Posted: Sunday, July 30, 2017
Upside. After the first few rounds of the draft, that's exactly what we should be looking for. Here are five guys who are currently ranked outside the top starters who could legitimately push for a starting role on your team.
Danny Woodhead - RB, Baltimore
In the FFN standard scoring RB rankings, you'll find Woodhead along with teammate Terrance West ranked 33rd and 38th respectively. In our PPR running back rankings, the difference is more significant with Woodhead coming in at 21st and West at 45th. Even though he's coming off two major injuries in three years, there's plenty of reason to look for Woodhead on the draft board. Joe Flacco has always had a soft spot for his receiving backs commenting recently, "Really, ever since we lost Ray Rice, we haven't had a type of back that's quite like how Ray was and quite like how Danny is in the passing game." Coach John Harbaugh has indicated that Woodhead will be a "big part of the passing game". He will have a legitimate opportunity to start for your fantasy team this year.
Tyreek Hill - WR, Kansas City
Last year's surprise is still sitting low in the preseason rankings meaning that there's some great value here. Tyreek Hill is currently ranked 29th in PPR formats and 25th in STD scoring. He's sits atop the Kansas City Chiefs depth chart and Head Coach Andy Reid intends for Hill to take over Jeremy Maclin's old spot and the focal point of Reid's passing attack. While Hill will face increased defensive attention as the WR1, he also has tremendous potential to payoff more than any other player at his current ADP. He's not a brand name like Julio Jones or Dez Bryant, but he's one of the few players that we consider a must-have and would be absolutely comfortable reaching for this year...and so should you.
Doug Martin - RB, Tampa Bay
The big hit in Martin's value is of course his 3 game suspension to start the year. Unless something changes at camp, Jacquizz Rodgers is expected to take over the lead role during those games. Here's where things get risky. Bucs GM Jason Licht indicated that Martin looks like the 2015-version of himself. He has slimmed down and put on more muscle, but Licht hedged his feedback when he couldn't offer his assurance that Martin will stay on the roster, let alone get the starting job in Week 4. We're not concerned about Martin going anywhere. He's an all-around better back than Rodgers, and when he's healthy, he can be a solid starter. Given his current ranking on FFN (31st/STD and 33rd/PPR), he's being drafted as the 3rd or 4th RB on fantasy teams. Keep in mind that no teams are on bye in Weeks 1 - 3, so it's not like carrying him on your roster will be a burden - particularly for a guy who has the potential to be your RB1 or RB2.
Paul Perkins - RB, New York Giants
With Rashad Jennings no longer in town, the starting job belongs to Perkins. He's ranked 30th among his peers in standard scoring and 31st in PPR, so he's going to be in a similar situation as Doug Martin, but with the upside that he's not suspended and has no real threat to his starting role. He sits atop the New York Giants depth chart, and according to Giants RBs coach Craig Johnson, there's every indication that Perkins will have an opportunity to be a three-down back - something of a rarity these days. He'll lose some third down work to Shane Vereen, but keep in mind that Vereen tore his tricep muscles twice just last year keeping him out of all but five games. Perkins is undervalued where he's being drafted. Hopefully that trend continues before you enter the draft room.
Hunter Henry - TE, Los Angeles Chargers
It's never an easy situation when you come into the league playing behind a future Hall of Famer, but Hunter Henry did a fantastic job playing behind Antonio Gates last season. While Gates hasn't hung up his cleats just yet, Hunter is fully expected to be the starting TE and is listed above Gates on the Chargers depth chart. If you're not going to draft Gronk, Reed, or Kelce and opt instead to wait on tight ends, you're going to find Henry going in the 8th or 9th round of most drafts. That's about one or two rounds later than Martellus Bennett and we have Henry ranked one spot ahead of Bennett - excellent value! The only real ding to Henry's value is that Gates will be used in the red zone. That's not a deal breaker though as Philip Rivers has always been a big fan of throwing to his TEs. Henry has great upside where he's being drafted.
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