ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: What one player, for good or ill, has changed your opinion of him most this postseason?
It isn't really a changed opinion so much as the return (with a vengeance) of one I thought was behind me: Odell Beckham Jr. is a baby, and he's going to have to grow up if he's ever going to be a truly transcendent superstar. Too often this year --mostly early in the season, but then again in the Wild Card game at Green Bay -- he came up tiny on the field and then threw a tantrum off of it. Not good. We all know wide receivers are divas, and of course superstars come in many different flavors, from the bombast of T.O. to the quiet class of Barry Sanders. But unlike with a lot of previous divas, I believe OBJ's current persona is holding him back numberswise. The only other sports figure who strikes me as quite as much of an overgrown little kid is Dwight Howard, and the story of his career will be one of limitless potential that came to not much in the end. There is literally nothing that Beckham can't do on the field, but the question of whether he will live all the way up to his God-given talent is very much unsettled at present.
Eleff hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast, available in the iTunes Store now. He has worked for Fantasy Index off and on all century.
This is going to sound dumb perhaps and I say this as a lifelong Cowboys fan. But while I appreciated and liked Aaron Rodgers during his career, I have come away from these playoffs convinced that perhaps no NFL team is as heavily dependent upon their quarterback as the Packers. Rodgers has simply carried the team. There is no question that without him, the Packers are likely a .500 team but with him they are in the NFC championship.
Dorey is the co-founder and lead NFL analyst for The Huddle and author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. He has projected and predicted every NFL game and player performance since 1997 and has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, radio and television.
Randall Cobb has really opened my eyes. His big games have really shown me that when healthy, he's still a dynamic playmaker for the team and fantasy owners shouldn't shy away from him in their draft next year. That said, he's not likely the top dog there any longer (a healthy Jordy Nelson is), but he's certainly still draftable.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. For more info go to www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle selected Paul Richardson in the second round in 2014, feeling very good about possibly landing a really nice player. It was not his physical measurables that got their attention. At 6-foot and 183 pounds, he’s a little on the small side, and he ran a 4.40 at the combine — faster than most but not a true burner. But they felt like he really knew what he was doing; running really good routes and having solid hands, there was some optimism there was some Marvin Harrison qualities in his game. Richardson didn’t do much in his first two seasons, in part because of injuries, but he sure got my attention in the postseason. He had 3 catches in the Detroit game, and all were of the eye-opening variety. He had another remarkable near-catch late in the Atlanta game — a great effort that was overturned via review. To me, it looks like they have something. I think he’s a lot better than Jermaine Kearse (who I don’t think should even be back) and Tyler Lockett is coming off a broken leg. Doug Baldwin is the No. 1 receiver there, and he’s tough, really smart and super competitive — he’s got the nice rapport with Russell Wilson. But after Baldwin, right now I see little difference between the next three pass catchers in that offense (Jimmy Graham, Lockett and Richardson).
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index. He's been in that role since 1987, generating most of the player rankings and analysis for that publication. His work can be seen in Fantasy Football Index magazine, and also at www.fantasyindex.com.
One player that really stood out to me in the playoffs is Seattle receiver Paul Richardson, which was a continuation of his solid play in Weeks 16 and 17. The former 2nd-rounder showed off his speed and great hands, and perhaps his best days in the NFL are just finally getting started. Over these last four games, Richardson’s full-season pace is a would-be season of 60 receptions, 852 yards and 8 TDs. Richardson also caught 71 percent of his targets over those games and averaged a healthy 14.2 yards per catch. Heading into a contract season, Richardson could be a legitimate deeper sleeper for the 2017 season if he can pass Jermaine Kearse on the depth chart -- which doesn’t sound that daunting.
Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for Dynasty Football Warehouse. DFW is comprehensive site covering dynasty, redraft, IDP and Daily formats. DFW has a large writing crew with many people from the DFW community contributing to the insights and discussion. He is also the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast.
Doug Baldwin was never that high on my radar. I thought his 14 TDs in 2015 were fluky and his 2016 TDs (7) were more normal. Having said this Baldwin's playoff performance (average of 8 catches, 92 yards and a TD per game) opened my eyes to this stud. His statistics (catches and receiving yards) have increased every year since 2012. The chemistry with his QB Wilson can only help his 2017 numbers.
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25 year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He is drafting live in the FFPC in Vegas this year. He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com.
Zach Zenner was solid enough in his lone playoff game that you wonder whether Detroit might not have won the NFC North had they moved him ahead of Dwayne Washington a little sooner. Dion Lewis certainly has shown that he's going to be a guy to strongly consider in drafts next year in his one playoff game. As for as disappointing me, Tyreek Hill comes to mind, through no real fault of his own. Will he ever get enough chances in Kansas City's offense to be a reliable fantasy starter? If he doesn't get double-digit touches in a playoff game when the offense has almost no other playmakers, when will he?
Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.