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DRAFT DAY: Late Round Fliers

Draft day has arrived and you have your game plan.  You’ve put in hours of research, read countless articles about whom to draft, whom to avoid, and whom is going to be this year’s “league winner”.  However no draft ever goes the way it is supposed to — ever.  The biggest mistakes are made towards the end of drafts. People seem to check out and stop paying attention and that’s where you can gain an edge. Some people grab a second defense or a backup quarterback, but remember every pick counts.  The players I have listed below will help your team or at the very least can be bye week fill-ins once the season is in full swing. All these players are currently going below value at current ADP and they all have the potential to help your squad on their journey to greatness.  

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

Sanders was having a great year in 2018 before he went down with a torn Achilles in Week 13 against the Bengals.  He finished the year with a line of 71/868/4 and was well on his way to a 1,000 yard season. The Broncos upgraded their quarterback this off-season by trading for Joe Flacco which can be seen as an upgrade over Case Keenum. Emmanuel Sanders is falling in drafts because we are now getting word out of Denver that he may land on the PUP list to start the season. Even though no player has come back from such an injury, I will take a chance on Sanders with a late pick, coming back healthy in Week 7 and rolling with him as a potential WR3. His current ADP is 10.5 and I understand the risks that are involved. However by the 10th round your starters are set and you’re taking him as a WR4 on your roster with a WR2 skillset — take that upside all day.

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

I know what you’re thinking and I agree, the Dolphins are going to be a bad football team.  Nonetheless if you’ve been watching this game long enough, then you know that bad teams throw the ball a ton because they are always behind.  After finishing the year (only playing 7 games) with a line of 24/309/1, I understand this sounds insane. The Dolphins cleaned house this off-season and brought in a whole new coaching staff, so everyone is getting a clean slate. Parker is the most talented player in this receiving corps and injuries are a concern as he has yet to play a full season. However with an ADP of 14.07 he is a quality bye week fill in at the very least. In the 14th round you should be drafting purely for upside and depth.  If he can put it together this year, you have yourself a WR3 gem in the 14th round.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins

The ageless wonder, the man who has disproved everything we thought we knew about running backs. At age 34 Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards 7 touchdowns and added a receiving line of 20/208/1. Zero RB is all the craze these days, and with an ADP of 9.11 he makes for a fine candidate to fill that void. There is uncertainty surrounding Derrius Guice and his knee after post surgery infections and he may start the season on the PUP. Even if he is cleared to play at the start of the season Peterson has the floor to produce RB2 numbers and at the very least could vulture goalline work.  Not much has changed with the coaching staff or scheme in Washington and they kept him around as insurance. This leads me to believe that an RB of his caliber in the 9th round is worth the risk. 

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan is boring.  He’s not the flashy pick that everyone loves sticking on the draft board, but he is safe and consistent.  Last year Ryan threw for 4,924 yards with 35 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. They love to throw the ball in Atlanta and with Julio Jones and second year man Calvin Ridley poised to take a step forward this year, this is one of the best offenses in football.  With an ADP of 6.09 I am willing to let everyone else take Patrick Mahomes (3.02), Andrew Luck (4.10), Deshaun Watson (5.07) early while I load up on valuable running backs and wide receivers. You can afford to wait on quarterback, let someone else think they are smarter than everyone in the draft room by taking a flashy name.

Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens

The tight end position is pretty thin this year outside the top tier of Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle.  If you don’t want to spend the high draft capital it takes to nab a top-tier guy, Andrews is worth consideration. After posting a line of 34/552/3 as a rookie last year, the Ravens are talking about getting him more involved.  With very few passing options in Baltimore and the limited throwing ability of second year quarterback Lamar Jackson, Andrews can make for a reliable underneath safety blanket for the young QB. He has the potential to return TE3 numbers for very little draft capital.  

About Nick Lemma

Being from New York Nick is loud and persistent. Known as the Hot-Headed Italian within his circle, his opinions are bold with facts and stats to back them up. While playing across multiple leagues and serving as commissioner of his hometown league for the past 12 years, he’s been consumed by football. Being a seasoned player, he’s had success in various formats and league setups. When he’s not reading or writing about football he can be found spending time with his wife and son.