The Tricks of the Trade with @TradeMastaur
Unsolved Mysteries Edition
ONCE AGAIN, THINGS THAT SHOULD’VE BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION YESTERDAY!!!!
I’m not claiming to be any kind of fantasy Nostradamus here guys, but someone’s gotta try to sift through all of the unsolved questions we have moving into the 2017 season. So many questions are unknown around this time every year as we slowly begin to witness training camps unfold across the league. Positional battles are won and lost, injuries make situations either clearer or muddy them further, and late surprise cuts mixed with last minute signings turn everything that you thought you had deciphered upside down completely. Here is out first step into looking at the information we have on these quandaries and trying to make the most out of the uncertainties that lie before us.
Below are comments from Fantasy Life users detailing the very situations that leave them starring at the same spreadsheet for 45 minutes instead of doing anything productive while at work. I’ll be adding in my commentary based on what I know and how I will be addressing these issues in the upcoming draft. In this article more than ever I’ll be curious to know your thoughts on my takes, because the more information known when it comes to these mysteries the closer we can come to formulating an educated attempt at the truth. Enough is enough, let’s see what situations have you second guessing yourselves.
Great one to start on because this is a fantasy offense you really want a lot of stock in, but this run game has a built in risk that may price you out of each part of it. Ingram has been nothing short of reliable just as @rickym detailed here, but he doesn’t seem to get rewarded with confidence from the coaching staff and now the front office. I’m thinking this is a solid avoid for 2017 in total. The one part you could possibly consider buying into, funny enough, is the incumbent Ingram. Peterson has an ADP of 5.06, which is almost a round and a half in front of Ingram, and that just doesn’t add up to me. His draft slot is from name recognition, the idea that AP is super human, and that he is the exception to the rule. I’m just fine being wrong on AP this year at 5.06 but I have also been calling for a decline on Peterson for 3 years now so I’m happy to stay pot committed as he has slowly done just that. If Ingram falls to the 7th then he’s going to have my attention.
This is one of the most popular “fabricated” stories of the off-season. I call it fabricated because it doesn’t really have any fact associated with the story, but that doesn’t mean the idea here is without credence. New regime usually means turnover, and with the length of the contracts for the new HC and GM it feels like they are in no immediate rush to compete, but instead they look to solidify a culture and system while evaluating every piece they have. However, more-so than Hyde just being shipped out or straight benched, he’s probably going to miss some games due to his never ending health concerns. Joe could get this job by default at any point and if he performs, Shanahan would have no reason to hand the reins backs to Hyde. I’ll be taking a few shots at Williams this year and fading Hyde COMPLETELY, at his current 4.10 ADP.
Two to get to here and both are important topics; I’ll start with Zeke. We don’t know anything yet, but man, the amount of smoke coming off this story feels like a rampant brush fire is just over the hill ahead. My guess is a suspension is absolutely coming and I’m thinking it’s going to be 3 or more games. I am in the not so crowded boat of a Cowboys regression as a whole this year, so this does nothing to push me to draft Zeke anyway despite a suspension. Proceed with caution, but also don’t forget how valuable Le’Veon Bell was last year at the back end up round 1. If you believe in the Cowboys offense this year he could be a great value in the back end of 1sts.
Moving on, the Packers drafted two backs this year in Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. That just can’t give you confidence in TyMont, but it’s absolutely his job to lose. Montgomery was sensational in the pass game and improved with each game carrying the rock. We gotta be careful though, the off-season hype of these rookies tends to affect our judgment too much. The converted WR is not going to completely go way in 2017 and chances are he holds onto a major part of this job, especially in the passing game, all year.
Serious question, how much can I talk about Carson Wentz before you guys stop reading my articles? I’m not going to stop I’m just curious, in fact here’s some more. The Eagles will be the most improved offense in football, mark my words, and Carson is going to be the driving force behind that call. They did too much right this off-season and I believe Carson Wentz is a special player. Other 2nd year players I’m digging not named Thomas and Howard are Sterling Shepard, Hunter Henry, CJ Prosise, and tentatively, Corey Coleman. Only thing that’ll hold back CC is his inability to stay on the field. Sterling Shepard is being slept on at his price point of 13.06. Marshall will take Cruz’s target share and a bit more, but Shepard isn’t just going away, but he’s being treated like an after thought. I’m still not going to believe that this is Derrick Henry’s year to be worth his ADP until Murray is simply not in the picture anymore. Dak, obvious Cowboys hate understood here, is another guy I’m just not completely sold on. That offensive line lost two key pieces and he may have to prove his worth early in the season without Zeke keeping the LB’s and Safeties from fully dropping into coverage.
Sometimes people just sum things up well enough where there isn’t a whole lot to add. I’ll say this though, Ware would beat out Kelley if that were a job to be had, so I give Spencer the edge here to keep his job longer than Fat Rob. Hunt is a bit of a catch all back so this could end up looking like a Brian Westbrook/Deuce Staley run game for Andy Reid’s Chiefs. I think Ware keeps a role all year, but if Hunt flashes, he’s going to find himself staying in for consecutive series. Rob Kelley is a plodding power back that has to try to hold off another power back that is flat out explosive in-between the tackles. However I’m just not sure how much of a power clock crunching run game Washington is going to commit to, so even Perine with a full workload feels TD dependent.
This one has kept me up at night, but that’s mainly because I can’t seem to get it just right and I end up feeling sore and disappointed. Not entirely convinced this can be executed the way it needs to be to create the full swing action, but I’ll be damned if I don’t keep trying.
The 3rd to 4th rounds can either be a sweet spot or a holding period between tiers that just feels like one big clump of similar players. This is why I really like to take at least one chance on a guy here every year. The three guys I keep ending up with in mocks are Keenan Allen, Sammy Watkins, and Alshon Jeffrey. There is absolutely a reality where all three of those guys end up being top 12 WR’s in 2017. So what I am saying is, embrace the unpredictability of this portion of the draft. If you go risky in the 3rd with Keenan Allen just be sure to get someone reliable in the 4th like Landry or Crabtree or vice versa, Demaryius Thomas in the 3rd and Alshon Jeffrey or Martavis Bryant in the 4th. I want to try to win my league with one of these picks instead of just take the safe route in both rounds.
With the exception of how Doug Martin fits into this equation come week 4, I think pre-season will help us understand what’s to come with this back field in the early going. Hopefully you draft after the 3rd pre-season game in order to gain the clarity this situation desperately needs, but once Martin is back from suspension I believe the questions end. He’s the most talented back, by a fair amount, of the cluster that’s been assembled here, aside from possibly the unknown of McNichols. However, I don’t see the rookie grabbing this job right off the bat and all indications from the team, that isn’t their early intention either. That said Martin’s ADP of 5.02 is still too rich for me. I’m not a RB2 guy until later in the draft anyway, so I don’t think I’m going to find myself with many Martin draft shares, but he could be a guy I inquire on in week 6 after a few slow performances as Martin gets his games legs back under him.
Serious answers from a bunch of Centaurs? Not likely. On the Colts though, they are a NFL football team from Indianapolis, but it’s strange you needed me to tell you that.
In all seriousness though, the Colts felt a lot more secure as a fantasy treasure trove until the recent news about Luck not being ready for the start of the season. This could really create some value and certainly create some trade opportunities depending on when Luck returns. You won’t get Hilton, Moncrief, or Gore at a discount the exact week Luck returns, but if he looks a little rusty out of the gate that will be the situation I will try to capitalize on. As far as the run game goes I think Frank Gore as earned the title Time Lord, and should be trusted until he shows you a true reason not to trust him. He was the RB12 last year but interestingly enough only had 1 top 12 week in fantasy points. His current ADP is 7.11 which just feels like a steal for a guy who will be as steady a producer as anyone, with the only downside of having a low ceiling built into that extremely high floor. Turbin could steal some goal line looks but I believe as long as Gore looks right the Colts will get all they can out of him.
In my mind, Beast Mode is not just back for another paycheck, and the Raiders are no longer the novelty show they had been for the past decade. Bringing in Lynch feels like a serious move by a serious contender for the title. This is paint by numbers analysis, but if you give Lynch the 195 carries than Murray had last year I simply do not see how he doesn’t at least match them for a low end RB1/high end RB2 year. Maybe his burst isn’t exactly what it was when he earned the infamous Beast Mode nickname against the Saints, but he’s got enough in the tank for a reliable year at the goal line with obvious Marshawn Lynch upside behind such a dominant O-Line. This prolific offense is going to move the football into the red zone, and once they get to the goal line they won’t make the same mistake Pete Carroll did once before.
I’m of the belief that the Lions could sustain two fantasy RB’s worth owning in Abdullah and Riddick. Abdullah is going to get a workhorse type workload if he can stay healthy and handle it. Riddick is the true scat/3rd down back who will have his definitive role in PPR leagues, but the real upside is the post-post hype sleeper in Abdullah. The Lions may be pass first, but teams that move the ball create opportunity for everybody, even the RB’s. In regard to the pass game, I don’t see a true #1 here. Jones is dirt cheap in the 10th round and will assume the X receiver role again. He’ll be someone I take a few shots on this year at that ADP. Tate in the back end of the 4th is going ahead of guys like Snead, Crowder, Fitzgerald, Marshall and just behind Crabtree, Landry, and Adams. There’s no way I’m paying that for a guy who all but disappeared for almost half a year with upper mid level studs all around his draft slot.
This is such a bummer for me because I liked both of these guys a lot while the Kenneth Dixon hype train continued to pull attention away from both West and Woodhead. Both players ADP’s are going to rise, but I don’t believe either ascends beyond a place where I’d take them. They were amazing values before and they will still be solid values come draft day. I don’t believe Woodhead’s role changes too much as he was always going to get the passing down work, but he could see 100 carries this year with Dixon out. West is the big climber for me as the early down and goal line job is his and his alone. Another rock solid RB2 year is in store for West, and I just hope I can still get him in the 8th or 9th come draft day.
Fisher gutted this team of any spirit or ingenuity last year and it was a horror to watch such a talented player in Todd Gurley just get barreled into the line over and over again as defenses sat there waiting. The NFL is a quick turn around business though. Goff gets a younger coach who he can relate to better in McVay and it should feel like a fresh start for the 2nd year 1st overall pick. The first time head coach will want to make a mark quickly and give management a reason to believe in him, so basic logic tells you he will do everything he can to unleash Gurley. I want to believe in talent overcoming situation, so I may be just a little blind with my trust in Gurley this year but I feel like in the early 3rd he will deliver over value in a big way.
Good call man. Make sure you throw this into the run down and we’ll see how it meshes up. I think you can make it work though, you don’t have an award winning podcast without a clutch producer. Can’t believe it’s been a full year…
The Wrap Up
With that, The Tricks Of The Trade: Unsolved Mysteries Edition is in the books. Whether or not we actually solved any of these mysteries is yet to be seen, but I’m glad these were brought up because it opened my eyes to a few situations I was wavering on and gave me an opportunity to challenge myself on what’s going to come. Training camp is so important in gathering the information needed to hash out these questions, so stay involved now more than ever .So many of you have been focusing on fantasy since April, let’s not get lazy now when the information coming at us is quickly, in great detail, but not always truthful. Thanks to everyone who took the time to throw their two cents on my shout and the overall enthusiasm for the concept in general. I very much enjoyed this format and hope you guys will keep them coming this year.
Look out for more Tricks Of The Trade articles just like this one in the coming weeks and what should be a weekly standard once the season starts. Again, I am very curious to know your takes on these situations as we approach drafts. My thoughts are formulated through a fair amount of grinding and, what I think is, logical thought, but I can and will be wrong on some of them. I’ll be using this format most weeks to keep users engaged and also show none Fantasy Life App users that find their way to my articles the kind of community we have created. You can find me on the Fantasy Life App as @trademastaur and let me know your thoughts anytime as well. I always believe that we get better at fantasy by talking about it with each other and debating. The more data, more perspectives, and more strategies you learn the better you’ll be prepared when the draft and season come along. So pop into Clock Dodgers chat and give me your worst, I can take it.
From the little man and me, until next time.
Chat with me on the Fantasy Life App @trademastaur
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