Seven players to take a strong stance on in fantasy

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Seven players to take a strong stance on in fantasy

Presented By Seven players to take a strong stance on in fantasy Published: Aug 31, 2017 at 12:31 PM Matt Harmon football drafts often follow a typical set-aside formula and pattern. However, there are certain inflection point players that cause waves not only for the teams that select them but also for those who pa s. It's these players that often require us to make the strongest stance; you can't simply be a "neutral" when it comes to your feelings on these players. The questions they come with require us to either be strong for or strong against paying for them at their current average draft position. After piles of drafts have come and gone this offseason, these are the seven players that seem to require the strongest stance to Tim Tebow Jersey either green or red light making an investment for in this season. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers Does the past truly inform the future? backfield players haven't cracked 60 combined catches since 's rookie year in 2011, when snagged a career-high 47. Carolina runs a long-held offensive system that revolves around deep pa sing and a running quarterback combining to make the receiving running back an afterthought. For this reason, some fantasy analysts question whether can truly acce s his pa s-catching upside in Carolina. Perhaps the saw their lack of a player like McCaffrey, not only a receiving threat out of the backfield but someone who can man the slot and quickly separate in his routes, as the primary reason their offense led by the 2015 MVP grew stale and eventually broke late last year. No quarterback threw into than last year, per Next Gen Stats, which helps quantify just how few layups the Carolina offense afforded him with such a frequency of low percentage throws. McCaffrey is the antithesis of the , and even Ted Ginn-type receivers this team invested capital in these past years. By taking McCaffrey eighth overall in the 2017 the made clear that they believe he is a transformative figure. He's meant to be the central figure in the offensive evolution the organization declared it wished to implement after their 2016 campaign mercifully ended. What happened in the past with players that just so happen to share the "RB" designation with McCaffrey but don't play anything like him on the field should hold little bearing on how we project this new player. McCaffrey's ADP rests at RB14 on Football Calculator and he routinely goes off the board in the top-30 picks of fantasy drafts. Drafters are banking on him not only being a transformative player but also that he will have a "can't put the genie back in the bottle" moment during the season where he becomes too good to not be the featured piece of the offense. It's a tough ask but one that this wildly gifted and exciting player is certainly capable of. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals How much do we weigh individual player talent in our fantasy evaluations? It's quite apparent that is the best back on the roster but it's le s clear if the team will deploy him as such. Back in May, it looked like the second-round pick would have no i sues taking over the early down role from an underperforming and had a shot to own pa sing downs while recovered from a 2016 ACL tear. The variables changed in the months that followed. The team ran the 230-pound Hill out as the starter throughout the preseason, despite Mixon looking fantastic when he got chances, and more importantly gave him all the goal-line work before he left with an injury in Pre-Week 3. Bernard returned to action the moment the opened training camp and reportedly looked fantastic Lenny Dykstra Jersey with his reps. We now have every reason to believe those two will play some sort of role and have exactly zero indications that Mixon will be anything resembling a feature back. With both veterans looking locked into high-value roles as a scoring area vulture (Hill) and pa s-catching option (Bernard), Mixon suddenly has no path to dominant market share numbers for the "money touches" for fantasy scoring. That makes Mixon's top-20 running back ADP suddenly look quite dubious. No one doubts that Mixon has the ability to usurp this backfield and render the other two irrelevant, but even as ancillary players they'll make the rookie's margin for error on a weekly basis razor thin. You'll have to take a strong stance on whether or not you believe Mixon's talent is so enormous he can force the hand and force them to alter their clear and intended plans with their backfield. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders The 2015 fourth-overall pick for the if off to a tremendous start in his NFL career. racked up 155 catches for 2,223 in his first two seasons, all before he turned 23-years-old. He's quickly established himself as an elite and at all levels of the field. You can't ask much more from a young wideout to begin his NFL journey. Yet, it's odd that fantasy owners came away from his first two seasons feeling as if they wanted a little more out of the WR21 and WR14 finishes he offered in PPR leagues. Despite excellent season-end numbers there's no denying Cooper was a volatile producer in 2016. Cooper gave you four ma sive games where he finished inside the top-10 wide receivers in half-point PPR scoring last season and posted another three weeks inside the top-24. However, he didn't crack the top-35 in any other week. His boom or bust nature is directly tied to the fact that he fell below in the target pecking order in each of the last two years. It's especially apparent in the scoring areas, where Crabtree has 29 red zone targets to Cooper's 16 and six touchdowns inside the 10-yard line to zero for Cooper. There are theories to posit as to why this usage trend held for two years, such as Cooper's poor showing in contested situations: Amari Cooper contested catch conversion rate2014 (partial college sample): 50% 2015: 61.5%2016: 57.1%NFL Avg: ~64% Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) Neverthele s, that and others like it are merely theories. What we've seen out of Cooper in his first two NFL seasons is enough to also support the idea that this explosive young talent is simply too good for the trend to not eventually reverse. Any year now Cooper could take the top target position and red zone usage from Crabtree simply because he's a dynamic, and still improving young weapon. With his ADP sitting as a top-10 wide receiver acro s the industry, you must project that this is the year because you'll be paying for it. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers The eight-game stretch to start off the 2015 season where was on pace for 130-plus receptions still burns bright in the minds of fantasy drafters. Despite the season-ending injury that ended his campaign and closed his 2016 run after just a half of play, Allen still holds a top-15 wide receiver ADP on Football Calculator. The question for fantasy drafters is whether comes with upside that resembles the dominant 2015 stretch in his range of outcomes this year. The hired Anthony Lynn as their head coach this offseason. Lynn operated the NFL's second-highest run play percentage offense last season in Buffalo. The also have a bevy of weapons available for L.A.'s newest team, making it tough to project Allen for the 26 percent market share he held in 2015. There are plenty of reasons to doubt his case as a WR1 this year. Yet, Allen and appear to have a locked-in chemistry and affection based on the veteran wide receiver's elite route running in the intermediate areas on the field. The duo looks locked in once again this preseason and last we saw Allen he was dog-walking star cornerback in his only half of action for 2016. There's a chance that Allen is indeed so talented and established that, despite the proven promise of young players like and , he once again resumes the target hog role on the pa sing totem pole for the . If so, not only would he be one of the safest weekly floor plays among the second to third-tier of wide receivers, but he would even be a value at his current draft price. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Keon Broxton Jersey Chiefs The already gave the vote of confidence to 's ability to operate as a traditional wide receiver this offseason when they jettisoned veteran after the draft despite being a contender. Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reported the change was going swimmingly this summer, calling him " " while noting Hill won at every level of the field with his route-running. Despite mostly operating as a gadget player last year, Hill tested out extremely well on the limited routes he ran when put under the Reception Perception lens: Tyreek Hill posted a 72% succe s rate vs. man coverageSee his full profile when you buy acce s Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) If he's up to the task, there's fantasy juice to squeeze out of the top receiver spot for the . Maclin collected 124 targets and finished as the PPR WR15 in 2015 when he and were the only two receiving threats to hit triple digits in pa s game looks. drafters as a whole are banking on Hill accomplishing the goal of a smooth transition to a fully-fledged wideout, as he goes off the board as the WR19 in FantasyPros consensus ADP. Noah Syndergaard Jersey The question for us is not whether Hill can repeat his rookie year efficiency. We already know he can't; you aren't adding anything to the conversation by pointing that out. The puzzle to solve is whether he can function well enough in a role outside of that rookie gadget a signment, because that's what Kansas City believes he can do and will ask of him. You better have a strong answer to that question when deciding whether to invest in or fade him at his current draft cost because there is no doubting his week-winning hammer upside. Corey Davis, WR, Tenne see Titans Does talent create opportunity? That should be the question at the forefront of your mind when deciding to select . The offense suddenly looks flush with pa s-catching options after the additions of Davis, and sneaky good rookie along with 100-target holdovers from 2016 in and . Suddenly, the pa sing game has a wide array of weapons after the team fielded a group largely bereft of talent last season. Their offseason moves certainly speak to a team that wants to expand what they ask of and take to the air more often, but they were one of the most run-heavy teams in 2016. Tenne see ranked third in the NFL with a 47.2 run play percentage. Even if you bump the down to a 45.2 run play percentage for this coming season, amounting to around 532 pa ses for paced on their recent pace of play, it's tough to project multiple players for 100-plus targets. At least a few of these newcomers and potentially one of the holdovers will get left out in the cold. Unfortunately for Davis he's behind the eight-ball in the race to lead the team in targets after a hamstring injury cost him multiple weeks of training camp and preseason time. Decker's role as a short-area big slot receiver and elite ability in the scoring areas makes him an obvious choice to lead the receiver group in targets. Matthews and Mariota closed 2016 on a tear and have familiarity. Walker cleared 100 targets in each of the last three seasons. If all those players get theirs it will leave about 80 targets to pick off the bone for Davis, which simply won't be enough for a stable fantasy season. What Davis drafters must hope for is that the rookie wideout hits the field, despite the limited practice time, and shows right from the jump he's just too good not to be featured. His talent needs to overwhelm to the point it creates opportunity by vaulting veterans in the pecking order. The good news for them is that Davis is truly that good. He was outrageously productive at Western Michigan, the third best wide receiver at in Reception Perception over the last two draft cla ses and is wildly impre sive after the catch. Even more important; the agree with the a se sment of his talent. The team made the aggre sive move to pluck him with the fifth-overall selection and installed him in the coveted e sentially as soon as he hit the practice field. Davis has the potential to be a difference-maker this season. It's up to drafters to decide whether his injury-induced lost preseason and a packed house of pa s-catchers is enough to delay that gratification late into the season or if he's simply too talented to not usurp the top receiver job right from the jump. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals Marcus Stroman Jersey The Cincinnati offense as a whole appears to be an inflection point in fantasy drafts this year. Offensive line concerns loom large, but there's no denying the boast a bevy of talented weapons. The additions of and brings a potential feature back and dangerous 4.2-40 speed to stables that already had high draft picks in the backfield and a wideout crew led by All-Pro . However, the most overlooked piece of this scoring unit is tight end , despite the fact he has more potential than anyone else on the team to be a weekly difference maker at his position for fantasy. The ma sive tight end has 18 touchdowns over his last 21 games played. Eifert collected 24 red zone targets over the last two seasons and more importantly, converted eight of his 13 targets inside the 10-yard line into scores. Touchdowns are the lifeblood of and Eifert is one of the best in the game at scoring them. The sort of weekly advantage brought on by an a set who can so frequently post six points for your lineup is undeniable. Legitimate injury concerns are likely the reason Eifert's ADP sits in the sixth-round ( Football Calculator) despite the elite scoring potential. Back, ankle, shoulder and elbow injuries along with a concu sion have all popped up on the tight end's injury rap sheet during his NFL career. And yet, is that altogether different than the tight ends who go ahead of him, outside of ? Kelce, , and all have at least one major injury in their history. At least with Eifert, the risk of a multi-game absence is priced in with the proposition of an elite week-to-week scoring tight end. If the move the ball well this year, Eifert's resume indicates he is the best on the offense to finish their drives with six points. When targeting a onesie position (QB, TE) in the early or middle rounds you need to make sure the player you select has the top overall scorer within his position in his range of outcomes. Eifert, top-three in points per game the last two years, certainly has it. This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be mi sing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an i sue.
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