Classic horseshoe pattern balding, a flat tire across the waist and an inability to recover from a night of alcohol abuse are signs that you’re getting old. So is a declining skill-set in football.
There are lots of problems with targeting “over the hill” players in fantasy drafts. The worst part is paying a premium for a player’s name even though their game isn’t what it once was. Heightened injury risk and potential for reduced role are other troubling complications. Avoid these guys with one foot in the grave.
MANNING YOUR COFFIN
Peyton Manning was a sub-average quarterback last season well before his Week 15 quad injury. The team saw it, reducing his responsibility in favor of a ground-based attack that averaged 29.2 running back carries per game over the final seven weeks. This offseason, run-centric playcaller Gary Kubiak was brought in and the Broncos reportedly tried to trade Manning. Expect him to crumble down the stretch again this year (likely the final year of his career), meaning we are better off waiting until the later rounds for a Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo or Eli Manning type.
ROWDY NO MORE
The artist formerly known as “Rowdy Roddy White” is now “Underneath Possession Target Roddy White.” It doesn’t quite have the same ring. Roddy’s once indestructible body has failed him over the last two seasons and his effectiveness is waning sharply as well. Even when All-World “X” dominator Julio Jones missed a game last year, Harry Douglas got more targets from Matt Ryan. White, no longer a threat to defenses, will settle for a shallow role as Kyle Shanahan’s “Z” while watching Julio rack up all the big plays.
THE BELL TOLLS
Joique Bell has only been on the fantasy map for three seasons, but he’s 28-years-old and coming off multiple surgeries to his lower body. Joique has also averaged under 4.0 yards per carry in each of the last two seasons and the Lions used a second-round pick on explosive Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. Bell isn’t just going to fall off the face of the Earth, but a passing of the feature back baton to Abdullah at some point during the season is likely. The Lions, desperate to get production out of their run game, aren’t going to get it from Bell.
NBA First Impressions
Summer League doesn’t make a player. But youngsters that dominate inferior competition are on their way to fantasy relevance:
1. Aaron Gordon, PF, Magic – Showing he’s ready to leap past Channing Frye for major minutes next to Nik Vucevic.
2. Myles Turner, C, Pacers – With Roy Hibbert gone, the defensive-minded Pacers will be counting on the talented Turner to protect the rim.
3. Rodney Hood, SF, Jazz – It’s crowded on the wing in Utah, but Hood is miles ahead of the competition at Summer League.
The Saints went through an offensive overhaul this offseason, letting go of Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills, Robert Meachem and Pierre Thomas. Therefore, Brandin Cooks, C.J. Spiller and Josh Hill are already on the radars of fantasy owners. One guy that isn’t is Nick Toon, a “Z” receiver whose snaps are set to go “way up” – per coach Sean Payton. Toon can have a solid season as the No. 3 receiver for Drew Brees and has upside for more if 32-year-old Marques Colston hits the wall.