It is never too early to talk fantasy football. NFL training camps open up in a couple weeks, which is where a lot of questions are answered. Quarterback battles really start to kick off and you can even see some players get injured during training camp. Hopefully we don’t see any huge injuries like a Kelvin Benjamin who got hurt before the 2015 season even started. That is why I strongly suggest that you talk to your GM’s and push drafts towards the end of preseason. Let’s get started with some pre-preseason predictions to get back into the fantasy groove! First up, quarterbacks:
Kirk Cousins, WSH
Cousins showed huge growth and potential in the 2015 season. Finishing ranked 8th in ESPN standard leagues, Cousins looks to continue his success in a weak NFC East. With two productive receivers in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, a solid set of tight ends with Jordan Reed, Niles Paul and a forgettable Vernon Davis, Cousins has the weapons. Can we also take a minute and realize that they also took Josh Doctson with their first round pick? If this is not a sign that the Redskins are building around Cousins, I don’t know what is. With question marks at running back at the loss of Alfred Morris, Cousins might have to throw a little more.
Blake Bortles, JAX
You might be asking yourself, why on earth would Gage put two quarterbacks from two of the weakest teams in football in his top 5 fantasy QB’s? Well its simple these young guns are on the rise! Bortles finished 4th in ESPN standard leagues. He is in my top 5 for very similar reasons as Cousins, talented receivers, weak division, and a lack of a running game. With the Allen’s, Hurns and Robinson, Bortles found two weapons he loves to throw the ball too. The Jags also have Julius Thomas running down the middle of the field.
Aaron Rodgers, GB
Chances are, Aaron Rodgers was probably taken in the first round of your draft the last few years. In 2015, Aaron Rodgers did not solidify his position as a first round pick. Averaging only 18 points per game in ESPN Standard leagues, Rodgers did not put up the numbers he was known for. Rodgers was missing a key part of his offense and his favorite target, Jordy Nelson. Considering that Rodgers still finished ranked 7th overall without Nelson, I consider him a top quarterback again this year.
Russell Wilson, SEA
Russ has established himself as solid fantasy quarterback over his young career. With his efficiency, lack of interceptions, and his legs, Wilson earns himself number 2 on my countdown. With the Seahawks offensive identity, the man who does not speak, now gone, Seattle needs a new identity. Russell Wilson has been the complement to Lynch for years. Now its times for Wilson to cast his own shadow. In 2015 Russ averaged 251 yards per game and threw for 34 touchdowns. In Wilson’s first season with 4000+ passing yards, he threw 14 touchdowns to Doug Baldwin. The Seahawks look poised and ready for a run and gun type of offense. With Wilson’s legs, owners will get a nice extra five points or so from rushing with an occasional touchdown.
Cam Newton, CAR
What a surprise here. Newton at the top yet again. One cannot argue with someone who had 35 passing touchdowns and oh wait what’s that? 10 RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS?? Anyone want to take a guess at how many NFL running backs had 10 + touchdowns? Do not worry I have the answer it was five. DeAngelo Williams, Adrian Peterson, Jeremy Hill, and Devonta Freeman all had 11. Todd Gurley had 10. What I draw from this is, you get a QB in Cam Newton who is top three in every important passing category and he is just as productive as most running backs out there. Last point, he was missing his number one receiver last season in Kelvin Benjamin. Just some food for thought. No question, Cam Newton is the No.1 QB. It would not be a reach to take him first overall in your draft.
Photo Credit: Google, Labeled for Reuse
Stat Credit: ESPN- http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/leaders?slotCategoryId=0