• Marc Shannep

My Guys

So, what’s a 'My Guy?' It’s more than just someone you think will be good for fantasy. We’re talking about the players you can’t stop drafting; players who could crush their draft capital and send you on your way to become aKnockout Champion. These players often come with risk, but you believe. It’s the players you’re tying your fantasy fortunes–nay, reputation–to, and the ones you’ll hang your hat on.

QB - Jalen Hurts (PHI)

Yahoo! ADP: 4.07 / QB6 -- My Rank: QB6

Hurts finished as the QB6 in 2021 with only 16 passing touchdowns, and now A.J. Brown is in town. Hurts has more rushing attempts per game than Lamar Jackson, and Hurts’ ADP sits behind Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert. Let’s compare Jalen Hurts to fantasy darling Patrick Mahomes. Since Hurts became a starter, he has the same fantasy points per game (21.3 fppg), top-12 fantasy finishes (13), and weeks scoring more than 25 fantasy points (6). In that same span, Hurts has had fewer interceptions (12 vs. 17) and games with less than 15 fantasy points (3 vs. 5). To top it all off, Mahomes just lost Tyreek Hill, and Hurts has a new WR1 in A.J. Brown. With proven fantasy performance and an ADP three rounds later than Mahomes, Hurts is a league-winning steal in the sixth round.

QB - Lamar Jackson (BAL)

Yahoo! ADP: 4.07 / QB4 -- My Rank: QB3

Lamar Jackson had a season to forget in 2021, as he dealt with a plethora of injuries/illnesses and regressed immensely as a passer. Despite all his shortcomings as a passer, Jackson still finished the season seventh in fantasy points per game 21.3. Jackson may never recapture his 2019 rare MVP form when he averaged north of 28 fantasy points per game, but a 22-point per game average seems like his norm based on his last two years of fantasy production. In 2020, he led all QBs in fantasy points per dropback. That cements him as a clear-cut top-5 fantasy QB.

RB - Rhamondre Stevenson (NE)

Yahoo! ADP: 8.02 / RB31 -- My Rank: RB36

Stevenson experienced a very successful rookie season that should not be overlooked. After fully escaping the Bill Belichick doghouse in Week 9, Stevenson earned top grades across the board. Stevenson also ranked 13th in rushing yards and in yards per route run (1.41). For fantasy, the rookie running back was the RB25 in total points scored, eight spots behind his backfield teammate Harris. There's a high ceiling for Stevenson, especially if you ask former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich. The ESPN analyst went as far as saying that Stevenson "...will be one of the better, if not one of the top three, running backs in the league based on what I saw with his strength, explosion and catch-and-run ability."

RB - Kenneth Gainwell (PHI)

Yahoo! ADP: 11.12 / RB49 -- My Rank: RB44

Taking a flier on Kenneth Gainwell is a bet on his pass-catching chops in the Eagles offense. The Memphis product finished sixth in yards per route run, hauling in 38 of his 50 targets for 302 receiving yards. And in 5 games where he played at least 35% of the snaps, Gainwell averaged 17.5 fantasy points (PPR) and 4.2 catches per game on just 12.4 touches per contest. Among the Eagles' crowded backfield, Gainwell playing on third downs as the primary pass-catcher provide him weekly standalone value. But there's always a chance he eats more into work on early downs and in the red zone entering Year 2. The team's leader in red-zone touches from last season (Jordan Howard, 24) is no longer on the roster. Gainwell scored five touchdowns from inside the 20-yard line last season. I love his upside!

WR - Courtland Sutton (DEN)

Yahoo! ADP: 6.07 / WR18 -- My Rank: WR13

Courtland Sutton has everything you want in a top receiver. He broke out his sophomore season, going for 1,100 yards and six touchdowns in 2019. Sutton is only 26 years old and just signed a contract extension in 2021. At 6’4″, 215 lbs, he’s a dominant downfield threat and was 2nd among wide receivers in average depth of target. The issue with Sutton has been quarterback play. Mr. Unlimited Russell Wilson is now in Denver, and “the juice is just different” now. Russ always has at least one top-15 wideout and has the most end zone pass attempts in the NFL since 2018. We haven’t seen Jerry Jeudy show that he can be a top receiver, and Sutton’s deep ball skill set matches nicely with Wilson’s love for the moon ball. He’s a good wide receiver who finally has a good quarterback, so don’t overthink it.

WR - Mike Williams (LAC)

Yahoo! ADP: 5.05 / WR16 -- My Rank: WR10

Mike Williams got off to an incendiary start in 2021– he was the overall WR1 through Week 5 and finished as the WR10 despite some nagging injuries. He’s being drafted as the WR19, despite signing a 3-year, $60 million extension as the explosive option in a Justin Herbert-led offense. Reports out of camp are encouraging, with Williams adding intermediate route running to his deep ball threat. Herbert should throw for 40 touchdowns, and Williams is the perfect type of player to inject week-winning volatility into your lineup. Williams only secured four-of-fourteen endzone targets, so he could be in line for some serious positive touchdown regression. He’s a huge value for where he’s being drafted, and his 2022 could be even better.

WR - Michael Pittman Jr. (IND)

Yahoo! ADP: 3.12 / WR9 -- My Rank: WR9

In 2021 Pittman became one of only seven second-year wide receivers since 2010 to post an 85 rec/1,000 yd /6 TD season, putting him alongside names like A.J. Green, Odell Beckham Jr., and Josh Gordon. Pittman saw 129 targets last season and is the clear-cut No. 1 in Indianapolis. And he’s getting a QB upgrade. Only 99 of Pittman’s 129 targets were deemed catchable from Carson Wentz, which ranked 44th in the league among receivers. Matt Ryan has a long history of supporting WR1s and should still have enough left in the tank to help Pittman finish as an elite receiver in 2022.

TE - Kyle Pitts (ATL)

Yahoo! ADP: 4.02 / TE3 -- My Rank: TE3

If Kyle Pitts' ADP is lower than it was in 2021, he will be a screaming value. At just 21 years old, Pitts finished third among tight ends in receiving yards (1,018) through 17 weeks of the season. The rookie fell short of lofty preseason expectations, as he scored just one touchdown. Any other pass-catcher that compiled at least 1,000 receiving yards caught at least four touchdowns. With positive regression for Year 2 in his favor, draft the uber-talented Pitts aggressively everywhere in 2022.