Tyrod Taylor, QB, BUF – An interesting thing happens when you study Taylor’s season-long and weekly performances. You realize that Taylor is actually one of the most consistent quarterbacks in Fantasy Football and is worthy of being a QB1. In 2016, Taylor had the second-highest percentage of games with 15-plus points (85.7) sitting only behind Aaron Rodgers (not including Week 17 for obvious reasons). While Taylor ranks 11th in percent of games as a QB1 (50.0), that’s still Top 12 overall and he actually led all quarterbacks in percent of games with a Top 15 finish (85.7). Yes, Taylor was above average more frequently than Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck… you name it.
The upside of Taylor and why he ranks so well in Fantasy Football is his legs. Taylor is averaging 39.6 rushing yards per game over the past two seasons, and if you do the quick math, you see that’s equal to a free passing touchdown. Add in the fact that Taylor has 10 rushing touchdowns, and his dual-threat ability makes Taylor one of the most balanced, consistent and underrated quarterbacks in Fantasy. Wait until the end of your draft, take Taylor and then laugh at your leaguemates.
Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN – I could have easily picked Jamaal Williams, but you would have likely said, “Okay, enough Jake. You’ve blabbed enough about him already.” Just in case you haven’t read anything by me yet, Williams is this year’s Jordan Howard. Grab the Xclusive Edge Package (with draft day and full in-season access) and you’ll see me talk about Williams more than enough. Okay, Cook time!
Too many people will get hung up on Cook’s combine. Don’t be one of those people. Cook won’t be the first prospect to have a combine that raises eyebrows for the wrong reasons, and he won’t be the last. Watching Cook through college will have you coming away with one opinion only: Cook is a special talent.
“But why did the Vikings sign Latavius Murray, Jake?” The Vikings had to address a position of need before heading into the NFL Draft, not knowing who might fall to them. Once Cook was there for the taking, the Vikings pounced, and rightfully so. In fact, that should tell you how high the Vikings opinion of Cook is since they already had Murray in the fold. Murray is a volume runner and aided by a great offense and terrific offensive line. He will be the backup to Cook, who can do it all. Cook changes direction with the best of them, gets back up to speed quickly and has a great football IQ. He’s also strong between the tackles, can shrug off weak contact and is an adept receiver. Cook has RB1 potential and at worst will be a solid RB2.
Davante Adams, WR, GB – 2015 preseason: “Davante Adams is going to be terrific and a steal now that Jordy Nelson is out for the year!” 2015 Week 3: “Okay, I’ll put Adams on my IR because he’ll still be good once he returns.” 2015 Week 12: “What the heck is the deal?! Enough of this bum. See ya!” 2016 preseason: “Yea, I’m not falling for Adams again.” 2016 Week 6: “Okay, maybe I should pick up Adams.” 2016 Week 16: “Whoa. Adams led me to a championship. What a year!” 2017 offseason: “Meh, I don’t want to draft him as a Top 15 receiver.”
Wait… what?! Why is everyone so reluctant to buy into Adams after he finally became the receiver we wanted him to be? On top of that, he improved his catch rate and plays with Aaron freakin’ Rodgers. Adams caught 12 touchdowns last year, despite not reaching 1,000 receiving yards and not being the No. 2 receiver for the first few weeks. Now firmly entrenched as the team’s second option after Jordy Nelson, Adams should top hit a career high in yards and reach double-digit touchdowns again. That would put Adams inside the Top 10 at receiver, just as he was last year.
Eric Ebron, TE, DET – Similar to Adams, the sting of disappointment is covering up Ebron’s breakout season. Truthfully, Ebron is on his way to a breakier outer… more break outie… breakiest out… huuuuge season. Again similar to Adams, Ebron improved his catching, decreasing his drop rate last year. Ebron posted career highs in targets, receptions and yards but finished with just one touchdown, despite 14 more receptions and 174 more yards than in 2015 when he caught five touchdowns. If nothing else, Ebron is in store for positive touchdown regression, as having those totals in receptions and yards normally comes with more scores. On top of that, Anquan Boldin is gone, and he led the team in red zone targets, receptions and touchdowns last year. Ebron is a big target for Matthew Stafford at 6’4″ and will fill Boldin’s void. Tight ends take longer than any other skill position to adjust to the NFL and contribute Fantasy wise. It’s time to feel safe about buying into Ebron.
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