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8 Players I’ve Been Targeting in Recent Drafts

As an analyst one of the things that happens every year is that you talk yourself into a player – maybe you say that Martavis Bryant should be on every team – and then you don’t ever end up drafting that player. It’s not willful. You’re not writing pieces pumping up players and then avoiding them because screw the readers. It’s more accidental and also because when you write the piece you haven’t really considered how a draft would have to play out in order to draft that player.

I thought it might be helpful if I share the names of some players that I have been ending up with in recent drafts. These picks are likely time-weighted to about 10 days ago, for what it’s worth. But I’ll be doing more drafts and will try to update this list as needed.

Also for what it’s worth I got my first August share of Martavis Bryant last night in the fifth round.

NAME  My Average Pick Comments
Alshon Jeffery        20.80 This one is fairly straightforward. Only about five receivers have scored more fantasy points over the past two years than Alshon. Now he should see even more consistent usage, and you can get him after the first tier is gone. I’ve been drafting Alshon either as my first WR when I take Gronk in the first, or as my second if I take Demaryius Thomas or Julio Jones in the first.
Amari Cooper        44.00 I like Cooper both because of his impressive college resume, and also because he’s likely to be the lead receiver on his team. He’s not going to finish with 256 targets, but he was on a 256 target pace through a quarter of his first preseason game.
Breshad Perriman     102.00 You can see that the ADP here is probably a little aggressive. It’s frankly not ideal that I have Perriman at this price when he’s falling on concerns about his knee. But I think he’s also usually about my 5th or 6th WR drafted. I don’t need him to be ready any time soon. In fact if he’s a starter by the time the bye weeks roll around that will be fine. Whether or not this is a good pick will likely be binary. He either will eventually emerge as the WR1 in Baltimore, or he won’t.
CAR Team Defense     213.00 Carolina’s first four games are JAX, HOU, NO, and TB.
DeAndre Hopkins        28.00 In the first four rounds of the draft I’m trying to accumulate targets. After that I’m swinging for upside. Hopkins and Amari Cooper are examples of where I think they’ll just be in great target situations. It’s not even that they don’t have big play upside, I just think the primary reason to draft either of them is related to usage.
Marcus Mariota     165.00 This one could look really stupid in a month, but I have Mariota as my only QB on a few teams. Wish me luck. I might need it.
Terrance West     181.00 See this article. West actually reminds me a little of Matt Forte. They’re both larger backs whose best use might be as receivers. But they might also be subpar runners. Forte didn’t average over four yards per carry until his third season. The difference is obviously that Forte had the CHI backfield to himself early in his career while West is in a committee at best…although most of the world thinks the Browns should just cut him.
Torrey Smith        84.00 Even though Smith has finished in a pretty consistent range in the mid WR20s each year he’s been a pro, I think that actually masks how combustible he could be. It’s not that I think he’ll definitely see 150 targets in 2015. But even if the 49ers have a run focused offense they’ll still have 450 passing targets to spread around. Give however many you want to Anquan Boldin and there will still be plenty left over for Smith. If you give Smith 140 targets at his career Y/T and TD/T numbers thats 1158 yards and 9.7 touchdowns. I don’t know if he’ll either get the targets or the efficiency to do that, but I’m willing to take a shot in the 8th round.

Some players that didn’t quite make this list, that could be in future installments: Danny Woodhead, Devante Parker, and Rob Gronkowski.

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