Fantasy Football 2013: Don't Get Caught Sleeping in Late Draft Rounds

By Jim Heath
Arian Foster
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What do Arian Foster, Anquan Boldin, Alfred Morris and Jamaal Charles have in common? If you said, some lucky schmuck in my Fantasy Football League drafted these guys for nothing their first year as starters and made bank when the season ended, my apologies to you for not being that lucky schmuck. However, this article is for you.

First, here’s where you and the above-mentioned lucky schmuck probably differ in your draft-day strategies. My guess is you pick based on name recognition from top to bottom of your draft. Instead of going out on a limb to pick up a not yet known player with potential upside, you hide within your own fabricated comfortable confines of a name that you have been drafting since your first year in Fantasy Football. It doesn’t matter that the guy you are drafting will turn 40 this year and hasn’t been fantasy relevant in three years, you know him, and by god you’re taking him.

If you are set in your ways and change is not an option please remember to turn the basement lights off when the season ends in December. However, if you are up for a different perspective then please — carry on.

There is a point in every fantasy draft where the “blue chips” are no longer on the table, handcuffs have been secured, the sleepers are gone and league mates begin grasping straws asking, “is so and so healthy and still on this or that team?”

I won’t argue the significant excitement drop at this time in drafts, it’s about as exciting as watching water boil or paint dry. But there is potential relevance somewhere, don’t let the draft lull take you off your game. This is the time of the draft where you saw Foster, Boldin, Morris and Charles go their first years as relevant fantasy players. Someone in your league did their homework and stayed on their game through out.

They weren’t accidental picks. There were circumstances identified by your league mates that had them drafting unknowns. While you drafted a big name from your dad’s era of Fantasy Football, they took a low risk high reward chance on a player in a situation where their contribution was possible. And when the season ended your big name was no longer on your roster and their preseason no name was a mega fantasy stud.

I am a firm believer that mistakes are only a bad thing if you make the same one twice. You lick your wounds from past misfortunes and let the scars prepare you for this season’s draft.

This year, the above mentioned lull names like Peyton Hillis and Ronnie Brown will probably be available. Sure, they had relevance once but their chance of success this year rivals that of the proverbial snowball in hades.

Instead, look at names like Mike Gillislee of the Miami Dolphins or Johnathan Franklin of the Green Bay Packers. Both enter the 2013 NFL season as members of backfields where no definitive starter has been named. Sound familiar? The Washington Redskins had the same situation one year ago paving the way for Morris’ monster breakout season.

At worst, Gillislee and Franklin will get carries as the team’s number two back and sit one injury away from starter status on the roster. And even if they have no fantasy relevance it 2013, what did it cost you, your last pick or two? That is what they call in the fantasy world zero risk fair to midland upside.

Stay on your game, even in the later rounds. There will be a no name from the draft that finds fantasy pay dirt at season’s end, which seems to happen every year. Go find that guy.

Jim Heath is a Fantasy Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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