Stigma is a funny thing. It obscures truth and probability. As a Fantasy Football player it’s hard to remain emotion free when it comes to some NFL Fantasy perennials. Players you vow never to draft again because they didn’t live up to the value you put on them. Then it’s the 6th round and you are faced with that dreaded decision. Do I draft Michael Crabtree for the 3rd year in a row?. The 3 names we will discuss today are far from sexy 1-3rd rounders. But these are guys who could end up overproducing their draft value by 2-3 rounds.
Keep in mind I use NFFC ADP when referencing players. They are the gold standard for accurate ADP as all data is collected from actual drafts in money leagues ranging from $50-$1600 entries.
1. Lamar Miller
In 2017 Miller finished as the number 16 PPR RB. That’s a decent number 2 RB and exactly what he was drafted to be. With over 1200 all purpose yards and 6 TDS he might be getting overlooked again. Miller is number 54 overall this week in the NFFC. He’s been that guy you don’t really want to draft the past few years and his adp says the same in 2018. With a WR and QB being drafted as high as Hopkins and Watson are going there has to be some scraps for the RB right?
This should be the best offense Miller has run behind and he has no real competition(yet). Donta Foreman is still hobbled and could cut into Millers work later in the year but for now the job is Miller’s alone. He could be looking at close to 300 touches this year. That kind of volume in a high powered offense is exactly why Melvin Gordon has been so successful. The defense we expected last year will start the season at full strength in 2018. That lends more hope for extra trips to the red zone due to turnovers. Miller has great potential to put up RB2 numbers and is being drafted as an RB3. Every year there is a 5/6 round rb that returns round 3 numbers or better. Melvin Gordon in 2016. Last year it was Carlos Hyde. My bet for 2018 is Lamar Miller.
2. Emmanuel Sanders
Sanders is number 69 in the NFFC this week and has been bouncing around the 3-7th rounds since he got to Denver in 2014. Another one of those names that you just keep seeing and passing on then seeing and passing on and then you finally just draft a rookie WR and cross your fingers. Demerius Thomas is not necessarily the number one guy in this offense if Sanders is clicking. Sanders had an unimpressive 2017 but showed toughness playing through a high ankle sprain. His lowest numbers in 4 years are most likely the reason he has a late 6th round adp. The fact that he played and had mediocre stats might be why he is being devalued. I look at that as a plus for toughness. Are 2016 stats still attainable?
No limp and a QB upgrade could put propel him back to a WR2 and warrant a late 4th early 5th draft pick making him another “boring” but great value.
3. Mr. Boring Himself, Michael Crabtree
Number 61 at the NFFC is on a new team this year. His 3rd since 2014. Ironically Michael Crabtree landed in Baltimore, the Crab capitol of the USA. Lack of competition makes the new Raven a great candidate to outperform his ADP. Breshad Perriman and John Brown have been less than reliable for the better part of 3 years. Crabtree is another vet that no one seems to want to draft but always does better than expected. The opportunity is there. He’s never been the type of guy to put up big receiving numbers. He only has 2 seasons over 1000 yards. The vet also only has 3 seasons with over 80 receptions. But 2 of them are within the last 3 years. What he has is experience, health, THE JOB and a nose for the end zone. Now that he is the number one option I expect his yardage and number of receptions to go up in 2018. 80/1100/7 is attainable! And this is a 5th round guy. The Oakland Raiders cut Crabtree after they signed Jordy Nelson. The Ravens may have ended up with the better side of the deal.