Riordan’s 3×5

Riordan’s 3×5

Our 3×5 column features 3 lists of 5.  Each edition will have a common theme that weaves the three lists together.  This week, Mike Riordan breaks down:

  • 5 Obvious Players that Could Crack the top 5 at their Position Next Year
  • 5 Longshot Players that Could Crack the top 5 at their Position Next Year
  • 5 Player’s that Could Fall Out of the top 5 at their Position Next Year

5 Obvious Players that Could Crack the top 5 at their Position Next Year

This is not a list about which players will finish in the top 5 scoring at their positions.  Instead, it is about the players that I believe have a good chance to move into the top 5 at their respective position by this time next year in dynasty rankings.

RB Dalvin Cook (MIN)

I already have him ranked #3. I’ve staked my reputation on him becoming a hall of famer. Cook is a player that I believe has the footwork, balance, and natural ability to be a premier game changer at the position.

WR Amari Cooper (OAK)

Most likely a make or break for the top 5 after this year. I believe in his talent and maybe a different philosophy will turn things around. No more Crabtree, meaning the Carr to Cooper connection is vital to the success and the careers of a lot of people involved with the Raiders.

QB Patrick Mahomes (KCC)

Mahomes is a perfect example of a player that gets hyped up before really stepping foot on the field and then goes through growing pains. Even with some poor performances, if Mahomes looks close to as advertised, he will retain high value running that high-powered offense with his arm and his intangibles.

TE David Njoku (CLE)

I would say O.J. Howard here except that a lot of people including myself already have him in the top 5. Njoku just turned 22, he was a 1st round pick last year, and his athleticism is off the charts. Cleveland is putting together a team.

WR Tyreek Hill (KCC)

Hill burst onto the scene last year as an explosive and strong small receiver. He’s a burner, but not a prototypical top 5 WR. With Patrick Mahomes at QB and Sammy Watkins on the opposite side, Hill could leap into the top tier at the position.

5 Longshot Players that Could Crack the top 5 at their Position Next Year

These players are still really good. They are players hovering closer to, or just inside the consensus top 10, but could significantly raise their value if they have a big year in 2018.

WR Jarvis Landry (CLE)

Even if Landry moves up significantly it would probably be in the 6-8 range. As bad as Cleveland’s situation seems right now it could potentially be a great landing spot. I think Landry has an Antonio Brown like skill set and perhaps could be in the right place at the right time.

WR Allen Robinson (CHI)

On one hand, Robinson had a down year in 2016 with Blake Bortles and then had a season ending injury last year. On the other hand, he’s already had one monster year (1,400yds and 14TDs) and isn’t even 25 yet. If Mitchell Trubisky is the real deal and AROB comes back to form, it could be a big jump for him.

RB Sony Michel (NEP)

I chose Michel because I think he has potential to be this year’s Alvin Kamara, who is in many ranker’s top 5. The knock would be college usage and opportunity much like Kamara last year. The Patriot’s picked Michel in the first round for a reason and I don’t believe it was for him to be a small part of the game plan.

RB Joe Mixon (CIN)

Mixon just turned 22. He has slimmed down from last year and he will be the lead back this season in Cincinnati. He had an up and down rookie year, but he has the potential to breakout this year.

LB Tremaine Edmunds (BUF)

I actually like Roquan Smith better to become a long term do it all MLB. Edmunds is big time tackler that got drafted into a role in Buffalo that players have done very well in. I think he will make an impact right away.

5 Player’s that Could Fall Out of the top 5 at their Position Next Year

If new players are going to move into the top 5, then of course that will move players out of the top 5 consensus rankings of their positions. These are the players I believe will be replaced.

WR Antonio Brown (PIT)

The best WR in football is 30. Not a knock on his talent, but age matters. The question is; is 3 years of high level production worth the value of so many really good WRs in their early to mid 20’s. You decide!

WR Julio Jones (ATL) / A.J.Green (CIN)

I added both these players as one because, A: they are probably not in many top 5’s. B: they have a lot of similarities. They will both be 30 by season’s end. They will both most likely perform at a nice level for a few more years, but I would try and move both of these players this year.

RB Le’veon Bell (PIT)

I’m sure you’re sensing a theme here. Older players out and younger players in. Bell is only 26 and in my opinion is the most complete back in football. The issue is carries. He has had 1,229 carries in his five year career and that amount of usage has not fared well for NFL RB’s longevity in the past. He will most likely have a really nice contract year this season.  I would try and move him whenever he gets hot; if you can get a king’s ransom.

LB Luke Kuechly (CAR)

Probably my favorite linebacker to watch in the NFL, although Deion Jones is my guy right now. Keuchly does it all. He can lead the league in tackling and interceptions. He’s in his prime at 27. As great as the Boston College alumn is, he has taken a lot of big hits and carries a lot of risk. One more serious concussion and his value will take a big hit.

QB Russell Wilson (SEA)

Great player for sure. A lot of rankers have him #1. There is a possibility that the obliteration of the Seahawks roster helps him, but I don’t think it does. I think it catches up to him. He’s still young and has avoided injury, but I think he could slip just out of the top 5 for next year.

The Bottom Line

Identifying which players will move up or down next year is more important than who will score more in the upcoming season. There are so many more factors when ranking players in a dynasty league. The balance of age versus talent is key. Don’t over give for youth and don’t give away the farm for big names. Target your guys early, get them when the timing is right, and be patient.