Must, Bust, and Lust for the NFC
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To fulfill the needs of the masses, I decided to cover the NFC on our last stop on the Must, Bust, and Lust Series tour for the final weekend of fantasy draft season. The NFC has several high-octane offenses that are sure to carry fantasy teams this season with must and lust players, while other teams could have potential land mines for your fantasy squads. This final stop on our M.B.L. excursion should help you navigate these obstacles and bring you plenty of BANG! for your reading pleasure.
The NFC Must:
- Terry McLaurin - Currently coming of the board as WR 25 with an ADP of 58, McLaurin is one of the best values in the entire draft. Last season during his rookie campaign the young stud receiver took over the Washington Football Team's wide receiving core and became their number one. He came in grabbed 58 of his 93 targets for 919 yards and seven touchdowns across 14 games. He will continue to be the main focal point in this offense in 2020 and will receive well over 100 targets from Dwayne Haskins. If McLaurin is still hanging around in the fifth-round, pounce on that draft selection before your league mates do.
- Dak Prescott - After the big two (Patrick Mahomes & Lamar Jackson) Prescott is the next quarterback in most experts rankings this season and for good reason. Last season Prescott had a career season for the Cowboys behind center compiling 4,902 yards passing and 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also added 277 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. With all his weapons returning and the addition of CeeDee Lamb, Prescott will continue to be a top-3 QB with a chance to finish as number one overall at year's end. The pro-bowler is a great value in fantasy drafts, being taken three to four rounds after Mahomes and Jackson.
- Chris Godwin - When coach Bruce Arians arrived in Tampa Bay lin 2019, one of his first comments was that Chris Godwin better be ready because he will be playing Larry Fitzgerald's role in the offense, referring to when he was coaching the Arizona Cardinals. Godwin has steadily progressed over his first seasons. So last season with Coach Arians guidance and the now-departed Jameis Winston under center, Godwin popped off with 86 receptions for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. He was one of the main focal points in the offense out of the slot as Coach Arians predicted, and now enters the future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, who is one of the most accurate quarterbacks especially targeting slot receivers. Look for Godwin to be drafted around the 2/3 turn.
- D'Andre Swift - The rookie running back from the University of Georgia is coming to Detriot to take over the backfield. Over the last two seasons, the former Bulldog produced 2,267 yards and 17 touchdowns. For his three collegiate seasons, Swift also totaled 73 receptions for 666 yards and five touchdowns making him a dual-threat. He is currently coming off the board at the start of the sixth round. Swift might start the season off in a time-share with Kerryon Johnson, but by mid-season Swift will start pulling away with the majority of the touches and be an intricate part of fantasy managers championship runs.
- George Kittle - Speaking of an intricate part of an offense, Kittle is by far the most important piece of the 49ers offense. Not only is he Jimmy Garoppolo's number one option but he is the best blocking tight end in the game and that's what the 49ers want to do, is to establish the run first which then opens up the passing game. The last two seasons Kittle has averaged 122 targets, 86.5 receptions, 1,215 yards, and five touchdowns a season. With Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk possibly not being 100% to start the season look for Kittle to continue to be Garoppolo's security blanket. He a difference-maker at the tight end position that will give an advantage in most weekly match-ups and should be taken in the third round.
The NFC Bust:
- Amari Cooper - Overall Cooper is a really good receiver for the Cowboys and has explosive weeks. However, there are occasions in which he disappears and can be the culprit of a fantasy manager losing a weekly match-up. There were six weeks in which he scored fewer than 9.8 fantasy points including two duds in the fantasy playoffs. His catch rate percentage is at 66.4%, which means Mr. Cooper had quite a few drops balls. The Cowboys landed CeeDee Lamb in the 2020 NFL Draft, who will dig into Cooper's target share, along with Michael Gallup and tight end Blake Jarwin. His ADP is currently at 32.7 as WR13 off the board. I'd much rather have Adam Theilen, A.J. Brown, Calvin Ridley, and Robert Woods who all have ADP's later than Cooper.
- Ronald Jones - Jones who was named the unquestioned starter by Coach Arians just a several days ago, saw his grasp on the starting gig slip right through his fingers when the Buccaneers signed the recently waived Leonard Fournette. RoJo may start the season as the starter but there is no way he holds off the former first-round pick all year long. Jones's current ADP is 79.3 as WR30. There are three running backs (Tarik Cohen, Phillip Lindsay, & J.K.Dobbins) who are all going one round later that are better values than Jones.
- Tyler Higbee - When fellow Rams tight end, Gerald Everett went down with an injury in week 13 of last year, Higbee went berserk by catching 69 receptions for 734 yards and three touchdowns. However, before setting this torrid pace, he had never caught more than 25 receptions or 295 yards in his three-year career. In fact, it was Everett who was enjoying a breakout season. With Everett back healthy and being the more athletically gifted of the two, look for Higbee's 2020 production to take a hit…. That is if the Rams don’t trade away Everett.
The NFC Lust:
- Antonio Gibson - Steadily throughout the summer Gibson's ADP has continually risen, and for good reason. The burner with the 4.39 40-yard dash wheels has been impressing everyone in Washington's camp. So much so that it made future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson expendable as he recently got released by the Washington Football Team. The rookie is an explosive offensive weapon. In his senior season at Memphis, he rushed 33 times for 369 and four touchdowns. He averaged an astonishing 11.2 yards per/carry. Where Gibson is going to make his bread and butter is in the receiving game, where averaged 19.3 yards per catch. Gibson had 38 receptions for 735 yards and eight touchdowns. He even had 23 kick returns for 645 yards and a touchdown. There have been rumors out of camp that Gibson might have CMC kind of role in the offense, making him excellent play in PPR leagues. With an ADP of 87 draft him in the seventh to eighth rounds in PPR leagues.
- Calvin Ridley - Julio Jones's sidekick will be looking to stepping away from Jones's shadow this year. Ridley was on his way to having a breakout season in 2019 but had it shortened due to an injury he suffered late in the season. Ridley produced 63 receptions for 866 yards and seven touchdowns across 13 games. The wideout has an ADP of 43 this draft season and is being drafted as WR 18. In this high-flying offense look for the opposing defenses to focus their attention on stopping Jones and allowing Matt Ryan and Ridley to capitalize on the weaker side secondary. Ridley is an excellent WR2 that should be drafted in the fourth round and could catapult to a WR1 should Jones miss anytime due to any injuries.
- Anthony Miller - Miller is someone to target in the deeper rounds of drafts as he has an ADP of 143. The WR53 off the board is coming into his third season as the Bears starter in the slot which should lead to some nice PPR fantasy points. Once he was inserted into the starting line-up in the second half of the season he had five consecutive weeks of double-digit fantasy scoring weeks, where he averaged 20 fantasy points per week. He finished the season with 52 receptions for 652 yards and two touchdowns. All of his stat categories are sure to increase this year as he is poised to have a great season for the Bears. For a player being drafted in the 12th round, Miller will be a fine WR4-WR5 in your roster that has the potential to be a solid flex play when needed to possibly be a WR3 at some point during the season.
- Chase Edmonds - When you look up the definition of a lottery ticket you will see a picture of Edmonds in there. When thrust into a prominent role last season due to an injury to David Johnson, Edmonds responded with three consecutive double-digit fantasy points effort, highlighted by 27 rushes for 126 yards three touchdowns. Unfortunately for Edmonds, he suffered an injury after that explosive week 7, and Kenyan Drake who was to the Cardinals by the Dolphins at the trade deadline took over as starter and never looked back. Due to Drake's play and Edmonds's injury, the running back only had nine touches the rest of the season. If Drake were to miss any time due to injuries, Edmonds will produce RB2 numbers for your fantasy teams.
Hopefully, this series has been enlightening and helpful during your draft season. Remember to always be adaptable and be ready to make adjustments in your draft because every draft is its own animal, no two drafts are ever the same. Good luck this season and pray that we may have a full season to enjoy and escape our rough 2020.
To determine ADP: Fantasy Pros ADP
For NFL stats: Pro Football Reference
For College Stats: Sports Reference CFB