Six teams whose fantasy production should rise in 2016

Keep an eye on the players on these teams in your 2016 fantasy drafts.

| 6 months ago
(AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

(AP Photo/R Brent Smith)

Six teams whose fantasy production should rise in 2016


Last week, we looked at big leaps in fantasy production among teams, and whether regression looms for those teams heading into 2016. (Short answer: probably.) This week, we’re looking at the opposite: Teams that saw a significant reduction in their fantasy production in 2015. Will regression work in teams’ favor this time?

As a reminder, when discussing fantasy production for a team, we mean just fantasy points put up by the offense, no kickers or defenses. We have six teams to discuss today.

The teams

The six teams that saw their fantasy production fall off by at least 10 percent in 2015 were the Dallas Cowboys (28.8 percent), Indianapolis Colts (26.6), Denver Broncos (24), Green Bay Packers (16), St. Louis Rams (14.5) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (13.4).

That’s a lower threshold than for improving teams, where we looked for 20-percent jumps and larger. The simple fact is that teams make big leaps more often than they fall off in any big way. The biggest leap in fantasy production in the last five years was 76.1 percent, by the 2010-11 Carolina Panthers. By contrast, the biggest falloff was only 34.8 percent, by the 2010-11 Indianapolis Colts. Nineteen teams in the last five years have gotten 20-plus percent better; only six teams have gotten that much worse.

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| Fantasy Editor

Daniel Kelley is the fantasy editor for Pro Football Focus. He has previously appeared at SB Nation.

  • Daniel

    I know the Packers struggles match up with the loss of Jordy Nelson, but everyone is just assuming that he was the sole issue and the Packers will return to 2014 form, no problem.. Seems like we should be looking a little deeper; does one WR really make such a big difference in that offense or are their other underlying issues?

    • Joe Doe

      I’m not really sure how much you know about the Packers, even if you do watch them. The Packers, contrary to many teams in the NFL, do not use a multitude of picks and screens to free up receivers, but rather rely on them to get open on their own. The purpose is to keep each receiver in more open space allowing Aaron to do what he does. Without Jordy, teams were able to put their best cover corner on an aging and relatively slow James Jones who caught few balls outside of some brilliant back shoulder ones. This allowed defenses to focus much more attention on Cobb, thus leaving the Pack with the slow Richard Rodgers, and young (and not particularly high motor) Devante Adams. When Jordy is on the field, he can draw more attention especially while stretching the field and still make catches, freeing up Cobb from as many double teams as he saw last season.

      I believe they do return close to 2014 form, but whereas the loss of Jordy was 90% of the struggles, there were other issues that caused the 2015 worse than it should have been. First, Cobb is not WR1 quality. WR1 demands that they can produce regardless of double teams. Second, Richard Rodgers is so slow a LB can consistently cover him 1-on-1. Third, Adams appears to lack the desire to play at 100% on many plays. Basically the drive of a Raider’s Randy Moss without the ability. Additionally, he hasn’t developed any type of chemistry with Rodgers in his first two years, which is highly important in a spread and get open offense. Adam’s injury was a blessing in disguise in the playoffs to get guys like Abbrederis and Janis on the field that were willing to work hard.

      Think of Jordy as a Chauncey Billups, he makes the team better at all times, creating opportunities for others while stepping up big at times.

      • Daniel

        It’s still early, but like I was saying: the “Jordy’s back, now the offense will easily return to 2014-form” might be a dangerous way of thinking..

      • Daniel

        Offense still looking pretty rough.. Thanks for the condescension though lol ^^

    • Nelson Cobb

      Yes, the issues did run a little deeper than just Jordy. Lacy who was quickly becoming a top 5 RB after ’13 and ’14, got fat and out of shape and wasn’t near as effective as he was the previous 2 years. The starting Oline only played in 8 of 18 games together, most of those games missed by starting OT’s, and that was one of the biggest issues because the Packers did not have a legit serviceable backup OT, all they had were Guards pretty much to play LT and RT. The starting TE was probably the slowest TE in the NFL, and should not have been starting. Also, with the WRs, Cobb sprained his shoulder the week after losing Jordy and dealt with injuries most the year. Adams sprained his ankle week 2, and then a high sprain week 3 to miss a quarter of the season, and to make matters worse he completely lost confidence. Ty Montgomery, 3rd round pick who started to earn playing time on offense, is lost for the year week 6. And to make matters even worse, for some odd reason Ted Thompson and McCarthy thought it’d be a good idea to do away with a WR coach for 2015, and put both the WR’s and QB’s on a QB coach who had no experience coaching WRs, and considering the Packers had 4 WRs who were 2nd year guys or a rookie needing quality coaching, it clearly effected their development. And then everything eventually caught up to Aaron Rodgers, the hits, WRs not getting open, no run game, and he didn’t play his best over those last 10 games. Now on top of Jordy returning, Lacy is probably in his best shape yet, everybody is healthy and the Packers added a WR coach. Plus they also added an athletic, speedy, dynamic TE to help. They fixed their OT problem also, drafting a legit future LT and another OT later in the draft. There were a lot of issues in Green Bay last year, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe they won’t all be fixed.

    • Nelson Cobb

      This is the same QB, starting Oline, starting WRs and starting RB that was the #1 scoring offense in the NFL in 2014, and they’ve added another dynamic weapon in Ty Montgomery in the 2015 draft, a speedy WR in 2016 and picked up a speedy TE they lacked in 2014. There’s no reason to believe the 2016 Packers won’t be the same power offense they’ve always been under Aaron Rodgers.

  • crosseyedlemon

    I think the Colts will regress again this season. Most of those other teams listed have stability at the coaching level that can help them rebound but that is not the case with Indy.

  • Art0fWAR

    People still believe all the Andrew Luck hype? Overrated.

    • Nelson Cobb

      Right, the guy only consistently got better over his 1st 3 years, to the point he put up 5,000+ total yards, 43 total TDs, 96.5 passer rating leading a so so team to a Conf Championship game. Last I checked, 5,000+ total yards and 43 TDs at 25 years old is far from overrated. You Luck haters are just beyond ridiculous.