I believe Jaguars and Titans will make the Playoffs this season.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles will rebound this season. Improved front office, coaching, worked with Tom House on Mechanics. More offensive balance with improved running game. Will be a QB 2 with upside.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota
With improved weapons and development Mariota will be the QB I target as part of my yearly strategy to be the last team to take my 1st QB, but first to have 2. Eric Decker has double digit TD in 3 of last 5 seasons.
Ravens WR Jeremy Maclin should be able to excel in the slot for the Ravens. Baltimore has led the NFL in pass attempts each of the last 2 seasons. Maclin may have lost some burst down the field, but should excel in the slot. WR3 with PPR upside.
Danny Woodhead will be the back to own in Baltimore this year. With Pitta’s hip injury, Woodhead will pick up the slack in the short passing game. Terrance West isn’t much of a threat in the backfield and Kenneth Dixon wasn’t impressive last year. Dixon also will serve a 4-game suspension to start the season.
I view Saints WR Michael Thomas as a top 5 WR in fantasy football. Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham JR. Michael Thomas, Jordy Nelson.
Saints WR Willie Snead has put up solid numbers in back-to-back years. Thomas will be a stud, but Snead will have his numbers go up as well.
Rams WR Robert Woods may be a popular WR5 this season. Tavon Austin is what he is and Cooper Kupp will play in the slot. Woods will lead Rams in receptions this year.
49ers QB’s will target Pierre Garcon early and often. PPR players will enjoy rostering Garcon more so than standard scoring players.
Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett dynamic playmaking ability needs to be used more this season. Coming back of broken Fibula and Tibia is something to track. Lockett is an excellent late rd gamble.
Packers TE Martellus Bennett set a career-high with 7 TD last season. I believe he easily sets career-high again this season.
I’m very torn on where to rank Ty Montgomery. Improved Pass protection could be his key to getting the most playing time. Right now, I’m leaning towards viewing him as a value pick instead of a player to reach up for in drafts.
Viewpoints of Kelvin Benjamin have changed dramatically since he came into the league. Went from great red zone threat and value to overweight bust in the eyes of fantasy owners. Its true Benjamin was out of shape last season; I blame the Panthers offense as a whole for falling off instead of blaming just Benjamin. Here’s his numbers.
2014 73 catches 1008 yards 9 TD.
2016 63 catches 941 yards 7 TD.
Don’t be a scorned Benjamin owner that lets him fall far in this year’s drafts. I believe Benjamin will out perform his draft slot.
Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey usage is tough to predict. Cam Newton is a runner instead of a check down passer. Switching styles could help Newton stay healthy long term. Would also make McCaffrey much more valuable. The drafting of McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel show a change in offensive philosophy. Make sure you have solid depth behind McCaffrey if you want to pay the cost to draft him.
Browns WR Corey Coleman has had hamstring problems dating back to his freshman year at Baylor. I’m scared to spend a WR-4 pick on him at this point. Coleman unfortunately lacks one crucial ability and that is availability.
If I had to choose 1 Patriots RB it would be Mike Gillislee. Had 8 Rushing TD last year. Rex Burkhead will see early down work with Gillislee as well. James White is the pass catching back. Dion Lewis will be a complimentary piece may help in return game.
Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has 14 TD in 21 career games played. Coming off a year suspension at age 25, Bryant should still possess elite athleticism. Playing opposite of Antonio Brown, a more mature Bryant should have a field day. I’m using a franchise tag to keep Bryant in my dynasty league.
Jets WR Quincy Enunwa may be Captain Garbage Time this season with the Jets expected to be among leagues worst teams.
Pay attention to Austin Seferian-Jenkins in training camp. Has cut out alcohol gotten in better shape and this is probably his last shot to have a career. ASJ shouldn’t have to fight for targets in this week receiving corps.
Lions RB Ameer Abdullah will be a stand by your man pick for me this season. Abdullah is coming back from Lisfranc surgery last season. With lack of surrounding talent in backfield, I’ll take a mid-to-late gamble on Abdullah one more time.
The Vikings backfield looks murky to some, but I’m not fearful of Dalvin Cook getting stuck behind Latavius Murray this season. Murray will be TD dependent again, while Cook should be able to carve out a role in the passing game. Cook for the round picked will be a better value than Murray this season.
Jets RB Matt Forte will get overdrafted based off of name recognition. Bilal Powell is younger and has more burst than Forte at this point. The Jets plan to use a committee at running back this year. Forte sadly could just be a bye week replacement running back at this stage of his career.
Bengals RB Joe Mixon will be a top 15 RB this season. Bernard coming off ACL tear and Jeremy Hill is too slow to get more than what is blocked. Go up to get Mixon.
Chargers TE Hunter Henry is a top 8 TE in fantasy football. I believe he does serious damage in LA this year. Antonio Gates will play less snaps this year and serve as a compliment to Henry.
Chiefs WR Chris Conley will take over for the departed Jeremy Maclin. Has 4.35 speed. Tyreek Hill is the projected Z receiver with Conley taking over the X. Conley is worth a late rd flier.
Redskins ILB Zach Brown has an opportunity to take a starting job away from Mason Foster or Will Compton. Buffalo’s run defense stunk last year and Brown was a portion not the entire problem. Could be a LB3 if he wins a starting job.
Jaguars ILB Myles Jack is taking over play-calling duties for Paul Posluszny this season. Jack has tremendous upside and should be a target for IDP owners.
Dolphins MLB Raekwon McMillan is a player to follow as camps get underway. McMillan was a solid tackler at The Ohio State University. Could be a popular early waiver claim in IDP leagues.
Colts ILB Jon Bostic is a player to pay attention to in training camp. Bostic is a former 2nd rd pick that flamed out in Chicago and New England. Colts LB corps is a wide open competition at this point. Sean Spence, Antonio Morrison, Edwin Jackson are also in competition for reps on the inside.
Giants MLB B.J. Goodson is another player to track in training camp. The LB corps for the G-Men leaves a lot to be desired. Goodson worked as the starting MLB in OTA’s.
Bears SS Quentin Demps was a late bloomer with the Texans. Demps should be able to carry over his production to Chicago due to a lack of play makers around him.
I believe Falcons Defense will take a bigger step forward this year based off their young talent gaining experience. Talent will not be impacted negatively by coaching changes. Head Coach Dan Quinn is a defensive guy, draft the Falcons with confidence.
The Chicago Bears 3-year deal $45 million dollar deal with Quarterback Mike Glennon was one of eye opening signings in free agency. $19 million of the deal is guaranteed making it easier from the Bears to move on from Glennon after one season. Astoundingly this is near the going rate for starting QB’s. The Bears reportedly plan to draft a Quarterback this year as well.
Moving on from Jay Cutler was one of the top priorities this offseason. Cutler’s 8 years with the team had run its course. My belief is Cutler wouldn’t have played another down for the Bears in 2016 if Brian Hoyer didn’t get injured to miss the remainder of the season. The Bears QB comedy carousel got better as the 49ers signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in free agency.
Glennon gets the opportunity to run an offense with a rebuilding unit. Kevin White hasn’t proven to stay healthy in his NFL career. Cameron Meredith showed flashes last season. Markus Wheaton couldn’t break thru in a talented receiving corps in Pittsburgh, but gets his shot in the Windy City. Kendall Wright put up numbers in Tennessee a few years ago, but was passed over with the current regime.
Glennon’s skill set was on display in 2013 and 2014 in Tampa. The Bucs got the 1st overall pick in 2015 and drafted Jameis Winston to lead their offense. One interesting tidbit that came out is the Bucs offered Glennon $8 million dollars to return as the backup.
His biggest asset to the Bears could be what he offers in the locker room. The Bears signed Glennon in what amounts to a one-year deal to be a stopgap QB. How early of a draft choice the Bears spend on a QB will provide a lot of insight in how the organization views Glennon long term. After a 6-10 season followed by a 3-13 season, GM Ryan Pace and company may need to squeeze out more wins while rebuilding to save their jobs.
The Chicago Bears reportedly will not use the franchise tag on WR Alshon Jeffery for the upcoming season. Using another franchise tag would have netted Jeffrey $17.5 million dollars for the 2017. Coming off a 3-13 record the Bears have spent a lot of money in free agency recently, yet still have a lack of talent across the roster. Jeffery in 5 years has missed 17 of a possible 80 games played. 4 games were lost due to a suspension in 2016. Lower body soft tissue injuries have plagued Jefery for his NFL career. Those injuries happen to all football players, but Jeffery is on the injury report too much for my liking. At age 27, this South Carolina product should be able to command a sizeable contract in free agency.
Supporters will point to the 2013 and 2014 campaigns of 89 catches for 1421 yards, 7 TD and 85 catches 1,133 yards, 10 TD. Imagine what numbers Jeffery would put up with a top flight NFL QB instead of Jay Cutler. (That’s an argument for another time.) Jeffery has great ball skills in traffic and can help take the top off a defense. This skill set should be in high demand on the free agent market. Chicago has so many holes that paying Jeffery premium dollar wouldn’t solve the problem. The free agent class for Wide Receivers this year is also thin with DeSean Jackson, Terrelle Pryor, Kenny Britt, Pierre Garcon, Kendall Wright, and Terrence Williams all looking for work. Connect the dots reporting would link the Rams, 49ers, Eagles, Bills, Browns, Bucs, and Titans to Jeffery.
Many fantasy football analysts view Jeffery as a WR 2 in drafts. His value theoretically should go up in a new situation. The new QB Jeffery gets to play with has a direct impact on his value. Conversely, I’ve always avoided him in drafts due to injury concerns. I hate having to check Alshon’s status nearly each week. I will drop Jeffery even farther down draft boards if he signs with a team that plays on turf. Maybe a new training staff can help keep Jeffery healthy. Risk-reward isn’t there for me with that high of a draft choice or auction cost.