In the penultimate article analyzing my dynasty start-up, I dive deep into the player pool mining for potential diamonds in the rough. Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 for more context and to see how I got to this point in the draft!
Pick 186 (16.06): Jameis Winston
I was pretty fortunate that quarterbacks continued to fall, as Winston fell right into my lap. When on the field, Winston has been a scoring machine in his career – averaging 261 passing yards and 21.4 fantasy points per game.
His career average would have put him as QB9 last season, and with Bruce Arians at the helm, the Bucs offense will be aggressive this season. Elite wide receiver Mike Evans and breakout candidates Chris Godwin and OJ Howard lead an offensive that can become one of the most explosive in the league. Couple that with a defense that gave up 29 points per game last season and the Bucs will constantly have to throw to stay in games.
If Winston has a career year, it’s likely he has a future with the Bucs long-term and in that case, has tons of upside at his current dynasty ADP. All things look aligned for this to happen this season and I’m banking on a career year.
Pick 199 (17.07): Rodney Anderson
Anderson is one of my favorite rookie fliers. If injuries weren’t a prominent part of his college career, he could have made a case for being the top running back in the class.
He’s only played one healthy season in college. As a sophomore, he piled up 1,161 rushing yards on an efficient 6.2 yards per carry, and maybe more impressively he averaged 16.5 YPR on 17 catches. He was also a touchdown machine, scoring 18 total touchdowns that season.
He profiles as a true workhorse as his closest comp is fellow college bellcow, Rashaad Penny. In today’s pass-happy NFL, Anderson is as good of a flier as any.
Pick 220 (19.04): Justin Jackson
I was fairly shocked that Jackson was still available at this point. Coming out of Northwestern, Jackson had an extremely impressive resume as he broke out as a true freshman and continued to be a true workhorse every year of his Wildcat career. Jackson posted an elite agility score at the combine and fared very well in other testing drills.
When Jackson hit the field last year, he didn’t disappoint as he averaged 12.5 fantasy points in games either Melvin Gordon or Austin Ekeler missed. In Week 15, as the true workhorse with Gordon and Ekeler out, Jackson put up 17.5 fantasy points while touching the ball 19 times.
Jackson’s pure rushing metrics were also impressive, albeit in a small sample size, he posted a 32% juke rate and 8.0% breakaway rate. With more volume, that would have put him top 10 in each category amongst all running backs last season.
While his playing time will likely be limited with stud running backs Gordon and Ekeler ahead of him, if an injury were to happen to either, Jackson would slide in immediately without missing a step and provide immediate fantasy production. Although unlikely, Gordon’s potential holdout could lead to more work for Jackson.
Pick 234 (20.06): Dexter Williams
It took Williams until his final season in college to really break out, but he was sharing a backfield with current NFL running back Josh Adams his entire college career.
Williams was efficient when the ball was in his hands as he averaged 6.4 YPC in his college career. One thing that really put Williams on the radar was his testing at the combine, as he performed fairly well.
He should immediately push Jamaal Williams for the backup job in Green Bay and has a chance to be a solid running back when given opportunity in the NFL.
Pick 247 (21.07): Jonnu Smith
Jonnu Smith was an incredible TE prospect coming out in 2017 as he posted 90th percentile or better in college dominator, breakout age and SPARQ score. We know it takes a few years for tight ends to develop and Smith started to play well in the second half of the season last year before an injury knocked him out the rest of the season.
He finished as a top 10 TE in four of his last five games last season and is going to be entering this season as a mere 24 year-old. While Delanie Walker is coming back, he is going to be entering his age-35 season and is coming off of a major injury. It’s going to be sooner rather than later that Smith is the top tight end in this offense and has the potential to be a very good one fantasy-wise as well.
Pick 258 (22.06): Kahale Warring
Kahale Warring is an above-average tight end prospect in basically all production and athletic testing available. He was drafted to an ideal situation with no significant tight end competition in Houston. In addition, Warring has good draft capital tied to him as a third-round pick as used to select him.
Warring may not be a Year 1 contributor, but he is a better prospect than any tight end on Houston’s roster. Within a couple of years, it’s totally reasonable to expect Warring to become the starting tight end and if given the opportunity, be productive.