CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 24: Cleveland Browns Running Back Isaiah Crowell (34) carries 8 yards for a touchdown during the first quarter of the National Football League game between the San Diego Chargers and Cleveland Browns on December 24, 2016, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Spreading the message of fantasy value like Santa on Christmas, I come bearing gifts. I’ve put together a list of players that I believe are very likely to exceed their ADP. I like nothing more than drafting guys that have the potential to put up Tier 1 player numbers for a Tier 2 or 3 price. With drafts already starting and going on throughout this month, I hope you take advantage of some of these gems and ride them all the way to a championship!
Marcus Mariota – (QB) Tennessee Titans
Besides an unfortunate late season injury last year the young Titans QB had a solid sophomore season. He threw for almost 3,500 yds, 26 TD’s and only 9 interceptions as well as rushing for 350 yds and 2 TDs. I know the passing yds aren’t overwhelming but it was a 600 yd increase from his rookie season and he threw one less pick. I think one of the coolest stats I’ve seen was that Mariota has 33 red zone touchdowns in his first two years in the league without an interception! I guess that’s why he is the number one red zone QB in the NFL. With the additions of Corey Davis and Eric Decker (if healthy, a red zone beast) to the receiving corp, Marcus Mariota is poised for a fantastic season and where you can draft him could prove to be a great value.
Prediction: Mariota will finish the season as a top 6 fantasy QB
Concerns: Only real concern is 2016 late season injury could cause a slow start to the season but he should be fine.
Isaiah Crowell – (RB) Cleveland Browns
I must admit, this was probably one of the toughest guys to put on my list. Not because of abilities or talent but rather the jersey he wears on Sunday. I typically try to target players on good offenses and good teams (nothing personal Dawg Pounders but I think you probably understand), but I have to give credit to the bottom feeders of the AFC North for trying to right the ship this offseason. They’ve made some nice moves to really boost the offensive line, brought in a nice young talent at TE and I think all of the above could help Crowell increase his fantasy numbers and make him a top RB2. Last year Crowell rushed for almost a 1,000 yds and 7 TD’s as well as grabbing 40 receptions for 319 yds out of the air. With Crowell in a contract year and expected to get the bulk of the carries, massive improvement on the O-Line, Coach Hugh Jackson loving a power running game, separation of talent at RB and a rookie QB who I believe is going to shake things up in Cleveland, Isaiah Crowell at the least is going to have the best shot of his career to really turn some heads. I’ll take him all day at an ADP of 3.05 and trust that he will exceed that ADP.
Prediction: Crowell eclipses more than 1,600 total yds and 11+ TD’s
Concerns: The Browns have some questions and concerns with their WR’s after losing Pryor this offseason as well as a young QB, if they can’t find a way to move the ball through the air or the QB can’t create, defenses may stack the box and make it tough for Crowell.
Terrelle Pryor – (WR) Washington Redskins
This guy, this guy right here, I think this guy is going to be my breakout player of the year. This QB turned WR is an exceptional athlete and is ready to go mainstream! Some might say Pryor had his breakout season last year with his first 1,000 yds receiving season but I’m telling you all don’t miss out on “this guy” because last year was just the tip! Kirk Cousins might not do the best job come crunch time but my man can sling the rock and I’m telling you he is going to find his new receiver up and down the field and with the size and talent that Pryor brings to the table I believe he will be one of the top red zone targets in the league this year. Deshaun Jackson is now a Buc and Jordan Reed is regular at E.R.’s across the country and because of this Cousins is going to have no choice but to get friendly with his new wideout. I’m hoping that the pattern that I’ve seen in mock drafts stays the same for my personal leagues and I will jump at the chance to employ Pryor on my squad right around mid-fourth round give or take a couple of spots.
Prediction: Pryor will be a strong WR2 with some WR1 potential
Concerns: Barring injury or something of that nature I have no real concerns (Expect big things)
Martavius Bryant – (WR) Pittsburgh Steelers
I don’t know if I would call this guy this guy a breakout player, a comeback player, all of the above or none at all but I do know that I would love to have him on my team! We’ve seen some brilliant moments out of him and if he can keep his nose clean he has a chance to write his own ticket. He’s returning to a top tier offense and those are exactly the teams I like to grab players from. Opposite one of the NFL’s finest WR”S, Antonio Brown, Bryant could really shine and become one of the best grabs of the draft. “This guy” is going to be my “I knew I should have drafted him player of the year” for many of you out there but not me. With A.B. and Leveon Bell requiring a heck of a lot of attention out there, the sky is the limit for Martavius this year and you can take that to the bank!
Prediction: Steeler nation boasts the best WR duo in the league in 2017 and Bryant goes over 1,000 yds receiving and double digit TD’s.
Concerns: He does something stupid off the field.
Hunter Henry – (TE) LA Chargers
I really like TE’s that like to catch TD’s and when it comes to this young man, well, he’s no stranger to the end zone. In Henry’s 2016 rookie run, he cashed in 8 times on 36 receptions for 478 yds which put him tied at the top of the TE leader board for TD’s in 2016. It’s been a while since Antonio Gates has truly been himself and from everything I keep hearing Henry seems to already be listed as the Chargers starting TE. Gates might take a little away but I think it’s time for the next man up and the Chargers are calling on #86, not #85.
Prediction: I think Hunter will close to double his receptions from last year and break the 10 TD mark.
Concerns: I have no concerns if I draft a guy in double digit rounds.