It’s been quite a while since my last fantasy football article, but redraft season is back and so am I! This will kick off a series in which I break down steals and players to avoid at various positions, concluding with a full PPR mock draft.
Before we get into my list of the best steals in fantasy football drafts, we need a bit of clarification. These picks are mostly determined by the value of the player’s current ADP, or average draft position. All ADPs are based on a 12-team PPR format.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
Rhamondre Stevenson — ADP: Round 8
StevenSZN has arrived.
The reality of this situation is that the hype train for Stevenson has left the station. Fans and media members across the league are very high on the second-year Patriots back, but that hasn’t necessarily translated to the bump in ADP you might expect.
Training camp reports state that Stevenson is getting plenty of run with the first team. While Damien Harris is still expected to be the starter, the two backs could split the workload evenly this season. The Patriots were a run-first team last year with rookie Mac Jones under center, and if reports that Bill Belichick is overhauling his offense to resemble a Shanahan-esque system are true, then Stevenson and Harris will continue to be featured heavily.
Rhamondre really only played in 11 games last year — one carry in Week 1 doesn’t count to me — and flashed significant potential. The Oklahoma product rushed 133 times for 606 yards (4.6 YPA) and five touchdowns. That carries total could easily creep up near 180 this season, and it sounds like the second-year back has showcased serious pass-catching abilities, which only bolsters his fantasy value.
In the eighth round, Stevenson has too much value to pass up.
Rhamondre Stevenson’s DraftKings best ball ranking is currently 116.
Rondale Moore — ADP: Round 11
This is the perfect combination of talent and opportunity.
Moore had a decent rookie campaign, catching 54 balls for 435 yards, but it’s fair to say the second-round pick left a lot to be desired. However, we’ve seen plenty of flashes, and there’s a lot working in his favor to start the year.
Firstly, DeAndre Hopkins won’t be available for a significant portion of the season after receiving a six-game suspension. That will free up a ton of targets for Moore, along with veteran A.J. Green and newly-acquired speedster Marquise Brown. Christian Kirk’s departure is also a noteworthy boost for Rondale’s fantasy prospects.
Reports from training camp have indicated that Moore is continuing to flash immense potential while being heavily involved in the offense. The second-year receiver even got a glowing endorsement from Kliff Kingsbury:
Kingsbury asked for a young player who has flashed: "Rondale (Moore) is gonna play a lot more. He's taken real strides this off-season."— Paul Calvisi (@PaulCalvisi) June 14, 2022
Round 11 is simply too low considering the opportunity that Moore will received to open the season. He might even be the most valuable pick on my list.
Rondale Moore’s DraftKings best ball ranking is currently 124.
Melvin Gordon — ADP: Round 8
Another eighth-round running back!
I know, I know, “Melvin Gordon isn’t the running back people should be talking about in Denver.” That’s true. Javonte Williams is going to be a star in this league, and will undoubtedly be a capable workhorse for years to come.
2022 will not be one of those years.
While all the hype is surrounding Williams right now, Gordon was quietly effective for the Broncos last season. The 29-year-old finished as PPR RB21 with 203 carries for 918 yards, also catching 28 balls.
While fans are eager to see Williams take over the backfield, I would expect Gordon to see at least 180 carries while also playing a major role in the passing game. With that kind of workload, he has so much upside in Round 8 of fantasy drafts.
Speaking of glowing reviews from coaches, Nathanial Hackett has made it clear that he’s a big fan of Gordon, stating that the veteran back will play a large role in the team’s offense.
Nathaniel Hackett on signing Melvin Gordon: “You need to have a stable of running backs… Whoever is hot, that’s who we want to feed”— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) April 30, 2022
Melvin Gordon’s DraftKings best ball ranking is currently 106.
Tyler Boyd — ADP: Round 10
One of the most underrated receivers in the game is being disrespected again? Shocker.
Not only is Tyler Boyd the best No. 3 receiver in the NFL, he’s also been a beacon of consistency over the past four years.
The 27-year-old has finished as a top-31 PPR receiver in each of those four seasons, and it feels like people are too focused on Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins to realize the value that Boyd presents in drafts right now.
The Bengals boast one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, and no one expects that to change this season. If anything, Boyd and company should see more opportunities after Cincy upgraded its offensive line.
Another impressive factor that Boyd brings to the table? The guy rarely misses games. Through six NFL seasons he has played less than 14 contests just once. Take advantage of the opportunity to grab Boyd while others are too focused on the players ahead of him on the depth chart.
There will be plenty of targets to go around.
Tyler Boyd’s DraftKings best ball ranking is currently 112.
Robert Tonyan — ADP: Round 13
There’s an obvious injury concern that comes with Tonyan, as he opened training camp on the PUP list after tearing his ACL last October.
That being said, assuming he’s ready to go by the first few weeks of the season, the 28-year-old who finished as PPR TE3 in 2020 will step into a huge role for the Packers.
The game’s best receiver — sorry Cooper Kupp fans — departed Green Bay this offseason via trade, and the Packers did not make a major splash to replace him.
Green Bay’s current depth chart features Allen Lazard, Christian Watson and Sammy Watkins as starters.
Aaron Rodgers will find a way to get the most out of those guys, but what the back-to-back MVP really needs is a trusted target. Tonyan provides exactly that, and will really help fill the void that Davante Adams left in the red zone.
Big-time spike by Robert Tonyan after this touchdown catch.pic.twitter.com/laYLOljX2a— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 20, 2020
If Tonyan can stay on the field, Round 13 is ridiculous value for the role he should play in 2022.
Robert Tonyan’s DraftKings best ball ranking is currently 147.
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