Five Must-Have Players In Rounds Seven Through Nine Of Fantasy Football

Tony Avelar/AP Photo

Five Must-Have Players In Rounds Seven Through Nine Of Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football

Five Must-Have Players In Rounds Seven Through Nine Of Fantasy Football

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Tony Avelar/AP Photo 

In rounds seven through nine, this is where some people would look to fill in the rest of their starting lineup. For someone who usually drafts tight ends and quarterbacks a few rounds later, this is where I would add upside and depth to my bench. Whatever your draft strategy is in these rounds, here are five players you need to draft that can win you your fantasy football leagues. 

5. James Cook 

As a disclaimer, James Cook is not a guy I would be willing to draft in a standard league whereas I love him in Points Per Reception leagues (PPR) which I will explain. Cook was drafted for a very specific reason. That reason is to catch passes out of the backfield. Devin Singletary was playing just okay in the passing game with 40 catches for 228 yards and a touchdown. However, judging from the success that other teams have throwing to their running backs, it was clear the Buffalo Bills wanted more. The Bills’ offense was phenomenal in all categories except yards after the catch where they ranked 19th. 

It is clear they want to fine-tune their already extremely explosive offense, and that starts with James Cook. He was drafted to fit a certain role in the offense, which is a chance not many rookie running backs get. He brings a lot to the table, especially in the passing game. In fact, 26% of his opportunities in college were pass-catching. In college, Cook put up 67 catches for 730 receiving yards and six touchdowns. This shows me that on limited opportunities, he was very efficient which will translate to an NFL level. If you are in a PPR league and in need of a plug-and-play running back or if you just want a running back three who has the upside to be a consistent running back two, James Cook is a no-brainer in this draft range.

 

4. Kenneth Walker III

Kenneth Walker is the Seattle Seahawks guy no matter how they paint it. I’ve talked about draft capital a lot and with Walker being taken 41st overall, it is hard to imagine the Seahawks not using him as a starter down the line this season. 

While the Seahawks did announce Rashaad Penny as the starter, Walker is the more talented back and his talent will win out in the backfield. I understand that Penny emerged late last season and recency bias does have a factor here, but the rest of Penny’s career has been mediocre when he’s healthy. 

Health has also been something that Penny has dealt with his entire career. In each of his last three seasons, he has missed at least seven games and has yet to play a full season in his career. If Penny’s injury-prone trend continues into 2022, once Walker gets the starting call, he will run away with the job. With the upside that Kenneth Walker has, he is a fantastic running back three option in round seven. 

 

3. Brandon Aiyuk

Brandon Aiyuk is a talented player and his issues not getting into games last season should be disregarded. As a rookie in 2020, Aiyuk posted a 60-748-5 line across 12 games which was very promising heading into 2021. After he struggled to get playing time and be involved in the first half of the season, Aiyuk ranked 16th among wide receivers in PPR points over his final 11 games with an average of 13.2 points per game. Whatever the real issue was behind why Aiyuk wasn’t getting the playing time you’d think he’d get, Aiyuk will enter 2022 as the surefire wide receiver two in the offense. 

The San Francisco 49ers offense is set to look very different compared to last season and that begins with Trey Lance under center. Deebo Samuel’s usage will change as he won’t be as involved in the run game because of Lance’s rushing upside. Plus the team will throw the deep ball more with Lance’s strong arm. With a developed connection between Lance and Aiyuk, the upside of Aiyuk’s talent will be unmatched in the eighth round. 

 

2. Trey Lance

For the next 49er on this must-have list, we have Trey Lance who has become my favorite quarterback pick in fantasy football this season. Every year we always see rookie/sophomore quarterbacks that come in and tell the whole world how much of a star they are. Let’s start with the confidence the San Francisco 49ers have in their 2021 third overall pick. The 49ers went to the NFC Championship Game just last season being led by Jimmy Garoppolo. Soon after, they let Lance take the wheel. Now he did struggle in the starts he had last season so the fact that the 49ers are so committed to him as their starter shows how much we should be committed to believing he’s a star. 

The two biggest things going for Lance are that he’s got the arm strength and the mobility that Garoppolo never had. Garoppolo averaged 7.4 air yards per attempt last season compared to Lance’s 9.1. Lance is also a guy that can take on 800 rushing yards this season giving the offense more efficiency and a pep in their step. 

Lance comes into a 49ers team already coming off success with elite weapons. Every other team with a starting quarterback from Lance’s draft class has zero expectations of making the playoffs. Lance was blessed with the team he landed on and if he can play to his expectations, he’s a steal at his round nine average draft position (ADP). 

 

1. Elijah Moore 

Elijah Moore is a guy I rarely leave my drafts without. His rookie season was underwhelming on the surface but understanding his specific circumstances, it was more promising than anything else. Last season, he posted 43 catches for 538 yards and six total touchdowns, including one rushing touchdown. However, Moore missed his final five games of the season with a quad injury. This injury came at the worst possible time because, in the weeks that led up to his injury, he was putting up top five numbers. In fact, between weeks seven and 12, Elijah Moore was the wide receiver three in fantasy points. Who knows where the rest of his season could have gone without the injury.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Jets went out with their 10th overall draft pick and took the second wide receiver off the board in Garrett Wilson. In most people’s minds, the addition of Wilson is bad news for Moore. It adds another guy to take away key targets and perhaps take over as the number one wide receiver on the team. I think the addition of Wilson means that Moore will have less attention on him leading to catching more passes. I don’t care that he plays for the Jets because Elijah Moore can realistically be a top 10 wide receiver that you can get in round seven.

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