This offseason might have been the longest offseason that I have endured in a while, while trying to keep busy I watched some Netflix. I think I have watched just about every show on Netflix, so I am here to try and help you out in the draft. Here are my draft-day hopefuls and draft-day nopefuls (guys I like, and guys I don’t like on draft night).
Jameis Winston – TB: Winston had a good rookie season finishing 14th amongst QB’s last season. I think Winston could be in the top 5 QB’s next season, and here is why; Winston scored in every game last season having a passing TD in 13 games and a rushing TD in 6 games. He did not run the ball much last year as he never got more than 6 carries for 30 yards, but he did throw for at least 200 yards 14 times last season. I expect to see him cut down on his turnovers, and with 3 receivers that measure at least 6 foot 5 inches.
Markus Wheaton – PIT: Markus Wheaton has just about every one of the intangibles to be a professional athlete. At the 2013 draft combine Wheaton measured at 5 foot 11 inches, he ran a 4.45 40 yard dash, had a 37 inch vertical, and lead all wide receivers with 20 reps when benching. If that is not enough to sell you on him then keep reading. Wheaton started to show off how he could use these intangibles in the last 6 weeks when he averaged almost 5 receptions and 80 yards per game, and he scored in 4 of those 6 games. Need I say more? Alright I will, Martavis Bryant is suspended for the season. I like Wheaton opposite side of Antonio Brown, plus he is in a contract year; music to fantasy owners ears.
Kelvin Benjamin – CAR: There is a lot to like about Kelvin Benjamin, he is a big 6’5” physical WR who knows how to go up and get the ball. His rookie campaign he was targeted an astounding 146 times, which is more than 9 targets a game, he caught exactly half of his targets and went for just over 1,000 yards to go along with 9 TDs. Unfortunately Kelvin tore his ACL at the beginning of Panthers training camp last season so we did not get to see his progression into year two, but him not playing means no sophomore slump, right? I think so, especially after seeing what Newton can do with Ted Ginn Jr. and Philly Brown, I am looking for Kelvin to step up this year and be a borderline top 10 fantasy football WR.
49ers WR core: You are probably sitting here asking yourself why I am talking about the 49ers WR core, and even better why it is in my hopeful section. Do not get me wrong, this is mostly just for deep leagues, or possibly a dynasty league, and you know what, if you are feeling risky I might even go with the last round of a redraft league. Anyways here I go. The 49ers lost Anquan Boldin during the offseason to the Lions, leaving them with Torrey Smith (the likely number 1 guy), Eric Rogers, DeAndre Smelter, Bruce Ellington, and Quinton Patton. Torrey Smith has only had one 1,000 receiving season, and only one season with more than 8 TD’s in his first 5 years, and it was not last year. If I wrote this portion two weeks ago I would be talking about Eric Rogers, a former CFL superstar, but unfortunately he tore his ACL. Now you might look at this list and say “oh, Ellington, I’m going with him because the name sounds familiar.” As it should as his brother is Andre Ellington; however, if I were to suggest one it would not be him. I am suggesting DeAndre Smelter and here is why. Smelter is a 6’3” former college baseball player turned college football player, so his hand eye coordination should be alright. Smelter slipped to the 4th round of the 2015 NFL draft due to an ACL tear of his own, and that also caused him to sit out all of last season. Even though there is no NFL tape on Smelter, looking at him play in college it seems like he has some breakaway speed considering he is 6’3” 220 pound WR, and he like previously mentioned Kelvin Benjamin can go up and get the ball. While I have talked about him and other 49ers WR a lot in this post, please do not take them before their value; they are ONLY valuable in really deep leagues as bench help and maybe a potential breakout candidate. Every pass cannot be targeting Torrey Smith this year, and I think that Smelter could see a decent amount of targets.
Kirk Cousins – WAS: “YOU LIKE THAT!” well, do you know what? For next year I do not like him. Cousins had 4 games in which he had trouble scoring 10 points. The issue with Cousins in my mind is that he has made some stupid mistakes in the past, like when he kneeled the ball instead of spiking it to stop the clock. Cousins does not have a WR that I really like either, they all seem like an average WR. Cousins had 14 turnovers last season and I think that he has at least 20 next season.
Stefon Diggs – MIN: Diggs broke onto the scene last season when he came out of his week 5 bye week with three consecutive games with at least 6 catches and in 2 of those three games he broke 100 yards and scored in two of those three games. Unfortunately for him and his owners last year he had an up and down season the rest of the season having games where he scored 20 and games that he scored one point. Some think that Diggs will grow with Bridgewater and become a good WR this year; however, the Vikings just used their first round pick to get Laquon Treadwell out of Ole Miss and was the first WR drafted this past draft. I think Bridgewater will be average and an average QB is not good enough to support 3 receivers, between Diggs, Treadwell, and Rudolph I think that Diggs is the odd one out.
Jordy Nelson – GB: Jordy Nelson has put together some awesome fantasy football seasons, but I am not high on him this year. To start out with Jordy Nelson had great breakaway speed when he went for 1,300+ yards in 2013 and 2014, and he has one of the best QB’s in the NFL throwing to him. Although, Jordy turned 31 this year, and one of the first things that athletes lose is their speed. Secondly he is coming off an ACL tear, and though both the players in my hopeful section are also coming off an ACL tear they are about 7 years younger, and younger bodies tend to recover quicker. Also, neither of them relied on their straight line speed. Personally with Jordy I would rather see him prove me wrong, than have him burn me because there are too many red flags in my mind. His ADP on ESPN is currently 20.8 as the 9th WR off the board, and I guarantee there are better options available with that pick than Jordy Nelson.
DeAngelo Williams – PIT: There are a few reasons why I do not like DeAngelo Williams, and here they go. At this point it is looking like Bell will get suspended for the first 3 games of the season. Williams is 33 years old which would make him the oldest week one starting RB if he does get the start due to Bell being suspended. He has been in the league for 10 years and has accrued over 1,600 carries, but the life of a bell cow RB does not usually last that long. Williams has been the exception to the rule; however, father time is undefeated when it comes to an NFL player’s performance as they get older. I would only take Williams if I already had Bell and he fell to the latter half of the middle rounds.
Stay tuned for more Breakout Hopefuls and Breakout Nopefuls. Also feel free to leave a comment about this post or giving me some Netflix suggestions.
Good luck to everyone in the draft. Make sure to follow me on Twitter by clicking here and the Fantasy Life app @fantasysportgm. The scoring that I used is based off ESPN’s standard PPR scoring.
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