Heading into Week 17, you are hopefully focused on your Daily Fantasy Football lineups with your seasonal leagues wrapped up. It is also an ideal time to start thinking about next season. While it does seem far away at this juncture, September of 2016 will be here before you know it, and getting a jump on the competition is never a bad thing.
Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses
Derek Carr (QB, Raiders) – “Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.” While Blake Bortles is deservedly getting plenty of pub for a Top 10 Fantasy finish, Carr has been equally as impressive. He clicked immediately with free agent signee Michael Crabtree and star rookie Amari Cooper. There is room for this offense to continue to get better as well. Latavius Murray may be 25 years old, but in many respects he is still a raw runner. If he can develop into a more complete back, Carr will have yet another weapon to work with. Clive Walford showed a few flashes in his rookie season and has the size and hands to be a reliable safety valve. He is likely to be drafted outside the Top 12 QBs next season despite elite upside. In a keeper/dynasty format, there are only a handful of QBs you’d rather have.
Style by Taylor Swift
Carson Palmer (QB, Cardinals) – “And when we go crashing down, we come back every time. ‘Cause we never go out of style. We never go out of style.” Palmer is in the midst of his best statistical season ever. He just turned 36 years old and should have a couple more QB1 seasons left in him. That is fine for 2016 if you can get him at a reasonable price tag in your draft. With three premium passing game weapons and a young stallion at running back, Palmer’s success should absolutely continue. If you have to pay for 2015 numbers however, he is not going to be worth it because this is his ultimate ceiling. If your dynasty team is close to a championship and needs a QB, Palmer could be your answer. Use his age to try and get a slight discount on him. He has enough left in the tank to lead you to a Fantasy championship next season.
Release Yo’ Delf by Method Man
T.J. Yeldon (RB, Jaguars) – “Keep it movin, we keep it huh RHARHHH. What’s that rhythm? What’s that sound? Party people getting down, When it hit the baddest man, Just release, yo delf!!.” Yeldon’s season was a bit of a disappointment when compared to some of the other rookies. Still, he has the upside to be an impact player on a high-powered young offense. While not a game-breaker like Toddy Gurley or David Johnson, Yeldon is an ideal RB2 option. He runs with power and is a capable receiver out of the backfield. It would not be a surprise if he finishes with a Top 10 season in 2016. This may be the last time you can buy him at an affordable price in your keeper league. I expect his value to continue to climb this summer.
Same Old Love by Selena Gomez
Matt Forte (RB, Bears) – “I’m so sick of that same old love, that shit, it tears me up, I’m so sick of that same old love, my body’s had enough.” Will Forte start Week 1 of 2016 in the Windy City? If his new team opens up the season against the Bears, then that is a distinct possibility. As a 30-year-old free agent this spring, Forte is poised to ride out his career in a different uniform for the first time in nine years. He has been one of the most consistent Fantasy producers over that span, showing elite receiving skills and solid rushing ability. He can still be productive, but the Bears believe they have a new lead back in Jeremy Langford and they are right. Ka’Deem Carey is right behind him if anything goes wrong as well. That makes Forte expendable. The time to trade him in a dynasty format is right after he signs with his new team. He will likely be over-drafted in seasonal leagues based on his previous dominance.
It Ain’t Hard To Tell by Nas
Donte Moncrief (WR, Colts) “It ain’t hard to tell, I excel, then prevail.” Moncrief will be 23 years old entering next season and could be poised for a breakout. This year he showed off his potential by grabbing five TDs in his first seven games. Unfortunately, Andrew Luck’s injury issues derailed any hope of a consistent Fantasy season. He has found the end zone just once since Week 8 and went from a WR3 to an unreliable WR5. With his depressed stat line in the second half, there is still a buying opportunity in long-term leagues. Moncrief has the skill set to become a dominant WR2 option and eventually pass T.Y. Hilton as Luck’s go-to target. Target him as a value in the middle rounds of your seasonal leagues next summer.
Not The Only One by Sam Smith
Doug Baldwin (WR, Seahawks) – “I can’t believe you let me down. But the proof’s in the way it hurts. For months on end I’ve had my doubts.” Your number one candidate for being overvalued next season is Baldwin. It is not that Baldwin is not a solid player because he is; he’s just not a 14 TD type of player. In fact, he has had just 15 career TDs in his four previous seasons. He will be 28 at the start of next season and this is as good as he is going to get. Expecting him to be more than a WR3 next season will end up disappointing. Tyler Lockett should continue to progress and Jimmy Graham will be back as a red zone asset. Baldwin would be a top sell in dynasty formats if you can get a strong return.
Finally by CeCe Peniston
Zach Ertz (TE, Eagles) – “Finally you’ve come along. The way I feel about you, it just can’t be wrong.” Will 2016 finally be the season that Ertz breaks out? He has been showing promising ability since his rookie season, but it has not yet materialized in the form of a true Fantasy breakthrough. While he has had some quality games, consistency is not there. His lack of red zone prowess has been one of the things holding him back. He has just nine scores on his career and no more than four in a season. 2016 is the year he becomes an every week option at tight end and it would not be a surprise if he has a Jordan Reed-type of explosion. He can be picked up affordably in dynasty leagues despite his strong performance the past few weeks.
Bye Bye Bye by N’Sync
Antonio Gates (TE, Chargers) – “I know that I can’t take no more. It ain’t no lie. I want to see you out that door. Baby bye bye bye.” This has to be the beginning of the end for Gates, right? If it is, someone needs to tell him because he continues to produce at age 35. High upside backup Ladarius Green is a free agent this offseason and the Chargers have a big decision to make. At the moment, they cannot justify a large contract to him while having him continue to take a backseat to Gates in the passing game. It will be very intriguing to see where Green lands. Both could be Top 10 next year in seasonal leagues, but only if one of them leaves San Diego. As for Gates, if you own him in a long-term league just enjoy the production, but keep in mind that the end is near.