Avoiding things in life can be both good and bad. If you’re unemployed and low on money, you might want to avoid the casino. Or maybe you’re trying to lose weight; you should avoid eating food like pizza. As a kid in the early 90s, Dominos commercials even told you to “Avoid the Noid.” Now, today’s pizza commercials encourage kids to avoid Papa John. Just sayin’, if that creepy guy is walking towards me on the sidewalk I’m crossing the street…
As for the casino, you might have won big but there’s a good chance you’ll give it all back on your next visit. Let’s see which studs from last year you might not want to double down on in 2016.
You might not think of Thomas Rawls as a stud, but lots of managers are drafting him like one in 2016. He did his best beast mode impression while Marshawn Lynch missed most of the season, but Rawls ultimately had a season ending ankle injury in week 14 and is still recovering. The undrafted rookie was gifted an opportunity and he made the most of it. However, his stats are somewhat padded by a monster game against the lowly 49ers in which he had 209 yards on 30 carries. Beating up on that terrible defense is like, as they say, kissing your sister. Or as Ray Romano once said, “Like peeing in your wet suit.” The sample size we’ve seen of Rawls simply isn’t large enough and he’s unlikely to even play a snap in the pre-season. He’s over priced in the fourth round of your draft.
Gronk is arguably the most physically gifted and dominant tight-end to every step on a football field. Off the field, Gronk is arguably having a better time than anyone in human history. You’ve seen him party with smokin’ hot bimbos, reality stars, and even dance on stage with 70-year-old musicians. He’s like a one man republican convention without the racism and fear mongering.
As you might have heard, Tom Brady will be out the first four games of 2016. Gronk will still do his Gronking, but it’s unlikely he’ll Gronk as well as he Gronks with Brady. His value hasn’t gone down much at all since news of the Brady suspension, he’ll still cost you a first round/early second round draft pick. Gronk’s juice just ain’t worth the squeeze, especially when you consider how juicy this year’s tight end class is. I’d rather take my chances on a Coby Fleener or Eric Ebron type instead of having holes in my roster caused by drafting a tight end too early.
As of this writing, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets haven’t been in contact for over a month. If you plan to use a third round draft pick on Brandon Marshall, this is a bit concerning. Marshall had a monster bounce back year in 2015; finishing with 109 catches, 1502 yards, and 14 touchdowns. The only problem is Fitzpatrick isn’t even on the 2016 roster as of this writing. If the Jets sign Fitzpatrick, have no fear and draft Marshall with confidence. If Geno Smith is the starting quarterback, you might want to stay away from the Jets all together.
If you want to test your patience, draft Eddie Lacy. The perennial slow starting running back usually pulls it together and finishes with monster numbers. Not the case in 2015. You’d think Lacy and Jonah Hill have the same personal trainer the way his weight fluctuates. Eddie weighed a Superbad 260 pounds while running the ball last year. He does come with a slight Money Ball type of discount after his disastrous 2015 season, but the end of the second round isn’t worth the headache. He has lost some weight and good for him. However, chances are he’ll get off to another slow start and you’ll end up with high blood pressure as James Starks waltzes in for another touchdown. The healthy option is avoiding Lacy here.
Dalton had a career year in 2015. He played with patience and accuracy as he spread the ball around to his load of weapons. Ohio may be an Open Carry state, but Dalton has been disarmed in 2016. Gone are wide receivers Mohamad Sanu and Marvin Jones. Tight End Tyler Eifert’s recovery from ankle surgery is expected to last into the regular season. Most importantly, the offensive coordinator who deserves a lot of credit for Dalton’s breakout season, Hue Jackson, is now the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Expect a much more run heavy offense from the Bengals as Brandon Lafell and rookie Tyler Boyd get facilitated to the offense. The government might come take your guns by the time this passing game starts clicking.
“The Night of” your fantasy draft you might want to stay away from the Alshon Jeffery. HBO has done it again, I’m hooked. Jeffrey was a subtle beast in 2015; huge numbers when he played, but a quiet season overall due to a myriad of injuries. The Bears haven’t been very subtle with how they feel about Jeffery going into 2016. They didn’t offer him a contract extension. Alshon wants to be paid like an elite receiver, but Chicago isn’t so sure he’s earned that status.
Rumors have swirled Bears management was displeased with Jeffery’s unwillingness to play through injuries. Reports also said they wanted Alshon to attend voluntary workouts with the team this off season, he told them he’d rather train on his own. Last year’s #7 overall NFL draft pick, wide receiver Kevin White, missed all of 2015 with a stress fracture to his shin; but he is said to be %100 percent and looking like a beast himself. It is unlikely Jeffery will be the target hog he was in 2015, just too many questions surrounding him to justify a second round draft pick.
Like fellow great running back Ladainian Tomlinson, Forte is beginning his farewell tour by joining the Jets. He’ll be turning 31 in December and probably has a couple of good years left in him. The concern is how sparingly he will be used in New York. He is getting drafted in the third round of fantasy drafts but all reports are the Jets want to rest Forte and use a running back by committee. The addition of Khiry Robinson should also give you pause; he will often be used as the short yardage and goal line back. Forte is a legendary PPR running back, but he’s going to cool his Jets this year.
Foster has a couple things working against him in 2016. He’s 30 years old, tore his Achilles about 10 months ago, and hasn’t played more than 13 games in a season since 2012. In addition, the Dolphins also attempted the least amount of carries in the NFL last year. For whatever reason, the past couple of Dolphins coaches avoided running the ball like a 50 year old man avoids scheduling a colonoscopy. You might remember their new head coach, Adam Gase, from his days of setting NFL passing records as offensive coordinator for the 2013 Broncos. Miami hates running! If you draft Foster, you are hoping he gets a lot of touches; in which case he probably won’t last long. On the other hand, if he’s used in a time share he’ll be unreliable and frustrating to own. Expect his draft price to rise as we near the regular season, don’t buy into the hype.