Fantasy Adjustment: Sleepers On The Rise
While the values of many fantasy players has remained the same or similar for months, various situations that have popped up over the last few weeks, whether they are injuries, suspensions, new signings, etc., are making an impact on fantasy drafts. With every player who loses value, others gain value and could end up steals in your fantasy drafts this weekend because you are caught up and adjusting appropriately.
Alfred Blue, Houston Texans
The Arian Foster injury may seem to kill the Houston Texans offense, but head coach and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien won’t turn away from the run going forward. Alfred Blue showed productivity last season when Arian Foster was hurt and continued to impress this preseason. Though the Texans have plenty of options at RB like Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes, Blue fits the system and should get the first crack at the majority of carries. Blue is only going in the 8th round in 12 team leagues when a 7th round pick should net you instant RB2 numbers.
CJ Anderson, Denver Broncos
CJ Anderson continues to be undervalue in fantasy drafts when he has so much going for him. 1. He will start with Peyton Manning and a top offense. 2. His head coach Gary Kubiak has made every RB he touches into a successful fantasy player and 3. The Broncos just acquired top OG Evan Mathis. Anderson was an absolute monster when finally given a shot last year and he should be a clear 1st round fantasy pick this season. Despite all this positives, Anderson is still falling out of the first. If you are picking near the end of the 1st in your league, consider nabbing CJ Anderson and coming back with an elite WR in Round 2.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson went down with an ACL injury, and whoever takes his place will be a money fantasy player with Aaron Rodgers slinging the ball. Cue Davante Adams who showcased some good talent last year and will get his shot to show what he can do. Though he likely won’t reach Nelson’s 2014 numbers, there is little doubt Adams can be a WR2 for your team (and maybe even a WR1). In the 4th round of a 12 team league, you could do a lot worse than Adams. He has similar upside to a DeAndre Hopkins and is playing with a MUCH better QB. Take your shot on him!
Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers
Kelvin Benjamin is done for the year, and the Panthers were already starving for WR help. 2nd round rookie Devin Funchess has a very similar profile to Benjamin with a huge body to outmuscle opposing CBs rather than beat them in a footrace. Funchess will be pushed into the #1 WR role whether he is ready or not and will get a volume of targets from Cam Newton. Last year, we saw Benjamin’s success when the ball was forced to him and Funchess should have the same. In the 6th-7th round of your 12 team league, Funchess can be a WR3 with WR2 upside.
Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers
Martavis Bryant is suspended for four games, but the Pittsburgh Steelers have been hyping up Markus Wheaton as their #2 WR for months now. Wheaton had a disappointing sophomore season where he was relegated to the slot and would drop passes while running sloppy routes. Wheaton does have foot speed and has done well after the catch, so with more playing time and experience he could be a year 3 breakout. With Darrius Heyward-Bey being the #3 WR, Wheaton should get plenty of targets while Bryant is out and get a chance to prove himself. He isn’t a bad flyer to take in the 9th round of your 12 team league.
Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears
First round rookie Kevin White could miss the season after leg surgery, so wily veteran Eddie Royal will get the chance to be the #2 WR next to Alshon Jeffery. Royal has hung on in the NFL and seems to keep producing every season (though inconsistently). He is a great fit for Adam Gase’s offense and should see a role. When the late rounds come up, Royal is a great bench player who could blow up and be starter worthy.
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