Drafting early presents a few challenges, especially during a pandemic, because fantasy football managers often worry about their players getting injured before the season. However, there are advantages to drafting early—specifically the chance to draft players up to two or three rounds later than you might get them closer to the start of the season. Below you'll find some players who I think represent great draft values right now—and whose value I can easily see jumping higher by Week 1.
(Note: Next to each player, I have included his most recent ADP according to our Advanced ADP tool. The results come from the ten most recent Online Championship and World Championship drafts, which shows exactly where the high-stakes community is currently drafting them.)
QB Daniel Jones, NYG (ADP 147)
Daniel Jones in the 12th round? Sign me up! Jones is an exciting young talent who should see his numbers increase significantly in his sophomore season. Game flow should also work to his advantage as the Giants defense is lacking, which should mean there will be plenty of garbage time fantasy statistics for Jones.
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (ADP 186)
He’s being drafted in the 15th round, which means that Fantasy managers are still unsure about his health. I am sure that if he stays healthy, he has some of the best offensive weapons in the game and plays in an offense that scores a lot of points. I would be ecstatic to have Roethlisberger as my QB2 in Superflex leagues.
READ MORE: Look for a Big Ben Bounce-Back
RB Raheem Mostert, SF (ADP 62)
Mostert saw his draft ranking plummet right after he demanded a trade, but he is now signed, sealed, and should be delivering huge fantasy production. Mostert came on strong at the end of last season, and more importantly, he plays in a run-first offense with one of the most creative play-callers (Kyle Shanahan) in the NFL. He is a very solid pick in Round 5.
RB Zack Moss, BUF (ADP 108)
With every new training camp report, I worry that Moss's draft value is going to increase. He’s in a great spot for the Bills and has shown even better receiving skills than advertised. If Moss can pass protect well enough to keep Josh Allen upright, it will further increase his value in PPR leagues.
RB A.J. Dillon, GB (ADP 133)
Dillon most likely won't see a ton of carries early on in the season. Still, I feel confident that head coach Matt LaFleur will begin to integrate him into the offense as the season progresses, making him incredibly valuable by season's end. What I love about getting Dillon at his current 11th round value is that he will most likely be my RB5, which means I can roster him without using him immediately.
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND (ADP 56)
Just two seasons ago, Hilton was going at the end of the second round. In 2020, after an injury-plagued 2019 season, Hilton has dropped to being an early 5th Round pick. Let’s not forget that Hilton not only dealt with injuries, but he played with a highly inconsistent QB in Jacoby Brissett. Now he has Philip Rivers throwing him the football, who is a future Hall of Famer. Look for Hilton to return incredible value and be a steal as a WR3 this year.
WR Justin Jefferson, MIN (ADP 107)
Much like with Zack Moss, I see Justin Jefferson as the type of player who is just ready to blossom. As of this moment, Jefferson is running with the second unit, but all eyes at Vikings training camp have said that he is a prodigious talent who is primed to ascend the depth chart and could produce great value as some point very soon. Getting him now in the 9th Round feels like a fantasy steal.
WR Bryan Edwards, LV (ADP 204)
One of my favorite sleepers this year in deeper leagues is Bryan Edwards. He’s got terrific size, speed, and is one of the better rookie route runners. It might take him a few weeks to earn targets, but this is a type of player who can shine if given the opportunity. Right now, he is going in Round 17, which is just ludicrous! He should be a 12th or 13th round player who you can get five rounds later to solidify your roster.
TE Jonnu Smith, TEN (ADP 157)
Many fantasy managers will jump to take Travis Kelce in Round 2, while others will take George Kittle in Round 3. Me? I’ll be taking Jonnu Smith in Round 13. After A.J. Brown, Smith is Ryan Tannehill's second-best target and should see about 60-70 receptions. What I like most about Smith is that he is going as like the 17th tight end off the board, and he could easily post a top ten season of production.
TE Irv Smith, MIN (ADP 203)
If you don’t draft Jonnu Smith, don't panic. You can get Irv Smith about four rounds later, and you will have yourself a steal. Smith began to emerge at the end of last season and even surpassed Kyle Rudolph as the team's pass-catching tight end. The Vikings will run a ton of two-tight end sets, so he should see about 70-percent of the team's snaps. Smith is a great late-round draft pick.
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Drafting early presents a few challenges, especially during a pandemic, because fantasy football managers often worry about their players getting injured before the season. However, there are advantages to drafting early—specifically the chance to draft players up to two or three rounds later than you might get them closer to the start of the season. Below you'll find some players who I think represent great draft values right now—and whose value I can easily see jumping higher by Week 1. Subscribe for full article
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