We are less than a week away from the season premiere of Hard Knocks, and we are already getting a ton of nuggets of info from training camps all across the country. How are high-stakes players using that information in their Footballguys Players Championship drafts? That is what I am here to break down! Remember that fantasy managers are chasing a $500,000 grand prize in drafts going off daily, and I have a front-row seat for all the action as one of the online facilitators of these drafts. If any of the drafters have a connection issue, cannot get into the draft room, or experiences any other obstacles in making their picks, I am there in the draft room to assist. In this piece, I want to share a few of the things I have noticed while monitoring these drafts over the last week:
Whom have high-stakes drafters been targeting in the Chiefs backfield?
With one of Kansas City’s biggest playmakers taking his talents to South Beach, many targets in touches are up for grabs for the Chiefs Obviously, who would not want to get the correct Kansas City running back on their squads? It certainly would make the path to the $500,000 grand prize a little easier. I have been seeing a familiar face at the top of the heap here, but he is going as late as he ever has in his career.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still being selected as Footballguys players’ top choice, but it is not until the end of the sixth, or sometimes the early-seventh round. That is not an expensive price to pay for the first-string running back on one of the best offenses in the league. Nevertheless, it is also not exactly a ringing endorsement that drafters believe Edwards-Helaire will be the guy, either.
Ronald Jones II is now an early-11th round pick. He could either be cut or be the first and second down rusher for Kansas City—at this point, it’s hard to say, so he’s sort of being drafted in the middle of those two extremes. I can say that his draft stock is trending slightly downward. Since Jerick McKinnon was re-signed, he has steadily moved up, now settling into a mid-15th round pick, and don’t forget about Isiah Pacheco, who has risen up to the 17th round, too. Dedicating a late-round pick to one of these people in this backfield certainly could pay off big, depending on how things fall heading into the season.
What Jets wide receiver will cost you the most draft capital right now?
What a whirlwind of activity for the Jets receivers over the last two years. Inking Corey Davis to a big contract, selecting Elijah Moore as the 34th pick in last year’s draft, and then tripling down at the position with Garret Wilson at Pick 10 this year certainly gives fantasy GMs a lot of talent to choose from in constructing a six-figure roster in the Footballguys Players Championship. So, who is getting the most love?
With what we saw from Elijah Moore toward the end of last season, it is no surprise that he is the first person of this trio to be selected. I’m not sure if it’s the stigma of being a New York Jet or concern about the quarterback, but you can nab Moore right now at the end of the sixth or the early seventh round today. If that is too rich for your blood, you can wait a few rounds and take a shot on the rookie Wilson in the late tenth. While Denzel Mims is clearly the forgotten man in this wide receiver room (Footballguys drafters are not picking him at all), Corey Davis is trending on joining him there. If you believe in a bounceback for Davis, you only have to soak a 17th-round pick into him to get the 2021 free agent signee onto your roster.
Based on recent news, who is a player to watch in the next week?
It totally stinks that Tim Patrick will miss the 2022 season before it even begins with his ACL tear. In fact, in some of the conversations I have had with some high-stakes players in The High Stakes Fantasy Football Hour’s live coverage of the FFPC Pros Vs. Joes drafts, more than a few of them made it clear to me that Patrick was consistently a mid-round target for them. Nevertheless, when one door closes, another one opens. K.J. Hamler is the one walking through that door.
Since the news is so fresh, it is impossible to say where Hamler will settle in Footballguys drafts. However, I can tell you that he shot up two full rounds to the late 15th in Tuesday night’s drafts. With the groundswell of support for Broncos players with Russell Wilson running things, Hamler will no doubt keep ascending. Where will he plateau? That is what you should be watching for over the next seven days.
Thanks for reading, everyone! I will see you in the Footballguys Players Championship draft rooms!
Eric Balkman is an online commissioner for live Footballguys Players Championship drafts at MyFFPC.com. He is also the host and producer of The High Stakes Fantasy Football Hour, the RotoViz High-Stakes Lowdown, and the FFPC Live Best Ball Coverage shows broadcast on all FFPC media outlets.