MARLBORO, NY – It’s August and for me that means two things–the Little League World Series tournament and NFL Fantasy Football season. As much as I’d like to pontificate about the Little Leaguers, I’ll save that for a future column. Like DJ Eberle on Monday, I’ll give you one sleeper at each position but unlike our Monday contributor, there will be no talk about Allen Robinson’s prowess at wide receiver.
Quarterback: Many times during a fantasy draft you’re looking for value or bargains at certain points of the selection process. Long after the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson have flown off the list, why not try a proven and always productive gunslinger like Philip Rivers in the 9th or 10th round in a 12-team league? The Chargers signal caller is going around pick #114 overall so while everybody else is scrambling for the tier one QB’s stock up on some WR’s or RB’s early and draft Rivers. You’ll thank me by season’s end.
Running Back: There are two names here that some will shake their head at but again, these are two players that can be had in double digit rounds as backups to your stud RB’s. Look for unsettled backfield situations or historically poor talent evaluators around the league and the Packers and Lions come to mind when it comes to this position. Aaron Jones is suspended for the first month for the Cheeseheads and Detroit is so far removed from Barry Sanders as they strikeout constantly when it comes to rock-toters. Keep Jamaal Williams of the Pack and Theo Riddick of the Lions in mind very late. You may want to laugh on Riddick but you have aging Lagarette Blount, the oft-injured Ameer Abdullah and rookie Kerryon Johnson looking to settle the tumult at RB. The one constant is Riddick, a third down specialist who consistently produces 750-800 yards and 6-7 scores and is a PPR steal.
Wide Receiver: Okay, I’m not done needling DJ Eberle about Allen Robinson. He switched from Blake Bortles to Mitch Trubisky, sheesh! Switching teams usually doesn’t bode well for wide outs and Jacksonville has purged the position as Allen Hurns now plays for Angry Ward’s favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. The only holdover for the Jags is Marqise Lee and he will see an uptick in targets and his production should increase because of the opportunities. He’s currently going around pick #132 and can even be drafted later than that considering he is only owned in 23% of fantasy leagues.
Tight End: Okay, I’m on a certain team’s bandwagon like everyone else. The San Francisco 49ers finished last year strong once Jimmy Garoppolo was inserted into the lineup. Head Coach Mike Shanahan loves throwing to the backs and tight ends and that makes second year tight end George Kittle a viable late-round pick for your team. He’s going in the 9th or 10th round of 12-team drafts but he’s in 99% of leagues so his stock may be rising and you may want to pull the trigger on him a round earlier. He will produce this year as I predict a top-10 finish for Kitty at the position.
That’s it… Come back tomorrow for the aforementioned greatness of DJ Eberle.