Black Friday is next level chaos. Hordes of people are willing to wait in long lines for hours on end just to snag a great bargain. It’s become such a big deal that many retail locations have almost double the number of their normal amount of employees on hand to handle the crowds. People who participate often make lists, not just of the items they want but of the stores they want them from. Every year it’s a huge deal. Why?
Because everyone loves a good bargain.
It’s the same in fantasy football. We all love that bargain pick or that sneaky waiver-wire pickup. We’re coming into the draft season and monitoring the Average Draft Position, or ADP, and comparing stats become crucial for finding that great pick at a great price. All without having to fight crowds, lines, or inclement weather.
In this article, we are going to analyze some ADP trends and identify a few good bargains.
Three Fantasy Football Mid-Round Value Picks
Sammy Watkins – wide receiver – Kansas City Chiefs
It seems like Sammy Watkins’ name comes up this time of year ever since he entered the league. Watkins is a natural talent with speed to make him a threat all over the field. There was plenty of hype surrounding him last year when he joined the Los Angeles Rams. While he didn’t have a terrible season, he didn’t really fit the scheme, or more importantly, the quarterback. Jared Goff is not known for his deep ball, limiting how good Watkins could have been.
Watkins finished with 593 yards on just 39 receptions and eight scores.
Watkins moves to his third team in as many seasons and may have finally found a place to call home with the Kansas City Chiefs. While it may be difficult to assess how well first-year-starter Patrick Mahomes will fare, we all are aware of his big arm and his willingness to use it. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which Mahomes doesn’t do well with the weapons he has. Tyreek Hill showed he was capable of performing at a WR1 level last season. Travis Kelce remains a tier-one option at tight end. Both Spencer Ware and Kareem Hunt are viable passing options in the backfield. Now, they have Watkins who can stretch the field and be a beneficiary of Mahomes cannon-arm.
At the time of this writing, Sammy Watkins’ current ADP is 6.12 as the 31st receiver off the board. At this price point, he’s a bargain candidate based on his potential upside. There is some risk with this pick as he finished as the WR34 last season. However, Watkins has never finished a season averaging below 15 yards-per-reception and is now paired with a young, big arm. He seems healthy and in an offense more suited to his skill set.
Watkins is a steal in best ball formats. He also provides high upside on redraft rosters that have solid performers to pair him with.
Cooper Kupp – wide receiver – Los Angeles Rams
To say that Cooper Kupp made an impression his rookie season would be an understatement. He secured 62 of his 95 targets for 869 yards and five touchdowns, good enough to finish as the WR25 in PPR scoring. He averaged 14 yards-per-catch. The rapport and chemistry between him and Jared Goff were immediate as he finished week one with 76 yards and a score. Kupp became Goff’s go-to target in clutch situations. Kupp led the Rams receivers in targets, yards, and fantasy scoring last season.
The big question is how newly acquired Brandin Cooks fits into the mix and alters the target share. He may not have that much on an impact of Kupp’s targets. Kupp is almost exclusively a slot-receiver while Cooks typically operates as an outside field-stretcher. With Goff’s hesitation to throw many deep balls, it looks like Kupp’s role should remain secure and he should still be a frequent target, especially in red-zone situations.
The target share concern that came with Cooks joining the team has affected Kupp’s ADP. He’s currently sitting at 8.10 as the 39th wide receiver off the board. Remember, this kid finished as the WR25 in his rookie campaign, meaning this could be a solid value pick.
Tarik Cohen – running back – Chicago Bears
Nicknamed the “Human Joystick,” Tarik Cohen made plenty of highlight plays for the Chicago Bears last season. As a rookie, the scat-back totaled 723 yards-from-scrimmage and three scores. His elusive nature and lightning speed made him difficult for defenses to figure out how to stop him. It also made it difficult for then head coach John Fox to design plays to compliment the young playmaker.
Cohen finished with 71 targets, which was the second most of any player on the Bears. His 53 receptions were second only to Kendall Wright and he finished third highest in receiving yards.
The Bears have made some off-season moves to bolster both sides of the ball. While Jordan Howard is still presumed to operate as the lead back, he’s of almost no use as a pass-catcher. They also brought in Matt Nagy who’s spent some time designing plays around versatile running backs. All signs point to Cohen seeing more work, more plays, and possibly some packages designed to utilize his skill-set.
Cohen slides in as the RB30 at pick 6.06 currently. With an offensive minded coach running the show, and the depth the Bears now have at both receiver and tight end, it’s easy to imagine Cohen finding some second-year success and returning some value on that draft spot, especially in PPR formats.