It is crazy to me that Fantasy is not just a year-round gig these days, but that baseball and football coverage for fantasy takes the focus of industry analysts all year round as well. Prepping for drafts and leagues, tracking player movement and NFL and MLB prospects and picks is business as usual for anyone who wants to be successful analyzing and playing fantasy sports.
And, in 10 days, I travel to New York for the annual FSTA Summer Convention, which means drafting against another batch of industry mates, though this time the draft is for real and not a mock.
So, as I plot out the plans for the team that I will draft and Todd will help negotiate as the season progresses, here are some thoughts about players I felt were worthy of discussion. Note that there were 14 teams, making 13 selections in a PPR league, which meant Wide Receivers were favored, so I tried to focus a little on rookies, and also on picks who made me go "hmmmm."
Paul Perkins (RB, New York Giants, 5.08): The Giants' fourth-round pick last year grabbed almost 70% of his carries after December 1, averaging 4.1 yards while bagging a total of 15 catches. He should step up and be a top producer this season.
Jordan Howard (RB, Chicago Bears, 1.14): The Bears' fifth-round pick last year, Howard clearly established himself with 1,313 yards, 29 catches, six scores, and a 5.2 yard average.
Leonard Fournette (RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2.07): The top rookie RB taken, Fournette, a first-round selection in Florida, could flourish helping Blake Bortles distribute the ball.
Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay Packers, 3.08): Worthy of note as the first QB taken in the mock, Rodgers does put up points for sure, but it is interesting tactically that the next QB selected was not till the fifth round.
Jameis Winston (QB, Tampa Bay Bucs, 6.05): Talented, for sure, and with a good supporting cast, it seems Winston is sitting on a breakout year, having been picked before perennial top QB picks Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers.
Jonathan Stewart (RB, Carolina Panthers, 11.10): Still just 30, and a starting RB, Stewart makes such a great crapshoot that late in the draft. Why did he drop so low, is the question?
O.J. Howard (TE, Tampa Bay Bucs, 6.04): #4 overall Tight End selected in the mock, ahead of the likes of Zach Ertz and Martellus Bennett. Smart move, or tactical error? Good question, but since drafter Lisa Ann nabbed Jason Witten in the 11th round to hedge her bets, the move looks pretty good.
Ty Montgomery (RB, Philadelphia Eagles, 4.13): Easy to forget Montgomery and his fabulous flexibility, but my mate Mr. Meltzer certainly remembered and took advantage accordingly. Such a potentially great and low-key pick.
You can give me grief @lawrmichaels.