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5 Late-Round Lottery Picks

Aug 23, 2016

Tim Hightower helped some owners in 2015 win their championship and he could be a late-round gem again in 2016

Tim Hightower helped some owners in 2015 win their championship and he could be a late-round gem again in 2016

Unlike the real NFL draft, where the last picks are likely to do nothing, it’s still possible to find a quality player that could set your team apart in the last rounds. Take for example last year where Blake Bortles was the 26th ranked quarterback prior to the season starting or a backup like DeAngelo Williams was the 180th overall ranked player. If you’ve been playing fantasy football for a while, you should be well aware that there are no throw-away picks.

So whether you are a new or experienced fantasy footballer, we asked our featured experts to name their late-round lottery ticket so that you have a few players to consider grabbing at the end.

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Pick Recap

Expert Player Position Team ECR
Sablich Brothers – The NY Times Tim Hightower RB Saints 187
Mark Ross – Athlon Sports Tajae Sharpe WR Titans 185
Matt De Lima – ScoutFantasy Will Tye TE Giants 186
R.C. Fischer – Fantasy Football Metrics Zach Zenner RB Lions 244
Walton Spurlin – FantasySharks Jared Cook TE Packers 177


Q. Name one player beyond ECR 160 that you will be targeting as a late-round lottery ticket and tell us why.

Tim Hightower (RB – NO)
“Just because he’s only an Ingram-injury away from being extremely fantasy-relevant doesn’t mean he should only be targeted by Ingram owners. The man won many a championship for lucky owners late last season after he ascended to the Saints’ starting RB role. In Weeks 14-17, only David Johnson had more standard fantasy points at the position than Hightower. Take him before the Ingram owner does, especially if you don’t like that person to begin with.”
Sablich Brothers (The NY Times)

Tajae Sharpe (WR – TEN)
“It’s always risky to trust a rookie, but when it comes to someone you can draft late who could end up providing a nice return, I like Tajae Sharpe. The Titans’ fifth-round pick, Sharpe should get every opportunity to produce, especially considering the recent trade of failed 2015 second-rounder Dorial Green-Beckham. While the jury may still be out on Marcus Mariota as an NFL passer, the opportunity is clearly there for Sharpe to emerge as Tennessee’s No. 1 WR given the fact that no one else at the position on the roster caught more than 43 passes last year (Rishard Matthews with Miami). A fairly safe bet to start in Week 1, I think Sharpe offers WR2 upside and at a minimum, should be a reliable WR3.”
Mark Ross (Athlon Sports)

Will Tye (TE – NYG)
“I’m a big believer in fading the TE position. Gems always emerge from out of nowhere at the position and value can be found very late in drafts. Some drafts I may not even think about a TE until Round 13 or beyond so with that in mind, one late-round TE I’m monitoring is New York Giants TE Will Tye. The Giants have been churning out decent TE production for many years. If he doesn’t pan out after a week or two, cut him and move on to Denver’s Virgil Green or San Francisco’s Vance McDonald.”
Matt De Lima (ScoutFantasy)

Zach Zenner (RB – DET)
“I’m not leaving the draft without FantasyPros expert consensus #240+ overall ranked Zach Zenner. Late in a draft, I want to take shots at a team’s backup running back who I believe is more talented all-around than the team’s current starting running back. Looking around the NFL – I think there is one clear backup running back coup coming for fantasy – and that’s Zach Zenner overtaking Ameer Abdullah. Abdullah is not built to be a lead running back. He’s 205-pounds, shifty, but with below-average speed (4.60 40-time)… and most critically he has terrible hands – tiny 8.6″ hands. He fumbled 23 times in college, losing 16 of them. Last season, he fumbled four times, losing two of them. And we all know he was a general disappointment last year as a runner on top of ball security issues. Zenner outplayed Abdullah in the 2015 preseason, and by Week 5 last year, Zenner had pushed his way into the lead running back picture. Unfortunately, he then broke his ribs and was lost the rest of the season. What might have been if Zenner had stayed healthy – it wouldn’t even be a debate right now. Give it a few weeks, Zenner will be the Lions’ #1 RB at some point soon in 2016.”
R.C. Fischer (Fantasy Football Metrics)

Jared Cook (TE – GB)
“I am all in on TE Jared Cook of the Green Bay Packers as a late-round selection with huge upside. Cook finally gets to play with a top QB in Aaron Rodgers and can create mismatches all over the field. The Packers have lacked a playmaker at the TE position ever since Jermichael Finley injured his neck. Cook put up top-12 numbers as recently as the 2013 season with Sam Bradford and Kellen Clemens throwing him the ball. Rodgers will be excited to utilize his new weapon at TE this season and I see Cook posting low-end TE1 numbers.”
Walton Spurlin (FantasySharks)

Thank you to the experts for naming their lottery tickets. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and leave your comments below. For more advice check out our podcast.

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