By Jackson Lambert
With the always consuming season of fantasy football once again rolling around, it is common to feel anxious and excited for that unavoidable draft process. While the first two or three rounds may reward you with the player you seek, or at least a reasonable alternative, later rounds often leave you grasping for scraps. But fear not, because in this list I will highlight the players to grab in later rounds. Though these players may not be the most publicized or sought after players, they will surely fill those roster voids and bye weeks plaguing your all-star team.
- Danny Woodhead– Though not the star-studded running back every team owner searches for, Woodhead is an essential bench (if not starter) component to any team. With 149 recorded points, a 9.3 weekly point average last season, and a projected 137 points this year (ESPN Fantasy Football), Woodhead is sure to perform. With only 88.9% of ESPN Fantasy teams owning him, he may still be available for drafting in later rounds.
- Michael Crabtree- Crabtree, most famously known for his feud with Richard Sherman, is set to again be a reliable backup player this year. Projected to earn 124 points (ESPN Fantasy Football) this upcoming season and a weekly average of 8.7 points last season, he is sure to fill any WR gap.
- Tom Brady- Brady scored an astonishing 335 points last season with one of the lowest interception records, throwing only 7 interceptions out of 624 attempted passes, and is again projected to score 231 points (ESPN Fantasy Football). The issue that arises surrounding Brady is the standing suspension placed on him due to Deflategate, which will sit him out for the first four games. Yet this is also the reason that you can so easily draft him, because as you and all of your league members draft quarterbacks in earlier rounds many well be unwilling to take a chance on Brady. Due to this, many league members will be able to scoop Brady up as a backup quarterback much later in the draft which is sure to benefit you later in the season.
- Devonta Freeman- Again, Freeman may be very high on some of your draft boards, but for many Freeman is still a new face in the sea of NFL running backs. With a breakout 37 points last year (Week 3) against the Cowboys, Freeman was instantly seized in nearly any league he was left undrafted. Despite his early season success, he is still relatively obscure to many uninvolved football fans; so in many leagues he will go much lower than you would expect the ninth overall player (ESPN Fantasy Football) to be drafted.
- Keenan Allen- Allen is another suitable option for any team when faced with those draft scenarios in which all top ranked WR are drafted within the first few rounds. Allen who has struggled with recurring injuries the past two seasons is poised to bounce back healthier than ever this season, which could output the numbers every team owner wants to see. With 158 points projected this season (ESPN Fantasy Football) and barring no injuries, Allen will be going early in many drafts but has the chance to either slip through the cracks or simply be drafted late in many other leagues.