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Radio Show: Russ Bliss’ Redzone August 24th

Below is Russ Bliss’ Red Zone fantasy football show on August 24th, 2016. Russ talks about sleepers, breakouts, fantasy football 2016.


Play Show – August 24th, 2016

Revisiting the 2016 Rookies

smitty staff

It’s the middle of August and a lot has changed over the last couple months, especially in terms of the 2016 rookies… it’s time to revisit the 2016 Rookie Class. Below I will rank the rookies, and provide commentary for certain players.

Note: These rankings are ranked with a dynasty/keeper frame of mind, but I provide commentary for both yearly leaguers and dynasty leaguers.

Top 10 Rookies

1. Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL – By far the 1.01 in 2016 in any rookie-only draft. He has top 6-10 overall value in all redraft leagues, which is super high for a rookie. He has that much appeal in DAL in 2016!
2. Corey Coleman WR CLE – This kid could be a top 10WR of the future. He is polished and NFL ready. He is my No. 2 overall in terms of rookies in dynasty.
2. Derrick Henry RB TEN – While I wonder how many years he can play at his highest level (at this size), he has fantastic upside for the next few years. DeMarco Murray is the starter in TEN, but if he gets hurt, Henry should thrive in 2016. Then I consider selling high at that point (if in dynasty).
3. Laquon Treadwell WR MIN – Lots of future appeal, but with Bridgewater tossing him the ball, I think Treadwell could be spotty and inconsistent in 2016, as he will naturally have ups and downs as a rookie, but he will also be limited when Bridgewater isn’t throwing a lot.
4. Kenneth Dixon RB BAL – This is my monster sleeper of this class, as I think he thrives if getting the carries. It’s a crowded backfield, though, so it’s tough to predict this situation. Just grab and stash in redraft, and get excited for the long-term.
5. Devontae Booker RB DEN – After Dixon, this is my next biggest sleeper rookie. He could be starting by mid-season, if not sooner. That’s not a lock, that’s a bold prediction, so draft/trade accordingly, don’t reach, as that would defeat the term ‘sleeper’ and all the upside that goes along with acquiring a sleeper.
6. Josh Doctson WR WAS – Nice long-term appeal and decent redraft appeal.
7. Sterling Shepard WR NYG – An exciting player that I want to get excited about, as everyone seems to be expecting so much out of this kid; however, if Odell Beckham is healthy, you have to wonder if many could be disappointed in 2016. He has nice long-term appeal, though.
8. Michael Thomas WR NO – Exciting receiver in a situation that could have him maturing fast.
9. Josh Ferguson RB IND – Nice sleeper potential in Indy.
10. Tyler Boyd WR CIN – Nice future and solid skill set.

The Rest

Will Fuller WR HOU
Wendell Smallwood RB PHI
DeAndre Washington RB OAK
Keith Marshall RB WAS
Alex Collins RB SEA
Pharoh Cooper WR LA
Leonte Carroo WR MIA
Paul Perkins RB NYG
C.J. Prosise RB SEA
Jordan Howard RB CHI
Kenyan Drake RB MIA
Jared Goff QB LA
Hunter Henry TE SD
Carson Wentz QB PHI
Jonathan Williams RB BUF
Tyler Ervin RB HOU
Braxton Miller WR HOU
Rashard Higgins WR CLE
Malcolm Mitchell WR NE
Paxton Lynch QB DEN

Is Ezekiel Elliott a top 5RB already?

Our Draft Analyzer already has Ezekiel Elliott ranked inside the top 5RBs for 2016 (depending on your entered scoring). Is this premature? Is there too much risk counting on the runner at top 5RB value?

I say he is worth top 5-10RB consideration, no question. I caution anyone to rank him ahead of the big three RBs, LeVeon Bell, Todd Gurley, and David Johnson, but after those big guns, there are a grip of RBs that warrant that 4th rank. Devonta Freeman, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, there are a handful of running backs worth ranking in that 4th spot, and Elliott has just as much 2016 upside as any of those players. Word out of Dallas is that the rookie could see 300 carries in 2016, and while that is a bit concerning for his dynasty value, as it could wear him down, it’s fantastic news for redraft leaguers who plan to own Zeke. He is in a potent offense behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, and while Tony Romo has had trouble staying healthy over the last couple of years, that Dallas passing game, led by Dez Bryant, will make stacking the box against Elliott extremely tough. Elliott, if healthy, should easily earn top 5-10RB numbers. He could bounce around even higher than that from time to time.

Run The Draft Analyzer Now!

Demaryius Thomas to decline in 2016?

If you own Demaryius Thomas in dynasty, it might be time to trade him. If you play in redraft, unless the price is right, it might be time to start avoiding him. DT use to be a second-round fantasy talent, and while it’s always possible he still cranks out that kind of production in 2016, he has a miserable QB situation in 2016 (Mark Sanchez, or overwhelmed rookie Paxton Lynch), he is 28 years old (turning 29 in December) and the team might plan to run more than ever in 2016. In dynasty, I wouldn’t suggest that anyone sell so low you are trading him in for a 6th- or 7th-round WR talent, but you might be able to get crafty and do a straight one-for-one swap for an underrated TY Hilton. Hilton is 26 and has a top 1-3 passer throwing him the football… this is the kind of ‘downgrade’ that seems feasible trade-wise, given the trade market values of both players, and it’s a great way to rebuild and plan for the future. And, in redraft, the two, Thomas and Hilton, have just about the exact ADP, so consider drafting a Hilton-type before you draft DT.

Note: The Draft Analyzer agrees with this doubting of DT, as it has the WR roughly ranked around 18-21 heading into 2016.

Other names to consider over Demaryius Thomas, regardless of position:

  • Jarvis Landry MIA
  • Jeremy Langford CHI RB
  • Andrew Luck IND QB
  • Aaron Rodgers GB QB

Two Upside Board Predictions Just Added

ffs-upsideboardLooking for 2016 Upside Board predictions? We have you covered. We have already added the first two players to the list for the 2016 fantasy football season. Check them out now!
View Upside Board

Dynasty: AJ Green a good buy-low?

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Smitty is the owner of SleeperU.com, which now proudly powers STARTERS’ Dynasty Content.

Dynasty Player of the Week

Buy-Low: AJ Green

It’s actually head-scratching how undervalued AJ Green is right now in dynasty. His ADP in all formats, redraft and dynasty, has now entered the 2nd-round, which is awesome news if you’re crafty and looking to trade. Often times in dynasty leagues, fantasy owners think too far into the future. Green, turning 28 this July, is still capable of being a top 1-5 fantasy WR during any give season, and given WRs usually can play at an elite level through 32, he still has 3-4 years left as a player that can drop top 5ish fantasy wide receiver numbers. That’s a long time in dynasty, 3-4 years, yet so many focus on only obtaining players that are 23 and 24 years old. This approach often has fantasy owners rarely winning titles, as they are always chasing ‘the build’ of their team. One strategy I’ve used as of late, in leagues where I needed to shake things up, is to trade a top 1-3 ranked receiver, like an Odell Beckham, for an undervalued AJ Green, thus allowing me to ask for a nice upgrade elsewhere. It won’t fly now, but I was able to upgrade my 1.03 to the 1.01 using this so called ‘downgrade’ to AJ Green. Now I own Ezekiel Elliott because of that move. Again, that’s not a move anyone would do now, as the 1.01 has now become Elliott, but you get the point and you see how one can turn a so called ‘downgrade’ into something more. Believe in AJG, he still has tier one WR appeal for a handful of years!

Bust WRs for 2016?

Below are a few potential 2016 Fantasy Football Busts at WR.

Brandon Marshall NYJ WR

He’s 32 and has played 10 seasons. Sure, he could go through 33 as elite, it happens, but 32-33 is often the age of decline for WRs, so it’s tough to pay a 3rd-round price, which is his going ADP, in 2016 given the chance he declines at some point this year.

Kelvin Benjamin CAR WR

I like his future value, but without much proven on the field, it’s hard to justify his current 3rd-round ADP. If his value drops a round or more, we might like his value this year, but he seems risky as a third player on one’s team.

Julian Edelman NE WR

With Tom Brady serving a multi-game suspension, and with Edelman coming off foot surgery, there is reason to be concerned about drafting Edleman as high as his ADP is coming in at. His ADP is in the 3.10-4.02 area, and that’s way too high for a 30 year old wide receiver coming off injury and missing his QB for multiple games.

Bust RBs for 2016?

Below are a few potential 2016 Fantasy Football Busts at RB.

Eddie Lacy RB GB

With a middle second-round ADP, it’s time to pump the brakes on the Eddie Lacy comeback bus. He has nice appeal as a 4th-drafted player, and that’s where his ADP was prior to the news breaking about him being in great shape early on during the off-season. Well, that news triggered a huge climb in ADP value, and he now has more risk than appeal. Beware of drafting Lacy as your second player, dynasty or redraft.

Latavius Murray RB OAK

How does Latavius Murray still have 3rd-round ADP value heading into late June mocks? We admit, we liked him last year, there was a lot to like, but he kind of failed fantasy owners last year, and it’s sounding like rookie DeAndre Washington could get a chance if things go bad for Murray early on in 2016. And, even if Murray plays decent, it could be a RBBC all year. Don’t overlook Murray should his value tumble, he is quite gifted between the tackles, but third-round picks should be spent elsewhere in 2016.

Ryan Matthews RB PHI

With Wendell Smallwood in Philly, I think the oft-injured Ryan Matthews is a sell-high in existing leagues, and he’s a player to potentially avoid should you be looking at needing to take him at his 5th-round ADP. Take Smallwood only later on and have the real weapon at scrub pricing.

Jonathan Stewart RB CAR

This guy never stayed healthy when young and fresh, it’s hard to imagine him being worth his current 5th-round ADP. Pass on JStew at this cost in upcoming drafts. If his ADP falls, then we might start liking his value, but not in the 5th.

Deeper QB Sleepers

Kirk Cousins (QB – WAS)

Kirk Cousins will likely be undervalued in most formats in 2016, as there are just so many quarterbacks to rank above him, like Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Blake Bortles, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Even Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo might have more 2016 value than Cousins, to at least some. So, if you want a passer capable of top 5-10 fantasy QB upside, yet he will cost you almost 8-14 overall QB value, well, Cousins is your guy. The risk is super low given that kind of value, just make sure you back him up with another similar 10-15QB option.

Marcus Mariota (QB – TEN)

Like Cousins, by default, 10 or so passers might get ranked above Mariota entering 2016 fantasy football drafts. Mariota has some maturing to do, and he could still be hit and miss in 2016, but he showed tons of promise last year as a rookie, where he threw for 2,818 yards, 19 TDs and 10 INTs, while running for 252 yards two TDs. The additions of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, defenses will be kept honest, and in turn that will help Mariota hook up with Kendall Wright, Dorial Green-Beckham and Delanie Walker downfield. Don’t be surprised if Mariota totals over 30 TDs (passing and rushing) this upcoming season.

Other QB Sleepers

Derek Carr (QB – OAK)
Jameis Winston (QB – TB)
Robert Griffin III (QB – CLE)

2016 Rookie Rankings (June Update)

We have provided a few 2016 Rookie Rankings updates since the April NFL Draft, and because many of you have upcoming rookie drafts here in June and July, here is one more update for June. Expect at least one more in July.

2016 Rookie Rankings

Date: 6/6/2016

1. Carson Wentz
2. Jared Goff
3. Paxton Lynch
4. Christian Hackenberg
5. Connor Cook
1. Ezekiel Elliott
2. Derrick Henry
3. Kenneth Dixon
4. Devontae Booker
5. Cj Prosise
6. Wendell Smallwood
7. Paul Perkins
8. Jordan Howard
9. Keith Marshall
10. Alex Collins
11. Johnathan Williams
12. Daniel Lasco
13. Kenyan Drake
14. Tyler Ervin
15. Deandre Washington
1. Laquon Treadwell
2. Josh Doctson
3. Corey Coleman
4. Michael Thomas
5. Will Fuller
6. Sterling Shepard
7. Pharoh Cooper
8. Leonte Carroo
9. Keyarris Garrett
10. Tyler Boyd
11. Moritz Boehringer
12. Braxton Miller
13. Malcolm Mitchell
14. Charone Peake
15. Rashard Higgins
16. De’runnya Wilson
17. Tajae Sharpe

1. Hunter Henry
2. Austin Hooper
3. Nick Vannett