A few players you can acquire cheap this draft season
The time is finally upon us. The first two weeks of preseason games are in the books and football, more importantly fantasy football, is heating up again. With thousands of redraft and dynasty startup drafts starting every day, now is the perfect time to figure out the key pieces that you can acquire to dominate your leagues for this season and beyond.
Regardless of what fantasy football format you play in, the first few rounds of drafts go the same way with little variation. However, if you are like me after round 10 things can get a little tricky. In this article, I will discuss a few players that you can target this draft season who will wildly outperform their ADP and help lead you to a championship.
There is perhaps no quarterback in the NFL that benefitted more this offseason, than Mitch Trubisky. Over the course of this offseason the Chicago Bears acquired Allen Robison, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton; while drafting the explosive rookie out of Memphis, Anthony Miller. They also brought in Matt Nagy, the former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, as their new head coach.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Chiefs offense ranked in the top 10 in total points scored as well as passing yards and passing touchdowns under Nagy, who is now bringing that offense to Chicago. In 2017 Alex Smith finished as the QB4. I’ll say it again in case you missed it. Alex Smith. QB4.
With all of the weapons Chicago has brought in, paired with the type of offense Nagy will run, Mitch Trubisky looks poised to have a breakout season. Currently, Trubisky is being drafted as QB24 in redraft ppr formats. Target Mitch Trubisky late in your drafts to get QB1 upside for a borderline QB3 price.
You could argue that there is no other backfield in fantasy football being more avoided than that of the Green Bay Packers. As far as uncertainties go, no one knows who will line up behind Aaron Rodgers in that offense. For this reason, seize the opportunity to buy low on a running back whose ADP continues to slip in startup drafts.
In 2017, Jones posted 81 carries for 448 yards and 4 touchdowns; good for 5.5 yards per carry. He also added 9 receptions for 22 yards to go with this total. While that might not seem like a great stat line, it does not tell the whole story.
Jones spent most of 2017 dealing with a knee injury, yet during the 3 games that he was healthy and started for the injured Ty Montgomery, he was the RB6 overall in PPR formats. Aaron Jones is easily the most explosive back in the Packers offense, and that can be seen by his 88.2 percentile SPARQ score at the NFL combine. Jones is currently being drafted as the RB42, most likely due to his 2 game suspension to start the year.
If Jones can return to the form he showed in that three game stretch, Green Bay’s Coaching staff will have a hard time keeping this explosive back off of the field. Look to target Jones as early as round 8 this draft season for RB2 upside.
If you paid attention to the end of the NFL season, then I’m sure you have already heard of the name Marquise Goodwin by now. After having a quiet four years in Buffalo, Goodwin burst onto the NFL scene in 2017 to the tune of 56 receptions for 962 yards and 2 touchdowns- good for 17.2 yards per reception.
This seemingly out of nowhere emergence was largely due to the 49ers upgrading their quarterback room in the form of Jimmy Garoppolo. Despite these numbers however, Goodwin is still being wildly under-drafted.
In 2017, Goodwin ranked as the WR33 in ppr formats. However, during the 4 game stretch that Jimmy Garoppolo was the starting quarterback, Goodwin ranked as the WR9 overall. Goodwin is clearly Garoppolo’s favorite target in that offense, and that can be seen by his 24% target share with Garoppolo(43 out of 176 targets).
Goodwin will be the WR1 in the 49ers offense for at least this season if not longer. This offseason, Goodwin signed a 3-year extension worth a little over $20 million that will keep him signed through the 2021 season. Look to target Goodwin as early as round 7 for potential high-end WR2 upside.
After you get past the tier of elite tight ends, predicting who will finish the year as a TE1 can be difficult. One potential prospect could come in the form of second-year player Ricky Seals-Jones.
In 2017, Seals-Jones finished the year with 12 receptions for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns. While that stat line might not seem very convincing, it is important to note that Seals-Jones did not see playing time until week 11. During that span, he was the TE11 in PPR formats.
Over the span of 7 games, Seals-Jones received 52% of targets to the tight end position, while receiving an 11% target share overall. Over the off-season, the Arizona Cardinals lost 20% of their target share in the form of John Brown and Jaron Brown. While a good portion of those targets will go to Larry Fitzgerald, Chad Williams, and newly acquired Christian Kirk; Seals-Jones should also see an uptick in target share.
Currently, Ricky Seals-Jones is being drafted as the TE20 in redraft PPR formats. If Seals-Jones is able to build on his late season success he could very easily finish as a TE1 this season. Spend a late round flyer this draft season to land someone who could easily outproduce his low ADP.
Hitting on the right player in the early rounds of your startup drafts is much easier than the picks you make midway through the draft. However, the decisions you make in the later rounds are where championships are won. Keep these guys in the back of your mind this draft season as players who could have a better return than their ADP suggests, and good luck this season folks.
Follow Matthew Jackson on twitter (@MoistMattFF) for more fantasy takes and tips.