104.5 The Team’s Fantasy Football Predictions
Before you head over to the Fantasy Football Forum at the Albany Capital Center at 6pm ton Thursday, some of the staff at 104.5 The Team wanted to offer you their best fantasy football advice for this season. Everyone has their own style of drafting a championship team. It could be: Waiting on a quarterback until later rounds, staying away from drafting unproven rookies or never drafting a kicker before the final round. Whatever your strategy maybe, the crew below offered their MVP,
Everyone has their own style of drafting a championship team. It could be waiting on a quarterback until later rounds, staying away from drafting unproven rookies, or never drafting a kicker before the final round. Whatever your strategy may be, the crew below offered their MVP, sleepers, and busts for each position. As for my picks?
You have to find out the Fantasy Football Forum during the panel discussion at 7:30 pm.
Eric Hannamann, Producer
Fantasy MVP: David Johnson
This dude does it all. Watching him play is a pure pleasure. You probably already knew how good he is and it'll definitely take a top 3 pick to get him.
Fantasy QB Sleeper: Matthew Stafford
Every year Stafford seems to drop in rankings no matter what type of season he has. Sometimes he deserves it but not this time. He finished as a top 7 quarterback last year and is being drafted outside of the top 10 QB's. The loss of Anquan Boldin is no big deal especially with the rookie Kenny Golladay looking real good in preseason. I'd feel comfortable with him as my starter if you choose a heavy RB/WR strategy.
Fantasy QB Bust: Dak Prescott
Call me a doubter, Cowboys fans, but I wouldn't want Prescott as my starter in fantasy football. I just don't know if I'm going to see the same things I saw last year come to fruition. The completion percentage and rushing touchdowns could be hard to repeat. What is real though is the offensive line in Dallas. If Prescott continues to get great protection, he can sure prove me wrong.
Fantasy RB Sleeper: Adrian Peterson
It sounds crazy to say that AP is a sleeper but the way a lot of rankings are set up, Peterson will be an absolute steal. Injuries are a concern, but that's just based on risk/reward. I'm taking Peterson in the 5th round all day with the risk that comes with it.
Fantasy RB Bust: Jordan Howard
Bust is a heavy word in this instance. As long as Howard is getting a lot of touches he is definitely going to be worth owning and starting almost every single week. The concerns come in the touchdown department and the fact that if the passing game doesn't work out, we could see a Todd Gurley-esque keying on the running game by opposing defenses. I view Howard more as a 3rd rounder so if he falls there, you can still snag him.
Fantasy WR Sleeper: Jamison Crowder
Think about this: Washington had the 2nd best passing offense in 2016. Exit DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon and enter Terrelle Pryor. That leaves Crowder as the number 2 WR now in this offense and he is still coming off a solid year. Crowder is probably going to have a better year than Pryor and you can get him 20-25 picks after. Sign me up!
Fantasy WR Bust: Keenan Allen
Here is where I was talking about putting an injury risk as my bust. I love what Allen has been able to do in his limited action on the field but the risk of taking him over Brandin Cooks, Michael Crabtree, Julian Edelman or Jarvis Landry is too much for me. Sure anyone can get injured and Landry has some other issues of his own but Allen has played just 9 games in the last 2 years. Add in a relatively stacked receiving corps in LA, even with his recovery, Allen might be more of a WR3.
Fantasy TE Sleeper: Martellus Bennett
This is a no brainer to me. You put a player like Martellus Bennett with a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers and you instantly have a potential top 5 TE. However, even with Gronk missing a lot of time last year he never gained consistency. But that's New England. I'd definitely take a chance on him in Green Bay maybe before the likes of Jimmy Graham and Zach Ertz especially because I think his floor is a top 10 TE season.
Fantasy TE Bust: Tyler Eifert
Durability concerns strike again and in this instance, I think they are real concerns. While Eifert has had some great moments on the field, he has missed a lot of games in the last 3 seasons. Even when he is on the field he still seems boom or bust, which is common for the position. I have less confidence in Eifert than some of his fellow TE pals.
Taylor Lattimore, Producer
Fantasy MVP: Le'Veon Bell- Bell has proven that he is a fantasy stud. Even after missing games due to suspension last year he still came out with a phenomenal performance blowing other running backs away with his sheer usage and yardage. Having been a victim of Bell's 300 yds-from-scrimmage game in the fantasy playoffs last season (costing me a bid in the finals) I understand all too well how good Bell can be.
Fantasy QB Sleeper: Marcus Mariota- Mariota has a ton of weapons and one of the best offensive lines in football. He is money in the redzone and the option to gain rushing yards and rushing touchdowns makes Mariota a very good QB option that you might be able to snag with a late round pick.
Fantasy QB Bust: Andrew Luck (as a Colts fan it pains me)- Luck is coming off of surgery with no timetable for his return, Jim Irsay and Chuck Pagano seem to be giving very shady answers as to when Luck will be able to come back to the field. That being said, even if Luck does return, the injury to center Ryan Kelly spells serious trouble for the offensive line rebuild and throws into question whether Luck can be protected and stay healthy going forward when he does return.
Fantasy RB Sleeper: Christian McCaffery- Rookie running backs are always a risky option. In my league last year Zeke Elliot dropped to #10 overall and boy did we regret letting him fall. I don't think that McCaffery will perform at the level of Elliot but in Carolina's offense he could be a serious weapon and gain plenty of yards from scrimmage between running and catching. He could also be a return man for the Panthers which only adds to his value.He could turn out to be a high RB2 option.
Fantasy RB Bust: Eddie Lacy- Being traded to a new team might give Lacy more opportunity, but if he fails to keep his weight in check he may easy fall to a third option on an already crowded backfield with Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise. Lacy may have had his best years behind him, and I wouldn't risk a high round pick on him.
Fantasy WR Sleeper: Terrelle Pryor Sr.- Pryor was a stud for a few weeks in the middle of the season for a sorry Browns team that could hardly muster one win. Now he's on pass happy Washington squad with a good QB in Kirk Cousins. Pryor is set to be in competiton for the top WR spot on a team that passes the ball a lot, which translates to a lot of upside for Pryor. He might be available in the third round or later and I would pounce on that.
Fantasy WR Bust: Chris Conley- It is well documented that Kansas City doesn't throw the ball down the field so this should be a no-brainer. I would be hesitant to take any KC receiver unless they are your 5th WR. The Cheifs look to be the same team as last year so don't expect their throwing ways to change much.
Fantasy TE Sleeper: Dwayne Allen- Allen is now a Patriot and although Gronk is the main TE for New England his health is always in question. On top of Gronk's health there's also the Patriot factor. Martellus Bennett went to New England last season and had his career renewed after having Brady as his QB. Regardless of the status of Gronk, Allen is going to see some balls thrown his way particularly in the red zone which makes him a good fantasy option.
Fantasy TE Bust: Julius Thomas- Thomas has never been the same since he moved away from Denver. In Jacksonville you could blame Blake Bortles for Thomas's struggles, now that he's on Miami I don't expect much change with the long criticized Jay Cutler as his QB. I wouldn't bother wasting a draft pick on Thomas.
Cody Marshall, Amsterdam Mohawks Broadcaster, Producer
Fantasy MVP: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers air it out more than any other team in the NFL and when all receivers are healthy, Rodgers has a plethora of weapons to go to. Jordy Nelson is lethal and guys like Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Richard Rodgers are always keeping defenses on their toes. Add in Ty Montgomery’s move to running back and now you have a back that should be reliable enough to add another dimension to the Packers offense. The first three games look daunting with the Seahawks, Falcons, and Bengals, but this is the same guy who told us how to react should the Packers get off to a slow start: R-E-L-A-X.
Fantasy QB Sleeper: Colin Kaepernick****, Free Agent/Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
***If Colin Kaepernick ends up with a job soon enough to make a fantasy impact, he’s my guy. Love him or hate him, he was the 16th best quarterback in the league last year…on the worst team…with the worst offense…with an awful head coach. He still managed 16 TD to 4 INTs. He’s made a Super Bowl (which doesn’t happen by accident) and spent an entire summer learning from a now Hall of Famer in Kurt Warner.
Should Kaepernick not be signed, cue Kirk Cousins. It’s easy to forget that he led the Redskins to a division title not too long ago. Now, he’s been franchised in back-to-back years and seems to want out of Washington. Look for him to use this season as fuel to gain interest from potential landing spots if Washington doesn’t realize how good they have it before it’s too late.
Fantasy QB Bust: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
This is not me saying he’s not good. In fact, last year I think he was too good. It will be hard for Prescott to repeat last year simply because now everyone has tape on him and knows what he can do. Add in the fact that Ezekiel Elliott may spend part of the season serving a suspension and the Cowboys offense is in trouble. Cue the part where Dak proves me wrong.
Fantasy RB Sleeper: Christian McCaffery, Carolina Panthers
All of the experts are picking Isaiah Crowell of the Cleveland Browns and they certainly have the offensive line to make the ring true. But Christian McCaffery gives the Panthers options and that’s what makes him valuable. Throw it to him, hand it to him, heck you can kick it to him if you dare, but just know that when he has the ball, he’s got determination in his eyes and feet that can leave defenders tackling air.
Fantasy RB Bust: Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Fournette with their first round pick this year and it was a little bit of a head scratcher. They already have TJ Yeldon, who some thought was the future of the team. So how can one perform well in fantasy if they split carries? If he becomes the full-time back, the former LSU Tiger can be dangerous. But his injury history is too large to ignore. The Jaguars haven’t seen a winning season since 2007 and need someone to perform now.
Fantasy WR Sleeper: Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints
New Orleans needs a big year to save Sean Payton. Based on their draft selections, it’s clear they are trying to protect Drew Brees’ playmaking arm. The team added Ted Ginn Jr., but he’s getting older and now they need another receiver to step up after losing Brandon Cooks. Look for Snead to work hard to bring success back to the Big Easy.
Fantasy WR Bust: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Let’s face it, Dez Bryant has been a fantasy roller coaster for the last year or so. One week he’ll get you 20+ points and the next you’re wondering if he’ll even have two catches. Age is a huge factor in this. Stay away from him if you can.
Fantasy TE Sleeper: Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders finaly turned things around last year and now they have their man in Derek Carr at quarterback. But every great offense has a tight end or two that have helped carry the load when it came to the passing game. Jared Cook has to be that man for Oakland to take the next step. With Amari Cooper and a healthy Michael Crabtree back, it shouldn’t be hard for him to step in and get a decent amount of targets.
Fantasy TE Bust: Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
I love Eifert as much as the next guy, but we may have seen him at his best already. The injuries he’s suffered have been huge and I don’t know that he can recover strong enough to repeat what he did two years ago. Now there’s already one guy, you may have heard of Rob Gronkowski, who has suffered numerous injuries and still returned to torch defenses. I’m just not convinced Eifert will do the same.