Finally, it's time. Week 1 of the NFL season is upon us. No more games that don't count. No more wondering how your draft went. It's time to start playing some actual games. As we gear up for the first week of the year I'll take a look back on the draft season and give some thoughts on players that were overlooked or overhyped during fantasy football draft season.
DROPPING SOME STATISTICAL KNOWLEDGE – THE HYPE TRAIN
I'm going to focus on two wideouts for the Patriots in this section.
is the top wide receiver in a Patriots offense that is led by Tom Brady. That's as good a place as any receiver can hope to be. However, it still shocks me how much love that Amendola is getting as folks are drafting him as a WR1 in PPR leagues. Some thoughts.
1 – Danny has appeared in a total of 12 games the past two seasons. That's 12 of 32 games or 37.5 percent of the contests. In his four seasons he has averaged 10.5 games a year.
2 – Danny has only one season of 65 catches. One.
3 – Danny has never caught enough passes to give him 700 yards in a season. Never.
4 – Danny has scored seven times in his career with a season high of three. Three.
Folks, Malcolm Floyd caught 56 balls for 814 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Amendola, if he stays healthy, could easily push 100 receptions. Betting on him to stay healthy, and double the level of production we've ever seen from him to this point of his career, doesn't that seem like a huge risk?
is being drafted by some folks as a WR3 after a huge preseason (he had a that very impressive game against the Lions with eight grabs for 116 yards). I simply cannot understand that logic. Here's why.
1 – First off, and I show this in my 2013 Fantasy Football Draft Guid
e, over the past four seasons just 17 percent of rookie wideouts have seasons worthy of starting in fantasy football. That's less than one in five.
2 – NFL teams don't always get it right, in fact it's shocking how many times they get it wrong given how much energy/effort is put into drafting players, but did every single team get it wrong here? Remember, Thompkins wasn't drafted this year. Every team in the league passed on him. Before the Draft he was compared to Andre Caldwell at NFL.com
. Does that say 'fantasy star' to you? It certainly shouldn't.
Speaking of undrafted wideouts... I did a bit of research, and while it was no means an in-depth study funded to the hilt, even a cursory look at the history of players in just such a position certainly points out that there isn't much of a track record of success. The best undrafted free agents who played wideout in NFL history follow: Wayne Chrebet
, Rod Smith
and Wes Welker
. Chrebet had two 75 catch seasons and three with 900 yards. Smith was a superstar in Denver who had five 85 catch seasons and he went over 1,000 yards eight times as he made three Pro Bowls. Welker is still playing, and you know how elite he's been. Still, let's look at the trio's rookie numbers. Even though they all had impressive careers – obviously Welker's is still going – it's not like they were world beaters in year one (and remember, these are the best undrafted free agent WRs in NFL history).
Chrebet: 66 receptions, 726 yards, four scores.
Smith: 22 receptions, 389 yards, three scores.***
Welker: Nothing. +++
*** Those numbers are actually from Smith's first two seasons.
+++ Welker didn't catch a pass his first season and went for just 29-434-0 in year two.
Just because those three did this or didn't do that doesn't mean we know what Thompkins will do. I'm just trying to point out that history is squarely against Thompkins having a bust out rookie season in which he is an option to be a weekly starter. Tom Brady will throw the football to whomever is open, we know that, so if Kenbrell is running free he will get the ball. Just do yourself a favor and remember that history is against Thompkins as is the Patriots spread the ball approach – it's very difficult to predict which secondary options in the Patriots' offense will excel from week-to-week.
WEEKLY FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE
I’m going to describe to you a way you can play fantasy football – against me. Thanks to Fanduel.com you will be able to take me on each week in fantasy football in a salary cap game. Chose your team and take me down. Should be a lot of fun. Take On The Oracle In Fantasy Football.
OVERLOOKED OPTION IN BACKFIELD?
Who am I?
I ran for more yards last season that Ray Rice, Matt Forte, Trent Richardson and LeSean McCoy last season. I wasn't drafted before any of those four this season.
I ran for more scores last season than C.J. Spiller, Chris Johnson, Reggie Bush and Jamaal Charles. I wasn't drafted before any of those four this season.
I averaged more yards per carry than Doug Martin, Steven Ridley, Arian Foster and Steven Jackson. I wasn't drafted before any of those four this season.
I've run for 1,200 yards in each of the past two seasons. Only two other men have done that – Foster and Marshawn Lynch.
I run behind the best offensive line in football.
I'm Frank Gore
OVERLOOKED OPTION AT WR?
I had more receptions than Percy Harvin, Dwayne Bowe, Cecil Shorts, Hakeem Nicks and Josh Gordon last season.
I had more receiving yards than Randall Cobb, Miles Austin, Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith and Mike Wallace.
I scored more times than Wallace, Vincent Jackson, Cobb, Roddy White, Jordy Nelson Wes Welker and Calvin Johnson.
In fact, I'm one of only 10 wide receivers who had at least 975 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2012.
I'm the Buccaneers' Mike Williams
and I've gone for 950 yards and nine scores in two of the past three seasons.
OVERLOOKED OPTION AT TE?
I had more yards last season than Heath Miller, Rob Gronkowski, Owen Daniels and Jermichael Finley.
I had more receptions last year than Jermaine Gresham, Dennis Pitta, Finley, Gronkowski and Antonio Gates.
I had more touchdowns than Jason Witten, Brandon Myers, Jared Cook and Finley.
I've scored at least five touchdowns in 5-straight seasons.
I caught a career best 69 balls for 843 yards last season.
I'm the Panthers' Greg Olsen
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Friday at 7 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answer everyone's questions.