clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Per ESPN Rankings, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints lead in fantasy talent

This should come as a surprise to no one.

NFL: Preseason-New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It should be obvious to everyone why the Patriots have the most fantasy talent after the offseason they just put together.

Despite winning the Super Bowl, the Patriots spent this offseason acting like they had lost Super Bowl LI 28-3, assembling what could likely be the best offense in Foxborough since the days of Randy Moss and Wes Welker. As a result, six Patriots appear in ESPN’s top 100 non-PPR fantasy players, with two of them—I’ll let you guess who—appearing in the top 2 at their respective positions. (It’s Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady.)

Here’s the Patriot breakdown:

Quarterback: Tom Brady (No. 43, QB2)

Running back: Mike Gillislee (No. 67, RB30), James White (No. 96, RB39)

Wide receiver: Brandin Cooks (No. 27, WR13), Julian Edelman (No. 41, WR22)

Tight end: Rob Gronkowski (No. 22, TE1)

While the rankings may surprise you—still not sure how I’m feeling about Cooks being ranked so high—these are the names from the Patriots you’d expect to see in the top 100. I would take this opportunity to remind everyone to avoid Gillislee and White, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I just convinced myself that Gillislee actually could have a very strong fantasy season in New England. So, so much for my whole “don’t touch the Patriots’ running backs” spiel.

Once you get past the Patriots, the teams with the most fantasy talent become a little more interesting.

The New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers all trail the Patriots with five players inside ESPN’s top 100.

Obviously New Orleans is up there because Sean Payton is a big believer in playing as little defense as possible and winning games by simply outscoring the opposing team. Drew Brees (No. 52, QB3) and second year receiver Michael Thomas (No. 18, WR9) headline the list, with the new running back duo of Mark Ingram (No. 38, RB16) and Adrian Peterson (No. 81, RB34)—along with breakout receiver Willie Snead (No. 85, WR39)—rounding out the list.

I would argue the Seahawks are not as good as their ranks may imply. Only two players in that five are in the top 10 at their position—Russell Wilson (QB6) and Jimmy Graham (TE7)—and three of the five come in the bottom third of the top 100. I was about to write a mini-rant about how Eddie Lacy is currently being ranked the 46th best player in fantasy football which is just asinine to me but then remembered that ranking numbers are skewed simply because the strategy is to draft wide receivers and running backs first and then address everything else.

I was surprised to see the Panthers also with five players in the top 100 since their offense took such a step back last year. However, similarly to the Seahawks, their players populate the bottom half of the top 100. Without even taking a snap, Christian McCaffrey is their best fantasy player at 50 (RB20). He’s closely followed by old faithful Greg Olsen (No. 53, TE4) who seems to never age and constantly get you just the right number of points to win games. Kelvin Benjamin (No. 73, WR34), Jonathan Stewart (No. 84, RB35) and Cam Newton (No. 93, QB7) make up the rest of the Panthers squad.

It’s a total free-for-all once you get to teams with four or three players in the top 100. Despite only having three players, you could argue the Cowboys belong in the “best fantasy team” conversation since their three players all rank in the top 10 at their positions: Ezekiel Elliott (RB3), Dez Bryant (WR8) and Dak Prescott (QB8). However, once you miss out on those three, they have nothing until you’re into the 150s.

So, there you go. If you find yourself in the middle of draft with no idea who your next pick should be, see if there are any players available from one of these teams. Chances are, they’ll bring you a decent return.


Which team has the most fantasy talent?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    New England Patriots
    (10 votes)
  • 51%
    New Orleans Saints
    (18 votes)
  • 5%
    Seattle Seahawks
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Dallas Cowboys
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    Green Bay Packers
    (1 vote)
  • 11%
    Jameis Winston
    (4 votes)
35 votes total Vote Now