Welcome to this week’s edition of “Dope Imports”, our regular series evaluating the foreign drug trade in the United States. This week, we’ll take a look at drugs coming from Mexico, and hoo boy folks that Donald Trump character may have a few good… *answers call from Jay* I’ve been informed that this will be yet another installment of Deep Impact, and also that I am a garbage human being. For those who haven’t been keeping up, this is the series for deep league players seeking fliers so far below the radar that LOOK OUT THEY FLEW RIGHT PAST YOU. Man, that was a close call. For those of you who have been reading, of course you have; look at how intelligent you are and how great you look in a bowtie. Why don’t you wear it more often?

As you’re aware if you live near a TV, computer, radio, newspaper stand, or town crier, Week 1 of the NFL season is upon us. Our previous editions of this series have focused on some players to target in deep formats. Now that the season is beginning, we’ll focus on two types of players: ones to consider playing this week that are very low owned (10% owned or less in Yahoo leagues), and players to consider stashing for later use (using the same 10% threshold). If you want standard league guidance for Week 1 streaming options refer to yesterday’s post by the Unbreakable MB, which had some quality players to choose from, including some below our threshold. Here, we’re going for the deepest cuts only. If you play in standard formats, I’d advise just keeping an eye on these guys for the time being. If you’re wading in deeper waters and have some early season injury issues or matchup concerns, get ready to take the plunge…

Chris Thompson (RB, Washington Redskins, 2% owned) – Backfield mate Rob Kelley (7% owned) has turned heads with his preseason play, but Thompson is the guy I’d rather have for Week 1. Nominal starter Matt Jones is questionable for the Monday night opener with a partially separated shoulder, and he just started practicing with contact yesterday. He may wind up being ready for action, but Thompson should still see action on passing downs and get some carries too as the starter is eased back in. After all, if the Washington brass learned any lesson in the past few years, I hope it would be to not overwork a dynamic young player returning from injury. That, and maybe they should try keeping Dan Snyder out of as many meetings as possible. Against a porous Steelers defense, 10-15 touches from Thompson should turn into some quality production. Also, if Jones winds up on the bench, I wouldn’t hesitate to plug Kelley into your lineup as well. Keep in mind this is a Monday night game so if you’re planning on starting Jones, you should have at least one of the two backups on the roster ready to go.

Braxton Miller (WR, Houston Texans, 5% owned) – Somewhat lost in the Will Fuller Love Affair that fantasy football enthusiasts (including yours truly) fell into during the past few weeks was that Miller also had himself a great preseason. As I write this on the one-year anniversary of his incredible spin move against Virginia Tech *waits for you to finish re-watching the YouTube video of it five times*, I’d like to draw some of that spotlight back to this low-owned, very interesting play. Is there risk here? Sure, he’s a rookie, the QB is untested, and he’s been a wide receiver for about as long as Justin Bieber has been legally allowed to drink. But he’s also got the inside track on the slot receiver job and should have plenty of room to operate with DeAndre Hopkins and Fuller stretching defenses silly. Add in the Week 1 matchup against a young, not particularly scary Bears secondary, and I’m willing to take a gamble on Miller’s potential to hit the B-button on some hapless defenders again in his pro debut.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 9% owned) – If you checked out Razzball’s staff picks for the 2016 NFL season, you’d know that I have an unhealthy infatuation with ASJ. My love was briefly wavering when he was playing for a good chunk of the Bucs’ fourth preseason game (which starting players, such as teammate Cameron Brate, normally sit out). Things got worse when he threw a tantrum during the game that looked like it could stick him to the bottom of the depth chart to start the season. Not a great look when his mental lapses dropped him below Brate to begin with. The fantasy players who had taken a chance on him quickly moved on, and as a result, ASJ is back below our 10% mark. But the news has turned positive of late, with ASJ being named a co-starter with Brate. As I discussed in my preseason post targeting ASJ as a late sleeper (remember when I said the infatuation is unhealthy?), I’m a firm believer that when a team is trying to win games, the most talented players will be on the field. Brate went to Harvard, and his education is the only advantage he has in this competition. With a Week 1 matchup against a Falcons defense that was below average against the tight end position last season (8th most fantasy points per game against the position), ASJ could be your Gronk backup plan if you didn’t draft Martellus Bennett.

Stash:

Marshawn Lynch (RB, Beast Mode Apparel, 7% owned) – Here’s a young newcomer that has really flown under the radar so far this offseason. Even for those paying really close attention, you may not have seen him take the field once. In all seriousness, I’m sure by now you’ve seen the report from Mike Florio that Beast Mode is pondering a very early end to his early retirement and could be landing back on an NFL roster as soon as Week 4. This is all very preliminary, but if you’ve got an expendable player on the fringe of the roster, make the move now. I know Lynch was a disappointment last year, he’s old, and he’s probably far from game shape. Still, this kind of upside just isn’t there for any other player on the wire below our threshold. Stash him and see where this story goes.

  1. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
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    Your intro paragraph humor game is as strong as your projection said it would be.

    • Alex Lee

      Alex Lee says:
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      @RotoLance: Thanks Lance. This is either a nice compliment or a really good burn. Either way, I’ll take it.

  2. TTRA1N says:
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    Lynch said he isn’t coming back. Unless you have a super deep bench I wouldn’t even consider stashing.

    • Alex Lee

      Alex Lee says:
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      @TTRA1N: So far I haven’t seen anything from him officially, just teammates of his saying they spoke to him. All hearsay at this point. I agree that it’s doubtful he comes back, hence why I’d only make the add if you’ve got a deep bench or some very expendable “talent” on the roster. In standard leagues, I’m not even thinking about picking him up, but in deep leagues I would stash as the story develops.

  3. Principal Blackman says:
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    Who would yo suggest I drop if I were to take a gamble on Lynch in my 16 team, 1/2 PPR league.
    We start QB, 2RB, 2WR, TE, FLEX (RB/WR/TE).

    My Roster:
    QB: Brees
    RB: L Murray, Bernard, DeAndre Washington, Chris Thompson, Shaun Draughn, Kenneth Dixon
    WR: Brown, Allen, Sterling Shepard, Kamar Aiken, Travis Benjamin
    TE: Gates, Virgil Green

    I was leaning towards Green, but because he played on Thursday, I’d have to wait until next week. I also thought maybe Draughn or Dixon, but I feel like Dixon is a pretty good Stash, and Draughn a warm body who qualifies at running back, which is an impossible position to fill on the wire, and Lynch just denied the rumors of a comeback, so I’m on a fence. I need a little prodding in one direction or another.

    • Alex Lee

      Alex Lee says:
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      @Principal Blackman: Who else is on the wire at RB? Just give me a sampling of names. Draughn to me, for non-Hyde owners, doesn’t need to be on a roster. I’ve heard the reports of former teammates/friends denying it, and maybe I’m being generous in giving Florio the benefit of the doubt that he’s got reliable info here, but I’d be willing to at least take a shot on Lynch if there’s a Draughn-equivalent (which is pretty much any backup RB) on the wire that you can pick up in the event this was all a false alarm.

      • Principal Blackman says:
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        @Alex Lee:
        Other FA running backs besides Lynch:
        Cameron Artis-Payne
        Dj Foster
        Orleans Darkwa
        Lance Dunbar
        Brian Bolden
        Kenjon Barber
        Alfred Blue
        Tyler Ervin

        • Alex Lee

          Alex Lee says:
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          @Principal Blackman: Barring an injury to Hyde, I like the chances Foster and Dunbar have to contribute more than Draughn. Both those guys are really interesting receiving options out of the backfield. Zach had a write-up on Dunbar earlier in the preseason that I contributed to, and Foster was the stash I planned to write about prior to the Lynch news. I’m curious to see how their roles look in Week 1.

  4. Brian says:
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    Lynch isn’t coming back no way he comes back I hope NFL doesn’t become WWE like UFC has with all these drama reports they are all getting old. Even if he does what would that do just crowd a backfield even further. He’s probably already got a job working with Skittles

    • Alex Lee

      Alex Lee says:
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      @Brian: The NFL is the spectacle of WWE plus the brain trauma of UFC (probably worse, really). I think it’s more likely than not that he stays retired, but Lynch is one of the most enigmatic guys to play the game. I won’t even pretend to understand what’s going through his head right now, I’ll just take the chance that maybe its football. And Skittles, of course.

      • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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        @Alex Lee: maybe he’s coming back just to be on the roster to attempt to get back the super bowl ring his coach took away from all of them

  5. Johnny Ticklemonster says:
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    Looking for some trade wisdom. Would you trade Gore and AJ Green for AP? .5 PPR, 12 team league, here’s my squad:

    Brees
    Latavius
    Gore
    ARob
    Allen
    Ertz
    AJ Green (flex)
    panters
    tucker

    bench:
    josh gordon
    moncrief
    woodhead
    marvin jones
    rams d
    sproles
    white

    Your recommendation would be appreciated!

    • Johnny Ticklemonster says:
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      @Johnny Ticklemonster: and by Allen, I mean Keenan Allen

      • Alex Lee

        Alex Lee says:
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        @Johnny Ticklemonster: 12-team league? Wow that’s a strong receiving corps. In a vacuum, in half-PPR I would take Green over AP slightly to begin with so definitely wouldn’t include Gore as sweetener. With how deep you are at receiver, I could see taking the slight downgrade from AJ Green to AP since you can plug any of Moncrief, Marvin or Josh Gordon into the flex spot and still be golden, while shoring up the thin RB group. I would prefer to keep that monster starting trio together and move one of those backups for another RB if possible, though.

  6. Steve says:
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    Would you consider benching AJ Green for Desean Jackson this weekend? 12 team, .5 per
    My WRs are: AJ Green, Keenan Allen, Randall Cobb, Golden Tate, and Desean Jackson (Start 3 and 1 flex; most likely a WR)

    • Alex Lee

      Alex Lee says:
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      @Steve: As much as I love the D-Jax matchup this week, I can’t advocate benching AJ Green. If your’e scared of Revis, it’s worth mentioning that Green went for 5 catches, 81 yards and a TD against him in 2014 when he played for the Patriots. I’d probably roll with Green/Allen/Cobb/Tate. It’s a great group, and Cobb/Tate have matchups that look just as good on paper as Jackson.

      • Steven says:
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        @Alex Lee: Thank you, Sir! My group of wideouts is solid because it’s a keeper league and I went WR heavy early in the draft…I’m projected to win by a fair amount, so I won’t do anything crazy like bench my 1st rd pick haha…just wish I could get Jackson in the lineup somehow with his tasty matchup.

        • Alex Lee

          Alex Lee says:
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          @Steven: Yeah, I get that. I don’t like playing matchups the first week of the season since it’s tough to make those calls based on last year’s info, but on paper it does look like a good one. My Week 1 strategy is to just trot out my best players, then start playing matchups more as the season progresses.

        • Alex Lee

          Alex Lee says:
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          @Steven: Hope you left Green in!

  7. Jim-bob-cooter says:
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    these dudes seem like scrubs, I’d probably draft AP or GRONK instead. Thoughts?

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