By Preston W (@FF_Engineer_)
Disclaimer: This article was published on April 3, 2021, so ADPs listed may not reflect current standings.
It’s April, and if you’re not doing a best ball draft, well you either like baseball, or you’re twiddling your thumbs. So for those of you getting in on the best ball action, I thought I’d break down some of my favorite late round best ball sleepers. After all, a winning best ball roster doesn’t just start the draft strong, but it finishes the draft strong too.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be identifying some of the best late round options on the board. To do so, I’ll be utilizing the player’s current ADP according to Underdog. Every player I discuss will have an ADP above 180, meaning these players should be on your radar in rounds 16 through 18.
Donald Parham – LAC, TE (ADP: 196.7)
With Hunter Henry out of the mix, Donald Parham may just be set up for a good year. We know Justin Herbert looks for his tight ends, as he managed to target Hunter Henry 93 times last season. Henry was also second on the team in targets only behind Keenan Allen. There’s also not a receiver on the depth chart (besides Allen) that could threaten the target share towards the tight end position. Parham’s talent and volume create the perfect value pick needed to complete your roster at the tight end position. And if you think the Chargers signing Jared Cook is a threat to Parham’s production, then you obviously didn’t watch Cook play last year.
Scotty Miller – TB, WR (ADP: 210.4)
There’s an old adage in the best ball community, draft a WR3/WR4 on an elite offense over a WR1/WR2 on a low scoring, inefficient offense. The receiver on the inefficient offense can hold more value in season long fantasy because they can maintain a floor, but they won’t have nearly the ceiling, which is key to making it into your lineup in best ball. Which brings me to Scotty Miler, a current WR4 in a high caliber offense. We all know Tom Brady loves a good wide receiver out of a small college in Ohio, and he reiterated that with his 53 targets to Miller last season. Not to mention, if Antonio Brown doesn’t re-sign with Tampa Bay, it’s Miller Time.
Kadarius Toney – FA, WR (ADP: 194.6)
People are often hesitant to take rookies in best ball drafts occurring before the NFL draft, which is why I prefer to load up on them. All but 7 of the 56 wide receivers with an ADP of 180 to 216 are projected to score less than 100 points next season, by Underdog’s metrics. Most of those 7 include players who were the beneficiary of their injured teammates last season, such as Tim Patrick or Rashard Higgins. Meanwhile, last year we saw 7 of the top 11 rookie wide receivers drafted in the NFL score over 128 fantasy points for the season. So yes, I’m chasing the ceiling and taking any rookie projected to be drafted as a top 12 receiver. And according to Mel Kiper’s current standings, he has Kadarius Toney ranked as the 4th overall rookie wide receiver.
Trey Lance – FA, QB (ADP: 196.4)
This rookie quarterback class is something else, and at a great time because there are some quarterback needy teams out there. Trey Lance is projected to be a top 5 quarterback in this class, and realistically he will be the 4th or 5th option off the board. So where could that leave him? Two options that are on the table are Carolina and Denver, both with a solid group of receivers for Lance to throw to. Obviously one outcome for Lance is that he sits on the bench behind someone for a year, but you’re also drafting the guy with one of your last 2 picks. Everyone else in that range is a dart throw – Lance just has more upside than most. As it stands, there’s about one month left of getting these rookies at a discount because once their landing spots are known, their ADPs will certainly be on the rise.
Bryan Edwards – LV, WR (ADP: 191.0)
I wish I could sit here and tell you how incredible Bryan Edwards’ rookie season was, but what I can tell you is that he’s a great late round flier. With Nelson Agholor moving on, a solid chunk of targets became available, and then Las Vegas signed John Brown. I wouldn’t be concerned enough based on how late you’d be taking Edwards anyway, but John Brown is more of a vertical threat, while Edwards can thrive more off of the short to intermediate range throws. Based on the draft capital they used on Ruggs and Edwards, along with the coach talk, it seems evident their focus will be on developing both receivers. And at the price I can get Edwards at, I would like to be on the year 2 break out train.
When I first began writing this article, I had Mike Boone listed in here. I regret to inform you that Boone’s ADP has shot up above 180, and technically doesn’t make the cut anymore. However, I think his value is still solid, and he’s by anyone’s definition a sleeper, so I figured I’d leave him here anyways.
Mike Boone – DEN, RB (ADP: 168.5)
If you aren’t familiar with Mike Boone, then you probably don’t play DFS or watch enough NFL preseason. After being the third string running back in Minnesota, Boone has picked up a new deal in Denver. In a technical sense, at the current moment Boone is the third string back again, this time behind Melvin Gordon and Royce Freeman. Boone has the potential to very easily beat out Royce Freeman for the #2 role. Don’t believe me? Take a look at his highlights. This guy can play. Regardless, we’ve seen this offense host a committee at the running back position for years now, so I expect Boone to get a fair share of opportunities being the #2 or #3 guy. Right now, Boone’s ADP reflects him being the #3 guy, but his upside is far ahead of that. If he takes over as the #2, he will hold much more value and potential than any running back with an ADP above 140.
I plan to release more best ball value pieces throughout the off season as moves are made and ADPs fluctuate. As always you can find me on twitter (@FF_Engineer_), and in a Underdog draft lobby. Let me know who you’re taking with those late round best ball picks.