It’s now crunch time. We are into July, the peak of Fantasy Football draft season. The Scott Fish Bowl kicks off Monday, which, for me anyways, signifies the beginning of the end of draft season. Having already competed in over 60 drafts so far this season, including mocks and best balls, this is the time I am at my sharpest when it comes to drafting, before the fatigue sets in towards the end of August. All send and done, I probably will do close to 100 fantasy football drafts before the beginning of the season. That is why those late round ADP buys are so crucial. Get these picks right and you could be dancing in a winter wonderland with a championship or two under your belt. If you missed last weeks top 5 buys in rounds 1-6, go back and check it out.
So, without further ado, here is the top 5 players I am targeting in the late rounds that are instant buys at their current ADP. The ADP data comes once again from Fantasy Football Calculator.
Jordan Howard- ADP 7.08
Jordan Howard is the RB1 on his team. He will get a high workload. And he is available in the late 7th round. I appreciate Miami couldn’t run the football last year. However, Jordan Howard is not Kalen Ballage. His Yards per Attempt won’t be 1.8. And given Matt Brieda has always struggled with his health, not to mention the improvement and investment on this Miami Offensive Line, slotting Howard in for 180-200 carries, with 20-40 receptions, and all the goal-line work, bringing 6-10 Touchdowns, isn’t only realistic, but its probably underselling him.
For the games in which Howard played in last year, he was the RB24 in PPR formats. He also has seasons where he was the RB10 (2016), RB18 (2017) before being underused and finishing at the RB38 in Chicago prior to getting traded. He is coming off the board at RB35 according to the ADP data. The fact Miami have paid Howard for 2 years and given him a nice contract, vs the investment they have in Brieda, means you can draft Howard with confidence at this position, or anywhere from the 6th round onwards.
Julian Edelman- ADP 8.06
There is zero respect for Edelman’s achievements in the NFL and fantasy football in general. Every year, his ADP gets lower. Yet, every year, his production is competitive with being a consistent top 24 Wide Receiver. Last year, Edelman finished with his career high in receiving yards (1,117) and finished as the WR7 in PPR. Has anyone every finished as a top 12 Wide Receiver and fallen below round 6 the following season in ADP for anything other than injury before. The answer, is no.
The reason for his plummet is of course Brady has departed for Tampa Bay, meaning it looked like Jarrett Stidham would be throwing the rock. And this is still a potential possibility. However, they have signed Cam Newton this week to add competition for the starting job. I’m not convinced Cam is a lock for the start Week One, but that is a different debate.
Even for the change of QB, having Edelman go off the board as WR36, when there is almost no competition for targets, is criminal. Yes, the quality of targets will go down. But he is locked into 150 targets. A receiver like Edelman knows how to get open, run smart routes, and score Touchdowns. Edelman is a buy from the 6th round upwards. I expect his ADP to rise with the Cam Newton news, but you should get ahead of the ADP drafters and snag him in the 6th. He’s still a buy value there.
Alexander Mattison- ADP 8.09
Last season, Austin Ekeler was the buy Fantasy Football drafts. If you got him in the 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th rounds, you walked away with a PPR machine at a fraction of his value. In 2019, Alexander Mattison is potentially this years Austin Ekeler. Dalvin Cook wants to hold out for a new deal. However, Cook has barely any leverage. He has a high chance of re-injury, a higher chance of being replaced, and with the news of salary cap cuts, almost zero chance of getting the deal he wants or expects.
Mattison looked good as a rookie with his 100 carries. Even if Cook does not follow up on his threats of a hold out, Mattison is still the number 1 handcuff to own in Fantasy Football. The Vikings are a run first team, with Cook one of the highest risk as a Running Back this season, as he has a very good chance of re-injuring his shoulder.
Marvin Jones Jr- ADP 9.09
Marvin Jones Jr. is another who is criminally undervalued. Yes, I know he has finished the last two seasons on IR. He is unlikely to play 16 games. However, he is going as the WR42 off the board, with an ADP of the late 9th round. Jones does not need to play 16 games to justify your investment. In his 8 games with Matthew Stafford, adjusted for bye weeks, Jones Jr. was the WR12 in PPR. A WR1! If you had him for the first 9 Weeks of 2019, and drafted him with his 8th round ADP last year, he out performed his value. A replacement, streamable WR would have carried you into the playoffs.
I understand Marvin Jones Jr. is not a WR who won you championships the last two years. However, when you look at ADP, he probably contributed to getting you in the tournament. This is stage one of any league. I also understand that I appear to be contradicting myself, as I know most people reading this know I will fade Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette. However, those draft picks have a 1st/2nd or 3rd round price tag. Those players need to hit, and need to perform for you to stand a chance.
Swinging on Marvin Jones, who has a great production profile in his career, with a QB like Stafford throwing him the rock, makes Jones Jr. an attractive buy candidate. For me, 7th round onwards is a good buy spot for Jones Jr. You can always stream a WR2/WR3 option the rest of the way to ensure this works out.
Mike Gesicki- ADP 13.01
Gesikci is a perfect Tight End late candidate. If you have read the Fantasy Football Playbook you will already know that I subscribe to the Tight End late school of thought. You will also understand why, as I make the case for it. He has all the appeal for someone I want to take late as my Tight End.
Gesicki was an absolute athletic freak at the Combine. Not to mention, Tight Ends don’t start to break out in Fantasy Football until year 3 or 4. This is Gesicki’s year three season we are heading into. Through Weeks 9-17 of the season, Gesicki was the TE8, finishing 4.3 Points Per Game (PPG) behind Travis Kelce, 3.1 PPG behind Ertz, and 3.0 PPG behind Kittle. This isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, except Gesicki was pretty much free last year, whereas you spend anywhere from 1-4th round capital on the three Tight Ends I have mentioned here.
Is Mike Gesicki going to win you a league, probably not. He will outperform this ADP, as well as where he is being drafted as the Tight End 14. However, the key thing with Gesicki, is he will not lose you games, and championships. He might give up 3-5 Points Per Game over the elite Tight End options, but given the depth of RB/WR options you will have vs those who invest in Tight End early, you will outscore that team more often than not. Gesicki is a buy from the 9th round onwards for me, and this ADP is just absolute cheap. He is a steal in the 13th round.
Coming Next Time
Next week I will be giving you my top sells, or fades from rounds 1-6. These players are ones getting overdrafted, and ones to be very careful of in your drafts.
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– Murf (@Murf_NFL)