By: Aaron May (Twitter: @aaroneoussports)
Temperature Check: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
With Training Camp getting underway and Fantasy Football draft day closing in, it is time to take a look at some of the trends on players that people have mixed feelings about. This way you can form your own opinion on them before taking the plunge on draft day. Ask yourself “Are they worth the risk?”, or “Is that a good enough value for a player like that?” Do your research, form your own opinions, and trust yourself. That is the key to winning Fantasy Football Championships. It is not always the easiest thing to do, but that is why we love to play the game.
On that note, I want to do a quick temperature check on a few players with an Average Draft Position (ADP) that has fluctuated over the past month. Are they worth the risk? Is the value great enough to take the leap and draft them? Opinions on these players differ greatly from person to person. Hopefully I can put to rest any doubts or worries you have on them, and allow you to make the best choice for your championship roster come draft day. So…who’s HOT, and who’s NOT!?
With the news of the Los Angeles Chargers first round draft pick Mike Williams needing “potentially season ending back surgery”, Tyrell Williams stock has taken off. Keenan Allen has also risen pretty swiftly up the ADP charts, as he too benefits for fantasy with the impending loss of Mike Williams. I want to highlight Tyrell here though, mainly because of Keenan Allen’s recent injury history. If Allen plays a full season, great! That is a huge win for his owners; he’s awesome when healthy. However, Tyrell is a great talent AND has been able to stay healthy thus far. I am more comfortable passing on using a high pick to get Allen, picking up a Demaryius Thomas or Cooks type, and then scooping Tyrell’s tremendous upside in the 9th round.
Anyone that follows my Fantasy Football takes knows I am not a huge Sammy Watkins advocate. Still, over the past month Watkins has seen a pretty sizable uptick in his ADP; and I am not surprised. The reports out of Buffalo all point toward Watkins being ready to go for the start of the season. This is great news for the Bills. I’m not going sit here and deny Watkins upside as a top 10 wide receiver, but I will mention his inability to stay healthy in recent years. Picking Watkins in the 3rd round is going all in on his upside and I am personally not willing to do that. I want to know my players will be on the field come game day more often than not, and recently that has not been Watkins tendency. If you have built a solid core of players with a top running back and a solid receiver, I say take a shot on Watkins’ upside. Why not? Otherwise avoid the headache, and pass on this “glass house”.
Joe Mixon, the rookie out of Oklahoma, selected 48th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals. Let’s get one thing straight, I love me some Joe Mixon. He is a well rounded running back talent, and landed in a great situation. People have taken notice of the same thing, and his ADP has steadily risen into the late 3rd round. It seems that is the steepest price people are willing to pay, as we have seen it level out in this range; for now. As much as I love Mixon, this price is slightly out of range for me. He is going ahead of guys like Ty Montgomery and Spencer Ware, who could have monster seasons in 2017. There is also a chance he ends up in a situation that would leave him losing goal line carries to Jeremy Hill, limiting his touchdowns. Bottom line, Dynasty I am taking him no problem. In a redraft league, maybe go with one of the more proven options THIS YEAR.
In late June through early July, Davante Adams’ ADP took a nosedive to the middle of the 4th round. In the last couple weeks it has started to rise slightly again, so I have Adams’ temperature at “luke warm” right now. He isn’t completely cold, but may be boiling hot by this time next month. Only time will tell. When it comes to drafting Davante Adams, I think spending a mid 4th round pick on him isn’t all bad. Last season he made some great catches and was a dominant receiver for the Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ offense. We have seen the other side of the coin with him too though. In 2015, he looked like one of the worst receivers I can remember in recent years. I don’t expect him to repeat last season in any way, shape, or form. I also do not see him being as terrible as he was a couple of seasons ago. A mid to late 4th round pick on Adams is as high as I am willing to go. With who he is being drafted around, I say go ahead and get him; and feel like it’s at a pretty good value too.
The plummet of Andrew Luck’s ADP is not a shock to me. This has been a topic that has been highly ignored by the Fantasy Football community for far too long now. He has just started throwing passes THIS WEEK. That is the first time since his shoulder surgery back in mid January. He is starting Training Camp on the PUP list and is likely to stay there until the start of the regular season. It may take some time for Luck to find his game rhythm and get back on the same page with his receivers early in the regular season. If I am taking a quarterback in the 5th round, I am banking on having one of the top QBs for Fantasy Football. If Luck needs time to get back to his old self, he probably won’t be one of the top tier quarterbacks in 2017. I’m steering clear.