5 Must Have Players for your Fantasy Football Draft
Updated: Aug 29, 2018
Here are five "must draft players" you should be looking to add in fantasy football drafts this year. The list has been compiled based on their "value" related to the players average draft position (ADP) based on 1/2 PPR scoring. The following players represent good bargains and are listed in no particular order.
#1 Jordy Nelson - ADP #85 - Round 8
Last season, Aaron Rodgers was hurt and the year before that Jordy tore his ACL. In the five years prior to that, Nelson had over 1,200 yards and 12 TD in four of them.
We shouldn't be blaming Jordy for missing an entire season with an ACL injury and struggling last year with Brett Hundley at QB. Derek Carr doesn't have Michael Crabtree to move the chains this year and I expect Jordy will step right in and absorb most of Crabtree’s 101 targets from 2017. The price is right to bet on a rebound season from one of the best receivers of a generation.
#2 Carlos Hyde - ADP #73 - Round 7
If you've watched the Browns preseason games so far (I have no life) you would agree that it's painfully obvious that Hyde is the best RB in that backfield. He has been running with aggression and looks smooth behind the best offensive line he's ever played with. PFF ranks the Browns line #14 overall and in addition to this upgrade, his supporting cast is much, much stronger now.
Defenses can't stack the box to stop Hyde with Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry and David Njoku running rampant against opposing secondaries. Rookie RB Nick Chubb has looked slow and average at best with his reps and lacks great vision. I see him as a less talented Alfred Morris. People are fading Hyde because they fear Chubb and Duke Johnson siphoning time and touches, however I think this is overplayed.
Hyde has shown the ability to catch passes out of the backfield and should chip in 30-ish receptions this year to go along with 200+ carries. Don't forget that last year he was the RB #9 in half point PPR! He had almost 1000 yards on the ground with 8 TD and 59 receptions for 350 yards. Draft him with confidence in round 7 and lock in a player who should be a solid RB2 this year.
#3 Jack Doyle - ADP #125 - Round 11
When I think about Jack Doyle, I think of a guy who puts on his hard hat and carries his lunch pail to work everyday. He's an old fashioned football guy and I love his value in drafts this year. He also reminds me of Dallas Clark and I think this year he very well could put up similar numbers to Clark in his prime.
Last season, Jack Doyle tallied 80 receptions with Jacoby Brissett at the helm on 108 targets. This year “The Neck Beard” Andrew Luck is back and will be looking Doyle’s way early and often. In 2016 Luck targeted the TE position 149 times. In 2015 Luck only played 7 games, but in 2014 the TEs were targeted 164 times. Luck also threw 15 TD to the TE position in 2016 and 16 TD in 2014.
Indy is going to be the worst defensive team in the league - PFF has their secondary ranked 32nd and their run defense 29th. They will be playing from behind all season and hopefully Luck’s shoulder will hold up because I think he’s going to throw 600+ times like he has already done twice in his career. Colby Fleener is gone and Eric Ebron is Doyle’s only competition for targets. Ebron has been a complete disappointment after being selected in the first round by the Lions a few years back and he is in year one on a new team, in a new offense.
I’m predicating 120 targets for Doyle this year to go along with 85 receptions and close to 1000 yards receiving and 10 TD - not bad for a guy you can draft in round 11. Lock him up in round 10 and focus on building WR and RB depth in the middle rounds.
#4 Tarik Cohen - ADP #83 - Round 7
Cohen has the potential to win leagues this year if the chips fall into place for him and this Chicago offense can live up to the hype. I’ve talked at length this preseason about the new offense and coaching staff in Chicago - to hear all my thoughts on this listen to the Fantasy Griddle Podcast episode 3 (8:07).
Basically, they are going to run an up-tempo, shotgun-heavy, run-pass-option (RPO) scheme that will play to the strengths of last year's 2nd overall pick, Mitch Trubisky. Cohen should also be a great fit in this system which uses similar concepts to the offense he played in at college.
The Bears believe he can run between the tackles, play in the slot, split out wide and serve as a jet-sweep machine, similar to the way Chiefs Pro Bowler Tyreek Hill has been used in recent years. Like Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram last year, I believe there is room for both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to both end up as top 25 running backs this year despite playing on the same team.
Cohen is going at the end of round 7 at an ADP of 83 right now. He is slipping in drafts sometimes due to his lack of a long NFL track record, but he is a great value pick who can be your every week flex position player. Lock him up!
#5 Marquise Goodwin - ADP #72 - Round 6
All indications throughout the preseason are that Goodwin has been Jimmy G’s favorite target. They developed a great chemistry at the end of last year when Goodwin was the #16 WR in weeks 10-17 (.5 PPR). If you haven't read it already, check out our piece on what it means to be the WR #1 in a Kyle Shanahan offense. The team ranked 2nd in the NFL in passing attempts with 607 in 2017 and the philosophy of peppering the main outside receiver has not changed .
"Kyle had Andre Johnson in Houston. He had Pierre Garcon in Washington. He has Julio Jones in Atlanta. He’s got his guy and he likes to mold the offense around that. Kyle finds a guy that he concentrates on and that’s the guy that the offense goes through."- Joe Theismann
At the time the piece was written by our special correspondent, Sean Murphy, it was unclear who the WR1 would be in this offense. Sean surmised it could be Garcon, however as the pre-season has progressed it now looks like Goodwin might be the guy. Reports from camp are that his route running has greatly improved and he is now a more complete WR and serious threat with his Olympic track speed (4.27 40 yard dash!). His ADP has jumped significantly into round 6, but for a guy who should be a WR2 and has a chance to be a WR1, this is not terrible value.
If you haven't seen the video of Goodwin roasting Richard Sherman in practice, check it out below.
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