Yesterday we looked at players who are undervalued in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts. Today I will examine players you can pick up in the later rounds to supercharge your team.
Westbrook was Jacksonville’s leading receiver last year. The WR room is basically the same and the Jaguars didn’t take a WR in the draft, which shows they are content with what they have. The projected starter opposite Westbrook is Marqise Lee, who had ACL and PCL surgery last year and is expected to be ready late in the preseason. In the meantime, Westbrook is taking reps and getting his timing down with new quarterback Nick Foles.
Westbrook put up 66 receptions, 717 yards and five TDs last year with Blake Bortles throwing him the ball. The changeover to Foles should ignite the whole offense, and I expect Westbrook to be one of the main beneficiaries. His current ADP is in Rounds 9-11, which could be a steal! I will be drafting him a full round earlier as Westbrook could be the No. 1 WR on a contending team with an improved offense.
Brown is possibly my favorite sleeper. It is unreal to me that he is being drafted in the 14th and 15th rounds, and in many drafts later than that. I’ve seen drafts where he was not selected at all! The Bills drafted tackle Cody Ford in the second round. They also added center Mitch Morse and several other free agent linemen to beef up their weak offensive line. Josh Allen showed promise last year and he should have more time this year to unleash his howitzer of an arm. John Brown’s speed makes him a perfect target in this offense.
Brown’s numbers from last year were mildly disappointing, but it’s important to put them in context. Before Lamar Jackson took over the starting job in Baltimore, Brown was having a solid season. In the first nine games with Joe Flacco under center, he had 34 catches for 601 yards and four TDs. Jackson is an incredible athlete but has minimal accuracy and last year was seldom able to complete downfield passes, and attempted very few of them anyway. Brown started every game but only caught eight passes for 114 yards and one TD the whole remainder of the season with Jackson quarterbacking (in seven games). If you extrapolate his numbers with Flacco over a full 16-game season, he would have produced 61 receptions, 1,068 yards, and seven TDs. These are about the same numbers I am projecting him to put up in the Buffalo offense as their No. 1 receiver. As someone you can pick up in the last four or five rounds of your draft, he provides great value with easy WR2 upside.
Fant scored a combined 18 TDs his last two seasons at Iowa. His size/speed combination could cause many sleepless nights for defensive coordinators around the league this year. At 6 feet 4 inches and 250 pounds, he ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at the combine this spring. He fits the mold of the “new age” TE that causes matchup nightmares for defenses, as he is too fast for linebackers to cover and too big for defensive backs to handle. Fant has great hands and is set to be the main receiving TE for the Broncos this year. Jeff Heuerman should handle most of the blocking duties, although it’s not as though Fant can’t handle those too. After the NFL draft, John Elway raved about Fant’s skill set, describing him as, “a player who could stay on the field for all three downs.”
Fant will have Joe Flacco throwing to him this year. Flacco has a history of putting up big numbers to his tight ends (See Todd Heap and Dennis Pitta). New OC Rich Scangarello was the QB coach for San Francisco last year when George Kittle (also from Iowa) had his breakout season. The Broncos could use Fant in many of the same ways. Fant is being drafted in the 11th-12th round and could be a huge bargain on draft day.
I’m a little leery recommending Metcalf here for the simple fact that he is inexperienced for an NFL rookie. He played just one full season collegiately and is unpolished as a route runner. His athleticism however, is off the charts! Metcalf scored seven TDs as a redshirt freshman in 2017. He was off to a nice start last year but was injured after seven games. In those seven games he compiled 26 catches for 569 yards and five TDs, averaging 21.9 yards per catch. Metcalf has blazing speed. He ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine and is a physical specimen at 6 feet 3 inches and 228 pounds.
With Doug Baldwin retiring, there is an opportunity for Metcalf to earn immediate playing time. He will play with Russell Wilson who throws one of the best deep balls in the league. Wilson has already raved about Metcalf’s potential in OTAs this summer. The sky is the limit with his talent. The only question is how quickly he can catch up to the pro game. At a minimum, he should have some good games stretching defenses and catching long passes by simply running go routes. I have seen him going anywhere from Rounds 9-12 in PPR drafts. Monitor his development in camp and he could prove to be a great value in redraft leagues. He is definitely a top prospect in dynasty leagues, and I also like him in best ball formats.
All of these players are still generally available outside the first 100 picks in FFPC best ball leagues, and John Brown is even hanging around after 200 picks.
With so little investment required to add these players to your rosters, and considering the potential upside they could each provide, targeting them is almost a no-brainer.
Image Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Dede Westbrook.
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