2016 Most Accurate Fantasy Football Draft Rankings

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Jul 21, 2017

Welcome back to fantasy football season! You’ve got your draft date circled on the calendar and are eagerly waiting along with the rest of us. In the meantime we are, as always, offering tools that will help you get that championship in your fantasy leagues. One of our foremost goals is to do the brunt of the work for you so your only task is to enjoy the fantasy football season while it’s here. A key tool to help is our annual expert accuracy assessment. With August on the horizon, it’s time for us to release the standings on who the most accurate experts are.

Before we jump to the results, here are a couple of quick notes about our annual accuracy study:

  • We analyzed 2016 preseason player rankings from 145 experts and took the results from QB, RB, WR and TE to give the experts an Overall rating.
  • If you remember the PAY %s from a few years back, we have since updated to a new methodology that we feel is more flexible and has increased transparency. You can read more info about the reasons for the change in our FAQ.

Without further ado, below are the experts with the best draft rankings.

Top 10 Draft Experts in 2016

Rank Expert
1. Dalton Del Don – Yahoo! Sports
2. Joseph Dolan – Fantasy Guru
3. Jason Longfellow – Razzball
4. Brad Evans – Yahoo! Sports
5. Sean Koerner – STATS
6. Jake Ciely – RotoExperts
7. Jeff Ratcliffe – Pro Football Focus
8. Raymond Summerlin – Rotoworld
9. Huseyin Aksu – Fantasy Couch
10. Jon Collins – Fantasy Sports LR

*View the entire field of 145 experts | Create a 2017 cheat sheet of the top experts

Notes

  • Congrats to Dalton Del Don of Yahoo! Sports for winning our 2016 draft accuracy competition! Dalton has been among the most consistent and reliable experts across multiple sports in our expert accuracy contests. This past year, he accomplished his feat by being the #3 expert at the quarterback position and top 40 for both RB and WR. Some of his more notable picks include Spencer Ware No. 27 RB (+13 vs Consensus), Davante Adams No. 59 WR (+16 vs Consensus), Tyrell Williams #75 WR (+26 vs Consensus) and Kirk Cousins No. 8 QB (+5 vs Consensus). Only a handful of experts even ranked Tyrell within their top 75, or Adams in their top 60. The fact that Dalton had the insight to forecast both as surprise players is absolutely remarkable.
  • Our runner up, Joseph Dolan of Fantasy Guru was just 4 points behind Del Don which would have made him the back to back champion. All four times he has entered the contest, Dolan has finished in the top 20% of experts and three out of four times, he finished within the top 3! This year, he dominated at projecting QB rankings and was 13th for tight ends while finishing #21 at ranking running backs. He was one of only five experts to correctly predict Isaiah Crowell to be a top 27 running back. He was also one of only three to assess a top 7 WR ranking to Brandin Cooks. Perhaps most amazing, however, was the fact that he ranked Cole Beasley a full 27 spots above consensus. Well done, Joseph, for the fourth straight season!
  • Now that we have two years under our belt with the new methodology, we began tracking two-year expert accuracy using the new metrics. We also still list 2010-2014 multi-year rankings if you want to find those. Let’s take a look at how some of our long-term leaders performed in 2016. Scott Pianowski, who like two of the top four 2016 experts is from Yahoo! Sports!, was #2 among all experts from 2010-2014. He finished #29 last season, giving him his 5th top 40 performances in 7 years. John Paulsen of 4for4.com has finished in the top 20 now 5 of 6 seasons after grading out as the #11 draft accuracy expert of 2016. After finishing #2 in 2015 and in the top 20 three straight years prior, Kevin Hanson of EDS Football was again in the top quadrant, placing #27 overall this season.

Surprise Players

As always, there were more than a few players that performed above expectations last season. The difference between drafting or passing on these guys would have had a major impact on any team’s fantasy fortunes. Below are the experts that had the best read on these players in the preseason (i.e. they had the player ranked higher than anyone else). ECR (Expert Consensus Rank) info is included in the table below to show just how far out on a limb each expert went with their ranking.

 Player  Pos  Top Expert(s) Expert Rank* ECR*
 Matt Ryan  QB George Banko – Fantasy Football Helpers 7 16
 Dak Prescott  QB Smitty – SleeperU 9 23
 DeMarco Murray  RB Bill Latin – Dynasty League Football
Smitty – SleeperU
10 19
 LeGarrette Blount  RB Brett Talley – Fantasy Alarm 21 35
 Melvin Gordon  RB Bill Latin – Dynasty League Football 9 23
 Jordan Howard  RB Ben Standig – CSN Mid-Atlantic 37 59
 Jay Ajayi  RB Matt Francisovich – NFL.com 15 39
 T.Y. Hilton  WR Daniel Marcus – Fantasy Phenoms 6 16
 Davante Adams  WR Smitty – SleeperU 40 75
 Michael Thomas  WR Jody Smith – Gridiron Experts
Eric Karabell – ESPN
Huseyin Aksu – Fantasy Couch
39 51
 Tyrell Williams  WR Rich Piazza – Fantasy Shed 61 101
 Tyreek Hill  WR Chris Meaney – FNTSY Sports Network 109 173
 Jimmy Graham  TE Brad Pinkerton – Sporting News 6 17
 Cameron Brate  TE Seth Klein – The Fantasy Fix
Liz Loza – Yahoo! Sports
George Banko – Fantasy Football Helpers
18 29
 Kyle Rudolph  TE Jason Moore – The Fantasy Footballers 12 25

*Ranks & ECR are at the positional level. 

Busts

On the flip side, here are the notable disappointments from 2016 along with the experts that went against popular opinion with their rankings. Note that some players are not listed if their seasons were completely derailed by unforeseen injury circumstances. Consider yourself fortunate if you avoided everyone on this list!

Player  Pos  Top Expert(s) Expert Rank* ECR*
 Cam Newton  QB Jason Willan – Gridiron Experts
Scott Smith – RotoViz
Bobby Sylvester – FantasyPros
5  1
 Carson Palmer  QB Scott Cullen – TSN
Muntradamus – Beast Dome
15  6
 Eli Manning  QB Smitty – SleeperU 19  8
 Todd Gurley  RB Muntradamus – Beast Dome 6 1
 Lamar Miller  RB Scott Cullen – TSN 15 4
 Eddie Lacy  RB Mike Rigz – Gridiron Experts 18  10
 Doug Martin  RB Bob Lung – Big Guy Fantasy Sports
Kaz Kalita – DraftStars
18  11
 Allen Robinson  WR Daniel Marcus – Fantasy Phenoms 17  6
 DeAndre Hopkins  WR Bill Latin – Dynasty League Football
Terrance Bridgett – Fake Pigskin
12  5
 Brandon Marshall  WR George Banko – Fantasy Football Helpers 20  8
 Randall Cobb  WR Robert Waziak – Pyromaniac 29  18
 Jordan Matthews  WR Ryan Noonan – The Fantasy Fix 43 29
 Allen Hurns  WR Adam Pfeifer – ProjectRoto 53  34
 Gary Barnidge  TE Rich Piazza – Fantasy Shed 15  7

*Ranks & ECR are at the positional level

That wraps up our analysis of Draft Accuracy from 2016. Congrats again to Dalton Del Don and the rest of the top-rated experts. To view the entire standings, including breakouts by position and IDP, please check out the accuracy section of our site.

What’s next? See how you rate vs. the top experts in a 5 minute mock draft >>

What's your take? Leave a comment

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1Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
2Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
3Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
4LeSean McCoy (BUF)RB
5Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
6Mark Ingram (NO)RB
7Lamar Miller (HOU)RB
8Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
9Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
10Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Kenyan Drake (MIA)RB
12DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
13Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
14Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
15Samaje Perine (WAS)RB
16Marshawn Lynch (OAK)RB
17A.J. Green (CIN)WR
18Rex Burkhead (NE)RB
19Carlos Hyde (SF)RB
20Giovani Bernard (CIN)RB
21Julio Jones (ATL)WR
22Alfred Morris (DAL)RB
23Brandin Cooks (NE)WR
24Jamaal Williams (GB)RB
25Dion Lewis (NE)RB
26Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
27Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
28Michael Thomas (NO)WR
29Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
30Travis Kelce (KC)TE
1Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
2Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
3Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
4Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
5Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
6Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
7Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
8Joey Votto (CIN)1B
9Kris Bryant (CHC)1B,3B
10Chris Sale (BOS)SP
 View All Rankings 
11Manny Machado (BAL)3B,SS
12Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
13Corey Seager (LAD)SS
14Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)RF
15Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
16Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
17Daniel Murphy (WSH)1B,2B
18Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
19George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
20Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
21Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
22Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
23Josh Donaldson (TOR)3B,DH
24Yu Darvish (FA)SP
25Robinson Cano (SEA)2B
26Bryce Harper (WSH)RF
27Miguel Cabrera (DET)1B,DH
28J.D. Martinez (FA)RF
29Madison Bumgarner (SF)SP
30Jose Abreu (CWS)1B,DH
1Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
2Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
3James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
4Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
5Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
6Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
7Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
8Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
9LeBron James (CLE)SF,PF
10Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
 View All Rankings 
11John Wall (WAS)PG
12DeMarcus Cousins (NOR)PF,C
13Chris Paul (HOU)PG
14Damian Lillard (POR)PG
15Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
16Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
17Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
18Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
19Myles Turner (IND)PF,C
20Paul George (OKC)SF,PF
21Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
22Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
23Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
24Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
25CJ McCollum (POR)PG,SG
26Mike Conley (MEM)PG
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Marc Gasol (MEM)C
30Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C