Fantasy Football 2016: What To Expect After Unusual Season
Brett Davis, USATSI

Here are a handful of variables to consider regarding your fantasy football draft.

The 2015 fantasy football season was an anomaly.

Wide receivers posted historically record seasons, while running backs collectively did poorly. Quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers struggled (by his lofty standards, of course), and kickers had a brutal time adjusting to the change in extra point distance.

Thanks to all these added variables, fantasy drafts will likely be more difficult to navigate. Here are three things to keep in mind:

QB’s set all-time record for yards

As offenses around the league continue to shift to a more air-based attack, quarterbacks are posting better numbers than ever before.

Last season, the league’s play callers set records for total passes, completions, yards and touchdowns.

Despite this influx in production, most quarterbacks (with the exception of Cam Newton) should be selected in the mid-to-late rounds.

Why?

There was no real difference between anyone in the top-10 last season. It’s worth it to load up on ball carriers and catchers, and then commit a later pick on a QB.

Division of RB labor

Running backs are being devalued for another reason: crowded backfields culminate in less rushes, which is evidenced by the loss of the 300-carry back.

Ball carriers combined for the worst fantasy season ever — and it isn’t even close.

For that reason (and the idea that running backs drafted in the top-10 typically underperform), ball carriers will likely be picked later in the draft, which means that one can enter the draft with the intent of committing two or three top picks on receivers.

Increase in WR targets

There’s been a crazy increase in the number of 100-catch wideouts over the years.

In consequence, fantasy gurus are advising people to pick receivers higher up in the draft. It seems like a good strategy.

Not only are receivers more consistent from year-to-year, but there have never been more difference makers — which is why they’ll all be off the board by the third round.

NEXT: The 2016 MLB Rage Stars

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