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Fantasy Football Draft Targets: Kimani Vidal, Khalil Shakir, Jonathon Brooks, Hollywood Brown

A gamer’s draft slot can partially dictate their first few picks in fantasy football drafts. For instance, telling gamers to draft Christian McCaffrey isn’t helpful if they hold the 11th pick in 12-team leagues. Furthermore, the gamer who picks CMC should strongly consider picking at least one wide receiver with their next two picks or leave themselves thin at the position. With those considerations in mind, the following five players have an average draft position (ADP) after 36, the final pick in the third round of 12-team fantasy football drafts.

Fantasy Football Targets

There are also suggestions at various points throughout fantasy football drafts. In addition, none of the players have ADPs within 12 picks of one another. Thus, the suggestions don’t conflict, and gamers can realistically target all the fantasy football players in this piece.

Hollywood Brown (KC – WR): 77.7 ADP/WR37

Unfortunately, Hollywood Brown missed eight games in the previous two years and played banged up during some of the games he suited up in. He’ll get a fresh start catching passes from Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. Rashee Rice will presumably be suspended for a significant period, and rookie wide receivers haven’t hit the ground running in Andy Reid’s complex offense. As a result, Brown can carve out a significant role out of the gate.

When Brown was healthy for 16 games in 2021, he had 5.7 receptions per game, 63.0 receiving yards per game, six receiving touchdowns, a 22.2 TPRR%, 1.61 Y/RR and a 12.0-yard average depth of target (aDOT). Brown was the WR22 in half-PPR scoring that season and the WR22 in half-PPR points per game (11.8) among wideouts who played at least 10 games.

The speedster’s wheels will be welcomed into an offense that lacked a consistent field stretcher the previous two years. Yet, even with a 12.6-yard aDOT in his career, Brown has earned a 21.0 TPRR%. He’s had over a 20.0 TPRR% every season except his rookie campaign in 2019. If Brown stays healthy, he can smash in a similar role in rocket-armed Mahomes’s offense.

Jonathon Brooks (CAR – RB): 94.0 ADP/RB31

Jonathan Brooks was the first running back picked in this year’s NFL Draft and the only one chosen before the third round. In fact, the Panthers traded up to the 46th pick in the draft to assure themselves of Brooks’s services, and he almost certainly would have gone earlier in the draft if he wasn’t coming off of a torn ACL. Brooks tore his ACL in November but is expected to be medically cleared just before training camp. As the linked article notes, “there is a fair chance Brooks will be eased into the lead role.”

Fortunately, fantasy championships aren’t decided early in the season, and a ramp-up period is baked into Brooks’s ADP. The rookie running back was highly productive in his only season as a lead running back in college. According to PFF, among 157 FBS running backs with at least 100 rush attempts in 2023, Brooks was 12th in PFF’s run grade (91.9), 21st in yards after contact per attempt (3.91 YCO/A) and ninth in PFF’s elusiveness metric. He had 17.0 rush attempts per game, 103.1 rushing yards per game, 6.1 yards per carry, 10 rushing touchdowns, 29 targets (15.1 TPRR%), 2.3 receptions per game, 26.0 receiving yards per game, 1.50 Y/RR and one receiving touchdown.

Brooks is young and athletic enough to shake off the rust from knee surgery and recapture pre-injury form down the stretch, much like Breece Hall did in 2023. He’s also equipped to handle bell-cow duties, and Carolina’s new head coach, Dave Canales, wasn’t shy about force-feeding Rachaad White the ball last season when Canales was Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator. The risk is worth the reward of drafting Brooks slightly ahead of his ADP.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Khalil Shakir (BUF – WR): 120.3 ADP/WR54

It’s been a slow burn for Khalil Shakir since the Bills picked him in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He showed flashes as a rookie before battling for playing time early in the 2023 campaign with Deonte Harty and Trent Sherfield. The Bills eventually came to their senses in Week 7, the first game Shakir reached double-digit routes in 2023. Among 81 wide receivers targeted at least 35 times from Week 7 through the Super Bowl, Shakir was 30th in PFF’s receiving grade (76.2), 33rd in yards per route run (1.78 Y/RR), seventh in yards after the catch per reception (7.0 YAC/REC), first in receptions per target rate (88.2%) and first in QB Rating when targeted (138.4). On an admittedly underwhelming 11.5% target share, Shakir had 3.5 receptions per game, 49.7 receiving yards per game and three touchdowns during that period.

From Week 7 through the end of Buffalo’s season, Stefon Diggs had a 25.1% target share, and Gabe Davis had a 10.8% target share. There are ample targets for the taking. Dalton Kincaid, Keon Coleman, Curtis Samuel and a collection of dart throws the Bills took at wide receiver will soak up some of the vacated work, but Shakir should as well. The pass-catching hierarchy for the Bills is wide open.

Shakir can also get the job done against man coverage and zone. Among 85 wide receivers with at least 15 targets against man coverage in 2023, Shakir was 52nd in PFF’s receiving grade (68.0), slightly below average. He was also 31st in yards after the catch per receptions (5.4 YAC/REC), though.

Where Shakir truly shined was against zone coverage. Among the same sample of 85 wideouts, Shakir was 22nd in PFF’s receiving grade (78.9), 24th in yards per route run (2.08 Y/RR) and third in yards after the catch per reception (8.0 YAC/REC). Shakir is an exciting low-cost dice roll at a potentially prominent pass-catching weapon for Josh Allen.

Kimani Vidal (LAC – RB): 158.7 ADP/RB51

The Chargers waited until the sixth round in this year’s NFL Draft before picking a running back. Nevertheless, general manager Joe Hortiz gushed about Kimani Vidal.

Vidal was highly productive for Troy last season. Among 157 FBS running backs with at least 100 rush attempts in 2023, Vidal was tied for sixth in PFF’s run grade (93.2), second in missed tackles forced (94), 22nd in PFF’s elusiveness metric and first in 10-plus-yard rushes (47). The bowling-ball back was a workhorse, tallying 21.1 rush attempts per game, 118.6 rushing yards per game, 5.6 yards per carry, 14 rushing touchdowns, 1.3 receptions per game, 14.3 receiving yards per game and one receiving touchdown in his final collegiate campaign.

Additionally, while fantasy points aren’t awarded for stonewalling blitzing linebackers, effective pass blocking can help Vidal get on the field early in his professional career. Hortiz specifically mentioned Vidal’s pass-blocking ability in Josh Norris’s embedded tweet. Encouragingly, PFF’s data aligned with Hortiz’s assessment, suggesting it wasn’t presser fluff from LA’s GM. Among 71 FBS running backs with at least 15 targets in 2023, Vidal was PFF’s fifth-highest graded pass blocker (79.3).

The Chargers signed Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins in free agency. Both players have previously played for LA’s new offensive coordinator, Greg Roman. They’re familiar with his offense, but neither should be viewed as a shoo-in to retain the lead-back gig. Edwards had his lowest yards per carry (4.1) and worst PFF run grade (75.4) in 2023. He’s also old for the position (29 years old) and doesn’t contribute in the passing attack. Meanwhile, Dobbins tore his Achilles in Week 1 last year, and the track record for running backs successfully returning from that injury is lousy. Vidal is a high-priority late-round fantasy choice worth reaching 15 to 20 picks ahead of his ADP to select.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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