2016 fantasy football players to reach for in drafts

Your spot in the draft order is coming up and there's a player you have your eye on. All of the fantasy draft analysts' rankings say it's a round too early to take him, but you're pretty sure there's no way he'll still be available at your next turn. Is he worth making the move for?

While it's never a bad idea to "get your guy", there are some players that are worth reaching for more than others. Here's a list of 10 players you shouldn't feel bad for selecting early.

All ADP numbers from NFL.com.

David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (Round 1, Average pick 6): Recently, I've taken up the mantra of "David Johnson no matter what" when it comes to my first round strategy. Yes, that even means with the No. 1 overall pick. I know there's been a lot said about the Zero-RB strategy recently -- and I find merit in the theory -- but there is still value in taking running backs early. You just to find the right one. Johnson's combination of size, speed, power and overall skill set put him on par with Todd Gurley. The difference is that Johnson is also a three-down running back in one of the NFL's most potent offenses. It's everything you could ask for in a fantasy running back and it's extremely scarce. Take advantage when and where you can.

Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers (Round 3, Average pick 26): Allen was on pace for 180 targets last season before injuries sidelined him for the year. It's a target number that likely would have landed him among the top 10 wideouts in fantasy and would have pushed his current draft price up a round or two. There's no reason he shouldn't see similar (or better) target totals this season and has the chance to challenge the top five players at his position. Why wouldn't you be willing to pay a higher price for that production potential?

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (Round 3, Average pick 27): Last year was undoubtedly a disappointment for Shady. He battled injuries for much of the year ... when he wasn't having touchdowns vultured by Karlos Williams. Now McCoy is healthy and doesn't have Williams to worry about. In fact, there isn't really much of anyone in Buffalo threatening to take Shady's sunshine. A talented, three-down back in an extremely run-heavy offense seems just like what the fantasy doctor ordered. That's certainly worth reaching into the second round for.

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers (Round 5, Average pick 49): Remember back in 2014 when Randall Cobb was the WR6 in fantasy? Yeah, back when Jordy Nelson was healthy and Eddie Lacy was built more like a tailback than a fullback. Guess what? Those days are back! Aaron Rodgers has the band back together and this time he has an athletic tight end to open things up in the middle of the field. It's everything a shifty slot receiver could want. Just ask Julian Edelman. Cobb might not finish in the top six this year, but if he's not in the top 15, something went wrong. Drafting him the third round doesn't seem like a bad deal.

John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals (Round 8, Average pick 76): In just his second season, Brown posted a 1,000-yard campaign while proving to be a legitimate deep threat. It might have been frustrating for fantasy enthusiasts to see so many of his targets end in pass interference calls, it does speak to how much Carson Palmer wanted to get the ball in his hands. Entering his third season, Brown appears poised for big things. After a top 25 finish last season, he has the potential to be a bona fide WR2 ... the kind you find well before the eighth round.

Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego Chargers (Round 11, Average pick 105): I know Gordon wasn't very good last year. I know Gordon didn't score a single touchdown last year. But that was last year. So far this year, he looks like the running back the Chargers initially thought they drafted. Any concerns over his microfracture surgery should have been allayed when the Chargers didn't make an offseason move for a running back. Those fears should have been completely put to bed with this catch and run. If he can build upon a strong finish from last year, he'll be worth taking in the single-digit rounds.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks (Round 11, Average pick 105):Tyler Lockett's rookie season bore a striking resemblance to the rookie campaign of John Brown. The two players have similar builds and skill sets and the Seattle offense in 2016 could be one of the league's more surprising attacks. With Pete Carroll putting more of the game into Russell Wilson's hands, this offense could throw the ball more than we've become accustomed to. A John Brown-like leap from Year 1 to Year 2 (and a potential top 25 finish) could be in the offing for Lockett.

Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens (Round 13, Average pick 127): There is a little bit of "who else is going to catch the ball?" involved in giving Aiken some shine on the draft board. But there's also the fact that the former undrafted player is just a talented wideout who earned the trust of Baltimore's quarterbacks as other wideouts went down with injuries. Right now, Aiken is the most reliable pass-catcher on a roster filled with offensive question marks. He's one of the few knowns in a bucket full of unknowns. I also know that he won't be around in the 13th round of plenty fantasy leagues.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings (Round 14, Average pick 134): Okay, so you waited a little too long and missed out on Kamar Aiken. No big deal, because Stefon Diggs is likely to still be sitting there. The Vikings are certainly eager to see what they have in Laquon Treadwell, but his potential role as a deep threat could be wasted on the underwhelming arm of Teddy Bridgewater. Instead, Teddy Two Gloves could find safety in Diggs' hands as he runs the intermediate routes the Vikings quarterback excels at. Diggs won't have the touchdown upside of a lot of receivers, but the yardage totals should be respectable. And as a fifth receiver, you could do far worse.

Jared Cook, TE, Green Bay Packers (Round 15, Average pick 148): Okay people, we need to talk. Richard Rodgers is actually being drafted slightly ahead of Jared Cook. Stop that. Cook is the tight end the Packers have sought since the forced retirement of Jermichael Finley. While Cook has disappointed fantasy managers time and again, he's now in the best offense he's ever been a part of and working with the best quarterback he's likely to ever have. It would be great if you really could wait until the last pick of your draft, but let's be honest ... someone else in your league is already clued in.

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Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Snapchat at marcasg9.

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