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GUT CHECK: Players To Target

Every season, there are players that we in the fantasy football industry identify as players that are “our guys.” Each fantasy football player has their own “guys” that they will be targeting in every draft they participate in. Other fantasy football players will agree or disagree with your assessment of your “guys,” but ultimately, it’s all about what you think. Your gut instinct should trump any other outside opinion of that player. Here is a list of seven players that are “my guys” for the 2018 fantasy season.

Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers – I’m well aware of the concussion concern with Adams. However, the fact that Adams is now the unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver in the Green Bay offense is something that cannot be ignored. We all know how successful Jordy Nelson was in that role for many years. Those last two statements trump any other concern that I have about Adams. His upside is crazy high with Aaron Rodgers at the helm and it’s the type of upside that can win you a league. It’s like when someone check raises when I have a full house … I’m all in.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers – When a rookie running back ties for his team’s lead in targets (113) and leads his team in receptions (80), I believe it is a harbinger of things to come. McCaffrey is your prototypical points per reception stud. He is going to catch so many passes that his weekly floor is going to be super high. Couple that with the potential for a projected increase in rushing attempts and you’re looking at an all-around, complete fantasy stud. If McCaffrey is available in the late second round, I’m pulling the trigger on him every time.

Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams – Cooper Kupp averaged 6.3 targets per game in the 15 games he played in 2017. That includes four games when Woods was not on the field. Woods averaged 7.1 targets per game in the 12 games he played in 2017. My point is, the fact that Jared Goff targeted Woods the most out of any wide receiver on the Rams on a per game basis last season tells me all I need to know about his 2018 projected fantasy value. Woods is Goff’s guy, plain and simple. He trusts him and will continue to look his way this season. In my opinion, Woods has high end WR2 upside for this season. With his current seventh-/eighth-round price tag, he is someone I’ll be targeting in every single one of my drafts this summer. He’s the type of wide receiver that you’ll look back and regret not drafting when you had the chance.

Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions – What’s not to like about Tate? He plays for a team that loves to pass the ball. He has a quarterback in Matthew Stafford who has been one of the most consistent fantasy quarterbacks in the past seven seasons. He is the No. 1 wide receiver in the Detroit Lions offense and has had at least 90 receptions in each of the past four seasons. He’s still in his prime and all that’s separating him from being a Top 10 fantasy wide receiver is his touchdown total, which as we all know, is a volatile statistic to project. There are only a select few reliable and consistent wide receivers available after the fifth round, and Tate is one of them.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans – The Tennessee Titans have a sneaky good offense and will have plenty of opportunities to possess the football this season. Henry will be the primary ball carrier in that offense this season. I think you’re looking at a floor of 1,000 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns with the potential for even better numbers. While many others feel Dion Lewis will prevent Henry from reaching RB1 numbers, I simply do not feel that is the case. In my opinion, Henry has RB1 upside and will end up being a first-round draft pick in 2019 drafts.

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers – In the five games that Cobb played with Aaron Rodgers in 2017, he averaged six receptions and 60 receiving yards. Extrapolated to a full 16-game season, Cobb would have had 96 receptions and 960 receiving yards. Cobb is currently being drafted around the 10th round in 20-round “best ball” league formats (MFL10s). From 2014-16, Rodgers played in every game and averaged 36 passing touchdowns per season. If Rodgers does what Rodgers does and throws at least 35 passing touchdowns in 2018, where are all of those touchdowns going to go? Cobb is criminally undervalued right now and is a wide receiver who should be going 3-4 rounds higher than he currently is. Sign me up.

Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots – When you have the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL throwing you the ball, you always have an opportunity to be successful. Hogan has a brief history with injuries, but when healthy, he is as solid a WR3-4 as you can have. In the eight full games Hogan played in 2017, he averaged 6.5 targets per game. Tom Brady trusts him, plain and simple. If Hogan plays a full 16-game season, his floor is 70 receptions, 900 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

About Evan Reardon

An avid Boston sports fan, Evan has been a Patriots and NFL fan since the 1990's. Fantasy football runs in his family. He grew up in the 90's watching his father and uncles play in a 6-team, Touchdown-only league. He has been playing fantasy football since the early 2000's and has been writing fantasy sports content since 2014.