By: Henry John @HankTimeSports
While the glitz and glam of the NFL Draft takes place on nights one and two, the majority of roster construction actually occurs on the third day when rounds 4-7 take place. Add in those players who go undrafted and sign with teams as free agents and there is a wide pool from which valuable Fantasy talent can emerge. Here are some names you might want to keep an eye on as training camps open and the 2020 season gets under way.
Check out the other NFL Draft Fantasy Reaction pieces here at the Fantasy Hot Read!
The question of whether or not lead Steelers back James Conner can stand up to the durability demands of being an every-down workhorse is still unanswered. With Jaylen Samuels being more of a pass-catching specialist and 2019 draftee Benny Snell more of a plodder than an asset, Pittsburgh’s fourth round selection Anthony McFarland is a name for Fantasy owners to know. McFarland averaged a wicked 6.7 yards per carry during his time at Maryland and also has a 1000-yard season on his resume. What’s more, any running back has the potential to produce behind the Steelers’ strong offensive line.
The Bills made headlines with their pre-draft trade for star wideout Stefon Diggs. Despite lacking a first-round pick as a result, Buffalo still managed to put together an impressive draft. UCF product Gabriel Davis was part of the haul in the fourth round. At 6’3” and 212 lbs., Davis presents another big target for quarterback Josh Allen, something the Bills lacked last year. Davis had a 1200-yard, 12-touchdown season in 2019 and finished with over 2400 yards in his entire collegiate career. He could parlay a roster spot into a solid role across from Diggs with speedsters John Brown and Cole Beasley working primarily over the middle.
Many were shocked that Antonio Gandy-Golden lasted until the fourth round of the NFL Draft. If not for this year’s exceptionally deep wide receiver class, he probably would’ve gone on Day 2. He joins a Redskins receiving corps that includes 2019 draft steal Terry McLaurin and third round selection Antonio Gibson. Washington will hope that the 6’4”, 220-pound Gandy-Golden will prove to be another gem. It remains to be seen who will be the Redskins QB, but whomever emerges should have a terrific young receiver group.
The trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans to the Cardinals shocked the NFL world. Houston since traded for veteran wideout Brandin Cooks to join Will Fuller and Kenny Stills, but Isaiah Coulter finds himself landing in a position of need with the Texans. The fifth-round selection measures 6’3” and 190 lbs. He made an impact playing his college ball at FCS Rhode Island and will look to claw his way into the mix with the Texans.
After piling up nearly 1200 yards in his final college season, Quez Watkins was part of the draft overhaul to the Eagles’ receiver group. He has the potential to be one of the steals of the draft after being a consistent force during his time at Southern Mississippi. Philadelphia was a team starved for WR production in 2019. Watkins will get his chance to prove himself alongside fellow draftees Jalen Reagor and John Hightower.
Eno Benjamin won’t have to travel far to begin his professional football career after playing at Arizona State in college. He won’t be the starter for the Cardinals, as that role belongs to Kenyan Drake. But aside from Chase Edmonds, Arizona’s RB depth chart lacks clarity. Coming off back-to-back 1000-yard rushing seasons, Benjamin figures to see some action during his rookie year and perhaps even more so going forward depending on how Drake’s contract situation shakes out beyond 2020.
Raymond Calais is a name that Fantasy Football players will want to know. While he may have been the second running back taken by the Buccaneers in the draft (Ke’Shawn Vaughn was selected in Round 3), the 5’9” 185-pounder will get his chance in what figures to be one of the NFL’s top offenses. Calais piled up 886 rushing yards on just 117 carries in his senior season at Louisiana, good for an astounding 7.6 yards per carry. His career mark was an even more impressive 7.8. The Bucs could have the best running game they’ve had in years to complement Tom Brady and the loaded aerial attack.
With Jordan Howard now in Miami, there is room to climb up the Eagles’ running back depth chart and be a factor behind Miles Sanders. While Boston Scott has the lead in the clubhouse on the heels of his late season showing a year ago, undrafted free agent Michael Warren II could well find himself on the Eagles roster heading into the season. Warren entered the NFL Draft early following his junior year. His final collegiate stat line at Cincinnati included nearly 3000 yards rushing and 34 rushing touchdowns. Should injuries again plague the Philadelphia backfield, Warren could have a major Fantasy impact.
Another player who saw his decision to enter the NFL Draft a year early backfire, Hunter Bryant ultimately signed with the Lions as an undrafted free agent out of Washington. He was projected by some to be among the top five tight ends in the class. With T.J. Hockenson underwhelming as a rookie in 2019 and veteran Jesse James being nothing spectacular, perhaps Bryant can find his way in Detroit.
Jared Goff is the clear starting quarterback for the Rams, but the competition to be his backup is wide open as offseason workouts and training camp loom. In fact, Bryce Perkins’ prime competition for the job will likely come from fellow undrafted free agent Josh Love. After throwing for over 3500 yards and rushing for nearly 800 last year at Virginia, the dual threat abilities of Perkins should be of intrigue to the Fantasy Football world that counts Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson among its most revered QBs.