You guys all know the feeling. You're sitting there in the eighth round and you're waiting to pounce on your sleeper. That feeling has steadily made your heart beat faster in the past couple rounds and you know that even though the default rankings have your sleeper ranked in the 200s, you'd be kicking yourself if you let him go another round and someone pounces on him. Do you take him?
That's one of the hardest and most important questions during your draft. We can use a lot of info from this crazy weekend to help us answer that. The third week of preseason games gives us the most information on how coaches will use their player and, also, it's an extremely busy fantasy draft weekend.
It seems like all drafts have at least a few owners that bought into the same stories. Consequently, those owners knew they would have to reach on a handful of guys and also were not afraid to let some player slide. Today we're going to look at some guys that you might have to reach for while some guys have slid a little bit.
Obviously, just because I have Evan Royster as my 28th back, doesn't mean you have to take him as the 28th back. You might be able to let him slide into the 35 range. The better you understand how the league drafts, the more you can trust your gut to let someone slide.
Another example is based on proximity to a player. If you live in New York and everyone in your draft is watching David Wilson tear it up, you know that he's going to be off the board before the 30th back is taken.
Here are some other guys that have a bit of an unpredictable target range:
Doug Martin, Buccaneers - Personally, I had three drafts with different groups of friends on ESPN this weekend and ESPN has Martin at 80 on their draft board. Crazy talk. Martin has all the tools to be a top back for a lot of fantasy teams and his value has been fluctuating. I was able to grab Martin in the third (12-team), fourth (12-team) and fifth (10-team) rounds in those three drafts and felt great about it. Unless you know your league has several owners that check around outside of the mainstream sites, you might be able to let him slide to 40. As you can see by the rankings below, I have no problem with you grabbing him in the late-second round.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars - He has draft repellent on him right now. I wouldn't think about taking him until the fourth round. Although, I was very low on the Bruin from the start.
Rashad Jennings, Jaguars - This man will likely be the hottest topic in fantasy with the news of MJD likely to holdout into the season. I saw him taken in the fifth round this weekend by a Jones-Drew owner and he also slipped to the eighth round in another draft. The news today will make it extremely unlikely to see him go past the seventh in a competitive league.
Fred Jackson, Bills - Jackson has seen his value go all over the place as well. He's gone as high as the second round and I've seen him slip to after 50. As you can see by the rankings, I'd be comfortable to let him slide.
Cedric Benson, Packers - The words of Mike McCarthy have launched Ced-Ben's value to new heights. Benson has been taken in the fifth round and as late as the 10th in some leagues. Once guys like Donald Brown and Michael Turner come off the board, it's probably about time to start thinking about grabbing him.
Ryan Williams, Cardinals - This Hokie looks pretty good. He has some of the quickest feet in the NFL and a lot of owners will be begging to take him in the seventh round. If you're drinkin the Kool-Aid, you'd be rolling the dice to let him slip past the eighth.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons - A lot of people are buying into Rodgers usurping carries from the incumbent Michael Turner. I'm obviously buying and I invested two 10th-round picks this weekend and another in the 12th. He was also taken in the ninth a couple times. The cat's out of the bag. If you want him, Rodgers should be one of the first or second players on your bench.
|Standard League||PPR League|
|1||Arian Foster||Arian Foster|
|2||Ray Rice||Ray Rice|
|3||LeSean McCoy||LeSean McCoy|
|4||Darren McFadden||Darren McFadden|
|5||Chris Johnson||Chris Johnson|
|6||DeMarco Murray||DeMarco Murray|
|7||Jamaal Charles||Matt Forte|
|8||Adrian Peterson||Jamaal Charles|
|9||Matt Forte||Adrian Peterson|
|10||Steven Jackson||Steven Jackson|
|11||Ryan Mathews||Reggie Bush|
|12||Doug Martin||Darren Sproles|
|13||Trent Richardson||Ryan Mathews|
|14||Reggie Bush||Doug Martin|
|15||Marshawn Lynch||Trent Richardson|
|16||Maurice Jones-Drew||Maurice Jones-Drew|
|17||Fred Jackson||Fred Jackson|
|18||Willis McGahee||Marshawn Lynch|
|19||Darren Sproles||Ahmad Bradshaw|
|20||Ahmad Bradshaw||Willis McGahee|
|21||Frank Gore||Donald Brown|
|22||Donald Brown||Frank Gore|
|23||Stevan Ridley||David Wilson|
|24||David Wilson||Evan Royster|
|25||Ben Tate||Ben Tate|
|26||Ryan Williams||Ryan Williams|
|27||Rashad Jennings||Stevan Ridley|
|28||Evan Royster||Rashad Jennings|
|29||Cedric Benson||Jacquizz Rodgers|
|30||Jonathan Stewart||Michael Turner|
|31||Jacquizz Rodgers||Jonathan Stewart|
|32||Michael Turner||Peyton Hillis|
|33||Peyton Hillis||Cedric Benson|
|34||DeAngelo Williams||C.J. Spiller|
|35||Shonn Greene||DeAngelo Williams|
|36||Mark Ingram||Mark Ingram|
|37||C.J. Spiller||Shonn Greene|
|38||Michael Bush||Michael Bush|
|39||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||BenJarvus Green-Ellis|
|40||Mikel LeShoure||Kevin Smith|
|41||Beanie Wells||Beanie Wells|
|42||Kevin Smith||Mikel LeShoure|
|43||Rashard Mendenhall||Rashard Mendenhall|
|44||Alfred Morris||Bernard Scott|
|45||Shane Vereen||Roy Helu|
|46||Toby Gerhart||Shane Vereen|
|47||Robert Turbin||Toby Gerhart|
|48||Jonathan Dwyer||Isaiah Pead|
|49||Vick Ballard||Robert Turbin|
|50||Isaac Redman||Vick Ballard|
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher to answer any questions about your team or potential picks.