Draft This, Not That: Finding Alternatives To Players Currently Being Drafted Too High

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Fantasy owners often face tough decisions on draft day.  Should you reach for a player?  Should you wait and find a similar alternative?  Is the price point really worth the risk?  Let us try to help with some of the tougher decisions you may face:

 

Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams – Wide Receiver
Current ADP – 89.5 (WR33)

Woods is an interesting decision for fantasy owners, as he plays in an offense that should produce and is coming off a year with solid numbers (56 receptions, 781 yards and 5 TD).  That came in just 12 games, as he missed nearly a month from November 19 – December 17 due to a shoulder injury.  Just before that he appeared to be coming into his own, taking a significant step forward and providing a key weapon for Jared Goff:

  • November 5 – 4 receptions, 70 yards, 2 TD
  • November 12 – 8 receptions, 171 yards, 2 TD
  • November 19 – 8 receptions, 81 yards, 0 TD

He was targeted 26 times over that three game stretch (including a pair of games with 10+ targets) and upon his return he remained a pivotal part of the offense (at least 7 targets in each of the final two games).  While Woods should remain a key weapon, the addition of Brandin Cooks is going to help to siphon away some of his opportunities (Cooks will get more targets than Sammy Watkins’ 70 and Cooper Kupp is also still in the mix).

We also can’t ignore Todd Gurley, who is going to be the centerpiece of the offense, and it’s fair to wonder exactly what type of production Woods can give?  At 6’0” and 195 lbs. he’s not likely to be a red zone focal point and for his career he’s averaged 12.5 yards per reception.

While this price point isn’t prohibitive, it’s also likely that you can find a player with significantly more upside.

Receivers with similar ADP we’d rather select:

  • Devin Funchess (CAR) – 87.0
  • Marquise Goodwin (SF) – 98.2

 

Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – Running Back
Current ADP – 53.3 (RB24)

Ingram is coming off another productive season, turning 230 carries into 1,124 yards and 12 TD.  He also chipped in 58 receptions for 416 yards, and with at least 46 receptions in each of the past three seasons what exactly is there not to like?

It’s not to say that Ingram isn’t going to remain a key cog to the Saints’ offense, the question is if he will see even more of his touches be directed towards the dynamic Alvin Kamara?  Kamara only had 120 carries last season, though he slowly saw more and more as the season progressed:

  • September – 10
  • October – 32
  • November – 35
  • December – 43

While he may never be a workhorse, seeing the carries morph into more of a 50/50 split isn’t hard to imagine.  That alone would hurt Ingram’s value, and Kamara is clearly the more dynamic pass catcher (81 receptions for 826 yards and 5 TD).

Throw in Drew Brees and a passing game that’s going to make plays, and it’s easy to imagine Ingram “regressing” down into the 175-180 carry range.  That’s going to hurt his value significantly, and could keep him more as a RB3 as opposed to a fantasy starter.  That’s not to say that there isn’t value, but don’t ignore the risk.

Running Backs with similar ADP we’d rather select:

  • Lamar Miller (HOU) – 52.7
  • Ronald Jones III (TB) – 55.7
  • Royce Freeman (DEN) – 61.2

Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings:

Position
Date Updated
Quarterback07/02/18
Running Back08/13/18
Wide Receiver 07/16/18
Tight End07/19/18
Kicker--
Defense08/09/18
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