Along with covering the Washington Redskins, Ben Standig is an award-winning fantasy football analyst. This season Ben will write about fantasy for Breaking Burgundy and CSNmidatlantic.com, but he'll also talk about it weekly with Holden Kushner for Fanduel.com. With their podcast set for debut in the near future, we put them through some preseason drills with a six-pack off fantasy football questions.
1) Start at the top. Who is your number pick in standard and PPR formats?
Ben Standig: In standard, I'm going with Adrian Peterson. Even I'm surprised with this selection, but weeks of pondering keeps leading me back to Peterson the football player. There could be some initial rust, but "All Day" also received plenty of off days over the last year. The Vikings have enough around him, meaning defenses can't stack the line every play. Factor in a quality offensive line and a major chip on his shoulder and Peterson gets the nod over Jamaal Charles and Le'Veon Bell, who is my top PPR pick. Even though he's suspended for the opening two games, Bell should rock the final 14 playing for a Steelers offense that will need to score plenty this season.
Holden Kushner: Jamaal Charles in standard and Antonio Brown in PPR. I could easily go with Le'Veon Bell, depending on my mood that day, but JC has averaged 1,276 yards rushing, 406 yards receiving and 15 total TD's over the past three seasons. Brown has the highest floor and one of the highest ceilings of any receiver in the game. Minimize risk, emphasize upside in the first two-three rounds.
2) Will Peyton Manning be on any of your teams this season?
Ben: Highly doubtful. I've rarely had this Manning on any of my teams simply because historically he flew off draft boards early and I prefer waiting at last some for quarterbacks. This version of Eli's brother likely lasts into the 3-4 round range depending on league format. That's still too early for me because I'd rather have option like the aforementioned Eli or Ryan Tannehill 4-5 rounds later. Peyton's injury concerns also scare me some and new coach Gary Kubiak's schemes tend to go run-heavy at least relative to the previous regime.
Holden: Not likely at all. I'm not inclined to take a quarterback before round nine. Romo, Eli, Palmer and even Bridgewater can fill my QB spot and even if I have to stream, Manning won't be there by the time I'm ready to take a QB. That being said, if he drops to round seven and I like my draft so far, I'd consider him. Again, not likely.
3) The ADP for Lions rookie RB Ameer Abdullah is on the verge of becoming _______?
Ben: Out of my range. The scatback from Nebraska dominated last week's highlights with his Barry Sanders-esque moves. The quickness and speed is legitimate and he's a factor in the passing game. Abdullah is also just 5-foot-9, though with a solid 203-pound frame. Joique Bell won't be ignored by the Lions, especially around the goal line. The rookie should be drafted first of the two, but I'm not taking him before the fourth round. In that round, he becomes most interesting for owners who skipped RB during rounds 1-3 and are aiming for upside.
Holden: Too much for my liking. Ton of talent but I have a feeling that he'll ascend to the early 4th-round in PPR. Joique Bell will still handle A LOT of the workload.
4) Strategy session – What’s the one strategic angle you’re really pushing?
Ben: Since I mentioned waiting on quarterbacks earlier, I'll focus on tight end. More waiting here, but specifically once the top 4-5 options are of the board. Fine, there is more potential with the next tier that includes Jason Witten, Delanie Walker and Julius Thomas, but after that, parity. Maybe Dwayne Allen becomes a standout or perhaps Larry Donnell rock or one of 10 players shine. Even options 20-30 offer potential, which makes streaming tight ends a viable plan.
Holden: Just wait on QB. There's so many viable options. Luck and Rodgers will give you an advantage but you'll struggle to make it up with the lack of star power and or depth at WR or RB.
Ben: As a major proponent of handcuffs, I would select Jones if I owned Morris and Taliaferro if I owned Forsett. As standalone flyers, my spidey sense Forsett is more likely to breakdown than Morris. That means Taliaferro of the two - and assuming Javorius Allen, a deep sleeper, doesn't take on a larger role in Baltimore early on.
Holden: Jones in a PPR. At least he has upside. Taliaferro was none to impressive with a great opportunity last year.
6) Super duper sleeper time. Who is the guy we're not really talking about now that might become a thing before Labor Day or early in the season and therefore is a potential late round flyer?
Ben: Fantasy owners remember Jarrett Boykin from his time with Packers, Some might not have realized he relocated to Carolina. If that's true, then good chance most don't realize he's battling for a roster spot. His hopes likely ticked up following Kelvin Benjamin's season-ending injury. The certainly can't be said for the Panthers' passing attack. Don't draft Boykin, but let's see if his slot skills eventually make him part of the rotation.