2016 Ideal Draft – Late Draft Slot
By Alan Satterlee, DFW Senior Writer and Co-Owner, @Speedkills_DFW
If you end up with a late draft slot this year (and for this I am assuming the 1.12/2.01 spot on the post), what strategy should you consider on who to target for your team? Based on average draft position data from Fantasy Football Calculator this combination is possible and a potential combination to put you well on your way to a fantasy football title in 2016. This series scripts out the first ten rounds with a late-draft spot –- an early slot was analyzed here and a middle-round draft spot was analyzed here.
1.12 WR Allen Robinson
I am cheating a little bit as Allen Robinson may not make it here (and as such, there is a lot of merit to moving up to 1.10 or 1.11 too in draft spot, but really all of those late draft slots are going to get you two strong puzzle pieces). But if this is an ideal draft, let’s say Robinson does. Step one: rejoice. Step two: confidently walk up and put the Robinson sticker on the board. After an 80-catch, 1,400-yard on the nose, and 14-TD season, Robinson was WR6 last season. Expect more of the same as Robinson is a true “stud receiver” and one on an up-and-coming offense. Robinson not only averaged 17.5 yards last season, but he led the NFL with 31 receptions of over 20 yards. Robinson also led the NFL last year with 10 TDs inside the 10-yard-line. If Robinson is gone, then go to Plan B which is Keenan Allen (I have a long article here on why and how Allen becomes a top three receiver this year, or there about), and if you want to go WR/WR, there is nothing wrong with a Robinson/Allen start to your draft.
2.01 RB Le’Veon Bell
Again, no problem going Allen Robinson / Keenan Allen to start your draft, but rather we will opt to diversify the attack and go WR/RB here on the post given the options. He is likely to drop right here, and while you have to maneuver for the first three weeks, then Le’Veon Bell comes back and you arguably have the 1.02 pick from that point forward. Bell looks completely healed from the torn knee ligaments he suffered last November, and he has three more weeks to get ready to pounce into his 2016 season. Not that you need to look for reasons to select Bell who is a PPR machine (remember he had 83 receptions in 2014), but he is also in a contract year. I would feel basically as comfortable drafting Lamar Miller here. It’s amazing to think that Miller was 6th-best PPR fantasy running back last year, yet with just 194 rushing attempts.
3.12 WR Donte Moncrief
I think it’s a good debate as to who will be the #1 fantasy wide receiver in Indy this year, T.Y. Hilton the favorite, or Donte Moncrief, the 3rd-year breakout candidate. I would prefer Moncrief actually (slightly), but regardless Hilton won’t likely be here at 3.12 and Moncrief will. Moncrief looks ripe to explode after doubling his receptions from 32 to 64 in two seasons, likewise doubling his touchdowns from three to six, and increasing his yardage production by 65% from 444 to 733. At 6’2”, 222 lbs, Moncrief should be the top Colts’ receiver in the end zone (five of Moncrief’s six touchdowns last year came inside the 11-yard line last year), while Moncrief should also uncork some long scores as well (a late July Rotoworld blurb noted how Moncrief was saying that he is now running a 4.35 time in Forty-Yard-Dash, and he timed a blazing 4.4 as well in the 2014 Combine). In the Week 3 preseason tune-up game, Moncrief caught six receptions on seven targets for 58 yards in less than three quarters.
4.01 TE Jordan Reed
If Jordan Reed is here, and according to ADP this is right where he will go, I like the plan of adding him. Opinions on Jordan Reed are 100% decidedly mixed (for example, he made Sean Darr’s “You Can Have Them” list, and many will feel that way with the concussion risk Reed brings, or risk of injury in general. Meh. Not living scared here and I think he’s worth the risk. You can’t deny Reed’s talent and potential for major fantasy impact. He’s also two rounds cheaper than Rob Gronkowski, and Reed was the number two tight end last year, just 7.4 points behind Gronk, and despite Reed missing two games (Gronk missed one) — so on a per game basis in 2015, Reed > Gronk is a fact. Love the Washington offense — they are going to throw a ton and Kirk Cousins looks pretty legit in my book (more on that to come).
5.12 RB Jeremy Hill
You hate to draft for need, but after adding a tight end in the 4th round (or if you do anywhere in the first four rounds), like these next two picks on the post, you likely will need a second running back and a third wide receiver to close out a starting set of skill position players. At running back, let’s roll with Jeremy Hill. He’s a safe pick, injury-wise. The question is which Jeremy Hill will show up — the one who averaged 5.1 YPC in 2014 as a rookie or the one who averaged 3.6 last year? I think it’s much more likely the good Jeremy Hill. As I highlighted in this 2016 Fantasy Discount Picks article, Hill is on major discount versus last year when he was the 15th pick overall in ADP.
6.01 WR Tyler Lockett
The weekly ride with Tyler Lockett could potentially be a little bumpy, some huge weeks, some good weeks, some off weeks, but nonetheless he’s a juicy target with upside to start off the sixth round and I’d set him in the WR3 spot and forget it from there taking what he brings week-in and week-out. Lockett caught 75% of his targets as a rookie last year, 51 receptions on 68 targets, the 4th-best rate of any receivers last year. From Week 11 on last year, Lockett was WR18 (and he’ll add in more from there if you play in leagues that award kickoff and punt return touchdowns, he had one of both last year).
7.12 RB Ameer Abdullah
With Le’eon Bell on ice, adding a third running back here isn’t a bad idea (although not entirely crucial either as you can get a running back cheap, especially if we are just trying to find some three-week help). That said, we’ll welcome Ameer Abdullah. Coming off a season with just 780 yards (597 rushing, 183 receiving), Abdullah has his critics and not a lot of great stats to point to otherwise, so it’s some leap of faith. I think the Lions’ offense is going to be pretty explosive (or at least explosive-lite), and Abdullah gets in on that if nothing else. His rushing totals will be up, Theo Riddick is there but Abdullah will get more than the 25 catches he had as a rookie, and he’ll score much more as well. Personally, I am pretty bullish and he’s a steal here at 7.12 in my book.
8.06 WR Kevin White
On the turn, a second player entering his second year, and let’s lock in Kevin White. He’s exactly the high-end middle round pick with upside that can make a difference toward making a push toward a fantasy title, especially as a mix-in option on good match-ups, to cover bye-weeks or firing up as a flex. White of course missed his entire rookie season last year with a fracture in his shin, but don’t forget he was the 7th pick selected overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. White heads into 2016 with a little momentum after getting on track with four receptions on four targets for 57 yards in the final Chicago preseason game, barely playing into the second quarter.
9.12 QB Kirk Cousins
With the final two picks here on the post, with no quarterback it is a great time to go click, boom, boom, and take two. First we’ll saddle up with Kirk Cousins. Despite a 19-TD to 2-INT close-out to the 2015 season, the league’s best passer in the second half of the season completing 74 percent of his passes, Cousins is still coming up as a value pick in drafts. I also like the double-dip with Jordan Reed on this fantasy team. Signing a one-year tender, Cousins of course will have millions upon millions of reasons for a strong 2016 season. At $19,953,000, Cousins is actually the highest paid player in the NFL this season, narrowly edging out Drew Brees. From Week 10 on last year Cousins was QB3.
10.01 QB Jameis Winston
Unless there is a skill-position player you really want to snag, double quarterback here is collecting value. It also will instantly change the draft dynamic when two quarterbacks come off the board. For me, I’ll sign up with Jameis Winston. A 4,000-yard season with a 22:15 TD/INT ratio as a rookie is nuts, not to mention tacking on six rushing TDs. Blurbs of Winston trimmed down and “looking like a defensive back” sounds a-okay to me. I also like the sound of Winston and Tampa running “a lot more” no huddle offense this year, and Dirk Koetter knows how to create offense and maximize his stars.
There you have it, mapping out an “ideal draft strategy” for those drafting in the late rounds (on the post). There are many roster constructions scenarios to win at fantasy football, and hopefully this one is available to you and serves you well.