2016 Outlook: Sanders was the victim of poor QB play last season. He dropped from fourth in receptions among WRs in 2014 to 20th last season, fell from fifth to 14th in yardage and from tied for 12th to tied for 23rd in TDs, despite being targeted only six fewer times. The problem was that 26.7 percent of balls thrown his way were off target, compared with 19.1 percent in 2014. The Broncos' unsettled QB situation spells more trouble, and it's likely Gary Kubiak will revert to a run-first scheme without Peyton Manning. Target volume thus becomes a concern in addition to efficiency, leaving Sanders as a WR3.
2016 Outlook: Olsen is as reliable a tight end as you'll find this side of Gronk. He has ranked among the top 10 at the position in targets, receptions, receiving yards and TDs in each of the past four seasons. Olsen is also more of a deep threat than most TEs--his average depth of target (10.5 yards) was the highest at the position last year. He scored seven TDs last season, but with WR Kelvin Benjamin back from a torn ACL, Olsen figures to lose some red zone opportunities. Still, the fact that he handles more than 20 percent of Cam Newton's targets will easily make him a strong TE1.
2016 Outlook: the Carolina offense enjoyed a breakout 2015 campaign, but imagine how much better it could have been with its No. 1 receiver. After an impressive rookie campaign in which Benjamin posted 1,008 receiving yards, he tore his ACL last August. During his big rookie season, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Benjamin scored nine TDs thanks to an NFL-high 24 end zone targets. Expect him to slide comfortably back into his role as Cam Newton's go-to wide receiver and become one of the few players in the league with the potential for 12-plus TDs.
2016 Outlook: Injuries before and during the season--hamstring, knee, fingers--quelled optimism for a fourth-year breakout and led to another pedestrian campaign for Floyd. He ended up 32nd among WRs in fantasy points, but he did manage six top-25 finishes during his 15 games. At 26, Floyd now enters a contract year. He carries some risk and will compete for Carson Palmer's attention with Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown, but it's not out of the question for him to emerge as the No. 1 receiver in Arizona's high-scoring offense. He has the high ceiling you want in your third receiver.
2016 Outlook: After failing to reach 1,000 yards for three straight seasons, Fitzgerald bounced back to finish 10th among WRs in fantasy points last year. Look closer, though, and 2015 resembles two distinct seasons for Fitz. Through the first five weeks, he ranked first among WRs in fantasy points on the strength of 35 receptions, 490 yards and six TDs. After, he had 74 catches for 725 yards and three TDs, which left him 34th. Fitzgerald is 33, and while he should remain a fantasy starter, he likely won't repeat his WR1 performance, with David Johnson, Michael Floyd and John Brown taking on increased work.
2016 Outlook: Brown has emerged as one of the league's most explosive deep threats, posting a top-10 average depth of target in each of his first two seasons. Despite being used in a boom-or-bust role, he was more consistent than you might expect. Brown managed only one top-10 week among WRs but placed inside the top 30 in two-thirds of his appearances (tied for ninth among WRs). For the season, he finished in the top 30 in targets, receptions, yardage and TDs. Still on the rise at age 26 and blessed with 4.3 speed, Brown should put together another WR3 campaign.
2016 Outlook: Murray's success in 2015 was a testament to the importance of durability and volume. In what was an injury-plagued season for Oakland at running back, Murray made it through 16 games as the team's workhorse. He finished the season third in carries, sixth in rushing yards and 11th in rushing TDs. His rate stats weren't quite as impressive; he averaged 4.0 ypc, including just 1.9 after contact. Murray posted only six top-20 weeks, making him a better flex option than RB2. He is still only 26 and is a size-speed freak, but he must fend off competition from rookie DeAndre Washington.
2016 Outlook: Mathews didn't play a lot in his first season with the Eagles, but he was easily the team's most effective RB. He averaged 5.1 ypc (sixth in the league), including 2.2 after contact (13th), but he was on the field for only 21 percent of Philly's offensive plays. With DeMarco Murray joining the Titans, Mathews should get a much heavier workload in 2016. But he has to show he can handle it: He was injury-prone in his five seasons with San Diego and missed three more games with the Eagles last year. Those doubts mean Mathews should be viewed as a fringe RB2.
2016 Outlook: Things couldn't have gone much worse for Murray in his lone season with the Eagles. He rushed for a career-low 3.6 ypc, including just 1.6 after contact, and ended up carrying the ball just 38 times in Philly's final five games. That was a far cry from Murray's four strong (albeit injury-plagued) seasons in Dallas. But life should be better in Tennessee. The Titans run a more conventional offense than Chip Kelly's scheme, in which Murray carried the ball from the shotgun 85 percent of the time. Rookie Derrick Henry is surely a threat on early downs, but Murray should be back in line for roughly 15 touches in a run-centered offense.
2016 Outlook: Longtime starter Matt Forte is now a Jet, which puts Langford in position to lead the Bears' backfield. Although volume breeds fantasy points, there are red flags. A 2015 fourth-round pick, Langford showed a few flashes as a rookie but mostly underwhelmed. He averaged 3.6 ypc, including 2.9 against base defenses (third worst in the NFL). According to Pro Football Focus, he forced only seven missed tackles on 148 rushes. Langford doesn't catch the ball consistently either (his 54 percent catch rate was worst among RBs), so he seems to be a better bet to lose the starting gig than to emerge as a fantasy star.
2016 Outlook: Jones is in position to be the featured back in Washington but carries a ton of questions. As a rookie last season, he generated a few highlight-reel plays, but much of his production came off a few receptions that went for big gains. Jones actually struggled as a rusher, averaging just 2.5 ypc against base defenses (worst in the NFL). At 6-1, 231 pounds, Jones is supposed to be a physical runner, but he averaged just 1.5 yards after contact. His role as the team's starter is enticing, but he also has serious bust potential.
2016 Outlook: The Titans kept Walker busy last season. He finished 14th in the entire league in targets (133), easily the most of any tight end. He also led TEs in receptions (94) and finished third in receiving yards (1,088). The Titans should be better--and healthier--at WR this season, so that will mean fewer opportunities for Walker. But Marcus Mariota clearly loves his tight end, and if the second-year QB makes as much progress as expected, Walker will benefit.
2016 Outlook: Forty-one RBs racked up at least 111 carries during the 2015 regular season. Gordon was the only one who failed to score a rushing TD. That wasn't the extent of his rookie-year struggles: He also averaged just 3.5 ypc, second worst among RBs with at least 100 carries. But the Chargers' O-line was largely to blame, as Gordon forced 34 missed tackles, per Pro Football Focus, ninth among RBs. Gordon also caught 33 of his 37 targets. Danny Woodhead will again take away touches, but Gordon--the 15th pick in the 2015 draft--does enter 2016 as the team's lead back and early-down workhorse.
2016 Outlook: Johnson had little chance to succeed as a rookie. He was stuck in a dysfunctional offense with a carousel of replacement-level QBs and had to share duties as part of an RB committee. Still, he managed to make a mark as a pass-catching specialist, hauling in 61 receptions, which ranked fourth among RBs. Johnson played only 522 snaps and carried just 104 times for 379 yards, so there's a hint of breakout potential if he gets more work. More likely, he seems destined for a career as a third-down back and should be a fringe RB2 in PPR formats.
2016 Outlook: Woodhead is arguably the league's best pass-catching RB and led the position in targets, receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs last season. That's how he ranked 11th among RBs in fantasy points despite carrying the ball just 98 times. There's a reason for the lack of rushes: Woodhead averaged just 3.4 ypc (third worst in the NFL) despite 61 percent of his carries coming against a nickel or dime defense. He averaged a league-worst 0.9 yards after contact. Woodhead is now 31, but his role as one of Philip Rivers' top targets is secure and makes him a fringe RB1 in PPR leagues.