You hear that? That is the sound of all your buddies laughing at you because you just took the stud fantasy player you wanted, but he's not reporting to the team and contract negotiations are still far apart. Probably not a more frustrating dilemma in fantasy drafting than how to place value on a guy that is in a hold out situation. Last year we saw the likes of this debacle with Chris Johnson , star running back for the Tennessee Titans. In Johnson's case you couldn't have had a worse outcome and in most leagues he was still drafted late first through second round. This year we could see even more high quality players up in limbo when it becomes time to draft. We're going to take a look at a few key hold out potentials and provide our take of what may happen within the organization as well as how you should weigh value given the hypothetical of a deal not in place during your draft.
1. Drew Brees has a lot on his plate. Placing bountygate to the side, will Drew Brees and the Saints get a deal worked out, or does he have a chance to hold out and miss time?
Zeus- Brees will report. I think he is angry about his contract and of course he wants a long term deal worked out, but there is no way he misses time for what could be another possible Super Bowl run. With or without his head coach, he has the same man calling plays for the offense as he did before and he will be lethal once again. I would draft Brees high and laugh all the way to the bank. He will be one of the top 3 QBs in this year's draft.
Thayse- I must admit I am confused as to why nothing has happened here for so long, but someway somehow I have to believe a deal gets done and Brees will be back full time. For the sake of argument if he was not a certainty for week 1 and truly upset to the point of not reporting until a contract is in place you could potentially see him fall as far as late second round in some leagues.
2. Matt Forte wants a new deal. Will his contract demands be met so he can be drafted in the first round of my fantasy season?
Zeus- This situation scares me. Can we call Forte CJ2? He feels like he is undervalued in Chicago and with the Bears signing Bush it could get ugly. Forte is a stud and wants to be paid like it, but in this situation I could see a holdout that forces him to miss quite a bit of off-season time, maybe even training camp. I would keep an eye on this, because Forte should be drafted very high, especially in PPR formats and you don't want to have your first round pick not pan out.
Thayse- After the production Forte has given the Bears I felt he deserved to be paid and I felt the Bears wanted to lock him up for the next 4 years until he turns 30. Signing Bush really surprised me; I thought he was going to go start somewhere… or is he? Watch the NFL draft closely here, things could get interesting and Forte will be tough to pass up in the first 16 picks of any fantasy draft no matter what happens.
3. Mike Wallace has a first round tender placed on him. He says he wants to be paid like Fitz, will the Steelers pony up?
Zeus- Let me start out by saying that Mike Wallace is no Fitz. Not even close. He is a very talented WR and is dangerous as a deep threat, but I cannot see the Steelers paying him like a top 3 wideout. The Steelers have cleared some money to get under the cap, but Wallace will have to cut down his demands if he hopes to get a deal before camp. I like Wallace in a fantasy draft because most undervalue him, but he needs a reality check.
Thayse- I agree Wallace gets undervalued but he was the one saying he would put up 100 catches for 2000 yards in 2011. Well Mike, you came up a little shy, like almost half (72 for 1,193). Kids got talent no doubt, but Pittsburgh is a smash mouth run first team and always will be. They can't tie up that kind of money on a guy that will top out at 80 catches. They need a #1 receiver, but if he won't come down to reality then trade him on draft day. As far as fantasy goes, his value could improve if he gets traded. I have him as a late second early third round pick in most leagues at this time.
4. Tom Brady's guy is tagged. Do you think the Pats pay Welker as he should be paid, or will Welker be a case where the player is forced to play out the last year of his contract with inadequate pay?
Zeus- Wes Welker is a beast. What more can fantasy geeks like us ask for (Especially if you are in a PPR league)? The guy catches like 8 balls a game. I think this is a very interesting situation here. With the Pats signing Lloyd and having 2 of the 3 best TEs in the game, in all reality they could trade this guy high like they have in the past. I don't think it happens, but it is a possibility. But I think that Welker gets a fair 3-4 year deal and continues to be Tom Brady's safety net. I just can't see Welker holding out or being the guy to put his team in jeopardy of missing one of its premiere playmakers. Patriot fans love him, I love him, and 2012 owners will love him.
Thayse- Welker is a soon to be 31 year old Keebler Elf. Only instead of magically pumping out cookies, he pumps out receptions. He's not slowing down anytime soon either. I'm not afraid of the "not enough balls to go around" theory. I actually think they will just throw it MORE! As always though, my devil's advocate has to chime in and say that if he gets traded (higher probability than holding out) his value drops significantly. As far as maybe even the third or fourth round.