Every year industry ‘experts’ across the world write article upon article on who they think are going to be this year’s must have value picks, who to avoid completely and who they really don’t want to pick but might have to if they fall down draft boards.
So here at BITEZ we thought we’d get in on the action and forced JP (@jonathanpeters8) to spend one lunchtime listing (please ignore the crumbs) who he has on his Busts & Bargains sheet.
*this is based on feeling rather then heavily backed data and analysis
1. Jay Ajayi – I know, I know we’re a UK NFL podcast so we surely have to back the Brit, and I do, but not early in the 2nd round. Sure this guy is capable of exploding, we saw that in his back to back 200 yard games last year. I just feel with Ajayi you have that lovely high ceiling but a dangerously low floor.
2. Jordan Howard – similar to Ajayi that I like Howard and think he could comfortably end the year as a top 8 RB. I just feel there’s too much risk right now taking him in early 2nd round. He had an outstanding rookie year and I don’t want to compare him to Gurley but for a RB to consistently succeed you want good QB play, a good OL, a high scoring offense and a solid defence. The Bears don’t tick enough of those boxes for me.
3. Brandin Cooks – I’ve read a lot recently that WRs under Brady (Post Randy Moss) don’t perform incredibly well as individuals for fantasy. Brady spreads the ball out a lot and there’s a lot of mouths to feed in New England. Cooks himself got outsted by rookie Michael Thomas last year as Saints WR1 and he no longer has the dome for home games. Cooks is going too high for me right now in drafts – would rather avoid altogether
4. Christian MCaffrey – this is a tough one because I love his talent and really want him to succeed. I just worry Cam and the Panthers offense aren’t quite ready to completely shift direction to an offense that allows players like McCaffrey to succeed. There’s quite a few other RBs I’d rather take around where McCaffrey is falling – he’s a gamble that isn’t quite worth taking just yet
5. Lamar Miller – Miller was going as high as end of round 1 last year and he did not quite live up to those expectations. In fact he didn’t at all. Miller seems to always be carrying niggly injuries and with Foreman being drafted by the Texans, there’s a good chance he vultures multiple TDs from Miller throughout the season. Bill O’Brien does love a work horse RB as we’ve seen over the years so the opportunity may be there for Miller I just feel he’s price is too high to invest a 2nd round draft pick
6. Amari Cooper – Cooper has the potential to be one of the best WR in the league. His team however just don’t seem to want him to fulfil that potential. If the Raiders start looking Coopers way more often, especially in the Red Zone then I’m going to look pretty stupid picking Cooper as a bust. However the last 2 seasons Michael Crabtree has outperformed Cooper and is available at a much cheaper price. Grab someone else in the 2nd round then pick up Crabtree a few rounds later.
7. Russell Wilson – Is often drafted as a stud QB but feel like he rarely pays that back in consistent weekly scoring. Tends to start off the season slowly and gets better as the year goes on. The QB position is so deep, don’t go early on Wilson – get your WRs and RBs sorted and grab Winston/Mariota/Stafford in later rounds.
1. Allen Robinson – Had a huge year 2 years ago, let us all down last year. The numbers will realign for a very good year for Allen Robinson this year. Still Blake Bortles go to guy and with any luck Bortles has learnt to throw the football again during the off season. He’s capable of the big plays, a Red Zone target and is a matchup nightmare.
2. Isaiah Crowell – not strictly sure he can be classified as a bargain. Looks to be going in 3rd round at the moment and is a Browns player, have to always keep that in mind. However, this guy has already proven last year he can be productive in a bad team, and the Browns have got better. Massively improved their O Line, Crowell is used a lot in the passing game and with a better defence, the Browns will be in more competitive games, meaning more running work for the Crow. Would personally rather take Crowell then quite a few of the RBs going before him.
3. Mariota/Winston – put these guys together as they were drafted 1 and 2 originally and are in similar positions with their current teams. Both the Titans and Buccs look to have loaded offenses this year. Mariota has Murray/Henry at RB and Davis, Decker and Walker for targets. Meanwhile Winston has a whole set of offensive weapons including Evans, Desean Jackson, Brate, OJ Howard and Chris Godwin.
4. Terrance West – West isn’t going to be competing with anyone for 1 st and 2 nd downs ( to start the year at least). He may not be on the field for 3 rd downs with Danny Woodhead around but you’re able to get this guy pretty late in fantasy drafts. He’ll likely be the goal down back for rushing TDs and will give great value as your 4 th /5 th RB.
5. Stefon Diggs – If fully healthy Diggs will be the Vikings WR1 and is available again in drafts round 6/7 onwards. He’s capable of being an every week starter for you in that WR2 slot but because of his value you may even be able to get him and plug him into that flex spot. With an off season to elevate that rapport with Sam Bradford, Diggs could be primed for a big year.
6. Willie Snead – With Cooks gone there are targets to be had in Drew Brees offense, and he loves throwing the ball. Snead could easily be the beneficiary to those extra targets, especially with Michael Thomas, off the back of an amazing rookie year, seeing a bit more attention from number 1 cornerbacks.
7. Jamison Crowder – Similar to Snead, the Redskins offense has a lost some big pieces this off season. Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon have gone, essentially leaving Jordan Reed to lead this passing offense. However, we can’t count on Reed staying injury free unfortunately so it may be left to Crowder to carry the workload. Cousins loved finding Crowder last year and can see that continuing this year. Draft Crowder in the middle rounds and know you have a safe every week flex play.