wayne pic“Really, I can actually write about fantasy football?”

That’s what I thought after talking to QuadCities.com Director of Digital Media

Sean Leary one night on social media.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m hiring you to do!” he said.

Sign me up!

So, here are my first fantasy football musings.  I am going to focus on a keeper, a sleeper and a bust for each team.  This is going to be sooooo fun!

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Keeper – WR Dez Bryant, is there even a question?  There are not a lot of options here.  I feel rookie RB Ezekiel Elliot will either get injured or suspended.  Dez, baby!  Pick him in round 3 or 4.

Sleeper – QB Tony Romo.  Yes, Romo!  He just needs to stay healthy!   Check out WR Terrence Williams as well.  He could be around very deep in the draft, maybe round 9.

Bust – RB Ezekiel Elliot, see above.  Someone will draft him early, which is a good thing.

New York Giants

Keeper – WR Odell Beckham Jr., is the best fantasy option for you!  He is in the top 6 or 7 WRs in the league.  He will be the number one option for QB Eli Manning!  He will go late in round 1 or early in round 2.

Sleeper–WR Victor Cruz.  Beckham Jr. will get plenty of attention, so IF Cruz can come back from injury you may need chips for your salsa!  Many Kickers will get drafted before Cruz, he can be picked up on waivers.

Bust-Any RB for the Giants.  Can you name one?  Stay far away!

Philadelphia Eagles

Keeper – WR Jordan Matthews is your best bet with Philly.  That could change though.  Pick him in the 4th or 5th round.

Sleeper – QB Sam Bradford will be gunning right out of the gate, with rookie first rounder Carson Wentz poised to be the starter, he has to!  Bradford is going to need to, if he wants to stay a starter.  The drawback is he has a hard time staying on the field and there are not a lot of weapons around him.  You can pick him easily inn 9th.

Bust– RB Ryan Matthews will bust fantasy owners again!  I doubt he gets drafted.

Washington Redskins

Keeper – QB Kirk Cousins, DO YOU LIKE THAT?!!  Cousins will be the best QB in this division and also in the top 10 of the NFL.  He got his contract and wants more!  He goes in the 6th.

Sleeper – TE Jordan Reed will have an even bigger year than last in especially playing in this weak division!  I would pick him soon right after Gronk is gone.  He will be available in the 4th or 5th.

Bust – WR Pierre Garcon – The Wait(er) is over for him to produce like he did in Indy.

Order of Finish – Washington, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia

NFC West


Keeper – RB David Johnson.  This THE NUMBER ONE RB off the board, pick him 1-5.  He is young, fast has sneaky power and is from Clinton, High School in Clinton, IA.  This University of Northern Iowa grad could be on his way to be a superstar!

Sleeper – The entire WR corps of the team.  This team is loaded!  Led by Larry Fitzgerald with Michael Floyd, John Brown and Jaren Brown.

Bust – Hard to pick with this Super Bowl bound team.  I would stay away from the TEs who will not get a lot of attention with the best WRs in the game.

Los Angeles Rams

Keeper – RB Todd Gurley.  Last year’s rookie of the season should be solid again this season, especially with a nice bunch of receivers taking some of the load off.  Round 3 to 4.

Sleeper – WR Tavon Austin.  He has the speed and talent, but can he stay on the field and get enough touches?  Round 7.

Bust – QB Case Keenum.  He will be done by week 4 or 5, he is a career backup and LA wants rookie QB Jared Goff in there ASAP.

San Francisco 49ers

Keeper – RB Carlos Hyde.  The 49ers will be one of the worst teams this year.  Hyde is a proven tough RB.  Round 6.

Sleeper – QB Colin Kapernick.  He has too much talent to not come back and be valued.  He is a solid number 2 QB.  You can probably get him very late or on waivers.

Bust – WR Torrey Smith.  You know his name, but he is not worth your game.  Late rounds.

Seattle Seahawks

Keeper – QB Russell Wilson.  The most undervalued QB in fantasy.  He is solid and smart, and he’s poised to become the next Drew Brees.  Round 3 or 4.

Sleeper – TE Jimmy Graham.  He should shake off his unimpressive start in Seattle.  He will be there in late rounds.

Bust – Seahawks Defense.  One of the top 3 D’s taken waaaaay to early.  Again, pick up your Ds as matchups weekly.
Predicted finish – Arizona, Seattle, LA, 49ers

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Keeper – WR Julio Jones.  Even with WR Roddy White gone, Jones is arguably the 2nd WR off the board.  Top 5 first rounds pick.

Sleeper – RB Devonta Freeman.  Not a real sleeper, but RBs value has dropped a lot in Fantasy.  He will see many red zone touches and is a solid fantasy starter.  3rd or 4th round.

Bust – WR Moahamed Sanu.  Sanu was a sneaky pick the last couple years from Cincy, his production will drop.  He will have some highlights throwing the ball as he is used in gadget plays, but other than that stay away.  Waivers

Carolina Panthers

Keeper – QB Cam Newton.  After Aaron Rodgers he will go off the board.  WR Kelvin Benjamin will be back and that helps.  I have a feeling Cam might try to hard this season, so be cautious!  Get a solid No. 2, Phillip Rivers, Big Ben.  He will go round 2.

Sleeper – WR Ted Ginn Jr.  They say he is done or can’t catch every year, but very undervalued.  Round 9 or 10.

Bust – Carolina Defense – So far of the 20 drafts I have done they have been the first D off the board as early as the 5th round.  CB Josh Howard is gone and that will hurt!  Pick your Defense weekly depending on matchups unless you have to in your draft

New Orleans Saints

Keeper – QB Drew Brees.  You hafta to go with Brees, until he falters.  This guy can win you your league.  Round 3.

Sleeper – TE Coby Fleener.  The Saints are hoping Brees can generate some former TE magic with Fleener.  He will be available in late rounds.

Bust – RB Mark Ingram.  This experiment that has lasted too long will be done this year.  Alabama alum Trent Richardson and Ingram will be watching the NFL together on the couch next year.  Take a hard look at C.J. Spiller.  Round 9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Keeper – QB Jameis Winston.  This QB will show the biggest improvement of all NFL QBs.  He has 2 No. 1 WRs to throw to and 2 great RBs.  Pick him up!  He will be available late rounds.

Sleeper(s) – Handcuff the 2 RBs Doug Martin and Charles Sims if you can.  Prediction is Martin could get hurt which makes Sims a must have.  Martin round 4 and Sims 9.

Bust – Tampa TEs – Who are these guys?  The listed number has 24 career rec in 2 years.  The only guy I recognize is University of Iowa product Brandon Myers.  Find a TE somewhere else.

Predicted finish – Atlanta, Carolina,Tampa Bay,New Orleans

NFC Playoffs

Green Bay

Wild Card

Green Bay vs Carolina
Washington vs Atlanta
Atlanta vs Arizona
Green Bay vs Minnesota
NFC Championship
Minnesota vs Arizona
NFC Champ

Stay tuned for more fantasy tips and chatter from me in the coming weeks!

Wayne Hess graduated from high school 26 years ago and since then has been eligible for the NFL Draft and NBA Draft.  He still waits for his call to the majors.  He has filled his time since then teaching, directing and acting in theatre and being a comic book nerd.