Updated: Jul 26, 2020
As draft season approaches, it's important to assess a player's value compared to their Average Draft Position (ADP). I'm going through division by division and picking my favorite player at each position once accounting for their ADP.
Gardner Minshew (ADP QB25, 179 Overall
Runner Up Ryan Tannehill (ADP QB19, 146 Overall)
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Once again, you’ll see me default to a late-round quarterback in the AFC South. While I expect a big season from Watson, his ADP would require me to pass on the likes of Stefon Diggs or Michael Gallup.
Minshew is the preferred QB out of these two only due to schedule after week 2. While it’s hard to project defenses year over year, the Dolphins, Bengals, Texans, and Lions should provide Minshew an opportunity for fantasy relevance.
We saw both sides of the tale with Tannehill in 2019. When he was extremely efficient, he was able to produce for fantasy purposes. There is some concern after the playoff run the Titans put on. With Henry resigned, we could see more of the same run-heavy offense. If Tannehill maintains his efficiency, he could be a league winner at the Quarterback position.
Leonard Fournette (RB 18, 32 Overall)
Runner Up Nyheim Hines (RB52, 149 Overall)
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I’m shocked by how few AFC South Running Backs I like at their ADP. Leonard Fournette became the #1 option because somehow, he has the least amount of questions outside of Henry. If Fournette is still on Jacksonville week 1, he should have a guaranteed workload in 2020. Leonard managed 128 fantasy points attributed to his receiving work, and the concern about Chris Thompson is real. If he loses half of his fantasy points in that area, he’d need to see an increase of 10 TD’s to reclaim that loss. As he only had 3 TD’s in 2019, that’s not out of the question. Fournette feels surprisingly safe when compared to the rest of the AFC South.
Nyheim Hines feels like such a gross option, but you’ll know what he is by the end of week 1. While Taylor and Mack should have more value than Hines, we’ll see how Frank Reich uses him against the Jaguars in week 1. If he’s not the definitive pass catcher, you can drop him and pick up a waiver wire darling.
Brandin Cooks (WR36, 88 Overall)
Runner Up DJ Chark (WR21, 52 Overall)
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We don’t need to get into the dirty details of Brandin Cooks here. I’ll probably put out a piece on him before the fantasy draft season picks up. Two significant items to note are that Cooks has accumulated 1,000 yards in 4 of the last 5 seasons and that he and Watson are meant to be together. While there is some risk around his concussions, Cooks has finished as a top 15 WR in all 4 of those seasons. He’s likely to become the number 1 option in Houston, and I believe the talent of Deshaun Watson will support a top 20 WR in 2020. Cooks and Watson are a match made in heaven. Cooks is one of the most successful deep route receivers, while Watson is one of the most prolific deep ball throwers.
Selecting DJ Chark is primarily a nod to The Commish Co-Host, Chris. Chris made an argument for DJ Chark as a top 12 WR in 2020. Jump to minute 70 for his breakdown. In support of his case, I will say Chark has an incredible ceiling in 2020, and if Minshew is going to succeed, it will be through DJ Chark. On top of that, his ADP puts him in the middle of an RB dead zone, where I’ll be targeting WRs primarily.
Jonnu Smith (TE17, 138 Overall)
Runner Up Jack Doyle (TE18, 153 Overall)
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Jonnu Smith finished as the TE20 in 2019 after Delanie Walker’s season ended in week 7. Smith has the athletic profile you want from a fantasy Tight End, and his 439 yards were exceptional for a second-year Tight End. I love drafting Jonnu as a second Tight End with incredible upside for the 2020 season.
Jack Doyle isn’t going to finish as a top 6 Tight End, but he should have a high floor week-to-week. With Ebron gone and Rivers in, the Tight End targets are open for Doyle to eat up. He could return to his 2017 form, but around 500 yards on 60 catches feels like a reasonable expectation.