There isn’t much on which I enjoy wasting countless hours of my life more than fantasy football, but movies are close. On any given day, much to my wife’s chagrin, you can find me completing my daily chores and routines while being serenaded by the soothing sounds of a fantasy football or film podcast. So obviously an article analyzing the correlation between NFL players and their fantasy relevance with some of this summer’s box office hits and busts just seems natural to me, not to mention a lot of fun. What follows is my take on some popular names in the upcoming fantasy football season along with their summer cinematic equivalent. Let’s get to it:
Allen Robinson is X-Men:
Apocalypse comes off the heels of the most successful installment of the X-Men series thus far, Days of Future Past.Apocalypse’s post-credit tease at the end of Days was arguably one of the most enticing of any comic book movie. It’s obvious why fans were so excited. Similarly, the expectations for Allen Robinson seem to have reached a pinnacle, as he too comes into this year following a brilliant 2015 performance that saw him amass fourteen touchdowns! However, his general consensus top-ten ranking implies elite wide receiver status. And I would encourage everyone to pump your brakes on that! The X-Men series is a solid one but most would agree it doesn’t belong in the conversation with the all-time greats.
The quality we saw in Days of Future Past was more of an anomaly than the norm for X-Men. As we saw, the series returned to Earth with a terribly disappointing Apocalypse movie. I fear those anticipating a repeat performance for Robinson will ultimately be let down. His 2015 season will prove to be the high point of what has been and will continue to be a solid career by a pretty good player.
Matt Forte is The Nice Guys
Movie-goers are forgetting about The Nice Guys because of its early summer release. Don’t forget about Matt Forte just because he’s with a new team. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are a new tandem to the silver screen and neither are all that known for their comedic roles. Yet I was confident the film would be solid because not only did I know what the aforementioned actors were capable of, but also what writer and director Shane Black could do with this genre pic. You see Black is also responsible for other mismatched duo action comedies like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the classicLethal Weapon.
The same concept applies to Forte. Dude was still a top ten running back last season despite missing three games. And he’s not being drafted as highly because he’s a year older and with a new team? Forte is pretty much the Tom Brady of running backs in terms of taking care of his body, and even though it’s a new team (and probably a better one), he’s still the best ball-carrier and receiver out of the backfield. How many times to people have to prove to you that they know what they’re doing? Shane Black has done it his entire career. So has Forte.
Ezekiel Elliott is Suicide Squad
There hasn’t been a movie this summer that encapsulates the proverbial hype train like Suicide Squad. I remember seeing the initial Comic Con trailer some time ago. I can’t remember a better trailer in the past half-decade. My thoughts were consumed with total excitement about the possibilities. Margot Robbie looked like a show-stealer, Viola Davis like she was born for the role. Jared Leto’s Joker seemed an interesting and capable successor to Heath Ledger’s. Will Smith appeared to be…..decent. I never even considered the possibility that the film could flop. And then it did.
Enter Ezekiel Elliott. A couple of weeks ago I saw a graphic on the NFL Network: “Are Romo, Dez, and Elliott the best trio in the league?” Yes, the Elliott hype train is full speed ahead, but what’s even more concerning is that so many fantasy owners seem to be on board. Beware fellow owners: this feels all too familiar! The setup looks infallible for the Ohio State product. Yet the truth is no one knows what Elliott is capable of at the next level. And while I certainly like the potential, this time I’ll keep my feelings in check.
Adrian Peterson is Captain America: Civil War
What a perfect time to segue and better illustrate my point regarding promising, yet unproven players like Elliot. TheCaptain America series has arguably been the most dependable, most consistent of all the comic book film franchises. So you knew exactly what you were getting with Civil War. In regards to fantasy drafts and as I was alluding to earlier,
I’ll take an elite running back with those qualities over Ezekiel Elliott “all day!” Adrian Peterson may be the best ball-carrier the game has ever seen, and he’s exactly what you want in fantasy. He’s a proven stud year in and year out with at least 1200 yards and ten touchdowns every full season he’s played. Are we to think this year will be any different? I’ll be front and center at the next Captain America movie, expecting nothing less than the quality product I’ve enjoyed for several years now. I’ll have the same expectations for Peterson this season.
Coby Fleener is Purge: Election Year
The Purge has been an intriguing premise ever since its initial, disappointing release in 2013. With each new entry the franchise adds a variable which gets skeptics like me hopeful that it will finally realize its full potential. Unfortunately, the latest installment only solidifies what I knew after watching the original. And that is that this series just doesn’t have it. This sounds a lot like Coby Fleener to me.
You know, the guy who actually played his college football with Andrew Luck then played his first four professional seasons with the same quarterback. Now he’s in New Orleans with Drew Brees, an interesting variable, and optimism abounds once again. Many rankings have Fleener inside the top five for tight ends. I realize good tight ends are scarce, and while I expect there to be some improvement in Fleener’s production, I don’t anticipate much more than what we got last season from Ben Watson. And if that’s all you want, then great! But if you’re counting on anything more I believe you’ll only realize what you knew after watching Fleener in Indy. And that is that this guy just doesn’t have it.
Keith Marshall is Sing Street
Sing Street just may be the best movie of the year so far. Anchored by a talented, young cast with a charming, can’t miss storyline, it’s a quality film that deserves to be seen by all. Sadly, most people probably won’t even hear of it this year and therefore won’t see it until sometime next year, when they’ll say, “Hey! This is a damn good movie! How come I haven’t heard about it until now?” Well I’ll tell you why – it’s because Hollywood is too preoccupied with forcing trash likeIndependence Day: Resurgence down our throats in the same fashion that the Redskins PR department is doing with Matt Jones. Jones is fine to satisfy the mindless masses. He certainly looks the part of a starting NFL running back.
But the real gem is Keith Marshall, a true diamond in the rough. Marshall was highly touted and heavily recruited by the University of Georgia, a school whose record with talented RBs speaks for itself. Unfortunately, injuries sidelined him early in his college career, some guy named Todd Gurley came on the scene, and the rest as they is history. Marshall is stronger than Jones and considerably faster, boasting a 4.31 forty time. Above all else, he’s just a more gifted runner. Currently fourth on the depth chart, I don’t expect fans to have the pleasure of seeing him this year. However, given Jones’s fumble problems and overall “backup” aura that emits from his play, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before he introduces himself to the fantasy world, when we’ll say, “Hey! This is a damn good player! How come I haven’t heard about him until now?”