5 after 5: Top 5 Players Going After Round 5 including Tyler Lockett

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With NFL training camp less than a week away players throughout the league are preparing for the grueling season ahead. The next six weeks will determine the future for hundreds of the best athletes in the world. Now is the time where championship teams are built ,on and off the field. As these players prepare to build their teams. It’s time for us to prepare to build our own champion. From now until the 9th of September is our chance to build the teams we will pin our hopes of fantasy glory on. It’s draft season! To celebrate my favorite time of the year I will do a 5 part series highlighting players that are being drafted after the 5th round in fantasy drafts. For this first installment I will introduce the 5 players that I have targeted the most in drafts this year.

*The data I use is for 12 team PPR leagues

1. Tyler Lockett

The cat is out of the bag on Lockett thanks in large part to NFL.com fantasy expert Matt Harmon tagging the second year receiver as his “Allen Robinson for 2016″(Matt’s full article can be found Here). Harmon famously predicted the Robinson breakout in 2015 so when he projects a player to break out, people take notice and they have. Lockett’s adp has risen over the last month due to the positive hype but he still qualifies for this piece with his average draft position of 61 (6.01) on myfantasyleague.com. My guess is that he won’t stay above that threshold for long as the preseason hype builds, but I think he is still a value where he is available. As a rookie Lockett burst onto the scene with 51 receptions 664 yards and 6 touchdowns on only 65 targets while adding 2 scores on special teams. He is a dynamic talent who has earned the trust of Russell Wilson and the coaching staff. Look for Lockett to dwarf those numbers as the Seahawks lean on him more and open up the offense in the post Beastmode era.

Lions Theo  Riddick

Leon Halip/Getty Images

2. Theo Riddick

As the “zero rb theory” has gained in popularity over the last few years Theo Riddick plays perfectly into that strategy. Finding a running back to draft this late that will catch more passes than most wide receivers is absolute gold in PPR leagues. I was floored to see Roddick’s ADP sitting at 125. To put that into perspective Martavis Bryant is being drafted on average 13 picks later. I realize that Bryant is a freak but the dude’s not even playing this year by the way I filtered drafts that started after June 1, so that is Bryant’s current ADP. What you are getting in Riddick was 3rd on his team in targets and is a guy coming off an 80 catch season. He was RB18 in PPR leagues and can be found in the 10th round! In additional to those numbers, the coaching staff has hinted at getting Riddick more involved in the running game and it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t improve on his 3 touchdowns from a year ago. How there are 36 running backs being drafted ahead of Riddick I can’t explain, but it is a situation that I plan on exploiting until the market is corrected and I suggest you do the same. Oh and by the way, Theo dropped exactly zero balls last year, if that doesn’t create trust from your quarterback then I don’t know what will.

Riddick’s profile was partially borrowed from my Lions preview in fakepigskin’s draft guide available at fake pigskin.com. 

3. Josh Gordon

Not everybody will have the stomach to take Gordon in their drafts prior to his August reinstatement hearing ahead. The cloud of uncertainty hanging over his head will turn a lot of owners off but I see Gordon as the ultimate boom or bust option after the 10th round. After all we are talking about a guy who may not even play this season. A guy who has had every chance to succeed and has blown every last one. However as I write this Gordon is scheduled to apply for reinstatement August 1st and I see no reason why he would be denied. The NFL has received a ton of pushback on it’s drug policy especially on marijuana and suspending Gordon further will give them a headache that they just don’t want. I’m not here to give commentary on how I feel about the current policy, I am here to tell you which player currently on the Cleveland Browns provides the most upside relative to where he is being drafted and that player is Gordon and it’s not close. It is hard to argue that Gordon is anything but a WR1 for your fantasy team if he plays (I think he will) and if you get a WR1 at pick 135 (current add) it’s a league winner, plain and simple.

Bills Robert  Woods

Timothy T. Ludwig – USA TODAY Sports

4. Robert Woods

There is a semi-famous saying in fantasy football circles to identify breakout candidates: talent+opportunity=production. While Robert Woods isn’t the athletic specimen that his counterpart Sammy Watkins is, Robert brings plenty of talent to the table. Highly drafted out of USC three years ago Woods never profiled as a true #1 wr, but he brings a skill set that could make him a highly productive #2 for the Bills. Woods is able to run the entire route tree while demonstrating a willingness to go over the middle and take the big hit. He is a smart athlete with just enough speed to beat defenders deep and is underrated with the ball in his hands. Woods just turned 24 in April so his best years are ahead of him.It is clearly a negative that Woods isn’t the #1 wide receiver on a team with low pass volume but I believe there is hidden opportunity here. This hidden value lies almost entirely on the health of Watkins but history is not on his side here. There are several players of note who suffered the same injury as Sammy. Lets take a quick look at three of them:

  • Julio Jones suffered his original injury prior to the 2011 NFL draft but reinjured it in week 5 of 2013.He didn’t play another game in 2013.
  • Dez Bryant injured his foot in week 1 of the 2015 season and was able to return in week 8. Bryant was a shell of himself catching only 31 passes for 401 yards and 3 touchdowns in 8 games before eventually being shut down for the season.
  • Julian Edelman incurred his injury in November of 2015 and was able to return for the final two games of the playoffs catching 2 passes for 17 yards in 2 starts.

Watkins has approximately 4 months of recovery time for his injury. This gives fans hope but Watkins has proven to be a slow healer in the past and the chance of re-injury is one of the big risks with The Jones fracture. If Sammy were to miss time or come back at less than 100% it provides great value for Woods who would become the defacto #1 in the Bills offense. Not bad value for a player that is likely to be available in the last round of your draft.

 

5. Eric Ebron

I hesitated to add a second Lion to this list but Ebron is THE breakout player at tight end this year. Eric has been somewhat of a disappointment thus far in his career thanks to his high draft pedigree (10th overall in the 2014th draft) but tight ends are notoriously slow at transitioning into the NFL. Ebron brings an elite combination of size and speed to the table and has the benefit of entering his 3rd year with quarterback Matthew Stafford.

The sudden departure of Calvin Johnson to the Detroit offense leaves a lot of targets to be picked up (156) especially in the red zone (20), where Ebron can use his size to box out smaller defenders. I expect Stafford to look for Enron often as he is easily the biggest target on the field now with Megatron gone. Ebron should easily outperform his draft status of 12th tight end off the board in the 10th round and could be a late round gem for those who wait to fill the position.

Thanks for reading and I welcome any and all feedback. Follow me on twitter for updates on the next installment or to talk football.

Paul Batts

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