Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs (ADP: 26th)
CEH was way overvalued last year. He was being taken in the first round in almost every draft, sometimes as early as 6th overall. Needless to say, he did not deliver. The arrival of Le’Veon Bell hampered his workload and made scoring touchdowns even harder than it already is. But Bell is no longer with the team and CEH appears to have the starting role to himself. From weeks 1-6 last season, he averaged a 67.9% snap share and over 20 total touches per game. He was RB11 in fantasy scoring during that time despite only scoring one touchdown.
The rest of the season was much rougher for him. After hitting 20+ carries in three out of his first six games, the most he got after that was 16. Bell became a Chief in week 7, and CEH’s numbers dropped across the board. All he has to do to be a top-10 RB in fantasy this season is continue on the track he was on during those 6 weeks and get luckier with touchdowns. I believe he will do that now that Bell is gone and the backfield is his to lose.
In a Patrick Mahomes offense, he will have plenty of opportunities to catch the ball, and I would be shocked if he doesn’t have an easier time scoring touchdowns. The Chiefs are going to score a lot, and it’s hard to imagine CEH doesn’t get a decent amount of those TDs. The hype made him a gross overdraft last year, but he’s currently valued as a late-second, early third round pick. That means you’re probably taking him as your RB2. Given his elite upside and relatively safe floor (starting RB in the league’s top offense), he feels like a steal at this point.
George Kittle, TE, 49ers (ADP: 27th)
Think about this, in 2019 Travis Kelce and George Kittle averaged the same fantasy PPG (Kelce scored more overall because he played in two more games). In 2018, Kelce averaged only 2.2 more fantasy PPG than Kittle. And yet Kelce is currently being drafted over 20 spots ahead of Kittle. This makes no sense to me. I know Kittle was hurt last season and Kelce put up historic numbers, but more often than not these two guys are right on each other’s heals.
I think Kittle and Kelce will have very similar seasons, and I think Kittle could easily outscore Kelce. It’s a toss up to me, and since Kelce is being taken in the first, I feel like I’m robbing a bank getting Kittle in the third. Kittle averaged 8.4 targets/game in 2018 and 7.6 targets/game in 2019. Kelce averaged 9.7 in his historic 2020 season. Kittle’s 28.2% target share in 2019 was the highest of any tight end in the league (Kelce averaged more targets because KC threw the ball more). My point is this, we know they are similar in skill, and clearly they are similar in workload as well.
But the advantage Kittle has is that there are less mouths to feed in SF. In KC, Tyreek Hill will get his touches, CEH will get his touches, and Kelce will get his. There’s no clear #1 option there. But in SF, Kittle is option #1, 2, and 3. They spoon feed him the ball as much as possible, and his YAC ability is unmatched at the position. He’s a workhorse and a big-play machine.
My advice is this: if you want Kelce, pass on him in the first and take Kittle in the third. You’re basically getting the same player for a fraction of the price.
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers (ADP: 30th)
There are so many things to like about Keenan Allen this year and nothing to hate. In his first year with Justin Herbert at QB he caught 100 passes for almost 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns, making him WR13 in fantasy scoring. He only played in 14 games, one of which he left early. Allen was incredibly consistent, garnering double digit targets in 10 of those 14 games. Additionally, his eight touchdowns all came in different games.
His 147 total targets were 5th most in the league, and his 26.8% target share was also 5th. Before 2020, Allen had three straight seasons of playing 16 full games with at least 97 receptions, 1190 yards, and 6 touchdowns. He was on track for a very similar season (plus more TDs) in 2020 before going down. In that time, he finished 3rd, 12th, and 6th in PPR fantasy scoring among receivers.
Allen is a model of consistency with a quarterback who loves feeding him targets. That QB is also pretty damn talented, and the offense as a whole figures to move the ball well and score a lot of TDs this season. Allen is one of those guys who you can take in the middle of the third round as your WR1 and feel like you actually got a first rounder. The WR position is incredibly deep, and this is the sweet spot of the draft to get guys like Allen.
Myles Gaskin, RB, Dolphins (ADP: 50th)
Let me start by saying I think Gaskin’s ADP is right where it needs to be. The reason I like him is because I often find myself taking him as my RB2 after ending up with only one RB in the first three rounds. Once you get into the 4th, running backs are incredibly scarce, and Gaskin is your best bet if you’re picking in the middle to end of the round.
The sample size of Gaskin’s games with Tua at QB is only five, so you have to take it with a grain of salt. But in those games, Gaskin averaged a 73.9% snap share and 20 total touches (rushes + targets) per game. In that time, he had over 100 scrimmage yards three times and scored four touchdowns across three games. His worst weekly fantasy finish was 17th among RBs, and one week he was 2nd.
The Malcolm Brown signing isn’t ideal, and maybe he ends up vulturing a few TDs from Gaskin at the goal line. But you can’t deny Gaskin’s workload and efficiency when playing with Tua. He’s the top back on this depth chart and figures to get top back level touches. Since Tua is still very much an experiment, I expect the Dolphins to play a run-first style of offense. Gaskin is currently being taken as RB21 in fantasy drafts. Frankly, he’s the last running back on the board you can really trust as an RB2.
Robby Anderson, WR, Panthers (ADP: 77th)
I just don’t understand how Robby Anderson is ranked as low as he is. Teddy Bridgewater was just about as bad as you can be last season, and Anderson still finished as WR19 in PPR scoring. He had over 1,000 receiving yards on 95 receptions. He only scored 3 touchdowns, but Bridgewater only threw 15 overall so it’s hard to put that on Anderson.
I know Sam Darnold is now the QB, but he can’t be any worse than Teddy was last year. Anderson and Darnold also have a history of playing together, and they worked very well together. McCaffrey being back certainly hurts because he is going to get a massive share of touches. But outside of him, Anderson and DJ Moore are the only solid weapons in that offense.
Given Anderson’s performance last year in the face of terrible QB play, I don’t see why he’s being taken as WR32 in drafts. I think he can easily have a better season this year than he did in 2020. In fact, I think that’s the most likely outcome. He’s a solid WR2 in my book, but you don’t have to take him until the 7th-8th round. Just another demonstration of how deep the position is compared to how front-loaded RB is.