Five Fantasy Starters I Hate More than You
Hate is a strong word. In this case, I absolutely mean it. I chose 5 very good players below. These guys would probably be a starter on almost every fantasy team out there. Still though, I probably hate them more than you.
Allen Robinson – DFW WR#9
Kelvin Benjamin – DFW WR#14
Kelvin Benjamin, DFW’s 14th ranked Wide Receiver, had a very productive rookie season catching 73 passes for 1,008 yards and 9 TDs. Unfortunately, Benjamin tore his ACL early in the 2015 offseason and has not played in a game since. With Benjamin sidelined, Cam Newton had a career year while leading the Panthers to the Super Bowl. His supporting cast consisted of Greg Olsen, Ted Ginn, Chris Brown, and Devin Funchess – not exactly murderers row. Benjamin has by far the best size/speed combo of the bunch, although he has a major case of the drops. In his rookie season, Benjamin led the league in this category, dropping 6.9% of passes thrown his way. With that, I expect Olsen to remain Newton’s most reliable target, especially in the red zone. Funchess is also expected to take a step forward in his second season. He came on strong in the second half of last season, scoring 5 TDs over the final 9 Weeks of the season. Benjamin’s 6’5″ frame presents a great red zone threat, but he still has to catch the ball in order to score. I would feel more comfortable with him as my WR3 of Flex, but right now he is being valued as a high end WR2.
Players I’d rather have: Keenan Allen, T.Y. Hilton, Jordan Matthews
Andy Dalton – DFW QB#12
Through 12 Weeks, Andy Dalton was well on his way to the best year of his career, throwing for an average of 266 yards and 2 TDs per game. Unfortunately, Dalton broke his thumb diving for a loose ball against the Steelers in his team’s 13th game. Dalton is currently pegged as DFW’s 12th ranked dynasty Quarterback, giving him a value of a low-end QB1. At that price, he will need to put up at least the same numbers as he did prior to his injury. The question becomes: can he repeat his success? In the offseason, the Bengals lost two of their top wideouts, Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones. More importantly, they lost their Offensive Coordinator, Hue Jackson, who became the head coach of rival Cleveland. Dalton is now on his 3rd OC in four years and has lost two of his top three top wideouts. Rookie Tyler Boyd and free agent Brandon LaFell will need to step up immediately to take the pressure off of A.J. Green and Tyler Eiffert. I don’t see how Dalton lives up to this price tag.
Players I’d rather have: Kirk Cousins, Carson Palmer, Ryan Tannehill
Devonta Freeman – DFW RB#4
Devonta Freeman flew under the radar entering the 2015 season. The Falcons had just recently hired a new regime which then used the 73rd overall pick in the 2015 draft to select another Running Back, Tevin Coleman out of Indiana. Coleman was tabbed the starter out of preseason and played well in Week 1. As luck would have it, Coleman broke two ribs in Week 2, leaving Freeman as the lead back. Once taking over, Freeman lit the league on fire, averaging 5.1 YPC and 6 receptions per game. Something happened in the final 7 Weeks of the season, however. Freeman’s rushing average dropped to 3.1 YPC and only 5 receptions per game during that span. I think Freeman can be a fringe RB1 in PPR leagues, but I do expect Tevin Coleman can take over as the lead back by midseason. If that happens, Freeman’s value will tumble down to RB2 or Flex play territory.
Players I’d rather have: Adrian Peterson, Carlos Hyde, Doug Martin
Travis Kelce – DFW TE#3
Travis Kelce is DFW’s 3rd ranked Tight End. When you take a look at the numbers, you will quickly see that the hype far exceeds the production. Through two years, Kelce has put up modest numbers at best, 67/862/5 in 2014 and 72/875/5 in 2015. But does that warrant the ranking of the 3rd best Tight End? I don’t think so. For starters, he has Alex Smith throwing him the ball. Smith is a master field general and likes to dink and dunk down for a score. That is all well and good for winning football games, but for Kelce owners, it doesn’t mean much. The bigger problem is that Smith only threw 470 passes in 2015, 29th in the league. Of those, Kelce saw 103 targets, a 22% market share of all KC passes thrown. If he is going to ascend to an elite level, he will need to command at least a 30% share of Smith’s passes to bump his production enough to warrant the status of TE#3.
Players I’d rather have: Jordan Reed, Zach Ertz, Greg Olsen