The busiest draft week is upon us this fantasy football season and as we’ve seen to this point in the “games that do not matter”, there’s still a fair amount of unknown to how teams will shape their rosters entering the final week of the preseason.
Picking that big-time player in a late round can make or break your season as can choosing a complete bust with an early pick.
So who should you choose? Here’s some boom or bust options to consider.
BOOM – Jameis Winston, TB
Let’s get this tidbit out of the way first. If there was ever a year to wait on selecting a quarterback, this is it. After the big four of Rodgers, Brady, Brees and Luck (who suddenly is going in the 7th round in 12 team leagues?!), the next 10 players were separated by less than 2 points per game last season.
Enter Jameis Winston – the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards his first two seasons. Just let that stat sink in. Adding Desean Jackson and a huge TE target in OJ Howard only bolster his options and almost guarantee he will make it three straight seasons of 4,000 yards. His ADP? 89.
Sky is the limit.
BUST – Dak Prescott, DAL
Within 10 ADP slots, Prescott has the company of Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr. Give me all four of those quarterbacks before the second-year man in Dallas.
Yes, Dak finished 5th among QBs in points last season, but the situation that he is about to be placed in will cause headaches for owners immediately. Aside from Ezekiel Elliott’s 6-game suspension, Dallas opens the season with games against the Giants, Broncos and Cardinals. That is as brutal of a stretch as you can get if you are a quarterback.
The ratios and consistency that Prescott produced in his rookie season will be very difficult to duplicate. With the schedule facing the Cowboys, he’s going to fall back to earth.
BOOM – Marshawn Lynch, OAK
Very few people are happier than I am that Beast Mode is back in the league. After being beaten down with a terrible final play call in the Super Bowl and a horrific offensive line in Seattle, Lynch finds himself in a fantastic spot to thrive with a chance to return to the 1,000-yard plateau.
Let’s put it this way, if Latavius Murray could put up fringe RB1 numbers with the Raiders’ offensive line, just think of what Lynch can do. The year off to rest had to do wonders for Lynch with the way he runs the ball, and fantasy players will reap the benefits by drafting him.
BUST – Ty Montgomery, GB
Yes, this is a website dedicated to Chicago sports. No, this isn’t a biased selection. Someone needs to explain the hype of the wide receiver turned running back to me. Take out his two games against Chicago and his regular season game against Dallas and you have a running back with a fourth round ADP averaging only 52 total yards per game. With Jamaal Williams now in town, Montgomery’s days resembling a running back may be over. Don’t waste your high pick on the third-year player. Go with Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey if they’re available.
BOOM – Eric Decker, TEN
Give me Decker all day, every day on my team. His season-ending shoulder injury has destroyed his value heading into 2017 as he is currently the 37th wide receiver off the board on average. If Decker stays healthy, paired with a much better quarterback than he dealt with in New York, there’s no reason to doubt he can return to top 20 territory. Let’s not forget prior to 2016, the 30-year old had over 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns in three of his four seasons.
I’ll take that bet to get near those numbers again as a FLEX any day.
BOOM – Martavis Bryant, PIT
We can’t ignore the presence of another wide receiver who, if he has his act together, will make major waves this season. Missing the entire 2016 season due to suspension, Bryant’s big playmaking ability is back on the field in Pittsburgh with a current rank of WR30. With Antonio Brown drawing double coverage throughout each game, this only opens up the possibilities of Bryant this season.
I’m a betting man, and I believe he has his act together, giving him the opportunity to put together a top-15 season at WR. Let’s not forget, when he was last active in the league in 2015, he put up top 10 numbers for the Steelers. The upside he brings to the table with a ADP of 70 cannot be matched.
BUST – Dez Bryant, DAL
It has been three years since Bryant posted a 1,000 yard season in Dallas and we may be talking about adding another year to the wideout’s drought come 2018. Aside from the fact his young quarterback hasn’t fed him the ball in droves unlike his predecessor, the outspoken Bryant will face the toughest cornerback schedule in the NFL for No. 1 wide receivers.
These red flags should give everyone cause for concern about spending a 2nd round pick on Bryant. There is the possibility Dallas could look towards the passing game with the absence of Elliott to start the season, but the start of their schedule might be too difficult to overcome the value you should expect here. Give me Doug Baldwin over Dez Bryant in round two.
BOOM – Jack Doyle, IND
There’s three guarantees in life: birth, death and Rob Chudzinski feeding his offense’s tight end. Through the first seven games of the 2016 season, Doyle was TE4. With Dwayne Allen now playing for rival New England, the door is wide open for the 5th year player to flirt with top three numbers at the position.
Andrew Luck’s health will most definitely tie in to what Doyle is able to do in 2017, but his current position at TE15 is a no brainer pick up at the tail end of your draft.
BUST – Zach Ertz, PHI
Another year, another handful of predictions calling for Ertz to have a breakout season. Following a hot finish to the 2016 season, Ertz is lined up to fall back to Earth outside of the top 10 at the position.
The Stanford alum’s role is bound to be reduced with the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, albeit there was the trade of Jordan Matthews that made the receiving corps a little less crowded.
Touchdowns have always been a struggle for Ertz and his fantasy owners, an issue that doesn’t figure to get much easier between Jeffery’s arrival and even LeGarrette Blount as a big red zone option for Philadelphia. Instead, grab Kyle Rudolph who finished as TE2 last season thanks to the check down game from Sam Bradford.
This season seems to be more of a minefield compared to previous years when trying to decipher the booms and busts available on your board. Tread lightly and remember, minimizing the risk can reap the biggest benefits for your team in 2017.