Darius Slayton Emerging as Steal in Early Fantasy Drafts

Jordan Cohn
May 29, 2020 - 1:34 pm
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The best wide receivers in the NFL are usually among the best wide receivers in fantasy football.

It wasn’t hard to predict that DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones and Michael Thomas were going to be good in 2019. They’ve posted monstrous numbers time and time again, they had developed a good rapport with their quarterbacks and they had acted as essential cogs in their respective offenses for years.

As such, they were taken at the top of the draft in 2019, and all three of them ranked as top 10 wide receivers in the league. Easy enough.

But joining them at the top of the fantasy leaderboards in 2019 were names like Chris Godwin (No. 2), DeVante Parker (No. 6) and A.J. Brown (No. 10). These guys were not drafted in the first or second rounds, no. Using NFL.com’s 2019 mock draft, which took place in July of 2019, Godwin was selected at the end of the fourth round, Parker was taken in the 13th, and then-rookie A.J. Brown was nowhere to be found.

If you drafted one of these guys, it’s likely that your team performed fairly well, so long as the rest of your WR corps after the draft wasn’t composed of, say, Antonio Brown and AJ Green. Getting top-10 value at any position at any point in the draft is a huge boost, and the impact those guys can have on your roster is increased exponentially if they were drafted later on or added as a free agent.

2020 will hold the same story, just like every other year. It’s inevitable that the projected top 10 wide receivers will not be accurately reflected at season’s end. It doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to draft one of the guys on this list and pass up on a more proven, reliable fantasy asset. But consider this a guide to some of the diamonds in the rough, or the names that are getting recognition, but not enough recognition and could realistically outperform expectations.

All draft data collected from Fantasy Pros PPR ADP rankings. All stats retrieved from Fantasy Pros and Pro Football Reference.

A.J. Green is hoping for a fully healthy 2020 season. Photo credit (Logan Bowles/Getty Images)
2020 could provide an opportunity for 2018 draft pick Anthony Miller to break out. Photo credit (Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Brandin Cooks' impressive speed could be especially dangerous in Deshaun Watson's offense. Photo credit (John McCoy/Getty Images)
D.K. Metcalf will look to build off an unexpectedly monstrous rookie season. Photo credit (Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Darius Slayton often looked to be Daniel Jones' favorite target in 2019. Photo credit (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Jalen Reagor could immediately become Carson Wentz's favorite WR to target. Photo credit (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Jarvis Landry continues to produce consistently in fantasy football. Photo credit (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
John Brown may not be able to replicate his 2019 numbers, but he should be able to outplay his average draft position. Photo credit (Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Matt Stafford and Marvin Jones have developed great chemistry after four years together. Photo credit (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Michael Pittman's 6'4" frame offers Rivers an option similar to Mike Williams. Photo credit (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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