Players to Target in Each Round of Your Draft

Players to Target in each round of your Draft

Round 1 has more to do with your position in the draft order than anything else.  Just about everyone here is a stud and you cannot go wrong.  So here is my top 12 based on which position you are in:

  1. David Johnson             7. Jordy Nelson
  2. Le’Veon Bell                 8. A.J. Green
  3. Antonio Brown            9. Devonta Freeman
  4. Odell Beckham Jr.    10. Mike Evans
  5. LeSean McCoy            11. Michael Thomas
  6. Julio Jones                    12. T.Y. Hilton

If I had my pick, I’d like to have the 4th or the 9th.  In 10 team or 12 team formats, I think these positions offer you the most upside on players you can grab in the early rounds.

Round 2 is scattered with players who either had one great year and thus could be stars but don’t have the longevity of success to get them into the 1st round.  Players such as Melvin Gordon, Jordan Howard, and Jay Ajayi.  Or round 2 has players that have been 1st rounders in the past and over the last couple of years, those players haven’t lived up to the draft price due to injuries.  Players such as Dez Bryant and Rob Gronkowski.

I’m targeting Jay Ajayi in Round 2.  I am a little concern with his lack of consistency from week to week.  However, I believe having Jay Cutler as his Quarterback helps Ajayi.  Yes!  You read that correctly.  Ajayi will benefit from Cutler in the passing game.  Think about how productive Matt Forte was out of the backfield.  Ajayi has room to grow in the reception department and Cutler is the guy to help him.

Round 3 I am all in on Lamar Miller.  Miller had 201 more rushing yards in 2016 than in 2015.  He had an increase of 74 rushing attempts as well.  Houston wants to run the ball with Miller.  Something the Dolphins wouldn’t attempt.  The downside for Miller came in the passing game.  2015 he was 47 for 397 yards and in 2016 he was 31 for 188 yards.  I contribute this more to Osweiler being a down the field passing quarterback, and wouldn’t look for the dump off.  Expect Miller to continue to rush the ball 240+ times for around 1,000 yards and to add in another 400 receiving yards.

Round 4 Terrelle Pryor is the easy choice here.  I like him a lot as well, but he may end up creeping into the late 3rd round over the next week or two.  My pick is Keenan Allen.  We all know that Allen has only played in 9 games over the last two years due to injuries, but he can’t have a 3rd season ending injury in a row, right?  If he’s on the field, he’s a stud.  Rivers trust him and will target that intermediate throw.  If healthy, Allen is a lock for 90+ receptions and could challenge to lead the NFL.

Round 5 Can you get a more consistent Tight End than Greg Olsen? 3 straight seasons with 1,000 yards.  5 straight seasons with at least 800 yards.  And prior to last year, he had 8 straight years with at least 5 touchdowns.  Plus, he may very well be the only Tight End in the NFL or skill player for that matter, who is better with the backup quarterback than the starter.

Round 6 Golden Tate was abysmal to start the last year.  Reports were that the Lions were trying to get Marvin Jones involved and perhaps pushed too hard for that.  By years end, Tate had his 3rd straight 90 plus reception season and 2nd career 1,000-yard season.  I would argue that he had his 2nd best season as a pro.

Round 7 Have we seen this movie before?  You know, the one where a stud WR has a terrible year, then the next year he moves to another team and everyone is surprised by his production.  Yes, Brandon Marshall is a steal in the 7th round.  Marshall has 6 seasons with at least 100 receptions.  First off, wrap your mind around that.  2nd he had 7 straight seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 8 for his career.  If you just knew those stats, you may very well think he’s a PPR monster.  Well he is but he also gets his Touchdowns as evidence with his 4 seasons of 10+ touchdowns.  His last year with Chicago was terrible, just like with the Jets.  Now he gets a team that loves to throw in the Red Zone, one of the top WR to take the pressure off him, and a QB that isn’t afraid to throw it up and let his WR’s go get it.  Give me some of that please!

Round 8 is the first round that I truly don’t like what I see.  When I get that feeling of having to reach for a player but that player can be had in the next round….that’s my signal to start filling out my roster positions.  If I didn’t get Olsen in the 5th, I’m getting my Tight End in Zach Ertz in the 8th.  If I did get Olsen, then I’m looking to get my Quarterback, and I’d love Kirk Cousins here.

Zach Ertz is 1 of 2 Tight Ends to have at least 75 receptions the last two seasons.  That’s a little miss leading because Travis Kelce had 72.  So let me rephrase that.  Zach Ertz is 1 of 3 Tight Ends to have at least 72 receptions the last two seasons.  The third is Greg Olsen.  And oh by the way….Olsen has had four seasons in a row with at least 73 receptions.  Get him in the 5th.

Kirk Cousins is another shiny pick.  And I agree.  For where his draft position is, you really can’t go wrong.  He has just as good of an opportunity to have a top 3 season, as Luck, Wilson, Winston or Mariota and you can draft Cousins a few rounds later than some of those.

Round 9 is where I start to see the top defense go.  The last couple of years I had no problem taking the Seahawks or the Broncos in this spot.  This year, I’m letting those top Defenses go.  I’ll pick up mine in the 10th or later.  I’m picking Tyrell Williams in the 9th. According to his draft position, this is a round early, but that’s how much I believe in him.  Plus I plan to get one of the remaining top tiered defenses available.

Round 10 and I hope that I have the Texans or the Chiefs available to choose from here.  The Texans were one of the top defenses last year and they played without J.J. Watt for most of the year.  How do they not improve?

Round 11 regardless of who you pick, do not be afraid to reach multiple rounds.  Get the guy you like and live with it.  These rounds are dart throws at best.  I’m reaching on Adam Thielen.  He had a real connection with Bradford and it turned into a career year.  I believe he can at least duplicate his production if not exceed it.  While he registered 16 games played, 2 of those he only played the first quarter due to injuries.  In the other 14 games, 9 of them he had at least 50 yards.

Round 12.  Marvin Jones got off to a bang last year.  And while its already been mentioned above, that it came at the expense of Golden Tate.  This late in the draft, I’m taking the guy that has done it before.  Last two picks in Jones and Thielen, each had 200+ receiving yard games last season.

Round 13 Bring on Justin Tucker.  I know, some of you are reading this and I’m probably on drugs….acknowledging I’d take a defense in the 10th and now I’m taking a kicker in the 13th is a sure fire way to get no one to take your advice.  BUT, my argument is that most leagues DO have defenses and kickers go earlier, at least the top tiered do.  And if I can get a starting roster spot that gives me the most upside over my opponent, instead of throwing a dart at a pick…Count me in.  Give me a solid defense or kicker over the likes of Darren Sproles or Sterling Shepard.

On a Side note, Andy Dalton may be the biggest draft steal of the year if you get him in the 13th round.  Hi current ADP is 148, which is the beginning of the 13th round in 12 team leagues or end of the 14th in 10 team leagues.

Round 14 and I am picking up Joe Williams.  This has more to do with a lack of trust for Carlos Hyde.  Would anyone be surprised if Hyde is injured at some point?  Can Shanahan work Williams into the offense and turn him into a Freeman or Coleman.  It’s possible.  So I’ll throw my dart here.

Round 15 Robbie Anderson flashed his speed towards the end of last season.  Yes, all Bryce Petty wanted to do was throw him the deep ball.  But the Jets are missing Brandon Marshall and Erick Decker from last year’s team and Quincy Enunwa has been placed on season ending injured reserve.  Seriously name one other Jets wide receiver.  What do you have to lose at this point?

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