I like to say 50 percent of what I predict comes true. Obviously, there is a margin of error there, but with more than 15 years in the fantasy business it’s probably been 50 percent, give or take. Hey, it’s a heck of a lot better than weathermen and they use all kinds of technology.
This week was a perfect example of my 50 percent ratio. My top-two preseason breakout/sleeper/whatever the heck you want to call them players were Alshon Jeffery and DeAndre Hopkins. I thought Jeffery would be a fantasy stud and Hopkins would win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. On Sunday, Jeffery caught one pass and I saw a future star in Houston. Looks like I’m holding steady at 50 percent.
Hey, I guess the season is almost over. I saw a Christmas commercial last week. So to review, stores had Halloween candy out in July and I saw a Christmas layaway commercial during the second week of September. Boy they really want our money this year, huh?
Now on with
The Fire Sale …
James Starks, RB, Green Bay – I put Starks on here as a warning. I know he’ll be a hot pickup this week and some shortsighted fantasy people will tell you to go gobble him up, but I want you to remember one thing: he’s still James Starks.
I want you remember one other thing: I may have been the first fantasy writer to talk about Starks in “The Fire Sale.” Because I live in Upstate New York, I saw Starks play quite a bit at the University of Buffalo. When he came out of college injured, I said to keep an eye on him as a down-the-road sleeper with the Packers, so I’ve followed Starks for a long time. I predicted he would have a much better NFL career than he has but Starks landed on the wrong side of that 50 percent. He is what he is at this point.
Besides, Eddie Lacy will be coming back at some point and then we’re right back where we started with two guys getting touches. If you can get Starks for a reasonable price, I say do it, just don’t overpay for his services.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona – I loved Ellington when he played at Clemson but I didn’t talk about him much this summer because I had a lot of trouble trying to decide if he was just a “college player.”
When I break down players in college – even if I love them – the first thing I try and do is distinguish if their success in college will translate to the pros or if that’s as far as it will go. The classic example is Mike Hart. A more recent one would obviously be Tim Tebow.
I couldn’t get a good read on Ellington. My gut told me he may have benefited from playing at Clemson, even though I believe most players at Clemson will be successful in the NFL like Hopkins, who I mentioned above, and Tajh Boyd, who I have highly rated as a quarterback coming out next year. You will also see Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris as a head coach in the NFL within five years. Go ahead and mark that down.
I was dying to make either Ellington or Stepfan Taylor one of my sleeper/breakout players this summer because I saw a big opportunity behind Rashard Mendenhall in Arizona but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on one of them. Now as we are into the season, Ellington looks like the guy because of his ability as a receiver out of the backfield.
We all know what Bruce Arians likes to do on offense – throw the football. Mendenhall will still be the main back…for now. However, expect Ellington to start seeing more time as the third down back in the coming weeks.
It may be a little early, but Ellington should certainly be on your radar. Mendenhall isn’t the picture of health, and, if he goes down, Ellington’s fantasy value will go up.