First Round Targets in Fantasy Football Next Year

First Round Targets in Fantasy Football Next Year

With NFL talk simmering down after the Super Bowl, let’s look at who I’m targeting in the first round of next year’s fantasy drafts.

Derrick Henry

Henry was so dominant two seasons ago that he was a genuine MVP candidate. He truly is one of the unique backs in the league, weighing in at 247 lbs and having a truck build (not literally). If there’s one thing you can rely on with Henry, it’s that he’ll get enough touches to produce on a consistent basis, which is a dream for fantasy owners.

While Ryan Tannehill is an excellent Quarterback, the Titans still love to pound the football through Henry, and he will pick up right where he left off next year. He’s always such a safe pick in fantasy, and there may not be any better options in a standard league.

Cooper Kupp

Especially in a PPR league, Kupp is impossible to ignore. He’s established such an impressive rapport with Matthew Stafford, who will finally be returning to the NFL next season with a ring. Kupp had the greatest Wide Receiver season in NFL history last year, winning the receiving triple crown (touchdowns, yards, and receptions), Offensive Player of the Year, and Super Bowl MVP, an unbelievable feat that he deserves recognition for.

While he likely will regress next year, if his stats look anything like they did last year, Kupp will be the best player in fantasy again. With OBJ likely returning for another year and Robert Woods coming back from injury, Kupp’s targets will decrease, and so will his fantasy points, but he will still be a stud.

Jonathan Taylor

Taylor burst onto the scene in some fashion this year for the Colts. His rushing touchdowns, yards, and carries all ranked first among running backs last season, which is no small feat.

Taylor is still so young at only 23 years of age and is, without a doubt entering the best years of his career. In a standard league, Taylor will likely be selected first by many.

Dalvin Cook

This Vikings running back always seems to fool the entire league into believing that he’s the best there is in his position. However, he always seems to get hurt when it matters most for fantasy owners.

His teammate, Justin Jefferson, is another player who could top many stat categories next year. I’d stay away from Cook, especially in the first few picks.

Ja’Marr Chase

Chase is another receiver on this list that performed excellently in the playoffs and Super Bowl. He finished his rookie regular season with 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, which is just unbelievable.

Deservedly so, he won Offensive Rookie of the Year, and I expect him to continue to terrorize the league with Joe Burrow. The most important thing for a receiver in NFL to have is a strong relationship with their QB, and the pair of men from LSU has that in abundance.

Davante Adams

With Adams entering free agency this year, a lot could change with his situation. If he stays another year with Rodgers, we can expect similar production from him that we’ve seen throughout his career, which means huge fantasy points.

If he makes a move to the Las Vegas Raiders, I believe he could form a scary partnership with Derek Carr, who has the confidence from the Raiders organization.

Deebo Samuel

Samuel is a true swiss army knife of offensive weaponry. Samuel had an incredible 2021-2022 season for the 49rs, both as a running back and receiver, and he still has his best years to come.

San Francisco will continue to utilize Samuel heavily next season, and he could become a fond weapon of Trey Lance’s. There is also a possibility that Aaron Rodgers will return to San Francisco, where he played in college. In that case, Samuel could dominate fantasy leagues.

Honorable Mentions

Austin Ekeler– An amazing dual-threat running back. Should only be targeted early in PPR leagues.

Justin Jefferson– With Adam Thielen still in Minnesota, I don’t think Jefferson can have a number one player in fantasy kind of year.

Christian McCaffrey– CMC will bounce back next season after being riddled with injuries. Too risky to take early, though.

Who Would I Take First?

In a standard league, I really think it’s hard to take anyone besides Derrick Henry first. While Taylor was phenomenal this year, there’s another back in the AFC South that will be looking to re-establish his dominance next year. Barring injuries, Henry is the safest fantasy player here by a wide margin.

In a PPR league, I can’t fault anyone for taking Cooper Kupp first; however, I’m looking at another Wide Reciever to give Kupp a run for his money next year. While you definitely won’t need to take this player first overall, I think that Ja’Marr Chase will be the best receiver in football next year.

His rapport with Burrow will only continue to strengthen, and I believe he could put up some serious numbers next year.

Between Henry and Taylor, one will go first in most leagues, but after they do, there is considerable value in targeting a receiver like Chase, Adams, or Samuel.

 


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