With the NFL Draft behind us, we can now officially enter the 2015 Fantasy Football season.
I, for one, am excited, and I hope you are too.
It is never too early to begin your research for the upcoming season. The more you do now, the more you get ahead of your competition.
After the 2014 season, free agency, trades and the draft, there are a lot of questions that Fantasy owners have going into their leagues drafts for the 2015 season.
Below are the seven questions leading into this season that you will want to know the answers to before you draft your team.
7 Fantasy Questions Heading Into 2015
1. Can Odell Beckham Jr. Continue To Be a Top 5 Wide Receiver?
In case you forgot you forgot just how good ODB, yes I know most of you nickname him OBJ, tough I like ODB, was last season, let me remind you. He was absolutely dominant from Week 5 on, which by the way was the first game he played in 2014. In that span of time, ODB was the second best Fantasy Football receiver, behind only Demaryius Thomas. He also finished as the No. 5 ranked receiver at years end. It really was an incredible run and it led many to their championship.
One reason he can repeat it, this catch. Still amazing to watch even today.
We all remember this Odell Beckham Jr. catch. Top catch of all time? https://t.co/NTdCSILoZI
— Receiving Corps (@ReceivingCorps) April 22, 2015
As much as this was improbable a run like this again is probably even more unlikely to happen. Two reasons:
- Victor Cruz will be returning and even though he is a not what he used to be, he is still a good receiver and absolutely will take targets away from Beckham. I still think ODB will be the No. 1 and we have seen plenty of teams that have two great fantasy wide receivers, but…
- He has to deal with Eli Manning as his quarterback. We all know Eli is very inconsistent so if he is not on his game it will affect Beckham. I’m afraid it is just too hard to trust Eli at this point and I will not be drafting ODB in my top 5 of receivers.
Draft him as one of your top receivers, just don’t expect him to repeat last years crazy run.
2. Will Adrian Peterson Be First-Round Worthy Again, Following Another Year Off?
I have a tough time believing that A.P. will be A.P. again. After the year he had last year, you have to think he is emotionally drained. On top of that, sitting yet another year out of football and returning at the age of 30 has to be hard.
He is a great player to take a chance on in the second round, but I’m not risking it in the first round at least while he is still on the Vikings roster. It is clear that Peterson was not want to play for the Vikings, so it is hard to trust a player whose heart is not in it in the first round. Even the second round is tough, but worth the risk for how good he can be.
3. Now That We Know Le’Veon Bell is Going to Miss the First 3 Games, When Should We Draft Him?
This is a tough one for me. I hate taking players who I know will miss time due to injury or suspension, but Bell was spectacular last year finishing as the No. 2 ranked running back, and over the last seven weeks of the season, was ranked No. 1. However he is suspended the first three games of the season affecting his value. The question is just how much?
I think it drops him to the No. 4 or No. 5 running back drafted in 2015, but still easily still a top 10 pick. Even missing three games should not derail his chance to be a top running back overall on the season. Keep this in mind, if you take three average games off Bell’s overall 2014 season point total, he would have finished the No. 6 overall running back. There is no reason to think missing three games will affect you.
4. What Will the Move to Seattle do to Jimmy Graham’s Value?
The move to Seattle is a good football move for Graham, as the Seahawks are one of the elite teams in the NFL and are among a handful of teams that have a chance to win a Super Bowl. For Fantasy Football, this is terrible news.
He goes from a team in the Saints that passed the ball 659 times, good for second most in the league, to a team who passed the ball 454 times, which is a league low. Now the pass attempts might increase a bit in 2015, but let’s be honest with ourselves here, Seattle is not going to pass the ball 200 more times just because they have Jimmy Graham. They still rely heavily on their run attack, which includes Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson, so less pass attempts means less targets for Graham, not good news for his fantasy value at all.
5. How do the moves for DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy affect them?
I will start with the No. 1 overall Fantasy running back in 2014, DeMarco Murray. I bet most of you would think that the Eagles and the high speed offense of Chip Kelly ran the ball more than the Cowboys last season. Well you would be mistaken. The Cowboys, led by Murray’s 392 carries, ran the ball 508 times, compared to 474 for the Eagles.
I know we’re talking about 34 carries here, but also remember that the Cowboys used Murray as a true feature back and the Eagles will still likely split the carries between backs like they did with McCoy, Darren Sproles and Chris Polk.
I think the Eagles do more of the same this year and keep spreading the ball around, especially near the goal line and on passing downs, which limits Murray’s value as it did McCoy’s. I also believe Chip Kelly will be mindful of Murray’s 443 total touches last season and reduce that significantly to keep him fresh all season.
Moving on, McCoy was traded to Buffalo and I’m honestly not sure what to think about this. On one hand you see him becoming the every down back in place of the aging and oft-injured Fred Jackson. On the other hand, the Bills have struggled to run the ball in seasons past so you have to take that into consideration when deciding on how good he will be. Then there is Fred Jackson who we all think will just wither away, but does not seem to and will ultimately be a factor in this offense.
These concerns about McCoy and the Bills offense have me second guessing picking McCoy in the first round over much more reliable options.
6. Can Russell Wilson Repeat as a Top 5 Quarterback?
I see no reason why not. I know he does not pass for a lot of yards, 3,475 last season, but the addition of Jimmy Graham should help increase this total and the passing offense in general.
Where he gets a lot of his points from is his legs. A crazy 849 yards on the ground last season and six touchdowns made him easily the quarterback with the most rushing yards and that is 120.9 total fantasy points. If you are drafting him, expecting him to reach that total again, then you will be disappointed. Regardless, this offense goes through him first so he is able to make plays however he feels he needs to, and that read option of his is deadly.
Now with Jimmy Graham there he will be able to throw more touchdowns in the red zone instead of handing it off to Marshawn Lynch so often. So as much as I don’t like the move to Seattle for Jimmy Graham, I do like it for Wilson. Draft him with confidence.
7. Who Will Be the Rookie You Will Want to Draft?
Todd Gurley, who was drafted by the Rams, is probably the best player in this draft for Fantasy Football, but since he is recovering from a torn ACL I cannot recommend him as a viable option this year in re-draft leagues.
With that said for 2015, my top pick is Melvin Gordon. He was drafted by the Chargers in the first round and was a great college player. He will be coming into a backfield thirsty for a playmaker now that Ryan Mathews is no longer with the team. Yes, they will be getting Danny Woodhead back and also have Branden Oliver and Donald Brown, but neither of them should challenge Gordon for the main ball carrier role. The Chargers have a good offense too, so he should see plenty of opportunities to put up points.
What Fantasy questions heading into 2015 do you think need to be answered this offseason?
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