Late Round Manifesto: Falling in Love with Late Rounders

“Brunch is the greatest thing in world” – JJ Watt

I am falling in love this man. Also I am developing a man crush with DeAndre Hopkins. But, I digress…

The basis of my strategy to draft D&K early is that you need to fall in love with some late round guys to fill out those spots that you would usually use for a Kicker and the Defense. Regardless, you cannot sleep in late rounds, that is the mark of a loser. Seriously, if you do not take the time to learn how to use the late rounds, you are setting yourself back.

Now I understand that these picks are not sexy, but if you take lotto picks on the right guys you will have a real leg up on the competition. These are just a few names of guys who were taken outside the first ten rounds last year:

Odell Beckham Jr

Travis Kelce

Chris Ivory

Antonio Gates

Kelvin Benjamin

Ben Roethlisberger

DeAndre Hopkins

Jonathan Stewart

Jeremy Hill

These weren’t guys like Justin Forsett or the Buffalo Defense, who came out of nowhere… these are players who were drafted, just not very high. My point is that if you did the research as I did last year, you could have ended the draft with Kelvin Benjamin and Jeremy Hill.

Let’s talk about some guys you can grab at the very end of the draft who might not make your starting roster in first couple of weeks but can definitely be a factor throughout the season. You don’t have to like all these guys, but maybe you should look over my list and see if anyone peeks your interest. One of them might be just the man you are looking for.

Cecil Shorts – If you watch Hard Knocks at all, you know who the WR2 in Houston is and it is not Jalen Strong. Cecil was amazing whenever he was healthy in JAX.

Dwayne Bowe – You may think he is done, but you know who doesn’t? The Browns. You don’t guarantee 9 million dollars for someone you don’t throw the ball to.

Sam Bradford – If you read anything coming from the Eagles camp you would know that they are in love with Bradford. The Eagles made Sanchez and Foles look good. Sanchez!!! I am just saying…

Stevie Johnson – You know how long Stevie has not been fantasy relevant? Two years. That was with the rookie season of EJ Manual and the dumpster fire that was the ’14 49ers. We don’t know everything about his upside, but you know if he overtakes Malcolm Floyd he might as well be a nice addition to your lineup.

Antonio Gates – He’s so old they said… He can’t keep doing it, they said. That was last year, and here he is again. Meet the Frank Gore of TE’s (Okay, Witten, I hear you). So he won’t pay a few games, but you should think about saving him a spot if you are in deeper leagues.

Vernon Davis – He’s healthy, he will be starting. Why not? I am not saying that I will be drafting him, but sometimes people have fluke seasons. Outside of last season, the only other time that Davis was not fantasy relevant was when he was a rookie. If the 49ers seem to catch their stride, you will be wishing you had Davis.

Marcus Wheaton – Everyone is in love with Bryant. But here is the rub – Bryant may not be starting across the field from Brown, Wheaton might. Bryant probably will because of his size and athleticism, but fantasy experts are not inside the Steelers organization. Think about that for a minute. Why are we treating a 3rd year receiver on an offense that rivals Denver like he isn’t worth a dime?

DeAngelo Williams – This is a weird one. I do not want Williams on my lineup all year, but if you are taking a bunch of lotto picks on RBs because you are drafting Zero-RB or you drafted Bell in the first round, I know one good choice to start my season with. You can roll with the starting RB for Pittsburgh for two games while you see what other RBs work out.

Kenny Stills – Quick… Who had the best catch rate of all qualifying receivers last year? Kenny did. Caught 63 passes on 83 targets. The final numbers may not be very exciting, but it says if he is given the opportunity to shine in Miami, he will probably blow up. Yeah, that would make me feel like drafting him, too.


Thanks guys, Draft smart and remember … Anything that can go wrong, will.

fantasyreaList Writer: P. Christian Swafford


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