The end of the fantasy football season shouldn’t mean the end of filling out your roster for keeper league players. Owners should always be looking to improve their situation. Grabbing lottery tickets for next season is one way to do just that.
At the end of the 2010 season I decided to flush deadweight on the roster and picked up Saints TE Jimmy Graham. As a rookie Graham caught 31 balls and had 5 TD. I figured in the Saints high powered offense Graham could do some damage in 2011. I was correct in that estimation to the tune of 99 catches 1310 yards, and 11 TD. All because I grabbed a lottery ticket before the season ended. The end of the 2012, I grabbed a lottery ticket in Browns TE Jordan Cameron. In 2 seasons he had just 22 catches. Following reports on the club, Cameron was projected to be a focal point of their scheme in 2013. I was correct again as Cameron had a career season 80 catches 917 yards and 7 TD. Those are my 2 biggest success stories in grabbing end of the season lottery tickets. I have missed on more than actually got correct. Point being it only increases your chances of improving your roster for the next season. If that lottery ticket busts, so what you didn’t lose anything anyways. Opportunity is the key in rostering these players thru the offseason.
Seahawks RB Chris Carson was the best looking running back in Seattle in preseason and the regular season in 2017. The Seahawks looked to insert Carson as the bell cow, unfortunately it lasted just 4 games due to a season ending ankle injury. Mike Davis, JD McKissic, Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, and C.J. Prosise didn’t pose a threat to take the job away. Davis was added off the practice squad later in the season and hasn’t done much to impress. McKissic is a gadget player. Rawls and Prosise can’t stay healthy. Whatever burst Lacy had looks to have left. If Seattle doesn’t add a big name in the offseason, Carson should have a good shot at being a bell cow in 2018.
49ers RB Carlos Hyde hasn’t relinquished the lead job to Matt Breida as many fantasy analysts predicted this season. Hyde is a free agent this offseason and could leave the Bay Area. Matt Breida and Joe Williams would have a chance at a lead job. Williams was placed on IR with an ankle injury in training camp. The 49ers offense looks pretty good with Garoppolo at the helm. Fantasy points from the 49ers top running back will be commodity in 2018. I’m going to burn roster spots on my dumpster fire of a roster to find out.
Bears General Manager got killed in the media for trading up one spot to draft QB Mitch Trubisky, but drafting TE Adam Shaheen with the 45th pick was also a head scratcher. Shaheen was a walk-on at Division II Ashland University after playing basketball at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. 26 Touchdowns later Shaheen decided to forgo his senior season. Shaheen’s learning curve was apparent during his rookie season. The Bears are completely devoid of weapons in the receiving corps. 3 of his 12 catches in 2017 have gone for Touchdowns. I’ll gladly burn a roster spot to see if Shaheen takes a step forward in 2018.
The Cardinals drafted a receiver in the 3rd round that didn’t make much of an impact in 2017. Talent, coaching and opportunity could change things in 2018. Chad Williams has 3 catches for 31 yards in 6 games played at the time of this post. This Grambling State product hasn’t been able to beat out Jaron Brown, John Brown, or JJ Nelson to make much of an impact. Larry Fitzgerald’s status for 2018 is yet to be determined. If Fitzgerald does return, Williams is a higher ceiling player than anyone else in the receiving corps. Downgrades on Williams were off the field issues in college and playing in a smaller conference. Williams has 4.3 speed and was a red zone threat with 21 touchdowns his last 2 seasons. Bruce Arians is one of my favorite coaches in the NFL. I respect his football IQ and the path he had to take to get a head coaching job. 2017 was almost a red-shirt year for Williams getting acclimated to the NFL. Spending a season with Fitzgerald also should have assisted with the learning curve. With another offseason to work on his craft with Arians and possibly Fitzgerald, I believe Williams has a chance to make an impact in 2018.
By the time I have to select keepers and draft in August of 2018, I’ll know if any of these lottery tickets are worth holding onto. My recommendation would be to flush out dead weight on your keeper league rosters and grab some lottery tickets.