Many people like to draft players with an upside. I just had an email this afternoon from a reader and he told me he tries to draft a strong starting unit and then fill in his team with players that have this “upside” thing. On the surface, that sounds great. What we must consider though, is on a player by player basis, what is their real probability of success? I am all for drafting players with upside, but only after careful analysis.
Drafting on a whim and a prayer is a sure road to disappointment. Ask yourself—if you lost 3-4 starters in the first few games, could you replace them from the backups you drafted? We must be able to cover some injuries and disappointing seasons from our expected starters.
I went through a depth chart review and pulled out 12 names that could be judged to have either an upside, or no future at all. Only time will tell.
- WR J.J. Nelson, ARI
With John Brown and Jaron Brown both leaving in free agency, Nelson has an opportunity to move up and play as a WR2, enhancing his fantasy value greatly.
- TE Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI
This season, Seals-Jones will have a shot at being the TE1. With what will hopefully be a more stable QB situation with the Cardinals, I believe he has a good chance of success.
- WR Taylor Gabriel, CHI
After four seasons with the Browns and Falcons, Gabriel has a chance for a fresh start in Chicago. He and Cohen have been competing to see who has the most speed. Watch closely to see what role he draws in the suddenly crowded WR corp.
- WR Kevin White, CHI
I debated leaving him off this list, but when a team spends a 1.07 pick on you and he is now healthy, he could still excel. In White’s case, playing in only five games in three seasons is not a good indicator for success. This is obviously his last chance, but he is worth at least watching.
- TE Luke Willson, DET
Willson has left the Seahawks after five undistinguished seasons and has joined the Lions. Detroit involves their TEs in the pass offense and Willson has an opportunity to be the TE1 in Detroit, thus making him worth keeping an eye on.
- RB Ty Montgomery, GB
From being a WR initially before becoming a surprising RB, fantasy wise, Montgomery entered 2017 as a highly-ranked starter. After getting hurt, he slid down the depth chart. With Aaron Jones suspended to start 2018, he now has a chance to regain his starting role once again.
7. WR Geronimo Allison, GB
With Jordy Nelson gone and Randall Cobb coming off two subpar seasons and almost being cut when Nelson was, Allison has perfect conditions. Remember that talent + opportunity = success. That could be the case with Allison this season.
- RB Nyheim Hines, IND
With Frank Gore gone, the only real threat holding Hines back is Mack. The rest of the RB roster is loaded with discards from other teams. Watch and see which one emerges from the competition. I would not be surprised to see Hines emerge as winner of the competition,
- WR Dede Westbrook, JAC
The Jaguars had a great 2017 season and Westbrook only played a small role. With Robinson and Hurns both gone, he has an opportunity to move right in and excel this season.
- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, JAC
After a checkered, troubled career for four seasons in Tampa Bay and with the Jets in New York, Seferian-Jenkins has emerged with the Jaguars this year with not only another opportunity, but a chance to be a TE1.
- WR Quincy Enunwa, NYJ
After what was a breakthrough season in 2016 until he got hurt, Enunwa missed all last year and returns this season as a virtual unknown once again. If he is healthy, Enunwa could have a great season. Watch closely—he could be a difference maker.
- WR Jaron Brown, SEA
After spending several years as a WR4 with Arizona, Brown has a slim chance of success with the Seahawks. He showed strong signs with the Cardinals, but never really had an opportunity. Now, maybe he will.
While the jury is still out about what sort of an upside these players will have for the upcoming season, one thing about them is certain. They should all be on your watch list as you prepare for your drafts.
We are finally within a couple weeks or so until training camps open. Buckle up for the journey. My colleagues and I at Big Guy Fantasy Sports are intent on helping you become the champion you want to be. With our poignant articles and being the home base for the consistency theory, a sound mathematically-based alternative to ADP, we will be with you for the 2018 season in its entirety. What happens then? That my friends, is easy. We start over and do it all again in 2019!
Good luck! Have fun!