I live in the Northwest and today brings us the big solar eclipse. However, the biggest show around here has easily been watching the massive number of traveling people spend countless hours on the freeway, spend three times as much money as usual for everything from food to hotels and scramble around trying to find gas since most every fuel stop is either empty or only pumping for locals. It’s total anarchy here as the thousands continue to trek to all parts of Washington and Oregon in search of something called, “100% totality.” My only hope is the sky isn’t cloudy today because I can only imagine the “sun riot” that could ensue. After all, we’ve already had an “Eclipse Hate Rally” in Portland this week.
With the eclipse clearly on a lot of people’s minds, I can’t help but think of the song, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Since I couldn’t get that song out of my head this week (and really wanted to force it upon you as well), I asked the rest of the DLF Team to give me someone who they tend to love a little more than everyone else this year. In short, this would be someone who gives them a “total eclipse of the heart.” This would be a player who they tend to draft earlier than most or trade for in a majority of leagues. In short, these players tend to show up on their rosters in most of their leagues because they tend to “overvalue” them compared to other dynasty league owners. There were some themes out there that came up. My thought was the faithful readers of DLF may want to see some commentary about this group of players and consider if they’re perhaps a little too down on them.
If you don’t know the song, please feel free to review below – there you’ll find one of the strangest music videos in history. It looks like a combination of a love song, Mad Max, Poltergeist and a weird type of rave…much like the scene in some people’s yards and basements in the Northwest today. Pray for us, people.
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Kenny Britt, WR CLE (3 votes)
A perennial underachiever, Britt finally posted his first 1,000 yard season in his eighth year in the league last year. He was rewarded with a new contract with the Browns and should be a primary option for an offense likely to be passing a lot after falling behind in most of their games. While it’s more than fair to wonder about his quarterback situation, Britt comes with a relatively cheap price considering he could be the team’s number one option depending on just how Corey Coleman develops.
James Conner, RB PIT (2 votes)
One of the easiest players in the league to root for, Conner has a prime opportunity to make a splash this preseason and make a case to be the prime backup to Le’Veon Bell. Bell’s contract situation is far from resolved so Conner’s role could grow dramatically in the future. He’s a player who can be taken in the third round of most rookie drafts but one who could have a pretty high ceiling if things go his way. We’ve seen just what kind of damage DeAngelo Williams could do as Bell’s backup and he’s about 105 years old, so many owners are taking a chance with Conner.
Jake Butt, TE DEN (2 votes)
If not for a late-season injury, Butt would likely be right there with some of the more elite tight end prospects in this year’s rookie class. As it is, rookie drafters can get him late and have a player who could be a serious red zone threat. Patience could pay off big-time with Butt. Unfortunately, patience tends to be the toughest quality for a dynasty owner to truly possess.
Keenan Allen, WR LAC (2 votes)
If Allen is healthy, he’s one of the best in the business. However, he’s coming off a lost season and it’s fair to wonder just how long it’s going to take to have him get back to 100%. If this is the year, his ADP should be considered a bargain.
Stefon Diggs, WR MIN (2 votes)
We’re always looking for the next big thing at the wide receiver position and it’s clear two members of our team believe that could be Diggs. Had it not been for some nagging injuries, he would have posted his first 1,000 yard season last year (as it stands, he was still able to post 84/903/3 in 13 games). The touchdown total will need to rise (even thought that’s unpredictable) for him to truly hit the next level. However, this is a player who seems to be talented enough to post a season with 100 catches, more than 1,000 yards and enough touchdowns to warrant high-end WR2 numbers or better.
Maxx Williams, TE BAL
Williams has really fallen off the radar over the past few years but has a great opportunity with Dennis Pitta out for the season (and out permanently). His preseason performances so far make it clearly look like he’s over the major knee surgery he was forced to have not long ago. Williams could have sneaky value this year and Joe Flacco desperately needs playmakers.
Taywan Taylor, WR TEN
There’s really not much more we can say about Taylor. He’s been spectacular since day one of camp. While dynasty owners are drooling over the potential of Corey Davis, Taylor has shown there’s more than one rookie receiver in Tennessee to be excited about. He’s likely going to win the slot job for the Titans and looks to be a really solid piece for a young and dynamic offense.
Curtis Samuel, WR CAR
Much like Taylor, Samuel finds himself as “the other rookie” on his own team. While we haven’t seen nearly as much of him to be excited about as Taylor, it’s clear Samuel has loads of talent. His rookie ADP is all over the board and he could prove to be a relative bargain if his performance matches his potential.
Aaron Jones, RB GB
There’s a lot of talk about Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery in the backfield but some are still believers in Jones, especially with his late round rookie ADP. It’s fair to wonder just how much the Packers will actually run the football but whoever emerges from this group could have some fantastic weekly appeal.
Amara Darboh, WR SEA
Darboh has had a quiet camp thus far and been out-shined by players like Kasen Williams. Still, the Seahawks have invested draft capital in him and their depth chart at receiver is wide open behind Doug Baldwin. Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson should be the other starters but neither can seem to shake the injury bug, leaving the door open for younger players like Darboh.
Brandin Cooks, WR NE
We covered Cooks’ situation at length in our recent 32 Teams, 32 Questions: The AFC East article last week. His usage will be one of the biggest stories in fantasy football this year. If he’s truly used as the number one option for Tom Brady, he could have an MVP-like season. If he’s treated just like “one of the guys,” he’s likely going to disappoint his owners.
Dalvin Cook, RB MIN
It’s already fair to wonder just what some NFL teams may have been thinking by passing on Cook. So far, he’s shown nothing but elite ability in the preseason and even though the Vikings offensive line is poor, he has the looks of a possible bargain in the middle of the first round of rookie drafts. If he continues to work hard and no other issues pop up, he looks like a player to build around.
Jordan Howard, RB CHI
Howard was the steal of rookie drafts last year and the sky looks to be the limit for this young runner. Tarik Cohen is pushing for some playing time but that may just do nothing but extend the career of Howard.
Martavis Bryant, WR PIT
Talented? Check. Troubled? Double check. There is obvious risk with Bryant but the reward could be enormous. If he rounds back into form, he could be a tremendous weapon for Ben Roethlisberger. Many owners don’t trust him and that’s pushing down his ADP. Others obviously see August as a “buy” opportunity.
Ameer Abdullah, RB DET
It seems like fantasy owners have been looking for the next great Lions back since Barry Sanders retired. Whether it’s Kevin Jones, James Stewart, Kevin Smith, Jahvid Best or anyone else, it seems like Detroit has just been a fantasy black hole at running back. Abdullah has a prime opportunity to seize the job for good this year. If he stays healthy, he could be a great dynasty asset. However, he just hasn’t been able to stay on the field thus far.
Jonathan Williams, RB BUF
The Bills are obviously looking to rebuild and that means LeSean McCoy may not indeed end his career in Buffalo. While McCoy is clearly the top dog for as long as he’s there, Williams has looked like the heir apparent for some time now. When the Bills decide they want to move on, Williams will likely have the reigns in the backfield – there’s a nice window to buy if you believe that statement.
Jameis Winston, QB TB
There are a handful of young quarterbacks who look like they have elite level potential and Winston may just be at the top of that list. Winston has looked poised and, well, veteran-like this preseason and has a complete command of the offense. With an elite level pass catcher and a serious prospect a tight end, the future is bright for famous Jameis.
Mark Ingram, RB NO
With the addition of Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara, a lot of people have just written off Ingram. Meanwhile, he averaged over five yards per carry last year and posted his first 1,000 yard season just one year ago. At 27 and with only 953 carries in his career, Ingram should have a lot of juice left in the tank for the second part of his career. He can be had very cheaply at the moment.
Michael Crabtree, WR OAK
Amari Cooper gets all the attention in Oakland and rightfully so. Still, Crabtree has been great as he’s averaged 87 receptions per season and scored 17 total touchdowns in his two years in Oakland. You get nearly guaranteed production at an ADP around 50 and that’s simply not bad.
Mike Gillislee, RB NE
Trying to figure out the Patriots backfield is like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle while blindfolded. Still, if you hit on the right player, it can give you a serious boost in your league. Gillislee is a prime candidate to be the Patriots early down back and that made someone with less talent like LeGarrette Blount have some serious value.
Tyreek Hill, WR KC
Hill’s potential is salivating for dynasty owners. A threat to score every time he touches the ball, Hill is now a full-time receiver. If he can excel at the position and overcome the fact Alex Smith is his quarterback, this will be the last time you could buy Hill at a price that’s even borderline reasonable.
Eric Decker, WR TEN
With all the fuss over Taywan Taylor and Corey Davis, most are forgetting about Decker. With an emerging offense, he has great touchdown potential and a palatable ADP of around 100.
Paul Richardson, WR SEA
Richardson has a great opportunity to finally carve out a serious role in the Seattle offense. He’s immensely talented and Russell Wilson has the arm and elusiveness to get him the ball when he’s open. He needs to get on the field quickly but there’s some nice appeal here.
Chris Godwin, WR TB
There are a lot of mouths to feed in Tampa Bay and that’s likely going to mean Godwin takes some time to develop. However, if Jameis Winston truly emerges and DeSean Jackson moves on in a year or two, Godwin could be a dynasty gem.
Duke Johnson, RB CLE
Isaiah Crowell is getting all the attention in the Cleveland backfield but that’s just driven Johnson’s ADP down to around 100. Johnson can really catch the ball out the backfield and Crowell is far from a proven commodity.
Coby Fleener, TE NO
Fleener had a disaster of a year in New Orleans, posting a line of just 50/631/3 when many dynasty owners felt he was going to be a sure fire TE1. A year has gone by and Brandin Cooks has left town. There should be more targets coming Fleener’s way and with an ADP around 150, it won’t hurt you much to reach for him a round or two early.
Martellus Bennett, TE GB
It’s easy to see the allure here. If Bennett and Aaron Rodgers can click, this could get fun in a hurry. Bennett is one of the few tight ends in the large second tier who you could make a case for actually see a scenario that features them making a run at a top two or three finish at the position.
Well, that’s it. I guess you could consider posting some thoughts on all those different players 100% totality. I sincerely hope you and I survive the eclipse.
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