Football is back! With the preseason underway, fantasy players are doing mock drafts hourly (or maybe it’s just me) to prepare for their fantasy drafts. Each year fantasy players want to construct their team with a proper mix of good value players and upside sleepers while avoiding players with high bust potential. In the first part of an eight-part series, I will look over the NFC North and provide ADP values, likely to bust candidates and potential sleepers.
Players ADP is from Fantasy Pro’s PPR ADP.
Be sure to check out all eight parts of Fanelli’s ADP values, busts, and sleepers series.
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (WR11, 33.0 ADP)
Despite catching passes from Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles over the past two seasons, Robinson has put together back-to-back seasons with a top-nine finish. Furthermore, Robinson finished third in targets in both 2019 and 2020, averaging 152.5 per season. Last season, Robinson had a 99 percent route participation and a 25.4 percent target share. While Darnell Mooney will have a larger role this season, trading away Anthony Miller will help with his development. Rarely is Andy Dalton considered an upgrade, but compared to Trubisky and Foles, he is. Furthermore, at some point, Justin Fields will take over under center. Robinson’s target share isn’t at risk and could even increase this season. As the WR11 and a late third-round pick in 12 team leagues, Robinson is being drafted at his floor.
Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions (RB45, 131.8 ADP)
Even if he sticks around his 10.4 touches per game average for his career, Williams has value in most fantasy leagues. Over the last two seasons, Williams has picked up his play, averaging 0.92 fantasy points per touch. At that fantasy point per touch rate, Williams would average just under 10 fantasy points per game on 10.4 touches per game. Over a 16 game pace, Williams would have finished last season as the RB31 at that pace. Williams could even average more fantasy points per touch behind a strong Lions’ offensive line that added Penei Sewell in the draft. Furthermore, D’Andre Swift missed three games last year because of injuries. If Swift misses time in 2021, Williams turns into a plug and play RB1 in the Lions’ running back friendly offense.
Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (TE10, 103.5 ADP)
Last season, Tonyan caught 52 or 59 targets and tied for the league lead in touchdowns by a tight end with 11. Thanks to his crazy high 21.2 percent touchdown rate, Tonyan finished as the TE4 last season. However, his 52 catches finished 13th among tight ends. Meanwhile, the top-12 tight ends averaged 6.7 touchdowns last season. Adjusting Tonyan’s numbers from 11 touchdowns to 6.7, he would have finished as the TE8 with a 12.9 percent touchdown rate. In the offseason, the Packers drafted Amari Rodgers and traded for Randall Cobb. Meanwhile, Jace Sternberger has shined so far during training camp and could limit Tonyan’s snaps. Between the additions and his likely touchdown regression, Tonyan shouldn’t be drafted as a top-12 tight end.
Irv Smith, Minnesota Vikings (TE11, 122.0 ADP)
Many believe Smith is a sleeper now with Kyle Rudolph in New York. However, that isn’t going to be the case. In the nine games both Smith and Rudolph played, Smith played an average of 62 percent of the snaps per game. By comparison, in the four games without Rudolph, Smith played an average of 71 percent of the snaps. Furthermore, in the four games without Rudolph, Tyler Conklin averaged 70 percent of the snaps per game. Despite Rudolph averaging only 3.1 targets per game, Smith had only three games with seven or more fantasy points with Rudolph on the field. Meanwhile, in the four games without Rudolph, Smith had only two with more than seven or more fantasy points. Expect Conklin to cut into Smith’s workload, keeping him out of the top-12 tight ends.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (WR68, 190.5 ADP)
Last season Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, Mohamed Sanu, and Jamal Agnew combined for 172 catches on 260 targets. All five receivers will play elsewhere in 20201. To replace them, the Lions signed Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman. Despite seven picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Lions only used one on a pass-catcher; St. Brown. Meanwhile, reports are St. Brown has shined and been the most consistent receiver in training camp so far. Furthermore, given Goff’s history with throwing to his slot receiver, Cooper Kupp, in Los Angeles, expect St. Brown to turn into a target machine as a rookie. Fantasy players should feel confident with St. Brown as their WR3, yet he’s being drafted as a WR5.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (QB32, 217.8 ADP)
There is a simple reason why the Los Angeles Rams traded away Goff: he isn’t very good. However, last year was the first time since his rookie season, where Goff failed to finish as a top-13 quarterback. The only positive note for Goff is all the negative game script he should find himself in as the Lions project to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season. Thanks to an awful defense, Goff should have plenty of opportunities to chase points and provide fantasy value to his fantasy owners. In single quarterback leagues, Goff isn’t someone you should draft. However, in super flex or two quarterback leagues, Goff is a solid low-end QB2 or an excellent QB3 option for your team.
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