FROM THE PRESS BOX – As we approach the first full week of the NFL preseason, it’s time to start thinking about fantasy football.
Generally, I think it’s smart to take two running backs first, followed by two wide receivers, your flex, tight end and then quarterback.
However, if your draft position leads to you taking someone like Antonio Brown or Julio Jones in the first round, it’s not the biggest deal. You don’t want to reach for a running back if that’s how the draft falls. But the wide receiver position is do much deeper than the running backs that you can wait a couple rounds before you draft one.
As far as quarterbacks go, I’m not going to take a Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady early. It’s not worth it. There’s so much value at the quarterback position this year that you can wait and take a Kirk Cousins or Drew Brees and completely fine.
OK, enough strategy talk, here are my three under-the-radar players you should be drafting this year.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Look, you’ll probably have to draft another quarterback when you select Ben Roethlisberger – he’s not great on the road – but there’s appeal in drafting the quarterback that gets to throw to AB, Le’Veon Bell and JuJu Smith-Schuster for a living.
Those are some weapons.
Not to mention, Roethlisberger is going 92nd overall and as QB 9 in ESPN drafts. That means you can wait until the eighth or ninth round to draft Big Ben and secure at least your starters at running back, wide receiver and tight end, your flex and best player available before you even think about taking him.
That’s a great draft day scenario.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
I know. A Buffalo Bill. How shocking.
But LeSean McCoy is currently going 22nd overall and as RB 13. That’s an absolute steal.
McCoy is still going to be a major factor in the Buffalo offense this season. He’ll be the bellcow in the backfield and possibly leading the team in receptions.
I’m also starting to expect Josh Allen to win the starting job at some point and he’s not afraid to sling it around.
There is, however, a risk in drafting McCoy. Being possibly involved in an assault and attempted robbery, McCoy could face a hefty suspension of he’s found to be responsible for the attack.
However, it’s notable that the Bills feel comfortable to trot McCoy out during training camp.
“We’ve communicated with (the NFL),” Bills GM Brandon Beane said during a news conference with coach Sean McDermott at the beginning of training camp, via The Buffalo News. “We feel comfortable that LeSean’s going to be here and ready to roll. We don’t see that changing.
“We’re just focused. LeSean’s here, and it’s just going to be about football.”
If you can draft McCoy as your flex, or even RB 2, it could be a selection that wins you your league.
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
Yes, Robinson plays for the Chicago Bears now, but he used to have Blake Bortles as his quarterback. He’ll be just fine.
Based on talent alone, Robinson is a top 5 – or at the very least – 10 wide receiver. Being able to draft Allen as your WR 2 is great value and would be another steal.
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