*In honor of NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2017" series (airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET), the NFL Fantasy team is releasing their preliminary top 100 or 200 fantasy players of 2017 lists as well. Below are Adam Rank's rankings, and you can view other analysts' via the tabs above. *
Here are my rankings, but first let me just say that I was obligated to have the big three at the top of the list. Because heaven forbid I have a differentiating opinion and be labeled a "hot-take artist" or something like that.
Because trust me, the last couple of days (of when this was posted) have been pretty rough. Because I'm a Star Wars fan. Not a super-hardcore fanboy. But I can hold my own. I watch the movies and the TV shows, and have read some of the comics. So it's not like I can tell you the origin of Bendu or anything, but I at least know who that is.
So "May the Fourth Be With You" brought out two different creatures for me. First, there are the anti-Star Wars kooks who have to tell you how much the movie sucks. These people are as fun as the dude who shows up to your Super Bowl party and proclaims that football is stupid and he's only there for the commercials. And all of these opinions are unsolicited. UNSOLICITED! It's one thing if I ask you about a movie, and then you launch into your tirade. But there are those who take pride in hating something that everybody loves. (And trust me, I'm no stranger to this. For instance, I don't like the original "Rocky" movie. But the difference here is "Star Wars" is awesome, and the original "Rocky" is boring and lame.)
Then there is the second-set of Star Wars fans who don't really follow the franchise that closely and only watch the movies. These folks are like the people at your Super Bowl party who have only seen one NFL game that season. The one they are at the party for. And all of them have stupid fan theories, like Boba Fett is really Snoke. I heard this three times on May 4, with different theories about Snoke is Yoda, Darth Maul and Jar Jar. Sometimes I wish Maul sucker-sabered me in the eye like he did to Kanan.
So I don't want to draw any more heat on me, and I will not rate Mike Evans as my top player headed into the draft. I will likely take Evans with my first pick, considering it's more likely that I won't be in the top three. But the dude is going to have a monster season. I know some see all of the weapons around him and think it's going to drain his effectiveness. But it's going to open things up and give him more opportunities. Could he go for 20 touchdowns? Well, I'm not going to make that prediction.
I'm already giddy watching McCaffrey videos from Carolina Panthers rookie camp. He looks like a lot of fun out there.
The second "you lost all credibility" ranking is Joe Mixon, up here super high. I know; some of you will not want to draft Mixon because of the video of him striking a woman at Oklahoma. I respect you for that. I really do. But I'm going to offer these rankings based on talent and fit, you can make your own moral judgement on whether you want to draft the player or not. This is a good chance for Mixon. The Bengals offensive line has lost some big names, but I'm less worried about that when you have a running back who can do it all. He's a much better receiver than he's given credit for. And the Bengals are not going to assume the PR hit just to have this guy sit the bench.
The third "you lost all credibility" ranking here with Adrian Peterson likely lower than most. I might not have given the Saints offensive line enough credit, even as they played admirably with the injuries last year. However, AD is still a 32-year old running back who did not look good in 2016. This stuff gets away from you quickly. I know for a lot of you, this is the first time you have witnessed somebody from your childhood hitting the wall. I know what that feels like. I had to watch LaDainian Tomlinson go through the same thing. It's jarring. But there just aren't a lot of examples of running backs finding a fountain of youth at age 32.
All I can say is at least I didn't have Josh Ferguson on this list. I would say more, but do your worst in the comments. Hit me up on Twitter. Hit me up on Facebook. I even take questions on Insta, YouTube, MySpace. So let me know. I've probably already changed my mind on most of these guys already. Well, not "Rocky" though. That movie still blows.