Football is back! With the preseason under way fantasy players are doing mock drafts hourly (or maybe it’s just me) to prepare for their fantasy drafts. Each year fantasy owners want to construct their team with a proper mix of good value players and upside sleepers while avoiding players with high bust potential. For my fantasy readers, this is part four of eight installments where I will go division by division giving you two players with great ADP value, two players with high bust potential and two sleepers that could help put your team over the top. Today is the NFC North. Players ADP and rankings is based off standard scoring according to the fantasy football calculator. So let’s begin and as always, happy hunting fantasy friends!
Dalvin Cook should be the first rookie RB off the board in your fantasy drafts.
— Adam Rank (@adamrank) August 19, 2017
Dalvin Cook RB Vikings (3.09)- All the noise of Latavius Murray hurting Cook’s value needs to be put out. The way Murray’s contract is set up the Vikings can get out of the deal come this spring at little cost. It should have been clear when the Vikings traded up in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft that Cook is the Vikings main running back. With Murray sidelined during offseason programming, Cook has a firm grasp on the first team spot and reportedly has impressed the coaches. Being drafted as the RB17, Cook offers much more upside then many running backs drafted ahead of him.
Ameer Abdullah first touch of the preseason. pic.twitter.com/4Fm6VVUY1t
— James Simpson (@JS_Football) August 13, 2017
Ameer Abdullah RB Lions (5.08)- Currently being drafted as the RB26, Abdullah is a forgotten soul thanks to an injury plagued 2016 season. Before last season Abdullah hadn’t missed a game during his college and pro career; to characterize him as “injury prone” is irresponsible. As a rookie Abdullah showed promise as a future feature back player. The other running backs on the roster, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner, don’t threaten Abdullah’s starting job. To grab a starting running back with upside at 5.08 is great value.
Martellus Bennett TE Packers (7.06)- When was the last time the Packers had a top ten fantasy tight end? Jermichael Finley in 2011. Bennett is the best tight end the Packers have had since Finley, but he isn’t enough of a difference maker to finish in the top ten. Currently being drafted as the TE7, Bennett is overvalued and there are many better options drafted behind him including Kyle Rudolph and Hunter Henry. In order for Bennett to have a weekly affect on your fantasy team he will need to get in the endzone. In nine seasons Bennett has only 30 touchdowns and only has one season with seven or more. Bottom-line is with many better mouths to feed in the Packers offense, Bennett isn’t worth a top ten tight end selection.
Adam Thielen WR Vikings (11.05)- Last season was the first year Thielen was a fantasy factor and then he got paid big money in the offseason. Last season, Thielen had 169.2 fantasy points, in his first two seasons he had 43 points combined. The Vikings want to be a run-first team and even when they pass, the pecking order is Kyle Rudolph, Stefon Diggs and then maybe Thielen. In the offseason the team signed Michael Floyd and reports out of camp suggest Laquon Treadwell will have a serious role on offense this season. Thielen is currently being drafted as the WR49. I believe Thielen was a one year wonder and with better WRs still available like Kenny Britt and Mike Wallace, to select him at 11.05 is a wasted pick.
Eric Ebron TE Lions (12.05)- So far during his career, Ebron has been a bust and a fantasy flop. Last season Ebron showed flashes of breaking out; finishing the season with 61 catches on 85 targets for 711 yards, all career highs. However, he left fantasy owners wanting more after he finished the season with only one touchdown. My expectation is that Ebron is closer to six or seven touchdowns this season. Anquan Boldin is now gone and last year he had eight touchdowns; many of them were in the redzone. Ebron could be in line to catch the majority of Boldin’s redzone targets and could finish the year with 75 catches for 850 yards and six touchdowns. That kind of production is well worth the pick in the 12th round as TE14.
Same for WRs… The last time Randall Cobb was outside of the top-40 in draft cost was 2012. Maclin, Marshall, Fitz also vet discounts. pic.twitter.com/kOrxUmr8os
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) August 16, 2017
Randall Cobb WR Packers (9.01)- The last two years have been disappointing for Cobb. However, he has battled injuries both years and spent the 2015 season without Jordy Nelson. 2017 could be the bounce back year for Cobb, if he can stay healthy. Currently being drafted as the WR40 you can snag him as your WR4 and he has WR2 upside. With several wide receivers drafted ahead of him with lower ceilings and a weaker quarterbacks throwing to them, Cobb can out preform many of them if he can stay healthy. The 2014 season was the last season he played all 16 games. That year Cobb had career highs across the board with 91 catches for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. I don’t expect Cobb to repeat that stat-line this year but don’t be shocked if he gets 70 catches for 975 yards and seven touchdowns this season.