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Fantasy Football: Which players could be potential steals?

Pete Davidson
August 30, 2018 - 12:17 pm
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It’s the biggest drafting weekend of the fantasy football season, so it’s time to break out the biggest values in every round of all potential drafts.  No matter how big your league is, there’s something for you here.  These players are ranked by round—last to first.  Some of these players are ranked significantly higher in my rankings at Rotobahn, but this is about the prices being paid and where you may be able to steal some talent, so take the order of presentation with a grain of salt.  I’m targeting some of these players, like Chris Godwin, John Brown, Keelan Cole and Geronimo Allison significantly higher (2-3 rounds) than their ADP.

For those of you looking for more comprehensive drafting tools, head over to Rotobahn.com for free cheat sheets and free rankings of the top 500 players.  You should also check out my recent podcasts on all 32 backfields as well as my Rotobahn Draft Plan pod.  Good luck to all this weekend!  Bring home the hardware!

The ADP used in this article was sourced from 4FOR4.com.  The ADP for each player is in parenthesis.

Round 20

Geronimo Allison, WR, Packers (239)

The rumors of Randall Cobb being dealt could cause Allison to move up over the next week, but he’s a value anywhere after 150 picks are off the board.  Allison is the number three receiver for Aaron Rodgers, which gives him value, but he could move up to number two if the Cobb rumors have teeth.  Other tasty 20th round options include Taywan Taylor and Mike Wallace.

Round 19

Keelan Cole, WR, Jaguars (238, but that’s pre-Marqise Lee)

He’s talented, and with Marqise Lee’s season-ending injury, Coles could become the most valuable receiver in Jacksonville.  Not bad for the 19th round. Of course, he’s probably about to spike a bit and move up, so you may want to target him a few rounds sooner.  Other compelling round 19 targets include Dede Westbrook, who I like in PPR scoring and Jeremy Hill, who could provide some short term protection for those who take a chance on Sony Michel.

Round 18

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals (210)

I’ve been beating this drum for weeks and my hands are getting tired, but Dalton has so many compelling things going for him.  Don’t get caught up in his lack of sex appeal.  His stats are going to be much better than what you pay for.  Dalton’s been a QB1 performer in the past and he can do it again.  My guess is that he finishes in the top 15, and that is well worth a look this late.  All of his key weapons are healthy right now and he plays a favorable schedule.

Round 17

Chris Godwin, WR, Bucs (193)

The Bucs may be a bad team, and that’s good news if you draft Godwin.  Here’s why.  Godwin is an emerging talent with a big future, but DeSean Jackson and his contract stand in the way of major playing time.  Adam Humphries mans the slot—also taking snaps from Godwin, who is undoubtedly the future at the position along with Mike Evans.  Now I don’t think they will be able to keep Godwin off the field no matter what, but you can bet dollars to doughnuts that Godwin will play a ton if the season goes south.  Teams almost always sell the future when the present emits an offensive scent.  This is something Patriots fans may not understand, but trust me, it’s true.  Godwin has the potential to be the PPR steal of the year, and that’s doubly true if the Bucs are bad.

Round 16

John Brown, WR, Ravens (181)

I’m big on John Brown in this area of the draft or even a few rounds sooner.  He could be the top option in the Ravens’ passing attack.  All he needs to do is stay healthy.  The talent is there and Joe Flacco loves throwing down the field.  If Brown is gone in the 16th, consider going after post-hype sleeper John Ross.  As I like to say, Ross could end up being Will Fuller, but with better hands.  As with Fuller, Ross only needs to stay healthy and the results will follow.

Round 15

Jameis Winston, QB, Bucs (172) and Eli Manning, QB, Giants (176)

If you play in a league where rostering a backup QB makes sense, here are two solid values who also work logistically.  I’m not in love with Manning’s early schedule, and Winston is on a suspension for the first three weeks.  Having said that, both of these passers have good second half schedules and a ton of surrounding skill talent to work with.  If your starter has a bye week on Week 7 or later, Manning and Winston are very solid selections.

Round 14

Anthony Miller, WR, Bears (160)

He’s a rookie, so there’s always some risk, but I love the potential here—especially if your league uses full PPR scoring.  My hunch is that Miller is the most valuable PPR receiver in Chicago this year, and he’s available ten rounds after Allen Robinson goes off the board.  Another good round 14 value is Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  He’s another person who could get some extra targets in the wake of Marqise Lee’s injury.  He’s also the one receiver in Jacksonville who is not fighting for snaps—because he’s a tight end.  He’s got under-the-radar 10 score potential.  Yes, 10 scores.  It’s possible.  The Jets messed up letting this guy go.

Round 13

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks (145)

He’s got a lot going for him right now.  He just signed a contract which pays him well beyond the stats he’s posted to date.  That contract all but states that he is Seattle’s number two receiver behind Doug Baldwin, and Baldwin is playing with a sore knee, which could linger all season.  You better believe I’ll draft Russell Wilson’s second option in the 13th round.  Heck, I might go a round sooner.

Round 12

Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions (140)

There’s a lot of valuable upside plays in round twelve, like O.J. Howard, D.J. Moore, Mike Williams and Corey Clement, but I’m going to focus on Kenny Golladay, who has big touchdown potential in Detroit this year.  The Lions play three wide receivers as their base offense.  Golladay will be close to a full time player and should be the primary red zone weapon for Matthew Stafford.

Round 11

Kenny Stills, WR, Dolphins (121)

Call me crazy but I think the Dolphins may be trailing in a few games this year.  In the past, that meant loads of targets and receptions for Jarvis Landry, but that target hog is now playing in Cleveland.  There is no such vacuum or vortex in Miami any longer, and that, plus “positive” game flow, could make Stills a steal for fantasy GMs.  Stills, always an underrated talent, stands above the rest of the pack in Miami.  We all know Danny Amendola is unlikely to last.  DeVante Parker is forever taxiing and who knows if he will ever lift off.  If he does it will probably be for another team as he’s failed to connect with Miami’s coaching staff.  Stills has a legit shot at being the number one receiver in Miami—a team that should be throwing often—because they’ll have to.  He’s a value and he has some hidden upside.

Round 10

Aaron Jones, RB, Packers (114)

He’s a bit of a dart throw, but he’s slipped enough where I want to take the chance—especially if RB is a need when I am picking.  Jones will miss Weeks 1 and 2, and that’s made Jamaal Williams the trendy pick.  It’s understandable, but the thing is, Jones is the better runner when healthy.  Maybe it doesn’t happen, but Jones has the talent to be a RB1 in Green Bay’s offense.  I’ll roll those dice in the 10th round.  Another upside RB to target in round 10 is Nick Chubb, who could turn into a RB1 with a Carlos Hyde injury.

Round 9

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles (106)

He HAS to start rising now, right?  For the life of me I do not understand why folks aren’t more aggressively drafting Agholor.  Is it that he was a so-called bust for so long?  Do they think his 2017 TD total was fugazi?  Who knows, but I’m all-in on this guy and doubly so now that we know Alshon Jeffery will miss at least the first two games of the season.  It would not surprise me one bit if Agholor is the Eagles’ number one option this season.  You better believe I want him as my WR3.  I’ll look for him as early as round seven.

Round 8

Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams (85)

Plenty of great talent available here, but the two guys I’ve been taking most often are Kupp and Bears TE Trey Burton.  I expect both of these two to outperform their draft position—especially in full PPR formats.  Their playing time and workloads are pretty much locked in at this point.  Kupp is Jared Goff’s favorite target and Burton is running unopposed in the wake of Adam Shaheen’s season-ending foot injury.  Both of these guys are ready for takeoff.

Round 7

Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs (77)

Plenty of ways to go at this point of the draft but my favorites based on ADP are Watkins, Robert Woods and Emmanuel Sanders.  If you are looking for a RB at this stage and can stomach the injury risk, Sony Michel is a good way to go.  As for Watkins, you are getting a guy with WR1 talent who is finally paired with a quarterback who fits his skill set.  With Watkins and Patrick Mahomes working together, the offensive coordinator has major options at the white board.  There are virtually no routes that Watkins cannot run and he’s finally healthy.  Yes, there are other great targets in K.C., like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, but this team is going to throw the ball downfield often and their defense is going to give up points.  I like the situation combined with Watkins’ price.  I like it a lot.  If you are looking for a safer option, especially in full PPR, Sanders and Woods are also compelling.

Round 6

Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers (71)

This was a tough choice because there are a few others in this round who offer compelling value, like Rex Burkhead, Tevin Coleman or Corey Davis, but Goodwin is going after all those folks so I am giving him the nod.  Goodwin is a player I have already drafted numerous times and the reason I keep pulling the trigger is that he fits my primary tenet of drafting—to find players who can drastically outperform their ADP.  Goodwin, in my view, will be Jimmy Garoppolo’s top weapon and he has a chance at breaking out and redefining his value.  If Goodwin stays healthy, I think he could be a guy who posts numbers commensurate with round three.  That’s great value.

Round 5

Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots (58)

The fifth round is loaded with salivating options, but for me, Hogan really stands out.  This is basically an extrapolation of Hogan’s healthy weeks from 2017 along with what he did in the post-season.  If we get that performance over 16 regular season games in 2018, you could have a guy you nab in round five or six giving you numbers you’d normally find in round three or even late round two.  Giddyup on that.  The other fifth rounders I can’t stop drafting are Josh Gordon, Mark Ingram and Evan Engram.

Round 4

Lamar Miller, RB, Texans, (47)

Round four is loaded with strong value propositions, but the guy I really like right now is Lamar Miller, who will often sneak into the early fifth.  Why Miller?  Because he’s got a better lock on his role than most seem to think.  Miller’s fantasy past is a complex one and that seems to be holding his value down.  This is a player who’s been tagged for breakout a few times in the past, but he’s never really done it.  So he’s ruffled some fantasy feathers and fantasy GMs have memories like elephants.  I submit that you take advantage of these factors and nab Miller as your RB2 or even RB3.  No need to reach, just let him fall to you in the late fourth or early fifth.

Round 3

Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings (32)

There are a lot of ways to do well for yourself in round three, but you won’t find anybody with more unexplored ceiling than Diggs—and you get plenty of floor too.  He’s an emerging talent who can only be slowed by injury.  The fact that he’s getting a quarterback upgrade with Kirk Cousins is an added bonus.  Diggs makes sense to me anytime after my top 17 players are off the board.  I’m willing to take him at the 2/3 turn in some cases.  No fear.

Round 2

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers (17)

In full PPR leagues, I think McCaffrey is viable as a first round pick.  He’s that good in the passing game and I see a substantial increase in carries compared to his rookie season.  This guy could make a run at 300 touches.  My guess is about 280.  He’s a potential league-winner if you get him in the mid-to-late second.  I’m leaning in on this guy.

Round 1

Odell Beckham, WR, Giants (12)

To me, Odell is a value anywhere after the fifth overall pick.  He’s still at 12 overall on 4FOR4’s ADP, so he’s my top round one value.  Teams will find it even tougher to send extra defenders at him this year—with surrounding talent like Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard.  The Giants may regret passing on Sam Darnold someday, but for now, they have balanced their offense and set the stage for Beckham to be even more efficient on a per touch basis.  He could make a run at 15 touchdowns.

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