Part of what makes fantasy football great is identifying breakout performers. In a dynasty setting the rewards is enhanced significantly by the luxury of then being able to hold onto said player for the duration of his career. If you can nab the next Antonio Brown for the cost of a few waiver wire bucks or a late draft pick, you’ve just performed a resounding roster upgrade simply by being vigilant while other owners were still waiting for more data points.
However, there exists a flip side of that coin. Many of these breakouts will wind up as one-hit wonders (Steve Slaton says hi), leaving you with nothing more than some temporary production and a bitter taste in your mouth when you were counting on them as core components of your team moving forward. Knowing when to cash out on a player who gained a significant amount of value is every bit as important as identifying him in the first place.
As always, 2016 was no different in providing us with several of these “gatecrashers.” After combing through the PPR Top-50 lists, I’ve created lists of players who, to varying degrees, came out of nowhere to crash the fantasy party. From here, it’s time to determine how they should be valued moving forward.
I got started with the wide receivers, and now let’s continue with the running backs!
Ezekiel Elliott, RB DAL (PPR WR2, ADP = 4.0)
In the sense that I didn’t buy into the type of immediate viability Elliott would offer up, I could definitely have been classified as a “hater” of his value. But after finishing as the PPR RB2, it’s impossible to mount any sort of retroactive defense. Zeke did what he was supposed to do, and then some. Though he’s checking in with a higher ADP than both David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell, I have no problem with grabbing an elite young running back this early. This one’s easy.
Verdict: Hold, and enjoy the ride.
Melvin Gordon, RB SD (PPR RB7, ADP = 20.8)
You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.