Fantasy Football: Where To Draft Patriots’ Skill Players

Fantasy Football: Where To Draft Patriots’ Skill Players

by April 6, 2019 0 comments

The NFL Draft is right around the corner which means fantasy football mock draft season will be in full tilt. Before long, you’ll be drafting your fantasy squad for another chance at the illustrious championship every fantasy manager covets.

It’s never too early to start preparing for fantasy football drafts. Teams can’t win the title on draft night, but if they are not prepared, they can certainly lose the title before the season even starts.

Reaching for a player or waiting too long for a certain guy you want weakens your team. Knowing the Average Draft Position (ADP) is crucial to optimizing the talent on your roster. There’s nothing wrong with going after a player you want a little earlier than the ADP, but you don’t want to take Tom Brady in the fourth round when you can fill the skill positions and get him after the seventh round.

Speaking of the GOAT, here’s where you should be looking to draft the other Patriots’ offensive weapons in this year’s fantasy drafts.

*Bases on Point Per Reception (PPR) leagues (as all leagues should be).

*The NFL Draft may change rankings before fantasy drafts start.

Sony Michel, RB

Sony Michel had an inspiring rookie season despite battling injuries throughout the year. He ended the regular season with 931 rushing yards and six touchdowns on a healthy 209 carries. He also stepped up in a huge way during the playoffs by rushing for 336 yards and six touchdowns. This is significant because it shows that Bill Belichick trusts Michel. He is willing to lean on the young runner in the most important of situations.

New England created a lot of buzz around Michel by selecting him in the first round. Why draft a running back that high if they aren’t going to feature him as the top back? Because of an injured leg and the crowded Patriots’ backfield, his fantasy ADP landed him as a fifth to seventh-round pick last year. His stock is definitely on the rise after the late surge in last year’s postseason and he will be looking to push 300 touches if he can stay healthy.

Last season, it was evident that the Patriots were establishing a run-heavy gameplan in an attempt to limit Tom Brady’s workload. With another year passing and Brady growing another year older, leaning on the running backs will once again be the strategy. This means a lot of Sony Michel production on first and second down and late in games when New England is leading and draining the clock.

Gone are the days of drafting Sony Michel in the sixth round. In early mock drafts on Fantasy Football Calculator, Michel’s ADP is at the top of the fourth-round in 10-team leagues. Depending on your draft position, you’re going to have to consider taking Michel in the third-round for fear of him not being there after the turn. In 12-team leagues, he is being drafted toward the end of the third round, which means he needs to be on the radar in the second-round unless you have an early third round pick.

The running backs that are going just ahead of Michel are talented:

Marlon Mack
Leonard Fournette
Damien Williams
Nick Chubb
Dalvin Cook
Joe Mixon

So are the running backs going just after Michel:

Aaron Jones
Mark Ingram
Derrick Henry
Kerryon Johnson
Devonta Freeman
Phillip Lindsay

It won’t be an easy decision when it comes to drafting Sony Michel, but the third round is a safe spot to take him. The fourth round would be even better.

Julian Edelman, WR

Julian Edelman capped off an amazing playoff run by earning himself Super Bowl MVP honors. He cemented himself as one of the best players in postseason history. Surpassing Cliff Branch and Michael Irvin, Edelman moved into second place on the all-time postseason receiving yards leaderboard. He only trails the incomparable Jerry Rice in both receiving yards and touchdowns in the playoffs.

The ADP for Edelman last season was the seventh round because of his four-game suspension for PEDs. He also spent the offseason rehabbing a torn ACL which lowered his ADP even further. Edelman had a strong season, ending the year with 74 receptions for 850 yards and six touchdowns. This landed him as the 20th ranked wideout for the year, which surpassed his ADP by a large margin.

Even though Edelman will be 33 next season, he is the top target and Brady’s most reliable asset on offense. Pieces will be added in the draft, but as of right now, Phillip Dorsett is the only receiver familiar with the current offense. His value to the offense and his availability at the start of the season will see his ADP rise significantly.

In 12-team leagues on Fantasy Football Calculator, Edelman is going early in the fourth round or approximately the 40th pick overall. He drops to the end of the fourth round in 10-team leagues. If you really want Edelman, you will have to consider him in the third round but the fourth round seems like the ideal position to draft him.

Here are the wideouts going just ahead of Edelman:

Stefon Diggs
A.J. Green
Amari Cooper
Keenan Allen
T.Y. Hilton

Wideouts being drafted right after Edelman:

Brandin Cooks
Kenny Golladay
Cooper Kupp
Robert Woods
Jarvis Landry

James White, RB

James White had the best season of his career in 2018 as he set career marks in every offensive category. He rushed for 425 yards last year and had 5 of his 7 career rushing touchdowns. White did the most damage catching the ball out of the backfield. He was the most targeted running back (123 targets) in the entire NFL and led all running backs with seven receiving touchdowns. White had the second-most receiving yards (370) and third-most receptions (87) at the position.

In 2018, ESPN fantasy had James White’s ADP around the 12th-round and was ranked as the 40th running back. White finished with 276 fantasy points which ranked him as the 7th-best running back on the season. He ended ahead of first and second-round players in Melvin Gordon, David Johnson, and Joe Mixon. There are few, if any, other players that had a better finishing rank compared to their ADP.

It is ludicrous, that James White has an ADP late in the fifth round in 12-team leagues and the back half of the sixth round in 10-team leagues. He finished seventh amongst all running backs last year. Matthew Berry of ESPN has White ranked as his 26th running back in PPR. The odds of him finishing as the seventh-ranked running back are not good, but he will be highly utilized in New England’s offense. He should finish far better than the 26th running back. The Patriots will run the football and hit White with quick-passes out of the backfield to keep pressure off of Tom Brady.

If White manages to fall to the sixth round, he could end up being the steal of the draft once again. You will want to keep an eye on White around the fourth round. However, depending on your draft position, you might have to pull the trigger in the fifth round to ensure you get him.

Running backs going just ahead of White:

Chris Carson
Darrius Guise
Tarik Cohen
Phillip Lindsay
Devonta Freeman
Kerryon Johnson

Running backs going right after White:

Kenyon Drake
Tevin Coleman
Lamar Miller
Josh Jacobs
Rashaad Penny
Kareem Hunt

Tom Brady, QB

It’s odd to think about Tom Brady finally looking like an aging quarterback. Yet, he still engineered a masterful playoff performance that ended with another ring on his finger. There were some terrible overthrows to the receiver on far too many attempts last year. However, his numbers weren’t that much worse than his MVP performance from the prior year. He ended 2018 with 4,355 passing yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In his MVP season, he had 4,577 passing yards with 32 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Brady is still out there slinging the ball and producing at a high level.

Last year, Brady was ranked as the third at quarterback with an ADP in the early part of the fourth round. Again, Brady was coming off of an MVP season the year before and hopes were high for the aging wonder. The other quarterbacks in the NFL played at record-setting paces last season and even though Brady put up solid numbers, he ended as the 14th-ranked quarterback. He had one of the worst returns on investment of any of the early round quarterbacks.

In early mock drafts, people are not showing faith in Brady to keep up with the young guns on a statistical basis and have him at an ADP in the 11th-round. This seems incredibly late for the only quarterback to ever win six title rings. Yes, he is older and the Patriots are running more often, but Brady is still worth taking as early as the ninth round. He has enormous potential in two-quarterback leagues at his current ADP as your second signal-caller. Brady will get more passing targets in the draft that will make him more desirable before fantasy drafts start.

Quarterbacks going just ahead of Brady:

Jameis Winston
Jared Goff
Cam Newton
Carson Wentz
Russell Wilson
Matt Ryan

Quarterbacks going right after Brady:

Phillip Rivers
Jimmy Garoppolo
Ben Roethlisberger
Kirk Cousins
Josh Allen
Lamar Jackson

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Leave a Reply