Late-round picks don’t hit at a particularly high rate, but when they do, these players provide their fantasy teams a massive edge in DraftKings Best Ball leagues. Over the past five years, 13 of the 40 best fantasy seasons by win rate have come from players drafted outside of the first ten rounds (per RotoViz). The reason late picks seem to have similar upside as picks in the first few rounds is that so few of them hit. Most fantasy teams leave the first five rounds with four or five good players. Only a handful of rosters feature a difference-maker taken in the double-digit rounds. Here are five players you should be targeting after the tenth round based on Awesemo’s projections. Lets get into some late round fantasy football sleepers for your best ball drafts on DraftKings, Yahoo, FFPC and more!
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DraftKings Best Ball Sleepers: 5 Late-Round Best Ball Picks
DraftKings Best Ball Sleeper #5. David Njoku
Awesemo’s Recommended Draft Position (RDP): 212
Njoku is a great flier in extremely deep Best Ball leagues and leagues that award tight end bonus points. He’s been labeled a bust by most fantasy players but Njoku began his career in historic fashion. He recorded 386 yards in his age 21, rookie season. That mark is the third-best for a tight end of his age. Only Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski posted better seasons at the same age.
Then, in his second NFL season, Njoku posted 639 yards, the eighth-most at the age of 22. It’s clear that Njoku was destined for greatness until last year. He suffered a wrist fracture in Week 2 that cost him all but four games. When he was healthy, Njoku was still playing on a dysfunctional Cleveland offense.
Now Njoku is the backup to Austin Hooper, who was brought in via free agency. However, the Browns hired Kevin Stefanski away from Minnesota, and he was a major proponent of using multiple tight ends. Minnesota used two or more tight ends on 54% of their snaps last year. Njoku won’t be eliminated by Hooper and was a precocious talent before faltering in his third season. Don’t write him off just yet.
DraftKings Best Ball Sleeper #4. Cam Newton
Awesemo’s Recommended Draft Position (RDP): 123
Newton played eight mostly healthy seasons from his rookie year until 2018. He was a QB1 by points per game in seven seasons. His one miss was 2016 … when he was the No. 13 QB. Until 2019, when Newton played two healthy games, he wasn’t slowing down either. In his two seasons prior to 2019, Newton averaged eight carries for 41.4 yards per game. Both marks were above his career baseline. All reports from training camp have indicated that Newton appears healthy and is throwing well.
If Newton returns to the field as even a fraction of his former self, his rushing ability will make him a lock to finish as a QB1. However, Newton evolved as a passer in 2018.
His average depth of target dropped to a career-low, 7.2 yards, and he completed 67.9% of his passes. This newfound style should mesh perfectly with the weapons of New England with James White and Julian Edelman being his top options.
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DraftKings Best Ball Sleeper #3. Chase Edmonds
Awesemo’s Recommended Draft Position (RDP): 131
In the smallest possible sample, Edmonds showed that he was capable of being a workhorse running back when called upon. In Week 7, Edmonds recorded 29 touches for 150 yards and three scores. It’s hard to take much from such a microscopic sample but his college days were filled similar days.
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During his junior season at Fordham, Edmonds averaged 25.6 touches for 188.3. Overall, he recorded more than 1,000 touches in college.
Before playing for Arizona, Kenyan Drake spent three seasons in Miami. The team never gave him more than 133 carries in a season and eventually gave up on Drake, sending him to the Cardinals for a sixth-round pick. After going on a tear post trade, Drake earned is spot as a second-round selection.
Edmonds is great for Best Ball but he’s also an easy selection in weekly-managed league. His primary value will come in the event of a Drake injury or underperformance making Edmonds’ big weeks quite predictable.
DraftKings Best Ball Sleeper #2. Allen Lazard
Awesemo’s Recommended Draft Position (RDP): 156
The Packers let Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham walk in free agency this year. Along with a handful of smaller players, the Packers are without 132 targets from 2019 and have done nothing to replenish those looks. They added Devin Funchess, who chose to opt out of 2020, and drafted Josiah Deguara, a blocking tight end and fullback.
That leaves Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Lazard to scoop up targets after Davante Adams. Lazard spent his rookie season mostly on the Jaguars practice squad before finding a home in Green Bay. Then, after his first offseason with the Packers, Lazard finished second on the team with 477 yards. He did this on the sixth-most target among Packers pass catchers.
Lazard is the most efficient second receiver in Green Bay and broke out as soon as he got a chance with the team. His prospects for year 3 are looking up.
Awesemo’s rankings are also above the market on Adams and Aaron Jones this year. Getting Green Bay’s top options at the turn of the first round and stacking them with Lazard and Aaron Rodgers in the double-digit rounds is an ideal Best Ball tournament strategy.
DraftKings Best Ball Sleeper #1. Boston Scott
Awesemo’s Recommended Draft Position (RDP): 118
Scott was a dynamic player when given the chance last year. He evaded a tackle on 30.6% of his touches, top 10 among backs and tied with Alvin Kamara. As a receiver, he posted 7.8 yards per target, good for top 10 as well (for backs with at least 25 targets).
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 10, 2019
All of this play-making ability led Scott to be the RB7, one spot ahead of Miles Sanders, from Week 14 to Week 17. Scott isn’t going to usurp Sanders, but he does have a high probability of taking away a serious amount of touches. Doug Pederson has been the head coach of the Eagles for four seasons. He’s never had a running back hit 200 carries, and his top back averages 157 carries a year.
Because his game is based on being efficient on limited touches, Best Ball is a great format to capitalize on Scott’s big weeks without being penalized for the low-usage games. Scott is the single biggest value in fantasy drafts, going nearly 50 picks after Awesemo’s rankings think he should be taken.
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