NASCAR Driver Ty Dillon's Sleepers and Busts
I have always been into sports and have been playing and watching them since I was a kid. Getting into fantasy football (and baseball) was a natural progression as I got a little older. My main league is an intense 16-teamer with my brother Austin, our director of competition Eric Warren, my parents (Mike and Tina Dillon) and a bunch of the guys from our team, Richard Childress Racing. We started the league four years ago and I have a couple championships under my belt, so I think I’m pretty good compared to the rest of the guys in the NASCAR garage. I am in at least four leagues this year and have already drafted in most of those, so I’m ready to dole out some advice.
You want to load up on running backs and wide receivers. Everyone knows that. But don't be afraid to zig and take a wide receiver or quarterback with your first pick while everyone else zags and takes a running back in the first round. I drafted Antonio Brown in the first round (No. 8 overall) of one draft this season and was more than happy with my pick. Ben Roethlisberger is going to be slinging it this year and Brown is going to be on the other end of lots of those targets.
While most fantasy experts aren't big on taking a quarterback in the first round, there is nothing wrong with drafting either Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers earlier than their ADP. Not every player goes exactly when he is supposed to, so don’t feel bad about a slight reach to take a player you're high on. The word "reach" is a very subejctive term when it comes to the uncertainty of fantasy football.
I’m also big on taking a chance on high-upside players late in the draft. Sure, it’s nice to have a solid backup TE, but it's not that hard to find a servicable one on waivers when your starter has his bye week. Take a flier on a younger player with lots of talent, but that is maybe a bit behind on the depth chart. You may just get the production of 2012 Alfred Morris or 2014 Odell Beckham, Jr. with a 14th round pick. You can never go wrong when you combine minimal risk with a high ceiling.
His ADP has been rising lately, but I really like Ryan Tannehill this season. So much so that I scooped him in the 5th round of our RCR draft. It’s his second year in the same offensive system, he’s gotten better in each of his three NFL seasons after only playing quarterback for two years in college and he has a plethora of receiving talent with Greg Jennings, DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron.
Brian Quick is another player I'm high on this year. I owned him last season and he was putting up big numbers before his his season-ending shoulder inury. With Nick Foles in St. Louis, Quick should see an increase in targets that will help him take the next step this season. I watched him play when he was at Appalachian State, so I’ve been a fan of his for a while.
There are a lot of rookie RBs to be excited about this season, but make sure you don't overlook Ameer Abdullah. It sounds like the Lions are set to start off with a running back committee, but the rookie should start earning a bigger workload each week. I've also found myself targeting Cameron Artis-Payne quite a bit towards the end of drafts. With my good friend DeAngelo Williams now in Pittsburgh, Jonathan Stewart and Artis-Payne have an opportunity to fill a void for the Panthers.
Finally, the Carolina D/ST should be an improved unit this season. It's unlikely they will be as solid as they were in 2013, but they’ve made some moves that should help them improve upon their performace last season.
I’m a pretty optimistic person, so that makes it tough for me to call a guy a bust as I can find something I like in almost every player. That said, I do have a list of players to avoid at all costs. Like a lot of fantasy owners, I've been burned in the past by Chiefs wide receivers, so I’m just completely steering clear of them. A lot of folks in the fantasy community are high on TE Travis Kelce, but I'm taking more of a wait-and-see approach. I’d rather just stay away from Alex Smith and the Chiefs passing game until they prove they can contribute more to fantasy rosters.