Most best-ball leagues have rosters of 30 plus players in which we end up drafting whomever we can to fill those spots as fewer names are recognizable at that point. Even in regular redraft leagues that have 14 plus players with large benches, many of these names will come up as possibilities to draft. Many rookie running backs this year have massive upside by being second-in-command to an injury prone player in a good position. Many wide receivers this year in the late rounds could give you at least 2 massive games to boost your roster. It would be easy to talk about players with an ADP a little past 100 like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, D’Onta Foreman, James Washington, and Dak Prescott. These players should all be major targets going at least 20 spots higher than ADP given their great situations. I am talking about late round targets past ADP of 175 where a typical 12-man 15-round draft will not touch. Familiar names start to run out at this point and knowing the backups and high upside receivers can win leagues. Let’s look at three players that can be drafted very late that you should have circled on your cheatsheet.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco
Jimmy is sitting at ADP 175 in drafts. I think Jimmy G is in a “2018 Mitch Trubisky situation” this year. In 2018, Trubisky made it to the Pro Bowl despite below average play but made it due to his offensive scheme, offensive line, and the playmakers around him. The 49ers check all of the boxes this year with Kyle Shanahan, a 16th ranked offensive line coming into the season by PFF, and healthy playmakers around him. When Jimmy was starting, the 49ers did not know what they had in Kittle and their pass catching running back was out for the year in Jerick McKinnon. Now the team has both RB1 in Tevin Coleman and RB2 in Jerick McKinnon as primarily pass catching running backs (plus Matt Breida had a 90.1 receiving grade in 2018) and an established George Kittle. The receiving core was extremely young last year but the team returns top option Dante Pettis (target him heavily too) and Marquise Goodwin the Olympian will also be back on the field. Even Nick Mullens had more fantasy points per game than Eli Manning, Joe Flacco and Derek Carr last year in this system. Jimmy G is a lot more talented than Trubisky (another steal at ADP) with the fastest release and best looks in the NFL meaning he should outperform his ADP. His schedule allows him to be at least a late streamer in deep leagues or a good best-ball option at the end of the draft. He has the privilege of playing the Bengals, Redskins, NFC South, and a below-average division.
Derek Carr , QB, Oakland Raiders (ADP 168) is another sleeper at his current ADP as his weapons have drastically improved. The addition of arguably the best receiver on the field in Antonio Brown and a deep threat in Tyrell Williams will set him up for success.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay
Call me a Packers fan but I do not see the justification of the ADP of 183 and RB58 slotting in fantasy this year. There are many rookie wide receivers who will not be a top option that are going many spots ahead. Matt Lefleur has come out and said it would be a partial committee backfield. To what extent? No one is sure yet. Every offensive coordinator seems to give this guy the ball more than he should have compared to Aaron Jones. Matt Lefleur has a history of having one of the most run heavy offenses each year he has coached and gives his running backs touchdowns. The Packers were Top-5 in pass play percentage last year which we should expect to come down with Lefleur as the head coach. The defense also improved leaps and bounds which means they will be able to run the ball more. The Packers were dead last in rushing attempts last year which they can only improve upon. The Packers added Elton Jenkins in the draft and other offensive lineman in free agency; the line was also not very healthy last year. Aaron Jones is also either hurt or manages to get suspended a lot. Jones only started 8 games last year but was of course efficient in those games. Both running backs were said to have cut weight during the off-season and worked on their pass-blocking. While on the topic of injury prone running backs, Alexander Mattison and Ryquell Armstead should be targets in your drafts at current ADP. Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette respectively have a much higher chance of injury than Aaron Jones even does.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington
We can talk all day about the obvious injury concerns with Reed but his stats put up when healthy are great for a tight end at an ADP of 187 and TE19 off the board. If we take games he started when healthy and project that out to a full season, he had 75 catches for 804 yards and 4 touchdowns. We can obviously not count him in for a full season at this point but his 141 projected fantasy points for a full season would have ranked 6th in between Jared Cook and Austin Hooper last year. We can only expect him to last about half a season again this year but with the lack of any other receiving options on the Redskins team, he is a good late round starter if you miss the Top-3 tight ends until he gets hurt. His weekly upside for best-ball especially is massive. Every one of the last 4 years he turned out Top 10 production when starting. It will be hard for him to get back to the 952 yard 11 touchdown season of 2015 but with no competition on the roster for targets, he is a lock to finish high again. Reed should not be your only tight end in any league.