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10 Late Round Targets (2018 Fantasy Football)

Sep 1, 2018

John Brown has a chance to reach 1,000 yards this season

Your late-round selections are the most important picks when it comes to maximizing your team’s potential. These players carry very little risk because they can be had for next to nothing, but also carry plenty of reward if they’re in the right situations. Based on last year’s PPR ADP, every-week fantasy starters, Robby Anderson and Evan Engram, could have both been nabbed in the 14th round in 12-team leagues. Most of your late-round picks will be on the waiver wire in a few weeks, but some may end up starting for your squad and help push you to fantasy glory. Our featured experts are here to arm you with the knowledge of who these diamonds in rough might be.

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Q1. Name one RB that you plan to target in all drafts as a late-round flier and why?

T.J. Yeldon (RB – JAC)
“It’s Yeldon for me, as he’s got standalone value even without injury. If you break it down, he belongs in the tier with players like Giovani Bernard, as he’s the primary passing-down running back. He racked up 41 targets in just 10 games last year, while playing as the third-string running back behind Chris Ivory and Leonard Fournette. Most don’t realize that Yeldon had 68 targets in 2016, showing just how much Blake Bortles trusts him. While he’s a low-upside flex option most weeks, if Fournette should suffer an injury, Yeldon would be an every-week RB1/RB2.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Jordan Wilkins (RB – IND)
“Colts GM Chris Ballard sees a similarity to the running style of Matt Forte (the former Bears and Jets running back) in Wilkins, Indy’s fifth-round pick in April’s draft. The similarities are clear. As 107 The Fan’s Kevin Bowen noted, Forte (6-1, 221 pounds) and Wilkins (6-1, 217 pounds) have virtually identical frames. Bowen went on to note that while Wilkins wasn’t quite the prolific receiver in college and isn’t labeled as a big-time power runner, the Colts see why he ran for 1,000 yards in the SEC last season.

In Indianapolis, Wilkins joins a running back group looking for diversity in their backfield. Size-wise and style-wise, Wilkins is a different runner than guys like Marlon Mack or fellow rookie Nyheim Hines. Now, with Mack nursing a tender hamstring that has his Week 1 availability in question — and with Robert Turbin set to start a two-game suspension — Wilkins has an opportunity to see some early-season work. It’ll be on him to make good on it, but you could do worse on a late-round flier.”
– Bob Harris (Football Diehards)

Spencer Ware (RB – KC)
“It used to be D’Onta Foreman for me, but returning from an Achilles injury isn’t easy, and he’ll be on the PUP to start the year. Ware has his own injury he’s coming back from, but he’s healthy and will enter the new season with a small role behind Kareem Hunt. If you draft Hunt and/or have a deep bench, Ware is a solid depth stash in the event Hunt does as Ware did a year ago and succumbs to injury.”
– Kevin Roberts (Breaking Football)

Backup Running Backs
“I’m going to cheat and give several names. At the end of a draft, I am targeting running backs with the potential to be league winners if their team’s starter were to miss an extended period of time. James Conner, John Kelly, Chase Edmonds, and Rod Smith all fit this profile. Each one would be expected to step into a three-down role, and I hope to come away with at least one from this group to stash at the end of my bench.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

Q2. Name one WR that you plan to target in all drafts as a late-round flier and why?

John Brown (WR – BAL)
“Healthy and feeling no ill effects from the sickle-cell trait that caused him problems in recent seasons, Brown joins Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead in Baltimore’s rebuilt receiving corps. Brown, who set career highs with 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns for Arizona in 2015, gives the Ravens a dangerous deep threat to compliment Joe Flacco’s strong arm.

Remember, Flacco showed off that arm from 2010 to 2012. Over that time, Flacco’s 46 completions on passes of 25 yards or longer ranked third in the NFL. Only Drew Brees (60) and Aaron Rodgers (48) connected on more throws of that length. The Ravens know Flacco can stretch the field with the best quarterbacks. The difficulty was finding the right combination. With Brown, Baltimore sees the potential.

Last year, Baltimore’s top three receivers — Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, and Breshad Perriman — were among the league’s fastest, but Flacco managed a career-worst 5.72 yards per attempt. According to observers, the difference this time is Flacco’s confidence in Brown. Throughout this offseason, Flacco has thrown the ball to Brown, even though it looks like there is tight coverage. This jibes with what’s Ryan Mink told me during a recent appearance with the FootballDiehards on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, in which he called Brown a “dominant” force early in camp. The bottom line is that Brown’s upside and the Ravens’ lack of weapons are enough to make him a viable late-round flier in 2018 fantasy drafts.”
– Bob Harris (Football Diehards)

“The Ravens come into 2018 with the highest number of vacated targets in the league (332). While Crabtree is expected to serve as Baltimore’s go-to receiver, there will be plenty of work available for John Brown. Brown showed an instant rapport with Flacco and if he could stay healthy, he could post his first 1,000-yard season since 2015.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

Anthony Miller (WR – CHI)
“I’ve shared my love for Geronimo Allison enough this offseason, so I’ll go with Miller here. It’s a first-year offense for Mitch Trubisky, and although he has Allen Robinson, the safety valves over the middle of the field will be Trey Burton and Miller. If you recall, Trubisky’s top target at North Carolina was slot receiver Ryan Switzer, and then it was slot receiver Kendall Wright last year. Miller isn’t limited to the slot, however, as he scored 32 touchdowns over the last two years at Memphis. On top of all this, the Bears will play the Packers in Week 1, who have extremely young cornerbacks, and will also be down two starting linebackers over the middle of the field. Miller should be on your fantasy team.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Dede Westbrook (WR – JAC)
“The Marqise Lee injury is pretty big. Suddenly the Jags are without their top three wide receivers of the past two years, and someone is going to have to make up for that production. Considering Donte Moncrief can never stay healthy, and Blake Bortles‘ specialty is the deep ball, the speedy Westbrook could morph into a star.”
– Kevin Roberts (Breaking Football)

Thank you to the experts for naming their late-round fliers. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.

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