After the season ends, there are always tons of players that get completely forgotten about heading into the next year. These are players who either struggled with injuries or were just in a bad situation. Many fantasy football players will remember the players who were hot at the end as well as the players who put up big numbers through 16 games. This leaves us with this list of players that they will not think about heading into their drafts in the summer.
Cam Newton, QB – Carolina Panthers
Last year, Cam was the unanimous QB1 on just about every single ranking that came out. His 2015 run where he took the Panthers to the Super Bowl was unbelievable and his stock was at an all-time high. He had a down year in 2016, that is obvious, but when you take a look at his stats from the past two seasons, the only difference is his touchdown numbers. He played one less game last season and had very similar numbers in terms of yards with about 300 less this year. Touchdowns, on the other hand, dropped dramatically by a total of 21 (16 less passing and 5 les rushing).
If these numbers come up at all, which I think they will, he will be right back to where he was. The Panthers have been busy in free agency as well bringing in protection with Matt Kalil at LT and two more weapons with Charles Johnson and Russell Shepard. I know these WR’s are not huge names, but they are enough to go along with Benjamin and Olsen. I will not be forgetting about Cam.
Todd Gurley, RB – Los Angeles Rams
What if I told you heading into your draft that Todd Gurley would play all 16 games, but would fail to have a 100-yard rushing game? That his longest run of the season would be 24 yards? I think just about everyone would laugh in my face. On the other hand, Gurley did step up in the passing game. He totaled 43 receptions on the season and had nine games with three or more catches. I think his problem was just the situation he was in.
The Rams were really never up in any of their games and had no passing offense. With offensive-minded Sean McVay coming into town from Washington, I think this gives Gurley new life. If he could get Rob Kelley to produce RB1 numbers, he should have no problem reviving Gurley. I know he won’t be a first round pick like he was last year, but I think he has the opportunity to have a nice bounce-back season in 2017.
Keenan Allen, WR – San Diego Chargers
When are we finally going to just give up on him? He has so much talent and has put up huge numbers, but just cannot find a way to stay on the field. Keenan Allen was my 13th ranked wide receiver heading into last season and I wouldn’t change that if I could. He ended up getting hurt in his first game out and didn’t even make it to the second half. He was going up against the Chiefs tough defense and still posted 6-63 in just ONE-HALF OF FOOTBALL. He burned everyone that drafted him and many of his previous owners will fade him just because of that. This will make him easily forgotten in the fantasy world. If he can come back from this injury, I have no problem going right back to him.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR – Houston Texans
What happened to DeAndre Hopkins? He was drafted in first round of just about every single draft last season and did not perform to the level people expected him too. I think he is in a very similar spot that Todd Gurley is in when talking about where they will be ranked heading into next season. Hopkins finished the year with 78 receptions on 150 targets. I think his biggest problem was the inconsistency that he saw at the quarterback position throughout the year.
I’m not saying that Tom Savage or any other replacement they get will be better than Osweiler, but I don’t think it can hurt what Hopkins will be able to do. Hopkins and Osweiler could never really get into a groove and I think a change of scenery at QB will be good for Hopkins to get back into his 2015 self. Many people will drop Hopkins down in the rankings much further than they should and this could be a big mistake.
Kyle Rudolph, TE – Minnesota Vikings
I know it’s very early, but I think I will take the same approach to drafting tight ends as I did last year. We saw last season that every top tight end was pretty much a waste. I mean, Dennis Pitta led the position in receptions and wasn’t even the Ravens top TE on the depth chart entering the 2016 season. I expect Rudolph to be a very consistent option next year with a full offseason under OC Pat Shurmur. He got thrown into the spot for the week nine game against the Lions. If you take that game out (since he had less than a week to prepare), Rudolph’s stats under Shurmur were very consistent.
In the last eight games, Rudolph had 51 catches on 75 targets. He also only had less than eight targets in a game (AZ) one time in these last eight weeks. He had a very quiet season, but this consistency let to a top five finish for him in all of the major stat categories (receptions, yards, touchdowns, and targets). With the TE position as inconsistent as it always is, this short passing game in Minnesota is a fantasy goldmine in PPR’s