We understand that Fantasy Football isn’t for everyone. However, we also know that millions and millions play either season long or daily fantasy. So, we’ve decided to help out a little, for what our fantasy “takes” are worth.
We all know that picking players with names like Winston, Ajayi, Evans and Fournette are virtual “no-brainers.” Those players will be taken early in almost any draft and are likely to have tremendous numbers/fantasy seasons.
So, with most season long leagues drafting either this week or early next week, we’ve decided to give you our take on four players we believe aren’t being talked about nearly enough and any one of them will likely big contributor for your team. These are not guys to necessarily take in the first three-four rounds, but after that? Take a strong look.
We will go in descending order and give you a quick explanation of our choices.
4. Cameron Brate, TE- Bucs: As the second half of 2016 unfolded, the “secret” was out. QB Jameis Winston loves to utilize Brate not only on third down, but in the red zone and the end zone. Among his 57 catches last year were eight TDs. Most importantly, he had eight games where he caught at least four passes. He’s a reliable outlet for Winston who will only benefit from the additions of WR Desean Jackson and rookie TE O.J. Howard, which will help him continue to get single coverage. Because he’s a tight end, Brate is not someone you should take before the six or maybe the seventh round (depending on your draft size). But, you should take a strong look.
3. DeDe Westbrook, WR- Jaguars: Even though the Jags QB situation is a disaster, this much we know: Westbrook is a burner. Jacksonville will line him up in the slot and let him run vertically through defenses. And it would appear that they will play from behind, a bunch, this season. So, even though Westbrook is a rookie, he will have lots of chances to succeed against soft defenses. He is battling a “core muscle” injury late in the preseason. So, beware of that diagnosis coming up. But if healthy, this is a guy to look at starting in round five or six.
2. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB- Buccaneers: Look. We get it. The Buccaneers running back situation is muddy, because star running back and perennial starter Doug Martin is suspended by the NFL for the first three games. But, Rodgers, who was Martin’s replacement in 2016 when he was hurt in the middle of the season, appears to be the guy to start this season, too. He started the all important third pre-season game and carried it 10 times in the first half against the Browns. He also had a 17 yard reception, as well. Rodgers carried the ball 129 times last year (the most by far in his career) and had the memorable Monday Night game at Carolina where he carried it seven times in a row to start the game. He still has elusive moves and good speed and clearly, the Bucs will have lots of opportunities to score. Again, don’t take him early, but you will get great value at the beginning of the 2017 season with Rodgers, as the Bucs main ball carrier.
1. Devante Parker, WR- Dolphins: For all the attention of Jay Cutler being added to run the offense/make the throws, it’s his receivers that will make or break their passing game. We know that Jarvis Landry is the “go to guy,” especially on third down. And Kenny Stills is clearly a deep threat to stretch the defense. All that written, Parker may be about to have a huge year. We wrote previously during the preseason that his 56 catch four TD 2016 is just the beginning. And, when Cutler found Parker with the deep ball in the first quarter against the Eagles last week, it only confirmed that Parker can be a real scorer in fantasy this year. Someone may try to grab him in your season long draft (again, depending on league size) by the fourth round or so. You should be that someone.