Finally the top quarterbacks come off the board as Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are falling thanks to the depth at the position. To acquire these quarterbacks in years past, it would’ve taken a first-round pick, so consider both terrific value picks at this point in a 10-team draft.
21. Julio Jones
With Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez still in Atlanta, Jones will probably have his numbers suppressed, holding him back from contending with Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant and A.J. Green as the top receiver for fantasy leagues. That said, he’s not far behind and is a worthy top-five receiver.
22. Frank Gore
Don’t be surprised if the 49ers limit Gore’s carries to around 225 this year. Keeping Gore fresh for the playoffs will be a priority as they have Super Bowl aspirations.
Hey, if Gore could post over 1,100 yards and 10 scores back in 2009 on a bad 49ers offense with only 229 carries, why can’t he post similar numbers on a winning team with the best offensive line in football today? Still a quality player in the league, Gore is a solid RB2 option on draft day.
23. Demaryius Thomas
Still the top receiver in the Broncos offense, Thomas should have another WR1 season for fantasy owners. That said, the addition of Wes Welker to Denver puts him behind Johnson, Green, Bryant, Jones and Marshall but he’s still a terrific third-round pick.
24. Aaron Rodgers
It’s hard to believe Rodgers and Brees are both falling into the third round of drafts but I can understand why when you look at the depth at the quarterback position. Still, this is a nice landing spot for fantasy owners to pick up Rodgers, and I would recommend you select him if Jones and Thomas are off the board.
25. Randall Cobb
I think Cobb will have a terrific season, but I would probably go for Brees over Cobb at this point. Expect Cobb to lead the Packers in receptions and he could threaten for 100 receptions if things fall right for him.
26. Reggie Bush
The Lions really missed Jahvid Best in the offense as a big-play threat coming out of the backfield. While health issues will always be a concern for Bush, he’s worth taking as a low-end third-round pick in standard leagues and he could end up as a top-10 running back in points per reception (PPR) leagues this year.
27. Drew Brees
If Brees falls to this point in your draft, select him, get out of your chair and do a dance. This is a terrific value pick—I don’t care how deep quarterback is.
28. Darren McFadden
If you’re willing to go with a risk-versus-reward player at this point in the draft, I recommend you look to David Wilson, DeMarco Murray or Lamar Miller before you go with McFadden. The Raiders will be horrible this season and McFadden has missed at least four games, each year of his career.
29. David Wilson
Veteran running back Andre Brown will work in a committee with Wilson. While Brown is a talented player in his own right, he has a history of injury problems and we should consider it unlikely that he will hold up for an entire season.
This should be a breakout season for Wilson as opposing teams will focus on the passing game first, leaving Wilson with seven man fronts.
30. Larry Fitzgerald
The Cardinals had the worst offensive line in football, but upgrades this offseason and the addition of quarterback Carson Palmer will bring Fitzgerald’s numbers back to where we expect them to be. Coach Bruce Arians will do for Fitzgerald what he did for Reggie Wayne last season and we should expect a WR1 performance from the future Hall of Fame receiver.