Value is a relative thing. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that. After you’ve done a few mock drafts and edited your rankings a few times, you begin noticing there are certain players who never seem to end up on your roster. Here are some players — one for each of the first eight rounds — who, because they are being drafted where they are, will not end up on any of my team’s this year.
Many drafters will point to a player’s floor: “You can’t win your league in the first round, but you can lose it.” Certainly, Ray Rice has always been perceived as one such high-floored player. The difference in 2013, the Raven lacks upside. Rice has never been a significant big play rushing threat; his fantasy value has been derived from volume. Now that Bernard Pierce is here to play a week-to-week role, Rice resembles a RB2 more than a surefire RB1.
Take instead: Alfred Morris
Aaron Rodgers is most likely to finish 2013 as the highest-scoring fantasy quarterback. But how much more likely is he to finish ahead of Drew Brees or Cam Newton – or even Matt Ryan or Colin Kaepernick? Simply put: the week-to-week advantage gained by popping Rodgers in the second is not enough to justify passing on a premium WR or RB. It doesn’t take a State Farm agent to know that there is better value to be had by shopping for QB in the fourth, fifth or sixth round.
Take instead: Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall or Julio Jones
Nothing at all against Cobb’s game. In fact, this is where PPR formatters should take a long, hard look at him. However, if you’re drafting in a standard league and want a piece of the Packers receiving corps: why not wait one round and target Jordy Nelson? Nelson’s value is suppressed due to last year’s injuries but I don’t see him as a heightened injury risk; do you? Nelson is a player who is as good a bet for yardage as Cobb, and probably a better bet for touchdowns.
Take instead: David Wilson or Lamar Miller
I’d rather pay the steeper price tag for Demaryius Thomas, who is the unquestioned number one of this receiving group, or wait two more rounds for Eric Decker. Welker himself has said that if he comes anywhere close to his catch totals from the last few years in New England, something has gone seriously wrong. This coming from a guy who never has had a lot of endzone upside and makes his money on lofty reception totals. Welker may have just been going for the quotable soundbite – I still foresee plenty of dump-off passes from Manning – but it’s easy to see how he may end up suffering from something akin to Mile High Middle Child Syndrome between Thomas and Decker.
Take instead: Jordy Nelson or Danny Amendola
Reggie Wayne compiled 1,355 yards last season, but 835 came in the first eight games. How to account for the decline? Rookie Andrew Luck became more comfortable with his other receivers as the year went on; rookie T.Y. Hilton became more comfortable in the offense as the year went on; 35 year-old Wayne slowing down? Which half of his 2012 will Wayne’s 2013 look more like: the resurgent first or the sluggish second? I just don’t see the upside in gambling a fifth round chip on Wayne, who is still reportedly “trying to [figure out]” a new coordinator’s system. Not when up-and-coming teammate Hilton will be available for cheaper.
Take instead: a QB!
Wow, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan are still available?!
Witten is the Welker of tight ends: a consistent source of receptions, but lacking the touchdown upside to be a worthwhile mid-rounder. Romo tends to look to receivers in the endzone. Last year, it was Dez Bryant’s territory; the year before that, Laurent Robinson’s. If you don’t draft Jimmy Graham in the second, wait until later and go for someone like Jared Cook, Brandon Myers or Jordan Cameron. If you simply must have TE in the middle rounds, you’ll be better off with Vernon Davis.
Take instead: Eric Decker, Antonio Brown or Tavon Austin
Buzz at Bengals HQ is that Green-Ellis will be the lead dog in this backfield. Early drafters have been able to see through this veteran deference; rookie “change-of-pace” back Giovani Bernard currently sports an ADP one full round before that of BJGE. Rightfully so. It won’t take long for this team to realize its offense is far more efficient with Bernard’s Matt Forte impersonation setting ’em up and “Law Firm’s” Michael Bush act knocking ’em down. It’s too bad: “Law Firm” is my favorite nickname in sports. If he were a better player, he would appear on every one of my fantasy rosters.
Take instead: T.Y. Hilton or Andre Brown
“Look around the draft room. If you can’t tell who the sucker is, wait until the first defense is drafted.” I’m not saying you need to wait until the second-to-last round to draft a defense. Just don’t be the first person to draft a defense. And don’t do it in the eighth round.
Take instead: Miles Austin, Stevie Johnson, Kenny Britt, Josh Gordon, or Mike Williams