AFC North

AFC North Season Preview

Baltimore Ravens

Season W/L ATS O/U Pass Yds Rush Yds Pass% Run% 3rd D
2017-18 9-7 8-7-1 9-7 3,030 1,856 64.00% 36.00% 34%
2016-17 8-8 7-9 7-9 3,724 1,430 65.99% 34.01% 37%
2015-16 5-11 5-9-2 7-9 4,271 1,478 64.64% 35.36% 38%
2014-15 10-6 7-8-1 7-9 3,819 2,019 56.43% 43.57% 41%
2013-14 8-8 7-8-1 7-9 3,590 1,328 61.19% 38.81% 36%
2012-13 10-6 6-9-1 8-8 3,739 1,901 55.60% 44.40% 36%

Once upon a time, the Ravens offense was among the league's best, with Joe Flacco leading the team to a Super Bowl as the Super Bowl MVP back in 2013. Since then, Flacco has underwhelmed, completing just 63.8 percent of his passes for a 21-21-0 record. Since Steve Smith Sr recently hung up the cleats, the Ravens have lacked elite talent at the wide receiver position and didn't boast much fantasy value through the air last year. The team did sign WR Jeremy Maclin in free agency this offseason in hopes to stretch the field more, but the team failed miserably at their attempts to commit to the run, averaging just 91.4 yards per game and 10 touchdowns. Terrance West was the team's leading rusher, totalling 774 yards on 193 attempts. The Ravens didn't necessarily upgrade at the position, however, receiving back Danny Woodhead will change the pace of the game and open up holes from the backfield for one of West or Lorenzo Taliaferro - whomever the starter may be - to rack up positive gains. Nevertheless, no Ravens running back is worth rostering on your fantasy team. As for the Ravens coaching staff, head coach John Harbaugh will return for a 9th season while offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will continue to call the offensive plays and coach the team's quarterbacks despite the teams 2016 offensive struggles. If the Ravens continue to implement a zone running scheme and power run offense, the tailbacks will need to establish the run early in games and immediately improve on their rankings in rushing (29), third-down efficiency (21) and red-zone efficiency (19). Without any key additions to the offense, it's best to fade the Ravens entirely until the end of redrafts.

Cincinnati Bengals

Season W/L ATS O/U Pass Yds Rush Yds Pass% Run% 3rd D
2017-18 7-9 9-7 6-8-2 3,122 1,366 59.60% 40.40% 34%
2016-17 6-9 7-9 6-10 3,800 1,812 57.52% 42.48% 39%
2015-16 12-4 12-3-1 7-9 3,923 1,805 53.49% 46.51% 40%
2014-15 10-5-1 8-7-1 6-10 3,421 2,147 52.41% 47.59% 40%
2013-14 11-5 10-6 10-6 4,139 1,755 56.97% 43.03% 42%
2012-13 10-6 9-6 6-10 3,578 1,745 58.08% 41.92% 34%

Head Coach Marvin Lewis has failed to catapult the Bengals past the first-round of the playoffs since joining the team in 2003 and with many questioning his future with the Bengals, this could be his last chance to really leave a stamp on his tenure with Cincinnati. WR A.J. Green is the catalyst, being named to the pro bowl every season he has played. Green's one of the best at his position and a WR1 across the board, which brings us to secondary fantasy options from the Bengals that are worth drafting in upcoming fantasy drafts, beginning with TE Tyler Eifert. Eifert has battled injuries throughout his young career but when he's on the field, Eifert can produce an adequate amount of fantasy points. He registered 615 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on 74 receptions in 2015, earning himself a spot in the pro bowl. Last season, Eifert played in just eight games posting 394 yards and five touchdowns. News out of Cincinnati is that he's on track to start Week 1. Brandon LaFell, sophomore Tyler Boyd and 2017 first-round draft pick John Ross will battle for the rest of QB Andy Dalton's targets, but neither have much appeal in standard fantasy leagues. RB Jeremy Hill returned to form last season, tearing up opposing defenses for 839 yards and nine touchdowns on 222 attempts and is a reliable source of touchdowns. The Bengals pass-heavy West Coast offense is filled with short to intermediate throws that match Dalton's skill set, gaining four-12 yards on each catch. Dalton has value as a QB1 in fantasy, but there are better options. Ross and LaFell are two deep threats the Bengals' will look to stretch the field with and defenses will have to respect their speed and are potential sleeper draft picks. However, for drafting purposes, if it's not Dalton, Green, Eifert or Hill, it's best to fade other fantasy options.

Cleveland Browns

Season W/L ATS O/U Pass Yds Rush Yds Pass% Run% 3rd D
2017-18 0-16 4-12 7-9 3,228 1,714 54.40% 45.60% 34%
2016-17 1-15 4-12 8-8 3,996 2,283 64.39% 35.61% 36%
2015-16 3-13 6-10 8-8 3,782 1,529 63.53% 36.47% 42%
2014-15 7-9 9-5-2 5-11 3,465 1,728 52.87% 47.13% 30%
2013-14 4-12 6-10 8-8 4,040 1,383 67.72% 32.28% 35%
2012-13 5-11 8-7-1 6-10 3,435 1,593 60.32% 39.68% 30%

There isn't much fantasy appeal to any player on the Browns offense. The franchises carousel of quarterbacks continues with eight different quarterbacks throwing a pass for the Browns last season. QBs Brock Osweiller and Cody Kessler will battle for the starting and both should be voided like the plague in fantasy drafts. Osweiller threw more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (15) during his 2016 with the Texans while tossing for just 2,957 yards in 14 games started. Kessler wasn't much better, as he started in eight games, completing 128 passes for 1,380 yards and six touchdowns whilst losing each game he started. 2016 first-rounder Corey Coleman underwhelmed his first season, suiting up in just 10 games while catching just 45.2 percent of footballs thrown his way. The team's receiving yards leader Terrelle Pryor signed elsewhere this season and the Browns replaced Pryor with Kenny Britt, who failed to prove himself as a threat in the Titans passing game. Coleman is expected to step up in a big way this season, but don't reach for him in redrafts with the lack of offensive talent the Browns possess. RB Isaiah Crowell exploded onto the fantasy football scene last season, starting in 16 games while rushing for 952 yards and seven touchdowns on 198 attempts. The one-cut style runner has proved his worth as a terrific RB2 with RB1 upside. The scheme second-year head coach Hue Jackson and the West Coast scheme he has brought with him to Cleveland hasn't had an impact on the team yet. Jackson's scheme is based off the traditional West Coast scheme but is filled with plenty of misdirection runs and short over-the-middle passes mixed in with different motions- making it difficult for linebackers and defensive backs to know what route is coming. With the right quarterback, this offense could take off, however, for 2017, fade the Browns passing offense.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Season W/L ATS O/U Pass Yds Rush Yds Pass% Run% 3rd D
2017-18 13-3 7-9 5-10-1 4,380 1,667 65.10% 34.90% 44%
2016-17 11-5 9-7 6-10 3,882 1,600 60.14% 39.86% 41%
2015-16 10-6 9-6-1 6-10 4,603 1,724 61.62% 38.38% 39%
2014-15 11-5 9-7 9-7 4,825 1,752 61.23% 38.77% 45%
2013-14 8-8 9-7 8-8 4,017 1,383 61.49% 38.51% 37%
2012-13 8-8 6-9-1 7-9 3,787 1,537 59.73% 40.27% 41%

The Steelers are loaded with fantasy talent heading into 2017 and will be a hotbed for many fantasy owners begin crafting their team. Starting with their scheme, head coach Mike Tomlin designed plays specifically for star WR Antonio Brown. QB Ben Roethlisberger will continue to look downfield and through the middle of the field to Antonio Brown, which immediately increases Roethlisberger's fantasy value. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley will also run the ball with the shifty and elusive Le'Veon Bell to set up play action fakes while utilizing Bell out of the backfield. The team hasn't seen a massive overhaul on the coaching staff the past few seasons, so their diverse zone run game that allows Bell to run inside or outside the tackles has resulted in Bell averaging just under 5 yards per carry last season. Brown and Bell are consensus top-5 overall draft picks in fantasy this offseason, with either viewed as a solid No. 1 overall pick. Brown led NFL WRs in fantasy points by a receiver in 2016 with 307.3 fantasy points. His 1,284 receiving yards was the 5th best mark in the NFL and his 105.7 yards per game cemented his value as a top-3 fantasy player last season. Bell and Cardinals RB Johnson are projected to be the two best fantasy RBs due to their unique ability to receive a pass behind the line of scrimmage and tear it up the field for big yard. Bell ranked second on the Steelers with 616 receiving yards on 75 receptions. He was also a beast running the ball on the gridiron, ranking second in yards per game on the ground with 105.7.

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