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Home Stretch: ADP Preview Rounds 11-20

You’re confident in your strategy, and you have your core guys targeted and queued up. You’re prepared to supplement the foundation with high upside guys in the middle rounds, and you’re wondering what you can add in the late rounds to help define your team during bye weeks and injuries. Let’s take a look at the more confusing rounds featuring players you may not know to players you may not want.

Round 11

  • Aaron Jones, RB – GB
  • Jared Goff, QB – LAR
  • Jamaal Williams, RB – GB
  • Robby Anderson, WR – NYJ
  • C.J. Anderson, RB – CAR
  • Jaguars D/ST
  • Ben Roethlisberger, QB – PIT
  • Sterling Shepard, WR – NYG
  • Matt Ryan, QB – ATL
  • Jack Doyle, TE – IND

Player I Love: The hype surrounding Neslon Agholor subsided quickly during a rookie year that was rocky to say the least. Last year, though, he and Wentz developed the kind of chemistry that could help push him into the WR2 category. While you’ll have to live with a few weeks of sub par performances, as a flex starter or backup WR, the potential for 800 yards and 8-10 TDs is hard to pass up.

Player I Hate: I will use this as a platform to decry the drafters that feel it’s necessary to draft a defense earlier than round 15. Instead of wasting a pick this early, draft skill position players and stream a defense drafted at the end of your draft.

Round 12

  • Nick Chubb, RB – CLE
  • Nelson Agholor, WR – PHI
  • Rams D/ST
  • Philip Rivers, QB – LAC
  • Kelvin Benjamin, WR – BUF
  • Patrick Mahomes, QB – KC
  • Devontae Booker, RB – DEN
  • D’Onta Foreman, RB – HOU
  • Ty Montgomery, RB – GB
  • Allen Hurns, WR – DAL

Player I Love: As the QB 12 in the 12th round, Mahomes provides the kind of excitment you’re missing with the other QB’s in this area. The talent around him is elite, the ability and athletisim is off the charts, and Kansas City turned milquetoast Alex Smith into an elite Fantasy option. Draft with confidence.

Player I Hate: Devontae Booker seemed for a moment to be on the verge of breaking out. Now he’s  fighting for touches with rookie Royce Freeman, who is better suited for the full time gig. While the potential may be there for Booker to see touches, his talent doesn’t scream “draft me” even at this point in the draft.

Round 13

  • Vikings D/ST
  • Stephen Gostkowski, K – NE
  • George Kittle, TE – SF
  • Greg Zuerlein, K – LAR
  • Dez Bryant, WR – Free Agent
  • Eagles D/ST
  • Tyler Eifert, TE – CIN
  • Marcus Mariota, QB – TE
  • Justin Tucker, K – BAL
  • Dak Prescott, QB – DAL

Player I Love: George Kittle may have not been on your radar last off season, but this year he should be. With an up and coming offense devoid of any real red zone targets besides, Kittle could be in line for a big work load. Currently atop the depth chart for the TE position, expect a low end TE1 season for the 2nd year pro.

Player I Hate: Dak Prescott is a player that I want to like, I try to like, but I just can’t bring myself to overlook the issues Dallas has to deal with. With no real number one receiver and a run game that’s going to get all the work it can handle, Dak is a talented QB without many avenues to fantasy greatness. I could be wrong but there are better options out there if you prefer to wait on a QB.

Round 14

  • Derek Carr, QB – OAK
  • O.J. Howard, TE – TB
  • Marqise Lee, WR – JAC
  • D.J. Moore, WR – CAR
  • Calvin Ridley, WR – ATL
  • David Njoku, TE – CL
  • Kenny Stills, WR – MIA
  • Cameron Meredith, WR – NO
  • Jameis Winston, QB – TB
  • Martavis Bryant, WR – OAK

Player I Love: Cameron Meredith was a top sleeper pick last year in Chicago, and that was with journeyman Mike Glennon slated to be his starting QB. Unfortunately, the talented wide out suffered a season ending injury and didn’t play a snap. This off season he popped up in New Orleans, and I expect him to gobble up a fair amount of looks. While Michael Thomas is fully entrenched as the #1, Meredith will provide an upgrade over Ted Ginn as an every day player.

Player I Hate: Marqise Lee may look like the heir apparent to the departed Allen Robinson, but I’d argue that he’s reached his ceiling and other players in that offense are better suited to carry the load. Between late season hero Keelan Cole and rookie Dede Westbrook, Lee has his work cut out for him if he wants to earn the lions share of targets, and I doubt he’ll accomplish that goal.

Round 15

  • Chargers D/ST
  • Alex Smith, QB – WAS
  • Texans D/ST
  • Giovani Bernard, RB – CIN
  • Corey Clement, RB – PHI
  • LeGarrette Blount, RB – DET
  • Mike Williams, WR – LAC
  • Doug Martin, RB – Oak
  • Ravens D/ST
  • Broncos D/ST

Player I Love: Mike Williams is a name that you’ve no doubt seen pop up on sleeper boards all off season and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t buying into the hype. With mediocre players behind him on the depth chart and an injury prone Keenan Allen the only real obstacle away from WR1 looks, there’s not much keeping him from being fantasy relevant right out of the gates.

Player I Hate: LeGarrette Blount has had more fools gold seasons in his career than I’d care to admit falling for, and this year he’s off my list of potential starters for that reason. That uneasy feeling you get when preparing to select Blount stems from the fact that he can’t catch the football and the Lions have more talented backs on that roster already. While he may be inline for a ton of goal line work, rookie Kerryon Johnson and Theo Riddick are the two players I want from this backfield.

Round 16

  • Chris Carson, RB – SEA
  • Rishard Matthews, WR – TEN
  • Bilal Powell, RB – NYJ
  • Josh Doctson, WR – WAS
  • Latavius Murray, RB – MIN
  • Kenny Golladay, WR – DET
  • DeSean Jackson, WR – TB
  • Case Keenum, QB – DEN
  • James White, RB – NE
  • Wil Lutz, K – NO

Player I Love: Chris Carson is the forgotten man in Seattle after Mike Davis stole the thunder last year and Rashad Penny was added in an attempt to return Seattle to the 80s where smash mouth football was the norm. You know who hasn’t forgotten about Carson? Coach Pete Carroll, who’s gushed about how fantastic Carson has looked this off season. As a depth piece, Carson’s road to starting touches is a fairly straightforward one, and with very little risk to boot.

Player I Hate: Kenny Golladay may still have some sheen after last years pre-season feeding frenzy, but don’t be fooled by the feelings you may still harbor towards him. Marvin Jones is the true threat down the sidelines and Golden Tate will eat up a ton of targets himself. Without enough to go around, Golladay will be the mouth left hungry.

Round 17

  • Jake Elliot, K – Phi
  • Theo Riddick, RB – DET
  • Nyheim Hines, RB – IND
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE – JAC
  • Harrison Butker, K – KC
  • Eli Manning, QB – NYG
  • Cameron Brate, TE – TB
  • Panthers D/ST
  • Matt Bryant, K – ATL
  • Robbie Gould, K – SF

Player I Love: He’s been on my sleeper list more than once, but I can’t shake the feeling that a healthy and sober Austin Seferian-Jenkins is in a position to blow up this year. With as much talent as anyone else at the position not named Gronkowski, ASJ will have the chance to prove himself in Jacksonville this year as the starter. While I don’t expect a top 5 finish, he’s certainly in the conversation as a low end TE1.

Player I Hate: At some point, Cameron Brate had to be on the outs in Tampa Bay. With O.J. Howard comfortable after a full season, it’s likely that the offense transitions towards him in the coming months. Couple that with the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t target either tight end much in the games he played, and Brate may be better suited for the back of a milk carton than the bench of a fantasy team.

Round 18

  • Saints D/ST
  • Patriots D/ST
  • Chris Boswell, K – PIT
  • Mitch Trubisky, QB – CHI
  • Paul Richardson, WR – WAS
  • Michael Gallup, WR – DAL
  • Hayden Hurst, TE – BAL
  • Kenneth Dixon, RB – BAL
  • Blake Bortles, QB – JAC
  • Matt Prater, K – DET

Player I Love: While you’re firmly in the “drop in case of waiver wire pickup” stages of the draft, Michael Gallup presents real upside as a potential top receiver in Dallas. The rookie out of Colorado State is in the mix for the targets vacated by Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. In the 18th round, having a potential top receiver available seems criminal, and I’ll be jumping on Gallup as often as I can this draft season.

Player I Hate: I don’t hate Hayden Hurst the player, but I hate Hayden Hurst the Baltimore tight end. There hasn’t been much success for Baltimore tight ends since Dennis Pitta’s career was cut short, and with Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams on the roster siphoning plays, Hurst has too high a mountain to climb for me to feel comfortable drafting him at all.

Round 19

  • Christian Kirk, WR – ARI
  • Dan Bailey, K – DAL
  • Courtland Sutton, WR – DEN
  • Frank Gore, RB – MIA
  • Mohamed Sanu, WR – ATL
  • Matt Brieda, RB – SF
  • Steelers D/ST
  • Eric Ebron, TE – IND
  • Jared Cook, TE – OAK
  • Tyrod Taylor, QB – CLE

Player I Love: It’s reasonable to be concerned about Tyrod Taylor’s job security, after all Baker Mayfield was drafted first overall. That would be to ignore the very loud proclamation that regardless of Mayfield’s presence on the roster, Taylor is the guy this year. Looking at the weapons both at wide receiver and in the backfield, there’s no better last round QB in my mind for real fantasy production.

Player I Hate: I’ll admit I’m guilty of hyping up Matt Brieda last year, as I incorrectly assumed Carlos Hyde wouldn’t handle passing downs. Now, he’s stuck behind an even better pass catcher in Jerick McKinnon. While Brieda may have some NFL talent, there’s little daylight in terms of fantasy value here. If McKinnon goes down, he’s a waiver option, but not worth carrying in standard leagues.

Round 20

  • Baker Mayfield, QB – CLE
  • Andy Dalton, QB – CIN
  • Ted Ginn, WR – NO
  • Tyler Lockett, WR – SEA
  • Dede Westbrook, WR – JAC
  • Austin Ekeler, RB – LAC
  • Mason Crosby, K – GB
  • Josh Rosen, QB – ARI
  • Lamar Jackson, QB – BAL
  • Vance McDonald, TE – PIT

Player I Love: We mentioned it early with Marqise Lee (spoiler alert, I don’t like him as a #1) but Dede Westbrook is a guy that I look at with massive upside in an offense that seems to never have stability at it’s wide receiver position. While it’s typically useless to extrapolate previous years stats, it’s important to note that the young WR’s numbers over a full 16 games would have been 774 yards on 61 catches; and now he has less competition for targets.

Player I Hate: Lamar Jackson, in my eyes, is more of a project then a polished, NFL ready passer. With Joe Flacco still the starter, it’s unlikely Jackson sees extended time this season, and even if he does, there’s very little chance he excels in what would be a dismal situation. In dynasty leagues he’s a flier, but in redraft or short term keeper leagues, he’s best left to the waiver wire.

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Chargers Rookie May Need Surgery

RFrank Zombo, Tyrell Williamseports out of L.A. today point towards a possible season-ending surgery for highly touted rookie WR Mike Williams. While this is certainly a wrench in the gears for a player many expected to make an immediate impact, what it does is open the door for last years suprising success Tyrell Williams to return as the #2 WR on the outside.

I expect Benjamin to remain penciled in as the slot receiver, and if he’s healthy, he’ll take a chunk of the looks Williams was expected to have. But the real winner, assuming Williams misses significant time, is Tyrell Williams.

Last year with Allen and Benjamin missing time, Williams stepped up big time to the tune of 1059 yards on 69 catches, and 7 TDs. Williams has the size (6’4″) to be a big redzone target, but add to that a rise in the depth chart, and you have a recipe for success for the 51st WR being selected.

While he likely won’t repeat last years numbers, it’s still not a sure thing that the wideouts ahead of him on the chart last a full 16 games. Obviously keep an eye on Williams progress, but Williams should still be good for 800 yards and 7-9 TDs.

NFL Draft: First Round Fallout

With the excitement and surprise of the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft in the rearview, it’s finally time to start looking into the impact and fallout of the skill position players taken early in the draft.

Amitchell-trubisky-042717-getty-ftrjpg_1kgm9a8ct8wsa1vfjfrx72fq4qs I say every year around this time; be mindful when drafting rookies… for every Ezekiel Elliot there’s two or three Bishop Sankeys torpedoing your squad. Do your research and don’t committ to the rookie class too heavily (a mistake I’ve made myself).

Impact listings are in order of their draft position

1. Mitchell Trubisky – QB, Chicago Bears: If the Bears are smart (and there’s been precious little in past seasons to suggest that they are) Trubisky will be nothing more than a first round clipboard holder for a year or two. With Mike Glennon on the roster and lowered expectations, there’s no scenario that Trubisky starts or plays meaningful football this year. Don’t Draft

2. Leonard Fournette – RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Following the failed Yeldon/Ivory experiment (they combined for 4 TD’s and 904 yards) the Jaguars got aggressive and selected the first RB off the board. Touted as an Adrian Peterson clone, his size and speed make him and intriguing pick for a team looking to get more balanced. If you believe he played hurt last year and has more to offer even than he did, this could be a day one fantasy asset, assuming you don’t have to draft him too early. Draft: Middle Rounds

3. Corey Davis – WR, Tennessee Titans: This team was in drastic need of a top end wideout to pair with Marcus Mariota, and they think they got him at the 5th spot in the draft in Davis. A sizable reciever at 6’3″ and 210 lbs I expect Mariota to look his way early and often. If he can improve on his drops (16 across his college career), his route running ability and verticle speed should make him a decent NFL player. Draft: Late Rounds

4. Mike Williams – WR, Los Angeles Chargers: Arguably the top receiver in the draft, Williams is now the new face of the LA Chargers as they make the move from San Diego. While he’ll be battling Travis Benjamin and Keenan Allen for snaps, it’s only a matter of time before he sits atop the depth chart. Temper early season expectations, but don’t be surprised if he’s looking like a fantasy stud sooner rather than later. Draft: Middle Rounds

5. Christian McCaffrey – RB, Carolina Panthers: A Jack of all trades, McCaffrey is a perfect fit for a Carolina Panthers team desperate for some spark other than from the helmet to helmet shots Cam Newton takes when he runs the football. McCaffrey provides that being a fantastic options to line up in the slot or next to Newton as a flexible starter who can run the ball and catch it out of the backfield. If your league awards points for return yards he’ll be even more helpful. Draft: Late Rounds

6. John Ross – WR, Cincinnati Bengals: While laking the size of his contemporaries, the speedy Ross will line up opposite A.J. Green and should be in line for plenty of looks thanks to doubleteams and defensive schemes that will be forced to focus elsewhere. His production will likely be boom or bust in year one, so he’s probably more of a matchups play. Serious risk of being a bust if drafted too early though as the Bengals offense can become one dimensional at times when A.J. Green is right. Draft: Late Rounds

7. Patrick Mahomes – QB, Kansas City Chiefs: The same argument made against drafting Trubisky should be in play here as well; Alex Smith is still the starter of this playoff caliber team. The advantage is I believe Mahomes tracks to have a better NFL career than Trubisky, and his destination with the Chiefs is more enviable in the long run. Still, he’s no more than a dynasty stash. Don’t Draft

8. DeShaun Watson – QB, Houston Texans: If any of the three first round QB’s have a chance to play meaningful minutes this year, it’s Watson. Bill O’Brien has some work to do in rehabilitating his image with young quarter backs, but this Texans team will expect to win this year, and if Savage and Wheedon (Assuming both are on the roster by pre-season) there’s a reasonable chance Watson will find himself under center before long. Draft: Last round flyer

9 O.J. Howard – TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: One of the best TE in the draft, Howard will likely be the best pass catching TE on a team who often times trots two of them on the field together. With another year under his belt, Winston could be looking Howards way often, and with Mike Evans the only other real red zone threat, Howard could find a nice number of TD’s be years end. Draft: Late Rounds

10. Evan Engram – TE, NY Giants: The Giants have a lot of pass catchers after adding Brandon Marshall in the offseason, but Engram is by far the best TE on the roster. He’ll find immediate playing time but will likely have to be evaluated week to week based on matchups. I predict plenty of 100 yard, 2 TD weeks followed by 5 yards on 1 target. Draft: Late Rounds

11. David Njoku – TE, Cleveland Browns: The biggest knock against Njoku is that he’ll be playing for the Cleveland Browns. Maybe it’s not fair to expect a rough start for the athletic TE, but without consistency at the QB position, it’s a crap shoot to expect more than below-average fantasy statistics. IF the Browns add a QB via trade (Kirk Cousins for example) then I’d bump Njoku up on my board, but as of right now, he’s a dynasty/keeper pick but not in redrafts. Draft: Late Rounds (Keeper/Dynasty only).