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7 Final-Round Targets (Fantasy Football)

Aug 24, 2019

Darwin Thompson has value in Andy Reid’s offense as Damien Williams’ apparent handcuff

Using your final pick on a kicker is a sound tactic that many experts across the industry corroborate. What if I suggested that you could’ve used that pick for something better, though? If you’re less prepared, it’s all too easy to just settle on spending your final two picks on a defense and kicker if you don’t have any knowledge regarding the upside some of the available players in your draft may have. However, you might actually be better served investing those picks in running backs and wide receivers who have a shot to overachieve.

What happens if there’s an injury to a starter, a surprise depth chart move, or a hint from the coaching staff that a lesser-known athlete is in store for a bigger piece of the pie than we all thought? That last draft pick you made could all of a sudden become a crucial asset in your pursuit of championship glory. Chris Godwin, Austin Ekeler, and Mohamed Sanu were all guys with half-PPR average draft positions (ADPs) outside the top 150 last year, but finished the season as the WR25, RB24, and WR31, respectively. For reference, last year’s WR31 in ADP, Emmanuel Sanders, was taken 73rd overall on average, which gives you an idea of just how valuable those three players were to their fantasy owners in 2018. With that in mind, our featured experts are here today to tell you which final-round fliers can deliver a huge return on their draft capital.

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

Darwin Thompson (KC) 
“There’s a common trend in Kansas City and it has to do with the running back position. Anyone who steps into Andy Reid’s offense as the lead back produces, plain and simple. Thompson is well-deserving of a late-round flier. Damien Williams has never been a workhorse running back, even dating back to his college days. It’s rare to have a running back break out at 27 years old. Also, Carlos Hyde has arguably been the most inefficient running back in football the last two years. While that doesn’t really matter much in Reid’s offense, it’s all about getting a guy who could potentially walk into that role. Thompson has looked great in the preseason, making him worthy of a late-round pick.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

“It has to be Darwin Thompson. It’s possible to still like Damien Williams but want to hedge on that bet, right? The Chiefs have the most explosive offense since the Rams staged “The Greatest Show on Turf” at the turn of the century, and Thompson is going to have a role in it. He was hyper-efficient in his one season at Utah State and plays faster than his timed speed. He fits this offense too well not to have fantasy value.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

Justice Hill (BAL) 
“There are some strong running back candidates late, with Tony Pollard, Darwin Thompson, and Justin Jackson all high on my radar, but Hill is someone I believe has great potential to work his way into more touches even with his teammates staying healthy. So far in the preseason, he’s shown that he is more than just a third-down back, but winning that job will give him some standalone value while you hope for more as the season progresses.”
– Chet Gresham (WalterFootball)

“I’m targeting Justice Hill as my final-round flier. His role in the offense is pretty secure to start the year as the change-of-pace back. That already gives him value in PPR formats and his role running the ball is likely to expand as the season goes on, so his value will increase throughout the year.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Dion Lewis (TEN) 
“Although I love Justice Hill as my true late-round running back sleeper, to be a little different I will go with another player who has the potential to win leagues. Dion Lewis in Tennessee is going off the board as the 159th player in drafts. He is going to be the pass-catching back on an offense that will use the running backs a lot. Whether it be Derrick Henry in the run game or Lewis in the passing game, this backfield has a lot of production, which is more than can be said for the rest of the team. The Titans may not be good this season, so in games where they are coming from behind, it will be Lewis, not Henry, getting the work.”
– Dominick Petrillo (Fantasy Hot Read)

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

Jamison Crowder (NYJ) 
“I know most will want to go after the upside play with one of the rookies, but I just don’t see an immediate impact player there. Crowder, on the other hand, does strike me as someone who can make an instant impact on your team. As long as he stays healthy, Crowder is slated to be the No. 2 WR for this team behind Robby Anderson. Crowder will see plenty of targets in what will be an improved offense in Sam Darnold’s second year. That volume alone will lead him to at least deliver value as a flex option on many weeks.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

“I believe wide receiver is deep enough to really stack your team late, and Jamison Crowder is someone I’ve been targeting all summer. With Chris Herndon out for the first four games and Crowder showing good chemistry with Crowder both in camp and in games, I expect a strong PPR season with upside, as Sam Darnold appears to have taken a big step forward going into this year.”
– Chet Gresham (WalterFootball)

Rashard Higgins (CLE) 
“We’ve seen Higgins work with Baker Mayfield already, right? From the time Mayfield took over as the starter, Higgins saw 40 targets and turned them into 30 receptions, 455 yards, and four touchdowns. He’s now replacing Antonio Callaway in the lineup this year. While Odell Beckham will obviously change the target shares that go around, Higgins should offer bye-week help as well as tremendous top-30 wide receiver upside should something happen to Beckham or Jarvis Landry.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Adam Humphries (TEN) 
“One player I really like as a sleeper this season is Humphries in Tennessee. The Titans will want to run the ball, but with the liklihood they’ll be trailing in games often, they will be forced to throw. Marcus Mariota has shown in his career that this is not a strong suit for him. If the line is unable to hold up or if he gets in trouble, Humphries will be his outlet in the slot. With rookie A.J. Brown and disappointing Corey Davis being the competition, Humphries could lead the receivers group in much the same way Julian Edelman does for the Patriots.”
– Dominick Petrillo (Fantasy Hot Read)

Andy Isabella (ARI) 
“I’m glad there hasn’t much buzz around Isabella. He was wildly productive at UMass and brings 4.3 speed to Kliff Kingsbury’s wide-open, fast-paced offense. He’ll go undrafted in most leagues and will be a waiver wire darling before long. Grab him in the late rounds now instead of burning FAAB dollars on him in September.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

Thank you to all the experts for naming their top final-round targets. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice. Also, please check out our latest podcast episode below.

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