2015’s champion is looking for a repeat in 2016. Jake from State Farm was a newcomer to the league last year, and after a rocky start, and being told by someone who shall remain anonymous to “enjoy your 5-7 season”, he went on a roll all the way to a championship season. Add in the fact that he won the Antonio Brown sweepstakes this year, and things were looking up for the 2nd year manager. There are doubters however who believe that Jacob has not been making the right moves in his effort to repeat. One league manager said “I think Jacob blew the number one spot” and considers his squad to be one the worst in the league. ESPN disagrees, putting JFSF as the team with the highest projection in week 1. Time will tell if he has enough to keep his trophy after Year 2.
Russell Wilson was worth the high draft pick that was placed on him 2015, but only because of his unbelievably efficient last half of the season. Wilson had a stat line from Week 11 to Week 15 last year with games of 25, 37, 34, 32 and 26 fantasy points. If he can continue with that efficiency, there is a chance at him being the #1 QB in 2016. Derek Carr is a personal favorite of Jacob, and it is tough to know why that is. He does have two top level receivers, and an offensive line that is elite, but he faltered down the stretch last year. In his last 8 games, Carr had 9 Interceptions to his 13 Touchdowns, and only went over 300 yards twice. All of those stats lead to just one game with over 20 fantasy points. He will need to improve on that to be considered a top end quarterback this season.
The only reason that this group does not receive a failing grade is because of Mark Ingrams success last year, and the late round value that LeGarrette Blount provides. In a league that requires two running backs to be played and can allow up to 4 at a time, only having one starting running back isn’t perceived as ideal. Jacob may need to make some trades to adjust this questionmark of a unit. When asked about his lack of depth, Lee simply responded with his all too typical answer of “When you’re champion, you can criticize my strategy”. Classic.
Where Jacob lacks in Running backs, he certainly makes up for it in wide receivers. After taking Antonio Brown with the first overall pick, he already had a record breaking receiver at his disposal. But by also taking wide receivers Keenan Allen, Kelvin Benjamin, and Michael Floyd in the early rounds, he becomes absolutely loaded. Allen is the steal here. If not for a ruptured kidney that sidelined him for the last half of 2015, Allen was on pace for elite production. On a 16 game pace, he would have had 178 Targets, 134 Catches, and 1450 yards. That would have ranked him 5th, 3rd, and 5th respectively in the NFL for those categories. Add in Bears WR Kevin White who was a top 10 draft pick in 2015 before missing his entire rookie season due to injury, and Jacob’s squad has a group that can give him elite production on an every week basis in 2016.
This grade is largely given due to the fact that he has 3 options at tight end. If this was not the case, it would almost certainly go down. Delanie Walker and Tyler Eifert had career years last year in very different fashions. Walker was essentially the only option in a bad offense last year, and the statistics back this up. He hauled in 94 Catches (31 more than his previous career high) and had his first career 1,000 yard season. With the offense being geared more towards the run game this year, you can expect Walker’s production to decline slightly. Eifert on the other hand, had his best fantasy season to date because of the Touchdowns. With 11 Redzone touchdowns (13 Total) on only 16 targets, Eifert was incredibly efficient at ending drives. Assuming that rate goes down simply by the odds, and combine that with him missing the first part of the season due to injury, it should come as no surprise that Eifert fell in the draft. Add in Julius Thomas who had a bit of a resurgent year himself, and Jacob should have a great option at tight end every week, as long as he plays the right guy.