It’s already been a tough preseason for some fantasy football notables.
Within the span of ten days owners were no longer able to depend on the services of Jordy Nelson and Kelvin Benjamin; and within the span of four days owners very nearly lost Mike Evans and Randall Cobb.
Such is the nature of the real life NFL.
But as quickly as stars are out, others emerge just as quickly. So let me help point out a few that could help reap fantasy gold for you while your regulars recover or serve out suspensions.
Jeff Janis, WR, Green Bay Packers
I know everyone has settled on Davante Adams being their guy in Green Bay’s passing game and I have no problem with that. What I want you to know is that Jeff Janis is the real deal. Like, a REALLY big real deal.
Rotoviz did a great piece on Janis before the 2014 NFL Draft that showed who he compared favorably to based on the combine. Among those names: Jordy Nelson, Jordan Matthews, and…Julio Jones. Now Janis is not Julio Jones, but he has a few more physical gifts than the others and has landed in an offense that will benefit him tremendously. He’s still a relative secret so draft him late and stash him until he, inevitably, breaks out.
Ty Montgomery, WR, Green Bay Packers
Another intriguing Packers receiver is Montgomery.
Drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Stanford, he’s so far silenced critics of his game with a solid preseason (four catches, 99 yards). Like Janis he’s a big target for Rodgers and could be huge in the red zone. The Packers like him in the return game, but if he continues his progress could be the third or fourth option in an offense that rewards that spot.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos
C.J. Anderson is the top back on Denver’s depth chart, but the most impressive back has been Ronnie Hillman. So much so that Gary Kubiak has him listed as the number two back on the teams depth chart.
There are already whispers of a 1A/1B scenario in Denver, and should Anderson falter even a little don’t be surprised if Hillman takes the job and doesn’t give it back. I mention Hillman because instead of wasting energy on the situation in Houston, this could be a much better opportunity for you to focus on during your draft.
Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
With the recent suspension of offseason sleeper darling Martavis Bryant for four games, you may want to take a look at Markus Wheaton. He has been a good option as the second receiver in Pittsburgh this preseason (four catches, 62 yards, TD) and Roethlisberger has already spoken highly of him this offseason.
Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers
I know there is ongoing debate on where elite tight end production falls in draft day decisions and that isn’t something I care to debate here. I would like to remind everyone that Antonio Gates, a top-7 tight end for over a decade, will miss the first four games due to suspension and his understudy is a physical beast that could reap serious statistical rewards.
Green has everything in place to cement his spot going forward and impact all fantasy rosters. Save a spot late in your draft for him if you’re looking to take a chance.
Did I miss someone? Follow me on Twitter @DACubbage to let me know your best fantasy football “Names to Know” as well as for more opinions about life, sports, and the art of Wang Chung.