As someone who truly has the sickness when it comes to fantasy football and plays in waaaay too many leagues, I have been drafting like crazy over the past couple of weeks. In my defense, I write about fantasy football and so the more drafts I do, the better my knowledge of players and strategies will be and the more leagues I’ll win, right?
Over the course of my drafts so far, I’ve found there are several players that I keep coming back to and I’ve outlined seven players below that I can’t seem to say no to and the reasons why.
(Note: Current ADP is from fantasyfootballcalculator.com and is based on PPR leagues)
Keenan Allen, WR, LA Chargers (Current ADP 2.05)
I’ve been drafting a lot of deep leagues this year and I’ve been consistently picking up Allen at the round one/two turn. Allen has the potential to be a PPR machine and could be in line to haul in more than the 102 catches he had in 2017.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (Current ADP 4.02)
I’ve found I’ve been going wide receiver early in drafts this year and so have been finding running backs have been harder to come by at the back end of round 3 and early round 4. Derrick Henry has generally been the best option at that spot, though he is going much higher in standard drafts (2.12) than he is in PPR due to his limitations as a pass catcher, plus the new presence of Dion Lewis in Tennessee. I’m banking on the upside of Henry being the early down back and getting the snaps he lost out on last year to DeMarco Murray.
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans (Current ADP 4.05)
In a similar vein to Derrick Henry, Miller offers that mid-round running back value if you go wide receiver early. Miller has high upside with a healthy Deshaun Watson under center as he averaged 5 points per game more with Watson in the team than without him last season. Miller could well be the running back that has a breakout season and could finish as a top-15 back in 2018.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (Current ADP 7.11)
The Chiefs spent big to bring Sammy Watkins to KC and if you follow the money, this suggests that Andy Reid has some big plans for Watkins. Whether Watkins will be the WR1 with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce established in the Chiefs’ offense remains to be seen, but the upside is there and a late round 7 ADP is worth a shot.
Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings (Current ADP 11.06)
I did some scouting on Murray when he became a free agent before the 2017 season and saw he was more than just a big back and a straight line plodder. When Dalvin Cook went down with his knee injury last season, Murray stepped in and shared the backfield with Jerick McKinnon, and Murray finished as the RB19 in standard scoring, 5 places ahead of McKinnon (though McKinnon was stronger in PPR leagues). Murray is likely to be in line for the goal line work in Minnesota and with Cook coming back from that injury, Murray could be a nice little spot starter, especially early in the season.
Alex Smith, QB, Washington (Current ADP 12.08)
I’m not necessarily a late round QB guy, as I’m happy to take an Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson if the value is good, but we saw a career year from Alex Smith last year in Kansas City where he finished as the QB3 in fantasy and I’m all in on it continuing in Washington. Smith moves into a more pass happy offense, with some good weapons around him and a solid offensive line. If you’re waiting to draft your QB, Smith is incredible value in the late 12th round.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks (Current ADP 12.09)
This is year three of me waiting on the Tyler Lockett breakout season. Having witnessed what he did as a rookie, I know the talent is there and this year there is the opportunity too, with Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson’s combined 101 receptions from last year now up for grabs. Lockett is the current WR2 in Seattle and for a 12th round ADP, he could finally be the player he flashed to be in 2015.