Here’s hoping you are the owner of a brand new, shiny Fantasy Football championship trophy … or a wad of cash … or hey, even just pride. Fantasy sports are all about fun, after all.
When one season ends, the next one begins. Instead of focusing on Week 17 for the Stock Report this week, we are going to look at player values for keeper leagues as we start our offseason prep work.
So far we have a two-year sample size when evaluating Melvin Gordon. His rookie year, of course, was a disaster. However, in his second year he took off, scoring 212 Fantasy points compared to 83 in 2015 in standard leagues.
There are a few reasons for this. One, Danny Woodhead went down, so Gordon became an every-down back and more involved in the passing game. Two, touchdown regression is a real thing, folks. After finding the end zone once last year he scored 12 times this year, including 10 times on the ground.
If you own Gordon in a keeper league, I’d hold onto him and maximize any return I’d get for him. Gordon is a fringe first-round pick next year for drafts, so treat him as such.
Unless the Tennessee Titans go out and either sign an Alshon Jeffery or draft a receiver in the first or second round in the NFL Draft, you’re looking at Rishard Matthews as your No. 1 receiver for Marcus Mariota next year. Chances are Matthews went either undrafted in your league or he went really late. If you’re in a keeper league in which you can keep a waiver wire guy for a mid-round pick, or you can keep Matthews in the round you drafted him in, he’s a great keeper option for next year.
After a quiet start to the season, Matthews came on strong late and was the preferred wide receiver for Mariota over the second half of the season. You’re looking at a low-end WR2 as of now for next season, who may get overlooked again.
A lot of Malcom Mitchell’s value has come when Rob Gronkowski has been absent from the Patriots due to – you guessed it – injury. So evaluating him going forward is a tough project. One, he’s a Patriots receiver, and aside from Julian Edelman, we can’t really trust them. Two, Gronkowski is expected to be back in New England next year – though the Michael Floyd signing could create a scenario in which they would actually cut Gronk – which would mean more two tight end sets on the field, lowering Mitchell’s potential snaps.
I’m a believer in Mitchell, and more importantly, Tom Brady looks like he does, too. He’s in a similar position as Matthews in that he could be overlooked.
The hot topic this past week on Twitter was discussing who would be the top tight end drafted in 2017 between Gronkowski and Travis Kelce. It seems like the popular opinion is that Baby Gronk will go ahead of the real Gronk.
An interesting note from Scott Barrett of Pro Football Focus is that in 48 career games, Kelce has eight games with 100 or more receiving yards. Six of those eight games have come in the past nine weeks.
We’ve waited for the breakout for the past three seasons, and it looks like it’s here. I’m skeptical with Alex Smith as his quarterback, but there’s a real solid case for having Kelce as the top tight end off the board. I’ll lean with Gronkowski and Greg Olsen still, as we tend to be reactionary too much with these types of things. Let someone else overpay for Kelce, and feel free to move him in a deal if you can sell high.
One player I’m whose early ADP will be interesting to see is Dak Prescott. It feels like people are considering him a game manager more than a quarterback who is slinging the ball. He’s the sixth-best Fantasy quarterback this year, folks. He’s attempting 28 passes per game and has 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Is he going to be a Top 5 option at the position next year? No. But will he be a QB1 for your squad? Yes. Treat him as such when evaluating your keeper options.
Another year, another injury for Keenan Allen. Am I avoiding him or buying low on him? Well, a lot of it depends on his ADP. If he has a second-round ADP again, I’ll be fading him and fading him hard. However, if people are scared off because of the back-to-back seasons with injuries and Allen falls to the fourth or fifth round, I’ll be more than happy to take him in what should be a high-scoring offense once everyone is healthy and accounted for. The one factor you have to consider is what his involvement will be after the solid seasons put together by Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin, not to mention tight end Hunter Henry. Allen will still be the focal point of the offense, but the targets may decrease slightly.
If I need a running back that is getting just volume, I’m fine with Lamar Miller. However, I’m not going out of my way to buy-low on him after he failed to live up to expectations … again. He’s a fine player, but I’m done waiting on the breakout to happen. Someone else can enjoy it if it happens.
I hated, and I mean hated, Todd Gurley’s Fantasy outlook heading into this season. At this point, I love, and I mean love, where I can potentially get Gurley next year. The talent has never been the issue; it’s been the makeup of the team around him and Jeff Fisher. The Rams should address those issues in the offseason, making Gurley a potential steal come draft season with his perceived value. If I can buy low on him in dynasty or keeper leagues, I’ll gladly take the chance.
C.J. Prosise has a chance to be an RB1 in PPR leagues next year. Thankfully, if someone else in your league owns him, the sample size that we saw may not be enough to have him on their radar. If I can swoop in and have him included as a throw-in for another deal, I’d be very, very happy.
The Patriots have handled Dion Lewis with kid gloves so far. While it’s sucked this year, it’s good for keeper and dynasty players. He’s another player I’m looking to buy low on if I can, as he will be set free next year in the New England offense.
Brian Hoyer. T.J. Yates. Brandon Weeden. Ryan Mallet. Those, umm, serviceable (?) quarterbacks combined to lead DeAndre Hopkins to 111 receptions for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015. I didn’t think any quarterback could stop him from being a Fantasy star. Well, Brock Osweiler is a special kind of horrible. Tom Savage salvaged (savaged?) Hopkins in Week 15, but if the Texans plan on sticking with Osweiler in 2017, I’m avoiding Hopkins all together. If it’s Savage, I’ll consider him, but for name value alone, he’ll go higher than I’m comfortable taking him.