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Five NFL Offenses to Target in Fantasy Drafts: Cardinals, Saints and Steelers

The idea of stacking, or pairing multiple players from the same NFL team on your fantasy team, is nothing new.

It's generally more common on daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, where a successful pairing of a quarterback and pass-catcher is often crucial to winning a big-money guaranteed prize pool tournament, but it's become more commonplace in redraft leagues.

Editor's Note: RotoBaller has the best Premium NFL Subscription, only $29.99 for the full season. We have all the preseason tools to help win your drafts, and in-season tools to win your seasonal and daily leagues: Draft Kit, Premium Rankings, ADP Sleepers Tool, Matchup Ratings for every player, Daily DFS Cheat Sheets, Lineup Picks, Expert Lineups, Stacks and Avoids.

 

Load Up on These Offenses for 2016 Fantasy Football

Stacking can be a sneaky way to effectively double your points. If your quarterback throws a pair of touchdown passes to one of your receivers, points are going to add up quickly.

The trick, of course, is selecting the most consistent players from the most profitable fantasy situations. The Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals both averaged more than 30 points per game last season, so their players offered more fantasy upside than those on the San Francisco 49ers who finished with an NFL-worst 14.9 points per game.

So what are the top fantasy situations entering the 2016 seasons? Which NFL teams should you target when constructing your fantasy team? I've identified five teams that I will be targeting heavily in my drafts this summer, along with individual players currently being selected in the top 100 of standard fantasy drafts (average draft positions are from Fantasy Football Calculator).

 
Pittsburgh Steelers

WR Antonio Brown (1.01), RB Le'Veon Bell (1.02), QB Ben Roethlisberger (5.10), TE Ladarius Green (8.02), RB DeAngelo Williams (8.07), WR Markus Wheaton (8.08)

No surprise here, a year after the Steelers were fantasy gold in 2015, I am expecting more of the same this season. The Steelers boast fantasy's undisputed No. 1 wide receiver in Brown, a top-three running back in Bell, and a top six quarterback in Roethlisberger. Brown continues to gain traction as the consensus No. 1 overall pick in redraft leagues, so pairing him with Roethlisberger, who can be had in the fifth round, is a solid strategy.

Outside of the Steelers' "big three," free-agent signee Green has legitimate top-10 tight end upside this season, while Williams proved last season he's arguably the most important running back handcuff available. Wheaton could be a steal in round eight with fellow wideout Martavis Bryant being suspended for the season.

 
Arizona Cardinals

RB David Johnson (1.07), WR Michael Floyd (5.07), WR Larry Fitzgerald (6.05), WR John Brown (7.02), QB Carson Palmer (7.09)

The Steelers might have the best individual receiver, but the Cardinals have the most dynamic group of receivers in the league. Second-year running back Johnson should emerge as one of fantasy's top backs with a full workload in 2016. Palmer will turn 37 this season, but he's still a top-10 quarterback and is being drafted as such in the seventh round.

Floyd, Fitzgerald and Brown are being drafted, on average, within two rounds of each other. The only concern here is that the three will cut into each other's targets, but all three were valuable last season when the Cardinals averaged 30.6 points per game. As a bonus, Arizona also boasts one of the top defense/special teams units in fantasy football.

 
Jacksonville Jaguars

WR Allen Robinson (2.04), WR Allen Hurns (5.06), RB Chris Ivory (6.02), QB Blake Bortles (7.05), RB T.J. Yeldon (7.12), TE Julius Thomas (9.02)

The Jaguars should be one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL in 2016. Robinson is a legitimate WR1, coming off a breakout 1,400-yard sophomore campaign in 2015. Hurns is being drafted as a WR3 and his WR2 upside makes him an attractive option in the 5th round of drafts. Bortles is being drafted eighth among QBs, four spots behind where he finished in 2015, which can definitely make him a value. Julius Thomas is a borderline TE1 and has 10+ touchdown upside in this young and explosive offense.

If there is one blemish from a fantasy perspective for the Jaguars offense, it's that the running back situation is muddled at best. Ivory and Yeldon should split carries, so barring an injury, neither appears to have RB1 upside.

 
New Orleans Saints

RB Mark Ingram (3.01), WR Brandin Cooks (3.05), QB Drew Brees (6.04), TE Coby Fleener (7.06)

New Orleans has been one of the top teams to target for fantasy production every season since Brees and head coach Sean Payton arrived back in 2006. The faces around those two have changed over the last decade, but the production hasn't.

Ingram is being drafted as a high-end RB2 in standard leagues, but has a legitimate case as an RB1 in PPR leagues. Cooks is a solid WR2, while free-agent arrival Fleener is expected to put up TE1 numbers in New Orleans' potent passing attack. The 37-year-old Brees is no longer a top-three lock at QB, but he's still a safe QB1. A Brees-Cooks pairing should be highly productive. This list also doesn't even include wide receiver Willie Snead, who is being drafted in the 11th round despite an impressive 2015 season where he caught 69 receptions for 984 yards and three touchdowns.

 
New England Patriots

TE Rob Gronkowski (1.11), WR Julian Edelman (4.03), RB Dion Lewis (4.08), QB Tom Brady (6.06),

Gronkowski is being selected, on average, 32 picks ahead of the second tight end (Jordan Reed) taken in standard drafts, by far the biggest gap of any of the fantasy positions. The injury-prone Edelman is going in the early fourth round, right on the dividing line between WR2s and WR3s. Lewis has considerably more value in PPR leagues than in standard leagues.

Brady is the wild card here. He's expected to serve his four-game Deflategate suspension, limiting his overall upside for 2016. However, 12 games of Brady is still better than most signal callers, and he's currently being drafted as the sixth overall quarterback. New England also boasts fantasy's top kicker in Stephen Gostkowski.

 

Honorable mentions (with ADPs for top players)

Green Bay Packers: WR Jordy Nelson (2.03), RB Eddie Lacy (2.06), QB Aaron Rodgers (3.08), WR Randall Cobb (4.03)

Seattle Seahawks: RB Thomas Rawls (2.11), WR Doug Baldwin (4.10), QB Russell Wilson (5.07), WR Tyler Lockett (7.10)

Cincinnati Bengals: WR A.J. Green (1.10), RB Jeremy Hill (5.05), TE Tyler Eifert (6.02), RB Giovani Bernard (6.10)

 

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Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!




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