Most significant changes from 2015
Standing out as perhaps the league’s most consistent division over the past half-decade, the AFC North — beyond a constantly churning Browns franchise — marches into this season with plenty of familiar faces. The Steelers, Bengals and Ravens all have retained their longtime head coaches and starting quarterbacks. Cleveland, meanwhile, is starting over again with offensive-minded coach Hue Jackson angling to turn Robert Griffin III back into a starting quarterback. The Browns will continue to face growing pains in a division armed with two Super Bowl contenders and a Ravens club that wouldn’t shock anyone if it returned to the playoffs.
What we’ll be talking about at season’s end
Can someone please start carving Ben Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame bust? After Big Ben dials up his third Super Bowl win since 2004, it will be time to acknowledge Roethlisberger for what he is: One of the finest quarterbacks of our lifetime. The Steelers remain the class of this division and, in 2016, they’ll be much more than AFC North champions, thanks to their massive-framed, strong-armed leading man.
And at the same time, you basically need to play fantasy so you and your buddies/co-workers have something to talk about other than your feelings and/or that new bread knife you bought from Amazon.
You want to play, you want to put in the least amount of work possible but you also don’t want to be the laughing stock of the league.
It’s cool, I got you. Here’s your guide to have a totally respectable team (that probably isn’t going to win, but you never know, fantasy is weird) that will require the least amount of work on your end once the season starts.
This assumes 10-team standard scoring snake formats obviously. If you’re lazy, you’re almost assuredly not playing in one of those hipster 14-team PPR auction draft super-flex leagues.***
Go RB-RB to start your draft
This goes counter to popular draft strategies today which say go receiver heavy early. But here’s the thing, going wide receiver crazy to start means you have to manage the running back position on an almost weekly basis and who the hell has time for that?
If you want to minimize management, you need workhorses at the running back position and quite frankly there aren’t many of them in the league.