I’m back from a week-long family vacation in Montauk, NY and ready to get back to the fantasy football grind.
As we gear up for what will be the majority of fantasy drafts this week, I just wanted to say thank you for your support and let you know when the season starts I’ll be providing even more in-depth analysis!
In honor of my trip last week (to the Montauk Lighthouse in particular), I’m calling my first segment for today: Lighthouse Locks.
I’m putting my stamp of approval on a player currently ranked outside of the top 25 at running back and wide receiver, top 12 for quarterback and tight end, that I believe can be a weekly lock in your fantasy lineups.
QB - Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals
Current Consensus Ranking: No. 13 QB
There’s a lot of concern surrounding Joe Burrow this season coming off a torn ACL last year that shortened a stellar start to his pro career.
I get the hesitation - Burrow took just three snaps this postseason, throwing one pass (a bubble screen pass to Ja’Marr Chase that he dropped). I’m just glad Burrow got some preseason action at all.
In his rookie season, Burrow played 10 games and threw for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, while also rushing for three scores.
He played behind a poor offensive line and was sacked a whopping 32 times. He could have easily led the league if he played a full season. He was also missing star RB Joe Mixon for the majority of the year.
As with every player on this list, and every player for that matter, health is the biggest factor.
If he is able to play a full season, I believe Burrow can put up top 10 numbers, perhaps even top 7. His running ability is limited, which will keep him out of the top 5, but he definitely is going to be slinging the rock all season.
With three exceptional wideouts, shoutout to Auden Tate who is a solid fourth option as well, Burrow will have the chance to accumulate big passing numbers. With a Cincinnati defense that leaves a lot to be desired, Burrow will be called upon bring his team back with his arm all season long.
My strategy going into drafts is to wait on QB and grab one in the later rounds. While I prefer a couple of names ahead of Burrow, I’m comfortable selecting him to lead my team each week.
I’m drafting Burrow ahead of Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan and Trevor Lawrence.
RB - Raheem Mostert - San Francisco 49ers
Current Consensus Ranking: No. 29 RB
Like Burrow, people are hesitant to select Mostert because of his injury history. The 29-year-old RB missed half of last season, but before getting injured he was well on his way to a 1,000-yard season on the ground.
Two seasons ago he had eight touchdowns and 772 rushing yards on 137 attempts in a backup role, which is pretty incredible. Consider this - his teammate at the time, Tevin Coleman, had the same rushing attempts but only accumulated 544 yards and six touchdowns.
The 49ers drafted RB Trey Sermon in the third round in this year’s draft, and his addition has also given people pause. While Sermon will definitely see a fair share of carries, San Francisco is all about the ground attack, so he shouldn’t cut into Mostert’s workload.
At Mostert’s current ADP, the middle of round 7 to the beginning of round 8, I feel very secure taking him there to be my RB3. If you’re utilizing the zero RB strategy and taking Mostert to be your RB2, I’m good with that too. A healthy Mostert should rush for over 1,000 yards this season and has a chance at double-digit touchdowns.
I’m drafting Mostert ahead of Damien Harris, Melvin Gordon and Ronald Jones.
WR - Corey Davis - New York Jets
Current Consensus Ranking: No. 40 WR
To have a No. 1 WR being drafted as late as Corey Davis should be a crime. I know he’s not the sexiest pick, but being ranked as the No. 40 wideout is quite frankly insane.
Let’s not forget Davis was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s only 26, coming off the best season of his career and just got paid! The Jets aren’t paying him $37 million for nothing…
While there has been a lot of talk about rookie Elijah Moore (who I like and wrote about as one of my Daily Draft Sleepers) and veteran Jamison Crowder is still in the mix, I expect Davis to be hyper-targeted by rookie QB Zach Wilson.
The Jets have an unreliable running game, their defense is suspect, so Wilson will have to throw a ton - enter Davis.
I believe this is the year Davis surpasses 1,000 receiving yards and at 6-foot-3, he is the ideal red zone target for a team that is lacking size.
I’m drafting Davis ahead of DeVonta Smith, Antonio Brown and Will Fuller.
TE - Jonnu Smith - New England Patriots
Current Consensus Ranking: No. 13 TE
For Jonnu Smith to have a big year, a few different factors have to come to fruition, namely Mac Jones and Hunter Henry.
If Jones is named the starting QB over Cam Newton, I believe Smith will see way more targets simply due to the different styles of play between the quarterbacks. Rookies also tend to lean on tight ends when in trouble, so that will also benefit Smith. If Henry continues to deal with injuries, that will only give Smith more opportunities.
Last season in Tennessee, Smith was only targeted 65 times. He caught 41 of those passes for 448 yards and eight touchdowns and even rushed for one score.
Combine those factors with the knowledge that the Patriots lack explosive weapons on the outside, I think Smith could be in for a heavily targeted season.
Tight end is the hardest position in fantasy to predict, and if you don’t end up with one of the top 6 players, you’ll most likely looking to plug and play different TEs throughout the year. I think drafting Smith late is one of the rare instances where you can find a diamond in the rough.
I’m drafting Smith ahead of Dallas Goedert, Mike Gesicki and Irv Smith Jr.
The start of the season is just two weeks away, and with preseason finished, that means it’s fantasy draft time!
Most people will be conducting their drafts this week - I have three drafts this week scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the latter being my league of record Monday Morning Tears.
For Wednesday’s newsletter, I’d like to offer any last-minute tips or answer any of your draft-related questions. I will also be writing my draft tips column, giving you a few pointers that have worked for me in the past.
Email me your draft-related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll gladly answer anything and everything!
Thanks again for the support and I look forward to sharing a great season with you all!