If you’re hungry for fantasy football preparation and aren’t really into best ball leagues, I recommend studying ADP. Average draft position is a better way to gauge when you’ll have to take a player that you like rather than looking at their ESPN dot com ranking. You can start to guess what running backs will be available in the 4th or 5th round if you don’t take any in the first three rounds. ADP is also something you can refer back to if you’re in the middle of your draft and someone begins to free fall for players that your other league mates prefer. 

Getting the not-sexy players that are a value is just as important as getting the players that you have really been eyeing all summer. The Chris Carsons and Nick Chubbs of 2018 are the unsung heroes of your fantasy football championships. Let’s take a look at who is at discount price. 

Julian Edelman

I made a brief mention of him in my top 100 as someone that I am buying in 2019 drafts. He is currently going in the middle of the fourth round and can give you top 10 WR value in PPR and perhaps 0.5 PPR leagues. The obvious benefit for Edelman’s stat line will be the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. Even if Gronkowski comes out of retirement, I’m guessing that he doesn’t do so until at least halfway through the season. Nobody truly knows. It’s all hearsay right now.

Josh Gordon signed a restricted tender with the Patriots, but we don’t know of there even is a timetable for his return this season. The Patriots drafted N’Keal Harry, who is a good receiving prospect, but it might take some time to build trust with Tom Brady. In Josh Gordon’s first season with the Patriots, he averaged under 6 targets per game and he is one of the most talented receivers in the league. My point is that Edelman is going to get peppered with double digit targets every game if he is healthy. Edelman’s 6 touchdowns in the 12 regular season games that he played in 2018 gave him the best touchdown rate of his career. 

Keenan Allen

I just had to do a triple-take. WHAT?! Keenan freakin’ Allen is going in the 3rd round in 12 team leagues?! I understand that he didn’t live up to the sky-high expectations of 2018 but he still caught 97 balls for a few yards short of 1,200. Hell, he had a 5 game touchdown streak heading into the fantasy football playoffs. With Tyrell Williams committing career suicide by going to the Raiders, I expect Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to emerge as a great 1-2 punch for Rivers. With Keenan Allen, you’re basically getting Mike Evans an entire round later. Yes, Mike Evans had over 1,500 receiving yards last season and Keenan Allen did not. Do I believe Keenan Allen is capable of 1,500 yards this season? Pretty damn close. He almost had 1,400 yards in 2017. An elite 27 year-old receiver is quite the value in the 30’s. 

Tyler Lockett

This is strictly for my dinosaurs that still play in standard leagues. Wait, I still play in one. Am I a dinosaur? I’m only 30. Ugh. Would it even be a preseason if I’m not hyping up a Seahawks receiver? I guess the only benefit of Doug Baldwin retiring is that I can’t rank him too high anymore. 

Tyler Lockett scored touchdowns in 6 out of the final 7 games in 2018. He also saw 6 or 7 targets in 3 out of the final four games of the season. I think it’s reasonable to expect about 7 targets a game in 2019 based on another season working with Russell Wilson and with Doug Baldwin no longer being in the picture. The 57 receptions from last year is a tough pill to swallow. After all, Lockett is a deep threat target. But, I expect him to be used in more situations than he has been in the past. I’m not a huge fan of DK Metcalf at this point so I think that Lockett is the receiver to own in this offense. Tyler Lockett is currently going in the beginning of the 6th round in 12 team leagues. 

Kerryon Johnson

The Detroit Lions are striving to continue to be a bad offense and want to run the ball a lot. This is beneficial to Kerryon Johnson lovers like myself. Johnson is fully recovered from the knee injury that ended his 2018 season early and was one of the more consistent performers at his position. Johnson racked up a couple of 100 yard games and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. The touchdown total of 3 in the 10 games that he played was a little disappointing but I think if he had played 16 games, he would have been a 1,000 yard rusher in his rookie campaign. Kerryon Johnson is currently going off the board in the 4th round in 12 team leagues. 

Lamar Miller

Last season, I stayed away from Lamar Miller and I missed out on a consistent performer. Lamar Miller’s 4.6 yards per carry was his highest in three seasons and for the 3rd season in a row, he gained over 1,000 all purpose yards and hit his magic number of 6 touchdowns. Lamar had 4 spike weeks in which he had at least 100 yards on the ground, and I think that he looked like a better running back than the final season totals spelled out.

At the very least, I think that Lamar Miller is a good target for best ball leagues. At best, I believe Lamar Miller to be a solid RB2 target in the 6th round for players interested in waiting on running backs. The only downside of selecting Lamar Miller is the fact that D’Onta Foreman is once again healthy and could be a threat to Miller’s workload. This is a very reasonable concern considering that we saw Foreman perform well at times in 2017. I think that the most important case in favor of Lamar Miller is that the Texans decided to pass on a lot of formidable running backs in the draft. It tells me that they believe in Lamar Miller, or at the very least, they believe in what they already have on the roster. 

  1. Gary Z says:
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    Hey MB-

    Enjoyed your post today! I’m in a 12-ppr. I’m keeping Kamara (6Rd)and considering keeping Edelman…I drafted him in the 7th RD last year, so he’d cost me a 5th rd pick this year. I can only keep 2 guys, my only other options Ridley (Rd 8)or Gus (9 rd). I pick 12th this year, what are your thoughts on my picks at 12/13 & 36/37 if I Keep Edelman ? Do I wait on RB and draft Kelce 12 and A high end WR 13? Thanks! – Gary

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Oh, yeah. I’d keep Edelman and snag Kelce and a receiver at the 12/13 turn. Kamara affords you some flexibility at RB. Love the start of that team!

      • Gary Z says:
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        Thanks MB!

        Since this is a keeper league, there’s a chance Kelce maybe kept (1st rd penalty), if thats the case, would you go with a running back instead(DJohnson/Gurley/Bell), go 2 WR’s there(Michael Thomas/ODB/Julio(not a fan of his this year), reach for Ertz (I know Kittle is being kept) …ton of ways I could go. Value wise, WR seems deep again and Im keeping Edelman, maybe going RB early isn’t a bad idea?

        Thanks again!

        • MB

          MB says:
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          I’d personally go the OBJ or Michael Thomas route, but if you have your heart set on an RB, I’d go with David Johnson..

          WR may be deep but elite numbers like those may be harder to come by later

          • Gary Z says:
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            Very true, Then I’d have OBJ, MThomas and Edelman set by the 13th pick lol…hard to know who is keeping who, but I know these guys are available. Since this is a PPR, I could wait and get a pass catching back to go with Kamara at 36/37. Man can’t wait for the season to start! H2H baseball is such a grind.

            Thanks again MB!

            -Gary

            • MB

              MB says:
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              I love baseball but football has my heart and yes you’re right H2H is a grind!

              That’s what I was thinking. So many relevant running backs make it past the first couple rounds. It’s a revolving door. Much easier to throw darts at RBs in my opinion

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