(CBS San Francisco/CBS Local Sports) — This is the last weekend before the NFL regular season starts, and the last weekend for fantasy football drafts. With recent news around the League, draft boards are changing, or at least they should be. As you prepare for your draft and the upcoming season, the CBS Sports HQ Fantasy Football Today crew is here to help you make sense of it all.
Duke Johnson’s average draft position is rising. The Cleveland Browns traded the running back to the Houston Texans earlier this month, putting him behind Lamar Miller on the depth chart. In the third game of the preseason, Miller blew out his ACL, making Johnson the Texans’ starter. The offense will still flow through Deshaun Watson, but Johnson will get the bulk of the carries.
Dante Pettis’s average draft position is falling. Showing potential while battling through injuries as a rookie, he looked like he could become the San Francisco 49ers’ most talented wide receiver. But an inconsistent preseason going into his second year shows he is still struggling to deliver on that potential. How much trust will 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan have in a receiver that lacks motivation? Possibly less than he lets on.
The biggest story of the preseason has been Andrew Luck’s retirement. Luck, a top fantasy quarterback when healthy, is obviously no longer an option. Jacoby Brissett is now the starter in Indianapolis and, while serviceable, he is less likely to put up the big numbers. What does that mean for the Colts’ position players, like Eric Ebron, Marlon Mack, and T.Y. Hilton? You can probably guess that their average draft positions are falling.
Duke Johnson, RB, Houston Texans
“The arrow is definitely pointing up. I’m not sure if he’s risen high enough yet. I’ve seen him in the fourth round of a few drafts. It’s going to be very interesting over the next week to see who the Texans bring in to share work. But I do see Johnson as a top-20 running back in PPR, more of a number three or flex in non-PPR. One thousand yards should not be taken off the table.” –Heath Cummings
Darwin Thompson, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
“If he [Damien Williams] stays healthy, you’re going to see him [Darwin Thompson] as a backup and change-of-pace guy. But you’re not drafting him for that. You’re waiting for Damien Williams to get hurt or to stink. I remember the good old days when we were drafting Darwin Thompson round 11, round 12. He’s now a round-eight pick. Tons of upside if he is the guy who eventually replaces Damien Williams in that amazing Kansas City offense.” –Dave Richard
Josh Gordon, WR, New England Patriots
Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers
“The fall exists. I wouldn’t take him in round six anymore. Remember those old commercials, ‘I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up’? Dante Pettis can still get up. There’s plenty of room for him in this San Francisco offense. They’ve been trying to motivate him. I still think he’s the most talented pass catcher there. I’m perfectly happy — in fact, thrilled — to take him in the 10th round.” –Heath Cummings
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
“I think he’s going to average around 10 touches per game, and maybe half of them are going to be catches. And that might be nice in PPR. But he’s no longer that fantasy darling that you take in round five or round six. I would look at him in round seven in PPR and maybe even round eight in non-PPR. David Montgomery is for real. He’s going to get over 250 touches and score a bunch of touchdowns in this awesome Chicago Bears offense.” –Dave Richard
Eric Ebron, TE, Marlon Mack, RB, T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts