Top 17th and 18th Round Options On Underdog
Most people can be pretty happy with their Best ball draft after the first 10 rounds or so, but finding value later in the draft can be more of a challenge. With the season getting close several guys who were sleepers 1 month ago are now going in the mid-rounds. This has made the 17th and 18th rounds a lot more challenging. There are still a few guys that stand out in those later rounds that you should be targeting. Here are 17th and 18th round options that you should find in a good percentage of your drafts (ADP 192 or later).
Davis Mills (ADP: 198.6)
Mills probably ended up playing more than anyone expected as a rookie, and he had the typical growing pains you’d expect. He did improve though down the stretch and had a couple of solid games in his final few starts. The Texans still figure to be a bad team overall so they will likely be throwing the ball late in games. This could lead to Mills having some usable weeks where he compiles 300+ yards and 2-4 TDs. He is also supported by a decent offensive line and a solid 1-2 in Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins at WR. As a 3rd QB option, he should give you a nice floor with probably a few big weeks.
Carson Wentz (ADP: 205)
Wentz is being completely overlooked in Best ball this season, and that is a bit surprising. Wentz is coming off a year where he finished 18th in PPG and, he’s also a clear starter with no real chance of being benched. Despite that, he’s going as QB 28 on Underdog. This just doesn’t make a lot of sense, as Wentz has typically been between QB 13-18 in points per game in his career. He offers a strong floor and will have a few 20-25 point games a year. Wentz also has the best group of wide receivers he’s ever played with, which could lead to more fantasy production.
Marcus Mariota (ADP: 206.7)
Mariota is back as a starting QB after a 2-year hiatus as a backup. Though the Falcon’s offense isn’t the most appealing to work with, Mariota probably has a longer leash than most people believe this season. He has worked with the Falcons’ coaches before, and they aren’t likely to turn to rookie Desmond Ridder until late in the season (if at all). Mariota offers a solid rushing floor and could be in line for some big spike weeks where he adds both quality rushing and passing production together. Jalen Hurts last season struggled as a passer and finished as QB 6, due to his rushing. While that level is unlikely for Mariota, it does show that rushing alone could carry him into the top 20 of QBs this season. Not bad for a guy going as QB 29.
Jerick McKinnon (ADP: 202.1)
The Chiefs are going to go with Clyde Edwards-Helaire again as their top running back, but so far that track record has not worked for them. CEH has yet to show he can handle either the goalline or the passing game role effectively, which opens the door for Kansas City back-ups. Currently, it looks like late-round rookie Isaiah Pacheco is the number 2 back, but McKinnon shouldn’t be forgotten about. He was the Chiefs’ top option in the postseason and he could find his way back to a decent role. For a 17th-18th-round pick, he’s well worth the selection on the upside alone.
Eno Benjamin (ADP: 203.7)
Reports are that Darrel Williams could be cut or traded, which opens the door for Benjamin to be the number two option in Arizona. Benjamin probably won’t have the full Chase Edmonds role, but he is strong insurance to James Conner and could have a little passing role.
Mark Ingram (ADP: 206)
We might not see an Alvin Kamara suspension this season (though it is still possible for later in the year), but Ingram still has stand-alone value here as his primary back-up. Kamara has not ever been a bell-cow running back, and Ingram could see some regular usage. He’s unlikely for many big fantasy weeks but could give you some decent depth.
Jaylen Warren (ADP: 213.6)
This is a pure handcuff play, but Warren is making a case to be Najee Harris‘ primary back-up ahead of Benny Snell. If anything happens to Harris, the Steelers starting back role is very enticing and could solely go to Warren versus a committee approach.
Dontrell Hilliard (ADP: 215.3)
Reports are that Hilliard is clearly the number two back for Tennessee behind Derrick Henry and he could carve out a bit of a passing role as well. This is still going to be mainly reliant on a Henry injury, but for a final round dart throw, you can get some major value. It’s also worth noting that for major tournaments Hilliard hasn’t been drafted nearly as often as other players in this range so he can give you a different line-up option.
A.J. Green (ADP: 194)
Green had over 800 receiving yards a year ago, is tied to one of the better passing offenses in the league, and has a clear major role for the first 6 weeks. Despite that, he’s going in the late 16th or early 17th round. Even after the first 6 weeks when the Cardinals will be without DeAndre Hopkins, Green can still be a solid floor play at WR. It’s pretty surprising how little Green’s ADP has changed this offseason, which makes him one of my favorite options late in the draft.
Donovan Peoples-Jones (ADP: 201.5)
It’s tough to get excited about Browns’ pass catchers given Watson’s suspension, but Peoples-Jones has some value late in drafts. He seems to firmly have the number 2 role on the team and should be Cleveland’s deep threat. So while most weeks he won’t crack your line-up he could have a couple of big weeks for your team. Also, it’s worth noting that he will have Watson back for the important playoff weeks. You are getting DPJ at a discount here when he could be very valuable in that Week 15-17 range.
Curtis Samuel (ADP: 202.2)
The Commanders signed Samuel to a big contract in 2021, but injuries derailed his season. Washington went out and selected Jahan Dotson in the 1st round this season, so Samuel is pushed down to the 3rd option in the receiver room. That’s not an ideal spot, as this offense figures to be pretty balanced, but Samuel should be out on the field in 3 WR sets. As we saw in 2020 he can be a fantasy producer in that role. While that level of upside shouldn’t be expected, he’s a good 8th-9th WR option, who should have a decent floor with the chance for a couple of solid weeks.
Randall Cobb (ADP: 211.7)
The Green Bay Packers WR room is still the most unknown unit heading into the final weeks before the start of the season. Allen Lazard is locked in as the number 1 guy, but beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. Romeo Doubs has impressed, but he’s also made some mistakes. The other rookies and young guys are even less secure in their roles. That leaves Cobb and Sammy Watkins as potential big contributors to this team. Cobb hasn’t been practicing due to injury, but he’s expected to be ready for the start of the season. Given his history with Aaron Rodgers, he could be relied upon as the number 2 option on this team. There is definite uncertainty, but the upside of hitting on a key target for Rodgers is worth the selection.
Cedrick Wilson (ADP: 213.2)
Wilson may be buried behind Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle but for a 3rd WR on a team that figures to throw the ball a decent amount he’s not getting drafted. Wilson was given a solid contract, so Miami is going to want to get some sort of ROI on that deal. While I wouldn’t expect Wilson to be a week-in-week-out option for your line-up, he should be able to produce a couple of playable weeks. That’s a lot better than most of the guys going this late.
Bryan Edwards (ADP: 215.1)
Edwards has been injured for much of camp, but he’s still widely expected to be the number two starter opposite Drake London. Edwards will be 3rd or 4th on the receiving pecking order, but as your 8th or 9th WR he gives you a solid floor with some spike week potential. Edwards has deep threat ability, and could perhaps get a couple of weeks where he catches a long TD to make him playable.
Isaiah Likely (ADP: 202.8)
It’s getting harder and harder to ignore Isaiah Likely. The Ravens rookie TE has been very impressive in camp and the preseason. While he has no real chance of unseating Mark Andrews as the top TE, the Ravens are a team that loves running two TE sets. They also desperately lack passing weapons beyond Andrews and Rashod Bateman. Likely could be thrust into a decent role as a rookie, and is an interesting stash in the final rounds of drafts.
Mo Alie-Cox (ADP: 204.6)
This ADP feels like a major steal. The Colts have drafted mid-round TEs in each of the last two seasons, which is why Alie-Cox isn’t getting more attention, but both are struggling in camp. This has left the veteran as the clear number 1 option, and he will likely have a pretty big role on this team. The Colts have no clear number 2 option beyond Michael Pittman Jr. in the passing game, so there is potential for Alie-Cox to exceed expectations. Even if he’s just a 4-catch 40-yard guy, who could get some Red Zone looks, that’s valuable this late in the draft.
Logan Thomas (ADP: 208.6)
Earlier in the offseason, there were some reports that Logan Thomas would start the season on the PUP list and could miss significant time, but Washington just activated him off the PUP list. He can now begin practicing with the team and seems to be ahead in his recovery from his knee injury. Thomas was a focal point of the offense in 2020 and had a couple of solid games in 2021 before getting injured. He likely doesn’t have the upside of his 2020 production, but he’s a stronger option than most 17th or 18th-round options. It’s still possible that he could miss the first week or two, but his health is no longer a major concern like it once was.
Daniel Bellinger (ADP: 214.8)
Though rookie tight ends rarely produce, Bellinger has a chance to be part of the exception. Ricky Seals-Jones was placed on IR opening the door for Bellinger to be a full-time player out of the gate. He was already impressing some in camp with his athletic ability and size. Bellinger is likely no more than a 3rd TE who is a floor play for Best ball, but if you need a 3rd TE and want to wait to the 18th round he can be viable.
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