Top 12 Fantasy Football Players You Need To Know Before You Draft
C.J. Anderson, Lamar Miller, Jeremy Hill, Mark Ingram, Odell Beckham, Emmanuel Sanders, DeAndre Hopkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews. What do these players have in common? There were heavily owned by Fantasy Football league champions last year, and rightfully so. It's important to have a breakout player on your team because without one, you're less likely to win.
Were those owners luckier than you? Maybe a bit. Saying luck isn't involved in Fantasy is a lie. Were the owners smarter than you? Quite possibly if they read pieces like this. That's where you get the edge each year, by having more knowledge than the rest. Previously, I gave you the Top 6 Mistakes Fantasy Football Owners Make, and one was drafting also-rans you can find on waivers instead of high-ceiling players. That's what we're looking at here: mid-late round sleepers with upside for so much more.
It's time for the Top 12 Players You Need to Know before your Fantasy Football Draft.
Sam Bradford, PHI – Two years ago, Bradford was on pace for a Top 8 QB finish with a poor Rams OL and Jared Cook as the team’s leading receiver. Jared… stinkin… Cook. Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles combined to outscore Tony Romo last year, combining for 4,581 yards and 27 TDs. The Eagles offense ran 1,127 plays with 396.8 YPG and 474 points. Top 5 QB potential here folks.
C.J. Anderson, DEN – At this point, just Google "Jake Ciely C.J. Anderson" and you'll find a bevy of articles, tweets, posts, replies, etc. about how great Anderson is. And yes, I know he breaks the rule for players listed, but Anderson has the potential to be the No. 1 running back in Fantasy, yet you can get him late in the first round. The point is if CJA is on the board for your pick, you don't pass! Gary Kubiak's new bellcow is going to be a monster.
Ameer Abdullah, DET – The hype continues to build, so unless you want to be left out in the cold, jump on board now. Abdullah still has an ADP in Round 6 but will easily surpass that. Even if Joique Bell comes back 100 percent and leads the backfield, both he and Reggie Bush were Top 20 running backs in 2013. Abdullah is going to fit in fine as Bush's replacement and will push Bell for more touches given his talent and Bell's injury history.
David Cobb, TEN – We saw Bishop Sankey disappoint time and again last year. Sure, he looked good in the second preseason game, but let's not overreact to one good game. Cobb is built for the NFL and while Sankey will always be the better pass catcher, Cobb should lead the Titans backfield sooner than later.
Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR – Jonathan Stewart just can't stay healthy. He's missed 20 games over the past three years, and while J-Stew has plenty of potential now that DeAngelo Williams is gone, grabbing his backup is always a smart move. If you're looking for a potential late-round RB payoff like Jeremy Hill last year, make your pick Artis-Payne.
Matt Jones, WSH – Jones is a lot like Alfred Morris, but that's not a bad thing. Morris is quite underrated, but he's also a free agent after the year, and the Redskins drafted Jones as his replacement. Why does that matter? Because if Morris suffers an injury, you better remember the name and run to the waiver wire, as Jones would immediately be a RB2.
Nelson Agholor, PHI – You've probably heard about him at this point (AG-oe-lar… like Aguilar) and rightfully so. Agholor is already NFL ready in his route running, and while there are a few concerns especially with his snap count/usage, few rookie receivers have more potential thanks to his offense.
Allen Hurns, JAX – I really don't understand why more people aren't on board. I'm not the biggest Hurns fan, and he is big play reliant, but Marqise Lee is out for weeks and Hurns is now the No. 2 in Jacksonville. Let's see, a team's No. 2 receiver with plenty of big-play ability… how on Earth is he still going undrafted in leagues? I have Hurns at WR51, and you should definitely use a late-round pick on him.
Terrance Williams, DAL – Remember how Williams was supposed to break out last year? This is what happens when draft picks disappoint though… owners write them off and miss on value the next year. Williams only caught 37 passes for 621 yards, but he scored eight touchdowns. Williams will still be a high touchdown threat for the Cowboys and if he can even slightly bump his reception numbers, now you have a potential Top 25 receiver at a Top 50 price.
Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN – If not for off-field issues and a year off, DGB would have been one of the top receivers drafted. He's extremely talented, and we've seen it many times before that talent wins in the NFL. Marcus Mariota has no receiver allegiances as a rookie, so if he and DGB continue to develop chemistry, we could see a Jordan Matthews-like second half as both develop together.
Brandon Coleman, NO – Coleman is a bit awkward as a receiver, but like Agholor and Williams, it's all about opportunity and his offense. Coleman has reportedly passed Nick Toon on the depth chart and Marques Colston is on the downside of his career. We know Drew Brees makes multiple receivers valuable, and with Jimmy Graham gone, he'll turn to his wideouts a bit more this year. Coleman should be on your radar for one of your last picks.
Tyler Eifert, CIN – Just like Williams, people are forgetting what got them so excited about Eifert last year. It was a year too soon with Jermaine Gresham still around, plus Eifert suffered a season-ending injury. However, he's healthy, Gresham is gone and Eifert is a great pass-catching tight end. The tight end position has more turnover than any other position each year, and Eifert will add his name to the TE1 group this year.
You obviously won't own all of these players (and shouldn't since the majority are mid-to-late sleepers) but you will have a much better shot at winning a Fantasy Football championship with 3-4 of them.
Image via Getty
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