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Getting the steal of the draft is the fantasy football equivalent of winning the lottery. Late round fliers that don’t pan out won’t necessarily break your fantasy team, but finding that diamond in the rough on draft day can surely make your team into a contender. While the whole draft is important, the most important picks come at the tail end of the draft where I, and many others, like to take their high risk-high reward players. Some of these guys won’t be on your team by the end of Week 3, but if you get lucky and strike gold, you can have one of the highest value players in the league, considering the round you drafted him in.
If you were
lucky skilled enough to draft any of these players there’s a chance you could use them as trade bait to bolster your team. If you were a Taco GM too stupid to take a flier late don’t worry, use this list of over-performers to target via trade.
These 10 players weren’t picked until the later rounds of drafts (or off of the waiver wire) and are making their fantasy owners look like geniuses right now.
Kenny Golladay- ESPN ADP: 129.3 (WR55) — Current Positional Rank: WR20
Golladay is breaking out in a massive way in 2018. Many thought he wouldn’t be a major factor as they predicted him to be a third option behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. but Golladay has put up numbers with the best of them. In fact, all three of Jones, Tate and Golladay have 50+ receiving yards in each of the Lions first four games this year, the only trio of wide receivers to achieve that mark. Golladay has made some absolutely sensational catches this year and Matthew Stafford continues to throw the ball his way. Golladay has a 71.9% catch rate, reeling in 23-of-32 targets for 330 yards and two touchdowns. He currently ranks as WR21 in PPR formats, despite not being selected until the late rounds of drafts.
Carlos Hyde- ESPN ADP: 75.5 (RB27)— Current Positional Rank: RB8
The reason Carlos Hyde fell so far in drafts was the lack of clarity surrounding his playing situation. There was question as to whether Carlos Hyde would be a feature back in Cleveland’s running game due to Duke Johnson’s presence and the acquisition of Nick Chubb. Well, Hyde’s workload has been nothing if not heavy. Hyde is averaging a career high 20.8 rush attempts per game for the Browns, and he’s making the most of them, scoring five rushing touchdowns and racking up 71.3 yards per game. If you avoided Hyde on draft day, you’ll be hoping you’re avoiding him in your matchups as he has reasserted himself in the upper echelon of fantasy running backs.
Kerryon Johnson- ESPN ADP: 111.5 (RB38)— Current Positional Rank: RB28
Kerryon Johnson looks like the future for Detroit’s ground attack, and it’s about time they had a running back to be excited about. Johnson got off to a slow Week 1, but has been effective in the following three weeks. He was the first Lions RB to pick up more than 100 yards on the ground since Reggie Bush did it in back in 2013. Johnson was drafted on average after players such as Peyton Barber, Alfred Morris, Duke Johnson and Rex Burkhead, but has outperformed all of those players thus far. He continues to trend upwards and could make his way into the Top 20 of RB’s in what has been a difficult year to find talent at that position. That’s a steal for sure.
Will Fuller V- ESPN ADP: 97.3 (WR38)— Current Positional Rank: WR25
Will Fuller was injured to start the year, missing the opening week of the season. If you slept on him because of that. It was a mistake. Fuller and QB Deshaun Watson have an amazing rapport, and picked up right where they left off before the latter got injured last season. Fuller has scored a touchdown in every game he has played with Watson. Fuller has been a target machine this year, picking up 20 targets through his first two weeks, and managing five targets last week before exiting with an injury. If he can stay healthy, Fuller may end up in the Top 15 of WR’s in 2018.
Tyler Boyd- ESPN ADP: 170 (Undrafted) — Current Positional Rank: WR18
Tyler Boyd was likely not drafted in your fantasy football league this year, and if he was, it was at the very end of the draft. Well, he’s certainly owned in most leagues now. Boyd has been on fire over the past three weeks, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. He has 323 receiving yards over his past three games, along with two touchdowns. During that span he has made 23 receptions and has been targeted more times than AJ Green has this year. Boyd has been a sensational waiver wire snag this year as he climbs his way up the WR rankings.
Calvin Ridley- ESPN ADP: 136.8 (WR61) — Current Positional Rank: WR11
Ridley has been feasting this year, to the tune of 264 yards and 15 receptions. Oh, not to mention that he leads all receivers with his 6 touchdown catches. In fact, Ridley has more touchdown receptions this season than Julio Jones has accumulated since Week 6 of 2016. Ridley has played four games in the NFL. He has been targeted 21 times this year but makes the most of his opportunities and has become a true red zone threat for the potent Falcons offense. Ridley catches up 71.4% of balls thrown his way and will look to continue finding the end zone throughout the season. Anyone who skipped on picking Ridley in favor of fellow rookies Courtland Sutton, DJ Moore or Michael Gallup is kicking themselves right now.
Cooper Kupp- ESPN ADP: 96.3 (WR37)— Current Positional Rank: WR7
Cooper Kupp has been tremendous this season, despite his low draft stock. There are a lot of mouths to feed in the Los Angeles core, but Kupp has managed to stay fed. He’s scored four times in four games and has yet to miss the 50-yard mark per game. Kupp will have been drafted on after the likes of Robby Anderson, Pierre Garcon, Chris Hogan and Marquise Goodwin. He’s proving to be quite the steal, coming off of a nine reception, 162 yards and 2 TD performance against the Vikings in Week 4. On the season, Kupp has a 75.0% catch rate, completing 24-of-32 targets for an impressive 348 yards and four scores.
John Brown- ESPN ADP: 138.4 (WR63)— Current Positional Rank: WR21
John Brown is healthy again and immediately inserted himself as the top receiver in Baltimore. While all eyes were on Michael Crabtree in drafts (ADP of 67.1) it’s been Brown who has found the most success on his new team. Brown has 15 receptions for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns, all while only catching 50% of the balls thrown his way. There’s still room for improvement, but he’s already been sensational to start the season.
Geronimo Allison- ESPN ADP: 170.0 (Undrafted)— Current Positional Rank: WR28
Allison represents another player that went undrafted in fantasy drafts who is proving everybody wrong. While Randall Cobb was picked around 99th overall, Allison was left to the waivers to start the season. Since then, Allison has managed to cement himself in the Packers offense as he has reeled in 19-of-29 targets for 289 yards and a pair of receiving touchdowns. Allison may have surpassed Cobb as the team’s true WR2 behind Davante Adams and was available in most leagues as a free agent.
Jared Cook- ESPN ADP: 131.8 (TE18) — Current Positional Rank: TE1
Finding solid production out of the tight end position has been a struggle thus far into the season, but if you took a flier on Jared Cook in the draft then you are sitting pretty. Cook has been sensational in two games out of the four he’s played, and his other two have been above replacement level for TE’s as well. In Week 1 he caught nine passes for an incredible 180 yards. In Week 4 he caught eight passes for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns. On the season, Cook has reeled in 26 catches for 370 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders TE is getting a lot of attention from Derek Carr and should continue to produce safe numbers, with the potential for a few monster performances scattered in the mix.
Pat Mahomes- ESPN ADP: 105.5 (QB13)— Current Positional Rank: QB1
Drafting Pat Mahomes may have been the smartest thing you did all season, if you took him in your draft. Mahomes has exploded onto the scene in 2018, posting huge numbers as he dominates defenses through the air. He has arguably the best set of offensive weapons in the league at his disposal and he makes the most of them each game. Mahomes is the top dog among fantasy quarterbacks through the first four weeks and he’s yet to put up a sub-20 fantasy point performance. He has already thrown for 14 touchdowns, 1,200 yards and has yet to throw a single interception or fumble the football.
Matt Breida- ESPN ADP: 133.8 (RB48) — Current Positional Rank: RB16
When Jerick McKinnon went down with an ACL injury, the question became whether to go after Matt Breida or Alfred Morris. If you snagged Breida, you made the right choice. Breida was off to an incredibly hot start and was leading the league in rushing yards through the first few weeks. He has since cooled down a bit while dealing with a small injury, but he has still been a bargain for fantasy owners. Breida has rushed for 313 yards and a touchdown this season on 41 carries. Even while dealing with his shoulder injury, Breida continues to be the lead back in San Francisco, being utilized on 38 snaps compared to Alfred Morris’ 14 snaps.
If you drafted or picked up one of these players, your team may be sitting pretty right now. However, if you have any of these players, you could be in trouble!