This week we’re taking a look at the NFC North. If you are just tuning in, check out last week’s article covering AFC East Draft Day Values.
RB Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions (Current Average Draft Position: 80)
Remember this guy? When Ameer Abdullah was coming out of college there was a ton of hype surrounding him and rightly so. I distinctly remember watching a preseason game in 2015 where Abdullah put such a nasty move on a defender that his average draft position rose 12 spots that week alone! He is as shifty as they come and has proven he can be an asset in both the ground and passing attack. He had a nice game in Week 1 last season with 63 rushing yards on 12 attempts as well as five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown in that game. He promptly went down for the season after Week 2, hence his low price tag this year. He likely won’t be a traditional feature back (nor should he be) but his versatility will keep him on the field in multiple situations when healthy. Make no mistake – he has a very low floor but his ceiling is very high given how talented he is. There is a good bit of upside in this late sixth/early seventh round range but Abdullah stands out. He could be lightning in a bottle for your fantasy squad.
TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (Current Average Draft Position: 81)
Having finished in the bottom half of the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns, I realize many aren’t exactly rushing to invest in the Minnesota passing attack. That said, if Kyle Rudolph‘s current average draft position stays this low I will be inclined to draft him in many of my leagues. Many people don’t realize it but Rudolph led all tight ends in targets (132) while also finishing third in receptions (83), fifth in touchdowns (7) and fourth in yards (840) at the position. He is currently the seventh tight end being drafted yet he was the second-best overall tight end in standard scoring last season. Sam Bradford has clearly identified Rudolph as his go-to guy in scoring situations, giving him 30 targets in the red zone. I could easily see that touchdown number rising a few spots this fall. This offense under coordinator Pat Shurmur is historically very tight end friendly so I don’t think last season was a fluke. Kyle Rudolph has a high ceiling and a safe floor at his current price point. Draft him with confidence in the middle rounds after you load up on the other skill positions!