July 4th is behind us and that means if you go by my crazy gorilla math, summer is officially over.
I never understood the infatuation with summer. Why do people like a season that doesn’t have anything to do with a recliner, pizza and watching football? For me, summer is one big countdown. I countdown to football and until my wife goes back to work. Once we get to Labor Day I’m free again.
Some of you (three people) have been asking on Twitter for me to write something. I know we live in a different world now but when it comes to The Fire Sale my approach has always been the same. I like to marinate for a few months and take things in before I start firing opinions. So basically, I’m lazy and don’t want to work.
After the draft I go back and re-watch a lot of college football games/tape from last season. I believe when watching games during the year we’re all a little bias because of the media. I get a lot out of re-watching 30 or so games in June and July. That allows me to give you guys the jump on players like Allen Hurns. Some might argue it gave you the jump on Donald Brown too but those files have been permanently deleted.
Now that I’ve put in all of my work, I’m ready to fire away. My first order of business is to take a look at current Average Draft Positions (ADP) and give some thoughts as we approach prime draft season. This will be a two-part series. First, I’ll focus on the earlier rounds (1-9). My next Fire Sale will look at players with ADP’s of Round 10 or later.
Thanks as always to those who have been following my work for a while and to any new readers. This season kicks off the 18th year of The Fire Sale. That’s not too bad for a washed up pug like me.
One quick note: I’ll be giving out both traditional and DFS advice in The Fire Sale this year. If you have any questions or comments hit me up on Twitter @ThePigskinGuy.
Now on with The Fire Sale…
ADP’s are taken from MyFantasyLeague.com as of July 11 and based on a 12-team PPR scoring system
Mike Evans, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ADP: 15) – Evans had a solid fantasy year in 2015 even though he struggled with drops. A touchdown machine in college and as a rookie, Evans surprisingly only scored three times last year. He still did catch 74 balls for 1,206 yards, so his fantasy season certainly wasn’t a total bust. I was a huge Evans guy when he was coming out of college. I don’t know why he suffered so many drops last year but it’s never been an issue in the past. I still like him, but just outside of Round 1 is simply too rich for my blood. The bottom line is there are other receivers I have ranked a little higher that I would rather own, like…
Alshon Jeffery, WR Chicago Bears (ADP: 22) – One of my favorite all-time college receivers, I’m still all-in on Jeffery. When he’s healthy, there are few receivers in the NFL more dominant. Jeffery only played in nine games last year. He saw at least 11 targets six times. He caught at least six balls five times. He had at least 78 yards receiving seven times. He scored in four games. Keep in mind that Jeffery wasn’t 100 percent healthy all season. Jeffery and the Bears reportedly aren’t close on a long-term contract extension, which means he’ll be playing for money. Going back to his college days, a motivated Jeffery is a scary Jeffery. If he stays healthy, Jeffery is going to have a monster season. I have a first-round grade on him. I don’t target many players in drafts but Jeffery is one of the guys I’m trying to get in all of my leagues this year.
T.Y. Hilton, WR Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 30) – Hilton is another player I’m really high on this season. I’ve actually seen him slide to Round 3 and been trying to pair him up with Jeffery on my fantasy teams when possible. Too many people have a sour taste in their mouth over Andrew Luck and the Colts offense from last season. Big things were expected and fantasy owners got burned. Move on. Hilton still put up a 69/1,124/5 line with Luck struggling and Josh Freeman under center by the end of the year. I expect a big bounce-back season from the Colts offense. Rob Chudzinski is a major upgrade at offensive coordinator over Pep Hamilton. That move hasn’t been talked about enough in the fantasy world but it’s going to make a big difference. I’ll take Hilton in the third round all day long.
Demaryius Thomas, WR Denver Broncos (ADP: 31) – My argument for Hilton is when someone like Thomas ends up going ahead of him. Thomas is a great receiver but are you ready to spend a top-30 draft pick on a receiver who is going to have Mark Sanchez or Trevor Siemian throwing to him? Thomas still put up a 105/1,304/6 stat line on 176 targets last year with poor quarterback play. Let’s be honest though, either an aging Peyton Manning or Brock Osweiler are upgrades over the Broncos current options. Thomas comes down in value for me. If he drops a little I would grab him but the top 30 is too high with Denver’s quarterback issues.
DeVante Parker, WR Miami Dolphins (ADP: 48) – Every year us fantasy geniuses have to show the world how smart we are by overvaluing a particular player. Remember Charles Johnson? I’m guilty too. I was all over a guy who had done nothing and was on a fantasy wasteland for receivers. Yet, a lot of us pumped up Johnson, and you took the bait. I promised I wouldn’t do it anymore. I promised the next time I saw this injustice occurring I would warn against it instead of feeding the hype. Parker is currently being drafted ahead of Jeremy Maclin, Julian Edelman, Michael Floyd, Doug Baldwin, Allen Hurns and sometimes, Golden Tate. I like Parker but I don’t need to be a genius in Round 4.
Kevin White, WR Chicago Bears (ADP: 57) – Read above and insert “Kevin White” for “DeVante Parker.” White plays on a team with a conservative coach (John Fox), an erratic quarterback (Jay Cutler) and a target monster (Jeffery). Have fun.