2018 Fantasy Football - 10 Mid-Round Values (Aug. 28):
I was recently asked why I don't have Kerryon Johnson listed in my Fantasy Football Sleepers page, given that I like him so much. Every player on the sleepers page has an ADP (average-draft position) of Round 9 or later, with most of them having an ADP of Round 12-14. Sleepers are players you can find in the late rounds.
Conversely, mid-round values are players who can be obtained in Rounds 5-8 who should be chosen earlier than where they're typically being picked. Johnson will certainly make the cut on this list.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers. ADP: 6.02.
Mike McCarthy expects Jamaal Williams to have a big year, and I agree. I was asked earlier this summer for an extreme long shot to win the rushing title in 2018, and the two names I gave were Alex Collins and Williams. The Packer runner had a very strong finish to his 2017 campaign, and he should be even better this upcoming season, given that the opposition will be focused on stopping Aaron Rodgers. Williams is also the unquestioned starter with Aaron Jones serving a suspension.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions. ADP: 5.02.
When asked, "Who is the Alvin Kamara of 2018?" I often say it's Kerryon Johnson, though you have to draft him much earlier than Kamara last year. Johnson is a special talent, and he'll be running behind a stout Detroit offensive line. The Lions won't be able to avoid using him. He'll have to split touches with LeGarrette Blount at first, but I expect that he'll be given more and more opportunities as the season progresses.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos. ADP: 7.06.
Case Keenum loves throwing to the slot. Adam Thielen was able to benefit from that last year, and I expect Emmanuel Sanders to do the same in 2018. Assuming Keenum remains the starter all 16 games, I don't think it's crazy to project Sanders to catch 100 passes this season. I'd actually rather have Sanders than Demaryius Thomas, whose ADP is in the early fifth round.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Redskins. ADP: 9.11*.
Adrian Peterson's ADP is listed as 9.11 on FantasyFootballCalculator.com, but that's because he wasn't drafted at all recently. I've seen him go in the sixth and seventh rounds of my fantasy drafts, and I actually think that might be a bit too late. Peterson was injured the past two seasons, but he's now completely healthy and determined to prove his detractors wrong. He'll also be running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, so I don't think 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns is out of the question.
Will Fuller, WR, Texans. ADP: 6.07.
Deshaun Watson has been working out like a mad man this offseason. I expect that it'll pay off, and Will Fuller will absolutely benefit from it. Fuller will also have the luxury of having DeAndre Hopkins draw plenty of double teams, allowing him to take advantage of weaker coverage.
Sony Michel, RB, Patriots. ADP: 7.06.
Sony Michel hasn't been able to play this preseason, but I expect big things from him this year. The first-round rookie is a special talent, and I think he'll take over the Dion Lewis role. He's the best running back New England has by a mile, and it'll be very difficult to keep him off the field.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Browns. ADP: 5.04.
I liked Carlos Hyde a lot better earlier in the summer when his ADP was in the seventh or eighth round, but he still provides solid value at 5.04. Hyde is a talented running back who will be getting all of the early-down work. The Browns can block well, so I expect Hyde to be very productive while he's healthy.
Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks. ADP: 6.03.
Everyone assumed that the Seahawks would hand the reins over to first-round rookie Rashaad Penny, but Chris Carson has seized the starting running back job instead. He's been the most impressive runner on Seattle's roster in training camp and the preseason. It's helped that Penny has been hurt and overweight, but that should just allow Carson to remain the starter.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Ravens. ADP: 7.03.
As with Deshaun Watson, Joe Flacco put in lots of work this offseason, and I believe that the effort will pay dividends. Flacco's No. 1 receiver is Michael Crabtree, who should be in position to approach double-digit touchdowns. And yet, he's going in the seventh round, which seems like a bit too late for him.
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets. ADP: 8.05.
I'm listing Robby Anderson at the bottom of this list because he could be suspended for some offseason off-the-field incidents. If he's not, however, he'll greatly outperform his eighth-round ADP. He was terrific last year, and I think he could be even better in 2018, given the upgrade at quarterback.