As I prepare for my own drafts, I'm looking at what players I've ranked higher than their Average Draft Position to see if I still like them at that spot and to see who I'm liking more than the public at large. Below is a portion of that list, highlighting the players I'll most likely own just based on the law of averages and personal preference.
I'll be adding their aggregate ADP for PPR leagues for reference.
Michael Campanaro, ADP: Undrafted
The 5-9, 185-pound slot receiver is a steady player in an unsteady receiving group. Steve Smith, Marlon Brown and Breshad Perriman are all ahead of Campanaro, but his sure hands and quick hitting routes will be needed and I could easily see him sneaking onto waiver wires of PPR leagues this season. If you are in a deep league, grab him up so you don't have to waste the waiver pickup.
Josh Robinson, ADP: RB 89, 281 Overall
Robinson still has some work to do to overtake Dan Herron as Frank Gore's backup, but he has looked good this preseason, and I like his upside more than Herron. Gore is old for a running back, and this offense is too good not to be rostering the backup running back anyway, and I believe Robinson is the lottery ticket of the group.
Tyrod Taylor, ADP: Undrafted
Taylor appears in the lead for the Buffalo Bills' starting quarterback job, which means very little in fantasy terms, but Taylor is a quarterback who can run with the ball and that is very much what we are looking for from a dark-horse candidate. The Bills' offensive line will be a work in progress, and even though they have a stout defense, the lack of consistent scoring will have the Bills coming from behind in the second half. That spells scrambling and more scrambling for Taylor. Those rushing stats for quarterbacks are gold Jerry! Just remember that Tim Tebow was a fantasy-relevant quarterback as the Broncos' starter, and he completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
Leonard Hankerson, ADP: WR 86, 270 Overall
Hankerson has been turning heads in training camp while Roddy White has surgeries and drainages. He's not poised for a breakout because he's just not that player, but he is good enough to be of fantasy value in an offense like the Falcons' if he gets the snaps. And he is set up to get snaps on the outside, as White just doesn't have the ability to separate. He'll be a boom-or-bust player, but his boom could happen a bit more often for a team that just threw the ball the third most in the league last season.
Arian Foster, ADP: RB 28, 64 Overall
Who knows what Foster's real ADP is, but there's a decent chance your league mates might think he is near death where in reality he could be back much sooner than originally thought. Use that uncertainty to your advantage. Foster knows how to rehab and get back on the field and play quickly and successfully and if you can get him in the fourth or fifth rounds you are killing it.
Khiry Robinson, ADP: RB 71, 129 Overall
Robinson has shown his NFL ability in short spurts, averaging 4.8 yards a carry on 76 attempts last season before getting injured, and even though he is behind Mark Ingram, this offense is one that will produce for running backs if given the chance. Robinson only needs an Ingram injury to get that chance.
Eddie Royal, ADP: WR 49, 144 Overall
I love Eddie Royal this year with Kevin White possibly missing the whole season. He fits Adam Gase's quick-hitting passing offense and could be a PPR monster this year. At his ADP right now, he is a pure steal.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, ADP: TE 24, 201 Overall
Seferian-Jenkins has the ability to be great, and that is the main reason I'm all aboard this year. Last season, he never quite got 100 percent back on track after offseason surgery, which is not going to help a rookie tight end make much of an impact. This year he is healthy and has a better quarterback. I don't want him as my No. 1 tight end, but love him as a backup this year.
Stevie Johnson, ADP: WR 59, 187 Overall
Eddie Royal and Stevie Johnson are easily my two favorite mid- to late-round wide receiver targets this season. Johnson has worked his way into a starter's role and has his best quarterback ever throwing to him in Philip Rivers.
Richard Rodgers, ADP: TE 21, 192 Overall
With Jordy Nelson out for the season, someone will need to step up in the red zone, and I think that'll be Rodgers. The Rodgers-to-Rodgers connection also sounds too good to pass up. He's still a backup tight end for fantasy at this point, but I believe the touchdowns will be there enough to give him top-20 or better status.
Duke Johnson, ADP: RB 49, 139 Overall
Johnson has been hurt, but is now back at practice and looking like the best back the Browns have, which is great news since the Browns will run the ball a lot this season. He has upside to be a top-20 back this season, which means I'm willing to reach for him in every league format.
Jordan Reed, ADP: TE 27, 242 Overall
He's hard to draft due to his constantly nagging injuries, but his ADP is so low compared to what a healthy Reed could accomplish that I have to give him a shot now that Niles Paul is done for the year.
Crockett Gillmore, ADP: TE 39, 344 Overall
This is for all you who are in 2-TE leagues. Gillmore has beaten rookie Maxx Williams out for the starting tight end job, and on a Ravens' team that is searching for receivers, he should see enough work to pay some dividends.
Danny Amendola, ADP: WR 81, 335 Overall
The Patriots are being hush-hush as usual about their injured wide receivers, but the fact that they signed Reggie Wayne to a more than minimum contract shows they aren't all that confident in Brandon LaFell being ready to start the season. Julian Edelman is also out, but seems to have a better timetable than LaFell, but that has left Amendola as one of the few startable receivers practicing this training camp.
Javorius Allen, ADP: RB 82, 264 Overall
I'm really surprised that Allen's ADP is so low as the upside for a Ravens running back is just too good to pass on that late. Add in the fact that he is one of the best receiving backs that came out of college last season, and that his new offensive coordinator is Lord Trestman, and you have yourself a recipe for fantasy point production.
Danny Woodhead, ADP: RB 47, 149 Overall
Woodhead averaged nearly five receptions a game in 2013, and that was with Ryan Mathews as the starter. Mathews is a better receiver than the Chargers' new running back Melvin Ingram, so we could see Woody get even more work in the receiving game this year. He's a steady source of receptions and a great running back to fill out that flex position in PPR leagues. I'll be reaching ahead of his ADP to make sure he's on my team.
Lance Dunbar, ADP: RB 79, 262 Overall
In the rush to figure out whom the Cowboys will start at running back, many have lost sight of Dunbar, who appears locked into the third-down role. He's not going to win the lead role, and that's okay. We want him to Danny Woodhead his way to PPR significance, and we don't need anymore than that with where his ADP sits.
Matt Jones, ADP: RB 70, 288 Overall
Alfred Morris doesn't get hurt, but we've said that about many players who went ahead and got hurt. But even if he doesn't, Jones will still get looks as the third-down back, and unlike someone like Woodhead or Dunbar, Jones is built for the every-down role. Those are the players I want on my bench because if they do get their shot, their upside is great.
Brandon Coleman, ADP: WR 69, 207 Overall
I was on Nick Toon early this offseason, but the Toon has ended and Coleman has taken the lead. Coleman is poised to be the Saints' No. 3 receiver, and with Jimmy Graham gone, that truly is the No. 3 receiver. The ball will be spread around plenty, and Coleman will be boom or bust as most No. 3 receivers are, but Marques Colston is slowing down rapidly, and Coleman just needs him to miss a few games to gain true week-to-week fantasy relevance.
Chris Ivory, ADP: RB 30, 72 Overall
Ivory has always shared the backfield with a committee, but has also shown the ability to be a true lead back. It looks like he'll get his chance this season. All reports out of Jets camp have been glowing concerning Ivory and he's even improved as a pass receiver. He's set up for 20 touches a game and as long as he can stay healthy he should have a career year.
*** I'll have at least 20 more entries coming soon! ***