Tips and advice on how to win your fantasy football league.
Thielen the True #1 in Minnesota
Stefon Diggs came out of draft season as the 28th wide receiver off the board, while Thielen came in right around WR45. This is completely backwards, as it will be Thielen who has the most upside in 2017. Diggs broke out somewhat last year, reeling in 84 passes as the slot receiver for the conservative Minnesota offense. Thielen also had a solid 2016, putting up 967 yards on just 69 catches–the big plays were his bread-and-butter last season. However, if the preseason is any indicator, it’s Thielen who will be the possession receiver this year. With a slot role in a Sam Bradford offense, Thielen’s upside is much higher than Diggs, and he should merit flex consideration every week. This is especially true for Week 1, when the Vikings get a crack at the still-porous New Orleans secondary.
Trust the Veteran in Tennessee
There has been a lot of talk over the offseason about the newly-revamped Titans offense, and for good reason. Marcus Mariota is back healthy, they drafted dynamic rookie Corey Davis, and they brought in veteran red zone weapon Eric Decker. However, there has been virtually no talk at all about the mainstay in that offense–Delanie Walker. The 11th-year big man is still locked-in as a TE1 despite his age. Over the last three seasons, Walker has averaged 74 catches, 926 yards and just under six touchdowns, and there is no reason to believe he’s due for any regression. While there is more competition for targets (particularly in the red zone), Walker has been the safety blanket for Marcus Mariota since he came into the league. The Titans have a great matchup in Week 1 against the Raiders, and Walker should be a top-six option at the tight end position for Week 1 and the rest of the season.
Ignore the Handcuff Hype with Henry
Unless you have DeMarco Murray, there is very little appeal for Derrick Henry. The sophomore is certainly a terrific talent, and in the very near future we’ll be talking about him as a first-round draft candidate. However, the Titans are all-in on DeMarco Murray as the feature back for 2017. Murray has been exceptional for the last few seasons, and given that dominance there simply won’t be enough touches for Henry to warrant insertion into your lineup. Many would point to Henry’s 2016 and his multiple weeks of fantasy relevance, but instead it’s worth looking at how many weeks he went with fewer than 10 touches (10). If you did make the mistake of drafting Henry and don’t own DeMarco Murray, look to trade him away to the Murray owner in your league for a player who is independently flex-worthy.
NFL Draft Sleepers of the Week
Matt Forte, RB, NYJ – The writing is on the wall for the future Hall of Fame candidate, but the Jets aren’t simply handing the keys over to Bilal Powell right away. Forte will still carry
some flex appeal as he will likely get the touches around the goal line.
Ted Ginn, Jr., WR, NO – With Willie Snead serving a three-game suspension, Ginn will be the second option for Drew Brees after Michael Thomas. Brees obviously will be slinging the ball around, and all it takes is one big play for Ginn to make an impact.
Sam Bradford, QB, MIN – Bradford has a juicy matchup with the Saints secondary in Week 1, and with a very real chance the Vikings could be playing form behind Bradford will be forced to throw the ball. He’s a startable option if you waited on a QB or are streaming.