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Wally’s World – Post-NFL Draft Edition

With the NFL Draft firmly in the rearview mirror Old Uncle Waldo figured it was time to load up the Family Truckster and head down that Holiday Road once again.

Here are a few off the top of my head observations as the 2016 season quickly approaches.

Is there any way Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t have a huge season in Dallas? Oh wait. There is.

Once Tony Romo goes down (again) and defenses stack the box, things could get ugly for the rookie.

This feels a bit strange to type but if they get some young players in the secondary to step up and with Mario Edwards back, I like the Oakland Raiders defense to make some noise this season.

So we now get to see Odell Beckham Jr. versus Josh Norman twice a year, eh? Advantage New York Giants.

I’m guessing that if Connor Cook had a pre-draft list of teams he wanted to be selected by in order of preference the Oakland Raiders would have been #32. No chance to see the field anytime soon, young man, so practice your penmanship for holding that clipboard.

With Daryl Smith gone look for a career-year from C.J. Mosley. The kid should flirt with triple-digit solo tackles.

Are we really buying that DeMarco Murray is happy that the Tennessee Titans drafted Derrick Henry? He didn’t exactly seem thrilled to split carries last year in Philadelphia.

Of course, no one seemed thrilled to be in Philadelphia last season.

It appears that the medical recheck that Shaq Lawson had on his shoulder was a bit off the mark. It could be a lost season for the Buffalo Bills rookie DE after undergoing shoulder surgery recently.

In what feels like a piling on situation, the Bills also revealed that star WR Sammy Watkins underwent surgery for a broken bone in his foot. While it’s still early we hate to see the words ‘surgery’ and ‘foot’ in any sentence regarding wide receivers.

The only offensive player worth drafting from the San Francisco 49ers for fantasy purposes is RB Carlos Hyde. It’s going to be a long season for the folks by the Bay.

Those of us IDP lovers that have toiled in the “Free Brandon Graham” brigade are thrilled with the Philadelphia Eagles hiring of Jim Schwartz as their new defensive coordinator. In a 4-3 (with some wide-9 looks) scheme Graham returns to the DE designation and will be getting after the QB all season long. Nice!

I couldn’t be happier that Greg Hardy remains unsigned. Go home Greg. Your career is over and you have no one to blame but yourself.

On a side note…a pox on any team that even thinks about bringing Hardy in for a workout.

People are not really still holding out hope for a bounce-back season from Saints RB C.J. Spiller are they? I’d rather have rookie RB Daniel Lasco. There. I said (wrote) it.

Speaking of rookies. Here are my top five for fantasy purposes in order for this season… if anyone was wondering. Ezekiel Elliott (DAL), Michael Thomas (NO), Laquon Treadwell (MIN), Corey Coleman (CLE), Sterling Shepard (NYG).

Another rookie to keep in mind is WR Malcolm Mitchell in New England. Danny Amendola is banged up (again) and the Pats are thin at WR behind Julian Edelman (who is also dealing with a foot injury). “The Hoodie” doesn’t generally utilize rookie wideouts a lot but may be forced to this season.

With the retirement of Calvin Johnson in Detroit, folks are looking at TE Eric Ebron to step up. As a Lions fan this makes me very, very nervous.

That being said, I do like newly acquired WR Marvin Jones to post WR2 numbers by season’s end for Detroit. It’s his time to shine in what will continue to be a pass happy offense.

So now Sam Bradford is happy to still be in Philadelphia. Well Sam, I am happy to have you as the 30th ranked QB heading into the season. Yawn.

While I currently have Los Angeles (still strange) Rams DE Robert Quinn ranked in the top-five among the DL, he worries me. Quinn suffered both a knee and back injury (which required surgery) last season and may miss some training camp time.

It’s going to be interesting to see just what kind of numbers Lamar Miller will put up seeing more touches as the main RB for the Houston Texans.

Is it possible the Miami Dolphins know something that the rest of us don’t? Nah. Judging by how the Miami offense has looked the past few seasons they do not.

Speaking of Miami, do they really intend on entering the season with Jay Ajayi and rookie Kenyan Drake as their RB tandem? I get the feeling that they are keeping Arian Foster’s medical reports and phone number very close by.

Let’s stay in the RB realm with the news that after an underwhelming (I am being very kind) rookie season, Melvin Gordon has undergone micro-fracture surgery. Ugh.

I am officially stocking up on Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead in as many PPR leagues as possible. Look for Philip Rivers to be slinging the ball plenty this season.

Speaking of the Chargers. Can we get a golf clap for the addition of Zach Mettenberger? If a team prefers Matt Cassel over you then there is something wrong. Looking forward to the Mettenberger versus Kellen Clemens battle for the backup role.

I am officially driving the Ladarius Green bandwagon heading into the season. With Martavis Bryant suspended, I see big numbers for the athletic seam-splitting TE of the Steelers.

If you draft Tom Brady and his suspension holds up there are a few later round options to get a team through the first four weeks. Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins and Blake Bortles all have nice schedules out of the gate to be productive and can be had at the back end of drafts.

If an owner is willing to take a second QB earlier than those options the ideal option to replace Brady early would be Derek Carr. Oakland opens the season with New Orleans, Atlanta, Tennessee and Baltimore in the first four weeks. Three of the games are on the road and Carr actually put up better numbers away from home last season.

Do we dare trust Dion Lewis as the lead back for the Patriots? New England brought LeGarrette Blount back and Bill Belichick has burned us in the past (remember Jonas Gray?) regarding RB usage. I’m rolling the dice in PPR leagues at the end of the third round as Lewis was having such a special season before tearing his ACL and is still only 25 years old.

I’m keeping an eye on where Anquan Boldin eventually signs. He could bring sneaky good value late in PPR format drafts as a flex option and roster depth.

That’s it for now folks. Stay tuned for more fantasy ramblings from Wally’s World in the near future.

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin