By: Josh Mousel (Twitter: @BeardedM00se)
Fantastic Values and Where to Find Them
When it comes to fantasy football, everyone is looking for that special group of players that will lead their team to a glorious championship! We study, mock and research all of the top players to ensure the early rounds of our draft go perfectly, but what if I told you that the players you select at the end could be the difference in winning and winning it all. In this article, I hope to shed some light on the late round values that I believe can win you your league.
Tyrell Williams is a talented receiver on a Los Angeles Chargers team that throws the ball a lot. I mean, finishes in the top 15 three years straight (with a top 2 finish in 2015) in pass attempts, lot. Williams was gifted an amazing opportunity to be “the guy” after Keenan Allen went down in week 1 of last year with an ACL tear, and he did not disappoint. In his 16 games played, Williams was targeted 120 times and landed 69 rec. for 1,059 yards and 7 TD. That was good enough for the 19th wide receiver last year. There seemed to be some threat with the LA Chargers drafting Mike Williams and the return of Keenan Allen, but now Mike Williams is in talks for back surgery and Allen has missed significant time over the last two seasons due to injury.
I personally do not understand the crazy hype surrounding Allen, in his BEST year his numbers were very similar to Williams. In 2013 Allen had 71 catches for 1046 yards and 8 TDs, yet his ADP right now is as high as 3.08!? With Tyrell Williams going in the middle of the 10th round (10.06), I would much rather take the “same” player just 7 rounds later. Keep a lookout for Tyrell the Gazelle!
Kyle Rudolph is going in the back(ish) of the 8th round according to Fantasy Football Calculator. That is good enough for the 9th TE off the board. But what if I told you that Rudolph finished last year as the NUMBER 2 tight end! While 2016 was a down year for the TE position, Rudolph benefited from the constant Red Zone targets that found their way to him. He finished second in red zone targets (30) across ALL positions, only behind Jordy Nelson (35). And speaking of targets, Rudolph ended the year with 132 targets and was able to bring in 83 receptions.
Sam Bradford loved to constantly throw to the huge target that is Kyle Rudolph, and I see no reason for why that would end in 2017. Bradford threw a total of 151 targets to the TE position in 2015, so this looks to become a dynamic duo! If you are like me and wait for the TE position in your drafts, Rudolph can be your guy!
As I was doing research for this article I came across Kenny Britt‘s name in the mid 11th round (11.05 according to Fantasy Football Calculator). At first glance, this seems fitting, a wide receiver that has shown flashes of brilliance but has failed to top 1,000 yards in his career. Be it by injury or lack of targets, Britt has been disappointing to many fantasy owners over the seasons, unless you picked him up last year. Britt was finally able to top the 1,000-yard mark and added five touchdowns on 68 receptions! With quarterbacks Case Keenum and Jared Goff at the helm, Britt was still able to post his career year. He had his best catch percentage (61.3%, previous high was 2011 when he played 3 games) and highest yards per game (66.8) in 2016. The Rams lost Britt to the Cleveland Browns this offseason and I love the opportunity he will have there! I know that sounds crazy, it is the Browns, but looking at the QB stats between Goff and Kessler is what has excited me.
To show you what I mean, I will just give you the numbers. Goff in his seven games played had 205 attempts, 112 completions (54.6%), for 1089 yards, 5 TD/7 INT. Not horrendous for a rookie QB starting in that miserable Jeff Fisher offense. Kessler however, on what was considered the worst team in the league, had much better numbers! Kessler threw 195 attempts, 128 completions (65.6%) for 1380 yards 6 TD/2 INT. Much better by comparison, and Britt is essentially the main ticket over in Cleveland. The Browns have done a TON of work to improve their team this offseason, with additions to the offensive line Kessler should have more time to look and that gives Britt more time to shine. Britt is currently being drafted behind FIVE defenses and multiple third string running backs! In the 11th round, Britt is the kind of talent that can make all the difference and it doesn’t cost you a thing!
Being stuck in a run first offense never bodes well for a quarterback trying to make a name for himself in the NFL. Tyrod is a favorite of mine for so many reasons. He is only 28 years old, he is an electric runner and an efficient passer, he has an elite receiver and one of the best rushers of this decade. As I was combing through Tyrods stats for the 2016 season I noticed he is strikingly similar to Jameis Winston. I say that keeping in mind that Winston is on a more verticle offense, with a talented receiving corp himself. What amazes me is Tyrod outperforms Winston in completion percentage (TT-61.7%, JW-60.8%), touchdown to interception ratio (TT-20/6, JW-28/18), and quarterback rating (TT-68.2, JW-64.7). Surprisingly, Winston is drafted around 8.04 and Taylor 11.10! Winston does have more passing yards (4090) than Taylor does (3035), but Taylor’s ability to run with the ball draws that number much closer.
On 95 rushes last year Taylor picked up 580 yards and an additional six touchdowns, while Winston ran for 165 yards and one touchdown. So I make the same case for Tyrod Taylor as I did for Tyrell Williams, if you can draft the same player, just later, then you should always take the value. Do not let name bias dictate your draft!
There is always going to be the guy (or two) that goes late in a draft that is going to show up big. He will be the guy that could give you the push you need mid-season to secure that playoff spot or the one that comes out of the gate strong and gives you a head start in your league. This is the short list of some of the values that I will be targeting in my drafts. May they reward you with many points and provide you with plenty of bragging rights!