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Two Upside Board Predictions Just Added

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Dynasty: AJ Green a good buy-low?

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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

Deep Sleepers: May

There are a ton of deep sleepers to target in 2016 fantasy football drafts, and this article will just touch on a few. We will provide more and more names as we near August, so stay tuned for future versions of this column.

Devontae Booker (RB/DEN)

CJ Anderson might have the starting job locked up in Denver, as he was signed to a huge off-season contract, but don’t sleep on Devontae Booker, a Devonta Freeman type rusher with a ton of determination. He has made it public that he plans to attack the starting gig, and he has the skill set to do it. Anderson isn’t the most secure RB1 in fantasy football, and his ADP is falling despite his huge contract and placement in that lineup. I think people fear that he isn’t for real, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people aren’t still sleeping on Booker. They are. Take advantage and draft him as a stash type rusher.

Wendell Smallwood (RB/PHI)

Ryan Mathews and aging Darren Sproles are the only thing standing in the way of Smallwood, a runner that could easily be one of the bigger rookie running back surprises in 2016. He may not develop, so it’s important not to reach too high to grab him, but his ADP is in the crazy-low range where he isn’t even showing up in the top 100 of redraft ADPs. He has monster upside with no risk.

Who is the 1.01?

We have addressed this topic earlier this off-season, but it’s time to address it again, as we are nearing June 1. Who is the 1.01 in fantasy football heading into 2016?. Of course, much depends on your scoring, as wide receivers are surely in the conversation if we’re talking about a PPR draft. And, for the most part, dynasty and redraft usually have slightly different top five ranked players. This year, dynasty and redraft look very much the same, so it really boils down to PPR or non-PPR, which we will mention below, however, we will rank the below players as if we are talking PPR.

Todd Gurley | STL RB

Todd Gurley is the safest RB to rank at the 1.01, and because he might be heads and shoulders above the rest of the 2016 rushers (minus a few names, which we will list below), going RB over WR makes a lot of sense when Gurley is sitting there. Gurley posted 229 uards for 1,106 yards, 10TDs, and 21 receptions for 188 yards. However, he didn’t really get the start until Week 4, as he barely played Week 3. So, if you pace out his stats, he essentially was on pace for 1,462 yards, 13TDs rushing, 26 receptions for 244 yards. As a rookie! If he gets more production through the air, which I expect he will, I think he can easily drop 1,700 combine rushing/receiving yards and 12-15TDs in 2016. The thing is, he has upside for more. To me, he is the safest 1.01 in all formats, dynasty to redraft, and even in PPR… I say this because there aren’t a ton of 1.01 worthy RBs this year, however, there are up to 4-5 WRs, if not a few more, that can actually be the best fantasy WR in football this year.

All this said above, below are a handful of excellent choices for the 1.01, as there is not just one player worthy of the selection (despite Gurley feeling like the overall safest).

More 1.01-worthy players:

Julio Jones (ATL, WR) – In PPR especially, he could be the top overall scorer, so he needs to be considered. He is a top 1-3 lock in any draft. With a high first-round draft slot, that means you will likely have back-to-back, or near back-to-back, picks near the bottom of the second/early third, so RBs will be available to you later, which means going WR in the 1.01-1.04 range does not mean you will be weak at RB in 2016.

Antonio Brown (PIT, WR) – Everything said above about Julio can be said here.

Le’Veon Bell (PIT, RB) – Only his knee recovery has him not locked into the 1.01 above with Todd Gurley. If he proves 100 percent before draft day, which isn’t likely the case, as he will probably play it safe heading into Week 1, he would be absolutely tied with Gurley above.

Other players, like Odell Beckham and DeAndre Hopkins, should be talked about, but early ADPs suggest both will fall at least to the 3-5 range, meaning if you want one of these 1.01-capable studs in Beckham and Hopkins, consider trading down to the 3-5 range. Both are easily capable of being 1.01 good, though.

Wide Receivers to Doubt in 2016?

Below you will find a few big name wide receivers we caution against drafting in 2016, unless the price is right. Everything comes down to value.

Brandon Marshall | WR Jets

He is coming off a phenomenal season in 2015, posting 109 receptions for 1502 yards and 14TDs. But, he is also entering his 11th NFL season. I’ve seen him drafted as high as 9-11 for WRs, and seen him go at 15-17 for WRs. I like him in that 15-20 range, no question, but as a top 10WR, I worry about him breaking down in 2016. So, draft accordingly and let others reach based on last year’s numbers.

Alshon Jeffery | WR Bears

He always seems banged up, and his ADP is too high for our liking top 8-10WR range. If he can be drafted as a WR2, by all means, draft the guy with a smile. But, he is a risky fantasy WR1, he just is.

Kelvin Benjamin | WR Panthers

The receiver is fully expected to be ready for 2016, as he recovers from last year’s ACL tear. While he had a big 2014, pulling in 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and 9TDs, he feels a bit overrated heading into 2016 fantasy football drafts and mocks. He is sometimes ranked inside the top 15-20 receivers, and while he could post such numbers in 2016, there are a number of safer options at that higher end of 15-20 (like Jarvis Landry for example). Don’t consider Benjamin a bust candidate, we aren’t predicting bust, but don’t draft too high, and consider selling high in leagues where you already own him, as his trade value seems awesome!

Running Backs to Doubt in 2016?

Below you will find a few big name running backs we caution against drafting in 2016, unless the price is right. Everything comes down to value.

Mark Ingram | RB Saints

It’s not that we doubt the guy’s talent, as he can play like a top 10RB when fed the ball. However, his ADP is in the top 10RB range, and that’s a bit high given his injury history and the potential he doesn’t get the carries he deserves. Don’t trade him away on the cheap if you own him in dynasty, but make sure you rank him in the low, low end of the RB2s heading into 2016, this way he won’t disappoint. We’ve seen some value him as a low end RB1 and that’s risky.

CJ Anderson | RB Broncos

Not only is his lack of experience a red flag, so is his inability to stay on the field. And, with Devontae Booker, the new rookie in Denver, now on the Denver roster, Anderson ‘could’ disappoint in 2016. Again, like with Ingram above, don’t sell cheap if you already own him in dynasty, but don’t draft him in upcoming drafts expecting elite RB1 numbers. His ADP is super high and we just don’t like the value even if he is relatively talented. If you plan to roll with CJ this year, just be sure to cuff him to Booker!

Thomas Rawls | RB Seahawks

He is still equal parts sleeper and risk, so know that the potential is there. This is great for those that bought low months and months ago in dynasty. Keep him, or trade him high… but don’t sell dirt cheap. All that said, don’t go drafting him at high-end RB2 value at this point, as the Seahawks drafted two rookies that have big skill sets, one being CJ Prosise. Cuff him to Rawls if you roll with Rawls this year! If drafting today, though, I think I avoid Rawls at his current asking price. I bought low in a lot of leagues, and I’m happy about that, but values change and some players turn into risks at the going rates. This is that situation.