It’s the end of draft day. You’re admiring the fruits of your labor as you review all of your coveted draft selections. The sense of sheer euphoria is palpable as you become giddy in anticipation at the notion of going head-to-head with your buddies in what can only be another joyous year of Fantasy Football. For some, the moment immediately following draft day will be the peak of their jubilation as they become lulled into a false sense of security that leads them to believe that nothing can break up their star-studded line up…and then unthinkable happens. You lose your top wide receiver to a season ending-injury…in week 2 of the regular season.
We’ve all been there. Understandably, it’s difficult to have the needed foresight to look past at what you’ve crafted initially to accept the reality that your fantasy roster is never safe. However, what everyone once viewed as irrelevant trash in your draft war room can easily become a valuable asset as the season progresses. While there are a handful of players that are nearly sure things every week, for the most part, being great at fantasy football comes down to properly gauging a players value week in and week out. This is where severely underrated players such as Cole Beasley come into play.
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Position: Wide Receiver
Fantasy Stats (PPR League, via Yahoo Fantasy): 152 Pts., 833 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns.
While at first glance Beasley may not appear to be particularly exciting, it only takes a more in depth look to see that the well-rounded slot receiver has the capabilities to match or slightly exceed his fantasy projections each week. With the absence of Ezekiel Elliot for the first six games of the season (barring a successful appeal), Dak Prescott will look to check down to Cole Beasley much more often on first and third downs. Last season, Beasley caught 18 passes for 189 yards on 1st and 8-10 yards from the first down marker. (both statistical highs for down and distance). However, when it comes to scoring, Beasley truly shined in 3rd down and 3-7 yards to go (12 receptions, 123 yards and two touchdowns) situations. What does this tell us? It says that Beasley is a versatile weapon in that he can relied upon when getting a drive started and can also be clutch in third and short or medium situations. Better still, Beasley is at his best in the fourth quarter in terms of receiving yards (265), making him a viable receiving threat that does not simply fade away as the game progresses.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Yea these stats are cool and everything, but how does that help me win in fantasy”? Simply put, it shows us Beasley is not only a consistent threat when he steps onto the field, but that his value increases overtime especially towards the end of games. For anyone that has played fantasy football consistently, there is nothing more frustrating than watching one of your players steadily put up solid numbers in the first three quarters of the game only to be practically non-existent during the home stretch when you need them the most. Beasley rarely has that problem. Although Beasley likely won’t be a fantasy point scoring juggernaut, his well-established floor makes him a safe fall back guy if you’re in a pinch.
In the end, while Beasley may not be worth spending a draft pick on, his reliability and firm place in the Cowboys offense makes him an ideal bench warmer for your squad. While Beasley’s importance will not seem vital to your fantasy squad initially, he could very well be the deciding factor in your team winning a vital matchup, especially as injuries start to mount during the latter half of the season.