The NFL offseason is one of the best times to start getting a leg up on your competition for next year’s Fantasy league. Before we even get to the Combine, free agency or the NFL Draft, there is plenty to analyze during the playoffs. Each week, we will take an inventory check on all the teams that were just eliminated from the playoffs
accompanied by an anthem from their respective city.
Detroit Vs. Everybody By Eminem featuring Big Sean, Royce Da 5’9”, Dej Loaf, Danny Brown and Trick Trick
“Tell ’em if they want it, they can come get that (Statik). I swear I love my city, I just want a little (Statik). See me, they salute me, they ain’t ready for that (Statik). Detroit vs. Everybody.”
- Matthew Stafford (QB) – Without one of the best receivers in the history of the NFL to throw to, Stafford turned in one of his most consistent seasons of football. Though his stats were hindered by a late season finger injury, he showed a maturity on the field that had not been present previously. Many owners underrate Stafford, who might just be one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the game. We saw a glimpse of his ceiling in 2011, and while he may not get all the way there, the ceiling is still very high. Stafford is an easy QB1 in dynasty formats. While he will most likely be locked up by the Lions this summer, he is currently scheduled to hit free agency after the 2017 season. It is likely Stafford will be the highest paid QB in the NFL very soon.
- Marvin Jones (WR)- Owners thought they had a potential WR1 on their hands after the first month of the season, but things went downhill quickly. He topped 70 yards twice after Week 4 and didn’t score a TD after Week 5. Was it the extra attention he received from defenses thanks to his fast start? Or is he overmatched as a lead receiver? I lean towards the latter, but I do believe Jones is a very capable Fantasy option who will get more consistent next season. He stays a tick above Tate thanks to upside. Don’t rule him out just yet.
- Golden Tate (WR) – As Jones faded, Tate started to shine. He played like a true WR2 Fantasy option from Week 6 on. This is about what we can expect from him moving forward, meaning there’s not much more of a ceiling. He’ll play 2017 as a 29-year-old, and he deserves to be considered a Top 30 receiver for the next couple of seasons. He should continue to see around eight targets per game and that gives him a reliable Fantasy floor in PPR formats.
- Eric Ebron (TE) – Ebron has been teasing with potential since he was drafted 10th overall in 2014. He has taken a step forward in each of his three seasons, but he’s also left plenty to be desired. For example, he only scored one receiving TD this season. That is unacceptable for a tight end with his type of athleticism and physical gifts. Ebron will be just 24 years old in 2017, and a Fantasy breakthrough is a very real possibility. As long as the price tag isn’t exorbitant, Ebron is a strong buy this offseason. We have not seen the best of what he can do.
Stash Material: The entire RB situation is worth stashing, but there are a number of ways this could play out. Ameer Abdullah (RB) looked to have a significant role until his injury knocked him out of the mix. Theo Riddick (RB) is an excellent receiving back and might be the safest of all the Lions’ backs if he remains with the team. He can be an extremely valuable Fantasy asset regardless of where he ends up next year. Keep an eye on his free agency journey. Zach Zenner (RB) showed well in the last couple of weeks of the season, but he’s better suited as an early down pile pusher. Dwayne Washington (RB) still has potential worthy of a roster spot.
It Only Happens In Miami By DJ Stevie J featuring Young Dolph, Trick Daddy and Zoey Dollars
“Only happens in Miami. Miami, only happens, woah.”
- DeVante Parker (WR)- Parker has flashed at times over the past two seasons, enough for owners to dream about what he could be like. There is a lot to work on still, but Parker has the size, athleticism and ball skills to be a more dangerous receiver than Landry. He is built in the mode of a true WR1, drawing comparisons to Alshon Jeffery and Allen Robinson, among others. Parker must prove he can stay healthy, first and foremost. Then, he needs to sharpen his game and develop into a consistent asset. Parker is a player on the verge who is absolutely worthy of a substantial dynasty investment.
- Jarvis Landry (WR)- Landry is a polarizing player. While he has increased his yards per reception in each of his three seasons, this past year sat just over 12 yards. He has made a living off volume and can be overrated because of that. His yards per reception can have the adverse effect, leading some to underrate his ability. Either way, the emergence of Parker is a real threat to his weekly floor, but Landry is simply not going away. That is, unless he leaves Miami in free agency after 2017. Consider him a solid WR3 option who is ideal in a PPR format.
- Jay Ajayi (RB) – It has been an up and down couple of years in the NFL for Ajayi. Rumors of a bone on bone knee condition dropped his draft stock down to the fifth round. He saw action as a rookie and was viewed as a potential replacement for Texans-bound Lamar Miller in the offseason. Then the Dolphins drafted Kenyan Drake, who figured to be a change of pace type. That was great news for Ajayi until they signed Arian Foster in the offseason. Foster got banged up early and Ajayi exploded onto the scene with back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances. He finished the season with over 1,400 total yards and eight TDs. He should be viewed as a short-term Top 12 RB, but long-term sustainability is very much a question. Ajayi is a sell-high in dynasty formats.
- Ryan Tannehill (QB) – Despite solid numbers, Tannehill has not made the jump from potential to actual difference-maker for the Dolphins. There have been a number of excuses but at some point, he needs to step up or the Dolphins will need to step away. A December knee injury that still may require surgery knocked him out of the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. He will be 29 years old in 2017, and it is fair to wonder if it is ever going to click for him. He is entering a pivotal season in Miami, but he’s strictly QB2/streaming material for your dynasty squad.
Stash Material: The Dolphins traded up to get Leonte Carroo (WR), an exciting prospect out of Rutgers. He did not have much of an impact as a rookie, but could emerge into a reliable target in 2017. His Fantasy prospects in the short-term depend heavily on the health of Landry and Parker. Kenny Stills (WR) is a free agent this offseason and his value is tied directly to his landing spot. In almost any scenario, though, he is bench material at best. Kenyan Drake (RB) has a skill set that complements Ajayi well. He could be a PPR asset and high upside handcuff for 2017. Damien Williams is a restricted free agent and could garner interest as a backup on the open market. Any value he will have in 2017 is tied directly to landing spot and the depth chart above him.
New York Giants
New York Giants By Big Pun featuring M.O.P.
“We the truth, don’t let yo’ dead body be the proof. Leave your Wisdom rottin’ with holes, and I don’t mean ya tooth. I’m hundred proof, that’s perfect percentage.”
- Odell Beckham Jr. (WR)- What can be said about Beckham as a Fantasy asset? He’s clearly elite and battling with Mike Evans for most valuable commodity in the game. There are also obvious maturity issues. He’s a lock for more than 90 receptions, 1,300 yards and double-digit TDs, just as he has produced in each of his first three seasons. Beckham is nearly untouchable right now in dynasty formats.
- Sterling Shepard (WR)- Shepard showed well as a rookie, with eight TDs and nearly 700 yards. Nearly a finished product, Shepard should quickly develop into a solid WR3 option. He does have long-term ceiling of a Top 20 receiver in PPR formats. He was drafted into a great spot opposite Odell Beckham Jr. and clearly was the second option in the passing game for Eli Manning. If not for an off year by Manning, Shepard could’ve had an even bigger statistical season. Expect a moderate step forward in 2017.
- Paul Perkins (RB) – As we saw down the stretch, Perkins is the future of the Giants run game. He started to split carries with Rashad Jennings and made the 31-year-old back look old. If Jennings is with the Giants in 2017, it is very likely to be as nothing more than a backup. The question is, though, whether or not they are simply going to turn the backfield over to Perkins. He showed solid vision and burst, but they will almost assuredly add depth here, especially if Jennings is cut. The same could be said for pass-catching specialist Shane Vereen.
- Eli Manning (QB) – It is fair to question how much Manning has left. He had a very uneven season, with one TD or less in half of his games. He’s still a solid backup in standard leagues, but you’re stretching it if you think he can be your starter. If he is, you need to try and upgrade this offseason. At 36 years old, Manning has a few more years of effectiveness left.
Stash Material: Jerell Adams (TE) has some potential to be a solid pass-catching TE and offers more appeal than Will Tye. Roger Lewis (WR) would’ve been drafted if not for character concerns. He could emerge as the third receiver for the Giants if they part ways with Victor Cruz. Tavarres King (WR) may find his way onto some dynasty rosters thanks to his big performance against the Packers in the first round, but he’ll be 27 years old in 2017 and doesn’t offer much upside at this point.
Game Recognize Game By JT The Bigga Figga
“This s*** that I’m poppin, game is what I’m choppin. Never underestimate the mack when he rockin’. Cause me and Mac Mall standing tall for tha trey. On our way from tha Bay so what tha f*** you got to say. Game recognize game is tha way tha s*** flow.”
- Amari Cooper (WR)- Cooper had a terrific debut season for the Raiders and he followed it up by almost breaking all the way out as a sophomore. Cooper is a first round asset in startup dynasty leagues. There are only a handful of receivers you’d rather have over the long-term. We would love to see him convert more red zone looks into TDs, but patience will pay off here. Cooper is elite and only tradeable if another owner grossly overpays.
- Derek Carr (QB)- Carr was leading the Raiders into the playoffs as a potentially dangerous threat, but a Week 16 injury cut his season short. He underwent surgery for a broken fibula, but should be ready offseason activities. Carr has been nothing short of impressive in his three seasons and is a true franchise QB. He is the type of player you can plug into your lineup for at least the next five years and not even think about it.
- Latavius Murray (RB) – Murray had a strange year. He started out hot, then was in a clear timeshare with two rookie backs. Then he missed time with an injury, but came back and was a reliable lead back. His impending free agency makes his stock a bit more volatile, and at the same time intriguing. He’s a short-term RB2 option in the right situation. He’ll play next season at 27 years old, and while he does not have the tread on his tires that many other backs his age do, he’s not an elite level talent. If he signs anywhere as the clear lead back, Murray will become very shoppable.
- Michael Crabtree (WR) – The former 10th overall pick for the Niners has found new life as a member of the Raiders’ explosive offense. He registered 1,925 yards, 17 TDs and 174 receptions during his two years in Oakland. While he’ll be 30 years old next season and Amari Cooper is on the verge of exploding, Crabtree is still locked into Top 25 WR value for the next few years. If you have a need for a dependable receiver in your PPR dynasty league, Crabtree makes for an excellent acquisition target.
Stash Material: There is still upside left for Clive Walford (TE), who did not take the step forward many thought he would in 2016. DeAndre Washington (RB) and Jalen Richard (RB) both were impressive in spots last year, but they are very similar types of players. It will be interesting to see how the position shakes out if Murray leaves town. Seth Roberts (WR) would be Fantasy relevant if anything were to happen to Crabtree or Cooper.