FANTASY FOOTBALL: 3 Players You MUST Follow This Offseason

Will Gordon be a top 5 WR again in 2016?

Fantasy Football 2016’s Most Interesting Men

These are the 3 men you need to pay the most attention to this fantasy football offseason. These 3 guys might just be winning you a championship next December. You will want to be following what Eddie Lacy is eating on Instagram, how his P90X is going, what Josh Gordon is doing for the 4th of July, where Lamar Miller is going to be toting the rock in 2016, will they actually givehim the ball 20 times in one given week (Ludicrous I know).

  1. Josh Gordon

He has the talent of a top 5 wide receiver but is trusted less in Cleveland than Johnny Manziel and Art Modell combined. His draft value next year granted his indefinite suspension is uplifted could range from early round 2 to as late as the 6th or 7th. The risk/reward of drafting a player has probably never been higher, no pun intended. He is one strike away from another indefinite suspension and that is granted this one is uplifted. Other big questions we need answered this offseason is where will he be catching passes and who is throwing him the ball. He is not a lock to be back in Cleveland but we know this if he is reinstated he will be a #1 wide receiver.

With all that said, this is a guy who in 2013 caught 10 or more passes in 3 of 14 games, had over 100 yards in 7 of 14 games, more than 200 yards twice, for a 14 game total of 87/1646/9 all why catching balls from a less than stellar group of Browns quarterbacks.  At 6’4” 220 lbs he has the size to win jump balls in the red zone and has the speed to run away from defenders. If it were not for his pending suspension he would have entered 2014 as the #2 Fantasy Wide Receiver on draft boards. Now 2 years later you might be able to add the same person as the 15th  or 20th  wide receiver off the board.

If he performs like he did in 2013, he will be an absolute steal where ever he is drafted, but know this he will be the most volatile pick amongst drafters and rankers alike heading into 2016. For me if he is reinstated I would be willing to roll the dice in round 2 as long as camp reports of how he looks check out. If he remains with Cleveland and they draft Jared Goff, he is going to need a security blanket and what better than a 6’4” stud wide receiver. Defenses won’t be able to focus on Gordon either, the emergence of Gary Barnidge will keep safetys honest in the middle of the field letting Gordon see more 1 on 1 coverage.

  1. Lamar Miller

Where will he end up? That is the biggest question. Lamar Miller is set to be an unrestricted free agent. His time in Miami has been up and down mostly due to a lack of commitment from the coaching staff. My hopes are that he ends up in Dallas. If this were to happen, I see him as a late 1st round pick. Jason Garrett likes to feature 1 running back and they desperately want to run the ball. Look back to 2014 at how the Cowboys won and protected Tony Romo. The leaned heavy on Demarco Murray and that big offensive line, handing him the ball 392 times and targeting him another 64. This past season they tried to do much in the same with Darren McFadden, he carried the ball 239 times (only started 10 games) averaging 4.6 yards per carry (YPC), up well over a yard from each of his previous 3 seasons.

If Lamar Miller were to be given this role and we were able to project him to even just 275 carries behind this line and 60 catches he would easily surpass 1,800 scrimmage yards and probably end up in the endzone 10 or more times. I feel these are conservative projections given what Dallas would like to do. Miller will only be 25 at the start of 2016 and has had relatively low usage in his career. 2014 he had a career high 216 carries while averaging over 5 YPC. This is a guy with young legs, explosive speed, and good hands. This would be a dream fit.

Miller ending up in Dallas is pure speculation though. If he ends up resigning in Miami, I would be scared to use more than a 4th or 5th on him. With Jay Ajayi proving worthy of a role, I would expect much more of the same 12 touch a game productivity from Miller. Other destinations that seem a possibility would be Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Green Bay, or either New York team. If he were to land in Houston or Indianapolis I would be interested and would see him as a 2nd-3rd rounder. Anywhere else playing time would be a big issue and he would likely be a part of a committee. As you can see Lamar Miller’s decision this spring will have a huge effect on his draft status this fall.

Fantasy Football

Can Eddie Lacy slim down and contribute this Fantasy Football season?

  1. Eddie Lacy

This has everything to do with his offseason and how he treats his body. It is hardly a secret the Eddie Lacy was overweight and out of shape this year. My wife actually thought an offensive lineman was carrying the ball for the Packers at one point. There are also a ton of owners out there that were completely burned by using a top 5 selection on Fat Eddie this past year, so coming into 2016 Lacy will not be highly regarded. However despite the fact he was 20-30 lbs overweight this year he still averaged 4.1 YPC and 9.4 yards per catch despite defenses playing man to man on the outside and loading the box against the run. If he can prove to McCarthy and the Packers that he is serious and comes to camp in shape, this is still a very talented running back. Even at his lower weight he does not posses breakaway speed, but he does have tremendous feet, he is quick, extremely powerful, and catches the ball very well.

They will be getting back Jordy Nelson which should keep defenses honest again and with the playoff emergence of Jeff Janis the Packers Offense should be back to one of the top 3 scoring offenses in the league. This will create a lot more scoring chances for a very good short yardage back and a lot more opportunities for Eddie to carry the ball.

Before his weight problems this year he was basically a 3 down back, there are only a handful of those guys in the league. If preseason reports from camp, the game film is not adding 10 lbs, and the Packers don’t make a major move for a big name back. I could see Eddie Lacy returning to his 2013/14 form and totaling 1500 yards from scrimmage with 10+ TDs again. If he comes to camp overweight, slow, and looks uninterested he will probably get cut. So this is a guy that you will be able to get in the 3rd or 4th round that could get you 1st round top 5 RB value or you might get fried cheese curds. He is definitely one of the top 3 guys you have to pay attention to this offseason.

This should go without saying but make sure to pay attention at what the Packers do with James Starks, other FA running backs, and the draft. McCarthy made it very clear to Eddie in his post season presser, he should show up in shape and ready to help fantasy owners again.

If you would like to read more takes follow me on Twitter @BigTimeSethyBob “no one even calls me that”

*All stats from Pro-Football-Reference.com

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