MACK’S SUNDAY SAUCE: FIVE SLEEPERS TO STASH TO HELP YOU WIN A 'SHIP
Photo courtesy of InsideTheStar.com
This is Mack’s Sunday Sauce comin’ at ya! Always fresh, never stirred, where I’ll be here to give you your weekly dose of anything goes, no filter FANTASY FOOTBALL advice.
This edition, while the NFL is a little more than halfway through its preseason, we’ll take a look at some guys I like this year in fantasy football! It doesn’t matter their age or color, I’m drafting or prospecting these guys for a reason, and you’ll hear why here first! Some may not be considered sleepers, and listen, if that’s the case in your opinion, they’re on here because they should be drafted way higher than they are being ranked by big time sites overall or by position. And while the sauce is always delicious, sometimes ya just gotta’ go with that Chicken Parm Hero of a Gut!!!!! So here are five guys to keep in mind on draft day!
1. Cole Beasley, WR - Dallas Cowboys
We’ll start with a veteran. The short, speedy 28-year-old white boy from Texas is listed under Terrance Williams on the depth chart as the Wide Receiver #3 (WR3) in Dallas, but we’ve seen this workhouse prove himself season after season, and outplay the streaky Terrance time and time again. In 2016, he led the Cowboys in receptions, targets and yards, going 75/833/5 with 370 ‘Yards After Catch’ (YAC) and a 76% catch rate. He is tough, wise and fearless, and can play out wide or in the slot. Especially with Ezekiel out for six games, expect Dak to look Cole’s way early and often. He is listed as the 64th WR in PPR leagues by ESPN, which is a WR5/6 (pending 10 or 12 team league), but he can be plugged in with the right matchup or during bye weeks with confidence.
2. Tevin Coleman, RB – Atlanta Falcons
I personally drafted Devonta Freeman early last year, and he performed just fine for me. He also just got a five-year contract extension worth $41.25 million, so he’ll be making about $8 million per year. What do I think about this? Historically, running backs’ average fantasy rank drops 72% the year after a contract extension. While I can’t predict how Devonta will perform, I can say that third year RB Tevin Coleman is one of the top handcuffs to own, and can still produce RB2 numbers playing behind Devonta. The Falcons love dumping the ball off, and Tevin Coleman caught 31 passes for 421 yards for 3 TD’s and added 520 rushing yards on 4.4 YPC with another 8 rushing TD’s. That’s 941 total yards and 11 TD’s as a backup RB. Some WR2’s produce numbers like that, so Tevin should be stashed and plugged into the flex when the matchup is right, and may breakout regardless, side by side with Devonta.
3. Martellus Bennett, TE – Green Bay Packers
Well, not sure how much of a sleeper this one is if you do any type of fantasy research or pay attention to the NFL. Aaron Rodgers finally has a veteran that is big and dependable, a tight end that can catch and block that should positively make some noise. Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb are all talented wide receivers, but none of the three 6’6” and 275 pounds. Aaron Rodgers loves showing all receivers love, and with a big-bad TE like Martellus coming to town, he instantly steps into the elite, TE1 tier. While most analysts are placing the 30-year-old veteran in the 10-15 rank range, I think the pass heavy Packers make him a top 10 tight end in fantasy for the fourth year out of the last five.
4. Martavis Bryant, WR – Pittsburgh Steelers
Sound familiar? Thought so. In 11 games in 2015, the 6’4”, 200+ pound WR caught 50 balls for 765 yards and 6 TD’s. He was on pace for about 1,150 yards and 9 TD’s as a second year phenom. In 2016, Antonio Brown had all the attention back his way, and no one to complement him on the other end back out wide. Now, Martavis will be that guy, and Antonio’s numbers will decline because of him. You heard it here first!
And for , the “G’s” of the NFL usually have the most flair. The players with off field trouble are usually stellar talents on the field. He is in that class with LeVeon Bell and Ezekiel Elliot, and the lanky Martavis is a deep play threat. Expect Big Ben to be thrilled to have him back, and have him pick up right where he left off in 2015. He will be a WR2, every week starter.
5. Mike Gillislee, RB – New England Patriots
He is one of those RB’s that has been patiently waiting for his true shot, performing solidly whenever he’s gotten some chances. In 2016, behind star RB LeSean McCoy, Gillislee ran the ball 101 times for 577 yards and 8 TD’s when McCoy was either injured or they shared some carries.5.7 yards per carry is not a number to look past when carrying the ball at least 100 times. Now he’s been traded to the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, where LaGarrette Blount rushed for 18 TD’s in 2016 while sharing carries with two other backs. Gillislee can do more as a pass catcher as well, and should not be slighted during drafts. He should be a solid fantasy RB2 in 2017.