Entering into Week 10, time to think about players that can help you now and maybe some that could still do something for 2016 and from here on out I’m already starting to think about 2017 as well.
Pull up a chair. Here’s the next six guys I’ve been thinking about.
1. WR Marqise Lee (JAC) – In 2014, Lee was the 2.07 pick out of USC taken right between Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Matthews. He was the sixth wideout taken while Allen Hurns was an undrafted free agent. Allen Robinson was the 2.29 pick that year. So Lee was drafted higher than the two current starters in the same year. His best year in college was 2012 when he ended with 118-1721-13 in a 13 game season and was the Fred Biletnikoff Winner as the best receiver in college and was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He was expected to be a leading Heisman candidate as a junior in 2013.
Lee fell to the second round since his junior year saw him often injured and the Trojans switched from Matt Barkley to Cody Kessler at QB. He fell to only 57-791-4 but opted to declare for the draft rather than go for a “bounce back” senior year. He’s been outplayed by the Allens in Jacksonville who dominated the targets last year. His biggest knock coming out of college was that he was only 6-0/195 lbs. and dropped passes in his final year. But he has blazing speed and was still expected to go at the end of the first round. His first two seasons with the Jags haven’t been much (37-422-1 and 15-191-1) but this year he is starting to show up with seven catches for 107 yards versus the Raiders in Week 7 and last week turned in four catches for 84 yards in Kansas City. Lee was considered special in college and is finally getting at least some play in an offense looking for all the help they can get.
2. WR Laquon Treadwell (MIN) – It was only one catch but it was the first for the rookie Laquon Treadwell. In Week 9, Treadwell caught a pass for 15 yards in the loss to the Lions and it had a little more meaning since it came in the first game after OC Norv Turner left and Pat Shurmur took over. Treadwell was the 1.23 pick in the NFL draft, the fourth wide receiver drafted (right before Sterling Shepard and Michael Thomas). The Mississippi star finished with 82-1153-11 as a junior in his final season.
The switch in the offense with Shurmur in charge is expected to create shorter passes and to spread the ball around more. But the 6-2/215 lb. Treadwell is only 21 years old and finally getting into the game. The Vikings are not going to feature a powerful passing attack anytime soon, but Treadwell at least has as much raw talent as anyone on the team.
3. RB Doug Martin (TB) – Martin has been a bitter disappointment to every fantasy owner after he left in Week 2 with a hamstring injury. He almost returned a few weeks ago but re-aggravated it. There is a chance that he could return this week but as of Thursday said he was not at full speed yet. If he plays, he’ll be on a pitch count for his first game so impatient owners would still want to hold him out. He was coming off a monster year with 1673 total yards and seven scores. His first game this year had 96 total yards and five catches in Atlanta.
The reality is that he’s done nothing for fantasy owners and that may not be over yet. But he’ll be plenty motivated when he can play and starting in Week 11, he faces @KC, SEA, @SD, NO, @DAL and @NO. Only the Cowboys present a top rushing defense.
4. RB Paul Perkins (NYG) – I already wrote about him in Week 4, but I am still interested in Perkins and it appears the Giants are starting to be as well. He was a 5.10 pick and it is highly unlikely that he’s going to become a stud this year but he was on the field for about a third of the plays last week and had a season best 11 carries for 32 yards and caught three passes for 15 yards. Compared to Rashad Jennings (11-26) that was actually tops for the team.
The Giants backfield has been wildly unproductive this year and much of that points to the offensive line. But if he can show up better this week at home against the Bengals, his next two games are versus the Bears and Browns. He might actually become worth a start and there are not any other backs suddenly breaking out in the second half of the season.
5. TE Austin Hooper (ATL) – Hunter Henry was the first tight end drafted last April but Hooper was the second (3.18) and the ex-Stanford star is a prototypical 6-4/254 lb. receiver. He only had six catches over the first seven weeks but recently collected five receptions for 41 yards versus the Packers in Week 8 and then three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown in Tampa Bay. The Falcons want a tight end that can help expand the viable weapons for Matt Ryan. He’s worth watching now for 2017 consideration since tight ends usually break out in their second season.
6. QB Tyrod Taylor (BUF) – This is always a quarterback that most ignore even as a backup and he has averaged only 197 passing yards per game and thrown ten touchdowns over nine games played. But over the last three weeks, he’s not only thrown for as much as 289 yards and one score in Seattle, he ran in a touchdown in each of the last three games. Add in 40 yards or so every week as a rusher and he’s ranked 10th overall in standard fantasy scoring.
For at least one week, Robert Woods played as a true #1 wideout with ten catches for 162 yards in the loss to the Seahawks. Sammy Watkins may be back by Week 12 or 13. And after this bye week, Taylor schedule is @CIN, JAC, @OAK and then fantasy playoff weeks all at home with PIT, CLE and MIA. Couple of spots there he might come in handy.
And an extra point…
Everyone is a sucker for a rookie wideout – myself included. And every year there are usually only one or two that have any real fantasy value. Here is the list of 2016 rookie wideouts with where they were drafted and where they are currently ranked in a standard league with reception points.
I think the lesson is that rookie wideouts really like playing with elite quarterbacks.
|1.21||57||HOU||Fuller, Will||Notre Dame|
|2.16||12||NO||Thomas, Michael||Ohio St.|
|3.22||133||HOU||Miller, Braxton||Ohio St.|
|4.19||171||LA||Cooper, Pharoh||South Carolina|
|5.28||58||KC||Hill, Tyreek||West Alabama|
|5.35||146||CLE||Higgins, Rashard||Colorado St.|
|6.11||173||MIA||Grant, Jakeem||Texas Tech|
|6.31||174||LA||Thomas, Mike||Southern Miss|
|6.38||159||SF||Burbridge, Aaron||Michigan St.|
|7.04||dnp||NE||Lucien, Devin||Arizona State|
|7.09||dnp||CHI||Braverman, Daniel||Western Michigan|