Over the next 11 days, many fantasy football drafts will take place across the country as everyone gears up for the start of the 2016 NFL Season. Personally, I’ve done three season-long drafts so far, with two more coming this weekend. I’m sure there are a number of you who will be drafting in the near future, and I’m here to help you win your league.
The key to winning any season-long fantasy league is to find value in your draft. Would it be nice to have the No. 1 overall pick and grab Antonio Brown? Obviously. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t win your league just because you missed out on the No. 1 pick.
Here are 10 players who I believe will provide immense value in 2016 that you can get after pick 100 in your fantasy draft.
1. WR Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints
Snead hauled in 69 catches for 984 yards and three touchdowns in 2015 despite being the fourth option in the Saints’ passing game. With Marques Colston and Ben Watson gone, Snead should see more opportunities in the red zone as the No. 2 option in the passing game behind Brandin Cooks. There’s a solid chance that Snead can put up 1,200 yards receiving and eight touchdowns in 2016. Amazing value for his current 109.8 ADP.
2. RB Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens
According to RotoWire, West’s ADP currently sits at 184.14, which basically means you can get him in the 19th round of a 10-team draft. West has been the talk of Ravens’ camp, and while Justin Forsett will begin the season as the starter, West could easily be the goal-line back from the very start. If he happens to outperform Forsett early on, West could end up with the starting job for the majority of the season.
3. RB Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
Duke Johnson is the more explosive of the two backs in Cleveland, but Crowell is the guy I’d rather have. His current ADP sits at 119.8 compared to Johnson’s 66.74, and Crowell is going to get the early-down work and goal-line work for the Browns. A lot of experts are comparing Crowell and Johnson to the Cincinnati Bengals’ Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard as to how head coach Hue Jackson is going to use his two running backs.
4. RB T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars
Yeldon’s ADP is currently at 100.2, according to RotoWire, and he’s gotten the most work of the two Jaguars running backs in the preseason. Jacksonville signed Chris Ivory to a five-year $32 million contract this offseason, and while he will likely steal goal-line carries from Yeldon, T.J. figures to get the majority of the work between the 20s.
5. RB Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks
Michael’s teammate, Thomas Rawls, is currently going around pick No. 43 in fantasy drafts, but I’d much rather take Michael at his current 152 ADP. There are a lot of questions surrounding the health of Rawls’ ankle and Michael could be in line for a huge role in the Seahawks’ run-heavy offense sooner rather than later.
6. WR Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers
Entering 2016 training camp, the excitement for the Panthers centered around the return of former first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin from a torn ACL. While I’m sure it’s nice for Cam Newton to have Benjamin back, Funchess has been far and away the best receiver for the Panthers this preseason and his current 126.25 ADP is too good to pass up. Double-digit touchdowns isn’t out of the question for the second-year pro.
7. TE Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers
I have yet to draft a tight end prior to the last couple rounds in my draft because there’s too much value in the later rounds. Cook has become one of my favorite picks at the position as he’s finally going to receive a chance to play with an elite quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. Cook’s biggest season came in 2011 in Tennessee when he caught 49 passes for 759 yards. He could very easily surpass those numbers this year and score a career-high in touchdowns.
8. WR Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams
Austin’s ADP sits at 117.6, but he should outperform that with ease in 2016. Last season, Austin hauled in 52 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns and also added 52 carries for 434 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. If you combine those numbers, that’s 104 touches for 907 yards and nine touchdowns as the Rams finally began to figure out how to utilize their former first-round pick. Expect big things out of Austin in 2016.
9. RB James White, New England Patriots
With the knee injury to Dion Lewis, White will take over as the pass-catching back in the Patriots’ offense. In most other offenses, that may not mean a whole lot, but we’ve seen how guys like Lewis, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead have been able to become fantasy relevant in that role. At his 177.43 ADP, White could provide tremendous value as an RB4 or RB5.
10. WR Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens
Aiken registered 75 catches for 944 yards and five touchdowns in 2015 and yet his current ADP sits at 125.47. It’s true that Steve Smith Sr. will return from a torn Achilles and Mike Wallace is in town which could limit targets for Aiken, but he’s proven himself to be a reliable option and will have a full season with Joe Flacco at the helm in 2016. Aiken has the potential to put up big numbers this season.
[Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images]