The NFL regular season is less than a week away, which means most fantasy football drafts have been completed.
Whether it is a rookie draft or a redraft, those first and second day selections always get the most focus in fantasy football. However, as the NFL has proved over the years, some of the best players in the history of the sport were picked late.
So, what late picks should you consider taking in your fantasy football drafts? Here are four players taken on day three to keep an eye on in a redraft league.
Dameon Pierce (Running Back- Houston Texans)
Taken 107th overall, Pierce has been the rookie with one of the biggest hypes going into the 2022 season and this is for one reason, he is the only running back guaranteed to start week one.
Kenneth Walker is in a battle with Rashaad Penny for the Seattle Seahawks starting role and has had hernia surgery this offseason. Breece Hall, the first running back taken in this year’s draft, is currently second on the New York Jets’ official depth chart behind Michael Carter.
Pierce was seen by many to be a potential starter before Marlon Mack was cut. This all but seals his fate as the RB1 going into the season.
Pierce never ran for more than 600 yards in a season during his four years with Florida. However, he spent that time behind Emory Jones despite having nine rushing more touchdowns. He finished the 2021 campaign with 43 carries less, which shows a lack of faith from the coaching staff to be the main back.
Pierce will now relish the chance as the undisputed RB1, with lots more opportunities for carries. He also caught three receiving touchdowns, showing his ability to get into the end zone and as a dual threat.
According to Fantasypros.com, his ADP (Average Draft Position) in PPR leagues is 81st on ESPN, 126th on NFL.com and 98th on Sleeper. This means, that he is likely to still be available as late as the tenth round in a ten-person league.
It is always a risk taking a rookie in a redraft, but if you are going to take any first-year player in the position, then Pierce is your best bet.
Romeo Doubs (Wide Receiver- Green Bay Packers)
Doubs is another player to get some offseason buzz.
The Packers wide receiver depth suffered a massive blow when Davante Adams, seen by many as the best wide receiver in the game, left for the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason.
The true number one in Green Bay is far from certain. Allen Lazard is currently down as the WR1 in Titletown, but this is not a certainty.
Running back Aaron Jones could well emerge as the number one receiver with A.J. Dillon as the ground and pound back. However, the 2022 132nd overall pick could be the man to surprise and be Rodgers’ number one guy.
The current back-to-back reigning MVP has spoken highly of Doubs during the offseason. He said: “ He’s made some instinctual plays that you can’t really coach
“He ran a little in and back out in the game, and at the top of the route, there’s a guy right there and instead of drifting on it and letting the guy make a play, he comes hard back to the ball, strong hands. You like seeing those plays. It gives you confidence that he’s capable of doing some things that aren’t on the paper offense.”
Rodgers has also spoken of how he will not throw to players he does not trust. Should he trust Doubs, he could be a good sleeper pickup for fantasy football player. Doubs had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and combined for 20 touchdowns for Nevada in 2020 and 2021.
According to FantasyPros, Doubs’ ADP is 188th on ESPN, 220th on NFL.com and 155th on Sleeper. This has him on average, available in the 18th round of ten person leagues.
With a lack of uncertainty in the wide receiver room, Doubs should be considered late in your fantasy draft.
Zamir White (Running Back- Las Vegas Raiders)
White is currently listed as the RB2 in Las Vegas. Despite this, there are many that are considering taking him in fantasy drafts.
This is despite his ADP on NFL.com being 256th and 179th on Sleeper.
Taken 122nd overall, White ran for over 1,500 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns across the 2020 and 2021 college seasons for Georgia, the latter a season where he won a National Championship and ran for a touchdown along with 84 yards.
The talk of the Raiders trading Josh Jacobs has intensified his position as a potential starter in the NFL, despite Josh McDaniels denying such rumours and he is someone to consider late in fantasy.
Isiah Pacheco (Running Back- Kansas City Chiefs)
This is because of the incredible buzz around Pacheco. Just like Doubs, he comes into an offense that has just lost a key component in Tyreek Hill. He has even taken over the number left behind by the self-proclaimed Cheetah.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes spoke highly of Pacheco. He said: “He’s physically gifted. He’s a smart player. He practices really hard. I mean, he’s big and fast. When you’re big and fast and smart, usually good things happen.
“It’ll be good to see him now have to show off his vision, whenever we’re tackling, making those cuts, and then getting vertical and showing off that speed.
“He has all of the physical tools. He’s been mentally great at practice, so it’ll be exciting to see him in a game where he gets to go out there and make stuff happen.”
Can Pacheco be a Hill replacement? Probably not, who can be expected to replace such a talent, especially in their rookie year. Kelce will now presumably become the number one receiving target for the Super Bowl 54 MVP. However, the number two slot is far from certain, which could lead to a more balanced offense rather than relying on two big hitters.
Pacheco could fit straight in, both as a runner and a receiver. In a points per reception scenario, a running back who can catch is always a big plus. If he can execute these expectations of him, he should definitely be considered late in fantasy football drafts.