Non-Flashy Players To Help You Win Your Fantasy Football League
Sometimes flashy players with big upside can end up hurting your fantasy football team in the long run. A great example from 2020 is Tyler Lockett, who finished as the WR9 in fantasy points, but was extremely inconsistent throughout the season for fantasy managers.
Let’s take a look at some not so flashy players that will bring stability and consistency to your roster this season. Granted, these players will probably not give you big numbers at the position most weeks. However, I believe that they will be consistent enough for you to plug and play with little worry about a potential bust. These guys often are not that exciting to draft, but you know what to expect each week.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings
Good old Captain Kirk sneaks by me every year, but not this time! Cousins had just two games last season finishing outside the top 25. He is no Patrick Mahomes or Kyler Murray, but you will not have to pay that steep price to get him. Last season, Cousins was a top 12 QB over 56% of his games, and in comparison, Mahomes and Murray were top 12 QBs 66% and 68% of the time, respectively. According to PFF, Cousins ranked 8th in passing yards and 6th in passing touchdowns in 2020. The Fantasy Footballers have him at consensus ranking of QB14 this season. With the rising phenom that is Justin Jefferson, and the touchdown king, Adam Theilen to throw the ball to, he is a solid and consistent QB you can draft late this year.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans
Last season, Ryan Tannehill was in the top 24 every single week, and top 10 in eight different weeks. That’s the kind of consistency I can get behind. Unfortunately, now with the addition of Julio Jones, we may see Tannehill’s average draft position climb as the season gets closer. If you can get him at a value this season, pull the trigger.
Kareem Hunt, Browns
It was a joy to watch the Cleveland Browns pound the run last season. With the combination of that offensive line and the 1, 2 punch of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the Browns got it done on the ground. To get the “1” punch of the duo, you have to draft Chubb in the first round, currently at pick 7. However, the second part of the punch is just as substantial in my eyes, with Hunt’s current ADP at pick 46. In Half PPR scoring, Hunt averaged 12.5 fantasy points a game in 2020, and there were only two games where he did not finish as RB34 or better. While some of that production came in Chubb’s four missed games, Hunt’s fantasy production was about the same in the 12 games that both Chubb & Hunt were on the field together.
Mike Davis, Falcons
When CMC went down last year, we all got to see what Mike Davis had, and it wasn’t half bad. Of the 15 games Davis played in 2020, he was finished worse than RB35 in only three weeks. Two of those weeks were weeks that CMC played in and dominated. When Davis was the lead RB on the field, he played 66% of snaps and was a top ten receiver among RBs (373 receiving yards) and a consistent rusher. Now he is slated to be the lead RB for the Atlanta Falcons, a team without Julio Jones, looking for playmakers to step up. The Falcons were 14th in targets to the RBs last year. This, in addition to the fact that Davis is holding court with a backfield consisting of three other players who barely have 1000 career yards rushing in total, bodes well for him carrying the lion’s share.
John Brown, Raiders
The former Buffalo Bills WR has a new home this year, trading the snow of New York for the bright lights of Vegas. Granted, last year was a bit up and down for Mr. Brown, but through that, there were some significant glimmers. Even with Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and Cole Beasley catching passes from Josh Allen, Brown had over 450 receiving yards in nine games. That stat is not extraordinary, but what did stick out to me was the fact that Brown’s yards per reception were the second-highest on the team, according to PFF. It was higher than Stefon Diggs. Now in Las Vegas, joining pass catchers Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs, I believe he will improve on his receptions and yards. Waller will still be the number one receiving option for the Raiders, but I can still foresee Brown’s speed opening him up and helping him get a consistent catch rate this season. He’s a player you can get late with an ADP in the 13th round. Mike “The Fantasy Hitman” Wright identified him as a sleeper pick on the Early Sleepers & Values episode.
Marvin Jones Jr., Jaguars
When I look at winning rosters, I often see the name Marvin Jones Jr. In the 2020 season, Jones finished as a top 24 WR in over 31% of games, and in the last three years, that number is 29%. Last season, Jones played over 90% of snaps with Kenny Golladay sidelined for most of the season. Now after signing a two-year deal with Jacksonville, Marvin Jones is easily the most experienced WR for Trevor Lawrence to target. The best thing about Marvin Jones is that he’s always a value in drafts. His average draft position is currently in the 11th round, which is a few rounds later than DJ Chark and a round later than Laviska Shenault Jr.
The main point of drafting these non-flashy players is that you will get them at a value most of the time. I have never walked away from a draft saying, “Alright! I got Marvin Jones! Let’s DOMINATE!”. It’s more like, “Eh, alright, Jones will be fine.” These players perceived as boring can be drafted at a value late in drafts. Therefore, you will be able to capitalize on bigger targets at other points of your drafts. For example, maybe you are toying with drafting Travis Kelce in the first round, but you are concerned where this will leave the rest of your positions when it comes to depth. Drafting some of these players late should help ease that nervousness.
As we frequently hear from Jason Moore, “Don’t hear what I am not saying.” Most of these players mentioned above do not have a chance to be number one at their position. They are, however, in my opinion, individuals you can plug and play knowing you’ll get a solid point total from them week-to-week and a low probability of a goose egg. Additionally, having that amount of dependability on your roster allows you to make some riskier starts with other positions when you need upside.