Fantasy Points Targets and Avoids

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Fantasy Points Targets and Avoids

It’s hard to win in fantasy football without drafting the right players. Fortunately, there are a lot of “right players,” and they’re available at various stages of a typical draft. It’s important to go into a draft with a list of players you want, and the points at which they might be available.

Our job at Fantasy Points is to help you with that.

Our Fantasy Points Targets series will highlight players we particularly like at their current ADPs (Average Draft Position). Those players might have legitimate league-winning upside, a rock-solid floor to help the foundation of your team, or might simply present a great value and are being overlooked. It could be a combination of factors.

For these articles, we are using all 12-team ADP over the last month from our friends at the NFFC. We believe high-stakes ADP to be the most important to giving advice, as the sharpest players in the world have been drafting teams for months and have set the market. Given the ADP we are using, the basis for these articles is PPR scoring.

As always, if you want detailed information about all the players listed here — and more — check out our 2020 Fantasy Points Player Profiles.

Published Tuesday, August 4th

Preview

This is the disclaimer we feel obligated to give — we do not typically recommend drafting a quarterback in the first handful of rounds in a one-QB format. Yes, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes will almost certainly score you a lot of points. There are absolutely roster builds including them that will win fantasy championships. But the evidence against drafting a QB early in fantasy football has been mounting for years to the point where it’s an accepted fact that it’s a suboptimal strategy. Remember, two years ago, Mahomes was available in the double-digit rounds. So was Jackson in 2019. And passing on the early-round guys opens up room to add talent at the RB and WR positions, where starter-worthy players aren’t available as late as they are at QB.

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Published Wednesday, August 5th

Preview

Cam Akers (LAR, 51 ADP) — Akers will be polarizing in the industry, because he’s a rookie RB in what looks like a crowded backfield, sharing time with Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, and as a locked-in 5th-round pick, he isn’t cheap. But for aggressive drafters who want to shoot for all upside, we’ll sign off on this pick. Brown is “just a guy,” a coach’s favorite who does everything well but nothing great. Henderson struggled mightily last year, especially running inside, an area in which we believe Akers will flourish. Again, he is by no means a “value,” but his skill set fits Sean McVay’s offense perfectly, and if the Rams are down on Henderson — as the fact that they used a second-round pick on Akers strongly suggests — Akers should get every opportunity to take the “starting” role in this backfield, contributing in the passing game as well. He’s an upside-oriented RB3, ideally, because fantasy drafters might have to be patient with him (like with Miles Sanders last year), but we love the league-winning juice here.

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Published Thursday, August 6th

Preview

Terry McLaurin (Was, ADP 54) — McLaurin looks poised to be among the league leaders in target rate after seeing a 22% share as a rookie last season. Washington may have the biggest talent gap between its #1 receiver (McLaurin) and the rest of its receiving corps — the Packers and Davante Adams is the only other situation that comes close. Washington wasn’t exactly teeming with receiver depth behind McLaurin before they lost Kelvin Harmon (ACL) and Cody Latimer (Commissioner's Exempt List) this summer. McLaurin stormed onto the scene as a rookie last season with his dynamic combination of speed and quickness. He finished as the WR29 in FPG (13.7) and 14th among WRs in yards per route run (2.05). McLaurin will be featured as the #1 receiver in this run-heavy attack, and he should have more target stability in this weak receiving corps after averaging 6.6 targets per game last season. His biggest concern will be the quality of his targets this season. McLaurin’s price has stayed cheap this summer because of concerns about Dwayne Haskins, but the second-year QB at least made incremental progress as his rookie season went along to give McLaurin hope for a full-blown breakout.

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Published Friday, August 7th

Preview

Chris Herndon (NYJ, ADP 164) — Our Greg Cosell told us Adam Gase had big plans to move Herndon all around the formation last season after the 24-year-old TE had a promising first season with Sam Darnold in 2018. Unfortunately, Herndon played just 18 snaps as a sophomore, missing the first four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy before hamstring and rib injuries wiped out the rest of his season. Herndon averaged 10.2 FPG in Weeks 6-16 of his rookie season with five double-digit fantasy performances, and his average depth of target sat at 11.0 yards, which ranked behind only Mark Andrews among TEs with 50+ targets. The Jets receiving corps remains extremely thin this year so Herndon has a chance to get his career back on track. Darnold has certainly shown an affinity for his tight ends — when he’s had healthy and serviceable options — in his first two seasons. Herndon is the closest player to a Darren Waller type at the end of drafts this season as a late-round TE who has a legitimate chance to lead his team in receiving this season.

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Published Friday, August 7th

Preview

Philip Rivers (Ind, 175 ADP) — Rivers isn’t exactly expensive (QB26 in ADP), but we just so no upside whatsoever here when multiple players around him have at least some. Top WR TY Hilton (hamstring) has battled injuries for years and is already banged up. The top two receivers behind him, Parris Campbell and rookie Michael Pittman, are talented but unproven. TE Jack Doyle is a nice player, but that’s about it, and #2 TE Trey Burton also has his share of injury woes. But above all, the Colts have one of the NFL’s deepest backfields — Jonathan Taylor, Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines — behind what could be the league’s best offensive line. Rivers is here to assist this offense to a Super Bowl run, not to be the catalyst. There are so many appealing options, even those available this late, on whom we’d rather take a chance.

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