Fantasy football advice for the 2018 NFL season
Welcome back fantasy football fans! With the preseason games upon us, it’s time to start getting ready to chase another championship. Don’t forget to check out Rotoballer.com for all of the tools you need to get the edge on your league mates.
Former Washington wideout Ryan Grant is making big waves at training camp for the Indianapolis Colts, and fantasy owners need to take notice. Bear in mind this is all assuming a healthy, full-strength Andrew Luck, but there are plenty of reasons to like Grant on draft day. Initial depth charts have Grant as the #2 wide receiver opposite T.Y. Hilton, and on Tuesday Colts coach Frank Reich made special mention of how Hilton and Grant "have really separated themselves" from the other receivers in camp. Hilton is the surefire WR1 in Indy and is a shoo-in for 1,000 yards if he stays healthy, but Andrew Luck elevates the passing game of the Colts so significantly that it's perfectly reasonable to expect 800-900 yards from the secondary option. Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron will be in the mix and there are some play-makers in the back field like Nyheim Hines that might take touches away, but if Grant lives up to the glowing reports coming out of camp then he's a bargain at his current price--which is currently as a last-round flier.
Former Bears wideout Cameron Meredith has evolved into a sneaky late-round flier that could end up being a huge difference-maker for fantasy owners wise enough to invest in him. Meredith missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL and MCL, and fantasy owners don't seem to have fully embraced the notion of a triumphant return, which seems more likely than not. He has already been designated the number two receiver behind Michael Thomas, and in a high-flying, Drew Brees-led offense that position carries plenty of fantasy value. Meredith shone in his last full season with the Bears, hanging a 66-888-4 line across 14 games (only 10 of which he started in), and at just 25 he's certainly got plenty of gas in the tank. Meredith is a terrific bet to return WR3 value with an even higher ceiling in 2018, and should absolutely be on your radar in Round 10 or later.
Jimmy Graham is currently coming off the board as the TE4, and his ADP is hovering right around the 53rd pick overall, which is simply too high for him to end up on any team that I own this year. Graham is now 31 years old, and the days of 1,000-yard seasons are well in the rear view mirror at this point. What has most people high on Graham is obvious--he's got Aaron Rodgers throwing to him. However, I still fail to see much upside with that, and certainly not enough to burn a pick in Round 4 or Round 5. Graham was mostly useless outside of the red zone last year, accumulating just 520 receiving yards on 57 catches. The redeeming factor was of course the 10 touchdowns he hauled in, but touchdowns are still remarkably hard to predict and certainly to replicate. Graham had just a 59 percent catch rate last season, and it's clear he lacks the speed or movement to rack up 70+ catches or 800+ yards. Pass on Graham in the 5th and wait to take a flier on a George Kittle or David Njoku instead.
Kalen Ballage, RB, Miami Dolphins - Kenyan Drake showed out at the end of last season, but Ballage is a big-bodied bruiser who actually has solid receiving chops. He will certainly be a thorn in the side of Drake and his contemporary Frank Gore all season, and can wrestle the starting job away if he gets the opportunity.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers - Jamaal Williams filled in admirably last year, but Aaron Jones is the true talent in the Green Bay backfield. It may take a few weeks for him to break through, but I expect Jones to be the back you want by Week 6.
Mike Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers - Hampered by injury last season, the rookie never got to truly show his talent. He's healthy and doesn't have Hunter Henry to contend with for touches, so expect Williams to take a big step forward i 2018.