Wo hoo, football season is upon us, baseball season is roaring to a climax, and hoops and hockey are getting ready for play, making this the most fun time for vegging in front of the tube, watching sports, of any time in the year.
As most of the world is drafting their football teams this week, pending Thursday's opener, I am throwing out my usual litany of players who have been later selections in my drafts--both mock and real--who could be interesting additions to your team. So, before kickoff, let's have it.
Tarik Cohen (RB, Chicago Bears): Cohen is small, as in 5'6", 181 pounds, but the dude is fast and explosive with great hands and figures to play a major role in the Bears offense this coming year. In the pre-season, the North Carolina alum carried 19 times for 121 yards and a 6.4 YPC. He should play a Theo Riddick-like role on his team and yours should you nab Cohen in the late rounds.
Wendell Smallwood (RB, Philadelphia Eagles): Smallwood might rest behind LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles on the team depth chart, but as a regular runner and contributor, the second-year back looks to emerge with the bulk of touches as the season goes along.
David Njoku (TE, Cleveland Browns): Another rookie, but Njoku has some big upside potential here as a 6'4" 246 pound blocker and receiver. Njoku is fast and averaged 11.2 yards per catch as a Senior. He should emerge as a go-to guy as the season progresses and the Browns regain some respectability.
Jason Witten (TE, Dallas Cowboys): Say what you will about Witten, but the last time he caught fewer than 60 passes in a season was in 2004. There is a lot of flash in the NFL and flashy players, of which Witten is not. But steady and efficient usually means more over the long haul and Witten is out there in the 14th round in just about every league in the universe.
Jonathan Stewart (RB, Carolina Panthers): Stewart has been relegated by fantasy owners due to the presence of rookie Stanford alum Christian McCaffrey, but the 30-year-old is still the starter and he has been beyond productive, averaging 230 carries a year over the past two seasons with a 3.9 YPC and 15 scores. Despite this, Stewart is an eighth rounder in mocks, so jump on him for at least the first half of 2017.
Cole Beasley (WR, Dallas Cowboys): Beasley, in his fifth year, really connected with Dak Prescott, bagging 75 catches last year for 833 yards and five scores. Another guy who gets dropped to the bottom of the receiver rankings, but who makes a great fourth or fifth WR option on your team and is more than just a bye week fill-in.
Pierre Garcon (WR, San Francisco 49ers): The Niners have very little going for them this season, and it looks like the team will spend a lot of time playing from behind. And that means a lot of garbage yards for Garcon and his partner Brian Hoyer. Laugh if you will, but the single-season passing leader in franchise history is Jeff Garcia, not anyone named Young, Montana, Brodie, or even Tittle, so get your points where you can.
Jared Goff (QB, Los Angeles Rams): OK, I have to like Goff because he is a Cal grad, but after a miserable 2016, he returns with a better supporting cast, a new coach, and what looks to be a more confident and relaxed approach. Things should get a lot better in LA and Goff, dismissed in just about every format, will be a lot better than folks are projecting.
Remember to go to the Tout Wars site for our Friday picks. And, tune into the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY network, hosted by me, with Justin Mason and featuring Lord Z every Thursday night at 9 PM ET.
Follow me @lawrmichaels.