My weekly DraftKings article focuses on the site’s primary slate, which consists of Sunday games starting at 1:00 p.m. ET or later — no Thursday games, no London games and no MNF. But I usually still touch on the extended-slate contests, offering some words of advice, if not flat-out recommendations. Anyway, my article won’t be finished in time for Thursday’s kickoff, so here are some quick thought’s regarding the annual Jags-Titans TNF classic:
Undeterred by an ankle injury that required January surgery, the Steelers signed Ladarius Green to a four-year, $20 million contract in March, representing a rare splash in the free-agent market for a perpetually cap-strapped franchise that had just lost long-time starting tight end Heath Miller to retirement. Finally freed from Antonio Gates’ shadow, Green is a phenomenal athlete who has already emerged as a popular 2016 breakout candidate in fantasy circles, with his recovery generally being viewed as a non-issue after he played through the ankle injury for much of last season.
Now that most key free agents have been signed and the draft is complete, we have a few months to overreact to offseason developments before training camp begins and ACLs start to tear.
A happy event for fans, rookies and most teams, the NFL Draft is far more stressful for many of the league’s veterans. We always hear about “winners” and “losers” from a team perspective, but the only clear losers at this point are the players that now face tougher paths to earning roles and/or roster spots.
Just three days prior to the 2016 NFL Draft, the league’s biggest story didn’t involve a rookie, a trade or even a free-agent signing. Instead, the endless deflategate saga moved on to its next chapter, with a federal appeals court overturning the ruling from a lower court that vacated Tom Brady’s suspension back in September.
With Jared Goff and Carson Wentz all but assured of going 1-2 to the Rams and Eagles, we’ve already lost a significant portion of the drama that usually comes along with the NFL Draft.
Fortunately, there are still some interesting storylines to track, as the draft hasn’t really taken shape beyond the top two picks. What’s more, there are still a few teams with unsettled quarterback situations, which could lead to some high-impact trades in the coming days.
Despite all the talk about drafting “for talent over need”, it’s actually quite rare for any team to use a first-round selection to further add to a position of strength. The wiser franchises will de-emphasize positional need as the draft moves to the middle rounds, yet even teams like the Patriots and Packers generally expect their first-rounders to make significant contributions as rookies.