We are closing in on the start of summer which means we are getting close to ... wedding season. No, I wasn't going to say fantasy football prep because if you haven't started preparing by now you are way behind the curve. This is a 24/7/365 industry. You might as well punt 2017 and start looking forward to 2018.
I kid. I kid. I've got you covered. And we'll get into that in just a moment. But I wanted to first talk to you about weddings. I went to the first of the season recently, and I wanted to share a little life-hack with you about weddings. Because I know a lot of you fret over what to get the bride and groom. Let me cut to the chase on that one. They want money. All of them do. I don't care what it says on the registry. It's the money.
Now, this wedding I went to was amazing. Everybody knew each other from the ballroom dancing community (which is a thing apparently), which meant my awkward butt was going to be nowhere near the dance floor. You know the group dance scene from "She's All That" and what was successfully spoofed in "Not Another Teen Movie" with great aplomb? Yeah, it was like that. Everybody knew how to dance. So the wife and I sat and judged. (Seriously, if you need to just jump ahead to the sleepers, be my guest. But this is going to be worth if you're going to be attending a wedding.)
The bride and groom had the typical registry (forget that, you're not getting the $45 butter tray) but say in lieu of a gift, you could donate money for Disney passes. And the wife was all, "How much should we give?"
"Open bar or nah?"
Because it's been my standard operating procedure to go to weddings; go with two different gift cards (Amazon or whatnot) and use this little cheat sheet.
Now, I'm fronting a little to look like a tough guy because $250 is a lot of money. Customary is $50 per person, regardless of the bar. But if they are going to go open bar, they should be rewarded. And for the record, I do count having a few selections of beer along with some sort of alcohol as an open bar. You don't need top-shelf booze unless you order top-shelf booze. My wedding should not be the day you finally decided to give Glengoolie Blue a chance.
Although having a Total Wine gift card in your pocket for a dry bar (especially if the couple doesn't drink) would be extremely clutch.
Oh, and my buddy Bucky had a keg at his wedding. This counts as an open bar. Give those crazy kids the good gift card.
All right, let's get to the sleepers. I'm going to use the ADP from Fantasy Football Calculator as my guide here. I'm diving a little deep for some, not deep enough for others. But I'm looking at double-digit rounds in a typical 12-team league. And If you're going to be all, "Dude, there's no way that guy gets past the fifth-round in my league" well then congratulations to you. I'm sincerely happy for you.
But let's go.
Here's a simple rule you should live by in your fantasy drafts: No. 1 receivers from perceived horrible teams should not last until the 10th round. There is a strong chance his ADP rises during the summer and we laugh about this in August. But I wouldn't hesitate on him. He's literally, not figuratively going to get all of the targets. All of them. All right, not literally. But 150 targets. That's a reasonable expectation.
This is crazy. Garcon is going just three picks before a rookie who is at best the WR2 on his own team? Well, I shouldn't be so quick to say that.
Keenan Allen has suffered a bit of bad luck during his playing days, but honestly,
Chargers receivers seem to get banged up a lot. And now
Dontrelle Inman has already suffered a sports hernia, which means Williams has just
Tyrell Williams to jump over on the depth chart. I expect Williams to open as the WR2 for the
There is no way he's going to last this long. No way. Now my boy James Koh and I are in the League of Leagues, which is a 14-team industry league that combines all three of the major North American sports. We have the third-overall pick in the supplemental draft this summer (which will be NBA/NFL rooks) and we are seriously going with Perine with the third pick. Unless of course he gets snatched up, which means we'd have our choice between Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery. But let's just say I'm not letting dude get to pick 123.
Kenny Dixon is ahead of him on the depth chart, and the GOAT Danny Woodhead is there. But I like this spot for West. I wouldn't want to overvalue him too much because the Ravens haven't been great the last few years. But I do like that he's already slotted as the goal-line back. and if he performs well in the interim while Dixon is out for four-games, he could end up as the sneaky season-long RB1 for the Ravens.
I have one rule. Don't ignore a quarterback's favorite receiver. And Sam Bradford really grew quite fond of this guy. Stefon Diggs had more targets, but Thielen was the better receiver. Now, you are taking a huge risk because you can be all, "Sam Bradford loves this guy" and then he gets injured early in the season and Teddy Two Gloves returns! But for this price, I'm a buyer.
Ty Montgomery had a nice little breakout as a running back, but it was a limited engagement. Is he going to be able to be the every-down banger the Packers are looking for? I'm not so sure. There was a reason why Ty was moved to receiver a few years ago, despite having the same size as Williams. And look, I'm not trying to besmirch Ty. He's great. But I like Williams, and enjoyed him at BYU. And I'm not a fan of Cougars. Well, BYU Cougars. Williams strikes me as a Freddy Morris-type who doesn't seem exceptional at anything, but can be a solid running back. Montgomery is projected right now as the goal-line back, but let's keep an eye out to see if Williams can work his way into the mix.
Well, let's be honest: If you've waited this long for a tight end, you don't have a tight end. You're likely going to be streaming. But if you want to get on board with a nice option to start, I would role with Doyle who had a nice little breakout. He's the clear-cut TE1 with Dwayne Allen out of the mix. My fear is he is going to sneak up the draft boards, so you might have to fire in a little bit earlier.
He's going to be this year's Spencer Ware in drafts. You'll end up picking him in the fifth round if you delay your draft until early September. The hype train is going to get out of control. Because this is Kyle Shanahan's guy. But I'm going to give you a word of caution. Shanahan and the Falcons coaching staff drafted their guy, Tevin Coleman and what happened? That's right. Devonta Freeman out-played his assets. There is a chance 'Los Hyde does the same thing. Because he's being challenged by a new coach. So this current ADP is absurd and you're going to have to do better than this if you expect to draft him. However, if the hype train is speeding too fast through the station, you might want to head to the bar, grab a drink and wait for the next one.
Fuller was on the cusp of a solid rookie season. And then Brock Osweiler happened. And yeah dude, I saw the tape; you couldn't get the ball to your receivers. Which is a problem for quarterbacks. So I'm going to take a flier on this guy later on because the talent is there. And if Macho Man Savage or Deshaun Foster can fling the rock, Fuller is going to be one of the beneficiaries.
A lot of folks are going to look for the next Tyreek Hill. Well, at least a version of Tyreek Hill you don't feel dirty drafting. (I know there was some subtle shade on Joe Mixon earlier, too, when we just assumed Perine was going to be the rookie RB3.) But here's what I can tell you about Samuel. Talented. For sure. The Panthers are looking for a type of player, and he's going to be a guy who is going to get a few scripted plays written for him. The hope is he's more Hill and less Cordarrelle Patterson, which means I can never draft him in the fifth-round. (I'm historically bad on fifth-round picks and I drafted CP in the fifth in like every draft a few years ago, and welp.) So use some caution on Samuel. But hell, its pick 212. It's all good.
There were a lot of morose mothers out there when that one guy signed with the New England Patriots in the offseason. Why can't I think of his ... Mike Gillislee. Good lord, I'm getting loopy when tyring to remember the Patriots depth chart. But in any event, fantasy enthusiasts and Rex Burkhead fans (including Koh, Evan Silva and me) were bummed. Williams wasn't. He assumes the No. 2 slot in a run-heavy offense with an RB1 who is 29 and has had trouble with his hamstrings. I wouldn't even call him a handcuff, because I project him to have a role with this team. He could be one of those sneaky flex dudes in certain matchups. I almost trust him a little more than Samuel right now, and I'm going to definitely target him in the later rounds.
Oh yeah, one of these guys is complete bull. The thing is, my friends like to read my articles (looking at you Dipaolo brothers, Hetland and Rosborough) so I had to throw in one red-herring. I'm just kidding. I didn't do that, but I'm tempted to do it, because I basically just gave you my late-round strategy for coming drafts. And of course this list will shift.
Oh shoot, I should mention, this too: Philip Rivers' ADP is way too low. It's crazy to me. I think he's going to have a pretty good season, his first in LA. If you're of the mind to wait on a QB. And while I still have your attention (ha, like you've read this far), make sure you read James' excellent piece on raising the value of fantasy QBs. Honestly, this four-point TD (expletive) is ridiculous. We need to make it like the real NFL where if you don't have a legit QB, it's going to be nearly impossible to win unless you load up the surrounding roster with talent. Kind of like how the Broncos did with Peyton Manning a few years ago. Boom, nailed one last Pey-Pey joke. But I'm not freaking kidding.