As we get to the later but still early rounds, we know there is talent to be found. We know people can breakout from these draft positions and win fantasy leagues. Nevertheless, it can still be murky waters in these rounds so we look at round 4 ADP of a 12 person, PPR redraft league, a place where talent is still abundant, but confidence in picks can waiver.
4.01 – Amari Cooper, Value: B
Pro: He’s consistently touted as a breakout receiver and he very well could be. He has the physical stats to dominate in the league and had the college production to match. He’s consistently reached approximately over 100 targets each season he’s been in the league and is fueled by a young stud of a quarterback in Derek Carr who can and will throw as much as Gruden will let him and the last time Gruden was a coach, his QB threw over 500 times that season so imagine Carr matching that kind of production and Cooper benefiting which means his PPR value is even higher than standard (naturally)
Con: In year 3, cooper failed to break 1,000 receiving yards for the first time. He also failed to break a 50% catch rate. For some un-god-known reason, he was snake bitten. Catching 48 balls for 680 yards hurt fantasy owners in PPR leagues because there were WR2s who caught more balls than Cooper who was probably drafted as a WR1. His only saving grace last year was that he had 7 touchdowns. I don’t know man, I’m skeptical on him because he disappeared for no reason, had stones for hands, AND will be facing some stout passing defenses. It should be very interesting to see how he rebounds in a new system.
4.02 – Alex Collins, Value: B+
Pro: Alex Collins is the feature back and his team has made that very clear. In 12 games started last season he reached almost 1,000 yards on the ground with 6 touchdowns. If he started a full season last year he projected to be the RB3 in yards beating out Lev Bell with almost 1,300. He also would have finished ahead of Zeke in touchdowns with 8. He can ball and his team should let him this season. I like him as a sneaky pick because he’s not on the casual fantasy players radar.
Con: He’s on the Ravens. They showed last year and previous years that their offense is inept at playing well. In a PPR league, he may not be as valued as shifty backs who are perceived as receiving backs being that he only caught a little over 20 balls in the 2017 season. He can run hard but if his quarterback doesn’t play well, defenses will know he’s coming. This pick could very well be his ceiling and there are still other running backs available that are in high powered offenses.
4.03 – Zach Ertz, Value: B-
I’ll explain, he’s a fantastic TE that will get you points but this is a very high price to pay for one who can’t hit 1,000 yards as his teams leader in targets and receptions. I like him just not at the top end of the fourth.
Pro: He is a beast at the TE position and one of Carson Wentz favorite targets gathering 110 last season. HE HAD THE SECOND HIGHEST TARGETS on a Superbowl winning team. He also led his team in receptions with 74 and a 67% catch rate, those are some impressive stats. His receptions have stayed consistent over the last 3 years falling in the 70 range, but his touchdowns have went up drastically from doubling each year. He had 8 in the 2017 season, 4 in the 2016. And 2 in the 2015. His team loves him in the redzone and his quarterback trusts him. That trust is important being that Wentz is coming off an ACL injury which means he’ll look to Ertz as his safety blanket if he’s getting into trouble.
Con: Having the highest amount of receptions on his team and not breaking 900 yards means there’s a lot of dink-and-dunk going on for him to get those stats. He’s not a WR which has to be taken into consideration when it comes to his yardage total, but it is a curious point. I value RBs over TEs and at this point in the draft, there’s still RBs available that take priority over TE.
4.04 – Jay Ajayi, Value: B+
Pro: He has potential and we all saw it in 2016 when he got over 1,200 yards and 8 touchdowns. He can and does run hard with a bit of shake-and-back mixed in. With the Dolphins last year he had 138 attempts for 465 yards. After being traded to the Eagles and joining a committee backfield, he had 70 attempts for 408 yards, almost catching his total on half the attempts, he can play. He’s also on the Eagles, a high-powered offense that will look to him to be the lead back now that Blount is gone. He has potential. This may be a value pick here.
Con: Knees weak, arms heavy, there’s vomit on his jersey from all the fantasy owners from last season. But seriously, his knees are a concern. The Dolphins frequently made sure to nurse him because of it and I worry that will be the same situation in Philly and thereby losing touches. I’m also just a scorned lover and hate what happened last season, he was useless from a fantasy perspective. This very well could be his ceiling if injuries hamper him.
4.05 – Josh Gordon, Value: B+/A-
Pro: He’s a freak and he may not even be the number one option in an improved offense in Cleveland. His team has been uber supportive of him which I think is great for his mental state and they brought in a reliable, good quarterback to deliver the ball to him. Defenses also have to account for Jarvis Landry and Corey Coleman and Carlos Hyde and David Njoku. There’s a lot to cover on that offense which leaves holes for Gordon to exploit and we know he can, see the 2013 season where he amassed over 1,600 yards ON LESS THAN 90 RECEPTIONS. I know he hasn’t played a full season in 2 year but even in 2017, only playing 3 games, he had 18 catches for over 300 yards, he can produce. This may be a value pick here.
Con: I’m not worried about his play, I’m not worried about his team ( I swear, I think they’ll be good this year ) I’m worried about him. He is his own worst enemy at this point and can tear his whole season and career down. He’s away from the team at the time of this article being written so that could hurt him going into the season and people are speculating that his demons are coming to the forefront again and I hope they’re not.
4.06 – Demaryius Thomas, Value: B-
Thomas could be a value pick if he finds a revival with Keenum, could be a doom pick if he continues his slide and looses targets to younger WRs that Denver has.
Pro: This dude has not seen less than 140 TARGETS since 2011. He posted a 59.3% catch rate last season for 83 receptions. He is the number one option and is a big body option that his new and improved QB, Case Keenum, will love. I expect that offense will turn it around and that PPR value is sky high because of the pure amount of targets this guy will see. Sure he doesn’t have Manning throwing to him anymore but he still has the physical stats to help Keenum succeed, they help each other.
Con: He’s getting old, 30 years old right now, that seems to be the point at which everyone gets concerned about RBs and WRs. I’d say “You have nothing to worry about” because of how much this guy gets looked at no matter the QB but last season may have shown a decline, sure people say the offense was bad, and they were, but he still had 83 receptions on 140 targets and didn’t break 1,000 yards. He saw 23% of targets in his offense inside the 20 mark and only came away with 5 touchdowns, it’s worrying.
4.07 – Kenyan Drake, Value: B
Pro: He had about the same amount of carries as Jay Ajayi did after Ajayi left and bested him in all measurables, 644 yards for 3 touchdowns and an average of 4.8 per carry. He flashed towards the end of the season and I think he has people excited about his potential. That was really the first we saw of him in the professional setting so it’s hard to judge what he can do but he showed us something intriguing. He also flashed receiving ability that we didn’t really see with Ajayi averaging 7.5 yards through the air. He has RB1 potential with RB2 floor in PPR leagues. I think this is face value for him at this pick point.
Con: Literally nothing about him, all about his environment. Miami just seems like a blackhole lately and no really knows what’s going to come with that offense or defense. I’m not sure that they’ll be able to come together to move the ball and I’m not certain how he’ll be used as a feature back in this offense. Picking here isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s not necessarily a steal of a pick either.
4.08 – JuJu Smith-Schuster, Value: A
Pro: He’s lining up as the number 2 receiver but showed number 1 ability last season. On 58 receptions and a 74% catch rate, he amassed 917 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is the perfect compliment to Antonio Brown who showed no signs of slowing down and no signs of not needing a double team by every defense. I think the field will be wide open for JuJu who’s going into year 2. I like this kid and I think he will thrive as long as Big Ben, AB, and Bell demand attention and continue to take pressure off of him.
Con: I don’t see any, I JuJu anywhere from round 4 down in PPR leagues.
4.09 – Golden Tate, Value: A
Pro: Since joining Detroit, Matt Stafford has ensured he’s seen over 120 targets every season. Since joining Detroit, he’s averaged a 70% catch rate, have 1,000 receiving yard seasons 3 times. He’s also maintained reception of over 90 every season since joining Detroit. Statistically, this guy is a PPR machine and hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down. Matt Stafford is still playing at an elite level and his team continues to let him air it out because they can’t figure it out on the ground. They bring in Blount which to me signals a commitment to smash it on the ground which should keep defensives respectable. I like Tate in standard formats, I love him in PPR.
Con: He’s getting older, only starting 12 games last year for one reason or another but still got a full season in. His team continues to keep pieces around him and add in new ways to change the offense but his roles remains consistent.
4.10 – Deshaun Watson, Value: B-
Pro: Through 6 games started last season he had 21 touchdowns. 21. As a rookie. 19 came through the air and 2 on the ground (added value from rushing numbers) He had a 61% completion rate and a slightly higher than desirable interception number with. HE WAS A ROOKIE. His team still has super star talent around him with Dhop, great support talent with Fiedorwicz and Will Fuller, RB1 talent in Lamar Miller, and a coach who can plan very well for him. Their defense got better allowing him to not feel the pressure of carrying the team and JJ Watt can help him from the other side of the ball. He has the perfect storm brewing to have a great start to a career.
Con: He’s coming off another ACL injury. All reports are good but you never know how a player will be when you put them into game situations after that kind of injury. He also still has issues with the offensive line. The Texans haven’t solidified a replacement for Duane Brown who they willingly got rid of it and hurts them, as we saw. And it could hurt them more if they can’t protect Watson as he tries to make magic. Magic may be hard to come by as he faces the best defensive line in SACKSOVILLE (It’s in their name, watch out Watson) and Jurrell Casey and Co. at the Titans. He could be running a lot for four games in the coming season. The price you must pay for him is also really really high. There are better aerial quarterbacks that you can draft in the ninth and tenth rounds so this very well could be a ceiling pick and not even guaranteed to be a top 3 QB.
4.11 – Allen Robinson, Value: B-
Pro: He has shown he can dominate the field, see his 2015 season where he had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is a great player with a great work ethic. He had a down 2016 year, 73-883-6 but I don’t think that was his fault at all, I look at the quarterback for that down year because Bortles could not figure it out. He’s had virtually a full year to recover from an injury and more time to get adjusted to his new team that plans to make him the focal point for the budding QB. I like Allen and I like his potential.
Con: Exactly that, he’s coming off an ACL injury and is on a new team with a new coordinator and a young QB. His positives are also his cons and it becomes about risk management, do you risk a higher draft pick for the potential that he has shown to have?
4.12 – Rashaad Penny, Value: C-
Pro: He was an absolute animal his senior year in college. Over 2,248 yards with 22 touchdowns. He would have had the greatest professional season in the history of the NFL with those stats. He also would have had the greatest fantasy season. He showed his production value in college and that he has the ability to run hard. Many figure he’s pro-ready and his getting a good situation going into Seattle with Danger Russ at the helm and Pete Carroll coaching.
Con: He’s a rookie going to a team that mired in locker room controversy and a terrible offensive line. None of their real running backs broke 300 yards rushing. Their leading rusher was their quarterback with 95 attempts and over 500 yards on the ground. If that’s not sounding alarms in your head than I literally wonder what is going on in your mind, birds? Crickets? I don’t know, but that scares the shit out of me with drafting him in the fourth round, albeit the back of the fourth, but he’s still getting drafted ahead of the likes of Lamar Miller, Mark Ingram, Dion Lewis, backs that have shown they can perform and have the lines in front of them to do it again. I think this is his absolute ceiling and he will end up being a bust at this pick.
***We know ADP changes, these rankings were the current ADP as rated by FantasyFootballCalculator.com when the article was written.