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If you are looking for salary cap targets at the top end of the draft sheet, then you can head to the first article in this series and see which players you should be looking for in your draft room. But the middle tiers have a different opportunity for salary cap drafters. While top talent won't ever go much below their perceived worth, the middle of the pack presents plenty of opportunity to find guys at deep discounts. This zone is where you can often see players go far below where they should, either because drafters don't care about the player or they don't care enough to bid on them while they save for the guys they covet.
You don't have to fill your team with these targets, but landing a couple of them usually opens up your budget to be able to spend (or overspend) on the truly elite players. That combination is how you take your salary cap draft over the top.
Trevor Lawrence - Although he's the most expensive of the next group of quarterbacks, he's still a target. His mixture of 35+ touchdown upside and sneaky rushing floor makes him the perfect place to start. You don't want to be paying $15+ for him or the value fades, but anything under $15 is a good number for a guy with Top 6 potential. This offense was scary the second half of 2022, and now they add Calvin Ridley and get another offseason to work on their offense. All signs point up for Jacksonville, and buying Lawrence at this price feels like a great bet to make.
Deshaun Watson - The 2022 finish was ugly for Watson, and managers can't get it out of their minds. Watson goes for as little as $4-$6 in some drafts, but even if he sneaks up to $7-$8, it's worth the price. Watson has been a near-elite quarterback in this league, and he has plenty of weapons to get back there again. Maybe in Cleveland his upside isn't Top 3 at the position, but if you miss out on the top guys, consider spending a few extra bucks over replacement quarterbacks to go after Watson.
Pat Freiermuth - Mitchell Trubisky was an abject disaster last year, Kenny Pickett had an abysmal 1.9% touchdown rate, and Freiermuth missed time with his third concussion as a pro, but he still finished as the PPR TE6 (TE9 in points per game) with only 2 touchdowns. If the offense takes even a tiny step forward, it appears he is being drafted at his floor. The fact that he's only $5-$6 in salary cap rooms speaks to the malaise with which drafters treat the position. He's a solid investment at that price.
David Njoku - The Browns featured Njoku consistently when he was healthy, and things seemed to click for the athletic tight end last year. He almost set career highs across the board, and had he played a few more games, it was a lock. Now take the uncertain 2022 quarterback situation and insert a consistent, higher-level presence into the equation, and this has the makings of a special season if he can stay healthy. Getting him for $4-$5 feels like a steal for his potential.
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