Get your popcorn ready
Each year we enter a draft with our cheat sheets, and in only a few short weeks we soon have a new perceived value of the same players drafted in those late August days. Each year, there are hot waiver guys and championship builders staring at us on the waiver wire or as a daily fantasy sports star with a reduced price either as a result of
1) a change in situation
2) a blow up game (see Kevin Ogletree circa 2012)
3) Talent and skill that has surpassed what our perceptions were
With that in mind, there are some situations that require closer monitoring than others, to help identify the players that can put us over the top and provide value for the rest of the season. I will highlight 3 situations to watch in the coming weeks that could help sort out some value plays in either daily fantasy sports or waiver wire pickups.
1) Buffalo QB situation
Their QB situation appears dire, but if EJ Manuel shows us what made him the #16 pick in the 2013 draft, we could get some clarity and find value in a couple players. If Manuel fizzles, or gets injured, the underrated Kyle Orton will man the QB position for the Bills, and could still provide enough value to keep some players afloat. The guy going under the radar here is Robert Woods. Woods developed rapport with Manuel in the limited games they played together last year, and returned WR2 value for a short amount of time. With the WR1 position held down by Watkins vs. 2013 Stevie Johnson I think it’s clear who is the superior athlete and should help Woods being opposite Watkins. Watkins is being drafted like a WR3/4, but in reality he will be maddening to own. A 12/183/2 game on your bench and a 2/17/0 game the next week when you find a way to start him. Robert Woods on the other hand runs crisp routes and is on a team that should find themselves in pass first situations in many games and is going undrafted or minimum priced across all daily fantasy sports sites. I think a 70/900/6 year if fully healthy is doable. Mike Williams is someone else to monitor because Manuel will perform or will falter and Orton will “save” the day. That’s a combination that has a serviceable QB in Buffalo blossoming one of these three into a star.
2) Miami RB situation
This is an offense that is now coached by the guy (Bill Lazor) who brought us the Eagles offense in 2013 – one of the most run heavy offenses. Now neither Knowshon Moreno nor Lamar Miller are Shady McCoy, there is still value in quantity of touches. Lamar Miller in his post-hype year ( I will talk about this more in another article), and Moreno coming off his top 5 RB finish, are reasons why I love having a stake in this backfield. Miller had the buzz in early camp reports, while Moreno struggled, but that did not translate to an uptick in ADP or auction value for Miller. In late camp the reports are that Miller is listed as the starter, and Moreno will be backing him up. I think we get the Southeast version of the M&M boys for the first few weeks and will try to pounce on the owner who wants to give up on the perceived “leader” of the backfield. I think the system could produce 2 RB2/Flex value players ala Buffalo Bills last year, but have a feeling one will emerge as the leader. My bets are on Miller and he is a player worth monitoring in both daily fantasy and season long leagues.
3) Carolina WR situation
There is only one ball to throw around, but who gets it? Benjamin/Cotchery/Olsen are the listed starters, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a name such as Jason Avant , Brenton Bersin, or Ed Dickson have one of those “blow-up” games. These are the type of games uneducated owners will chase, and one to avoid. Now with that said, I do think Kelvin Benjamin could provide value at some point this year, but may not be as consistent as fantasy owners would like. A guy that could provide sneaky value in this group is Jerricho Cotchery. He’s always been a sure handed possession type receiver, who should at least match if not surpass what Brandon LaFell did last year. He is a consistent WR who I think is a great WR5 to store on your bench with hopes of WR2/WR3 value returned, especially in PPR. I do want to see how these rookie wideouts and Cotchery/Olsen are used, before I drop a high upside guy though.
Where do we go from here? We go from blood pressure rising drafts, to anxious face grabbing linuep building Sundays. Enjoy.