Fall is the most exciting time of the year for many sports fans in America for one reason and one reason only: football is back. Let’s check out which players you should look for at Fantasy Football Draft!
Whether you are a die-hard fan of your local team or just enjoy the physicality as a whole, most people would agree that one of the best parts of football season is forming, drafting, and managing fantasy teams.
Regardless of if you like to stockpile running backs and force trades from other General Managers, take the MVP quarterback in the first round, or are the first one to get a defense and special teams, these are five players that you MUST target after the opening rounds to have a successful fantasy campaign this year.
Fantasy Football Draft Honorable Mention: TE Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns
Bryant took 24 receptions for 238 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie, battling (and beating) David Njoku for reps behind full-time starter Austin Hooper. The Browns’ sophomore pass-catcher was the collegiate tight end of the year at Florida Atlantic the year before and is currently sitting second in the depth chart a few weeks before the season kicks off.
The Browns took Bryant in the fourth round for a reason, and it was not to let him sit on the bench; he has a huge catch radius and safe hands, though he is no more than a sleeper pick at best due to the congestion and supreme talent within the Browns’ offense.
We Like This Guy: RB AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers
Dillon was little more than an afterthought as a rookie last year, getting 46 carries he took for 242 yards and two touchdowns. The former Boston College Eagle is stuck behind one of the league’s best backs, Aaron Jones, in the pecking order, but he is a mammoth of a man at 6-foot 247 pounds that will see action around the goal line.
Even though he is the Packers’ number-two, Dillon’s upside comes through touchdowns and not volume— that being said, he is a near-guarantee to power through opposing defenses if he can get the ball inside five yards of the end zone, having scored 14 rushing touchdowns during his final year in college. The Packers like to use Aaron Rodgers in play-action in these situations, so he will not be a sure-fire starter every week, but he will prove to be a great final-round investment if you can get him.
Under-the-Radar Pick: QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
ESPN has unfathomably listed Winston 29th in their quarterback projections despite his 5,000-yard passing season in 2019, his most recent as a starter, one of the league’s best offensive minds at Head Coach, and a receiving corps that includes the league’s record-holder for most catches in a single season, Michael Thomas.
Winston’s greatest competition will be against teammate Taysom Hill for the starting spot, but he should prevail; if he does, expect Winston to bring his usual air-raid approach to a system that is designed to prevent mistakes and set up the team for success. He will turn the ball over, but he will also accumulate tons of yards and touchdowns with deep passes and a fearless style.
Nobody is Talking About Him: WR Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
Hardman (41 rec, 560 yds, four TDs) has taken a Tyreek Hill-style approach of evolving from a speed-focused special teams player to one that can contribute in the passing game for a Championship team; Sammy Watkins’ offseason departure meant that Hardman rose to second in the pecking order, and he is now expected to get a decent workload for a team that threw the ball the third-most times per game.
Hardman’s 4.33 speed will help him get open on deep routes that Patrick Mahomes is more than capable of spotting, and as the second receiver in the depth chart, he will be on the field enough to make plays. Hardman will prove to be a solid second receiver and exceptional third receiver or flex for future GMs.
Fantasy Football Draft Incredible Value If It Pans Out: WR Adam Humphries, Washington Football Team
Coming off of a 23-catch, 228-yard, two-touchdown (seven-game) season with the Tennessee Titans, Humphries is not even in ESPN’s top-100 at his position. However, his upside is undeniable heading to a team that has talent around him, a great offensive line, and a quarterback that is willing to take risks and loves throwing over the middle.
Washington’s fourth-leading receiver last year, Cam Sims, managed 32 receptions, 477 yards, and a touchdown despite playing with four different quarterbacks that combined to finish ninth-worst in passing yardage. Expect Humphries to finish somewhere around fourth this year, and although is not a huge threat to take the top off of the defense, he will pick up chunk yardage out of the slot and can produce in PPR leagues.
Do Not Miss Out: RB Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams
Of the 384 carries that were given to Rams’ running backs last year, Henderson received 35.9%, which he converted for 624 yards and five touchdowns; now that teammate Cam Akers has been ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles, LA’s most efficient rusher will become the bell cow for a team that is expected to be one of the best in the NFC.
Henderson has always played with a fire that is evident to any onlooker, and he is set to thrive as the full-time starter. He may not have the full workload that he would have had Jared Goff not been traded for Matthew Stafford, but he is still going to get a massive increase from what he was handed in his first two professional seasons. Take Henderson somewhere in rounds three-five, or even earlier if you are confident in him.
Stay with Knup Sports for more fantasy sports articles!