Yesterday I gave you five guys I’m lower on than current ADP for 2018 fantasy football drafts. Today, we’ll jump into five I’m higher on. Let’s get to it.
FIVE PLAYERS I’M HIGHER ON THAN CURRENT ADP
1. RB Melvin Gordon, LAC (Current ADP: 1.10)
I realize we’re talking a first-round ADP here so there’s not a lot of wiggle room, but hear me out. You will hear “the first few rounds draft themselves” or “your draft is won in the middle rounds” a lot over the next few months. While I don’t 100 percent disagree with these statements, I believe the order you have your top 10 players in is very important. And that is my issue with Gordon right now.
Gordon will reportedly be more involved in the passing game after the loss of Hunter Henry and after seeing 83 targets with 58 receptions in 2017. I think Gordon can threaten 75-plus receptions in this Chargers offense, and we know the touchdown opportunities will be there as he’s averaged 12 per season over the last two years. I’m taking Gordon ahead of Kareem Hunt and Saquon Barkley in early drafts; he is my RB6 currently, and seventh player overall in my rankings.
2. WR Sammy Watkins, KC (ADP: 7.02)
I get it, trust me. We’ve been down this road many times before and it has always ended in bitter disappointment. I can’t blame those people that jumped ship in years past and don’t want to jump back on board.
But this is the best combination of opportunity, coaching, and draft cost that we have ever had on Watkins. Early word out of camp is he will be utilized all over the field and that should help alleviate all the coverages he has dealt with for the majority of his career. With Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt to focus on, not to mention Patrick Mahomes’ running ability, it will be difficult for opposing defenses to pick one guy to take out of the game plan against Kansas City.
Yes, more mouths to feed is the counterargument, but Watkins has as good of a chance as anybody in this ADP range to be a top-12 wide receiver this season. I love watching Tyreek Hill play football, but he’s an easy pass for me in the second or third round when I can take Watkins 2-3 rounds later.
3. QB Marcus Mariota, TEN (ADP: 11.05)
“Wait on quarterback” has become the norm in fantasy football, but the question most people have is, “How long do I wait?” While there is not a standard answer to that question due to so many different types of leagues, my simple answer this season is wait until you get to Marcus Mariota.
The Titans brought in offensive guru Matt LaFleur as their new offensive coordinator, and he has promised a much more aggressive offense with spread concepts that tailor to what Mariota did in college as the Heisman Trophy winner at Oregon. Mariota is surrounded by weapons in the passing game in Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, and Delanie Walker, as well as two high-end running back options in Derrick Henry and the newly-signed Dion Lewis, who will help out in the passing game as well. Mariota has averaged at least 20 rushing yards per game in every year of his career, and had a career-high five rushing touchdowns on a bad knee in 2017. I’m expecting this offense to be much-improved and I’m grabbing Mariota in as many drafts as I can, as early as the ninth round.
4. WR Kenny Stills, MIA (ADP: 11.07)
While some people continue to wait on the breakout of teammate DeVante Parker, Stills is the superior value of the two in the double-digit rounds of your draft. Stills quietly put up 58 receptions for 857 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2017, and with Jarvis Landry taking his talents from South Beach to Cleveland, his 160 targets are up for grabs.
I’m projecting the Dolphins to be playing from behind a lot this season, which we know can be very beneficial to passing game volume. Give me Stills over Kelvin Benjamin, Marqise Lee, Nelson Agholor, and Marquise Goodwin, who are all being drafted ahead of him right now.
5. TE Vance McDonald, PIT (ADP: 15.03)
I’m fully expecting this ADP to rise throughout the summer so it’s a great time to get as many shares as you can now if you’re drafting early. After you get through the first six or seven tight ends, I don’t see a huge difference between the guys being drafted in the 10th-14th rounds and McDonald.
We saw a big time glimpse of McDonald’s potential in the playoff game against the Jaguars, where he turned 16 targets into 10 receptions for 112 yards. The tight end position has always been a big part of Pittsburgh’s offense dating back to the Heath Miller days, especially in the red zone.
True, Vance will be fourth at best in the pecking order for the Steelers. But fourth option on one of the best passing games in the league and basically free in drafts, this guy will definitely be doing the Vance dance this season!
That wraps up this edition of my five guys article. Hope you guys enjoyed the format and are enjoying what you see here at Fantasy Insiders. Look for more of these articles down the road to help you get prepared for the best day of the year: fantasy football draft day!