Fantasy News  

 

The best fantasy football players you aren't drafting

Print

I have a bone to pick with a lot of you out there. Not enough of you watched "The Americans." It was a damn fine show. Well-written and brilliantly acted. Who knew Keri Russell was such a badass? The fact that it survived a six-season run was sort of amazing considering it was consistently on those snarky "Best Shows You're Not Watching" articles.

You have a chance to make this right. I mean, besides going back and streaming "The Americans" to experience the highs and lows of the Jennings family. But foregoing that, you can take a look at some of these fantasy football options that are hanging around until late in your drafts or aren't being drafted at all. Don't do it for me. Do it for yourself.

And pour one out for Stan Beeman.

Josh Doctson/Paul Richardson, WRs, Washington Redskins


Both of these players have been touted for their athleticism in their relatively short NFL careers, though so far it hasn't turned into a serious level of production. That could change this season. Doctson was second on the team in targets last season and appears poised for a third-season breakout as a freakish athlete with the ability to go up and get the ball near the goal line.

Richardson leaves Seattle for a better offense that should target him more often, putting him in position for a breakout as a freakish athlete with the ability to go up and get the ball near the goal line. Alex Smith re-invented himself last season as a quarterback who isn't afraid to take shots down the field. Matching him with a couple of outside playmakers has tantalizing potential.

Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks


Yes, I know. Rashaad Penny. Blah, blah, blah. I, too, like the rookie from San Diego State but we've also all seen how Pete Carroll operates -- his own name has been turned into a hashtag mantra (#ComPETE). That means Carson is going to get his chances to get on the field. In fact, some have predicted that he'll be the starter when the season opens. Lest we forget, Carson was Seattle's best actual running back last year, albeit with limited availability. It's also worth noting that no Seahawks running back has had more than 147 carries over the past three seasons. Injuries have had a bit to do with that but this team has struggled to generate a consistent running game since Marshawn Lynch's last big season in 2014. Carson will get his chance to reverse that and you can possibly get him without using a draft pick.

Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans


Matthews is your favorite fantasy analyst's favorite late-round receiver. The Titans passing game generates as much excitement as a TED talk on comparative merits of Bluegrass versus Fescue but for all of its humdrum qualities, Matthews was an underrated contributor. The veteran led the squad in receiving touchdowns and was second in targets and receiving yards. The current drumbeat has Corey Davis as the new hotness in the Titans offense. He very well might be but there's no discounting the value Matthews provides for Tennessee and the value he could provide your fantasy roster without a major draft investment.

Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers


Most of us are huffing the fumes of excitement that come with Jerick McKinnon's inclusion in Kyle Shanahan's offense. But Shanahan proved in Atlanta that he can find room in the scheme for two backs to be productive. That's where Breida comes in -- he's the Tevin Coleman to McKinnon's Devonta Freeman. We saw glimpses of it last season when Breida finished second on the team in rushing attempts and yards. If you're looking to take a chance on a young player with a defined role in an emerging offense, Breida could be your guy.

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers


We didn't see much of the seventh overall pick in 2017 as injuries limited him to just 95 yards on 11 receptions. While it hasn't exactly led to a flurry of "Best Shape of His Life" stories, there has been plenty of talk of Mike Williams feeling good and seeking redemption. Really, what else is he going to say? Yet the reality shows a clear path to said redemption. Without Antonio Gates, the Chargers were less likely to run a lot of two-tight end sets. Now without Hunter Henry, the need for extra pass-catchers becomes even more obvious. Williams will be in the mix for plenty of targets and could become your new favorite WR3.

Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys


You might have heard that the Cowboys are a little short on pass-catchers right now. Dez Bryant is gone. Jason Witten is retired. Michael Irvin works for the NFL Network. Drew Pearson is trolling Eagles fans from a bunker in South Jersey. I might have made that last one up. The point is, Dak Prescott needs someone to throw to. Allen Hurns will be the top target but Gallup should see plenty of opportunities. And even with Ezekiel Elliott on the roster, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Cowboys playing from behind plenty this year. After the initial post-draft hype, the excitement around Gallup has died down. This could work in your favor.

Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts


This might be one of the few Colts players whose evaluation isn't prefaced with "if Andrew Luck is healthy." While Hines' fortunes could rise or fall with the health of Marlon Mack, the rookie does have his own pathway to prosperity. Robert Turbin is facing a four-game suspension to start the season and could find himself on a roster bubble in training camp. Meanwhile Hines was lined up all over the field during mini-camps as the Colts try to find their next multi-dimensional skill player. It's a name to keep in your back pocket when the first waiver wire runs hit.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who thinks train travel is far superior to airplane travel and will gladly die on that hill. Send him your transportation hot takes via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9).

Print

Fan Discussion