Cooper Kupp, Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill, and Thomas Rawls are examples of rookies in 2017, 2016, and 2015 who weren't considered draftable before training camp, but often snuck into the second half of drafts during the final weeks of the preseason. Here are five players — three wide receivers and two running backs ranked in order of projected 2018 value — who could follow suit this August.
1. Keke Coutee: Fantasy football has to collectively adjust to the NFL embracing the college game with its offenses. The two teams that have done this the most in recent years have been the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans. Deshaun Watson leads a unit that has incorporated much of Clemson's offense into its scheme, and one of the focal points of the Tigers passing attack has been the slot receiver.
Even if the Texans didn't use Clemson as an influence, spread offenses often highlight the slot receiver as much or more than the split end — the subcategory of wide receivers who we think of at the top of NFL Drafts because they are big, tall, and fast. As offenses become more adept at beating base nickel packages, a slot receiver who can also do work in the vertical game and/or the perimeter has become an asset. Coutee is this type of player.
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