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What is LeSean McCoy’s fantasy value?

Don’t sleep on Shady McCoy in 2016.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

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The Bills traded for LeSean McCoy to bring in a game-changing, star running back. The debate on whether they got that or not will probably go on until he leaves the team, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss. We’re here to discuss whether or not your fantasy team got a star; someone who could win you your league.

In 2015, McCoy rushed for 895 yards, had 292 receiving yards, and scored 5 touchdowns. Those stats were good enough for 146.7 points; ranking him 17th among running backs in standard leagues. (I am going to focus on standard leagues, but for awareness he had 178.7 points and was ranked 19th in PPR leagues.) That put McCoy between Jonathan Stewart and his replacement in Philadelphia, DeMarco Murray. Not exactly the guys you’re looking to lead you to the fantasy promised land.

However, those 146.7 came in only 12 games. If we look at his per game average he came in 11th with an average 12.2 points per game. The ten players in front of him are Devonta Freeman, Jamaal Charles, Le'Veon Bell, Adrian Peterson, Todd Gurley, Arian Foster, Matt Forte, Mark Ingram, Doug Martin, and Tim Hightower. A lot of those guys, and Shady, are first-round draft picks.

Ideally, you’d like to get 16 games out of McCoy. His average, sustained over a full season would result in 195.2 points. That would’ve ranked him fourth behind Devonta Freeman, Adrian Peterson, and Doug Martin. If we gave every running back that benefit than he still would be in 11th. If McCoy stayed healthy last year, he would’ve nearly been a top ten fantasy running back.

That was last year, where is he headed in 2016?

Buffalo Bills v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The FantasyPros consensus rankings predict him as the 12th best running back and 23rd overall player, with an average draft position of 26th. In a 12 person league, that makes him a third round draft pick. Scoring a running back that is sniffing a top ten ranking in the third round is a steal.

If he stays healthy, with what we expect to be an improved offense — and most importantly for McCoy, five returning starters on the offensive line — I think that LeSean McCoy has great fantasy value this year. Don’t draft him in the first round, but if you can get him after that you’re getting good value. Pair him with a couple of studs from your other spots in the first to third rounds and you’re well on your way to fantasy football glory.