Let’s dive right into my four favorite gambles for this upcoming week’s drafting action:
QB Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints: The loss of wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) more severely impacts the fantasy football value of Jameis Winston rather than Hill. The do-all gadget player is an inferior passer in relation to Winston. Nevertheless, there are more ways for Hill to contribute, particularly with his feet — bonus points for most fantasy scoring rules. And Hill offers the rare receiving opportunity. He’s going with an average draft placement (ADP) of 16:01 in 12-team, PPR formats, which makes him an intriguing fringe QB2 or better No. 3 in best-ball setups. The weeks when he rattles off a few short touchdown runs or occasionally even throws multiple strikes will be disproportionately rewarding in this format vs. a traditional setup.
RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals: Reports out of Cincy say Perine is expected to see a larger workload in 2021, which should have your spidey senses tingling. He has finished just one full season in his four-year career, including Mixon’s 10-game absence in 2020. And it isn’t like he has suffered a fluke injury here or there. Mixon has missed games or been limited with injuries to both ankles, a shin, a knee, his chest, and a concussion, appearing on 17 injury reports in four years. Perine is his immediate replacement. While he won’t be much of a factor during the games Mixon is healthy, should something happen to the starter once more, Perine may come upon a lion’s share of carries as a player going in Round 16, on average.
WR Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles: Look, it’s more than fair to be skeptical, if not downright pessimistic. Reagor stunk as a rookie and has experienced a turbulent offseason, even failing a conditioning test following the death of a close friend. But we’re also talking about a starting receiver going in Round 15 here. His rookie running mate, DeVonta Smith, already is banged up, and the offense has little in the way of capable targets at the position behind Reagor. Last year was a disaster, sure, but the Eagles have a new regime and a fresh start. Deep threats tend to profile better as a best-ball options due to their inconsistent ways — but when they do hit, look out!
TE Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks: There’s no sugar-coating this one: Everett will be mostly useless in conventional fantasy leagues if the combination of Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Chris Carson remain healthy all year. However, all three of those guys are no strangers to injuries when going back to their collegiate days as well as more recent times. Everett could be a sneaky option in the red zone even if they’re all on the field. The former Los Angeles Ram knows the new system going in, and he will have a few appearances with double figures in PPR scoring. The issue in redraft leagues is knowing when to start him, which makes Everett’s situation appealing in lineup-optimized formats. The tight end may thrive should one of the top receivers miss serious time.