Fantasy Football 2016: Stop Overvaluing Rookies and Some Preseason Week 1 Thoughts

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Cowboys’ rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott may well turn out to be a solid performer in Fantasy Football, but stop trying to sell him like a proven commodity. (Jon Durr/Getty Images)

The 2016 NFL season has begun and, despite me doing an awesome podcast (which you should all subscribe to and review here), I will in fact be doing fantasy football writing this year.

I know, you’re welcome.

Last season was the most fun (and frustrating) season of fantasy football I’ve ever been a part of. Mostly because a lot of things happened that you never anticipate despite them being a possibility all the time. I’m not going to tell you how to avoid those things after one week of preseason. I’m sorry (not really), but that’s not what I do because it’s pointless. And while most of my analysis will have dynasty/keeper feel to it, it works in standard leagues too; and I’m here to put you in the best position to win your league and if that’s what you’re interested in we can get on with it.

Still with me? I figured you would be.

First Item on the 2016 agenda: Stop overvaluing your rookies. Seriously, stop it. No one likes that guy who tries to convince you that Sterling Shepard is equivalent to Dez Bryant. Conversely, everyone laughs at the guy who thinks a package of rookies is worth a top-10 receiver. That’s not how this works, that’s not what is going to happen. Not here, not even abroad where they use the metric system. So I don’t care if you have a trade calculator, a player profiler, or a crystal ball for a head, I’m going to school you on why you’re wrong about your rookie.

Now I get it, you’re all excited for the occasional Odell Beckham, Jr. or Todd Gurley (this year Ezekiel Elliott is the flavor of choice), I get that; but why on earth  would anyone trade a proven commodity for an unknown whose only professional action has come on the practice fields in a state that team doesn’t even play in? My top-5 rookies in 2016 are (and this is my list so whatever with your ranking): Elliott, Sterling Shepard, Tyler Boyd, Paul Perkins and Devontae Booker. None of them, today, are worth a top-10 player at any position. That includes Elliott. Could this change two months from today? Sure! But it’s August, so stop being that guy.

Preseason Week 1 Notes:

  • It took me all of one series to realize that Blaine Gabbert is the answer to nothing more than trivia questions in San Francisco. He was atrocious, inaccurate, and proved to be over matched despite what analysts say.
  • Staying on the same side of the Bay (Ohhh yes he did!), did anyone catch how the Raiders looked? Reggie McKenzie turned this team from a joke to one of the most talented young teams in the NFL. Loads of fantasy potential on this roster.
  •  There are two things I want all in on for 2016: Marcus Mariota and Tajae Sharpe. I lied there are more players I want than that but my point remains the same. They’re going to be a pair to keep in the back of your mind.
  • I think the criminal overlookingazation (it’s a word now) of Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, and Doug Martin should stop now.

Follow me on Twitter @DACubbage or Instagram @adamcubbage. Subscribe to my podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

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