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Target Practice v2: Players to Target at Different Stages of the Draft

An updated look at values, sleepers and players that you should be targeting as your draft unfolds. 


In every draft, I am armed with two things: a tiered ranking sheet and a list of players I’m targeting in each round. Then as the draft plays out, I’m crossing guys off both lists as they go off the board, allowing me to have a big picture view of the draft as it unfolds, while still being able to track my guys.

This article is a compliment to my Tier Rankings.  While my Tier Rankings provides you with how I view all the players, this article shows you which players I am targeting in those tiers. 

Additionally, I say this every year, it is important for you to get your guys as opposed to just taking players that may fall to you. By just taking players, even using a tiered ranking sheet, you will often end up with a team consisting of Kelvin Benjamin and Matt Jones instead of Marvin Jones and C.J. Anderson. It’s okay to reach for players if they are your guys, as long as you are not reaching too much. That’s where ADP and tiered sheets come in handy. For instance, a friend recently heard the buzz about Frank Gore, so he grabbed him in the 5th round. I’m all for Gore this year, but with an ADP in the 7th, you don’t need to reach for him two whole rounds early to get him.

With that in mind, here are guys I’m targeting in each range, keeping in mind that I am not necessarily down on any player not listed here, but these are the guys that are in my sites as the draft unfolds.

Last note, these ranges are listed according to current ADP (Average Draft Position) and not as I rank them. Once again, make sure to check out my Tier Rankings to see how I actually have them ranked.

Players Removed Since Last Version:

  • Ezekiel Elliott – Love the talent, but I have a feeling Alfred Morris may steal more redzone touches than many predicting behind this big offensive line. I'm fine with him late first round, but not targeting him. Great grab in the second. 
  • Matt Forte – Brutal opening schedule on the ground for the first six weeks, should still return decent PPR value, but not someone to overly target.
  • Duke Johnson – I love the talent, but in the 5th round he’s being over drafted. Trusted beat writers have stated often that Crowell going to get a lot of work in this offense and now the looks of a solid passing game too.
  • Torrey Smith – Despite increase in targets, he isn’t a receiver who truly commands the ball. Some beat writers have predicted he doesn’t catch more than 60 passes.
  • Coby Fleener – Despite amazing situation, he has been floundering in camp. I still like him, but now going above guys like Delanie Walker and even Kelce sometimes.
  • Ladarius Green – Ankle and possible concussion issues may land him on PUP to start the season. Hoping he returns. 
  • Jordan Howard – Despite opportunity for a role, having a very quiet camp. More of a deep stash to be patient with since Langford is certainly not their answer on the ground.
  • Sammie Coates – Currently their WR 4 or 5. Just doesn’t track passes well. We've seen many gifted athletes like him flounder because of what's in their head. 
  • Blaine Gabbert – He is losing the quarterback job to Kaepernick without Kaep even practicing.
  • Keith Marshall – After a strong start to camp, he is now 4th on their depth chart. Another running back to monitor but not over draft.
  • Josh Ferguson – After flashing in OTA’s he’s got a ways to go. Could land on their practice squad.
  • Jaelen StrongWill Fuller and Braxton Miller have seemed to have passed him by.
  • Jace Amaro – Still has a shot, but would be good to see him actually perform well in a pre-season game. 


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