Preseason hype players can be complete waste of draft picks if you put your eggs in the wrong baskets. This is the time of year that people on twitter are planting their flag on football players like they were the first person to step foot on Mars. A lot of us already knew they were good. I’m not throwing shade, I’m sure I’m guilty of it too. Interacting on twitter is a good way to get noticed so I need something useful to spat out. Notice me! I’m a fantasy football SoundCloud rapper. Give me a read, link is in the bio. Wait, never mind. I’m signed to the great fantasy mogul Grey Albright’s label.
There are players that are “Sexy Picks” that DO deserve the attention. The NFL is a revolving door at the running back and wide receiver positions. New stars pop up every season. There are certain “hype” players that I will be avoiding this year, but I will get to them in a later article. I have three months of preseason content ideas to come up with, I must conserve my energy.
You can call me biased because I have dynasty stock, but I believe that Curtis Samuel is a potential superstar in this league. He’s finally all of the way healthy and Cam Newton looks like he’s getting close to being healthy as well. Last season, he finished 4th on the Panthers in snap count for wide receivers 44% and only caught 39 balls for 494 yards. The good news is that Devin Funchess has moved on to wasting space in Indianapolis instead of Carolina. Despite the low numbers, Samuel had 4 games in which he garnered a lot of attention from Cam Newton. In these 4 games, he received 13, 8, 7, and 11 targets respectively.
Did I mention that Samuel found the end zone 7 times last season? No, I previously didn’t, but now I have. This is no fluke either. With Greg Olsen becoming very long in the tooth, Samuel is one of Newton’s favorites for red zone touches, behind Christian McCaffery, of course. Matt Harmon has recently been gushing about his route running and that is always some good reassurance if you’re having any doubts. Currently, Samuel is going in the 10th round or later in 12 team leagues, so he is definitely worth a stab while you’re taking your flyers in the later rounds.
I wish I had the foresight to have dynasty stock in this guy, but I’m going to have to settle for some shares in redraft and best ball. One of my good friends is the head of content at Niner Nation and I just texted him and asked if Dante Pettis is a break out player this season. He texted back, “He should have a big year, he’s the guy.” There it is. Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
We can actually back this up with numbers, if you don’t mind. I really felt like he was going to have a monster rookie season but he was hampered by an early season injury and lack of health at quarterback. So THIS is the year. As the season came to a close, Pettis had at least 5 targets per game in his last 6 games. George Kittle will soak up a lot of attention in the middle of the field and that should leave the big plays to the downfield stud that averaged 17.3 yards per reception last season. It also doesn’t hurt to have his starting quarterback firing passes to him once again.
This is probably a name that I could have put in the post hype article that I wrote up for the beginning of last week. Last year was supposed to be the year that Anderson was going to take the world by storm, but you know, a rookie quarterback throwing to him so things didn’t quite go according to plan. I believe Sam Darnold will make a lot of improvements this year and is on the verge of performing like a quality NFL quarterback.
Robby really started to put it together towards the end of last season. He scored a touchdown in each game in weeks 14-16, so if you started him in your fantasy playoffs, he might have put you in a good position to compete from your WR3 spot. Darnold really started to seek Anderson out in the second half of the year and he compiled at least 7 targets per game in 7 out of the last 8 games. Le’Veon Bell should help get this offense going and that should also spell out good things for Anderson and the Jets as a whole.
I get it, this is about as chalky of a pick as you can find. I don’t care, I’m all in on this guy and don’t let the repetition of his mentions deter you from the counting stats that you will get. I wrote about my hopes and dreams for a Bruce Arians led offense back in February and Godwin was a guy that I mentioned. At the time that I wrote that, I didn’t know for sure that DeSean Jackson was going to be in a different uniform. Well, DeSean is an Eagle now so Godwin will be soaking up targets in Tampa in an offense that is going to be an air raid. Godwin has shown plenty of potential in his first two seasons. Last year alone, he had three 100 yard receiving games and 7 touchdowns. If I had to pick one of these guys for a 1,000 yard season and my life depended on it, it would easily be Godwin.
James Washington is a shot in the dark that I’m going to keep an eye on throughout the preseason and into fantasy draft season. Antonio Brown is gone and that leaves a lot of receiving yards on the field from last year. Ju-Ju Smith Schuster isn’t going to catch EVERY ball in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh was 2nd in the league with over 5,000 passing yards last season and 313 per game. Donte Moncrief and Eli Rogers will be in competition for some of these targets but I view Washington as the player that can be the breakout star of the group with the raw skill set that he has.