Yesterday, our fantasy football experts brought you Part I of our fantasy draft prep, taking a close look at the MVP choices, top rookies and breakout performers we expect to play a role in 2016. Today we bring you Part Deux, taking a look at big comebacks, bigger busts and sneaky sleepers.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The three names that come to mind are pretty obvious this season because they are three of the biggest stars in the game.
The Wifeyiac: Jordy Nelson. I’ve been waiting for his return because he was one of my favorites to watch in the 2014 season with 13 TDs and 98 receptions for 1519 yards and about a 15.5 yards average.
Dunton went so far to call this a no brainer.
Teddy Ballgame: Jamaal Charles. The 29 year old running back is coming off of another ACL injury. I think he’s still got a couple of good years left in him. He’s always been a true number one back in Andy Reid’s offense, this year should be no different.
FanDuel Fee: It’s Andrew Luck. There are a lot of top name guys coming off injuries and even a few on different teams this year, but Luck is the guy. After having such a down year last year, he should destroy most QB’s this year in terms of numbers as long as he can stay on the field.
Nomi the Greek and Saucy T however offer names slipping under the radar.
Nomi the Greek: Come on. Everyone is going to say Jordy Nelson and I can’t argue with that but I’m going to go in a different direction. How about Keenan Allen? He missed the last half of last season with a lacerated kidney. This just in! Phillip Rivers likes to throw the ball… A LOT!! Keenan Allen is going to be the major recipient. He’s looked really good in training camp and as long as he stays healthy, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished in the top 5 for fantasy points by a WR.
Saucy T: Every fantasy owner who drafted Jeremy Hill last year was disappointed with his season. Hill just never found that magic he had as a rookie, and Andy Dalton’s improvement allowed Cincy to open up their passing game which meant more opportunities for Giovani Bernard. This offseason saw Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu leave the Bengals, and Tyler Eifert deal with an injury that could keep him out for up to 6 weeks. I expect the Bengals to rely much more on their physical ground game which means big things for Jeremy Hill this year.
The Wayniac: I’m not sure how he hasn’t been mentioned. Maybe people forgot about him, maybe there are just too many Atlanta Falcon fans amongst my panel of experts. That being said, Kelvin Benjamin saw 145 targets and pulled in over 1,000 yards as a rookie. The Panthers offense is much improved, Benjamin should bounce back nicely.
Dunton: Allen Robinson has been getting a lot of talk as a late 1st Round to mid 2nd Round pick. I don’t think he is worth it. Something about this seems weird to me. Maybe it’s because he plays in Jacksonville and we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop on the Jaguars, why shouldn’t we. I don’t know about this. I can see him going 4th Round or maybe even late 3rd round but to see him ranked as high as the 15th best player scares me. Buyer be warned here.
The Wifeyiac: Jimmy Graham, once he was amazing. Then he got traded and might as well be the Seattle mascot.
Nomi the Greek: I hate to say this because I am a big Demaryius Thomas fan but his numbers could take a serious nosedive this season. He will have one of 3 guys, Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch, throwing him the ball this season. The only way his numbers don’t take a huge dip is if Elway decides to suit up again.
FanDuel Fee: Devonta Freeman…based on his ADP, I just don’t see him having such a great year as he has in the past and don’t see him living up to his high draft position. I’m not saying he’s not going to have a decent year, I just don’t think he continues with his TD rate which will bring his points down significantly. And with Tevin Coleman breathing down his neck, there’s going to be less volume as well.
Teddy Ballgame: DeMarco Murray is going to have a whole lot of company in the backfield in Tennessee. They are sure to go with the committee approach and if he stinks as bad as he did last year he could end up being number three.
Saucy T: I had a hard time coming up with a bust this year, so I’ll go with T.Y. to be my bust, but in an unorthodox way. My problem with Hilton is his unreliability from week to week. At the end of the season Hilton will have good numbers, but they won’t be consistent week to week, which is what you’d like for your fantasy team. I would much rather have Hilton’s teammate Donte Moncrief almost a full two rounds later who will have at least as many double digit fantasy games as T.Y. this year.
The Wayniac: Something isn’t right in Dallas. Romo can’t stay on the field, and neither can Dez. I don’t trust either this season. Bryant could return to his 2014 elite status or they could be so decimated by injuries that it is more in par of 2015. If you can get Dez Bryant after the second round, then you have a steal, if you have to invest the 15 ADP in him, you may wind up unhappy.
Dunton: Tajae Sharp. Who you may ask? The 5th rounder out of UMASS has become the talk of Titans camp and this a team who drafted Derrick Henry in the first round. Sharp has already caught 8 passes for over 100 yards and most recently was targeted 6 times in the first quarter and a half he played last weekend. He must be doing something right because the Titans have already cut Dorial Green Beckham from their WR core. Last year the Titans had no WR that caught over 36 passes, if Sharp continues on this trajectory that may be a stat that is surpassed by week 6. If you play in a PPR league this may be a late round sleeper that will become more than a bye week replacement.
The Wifeyiac: Tyler Lockett. I have a love hate for this kid but I’m going to go with my love for him now and he’s going to do awesome things this year.
Nomi the Greek: Calvin Johnson retired and left the Lions without a big receiver to throw to so Detroit went into the Free Agent market and got Marvin Jones. The Lions have been a pass happy offense as long as Stafford has been the QB. I expect nothing to change. Marvin is going to catch a lot of passes and put up big numbers in a PPR league.
Teddy Ballgame: Matt Stafford. No more Megatron!!!I know everyone says the Lions are going to stink this year and I think they’re right. All of that being said I think Stafford has a couple of good young receivers to go along with the addition of veteran Anquan Boldin. Let’s also not forget that Detroit’s running game always stinks so he will be throwing the ball a ridiculous amount.
FanDuel Fee: Donte Moncrief. I’m not sure how much of a sleeper he is but from where he is being drafted, I think he’s got the potential to be a top 10 WR and that’s saying something with all the high end names out there at WR this year expected to put up big numbers.
Saucy T: Fear the Turtle! Stefon Diggs came out of nowhere in week 4 last year to have 4 straight games with at least 6 catches and 87 yards. For 4 weeks Diggs looked like a top 15 WR and a ROY candidate, but after that hot stretch, Diggs only caught 6 passes once more and never topped 66 yards. With the addition of Laquan Treadwell to help take away coverage from Diggs, and with a year of experience under his belt, I expect this Terrapin alumni to finish in the top 20 at WR while being drafted outside the top 40.
The Wayniac: I never really cared for him in real life, and never really wanted him as the QB for my Houston Texans. That being said, Philip Rivers is fantasy gold. I’m seeing names like Tyrod Taylor and Kirk Cousins ahead of Rivers. Some have Jameis Winston ahead of him. Let’s not forget Rivers threw for 4,793 yards and 29 touchdowns with ONLY 13 interceptions without his best wide receivers, no semblance of a running game, and an injured offensive line. If you have Rivers ranked outside the Top 12 QBs (or basically a starting fantasy QB) then you have a big time sleeper on your hands.