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4 Late-Round Fantasy Football Draft Targets (2023)

4 Late-Round Fantasy Football Draft Targets (2023)

We have a brand new season of fantasy football on the horizon for 2023. After a wild NFL offseason and draft cycle, the dust has settled and we have a shifting NFL landscape that appears ripe for the picking for fantasy.

The attack plan for fantasy titles starts with the early rounds of your drafts. These early selections will build the backbone of your teams and influence how you approach the rest of your draft. Regardless of whether you love RB heavy, Zero RB, or somewhere in between, I’ve outlined my approach and targets for the late rounds and they can be tailored to fit any fantasy palate. Enjoy, and let’s have a banner year.

Fantasy Football Draft Kit

DBro’s Late Round Draft Strategy (2023 Fantasy Football)

*All data utilized in this article courtesy of FantasyPros, PFF, Football Outsiders, and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.*

Approach to players outside the top 100

  • Kenny Pickett: Ok, let me preface this, as I know Steelers’ fans will read this and immediately think, “Wait…I thought he was a Kenny Pickett hater.” My disdain for Pickett was not centered around his ability to become a league-average quarterback, but more along the lines of questioning his ceiling in the NFL. With new information, it’s time to adjust my thinking about that. We always have to stay liquid in fantasy football. Based on his end-of-season finish down the stretch, I could have been selling Pickett short. In Weeks 12-18 last year, he ranked first in passing grade, fourth in big-time throw rate, and first in deep passing grade (minimum 50 dropbacks, per PFF). During that span, the Steelers offense was third in EPA per play and passing EPA per play. Pickett should have more time in the pocket than last year, since the Steelers re-made the left side of an offensive line that, as a whole, ranked 15th in PFF pass-blocking grade last year. Adding Broderick Jones and Isaac Seumalo (tenth in PFF pass-blocking grade among guards with at least 150 blocking snaps last year) to this front five will pay massive dividends. Pickett is a great late-round dart that could walk into QB1 production this year.
  • Roschon Johnson: Roschon Johnson could take over the starting running back job in Chicago by midseason, if not earlier if he has a standout camp and preseason. In college, Johnson was hidden behind Bijan Robinson, so he couldn’t show what he could do with more volume. The glimpses we did get of Johnson in college, however, were fantastic. He ranked 11th and 17th in yards after contact per attempt, and third and fifth in PFF elusive rating (minimum 90 carries, per PFF). Johnson is already arguably the best pass-protecting running back on the roster, which head coach Matt Eberflus has stressed is paramount for his running backs. This should allow him to grab most of the passing-down snaps quickly. Johnson’s upside scenario is as the team’s workhorse, with Herbert or Foreman spelling him occasionally.
  • Jameson Williams: Don’t lose faith in Jameson Williams. Despite his six-game suspension, Williams remains an extremely talented wide receiver entering his sophomore season with a mountain of upside. Williams was placed in bubble wrap in 2022 by the Detroit Lions, who took a cautious approach with their blazing-fast rookie coming off a major injury (ACL tear). Assuming Williams is good to go for 2023, he’s still the same player that ranked 13th in yards per route run among all FBS wide receivers in 2021 (minimum 50 targets). Williams could be the number two option in this passing attack when he returns behind only Amon-Ra St. Brown. Williams is a WR4 that could crush his ADP in 2023.
  • Irv Smith Jr.: These final two tight ends provide dirt-cheap access to high-powered offenses with tons of touchdown equity. Last year, Cincinnati was seventh in points per game and ninth in red zone scoring attempts per game. In Weeks 1-12, this scoring bonanza carried Hayden Hurst to TE12 in fantasy points per game before his calf strain. Irv Smith Jr. isn’t a world-beater, but neither is Hurst, who was fifth in routes per game last year. The combination of Joe Burrow‘s arm, the Bengals’ touchdown-happy offense, and Smith Jr. as the unquestioned every-down starter could be the perfect recipe to coax a top-12 fantasy season out of Irv Smith Jr.

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