The vast majority of fantasy football owners will tune out around Week 15 and tune back in once training camp opens. We call those people suckers.
The NFL is a 365-day league now, with constant player movement and news creating fluctuating values. The sharpest owners are the ones that are paying attention all year round. They’re the ones that are aware of rising studs like these:
KING OF THE HILL
Perhaps we should have seen the Jimmy Graham trade coming. Coach Sean Payton has been raving about Josh Hill for months, calling him “exactly what we’re looking for.” Although Hill is a former UDFA out of Idaho State, he would have been drafted if he had gotten a Combine invite. The catch-first tight end has 4.66 speed and a 36.5-inch vertical at 6’5/250. Note that he’s scored six touchdowns on his 30 career NFL catches, giving him the red-zone chops we desire in fantasy tight ends.
MOUNT SEFERIAN RUMBLING
Another tight end sneakily gaining steam this offseason is Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Although he had just 21 catches as a rookie, the Bucs reportedly believe that number can spike to 60 this season. It’s a realistic projection as ASJ will be playing every down, will benefit from all the attention Mike Evans andVincent Jackson drawand is now working with TE-maximizing offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. A second-year leap for Seferian-Jenkins is more likely than one for, say, Eric Ebron.
THE OTHER MURRAY
DeMarco Murray is obviously an ideal fit in Chip Kelly’s downhill, fastbreak offense. Oakland’sLatavius Murray will be much sneakier. New Raiders OC Bill Musgrave said he’s going to “tailor” the run game for Murray, a size/speed freak who averaged 5.17 YPC on his 72 rushes last season. Things stayed clean in free agency, as the Raiders only added third-down back Roy Helu and an inept Trent Richardson. They also signed stud C Rodney Hudson away from the Chiefs, upgrading the run game’s outlook even further. We may have to reach for Latavius a bit come August, but those looking closely will know he’s worth it.
NBA Pickups of the Week
Bismack Biyombo, C, Hornets – Even if Al Jefferson (knee) plays again this season, Biyombo will be called upon for heavier minutes than usual.
Ricky Ledo, SG, Knicks – The bungling Knicks might as well see what they have in Ledo, a multi-category fantasy contributor.
Omri Casspi, SF, Kings — With Rudy Gay (headaches) and DeMarcus Cousins (foot) both nicked, Casspi is a go-to guy.
Sammy Watkins was the consensus No. 1 overall pick in Dynasty rookie drafts a year ago. Fast forward 12 months and we could make a case Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Matthews are all better long-term prospects. Watkins was mediocre in 2014, he’s coming off hip surgery, there’s no help on the horizon for the E.J. Manuel/Matt Cassel two-headed monster and new coach Rex Ryan wants to run the ball 50 times a game. If someone still wants to buy Watkins at top dollar, we should be selling.