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I’ve managed to participate in quite a number of fantasy drafts this preseason and through my draft software and web-surfing travels I’ve managed to make a lot of mental notes (as well as a few on the back of napkins). With the 2017 NFL season less than 48 hours from kick-off, I thought I’d share several of my thoughts or two cents (or any denomination you care to leave in my ball cap perch in front of me).
I like the Raiders quarterback Derek Carr this season. He’s got the weapons (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Jared Cook) to throw to, the team has added “Beast Mode” (Marshawn Lynch) to bolster the run game, if Lynch can hold up and shake the rust. Last season Carr was playing well enough to warrant MVP conversation; with all the pieces he has this season there is no reason to believe he can’t work some magic again in 2017. He’s a QB1 (going off the boards around the 7th round according to FFC) with MVP upside.
Another young arm with my vote of confidence this season is Carson Wentz. The kid showed a lot of composure out of the gate last season and now with a full-season under his belt, full slate of OTAs, I think he’s ready to move up the fantasy tree. The team has brought in some veteran receiver help with the additions of Alshon Jeffery (a big target) and Torrey Smith and he still has his trusty tight end Zach Ertz (78 receptions in 2016). Wentz is not being drafted as a starter, but he is definitely a nice streaming option for the bye weeks, Superflex plays, and DFS players (playing the matchups).
The Steelers quarterback Big Ben get’s one of his special toys back this season with the return of wide receiver Martavis Bryant, add a healthy Le’Veon Bell available for week 1 and Whoa! Roethlisberger is a QB1, but where is his ceiling? His health is going to be an issue, but if his line can keep him upright with the weapons he has in Pittsburgh, that include wide receiver Antonio Brown Big Ben has a chance for a monster season. His 9th round ADP (according to FFC) is some nice value for those that like to wait on the quarterback pick.
A lot of folks are down this season on the Cardinals signal caller, but I am not one. Yes Carson Palmer is entering his 15th season and yes last year looked like he was playing in his 16th season, but as bad as he looked his still passed for over 4,200 yards and tossed 26 touchdowns (a big regression from 2015). But I offer you, the insertion of (a healthy we hope) wide receiver John Brown is going to make a big difference and add the crutch of running back David Johnson. The Cards have a much underrated offense this season, one that has potential for big weeks. Palmer is going off the boards very late (as the No.19 fantasy QB), but is another nice streaming option and late round add as your QB back-up (if you choose to carry two quarterbacks).
That’s My Take. ~David Ortega
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