Studs & Duds
It’s the holiday and a great day to play fantasy football or at least draft a team. If you are like me that is just what you might be doing? And speaking of drafting, if that’s the case, here are a couple of more Studs and Duds to consider;
Studs (target these players)
If I am looking at an a wide receiver with an early pick, there are several that I like, but a big favorite for me this season has to be the Buccaneers Mike Evans. The Bucs 4th year wide receiver was the No. 3 fantasy receiver in 2016 (PPR format), No.1 in standard leagues. Evans has been a top flight receiver since his arrival in 2014 and last season he arrived; 96 receptions, 1,321 yards receiving, and 12 touchdowns. Evans has finished inside the Top-15 (PPR) twice in his three seasons and looks to be a lock to finish in the Top-5 this season. He and his quarterback Jameis Winston enjoy great chemistry and enter their third season together. I believe this season Evans takes the next step in fantasy and joins the elite.
An interesting signing in Philly this offseason has me looking at wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The former Bear will be a big target over the middle in the passing game and for young quarterback Carson Wentz, Jeffery will be an ideal red-zone threat. Jeffery looked good in the team’s third preseason game catching a couple of passes, including a score and if that’s any indication of what fantasy owners can expect, drafting Alshon early should pay dividends. Jeffery is currently going off the board around the No. 18 fantasy receiver in PPR (according to FFC); I like him here, would even consider taking him ahead of players like DeAndre Hopkins and Terrelle Pryor.
Duds (drafting too high)
It seems one of the hottest fantasy stocks in current drafts is the Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. I’ve heard a lot of the noise too, Andy Reid likes his guys, but remember Hunt did not win this job (not to say he’s not deserving or capable), but he is the starter now by default with running back Spencer Ware going down for the season. Hunt may in fact play very well for the Chiefs this season, but I think that’s really a little too early to call. The Chiefs still have running backs Charcandrick West and (resigned) CJ Spiller who may compete for touches. Hunt is currently going off the boards as the No. 10 fantasy back (in PPR formats according to FFC), but that’s just a little too rich and high expectation for my blood with proven runners like Todd Gurley (heavy volume), Isaiah Crowell (volume), Lamar Miller, and Carlos Hyde (all Top-20 last season) still on the board.
Now this may be the most controversial thus far this season for me, but I’ve seen the Jaguars passing offense and I am just wondering how rookie running back Leonard Fournette is going to find any room to run. The big back out of LSU is expected to see plenty of opportunity this season, but could be slow out of the gate dealing with a foot injury. He’s also expected to anchor the running game for a bad offense (ranked 23rd last season) that struggled on the ground (ranked 22nd in 2016). Fournette will add improvement, but the Jags also have a few other backs that could carve out small roles in the offense. For his rookie campaign, I can see Fournette finishing in the 20-24 fantasy running back range, but not at his current ADP of 3.03, the No.13 fantasy running back off the board (in PPR). He’ll fare better in standard, but he’s one player I will relax on and look to take a round or two later (if available).
That’s My Take. ~David Ortega