The NFL season is set to kick off in 75 days as I am writing this. While that may still be a few months away fantasy football is already in high gear. People are drafting for all sorts of leagues at this moment. Let’s take a look at some of the AFC West players and where their stock is.
Right now the player with the highest average draft position (ADP) in the AFC West is Tyreek Hill. He is averaging coming off the board around the eighth or ninth pick. Right now he is the second WR being drafted, behind only Michael Thomas. As long as Hill is healthy he could be set for a monster year. I could see him going anywhere from the second to fifth WR off the board. Somewhere at the end of the first seems like a fair price.
The next player coming off the board is Josh Jacobs. He is also at the end of the first, around the tenth or eleventh pick. Jacobs is a work horse RB in the run game. He does not see the same work in the pass game. Jacobs had only 27 targets in 13 games last year. In a PPR league I would be very worried about his production and that may drop him a bit in the rankings.
One of the other reasons that Jacobs is going to be hurt in PPR leagues is because of the rookie pass catchers the Raiders drafted, including Henry Ruggs. Ruggs is currently WR55 according to ADP. Jon Gruden has a history of feeding his number one WRs, he will likely do the same with Ruggs, who they took 12th overall. Ruggs has a chance to end the year as a WR1.
Travis Kelce has an ADP of 17.5 and is the next player off the board. Kelce is so rock solid. He has four straight years of over 1000 yards. The TE position falls off a cliff quickly. If you don’t get one of the top guys you are really banking on upside, but no real production. This is a fair price for Kelce.
Lamar Jackson and not Patrick Mahomes is the first QB being taken according to ADP. Mahomes has an ADP of 23.5. While Mahomes is a total stud, in standard scoring, waiting for a QB seems like a prudent move. Mahomes should be the first QB getting taken, not Jackson. There will be regression in Jackson’s numbers. It happened to Mahomes after his 5,000 and 50 TD season and has happened to every record setting player before him.
Right now the best value for an AFC West player is Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He is currently RB17 in ADP and that is way too low. The Chiefs did not take him in the first round to have him sit behind Damien Williams. He will finish the season as an RB1. He has the perfect skillset for the Chiefs offense and is going to catch a ton of passes from Mahomes.
Another great value is Denver Bronco’s WR Courtland Sutton. Sutton is currently WR28. His talent is too good for him to be going this low. There are some question marks on whether Drew Lock can continue to improve, but he will and Sutton will benefit from it. The added weapon of KJ Hamler on the outside will also help take some of the attention on Sutton.
While CEH is the best value, the worst value right now is Keenan Allen. Allen is currently WR14. This is too high. Philip Rivers has moved on to Indianapolis and will no longer be force feeding him the ball. Tyrod Taylor is taking over for now. Taylor’s best strength as a passer is his ability to throw accurately down the field. Mike Williams could end up out scoring Allen in Los Angeles due to this factor. The Chargers offense is going to look very different in 2020.
Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is currently RB13. This is also too high, for the same reason Allen is, no more Philip Rivers. Rivers was the check down king. Taylor, doesn’t check down, he just runs it himself. This is going to hurt Ekeler’s greatest strength, which is his pass catching ability.
After Kelce, the AFC West has some young talented TEs. Darren Waller, Hunter Henry, and Noah Fant are TE5, TE7, and TE11 respectively. All three of these players have the ability to finish above their ADP right now. However, Fant seems to be the best value of the three right now. Waller is now going to be competing with all the new toys in Las Vegas and Henry has a new QB in Taylor.
Mecole Hardman is one of the most interesting players in the AFC West and NFL right now. He seems to be getting a lot of buzz, not only for fantasy, but also for the regular season. Hardman is explosive and has the ability to really flourish in the Chiefs offense. The main thing for him when it comes to fantasy is whether or not he will get enough opportunities. The Chiefs already have Hill and Kelce, now throw in CEH, Demarcus Robinson and Sammy Watkins. There are only so many footballs to go around. Unless of course Mahomes throws for 6,000 and 60?! As WR45, Hardman’s ADP is actually higher than someone like Ruggs who is going to the number one in Las Vegas. That might be too high right now, if he starts to slip there may be good value you there.
Fantasy is one of the things that make the football season so great. Keep an eye on those ADPs and track where you can find value in your draft. We are a long ways out before most drafts happen, so keep researching and be ready to win your draft.