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2016 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: June Edition

With roughly two months until many of our annual league drafts will take place, I present you with my recently updated 2016 Fantasy Football positional rankings for the month of June.

Le'Veon Bell says he will be 100% healthy for training camp after a season-ending knee injury in 2015
Le'Veon Bell says he will be 100% healthy for training camp after a season-ending knee injury in 2015
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Why do you play fantasy football?  Truth be told, there are many reasons to join in on the fun.  Some people play to make new friends or to keep in touch with longtime pals, while others play for the prizes and awards, including the chance to talk smack on their league mates.  For me, it's a combination of these perks.  Simply put, waking up on crisp Sunday morning in the Fall is much more exhilarating with your own roster of NFL athletes to monitor.  Regardless of why you choose to play fantasy football, at this point of the article, it seems pretty obvious that you're on board.  However, as you might imagine, putting in some diligent work during the off-season is a necessity for a first place finish.

Having said that, let's dive right into my recently updated positional rankings for 2016, now with comments for a whopping 200 fantasy options.  I believe this extensive style will be preferred over my previous "top 10 analysis" for each position.

*These positional rankings are intended for standard scoring leagues, but are certainly applicable to .5 PPR as well.  Full point PPR may need to adjust player values accordingly*


Ranking Player Bye Comments
1 Cam Newton (CAR) 7 Reigning MVP has all the same offensive pieces in place, plus Kelvin returning.
2 Aaron Rodgers (GB 4 Lightweight Lacy + healthy Jordy should restore chemistry on A-Rod's Packers.
3 Russell Wilson (SEA) 5 Dynamic runner who set career-highs as a thrower in 2015. No Lynch anymore.
4 Andrew Luck (IND) 10 Very rough 2015 campaign but has flashed all-pro potential in recent seasons.
5 Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) 8 NFL's 2015 leader in per-game passing yardage. Likely an elite QB1 if healthy.
6 Drew Brees (NO) 5 Averaging 5127 passing yards & 38 TDs in past five years. Gets Fleener at TE.
7 Tom Brady (NE) 9 Even if the 4-game suspension is upheld, he's an easy QB1 from Week 5 on.
8 Eli Manning (NYG) 8 Flush with receiving weapons & heading into his third season with Ben McAdoo.
9 Blake Bortles (JAC) 5 Probably less garbage-time TDs, but still a low-end QB1 with plenty of weapons.
10 Derek Carr (OAK) 10 Big arm with pair of dependable pass-catchers. OAK offense should grow in 2016.
11 Carson Palmer (ARI) 9 Surrounded by a plethora of vertical playmakers, but age (36) is getting up there.
12 Tony Romo (DAL) 7 As usual, top 10 fantasy QB in 2016 not out the question if he & Dez stay healthy.
13 Kirk Cousins (WAS) 9 Top 8 QB repeat seems unlikely, but plenty of high-quality pass-catchers in 2016.
14 Jameis Winston (TB) 6 Seems to be maturing on & off the field. I think a very productive 2016 is ahead.
15 Philip Rivers (SD) 11 High-volume passer should have healthy Allen, Gates, Johnson, & now Benjamin.
16 Ryan Tannehill (MIA) 8 More playcalling freedom in Gase's offense. Landry + Parker form solid WR duo.
17 Tyrod Taylor (BUF) 10 Very efficient runner & passer in 2015. Watkins' health is huge for 2016 outlook.
18 Marcus Mariota (TEN) 13 TEN wants to run more, but still has QB1 upside with his supreme talent.
19 Matt Ryan (ATL) 11 Disappointing 2015. Should improve TD:INT ratio in second year with Shanahan.
20 Andy Dalton (CIN) 9 Solid QB1 until injury. Lost Sanu, Marvin Jones, & now Eifert is out after surgery.
21 Jay Cutler (CHI) 9 Without Gase, will he return to mediocrity? Athletic WRs at his disposal, though.
22 Matthew Stafford (DET) 11 If you can't do it with Megatron, life is going to be tough without him.
23 Brock Osweiler (HOU) 9 Loaded with playmakers in HOU, but hasn't exactly proved himself yet.
24 Joe Flacco (BAL) 8 Aging Steve Smith, Perriman knee injury, weak run game - QB2 most weeks.
25 Robert Griffin III (CLE) 13 Barnidge & Coleman will be top options in a normally-deficient CLE passing game.
26 Colin Kaepernick (SF) 8 Recovering from multiple surgeries. Could fit perfectly in Chip's offense.
27 Sam Bradford (PHI) 4 Yet another season filled with unmet expectations for the former Sooner.
28 Alex Smith (KC) 5 Safe plug-and-play QB2 with very limited aerial upside.
29 Teddy Bridgewater (MIN) 6 Weak-armed signal-caller but has decent weapons around him.
30 Ryan Fitzpatrick
Would bump up 10 spots or so, assuming he re-signs with the Jets.

- - -

Running Backs

Ranking Player Bye Comment
1 Le'Veon Bell (PIT) 8 With a fully healthy knee in PIT offense, he's the best all-around RB in the league.
2 Todd Gurley (LA) 8 Young stud will surely be the centerpiece of inexperienced LA Rams offense.
3 Adrian Peterson (MIN) 6 Year off in 2014 may have rejuvenated AP - still centerpiece for MIN offense.
4 David Johnson (ARI) 9 Ultra-effective TD-machine as a rookie. Now should be Cardinals' lead back.
5 Lamar Miller (HOU) 9 Criminally underused in MIA - now has the chance to set career highs in HOU.
6 Doug Martin (TB) 6 NFL's second-leading rusher in 2015 stays in a young ascending TB offense.
7 Ezekiel Elliot (DAL) 7 Immense upside & stellar O-Line - More first team reps after DMC elbow surgery.
8 Jamaal Charles (KC) 5 On pace for his best fantasy season ever in 2015. Workload likely to be reduced.
9 Devonta Freeman (ATL) 11 Speedster gets first crack at lead dog in 2016, but ended last season ice-cold.
10 Eddie Lacy (GB) 4 I'm expecting "Fat Eddie" to bounce back big-time in 2016 Packer offense.
11 LeSean McCoy (BUF) 10 Highly efficient when healthy, but injury history & K. Williams in rear view mirror.
12 Mark Ingram (NO) 5 Solid RB1 until late shoulder injury. Healthy 2016 Spiller may be more involved.
13 Carlos Hyde (SF) 8 Bad offense, but young talent in line for workhorse role for Chip Kelly's 49ers.
14 Thomas Rawls (SEA) 5 Ankle recovery is key with RB competition, but could step into heavy load.
15 C.J. Anderson (DEN) 11 DEN likely to run a lot in 2016 - CJA's job to lose, but keep an eye on Booker.
16 Matt Forte (NYJ) 11 Will be active in both run & pass game, but could cede touches to Khiry/Bilal.
17 Jay Ajayi (MIA) 8 Unless MIA signs a veteran RB (no guarantee), he's locked into substantial role.
18 Dion Lewis (NE) 9 Dynamic utility player in methodical offense - pacing for RB3 overall before ACL.
19 Latavius Murray (OAK) 10 Not overly impressive last season, but minimal competition in a good offense.
20 Jeremy Hill (CIN) 9 Decent rebound candidate after weak 2015.  Cincy should run more in 2016.
21 Matt Jones (WAS) 9 Similar to Latavius - wasn't great in 2015, but has a workhorse role on his plate.
22 Jeremy Langford (CHI) 9 Up-and-down rookie season, but expected to carry the mail in place of Forte.
23 DeMarco Murray (TEN) 13 Should be clear lead back in TEN to start 2016 - RB2 territory until he sputters.
24 Ameer Abdullah (DET) 10 Couldn't seize a workhorse role in rookie year, but has talent to turn into RB2.
25 Duke Johnson Jr. (CLE) 13 Hue Jackson's productive run scheme should utilize Duke's abilities in 2016.
26 Ryan Mathews (PHI) 4 Encumbent starter will have decent value for as long as he can stay upright.
27 Frank Gore (IND) 10 2015 was first time under 1000 yards since 2010 - getting Luck back will help.
28 Jonathan Stewart (CAR) 7 J-Stew hasn't reached a full 16 game season, 1000 yards, or 7+ TDs since 2009.
29 Melvin Gordon (SD) 11 Microfracture surgery a concern, but still has RB2 upside if fully healed by camp.
30 T.J. Yeldon (JAC) 5 Might lose goal line carries to Ivory, but hopefully more healthy & effective.
31 Derrick Henry (TEN) 13 Straight-line hammer back who will spell Murray until called upon for more.
32 Giovani Bernard (CIN) 9 Explosive utility back outplayed Hill in 2015 - recently signed 3-year extension.
33 Rashad Jennings (NYG) 5 Mediocre RB in both fantasy & real life. Has looks of underwhelming RB3.
34 Chris Ivory (JAC) 5 Between-the-tackles banger should split carries but earn goal line duties.
35 Danny Woodhead (SD) 11 Risky in standard, sturdy in PPR - would bump way up if MG experiences setback.
36 LeGarrette Blount (NE) 9 Big down-hill runner whose carries are unpredictable in NE - 30 years old.
37 Darren McFadden (DAL) 7 1400+ scrimmage yards in 2015. Elbow surgery could cause him to lose ground.
38 Karlos Williams (BUF) 10 Large bruising talent would be on RB1 borderline if Shady's injury history repeats.
39 Alfred Morris (DAL) 7 Had career-worst season in 2015, but has the chance to seize role with DMC out.
40 Charles Sims (TB) 6 TB's most efficient receiving back had somewhat of a breakout year in 2015.
41 C.J. Prosise (SEA) 5 Polished rookie out of ND likely to immediately contribute on passing downs.
42 Tevin Coleman (ATL) 11 Flopped in rookie season backfield competition, but should push for carries.
43 Theo Riddick (DET) 10 Plenty of PPR value (80 catches in 2015), but not much in standard leagues.
44 Kenneth Dixon (BAL) 8 Solid landing spot for rookie touches in BAL - could end up best of the bunch.
45 Isaiah Crowell (CLE) 13 Hue has been known to use a duo of RBs (Hill + Bernard), so he'll be involved.
46 Paul Perkins (NYG) 8 Intriguing rookie who may  need a backfield injury to make year one impact.
47 Devontae Booker (DEN) 11 Won't take much to beat out Hillman, but CJA will get bulk of carries at first.
48 Justin Forsett (BAL) 8 Veteran coming off season-ending injury. BAL has Buck Allen & drafted K. Dixon.
49 Jordan Howard (CHI) 9 Could be surprisingly involved as a rookie if Langford stalls or sputters.
50 C.J. Spiller (NO) 5 Knee injury supposedly lingered all of 2015 - 100% Spiller still has upside in NO.
51 Charcandrick West (KC) 5 One of three effective RBs in KC.  Not much standalone value when all healthy.
52 Wendell Smallwood (PHI) 4 Complete back out of WVU could be a borderline RB2 if Mathews gets hurt.
53 Cameron Artis-Payne 7 Not a special athlete, but role could expand in 2016 - see Jonathan Stewart above.
54 Chris Johnson (ARI) 9 Played at a high level in 2015 until falling off before knee injury - CJ behind DJ.
55 Jerick McKinnon (MIN) 6 Premier handcuff for AP owners - instant upside RB2 if Peterson gets injured.
56 DeAngelo Williams (PIT) 8 Stepped in for Bell last year & was top 5 fantasy RB - monitor Le'Veon's health.
57 Bilal Powell (NYJ) 11 Usually serves as third down receiving RB but now has Forte in front.
58 James Starks (GB) 4 Outscored Lacy in 2015 but expecting Starks to be thoroughly outscored in 2016.
59 Shane Vereen (NYG) 5 Effective as a pass catcher but won't get the chance to be a lead back.
60 Buck Allen (BAL) 8 Second-year back from USC averaged 3.8 YPC in 2015 but will compete for role.
61 DeAndre Washington (OAK) 10 Rookie jitterbug could be a nice change-of-pace back for the Raiders.
62 Spencer Ware (KC) 5 Probably the least appealing KC tailback after Charles & Charcandrick.
63 Keith Marshall (WAS) 9 Knee injury derailed college career at UGA, but still has upside as a rookie.
64 Tim Hightower (NO) 5 Was the bellcow after Ingram got hurt, but struggled in YPC department.
65 Tyler Ervin (HOU) 9 Might be able to carve out a role in his rookie year behind Lamar Miller.
66 Andre Ellington (ARI) 9 Not short on talent, but  crowded backfield + injury concerns every year.
67 Tre Mason (LA) 8 Uninspiring backup for Gurley would get a steady workload if injury occurred.
68 Zach Zenner (DET) 10 Younger more explosive back than Stevan Ridley should see action this season.
69 Ronnie Hillman (DEN) 11 Back in Denver after another underwhelming season - should be third in line.
70 Arian Foster Don't forget about Foster - should be a trusty veteran RB wherever he signs.

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Wide Receivers

Ranking Player Bye Comments
1 Antonio Brown (PIT) 8 Fantasy's most consistent player should be one of the very first off the board.
2 Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) 8 Ultra-talented superstar is locked-in top 3 WR after dominant first two seasons.
3 Julio Jones (ATL) 11 Fresh off second-best WR season in NFL history - rounds out the first tier of WRs.
4 Dez Bryant (DAL) 7 Dez & Romo healthy for 16 games would likely result in elite WR1 statistics.
5 A.J. Green (CIN) 9 Targets should be through the roof - could be headed into career-best season.
6 DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) 9 Proven to be QB-proof with massive catch radius, but targets (192) will go down.
7 Allen Robinson (JAC) 5 TDs (14) tough to replicate, but yards (1400) & receptions (80) can be matched.
8 Alshon Jeffery (CHI) 9 Sticky-handed beast has averaged 1277 yards & 8.5 TDs in last two healthy years.
9 Mike Evans (TB) 6 Firmly on the back-end WR1 spectrum. Sky-high upside if he can limit drops.
10 Keenan Allen (SD) 11 134-1450-8 receiving line pace before kidney injury - contract year in 2016.
11 Jordy Nelson (GB) 4 GB's top wideout should jump right back into being A-Rod's favorite target.
12 Amari Cooper (OAK) 10 Mostly positive rookie year with much room to improve in young OAK offense.
13 T.Y. Hilton (IND) 10 Solid numbers even without healthy Luck - High-end WR2 with a few WR1 weeks.
14 Sammy Watkins (BUF) 10 Jones fracture in foot is worrisome, but WR1 skillset when he gets on the field.
15 Brandin Cooks (NO) 5 Speedster will have his explosive weeks with some sub-par ones sprinkled in.
16 Demaryius Thomas (DEN) 11 WR2 floor regardless of QB, but seems to lack elite WR1 upside like years past.
17 Brandon Marshall (NYJ) 11 Needs Fitzmagic at QB to even come close to his top 3 WR finish in 2015.
18 Randall Cobb (GB) 4 Not overly impressive without Jordy in 2015, but should bounce back as WR2.
19 Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) 7 KB should return to his dominant red zone form in 2016 if his knee holds up.
20 Jeremy Maclin (KC) 5 KC's first fantasy-relevant WR since Bowe in his prime. Mid-range WR2 in 2016
21 Doug Baldwin (SEA) 5 Insane WR1 numbers from Week 10 on, but likely a borderline WR2 this year.
22 Julian Edelman (NE) 9 Tom's favorite WR should settle in as a safe WR2 if he can stay healthy.
23 John Brown (ARI) 9 Absolute burner has the right playmaking skills in the right aerial offense.
24 Jarvis Landry (MIA) 8 Sure-handed PPR menace is more of a WR3 than WR2 in standard formats
25 Eric Decker (NYJ) 11 Very sturdy option in fantasy & real life alike.  TD total (12) hard to match.
26 Allen Hurns (JAC) 5 1031 yards + 10 TD in 2015 seems like his ceiling, but likely still a quality WR3.
27 Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) 9 Renaissance year in 2015 with stats now likely to decrease across the board.
28 Michael Crabtree (OAK) 10 Signed a 4-year contract with OAK after having his best season since 2012.
29 Michael Floyd (ARI) 9 Plenty of upside if he could just stay on the field. Could easily leap Fitz in 2016.
30 DeSean Jackson (WAS) 9 Could be a bargain WR3 if he stays healthy. Still has his blazing speed.
31 Jordan Matthews (PHI) 4 Ordinary 2015 stats after high expectations, but could bounce back this season.
32 Donte Moncrief (IND) 10 Quietly impressive athlete with 2016 breakout potential if Luck stays healthy.
33 Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) 11 Should be a pretty reliable option regardless of who is throwing the ball in DEN.
34 Corey Coleman (CLE) 13 Rookie should be peppered with targets in CLE. Expecting volume > efficiency.
35 Dorial Green-Beckham (TEN) 13 Raw yet mammoth target is expected to take the next step in 2016.
36 Golden Tate (DET) 11 Should be Stafford's go-to, but Marvin won't draw the attention that Calvin did.
37 Tavon Austin (STL) 8 Small utility WR who catches & runs. Now he gets a talented young QB in Goff.
38 Torrey Smith (SF) 8 Very underwhelming 2015 in SF, but I think he has legit bounce-back appeal.
39 DeVante Parker (MIA) 8 Talented first-round WR should be more involved after gaining steam in 2015.
40 Kevin White (CHI) 9 Red-shirted his rookie year. Now in a great position across from Alshon.
41 Tyler Lockett (SEA) 5 Could emerge as a sturdy No. 2 receiver in SEA after an impressive rookie year.
42 Marvin Jones (DET) 11 Red zone threat who I can see getting less receptions but more TDs than Tate.
43 Markus Wheaton (PIT) 8 Showed flashes in 2015, but will need to make a bigger stride without Martavis.
44 Mike Wallace (BAL) 8 Flacco's new lid-lifter - back in the AFC North after a few disappointing seasons.
45 Laquon Treadwell (MIN) 6 Superb skillset, but not a fan of Bridgewater's ability to sling the ball downfield.
46 Sammie Coates (PIT) 8 Benefits from Bryant suspension. Freakish athlete worthy of late-round gamble.
47 Sterling Shepard (NYG) 8 If Cruz can't rebound from injuries, SS immediately steps in as NYG's second WR.
48 Michael Thomas (NO) 5 Pass-happy NO offense with no shortage of opportunity for this OSU product.
49 Stefon Diggs (MIN) 6 Hot streak in 2015 ended abruptly. Think Treadwell hurts value more than helps.
50 Travis Benjamin (SD) 11 Deep threat with a serious set of wheels. Could complement Allen nicely.
51 Devin Funchess (CAR) 7 Enters year two in CAR with much more experience than expected. WR3 upside.
52 Will Fuller (HOU) 9 One of the fastest WRs in the draft. Should establish a role later in 2016.
53 Josh Doctson (WAS) 9 Could be immediate red zone threat. WR3 upside if Garcon/D-Jax goes down.
54 Chris Hogan (NE) 9 Good hands + route running. Fits perfectly into NE's methodical offense.
55 Steve Smith (BAL) 8 If he looks healthy closer to the season, he'll move up. No timetable on return.
56 Mohamed Sanu (ATL) 11 New #2 wideout in ATL. Should get plenty of looks while opposite Julio.
57 Nelson Agholor (PHI) 4 Should be locked into #2 WR gig in PHI. Second-year speedster with upside.
58 Phillip Dorsett (IND) 10 Indy's third wideout by default - speedster was a first round pick last year.
59 Vincent Jackson (TB) 6 Not much left in the tank at this point, but TD total will go up from 2014-2015.
60 Breshad Perriman (BAL) 8 Battling through a pair of knee injuries thus far in his career - upside if heatlhy.
61 Rishard Matthews (TEN) 13 Don't see too much fantasy value in second or third wideouts in TEN.
62 Tyler Boyd (CIN) 9 I think Boyd out-produces LaFell, who currently sits as CIN #2 receiver.
63 Reuben Randle (PHI) 4 Theoretical upside if he could win a starting WR job in PHI.
64 Brandon LaFell (CIN) 9 Should start ahead of Boyd, but prefer the latter's youth & potential.
65 Willie Snead (NO) 5 Solid 2015 numbers are sure to regress with new receiving additions.
66 Kendall Wright (TEN) 13 Speedy slot WR will have to fight for targets more than ever.
67 Terrence Williams (DAL) 7 Struggled in 2015 without Dez getting attention on the other side.
68 Brian Quick (LA) 8 Perhaps the most upside of any Rams WR, but has shown next to nothing.
69 Davante Adams (GB) 4 Very unimpressive last season - now may have to fend off Janis for #3 WR.
70 Jeff Janis (GB) 4 Raw but stellar athletic specimen has shown flashes of a young Jordy.

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Tight Ends

Ranking Player Bye Comments
1 Rob Gronkowski (NE) 9 The unquestioned #1 TE even with Brady's suspension. Top two round selection.
2 Jordan Reed (WAS) 9 Young, athletic, & dominant pass-catcher but comes with major durability issues.
3 Greg Olsen (CAR) 7 Two straight 1000+ yard seasons with an elite QB in Cam. Certainly a top 3 TE.
4 Travis Kelce (KC) 5 Could have huge upside in KC if he can get more involved in the offense.
5 Tyler Eifert (CIN) 9 Injury-prone TE1 - foot surgery could cause him to miss regular season action.
6 Zach Ertz (PHI) 4 Finished last season on a white-hot streak & just signed a stud TE contract.
7 Ladarius Green (PIT) 8 Monitor ankle recovery after surgery in January, but offers TE1 upside in PIT.
8 Coby Fleener (NO) 5 Could set career-high numbers across the board in NO's TE-friendly offense.
9 Gary Barnidge (CLE) 13 TE1 in fantasy's shallowest position, but I'm not expecting a 2015 repeat.
10 Julius Thomas (JAC) 5 Should be much more comfortable with Bortles in his second year as a Jaguar.
11 Delanie Walker (TEN) 13 More mouths to feed & TEN has been talking up a run-heavy offense in 2016.
12 Antonio Gates (SD) 11 Veteran is still perhaps the most trustworthy option in Rivers' voluminous offense.
13 Michael Bennett (NE) 9 Two relevant TEs in NE is far from impossible. Plus, Gronk injury = high-end TE1.
14 Jason Witten (DAL) 7 A healthy Romo might be able to squeeze out one more solid year of production.
15 Eric Ebron (DET) 10 Youngster with upside needs to step up in a big way without Megatron in 2016.
16 Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (TB) 6 Gargantuan target with major upside, but has only played 16 of 32 career games.
17 Jimmy Graham (SEA) 5 Recovery from a major knee injury stands between Graham & TE1 territory.
18 Clive Walford (OAK) 10 Thinking this talented TE from "The U" has a bigger role in his second season.
19 Zach Miller (CHI) 9 Veteran had a few big games last year, assuming he underwhelms in 2016.
20 Jordan Cameron (MIA) 8 Brutal 2015 in South Beach, but his new OC Adam Gase should use him more.
21 Dwayne Allen (IND) 10 Probably just a TE2 red zone threat even with Fleener out of the picture.
22 Jared Cook (GB) 4 Prefer a healthy Jared Cook's athletic potential over Richard Rodgers'.
23 Kyle Rudolph (MIN) 6 Annually underwhelming receiving yardage but a red zone threat.
24 Charles Clay (BUF) 10 Flopped after signing big contract in BUF - needs to show up in 2016.
25 Will Tye (NYG) 8 Better receiving TE than Larry Donnell, but I'm not sure what that amounts to.
26 Vance McDonald (SF) 8 Gabbert's safety blanket in 2015.  Decent upside & minimal competition in 2016.
27 Jace Amaro (NYJ) 11 Supposed upside TE2 entering his third season. but has yet to make any impact.
28 Jacob Tamme (ATL) 11 Low-ceiling, low-end TE2 option in 2015. Should be even less valuable now.
29 Maxx Williams (BAL) 8 Second round pick in 2015. Prefer his upside over all other BAL TEs.
30 Richard Rodgers (GB) 4 Limited athlete likely to take back seat in passing game with Jared Cook in town.


Like what you read?  Drop any comments or questions below, and be sure to check out my divisional outlooks for the upcoming fantasy football season!