As fantasy football players, we all face critical draft day decisions. This article series is intended to help you see my decision-making analysis when I am on the clock in a draft. I already took a look at the decision at 1.04, next up is 2.10, a pick near the end of the second round. According to recent ADP, the best players on the board at that position are Chris Olave, DeVonta Smith and Derrick Henry.
Let’s do a deeper analysis of each before I make my selection:
WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
I was extremely impressed with how well Olave played as a rookie last season. Let’s not forget that his starting quarterbacks were Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston, and Michael Thomas never suited up after Week 3. Olave is a terrific route runner who has an excellent way of finding the gaps in the defense and taking advantage. In fact, his catch rate against Cover 1 (man defense) was eerily similar to his catch rate against Cover 2 (zone defense). The Saints brought in Derek Carr this offseason and paid him a ton of money to be their new starting quarterback. Carr will add stability to the position and should enjoy throwing in a dome. I also expect that Michael Thomas will return, which will make it harder for opposing defenses to double-team Olave. Olave’s star is on the rise, and he could easily find his way to 1,000+ receiving yards and double-digit TDs.
WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Something clicked in Week 13 for Smith in 2022. Prior to Week 13, he had just one game with more than 100+ receiving yards. After Week 13, he had five games with more than 100 receiving yards, including 100 yards on seven catches in the Super Bowl. Occasionally it takes young receivers a little bit of time to figure out the speed of the professional game, and the great ones get better as the years go on. The Eagles look to be well-equipped to make another Super Bowl run, and this year they will have to step up their game even more as their schedule will be decidedly more difficult. Smith benefits greatly from seeing plenty of one-on-one coverage due to A.J. Brown being on the opposite side and Dallas Goedert manning the middle of the field. I expect Smith to continue to improve and build on his success in 2023.
Derrick Henry, Tennesse Titans
Derrick Henry has been supposed to decline for the past few seasons, yet he still produces excellent fantasy numbers. Ryan Tannehill is back and healthy, the Titans brought in DeAndre Hopkins to pair with Treylon Burks to give a fresh look to the passing attack, and they drafted Tyjae Spears to be a backup for Henry. Can Henry continue at his current pace? I believe the answer is yes. The Titans gave Hopkins a two-year deal which seems to me that they think the team has a two-year window left to try to win a Super Bowl. I will bet on Henry to produce once more.
All three are good options, but who would I take?
I would lean Olave by a hair over Smith. What pushes me toward Olave is that he is so good against any type of defensive coverage, and he plays in a dome for half of his games, so you never need to worry about inclement weather. Henry is a terrific player as well, but I think there are similar running backs that I can take in the third and fourth rounds, and I prefer running backs who catch more passes, especially in PPR formats.
My pick at 2.10 is Chris Olave.