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Aug 18

Finding fantasy football draft value: Our writer’s Ultimate Draft Value plays

Earlier in August we put our writers through an exercise – taking the top players at each position off the table and forcing them to go deep to assemble a fantasy roster. We learned a few things about each other through the process and about the players we’re targeting late in drafts. Moreover, we learned each other’s ultimate fantasy football draft value play. Full analysis of our value selections appears here.

Jon Collins picks Kenbrell Thompkins as his Ultimate Value Play (AP Photo).

Jon Collins picks Kenbell Thompkins as his Ultimate Value Play (AP Photo).

Jon’s Value Play: The best value play has to be Kenbrell Thompkins of the New England Patriots. Certainly in the time since we began this exercise his stock has continued to rise, so much so now that many view him as on par – or exceeding – Aaron Dobson in terms of fantasy football value. Thompkins’ name has been gaining momentum since the first day of New England’s training camp and it’s coming to a point now where he looks to be a legitimate contender for the starting X receiver role. Failing that, he’ll find a path to targets through other means. The undrafted rookie came to the league without much hype, but the 6’1″ 190 lb receiver out of Cincinnati is poised to make an impact. He worked his way onto the first team early in camp and has yet to relinquish the position. Per multiple reports he’s quick enough to beat coverage, runs crisp routes and is exhibiting plus agility. With an impressive skillset and an apparent inside track on the starting job in New England Thompkins is well worth drafting – particularly relative to his current average draft position (around 12.02 heading into the weekend, per fantasyfootballcalculator.com.

Esten’s Value Play: Matt Schaub. Taken with the fourth last pick of the draft, Schaub is pretty much the surest bet under center. He has exceeded 4,000 yards in all but one of his last four seasons, and still has ol’ reliable passing targets in Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Arian Foster. Now with rookie DeAndre Hopkins in the mix, Schaub has yet another big passing threat.

Andrew’s Value Play: Outside my own Kenbrell Thompkins, maybe Golden Tate falling to Mike Omelan in the 3rd round. I predict big things for Tate this year as the WR1 of the Seahawks, and although we all selected RB/RB to start the draft I see Tate as a better value selection than most of the 2nd round of RB selected – Bernard Pierce, Vick Ballard, Isaiah Pead, and perhaps even Pierre Thomas and guys in the first round like Ronnie Hillman and The Lawfirm.

Mike’s Value Play: I should of been talking about myself here but I missed out, and the award goes to Jon Collins for snagging Danny Woodhead in the 5th round. Danny Woodhead is going real late in drafts and is good value for where he’s going – he’s set to be a poor man’s Darren Sproles in San Diego, which is not too shabby. I cannot trust Ryan Matthews, and with a couple big injuries to the Chargers receiving core, I think Woodhead is set to see quite bump in receptions. He should be a decent flex option in numerous weeks.

Chris’s Value Play: I think when Jon grabbed Mike Vick in this spot he ended up with the best value pick of the draft. Vick has a lot of potential and showed during his first preseason game he has the ability to make quick, crisp passes in Chip Kelly’s offense. He looked even better Thursday night against Carolina. If the O-line can protect Vick and keep him healthy I think he’ll have a great season. I see him inside the top 10 in terms of fantasy quarterbacks. I think he’s learned a different style that will see him sit in the pocket a bit more and release the ball quicker.

Neil’s Value Play: There are a number of picks I like. Daryl Richardson appears to have separated himself from the rest of the Rams backfield and could easily turn in a top 25 running back season based on his usage and opportunity. Cordarrelle Patterson looks to be a special and talented player in Minnesota, and if they’re going to target him like claimed that is awesome fantasy football news for anyone that owns a share. Finally, Fred Davis could be ready for a great rebound year after a serious Achilles’ injury and is going really late. I have seen him creeping up rankings too, so don’t sleep on him.

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