It’s been a long and arduous road, but the 2016 NFL regular season is finally upon us. By now most fantasy drafts have been completed, and fantasy owners have a good idea of who they’ll be rolling out for Week 1. However, that doesn’t mean your job is done—a fantasy football owner needs to be vigilant at all times. Here I’ll highlight three post-draft targets that make for great early additions.
Phlex Value to be Found in Philly
There is a perfect storm brewing in Philadelphia, and diminutive dynamo Darren Sproles is at the center of it. The primary key is the recent shift at quarterback—with Sam Bradford traded to the Vikings, rookie Carson Wentz was announced as the Week 1 starter. A rookie quarterback will be looking to check-down to Sproles pretty often. The 33-year-old also plays behind Ryan Mathews, who the Eagles coaching staff will look to keep fresh. Add in the fact that the new Philly offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, cooked up 100 targets for Danny Woodhead last year and you have the dream scenario for a pass-catching back like Sproles.
Tajae Not the Top Titan
It’s been rookie Tajae Sharpe grabbing headlines in August, but it may be Rishard Matthews grabbing passes in September. Matthews proved himself effective in Miami, and now that he’s in Tennessee he’ll be getting a ton of looks in and out of the slot with Kendall Wright still sidelined. He and Sharpe are the current WR1 and WR2 (respectively) for Marcus Mariota, and Matthews will play a key role in taking this young offense to the next level in 2016.
A Late-Career Bronco Breakout?
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Green has officially been named the Week 1 starting tight end for the Broncos, and he has significant upside in Gary Kubiak’s offense. Kubiak has always been partial to the tight end, and Green has the physical tools to make an impact in the middle of the field and in the end zone. Green’s upside is bolstered by the fact that he and Trevor Siemian practiced together as second-teamers in 2015 and now as first-teamers in 2016. Even at age 28 there is potential for a breakout here, and Green could be the backup tight end you want if you waited on the position during your draft.
NFL Sleepers of the Week
Each week we will identify three players worth taking a shot on in deeper leagues.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns – The former quarterback will start the season lined up opposite Corey Coleman on the outside, and is a legitimate deep threat for cannon-armed Robert Griffin III.
Jared Cook, TE, Green Bay Packers – Has the physical stature (6’5”, 250 lbs) to be a legitimate red zone threat. He is the third option behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins – Will play a pass-catching role in Miami offense. Backs up two high injury risks, and could have a much larger role if injury occurs.
The big story for Week 1 is the ability (or inability) of stars returning from injury to play right away. The two big names are Jamaal Charles and Thomas Rawls—Charles is coming off an ACL tear and Rawls from a broken ankle that resulted in ligament tears. It is looking more and more likely that their backups will be the impact players in Week 1. Spencer Ware should flirt with RB1 value against the Chargers with Charles unlikely to play, and Christine Michael merits flex consideration as he splits carries with Rawls.
Bill Dubiel is a fantasy sports expert at Rotoballer.com