Mark Ringo's 2019 Sleepers and Busts (Overvalued and Undervalued)

It’s that time again. Time for my Rip Van Winkles baby! Time to tell you who’s a deep sleeper, who’s a colossal bust, and to a lesser extreme- who’s undervalued and overvalued with their current ADP on Fantasy Pros. Last year the sleepers in my article, “The Kings Classic: What Can Brown’s Draft Analysis Do for You?” were Pat Mahomes, Andrew Luck, James Conner, and George Kittle. Not too bad, especially considering that it’s all right here, on SleepersandBusts.com, and it’s all free! So without further adieu- here are my 2019 Sleepers and Busts.

Sleepers & Undervalued QBs

Jimmy Garoppolo- Jimmy G knows the offense and is healthy from last years knee injury. He has more weapons than before. Could be sitting on a big year with the emergence of all-pro TE George Kittle, rookie WR Deebo Samuel, RBs Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman. At QB #20 he seems insanely cheap. Sleeper

Lamar Jackson- if he can stay healthy could have a monster year with his rushing stats. However, running QBs usually get hurt. Have a good backup just in case, but when he plays should post solid numbers.. Undervalued

Jacoby Brissett- Takes over after the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck. While he’s no Andrew Luck Brissett has the weapons to do some damage. Many folks forget the last time he took over in Indy the offensive line was nonexistent. Pass blocking is now a strength. At QB #26 he seems way to cheap given the talent around him and with a smart offensive mind like head coach Frank Reich. Sleeper

Cam Newton- I’ll admit Cam coming off a shoulder injury scares me- especially with his style of play. In addition, the offensive line isn’t the best. That said he’s QB #10 and that seems too low. He has some offensive firepower in Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and veteran TE Greg Olsen. Carolina can be a dangerous offensive team if Cam stays healthy. His rushing stats and power rushing around the goal line make him worth the the gamble given the cheap price tag. Undervalued

Jameis Winston- Tampa Bay brings in Bruce Arians. Arians is an offensive guru who gets the most out of his players. In addition, the Buccaneers defense is awful. They should be trailing a lot which means garbage fantasy points are there for the taking in the 4th Qtr. Throw in some good WRs and Winston can put up good numbers. The only issues are his high interception rate and a subpar offensive line. At QB #15 Winston has top 7 potential in this offense if the line can give him time. Undervalued

Busts & Overvalued QBs

Drew Brees- The Saints have a good defense which is great for the Saints title hopes, but not good for fantasy stats. It means the Saints will run out the clock in the 4th Qtr instead of slinging it all over the field.. Brees is getting up there in age and his arm strength is declining. The loss of center Max Unger to retirement doesn’t help. QB #6 is too rich for me. Overvalued

Ben Roethlisberger- The loss of WR Antonio Brown might help with less headaches in the locker room, but it doesn’t help fantasy stats on the field. Brown was a difference maker. There’s no way to sugar coat this-. losing him and all-pro RB LeVeon Bell hurts the Steelers offense. In addition, Big Ben has had trouble staying healthy most years. QB #11 is too high. Bust

Russell Wilson- The Seahawks hired Brian Schottenheimer as their offensive coordinator. He’s a run heavy coach. QB #8 is too high for a QB who will be handing the ball off to his RBs most of the game- despite how talented Wilson is. Bust

Tom Brady- TB12 is one of the greatest QBs of all-time. At 42 he remarkably still hasn’t shown any signs of decline. However, the pieces around him have weakened. Losing Gronk to retirement hurts. While there’s rumblings Gronk might return, until that happens this offense takes a hit. Gronk was a matchup nightmare and red zone monster. He’s irreplaceable. Also gone is left tackle Trent Brown. The Raiders offered him huge money in free agency to play out West. Several injuries on the line have made the Patriots concerned enough to trade for offensive linemen to fortify their depth. The good news is Josh Gordon has been reinstated. When he plays he’s a difference maker. He’s the most talented WR Brady has had since Randy Moss. Can he stay clean? That’s the million dollar question. QB #12 seems a little high given how fragile things are at the moment in Foxborough. Overvalued

Sleepers & Undervalued RBs

LeSean McCoy- I liked him before the news of Shady signing with the Chiefs. After the news his value has shot up, but still not high enough. Many folks think he’s washed up. The KC offense is gold for RBs. McCoy still has some gas left in the tank. He views Coach Reid as family and he’ll have a chip on his shoulder. If he gets a bell cow role the sky is the limit here and owners will be sitting in the shade of a championship trophy in December. RB#38 is a hone run swing I’ll take every time for a chance at a fantasy title if things break right. Potential league winner. Sleeper

Darrell Henderson- Well you' either believe in Todd Gurley’s knees holding up or you don’t. I don’t. However, I do believe in Darrell Henderson., He’s electric and reminds me of Dalvin Cook . He can break off long runs anytime he touches the ball. He should see 8-12 touches a game and if Gurley gets hurt or the game becomes a blowout he might see more. The Rams view him as their Alvin Kamara. He won’t get a bell cow role if Gurley goes down, but most likely be in a RBBC That said- Kamara is in in RBBC too and where is he going in drafts?? Exactly. At RB #39 Henderson is cheap. Potential league winner- major upside. Undervalued

Ryquell Armstead- Leonard Fournette is the starter, but he’s on thin ice in Jacksonville. Supposedly he’s dedicated himself this offseason to getting in shape. Between his antics and injuries the frustration from Jaguars brass is growing- if Fournette doesn’t have a special year they’ll move on from him. And if something does happen there are a whole lot of carries there for the taking. Armstead in the backup and is a hard nosed runner just like Fournette. If given the chance few RBs will get as many touches as him.- even if he doesn’t offer much as a pass catcher. At RB #72 he’s worth a late round flyer. Sleeper

Tevin Coleman-Should be the lead RB in San Francisco on an improving offense. He knows the offense from his days in Atlanta. The transition should be seamless. Seems very undervalued considering this offense and a favorable schedule. Fantasy Pros RB #26- Undervalued.

Matt Breida- Tevin’s teammate also makes this list. In my San Francisco team analysis I thought Jerick McKinnon would struggle coming back from his knee injury so soon. Unfortunately, that is indeed the case as he had a setback. It opens things up for Breida and Coleman. Breida should garner the passing down work. He is electric and can fly. RB #36 seems like a decent price for an electric playmaker like Breida in a good offense. Undervalued

Dexter Williams- Aaron Jones has yet to stay healthy. If he does he could have a big year, but I don’t think he can. If Jones goes down it will be one of the Williams guys who gets the call- possibly both if the Packers use a RBBC like they’ve stated. The zone scheme is a better fit for Dexter Williams’ running style than Jamaal Williams who is more of a power runner. Dexter could be a difference maker later on if Aaron Jones knee doesn’t hold up. He needs to clean up his pass catching. He had too many drops in the preseason, but he runs with a burst on an Aaron Rodgers led offense. There’s fantasy upside here if things break right- worth a shot.. Sleeper

Devonta Freeman- RB #18 seems way too low for the lead RB on an offense as powerful as the Falcons. He catches the ball too. They’re paying him a lot of money. I expect him to get a bunch of touches. He has end of the 1st round upside. Undervalued

Busts & Overvalued RBs

Todd Gurley- He;s going at RB#9 and #11 overall which is nuts! His knee didn’t hold up last year and the Rams traded up for Darrell Henderson despite paying Gurley $40 million. At best he’s in a RBBC, at worst he gets shut down. At #11 overall- no chance. His bell cow days are over. I’ll pass. Bust

Kerryon Johnson- Detroit signed CJ Anderson in free agency . They want a RBBC. CJ should get the goal line looks. Rookie RB Ty Johnson has had a strong preseason. He’s big and can fly. They want to use him in Theo Riddick’s old role on passing situations. That doesn’t leave a lot of touches for Kerryon. Certainly not enough to warrant a 3rd round pick And lest we forget- Kerryon got hurt last year. There’s no guarantee he can hold up even if he gets a bigger work load which seems unlikely. Fantasy Pros RB#15 ADP is too rich considering how crowded this backfield is. Bust.

James Conner- Conner is a difficult one for me to analyze. I’ve heard whispers that the Steelers drafted Benny Snell with the goal of him stealing goal line touches and turning this into a RBBC. If that’s the case, Conner my big time sleeper last year, is overvalued. If on the other hand those whispers are false than Conner might be worth a 2nd round pick. He’s not a special back talent wise- and losing Antonio Brown doesn’t help. Personally I’m rooting for the kid. A cancer survivor and local guy from Pittsburgh - these are the guys you root for. Taking emotions out of it- I’m taking a pass at that 1st or 2nd round price tag which seems risky. Overvalued

Aaron Jones- Analysts are split on Jones. Some love him others do not. The RBBC situation in Green Bay scares me as well as his knee. He still hasn’t lasted a full season in the NFL. He’s had knee issues since college. RB#14 is too rich for me given those risks. I’ll let someone else gamble on him. Overvalued

Joe Mixon- First Cincy loses 1st round pick left tackle Jonah Williams to a shoulder injury. Then Cordy Glenn gets a concussion. Add in the fact that head coach Zac Taylor said he wants to use Gio Bernard more in the passing game. It sounds like this could be a RBBC- with a bad offensive line no less. Mixon is talented enough to make me look foolish here, but there are other guys I’d rather take in the 2nd round than him. Love the player, but hate the situation. I’ll pass. Overvalued

LeVeon Bell- As talented as Bell is he’s been injury prone in the past. Now he goes to a new team where he didn’t show up for voluntary mini camp- not exactly endearing himself to the new coaching staff. The Jets offense is a downgrade from the Steelers. It’s also hard to trust a guy who got paid a lot of money. How motivated will he be? Is he still hungry? I’ll let someone else roll the dice on Bell. I’m not risking my 1st or 2nd round pick with so many red flags. Overvalued

Derrius Guice- He’s RB #33 and going 74th overall which is nuts. Guice is recovering from a torn ACL and had complications in his recovery resulting in more procedures which is not normal. Washington has said they are going to manage his workload. In addition, the Redskins offensive line is in shambles. All-pro lineman Trent Williams is threatening to hold out. This offense isn’t very good. Despite his immense talent- I don’t see the upside- not this year. Why roll the dice on Guice- (hey that rhymes haha) when the odds are stacked against you? Bust

Sleepers & Undervalued WRs

Odell Beckham- I can’t believe OBJ is falling in the 2nd round- and sometimes it’s the late 2nd. He’s my #1 WR (well tied with DeAndre Hopkins after Houston traded for Laremy Tunsil). Baker Mayfield is the best QB Odell has ever had. He could put up monster numbers if the offensive line can protect Baker. That’s the main concern. He’ll be plenty motivated this year. Undervalued

A.J. Green- Green’s injury dampens my enthusiasm a bit, however, he’s still an elite WR. Even on the lousy Bengals he puts up star numbers. Head coach Zac Taylor comes over from the Rams and injects some much needed aggression into a conservative offense. If Green can come back 100% in week 4 or 5 he’ll be worth his cheaper price tag Fantasy Pros WR #24. The Bengals will have to pass it all day. A lot of garbage yards and catches will be there for the taking. Undervalued

Josh Gordon- Well this seems like a good hill to die on haha! Gordon’s talent is off the charts. He is just as talented as Julio and Odell- yes folks he’s that good! Unfortunately substance abuse is his Achilles heel. Tom Brady is going to take him under his wing. Hopefully he can help. Before news of his reinstatement he could have been had for a bargain 14th round which is where I took him in an analyst draft. Now it’s most likely in the 6th round. Still it’s his 2nd year in the offense so he should be familiar with the lingo and he has the best QB he’s ever played with in Brady. Without Gronk- he could be the go to guy for TB12. Worth the risk. Undervalued.

Parris Campbell- I was a lot higher on Campbell prior to Luck’s retirement. However, Brissett is one of the better backup to inherit the starting QB position and this kid is really talented. He can fly. He has world class speed and also size to go with it. Any time he touches the ball he can score. Parris is going off at WR #74 so he can be had for a song. Sleeper

Deebo Samuel- He sounds like a band from the 80’s, but Deebo is a talented rookie WR and will most likely man the slot in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. According to scouts his YAC ability (yards after catch) is off the charts. He could be a PPR monster with all the catches he should get. TE George Kittle will draw the double teams freeing him up for single coverage. WR #61 is a bargain. Sleeper

Deon Cain- In deeper leagues Cain is a worthy dart throw. He missed his rookie year with a knee injury in the preseason. He’s had a full year to recover and has impressed at camp. Reports out of Spring were that Devin Funchess was struggling. If Funchess continues to struggle or gets hurt- keep an eye out for Cain. He can absolutely fly and has size. The Colts WRs have a lot of team speed so he’ll get single coverage. At WR#113 he isn’t on the radar for many folks, but if he gets an opportunity- lookout! Cain looks legit! Sleeper

Preston Williams- I’m not too high on Miami players in 2019. Their offensive line is in shambles. However, one guy to keep an eye on is Preston Williams. Character concerns forced him to drop farther in the draft than his talent would indicate. He’s had an outstanding preseason and the Dolphins will be trailing and forced to pass If Miami can somehow protect FitzMagic or Rosen from getting killed, that’s a huge if, Williams could surprise folksas a late round dart throw. Undervalued

Donte Moncrief- Moncrief leaves Jacksonville and finally gets into a good pass offense again. He has size and speed to bust some long plays. He’s also a good red zone target. If he can stay healthy, he seems cheap at WR #49. Undervalued

Breshad Perriman- Perriman has size and speed. He takes over for DeSean Jackson who left for Philadelphia. With head coach Bruce Arians motto “no risk it no biscuit” Perriman could benefit from some long TD passes. He’s had a good camp and is a forgotten man in the fantasy world at WR# 115. And If anything happens to Mike Evans lookout! Sleeper

Sammy Watkins- What if I told you you could draft a WR on arguably the most explosive offense in the league, catching passes from QB #1, in his 2nd year in an Andy Reid offense at WR #34 would you take it? Few players offer the upside that Sammy Watkins does in the middle rounds. All players have warts- no one is a perfect can’t miss prospect in fantasy football. In the middle rounds I want upside. Watkins offers it in bunches. It’s the fiurst time he’s been in the same offense in a few years. He should be more comfortable in it. Give me as many Chiefs as I can get on my team this year. Undervalued

Busts & Overvalued WRs

Adam Thielen & Stefon Diggs- The Vikings fired their offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo, last year and are going to a run first attack. That doesn’t bode well for WRs Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Fantasy Pros WRs #10 and #12 respectively is too rich given the run dominated attack. Overvalued

Tyler Lockett- See above- Same song different venue. Seattle will be running it all day. Anyone expecting Lockett Fantasy Pros ADP WR #17 and #37 Overall better prepare for disappointment. Bust

Cooper Kupp- Coming off a torn ACL in less than a year is unheard of. If he does I’ll tip my hat to Cooper, but the odds are against him. There’s no way I’m taking a guy who has to make quick cuts coming off reconstructive knee surgery- especially at Fantasy Pros #20 WR and #51 overall. Way too risky for me. Bust

Calvin Ridley- Ridley had a few big games, but the majority of the season was nothing to write home about. If something happens to Julio a target increase could propel him, but at WR #22 seems way too high given such inconsistency. Bust

Will Fuller- Another WR coming off major knee surgery. Fuller had a difficult time staying healthy when he entered the season at 100%, now coming off major surgery people expect him to last the season? Despite his talent- WR #33 is too high considering his injury history. Bust

Emmanuel Sanders- Another guy coming off major surgery- a torn Achilles. I don’t care how he looked on the field- a torn Achilles is a career ender. In addition the Broncos added rookie TE Noah Fant to steal targets and red zone looks. WR #36 seems too high given the history of athletes coming back from such a gruesome injury. Pass. Bust

Sleepers & Undervalued TEs

Evan Engram- With Odell Beckham now in Cleveland, Engram becomes the #1 target on a team that will be trailing in most of it’s games. Engram is more like a hybrid WR than a true TE. He can fly. He has the ability to break a long touchdown run as well as be a matchup nightmare in the red zone. He could easily post elite TE numbers if he can stay healthy. Undervalued

Jimmy Graham- Last year he played with a broken finger. He was healthy this year until he hurt another finger in the preseason. Graham says he’s good to go. We’ll see. Hopefully this won’t hinder him. Rookie TE Jace Sternberger was put in IR so Graham won’t lose any plays to him. He’s playing with one of the all-time greats in Aaron Rodgers and seems like a bargain at TE #19. Undervalued

Noah Fant- The Broncos spent a 1st round pick on Fant. He can absolutely fly. He plays like a WR- making diving catches and outrunning defenders for big gains. Most rookie TEs need a year or two to get acclimated to the offense. Fant might be an exception. Major upside if he hits. Sleeper

Darren Waller- Big and fast the Raiders were raving about him which is why they let Jared Cook go. They’ll be trailing in most games- Waller has size and speed. Worth a shot late. Sleeper

Jordan Akins- Houston’s other pass catching TEs Kahale Warring and Jordan Thomas are on IR- opening up the Red Sea for Jordan Akins to come out of nowhere. Like Waller he has size and speed. Hopkins will draw double teams opening things up underneath. A scout at the Senior Bowl said Akins was getting open consistently. Most fantasy analysts aren’t talking about Akins- he can be had for a song off in the draft or off waivers. And with the Texans shaky defense, they’ll most likely get into a lot of shootouts. Akins could post surprising numbers. Worth a shot. Sleeper

Rob Gronkowski- The word on the street from those close to Gronk is there’s a 40% chance he comes out of retirement. That’s good enough odds for me- especially where I took him in the 17th round of a 12 team industry draft. Depending how deep your bench is he’s worth a stash. When healthy Gronk is a difference maker. Definitely worth a stash- especially for a title run late in the year. Sleeper

Busts & Overvalued TEs

Hunter Henry- This is more about where he’s going TE 6 #66 overall. If you don’t get one of the first few TEs it’s usually better to wait. Mike Williams will steal targets in the red zone. #66 overall is just too high for me. Pass. Overvalued

Vance McDonald- A lot of fantasy analysts are all in on McDonald assuming he’ll get more snaps. but the coaches have said that’s not happening. TE#8 seems too high. You can wait and get better values for cheaper who have just as good, if not a better, chance of outperforming him. I’ll take a Pass or if you prefer it in a nursery rhyme Old McDonald had a farm E-I E-I No!!! Overvalued

Player notes- weekly calls i made from twitter

Nov 14th- Week 11 Fantasy Sits

QB- DeShaun Watson- Prediction Pain. Washington D inflicts a lot of Da'Ron Payne

RB- Jordan Howard- Minnesota D menacing. Michael Jordan has a better chance of scoring against the Vikings than Howard.

RB- Kareem Hunt- The Hunt for touchdowns in Red November unlikely this week

WR- Alshon Jeffery- An Eli Apple a day keeps the touchdowns away

WR- Adam Thielan- I’m Hooked on a Thielan.

TE- Jared Cook-Stick a fork in Oakland’s offense-they're done

D Philly- Who Dat start this D in New Awlins? Eagles secondary decimated with injuries.


Nov 7th- Week 10 Fantasy Sits

QB- Drew Brees- letdown possible in Cincinnati after huge Rams win. I said possible- not guaranteed. They’re still the Bengals.

RB- Ezekiel Elliott- Dallas offensive line hurting- I reckon a tough day likely ole Zeke.

RB- Adrian Peterson- see notes on Elliott above minus Texas accent

WR- Keenan Allen- Chargers blowout likely- 4th Qtr they’ll be busy running the clock not passing to Keenan

WR- Marvin Jones- Pass rushing demon Khalil Mack will be all over Lions QB Stafford. In the jungle, the mighty jungle the Lions offense sleeps tonight

TE- Jared Cook- Oakland’s season is cooked.

D- Jacksonville- Colts offense isn't Luck-y they're good

 

Oct 31st - Week 9 Fantasy Starts

QB- Joe Flacco- Wacko for Flacco- shootout in Baltimore likely vs vulnerable Steel Curtain defense

RB- Doug Martin- San Francisco’s QB Beathard hurt- Oakland controls clock with Douggie Fresh

RB- Aaron Jones- God help me

WR- Courtland Sutton- Demaryius Thomas traded to Texans- unleash the shackles

WR- DJ Moore The Tampa Bay Buc stops here....uh never mind.

TE- D Njoku- Njo who?? Isn’t that a Japanese game or a puzzle???

D- Oakland- but only if they face San Fran’s 3rd string QB Mullens. They’re still the lousy Raiders. I trust them as much as the guy who sold me my used car.

 

Oct 24th – Week 8 Fantasy Sits

QB- Carson Wentz- in London vs Jags. God Save the Queen, but can he save Carson from the Jags ferocious pass rush?

RB-Saquon Barkley- Da’Ron Payne & Jonathan Allen will be pain in Giants neck

RB- Mark Ingram- He shares time in a RBBC plus Saints are on the road vs tough Vikes. Crowd noise in dome doesn’t help.

WR- Odell Beckham- The Giants offensive line has more holes than the swiss cheese on my sandwich. Eli is not exactly the most mobile QB on the planet.

WR- Alshon Jeffery- draws all pro CB Jalen Ramsey in London. Bloody hell on the tele.

TE- Evan Engram- see Odell

D- Rams- Discount Double Check TD Dance for Rodgers & Pack. I wonder if State Farm sells touchdown insurance for defenses?

Sept 26th - Week 4 Fantasy Sits

QB- Carson Wentz- Knee not 100%.  Well, it's not like football is a collision sport where 300 lb guys are chasing after you and trying to kill you. 

RB- James Conner- Don’t be conned this week- always a slugfest vs stingy Ravens

RB- David Johnson- Cardinals offense fluttering.

WR- Mike Evans- I say the Fitzmagic words, abracadabra & Mike Evans disappears

WR- Kenny Golladay- Dallas’s defensive line worrisome= long day for Golladay

TE- Kyle Rudolph-plays the Rams D so Suh me

D- Minnesota- No Everson Griffin no skol

 

Sept 19th - Week 3 Fantasy Sits

QB-Russell Wilson- Wilson!!! I’m sorry Wilson! I’m sorry! Dallas defensive line swarms the overmatched Seahawks

RB-David Johnson- Arizona’s offensive line in shambles and now faces Bears all-pro Khalil Mack. That should go well.

RB-Melvin Gordon- Can't play the Bills every week

WR Demaryius Thomas- Hurting & on the road vs tough Baltimore defense- not exactly an ideal combination

WR-Keenan Allen- faces arguably the NFL’s best defense

TE- Eric Ebron- Eagles D line problematic for young Colts- Philly Philly!

D- Chargers- no Bosa= no likey

The Kings Classic- What Can Brown’s Draft Analysis Do for you?

In mid August some of fantasy football's best analysts descended on Canton, Ohio for the inaugural King's Classic.  Hmnn.. I guess my invitation got lost in the mail.  Nevertheless, 24 members competed in 2 snake drafts and 2 auctions.  Here's a look at one of the 12 team snake drafts- the Brown Division.

1st rd 

Values-  RB Saquon Barkley- he looks like the next David Johnson.  He’s 230 lbs and runs like a gazelle.  Pure electricity.  RB Leonard Fournette- he’s more valuable in this format than people think.  A workhorse back on a team that runs all day with a solid defense – yes please.  Adding all-pro lineman Andrew Norwell & the fact that Fournette lost weight.  He’s sitting on a huge year.

Reaches- RB Dalvin Cook- The Vikes o-line is decimated.  Coming off a major knee injury is a concern.  Latavius Murray could vulture goal line TD’s.  Despite Cook’s talent it’s too early for me.

 

2nd rd

Values- WR Odell Beckham- arguably the most talented WR in the league goes in the 2nd rd?  He only needs 3 fingers to catch TDs.  Even if it’s the 1st pick in the 2nd rd it’s still a steal.  RB Joe Mixon might be the next LeVeon Bell.  That was the comp from scouts in college.  Cincy’s improved o-line & Mixon’s weight loss- he’s sitting on a breakout year.  WR AJ Green- one of the most talented WR in the league- solid pick.

Reaches- WR Keenan Allen is not as valuable in .5 ppr.  He's slow and doesn't have size.  Mike Williams is healthy and should steal TDs.  Allen has an injury history adding to his risk.  WR Davante Adams taken before Julio… what?  I know Julio didn’t catch many TD’s last year, but he’s is still bigger and faster than Adams. In addition, Jimmy Graham should vulture TD’s- I don’t see it.

 

3rd rd

Values- WR T.Y. Hilton is #1 target for Andrew Luck and they’ll be throwing it all day with their lousy defense- he’s a steal.  WR Amari Cooper- the #1 target on Gruden’s offense looks like a rebound candidate- worth the risk. 

Reaches- TE's Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz.  3rd rd is too early for a TE unless his name is Gronk.  Kelce has a rookie QB plus competition for targets from WR Sammy Watkins.  Ertz’s QB Carson Wentz is coming off major knee injury.  Ertz had a career year last yr- doubt he replicates it. Pass.

 

4th rd

ValuesWR Josh Gordon- if he stays clean Flash has the upside of the #1 WR in fantasy.  Playing with the best QB he’s ever had in the NFL Tyrod or Baker.  Talent is off the charts, but needs to stay clean.   Do you feel lucky?  Well do ya punk?  WR Chris Hogan- has arguably the GOAT throwing him the rock.  If he stays healthy is in for a big year.

Reaches- RB Dion Lewis- way too early for Lewis in half point ppr.  Derrick Henry will get the goal line looks.  WR Doug Baldwin’s knee isn’t right.  Why chance it?  RB Lamar Miller has no o-line in Houston and wears down with too heavy of a workload. 

 

5th rd

Values- WR Corey Davis is finally developing chemistry with Mariota.  The Titans offense should pass more this year with new head coach Mike Vrabel.  Davis needs to stay healthy.  RB Marshawn Lynch- in possibly his swan song, is playing for his hometown Raiders. There’s no quit in his game and seems like a Gruden lunch pail type of guy.  RB Jamaal Williams- Aaron Jones is suspended the first two games which is fantasy gold for two weeks.  If Jones gets hurt like last year Williams suddenly becomes very interesting on an incredibly potent offense for the long term.

Reaches- WR Alshon Jeffery- he has a history of soft tissue injuries and he’s recovering from shoulder surgery.  Wentz is recovering from major knee surgery.  Avoid.  RB Mark Ingram- suspended the first 4 games- Kamara is more talented.  Ingram is also TD dependent.  Too many obstacles for me- avoid.

 

6th rd

Values- WR Marquise Goodwin- the #1 WR on 49'ers offense.  Jimmy G is a budding star and Goodwin can run like the wind with Olympic caliber speed.  This year’s Tyreek Hill imo.  RB Sony Michel- sleeper alert!  An electric back who is recovering from an injury, but NE didn’t burn a 1st rd pick on him to have him just sit on the bench.  Should be a factor in October.  RB Rashaad Penny- a home run threat who can also catch the rock.  Like Michel, Penny’s a 1st round pick and should be a factor once he’s healthy.

Reaches- WR Robert Woods- not as valuable in .5 ppr.  Improved defense means less passing opportunities for the Rams and less fantasy points.

 

7th rd

Values- QB Andrew Luck is my overall #1 ranked Qb- he’s tied with Aaron Rodgers technically.  The Colts will be slinging it all over the field.  Improved o-line and playing half the games in the perfect weather confines of the RCA dome is a no brainer.  TE Evan Engram- a tight end only by title he’s really a WR who can fly.  Should get a lot of single coverage which means a lot of big plays are there for the taking if he can cure the drops he’s had in training camp.  RB Tevin Coleman- he’s a Devonta Freeman concussion away from a bell cow role on a potent offense. Worth a shot for fantasy greatness.

Reaches- QB Cam Newton- Carolina’s o-line is Swiss cheese.  Cam's either going to get killed and end up on IR or be in for a long year.  Only standout rookie WR DJ Moore can save his numbers from total trash. QB Carson Wentz- is coming off a gruesome knee injury.  No way he's ready mentally or physically.  It might take 2 years for him to feel right.  Avoid.  RB Chris Thompson already admitted his knee isn't 100% and the season hasn’t even started.  No chance he replicates last year’s numbers on one good leg- none.

 

8th rd

Values-  WR Will Fuller- when DeShaun Watson was at the helm Fuller went nuts.  If both he and Watson can stay healthy Fuller is sitting on a big year.  But can he stay healthy? That’s been his Achilles heel. 

Reaches- WR Devin Funchess- he’s like the 3rd or 4th option on a team that runs the ball.  A bad o-line doesn’t help.  No thanks.  WR Cooper Kupp- isn't big or fast.  The .5 ppr format hurts him.  The Rams shouldn't need to pass as much once Aaron Donald signs.  Avoid.

 

9th Rd

Values- WR DJ Moore- I’m not a fan of Carolina’s offense, but Moore is a budding star.  He’s electric and makes people miss gaining valuable yards after the catch.  Steve Smith has been reincarnated in Charlotte and his name is DJ Moore.  TE George Kittle- if his shoulder is okay he’s sitting on a big year.  Jimmy G is a budding star at QB and in a Kyle Shanahan offense SF seems ready to take another step forward.  How Behrens, an Iowa grad, didn’t grab Kittle is criminal.  He should lose his alumni status for such disloyalty.  RB Aaron Jones- he’s suspended the first 2 games, but he has the best burst of any Packers RB.  Can he stay healthy?  Worth the risk.

Reaches- WR Kelvin Benjamin- on a terrible Bills offense with no line and will need to hope Josh Allen can win the starting job and not be awful.  Too much risk.  Buffalo isn’t exactly the best passing environment in December when the fantasy playoffs decide your team’s fate. Pass.

 

10th rd

Values- The stars in the Colts backfield could be lining up just right for RB Jordan Wilkins.  Mack isn't an inside runner and if he gets hurt or falters Wilkins is the most likely RB to pick up additional carries.  Should see the goal line looks regardless. Rookies Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith upgrade the Colts o-line into a strength. TE Jack Doyle- give me all the Colts I can get my hands on.  With Luck back he’s a prime red zone target.  RB Peyton Barber- Ronald Jones is having a brutal camp.  He had a history of injuries in college and is struggling in pass protection. Time to make a trip to the Barber and cut your losses on Jones.

Reaches- none

 

11th Rd

Values- WR Kenny Golladay has size and speed.  Despite the Lions expectation to run it more he looks like a breakout candidate and red zone threat.  WR Calvin Ridley-went to a perfect situation in Atlanta believe it or not.  Julio will receive double coverage- which frees up Calvin for 1 on 1.  WR Dez Bryant-is still without a team as of this writing on August 18th 2018, but should be very motivated when /if he signs.  In the 11th rd he's certainly worth a shot. 

 

Reaches- WR Paul Richardson- He’s paired with Alex Smith who’s known as Checkdown Charlie.  Seems like Richardson landed in a bad spot to utilize his speed.  Losing rookie sensation RB Derrius Guice doesn't help the Redksins offense- avoid.  RB Gio Bernard- it’s Joe Mixon’s time. Mixon is more than just a 2 down back- he can be a bell cow because of his size and excellent receiving skills.  Neither of those help Gio’s  2018 prospects.  Pass.

 

12th Rd

Values- Jaguars Defense.  Hey if you have to start a defense you might as well grab one of the best ones before they’re gone instead of a player with no upside.  Gain an advantage at as many starting lineup spots as possible.  Most owners underestimate this strategy. Well done.

Reaches- TE Tyler Eifert- He’s always injured. I’m not a believer he’ll ever be healthy.  Let someone else deal with that frustration. WR Cam Meredith- coming off a devastating knee injury.  I don’t think he holds up either and the Saints improved defense should provide less incentive to pass in the 4th quarter.  RB Bilal Powell- he’s never been used as a workhorse back.  The Jets offense is still a work in progress. No thanks.

 

13th Rd

Values- Vikings Defense- throw out the NFC Championship game this defense is legit.  They add Sheldon Richardson in free agency and CB Mike Hughes in the draft which only makes it more menacing.  The Rams Defense, despite losing LB Alec Ogletree, they added CB Marcus Peters and Aquib Talib plus DT Nadamakong Suh to go with Aaron Donald.  They should wreak havoc on offenses.  When Cardinals QB Sam Bradford tried to get health insurance Blue Cross turned him down saying he was uninsurable- Suh would destroy him.

Reaches- RB Theo Riddick- Kerryon Johnson looks like a solid player and the Lions signed LeGarrette Blount to use in short yardage and goal line.  Head coach Matt Patricia wants to run it more.  Riddick’s outlook looks bleak with no upside- pass. 

 

14th Rd

Values- QB Jimmy Garoppolo- looks like the next great QB.  He’s had a full year to digest the playbook and develop more chemistry with his WR’s.  He destroyed the Jags tough defense at home last year.  I’m a believer.  He's the 2nd coolest cat to graduate from Rolling Meadows High School.  He's richer, but I'm better looking.  WR Ryan Grant- getting the #2 WR on a Colts team that wants to play hurry up and pass all day under new head coach Frank Reich- well done.  RB LeGarrette Blount- he’s reunited with coach Matt Patricia who wants to run the ball more.  The Lions added one of the best linemen in the draft in Frank Ragnow who scouts say is a mauler.  Blount is a sneaky pick who could be in for a good year as long as Stafford doesn’t steal any of his goal line TD’s.  QB Pat Mahomes- has shades of rookie Brett Favre in him.  Will make a boneheaded throw for an interception and follow it up with a 75 yard laser to Tyreek Hill.  The Chief's defense is awful – Mahomes will be forced to pass.  Plenty of garbage points are there for the taking.  He's also very athletic, able to get rushing yards, and has the weapons around him to succeed.

Reaches- none

 

15th Rd

Values- WR Geronimo Allison- He’s entrenched as the #3 WR and if anything happens to Davante Adams might vault into the Packer's #1 WR.  Adams had a concussion last year.  In addition, he has one of the best in the business throwing him the rock.  Worth a shot.  WR Courtland Sutton has no speed, but plenty of size.  He’s been making plays all training camp.  Red zone target with upside if Thomas or Sanders go down.

Reaches- none

 

16th Rd

Values- RB James Conner- How Pat, the LeVeon Bell owner, didn’t scoop him up as an insurance policy is mind boggling to me.   Bell has an injury history and while Conner is no Bell – the Steelers offense is potent.  This is a swing for the fences and it could be a game changer- ala DeAngelo Williams was a few years ago if Bell is… ahem…terminated.  I’ll be back.

Reaches- QB Mitchell Trubisky- Reports from Bears training camp are “The Biscuit” has been shaky.  He’s throwing a lot of interceptions.  Despite the added weapons and new head coach- he seems overhyped.  I’ll take a pass despite the cool nickname. 

 

Missing in Action- Where’s TE OJ Howard?  Anyone… anyone… Bueller?  The top tight end in one of the most heralded tight end draft’s in a decade (2017) wasn’t picked?  It takes time for TE’s and WR’s to learn the playbook.  Howard is better than TE Cameron Brate and in his second year should take a leap forward.  WR Chester Rogers is fighting Ryan Grant for the Colts WR 2 spot.  He has something neither T.Y. Hilton nor Ryan Grant have- size to be a factor in the red zone.  The issue with him has been staying healthy.  In a pass happy offense like Indy- Rogers seems worthy of a late round dart throw.  Also the analysts must have run out of data because where is T-Mobile?  Even with the shadow of Baker Mayfield looming- QB Tyrod Taylor has Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, Antonio Callaway, Duke Johnson, and possibly Josh Gordon.  He also gets valuable rushing yards which other QB’s do not.  And he’s a Cleveland Brown.  This is the Brown Division draft in Canton, Ohio…. for the love of Brian Sipe- gaa!!! 

Prediction- Scott wins!  Saquon Barkley is a star who can get points with both runs and receptions.  He gobbles up yards like a player in a John Madden video game on the beginner’s level.  AJ Green is solid.  Tyreek Hill finally has a gunslinger willing to take chances and maximize his talents with bombs.  Marquise Goodwin seems like the 2018 version of Tyreek Hill with Jimmy G throwing him the rock.  LeVeon Bell will get hurt and Steelers RB backup James Conner will burst on the scene, and in the process, will change the balance of power in the league- giving Scott too much firepower to overcome. 

Forrest Fenn Treasure Hunt Mark's Theory & take on the Poem- Solution

Well, when I first created this website it was for fantasy football articles.  The last thing I thought I'd be writing about was a treasure hunt.  I didn't even know they still existed.  I guess this would go under the & More part of my website title haha!  Apparently this treasure hunt has been going on for eight years. It's the biggest race in the world.  Anyway, I just heard about it last week on the news.  Up until then I had no knowledge that this event was even going on.  After hearing about it though, It sounded really cool and for the hell of it I decided to take a look at the poem just to see if I could solve the riddle.  It was addicting.  Anyway, I think I solved in two days.  I tried posting my theory on Dal Neitzel's Thrill of the Chase website blog under The Nine Clues, but for some reason it still hasn't been posted so I'm posting it here, on my website.  My site is very basic. I'm not the most tech savvy guy on the planet, but at least my theory is out there- online for everyone to see and on the record.  Take a look and decide for yourselves.  

Okay, with that said,  let’s go through some background info and some clues outside of the poem.  Forrest said it was a place near and dear to his heart- which was a huge clue for me.  It eliminated random places & the key to the riddle was knowing that- at least for me.  He also indicated that it was in one of the following states: New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana. More research indicated that he used to love going fishing with his dad as a kid.  When his dad had cancer he took him one last time to go fishing.  I could relate as I had one final trip with my dad taking him to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  It was an emotional and defining moment in my life.  That story struck a chord with me.  Anyway, because of Forrest's love of fishing I strongly suspected it was near a creek, river, or a lake to start with. Forrest and his dad spent a lot of time in Yellowstone, but also some time in Montana on the Madison River.  So I focused on those two locations when trying to decipher the clues.  I looked for geographic spots near those places that matched with the poem.  Forrest gave clues both inside and outside the poem.  He said he wanted people to visit Big Sky Country.  Montana’s state nicknames are Big Sky Country and the Treasure State- so I believed the treasure was in Montana and zeroed in on geographic locations there.  With that background info and now that you know what I was thinking- here’s my take on the cryptic poem.

 

As I have gone alone in there     Forrest would go there alone


And with my treasures bold,     I'm not sure let's skip for now

 

I can keep my secret where,     I'm not sure let's skip for now

 

And hint of riches new and old.      I'm not sure let's skip for now 

 

Begin it where Warm Waters Halt-   Cold Spring Rd Montana

  

And take it to the Canyon Down -   Hmnn.....there's a Bear Trap Canyon down river on the Madison River near Ennis Lake Montana  or a Bear Trap Canyon Rd & a Bear Trap Canyon National Trail.  That's odd- let's investigate this further. 

 

Not Far, but too far to Walk-      Sounds like I need a car or boat- too far to walk it

 

Put in Below the Home of Brown-     Madison River is known for Brown Trout fish and they live below the water

 

From There No place for the Meek-    McAllister, Montana

 

The End is Ever Drawing Nigh-     The end of the search is drawing near

 

There’ll be no Paddle Up Your Creek -     Barn Creek Rd is at the lower part of the Madison River. I don't need a paddle to use it. 

 

Just Heavy Loads and Water High-         Heavy loads of electric current= power plant/power lines  Water high means the lower Madison River (from what I read) & has high water . Also heavy loads and water high are fishing terms.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze-      One of the definitions of blaze is marker.  People were looking for one outside, but I think he meant the marker on the map, (the marker on the website with the symbol ( i ) .   I'll talk about this clue later.   (Edit May 2018, my current theory is that it has to be a marker above the treasure.)

 

Look Quickly Down, your Quest to Cease-      Look down once you get to the marker at the site

 

But tarry Scant with Marvel Gaze-     A little tar on it perhaps & a spectacular site of riches in the chest

 

So why is it that I must go       So why is it that I must go away?    He possibly meant die.

 

]And leave my trove for all to seek     And leave my treasure trove (it’s hidden above ground, not buried) for everyone to find

 

The answers I already know        The answers I already know.

 

I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak       I’m very tired and now I’m weak.

 

Just take the chest & go in peace -    Just take the chest quietly- don't scream like an idiot saying I found it.  Be subtle and inconspicuous

  

So here me all and listen good         So all of you listen and listen carefully

 

Your effort will be worth the cold-   It's worth the cold temperatures

 

If you are brave and in the wood-      If you're brave and in the woods... near a tree?

 

I give you title to gold (good)      I'll give you title to the gold for good

 

So all of this tells me it's at the Madison River, near McAllister, Montana.  Okay so let's take another look at the top of the poem to see if that reveals anything else.  This is what was going through my head anyway.  I've got to really read this & put the pieces together.

 

As I have gone alone in there-      I've gone there by myself


And with my treasures bold,    I've gone there boldly with my treasure


I can keep my secret where,     I can keep my secret to my favorite fly fishing spot on the Madison River and also to where my treasure chest is hidden


And hint of riches new and old.-    I believe old riches were the times Forrest spent with his dad fishing and new riches is the treasure he hid there in this contest.

 

What's the theme here?  He treasured his time fishing with his dad on the Madison River as a kid.  Life is an adventure, go outside and do stuff.  It's a place near and dear to his heart.  And now I learned it's something he can do by himself.  So I googled the Madison River and learned it's known for fly fishing.  Do It Yourself is similar to    As I have gone alone in there   the first verse in the poem.  So combine that with fly fishing & zoning in on that in my google search led me to the website below.

https://diyflyfishing.com/madison-river/#8/45.474/-111.658

However, something about this website seemed off.  Something about it just wasn't right. It seemed fishy (pun intended).  I was listening to my inner Thomas Magnum detective instincts and my little voice/spidey sense was ringing loud saying, ”Mark I smell a rat.” The author of the website is Ken Sperry.  His bio says he has 40+ years of fishing experience, yet he looks like he’s only 40 years old.  Ken also rhymes with Fenn and Sperry is a store selling boat shoes.  So I think that Ken Sperry is really a pen name for Forrest Fenn the sportsman or the fisherman. And I also believe this website is related to the treasure hunt.

As I looked at the website closer I saw a map of the Madison River and decided to look at it.  It’s filled with various symbols indicating different spots and points of interest.  When I zoomed in to look at the lower part of the Madison River near Lake Ennis this is when I stumbled upon the clue of a lifetime in my opinion.  It was a point of interest on the map labeled with the symbol ( i ).  And when I hovered over it, it said FF Treasure. 

https://diyflyfishing.com/madison-river/#12/45.4794/-111.6486

I thought to myself Oh my god!  I think I just found the map to Forrest Fenn’s treasure!  I triple checked it to see if I was hallucinating, but it was there every time I went back.  I knew what no one else in the world knew outside of Forrest Fenn!  Going back to the poem I believe this is what Forrest meant when he said   If you’ve been wise and found the blaze.  I think the blaze is the marker on the map. I also realized this was bear country- black bears and grizzlies.  Naturally I had an Indiana Jones type reaction, "Bears, why'd it have to be bears?"  As if that wasn't bad enough there were also mountain lions, wolves, moose, etc. all of which would be more than happy to ruin my day.  Okay back to the website- unfortunately I missed, or at least didn't study the next part, as close as I should have until it was too late.  Below the map of the Madison River is a link to an app.  If you copy and paste it, it shows a youtube video explaining the various benefits of downloading the app such as being able to get directions to various places to fish and points of interests on the map. 

https://diyflyfishing.com/app/

I believe this was really a way to get pinpoint directions to the treasure chest.  I also believe there was a homing device or GPS inside the treasure chest similar to the scene in the movie No Country for Old Men which had a homing device inside the suitcase filled with money.  I believe that’s how the winners beat me on Tuesday April 24th 2018.  They had the app with the GPS directions leading them right to the treasure chest and I didn’t.  I only had the map- so I was using landmarks like the blue house and the island on google maps.  I wasn’t sure if I could cross the Madison River or if I had to hike up the West side of it and that’s what cost me the treasure in my opinion.  Once the chest was found I believe there were instructions to turn the GPS tracking device off.  Why do I think that?  Because I found the app later on Tuesday night and I tried using it the next day on Wednesday April 25, 2018 just to see if it worked.  It didn’t work and the FF Treasure point of interest symbol was gone on the app!  It's still there on the map on the website, but when one tries using the app the symbol is gone!  I think the reason for this is because it was disabled by the team who found the treasure.

So to sum it up.  I believe Forrest Fenn’s treasure was hidden near Ennis Lake near the Madison River in Montana.  I’m not sure if the town is McAllister, Montana or Ennis, Montana, but it was hidden where the map on the website indicates. I believe it was on top of a small flat gray platform, underneath and lying next to a tree, with a little barbwire fencing to the side of it- perhaps to keep animals away from it.  I saw that during my search, but I thought I was too late at the point. I also believe it was found on Tuesday April 24th, 2018 around noon by a team of 3 people in a light blue sedan who beat me to it by minutes.  I was in a gray Toyota Camry.  I think they stayed in the same hotel as me.  Here's why- on my way to dinner on Monday April 23rd 2018 I overheard three people in the hallway talking.  They seemed really happy. I wasn't trying to eavesdrop, but fate is a mysterious thing sometimes.   One of them said, "I can't believe you put it all together.  I had most of it, but couldn't figure it out."   I thought to myself, "Oh no they found the map.  They have the treasure.  It's over."  I was really down and frustrated at dinner, but decided to go search the next day anyway.  I didn't come all the way to Montana from the Midwest just for a hamburger.   On Tuesday I thought I saw them again, we passed each other twice that day- I believe it was the same folks in the hallway, it was hard to see, but that's who it looked like.  Once when I was walking on Ennis Lake Rd they drove by me (and when that happened I realized they didn't have the treasure chest yet. Now it was an all out sprint!), the other time was when I was driving on Barn Creek Rd and they were leaving, that's when I thought they had the treasure chest and it was over.  Why?  Because they had left too soon.  You don''t drive 1.5 hours to a place to search and then leave after only 40 minutes unless you've got the treasure chest.

So you're probably wondering well if they found it why hasn't there been an announcement yet?  I believe that there hasn't been an announcement yet because the winners are talking to Forrest Fenn as well as their attorneys right now.  They also had to drive back home from Montana. I doubt they took a plane or a train back with the treasure.  That process takes time.  If it was me I'd do the same thing, I would have driven back home, waited until I put the treasure in a safe deposit box, and then sought legal advice as well as advice from Forrest. No doubt the government will try and stake their claim to this fortune since it was on public land, which could result in a lawsuit.  I also wouldn't rush and yell out, "Hey look everyone I won the treasure hunt!  I've got $2 million worth of rare gold, jewels etc. in my car trunk!"  I'd keep a low profile and that's what they're doing right now in my opinion.

So, what was the main theme in the poem?  What was the big picture?  What was Forrest Fenn was really trying to say?  I believe the big picture, main theme of what Forrest was trying to say is that life is an adventure.  Go outside and do stuff.  He treasured the time when he went fishing with his dad on the Madison River as a kid just like I treasured the time I played catch with my dad as kid.  I also believe he was saying that not all treasures are in a treasure chest.  Some of the best ones are spending time with loved ones.  I’d give anything to have one more catch with my dad, just like I’m sure he’d love to have one more fishing trip with his dad, but unfortunately both of them are gone now.  He even mentioned that money isn't everything, but it makes life a lot easier of which I agree 100%.  Anyway that’s my theory, I was so steadfast in my belief that I put up my own money and flew out to Montana on Monday April 25th, 2018 to see if I was right.  Unfortunately, one team beat me to the spot. One team out of 350,000 people!  That's a tough pill to swallow.  I finished 2nd despite being a middle aged guy in his 40's who had never hiked, backpacked or even been to the mountains before, much less I did it all by myself.  So, not exactly a poor showing for one of the biggest longshots in this contest.  The odds in Vegas on a guy like me would have been astronomical!  Unfortunately, second in a race like this pays the same as last- and that absolutely sucks!  Just like Butler University in the national championship game a few years ago vs Duke I was a Gordon Hayward mid range jumper and a half court heave away, both shots which missed by mere inches from shocking the world!  The guy no one gave a chance to win, with no treasure hunting experience to speak of, almost won it all!  Well almost won a lot, but not quite all.  Wherever you are dad- I miss you and I love you!  This one was for you!  Only time will tell if I’m right or if it’s yet, just another flawed theory in the biggest treasure hunt of all-time. 

 

2016 Wide Receiver Busts

Allen Robinson- This is more about where he’s going and less about him as a talented player.  Robinson is currently going #13 overall.  While I like his talent, that is way too pricey for me.  I’m expecting his touchdowns and yards to regress a little.  The touchdowns were very high last year and having Julius Thomas and Marqise Lee back might cut into that amount.  In addition, an improved defense makes it less likely the Jaguars throw it as often as last year.  If one or more of those things play out, Robinson’s numbers would suffer.  I think he’s more of a 3rd or 4th round grade than an early 2nd rounder.  For that reason he’s a bust imo.

Brandon Marshall- Same song different dance- Marshall reminds me a little of Terrell Owens.  He’s a big physical receiver in great shape and is such a beast to tackle.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, a journeyman quarterback,  had a career year last year. Question#1- Can he repeat it?  If so he’ll have to do it against some tough opponents.  The Jets schedule is brutal.  In addition, as good of shape as Marshall is in, he’s still in his 30’s and Father Time is undefeated.  He’s going #18 overall, I’d take him in the 3rd- which is not a huge bust- but his age and the Jets schedule do not bode well for a stellar season.

Alshon Jeffery- Jeffery is best described as the best house in a bad neighborhood.  He’s one of the few playmakers on the Bears.  Chicago is terrible on offense and their line is a train wreck.  Jay Cutler will be under constant pressure this season.  In addition, Jeffery has had his own troubles staying healthy with a variety of soft tissue injuries.  Spending the #27 overall pick for an injury prone player on a bad team is asking for trouble. 

Sammy Watkins- Well I was scared of his foot prior to week one as I noted in my other article “2016 ADP analysis”.  A recent report after week 1 confirms Watkins’s foot still isn’t right.  This might be something that plagues him all year or causes him to miss time.  The same injury forced Dez Bryant and Kevin Durant to miss a lot of time.  He’s simply too much of an injury risk- the talent is clearly there.  Still though at #30 overall I’m not risking a pick that early on a player who could miss significant time. 

Demaryius Thomas- The Broncos quarterback situation is shaky at best.  They’re going to run the ball and play defense which spells bad news for Denver receivers.  How Thomas is being drafted this high is beyond me.  Maybe it’s because pot is legal out there.  Are you drafters high when you’re making this pick?  Don’t get me wrong Thomas is very talented, but the situation out in the Rocky Mountains is awful, well unless you’re into smoking pot- then it’s probably ideal haha!  This one has bust written all over it.   

2016 Running Back Busts

 

Devonta Freeman- His adp is 14th overall and he’s in a time share with Tevin Coleman.  Freeman had a great year last year, but remember the favorite to win the job last year was Coleman not Freeman.  Tevin Coleman has more speed than Freeman and also has the ability to take any carry for a touchdown- he’s that explosive.  The reason Freeman won the job last year was because Coleman injured his ribs early last year.  It hampered him all year, but now he’s healthy.  A post hype sleeper- drafters are overvaluing Freeman and undervaluing Coleman to the point that Freeman is one of my busts.

CJ Anderson- At the time of this writing CJ Anderson had a huge game already against a stout Carolina defense.  That said, I’m sticking to my convictions that he could be a bust.  I like Anderson’s talent as a player, but don’t like his situation.   The Denver quarterback situation is shaky at best.  It’s only a matter of time until rookie Paxton Lynch gets the call.  Most rookie quarterbacks struggle their first season.  I don’t expect it to be any different with Lynch.  The Broncos offense should struggle as well- my thinking less potent Broncos offense equals less points for their running backs.  The #31 overall pick is too high for a running back on a lousy offensive team.

Thomas Rawls-  Rawls was one of the darlings of 2015, helping many fantasy owners to titles.  Unfortunately, the clock might have struck midnight on this Cinderella.  He’ll cost a pretty penny to get him at #35 overall.  The ankle wasn’t right all preseason.  Will it hold up?  If it holds up, will he be the same back?   The strong preseason by Christine Michael and a subpar Seahawks offensive line are additional red flags that make Rawls another bust candidate at his price point.

Carlos Hyde- Also at the time of this writing Hyde went berserk against a very stout Rams defense.  The Rams might have the best defensive front seven in football.  That said, I think Hyde’s success was more a part of the Rams lousy offensive performance and less a part of the 49’ers excellence.  San Francisco didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard.  Many of their best plays were quarterback scrambles by Blaine Gabbert.  In addition, they play the Cardinals and Seahawks twice which will be challenging games to say the least.  Hyde is going right after Rawls at #36 overall and this guy has yet to do much to warrant this high of a pick on a lousy team.

DeMarco Murray- It’s hard to believe it’s been only two years since Murray led the NFL in rushing.  Leaving Dallas and going to Philly was a huge mistake.  He’s hoping a move to Tennessee might be better.  No one has an offensive line as good as the Cowboys though so put notions of that magical season out of your head right now.  The Titans defense is not the best either, which should force the Titans to abandon the run game.  In addition, they drafted Heisman trophy winner, Derrick Henry, in the 2nd round.  Henry could vulture some goal line scores and force a rbbc.  Murray’s also not the most durable guy, if he gets hurt Henry’s strong preseason could relegate him to the bench. At #47 overall he’s not a huge bust at that price range, but I’d rather invest in someone else than take a chance on this rbbc situation. 

2016 Wide Receiver Sleepers

I feel compelled to write an articles on sleepers, probably because this site is called sleepers and busts. Here are some undervalued guys as well as some wide outs you can grab later in your drafts or off the waiver wire.

Donte Moncrief (Indy) - He's more undervalued than a prototypical sleeper.  He’s going later than guys like Demaryius Thomas and Alshon Jeffery despite the fact that he’s on a more explosive offense with a better quarterback.  When the Colts get in the red zone, and they will, he’s the tallest of the Colt receivers so he’ll be the guy Luck looks for.  The Colts defense is terrible so they’ll have to keep passing to keep up with opponents.  Indy is a run and shoot type of team like the Houston Oilers were under Warren Moon years ago.  I could see Moncrief being a top ten wide receiver, possibly surpassing AJ Green if things break right. 

Michael Floyd (Ariz)-  Floyd is another guy who is probably more of a breakout candidate than a traditional sleeper, but semantics aside I think he’s undervalued.  He’s quietly being overlooked by many drafters, but Floyd could have a monster season.  The Cardinals like to pass and he’s their top dog.  Once he healed up from a finger injury last year, around mid-season, he came on strong.  He plays on one of the most explosive offenses in the league and has ideal size near the goal line.

Josh Gordon (Clev)- He’s suspended for the first four games- maybe him and Brady can do lunch?  He looked awesome in the preseason against Tampa.  This guy is a big play machine.  He led the NFL in yardage only a few years ago and you can get him cheap. There will be plenty of garbage points to be had in the 4th quarter of Cleveland games.  He's worth the risk.

Sterling Shepard (NY Giants)- He’s drawn rave reviews in camp and the Giants love to pass the ball.  With Odell Beckham drawing double teams he could quickly put up solid numbers. And if Victor Cruz gets hurt again- he could become a ppr monster.

Markus Wheaton (Pitt)- Martavis Bryant’s year long suspension creates an opening on a powerful Steelers squad.  Wheaton can fly and asked to move from the slot to the outside.  It could translate into some big plays. Antonio Brown can’t catch all of the passes in Pittsburgh can he? 

Tyrell Williams (SD)- Well I liked him before the season because he was having a good camp.  The reason I was high on him- he has the size and speed to make big plays.  He also plays on a Chargers team with a lousy defense and poor running attack- so there should be plenty of chances.  I figured Travis Benjamin might get hurt because he’s a smaller receiver. At the time of this writing it was Keenan Allen who got hurt today.  He tore his acl- so unfortunately for Allen it’s next man up.  That might awaken Tyrell Williams into a more prominent role and it doesn’t hurt when Phillip Rivers is throwing him the rock.

Marqise Lee (Jack)- Few people remember that Lee was taken ahead of fellow teammate Allen Robinson in one of the best NFL drafts for wide receivers in recent times.  At one point in college Lee was ranked as a top 10 overall pick right near Sammy Watkins.  Lee’s health has hampered his NFL career so far, but he’s healthy now.  He has solid hands and runs well after the catch.  Allen Hurns is moving into the slot with Lee moving outside so he could get loose for some big plays.  The Jaguars offense is emerging into one of the better ones and you can get Lee for a song in most drafts. It never hurts playing the Titans and Colts twice a year either.

Mike Wallace (Balt)- Wallace takes his talents to Baltimore where he finally works with a quarterback capable of getting him the rock again.  The last time was when he was with the Steelers and had Big Ben throwing to him.  Joe Flacco has one of the strongest arms in the NFL- it seems like a perfect match with Wallace's best asset- his blazing speed.  The Ravens like to pass it under offensive coordinator Mark Trestman. They play a good schedule which should ensure plenty of shootouts, including facing off against the Steelers twice where, no doubt, he'll be motivated.  He's more valuable in non-ppr leagues, but when he makes catches they usually go for big gains.  The best part- Wallace can be had dirt cheap in most drafts.  I'm buying.

2016 Running Back Sleepers

Christine Michael (Seattle)- I know I know you've heard this song before, but I sense something different about him this year.  Michael came on strong late last year.  He had a strong preseason.  The word out of camp was that he's had an awakening.  Little things like he’s listening to coaches about switching the ball to the correct side now indicate that he knows this is his final shot.  His attitude has changed for the better.  He ran with power and determination versus the Cowboys and if Rawls breaks down the gig is his.  At worst he's in a rbbc and with Marshawn Lynch’s retirement someone has to run the ball in Seattle.  The Seahawks offensive line is bad, but their defense should keep games close enough to provide plenty of rushing attempts.

Tevin Coleman  (Atlanta)- Few people remember that Coleman was the favorite to win the running back job last season in Atlanta, not Freeman.  He suffered a rib injury early last year which hampered him much of the season.  Coleman is faster and possibly better at catching the ball than Freeman.  With his speed he is a big play machine and he has the size to hold up.  He was 2nd in the nation in rushing yards in college at Indiana and the last time I checked the Hoosiers aren’t exactly a football powerhouse.  The addition of free agent center Alex Mack helps the line and with Julio Jones the Falcons have plenty of firepower to score points.  Even if he splits the carries with Freeman he could turn some of those carries into big plays.  He reminds me of a young Chris Johnson.  And they didn’t call him CJ2K for nothing.

Arian Foster (Miami)- I think he’s the bell cow back in Miami not Ajayi.  When he plays he’s one of the best in the league.  He’s one of the few backs you can get late who can be an every down back.  Ajayi’s knee has no cartilage so I doubt he can handle a full work load.  The question with Foster is can he hold up after recovering from an Achilles injury?  He looked great in camp.   A lot of people have written him off.  They wrote him off a few years ago and he surprised folks.  I believed in him then and I believe in him now.  He’s worth a shot and he won’t cost you that much.

DeAngelo Williams (Pitt)- Not exactly a sleeper in the traditional sense, but I’m worried about LeVeon Bell’s knee holding up.  He injured two ligaments last year- naturally that’s when I owned Bell.  Torn knees aren’t easy to come back from.  Bell’s looked good in his limited preseason appearance, but he’s broken down two years in a row now.  If Bell doesn’t hold up or fails another drug test you’ve won the lottery.  The Steelers are one of the most powerful offenses in the league.  Owning their starting running back is gold Jerry gold! And even if Bell doesn’t get hurt he’s suspended the first three weeks so you’ve got a top running back to help get your team off to a good start.

Duke Johnson (Clev)- I love Duke’s talent.  His receiving skills are top notch and he has the ability to be an every down back.  In ppr’s he’s a star.  He reminds scouts of LeSean McCoy.  There are plenty of garbage yards to be had in the 4th quarter when Cleveland is trailing.  And if anything happens to Isaiah Crowell Duke's the man. 

Keith Marshall (Wash)- He was put on the pup list so this is more of a guy to keep a close eye on.  The Redskins could have cut him, but didn’t which speaks volumes.  It tells me they still believe in him.  If Matt Jones breaks down or continues to fumble the ball, a distinct possibility, Marshall could get the call midseason.  In college he was more highly touted than teammate Todd Gurley at Georgia.  Yes the same Todd Gurley who plays for the Rams and went in the first round of most fantasy drafts.  A knee injury launched Gurley ahead of him.  Marshall’s finally recovered from it.  He has the size and speed to be a difference maker if he can regain the old form. Longshot Pick

ADP (Average Draft Position)- Player Analysis- Top 192

Source- adp’s taken from Fantasy Pros (Sept 9, 2016)

 

1.    Antonio Brown Wr- Hard to argue with Brown.  He’s on one of the most explosive offenses in the league and is a monster in ppr (point per reception) leagues. The problem if you go wide receiver is it’s a long wait until you get to pick a running back. As consistent as they come.  Solid and safe.

 

2.    Odell Beckham Wr- As good as Brown is I like Beckham more- at least in non ppr leagues.  He seems more explosive to me when I watch the highlights..  Doesn’t get as many chances as Brown which is puzzling.  Note he’s off to one of the best starts ever in the NFL as a young receiver.

 

3.    Todd Gurley Rb- Looks like another version of AP.  A work horse back.  Runs with unparalleled speed and power.  The risk is a previous knee injury in college.  Can he hold up over the course of a 16 game season?  Unfortunately the Rams offense doesn’t give him much help.  Their line is awful and young rookie quarterback Goff needs time.  Plays a tough schedule.  A little high for me here at 3rd overall.

 

4.    Julio Jones Wr- Jones is a prototypical number 1.  Has elite speed and size to outjump defenders.  Not as many touchdowns as you’d think- perhaps due to Matt Ryan adjusting to a new offense. 

 

5.    David Johnson Rb- My #1 running back and overall #1 player on the board.  The reason- has the chance to score big points at a premium position.  The drop off at running back is off a cliff.  An electric game changing back who can score anytime he touches it.  Possess elite receiving skills which he developed in college when he played wide receiver.  Plays on an explosive offense in the Cardinals.  The risk- if Bruce Arians splits his carries with Chris Johnson that would make him not worth the price tag.. The reward outweighs the risk for me.  I’m all in.  I’ll wait until the 2ndround to address wide receiver. 

 

6.    Adrian Peterson Rb- One of greatest running backs of all time.  His speed and power are legendary.  Unfortunately, like Gurley, AP plays on a below average offense.  Bradford might help, but the Vikings line needs to improve their run blocking to help spring him for big gains.  He was stopped too often near the goal line.  Not as valuable in ppr leagues-  doesn’t get as many catches as other running backs.  Still a force to be reckoned with every Sunday.

 

7.    Ezekiel Elliott Rb-  Some scouts called him the best player in the draft.  Rarely goes down on the first tackle.  Can catch the ball well out of the backfield.  Looks legit to me after seeing him play against Seattle.  Running behind the all pro Cowboys line looks like a perfect match. Romo’s loss hurts the offense.  It comes down to whether Dak Prescott can hold his own at quarterback.  If he can look out!  With Romo gone Dallas could run the read option like Seattle does with Russell Wilson.  It could be problematic for opposing defenses.  Worth the first round price tag. I’m buying.

 

8.    DeAndre Hopkins Wr- How he put up the numbers he did last year I’ll never know.  The Texans had nothing at quarterback last year and no one opposite of Hopkins to worry about.  Should do well again with more weapons added to the offense.  The risk- Houston lost rookie center Nick Martin to an injury.  Can the line protect Osweiler long enough to get it to Hopkins? 

 

9.    Rob Gronkowski TE- One of the greatest tight ends ever to play, but 9th overall is too rich for me.  A hamstring injury in August plus losing Brady for the first four games kills his value at this price point.

 

10.  AJ Green Wr- One of the games top wide receivers.  Can score anytime he catches it.  Played on a run centered offense when previous offensive coordinator Hue Jackson ran the show.  Will new offensive coordinator,  Ken Zampese, who was promoted from within, keep things the same or open up the passing game?  Andy Dalton struggles with the deep pass.  AJ might be a little overvalued here.

 

11. Lamar Miller Rb-  Not sure about Miller.  If he was so good why did Miami not utilize him more?  Why did they let him go?  Can he hold up with a full workload?  He’s not a big back so I fear an injury risk is higher here.  Can the questionable Texans line block for him?  Too risky for me in the 1st. but in the 2nd I’ll roll the dice

 

12.  LeVeon Bell Rb- The ultimate risk/reward player.  If his knee holds up he’s a monster- especially in ppr leagues where he catches a ton of passes.  He’ll miss the first 3 games due to a suspension.  If you get him then grabbing DeAngelo Williams is a must.  The knee concerns me.  He has broken down two years in a row.  Possible bust due to injury. I’d probably look elsewhere.

 

13.  Allen Robinson Wr- Up and comer who has made vast improvements to his game in a short amount of time.  Touchdowns and yards could regress though.  Fully priced here- too rich for me.  Pass.

 

14.  Devonta Freeman Rb-  Looks like a solid player, but beware of Tevin Coleman who I like better.  Coleman is an electric back drafted by the current front office.  Coleman broke his ribs early last year which hampered his season. He’s healthy now.  Looks like a rbbc (running back by committee) here.  Because of that Freeman looks like a huge bust because of his high price tag. Not for me.

 

15.  Dez Bryant Wr- One of the top five talents at wide receiver.  Dez is a game breaker.  The risk- he plays in a run heavy offense and losing Romo hurts.  Can Dak get him the rock and move the chains?  Can Dez hold off the injuries?  I say he’s still worth the risk in the 2nd.

 

16. Cam Newton Qb- A quarterback built like a linebacker who can fly.  Often gets the call at the goal line.  Reminds me of former quarterback Daunte Culpepper.  Cam racks up points in standard leagues where touchdown passes are only worth 4 points.  That said this seems too high for any quarterback.  His running attempts make him susceptible to more hits and injuries.  I’ll pass here.

 

17.  Jordy Nelson Wr- If the knee holds up he’s a value here.  Probably will take a few weeks until he’s playing all of the snaps.  If your patient he could pay major dividends for your team down the road.  Has one of the best in the business throwing him the rock.  I’m buying.

 

18. Brandon Marshall Wr-    Reminds me of Terrell Owens.  A physical force who’s a beast to tackle.  Jets play a brutal schedule and this guy is no spring chicken who is now in his 30’s.  Because of that I’d take him in the 3rd but not the 2nd.

 

19.   Jamaal Charles Rb- He’s coming off another major knee injury.  Too rich for me here.  In the 3rd I’d consider him.  In the 4th he’s a great value.  Pass here.

 

20.  Eddie Lacy Rb- He seems more focused this year.  It’s a contract year.  Vowed to get in better shape after the Coach McCarthy called him out.  He’s in a time share with Starks as the Packers like to save the wear and tear on their backs.  Still a good pick in the 2nd because of that powerful offense.

 

21.   Mike Evans Wr- An elite young talent who’s developing a rapport with Jameis Winston.  Should take a giant step up this season as Winston improves.  Like him here.

 

22.   Mark Ingram Rb- When he plays he puts up points.  The problem is he gets injured a lot.  Apparently it’s been more fluke injuries than ones that linger.  The Saints lousy line and terrible defense, along with his injuries, are enough to make me pass on him here.

 

23.  Doug Martin Rb- Did well last year, but way too rich for my blood here. He’s an injury risk as well. Pass. 

 

24.  Keenan Allen Wr- A monster in ppr leagues who was doing great until an injury ended his season.  He’s good but the Chargers line scares me a little.  I like others better here.  Give me Amari Cooper instead. 

 

25.  Aaron Rodgers Qb- One of the best in the league.  I prefer Luck because he gets more passing yards, but it’s dealer’s choice.  I think the Pack will run more this year, but I’m confident Rodgers bounces back- mainly because I had him last year when he was terrible and didn’t get him this year. The famous Mark jinx is in full effect here.  Plays a good schedule as well.

 

26.  LeSean McCoy Rb- Could get more goal line looks now that Karlos Williams is gone. He should thank him and buy him dinner haha! That said, he’s had a ton of work over the years.  McCoy’s not the biggest back- he might start wearing down soon.  He’s a bigger risk to slow down than AP in my opinion.  I’m passing.

 

27. Alshon Jeffery Wr- The Bears offense is horrible.  They don’t have a line and Jeffery has a history of soft tissue injuries.  Bust

 

28.  Amari Cooper Wr- Played hurt last year. Not as big or fast as Julio Jones, but man can he run routes.  Scouts compare him to former Colts receiver Reggie Wayne.  He’s healthy now and is likely to improve.  Love him here.

 

29.  Brandin Cooks Wr- Started off slow last year, but came on midseason.  The Saints spread the ball around too much for me with those multiple receiver sets.  Size hinders his red zone chances.  Brees is another year older.  I’ll pass.

 

30. Sammy Watkins Wr- Has the same foot injury that sidelined Dez and Kevin Durant.  If he’s healthy all year- he’d be a 1st rounder.  He’s that good.  The foot scares me which is why I’ll pass on him here. In the 4th I’d roll the dice, but he’ll be long gone by then.

 

31. CJ Anderson Rb- A dynamic back, but he’s in a committee now with the rookie Devontae Booker.  Trevor Siemian at quarterback doesn’t help his touchdown totals.  I’ll pass

 

32.  Demaryius Thomas Wr- Denver will run the ball.  That spells bad news for their wide receivers.  This has bust written all over it.

 

33.  Russell Wilson Qb- The most elusive quarterback in football, however, the Seahawks line is shaky at best.  He could get beat up.  I’ll pass.

 

34.  TY Hilton Wr- A speed demon whose stats were hurt when Luck went down.  I like him, but I like Moncrief more.

 

35. Thomas Rawls Rb- A bad ankle and an emerging Christine Michael make this a risky pick.  No way am I spending a 3rd rounder on Rawls when I can get Michael eight rounds later. Looks like a rbbc timeshare to me. Pass.

 

36.  Carlos Hyde Rb- This guy did nothing last year.  He was hurt so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.  He might be a good back, but the 49’ers are terrible on both sides of the ball.  They’ll be trailing and forced to pass.  And he gets to face Seattle and Arizona twice.  How is he going this early?  Bust

 

37. Jordan Reed TE- Way too early for any tight end.  He has a history of injury issues. No chance.

 

38.  Latavius Murray Rb- An improved Raiders line saves this pick.  He wore down last year so they’ll conserve his touches.  I’m worried he breaks down.  He’s not the most durable guy.  I’d look elsewhere if possible.

 

39.  Matt Forte Rb- A once elite back is nearing the end of the line.  The loss of Khiry Robinson to injury helps him with more touchdown chances.  That said, he’s still in a time share with Bilal Powell.  Way too early for a running back in his 30’s. Bust

 

40.  Randall Cobb Wr- Could not beat the double teams once Jordy got hurt.  Moves back into the slot now where he flourishes.  A lot of owners were burned last year which makes him a good value.  I’m buying.

 

41. Jarvis Landry Wr- The Dolphins look lost in the preseason as they’re learning a new offense.  If DeVante Parker ever gets on the field Landry could play 2nd fiddle to him.  Much too high here- no upside. Bust

 

42. Greg Olsen TE- Too early for tight ends.  Pass

 

43.  Andrew Luck Qb- The #1 quarterback on my board.  If the Colts protect him he’ll put up monster numbers.  He’s a game changer.  The risk is worth the reward for me.  Steal here.

 

44.  Julian Edelman Wr- A monster in ppr leagues, but the additions of Martellus Bennett and Chris Hogan could reduce his opportunities.  Losing Brady for the first four games doesn’t help.  Bust.

 

45.  Jonathan Stewart Rb- He usually breaks down over the course of a season and has Cam stealing his touchdowns.  Seriously I don’t get the Stewart love.  No thanks.  Bust.

 

46. Doug Baldwin Wr- Took over in the 2nd half last year. Plays with a chip on his shoulder which is always a good thing. Looks like the go to man after Jimmy Graham was hurt.  Doesn’t get a ton of yards, but the touchdown totals are interesting.  I’m going to wait and see this year. I like others better here, but will keep an eye on him this season.

 

47.  Demarco Murray Rb- Hard to believe two years ago he set the NFL on fire in Dallas.  He should have stayed there.  If I was a running back I would never voluntarily leave a team with that line in front of me.  And I didn’t even mention those Dallas cheerleaders.  Do the Titans even have cheerleaders?  Beware of rookie Derrick Henry who had a tremendous preseason.  He could vulture touchdowns and take carries away from Murray.  This situation has committee written all over it.  No thanks I’ll pass on Murray. Can I draft the Dallas cheerleaders instead?

 

48.  Jeremy Hill Rb- Hill burned a lot of owners last year because they overvalued him.  Cincinnati runs a committee between him and Bernard.  You don’t take running backs in a committee in the late 1st or early 2nd round.  If Bernard gets hurt Hill could put up impressive numbers again.  Cincy’s offense is solid.  That said, this still seems a bit early. I’d rather go after a wide receiver.

 

49.  Eric Decker Wr- A touchdown machine last year.  Fitzpatrick had a career year last season.  The Jets schedule is tough though.  I like other wide receivers better.  I’ll pass.

 

50.  Drew Brees Qb- Another year older and a tougher schedule are worrisome. I’d rather be early to the party than late.  Pass

 

51.  Kelvin Benjamin Wr- Not the worst pick because of his talent, but he plays on a run oriented team which limits his upside.  If I’m picking receivers I want them to be on teams that like to pass it. I know I’m picky like that.  He’s coming off a torn acl which is another concern.  I’ll go after others like Moncrief or Floyd instead.

 

52. Jeremy Maclin Wr- Moves inside with the emergence of Chris Conley.  Limited upside because of Alex Smith, who refuses to throw the ball into a crowd.  I’d pass here.

 

53. Ben Roethlisberger Qb- One of the games’ best.  He can literally win you a week some Sundays because of the Steelers hurry up passing offense.  Needs another wide receiver to emerge next to Brown to help his totals.  Plays a great schedule.  I’m buying.

 

54.  Ryan Mathews Rb- The Eagles offense is terrible.  No way a rookie quarterback from North Dakota State comes into the NFL and does well right away. They’re not exactly playing SEC opponents over there ya’ know.  It will take some time. I predict 2016 is a long year for the Philly offense which includes Mathews.  I’m avoiding all Eagles.  Bust

 

55. Golden Tate Wr- Did well when Calvin Johnson was injured.  Can he be the go to guy now that he’s gone?  Can he stay healthy? He’s not the biggest wide receiver out there.  This seems risky for me here. I think the yards will be spread out evenly between him and Marvin Jones.  Not a Stafford fan and Jones is cheaper.  Pass

 

56. Donte Moncrief Wr- My sleeper/breakout special.  He’ll get a lot of looks in the red zone too since he’s the biggest wide receiver on the Colts. He has some wheels as well.  If the Colts can protect Luck, Moncrief could put up top 10 numbers.  I’m all in. Steal

 

57. Travis Kelce TE- Wait on all tight ends until late.  This is crazy early. Pass

 

58. Jeremy Langford Rb- The Bears have no offense and no line.  They lost their starting center for the year. In addition, their best lineman, Kyle Long, is playing hurt,  and Langford is still getting picked here? Are you guys nuts? Are you hitting the bottle? What the heck? I get the I need a running back rationale, but I’d have more respect for someone picking a tight end over Langford, and I hate tight end selections this early. Bust

 

59.  Michael Floyd Wr- He hurt his hand last preseason which contributed to his slow start.  Once it healed up, he turned it on midseason.  Flying under the radar-(see what I did there- flying and he’s a Cardinal, that’s just pure, natural writing talent there folks).  Anyway where was I? Oh yeah Floyd– he’s the go to guy in Arizona. I love him here.  Breakout candidate.  Steal

 

60. Delanie Walker TE- Yet another tight end selection.  No one reads my tight end articles.  Well I guess it could be worse- at least it’s not Jeremy Langford.  Although that’s because he went earlier- ugh!

 

61.  Carson Palmer Qb-  My only concern with Palmer is can he stay healthy?  If he does this is a solid pick. He plays on a team that loves to pass and has plenty of weapons to work with- like Floyd. 

 

62. Larry Fitzgerald Wr- He’s lost a step.  Yardage totals are lacking because he works underneath routes.  Okay for ppr leagues because he gets a lot of catches, but Floyd is younger, has much more upside and is a better value only a few picks earlier.  Pass

 

63.  Melvin Gordon Rb- Terrible rookie year.  He played all year and didn’t score a touchdown?  Seriously the odds of that happening had to be astronomical. He had offseason microfracture surgery in his knee which scares the heck out of me.  The Chargers line is not the best.  Let someone else risk it.  No chance I will.

 

64.  Tom Brady Qb- I can’t believe he’s 39.  He still has zip on his passes.  No signs of slowing down.  Tough schedule is my concern along with the 4 game suspension.  New England plays Denver in week 15- which is a playoff week for many fantasy leagues.  Because of that I’d pass here even though he’s one of my favorite players.

 

65.  Emmanuel Sanders Wr- Trevor who at quarterback?? And eventually they’ll give rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch a shot.  The Broncos are going to run not pass this year. Bust

 

66.  Matt Jones Rb- Jones looked like a star last preseason and then burned me when I picked him up off waivers. He wore down last year, has an injury history, and his fumbling issue didn’t endear him to coaches.  He hurt his shoulder in the preseason.  I think it affects him all year.  Too much risk. Bust

 

67.  Arian Foster Rb- Coming off a torn Achilles is tough.  Miami has struggled on offense in the preseason, but one of the few bright spots has been Foster.  I think he wins the job and is the workhorse back down there.  Not sure if he can hold up over the season, but I’m buying.  Much better value than Matt Jones in my opinion. One of the best in the game when he plays.

 

68.  Coby Fleener TE- Still too early for tight ends.  Wait until the last few rounds. 

 

69. Eli Manning Qb- Eli is at a discount because people still associate him with former coach Tom Coughlin who loved to run the ball.  His current coach likes to pass.  If rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard lives up to the hype Eli could have his best year ever.  Plays a good schedule too.  Love him here.  Steal

 

70. Jordan Mathews Wr- Seriously why do people take players on lousy teams so early?  Will the Eagles ever score?  Bust

 

71. Frank Gore Rb- Liked him a lot more until I saw that Colts line.  They can’t run block at all.  He might score some touchdowns, but the yardage totals won’t be great. That said, he can only improve on his numbers from last year where he had to do it without Luck.  Worth a shot.

 

72.  Giovanni Bernard Rb- More valuable in ppr leagues.  In non ppr leagues this is way too early since he’s in a rbbc.  I like guys who score touchdowns from the one, Jeremy Hill usually scores them not Bernard and since my league isn’t ppr, I’d pass here.

 

73. John Brown Wr- Suffered a concussion injury which lingered with him several weeks.  Only recently has he returned to practice.  Once a player sustains a concussion they’re more susceptible to them in the future.  Major injury risk.  Bust

 

74. Gary Barnidge TE- I give up no one ever listens to me- ugh!  Too early for tight ends especially ones on the Browns.

 

75. Allen Hurns Wr- Tough receiver who fought through injuries last year to have a solid year as one of my former sleepers.  Moves into the slot with Marqise Lee taking over on deeper routes.  My concern is if the Jaguars will throw it as much now that they have a better defense?  Also will Lee steal some targets now that he’s healthy.  I like other wide receiver’s a little better here, but Hurns seems legit to me.  Marqise Lee is a lot cheaper and might be even better than Hurns so if I want a Jaguar wide receiver I’d target him instead.

 

76. Blake Bortles Qb- Not the most glitzy pick and throws his shares of clunkers but man, this guy has some real weapons to throw to now.  Robinson, Hurns , Lee and Julius Thomas are quietly one of the best crews in the league that no one is talking about, well except me that is, although technically I’m writing about them. My only concern with the Jaguars, which I mentioned earlier, are the limited opportunities if their defense improves, but they still play Tennessee and Indy twice which could turn into shootouts.  I’m in.

 

77. Danny Woodhead Rb-  Only worth it if it’s a ppr league.  Anything else it’s a reach.  No upside here.  Pass.

 

78. DeSean Jackson Wr-  Still a dangerous deep threat, but Cousins isn’t known for a strong arm.  Jackson is limited in the red zone because of his size.  Rookie wide receiver Doctson could steal some opportunities as well.  Pass

 

79. Duke Johnson Rb- Love his talent.  Duke has exceptional receiving skills and the potential to be a three down back which is rare.  Reminds scouts of LeSean McCoy.  The risk- the Browns line is bad and RGIII takes too many sacks. If McCown takes over I’d bump him up.  In ppr I’d consider, but I’d wait in non ppr leagues.

 

80. Philip Rivers Qb- It’s too bad they refuse to invest in a line for this guy.  He’s a competitor who wants to win at all costs.  Love his fire.  Rivers is a statue back there though- he needs a clean pocket.  If he has time he’ll pick a defense apart.  Plays a tough schedule being in the AFC West so Von Miller might have something to say about his touchdowns.  Limited upside.  I’ll pass.

 

81. Chris Ivory Rb- Runs hard, but can’t seem to stay healthy. Should have a lot of scoring chances on an emerging Jaguars offense.  Their line is still weak, so yardage totals might be on the lower side.  He’s in a rbbc with TJ Yeldon.  Like others better.

 

82. Rashad Jennings Rb- In the past as a workhorse back he put up good numbers, but would break down.  The release of Andre Williams helps.  He should get the call at the goal line now.  He’s good as long as he holds up- that’s the issue and he’s no spring chicken. I like others better.

 

83. Tyler Lockett Wr- A small, fast receiver and dangerous return man who can score at will.  Seems too small to last over a 16 game season.  This is way too high for me.  Bust.

 

84. DeAngelo Williams Rb- Proved what he could do when given a chance in that offense.  He’s a top running back the first 3 weeks this season while Bell is suspended and if Bell gets hurt you’ve won the lottery. Steal

 

85. Marvin Jones Wr- Worth a shot.  Put up good numbers in Cincy, but lacks elite speed to scare defenses.  Costs a lot less than Golden Tate so if I’m looking for a Lions receiver I’d gamble on Jones over Tate for that reason.  Not a Stafford fan so I like others a little better.  Boldin could steal some touchdowns as well.

 

86. Ameer Abdullah Rb- Not a fan of him or his situation.  Fumbles too much and now that Calvin Johnson is gone Detroit has no one to scare defenses deep.  That should push the safeties up and make it harder to run.  I’m avoiding.

 

87. Josh Gordon Wr- Suspended the first 4 games because of drugs.  Maybe him and Brady can hang out and do lunch.   If it happens again he could be out a year so there are risks.  That said, this guy has serious talent. Looked impressive vs Tampa in the preseason which awoke a lot of people to his sleeper status- including the guys in my league dang it. Why can’t they watch Seinfeld instead? In 2013 he led the NFL in receiving yards.  He’s a big play machine.  It’s rare to find this kind of talent this late.  Despite the risks- I love him here.  Steal.

 

88.  Michael Crabtree Wr- One of the league’s comeback players last year.  Injuries have derailed a once promising career. Still, he joined a team with a good passing game and held up health wise.  He’s a possession receiver more than a big play one, but his size helps his red zone looks.  Has limited upside though.  I think what he did last year is his ceiling.  I’ll pass. 

 

89. Denver Defense – They’re solid, but this is too early for a defense.  Here’s what worries me.  I expect their offense to struggle with moving the ball and will commit a lot of turnovers.  That ultimately hurts a defense.  Losing Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan doesn’t help.  Pass.

 

90. Antonio Gates TE- One of the greatest tight ends of all time, but he’s an old man in a young man’s game.  Still a force near the red zone, but plays limited snaps these days.  No upside here.  Pass

 

91. Derrick Henry Rb- The Heisman trophy winner had an impressive preseason.  He’s in a rbbc and could get the goal line looks because of his size and power.  The risks- the Titan’s defense is awful so they might have to abandon the running game and this guy is not known for his receiving skills.  Other pundits love him.  As for myself he’s okay, but I like others better so I won’t get him.

 

92. Julius Thomas TE- Disappointed last year, but this is an emerging offense.  Might be okay, but still too early for tight ends.  I’ll wait and grab whoever is left.  Not much difference to me.  Pass

 

93. Zach Ertz TE- Too early for tight ends and he plays on a lousy team with a rookie quarterback to boot- are you kidding?  There must be a lot of Eagles fans drafting.  No chance.  Bust. 

 

94. Seattle Defense- Too early for a defense, but man these guys are good.  Probably the best defense in the NFL.  If the offense struggles that hurts their potential since the defensive ends can’t pin their ears back and rush the passer, causing sacks and turnovers. So we’ll see. 

 

95. Stephen Gostkowski K- The first 4 weeks when Brady is gone no way is he a top kicker.  After that maybe.  Add to that this crazy price tag and no chance I’m getting him.  Terrible pick here.  Kickers should always be your last pick. Avoid.

 

96. Sterling Shepard Wr- Now this is more like it.  He’s drawn rave reviews and joins a high powered offense.  I think Victor Cruz is done so he’s becomes the #2 guy in my opinion.  Should see a lot of single coverage with defenses focused on Odell Beckham.  Sleeper. Love him here.

 

97. TJ Yeldon Rb-  Seemed to wear down last year.  The signing of Chris Ivory hurts his value since he’ll get the call at the goal line over TJ. The Jaguars run blocking is terrible.  Needs Ivory to get hurt which is entirely possible.  Still I’ll pass.

 

98. Tyler Eifert TE- When healthy I like him, but he’s hurt to start the year so he’ll miss a few weeks. Will he be the same player when he comes back?  Too risky for me. Pass

 

99. Derek Carr Qb-  This guy is the real deal.  The Raiders signed a tackle Kelemechi Osemele from Baltimore in free agency to help with pass protection and Amari Cooper is healthy now.  Should take another step forward.  Love him here.  Steal.

 

100.   Carolina Defense- They’re solid, but this is too early for a defense is most formats. Pass

 

101.    Kevin White Wr- He’s talented, but raw at least that’s the word on the street.  Still needs to learn how to run routes.  The Bears line is terrible which means Cutler will be under constant duress.  Down the road maybe, but not this year.  Pass.

 

102.   Arizona Defense- Love them.  My top rated defense along with Seattle- it’s a tie 1a and 1b. Their offense is explosive so when the Cardinals get to a lead they cause turnovers and pile up sacks.  Still early for a defense, but if your dead set on getting one this is the one I’d get.

 

103.   Devante Parker Wr- Loved him this year until I saw the Dolphins offense.  Now he’s struggling with another hamstring injury and in the coach’s doghouse.  I still love his talent- he’s fast and big.  Scouts say his ceiling is a prototypical #1 wide receiver, and he compares to DeAndre Hopkins.  Might come on midseason if he can get healthy.  Worth a shot.

 

104.   LeGarrette Blount Rb- He’s a goal line vulture on a strong team.  He can score multiple touchdowns a week or give you next to nothing. Can’t catch passes so he’s more of a non ppr pick.  Worthless until Brady comes back week 5.  Limited upside.  I like others better.

 

105.   Jay Ajayi Rb-  He has no cartilage in his knee.  No way he holds up if he gets a lot of carries.  The Miami job is Foster’s in my opinion.  I want no part of Ajayi.  Bust.

 

106.   Stefon Diggs Wr- Talented receiver on a lousy offense- it breaks my heart- well almost.  Bridgewater was terrible last year- unfortunately he suffered a horrific injury eight days before the start of the season so now Sam Bradford will be the guy.  Diggs might improve on his numbers if Sam is still standing midseason.  The Vikings line is not the best.  Pass

 

107.   Tavon Austin Wr- Another wide receiver who plays on a lousy offense.  Austin gets some points on run plays,  but not enough to get me interested.  The Rams are a running team.  No thanks.  Pass

 

108.   Kirk Cousins Qb- Captain Kirk is now the guy in Washington.  Plays an easy schedule, but I’m not 100% sold on him.  Not the strongest arm in the world either. Can he get the ball to DeSean Jackson for some big plays?  The run game has struggled which doesn’t help.  I like others better.  Time to move on.  Sulu warp 5- Engage!  Oh yeah I’ll pass.

 

109.   Justin Forsett Rb- The situation in Baltimore is mass confusion.  It’s not a rbbc- it’s a party there are so many people in the mix.  Terrance West had a strong preseason.  Dixon might be a factor later in the season.  I’m staying away from this mess.  Avoid

 

110.   Stephen Hauschka K-  Way too early for a kicker.  Pass

 

111.   Willie Snead Wr- Saints spread the ball around too much for me.  Pass

 

112.   Tyrod Taylor Qb- I’m not 100% sold on him, but he’s a sneaky play.  He gets those rushing yards which really add up.  They don’t call him T-Mobile for nothing. If Sammy Watkins can stay healthy- a big if- he has a premier wide receiver to throw to as well.  Playing in Buffalo in December is not ideal, but the price is so cheap he’s worth it.  If you get him get a good backup just in case he doesn’t pan out.

 

113.   Houston Defense- Still too early for a defense.  I’d grab one in the 13th or 14th  in a 15 round draft in most standard formats. This unit is good if JJ Watt is 100% healthy.  He’s recovering from back surgery.  If JaDeveon Clowney does anything they can be a force.

 

114.   Jameis Winston Qb- Had a solid rookie season.  Expect Tampa to open it up now.  Has an emerging star in Mike Evans.  Needs better yardage totals to get me interested, but I think his touchdowns will improve.  I’d want him more as a backup than as a starter- at least for now.

 

115.   Charles Sims Rb- He runs high which leads to a lot of hits.  Sims has outstanding receiving skills which makes him a strong play in ppr leagues.  In addition, if anything happens to Doug Martin- he becomes the guy.  I like others better, but he’s a lottery ticket.  Worth a shot.

 

116.   Jimmy Graham TE- A former elite tight end who was right up there with Gronk now trying to come back from one of the most grueling injuries a player can have- a torn patella tendon.  I don’t see this working out well.  Let someone else take the gamble. The odds are against him.  Avoid

 

117.   Kansas City Defense- Still good, but they’re getting up there in age.  Losing Justin Houston to suspension the first few games doesn’t help.  Pass

 

118.   Torrey Smith Wr- Some of the pundits think he’ll be the guy in Chip’s offense.  I’m not sure.  He’s a burner more than a route runner.  The 49’ers offense is a mess and they play a brutal schedule.  Pass

 

119.   Isiah Crowell Rb- A talented running back in a Hue Jackson offense has potential.  The problem- he’s on the Browns.  Cleveland lost all pro center Alex Mack to free agency and they have no defense- so they’ll be trailing and forced to pass.  That means Duke Johnson is more valuable than Crowell.  Pass

 

120.   Dion Lewis Rb- Lewis came on last year before getting hurt.  Was a ppr monster and scoring like crazy on a prolific offense.  He’s on the pup list- not worth a pick until he’s healthy.  Will he get back to 100% this year?  Maybe.  I’ll pass

 

121.   Graham Gano K- Too early for any kicker. Pass

 

122.   Corey Coleman Wr-  Coleman had a terrific preseason.  Might be okay, but once Gordon comes back I think he’s the guy, not Coleman.  If I’m getting anyone on Cleveland it will be Gordon and then Duke over Coleman.  Since I don’t want too many Browns I’d pass.

 

123.   Andy Dalton Qb- Never been a big fan, but he was having a career year until he got hurt.  Losing Eifert to injury and Marvin Jones to free agency hurts.  They really added some pop to Cincy’s offense.  Will the new coordinator open things up or keep it run focused?  Eh maybe Dalton is okay as a backup because of their cakelike schedule, but I’d be leery of him as my starter.

 

124.   Matthew Stafford Qb- Okay not to be mean, but I hate this guy.  Had him a few years ago and every time I started him he did lousy and when I benched him he was awesome.  Obviously he took a payoff from my no good friends to stick it to my team.  His mechanics are awful.  Losing Calvin Johnson hurts big time.  Calvin covered up a lot of bad throws and won those jump balls.  The price is right, but I don’t want him. 

 

125.   Martellus Bennett TE- This is still a touch early for drafting tight ends, but he might be the exception if things break right.  If your patient I think he pays dividends.  He’ll be worthless the first 4 weeks while Brady is out, but when Tom returns things get interesting.  The Patriots will try to use him the way they used Aaron Hernandez with Gronk a few years ago- a lot of 2 tight end sets.  And if anything happens to Gronk- you’re sitting on a lottery ticket to boot. 

 

126.   Markus Wheaton Wr- Martavis Bryant’s suspension for the year creates an opening on one of the most powerful offenses in football.  Sammie Coates seems to have squandered a golden opportunity so it looks like Wheaton is the play.  He asked to move outside from the slot which could open up some big plays for him- especially since he has some wheels.  I like him as a sleeper and the price is right.

 

127.   Travis Benjamin Wr-  He finally has a quarterback who has the ability to get him the rock so Benjamin could have some decent weeks.  The risk- can the Chargers lousy line give Rivers the time he needs to connect with Benjamin?  If they can- he’ll hit some big plays.  He’s more valuable in non ppr leagues.  He’ll struggle in the red zone because he lacks height.  I like others better including his teammate Tyrell Williams.  So with all that said I’ll pass.

 

128.   Vincent Jackson Wr-  VJax as he’s called is nearing the end.  He’s lost a step and he plays second fiddle to Mike Evans down there.  The Bucs added Cecil shorts as well.  I’m not a fan of getting receivers in their 30’s. Limited upside here.  I’ll pass.

 

129.   Jason Witten TE- A determined competitor who refuses to let injuries keep him out of games.  However, he’s older and his touchdowns have slipped.  Losing Romo can’t help and if Dak struggles the Cowboys will struggle.  Even if Dak pans out-mark my words (see my name is Mark so I used mark in the phrase there…um never mind.  I guess you had to be there.) the Cowboys are first and foremost a running team. I’ll pass.

 

130.   Jason Tucker K-  Too early for kickers even though he’s solid.  And if you’re a Die Hard fan he has an awesome fantasy team name- Yippi Ki Yay Mother Tucker!   Man I‘m on a roll. Pass

 

131.   Theo Riddick Rb-  Okay for ppr leagues, but I think the Lions struggle offensively.  Pass.

 

132.   Christine Michael Rb- He looks like the real deal.  I know I know you heard the same story last year.  Well guess what, you’re going to hear it again until it works haha!  Lynch is gone and when he came back to Seattle late in the year he came on strong.  Coaches say he has a new outlook under him- he’s had an awakening. If Rawls breaks down again- he’s the guy.  And even if he doesn’t I still think they split carries because of his strong preseason.  One of my top sleepers.  The price is right (Hey it’s the end of the 11th round) and I’m buying!

 

133.   Marcus Mariota Qb- Came on a little later on in the year.  I don’t think he can hold up behind that lousy Titan line.  Losing Dorial Green-Beckham hurts.  He would have helped in the red zone.  He has a longer learning curve than Jameis Winston due to the offense he played in college.  Pass.

 

134.   Bilal Powell Rb- Wasn’t high on him, but the loss of Khiry Robinson to injury helps his touchdown potential. He’ll split carries with Forte.  If he can stay healthy might have some decent weeks.  The Jets schedule is menacing though.  I like others better.

 

135.   Spencer Ware Rb- The expert hype train is in full force on Ware.  They think he’s the handcuff to Jamaal Charles who is recovering from a torn acl and isn’t ready yet.  I’m not so sure.  I think Charkandrick West and possibly even Knile Davis might split carries with Ware in Charles’s absence.  Pass

 

136.   Devin Funchess Wr- Did alright last year, but remember Kelvin Benjamin missed last year due to injury.  The Panthers are a running team. This guy is not known for his jumping ability either.  Better options out there.  Pass

 

137.   LA Rams Defense- Their front line is beast like, but their secondary can be had.  If quarterback Jared Goff gets the call later this season it kills their value.  He’ll most likely commit a lot of turnovers, like most rookies, and put their defense in tough spots.  Pass

 

138.   New England Defense-Losing Chandler Jones hurts.  Rob Ninkovich is banged up as well.  In addition, they rarely return kicks for touchdowns. Pass

 

139.   Tevin Coleman Rb- This guy is a game changer.  He can run like a gazelle and has decent size.  He reminds scouts of Darren McFadden and Chris Johnson.  A home run threat to take it to pay dirt anytime he touches it.  He has decent hands to pile up some catches.  He’s in a rbbc in Atlanta, but he was drafted ahead of Freeman.  A rib injury early last year hampered him.  One of my top sleepers and the price is absurdly cheap.  I’m all in.

 

140.   Matt Ryan Qb- How the might have fallen.  Experts have finally given up on him.  He still looks lost in the Falcons new offense.  Atlanta plays a tough schedule.too.  Might be okay as a backup, hard to trust week in and week out, which is hard to believe considering who he’s throwing to in Julio Jones.

 

141.   Kamar Aiken Wr- I’m not believer. I think he benefited last year because he was the last guy standing.  Their wide receivers were decimated last year to injuries.  The guy I like in Baltimore, in non ppr league’s is Mike Wallace, not Aiken.  Pass

 

142.   Minnesota Defense- They’re a solid and underrated unit.  They’ll play indoors now which could hurt their weather advantage.  If the Vikings offense can do anything they’ll get some turnovers.  Cordarelle Patterson is one of the games’ most dangerous return men. 

 

143.   Chris Boswell K- Too early for kickers.  That said this guy did well last year.  Even with the Steelers going for a lot of two point conversions which drives me nuts if I own a kicker, he gets a lot of opportunities because of that hurry up offense.  And he makes his opportunities count which is impressive, especially in a tough place to kick like Pittsburgh.

 

144.   Alfred Morris Rb- He’s the backup to Elliott.  A handcuff and a lottery ticket if Elliott gets hurt- nothing more.

 

145.   Dwayne Allen TE- This is why I wait on tight ends.  Besides Moncrief, Allen is a prime red zone target who plays on a high octane offense.  The free agent departure of Coby Fleener and the abysmal Colt defense should ensure a lot of chances.  He’s a top sleeper at tight end for me, especially at this price.

 

146.    James White Rb- A lot of people are anointing him the 3rd down back in New England, but as Lee Corso says not so fast my friends.  The signing of free agent Bishop Sankey is a major threat in my opinion, as is the eventual return of Dion Lewis.  Brady’s 4 game suspension makes him useless those weeks. Bust

 

147.   Michael Thomas Wr- Had a decent preseason, but so did Brandon Coleman last year after Saints beat reporters talked him up. and I never heard from him again after I drafted him.  Thomas will have to prove it to me first.  I’m avoiding.

 

148.   Darren Sproles Rb- Might be useful in ppr leagues, but the Eagles lack of offensive firepower makes this a wasted pick in most formats.  No thanks

 

149.   Mason Crosby K- Crosby is a good kicker on a solid offense, but it’s better towait until the last round to draft a kicker. They’re too unpredictable. Pass

 

150.   Tony Romo Qb- His first series in the preseason and he gets hurt.  I’m sorry, but Tony it’s time to retire.  He looked old and slow against Seattle. Stick a fork in him- I think he’s done.  For better or worse- Dak’s the guy in Dallas. 

 

151.   Dan Bailey K- Solid kicker, but still too early and Dallas’s poor defense worries me. I’d pass.

 

152.   Cincinnati Defense- A solid defense unless they play the Steelers, but they lost Reggie Nelson to free agency and Vontaze Burfict to a 3 game suspension.  In addition, William Houston a promising rookie is out for the year.  They’re good, but they could have been even better.

 

153.   Dak Prescott Qb- I’m not a fan of drafting rookie quarterbacks, but Dak might be decent.  His rushing ability give him sneaky upside.  He reminds me of Donovan McNabb.  Might be okay as a backup- but that’s the highest I’m willing to risk it.  Most rookies struggle their first year.

 

154.   Chandler Catanzaro K-  Decent kicker who should get a lot of opportunities, but I’m still waiting until the last round for a kicker.  Pass

 

155.   Terrance West Rb- West had a solid preseason, but trying to guess the Ravens running back is like picking the lottery.  No idea so I’ll pass.

 

156.   Devontae Booker Rb- They love him in Denver and he looks like the 3rd down back there.  Scouts compare him to Arian Foster.  I’m not a fan of the Denver offense, but this guy is legit.  Worth a shot here.

 

157.   James Starks Rb- An insurance policy for Eddie Lacy, but that’s about it.  I’ll pass.

 

158.   Jared Cook TE- Sleeper alert.  Like many I’ve been burned by Cook in the past, but now he’s got a real quarterback throwing him the rock.  His speed creates matchup problems for defenders.  I think this year he finally pays dividends and if he doesn’t it’s only a 14th round pick.  Possible steal.

 

159.   Steve Smith Wr- As tough as they come, but this is his final year.  I think he’s on a snap count.  He has the name value, but can he hold up?  The guy I want in Baltimore is Mike Wallace not Smith.  Pass

 

160.   Ladarius Green TE- Concussion issues are ending his career. It’s a shame because in Pittsburgh he would have put up some good numbers. Pass

 

161.   Tajae Sharpe Wr- Impressive preseason, but he’s too small for my liking which limits his red zone chances.  The Titans spread the ball around as well.  Pass

 

162.   Blair Walsh K- Still too early for a kicker.  Walsh is a good kicker despite his heartbreak chip shot miss in the playoffs.  He plays indoors now, but that Vikings offense can be painful to watch sometimes.  Pass

 

163.   Will Fuller Wr- This guy can flat out fly.  Anytime he touches it he can make big plays.  Scouts call him a touchdown machine.  Looked impressive in the preseason.  More valuable in non ppr leagues.  I like him and the price is definitely right.  Sleeper

 

164.   Mohamed Sanu Wr- He’s not fast and not that tall, and plays second fiddle to Julio.  If Jones go down he becomes interesting, but other than that-  eh he’s okay- not great.  Pass

 

165.   Zach Miller TE- He plays on the Bears- enough said.  Not interested.  Pass

 

166.   Ted Ginn Wr- Kelvin Benjamin is back and the Panthers don’t pass it much as it is.  No thanks. Pass

 

167.   DeAndre Washington Rb-  The rookie needs to hang on to the rock, but he should get some work.  The Raiders want to lighten Murray’s load and if anything happens to Latavius, DeAndre is the guy.  Murray isn’t the most durable guy in the world either.  Washington seems a little light to be a three down back though.  He might be worth a shot.

 

168.   Ryan Fitzpatrick Qb- Had a career year last year and the Jets play a brutal schedule now.  Can he repeat?  Has some impressive receivers in Marshall and Decker, but the odds are against him.  Pass

 

169.   Brock Osweiler Qb- The Texans have some impressive weapons, but their line is shaky with the loss of the rookie center Martin.  In addition, they might want to run the ball more.  Beware Braxton Miller who might be used near the goal line in wildcat plays.  The receiver was a former quarterback at Ohio State.  Texans might have overpaid for Brock in free agency and the Broncos who needed a quarterback didn’t match the offer which is a red flag.  Let’s wait and see first.  Pass

 

170.   Ryan Tannehill Qb- The Dolphins took this guy early and he hasn’t panned out.  This is a make it or break it year for him.  The team is struggling in the new offense. He’s not accurate and can’t throw a deep ball.  Bust

 

171.   Victor Cruz Wr- Can he be the same player as he once was?  If so, can he hold up over the course of the season?  I don’t think he can.  The salsa dance is over folks.  Pass

 

172.   Pittsburgh Defense- Hurry up offenses are great for offensive players like Brown and Bell, not so much for the team’s defense.  Bust

 

173.   Laquan Treadwell Wr-  The Vikings offense was terrible with Bridgewater.  Can Bradford do any better?  I’m not expecting much- it’s a run heavy offense.  This guy is big, but slow.  This year’s rookie receiver class isn’t as highly regarded as past rookie receiver classes.  Pass

 

174.   Chris Johnson Rb-  CJ2K has lost a step.  Might get some work to spell David Johnson, but make no mistake he’s a backup.  Even if he gets the full time roll due to injury, I’m not sure he can hold up.  Pass

 

175.   Green Bay Defense- Dom Capers has his best secondary since joining the Pack.  Playing a soft NFC North schedule helps their cause.  I like them as a value play.

 

176.   Brandon McManus K-  He kicks in the thin air which helps the ball travel farther, but I think their offense struggles which will limit opportunities.  Pass

 

177.   Adam Vinateri K-  Has made some of the most clutch kicks in NFL history, but his career his nearing the end.  He no longer has the same leg to kick long field goals and the Colt defense or lack of it could force Indy to abandon field goal attempts if they fall behind.  Pass

 

178.   Eric Ebron TE-  I’m not a fan of the Lions offense.  Last time I checked Ebron is still on Detroit.  Pass

 

179.   Cairo Santos K- Not the most accurate kicker, but the Chiefs offense tends to bog down in the red zone.  A little early for me.  Pass

 

180.   Tyler Boyd Wr- He had a good preseason, but he looks like a slot receiver so that limits his yardage totals. Pass

 

181.   Alex Smith Qb- He’s way too careful with the rock as far as fantasy football is concerned.  If he throws a touchdown it’s a miracle.  Hard to believe he was an overall #1 pick originally by the 49’ers who took him over Aaron Rodgers.  Pass.

 

182.   Dorial Green-Beckham Wr-  A top sleeper of mine until he was traded to Philly.  He has speed and size.  The trade of Bradford kills whatever value he might have had this season.  If Wentz develops he could emerge next season.  This year seems unlikely.  Pass

 

183.   Jerrick McKinnionRb- AP’s backup in Minnesota so a lot of pundits love him.  I don’t. The Vikings offense isn’t that good- especially without AP.  Pass

 

184.   Karlos Williams Rb- He had a great rookie season and was one of my sleepers until he ate himself out of the league.  The Bills cut him.  His weight gain is truly unbelievable.  I mean if you’re making millions playing football you’d think you’d invest in a personal trainer, a chef,  something.  Ugh!  Do I even have to say bust?

 

185.   Mike Wallace Wr- Finally it’s a Ravens receiver I like.  He finally has a decent quarterback to get him the ball. The last time was back in Pittsburgh with Big Ben.  Now he gets to play them twice a year. Flacco’s strong arm seems like a perfect match with his speed.  More valuable in non ppr leagues.  Should connect for some big plays- especially against the Steelers.  Sleeper.

 

186.   Robert Griffin III- RGIII is a great team player, but he just doesn’t have the pocket presence or ability to read defenses.  It’s a shame because he was electric at Baylor and during his rookie year.  Playing behind a weak Browns line doesn’t help matters.  Pass

 

187.   Phillip Dorsett Wr- This guy can fly.  He’s faster than T.Y. Hilton which is saying something.  A smaller receiver, but could break some big plays with Luck throwing him the rock.  I like him.  Sleeper.

 

188.   Darren McFadden Rb-  He broke his elbow and now he fears he’ll never regain full use of it.  A shame- this guy was electric in college, but has had an injury plagued NFL career which might be coming to an abrupt end. Pass

 

189.   NY Jets Defense- Their front is very formidable against the run, but Revis has lost a step.  They’re okay- not great.

 

190.   Sebastian Janikowski K- The Raiders defense is improving so they’ll be in most games.  He should get a lot of opportunities with that offense and he has potential for big weeks because of his strong leg.  I like him.

 

191.   Josh Doctson Wr- He looks like a good player, but he’s a factor next year not this one.  Pass

 

192.   Connor Barth K- Recently signed by the Bears.  I think they did it just to tick me off after I bashed their offense in this article.  This is the guy who cost me a title two years ago.  He missed a 48 yarder which would have won it for me.  Do I even have to say pass? I hope you rot you slug haha!

 

 

 

 

Zero Rb Draft Strategy Is Overdone

     I’ve played fantasy football for 25 years.  During that time I’ve read about various strategies that owners need to utilize in order to win a title.  First, it was the stud running back theory which meant drafting elite running backs in the first two rounds of the draft.  Then it was the elite quarterback theory which entailed taking a stud quarterback like Brett Favre or Peyton Manning early to anchor your team.  The latest hip trend to hit the fantasy football world is the zero running back strategy.  I feel once again the experts have missed the mark.

     First off, in all my days I have never seen a weirder, more unpredictable fantasy football season than 2015.  I mean it was quite the shocker.  Fantasy stalwarts from all positions were busts and sent their team’s chances down with the ship.  Stars like Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, and Marshawn Lynch all went down quicker than the titanic.  Despite the pain, I still feel last year was more of an anomaly rather than the new normal. The problem is that many people, experts included, look at last year’s results as the gospel.  They forget that last year is over and that the NFL is a fluid, constantly changing environment because of free agency, the draft, new coaches, new schemes, injuries, and new general managers.  Assuming last year’s results will carry over is a common trap many owners fall into.

     The zero running back theory basically is a play on words.  There is no such thing as zero running backs, you have to draft running backs in fantasy football.  Followers of this strategy wait to pick them in the middle and later rounds.  Instead they believe owners should invest their early picks in wide receivers and possibly a tight end like Gronk since these are “safer” picks.  The birth of the zero running back strategy came about because many of the NFL teams eliminated the bell cow running back who played all three downs and instead started using the infamous rbbc (running back by committee) which essentially split the carries and the fantasy points that came with it. Running backs also go through more wear and tear and tend to have a higher injury risk further adding fuel to the argument.  In ppr (point per reception) leagues this is a wise strategy, but in other formats it is fools’ gold. Let’s take a closer look.

     Last year you could have drafted Antonio Brown and Julio Jones in the first two rounds which obviously would have turned out really well.  Then later on you could have filled out your team with Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Devonta Freeman, and David Johnson which would have built a very powerful squad in any format.  However, last year you very easily could also have picked Dez Bryant and Randall Cobb with your first two picks along with Ryan Tannehill, Tevin Coleman, and CJ Spiller.  Here’s where I’m going with this, just because you employ a strategy doesn’t mean it’s the end all, be all, foolproof system.  Last year, Cobb and Dez were elite ranked wide receivers and they turned into busts.  What matters most is hitting on your picks, not necessarily avoiding certain positions early in the draft like running backs.  Let me repeat that because it’s important.  What matters most is hitting on your picks, not necessarily avoiding certain positions early in the draft like running backs.  Got it?  Good- let’s move on.

     Over the years the best approach that I’ve found is the balanced approach.  I’ve tried various strategies, including the zero running back theory and time after time my best drafts (in standard and .5 ppr) were the ones in which I used the balanced approach.  While there isn’t a perfect strategy that works 100% of the time, this one works the best because of its simplicity.  It helps you pick the best available player because you’re not committed to HAVING to pick a position.  For example, if you pick wide receiver with your first two or three picks and you like a wide receiver or quarterback currently on the board you may pass on him because you have yet to pick a running back.  You may feel the pressure to pick a running back just for the sake of getting one.  Instead if you go with a balanced approach like a running back and wide receiver with your first two picks it usually works out better.  Let’s take a look.  Say you took Ezekiel Elliott in the 1st round and Amari Cooper in the 2nd.  You can go in a variety of ways with your 3rd round pick.  If you have Andrew Luck rated as your top quarterback you’re MORE likely to take him giving you a solid/ elite ranked player at each position.  I know a lot of you insist on waiting on quarterbacks, but stick with me for a moment.  In the 4th round if you like T.Y. Hilton you’re MORE likely to take him because he’ll be your 2nd wide receiver instead of your 3rd or 4th. Essentially you are MORE likely to draft the highest player on your board with each pick, which results in a stronger overall team.

     Okay now let’s say you use the zero running back approach and take Julio Jones and Amari Cooper. Obviously you love your wide receivers over most teams in any format. Later on is where things get tougher for the zero running back followers.  You might feel the need to take Matt Forte or DeMarco Murray and pass on players you have rated higher- like Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, or Michael Floyd which is a mistake.  If anyone has Matt Forte ranked higher than Andrew Luck- first do me a favor and smack yourself.  Snap out of it already! You deserve to lose with that line of thinking.  Luck is a future star. He is described by NFL scouts as a once in a decade type of talent at quarterback.  Matt Forte is on the back end of his career in a rbbc on the Jets. That’s the kind of analysis that should be easy yet both are going near each other in recent adp’s. Here’s the point, it’s hard for most people to pick the best available player in the middle of a draft when there’s a glaring hole at running back on their roster, under pressure, when they’re on the clock. I’m going to paraphrase the words from the movie 21 when Professor Rosa gave advice to his student Ben Campbell on how to win at blackjack, “Most people lose control, give into the pressure, and let their emotions get the best of them- you will not.”  Applied to fantasy football, you will use logic and reasoning to draft the best player on the board.  When other owners let the pressure of the moment get to them and consistently pass on picking the best player available just to fill a need they are losing value and their overall draft will suffer.

    Another important factor which is often forgotten, especially during mocks is being unpredictable.  In poker it’s important to not give off tells on what cards you’re holding and what cards you’re looking for.  That’s why professional poker players like Daniel Negreanu clean up on amateurs.  They can figure out what cards their opponents have and which ones they’re looking for rather easily.  Fantasy football drafts are similar.  In mock drafts people often concentrate solely on their team.  You should also be looking at other owners’ teams near you, especially if you’re drafting near one of the turns, to practice this skill.  For example, if other owners drafting near me are using the zero running back approach they’ve most likely drafted wide receivers early.  I know the chances of them picking another wide receiver in the 4th or 5th rounds are lower.  Sooner or later they’re going to have to make their move and fill out the rest of their roster.  If I like two players, a running back and wide receiver equally, who do you think I’m going to pick?  I’m playing the percentages and taking whichever position they haven’t addressed yet and hoping the wide receiver I like comes back to me.  I’m reading their future move and countering it.  This is a lot harder for me to do if someone drafts using the balanced theory.  In that case I’m taking my highest ranked player, but there’s a greater chance whoever I don’t pick doesn’t make it back to me- making my overall draft a little weaker because I can’t predict who might slip.

      Another thing to keep in mind is the ability to find players after the draft. Remember wide receivers are usually easier to find than running backs on the waiver wire.  While there aren’t as many bell cows as the past, there still are a few.  Grabbing a guy like David Johnson or Ezekiel Elliott not only solidifies a starting spot, but it provides a decided advantage over your opponent’s top running back and also gives you the flexibility to have a stronger draft. You won’t have a black hole of lost points in that position unless Elliott becomes another Trent Richardson- which will be difficult running behind that all pro line the Cowboys have.  Wide receivers, while they are less injury prone, are also less consistent on a weekly basis.  When teams get down to the 5 yard line- they usually run it in.  Good running teams also travel better, both on the road and in bad weather. 

     In most leagues (especially standard or .5 ppr) there isn’t a full proof strategy.  Many owners who were burned by using the stud running back theory have revolted and now follow the zero running back strategy.  The stud running back theory was too extreme during its heyday and now the pendulum has swung too far the other way in my opinion.  Good scoring systems should reward owners who pick solid players regardless of which position they play, with the exception of defense and kicker.  However, over the years the balanced approach has worked the best for me. I’m able to make better picks and have stronger drafts because I don’t reach for players.  Instead I let the draft come to me and select either the best player available or the best player available that’s likely to be taken if I pass on him.  This gives me added value and the edge that I need to consistently draft well.  I think for most owners, going with the balanced approach will yield the best results and improve their drafting skills.  So remember the lessons of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid and focus on balance Danielson.  Balance is not just valuable for karate, but also in life, which includes fantasy football drafts.  Now practice balance and no scare fish haha!  Good luck!