Burning The MLB Fantasy Waiver Wire 4/22/18

We hope everybody is ready because Turning Two Sports is about to hit readers with the next edition of Burning the Wire Major League Baseball. Now about 4 weeks into the regular season, your roster issues are starting to become noticeable. Studs are flopping and getting injured but there are a handful of potential gems sitting out on your wire just ready to be scooped up for the hot summer run.

Let’s Burn the Wire.

Catcher

Kurt Suzuki – This is not the Kurt Suzuki you remember from the Minnesota Twins. This Kurt Suzuki has completely revamped his swing and the results are stellar. His walk rate is up to 12% (career 6.3%), his K-rate is down to 2% (career 12.6%), and his BABIP is right on tracks with his career norm (.263). the ungodly 6.00 BB/K ratio is a bit unsustainable, but Suzuki’s start cannot be ignored. There is sleeper top 5 catcher potential here at a position starved for relevancy.

First Baseman

Eric Thames – Across the industry people were down on Thames heading into the 2018 season, which saw his ADP plummet to around #200 overall. Once teams saw how crowded this Brewers lineup is, it got worse. However, Domingo Santana has struggled, Christian Yelich is on the DL, and Ryan Braun’s name has surfaced in trade talks in addition to him having his own injury concerns. While Thames will continue to struggle, and probably sit against many lefties, his power potential makes him a perfect bench player for any deep fantasy baseball league. His raw power is matched by very few. He’s off to a cool 1.012 OPS with 7 homers. Had the Brewers been getting on base, Thames’ numbers would be comparable to the red hot start of Matt Davidson, though I vastly prefer Thames.

Joe Mauer – Nobody is going to go to the waiver wire and get excited about seeing Joe Mauer, but you may be one of those teams to either (a) punt first base or (b) own Wil Myers or Anthony Rizzo in a deep league. You could do a whole lot worse than Joe Mauer. You have guys out there that consistently tank your ratios at this position, but Joe Mauer will never hurt you. He’s off to the .364 start at the dish after hitting .305 last year in a full season. He’s almost a guaranteed .300+ hitter but offers almost nothing in the way of power. This drives his ownership way down, but it’s unwarranted. Take the red-headed stepchild who was once the Gary Sanchez of fantasy drafts.

Yuli Gurriel –If he’s still out there, he may be the best first baseman on your wire. Over 139 games in 2017 Gurriell slashed .299/.332/.486 to go with 18 homers and 75 RBI and only 62 strikeouts. That type of proficiency is rare at first base, and given his immensely talented lineup I wouldn’t be leaving Yuli out there on any 12+ team leagues.

Second Baseman

Jed Lowrie – Already with 6 homeruns and 21 RBI in the early going, Lowrie looks like an uber-sleeper in 2018. His wOBA is a blistering .437 so far in 2018, and if you dig a bit deeper you’ll see that more people should’ve been onboard this train. In 2017, Lowrie posted his highest wOBA at a major league level at .347. His walk rate jumped to 11.3% and his strikeout rate lowered to 15.5%, which is very efficient. Even with his hot start in 2018 his strikeout rate is at 18.0%, which is the highest it’s been since 2009. If we assume his strikeout rate will even out in the general 16.2% range that is his career norm, one can expect Lowrie to flirt with a batting average in the .270s as a floor with upper .280s as a ceiling.

Also Consider: Asdrubal Cabrera, Yangervis Solarte, Ben Zobrist, Howie Kendrick

Third Baseman

Jeimer Candelario – Candelario could end up being one of the savvier free agent pickups of the 2018 fantasy season. He is firmly entrenched as the starting third baseman for the Tigers. He does still have his struggles with lefties, but with a .436 wOBA against RHP he looks like a legitimate major league talent at the hot corner. He flashed his potential in limited action last year with a .283 average and a .784 OPS in 127 at bats for the Tigers.

Asdrubal Cabrera – Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of reasons to like Asdrubal. The longtime Indian finds himself in the cleanup spot of the Mets lineup, and also finds himself with 2B, 3B, and SS eligibility. That right there makes him roster worthy in all but the shallowest of leagues. Now off to a .343 start with 4 homers, one might expect we see the 2016 Asdrubal that hit 23 homers and slugged .280 rather than the mediocre (but still valuable) 2017 version that also slugged .280 but had far less power. Given his reliability with batting average, and the fact that he’s hitting cleanup most nights, you can expect Asdrubal to flirt with 80 or more RBI in 2018 after not eclipsing more than 62 in either of the last two seasons on the Mets.

Nick Senzel – With the news that Eugenio Suarez hit the DL, Senzel was promoted to Triple-A and is playing mostly third base for Louisville. This should come as an interesting development for the top prospect. Clearly, the Reds are planning for his promotion to a Major League level, and clearly that will be at third base pending what becomes of Suarez. If you play in a deep league where prospect stashing is at a premium, Senzel just asserted himself to the top of the list.

Also Consider: Yangervis Solarte

Shortstop

Dansby Swanson – Once baseball’s top prospect, Swanson fell out of favor after a lackluster 2017, which is a bit unfair for a 24 year old. He’s shown some great poise in the early going of 2018. Full disclaimer though, his BB% is at an all-time low and the K-rate is still over 20%, so there may be some luck involved. But baseball is a game of streaks, and you have to ride the hot ones. Expect the .352 average to lower and expect some growing pains for the talented youngster, but the long term outlook should remain optimistic.

Yangervis Solarte – the longtime journeyman finds himself in a beneficial spot in the heart of the Toronto batting order in a hitter friendly stadium. He has position eligibility all over the place, and finds himself locked into an everyday role. Solarte is also absolutely mashing righties so far to the tune of a .458 wOBA but still struggles against left handed pitching.

Also Consider: Asdrubal Cabrera

Outfield

Corey Dickerson – Everyone was down on Dickerson heading into the 2018 season, but why? If it was because the Rays outright released him for no reason at all, then shame on us. You are talking about a guy who hit .282 with 27 home runs in 2017, and has hit the ground running with a .313 batting average in the early going on a surprising Pirates squad. The most impressive part of the hot start is the 11.8% k-rate which is by far the lowest of his major league career. It’s less than half of what it was the previous two years (north of 24%). If he keeps this up, what a steal.

Michael Brantley – Brantley is often a forgotten man in the fantasy world, but the only reason why is his inability to stay on the field. Brantley has never been bad, he’s just never healthy. Just take a look at his career numbers of a .293 average and a .773 OPS. The kryptonite is the fact that he’s played 101 games over the last two seasons.

Also Consider: Eric Thames, Howie Kendrick

Starting Pitcher

Bartolo Colon – Don’t laugh, you could do so much worse. Will Colon keep up his 1.45 ERA and under 1 BB/9 all season? Probably not. But the 2.33 FIP is nothing to sneeze at. He does have an 86.2 Left on Base percentage, which is not very nice. I’m not advocating you add Bartolo and hold him for the remainder of the year. I am advocating that you should add this guy and use him until the wheels fall off. Maybe you can even sell high.

Joey Lucchesi – One guy I would not sell high on is Joey Lucchesi. As a prospect, Lucchesi was severely undervalued due to his lack of firepower in his pitches. One metric you can’t measure is success, and that is something Lucchesi has had at all levels. His BB/9 is under two, and his career normal suggest it would be just over two. His LOB% doesn’t raise any red flags, and his FIP is astounding at 1.98 with a .296 BABIP. There will be inevitable correction, but pitching in San Diego usually benefits pitchers greatly.

Other Considerations: Reynaldo Lopez, Chad Bettis

Relief Pitcher

Chris Devenski – Ken Giles has really struggled for most of his Astros career. He hasn’t become the front-end closer you expected him to become in the Phillies system. This has opened the door for Devenski to claim his stake as the team’s closer, and it’s well deserved. Devenski has been an elite bullpen arm for a number of years now, and it’s coming together now. Hitters just can’t catch up to him. He doesn’t walk batters, he’s consistently around a 40% ground ball rate, and his FIP is a masterful 2.80 so far in 2018 with a BABIP of .263.

Josh Hader – Josh Hader might win the 2018 Man Crush Award from Turning Two Sports. This kid is absolutely filthy. His K/9 is an astounding 19.29, as he has 25 strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched. If you are looking for the next Wade Davis, Dellin Betances, or Andrew Miller, this might be your guy. Just keep in mind he may eventually move to the rotation at some point, but don’t let that deter you. Hader is here to stay.

Nate Jones – Nate Jones is a speculative add given Soria’s struggles combined with Jones receiving the last save opportunity, which he converted. The White Sox may not win many games in 2018, but when they do I’d hedge on Nate Jones receiving the majority of the save chances. He’s a vastly superior pitcher to Soria.

Fantasy Value Targets: Golladay & Dixon

Mike Wallace, Contributor

This is continuation of valuable fantasy targets I will be keeping my eye on as the 2018 season approaches. This group goes into guys a little deeper. Some of these guys have less of a chance of paying off, but there is something interesting I see in each of them.

Check out the first article in the series: Trubisky, Burton, & Albert Wilson

Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions WR

Golladay started the season with a bang; he followed it up with some disappointing performances before missing some time due to injury. I am not basing this on a single good performance to start the year. If you look at the last 5 games for the Lions Golladay played at least 76% of offensive snaps every game. He topped 85% in 3 of the last 4 games of the season. The Lions worked him back into the lineup and the trend should continue in 2018. Golladay is a talented young WR and will provide a big target that could be useful in the red zone, which the team will need with Ebron no longer on the team. With Tate being effective in the short to intermediate passing game, there is a spot for Golladay to start opposite Marvin Jones. Golladay will likely not see the top CB from opposing defenses and he showed the ability to break a big play at times last year.

Golladay will see increase in his work load and in red zone targets. He should be a value after people seemed to expect more out of his rookie season. As the season goes along I think plenty of teams will be happy to have him as a Flex.

Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens RB

Last year Alex Collins was a breakout in Baltimore, but they only turned to him when they had to. It is unclear how invested the team is in him. Terrance West feels like a replacement level RB, there is nothing special about him. There is an opportunity for Kenneth Dixon to carve out a significant role in this backfield if he stays on the field. Some people have forgotten the hype around Dixon when he entered the league, but he is talent and is still only 24. In 2016 he showed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well as had better yards per carry numbers than West that season. If Dixon is able to prove himself to the Baltimore coaching staff he should at least push himself into a timeshare with Collins.

Dixon has a wide variety of outcomes, but I believe in his talent. Outside of injury I think the most likely case is Dixon adding value as part of a committee with Collins that will catch more passes. If he becomes the lead guy he could win people their leagues.

Week 3 Weekly Wrap Up

John Aurora, Contributor

Top Performer

Blake Snell, SP

Last week I wrote that Blake Snell was my streamer of the week Snell exceeded my expectations and validated my pick posting a 2-0 record, 1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 19 K! Although this came against mediocre teams, this type of production is what we expect of Snell, especially the high K rate. He did have a game with 5 walks, but followed it up with 0 walks the next game. Expect Snell to be inconsistent at times, but should be owned universally as he can produce stud numbers with favorable matchups.

Worst Performer
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B

Encarnacion has been as cold as Cleveland, Ohio over the last week. He has only 1 hit over his last 21 at-bats and is hitting .146 overall (you trying hitting in frigid Cleveland). Encarnacion historically starts off slow as he has not hit above .250 since 2012. Yes father time will catch up to him at some point, but I don’t think this will be the season as he will be a sure bet for another 30/100 campaign. Expect him to turn it up as the weather warms up, so buy low if you can.

Waiver Wire Pickups (<50% owned in ESPN leagues)
1. Nick Pivetta, SP (38.9% owned)

Coming off a rocky first season, Pivetta has rebounded nicely posting a solid 1-0, 2.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 19 K. Great things happen when walks aren’t issued as he has only walked 2 players in 16.2 innings this year, which is very different from 2017 where he walked 3.9 players per 9 innings. Don’t expect Pivetta to go too deep in games as Kapler has notoriously been pulling his pitchers early, which will ultimately limit his wins upside. Overall, Pivetta is my top pickup this week due to his strikeout potential, solid ratios, and great upcoming matchups.

2. Mallex Smith, OF (15.5% owned)

If there is one player I’m excited about watching this week it’s Mallex Smith. Kevin Kiermaier will be out 2-3 months, so this is Smith’s chance to showcase his skills. Despite Smith hitting 9th, he’s been hitting a blistering .409 to start the year. Expect Smith’s average to regress to his career .270, but I’m more interested to see how many bases he steals in Tampa Bay’s lackluster offense. He can be the sparkplug they need, so be ready to buy if Smith begins getting the green light.

3. Albert Pujols, DH (48.9% owned)

An oldie-but-goodie, Pujols is still producing in a rejuvenated Angels lineup. Pujols quietly hit 23 homers and 101 RBIs in 2017, and has started the year well batting .282-3 HR-9 RBI-8 R. In addition, he is already half way to first base eligibility, which is a bonus given that first base is rather shallow this year. Expect Pujols to maintain a low batting average this year, likely in the .240 range; however, he’ll once again be a sleeper for producing power numbers.

4. Jose Pirela, OF (42.9% owned)

Ah I remember the days when Yankees fans thought Pirela would be a seamless replacement for Robinson Cano in 2014. Even Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, said Pirela was the best hitter in the Yankees System. Four years after his debut and now in his third season with the Padres, Pirela has looked good batting .308 with 10 RBIs, 12 runs, and 2 stolen bases. Pirela can be a good source of runs scored, especially with Wil Myers coming back to give the offense a huge boost. For now Pirela, is a good option for an owner in need of a DL replacement.

5. Keynan Middleton, RP (41.9% owned)

Fantasy baseball Rule #1: don’t pay for saves. Every year players from nowhere take over the closer position at some point in the season and can go on to be a top 10 closer. Middleton may be that player as gone 4 for 4 in save opportunities for the hot Angels. I’m not convinced yet that Middleton can be a breakout as his control has been shaky, especially the last couple outings. If you’re in need of saves scoop up Middleton, as he soars up the closer rankings.

2nd Round NFL Mock Draft

Edited by Matt Hicks

The Top 2 Sports Crew did a live 2nd Round NFL Mock Draft Live on Top2Pod. Below is every pick we made, with descriptions for some of them. To hear why we made each of the picks listen to the 2nd Round NFL Mock Draft Episode.

This mock draft is based one which players were available following our first round mock draft. That can be found here

33. Cleveland Browns Arden Key, Defensive End, LSU

Key (6’6”, 238 pounds) has a high ceiling as an edge rusher in the NFL. He has great size and has shown the ability early in his college career to consistently fool defenders and get to the quarterback. Key, however, had his worst collegiate season in 2017, took an absence from the team, and had shoulder surgery. If Key does meet his potential, he makes a lethal bookend with Myles Garrett on what is becoming one of the youngest and most dynamic defenses in the league.

34. New York Giants Nick Chubb, Running Back, Georgia

Chubb was a highly recruited prospect out of high school and lived up to that hype at Georgia; rushing for 1,547 yards and 14 touchdowns on 219 carries. His sophomore campaign featured 747 yards and 7 touchdowns in 6 starts until he had the seemingly career altering and gruesome injury in front of a horrified crowd in Neyland stadium. Chubb, however, bounced back in his senior season and excelled at the combine; running a 4.52 40-yard dash, 38.5 in vertical, and 29 reps on the bench press. Chubb has the skills and explosiveness to power through NFL defenses as a three down back that fits everything the Giants look for in a lead running back.

35. Cleveland Browns Ronnie Harrison, Safety, Alabama

36. Indianapolis Colts WR D.J. Moore, Maryland

D.J. Moore will likely come off the board earlier than 36; but he slides in our mock draft. That makes the Colts very happy as they get the 6’0” 210 pounds 2017 Big 10 receiver of the year. Moore has great speed (4.42 40-yard dash) that allows him to get open down the field and has the ability to play as a possession receiver (40% target rate at Maryland). Moore compliments TY in an offense that can be rebooted this season with the addition of Moore, a healthy Luck, and Ebron operating outside of Doyle.

37. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ) Isaiah Wynn, Guard, Georgia

38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Taven Bryan, Defensive Tackle, Florida

Taven Bryan excelled in Florida’s standout defense in 2017; recording 40 tackles and 4 sacks against dynamic SEC offenses. Bryan, however, decided to leave after his junior season; leaving him with only has one season of significant playtime. Still, the 6’4” 291 defensive lineman has great athleticism and speed that makes him a viable option both as a defensive tackle and end. Bryan compliments JPP and Bradley Chubb (who we had Tampa Bay taking in the first round) to create a defensive foundation for Tampa Bay to build a comeback season upon.

39. Chicago Bears Rasheem Green, Defensive End, USC

40. Denver Broncos Carlton Davis, Corner Back, Auburn

41. Oakland Raiders Mike Hughes, Corner Back, UCF

42. Miami Dolphins Mike Gesicki, Tight End, Penn State

43. New England Patriots (from SF) Mason Rudolph, Quarter Back, Oklahoma State

Rudolph, the seemingly forgotten quarterback, is the last of the top tier quarterbacks in this draft class. Rudolph is a prototypical pocket passer who has the ability to manage an offense and sling the ball down the field. Rudolph is underdeveloped but could learn well from a few years behind Brady. His fits the mold of the Patriots offense and could make the transition from Brady seemingly seamless when it’s finally time for TB12 to hang it up.

44. Washington Redskins Billy Price, Guard, Ohio State

45. Green Bay Packers Equanimeous St. Brown, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

This our favorite draft pick from the second round. St. Brown has explosive speed and his size could make him an absolutely devasting deep field threat on the opposite side of Adams. Green Bay is a perfect landing spot for St. Brown, who was desperately underutilized at Notre Dame.

46. Cincinnati Bengals Will Hernandez, Guard, UTEP
47. Arizona Cardinals Christian Kirk, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
48. Los Angeles Chargers Justin Reid, Safety, Stanford
49. Indianapolis Colts (from SEA) Isaiah Oliver, Corner Back, Colorado
50. Dallas Cowboys Hayden Hurst, Tight End, USC
51. Detroit Lions Kalen Ballage, Running Back, Arizona State

This is the surprise pick of the second round, with Detroit making a bold move to fill their running back void. Ballage has a very high ceiling: the 6’1” 227 pounds running back has great size and surprising speed (4.46 40-yard dash). Ballage scored 15 touchdowns in his junior year and totaled 1005 rushing yards on 170 touches. Still Ballage underperformed overall on a weak Arizona State offense and has failed to consistently use his size effectively. Ballage likely doesn’t equate to a three down back in the NFL but could compliment Blount well in Detroit.

52. Baltimore Ravens James Washington, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State

53. Buffalo Bills Braden Smith, Guard, Auburn

54. Kansas City Chiefs Lorenzo Carter, Outside Linebacker, Georgia

55. Carolina Panthers Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Ohio State
Hubbard excelled as a replacement for Joey Bosa in an Ohio State defense that frustrated Big 10 offenses; in 2017 Bosa has 13.5 tackles for a loss and 7 sacks. Bosa doesn’t stand out athletically compared to the other defensive ends in this class but works hard to be a playmaker on defense and possess a level of football knowledge that could make him a captain down the road in his NFL career. Hubbard is a nice defensive pick to balance the Courtland Sutton pick we gave Carolina in the first round.

56. Buffalo Bills (from LAR) Anthony Miller, Wide Receiver, Memphis

57. Tennessee Titans Darius Leonard, Inside Linebacker, South Carolina State

58. Atlanta Falcons Harrison Phillips, Defensive Tackle, Stanford

59. San Francisco 49ers (from NO) Donte Jackson, Cornerback, LSU

60. Pittsburgh Steelers Ronald Jones, Running Back, USC

Opinions of Jones differ widely, and he falls farther than likely in our draft. Pittsburgh seems intent on letting Bell know they’re serious about not playing him; and drafting the 5’11” 200 pounds in between the tackles runner will send the message. Jones fits well as a back that can come in and produce in the lead role immediately if Bell decides to hold out.

61. Jacksonville Jaguars Kolton Miller, Offensive Tackle, UCLA

Miller (6’9”, 310) has the size to dominate as an offensive tackle in the NFL. Miller is also surprisingly athletic for his size, however, he lacks consistently disciplined technique. Miller fits Jacksonville’s need to protect and support Blake Bortles. Miller has great upside this late in the draft, and very well could go earlier in the second.

62. Minnesota Vikings Martinas Rankin, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State

63. New England Patriots Shaquem Griffin, Outside Linebacker, UCF

64. Philadelphia Eagles Troy Fumagalli, Tight End, Wisconsin

Rookie Spotlight: Kalen Ballage

Josh Padgett, Contributor 

This short article is the sixth in a growing series of guys that I am going to be higher on than most.  I will discuss some of the combine measurements, some of the tape, and just give an overall prognosis of what I am hoping for from these guys, and of course, where I am looking to take them in a rookie draft.

Time for my favorite player in this class:

Kalen Ballage is a ridiculous athlete.  He makes plays that make you say “wow” every game.  The production in college is not what you would hope for.  His best (junior) season yardage wise was 1005 yards from scrimmage on 170 touches.  He scored 15 touchdowns that year but a whopping 8(!) of them came in one freaking game.  While this is super awesome to watch and dream about, it does not bode well for him consistency wise.  

Watching Ballage, I see so much to love though. He has great hands out of the backfield, which is uncommon for a back his size.  He came in at 6’1”, 227 lbs at the combine, and at that formidable size, he also proceeded to run a 4.46 second 40. That is a really fast for a guy that big.  Not only is he fast, but he is quick and can change directions on a dime. Ballage is a playmaker, plain and simple. That is what he will need to hang his hat on early in his career, hitting home runs.  He is by no means a perfect prospect. He goes down on first contact far too often and struggles with vision at times. His desire to make big plays can get him into trouble and lead to negative plays. His efficiency certainly wasn’t what you want to see from a top flite college runner.

 I will explain away the lack of efficiency because of the terrible scheme he played in though. The offense was not designed to play to his strengths or utilize his considerable talents in my opinion. The potential ceiling of Ballage far outweighs the lack of efficiency and production in college or likely lower NFL draft position it will cause for him.  He is too talented not to get his shot at the next level. His pass catching chops will give him plenty of sticking ability and a pretty safe floor in almost any situation. Give him a crack at the three down role, and I think he can blow some people away. High ceiling and a pretty safe floor should make him attractive to anybody, but for some reason I see him going in the third round of most fantasy drafts.  

I will own a ton of Ballage because I will grab him as early as 1.10 or 1.11 based on how many other Ballage truthers are in my leagues. Call me crazy, but like I said to start out, this is my guy. If you are looking for a Kamara level breakout star and are ready to roll the dice, Ballage is absolutely the pick.

Like this spotlight? See Josh’s other spotlights this off-season, including:

Bo Scarbrough

Deon Cain

Equanimeous St. Brown

Mark Walton

Deontay Burnett

Fantasy Value Targets: Trubisky, Wilson, Burton

Mike Wallace, Contributor 

Adding a player from the waiver wire after they breakout is a great feeling for a fantasy football owner. Even better is when that player breaks out and he is already on your roster. Here are a few players I think have potential to be fantasy values if things go the right way. I am keeping an eye on all these players this off-season to see how things develop. This article will focus players who are expected to be in the second half of drafts or do undrafted.

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears QB

There are strong parallels between Jared Goff last year and Mitchell Trubisky going into this year. Both were the first QB drafted and neither looked great in their first season. In 2017, the Bears had a boring and predicable offense without reliable options in the passing game.

This off-season they looked to fix a lot of those problems, getting rid of the simple and outdated system of John Fox to replace him with the offensive minded Matt Nagy. Nagy comes from Kansas City where Andy Reid actually trusted him to call plays on offense. Nagy will work to put the players in the Bears’ offense in position to succeed. I expect him to be less predictable and to use Tarik Cohen more effectively to create mismatches in the passing game, which will help Trubisky.

The Bears also made a point to improve their receiving weapons this offseason by adding Allen Robinson and Trey Burton. They represent a major upgrade for an offense that was lead in targets by Kendall Wright in 2017. Trubisky is not going to be drafted as a started, but he is a great target as a QB2 with upside if you are willing to carry a 2nd QB. I am excited for the breakout in 2018.

2018 Outlook:

A good target if you are waiting on QB in the 2018, he has a good change to push his way into a low end QB1.

Trey Burton, Chicago Bears TE

Moving on to a new teammate of Trubisky, here is the TE I’m targeting in my 2018 drafts. After seeing him step up when Zach Ertz missed time, Burton was the player I was most excited to see their landing spot this off-season. He landed on the Bears where Matt Nagy said he plans to use him in the role Kelce plays for the Chiefs. I expect him to be focal part of the offense and be where Trubisky is looking to go with the ball often. There is not a large sample size for Burton, but when he did step in the offense did not seem to a miss a beat. He passes the eye test and now that the featured role is his, he will shine.

My biggest worry with him is that he starts to rise up too many people’s rankings and loses value as his draft price gets too high. There is some risk if Trubisky does not take the next step, but that would create a biggest issue for Robinson’s value on the outside than it would for Burton.

2018 Outlook:

I expect Burton to finish within the top 8 at TE. He is the name on this list I feel the most comfortable with, I would draft him as my started unless something changes between now and September.

Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins WR

The Dolphins traded away Jarvis Landry, who over the last three years was a target monster for the Dolphins. He topped 160 targets and 100 receptions in 2015 and 2017 as their slot WR. The Dolphins are going to need to fill that role this year and they brought in Wilson along with Danny Amendola. Some people think Amendola is going to be the beneficiary, but if the Dolphins try to give him anywhere near the 10 targets a game Landry was getting he will be lucky to make in through 2 games with his injury history. There is a chance they split time in the slot, but Wilson is the younger player the Dolphins committed more to financially. He has a very good chance to see a more significant role in 2018. If he becomes the go to target for Tannehill (or anyone else starting games for Miami) he will be very valuable especially in leagues with any PPR scoring.

2018 Outlook:

A potential steal that could end up as a high end WR2 in PPR leagues if he sees the volume.