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Fantasy Cheat Sheet: Six Players to Target in the Last Round of Your Draft

Get ahead of the curve on these guys before they become waiver wire darlings.

Despite drafting fabulous fantasy teams all summer, somehow Week 1 always delivers some surprising heroes that went undrafted and may offer value all season. By taking a chance on these fliers late in drafts, the goal is to be ahead of the curve and save some precious free agent dollars while also potentially covering a weakness in your depth or even starting lineup.

Here are six players who might be worth grabbing with the final pick in your draft:


Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
In most 10- and 12-team leagues, Goff will go undrafted. In the National Fantasy Football Championship (104 drafts), he has been the 24th-ranked quarterback selected over the past two weeks. The Lions have a top pass-catching back (D’Andre Swift), a developing chain-moving wideout (Amon-Ra St. Brown) and a top-tier tight end (T.J. Hockenson). Free-agent signee D.J. Chark should be an upgrade as their WR2. In a way, Goff’s receiving options have a similar feel to the Rams in 2018 (Todd Gurley, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp) when he passed for 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns (8.4 yards per catch). Dan Campbell spent five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, where Drew Brees was a top-producing quarterback in the league. Keep an open mind about Goff in 2022 as the Lions hope to move into NFL relevance in the win column.

Running Back

Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings
Over the past few days, multiple teams have contacted the Minnesota Vikings to ask about Alexander Mattison, who is the perceived handcuff to Dalvin Cook in late August. The success of Ty Chandler in the preseason (15/113/1 with two catches for four yards) points to a better role than expected. Over five seasons at North Carolina, he gained 3,810 yards with 30 touchdowns and 72 catches on 675 touches, highlighted by his success in his senior year (182/1,029/13 plus 14 catches for 207 yards and one score). His change of pace value may give him more snaps out of the gate in Week 1 while being one injury away from a significant role. Over the last two weeks in NFFC drafts, Chandler is the 93rd-ranked running back with an ADP of 240.

Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals
If Joe Mixon is injured, Chris Evans could offer sneaky upside in the fantasy market. He gained 228 combined yards in his rookie season with two touchdowns and 14 catches on 32 touches. Evans scored an impressive 1.53 fantasy points per touch. However, his college resume looks relatively low (320/1,795/15 with 49 catches for 479 yards and two scores) despite gaining 5.6 yards per carry and 9.8 yards per catch. The key to Evans earning valuable passing snaps is holding up in pass protection. Samaje Perine brings a journeyman path to the Bengals with a limited ceiling in the passing game (63/449/2 over 60 games), opening a better window for Evans. He ranks 70th at running back in late August in the NFFC.

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Wide Receivers

Amari Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rookie Romeo Doubs is the big wide receiver mover for the Packers over the summer, but I continue to preach that the winning wideout for Aaron Rodgers will be the player who sees most of his snaps out of the slot. Randall Cobb will open the season as that option. He has plenty of experience in the Packers’ system while once being an excellent top-tier wide receiver. Unfortunately for Cobb, his ceiling days left the building in 2015. Amari Rodgers had a surprising six rushes in the preseason for 36 yards while picking up seven catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. I expect his stock to rise as the season progresses while having a free ADP (238) over the past two weeks in the NFFC. To show my confidence in my opinion, I rostered Rodgers in 139 of 150 Underdog best ball drafts.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders
Last March, Washington signed Samuel to a three-year contract for $34.5 million after a dazzling season in 2020 with the Panthers (1,051 combined yards with five touchdowns and 41 catches). He finished 24th in wide receiver scoring (212.4 fantasy points) in PPR formats. This year, Samuel is the 85th wideout off the board in the NFFC with an ADP of 221. The emergence of Jahan Dotson (ADP of 123) has shifted fantasy eyes to a brighter new rookie player in drafts. Samuel offers a run/pass foundation, giving him a chance to work out of the backfield. All he needs to succeed is a higher opportunity.

Tight End

Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens gave Likely an excellent chance to shine in the preseason, and he responded with 12 catches for 144 yards and one touchdown. Over four seasons at Coastal Carolina, he caught 133 passes for 2,050 yards and 27 touchdowns. Likely has a big wide receiver profile (6’4” and 235 pounds) while drawing a tight end qualification in the fantasy market. Baltimore has questions at WR2 and WR3, creating an excellent chance for Likely to get on the field with Mark Andrews. I’m late to the game identifying him, but there is an exciting opportunity. In essence, Likely could see wide receiver snaps with a better-than-expected edge at tight end while having a free price tag (ADP – 225 in the NFFC).

In 2006, Marques Colston came into the NFL with a similar profile (TE qualification at some sites with an edge in size – 6’4” and 225 pounds). Over his career at Hofstra University, he caught 182 passes for 2,834 yards and 18 touchdowns. Colston hit the ground running in his rookie season (70/1,038/8) while playing with one of the better quarterbacks in NFL history.

Likely won’t have Drew Brees throwing him the ball, and the Ravens are a running team, but he could have a much better opportunity than expected in his rookie season.

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