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Published: Feb. 12, 2016 at 12:06 p.m.
Updated: Feb. 14, 2016 at 12:27 p.m.

Fabiano's fantasy man crushes

Love is in the air!

No, I'm not talking about the love between two people that results in a Valentine's Day trip to Jared. I'm talking about the love between a man or woman with their fantasy football players. I've been professing my fantasy man crushes for years, including last season when I admitted my affection for the likes of Cam Newton (QB1), Devonta Freeman (RB1), Latavius Murray (RB10), Julio Jones (WR2), DeAndre Hopkins (WR6), Brandin Cooks (WR12) and Jarvis Landry (WR9 - PPR).

Alright I loved C.J. Anderson too, but I broke up with him before midseason.

Now that the calendar has turned to a new year, so too have my affections turned to 10 new players that I'll be targeting in 2016 drafts. I mean, it's only a little more than six months away, right? And we all know that time flies when you're preparing to dominate the competition.

10 Photos Total

  • Luck was a disappointment for fantasy owners last season, missing more than half of his starts while finishing 28th in fantasy points among quarterbacks. However, he still would have projected to score almost 300 points based on his seven starts. Luck is also not what one would call "brittle" either, so chalk up last season to bad, um, luck. If you can land the Stanford alum after the first 50 picks, he would be hard not to love in 2016 drafts. 10

    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

    Luck was a disappointment for fantasy owners last season, missing more than half of his starts while finishing 28th in fantasy points among quarterbacks. However, he still would have projected to score almost 300 points based on his seven starts. Luck is also not what one would call "brittle" either, so chalk up last season to bad, um, luck. If you can land the Stanford alum after the first 50 picks, he would be hard not to love in 2016 drafts.

  • Dalton was on absolute fire last season, scoring 18-plus fantasy points 10 times before suffering a busted thumb in Week 14. Furthermore, he would have ranked an impressive fifth in fantasy points among all players if you project the numbers he produced in the games he started (and finished) over a full season. What's best about Dalton is that he's part of the deepest position in the NFL, so owners can land him outside of the top 80 choices. 9

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

    Dalton was on absolute fire last season, scoring 18-plus fantasy points 10 times before suffering a busted thumb in Week 14. Furthermore, he would have ranked an impressive fifth in fantasy points among all players if you project the numbers he produced in the games he started (and finished) over a full season. What's best about Dalton is that he's part of the deepest position in the NFL, so owners can land him outside of the top 80 choices.

  • Remember when Hyde went nuts against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1? Seems like forever ago, but the potential is there for the Ohio State product to put up a nice fantasy season. The addition of new coach Chip Kelly should benefit Hyde too, as the offense will no question be based on the run. And unlike the situation Kelly led in Philadelphia, there is little to no competition for work for Hyde in San Francisco. He could turn out to be a steal. 8

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers

    Remember when Hyde went nuts against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1? Seems like forever ago, but the potential is there for the Ohio State product to put up a nice fantasy season. The addition of new coach Chip Kelly should benefit Hyde too, as the offense will no question be based on the run. And unlike the situation Kelly led in Philadelphia, there is little to no competition for work for Hyde in San Francisco. He could turn out to be a steal.

  • It's hard not to love this versatile kid out of Northern Iowa after what he showed as a rookie. While he totaled just over 1,000 scrimmage yards, Johnson scored 12 times and was an absolute fantasy stud at the end of the 2015 campaign. The recent failures of second-season runners like Zac Stacy, C.J. Anderson and Jeremy Hill could cause some hesitation in making D.J. a first-round pick, but the upside at a thin position is tough to ignore. 7

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

    It's hard not to love this versatile kid out of Northern Iowa after what he showed as a rookie. While he totaled just over 1,000 scrimmage yards, Johnson scored 12 times and was an absolute fantasy stud at the end of the 2015 campaign. The recent failures of second-season runners like Zac Stacy, C.J. Anderson and Jeremy Hill could cause some hesitation in making D.J. a first-round pick, but the upside at a thin position is tough to ignore.

  • The new featured runner in Seattle, Rawls is in a position to post enormous numbers in his second pro campaign. He showed enormous upside as a rookie, posting a quartet of 100-plus yard rushing games, including a 209-yard performance against the 49ers in Week 11. In an offense that will continue to lean on the run, Rawls will have a legitimate chance to emerge into "Beast Mode Jr." in 2016. He's going to be a top-20 overall selection. 6

    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks

    The new featured runner in Seattle, Rawls is in a position to post enormous numbers in his second pro campaign. He showed enormous upside as a rookie, posting a quartet of 100-plus yard rushing games, including a 209-yard performance against the 49ers in Week 11. In an offense that will continue to lean on the run, Rawls will have a legitimate chance to emerge into "Beast Mode Jr." in 2016. He's going to be a top-20 overall selection.

  • Matt Forte will no longer be a member of the Bears next season, which <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000635876/article/matt-forte-bears-said-they-wont-resign-me" target="_new">he announced on social media</a> this week, which puts Langford in line to emerge into the new No. 1 runner for coach John Fox. As a result, the Michigan State standout is going to be one of the top breakout candidates in fantasy football. When he was the top runner in Forte's absence as a rookie, Langford put up 20-plus points twice and showed a lot of potential for owners. 5

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears

    Matt Forte will no longer be a member of the Bears next season, which he announced on social media this week, which puts Langford in line to emerge into the new No. 1 runner for coach John Fox. As a result, the Michigan State standout is going to be one of the top breakout candidates in fantasy football. When he was the top runner in Forte's absence as a rookie, Langford put up 20-plus points twice and showed a lot of potential for owners.

  • As a rookie, Bryant missed six games and still scored eight touchdowns on a mere 48 targets. As an NFL sophomore, he missed five games but averaged almost 70 yards per game (projected to 1,100-plus yards over a full season). If Bryant can avoid off-the-field issues, there's little doubt that he can emerge into an impressive No. 2 fantasy wideout in what will be his third pro campaign. There's oodles of upside with this athletic freak. 4

    G. Newman Lowrance/Associated Press

    Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

    As a rookie, Bryant missed six games and still scored eight touchdowns on a mere 48 targets. As an NFL sophomore, he missed five games but averaged almost 70 yards per game (projected to 1,100-plus yards over a full season). If Bryant can avoid off-the-field issues, there's little doubt that he can emerge into an impressive No. 2 fantasy wideout in what will be his third pro campaign. There's oodles of upside with this athletic freak.

  • Cooper put up a solid rookie season, but he still finished just 25th in fantasy points among wide receivers. So ... he was a mid-level flex starter or No. 3 fantasy wideout based on his level of production. I'm expecting Cooper to blow his rookie numbers out of the water next season however, and I expect him to take the next step to fantasy stardom. Playing alongside the talented Derek Carr, Cooper could push for high No. 2 wideout numbers. 3

    Charles Baus/Associated Press

    Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

    Cooper put up a solid rookie season, but he still finished just 25th in fantasy points among wide receivers. So ... he was a mid-level flex starter or No. 3 fantasy wideout based on his level of production. I'm expecting Cooper to blow his rookie numbers out of the water next season however, and I expect him to take the next step to fantasy stardom. Playing alongside the talented Derek Carr, Cooper could push for high No. 2 wideout numbers.

  • Jeffery was a disappointment in the stat sheets last season, due in large part to the fact that he battled injuries often. If the Bears franchise him for 2016 (which seems likely), the athletic wideout is going to have a lot of motivation to produce in an effort to earn a fat new deal down the line. I'll be targeting Jeffery at some point in the first five rounds as a No. 2 wideout who could move into the top 10 at his position next season. 2

    Denis Poroy/Associated Press

    Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bear

    Jeffery was a disappointment in the stat sheets last season, due in large part to the fact that he battled injuries often. If the Bears franchise him for 2016 (which seems likely), the athletic wideout is going to have a lot of motivation to produce in an effort to earn a fat new deal down the line. I'll be targeting Jeffery at some point in the first five rounds as a No. 2 wideout who could move into the top 10 at his position next season.

  • Watkins was an utter disaster in the first half of last season, but he showed off some massive skills and potential down the stretch once the Bills made more of an effort to get him the football. An elite talent, Watkins has developed a tremendous rapport with Tyrod Taylor and is in line to make the next step in his rise to fantasy stardom. I wouldn't be a bit shocked to see Watkins put up 1,300-plus yards for the Bills and fantasy fans. 1

    Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

    Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

    Watkins was an utter disaster in the first half of last season, but he showed off some massive skills and potential down the stretch once the Bills made more of an effort to get him the football. An elite talent, Watkins has developed a tremendous rapport with Tyrod Taylor and is in line to make the next step in his rise to fantasy stardom. I wouldn't be a bit shocked to see Watkins put up 1,300-plus yards for the Bills and fantasy fans.