Frustrate Your League-Mates by Drafting These Round 1-7 Targets

September 5, 2021

I drew the No. 5 or No. 6 pick in the three drafts I did this past weekend which is usually a pretty lame place to draft from. Thankfully, I knew enough about “real money” ADP from doing some higher stakes drafts in the off-season and a ton of best ball drafts on Underdog. For the most part, I am leveraging Underdog ADP to help me choose players that may look like reaches on most platforms, but would be big values in Underdog Best-ball Drafts.

Yes, best-ball is different than a managed league, but I don’t think enough people truly draft with that in mind for the difference to matter in a meaningful way. I think there are important differences, but most people take the guys they project for big seasons regardless of their viability in best-ball vs. redraft.

In short, I am using Underdog as a strong “Wisdom of the Crowd” source, which I explain in detail in our draft guide.

Admittedly, it’s tough to call a large group of people hammering best-ball drafts May-July as “Wise”, but that isn’t the point here. A large group of people making an estimate about things is more accurate than a smaller group of people making estimates. Right now, there are more people contributing to the Underdog ADP than typical redraft ADP. Some of the ADPs on these sites are downright egregious. For reference, the “Redraft ADP” is an average of 5-6 major platforms.

The following list of players are going in the mid-to-late part of the suggested round round I suggest them in on most platforms. I chose these targets specifically because I am confident you will get them no matter what your draft slot. So, if you really want to mail it in on your prep and just use this list I think you would be fine.

Player Redraft ADP Underdog ADP Suggested Round Why? 
Travis Kelce1071Kelce could lead the league in receiving as a TE as the main option for the Chiefs when defenses go two-high safety to take the big plays from Tyreek Hill away. This leaves big gaps in the defense for Kelce to feast. After CMC, Dalvin Cook, and Alvin Kamara go, I’m pivoting away from RB (gasp!). Kelce has shown no signs of slowing down and locks in your elite TE so you don’t have to sweat one of the Darren Waller, George Kittle, Kyle Pitts, TJ Hockenson, or Mark Andrews falling to you. 
Najee Harris15182This one is a bit of a deviation from Underdog, but I did the legwork. you can read why I’m taking a pretty strong stance on Harris here.
I think he has a really solid chance to be the No. 1 pick in In fantasy drafts next year. In short, Najee has the size, speed, draft capital, and coach to be a Top 5 back this year. We are overconfident in banking on Big Ben being dust and the offensive line not being very good. If Roethlisberger IS dust, then Najee probably gets more dump-offs. And Saquon Barkley smashed his rookie year despite a bad offensive line. Najee is not as talented as Barkley because no one is. Volume is king and Najee is locked in for a ton of touches this year. 
CeeDee Lamb 30253CeeDee Lamb goes 24 overall in Underdog best which is super popular among the degenerate fantasy football crowd that also happens to be pretty sharp. His ADP hasn’t really caught up in redraft. Anyway, a lot of people draft on that site and I’m going with the wisdom of the crowd and saying Lamb in the third is a huge value. He profiles like a perfect fantasy receiver — easy bankable low adot catches from the slot and a ton of YAC ability. 
DJ Moore50404DJ Moore is coming off his second consecutive 1,000-yard season at 24-years-old. We want to keep banking on young, ascending wide receivers in rounds 3-6. Moore is discounted in drafts because he has not had great QB play in his career between Kyle Allen, Will Grier, and Teddy Bridgewater. Moore was stuck in a downfield role that didn’t mesh with game-manager Teddy Bridgewater last year. I think QB play is the reason he has only scored 10 total TDs in his three years as a pro. A bet on Moore is a bit of a bet on post-Gase Sam Darnold finding him in the end zone. This may be cause for concern, but we win fantasy leagues by taking bets others are too scared to make, not by playing it safe. 
Jerry Jeudy / Javonte Williams / Gus Edwards. 77495At this point, we are still hammering wideouts. On most sites, Jeudy has a lingering ADP in the 60-80 range. I’m going to use Underdog ADP as a way to confidently reach for a guy on the re-draft sites. Jeudy quietly had a solid rookie year despite bad QB play. He is a premier route runner and also projects to get low aDOt, high catch rate targets that are really bankable for fantasy. On top of that, he should get plenty of YAC as well. These are the high floor, high ceiling players we want. 

I’m listing a few here because If you ignored me and started WR-heavy in Rounds 1 and 2, this isn’t a bad time to lock in Javonte Williams. I think he is going to emerge as a workhorse in Denver and it is very rare to get that kind of production in the fifth round. Williams could pay off his fifth-round price tag easily as the season goes on and has upside to land in the first round of 2022 drafts. 

I also think Gus Edwards offers a similar upside here after JK Dobbins went down for the season with a knee injury. Gus could go as high as the fourth round, but I like him if he falls to me in the fifth. 
Ja’Marr Chase51736Buy the Dip! Chase is literally the best prospect since Calvin Johnson and is having some drop issues this pre-season. Chase has some off-field stuff as well that is pushing him down draft boards. At one point, Chase was going in the fourth round and I was off him there. In the sixth, I can stomach it, and in fact I feel like I’m getting away with something.

For reference, CeeDee Lamb was the first rookie WR off boards last year in Round eight and finished as a top 20 WR. Chase could have a similar year. Chase becomes a better pick for teams that went WR heavy early as you are afforded the ability to wait on him to knock the rust off after opting out of the 2020 season. Stud rookies tend to do get better as the season progresses and usually start smashing during the fantasy playoffs. See: Jonathan Taylor 2020, A.J. Brown 2019, Saquon Barkley 2018, Juju Smith-Schuster 2017………..
Trey Sermon 68837There is a big difference between risk and uncertainty. As you can see, I like drafting rookies and second-round players because their workloads and outcomes are more uncertain, but not more risky than the players going near them. If anything, the wear and tear of the NFL makes older players more risky than younger players, but that isn’t what the fantasy football community thinks.

Trey Sermon in the seventh round might feel risky, but it really isn’t any riskier than any other back in this range. He’s just a little more uncertain. I think he is locked into a role in a great run-first Kyle Shanahan offense because he’s played on passing downs in the pre-season, and opposing teams are talking about him a lot like they talked about Michael Thomas his rookie year. Buy into the uncertainty of Trey Sermon and meet me on the moon.

Go forth and frustrate your league-mates with these picks. Shoot me some screenshots of your monster teams @run_the_sims and good luck this year.