Deep, Deep Sleepers | 2016
Keith Marshall RB, Rookie
Keith Marshall ran for just 350 yards and 3TDs in 2015, and his reception totals were not impressive in four seasons (4, 1, 8 and 11). In addition, he has never rushed over 800 yards in college, and his best TD season was 9 total scores during his freshman year back in 2012. He was first behind Todd Gurley, and then Nick Chubb, two elite college rushers. Marshall is the quickest running back in this draft class (4.31 forty time) and he has good size at 5-foot-11, 219 pounds. He repped 225 pounds a huge 25 times. Even when Chubb when down last year, the team just didn’t feature Marshall, and I’m not sure why. I’m also unsure if an NFL team will ever give him starter-type carries, especially soon. He may never get a chance, which won’t surprise me, as so many coaches/teams don’t put faith in certain players (think Lamar Miller in Miami for so many years). However, he is worth the investment in dynasty, as he can be had after many rookie runners have already been drafted. And, in redraft, or fresh limited-type keeper drafts, he may go undrafted in many cases, or go very late, but that of course would change if he showed signs of life early in the preseason. I love this speedster. I see tons of upside, I’m just not too sure if NFL coaches will have the guts to feed him tons of carries given his college resume is so small. Here is to hoping, as he is a special talent. I’m talking monster talent-wise.
Duke Johnson RB, CLE
He’s guaranteed nothing heading into 2016, at least for now, and that’s what makes him low-risk. Most everyone had high hopes for him at some point last season, but because he never was unleashed, it’s time to buy as many people feel he let them down. He still may, and ultimately it will be coaching that lets everyone down. But, if given proper carries/touches, Johnson could do well in fantasy.
Buck Allen, RB BAL
Everything I just said about Duke Johnson can be applied here.
Jamison Crowder WR, WAS
This is definitely a deep, deep wide receiver call right here, as Jamison Crowder is currently entering 2016, his second NFL season, as the team’s third wide receiver. He is thought by some to be the fourth receiving option after you consider TE Jordan Reed. While Crowder hit the rookie wall near week 11, he flashed some nice play in spots last year, especially Week 17 against Dallas where he pulled in 5 balls for 109 yards and 1TD. He actually had a nice little run from Week 3 through Week 10, where he averaged 5 receptions per game. Eight games is a big sample size, and while it’s tough to draw 16-game conclusions extrapolating out data from even eight games, 40 receptions in 8 games is on pace for 80 receptions… that’s quite impressive for a rookie, even if an eight-game pace. For those thinking the targets just won’t be there in 2016, keep in mind that he and Kirk Cousins have a strong-looking rapport, and both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are both turning 30 and have injury concerns, or at least injury potential given injury history mixed with age. And, for those in dynasty leagues, Garcon is a free agent in 2017. I love the value here, folks, I feel this could be this year’s Victor Cruz, a breakout we called during Cruz’s sleeper/breakout season. Many of you have asked me since that year to call-out and find the next Victor Cruz…. well, I’m not 100 percent sure yet this is the guy, but he very well could be.
Robert Griffin III, QB CLE
For those already glued to this site, you will have noticed that RG3 cracked the Bold Predictions List well before his recent signing in Cleveland. He just got a huge bump in value landing with the Browns, but still, he is doubted quite a bit in many fantasy circles. His current owner in your league might believe in him, so you won’t be able to steal him away cheaply in every league, or even a handful of them; however, as of now, more doubt him than believe in him, so the odds are good he can still be bought low. Can he be bought as low as when he first hit our Bold Predictions List? No, not likely, but still try. He should only be acquired as a secret stash type player, though, as he could still falter. But, the talent is there and the upside is potentially huge. He will either never return to form, or he will be the best QB comeback story we’ve seen in quite some time!
Dwayne Allen, TE IND
Dwayne Allen could be a TD machine if he could every stay healthy. “IF” being the keyword. Coby Fleener always kind of held Allen back, at least in terms of how Indy would mingle each into the offense. With Fleener now in New Orleans — and he is breakout in NO, by the way — look for Allen to have more of a role in that Indy offense. Health is my only concern. He could be a sneaky-good TE5-10 in fantasy in 2016.
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