As big of a fan as I am of daily fantasy sports, season-long leagues remain a tradition that I still enjoy. The DFS game has given me one solid change-of-perspective when it comes to my season-long leagues. It’s simple, but something we often forget once were into a draft: draft guys you like. Seems obvious, but how many times have you drafted a guy that you didn’t like because he was slotted 15-20 picks higher than a guy that you did like, and then you miss out on a player you like.
Make your own cheat sheets and stick to them, don’t be afraid to reach on a player that you have slotted into your current pick. After all, you are tied to these players all season, win or lose… might as well do it with your guys. With that in mind, I wanted to share players that I would target in each round if my draft were today. We are using 10 team PPR ADP’s from the FantasyPro Mock Draft Wizard., and I’ve broken the list down into groups of 20.
Fantasy Draft Rounds 1 and 2
I have always been a big fan of auction drafts, because you can draft any player you want… nobody is slotted in a draft position that makes it impossible to draft their guy. There is little you can do in round one, other than prepare for who you know is going ahead of you. For me this season, I want at least one of these receivers (in this order): Browm, Megatron, Bryant, Jones, Thomas, Nelson, Beckham, Green, Cobb, Jeffery.
If you are slotted in the front half of the draft, I think you take your running back and then Green, Cobb or Jeffery, whoever falls back to you. In the middle/latter part of the draft just slot your players and draft accordingly. Just make sure the two players you end up with are guys you like. For me, I know I won’t end up with Beckham, because I don’t like him nearly as much as the rest of the country. It’s a stretch for me to list him ahead of AJ Green… On the other side of the ball, I love LeSean McCoy and Justin Forsett this season, so if I’m drafting at 4, I’m taking Antonio Brown, knowing that either McCoy or Forsett will come back to me in round 2.
Best Pick of Round 1
Adrian Peterson. It’s a cop out to pick the number one pick, but he’s going to be a monster in Norv Turner’s offense this season. He’s saying 2,500 yards, but I think he will seriously make a run at 2,000 and will even see his receptions take a jump up with Norv and Teddy.
Worst Pick of Round 1
As much as I want to say Gronk because of health and Brady concerns, he’s by far the best tight end on the board and is going to give you a 7+ point advantage at the position week in and week out. I’m going with Matt Forte. The Chicago defense is going to awful this season, and the Bears are going to be playing from behind early and often. I don’t think Forte is worthy of being drafted ahead of Julio, ODB, Demaryius, Calvin or even CJ Anderson.
Best Pick of Round 2
I hinted at this early, but I think LeSean McCoy is going to have a monster season in Buffalo. The Bills have already said they want Shady to hit 300+ carries on the season, and he should top 50 receptions again (Fred Jackson had 66 catches last season). He hit both of those numbers just a season ago and ended up the top back in fantasy with 2200 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Worst Pick of Round 2
Another pick I hinted at not liking earlier in the article, but there is no way I’m picking ODB ahead of Demaryius, Calvin, or Jordy. It was a great 7 game sample where the Giants were throwing a ton, and basically only throwing to Beckham. Cruz was hurt, and over that stretch the Giants played Dallas, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Washington and Philadelphia all five teams were in the bottom 1/3 in the league in total yards and yards/play in the passing game. I expect Beckham to be a top 10 wide receiver, but he’s not going to be better than Thomas, Johnson, or Nelson.
Best Pick of Round 3
Before Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett arrived in Chicago, there was only Brandon Marshall, and Jay Cutler locked in on him to the tune of 118 catches on 194 targets for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Odds are very good that Jeffery becomes that guy for Cutler this season, and we have to keep in mind that the Bears have one of the five worse defenses in the league. I think there is a legit chance that Jeffery finishes this season as a top 5 fantasy wide receiver, and you can get him in the middle of round 3.
Worst Pick of Round 3
I have already made the case for why Aaron Rodgers is the number one fantasy quarterback this season, and I’m fine with where he is being picked, but can’t go along with taking Luck at 24. Quarterback is way too deep, and I have serious doubts about whether Luck can throw 32+ touchdowns again. He threw 23 in each of his first two seasons, now has a legit power back in Gore, and a dip back to the 30-TD range would move him from the top 2 or 3 QB’s down to around 10. I’m not taking any QB at 24, but if I had to it would definitely be Rodgers.
Best Pick of Round 4
I’m guilty of this myself, but we need to be careful about just how far we drop Emmanuel Sanders. Coming off a crazy 1,400 yard, 9 touchdown season, it’s unlikely he’s a top 6 wide receiver again, but why couldn’t he be? This is the prime of his career (entering 6th season), the Broncos just lost Julius Thomas and Wes Welker, and still have Peyton who apparently is slowing down but still threw 39 touchdowns last season… With the 35th overall pick, and at WR15, I think Sanders is a steal here.
Worst Pick of Round 4
I hate to say this, because he was DFS gold last season, but I’m not taking Kelvin Benjamin ahead of Jordan Matthews or Keenan Allen. His catch rate was terrible last season, part of that is on Cam Newton, but Cam’s still the quarterback. I also think Devin Funchess is going to be an absolute monster for the Panthers. Several news outlets have quoted offensive coaching personnel as saying he could lead the Panthers in receptions this season, and he’s just of a red zone target.
Best Pick of Round 5
So much value in this round, I love Keenan Allen this season, Golden Tate will have another huge year for the Lions, and Martavis Bryant is going to see a huge jump in snaps and targets, and given his big play ability, could easily jump into the top 15 receivers. My favorite pick of the round may be a shocker though with Joseph Randle. Even if he doesn’t get 280 carries, running in that offense, behind that line, 240 carries is going to mean 1200 yards and 6-10 touchdowns. At 49th overall (RB20) that’s great value, the running backs being taken around him include a lot of committees and a lot of bad offensive lines, so why not take a risk on a guy that could be a potential homerun.
Worst Pick of Round 5
I love Amari Cooper’s talent as much as the next guy, but I’m not on the Derek Carr bandwagon. I actually think the receivers were better than they got credit for last season, but were subject to bad quarterback play and worse playcalling. Brice Butler and Andre Holmes certainly showed flashes, and James Jones has some of the best hands in football. Cooper is special, but Sammy-Watkins your expectations for him this season.
Best Pick of Round 6
This is where you pick your quarterback. Getting Peyton Manning in round 6 is fantasy gold. Where the other guys took Luck or Rodgers you grabbed Hill, Forsett, Jeffery or Cooks, and now get Manning who will score 15-25 fewer points than Rodgers or Luck, and likely outscore them in weeks 1-13. Seriously though, if you pick Manning, winter is coming… line up a backup with good matchups for the playoff weeks. Even if you have to make a trade for a Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan in week 10, just in case Manning goes all Manning.
Worst Pick of Round 6
This was tough, all of these players went right around where I have them slated, and I would be ok with getting any of these players. If I had to pick one that I don’t have a ton of faith in it would be Carlos Hyde. The offensive line moved backwards from a season that saw him average just 4.0 ypc. Additionally, he’s not playing on 3rd downs, or in passing situations, so if 49ers are trailing a lot, he will see limited snaps.
Best Pick of Round 7
You can make a case for Gordon as the top RB in this class, Gurley’s probably the most talented, but his offensive line is terrible, Ameer plays on the best offense and could catch a ton of passes, but for me, it’s T.J. Yeldon. There are few actual power running backs that I look at on the college level and say, he’s a pro. Adrian Peterson was one, DeMarco Murray was another, and T.J. Yeldon was definitely one of those guys. He finds himself the unquestioned number one back on an improving offense, and early reports out of camp say that he has a legit chance to be a three-down running back.
Worst Pick of Round 7
As much as I love him as a player, I’m not drafting Todd Gurley. St. Louis can’t block at all. You could put Barry Sanders in his prime behind that offensive line and he’d average 3.2 ypc, and Barry played with some bad o-lines in Detroit. Additionally, he’s not ready to play yet, and we know that rookies need camp reps. He may end up having a great year, but having him below Abdullah pretty well assures I won’t be drafting Gurley this season.
Best Pick of Round 8
I just named Yeldon as my surprise top running back from this rookie class, so let’s keep that move going with my top receiver from this class, Nelson Agholor. More than any offensive scheme in football, Philly has a system, with players that fit their system. Agholor is a prime example of this, and will be stepping into the Jeremy Maclin roll. Maclin finished 9th in fantasy scoring amongst wide receivers, and I expect the QB play to be way up for the Eagles this season with Sam Bradford. Look for Agholor to be the top performing rookie wide receiver this season.
Worst Pick of Round 8
Once you get to this point in the draft without a quarterback, I like to fully commit and draft two guys later. I’m fine with Ryan, but wouldn’t draft Cam Newton in the 8th round. I would wait, grab an Agholor/Cameron/Ertz/Bell… and then draft Stafford or Tannehill in the 10th, and Sam Bradford in the 13th. This gives you another legit starter at WR/TE or depth at RB, and the ability to play matchups at QB rather than put all of your eggs in the Cam Newton basket because you took him in the 8th.
Best Pick of Round 9
In a round where you are seeing a lot of RB3/RB4’s go off the board, to get a legit WR2 with the upside of Mike Wallace is a huge win. The Vikings have weapons everywhere, and a running back that is going to draw a ton of attention, a perfect recipe for Mike Wallace to make a ton of big plays. His stock is down, but that’s in part due to Tannehill’s growing pains, Teddy came into the league NFL ready and throws a much better deep ball than Tannehill. He could have a TY Hilton type year (75 catches, 1,300 yards, 8 touchdowns) and you are getting him in the 9th round.
Worst Pick of Round 9
As of this moment, I don’t want any part of either Falcons running back. If, by the start of camp, either Freeman or Coleman are clearly the favorite, then I’m fine with picking them here. Otherwise I want no part of a committee of running backs, in a pass-happy offense, playing behind a terrible offensive line.
Best Pick of Round 10
I’m buying in on what little bit of Doug Martin hype there is… If he can stay healthy, he will likely get 18+ carries per game in a run-friendly division. Take a look at what is going around him, a bunch of guys playing second fiddle in committees. If you are lucky enough to get a legit RB2 in Martin in rounds 9 or 10, you’re lucky enough.
Worst Pick of Round 10
Take your pick: Duke Johnson or Tre Mason. I’m not drafting bad running backs, on bad offenses, with bad offensive lines, who are also (at best) in a committee.
Best of the Rest
Our latest sleeper list will come out sometime tomorrow, but here is a sneak peak with some players to target after round 10:
- Darren McFadden
- Josh Hill
- Sam Bradford
- Marques Colston
- Breshard Perriman
- Devonte Adams
- Terrance Williams
- Nick Toon
- Devin Funchess
- Jonas Gray
- Eric Ebron
- Matt Jones