The Chiefs released Jeremy Maclin to make cap room on Friday and the impact on the field will definitely be felt. How, exactly, is still up for debate. We’ll keep a close watch on where Maclin ends up, but for now we’ll look at things from the Chiefs’ perspective.
One thing is clear and that is, as the roster stands right now, Travis Kelce is the best bet to have an increase in targets. He’s in the top-3 of tight ends and had a great season last year. What remains to be seen is how things will shake out with the wide receivers on the roster.
Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley and Albert Wilson are all likely to get more work, but the Chiefs must see something they like in their first-year receivers if they’re willing to lose Maclin. They drafted Jehu Chesson in the fourth round and one of their scout’s thinks he’s polished enough to play very soon, according to ESPN’s Adam Teicher.
Demarcus Robinson, entering his second year is another player who could possibly step up to get more playing time.
For now, it makes sense to move up Hill and possibly Conley in your rankings. Hill had 12 touchdowns as a rookie and Conley had solid, though not impressive numbers last season. Watch training camp and the preseason to see if taking one of the other options on the team makes sense with the final pick of your fantasy drafts.
This doesn’t really affect Alex Smith too much, since he’s only a streaming quarterback option at this point in his career.
Full disclosure, I went 0-2 in my leagues this week. It’s not the kind of start you want to see out of your trusted fantasy guru. In fantasy football there is the right play and there’s the winning play. They’re not always one and the same.
In one league I faced Drew Brees and Spencer Ware. Brees was the second-highest scoring quarterback, behind Andrew Luck, while Ware was the second highest scoring running back in Week 1.
In another league, the Office Football League here at the Statesman, I went up against DeAngelo Williams, the highest scoring running back in Week 1, in addition to Brandin Cooks and Antonio Brown. Cooks was the highest scoring receiver of the week while Brown was third best. Congratulations to Kirk Bohls on his near record-setting performance (191 points!) in the OFL.
Losing both of these games had me originally thinking about making some pickups or changing my lineup. Call me crazy, but I don’t think I’m going to touch a thing in one of these leagues.
Here’s my lineup from Week 1 in the OFL (standard + 6-points for TD passes, one point per two receptions):
QB: Jameis Winston
RB: David Johnson
RB: Ryan Mathews
WR: Mike Evans
WR: Brandon Marshall
TE: Antonio Gates
Flex: Demaryius Thomas
K: Dan Bailey
Bench: Philip Rivers, DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles, Laquon Treadwell, Tyler Boyd, Tajae Sharpe, Michael Thomas, Tyler Eifert.
There’s a lot of youth on my bench in this keeper league, but I don’t see replacing what I’ve got in my lineup. Maybe I could go with DeMarco Murray instead of Thomas at my flex, but is the top receiver in Denver really going to be held to 48 yards again? Benching Marshall seems like a bad move as well since he was targeted a decent amount of times (8) on his way to just 32 yards receiving.
In the other league I’m in I may actually end up tinkering a little bit.
Here’s that league’s lineup (standard + 6-points for TD passes):
QB: Derek Carr
RB: David Johnson
RB: Mark Ingram
WR: Dez Bryant
WR: Jordy Nelson
WR: Jeremy Maclin
Flex: Christine Michael
K: Chris Boswell
Bench: Melvin Gordon, Ben Roethlisberger, Tyler Lockett, Sterling Shepard.
I went with Michael in response to him getting the start over a recovering Thomas Rawls. Rawls did end up playing, however, and had just two fewer touches than Michael. I had to see Gordon produce well before I started him in my lineup. He did great in Week 1, though he had fewer touches than Danny Woodhead, so I’ll probably give him a shot in Week 2. I also like Sterling Shepard’s matchup with the Saints so I may sit Maclin this week.
Dez Bryant had a week to forget, but you’d think the coaching staff would make sure he gets a lot more targets in Week 2.
Let me know what you think @AAS_Cat. Would you tinker with either lineup?
With NFL training camps in full swing, I decided to take another stab at a mock draft to help prepare for the upcoming fantasy football season. This time I entered a standard league, 12-team draft on ESPN’s website. Last time out, I drafted in a 10-team standard league on NFL.com. Here’s a look at the team I selected this time around.
Round (overall pick) Player, Pos., Team
1st (4) Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
2nd (21) Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets
3rd (28) Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders
4th (45) Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs
5th (52) Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals
6th (69) Drew Brees, QB, Saints
7th (76) Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles
8th (93) Ladarius Green, TE, Steelers
9th (100) Willie Snead, WR, Saints
10th (117) Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons
11th (124) Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers
12th (141) Texans defense
13th (148) Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
14th (165) Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings
15th (172) Matt Prater, K, Lions
16th (189) Jordan Cameron, TE, Dolphins
With 12 teams in this mock league I decided to make sure I went with running backs in two of my first three picks. Interesting to note is that before I selected Adrian Peterson with the fourth pick, three receivers were already off the board (Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr., in that order). Also of note, the next three running backs selected were Todd Gurley (5th), Ezekiel Elliott (6th) and David Johnson (8th). Dez Bryant went 7th overall, which is a bit high in my estimation, since he went ahead of DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Jamaal Charles.
It was a little surprising that the suspended Le’Veon Bell, who’s set to miss the first four games of the season, managed to sneak into the first round at no. 12 overall. That seems a little high for a player that will miss a quarter of the season. I’d look for him early in the second round of a 12-team league. He can put you over the top, but not if you’re using your first pick on him.
My WR1 is Brandon Marshall, and I see no reason he’d drop off, especially now that he has Ryan Fitzpatrick back behind the center. Fitzpatrick knows how to get the ball to his big receivers and Marshall going at 21 overall went right about where he probably should. I selected Jeremy Maclin as my WR2 and if he’s targeted 124 times, like he was last season, he could prove to be a solid pick at 45th overall.
I was able to grab an aging Drew Brees with the 69th overall pick, so I have to hope he stays healthy and that his young receivers come along. Derek Carr, who I picked in the 13th round, is my backup and we’ll see if he makes a big jump with weapons like Amari Cooper and Latavius Murray. Murray, who I selected in the 3rd round is expected to be a do-everything back for the Raiders if he doesn’t let rookie DeAndre Washington take away touches.
That leaves me with Jeremy Hill and Jordan Matthews as my flex options. I feel good about both, hoping Hill has a bounce-back season, though he did score 11 rushing touchdowns last year. Matthews has scored eight touchdowns in each of his first two seasons and looks to go over 1,000 yards for the first time. If he’s around in the seventh, you’d be lucky.
Ladarius Green, the tight end who I selected at 93 overall, should excite some owners as he joins a prolific Steelers offense.
Other notes from this mock draft:
Seven wide receivers were selected in the first round, including Allen Robinson.
Jamaal Charles was taken in the second round, he should go higher.
Jordy Nelson went 14th overall and I’d be nervous about that if I made that selection early in the second. I’m in the minority.
Lamar Miller, who the Texans will let loose on the field, went 16th. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes higher in most drafts.
There are options at RB in the third round, with Eddie Lacy, Matt Forte, Murray and Carlos Hyde all going in that round.
T.Y. Hilton, who went 39th overall, might be undervalued if Andrew Luck returns to previous form.
The Cardinals defense was the first to go at 89, followed by the Broncos at 95 and the Seahawks at 113.