Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
“I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones. Enough to make my systems blow. Welcome to the new age, to the new age. Welcome to the new age, to the new age. Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m radioactive, radioactive.”
Blake Bortles is the definition of radioactive in dynasty, or at least he should be. He had a volume-aided breakout in 2015 and even with a dip in 2016, he was still relevant. The problem is, his game still has many of the same flaws it had three years ago. Bortles has many of the tools of a successful NFL quarterback, and clearly, he is already a viable Fantasy option. The good news is that the Jaguars did not draft a potential replacement, which means Bortles should have all of 2017 to prove himself as either a franchise quarterback or future veteran backup in a different city. He is a volatile stock, but one you are unlikely to trade right now. If you can trade him, do so because the chances are good that you’ll be stuck holding a player who could have very little value after this season if you don’t.
Honorable Mention: Andy Dalton is a slightly more desirable Alex Smith at this point. He is written off as a game manager, even though he’s had QB1 seasons in the recent past. Despite physical limitations, Dalton still has that type of potential considering how strong his supporting cast is. I am buying into Dalton as an ideal redraft and dynasty backup quarterback this season, with the strong possibility of Top 12 production.
California Gurls by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg
“I know a place. Where the grass is really greener. Warm, wet n’ wild. There must be something in the water.”
From his rookie year to last year, Toddy Gurley saw his per carry average fall more than a yard and a half. I guess the grass isn’t always greener in LA. Did Gurley all of a sudden become a mediocre player? The more likely reason points towards a total lack of offensive fire power and lackluster offensive line play. Honestly, it doesn’t look to be getting much better on the surface. That is why buying low on Gurley is a very risky proposition. He was dynasty RB1, 2 or 3 last summer and while he remains inside the Top 10 based on potential, another season like 2016 and he’s going to fall further. He’ll only be 23 years old and additional passing game involvement will increase his Fantasy prospects tremendously. A Jared Goff-led offense makes him no better than a RB2 in redraft leagues, but if he cannot rise above his situation, he’ll keep leaking value all over the field.
Honorable Mention: Doug Martin has had an up and down career, including a recent suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy. Despite the drafting of intriguing RB prospect Jeremy McNichols, Martin appears to be entrenched as the Bucs RB1 once he returns from suspension in Week 4. Martin is a RB2 target in what should be a very high-powered offense. All the players backing him up, while talented, have holes in their game. McNichols is the handcuff target in dynasty formats however. DeMarco Murray has always had a stigma attached to his dynasty value and much like Martin, has been a rollercoaster. He was extremely productive last year despite the presence of Derrick Henry, who will eventually be the starter. Murray is signed through 2019, though, and should remain a borderline RB1 for at least 2017. You simply are not going to get anywhere close to that kind of return unless you deal with the Henry owner.
Fading Away by Rihanna
“Can’t you see that your fading. Fading, fading, fa a a ade away, away, away, away. I opened up my eyes. And I finally realized. Today, today, it’s too late. You’re fading away.”
Do you remember when Randall Cobb was good at football? It wasn’t that long ago, but if you ask Cobb dynasty owners they may tell you differently. In 2014, he put up a 91/1,287/12 line, including five 100-yard efforts. In the summer of 2015, everything changed. Cobb almost signed a free agent deal with the Raiders, but went back to the Pack after a change of heart. Then Jordy Nelson went down with an ACL tear in August and Cobb would have a chance to be the go-to target. With the projected target volume increase, the sky was the limit for Cobb, except it wasn’t. Understandably, the entire offense missed Nelson’s presence and Cobb mustered a mediocre 79/829/6 line, with three of those TDs coming in Week 3. With Nelson returning for the 2016 season and the emergence of Davante Adams, Cobb was a role player and by the end of the season, un-startable in most every type of format. He has averaged 10.5 and 10.2 yards per catch over the past two years, with just two 100-yard efforts over that span. It will be very interesting to see how the Packers handle Cobb moving forward, because he is looking like an expendable piece. Perhaps Geronimo Allison, who flashed late in the year, will step up. Green Bay also landed a couple of intriguing rookie wideouts in Malachi Dupre and DeAngelo Yancey. Cobb was a Top 12 asset a couple of years ago and now you would be lucky to return WR3 value. I am willing to take a buy low shot as he will only be 27 years old this year, but it is very troubling that he has become such an inefficient player so quickly.
Honorable Mention: Marvin Jones was a player draftniks talked up and he played well when healthy as a Bengal. The move the Lions on a big free agent contract picked up the hype and then that first month, he was unstoppable. After that, Jones was shut down and looked out of his league. The real Marv Jones is probably somewhere in the middle, but closer to what he was in Cinci, a borderline WR3. At his current price tag, I’m gambling that there is still a bit of upside left in the tank.
Headaches and Migraines by Mac Miller featuring Dave East
“Got headaches and migraines, headaches and migraines. Every single morning like my brain flipping sideways. Try to move my body but my skeleton vibrates.”
Ladarius Green was supposed to be the heir apparent to Antonio Gates in San Diego. He flashed when healthy, but ultimately the Chargers let him walk in free agency in favor of the aging Gates. Hmm, that’s a strange move. Green owners were pumped when he landed a four-year deal in Pittsburgh, who utilizes the TE frequently as a receiver. However, they released him after one injury-plagued season. Green’s talent is not in question, but his ability to stay healthy is. He dealt with an ankle injury all offseason and it caused him to miss the first half of the regular season as well. Then there were the rumors of serious concussion issues. When he suffered a concussion late in the regular season, it ended his season. When on the field, Green is a clear difference-maker, but the concussion issues are scary and put his future in great doubt. Despite the upside of Top 5 TE production, you could barely get anything for him right now in the open market thanks to the injury concerns. Hopefully, he can latch on to a new team this summer and realize his potential, but the reality is he’s likely to never even come close to what could have been.
Honorable Mention: Julius Thomas was a stud in Denver, playing with Peyton Manning. He signed a free agent deal with the Jaguars and has had trouble staying on the field. Even when he has been healthy, production has been average. His true value is as a red zone threat, because injuries have sapped his athleticism. He’ll get a fresh start in Miami, who are desperate for TE help (though, the Jaguars seemingly were as well), but he’s nothing more than a desperation heave right now.