Five Late Round Fantasy Football Sleepers
The NFL Draft is over, and while we are looking forward to what should be an exciting 2018 NFL Draft, we still have a lot to digest. Part of that is looking through the picks that were made and trying to figure out who can have an impact. A lot of the time, fantasy players look toward the top of the draft as opposed to the bottom, and with good reason. The talented do typically go a lot higher than those who aren’t. That’s pretty much a common sense thought.
Each year, though, there are a few guys drafted later in the draft that could end up paying dividends. This year was no different. I’ve scoured the draft lists, and I’ve pulled out five guys that I could see having an impact in year 1. These aren’t guys that are necessarily going to be week one forces, but I think they could be by the end of the season. In dynasty drafts, these are the guys I am going to stock up on quite a bit.
Chad Kelly – QB – Denver Broncos
It’s not often that we would look to the last pick of the draft, Mr. Irrelevant if you will, as our introduction here, but I can see this playing out exactly like this:
The Denver Broncos are currently running with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. Neither really looked great in my opinion last year. Siemian doesn’t really look to be the heir apparent or the future of the franchise. Lynch was a stud in his final year at Memphis, but has not developed like you would imagine him to. It was known that he was going to be a developmental project. The problem is, his attitude appears to be changing for the worst. I’m not sure if it is a situation where he just didn’t think it would take him a year to get into the game or not, but the brass is reporting that he isn’t viewed as a “first in, last out” type player in the offseason, which is basically how all the top quarterbacks in the league handle business.
Chad Kelly is a hot head, might have a ton of personal demons, but man, is he one heck of a quarterback. If he had the composition and diplomacy of the other quarterbacks in this class, I really don’t see any reason why he would not have been the top quarterback taken. That’s legit; he’s THAT good.
I think training camp with see Kelly look the best of the three, but not be named starter in favor of Siemian. After a few weeks of subpar performances, and Paxton Lynch continuing to displease management, Chad Kelly will step in and take over the reins of the team. He’s got everything around him to success, and in dynasty drafts, I am going to stockpile him.
Marlon Mack – RB – Indianapolis Colts
I’ve been planning on doing a podcast or article called “Return of the Back”, set to the tune of “Return of the Mack”, but now I’m excited to see the “Debut of the Mack”.
Watching Mack play at USF, I saw a guy who can do everything you want out of a running back. He never had Donnell Pumphrey type stats, but he was a stud his entire time at the university. He can catch, he can block and can he ever run. It’s going to be interesting to see how things develop for him.
I was admittedly high on Josh Ferguson last year because “Frank Gore was at the end of his career.” Unfortunately, we’ve been saying this for like five years now, and he continues to come out and perform. I do like Ferguson, but if I had to guess which one would be a bigger threat to Gore’s job security, it would be Mack.
There is going to be a ton of buzz on a few different running backs, and I think there’s a chance that Mack could get lost in the shuffle. He’s another one on my list of guys I can really see being worth a selection in the mid-rounds of your dynasty drafts.
Chad Hansen – WR – New York Jets
Hansen is going into what could be the worst quarterback situation in the NFL. It would be in the Jets best interest to start Josh McCown, and try to be as bad as possible in order to get one of the top picks in the draft so that they can select an actual quarterback.
Hansen is one of those players that goes unheralded because he only had one good season in an Air Raid offense, which does typically produce gaudy stats.
The difference was that Hanse is the type of player who can catch anything. He’s got amazing hands and awareness when it comes to positioning himself along the sideline.
The Jets are already down Brandon Marshall, and they are highly unlikely to roll with Eric Decker beyond this year. They have a nice core of young players like Robby Anderson and Jalin Marshall. I think Hansen is better than both.
It’s tough to say how much of an impact he’ll make in year one, but I like the upside for him on a team that could be bad.
Samaje Perine – RB – Washington Redskins
Selfishly, I wanted the Browns to take Perine, because I do think he is a special talent. The Redskins had a decent backfield, or at least I thought, between Matt Jones and Robert Kelley, but apparently they were not as sold.
There has already been talk that Perine is going to have a role on this Redskins offense, and I don’t think it will take too long for him to have an impact. While Rob Kelley is adequate, I think that Perine will likely be able to beat him out.
I do suspect that he could be in the top 5 of rookie backs taken in dynasty drafts, and I wouldn’t hesitate grabbing him there. He was somewhat overshadowed by Joe Mixon in his final season at Oklahoma, but the talent is still there.
Jake Butt – TE – Denver Broncos
Had Butt not gotten injured, we would be hearing much more about him because he would have been taken far earlier. He’s highly talented, and he has always struck me as the kind of player that is likely to see success at the next level.
Truthfully, when I look over the tight end roster for the Denver Broncos, they actually don’t have a bad group of young guys. Unfortunately, they are not at the talent level of Butt. We’ve seen what they have, and honestly, it doesn’t match up with what Jake Butt can do.
I would expect him to be the starting tight end by the end of the year, and an actual usable tight end in fantasy circles. This draft is chock full of high upside tight ends, but Butt is someone I think you can get in a great spot, and while he probably won’t be the best from this class, but he’ll be worth the draft position.