With the off-season behind us, fantasy elites are scrambling to assess all of the winter traffic between the NFL’s 32 teams. There were trades, free agent signings the draft and more trades. There are some holdouts, and others who have yet to sign their franchise tender, but ultimately there’s excitement in the air as camp is only a month away and there’s a bunch of changes for us to unpack before our collective fantasy whirlwinds take us over in three months.
Michael Thomas and Brandin Cooks are essentially the same player and the Saints had no need for both. In a move that was better for the Saints than the it was the Patriots, New Orleans was able to free up some cap space while paying significantly less for what will amount to more productivity. Expect Thomas to get double-digit targets outpacing both Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham. He’s tough, durable, has great hands, speed and route running ability while also playing in the slot on and on the outside. He will be a top 6 WR if he stays healthy. Consequently Cooks’ value is marginalized in the New England offense, and I am certain that the Pats are kicking themselves after seeing that Jeremy Maclin just hit the market for pennies on the dollar.
OH DOYLE RULES
With the movement of Dwayne Allen to New England look for Jack Doyle to double up on his production from last season. Andrew Luck loves his TEs and will be letting the ball fly again this year. The O-line is much improved and healthy so Doyle will be available to run routes rather than stay home and block 70% of the time. Double-digit TDs is a strong possibility here as he’ll be red zone monster, as a healthy Doyle should net a 70/1000/10 line for the year. Allen on the other hand will be a GPP dream for someone this year. There will be one or two games where he goes off, simply because Gronk will be too covered up and getting Allen the ball will just be too easy. Gronk is a huge injury risk as well, which will bump Allen up, but Allen’s primary roll will be to block in this offense.
Maclin is good, and I’m surprised the Chiefs made this move, as if anything he provided outstanding depth, something the Patriots, Raiders and Steeler all have. This does show you the faith that Tyreke Hill has instilled in the KC coaches. Hill is still a burner who is untouchable in space, so if the plan is to get him 5-6 more touches per game, he becomes a 5th or 6th round pick in standard drafts and a top 20 WR by the end of the season. Maclin on the other hand is no slam-dunk, and it depends where he goes. I believe that he’s the best fit in Carolina, but I’ve yet to let the Carolina Panthers know how I feel. He would be a ghost in many offenses so proceed with caution on this one.
If Joe Mixon is 80% of what Ezekiel Elliot is now the entire landscape of this Bengals offense becomes much different. It’s not surprise the Bengals were the franchise that opted to embrace the circus that is sure to ensue, but in all honesty they could’ve found a good one here. Mixon tested out at the combine equal to or better than Elliot, and measures out the same as Elliot physically and on the field as well. Elliot even brings in similar baggage as well with less of a spotlight of course. Like I said 80% changes the landscape, 90% makes him the best rookie in this year’s class and 100% brings him into the MVP discussion, and his presence on the field impacts Vegas lines – yes he’ll be worth points. Andy Dalton will put up his best season statistically and A.J. Green will have more room than he’s ever had. If you can figure out how to mix in Mixon into your line up – you should do it.
Eddie Lacy – move along there’s nothing to see here… let him be somebody else’s problem as his best days are behind him.
PICK YOUR BRYANT
Many will lean towards or at least consider Dez Bryant as a WR#1 on their roster this season, but the Bryant on want on my roster this season is Pittsburgh’s Martavis Bryant who stretches the field like no other 4th year pot smoking WR can. Home run hitter, who is too slippery to guard, gets separation easily, and will be the benefactor of Big Ben’s big arm. Someone needs to help him stay right, because he’s a game changer who will crush value this season.