Players to Target in Every Round of Fantasy Football Drafts

Aug 04, 2021
Players to Target in Every Round of Fantasy Football Drafts

For the last few months, the world has been returning to some semblance of normalcy. And while that might be threatened in some areas, what remains safe is the prospect of upcoming fantasy football drafts. August is the time of year when crunch-time hits, rankings shift, and we all make the fateful picks come draft day that will hopefully carry our team to fantasy football glory.

Other Useful Articles and Tools: Players to Avoid Every Round | Rankings | PPR Targets | Second-Year Targets

With that in mind, as I’ve done for a few years now, I took it upon myself in this article to go round-by-round, highlighting one of my favorite players to draft in that round. The players listed below are not the ONLY players to take in that round, but someone who is a value based on 4for4’s tools and analysis, factoring in my own personal preference of course. Since you may disagree with my choices, this year I added a new “Alternate Choice” section to each round where I highlight another player who is a value/great target in said round. I skipped Round 1 because for the most part, it’s pretty chalky, and I skipped the last few rounds (of standard-length drafts) as those should be reserved for kickers and defenses. ADP was based on 4for4’s ADP tool. For more ADP bargains, check out the ADP Bargain tool.

Round 2 – WR Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons

Ridley showed the football world his alpha-wide receiver quality last season, as he served as the team’s No. 1 for much of the season while Julio Jones was battling various injuries. Ridley finished top-10 among pass-catchers in targets (143), yards (1,374), and touchdowns (9), while his 90 receptions were good enough for 13th. With Jones now out of the picture (traded to the Titans) and a new head coach in town (former Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith), 2021 will officially be The Ridley Show.

While some may be concerned that Smith brings a less pass-happy offense with him to Atlanta, remember that Atlanta is lacking a regal figure in the backfield (Derrick Henry). Mike Davis is set to be the Falcons starting running back, and while he’s certainly a solid option for fantasy, he’s no King Henry. The top receiver in Smith’s Titans' offense last year, A.J. Brown, saw 22% of the team’s targets. Ridley had a 22.8% share last year. Ridley feels like a safe bet for a top-12 finish at his position and he’s 4for4’s projected WR3 as of right now, so his discounted Round 2 price tag is too good to pass up.

Alternate choice: WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings.

Round 3 – WR Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team

The third-round running backs look dicey, so why not lean heavy on the high-upside pass-catchers and nab a sleeper pick to finish as a top-five fantasy wideout in Scary Terry McLaurin. McLaurin has owned 19.4% and 22.1% target shares in the Washington offense the last two years, and nothing indicates his role as the alpha wideout in Washington has changed. While Curtis Samuel has arrived, so too has Ryan Fitzpatrick. The bearded gunslinger could be a fantastic addition for McLaurin, as Fitzmagic will not be afraid to sling it deep or into tight windows, trusting his speedy and frighteningly talented wideout. McLaurin has a solid target share floor with room to grow, and improved quarterback play around him paves a tangible path to a truly elite fantasy season.

Alternate choice: WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings.

Round 4 – RB David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

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