Who To Target With Your Last Draft Pick (2019 Fantasy Football)
How many times have you been at a fantasy football draft and seen someone throw their hands up in the air while saying, “It doesn’t even matter at this point, just give me another quarterback,” or something to that effect?
Most analysts will tell you to draft a kicker or defense with your last pick, but my advice would be to leave your draft without a kicker and/or defense. Think about it. If there’s an injury in the third week of the preseason and your final draft pick suddenly becomes a highly sought-after commodity, you’ve struck what is known as fantasy gold.
Defenses and kickers are a dime a dozen and their value can only be negatively impacted through preseason. While I understand that you need to field a defense and/or a kicker, that can be done a few days before your Week 1 matchup. Instead of drafting them, here’s the players you should look to target with your last pick. Note that I’m assuming most play in a 12-team, 16-round draft, so these players are currently being drafted outside the top-180 (would be available in the 16th round). John Brown, T.J. Yeldon, and Chris Godwin were on this list last year. You may not hit on all of them, but remember, most of them are just there in case there were an injury, so feel free to cut them for your kicker or defense if that injury doesn’t happen.
Darwin Thompson (RB – 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. 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. 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 Davis (RB – CHI)
No, he’s not going to start the season as the Bears’ starting running back, but you aren’t finding any starters at the end of your draft. Instead, you’re getting one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy football. Many are running into the single-digit rounds to grab Darrell Henderson and Damien Harris, but why not Davis who’d walk into Jordan Howard‘s old role if something were to happen to David Montgomery. He also has handcuff appeal to Tarik Cohen. Davis is extremely undervalued in fantasy drafts right now.
Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI)
If there were any such thing as a tight end handcuff, Goedert is it. Think about the numbers Trey Burton posted when Zach Ertz was injured. It’s not just that it’s a valuable role, but Goedert showed his rookie season that he’s going to be a player in this league, racking up 334 yards and four touchdowns as a backup tight end. If Ertz were to miss any time at all, Goedert would be ranked as a top-six tight end play every single week. That’s better value than most wide receivers can offer at the end of drafts.
DeVante Parker (WR – MIA)
I know, here we go again, right? Many have completely written off Parker as a bust, and while I understand their frustrations, everyone has a value at some point. If he cost you a 10th round pick, sure, fade him. But your final pick in a fantasy draft for a guy who could see 100-plus targets? Frankly, that’s dumb to pass up. Once Adam Gase was fired, most thought Parker would get released. Instead, the front office extended him. They obviously still believe he’s the wide receiver they thought they were getting when they drafted him. The only way to find out is to give him opportunity. If Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter, Parker could be a WR4-type fantasy asset.
Jack Doyle (TE – IND)
Many are accepting the fact that Eric Ebron will regress this year, as he’s now dropping into the seventh round. But you don’t think Andrew Luck‘s tight ends are going to stop producing, right? When Doyle was in the lineup last year, he played 331 snaps to Ebron’s 164 snaps. Doyle saw 33 targets to Ebron’s 22 targets. Heck, Doyle even edged him in yards, 245-228. Touchdowns are a fickle thing and we know that, but for whatever reason, nobody wants to draft Doyle, who may be the top tight end on their roster this year.
Rex Burkhead (RB – NE)
With the vacated targets from both Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson, it’s possible that Burkhead walks into a bigger role than most believe. Imagine for a second that he gets eight carries and five targets in Week 1. There will be a rush to snag him off the waiver wire, as that would present borderline flex value, particularly in PPR formats. That’s not even accounting for an injury, as he’s a versatile running back who can play multiple roles. The Patriots could have moved on this offseason but chose to keep him with his $3 million cap hit.
Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI)
Everyone loves David Johnson this year. Why? Well, he’s obviously very talented, but it’s more about the opportunity to play in Kliff Kingsbury’s fast-paced, high-powered offense that is expected to run 70-plus plays per game. If that’s what happens, Johnson’s going to need multiple breathers per game, allowing Edmonds to see the field more than ever. He’s a three-down back who could be in for an Austin Ekeler-type role that could net 8-12 touches per game without a Johnson injury. If there was an injury, Edmonds suddenly becomes one of the most coveted workhorse running backs in fantasy football.
Rashard Higgins (WR – 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 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.
Jordan Reed (TE – WAS)
He’s been hurt for most of his career, I get it. But when on the field, Reed has been a consistent TE1 in fantasy football. This is the first offseason in recent memory where he’s been healthy, and the Redskins have absolutely zero wide receivers who command a high target share. In fact, we don’t even know who their starting wide receivers are at this point. Reed has looked good in training camp and plays a position that outside the top-six, it’s all hopefuls. Why not snag him with your final pick and see what you have when Week 1 hits? He has top-five tight end upside.
Travis Benjamin (WR – LAC)
With Tyrell Williams gone, most have gravitated towards Mike Williams, and while that makes a lot of sense, don’t forget about Benjamin. Prior to being injured throughout the 2018 season, he amassed 140 targets, 1,244 yards, and eight touchdowns the previous two years with Phillip Rivers under center. Keenan Allen is now missing time with multiple ailments and is not going to see the field until September. If those injuries linger, or if Williams has to miss any time with his back injury, Benjamin suddenly gains a whole lot of appeal.