Photo Essays  

 

Published: Jan. 3, 2017 at 04:08 p.m.
Updated: Jan. 3, 2017 at 06:30 p.m.

Top 10 players on fantasy title teams

Not all championship fantasy football teams are built the same, but there are some things that plenty of them have in common. Namely, elite players. Sure, there are many things that go into creating a great fantasy roster -- including finding key sleepers and role players off the waiver wire. But it definitely helps to have a strong foundation of players you can count on each and every week. So it's time to salute the 10 players found on the most fantasy championship rosters (percentage owned in parentheses).

10 Photos Total

  • Was there ever a doubt? The player who topped 2,000 scrimmage yards, scored 20 touchdowns and posted at least 100 scrimmage yards in all but one game was destined to lead more fantasy owners to championships than any other player. This is a repeat performance of sorts, since Johnson topped this list last season as well. We'll see if he can complete the hat trick in 2017. 10

    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    1. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (29.80 percent)

    Was there ever a doubt? The player who topped 2,000 scrimmage yards, scored 20 touchdowns and posted at least 100 scrimmage yards in all but one game was destined to lead more fantasy owners to championships than any other player. This is a repeat performance of sorts, since Johnson topped this list last season as well. We'll see if he can complete the hat trick in 2017.

  • If you could write a recipe for a succesful fantasy back, it would featured a very talented player in a run-heavy offense with no challengers to take carries from him. Ladies and gentlemen, we present LeSean McCoy. Shady's draft stock took a hit after a subpar 2015 but those who took a chance on him in the second round or later were happy to have a rusher who returned to his previous form on his way to being a top three fantasy back in 2016. 9

    Seth Wenig/Associated Press

    2. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (26.58 percent)

    If you could write a recipe for a succesful fantasy back, it would featured a very talented player in a run-heavy offense with no challengers to take carries from him. Ladies and gentlemen, we present LeSean McCoy. Shady's draft stock took a hit after a subpar 2015 but those who took a chance on him in the second round or later were happy to have a rusher who returned to his previous form on his way to being a top three fantasy back in 2016.

  • All offseason, the Bears promised a running back committee. Then it looked like Jeremy Langford would take the role as the lead back. When that didn't work, in stepped Jordan Howard. The rookie took the gig and never looked back, rushing for 1,313 yards (second-most in the NFL) and six touchdowns to finish the season as the RB9. Howard should challenge to be a first-round draft pick in plenty of fantasy drafts next season. 8

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    3. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears (21.94 percent)

    All offseason, the Bears promised a running back committee. Then it looked like Jeremy Langford would take the role as the lead back. When that didn't work, in stepped Jordan Howard. The rookie took the gig and never looked back, rushing for 1,313 yards (second-most in the NFL) and six touchdowns to finish the season as the RB9. Howard should challenge to be a first-round draft pick in plenty of fantasy drafts next season.

  • Starting the season, there were two schools of thought on Elliot. There were those who believed that he could immediately jump in and be fantasy stud. Then there were those who were wrong. It took about six quarters of football to realize that Zeke was going to have a monster season. Congratulations to all of you who saw the very clear future staring you in the face. 7

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (21.57 percent)

    Starting the season, there were two schools of thought on Elliot. There were those who believed that he could immediately jump in and be fantasy stud. Then there were those who were wrong. It took about six quarters of football to realize that Zeke was going to have a monster season. Congratulations to all of you who saw the very clear future staring you in the face.

  • Plenty of digital ink will be spilled this offseason about which running back should be the first off the board in 2017 fantasy drafts. Bell reasserted his spot among the elites this season by posting 1,884 scrimmage yards and nine total touchdowns. By the way, he also was second on the team in targets, catches and receiving yards. Pretty good for a guy who missed the first three games of the season. 6

    Don Wright/Associated Press

    5. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (19.88 percent)

    Plenty of digital ink will be spilled this offseason about which running back should be the first off the board in 2017 fantasy drafts. Bell reasserted his spot among the elites this season by posting 1,884 scrimmage yards and nine total touchdowns. By the way, he also was second on the team in targets, catches and receiving yards. Pretty good for a guy who missed the first three games of the season.

  • Aaron Rodgers' favorite target returned after missing all of 2015 with a knee injury and it didn't take long for the Packers' most consistent pass-catch duo to get the old magic back. The best part for fantasy managers (and cheeseheads everywhere) is that Nelson turned things up as the season progressed and the stakes got higher. Posting 154 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Championship Week was the holiday gift that kept on giving. 5

    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    6. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers (19.42 percent)

    Aaron Rodgers' favorite target returned after missing all of 2015 with a knee injury and it didn't take long for the Packers' most consistent pass-catch duo to get the old magic back. The best part for fantasy managers (and cheeseheads everywhere) is that Nelson turned things up as the season progressed and the stakes got higher. Posting 154 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Championship Week was the holiday gift that kept on giving.

  • When you're in the running for the NFL's Most Valuable Player award, there's a pretty good chance that you're going to help lead more than a few fantasy football teams to victory. Ryan, whose previous middle-of-the-road seasons had led to plenty of fantasy yawns, came out of the gate firing and stayed hot nearly all year on his way to finishing as the second-highest fantasy scorer. 4

    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    7. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (18.22 percent)

    When you're in the running for the NFL's Most Valuable Player award, there's a pretty good chance that you're going to help lead more than a few fantasy football teams to victory. Ryan, whose previous middle-of-the-road seasons had led to plenty of fantasy yawns, came out of the gate firing and stayed hot nearly all year on his way to finishing as the second-highest fantasy scorer.

  • Speaking of Luck, the quarterback's revival from a difficult 2015 came to fruition this year. The surprising part of it is that Luck wasn't a top three quarterback in any of the major passing categories. Yet he offered pretty consistent fantasy production on a weekly basis, scoring fewer than 16 fantasy points just three times in 15 starts. There is depth at quarterback, but that level of weekly consistency is hard to come by. 3

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    8. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (17.69 percent)

    Speaking of Luck, the quarterback's revival from a difficult 2015 came to fruition this year. The surprising part of it is that Luck wasn't a top three quarterback in any of the major passing categories. Yet he offered pretty consistent fantasy production on a weekly basis, scoring fewer than 16 fantasy points just three times in 15 starts. There is depth at quarterback, but that level of weekly consistency is hard to come by.

  • Plenty of people expected Hilton to have a big season with Andrew Luck once again healthy in Indianapolis. But it's hard to imagine anyone thinking the talented receiver would see 27 percent of the team's targets go his way. Injuries certainly had a lot to do with it since Donte Moncrief missed nearly half the season while Phillip Dorsett never became a consistent playmaker. In all, it added up to career highs in receptions and yards in 2016. 2

    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    9. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (17.22 percent)

    Plenty of people expected Hilton to have a big season with Andrew Luck once again healthy in Indianapolis. But it's hard to imagine anyone thinking the talented receiver would see 27 percent of the team's targets go his way. Injuries certainly had a lot to do with it since Donte Moncrief missed nearly half the season while Phillip Dorsett never became a consistent playmaker. In all, it added up to career highs in receptions and yards in 2016.

  • The Patriots inflicted plenty of Blount Force Trauma this season with their bruising running back scoring a franchise-record 18 rushing touchdowns. The veteran back didn't post a lot of eye-popping yardage, topping 100 yards just four times this season but he was constantly in the end zone. That was enough to help him land as the RB7 at the end of the season. 1

    Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

    10. LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots (15.71 percent)

    The Patriots inflicted plenty of Blount Force Trauma this season with their bruising running back scoring a franchise-record 18 rushing touchdowns. The veteran back didn't post a lot of eye-popping yardage, topping 100 yards just four times this season but he was constantly in the end zone. That was enough to help him land as the RB7 at the end of the season.

Discuss ()