As Bruce Buffer would say, “IT’S TIIIIME.” Except, he says it longer and in a more cool fashion than the way you probably voiced it in your head, but I digress.
It is time. In fact, it’s past time. It’s time to begin the fantasy football season, as if it ever ended, right?
One of the ways to begin researching for fantasy football drafts is to gauge the value of players based on their average draft position (ADP). The purpose of this writing is to offer five players who, subjectively and in no particular order, should be drafted lower than their current ADPs, according to numbers taken from fantasyfootballcalculator.com as of 7/3/16.
In other words, five players who may not meet their current draft value. Keep in mind this is based on point-per reception (PPR) scoring formats. Current ADPs and position ranks are in parentheses.
Amari Cooper (2.10 – WR11)
As could be the case with other players in this list, I still like Cooper, I just don’t think he’s worth taking as the 11th wide receiver off draft boards. He had a terrific rookie season, tallying 72 catches for just over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. And while improving on those numbers is very much a possibility, WR11 seems a bit too high right now. Oakland still has Michael Crabtree and a good, young tight end in Clive Walford, who is a breakout candidate in 2016.
The Raiders’ running game, too, should be a bigger part of their offensive plans after they averaged a mere 91.1 rushing yards per game — fifth worth in the NFL last year. Latavius Murray was one of seven running backs to reach the 1,000-yard plateau last season, and the Raiders added gifted rookie DeAndre Washington to the mix, not to mention Taiwan Jones and Roy Helu, among others.
The safer approach in drafts, if one is targeting Amari Cooper, is to draft him just outside of WR1 territory. A third-round pick should get the job done.
Players I’d rather draft around the same ADP: Alshon Jeffery, Mike Evans, Brandon Marshall (if Ryan Fitzpatrick re-signs).
- Suggested Read: PPR Wide Receiver Rankings
Jamaal Charles (2.05 – RB8)
Oh how they mighty have fallen. It was only a small fall for Charles, though. As of now, he’s the eighth running back being selected in PPR drafts. While taking him there isn’t an egregious act, more caution should be used. He’s coming off an ACL tear after playing just five games last season. And since college he has endured several ankle, foot and knee issues, including two torn ACLs as of last year.
Charles has only played two full 16-game seasons over his eight-year career.
Andy Reid and the Chiefs can still use Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware and Knile Davis to keep Charles fresher, but even then he’s also losing touches. Not all hope should be lost, though. Charles is still worth looking at as an RB1, especially in PPR formats.
Players I’d rather draft around the same ADP: Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, Alshon Jeffery, Mike Evans.
Jeremy Langford (4.08 – RB18)[the_ad id=”63198″]Langford will be the Chicago Bears’ No. 1 running back, but he wasn’t too impressive in his rookie campaign last year. He’s one of a select few running backs who could eventually have his job taken away by a rookie, that rookie being Jordan Howard. And while Langford did total seven touchdowns last season, he ran for a measly 3.6 yards per carry on 148 rush attempts.
Additionally, Langford caught just 22 of his 42 targets. He’s got bricks for hands, folks, as far as receiving is concerned. Because of Langford’s lack of aptitude in the passing game, look for Chicago to use Jacquizz Rodgers, in particular, more in passing situations. He has proven to be successful as a pass-catcher.
If Langford can’t achieve an uptick in his yards per carry and if he continues to drop the ball consistently, then Howard may take over sooner rather than later. If one is so inclined to draft Langford, drafting Howard in the mid- to late-rounds as a handcuff is an advisable strategy. Rodgers may also be worth a flier in PPR leagues.
Players I’d rather draft around the same ADP: Carlos Hyde, Danny Woodhead, Jeremy Maclin, C.J. Anderson, Latavius Murray, Giovani Bernard, Matt Jones.
- Suggested Read: PPR Running Back Rankings
Julian Edelman (3.03 – WR16)
Not only will Edelman not have Tom Brady for the first four games of the regular season, but he also underwent foot surgery earlier this offseason. His injury history goes well beyond that, too. The quick and agile Edelman has only played one full season in his seven-year career, and he only played in nine games in 2015.
Since entering the NFL in 2011, Edelman has accrued the following injuries: fractured forearm, sprained ankle, concussion, sprained ankle, fractured hand, sprained ankle, fractured foot, concussion, fractured hand, concussion, fractured foot and another sprained ankle. What’s more concerning about his most recent injuries is that Edelman sprained his ankle this offseason after suffering a Jones fracture late last year.
It’s unclear if Edelman will be able to participate in training camp, but he’ll almost certainly hardly see the field during preseason. The injury history and the Brady-less offense for the first four games are big red flags for Edelman.
Players I’d rather draft around the same ADP: Brandin Cooks, Doug Martin, Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton.
Kelvin Benjamin (3.07 – WR19)[the_ad id=”58837″]Drafting a player coming off a serious, season-ending injury is a risky business, even if that player still has tremendous upside. Benjamin has only played one full season, and he has already dealt with a torn ACL, which he suffered in last year’s training camp, hamstring ailments and a concussion. He also reportedly gained some weight during his injury-induced hiatus.
Head coach Ron Rivera has said that Benjamin will be good to go for training camp, but the risk is obviously still there. And even though Cam Newton is coming off a historically good season, he’s still one of the most inconsistent passers in the NFL. The Panthers have a decent supporting cast behind Benjamin in the receiving game, too, namely with Greg Olsen and Devin Funchess, but Ted Ginn also found himself again last year.
Benjamin is capable of 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns, but he’s better suited for standard scoring leagues.
Players I’d rather draft around the same ADP: Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton, Randall Cobb.