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Navigating the First Round of your Fantasy Football Draft with Performance Metrics

Get ready for your Fantasy Football drafts with some first round tips.

Navigating the First Round of your Fantasy Football Drafts with Performance Metrics

You know the names. First round fantasy value is reserved for elite level talent and high volume performers.  After high-caliber performances in 2017 by an impressive rookie running back class, 2018 will clearly be the resurgence of a top-heavy fantasy running back climate and one of the deepest groups in recent memory.  The names remain the same at Wide Receiver, staples of consistent production and legends in PPR circles.  Football is coming.  And you better be ready.

All rankings and Average Draft Positions (ADP) were taken from FantasyPros, who combines PPR Average Draft Position Rankings from major league commissioner sites to produce a consensus ADP.  The following rankings are based on a 12-team Standard Scoring PPR League:

  1. TODD GURLEY (ADP = 1.2)

THE GOOD:

  • 1,305 Rushing Yards (2nd), 13 Rushing TD (1st), 87.0 Rushing Yards per Game (2nd)
  • 64 Receptions (4th amongst RB), 788 Receiving Yards (2nd amongst RB). 12.3 Yards Per Reception (2nd amongst RB)
  • 343 Total Touches (3rd) 2,093 Yards from Scrimmage (1st) 19 Total TDs (1st)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 62 rushing attempts (1st), 160 Rush Yards (2nd), 12 Rush TD (1st)

I won’t bore you with the rest, but inside the 10 and inside the 5 he leads the league in everything with the exception of 2 categories where he is 3rd. Sheesh!

THE BAD:

  • 6% Catch Percentage (35th) 5 Fumbles (26th, 2nd amongst RB)

In the last 10 years, only 5 players have scored 19 or more total Touchdowns in a season. Only 1 has managed double-digit touchdowns the following year (Jamaal Charles 2013 with 14 TDs).

THE ASSEMBLY:

Todd Gurley is deserving of the 1st overall pick in all 2018 Fantasy Football Leagues. He will continue to be the focal point of an already potent Rams offense and continue to receive a majority of the volume in LA. With the addition of burner Brandin Cooks and some impressive offseason upgrades on defense, this team may find themselves up early often and pounding the rock to run the clock out. Their offensive line was one of the most improved in 2017, but their veteran center and left guard may be showing signs of an early demise. The only question mark on Gurley was his non-existent 2016 season, where he was an afterthought and was un-usable in fantasy (885 Rushing Yards, 327 Receiving Yards, 6 TDs). While the Rams will continue to find ways to get him the ball, regression is coming. But how much?

  1. LE’VEON BELL (ADP = 1.8)

THE GOOD:

  • 321 Carries (1st), 1,291 Rush Yards (3rd), 9 Rush TD (3rd), 86.1 Rush Yards per Game (3rd), 21.4 Carries Per Game (2nd)
  • 106 Targets (2nd amongst RB), 85 Receptions (6th in NFL), 655 Receiving Yards (4th amongst RB), 5.7 Receptions per Game (5th in NFL)
  • 406 Total Touches (1st), 1,946 Yards from Scrimmage (2nd), 11 Total TD (5th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 61 rushing attempts (2nd) 178 Rush Yards (1st) 9 Rush TD (2nd)

THE BAD:

  • 0 Yards Per Attempt (24th), 7.7 Yards Per Reception (61st in NFL)
  • 2 Receiving TDs (60th in NFL), 80.2% Catch Percentage (11th amongst RB)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 5:

  • 6 Rushing Attempts (23rd), 42.9% of Total Team Rushing (22nd)

THE ASSEMBLY:

Le’Veon Bell has yet to report to camp and will hold out for a second consecutive year. There still is an outside chance that he won’t play this year, but he has already confirmed that is not the case. Bell proved last season that he was a slow starter after missing the entire pre-season due to contract negotiations. Also, with the loss of 6 year Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley to the Browns and the promotion of the team’s Quarterbacks Coach Randy Fichtner, it isn’t clear how this offense will unfold.

2018 will mark the third consecutive season their starting 5 offensive lineman return healthy, who rank 4th best in the NFL. He will be playing for a new contract this year and will be motivated to prove his worth. Le’Veon Bell has been the model of fantasy consistency throughout his 5 year career and continues to be one of the most elusive and versatile backs since LaDainian Tomlinson. A pick at either #1 or #2 overall will be justified and he shows no signs of slowing down.

  1. EZEKIEL ELLIOT (ADP 3.4) = 10 GAMES

THE GOOD:

  • 242 Carries (10th), 983 Rush Yards (10th), 7 TD (11th) 98.3 Yards per Game (1st), 24.2 Carries per Game (1st)
  • 268 Total Touches (13th), 9 Total TDs (8th), 1,252 Yards from Scrimmage (13th), 1 Fumble

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 40 Carries (6th), 121 Rush Yards (6th)

THE BAD:

  • 1 Yards per Carry (20st), 38 Targets (86th), 26 Catches (89th), 269 Receiving Yards (76th)
  • 4% Catch Percent (55th), 4.7 Yards Per Touch (28th)

THE ASSEMBLY:  

Due to his highly publicized on-again off-again 6 Game suspension, Elliot’s 2017 campaign was limited to only 10 games. But what is most impressive was his efficiency in these 10 games: top tens in Rush Attempts, Rush Yards, Rush Yards Per Game, Rush Attempts per Game and Total TDs. Through 25 games over 2 seasons, Elliot has scored double digits in fantasy points in a standard league 24 times (he had 1 Fantasy Point week 2 of last season in a blowout loss to Denver 42-17). Elliot is the best pure runner in the NFL and is your stereotypical Workhorse running back.

Returning the 2nd ranked offensive line in the NFL, Dallas will continue to gameplay around his skillset and make him the focal point of this offense yet again (Dallas ran the ball 47.76% in 2017, 3rd most in the NFL). The only knock on his swag is he is not a great receiver, which could render him ineffective if this offense struggles and is forced to abandon the run. A lack of talent at the skill positions and the Cowboys inability to get him involved in the pass game could hurt his fantasy value, but he is too great a talent to pass up in the first 3 picks of this year’s draft.

SAFE PICK AT #3 OVERALL.

  1. DAVID JOHNSON (ADP = 3.6)

THE GOOD (2016 Stats):

  • 1,239 Rush Yards (7th), 16 TD (2nd), 77.4 Rush Yards per Game (7th), 18.3 Rushes per Game (6th)
  • 120 Targets (1st among RB), 80 Receptions (1st among RB), 879 Receiving Yards (1st among RB)
  • 0 Receptions per Game (13th, 3rd among RB), 54.9 Receiving Yard per Game (1st among RB)
  • 373 Touches (1st), 2,118 Yards from Scrimmage (1st), 20 Total TD (1st)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 58 Rushes (2nd), 139 Yards (4th), 14 TD (2nd), 73.4% Total Team Rush (2nd)

He is also a beast in the Red Zone, leading most categories inside the 10 and 5 with a few 2nd and 3rd place finishes.

THE BAD

  • 2 Yards per Carry (18th), 11.0 Yards per Reception (48th), 66.7% Catch Percentage (66th, 40th among RB)
  • 7 Yards Per Touch (14th, 9th among RB), 5 Fumbles (1st among RB)

Since Week 6 of 2016, he’s averaged just 3.63 yards per carry on 191 carries.

THE ASSEMBLY

While Johnson’s MVP Caliber 2016 campaign has vaulted him into the top 5 in all fantasy drafts and cemented his place in Fantasy Immortality, a broken hand Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season derailed his entire year. Johnson has the frame to fight off premature wear (6’1” 224 pounds), but he surely won’t be in game shape and will take some time to get re-acclimated to full game speed. While we know the extent of his immense ceiling, we are unfamiliar with his floor and this dysfunctional offense is not giving anyone confidence.

Returning the 27th ranked offensive line scattered with long injury histories, along with a mediocre quarterback battle and a less than average receiving core, Johnson will remain the focal point of this offense and continue to receive premium volume reserved for the elite tier. While it is possible that most defenses will put 8 men in the box and force the Cardinals to throw, they also may be finding themselves down big in games, forcing them to abandon the run.  There is no doubting David Johnson’s massive ceiling and raw athleticism, but I am not convinced he can repeat his 2016 results and feel 4th overall is a bit risky.

I LIKE HIM AT #5 OVERALL, AFTER ANTONIO BROWN.  HE IS A STUD, BUT THE TALENT AROUND HIM IS NOT AND HE IS A REGRESSION CANDIDATE.  BUYER BEWARE.

  1. ANTONIO BROWN (ADP = 5.2)

THE GOOD:

  • 163 Targets (2nd), 101 Receptions (5th), 1,533 Receiving Yards (1st), 9 TD (5th), 7.2 Receptions Per Game (1st)
  • 5 Receiving Yards per Game (1st)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 10:

  • 10 Targets (7th), 7 Receptions (6th), 44 Receiving Yards (3rd), 6 TD (4th)

THE BAD

  • 2 Yards Per Catch (15th), 4 Fumbles (8th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 20 Targets (9th), 11 Receptions (11th), 68 Yards (19th), 6 TD (14th)
  • 3% Total Team Targets (28th)

THE ASSEMBLY:

Antonio Brown is about as consistent and dependable as a first round pick can get. Brown’s seasonal averages since 2013:

  • 6 targets
  • 4 Receptions
  • 1,569.6 Yards
  • 4 TD
  • 9 Yards Per Game

He has finished inside the Top-3 at the Wide Receiver position in his last 4 years and has scored 10 or more fantasy points in 70% of his games in those 4 seasons. He has also shown that he is matchup proof. In 2017, he ran the highest percentage of routes against Top-30 graded Defensive Backs (53.0%). He also had the highest percentage of targets against Top-30 graded Defensive Backs. In other words, he is dominating against some of the best shut down corners in the league on a consistent basis and will continue to be a matchup nightmare.

I ACTUALLY LIKE HIM AT #4 OVERALL BEFORE DAVID JOHNSON, BUT THIS ADP IS RIGHT ON POINT.

  1. ALVIN KAMARA (ADP = 6.0)

THE GOOD:

  • 8 Rush TD (10th), 6.1 Yards per Carry (1st), 100 Targets (3rd among RB)
  • 81 Receptions (8th in NFL, 2nd among RB), 5 Receiving TD (2nd among RB)
  • 826 Receiving Yards (1st among RB), 5.1 Receptions per Game (9th in NFL, 2nd among RB)
  • 6 Receiving Yards per Game (2nd among RB), 9.0 Yards per Touch (2nd)
  • 1,554 Yards from Scrimmage (6th), 13 Total TD (2nd) 1 Fumble

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 112 Rush Yards (8th), 17 Targets (1st among RB), 14 Receptions (4th in NFL), 94 Rush Yards (8th in NFL)

THE BAD:

  • 120 Carries (38th), 728 Rush Yards (26th), 45.5 Rushing Yards per Game (27th), 7.5 Carries per Game (46th)
  • 2 Yards per Reception (40th), 81.0% Catch Percentage (10th), 212 Touches (24th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 25 Rushes (22nd), 6 TD (13th), 34.2% Total Team Rushes (30th)
  • 4 Rushes inside the 5 (38th)

THE ASSEMBLY:

Due to a 4 game suspension for touchdown scavenger Mark Ingram, this backfield belongs to Kamara for the first 4 weeks of the 2018 season. While only rushing the ball 120 times last year, Kamara was able to rack up a stellar 6.1 yards per carry, along with 8 TDs. In the six games Alvin Kamara got 15 or more touches last season, he averaged 115.5 scrimmage yards. He also led all running backs with 35 touches that gained 15-plus yards, while only one other running back had more than 25 (Todd Gurley). He also ran for 15 plus yards once in every 9.2 carries (2nd in NFL). He scored 7.6 more touchdowns than an average player would have with identical volume, which is the highest touchdown differential in 10 years.

Since 2013, the Saints have averaged 173.6 targets per season to their running backs, which is 1st in the NFL in that span.  While Kamara is due for substantial touchdown regression, he is only projected to average 15 touches per week, which isn’t aligned with workhorse volume. The Saints are committed to making him the heart of this offense again, but if he can’t meet or exceed his lofty averages (6.1 Yards Per Carry) on a projected 15 touches per week, he will be a bust. Taking him 6th overall is drafting him at his absolute ceiling and regression is certain.

KAMARA WILL BE A BUST AT THIS ADP AND IS BETTER SUITED FOR LATE ROUND 1 OR EARLY ROUND 2, BUT HE WILL NEVER LAST. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

  1. SAQUON BARKLEY (ADP = 6.8)

THE GOOD and THE BAD:

We don’t know. He’s a rookie.

THE ASSEMBLY:

The Giants selected Saquon Barkley with the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Considered one of the most elusive and versatile backs to come out of the college in the last 10 years, the hype is real this year in East Rutherford. Projected to become an immediate fantasy contributor and a building block for this franchise, expectations are sky-high for this athletic rookie. In 2017 at Penn State, Barkley finished with 1,271 yards (5.9 yard per carry) on 217 carries and 18 TDs. He also had 54 catches for 632 yards and 3 TDs. He had at least 1,800 total yards and 21 touchdowns in each of the past 2 seasons and finished 6th in Heisman Voting in 2017.

There have been eight rookie running backs finishing in the Top-10 at running back in the past 3 seasons. Last season, under now Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, the Vikings ranked second in rush percentage and second in rushing attempts with 501 carries. Minnesota ranked 7th in the NFL with 122.3 rush yards per game, but only 21st in pass attempts, indicating Shurmer’s propensity to run the ball. Shurmur’s offense ranked 6th in red zone rush percentage, while his running backs averaged 5.35 catches per game in his tenure in Minnesota (2016-17) and Philadelphia (2013-15). In 2017, Vikings running backs were targeted 109 times, which ranked 19th in the NFL. Coming into the season as the 25th ranked offensive line, they are sure to improve from last year where the right side of their line was almost non-existent and surpassed at will (Ereck Flowers averages 58 pressures a season).

The return of keystone wide out Odell Beckham, Jr. and the emergence of Tight End Evan Engram should take the pressure off 3rd year receiver Sterling Shepard and allow him to shine. The implementation of a new offense that heavily favors running back volume should give Barkley ample opportunities to tap into his potential and start him off on the right foot. The only red flag here is the offensive line, but the skill positions have enough talent and explosiveness to strike fear in defenders, which should allow Barkley to run free. Think Alvin Kamara 2017, but a better pure runner between the tackles.

I AM NOT A HUGE PROPONENT OF DRAFTING A ROOKIE RUNNING BACK IN THE 1ST ROUND, BUT THIS IS THE ONE I WOULD MAKE AN EXCEPTION FOR. YOU COULD BE DRAFTING A GENERATIONAL TALENT, BUT WE REALLY DON’T KNOW BECAUSE HE’S A ROOKIE.

  1. DEANDRE HOPKINS (ADP = 8.4)

THE GOOD:

  • 174 Targets (1st), 11.6 Targets Per Game (1st), 96 Receptions (6th), 1,378 Receiving Yards (4th) 13 TD (1st)
  • 4 Receptions per Game (5th), 91.9 Yards per Game (2nd), 1 Fumble

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 7 TD (8th), 30.2% Total Team Targets (6th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 10:

  • 10 Targets (7th), 7 Receptions (5th), 32 Receiving Yards (7th), 7 TD (3rd), 32.3% Total Team Targets (8th)

THE BAD:

  • 2% Catch Percentage (163rd), 14.4 Yards per Reception (24th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 19 Targets (11th), 9 Receptions (22nd), 49 Receiving Yards (47th)

THE ASSEMBLY:

DeAndre Hopkins will never be the #1 Wide Receiver taken in drafts due to the ongoing quarterback saga in Houston, but he could be. With an electric playmaker in DeShaun Watson, Hopkins has the opportunity to fabricate a higher ceiling and out-produce his already elite career numbers. While it is evident that DeShaun Watson’s 9.3% touchdown rate is not sustainable, Hopkins has exceeded his projected weekly point totals 11 times in 2017 and has produced with different quarterbacks under center.

He has reached 150 targets in each of his last 3 seasons, while averaging: 183 targets, 103.5 catches, 1449 yards, 12 TD = 2015, 2017 (Brock Osweiler 2016).

Returning the league worst 32nd ranked offensive line and considered by some as one of the worst front fives in recent history, the Houston Texans will struggle to get the run game going and will be forced to pass early. With Will Fuller stretching the field on the opposite side keeping defenses honest, Hopkins will find himself in single coverage often and should be able to dominate most secondaries.

HE IS AS SAFE A FIRST ROUNDER AS THERE IS AND HAS THE POTENTIAL TO OUTPERFORM HIS 8TH OVERALL ADP WITH A PERMANENT SIGNAL CALL UNDER CENTER. THIS ADP IS A STEAL.

  1. KAREEM HUNT (ADP = 10.4)

THE GOOD:

  • 1,327 Rush Yards (1st), 8 TD (6th) 4.9 Yards per Carry (5th), 82.9 Rush Yards per Game (4th), 17.0 Carries per Game (8th)
  • 1% Catch Percentage (4th), 325 Total Touches (5th), 1,782 Yards from Scrimmage
  • (3rd) 11 Total TD (6th), 1 Fumble

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 36 Rushes (7th), 102 Rush Yards (10th), 5 TD (16th), 69.2% Total Team Rush (4th)

THE BAD:

  • 63 Targets (48th, 14th among RB), 3.9 Targets Per Game (14th), 53 Receptions (39th, 13th among RB)
  • 455 Receiving Yards (45th, 8th among RB), 8.6 Yards per Reception (52nd), 3 Receiving TD (40th)
  • 3 Receptions per Game (43rd), 28.4 Receiving Yards per Game (52nd), 5.5 Yards Per Touch (17th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 5:

  • 6 Rushes (23rd), 6 Rush Yards (23rd), 4 TD (17th)

THE ASSEMBLY:

After a season ending injury to Spencer Ware in the 2017 preseason, Kareem Hunt shined in his rookie debut with an 18 touch, 246 total yard, 2 TD outburst and solidified himself as RB1 in Kansas City. Hunt led the NFL in rushing yards (1,327) as a rookie and finished as the #3 running back in standard leagues behind Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell. He had 10 games with double digits in fantasy points, but was really only good in his first 3 games and his last 3 games of the season. This dark middle period left owners benching Hunt and searching for a replacement. His current ADP is inflated due to last seasons small sample size of elite production and his Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) had him going as high as 13th overall or 2nd round in the beginning of August. Hunt only outperformed his projections 7 times last season and appears to be due for regression.

Hunt is a capable receiver with an 84.1% catch rate (4th), but only saw 3.9 targets per game last year (14th among RB).  Chiefs running backs only saw 114 total targets, which is ranked 15th in the league. What’s more is that the Chiefs offense has finished the last 3 seasons ranked 31st, 22nd and 15th in total targets to running backs respectively. Returning the 18th ranked offensive line who is classified as an average group and a new signal caller under center, this offense may experience some growing pains at the offset. While Hunt is clearly not in their plans for receptions or goal line work, Andy Reid has a great track record of getting production out of his running backs.

HE WILL BE A SOLID #1 RB THIS SEASON, BUT 9TH OVERALL IS TAKING A CHANCE ON HIS BEST CASE SCENARIO. BUST ALERT.

  1. MELVIN GORDON (ADP = 10.6)

THE GOOD:

  • 284 Carries (3rd), 1,105 Rush Yards (7th), 8 TD (7th), 69.1 Yards per Game (9th), 17.8 Carries per Game (6th)
  • 4 Receiving TD (5th among RB), 342 Total Touches (4th), 1,581 Yards from Scrimmage (5th)
  • 12 Total TD (3rd), 1 Fumble

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 49 Carries (3rd), 107 Rush Yards (9th), 7 TD (7th), 73.1% Total Team Rush (1st)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 10:

  • 27 Carries (3rd), 6 TD (9th), 73.0% Total Team Rush (5th)
  • RED ZONE INSIDE THE 5:
  • 14 Carries (3rd), 5 TD (9th), 73.7% Total Team Rush (6th)

THE BAD:

  • 9 Yards per Carry (28th), 83 Targets (7th among RB), 58 Receptions (8th among RB)
  • 476 Receiving Yards (7th among RB), 8.2 Yards per Catch (17th among RB)
  • 6 Receptions per Game (11th among RB), 29.8 Receiving Yards per Game (9th among RB)
  • 6 Yard per Touch (32nd)

THE ASSEMBLY:

Melvin Gordon is the definition of a workhorse running back. He saw a heavy volume of carries last season, averaging 17.8 carries per game, while getting more involved in the passing attack. His targets have increased significantly since coming into the league in 2015 (37, 57, 83 targets the last 3 seasons) and he continues to be the chargers go-to option in the red zone. While the Chargers are primarily a pass first offense and only ran the ball 41% of the time last season (17th in the NFL), they continue to be committed to getting Gordon involved early and often.

The Chargers offense totaled 132 targets to running backs last season, which was 10th in the NFL and is bound to improve.  With Keenan Allen demanding most of the attention from opposing secondaries and a sophomore campaign from speedy wide out Mike Williams, defenses will not be able to stack the box against this line, which will create running lanes for Gordon. Being drafted 10th overall as the 8th RB off the board, I don’t believe we have seen his ceiling yet. Coming into the season with the 23rd ranked offensive line, his yards per carry should increase, while receiving more targets and opportunities from veteran signal caller Phillip Rivers.

THIS ADP IS GREAT VALUE FOR MELVIN GORDON WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR SO MUCH MORE. HIS STOCK IN ON THE RISE AND WITH A CAREER YEAR, HE COULD BE OFF THE BOARD WITHIN THE FIRST 5 PICKS NEXT SEASON. DRAFT HIM HERE WITH CONFIDENCE.

  1. LEONARD FOURNETTE (ADP = 11.2)

 THE GOOD:

  • 268 Carries (7th), 1,040 Rush Yards (8th), 9 TD (5th), 80.0 Yards Per Game (5th), 20.6 Carries per Game (3rd)
  • 304 Total Touches (6th), 1,342 Yards from Scrimmage (10th), 10 Total TDs (7th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 5:

  • 9 Carries (10th), 6 TD (5th)

THE BAD:

  • 9 Yards Per Carry (27th), 48 Targets (21st among RB), 36 Receptions (22nd among RB)
  • 4 Yards per Catch (14th among RB), 2.8 Receptions per Game (23rd among RB)
  • 4 Yards per Touch (40th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 5:

  • 1% Total Team Rushes (25th)

THE ASSEMBLY:

Drafted 4th overall out of LSU by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Leonard Fournette was a fantasy contributor right out of the game. The rookie averaged 20.6 carries with 80.0 yards per game, proving he could handle the workload with 26, 28, 21, 28 and 24 carries in a 5 game span. He was averaging 4.6 yards per rush before hurting his ankle in Week 6 and a meager 3.3 yards per run in his remaining 10 games. He averaged 17.7 fantasy points per week in PPR leagues, which was good for 7th in the NFL. The Jaguars ran the ball 49% of the time on a league leading 527 attempts and are committed to running the football again this season.

With the 15th ranked front five in the NFL, the Jaguars improved their offensive line by signing left guard Andrew Norwell this offseason to solidify a solid core. While Fournette only saw 39.1% of his teams carries inside the 5 yard line last year (25th) , he was efficient with this volume scoring 6 TDs (6th). On top of nursing a bad ankle last season, the only thing that hampered his production were defenses stacking the box against him 48.51% of the time, which was good for 5th most in the league.

With good production out of Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook flashing some potential down the stretch, this young receiving core may be able to stretch the field and keep defenses honest, opening up more opportunities for Fournette. The Jaguars only targeted their running backs 132 times last season (9th) and do not appear in favor of utilizing their running backs in the passing game. If this coaching staff can find ways to get him more balls out of the backfield, it would add another dimension to his game and would put him next to the elite.

AT THIS ADP, YOU ARE TAKING A WORKHORSE RUNNING BACK WITH A HIGH FLOOR. UNTIL HIS RECEIVING VOLUME INCREASES, WE MAY NOT SEE HIS FULL POTENTIAL ON DISPLAY. WHILE THE ANKLE ISSUES AND PAST INJURY HISTORY ARE A CONCERN, YOU CAN FEEL COMFORTABLE DRAFTING FOURNETTE AT THIS ADP WITH POTENTIAL FOR MUCH MORE.

  1. JULIO JONES (ADP = 12.4)

THE GOOD:

  • 148 Targets (7th), 88 Receptions (9th), 1,444 Yards (2nd), 16.4 Yards per Catch (8th), 90.3 Yards per Game (3rd), 0 Fumbles

THE BAD:

  • 5% Catch Percentage (133rd), 3 TD (72nd), 5.5 Receptions per Game (11th)

RED ZONE INSIDE THE 20:

  • 19 Targets (13th), 5 Receptions (67th), 1 TD (132nd)

THE ASSEMBLY:

 Julio Jones is an athletic freak of nature and a sure-fire #1 receiver and first round fantasy talent. He will continue to amass an extensive volume of targets and will remain the focal point of this potent Atlanta offense once again. While last year was clearly a down year for Jones, he still managed Top 10 production in most notable categories. Jones averages 104.5 yards per game over his last 5 seasons, but had more drops (8) than touchdowns (3) last year. Jones scored 7.0 fewer touchdowns than an average player would have with identical volume. His -7.0 touchdown differential is not only the worst of any player last season, but is the second worst in the last decade (Matt Forte 2009).

He is clearly due for positive regression being that he has scored 40 career touchdowns on a 34.6 expectation. Red zone targets and touchdowns have been a clear problem for him. We have heard rumblings from this coaching staff that they need to get him more involved in the red zone, but this is yet to happen.

WHILE THE TOUCHDOWN PRODUCTION HAS NOT BEEN THERE, YOU ARE DRAFTING AN ELITE #1 RECEIVER WHO WILL CONTINUE TO SEE A LARGE WORKLOAD. I WOULD FEEL MORE CONFIDENT TAKING HIM IN THE EARLY PART OF ROUND 2 BEING THAT HIS SKILLS HAVE DECLINED A BIT, BUT THIS IS NOT A BAD ADP FOR HIM.

The article was first seen at TheFantasyAssembly.

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