Fantasy Football Players to Remember in 2016
With the 2015 NFL season still fresh in our minds, we can remember the breakout performers, the players that didn’t live up to expectations and the rookies that showed potential this season. We will have all of these players on our radar heading into the 2016 fantasy football season, but what about the players that we never saw play a game this season, whether it was due to an injury in the preseason or a suspension? Here are some of the players that you need to keep on your radar and remember how good they have been in the past or have the potential to be when they return to the field in 2016.
Robert Griffin III (QB)
He did not play a snap for the Washington Redskins in 2015 as the team went with Kirk Cousins, who had a successful season. Griffin is expected to have a new team in 2016. If he finds the right team that gives him a chance to compete for the starting quarterback job, he could return to fantasy relevance in 2016. He will likely not return to his rookie season rushing output but if he is given an opportunity to start and plays a full season he could still put up solid fantasy production with his combination of passing and rushing ability.
Kevin White (WR)
He was selected by the Bears in the first round of the 2015 draft but suffered a stress fracture to his shin during the preseason and missed the entire 2015 season. White is continuing to rehab from his injury and expects to be ready for the offseason programs and training camp. White’s 2016 fantasy outlook could depend on the Bears offseason moves, especially whether the Bears re-sign wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. White should be either the No. 1 or No. 2 wide receiver for the Bears next season and fantasy owners should look for about 800 to 1,000 yards with five to seven touchdowns in 2016.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR)
He had a strong rookie season in 2014 with 1,008 receiving yards and nine touchdowns but suffered a torn ACL in training camp this year and missed the entire 2015 season. He continues to rehab and expects to be ready by training camp next season. With the improvements made by Cam Newton this season as an NFL quarterback, Benjamin has a lot of potential fantasy production to look forward to in 2016. Look for Benjamin to fill the role as Newton’s top target and red zone threat next season.
Josh Gordon (WR)
He was suspended from the NFL for the 2015 season. He has applied for reinstatement and could be eligible to return to the NFL, if granted, after February 3rd. Gordon will turn 25 years old this offseason and has a lot of talent as he showed in 2014 when he had 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. Gordon is under contract with the Browns for the 2016 season so if the Browns want to keep him, and if he can keep his act together off of the field, he should return to fantasy relevance in 2016. He will likely be one of the most talked about risk/reward players leading up to fantasy drafts as he could be a top-five wide receiver or completely out of the league by season’s end.
Jordy Nelson (WR)
He suffered a torn ACL in the Packers first preseason game this year and missed the entire 2015 season. The Packers offense didn’t look the same without their top pass-catcher in 2015 but Nelson is expected to be ready by training camp in preparation for the 2016 season. In 2014, Nelson had a huge year with 98 catches for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. Nelson will be 31 years old by the start of the 2016 season and coming off a major injury so fantasy owners might want to take a more conservative approach with him heading into next season. However, he will still have Aaron Rodgers slinging him the ball so a season with 1,000 to 1,200 yards and 8 to 10 touchdowns is well within reach if he can stay healthy.
Breshad Perriman (WR)
He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2015 draft but he partially tore his PCL in training camp and did not see the field for the Ravens this season. Perriman is expected to be ready for the Ravens offseason program and training camp. With question marks around if Steve Smith will return for another season and limited weapons in the passing game, Perriman will likely have a big role in the Ravens passing game next season. Fantasy owners should look for a strong “rookie” season from Perriman with 700 to 900 yards and five to seven touchdowns.