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Fantasy Football: Top 100 rankings for 2015 (Pre-Season)

Entering a fantasy draft with a priority on making sure you have a Steeler or two as the stars in the roster.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Every year around mid-July as the countdown to NFL training camps gets ever-so close to zero, fantasy football leagues begin to plan out the dates and strategies for the pending draft season of August and early September.

For fans of our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers part of that strategizing is often figuring out a way to make sure you have at least one major playmaker from the Steelers on your roster. Though fantasy football victories can never trump the triumphs of Pittsburgh on the real gridiron, as our own Anthony Defeo accurately wrote about last week, it's always awesome when the two victories coincide with each other in the same week.

Fantasy football trash talk is always better when you're in a league with friends who aren't Steelers fans and you can stick it to them with your roster and a major performance by a Steeler. If you had Le'Veon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger or Antonio Brown as a pick last season you might have gotten to experience that more than once with each of them being league leaders. To do this it's important to check the average draft positions of the player(s) you want to draft and see where you could take risks in not picking them to add to your arsenal, or make an early stab at the player you want to lock them into your roster.

However if you're in a league with several other Steelers fans, the strategy to acquire your favorite Pittsburgh players has to be different because you are most likely not the only person who will target your favorite players. Last season I was able to wait on Antonio Brown until the third round in a league with a strong concentration of Philadelphia Eagles fans because no one saw Brown as a top five receiver in the NFL. That couldn't work in a league where everyone else also might think that Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the NFL or Le'Veon Bell might have a bigger year than any other player in the league.

That being said, if you really want to get those targets it takes certain prioritizing with when to take them. Below is a top 100 board with a priority in Steelers players and where you might expect them to be selected. Four Steelers made the list:

Player Position 2014 Points
1 Le'Veon Bell RB 287.5
2 Adrian Peterson RB 9.3
3 Eddie Lacy RB 230.6
4 Jamaal Charles RB 210.4
5 Marshawn Lynch RB 265.3
6 Antonio Brown WR 251.9
7 Calvin Johnson WR 155.7
8 Demaryius Thomas WR 229.8
9 Dez Bryant WR 228
10 Matt Forte RB 244.6
11 Jordy Nelson WR 229.9
12 Lesean McCoy RB 176.12
13 DeMarco Murray RB 294.1
14 Arian Foster RB 235.5
15 Rob Gronkowkski TE 184.4
16 Justin Forsett RB 202.9
17 Julio Jones WR 193.4
18 Randall Cobb WR 202.4
19 Emmanuel Sanders WR 200.8
20 C.J. Anderson RB 177.3
21 Odell Beckham Jr. WR 204
22 Jeremy Hill RB 183.9
23 Lamar Miller RB 185.4
24 Jimmy Graham TE 144.9
25 Andrew Luck QB 351.14
26 Aaron Rodgers QB 354.14
27 Alfred Morris RB 170.9
28 TY Hilton WR 176.5
29 Mike Evans WR 177.1
30 Alshon Jeffrey WR 176.6
31 Joique Bell RB 164.2
32 Mark Ingram RB 162.9
33 AJ Green WR 136.6
34 DeAndre Hopkins WR 155
35 Frank Gore RB 147.7
36 Andre Ellington RB 131.6
37 Kelvin Benjamin WR 152.8
38 Ben Roethlisberger QB 306.18
39 Giovani Bernard RB 144.9
40 DeSean Jackson WR 153.6
41 Russell Wilson QB 327.6
42 Peyton Manning QB 312.68
43 Mike Wallace WR 145.8
44 Golden Tate WR 160.1
45 Drew Brees QB 302.98
46 Martavis Bryant WR 104.1
47 Victor Cruz WR 39
48 Torrey Smith WR 142.7
49 Steve Smith WR 140.5
50 Antonio Gates TE 154.1
51 Greg Olsen TE 136.8
52 Latavius Murray RB 68.7
53 Sammy Watkins WR 133
54 Brandon LaFell WR 136.6
55 Jordan Matthews WR 135.2
56 Jonathan Stewart RB 121
57 Andre Williams RB 127.1
58 Matt Ryan QB 284.26
59 Travis Kelce TE 116.2
60 Andre Johnson WR 105.6
61 Matthew Stafford QB 251.68
62 Julian Edelman WR 130.6
63 Ryan Tannehill QB 278.5
64 Tom Brady QB 278.6
65 Roddy White WR 132.1
66 Carlos Hyde RB 62.1
67 Tony Romo QB 266.3
68 Martellus Bennett TE 131.6
69 Anquan Boldin WR 136.6
70 Brandon Marshall WR 118.1
71 Vincent Jackson WR 110.2
72 Mohmaed Sanu WR 123.26
73 LeGarrette Blount RB 88.1
74 Darren Sproles RB 105.6
75 Coby Fleener TE 125.4
76 Jeremy Maclin WR 191.8
77 Eli Manning QB 269.5
78 Kendall Wright WR 110.9
79 Cam Newton QB 248.98
80 Amari Cooper WR Rookie
81 Terrance Williams WR 110.1
82 CJ Spiller RB 46.5
83 Darren McFadden RB 84.6
84 Rashad Jennings RB 108.5
85 Doug Martin RB 67.8
86 TJ Yeldon RB Rookie
87 Todd Gurley RB Rookie
88 Julius Thomas TE 120.9
89 Phillip Rivers QB 265.64
90 Eric Decker WR 126.2
91 Keenan Allen WR 98.3
92 Michael Floyd WR 118.3
93 Kenny Stills WR 110.9
94 Joseph Randle RB 50.6
95 Brandon Oliver RB 109.3
96 Isaiah Crowell RB 113.4
97 Joe Flacco QB 262.44
98 Teddy Bridgewater QB 179.66
99 Colin Kaepernick QB 250.66
100 Terrance West RB 101.7

Le'Veon Bell is a player who has been seen as a potential #1 overall pick for fantasy owners, as Bryan DeArdo brought up last month, and it isn't unreasonable to see this as a worthy choice.

When you draft players you don't neccesarily draft them just for their total points, but also for how they will produce in the last five weeks of the season for playoff points. You can pick the best statistical team all season and never lose but if in week 14 your four key money-makers get shut down you could easily be upset by a team with lesser players who got hot at the right time because they faced opposing defenses that gave up more points in fantasy.

Bell's opponents aren't the easiest in the world, but based on how his final five opponents performed against the run in 2014, he could be poised to be the best option to start in the most important games of your fantasy season. We will get more into that when we focus more on the top players of each position.

Brown is the best fantasy option at receiver, don't let any hype article on Calvin Johnson being fully healthy or Dez Bryant's touchdowns he'll have in the redzone with the Cowboys losing DeMarco Murray. If you can't get Bell and all the top running backs are off the board get Brown.

Roethlisberger is listed higher than he normally would because of the Steelers' fan expectations of him this season and the arsenal of weapons he has at his command. Though most leagues will not see him go before Peyton Manning, I put his value ahead of the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback.

Martavis Bryant will round out this group that slides into the top 100, but Bryant also gets a nod for just making my top 50. I've already written how I think he's the ultimate sleeper of 2015, but this time around if you want him he will not be a player that will be a free agency pickup. Especially if you're playing with other Steelers friends, make sure he's on your radar as you enter the middle rounds.

As the next two weeks roll into training camp, be on the lookout as other BTSC writers join me in the pre-fantasy-football draft talk of mid-July.