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Faceoff: Finding a Future Dynasty Stud

August 28th


Clayton Gray: From a dynasty perspective, name a player who is unlikely to contribute this year but could be a monster later in his career.

Matt Waldman: I could name enough to fill a book, and I could probably give you a lot of obvious picks at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. In fact, I have to name one: Taylor Thompson, the Titans tight end conversion from SMU. Thompson was a defensive end in college but after he was asked to take reps at his old high school position of tight end at the East-West Shrine Game, he was immediately on scouts' radar. Thompson is a fluid athlete with Rob Gronkowski-like physical dimensions and soft hands. He's a natural pass catcher and already impressing in training camp. Pass protection will be the one component of his game that will hold him back this year and because Craig Stevens is among the best blocking tight ends in the NFL, Thompson will be brought along slowly in this aspect of his play. However, I'm confident that Thompson will become an all-around tight end, make Jared Cook expendable, and become a top-five talent at his position for fantasy owners.

Sigmund Bloom: David Wilson is struggling with pass protection and the playbook, but he has the balance, lower body strength, lateral agility, and speed to be a big play waiting to happen on every touch. Ahmad Bradshaw's feet and ankles weren't built for the long haul, so Wilson will get his shot soon. He'll be a perfect buy low this offseason assuming the Giants bring him along slowly this year.

Jeff Pasquino: Talk about your open-ended questions..... so many names, where to begin?

I don't see one of these at quarterback nor tight end (although I do like some deep, dark tight ends), so I will focus just one RB and one WR.

Michael Floyd is just fourth on the Arizona depth chart, but Andre Roberts and Early Doucet don't do anything for anyone really. Next year Floyd could start opposite Larry Fitzgerald and be catching passes from Matt Barkley. That's great upside to me.

At tailback, Isaiah Pead more than looks the part of a stud, feature tailback. Steven Jackson will do all he can to keep that rookie on the bench, but once Pead gets a decent workload he could easily take over as a starter and a star. Jeff Fisher will feed him lots of carries, but Jackson is motivated to show that he has lots left in the tank and keep the rookie on the bench.

Maurile Tremblay: I'll name a tight end: Charger TE Ladarius Green. He won't see the field this year. He probably won't be active for any games. He's too raw and too skinny to contribute this season, but the Chargers are so enamored with his long-term potential as a pass-catcher that he's reportedly all but guaranteed a roster spot over the loser of the Randy McMichael-Dante Rosario battle for the #2 TE spot. The Chargers view Green as the heir apparent to Antonio Gates. He needs to add bulk and refine his route-running, but he is a natural athlete with good speed and hands. Give him a year on the bench, another year as a situational player in two-TE sets, and after that, he could be an NFL starter and a fantasy standout.

Mark Wimer: Bryce Brown/Chris Polk, running backs, Philadelphia

Neither is likely to get much playing time behind LeSean McCoy. But McCoy won't last forever as the starter in Philadelphia, one of the few "featured" running back gigs left in the NFL.

Brown has reportedly looked good in training camp, and Polk could move on to another team if Brown develops in Philadelphia - or Polk could be elevated in Philadelphia if Brown flames out. Neither guy was a high-profile pick (Brown went in the seventh round, Polk was undrafted) so they are usually available late/cheap in rookie drafts. I've been drafting both Brown and Polk in my dynasty leagues this year.