This post is inspired by my current favorite person Lucas Giolito. A few years ago, Giolito was probably the most promising pitching prospect in baseball and fantasy baseballers couldn’t wait for him to get the call up for the Nationals. Nothing after his initial call up in 2016 has went according to plan. He struggled in his only 21 innings with the Nationals before being traded to the White Sox in 2017. He spent the majority of 2017 in AAA and struggled. In 2018, he pitched 173 inning with the big league club and was an atrocity. Well, in 2019 Giolito finally got the magic back. He’s starting to look like the ace that he’s capable of being.
The fantasy football Lucas Giolitos are what we are looking for in this post. We’re looking for the popular girl from high school that partied a little too much and became a stripper but you married her anyways because she has a heart of gold. These aren’t necessarily shots in the dark. The talent is there but the situation just hasn’t panned out. Oh, we’re back to football players now. Done with the strippers.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this for Corey Davis. Nobody was really a fan of the draft landing spot. Even a couple of years ago our community was beginning to become skeptical of Marcus Mariota. In his rookie season, Davis missed most of the first half of the year and was never quite able to get it going until he had a nice touchdown catch in a playoff game. In 2018, Davis’ game grew but unfortunately Mariota was pretty bad. Davis was still able to manage three pretty big games that saw a combination of 382 yards and 3 touchdowns. But, the rest of the season, he wasn’t start-able. There’s a fable as old as I’ve been playing fantasy football (probably older), that wide receivers tend to break out in their 3rd season. I don’t think there is a ton of data to back that up, but what do I know? I drafted Peyton Barber everywhere last year. Mariota is on a contract year this season and the addition of Adam Humphries could open things up for Davis a bit more. I think someone as talented as Davis is warrants a bargain-bin grab in the 9th round, which is where he is currently going.
Sammy Watkins had a decent start to his career in Buffalo but injuries and ineffectiveness have sense tempered his progress towards super-stardom. Let’s assume that Tyreek Hill’s career in Kansas City and probably the NFL as a whole is over. Kansas City is in need of a target for Patrick Mahomes outside of Travis Kelce. Watkins actually had at least 50 yards in 7 of the 10 games that he played last season before the regular season with an injury. Pat Mahomes is clearly the best quarterback that Watkins has ever played with and his target share should increase. Mecole Hardman is supposed to be some sort of replacement for one of the best receivers in football, but I’m not sold and would rather take a chance on Sammy Watkins and his health in the 5th round.
I’m not sold on him one bit. There wasn’t anything that you could point to from last season to be enthusiastic about. He couldn’t beat out a running back that was average at best in Peyton Barber for carries and when he did get opportunities, he squandered them into inefficient carries. Let’s put it this way, he’s not helping the “running backs matter” side of the argument. What we do have is a player entering his second year who is said to be more comfortable being a pro football player and gaining more confidence in himself, according to his teammates. We have a running back with electrifying college tape and no more competition than the backfield that beat him out for carries in his rookie season and didn’t do much with it. Ronald Jones is 5’11 and 205 pounds (uhhhh, are we sure?), so he doesn’t have a size advantage. The skill set that the Buccaneers thought that they were drafting is going to have to do the talking. I think that he’s worth a share or two as long as you are taking him outside of the top 100 picks.
I’ve had a Dede Westbrook obsession since his rookie season. I wanted him everywhere last season after he showed promise when he came back from an injury in his rookie season. A wide receiver that led their team in targets, touchdowns, receptions, and yards is going 100th off of the board, according to fantasypros. This screams value to me considering the upgrade to Large-Member Nick from Blake Bortles this season. Entering his 3rd season, Westbrook screams 80+ catches and 1,000+ yard potential to me.
Drafting this backfield would make a lot of sense to fantasy players that prefer the “zero RB” strategy. Kenyan Drake isn’t coming off of the board until the 5th round range and Kalen Ballage is coming off of the board outside of the first 10 rounds. Running back killer Adam Gase is off to New York to reduce Le’Veon Bell’s value if he’s still on the roster by September. Finally a very talented Kenyan Drake might actually see 250 touches. After all, he’s a productive pass-catching RB. Kalen Ballage isn’t necessarily “post-hype”. He’s more of a sleeper. Who cares? Terminology doesn’t really matter in this case. If you draft Drake, handcuff him with Ballage because they’re both good and nobody knows what’s going to happen in training camp.