Fantasy football season is upon us and prepping for the draft is an essential recipe for any successful fantasy season. I think the draft is the most fun part about the entire season, which makes getting ready for the big day a joy for me. Part of that process for me is targeting players at every part of the draft and making sure I get those guys I really want. Here is a list of players I am targeting this draft:
MICHAEL VICK, Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles may have the best skill players in the NFL. He also gives you an opportunity to gain yards in the run game as well. Best of all, he will be getting drafted anywhere in rounds 5-7 which makes him great value. He does get banged up every now and then but I’ll take 14 great games from him.
SAM BRADFORD, St. Louis Rams: I don’t care about what happened last year, the guy has great tools for the position. He was on par with Matt Stafford before last year but that didn’t happen. I’m still a believer though, he’s gotten a couple of WR’s through the draft and some receivers have gotten healthy to make his weapons better than last year. And getting him late in your draft makes a great pick.
RYAN MATHEWS, San Diego Chargers: Perhaps the toughest players to target are players that are drafted in the first few rounds because you’re usually locked into a draft spot. If I had any pick from 4 on, I would be hoping for Mathews. Norv Turner loves a workhorse running back and that’s what Mathews is. He’s got a great all-around skill set and nobody to share the ball with. He has had injury problems but sometimes you need a little faith, I have faith in Mathews this year.
DOUG MARTIN, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson has gotten most of the attention but Martin may have the bigger fantasy impact in Tampa. MAY. He’s an every down back ready to take the lead in the Bucs backfield. The best part is that he can be drafted about 5 rounds later than Richardson with the same possible impact.
RONNIE HILLMAN, Denver Broncos: A deep sleeper who should probably be drafted real late but that’s where you draft potential. He’s been described by the Broncos as a ‘Darren Sproles’ type of player. High praise and high potential for a guy who has great change of pace skills. Willis McGahee is a back with a lot of mileage and Knowshown Moreno hasn’t shown much in his career so getting Hillman some playing time should be necessary. Again, deep sleeper to be taken late in drafts.
JULIO JONES, Atlanta Falcons: I’m not exactly out on my own here, Jones maybe the hottest receiver name out there right now. Tons of fantasy football experts are on the Julio bandwagon and I can’t blame them. I think the Falcons will become more of a passing team and Jones will take over for Roddy White as the teams top receiver. A top 5-7 receiver that you can get 2 rounds later than the “name” guys.
JEREMY MACLIN, Philadelphia Eagles: He was hurt last year by an unknown illness but still put up good numbers. I expect great numbers this year. He’s being taken on average 3 or 4 rounds later than DeSean Jackson but I think he’s the better player & the guy to target. A #2 WR who may put up #1 WR type numbers.
VINCENT BROWN, San Diego Chargers: Another player to target late in drafts, but hey, every draft has late rounds right! A sleeper who put up decent numbers as a rookie and maybe able to improve significantly without Vincent Jackson. He’ll see plenty of single coverage and I like the potential of grabbing him late in drafts.
ANTONIO GATES, San Diego Chargers: I know, it seems like I’m on the Chargers bandwagon…perhaps I am. Gates has reportedly lost some weight and looked fantastic. I’m also buying into Gates becoming Philip Rivers’ top target again. Is he going to put up Jimmy Graham type of numbers? Probably not, those days appear gone. But getting great production about 5 or 6 rounds later will allow you to stock up at other positions.
KYLE RUDOLPH, Minnesota Vikings: He had all of his touchdowns and over half his receptions over the second half of last year. That doesn’t seem very impressive when you look at his overall numbers but its something to build on. Every young QB needs a tight end as a security blanket and with Visanthe Shiancoe gone, the job is Rudolph’s. The second year, 2nd round pick is worth a gamble late in your draft.
There you have it, 10 players to target in the early, middle, late and really late parts of your draft. So take aim and target away. Good luck.