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Best of luck and happy drafting!
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These players have a great chance to outperform their DRAFT projection.
Andy Dalton – QB – Cincinnati (DRAFT Projection: 17.7)
Dalton has been very steady through this 2018 campaign, and he’ll have an excellent opportunity to keep that going in a high-scoring game at Kansas City. The Chiefs have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, and Dalton should have plenty of pass attempts while trying to keep pace with Mahomes on the other side. As you can see in the QB rankings below, I have Dalton ranked firmly in the top five at the position. Despite the excellent matchup potential, the 17.7 DRAFT projection has him 16th in the pre-draft rankings among quarterbacks. You could easily draft Dalton in your final round and feel good about his upside.
Tarik Cohen – RB - Chicago (DRAFT Projection: 10.1)
Cohen is outperforming fellow RB Jordan Howard on a weekly basis now, looking like the better overall fit within this Chicago offense. He should see plenty of opportunities against New England, as there’s a reasonable chance the Bears will be forced to the air while calling on Cohen as their receiving back. The Patriots rank 21st in opponent yards per carry, and they have recently given up production to RBs like Hunt and Hines through the air. For those reasons, Cohen should be in your queue as a RB2 filler in deeper leagues.
Stefon Diggs – WR – Minnesota (DRAFT Projection: 12.4)
Everyone is gushing over Minnesota WR Adam Thielen (for good reason), but let’s not forget about the other playmaking receiver for the Vikings. Stefon Diggs was locked down by Arizona CB Patrick Peterson last game, but he should be able to bounce-back this weekend vs the Jets. NYJ has allowed the sixth most fantasy points to opposing receivers, and the opportunity cost at the position is lower than usual with several teams on a bye week and other high-profile pass catchers in tough matchups. Diggs makes for a very nice WR2 with upside.
These players may not live up to their DRAFT projection.
DeAndre Hopkins – WR - Houston (DRAFT Projection: 16.3)
The previous write-up of Diggs mentioned some high-profile receivers in tough matchups. DeAndre Hopkins is certainly one of them. Playing on the road against an angry Jacksonville team is not ideal to say the least. While Hopkins should still see plenty of targets, I’m not optimistic that he’ll continue this current fantasy heater that he’s on. The Texans’ WR does not deserve to be listed as the second pass catcher on DRAFT this week. Give me lower ranked guys like Thielen, Beckham, Green, and Hill instead.
Michael Thomas – WR – New Orleans (DRAFT Projection: 15.7)
Michael Thomas has a very similar rationale to DeAndre Hopkins. Anytime you get the Saints away from their dome, you need to tread lightly. That’s the case on Sunday in a road matchup against a tough Baltimore pass defense. On top of that, it’s expected to be somewhat brisk with a chance of significant wind that could disrupt the New Orleans’ passing attack. You’ll obviously want to double-check that as we move closer to game time, but I’ll be looking to downgrade Thomas regardless.
Jameis Winston – QB – Tampa Bay (DRAFT Projection: 19.7)
Winston was great last week, spearheading several winning lineups in DRAFT contests and salary cap formats. Having said that, I’m not sure he deserves to be ranked as the third best QB of the week. I have him listed at eighth in a congested second tier at quarterback. I don’t mind taking him on DRAFT, but I’m certainly not overpaying with so much parity at this position.
Top 10 Overall. This is pretty straightforward with the default DRAFT rankings. The usual strategy of loading up on high-end running backs first is more viable than ever due to byes and tough matchups plaguing the WR position. In my opinion, Adam Thielen and Julio Jones are the only top tier receivers on this slate that are worth looking towards in the first few rounds. From here, you can dig deeper with Beckham, Diggs, or Ertz later on.
- Todd Gurley – RB
- Saquon Barkley – RB
- Melvin Gordon – RB
- Ezekiel Elliott – RB
- Adam Thielen – WR
- Julio Jones – WR
- Kareem Hunt – RB
- David Johnson – RB (Thursday)
- Joe Mixon – RB
- Christian McCaffrey – RB
Quarterback Rankings. The typical advice applies here too, as I’m waiting for a quarterback in almost all draft sizes. Mahomes and Ryan will more than likely go earlier than deserved, while Dalton, Goff, Newton, and Cousins are strong fantasy prospects that will likely fall into the final rounds.
- Patrick Mahomes – Tier 1
- Matt Ryan – Tier 1
- Jared Goff – Tier 2
- Andy Dalton – Tier 2
- Cam Newton – Tier 2
- Tom Brady – Tier 2
- Kirk Cousins – Tier 2
- Jameis Winston – Tier 2
- Carson Wentz – Tier 2
- Andrew Luck – Tier 3
WR Robert Woods overrated. Let’s go ahead and throw Robert Woods into the bucket of overrated receivers at the top. I’m not saying he’s a bad all-around play, but I’ll be looking towards lower ranked guys like Beckham, Green, Hill, and Evans ahead of him. Woods has some upside with Cooper Kupp likely out of the mix, but his teammate Brandin Cooks (12.9 projection) has the same advantage while going later in drafts.
Zach Ertz as a solid WR/TE #2. As Carson Wentz begins to build momentum, so does Zach Ertz. Carolina’s pass defense is respectable as a whole, but they tend to funnel production to the tight end – allowing the fifth most fantasy points to that position.
Updated for injuries, weather, etc will be posted here throughout the week – highlighting the DRAFT consequences of each situation.