Unless Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, or Drew Brees fall to you in the seventh round, there is no reason to take a quarterback before round ten (presuming that guys like Rodgers and Watson are gone by the fourth round). I would suggest waiting a little longer and take Matthew Stafford or Philip Rivers. Actually, taking both while other teams are grabbing defenses and playing the match ups during the season, all while patting yourself on the back for getting some great bargains makes for a great strategy.
Running backs are the hotness again. You should expect eight to twelve running backs to come off the board in the first two rounds and don’t be surprised if even more than that go. There is a good chance that if you are sitting at the tail end of your draft you will have OBJ and Deandre Hopkins as your receivers.
When I look at a situation with running backs by committee, my top targets are going to be established pass catching backs in PPR leagues. The guys I look for are the ones that the term “electric” is frequently used but either due to size or situation they won’t be the lead back. I know they will see the ball and I know they will make some plays. That’s what I want from a guy I am drafting in the middle rounds.
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
Coleman made a dependable flex with some nice upside last year. Additionally, he can step in as a lead back if something happens to Freeman. He may only get eight to ten carries a game but he is usually good for a few receptions too and the net result is a guy who you can plug into your flex and be comfortable with his floor. He is a great target in the eighth or ninth round if he falls to you.
Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins
Chris Thompson was clutch for both Washington and fantasy owners last year before his injury. He even has my personal favorite and eternal late round quarterback love, Captain Check-down himself, Alex Smith throwing to him. (Quick note: Alex Smith should be there in the eleventh or twelfth round and was one of the top quarterbacks last year. Secondary note: He is still Alex Smith so keep your expectations realistic.) Thompson will be aided by having a team of often banged up team of pass catchers around him.
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
The Cohen love has driven down Jordan Howard’s stock and Cohen has risen in drafts. If I can get Cohen in the ninth or tenth round I am definitely buying. Chicago’s running back by committee might end up a two headed monster that rewards fantasy owners with both players.
I am a fan of focusing on running back in the first six rounds this year and the ability to pick up some fun receivers later is part of the reason why I am comfortable grabbing one stud wide out and then waiting to fill out my wide receivers.
Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers
I love Garcon. He has quietly been producing for fantasy owners year after year, often in terrible situations and frequently in the shadow of another receiver. . This year he is walking into a revitalized 49ers team with Jimmy Garoppolo throwing to him. He is a great buy and I am taking him as early as the late sixth. Don’t pass on him if he falls to you in the seventh or eighth round.
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins
It’s the Dolphins, he has underwhelmed and every year is heralded as having the next breakout season.. and every year owners are disappointed. I won’t be disappointed if I can get some flex numbers out of Parker this year after taking him in the ninth or tenth round. He will suffer from inconsistency because…Dolphins are going to Dolphin but he will make a nice addition to a fantasy roster as a WR4/flex.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Another favorite of mine, I expect Kupp to seriously outperform his draft position. Having Cooks and Woods there makes him unappealing as an early round pick but his production last year and connection with Goff make him a must have target in rounds seven through nine, especially in PPR leagues.
Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders
I know he is old in football years but he still has some gas in the tank and now is available in the ninth round of your draft. I love Nelson for redraft leagues as the Raiders try and kick start an offense that stalled out last year.
Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
Do you remember when Sammy Watkins was an early round fantasy pick? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Watkins has now fallen to the middle of drafts and although he is a gamble given his extensive injury history, the price is right. Watkins has struggled when he is the focus of the defense but with Hill and Kelce there, he should have some great games this season.
I am either targeting a tight end in the fourth or fifth if I can get Evan Engram or Zach Ertz or I am fading them until late but there are a few tight ends that I like grabbing in the middle of a draft.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Rudolph performed well last year and if he stays healthy he should give Kirk Cousins another weapon in his arsenal. Rudolph’s inconsistent career has kept his price low enough to make an excellent buy in the seventh.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
Doyle’s stock would be significantly higher if Eric Ebron wasn’t in town but Doyle’s price matches his situation. If I can get him in the mid- to late-tenth round, he is worth adding for a bit of tight end depth.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
Njoku can be drafted in the tenth round in almost any fantasy league and he should have a significantly improved year. The biggest concern for him are guys like Jarvis Landry and Duke Johnson but Njoku’s athleticism should earn him a fair share of targets. Additionally, I love his as a buy low target in dynasty. He is only 22 years old and is poised to do great things.