Fantasy Football: Players to Draft or Pass

The NFL’s preseason is upon us and with that, it’s time to identify fantasy football sleepers and busts. The following table identifies one player (mostly) per team and whether you should put them on your fantasy radar or let them be another owner’s problem. As you’ll see below, Christian McCaffrey is one of the players I think might end up being on their share of winning fantasy teams!



ARIZONA Chase Edmonds (RB) DRAFT As you’ll see below, I like cheap RBs to stash on my roster. Edmonds is pretty much the only insurance the Cardinals have behind David Johnson as a 1st and 2nd down back. Plus the early reports are good – I’m all in on the potential!
ATLANTA Austin Hooper (TE) DRAFT Hooper worked out often with Matt Ryan this offseason and is due for a breakout. Going from 49 to 70+ catches wouldn’t surprise me in the least. A bottom rung TE1 for now.
BALTIMORE Alex Collins (RB) PASS Maybe I’m wrong but I view Collins as a true flash-in-the-pan player. Was great down the stretch last season but does he have staying power? Could lose passing down snaps to Kenneth Dixon. 
BUFFALO LeSean McCoy (RB) PASS I’ll pass for two reasons: he’s getting less durable by the season + the allegations against him this offseason are concerning…and if he was somehow involved with the brutal assault of his ex-girlfriend, McCoy’s football career ends immediately.
CAROLINA Christian McCaffrey (RB) DRAFT Call me crazy but I’m so bullish on CMac that I would even consider drafting him at the end of the 1st round in PPR leagues. If he gets 20+ touches per game, he’ll end up as a top-10 fantasy RB.
CHICAGO Tarik Cohen (RB) DRAFT In PPR leagues, especially those with a flex, it’s nice to have RBs who are virtual locks for 10+ points per week. My namesake seemingly fits the bill in the middle rounds.
CINCINNATI Mark Walton (RB) DRAFT If Joe Mixon once again badly underachieves, Gio Bernard isn’t cut out for a 3 down role…so enter the rookie from Miami. Though his final season at “The U” was cut short due to injury, he’s a promising talent who will come extremely cheap in all leagues.
CLEVELAND Jarvis Landry (WR) DRAFT With Josh Gordon’s status hazy and Corey Coleman having been shipped out of town, Landry seems like a good bet to catch 90+ passes for his new team. A sure fire WR2 in PPR leagues.
DALLAS Dak Prescott (QB) PASS Outside of Ezekiel Elliott and a great offensive line, there are next to no proven weapons on the Cowboys offense. Dak will be a better real-life than fantasy player in 2018.
DENVER Royce Freeman (RB) DRAFT Might end up being the #2 rookie RB (behind Saquon Barkley) if given the starting job in Denver. Flashed big play ability at Oregon and looks to be the best option on paper of the Broncos’ RBs. Worth a mid-round selection based on potential.
DETROIT Theo Riddick (RB) DRAFT See Tarik Cohen of the Bears above. Same logic here though Riddick will go much later.
GREEN BAY Jimmy Graham (TE) DRAFT Will be absolutely dominant in the red zone thanks to Aaron Rodgers immaculate passing touch and Graham’s athletic ability. 10 touchdowns might be his floor.
HOUSTON Lamar Miller PASS Miller looked like a plodder to me last season and seems to have lost a step. Might lose touches to D’Onta Foreman as the season goes along assuming Foreman regains full health.
INDIANAPOLIS T.Y. Hilton (WR) PASS The ultimate boom-or-bust fantasy player with or without Andrew Luck. One week he’ll get you 25, the next week 3. I prefer more consistency so I’ll avoid Hilton and likely all Colts players.
JACKSONVILLE Jaguars Defense DRAFT I’m keeping them in the 9th round in one of my leagues. They’re sack and turnover-happy and should continue to average a double-digit output weekly for fantasy owners.
KANSAS CITY Sammy Watkins (WR) PASS Signed a big contract in the offseason with the Chiefs…and while his numbers should be better than he posted in 2017 with the Rams, I’m not sure he’s any higher than a mid-WR3 at this point.
LA CHARGERS Philip Rivers (QB) DRAFT Big play offense with very good WRs…why is Rivers 13th on ESPN’s current QB rankings? I’d take him 8th or higher!
LA RAMS Jared Goff (QB) PASS Tough call here – Goff will probably have some blow-up games…but I’m not sure he’ll be starter-worthy each week. A solid QB2 who like Dak Prescott, might be a better real-life player than fantasy asset.
MIAMI DeVante Parker (WR) DRAFT Major talent with very few other legitimate weapons in his offense. Who else is going to make plays in Miami for what appears to be a bad team?
MINNESOTA Kirk Cousins (QB) DRAFT Potential MVP candidate playing in a great, well-rounded offense. Sign me up!
NEW ENGLAND Chris Hogan (WR) DRAFT Who else is going to catch the ball in New England outside of Hogan, Gronk, and Julian Edelman when he’s back from suspension? Hogan has major WR2 appeal in my mind.
NEW ORLEANS Mark Ingram (RB) DRAFT I know he’s suspended for the first four games + Alvin Kamara is still around…but if you can draft Ingram in the 8th round or so, he should still provide plenty of value as an RB2 as the season goes along.
NY GIANTS Evan Engram (TE) DRAFT 722 yards as a rookie – if avoids the sophomore slump as I expect, 1,000 isn’t out of the question and with it a top-3 fantasy TE season.
NY JETS Jets Passing Game PASS Quick – name the pass catching targets for the Jets?! Outside of troublemaker Robby Anderson, I can’t so neither can you. Avoid.
OAKLAND Marshawn Lynch (RB) PASS The Raiders have 4 RBs in camp, including Doug Martin, who still might be fantasy relevant if given the touches. Give me under 1,000 total yards for Marshawn this season.
PHILADELPHIA Carson Wentz (QB) PASS Ranked as high as the 4th best QB in fantasy leagues with still legitimate concerns that he’ll start Week 1? I wouldn’t take Wentz higher than the 7th round, if then. No guarantee he’ll be fully healthy for a while.
PITTSBURGH James Conner / Jaylen Samuels (RBs) DRAFT Cheap, late / last-round insurance for the best RB in the game in a very friendly offense. Low risk, potential massive reward.
SEATTLE Any Seahawks RB PASS Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson, C.J. Prosise – too many mouths to feed to sustain early-season consistency. Penny is going way too high (4th-5th round) in some drafts. No thanks.
SAN FRANCISCO Jerick McKinnon (RB) DRAFT Potential fantasy star-in-the-making here folks. Innovative offense + unique talent = blow up potential. I wouldn’t be surprised if McKinnon eventually went at the end of the 2nd round in PPR drafts.
TAMPA BAY Chris Godwin (WR) DRAFT The Bucs should struggle this season and need to play catchup frequently. Godwin didn’t do much in his rookie season but should get plenty of targets as TB’s #2 outside WR.
TENNESSEE Derrick Henry (RB) DRAFT When he touches the ball, Henry is absolutely electric. His 191 yards on 25 touches in the Wild Card game against KC is a sample of what his fantasy potential could be if Dion Lewis were to go down in 2018. Either way, draft Henry confidently as an RB2.
WASHINGTON Jordan Reed (TE) PASS In his 5 NFL seasons, Reed has played in a combined 52 of 80 games. The talent is there but the risk of him missing significant time makes me want to avoid him in all leagues.


Agree or disagree with my picks? Let me know on Twitter @eacohen83.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s