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Fantasy Football Steals and Bad Deals

Chase Claypool, Cam Newton, and Melvin Gordon aren’t getting drafted early enough, say two fantasy football experts.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Are you looking to get value from your fantasy football draft?

We recently talked to two of the best experts in the business, Sky Guasco and Bobby LaMarco of the Candlestick Kids Fantasy Podcast. They gave us their takes on who to take earlier than their average draft position (ADP) and who to avoid.

You can listen on iTunes or using the player below:

Steals

Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: While Diontae Johnson is the WR1 for the Steelers, Claypool isn’t getting as much attention as he deserves, said Guasco. He pointed out that Claypool, who was WR29 at the time of recording, had 100 targets from Week 5 on last year. He also had a team-best 14.3 yards per reception.

Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots: Newton is now entering his second year since his shoulder surgery. He played in 15 of 16 games last year, “so he’s not an injury risk,” said Guasco. “Twelve rushing touchdowns, and his passing touchdowns have got to go up,” he said. While Newton was QB32, Guasco believes he could become QB16. Further, there’s “a brand new repertoire down the field in New England,” which makes the QB an “absolute bargain,” according to Guasco.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos: LaMarco said, “A lot of people are expecting Javonte Williams to be the clear number one, but that’s not the case.” He pointed out that Gordon was the twelfth best running back in fantasy football last year, but is now being drafted in the ninth round as RB32. Further, he noted, Teddy Bridgewater, who may win the starting QB job, targets running backs at a 8% higher rate than does Drew Lock, Denver’s quarterback last year. That means Gordon will be more heavily involved in the passing game.

Antonio Brown, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: “This guy just dusted himself off after not playing for a year and a half and was a top 24 receiver, and he’s now going outside the top 40,” LaMarco said. Indeed, Brown began shaking off the rust late last year, with his best game coming in the season finale. He caught 11 of 14 targets for 138 yards and two touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17.

Bad Deals

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts: Taylor is getting drafted in the first round, but Guasco said, “I love the player. Don’t like the situation.” That’s because QB Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson are injured.

Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants: Similarly, Guasco doesn’t like Barkley’s situation and is worried about his health.

Guasco also said he’d stay away from some running backs in later rounds, including: D’Andre Swift of the Detroit Lions, Miles Sanders of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Even though he’ll be splitting carries with James Robinson, he is now RB20 or the top half of the fourth round, said LaMarco. He mentioned that Darrell Bevell, Jacksonville’s new offensive coordinator, eased Swift into his role, and the rookie running back ended up at RB25, meaning that RB20 is the absolute ceiling for Etienne.

You can watch the entire interview with Guasco and LaMarco below: