Fantasy 5: Blount's value takes a small hit moving to Philly
(The Fantasy 5 is a quick-hit wrap-up of some of the biggest news topics of the day for fantasy football players, giving you advice you need to improve your team.)
Average draft position is going to change a lot between now and the beginning of September. But paying close attention to this data is a key part in keeping your finger on the pulse of the fantasy drafting community. Let’s check in on some early ADP data as it relates to the most recent news from around the NFL.
1. Eagles sign LeGarrette Blount
Philadelphia addressed a glaring need on their roster on Wednesday morning, signing LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal. Blount is coming off a massing 2016 campaign, where he racked up 18 rushing scores to go along with 1,161 yards on the ground. He finished the year as fantasy’s No. 7 running back.
So he’s going to pick right up where he left off, right? Not so fast. Yes, Blount does slot in as the immediate early-down back, but remember that he’s coming off a career year on a Super Bowl championship team. In Philly, he joins a team on the rise with young signal-caller Carson Wentz under center and a much-improved wide receiver corps. But the Eagles are not the Patriots.
Still, this is a good landing spot for Blount. He’ll get to run behind a strong offensive line that features three high-quality starters, according to PFF grades. As the early-down workhorse, Blount projects to just eclipse 200 carries, which would likely put him in the range of 900-950 yards and roughly 8-9 scores. That sort of productivity is good enough for RB2 consideration in standard leagues, but his value takes a hit in PPR formats. Blount’s limited role in the passing game relegates him to RB3 territory in leagues with PPR scoring.
2. Eddie Lacy makes his first goal weight
The former Packers running back checked in at 253 pounds Monday, which was two pounds under the first number in his weight clause. For meeting his goal weight, Lacy netted a cool $55,000 bonus. Ultimately, Seattle would like Lacy to play at 245 pounds.
Much maligned for his girth, Lacy actually got off to a hot start last year. with an average of 5.1 yards per carry and an impressive 19 forced missed tackles on just 71 carries before missing the rest of the season with an ankle injury. Yet, Lacy remains the butt of the joke in the fantasy community.
If Lacy can make weight and stay healthy, he has the potential to be a strong fantasy asset in Seattle. The Seahawks have a lot of bodies in their running back depth chart, but none who truly stand out. Thomas Rawls struggled last season, and C.J. Prosise has had trouble staying healthy over the course of his football career. The opportunity is there for Lacy to be the feature back in the Seahawks’ run-heavy offense. He’s currently coming at a nice discount in the fourth round as the 16th running back in early ADP.
3. Samaje Perine impresses in Redskins rookie minicamp
File this one under “as we expected.” Perine received positive reviews from Redskins head coach Jay Gruden following rookie minicamp. Keep in mind that these practices pit rookies against fellow rookies, most of whom were not drafted. Still, the reviews bode positively for Perine’s 2017 outlook.
The fourth-round selection profiles as an early-down runner with his Michael Turner-esque build (5-11, 233). Prolific at the college level, Perine topped 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons at Oklahoma. He also scored 49 times and posted an impressive average of 6.0 yards per carry.
Rob Kelley currently sits atop the Washington depth chart, though it’s clear Perine will give him a run for his money for starting duties. Word from the Redskins beat suggests Kelley will end up being a “complementary piece to Perine.” Kelley is currently being selected in the fifth round of fantasy drafts as the No. 24 running back. Perine offers significantly more value seven rounds later as the 50th running back off the board.
4. How should fantasy players value Martavis Bryant?
There’s no denying that Bryant is one of the league’s most electric wide receivers when he’s on the field. But of course, the caveat to the previous sentence has been the problem. He missed the entire 2016 season due to suspension, and also served a four-game ban to open the 2015 season. However, he managed to score the 13th-most fantasy points among wide receivers from Week 6 on following his 2015 suspension.
Bryant isn’t going to be handed the job, but he is expected to be a starter. This is where things get a bit tricky for fantasy players in redraft leagues. There’s a careful balance of risk and reward when selecting players with Bryant’s track record. With a current ADP in the fifth-round as the No. 25 wide receiver, Bryant is right on the edge of the risk/reward threshold. He’s likely to provide a good return on investment in that spot, but it isn’t ideal to take him any early due to his accompanying risk.
5. Chargers beat doesn’t project Mike Williams as a starter
Instead, they have Keenan Allen along with Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin as the starters. This take differs from the projected depth chart our analysts have in the PFF Player Grades, where Mike Williams is ahead of Tyrell Williams. With the Chargers spending an early first-round pick on Mike Williams, the former Clemson receiver is a good bet to be a starter this year. However, he isn’t the best rookie receiver option in redraft formats. Corey Davis is in a better position to produce immediately. He makes for a borderline WR3, while Williams is best viewed as a WR5.