Need help with preparing for your fantasy football league? The Fantasy Guru is here once again to give you a few tips on how to play the crazy game of fantasy football.
With fantasy football draft season well underway, I thought I’d share with you one of the traditions of my favorite league. In this league we have a slow offline draft and the last pick of that draft is always affectionately known by the same name as it has in the NFL Draft – Mr Irrelevant.
Every year, I traditionally own the Mr Irrelevant pick and have come up with some very elaborate rules for it. Like the NFL Draft, the pick is always a rookie and just like the NFL Draft it is always a long shot. A warning to all those in standard 10 and 12 team leagues – these are players you probably shouldn’t draft but who you may find on your team at some stage. Also, any player who was in my Top 150 isn’t eligible for this list.
For all of you in deep leagues, here’s my top 10 list of my potential Mr Irrelevant picks this year.
- 10. Marvin McNutt, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
McNutt was selected by the Eagles with the 194th pick out of the University of Iowa.
The 6 foot 3 wideout was a surprise faller in the draft and at the moment is fighting to take the WR3 job from Jason Avant while incumbent Riley Cooper is out with a broken collarbone. There’s no guarantee that McNutt makes the Eagles 53 man roster but if he does he may make a headline play or two.
- 9. Dan Herron, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Herron was selected by the Bengals with the 191st pick out of Ohio State University.
When the Bengals originally drafted Dan Herron, he was one of my favorite sleeper picks for fantasy as Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard have done nothing with their opportunities in previous years. This is why we keep an eye on training camp. Herron has struggled with injury and ultimately failed to impress. There is the possibility that Herron gets cut despite being well liked as very talented as a runner. Even if he is fails to make the Bengals I expect he’d catch on somewhere else and get a shot to prove himself.
- 8. Ryan Lindley, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Lindley was selected by the Cardinals with the 185th pick out of San Diego State University.
It’s a little absurd to put a quarterback on this list but Lindley is a player I liked going into the NFL Draft and with the Arizona situation being so unstable he may get a shot at some point either this year or next. He’s getting a decent opportunity this week as Ken Whisenhunt has announced Lindley will start the Cardinals final preseason game against Denver with both Kolb and Skelton not playing. Lindley’s path to any type of fantasy relevance is extremely unlikely but you just never know.
- 7. Cyrus Gray, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Gray was selected by the Chiefs with the 182nd pick out of Texas A&M.
The backfield may be crowded but when it comes to long shots, Cyrus Gray isn’t as far off as you may think. He’s had his issues this preseason with injury but unlike Dan Herron he has already made enough of an impression on his coaching staff that his roster spot is safe. Once healthy, I believe Gray will beat out Shaun Draughn for the RB3 gig and this could be a decent source of production given the previous injuries to Hillis and Charles. In a year when RB isn’t very strong, you can do worse than Gray.
- 6. Orson Charles, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Charles was selected by the Bengals with the 116th pick out of the University of Georgia.
Tight ends are the new craze in the NFL and the Bengals may have scored a bargain by getting Charles in the fourth round. Here we have a very athletic receiver who slid due to worries about health that are a little unfounded. The possibility of a 2 TE tandem with Jermaine Gresham is a distinct possibility in the future although personally I think Charles is the better of the two. A depth choice and a speculative one but great potential here. If you want a bit of extra insight, read our pre-draft interview with Charles.
- 5. Tommy Streeter, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Streeter was selected by the Ravens with the 198th pick out of the University of Miami.
Here’s all you need to know about Streeter – he’s as raw as they come, he’s wicked fast and he’s 6 foot 5. Here we have a player with upside as high as you can possibly get but three things are holding him back – he needs to learn how to run routes, he’s in danger of being cut and he’s on the Baltimore Ravens who already have Torrey Smith. If you’re in a deep league, investing in Streeter is worthwhile if you have the stomach to hang onto him. This is not a player you grab and hope he pays off in the short term. If you’re patient enough with him, the reward could be massive – Calvin Johnson massive.
- 4. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Hilton was selected by the Colts with the 92nd pick out of Florida International University.
There’s plenty going for Hilton as a fantasy sleeper – the Colts are going to pass a lot, Austin Collie is still struggling with concussions and he has impressed during the preseason and training camp as Andrew Luck continues to show he is far more NFL ready than previously thought. Hilton’s spot on the Colts roster is assured as the primary returner and I expect he’ll get a bunch of looks as the team’s WR3. This will be a pass-heavy offense and if the cards fall right, Hilton screams to me of Victor Cruz from 2011. Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Hilton from before the NFL Draft if you want some extra info.
- 3. T.J. Graham, WR, Buffalo Bills
Graham was selected by the Bills with the 69th pick out of North Carolina State University.
I’ll get this out of the way straight away – I love me some T.J. Graham in deep leagues this year. From all the info I’ve heard out of Bills camp this year and from seeing him in preseason it looks like he could join the list of no-name players to excel in Buffalo. After Stevie Johnson there are some interesting names but nobody that really stands out so there’s a decent chance Graham goes into the season as a WR3/4 with the upside to claim the WR2 job if he can perform.
- 2. Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Allen was selected by the Colts with the 64th pick out of Clemson University.
There may be a lot of hype surrounding Coby Fleener due his being Andrew Luck’s college teammate but Dwayne Allen is himself a very talented and athletic tight end. When you look at the Colts offense as a whole, there is room for two tight ends to make an impact considering that you can expect Indy to throw the ball a bunch. Allen’s natural athleticism and talent should come through and the combination of himself and Fleener could be the next really potent young 2TE combo to rival Gronk/Hernandez.
- 1. James Hanna, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Hanna was selected by the Cowboys with the 186th pick out of the University of Oklahoma.
This offseason I have made various comments regarding Hanna getting into the mix in Dallas due to their lack of a third receiver and Jason Witten’s spleen injury has just given Hanna the best opportunity he could possibly get. He’s impressed a bunch of people in Dallas this offseason and could turn out to be everything that Martellus Bennett was not. Now I don’t think Hanna should be owned in standard leagues except as a spot starter while Witten is gone. With that being said, he is an intriguing deep sleeper who could emerge into not only a minor receiving threat but also could be Jason Witten’s eventual replacement in Dallas.
That’s it for today. Check back in on Friday for this week’s edition of the Fantasy Mailbag. Until then, this is the Fantasy Guru signing off.