You can’t have all the studs on your team and you don’t need them all to win. The middle of the draft can make or break a team and if you look closely, there are values to be had. Teams that use a high percentage of pass plays each year or bad offenses that play from behind often are great places to look. The players we have here are poised for a breakout year and are currently inexpensive investments.
D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
Moore is looking to break out in his sophomore season and build upon the 55 catches for 788 yards with 2 touchdowns he had as a rookie. Devin Funchess and his 44 targets have left town and the expectation is that Moore will see some of those giving him a nice uptick from the 82 he saw a year ago. Moore has the jets to get downfield and make plays with his legs. The Panthers after the first three weeks have the easiest passing schedule the rest of the year. With an ADP of 6.04, you should be looking to draft Moore. He should be going ahead of Chris Godwin (5.05) and Tyler Boyd (5.12).
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
When Odell Beckham Jr was traded this off-season, his 124 targets from a year ago were as well. Shepard saw 107 last year, but the Giants did bring in Golden Tate as well who will see his share, but Tate is on the downside of his career and is suspended (pending appeal) the first four games of the season. On a team that is not expected to do much and play from behind, Shepard has the chance to become a target monster. After catching 66 balls for 872 yards and 4 touchdowns, there is no reason why he cannot eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this year. Remember, even if it’s garbage time, it still counts in fantasy. Currently, with an ADP of 9.04, he would make a fine addition to any roster ahead of Marvin Jones (8.06) or Geronimo Allison (8.10). Keep an eye on him through camp and preseason as he is nursing a thumb injury, which could help him fall further in drafts.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers went out and signed Moncrief in the offseason after moving on from Antonio Brown. Brown’s eye-popping 168 targets are up for distribution among the Steeler’s offense. Moncrief finished last year with 48 grabs for 668 yards and three scores while in Jacksonville, playing in an inferior offense. Moncrief will take over the JuJu Smith-Schuster role from a year ago, seeing more of the single coverage defense. Early word out of camp is that he is ahead of James Washington on the depth chart as of now. With an ADP of 11.08, it is worth rolling the dice on Moncrief this year. Take him ahead of Devin Funchess (11.04) or DeSean Jackson (10.06).
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
Miller played hurt for most of last year, but after off-season shoulder surgery he is working his way back to 100 percent health. In his rookie year, he caught 33 passes for 423 yards and 7 touchdowns with basically one arm. The Bears ran 11 personnel 64% of the time which means Miller was on the field a lot in 3-wide receiver sets. Not much is going to change this year in the West Coast system Matt Nagy runs in Chicago. A healthy Miller with an ADP 11.11 is worth the dart throw on the touchdown upside alone. You should be taking him before Keke Coutee (11.06) or James Washington (11.07).
Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders
Williams was often the forgotten man while playing for the Chargers, but the Raiders brought him over this past off-season giving him a change of scenery. If nothing else follow the money, teams don’t spend $44 million for four years on a player, to not have him be a part of their offense. Williams caught 41 balls for 653 yards and 5 touchdowns last year. His move to Oakland will benefit him as he is now playing with Antonio Brown who will command a lot of double coverage (assuming helmet-gate gets settled). Williams should see single coverage opening up the field for him to stretch his legs, and could return to his 2016 form where he went for over 1,000 yards. With an ADP of 13.01, Williams should be on a roster before Golden Tate (12.01) or Parris Campbell (12.05). Draft Williams and not your defense or kicker in the thirteenth, but you should already know to not take a kicker or defense that early.