For me, most boom or bust candidates tend to be players in situations that are new or they don’t have much experience in. These players could either thrive in their new roles or struggle, but I find it is nice to draft 2-3 of them and hope you hit the jackpot rather than just drafting players who we know what we’re going to get from.
Wentz did well last year when he wasn’t trying to do too much, however struggled due to a lack of solid receivers. This year, the Eagles have brought in Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith to help Wentz out. If they are able to gel and work together as a unit Wentz should be able to both throw more touchdowns than last year (16) as well as have less interceptions (14) because he won’t have to force as many tight throws.
Last year Ezekiel Elliott and an incredible offensive line were able to protect Dak from needed to do too much and make many long, difficult throws. However, this year the Cowboys will likely try to let Dak open it up and throw much more than he did last year, especially if Zeke receives a suspension.
Saints Running Backs
This is a staple of this list every year because it seems that every game Sean Payton picks a new favorite running back and we cannot predict who it will be. However, if you pick right you are usually rewarded with an elite performance from your running back.
The human enigma. After gaining a lot of weight, the running back is with a new team and weight loss incentives in his contract. He saw a steep decline in performance in 2015, dropping .5 Y/A, before his injury-shortened semi bounceback season last year. His poor catch percentage last year is something many people will monitor but the flexible backs the Seahawks have should mask that. Whether he can fill in the Marshawn Lynch role for the Seahawks remains to be seen but he seems like a good gamble if he starts seeing first team reps with Thomas Rawls.
Speaking of Lynch, the running back has come back to play for his hometown Raiders. While we don’t know how much Beast Mode has left in the tank, we know he has talents and an offensive line built to mash and push as much as possible. With Derek Carr and Amari Cooper holding defenses, Lynch has the potential to be special.
What will Cooks role be with the Patriots? This is the only real question that will determine his productivity. After seeing his targets decline with the emergence of Michael Thomas in New Orleans last year we don’t know whether he will exclusively be a deep threat burner for Tom Brady or if he will take away from of Julian Edelman’s target and be a constant producer on long, methodical drives.
Meredith showed that he can play last year as he upped his Yards per Catch to 13.5 yards per catch but on a talentless offense with a quarterback who hasn’t started in years there are question son what type of receivers he would like to throw too. However, a good sign is the recent reports that he and quarterback Mike Glennon are developing a strong chemistry, however without much other talent on the offense, teams may be able to focus on him and shut him down.
Jackson has always been a wild card but this year he gets to play alongside Mike Evans and Cameron Brate. After Jameis Winston struggled to find targets last year outside of these two, DeSean Jackson should provide another option for a team that threw deep more than any other team in the league last year. He is an ideal fit for the offense but with other people eating up all the short and midrange targets, he may be dependent on catching a deep ball.
Ertz was the beneficiary of a poor Eagles receiving corps and the ever present truth that young quarterbacks love to throw to their tight ends. Tight ends are a safety blanket that young quarterbacks love to have however Carson Wentz has just been blessed with the gift of an above average receiving corps. However, with the addition of these parts it makes me wonder how many targets will be taken away from Ertz.
The Patriots love their two tight end sets and have been able to capitalize on having a good second tight end, such as the brilliant years that Aaron Hernandez and Martellus Bennet had with the team, to pair with Rob Gronkowski. This should mean that the athletic Allen will put up big numbers, but with Gronk being ever injury prone there are questions as to whether or not Allen can carry out the lead tight end duties that would be required of him. However if Gronk stays healthy, he should be a solid player.