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5 Late-Round Dart Throw Draft Targets (2023 Fantasy Football)

5 Late-Round Dart Throw Draft Targets (2023 Fantasy Football)

Hitting on contrarian picks can make a critical difference in best ball tournaments, especially a contest such as Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Mania IV, since drafts began shortly after the NFL Draft and will continue through the rest of the summer. As more information regarding final roster decisions becomes clear closer to the season, players who were afterthoughts and frequently undrafted through this point of the offseason can surge as they move up their team’s depth chart.

Anticipating what might happen can be beneficial in two ways. First, getting a player in the last round right now, eventually picked earlier, will provide drafters with closing average draft position (ADP) value (the difference between the ADP when you drafted the player and their ADP in the final drafts of the best ball tournaments). Second, rostering a player with meaningful fantasy performances who’s not on many rosters can be game-changing, especially if they have blow-up performances during the best ball playoffs. This piece will highlight five intriguing players with an ADP after 214 in Underdog Fantasy drafts, meaning they’re often undrafted.

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

Last-Round Darts Often Undrafted in Underdog Fantasy

DeWayne McBride (RB – MIN): 214.4 ADP

Alexander Mattison is Minnesota’s starting running back. However, it’s unsettled behind him. The Vikings picked Ty Chandler in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and gamers are drafting him as the presumed backup. Chandler’s ADP has climbed to 194.4 in Underdog Fantasy drafts after the club released Dalvin Cook. Yet, the second-year pro isn’t a sure thing to secure the backup job.

Instead, McBride could beat him out for the spot. The Vikings picked McBride in the seventh round of this year’s draft. Unfortunately, McBride was a total non-factor in the passing game for UAB. He had only 10 targets and five receptions in 28 games in his collegiate career. McBride’s lack of passing-game involvement knocked him down a bit in pre-draft rankings.

Still, McBride’s running ability made him a legitimate prospect. First, Dane Brugler at The Athletic ranked him as the RB13 and the 131st prospect in this year’s draft class. Second, NFL.com ranked him as the RB9. Third, Pro Football Focus (PFF) had him as the RB7 and the 98th prospect overall.

McBride’s lack of receiving chops is a bummer. But, again, he was an elite runner. According to PFF, among FBS running backs with at least 100 attempts in 2022, McBride was fifth in PFF’s rushing grade, second in rushing yards (1,702), first in yards per rush attempt (7.3), tied for third in rushing touchdowns (19), second in Yards After Contact per Attempt (4.60 YCO/A), tied for seventh in missed tackles forced (76 MTF) as a runner, tied for third in 15-plus yard rushes (25) and ninth in PFF’s elusiveness metric.

If he gets the opportunity, McBride has a good offense for thriving as a runner. According to PFF, the Vikings were the fourth-ranked run-blocking team in 2022. And, according to Football Outsiders, the Vikings played at the fifth-fastest situation-neutral pace last year. If McBride beats Chandler for the backup running back gig for the Vikings, his ADP will likely climb to at least the 170s. So, being proactive and rolling the dice can create ADP closing value.

Sean Tucker (RB – TB): 215.8 ADP

Usually, drafting undrafted rookies in fantasy leagues is unwise. However, the circumstances were unique for Tucker. His heart condition was diagnosed at the NFL Draft Combine, presumably removing him from consideration for some teams. Since Tucker didn’t participate in the combine, he had his own pro day when medically cleared.

With a clean bill of health, Tucker likely would have been a mid-to-late-round pick (Lance Zierlein projected him as a fourth or fifth-round pick in his scouting report). Brugler ranked him as the RB17 and 193rd overall. NFL.com ranked him as the RB14. And PFF ranked him as the RB13 and 142nd overall.

Since going undrafted, Tucker has latched on with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent. Interestingly, the Bucs prioritize signing him enough to guarantee him $150,000. Matt Waldman, the creator of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio, is a fan of Tucker’s landing spot. Matt Harmon had Waldman on the Yahoo! Fantasy Football Forecast podcast in May. Waldman lauded Tucker’s acceleration as some of the best in this year’s draft class when discussing him as a good fantasy fit in Tampa Bay.

Sadly, Tucker had a better season in 2021 than in 2022. In 2022, he had 204 rushes, 1,062 rushing yards, 5.2 yards per rush attempt, 11 rushing touchdowns, 2.79 YCO/A, 46 MTF as a runner, 15 rushes of 15-plus yards, 52 targets, 37 receptions, 262 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. However, Tucker had a career-low 0.88 Yards per Route Run (Y/RR) in 2022 and had a dreadful 13.7% drop rate in his career. In 2021, among FBS running back with a minimum of 100 rush attempts, Tucker was tied for 31st in PFF’s rushing grade with two running backs, including Breece Hall. Tucker was sixth in rushing yards (1,515), tied for 23rd in yards per rush attempt (6.1), tied for 33rd in rushing touchdowns (12), 14th in Yards After Contact per Attempt (4.11 YCO/A), 10th in missed tackles forced (66 MTF) as a runner and 28th in PFF’s elusiveness metric.

Even after taking a step back in 2022, Tucker could be the most effective runner in Tampa Bay’s unimpressive backfield. The Bucs spent a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Rachaad White, but he had an underwhelming rookie campaign. Among 69 running backs with at least 50 rush attempts in the regular season and postseason last year, White was 59th in PFF’s rushing grade and averaged 3.8 yards per rush attempt. Tampa Bay released Leonard Fournette and signed an even less effective runner than White to their backfield, signing Chase Edmonds. Edmonds was tied for 62nd in PFF’s rushing grade in 2022. White is rightfully the favorite to start for the Bucs. Still, if he’s ineffective again this year, Tucker could be the latest success story the running-back-don’t-matter folks point to as an example of locating a viable option for cheap.

Michael Wilson (WR – ARI): 214.1 ADP

Unfortunately, Wilson’s college career was marred by injuries. Nevertheless, he was a Senior Bowl darling. Wilson also earned his highest PFF receiving grade and had a career-high 2.30 Y/RR in 2022 while earning a target on a solid, if unspectacular, 21.9% of his routes.

Even in his limited work, Wilson showed enough to rank as the WR17 and 124th prospect overall by Brugler, the WR20 at NFL.com and the WR11 and 80th prospect at PFF. And the Cardinals thought enough of him to pick him at the end of the third round.

Matt Harmon is a fan of the selection, and Harmon’s Reception Perception grading had promising elements.

Encouragingly, Wilson has made a good impression so far and has received reps at multiple spots to determine his best fit in the offense. Marquise Brown is the only proven wideout on the Cardinals. So, there’s a chance for Wilson to emerge as a meaningful contributor during the season, even if he starts the season behind young veterans such as Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch on Arizona’s depth chart. And since the Cardinals are rebuilding and likely to be one of the worst clubs in the NFL this year, it behooves them to get a young player like Wilson reps during the year. Thus, Wilson’s an enticing last-round dart.

Deonte Harty (WR – BUF): 215.7 ADP

Stefon Diggs is the alpha in Buffalo’s passing attack, and Gabe Davis is a limited wideout with a boom-bust profile as a lid-lifting weapon. It’s murky who will emerge behind them in the passing game hierarchy of Buffalo’s uptempo and pass-heavy offense. First, the Bills played at the eighth-fastest situation-neutral pace last year. Second, per nfelo app, Buffalo had the third-highest Pass Rate Over Expected (PROE). Therefore, there will be pass-catching opportunities for anyone playing steady snaps for the Bills.

Harty is a candidate for a sizable role in Buffalo’s receiving corps. Last year was essentially a lost year for Harty because of a turf toe issue. The speedster flashed his potential in 2021, though. Per PFF, among 90 wideouts targeted at least 50 times in the regular season and postseason, Harty was seventh in PFF receiving grade, sixth in Yards per Route Run (2.69 Y/RR) and fifth in Yards After the Catch per Reception (6.8 YAC/REC). He had 57 targets, 36 receptions, 570 receiving yards and three touchdowns and was targeted on 26.9% of his 212 routes in 13 games.

And despite Harty’s diminutive stature, he had position versatility, aligning on the perimeter for 60.5% of his passing snaps and in the slot for 35.0% of them in 2021. In addition to alignment versatility, Harty earned excellent PFF grades at all depths of the field (i.e., behind the line of scrimmage, zero to nine yards, 10 to 19 yards and 20-plus yards downfield).

In an All-22 film review article for The Athletic penned in late March, Joe Buscaglia said Harty “should play at least 25 to 40 percent of snaps each week and is a clear upgrade over Isaiah McKenzie.” In an uptempo, high-scoring, pass-first offense like Buffalo’s, a big-play wideout like Harty can have best-ball-friendly blow-up weeks, even in a rotational role. Harty is a fun option for gamers investing in many early wideouts who should be steady weekly contributors or on rosters with a few high-floor wide receivers that need spiked-week juice.

Hakeem Butler (TE – PIT): 216.0 ADP

Butler is the riskiest choice suggested in this piece since it’s likely a coin flip whether he secures a roster spot for the Steelers. So, why should gamers take a chance on him? Butler is a big-bodied wideout but could be a cheat code as a TE-eligible player.

Butler had some hype in the 2019 NFL Draft class, ranking as the WR6 and 42nd prospect overall at PFF and the WR10 at NFL.com. The prospect hype didn’t amount to productivity for the Cardinals after they picked him in the fourth round—still, Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure as Arizona’s head coach left much to be desired.

Perhaps, Kingsbury deserves some responsibility for Butler failing to succeed in the NFL despite balling out in his final collegiate season. In 13 games in 2018, Butler had 104 targets, 60 receptions, 1,318 receiving yards, 22.0 yards per reception, 3.27 Y/RR, nine receiving touchdowns, a 25.8% targets per route run rate, a 16.5-yard average depth of target (aDOT), 6.9 YAC/REC and 15 missed tackles forced.

In addition to having a productive final season for Iowa State, Butler had dazzling workout metrics. And it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise Butler didn’t hit the ground running since Zierlein described him as “a work in progress” in his scouting report.

Has the light gone on for Butler? Maybe. Butler steamrolled the competition in the XFL this year. According to PFF, among 45 players targeted at least 20 times in the regular season, Butler was ninth in PFF’s receiving grade, second in targets (69), second in receptions (51), third in receiving yards (605), first in touchdown receptions (eight) and sixth in Yards per Route Run (1.84 Y/RR).

Butler thrived primarily playing as a jumbo slot for St. Louis. He aligned in the slot on 73.1% of his passing snaps. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s biggest question mark in their receiving group is who will patrol the slot for them? Diontae Johnson and George Pickens mostly play on the perimeter. Allen Robinson will likely win the job, but Butler is a candidate. And A-Rob has struggled in back-to-back years, perhaps an indication he’s already fallen off the cliff. Finally, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic was impressed by Butler in OTAs. Kaboly noted that the Steelers want to stretch the field more and declared, “Butler could be a perfect fit for that role.” He also immediately noted he’s been fooled in spring practices before but called Butler “one to watch when they head to training camp at the end of July.”

Gamers should tread lightly with Butler now. But mixing him in as a last-round pick on three-TE or four-TE builds can pay big dividends. I’ve also selected him once as my TE2 behind Travis Kelce. The logic is simple. If Kelce isn’t a monster relative to his peers at tight end weekly this year, that squad will likely bust anyway. And if Kelce pays off at his ADP, waiting until the last round for a tight end makes sense. Furthermore, Butler will have more spike potential than the typical tight end since he’s genuinely a wideout, adding to the appeal of being the TE2 on a team with Kelce.

 

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

 

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