05 Sep 5 Fantasy Football Sneak Picks to Have On Your Roster
One of the many times I fell in love with my wife came last year on a Thursday night. Sitting on the couch, my wife said to me, “Hey, let’s check the Thursday night game. I got a receiver on my Fantasy team playing.”
I was butter in her hands.
The NFL kicks off the 2019 season on September 5 with the Green Bay Packers playing host to the Chicago Bears. It is the start of the historic 100th NFL season, but it is an important day for another reason.
This matchup, and the beginning of our show “The Fantasy Football Hour” (check your local listings), means that the Fantasy Football season has arrived.
19 million of football fans are estimated to take part in Fantasy Football and the initial draft. For those who do not play but are interested in learning, here’s how it works. You manage a group of starting players selected from current NFL players, plus a bench stacked with alternate players that score points based on their play on the field. Points are accumulated for a variety of plays from total passing yards to sacks. In Fantasy Football leagues, fans take on the role of a general manager. Whether you play weekly Fantasy or play the full league year, here I want to bring you some inside information that will boost your matchups week to week!
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First, the Draft
For the draft, you have two options: the snake draft and the auction. The snake draft makes use of draft rounds to ensure a level playing field for all participants.
I prefer the auction. You get 200 “dollars” to spend on your players, and you bid on each player. You can spend as much as you want on an individual player as long as you have enough “dollars” remaining to fill the rest of your starting lineup and bench.
Whether you are new to Fantasy Football or you are a veteran player, the key to winning lies in the strength of your draft picks. You will want to draft the players that deliver but do not cost your entire 200 “dollars”. The trick is to find out who the dark horses are — the players that not everyone knows about who can deliver you the points to put you over the top in your draft.
Here you go. These are my sneak picks for the five players you should have on your roster to win your Fantasy Football draft.
#1: Tony Pollard
Pollard is a running back with the Dallas Cowboys. He has been crushing it on the field and has been averaging about four yards per carry in the preseason alone. Even though Ezekial Elliot has just signed his $90 million dollar deal, Pollard will remain a feature of the Dallas offense. He will be able to spell Ezekial Elliot in the run AND pass game. Pollard has breakaway speed and has gained valuable experience with the absence of Elliot. And he has the potential to be a starting running back if Elliot is injured. Tony Pollard is your guy.
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#2: Ben Watson
Watson signed this offseason as a tight end with the New England Patriots. He has played with Patriots before and also for a long time with the Saints. Even though he will be out for the first four games, it will make no difference. Tom Brady targeted Rob Gronkowski 72 times last year. Brady has known Watson and knows exactly how to use him. His production under Brady will be prolific. He presents an excellent pick if you want to round out a flex position. He also has a lot to offer if you are looking for some bench depth at the tight end position. He will be the Patriots’ number-one red-zone target and possibly their number-one target overall after week four.
#3: Phillip Lindsay
Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay is with the Denver Broncos, and he will be tough to get if you live in the Denver area. In addition to his 1,000-plus rushing yards last season, he had 35 receptions in the 2018 season. All this despite the fact that he did not start until week eight last year! Expect him to haul in 50 to 60 receptions this year. He will be a pass-and-run threat and a focus for the Broncos. Expect him to be in that volume range of 25 with 10 passes and 15 rushes or vice versa. Lindsay will be a workhorse for the Broncos. He wants that responsibility, and he will shine once he gets it.
#4: Marcus Mariota
Mariota is a quarterback with the Tennessee Titans. He is a player that many people do not like, but he had a 69% completion rate and the lowest interception totals of his career last year. He is the guy who added Adam Humphries, another Titan player who will land a ton of targets this year. You can also expect continued success from Derrick Henry, their running back. Mariota is going to be a great QB2 or bench quarterback. Better yet, he is accurate and wants to prove doubters wrong. Check your bye weeks, though. Be sure you do not have two quarterbacks staring on the same day!
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#5: Peyton Barber
Barber is a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Little known fact, the Buccaneers had the number-two offense in the NFL last year (NFL.com). And this was with Barber who boasted 436 yards after contact and this year? 4.6 yards per carry in the preseason alone. He definitely has some competition in teammate and fellow running back Ronald Jones. But Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians loves to run the football and Barber can handle the run. This has been a staple of Arian’s coaching since his early days in Pittsburgh. Peyton Barber will be someone that no one else knows about that now you do.
Consider these picks for your Fantasy Football draft. They may not be the obvious choices, but they can help your team score the win.