Mock Draft: Players You Aren’t Seeing But Should Be Watching In Preseason

We all play in different types of fantasy football leagues; 8, 10, 12 or more teams, 2 QB, PPR, flex, decimal scoring, IDP, and about a million other formats. In regards to this article, I have been doing handfuls of mock drafts on different outlets to see if the opinion on certain players changes from site to site. I took notes, chatted with people on the message boards, and (as always) had a great time in my mocks. Today, I wanted to throw out a few names that I saw that were going late in mock drafts, or weren’t getting drafted at all. Since my bench is always made up of excess RB and WR, that is what this list will be made up of.

*For this article I focused on 10 team mock drafts. Some players in this article may be getting drafted in deeper leagues but are not currently being drafted in the majority of mock drafts that I have been a part of.

Kelvin Benjamin WR, Carolina Panthers:
Benjamin is entering the league after a huge year at Florida State where he caught 54 passes for 1,011 yards and 15 TD on their way to a BCS National Championship and undefeated season. Now with Cam Newton as his QB and Steve Smith gone, can Benjamin step up and be the real deal in the NFL? Currently going un-drafted in 10 team mock drafts, he would be one of the players that I will be targeting in the final rounds of my drafts while people crap-shooting for defenses and kickers. His skill set looks to translate into the NFL, and reports out of Carolina’s training camp is that he is force to be reckoned with. Every other number one wide receiver in the league will be drafted, why not Benjamin with his opportunity?

Andre Williams RB, New York Giants:
Williams is a name that will probably end up on draft boards in a few weeks, but for now, he’s flying under the radar. Coming off a good performance in the HOF Game, people started seeing what he could do in the open field. Tom Coughlin almost always has a running back committee but with David Wilson gone for the season, Williams looks to be in the running for snaps. Currently ranked 4th on the Giants depth chart, Williams is fighting against Michael Cox, Peyton Hillis and Rashad Jennings. Look for Williams and Jennings to be the two-headed monster when the Giants opens up the season. With how much the Giants run, both can make a fantasy impact for your team in 2014. With Rashad Jennings going around pick 60 in mock drafts and Williams around 135 in the latest ADP updates on ESPN, I would much rather have Andre Williams on my team, and will look to grab him later on in my drafts.

Marqise Lee WR, Jacksonville Jaguars:
If you watch football on Saturday afternoons, you have heard this name for the past few years tearing up the field at USC. Marqise Lee is 22 years old and stands 6 feet tall, weighing 192 pounds. Drafted 39th by Jacksonville this year, Lee looks to take the place of Justin Blackmon who can’t seem to get it together since joining the Jaguars. Lee is coming off an injury that took away much of his 2013 season at USC but in 2012 Lee had 118 catches for 1,721 yards and 14 TD. Lee has the potential to be a breakout star in this league for years to come. In keeper and dynasty leagues I would be looking to take Lee, and in redraft leagues, why take a backup QB when you can take a chance on a couple guys at the end of drafts? Last year, when people were taking their second QB, other owners were taking a shot on WR like Keenan Allen and Alshon Jeffery. Those are the owners who currently polish their fantasy football trophies.

Devonta Freeman RB, Atlanta Falcons:
Since I began this article with a Florida State WR, I thought we would end with a Florida State RB. Currently being drafted as the RB55 in ESPN mock drafts and also currently 4th on the Falcons depth chart, Freeman might end up being the starter on week 1 when the Falcons face off against the Saints. Atlanta’s current number one RB is Steven Jackson, who is coming off injury and cannot be trusted to suit up over the course of the entire season. The latest news from the Atlanta Falcons’ website is that he should be ready for week 1, but face it  Steven; you are old. You are 31 years old and have a lot of mileage on those wheels. It’s time to let the rookie grab the reigns. Other tailbacks on the Falcons roster include Jaquizz Rodgers, which is about the most fun name in the NFL, but it doesn’t mean that he can be the answer. The Falcons also have Antone Smith (also from Florida State), who had 5 carries in 2013. He did take two of them in for scoeres, but he is also 28, and does not have the track record on a team looking to bounce-back from a terrible 2013 season. That leaves Freeman, who might have some room to run now that we will see the pass game open up with Julio and Roddy both back and looking healthy. Freeman is worth a look a stash in deep leagues.

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!