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12 Late-Round Lottery Tickets (Fantasy Football)

by Clinton Ho
Jun 29, 2017

It’s a perfect situation for rookie Marlon Mack to make a big splash this season

Every year, there are at least a few players who get taken at the end of drafts (or aren’t drafted at all) that make an impact beyond anyone’s expectations. Consider Davante Adams, Tyrell Williams, or Jamison Crowder last season. They were all dart throws and fortunately for their owners, they did more than just stick to the board. You’re in essence winning the fantasy lottery by getting so much in return for such a little cost.

Now millions of Americans find out every day just how hard it is to win the Lotto, but that doesn’t have to be you. I mean, after all, you are only competing against 9-13 people and not the millions trying to pick random numbers coming from ping pong balls (they still do that, right?) I digress. The point is, picking the right players with your final draft picks doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. We’ve asked our featured pundits below who they feel are quality late-round pickups.

Name one under-the-radar RB that you plan to target in all drafts as a late-round lottery ticket and why?

Marlon Mack (IND)
“Mack is an explosive back waiting in the wings in Indianapolis. Frank Gore is 34 and Robert Turbin is Robert Turbin. My favorite Mack stat is this: Six of his 15 rushing touchdowns for South Florida last season went for 43 yards or more.”
– Sablich Brothers (5th Down Fantasy)

Jacquizz Rodgers (TB)
“When it comes to an RB lottery ticket this year, I’m gonna go with the scratcher that is almost a can’t miss… at least an almost can’t miss for the first three weeks. Rodgers is being completely ignored despite the fact that he was pretty stinking good when handed the starting gig for Tampa Bay last year. Doug Martin is suspended for the first three weeks. Charles Sims is not the answer for early downs. Why not run Rodgers into the ground those first couple weeks? He was given at least 15 carries in the games he started. That kind of running back volume is not generally available at the end of drafts.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

DeAndre Washington (OAK)
“Washington is a player who I’ll snag in leagues with deeper benches, as he’s the definition of a lottery ticket. He was highly sought after this time last year and wound up averaging 5.4 yards per carry on 87 carries. There were just three running backs with as many carries as him with a higher yards per carry: Mike Gillislee, Bilal Powell, and LeSean McCoy. If 31-year-old Marshawn Lynch’s body breaks down (as it did in 2015), Washington will be a player most run to the waiver wire to grab.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

D’Onta Foreman (HOU)
“The edge in fantasy football has been lost a bit by the advent of sites such as our very own FantasyPros. I have a hard time targeting on just one late-round running back as the diamonds in the rough tend to get more attention than steady solid starters these days. I like to diversify quite a bit with the long shots in my draft. One long shot I tend to be grabbing a bunch of, right now, is D’Onta Foreman of the Houston Texans. His ECR of 186 in FantasyPros’ ranks has him regularly available at the end of drafts. Foreman was a late bloomer at Texas, as he didn’t see a featured back role until his junior season. His combination of size and speed are extremely enticing when you compare him to the starter in Houston, Lamar Miller. Miller had a rough year last year as he struggled to miss tacklers with the weight he added onto his smaller frame. I believe the Texans will try to protect their young QBs in Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson by running the ball and relying on their defense. Foreman has shown excellent pass protection skills, but he needs to be coached up on how to handle the ball more securely. ”
– Dennis Esser (Coach Esser)

Charles Sims (TB)
“Of all the players ranked below #150, Charles Sims has the clearest path at RB2-type touches. Yes, Doug Martin is coming back after 3 weeks and will likely take the job back, but until then, Sims will be playing in what looks to be a high-scoring offense and only has to beat our Jacquizz Rodgers for the starting gig. Last season, Sims struggled because he was playing injured, but there was a lot of hype surrounding him because of an impressive 2015 with 4.9 yards per carry and over 500 receiving yards. There is also the outside chance that he performs at such a level that he claims the job for the entire season.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Chris Thompson (WSH)
“Thompson was recently called the best third-down RB in the league by hits coach. Over the last two years, Thompson has consistently improved and this year, with questions about the early-down workload distribution in Washington, why not invest in their most consistent RB? The high-floor that Thompson will offer will allow you to chase some valuable hand cuffs that don’t offer immediate value.”
– Andrew Ferris (Fantasy Hot Read)

Name one under-the-radar WR that you plan to target in all drafts as a late-round lottery ticket and why?

Devin Funchess (CAR)
“I haven’t been shy when talking about Devin Funchess this offseason, saying that he has a clear role going forward. With Ted Ginn leaving via free agency, the Panthers need someone to take the top off defenses with Cam Newton’s arm. Despite being 6’4″ and north of 230 pounds, Funchess has shown the ability to go deep, averaging 15.6 yards per reception over the course of his career. Let’s not forget about his ability in the red zone, as most were excited after seeing him make a circus catch in the end-zone last preseason. If Funchess is a full-time starter (all signs point to this), he should see north of 80 targets, making him an excellent lottery ticket. The best part is that you’ll know how he’s being used after just one or two weeks.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

John Ross (CIN)
“Ross is slipping in the ranks due to his labrum recovery that is expected to keep him off the field for part of camp. If he continues to fall, he could be a heck of a steal in the later rounds, as he could be starting opposite of A.J. Green before too long.”
– Sablich Brothers (5th Down Fantasy)

Taylor Gabriel (ATL)
“From Weeks 8-15, Gabriel was a WR2 or better in six of seven games. He was a WR1 for two of those weeks. He was the overall WR4 in points per game in that time frame. Gabriel isn’t likely to become a guy you feel confident plugging into your WR2 slot every week, but he’s finally found a team that utilizes his talents and makes him a potential adrenaline shot for your FLEX spot. Despite all that production last year, he’s nearly going undrafted.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Paul Richardson (SEA)
“Richardson is a guy that will be the ultimate lottery pick. From Week 17 (Tyler Lockett was injured in Week 16) into the playoffs, Richardson showed some of the promise that prompted the Seahawks to take him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Equipped with 4.40 speed, the 6’0″ Richardson could be an effective deep threat for a Seahawks offense that faces the easiest schedule for WRs. His current ECR rank of WR77 does Richardson’s upside no justice. I think that there is a real possibility that Richardson takes the WR2 job in the Pacific Northwest and runs with it which is why I am currently the expert with the highest rank on him of WR56. Load him in the queue in the last rounds for a chance at a late-round league winner.”
– Andrew Ferris (Fantasy Hot Read)

Zay Jones (BUF)
“Jones is my guy this year thanks to his perfect fit in Buffalo. The Bills lost 49% of their targets and while Watkins should pick many of those up, Jones has virtually no competition for a large share of what’s left. Zay hauled in 157 receptions for 1,746 receiving yards in college this season and is the best at getting open in this draft class. Don’t sleep on him as the offensive rookie of the year this season.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Robby Anderson (NYJ)
“The departure of Eric Decker in New York opens up a great opportunity for Robby Anderson. Quincy Enunwa is a beast and will probably lead the Jets in targets, but he is not the big play threat that Robby Anderson is. Even the additions of Marquess Wilson, ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen don’t scare me off of Anderson. There is a ton of competition for the Jets WR2 and WR3 slots and I see that as an opportunity to pick a horse and win with some longer odds. Anderson had a brush with the law in the offseason and lacks the draft stock you want from a WR, but he has shown flashes of some big time ability. He ran in the mid 4.3s coming out of college and had a vert over 36″. The guy has skills. Skills the other three don’t possess. Another plus is the Jets defense will give up points this year with two rookies at safety and a linebacking corps that lacks consistency.”
– Dennis Esser (Coach Esser)

Thank you to the experts for naming their lottery picks. Give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice and check out our latest podcast below.

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