fewer than 4,800 yards and 32 touchdowns since 2010, and on three separate occasions over that span he’s eclipsed 5,000 yards and twice eclipsed 40 touchdowns. From a fantasy standpoint, he’s a points machine and provides an opportunity to win on a weekly basis.

New York Giants – Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver

Odell Beckham Jr. has delivered over 1,300 yards and at least 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. Those numbers are all the more impressive when faced with the reality that defenses focused specifically on stopping him. Now with the additions of wide receiver Brandon Marshall and tight end Evan Engram, Beckham will see more one-on-one opportunities. As a result, his fantasy production has the potential to skyrocket.

New York Jets – Bilal Powell, running back

The Jets may have invested a good chunk of change in veteran Matt Forte, but Bilal Powell was more effective a season ago and will lead the way in 2017. Couple that will a massive rebuild that’s seen a major offensive depletion, and Powell is set up to have a career year in his seventh NFL season. He gained 1,110 yards from scrimmage and scored five touchdowns a last season and that may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper, wide receiver

Derek Carr or Marshawn Lynch could have potentially gone here, but Amari Cooper is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. Over his first two seasons, Cooper has hauled in 155 receptions for 2,223 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2017, he could realistically approach 90 receptions for 1,300-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns.

Philadelphia Eagles – Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver

After two down years with the Chicago Bears, Alshon Jeffery joined the NFC East, where there are plenty of top wide receivers. Immediately, he became the Eagles’ No. 1 receiver and a legitimate big-bodied target for Carson Wentz, who has shown flashes of brilliance at times. With Philadelphia, fantasy owners can expect Jeffery to produce numbers like he did in 2013-2014 as opposed to 2015-2016.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Le’Veon Bell, running back

Le’Veon Bell missed the entire offseason workout program, mini-camp and training camp as he seeks $17 million annually. Despite that, he’s expected to return for Week 1 and the fantasy value will come with him. A versatile multi-purpose back, Bell had nearly 1,900 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns in 12 games last season. On a game-by-game basis, few fantasy players put up more points.

San Francisco 49ers – Carlos Hyde, running back

Carlos Hyde has seen his numbers improve each of the last three seasons and so long as 49ers management has him pegged as the long-term answer at running back, fantasy owners can expect break-out numbers in 2017. He’s a back who can rip off nearly five yards per carry. And although Hyde doesn’t put up big numbers through the air, he is improving with an 81.8% catch rate.

Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson, quarterback

Russell Wilson struggled a bit at times in 2016, but still finished the season with over 4,200 yards passing and 23 total touchdowns. He’s capable of better and that should be expected in 2017. He’s a high-completion, low-turnover kind of player who can put up numbers with both his arm and his legs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans, wide receiver

The Buccaneers have several potential options for this spot, but it’s hard to choose anyone other than Mike Evans. One of the most talented young receivers in the league, Evans has improved his numbers in each of his first three seasons. A year ago, he finished with over 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he’s a near lock to at least duplicate that in 2017.

Tennessee Titans – DeMarco Murray, running back

DeMarco Murray was arguably the best running back in football during his final season with the Cowboys, and then he all but vanished during a down year with the Eagles. But in his first season with the Titans, Murray declared loudly: “I’m back.” He gained over 1,600 yards from scrimmage and scored 12 total touchdowns. He also passed for one for good measure. In his second season with the Titans, he looks poised to improve.

Washington Redskins – Kirk Cousins, quarterback

Kirk Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards with 25 touchdowns a season ago and is now in the position to earn himself ridiculous amounts of money. That’s good news for fantasy owners who can expect his very best in 2017. The question is, where is his ceiling? If 2016 is any indication, Cousins will put up major numbers.

QUIZ: Name every NFL player to score 200 or more fantasy points in 2016

It is August, and we can finally talk fantasy football. Can you name the 37 players who scored 200 or more fantasy points in the 2016 NFL season?

Five minutes are on the clock. Good luck!

CLUE: Number of points/Position/Jersey #

NOTE: Standard scoring as per Pro Football Reference.


382 / QB / #12
Aaron Rodgers
355 / QB / #2
Matt Ryan
336 / QB / #9
Drew Brees
328 / RB / #31
David Johnson
310 / QB / #12
Andrew Luck
306 / QB / #8
Kirk Cousins
293 / RB / #21
Ezekiel Elliott
293 / QB / #4
Dak Prescott
282 / QB / #9
Matthew Stafford
271 / QB / #5
Tyrod Taylor
270 / QB / #4
Derek Carr
270 / QB / #5
Blake Bortles
270 / QB / #3
Russell Wilson
268 / QB / #8
Marcus Mariota
266 / QB / #7
Ben Roethlisberger
263 / QB / #17
Philip Rivers
262 / QB / #3
Jameis Winston
261 / QB / #12
Tom Brady
261 / QB / #14
Andy Dalton
260 / QB / #1
Cam Newton
249 / QB / #3
Carson Palmer
248 / RB / #25
LeSean McCoy
244 / QB / #5
Joe Flacco
243 / RB / #29
DeMarco Murray
242 / RB / #26
Le'Veon Bell
232 / RB / #24
Devonta Freeman
226 / RB / #29
LeGarrette Blount
226 / QB / #10
Eli Manning
226 / QB / #11
Alex Smith
223 / QB / #8
Sam Bradford
217 / QB / #11
Carson Wentz
210 / RB / #28
Melvin Gordon
208 / WR / #13
Mike Evans
208 / WR / #87
Jordy Nelson
207 / WR / #84
Antonio Brown
201 / RB / #24
Jordan Howard
200 / QB / #7
Colin Kaepernick

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.


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