We’ve all been there, playing poker, whether it was in your friend’s man cave or at a table in Las Vegas, and you’ve been dealt that hand. You know, that hand, a 9-10 suited, a pair of sixes. It’s good, but not great, you think you can win with it, but you aren’t 100-percent sold. Do you avoid the hype in your head or do you go all in? Fantasy football is no different. There are players that for whatever reason (a new coach, a new system, a new location) get hyped up all offseason long. So the question is, do you go all in with these players, or is it all hype?
Since I went with the poker analogy, why not start with a little Luck? Here is a name that’s been tossed around all winter long as a potential breakout QB1. There are many reasons to be optimistic. I love the additions of his former offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and the signings of
Darrius Heyward-Bey and Ahmad Bradshaw to complement the breakout potential of
Coby Fleener and
Dwayne Allen. Value-wise it’s tough to argue with, as he’s currently being drafted as the 10th or 11th quarterback off the board. Targeting Luck in a draft allows you to load up on other skill positions while waiting on a quarterback. However, that being said, the loss of Bruce Arians and the fact that the league has now had a year to “game plan” for him gives me pause.
Reggie Wayne’s inevitable return to earth, the potential for less downfield passing and what is potentially a very good running game (Bradshaw > Vick Ballard/Donald Brown) is enough to declare
Andrew Luck as
Chip Kelly offense. Sound familiar? It should, since that’s what we’ve been hearing since the day the Eagles hired him. It’s easy to forget that McCoy had 20 total touchdowns in 2011. Now coming back healthy after a down 2012 (1,200-plus total yards and six touchdowns), the sky is the limit. Kelly runs the ball, a lot, 69-percent of the time at Oregon. Kelly has a fast-paced offense and runs more plays, a system so successful that Bill Belichick brought in Kelly last offseason for some “pointers.” The result? New England ran more offensive plays that anyone else in the NFL in 2012. I realize
Bryce Brown showed flashes when he wasn’t busy fumbling the ball, and
Felix Jones is now in the mix (assuming he’ll be healthy … which he won’t be). That’s not enough to deter me. McCoy’s talent plus Kelly’s offense equals top-3 potential. That’s enough to put me
We haven’t seen him play a lot. I’m worried about Daniel Thomas. What about the offensive line? Two of those don’t concern me and the other is just asinine (
Daniel Thomas, really?).
Reggie Bush put up good fantasy numbers for a bad Miami Dolphins team last year, and he’s a poor man’s
Darren Sproles, not a pure running back. Bush is now gone and clearly the new regime isn’t liking what they see out of former pick
Daniel Thomas. Enter
Lamar Miller, the second-year player who, according to coach Joe Philbin, is “composed,” “fundamentally sound” and “appears to be a lot more comfortable with what he’s dong.” The new additions of
Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller along with the returning
Brian Hartline are going to keep the opponent’s linebackers and secondary busy, opening up lanes for Miller. I haven’t even gotten to the best part. Miller spent the offseason training with
Frank Gore, who had nothing but good things to say about him, and, just as training camps open, Miller himself has stated his goal is 1,500 yards. I agree. I’m
The hype for
Torrey Smith has been slowly growing since the departure of
Anquan Boldin. He’s the deep threat. He’s the only guy for Joe Flacco to throw to. He’s going to get all of Boldin’s targets. Well these might be true, I don’t buy it.
Torrey Smith is going to be exactly what he was last season, a sideline burner who will get you 120 yards and two touchdowns one week, and then 27 yards and no touchdowns the next four weeks. He doesn’t catch anything over the middle. If my numbers are correct, he had one catch over the middle last year. One! Flacco has his favorites, and although he lost Boldin, my guess would be that Ed Dickson steps into that roll. Plus now with Boldin gone, Smith will have the likes of
Dre Kirkpatrick and
Ike Taylor all too himself. I see some upside, and I’m tempted – but with Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, and Dickson all potentially ahead of him in targets, I got to fold and call this
Wes Welker Experience 2.0 begins in Foxboro. The rumor is the New England Patriots were targeting Amendola even before Welker walked. Whatever the case may be,
Tom Brady needs someone to throw it to and it’s tough to bet against
Tom Brady. My main area of concern here though is injury. Amendola gets hurt, plain and simple. I’m worried about him. If I had him on my team I’d be nervous – but he does catch passes, and he catches a lot of them. Perhaps the biggest pro-Amendola argument out there is Bill Belichick’s ego. He hates being wrong, and whether intended or not, he let Welker walk. What better way to prove he did the right thing than to feed, and feed, and feed the ball to Amendola, riding him until he gets hurt? I want to say “all hype,” I really do, but Belichick is just the type of guy who would beat you with a flush draw on the river card and then laugh in your face about it. Never bet against the
After declaring himself “used incorrectly,” the former Tennessee Titan now finds himself reunited with his former coach Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. If anyone is going to use him correctly it’s Fisher. He did draft him and now he signed him as a free agent. A freak of an athlete and a potential beast at tight end, Cook has all the talent in the world, but it’s never really surfaced. So what makes everyone think it’s going to surface now? Is
Sam Bradford going to do what Matt Hasselbeck and
Jake Locker couldn’t do? Not to mention, St. Louis is stacked with young talent –
Isaiah Pead, Zach Stacy, Daryl Richardson. Where in all of that younger, faster talent does
Jared Cook fit in? All the potential in the world only gets you so far when the targets just aren’t there. I’m going to call Fisher’s bluff and dub this
You fall in love with players, you hold grudges against players. But never let the hype cloud your judgment.