1. Tarik Cohen, RB for the Chicago Bears:
What a shame Tarik got hurt during that week 3 match up with Atlanta last year, because the Bears could have really used him down the stretch. As the rightful heir to the Darren Sproles throne, Cohen has had a lot of time to rehab the ACL injury that sidelined him for most of last season. And although players usually play a little more stilted and contact-adverse during their first year back from a serious lower-body injury, Tarik’s style has ever been that of a rugged bruiser, smashing between the tackles à la Derrick Henry... which in our eyes seems to indicate that Cohen wilé be able to buck the trend and come back at full strength, in time for Chicago’s playoff push.
In fantasy terms, this is an ideal situation for you to scoop up a premier talent (especially in PPR leagues) for almost no cost, as people will have forgotten about his name to to the lengthy injury, won’t associate him with success because he’s been stuck with Mitch Trubisky for the past couple of seasons, and don’t regard him as a viable RB threat due to his size (a solid 5 ft 6, for close to 200 lbs). So play off of their insecurities, wait until the core of your team is solid enough for you to take some swings... and snatch this tiny runner before he catches 7 passes / a touchdown per blowout, when the Bears wind up in a constant 2 minute drill.
2. Brandon Aiyuk, WR for the San Fransisco 49ers:
After some nagging injuries hampered an otherwise stellar first season, Brandon’s immediate future with the 49ers looks bright. Despite some personnel changes this off-season that will have the team rather unrecognizable come September, Aiyuk figures to be a central piece in the team’s plans going forward. His off-the-charts athleticism and play-making ability was evident for all to see last year, even with San Fransisco’s signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo being sidelined for most of the season. While playing with a rotation of backup quarterbacks, he still managed to catch 5 touchdowns and will surely add to that total in 2021.
Unfortunately, he might not stick around too long in drafts (especially in larger leagues) because even a 2 touchdown increase in production will bump him into WR2 territory. If you think you can wait on him, good luck... Try feel the room, and keep an eye on his name at the top of the 5th, because you might have to pounce earlier than expected.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB for the Washington Blueskins:
Unfortunately, my earlier Free Agency prediction didn’t quite pan out, and Fitzpatrick didn’t wind up in the city of brotherly love with the Eagles... but he did wind up in the division, and only a short ride north of Philadelphia! So I’m counting that as being half-right. Ryan is a smart guy who has enough experience and arm to make any solid team competitive. A best case scenario is if Washington’s defense keeps gobbling up QBs like they did last season, and Fitzmagic gets some short fields to work with. He’s not a bad passer, and has known ore success then one would expect from someone who is viewed by many as a career journeyman... which means you probably won’t even have to draft this sucker, to wind up with him on your team.
That’s right, I’m pioneering the No-QB draft protocol this season, to prove to the world that filling your team with a solid core of RBs and WRs (plus necessary and/or interesting backups) allows player maximum flexibility in then picking the final rounds clean of Forgotten passers, Tight End talent... maaaaaybe a defense (if it’s your home team) and call it a day. And then scoop up Ryan Fitzpatrick off of the waiver wire as soon as the draft ends, with your Kicker.
4. Taysom Hill, QB for the New Orleans Saints:
This advice is gold for any wild-men who play in 2 QB leagues, or those with “team QB” options... but could still wind up paying huge dividends, if you’re brave enough to follow this advice and grab Hill at the tail end of your fantasy draft. The numbers don’t lie: 140 million dollers for four years speaks volumes, and what it’s creaming is that Taysom is part of the long term picture in New Orleans. If you take him and he winds up being a gadget player behind Jameis Winston, so be it. You’ll always be able to just wait out one of his monster games and then flip him to a hungry competitor who’s chasing last week’s points at some time during the year... but if he blossoms into what his limited showings last year teased us with, then his ceiling would be as high as an accurate Tim Tebow. Let that sink in.
If all goes acting to our prediction, Winston will be Winston and goof his way to the bench... while Taysom runs past, around and over the NFC South, and then slings the rock yards down field on a rope,to one of the Saints’ skill-position players without beating an eye. And if you think Brady being in the division isn’t extra motivation for Hill to show his skills, you haven’t been paying attention. This is a deep rounder for sure, but somebody who’s definitely worth the risk, because of the massive upside. PROTIP: Try drafting him early and asking a king’s ransom in a trade, if any of your friends are Saints fans.
5. Hunter Henry, TE for the New England Patriots:
Maybe it’s naive of me to think that his production last year passed under the radar, considering his quarterback Justin Herbert was phenomenal as a rookie and quickly became the talk of the NFL during his initial season. But after watching Cam Newton slowly die last season under the glare of Bill Belichick’s disappointment, I feel like Henry’s move to Foxborough has put some stink on him, in the public’s mind. Plus, he’s paired up with another Tight End stud in Jonnu Smith, so it’s quite possible he’ll fall in drafts like a lead balloon.
That’s exactly what you want, if you haven’t selected a top-flight TE in the early round. Wait until everyone has had their fun and then try to pair up both of New England’s tight ends, on the off chance that they become turn out to be viable, under one of McDaniel’s crazy schemes. Plus, if you have both of them pop one in the flex spot for an ultra-funky lineup that’s sure to enrage your adversaries when they see they lost to a dude playing two Tight Ends. The flip-side to this technique is that you also could luck out due to injury and have a star on your hands, or just revert to streaming the position (like you probably already expected to have to do anyway... ‘cuz let’s be serious, Kelce was the right pick in the 1st).
Dan Bernardini wasn't always the camouflage-clad shadow he is today. No, once upon a time he had it all. Six-figure hedgefund gig, designer suits, luxury car... And boy did he love his Sundays by the pool, splashing around with the wife and kids. It was a great life, until the illuminati took it all away. When the financial crisis hit, Dan was suddenly left holding the bag. "Could have happened to anyone" the lawyers lamented, as the feds seized it all...