Russell Wilson- Just take a look at his 1st half of the season and second half of the season and that’s all you need to know about Wilson’s upside and downside. When he’s on he’s slinging TD’s left and right and gaining gobs of yards on the ground as well. But his floor isn’t as high as some of the other top tier QB’s. Wilson has never been a guy to throw for a lot of yardage(which is a safety net for some players), so when he throws for 1-2 TD’s and gets shut down on the ground fantasy owners really suffer.
Ben Roethlisberger- When healthy he is an excellent player and has as high an upside as anyone in fantasy football. However when you take a look at Big Ben a little closer he’s more feast or famine than you might think. Last year Big Ben 3 games without a TD pass, 3 games with 1 TD pass, a game with 2TD passes, and the other 5 games he played he had 3+ TD passes. If you take a look at his 2014 season you’ll see similar results. Half of the year in 2014 Ben threw 1 or 0 TD’s. With Le’Veon Bell coming back there is also the possibility that the Steelers throw a little less than they did last year. Injuries to Bell and DeAngelo Williams forced the Steelers to be one dimensional last year. Unlike Wilson, Roethlisberger does put up a lot of yardage to give him a better floor but he is also a boom/bust player.
Derek Carr- Carr burst onto the scene with a much improved sophomore season last year. He established himself, and the Raiders, as a team that would no longer be a doormat/easy win for opponents. While Carr had some big games he also had some growing pains and dud games for fantasy owners in the mix. Carr had two games with no TD’s and three games with just one TD last year. On the plus side he had three games with 3 TD’s and two games with 4 passing TD’s. Carr should look to add more consistency to his game this year and the improved offensive line the Raiders got for him should help.
David Johnson/Thomas Rawls- I’m grouping these guys together because they have the same scenario. With Rawls we are talking about 5 good games and with David Johnson we are talking about 4 good games as the starter. Johnson had a dud game in week 17 against the Seahawks and Rawls had a dud game against the Lions when Lynch was out. The sample size is microscopic but these are two players who are coming off draft boards in the first 3 rounds. Rawls is also coming off a broken ankle into this year which adds some injury concern. Both of these players are very talented and could prove to be great this year but there is risk involved with both of them.
Jeremy Hill- Hill finished as RB #13 last year but was an absolute nightmare to own because of his boom/bust tendencies. Hill was tied for the league lead in rushing TD’s but had less 900 all purpose yards. The next RB with less than 900 all purpose yards by scoring was Jeremy Langford, 10 spots lower. Hill had five games last year where he didn’t score and had less than 50 all purpose yards, yet Hill also had 4 multi TD games last year. To put it this way, Hill scored 9 of his 12 TD’s in four games last year, and his only value came from scoring TD’s. Owning Hill last year was like playing whack-a-mole, hoping he would have a huge game but now knowing when it would happen, and if didn’t happen you’d have a big dud in your box score.
T.Y Hilton- One of the best deep threats in the NFL, Hilton is a known boom/bust player. I’m going to use his 2014-2015 games as a sample size, since most of the games last year he played without Andrew Luck. During those two years Hilton has had 9 games with 100+ yards or multiple TD’s, 4 of those games being 150+ yards(6 in 2014 and 3 in 2015). He has the ability to haul in an 80 yard TD at any time but he can also vanish. In the past 2 years Hilton has had 10 games with 50 or less receiving yards and no TD’s. With Andrew Luck back Hilton looks to have a year more like 2014 than 2015 in 2016.
Sammy Watkins- There’s a lot of hype building on Sammy Watkins right now due how to strongly he finished last year’s season. However Watkins has shown some boom or bust tendencies over his short career. So far in Watkins career he has nine 100+ yard games out of 29 games played,(4 in 2014 and 5 in 2015), one outta three is pretty good. However he also has 13 games in which he had less than 40 receiving yards(9 such games in 2014 and 4 such games in 2014, and he had a TD in only one of these games). I think Watkins is closer to the player we saw at the end of 2015 but he’s shown he’s capable of throwing up some duds as well.
Mike Evans- Evans missed the first two games of last year and then started his 2015 campaign strong with a 100 yard game. From there he was riddled by inconsistency, lack of TD’s and drops. Evans was 10th among receivers in targets last year but only hauled in just over half of those targets for catches. Only T.Y Hilton(see above) and James Jones cracked the top 25 WR’s while having just a 50% catch rate. On the bright side though Evans had 6 100+ yard games last year, and three of those were 150+ yard games. One of his biggest reasons for struggling was his measly three TD’s last year. Which is weird considering he had 12 TD’s as a rookie, including three multi TD games. Evans will surely try to make his big play ability more consistent this year and get over his drops.
Tyler Eifert- Eifert was tied with Baldwin for the player who had the most reliance on TD’s last year. Eifert scored a lot, but his yardage was pretty low for a good fantasy player. He was one of two W/R/T who finished top 10 in his position with less than 700 yards, the other was Richard Rodgers who was TE #9. He had only 3 games with 60+ yards, and only 5 games of 50+ yards. Eifert is a red zone monster and I expect him to gobble up TD’s again, but if he can’t haul down a TD he’s going to be a bust for that week.