TJ's Targets: 24 Players I Want in Every Fantasy Football Draft
The vast majority of fantasy football drafts happen in the one or two weeks leading up to the season, but I’ve been drafting since spring. With upwards of 100 drafts under my belt, the following is a list of the players I’ve drafted the most and am still drafting, or have started targeting heavily in recent drafts.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles
Arguably the most important offseason move all year was the trade of A.J. Brown to the Eagles. After Jalen Hurts finished tied as 2021’s QB6 on a points-per-game basis, the third-year quarterback now has one of the best pass-catching trios in the league with Brown joining second-year star DeVonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert.
Brown runs a full route tree and has ranked in the top six at his position in yards per route every year of his career while pacing for at least 25% of targets in each of his last two seasons. While Smith didn’t put up huge fantasy numbers last year, he had one of the most impressive rookie seasons by any wide receiver in recent history, as just the fourth rookie in the last five years with a target share of at least 20%, more than eight yards per target and over two yards per route run. Throw in Goedert, who tied for the league lead at his position in yards per route run last year, and Hurts couldn’t ask for more.
Hurts struggled as a passer late in 2021, but a lot of that coincided with him losing a third viable pass-catcher after Zach Ertz was traded. In fact, through the first seven weeks of 2021, the Eagles ranked in the top 10 in passing rate in neutral game script. The acquisition of Brown points to a desire for the Eagles to throw more than they did last season—if that comes to fruition, Hurts has the type of efficient pass-catchers that can carry him to the overall QB1 season. It doesn’t hurt that Philadelphia has the easiest schedule in the league.
Across all platforms, Hurts is going off the board as the QB6, 54th overall. That ADP is a bit too high, so I’m hoping Hurts slips to the sixth round when I’m drafting in a 12-team league. If that doesn’t happen, there are alternatives available later.
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