Football season is nearing.
We saw live football last weekend with the Baltimore Ravens facing Chicago in Canton, Ohio for the Hall of Fame game.
Training camps are well and truly underway and pre-season games will soon follow.
Meaning one thing; your fantasy football season has begun!
Your draft is likely upcoming and you do have a few weeks before you need to set your roster for week one but any Fantasy Football coach worth their salt knows you can never do too many mock drafts and you can never read, listen or watch too much FF!
Some players will pick themselves but here are the 10 players I have my eye on leading into the new season.
DAVID JOHNSON (RB, Arizona)
There is little we don’t know about Johnson’s capability on a football field. He was a blockbuster from the get-go and it took a serious season-ending wrist injury to derail a historical beginning to his career.
The last time Johnson played, his team, Arizona, was an offensive machine. Now they’re a minefield with a top rookie aiming to take the starting job from an often-injured veteran, Sam Bradford.
From a fantasy perspective, Bradford is the guy you want starting as a DJ31 owner. He’s safe with the ball and very accurate because he’s a big fan of underneath throws – making Johnson a viable and exciting proposition in the receiving game. We already know Johnson can catch and score, the only downside would be game scripts should the Cardinals begin to struggle throughout the season and his rushing attempts dip as a result.
KELVIN BENJAMIN (WR, Buffalo)
Like DJ31, Benjamin began his career with a bang as a favourite of Cam Newton in the passing game, particularly on deep shots and big third downs.
A torn ACL ruined his sophomore season and questions about his conditioning arose when he entered training camp reportedly overweight.
Benjamin’s 2017 campaign ended with only 48 catches and a miserly three touchdowns.
On face value, his stock looks extremely low but there’s a chance he’s worth reaching for should either QB AJ McCarron or Josh Allen begin to excel.
LeSean McCoy is facing a suspension, Corey Coleman just arrived in town from Cleveland and there’s little else of note from a receiving viewpoint.
Targets should be no issue for the former Florida State star and we know he can make all the catches thanks to his 6-5″ frame.
JOE MIXON (RB, Cincinnati)
With primary running back Jeremy Hill gone, Joe Mixon looms as the main man in Cincinnati for a team yearning for an offensive option not named AJ Green.
Giovani Bernard is talented and makes plays but Mixon has shown the ability to be a consistent every down performer.
Mixon is staring at potentially 300 carries and whilst the Bengals will remain keen to involve Bernard in the offence, Mixon will receive almost all goal line work.
ALLEN HURNS (WR, Dallas)
In Jacksonville, Hurns was always behind Allen Robinson in the receiving corps as well as having the inconsistent Blake Bortles as his distributer.
Hurns has immense talent and lands in Dallas on a team needing new receiving options. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are gone, meaning 132 receptions are now available.
Defenders will load the box to stop Ezekiel Elliott from owning the game which will provide Hurns with consistent one-on-one match-ups. He’s a tasty late-round option with upside.
JIMMY GRAHAM (TE, Green Bay)
Once upon a time, Graham was a borderline top 10 overall selection in most FF drafts.
Departing the Saints offensive-oriented system and joining a run-heavy Seahawks squad hurt Graham’s productivity plus a torn patella tendon made life tough for the former basketball player.
Now, he begins life as a Packer with a quarterback who can make any throw and loves to whizz the ball around the place.
Alongside DaVante Adams, Graham could quickly become Rodgers’ No. 1 red zone target and will be a big factor on big passing downs.
DESHAUN WATSON (QB, Houston)
As a rookie, Watson was incredible. He outperformed everyone’s expectations, except Clemson coach Dabo Swinney who suggested Watson would be the next Michael Jordan.
In Watson’s seven games as a rookie, he amassed 19 TD’s and ran for another couple including a game-sealer on a Monday Night against Cincinnati.
He and superstar wideout DeAndre Hopkins have obvious chemistry and the Texans looked like a Super Bowl contender with a healthy, deadly Watson in charge.
JAY AJAYI (RB, Philadelphia)
I’ll always have a soft spot for ‘The Jay Train’ after his epic run of form when playing for Miami a couple of seasons back.
In 2016, Ajayi burst onto the scene in a home game against Pittsburgh when he totalled 204 rush yards and a pair of scores.
He followed that up with 214 yards the very next week against the Bills as well as torching that same Bills squad in week 16 with 206 more yards.
He lobbed on a squad well on its way towards a ring and enters this season as its clearcut No. 1 back. He could get close to 18-20 touches weekly.
DERRICK HENRY (RB, Tennessee)
Henry has looked ready to explode onto the FF scene for some time.
But with DeMarco Murray in Tennessee, Henry had to bide his time. Well, his time has come because Murray has retired and there is little RB1 material behind him.
Dion Lewis will add zest to the return game and may be deployed as a receiving back but ideally, Henry will be a 20+ per week man.
The former Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama averages 4.3 yards per rush.
His career numbers from two seasons could very well be doubled this season.
286 carries, 1,234 yards, 10 scores.
Tell me who you looms as a standout for the upcoming Fantasy Football season.