Redraft Value Picks: Rounds 1-4

Washington Redskins Jordan Reed

Going into this 2016 season I have been trying to find where the redraft value picks are showing up in the drafts and somehow read the minds of my league mates. The latter part just isn’t working, so I finally decided I should just draft Brady, LeVeon Bell, and Josh Gordon. Come week 5 or 6 I am set. Seems like a legit strategy…right?

In all seriousness this will be a 3 part series on current top values by round. I took the ADPs from myfantasyleague.com drafts from after July 15th 2016 based on PPR scoring. Here is a look at the 1st 4 rounds.

After taking part in numerous Mock Drafts and reviewing results from other expert drafts I noticed that wide receivers are going early, much earlier than previous seasons. A.J. Green though consistent and very good is going as the 6th overall player. Last year he was the 8th or 9th receiver taken in drafts, lasting long into the 2nd round most of the time despite posting virtually identical per game statistics as the year before.

This shows a recency biast towards the disaster that was early running back picks last year. Guys like LeVeon Bell and Jamaal Charles ended up on season ending IR, guys like Eddie Lacy ate themselves out of carries and production.

Though last year was a disaster in the early rounds at running back, you could have made similar mistakes at wideout. If you drafted Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Calvin Johnson, or if you drafted early enough and took Jordy Nelson or Kelvin Benjamin you probably were not very happy.

The difference in these 2 situation is if you tood a back early and properly hand-cuffed that player you were fine going forward. Deangelo Williams was fantastic in relief of Bell. However if you ended up with Dez Bryant life was not peachy, you were putting up with numerous DNPs and more frustrating playing with zero production. With that said I see the early round value favoring the top running backs.

Round 1 Top Value- David Johnson | Arizona | RB

Currently David Johnson is the 8th overall player off the board with an average draft spot of 10.16. This from a guy who has both the physical tools and opportunity to be the #1 overall player in fantasy this year. Johnson is a pass catching back with tremendous size and speed.

He is also Arizona’s top option at the Goaline. At 6’1” 225 last year Johnson scored half of Arizona’s 16 rushing touchdowns despite accounting for a quarter of their rushing attempts . Arizona runs a high powered offense that is certain to spend a great deal of time in the redzone this year. Expect Johnson to easily score double digit TDs and have a real chance to lead the league. To see Johnson’s potential look at his 2015 week 14 day 29 carries 187 yards 3 TDs and 4/42 receiving. In 2015 Arizona led the league in total yards and were 2nd in points per game. It is easy envisioning many more days like this.

Johnson is also a real 3 down back. Guys like Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley are more 2 down backs and don’t contribute in the passing game near as much. Johnson has the receiving talents to make a huge difference in all formats.

Round 2 Top Value- Lamar Miller | Houston | RB

With manager after manager employing the now ever so popular “Zero Running Back” strategy, zigging to their zag and employing the “Zero Wideout” strategy is the way to go. Not exactly “Zero Wideout” but when managers are reaching for wideouts the value will show up at other positions. Enter 2016 sure fire most improved fantasy player.

Lamar Miller is currently being selected as the 14th overall player with an average draft positions of 16.82. This is crazy to me, and also very likely to change. With the LeVeon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott news Miller’s value will creep up a bit. I will be taking him much earlier personally, possibly as high as #5 overall.

This is a guy that has landed himself in a perfect situation. He is now on the team that ran the ball the most last year. He is on a team that ran the most plays in the NFL a year ago. He is also on a team that has a lot of question marks on the defensive side of the ball.

Miller like Johnson is a threat both on the ground and through the air. Miller works tremendous in space and Bill O’Brien will maximize Miller’s potential, something the Miami Dolphins did not do. Miller was able to flash his potential in spots in Miami but the lack of commitement from the Dolphins left fantasy owners scourned.

Expect Miller’s numbers to jump this year, he should rush for over 1200 yards, catch 65+ ball and score double digit touchdowns. Take him early. Earlier than you think, I like him more than Gurley, AP, Elliott, and Bell (only because Bell’s uncertainty)

 

New York Jets Brandon Marshall

Steven Ryan – USA TODAY Sports

Round 3 Top Value- Brandon Marshall | NYJ | WR

Currently Brandon Marshall is the 26th player off the board with an average draft position of 29. He is going well after the ultra inconsistent Mike Evans, the always injured Alshon Jeffery, and the ultra inconsistent and always injured Sammy Watkins as the 16th wide receiver. This is a guy that had 173 targets, 109 receptions, 1502 yards, and 14 TDs last year. His quarterback has finally resigned and is only 32. Outside of an injury plagued 2014 this is a guy that has been a top 10 wideout every year since 2007. Not to mention the number 3 overall receiver in 2015 ahead of OBJ, Nuke, and Allen Robinson.

Marshall is a target magnet because of his size, as cliché as it is to say but he truly is open even when he is not. At 6’ 4” and 230 pounds he has the size to box out the smaller DBs and he has a guy in Ryan Fitzpatrick who likes to lock on his guys. He knows who to get the ball to if he wants to stay on the field. Marshall’s 173 targets were good for 5th in the league last year.

Also the guys getting drafted in the 2nd and early 3rd going before Marshall are all guys that come with big question marks. I mentioned Evans who has concentration and chronic hamstring issues. Jeffrey has contract as well as hamstring and other injury issues. Watkins is a big play guy and will win you weeks. He will also be non existent much more often while playing in a run 1st offense, not to mention he is still sitting on the PUP. Being younger will not earn them any more fantasy points. With all that said in the 3rd round I am looking to land Brandon Marshall.

Round 4 Top Value- Jordan Reed | Washington | TE

Jordan reed is the 36th player off the board with an average draft spot of 38.57. I’m going to be honest, for some reason I love this guys talents more than most. Last year in 14 games he had 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 TDs. Add in a playoff game of 9/120/1 on 17 targets you have Gronk like production 3 rounds later. To compare Gronk last year had 72/1176/11 in 15 games. So for me to say Jordan Reed is just as valuable as Gronk is not a crazy statement.

Obviously Gronk has done it longer. We all know that. We all know that Reed has had concussion issues, but its not like Gronk has been a pillar of health over his career. He basically missed a year and half due to numerous injuries. Both players seem to be touchdown scorers. Based on last years production I would project Gronk for more yards and Reed for more receptions. I’m not saying Reed is the better player but I am saying you are getting better value in the 4th with him than Gronk at the end of the 1st. Add in Brady missing the 1st 4 weeks and I might just rank Reed in front of Gronk anyways. It’s closer than you think.

For more information or to argue hit me up @BigTimeSethyBob on the twitter machine

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