Until Week 1 starts, we’re left to speculate about roles and production all off-season. In a perfect world, our teams (fantasy and otherwise) will win, draft picks will produce, and players will remain healthy, or come back from injury without an issue. As we all know, that rarely happens.
If we use last season as an example, Adam Thielen burst on to the scene, and Stefon Diggs remained the top wide receiver in Minnesota, despite Laquon Treadwell being a first-round pick. If I could accurately predict such scenarios, I’d pack my bags immediately for Las Vegas. What I can offer are a few off-season guys to acquire on the cheap, or if you already have them, to hold until we get closer to the season. Take advantage of the uncertainty and perhaps you’ll turn a lottery ticket into a fantasy asset.
Paul Richardson is only 25-years old. A 2014 second-round pick, he tore his ACL for the second time during the playoffs in his rookie year. The Seahawks then drafted Tyler Lockett in the third round of the 2015 draft.
Richardson started 2015 on the physically unable to perform list and played in only one game due to other injuries. Lockett took his spot on the depth chart, and Richardson remained a part-time player until Lockett was injured in Week 16 with a broken tibia and fibula that required surgery. In the three games Richardson played without Lockett,1 he turned 16 targets into 11 receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown.
The one concerning injury that’s lagging behind the others remains Tyler Lockett’s tibia/fibula compound fracture, which required surgery and ended his 2016 campaign. Although, he’s been spotted at OTA’s; he’s following a more traditional timetable.
“He’s not quite as far along as those guys,” Carroll said. “He’s a little behind them. He’s kind of on the normal path. The other guys are further ahead of schedule than that.”
Currently, Lockett’s ADP is 106 while Richardson’s is 213. I was able to grab him off waivers in a league, and I’m looking to acquire him as a throw-in piece elsewhere.
Did you know that the second-highest-paid running back on the Buccaneers is also the cheapest? Using our dynasty ADP app, Jacquizz Rodgers is being selected as RB71 and 202 overall. He was signed in September of last year to bolster a depleted depth chart, with Charles Sims on IR after a Week 4 knee injury and Doug Martin still not healthy from his own ailments. He played in ten games and converted 129 rushing attempts for 560 yards and 2 TDs. He also caught 13 passes for 98 yards.
Martin will miss the first three games of 2017 due to a drug-related suspension. He went over 1,400 yards rushing in 2012 and 2015 but otherwise failed to break 500. Like Martin, Sims has also missed a multitude of games due to injury in his three-year career but had a combined 1,000-yard season in 2015. The Bucs drafted Jeremy McNichols in the fifth round this year, and they hope he can be the all-purpose back they want. We’ve penned several articles on McNichols already, and he is the best bet for their future. However, Rodgers has sneaky upside – especially early given Martin’s suspension – and seems to be the forgotten man.
Sometimes while scrolling through Twitter, a tweet gets your attention
Ryan Grant is completely free and should be on your waiver wire.
On the surface, the wide receiver position in Washington looks established with the additions of Terrell Pryor and Brian Quick to go along with Jamison Crowder and 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson. Quick’s roster spot appears to be anything but written in stone, as only $80,000 of his salary is guaranteed.
Crowder and Pryor should be locked in, but the question marks around Doctson’s health continue. He played in only two games as a rookie due to Achilles tendonitis. He claims the injury is now nonexistent but was held out in the afternoon session of OTA’s late last week (though head coach Jay Gruden said it was unrelated to his health). Perhaps that is true, but it still seems a bit suspicious.
Grant put up huge production in his final year at Tulane and was a fifth-round pick in 2014.
He has started eight games and produced 39 receptions for 412 yards and 2 TDs. The majority of that production came in 2015. Grant is probably more of a desperation hedge against Doctson being healthy enough to contribute.
Trying to predict what will happen in fantasy football is futile exercise we engage in every day. Draft picks underperform, injuries happen, and football Twitter knows all. These are a few situations where we may be discounting potential opportunity too much. If that opportunity never materializes, their cost was minimal. By straying away from consensus, your end-of-roster stash might just turn into a valuable piece.
- Week 17, Wild Card, and Divisional Round playoff (back)