With our What to Remember, Rookie Roundups, Sleeper Breakout & Bust, and Player Profiles all behind us, it’s time to take a step back and take our foot off the gas… or not. This week is fantasy football draft week, though you could argue that every week is draft week. We start off by taking a look, round-by-round, and sorting out the biggest boom-bust picks as well as the safest picks, the floor picks. These guys aren’t the ones in your fantasy football draft who are likely to set the world on fire, but they are the ones likely to stick around your roster the longest. We start with the first three rounds of the fantasy football draft. We already looked at the safest picks in rounds one through three. Let’s keep that train a’rolling with rounds four through six.
Safest Pick, Round 4 – D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers (WR15, #37)
It’s weird to peg a guy who, so far, is a one-year wonder, as a safe pick, but that’s where we are. Zach Ertz is also in the running here, but I can’t let anyone ever see me countenancing taking a tight end in the fourth round. That’s heresy. So, we get the WR1 for a new quarterback in a new offensive system that added another wide receiver in the offseason. Boy, D.J. Moore sure sounds safe, doesn’t he!
He is. Don’t fret the new offensive system, and don’t fret Teddy Two Gloves. Teddy Bridgewater is better than all the quarterbacks that Moore played with last season after Cam Newton went down. Moore’s role in the offense protects him from the vagaries of potentially bad playcalling and potentially bad quarterback play. First, he is the short-area, high-volume, quick-strike player, with a career average depth of target just north of 10 and nine targets per game last season. That fits perfectly with Teddy Bridgewater’s career 7.1 yards per attempt. There is a lot of pitch and catch in Carolina’s future, and D.J. Moore should benefit from that.
Safest Pick, Round 5 – Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (QB5, #59 overall)
Russell Wilson is entering his ninth season in the NFL, and he is yet to end up outside the top-eleven at quarterback in any given season. He plays all of every year, is extremely efficient throwing the ball, runs the football, and is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Yet, by average draft price, he goes one pick behind Kyler Murray, who enters his second year in the league. Wilson is a guaranteed QB1 year-in and year-out and finished within the top-five at the position in four of the last six years, and two of the last three. Wilson is an easy, unsexy pick to make, but one you won’t regret making when you look back at the end of the season.
Russell Wilson is a metronome of fantasy football production, as well, finishing as QB12 or better at least seven times per year every year that he’s been in the league. He’s a set and forget QB1, going one pick behind someone who could blow up in a good way or blow up in a bad way, in 2020.
Safest Pick, Round 6 – Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team (WR27, #64 overall)
Terry McLaurin had an up-and-down rookie season, and when you look at his Dwayne Haskins splits, it doesn’t bode well for McLaurin in 2020. He was a top-ten quarterback in 2019 with Case Keenum, and barely a startable WR3 with Haskins. A lot of that has to do with the growing pains Haskins faced starting his career, as he threw four interceptions in his first 22 pass attempts en route to trending towards Big B Bust status. After their week ten bye, however, Haskins played… better. Still not great, but better. McLaurin benefitted from this, getting seven targets per game in this span which he turned into 4.3 catches for 70 yards per contest. He paced out for just five touchdowns, so his ranking was a little depressed, but his 1,125 receiving yards speak for themselves.
Fast forward to 2020, and Terry McLaurin is the only wide receiver worth noting on the Washington Football Team (what a silly name, but at least it isn’t a slur). He’s in line for 120+ targets this season and should carry one of the highest market shares of both targets and air yards. McLaurin should end up as a top-fifteen wide receiver on the power of weekly consistent volume alone.