Next Monday, Todd and I will sojurn to Manhattan, to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association's summer conference where we will be drafting in the "B" Experts League, meaning we are good enough to gain recognition, but still have to win the league to move to the "A" table with the big boys.
Z and I have come close in the past (the winner of the league moves to the "A" table, and the last place "A" team moves to the "B" table each year), finishing with the best record in the league in 2013 and 2014, and then watching our guys underperform the first week of the playoffs only to leave us within waving distance of the bridesmaids.
This year, I have been trying to really push a little more in preparation, and after completing the annual magazine mock I curate for Peter Kreutzer (@askrotoman) last week, I began sorting through players and positions more deeply in preparation for the Manhattan draft coming up.
So, this time let's look at some of the rookie gambits (in no particular order) who look like potential producers during the draft and coming season, some of whom I hope grace our FSTA roster.
Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Cowboys): Elliott steps into a starting role with the Cowboys--barring a serious threat from either Albert Morris or Darren McFadden--but the fourth overall selection out of Ohio State just seems to be a consensus pick to produce. As a collegiate, Elliott nabbed 23 scores over 289 carries with 1821 yards gained.
D'Andre Washington (RB, Raiders): A Red Raider, Washington was a fourth-round selection of the ideally resurgent Oakland Raiders (the guy is clearly a Raider) who in 2015 gained 1492 yards over 223 carries, and 14 TD's adding two more scores with 41 catches good for 385 more yards. A solid complement to Latavius Murray.
Jared Goff (QB, Rams): I have to love a Cal alum QB in the tradition of Aaron Rodgers, Steve Bartkowski and Joe Kapp, and all owners will be looking for a #2 with upside for the future during your draft. Goff, who threw for 43 scores over 341 connections (529 tries) and 4719 yards as a Junior before joining the draft, is the top at the spot of his class.
Corey Coleman (WR, Browns): Coleman was a first-rounder out of Baylor who caught 20 TD passes last year over 74 receptions and 1363 yards in 2015, and bagged 33 total scores over three years, and tries to fill a void accentuated by the ever frustrating career of Josh Gordon. Coleman steps right into that breech, but he has the credentials to fill.
Devontae Booker (RB, Broncos): Another fourth-round RB going to the AFC West, Booker goes to a team always able to fill the broken running back void over the past few years. Aside from C.J. Anderson, Booker probably has the skills to step into a big role in Denver. Over two years at Utah, Booker gained 2773, and scored 21 times over 560 carries, adding 80 receptions for 624 more yards and two more scores.
C.J. Prosise (RB, Seahawks): This third-rounder out of Notre Dame should get a good pre-season look with Thomas Rawls recovering from ankle smarts, and if he has the "touch" could see lots during the season. Over 156 carries last year, Prosise gained 1032 (6.6 average) and 11 TD's, adding 26 catches for 308 yards and another score.
Laquan Treadwell (WR, Vikings): Minnesota's #1 2016 selection (#21 overall) should step into the Vikes growing long game. At Ole Miss in 2015, Treadwell caught 82 for 1153 yards and 11 TD's. With Stefon Diggs and a more savvy Teddy Bridgewater, Treadwell could make an immediate impact.
Austin Hooper (WR, Falcons): As if Matt Ryan has not had enough primo targets over the past few years, add Hooper, a Stanford alum, as a third-rounder. Over two seasons at "the farm," Hooper bagged 74 receptions for 937 yards (12.7 average) and eight scores.
Josh Doctson (WR, Redskins): Doctson did two years at Wyoming before moving to TCU to finish his collegiate career, and now goes to the Skins to aid Kirk Cousins and help boost the long game in the Capital. As a senior, the first-rounder plucked 73 balls for 1327 yards (16.8 average) and 14 TD's,
Sterling Shepard (WR, Giants): Selected by the Giants in the second round out of Oklahoma, Shepard scored 11 times last year on 86 receptions and 1186 yards. He will now try to help Eli Manning et al light their offense on a more consistent basis in 2016. As at least a complement to Odell Beckham, Jr., and third wheel when Victor Cruz is at full strength, the Giants receivers could indeed give secondaries fits in 2016 and beyond with Shepard in tow.
Feel free to comment below, and don't forget you can hit me up @lawrmichaels.