Everyone wants the inside scoop on guys that can help but won’t cost money in auctions or high picks in snake drafts. There’s always that guy that you’re staring at for six picks only to have the asshole in front of you pick him before you. Here’s hoping these three guys won’t be taken before you (if at all) and will still really help in the long run:
Tyler Gaffney. Lost in the shit that was DeflateGate and the subsequent suspension/nonsuspension/then suspension again of Tom Brady is the loss of Dion Lewis. Last year Lewis made the kind of dual-threat splash that the Patriots hadn’t had out of a running back in forever. Then he got hurt midseason and there was no answer. The WRs saw more targets and LeGarrette Blount was boom-bust while someone else filled in here and there. No such problem this year as Gaffney will step in and do so admirably. He’s already getting the first team reps needed for some fantasy trust and Blount will never be the receiving back. Sure, Gaffney might lose out on goal-line carries with Bolden and White as other options. But White has shown what he can do (which isn’t much) and the ball has to go somewhere. When Brady is back (and maybe even with Jimmy Garropolo) look for Tyler Gaffney to step up big.
Jared Cook. Long looked at as a ridiculous physical specimen with the ability to do almost anything on the football field, we’ve just been waiting for that one big fantasy year. But Cook has never really gotten it down. Sure, you can blame the inconsistency at QB and the run-first calling in most of his previous stops, but how do you account for a guy like Delanie Walker who is a machine on a team with no passing game? Yeah, Cook is just inconsistent as hell and needs the right push. Enter: the right push in the form of Aaron Rodgers. Already meshing well and showing a bond of epic proportions, Rodgers and Cook look to be cooking up a storm (too much?). Sure, it’s just preseason. But they looked awfully good in the third and final opportunity to play the starters. And that’s what Cook is. He’s a starter. Richard Rodgers has gotten far less snaps and it appears Cook has finally gotten to the precipice of fantasy relevance.
Michael Thomas. There’s always one guy that makes a splash in the fantasy world as a rookie. Sometimes there’s a handful, but this one is the most obvious at the outset. Drew Brees is going to throw more and more the longer he stays around and while having a new dynamic option at TE in Coby Fleener and some stability finally at RB with Mark Ingram, Brees doesn’t really have big play guys. Brandin Cooks has great hands and deceptive speak and Willie Snead is a solid slot man as well, but who’s the burner? Thomas is a big body with elite speed. If his route-running is even okay, then there’s a good chance that #9 will call go-routes all day for the young fella.