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Fantasy Football: 5 Late Round Draft Targets
The end of fantasy football drafts can be a challenge as most of these guys are more dart throws than anything. These are players you don’t want to have to rely on unless injuries and bye weeks dismantle your team. However these picks can be the players that emerge into fantasy stardom and swing leagues. These five late round draft targets are players I continue to find myself drafting for their potential upside. You should do that same.
*All ADP via FFCalculator
Phillip Dorsett | WR | Indianapolis Colts | 13.01
The Indianapolis Colts are transforming their offense away from their traditional two tight end set to an offense that utilizes three wide receivers. This will allow the Colts to get their best players on the field including second year receiver Phillip Dorsett. While Dorsett didn’t replace TY Hilton like some thought he might after being selected in the first round a season ago, he still has a clearly defined role in this offense and a golden opportunity to be fantasy relevant.
Dorsett can be a deep threat that should produce a ton of big plays and is one injury away from WR2 type numbers. If you are a John Brown fan and miss out in drafts, you should be drafting Dorsett. He gives you almost seven round discount on Brown, who is currently going in the middle of the 6th round per FFCalculator. With Andrew Luck back healthy and back under center this offense as a whole is poised to explode. Luck should throw the ball over 600 times for 4,000 plus yards and 30 plus touchdowns. A perfect way to fill the end of your bench.
Jason Witten | TE | Dallas Cowboys | 13.09
If you are waiting on tight end or want to backup a high upside tight end Jason Witten is a fantastic late round target. He is the player that quarterback Tony Romo leans on when he’s under pressure or needs a key third down. He has been targeted 100 plus times every season of his career but two. In those seasons he was targeted over 90 times. Witten makes even more sense in PPR formats where he has been a top 10 tight end every year since 2011. The addition of Ezekiel Elliott will help this offense be more dynamic and relieve the pressure on Romo. This should mean more red zone opportunities for the Cowboys offense and more chances for Witten to score touchdowns. I’m absolutely fine with Witten as my starter to start the season. He will be a reliable option with top ten potential yet again this season.
Tyler Boyd | WR | Cincinnati Bengals | 12.05
There are a ton of question marks around the pass catchers in Cincinnati including Tyler Eifert’s availability for the first part of the season. Brandon LaFell looked like he could get the nod early but has dealt with a hand injury most of the preseason setting up for Tyler Boyd to be the starter opposite AJ Green. During his time with the University of Pittsburgh, Boyd caught 254 balls for 3,361 yards and 21 touchdowns. Boyd made up 42.9% of the receptions in his final season with the Panthers.
153 targets left this offseason when Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu found new homes. Boyd isn’t a superior athlete but he runs quality routes and his reliable hands make him a player Andy Dalton to rely on. Look for Boyd to step up and produce early.
Ted Ginn | WR | Carolina Panthers | 14.02
The death of Ted Ginn has been overstated. The return of Kelvin Benjamin and the growth of Devin Funchess will have an impact on his target share this offense, but the deep shots to Ted Ginn will still be in this offense. Cam Newton has show that he will continue to funnel targets to receivers even when they are not making plays or dropping the ball. Will he be a consistent player to use this season? No chance! Can he be a weapon a flex play that will help during bye weeks or if you need a dart throw? Absolutely! He has been fantasy relevant in his two seasons with the Panthers. He will only catch about half of his targets but that should be in the neighborhood of 50 catches for 500-700 yards and five plus touchdowns. Put him on your bench and thank me later.
Will Fuller | WR | Houston Texans | 13.12
Let me introduce you to the the number three option in the passing game and the guy starting opposite DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller. He has been getting the first team work in practice and has started both of the preseason games. He exploded in the second game with a 4 catch for 75 yard game that included a 19 yard bomb from quarterback Brock Osweiler for a touchdown. Jaelen Strong and Braxton Miller are likely to mix in but work in the same area of the field. Fuller has a defined role as a field stretcher. Does he have top 20 or 30 WR upside this season? Probably not, but there will be plenty of opportunities to use him especially if they have negative gamescript matchups. The Texans ideal strategy will involve a great defense and a ton of Lamar Miller. Even in that scenario Fuller should still see plenty of work. In the second half of the season where the Texans went on their run towards the playoffs, Brian Hoyer was averaging 35 attempts a game. Fuller is a great end of the bench guy that should pay dividends this season.