By Billy Moy @william_moy6 on August 6, 2014
Towards the end of your draft, you should be going for touchdowns, not field goals. Your safe, money-in-the-bank points should come from the early rounds of your draft and the later rounds should be used on high-upside plays. The following slideshow highlights 10 guys who are being drafted late, if at all, so far in 2014 that have the potential to be absolute steals.
Jarrett Boykin is the favorite to enter the season as the Green Bay Packers' No. 3 receiver, taking James Jones' vacant role. I want Aaron Rodgers' No. 3 receiver, and I really want him if I can draft him late. Boykin had four weeks of double-digit fantasy points last season, and three of them came when Rodgers was injured. The Packers are going to score a ton of points this season, making Boykin a safe late-round option with loads of upside.
Marqise Lee, the 2012 Biletnkoff Award winner as college football's top receiver, will have plenty of opportunities to show what he's capable of doing as he sits atop the Jacksonville Jaguars' WR depth chart. The Jaguars' offense has been dreadful for a while now, but despite the unit's overall ineptitude, they've produced two good fantasy options in Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon over the last few seasons.
Ladarius Green is a superstar in the making. At 6-foot-6, 240 pounds he is a physical freak who runs a 4.53 40, and he's had two years to learn from one of the best receiving TEs of all time. According to Pro Football Focus, Green was the ninth best pass-catching TE last season, ahead of guys like Jordan Cameron and Jason Witten and given a full workload it's very possible that he finishes 2014 as a top-10 TE.
As a rookie last season, Kenny Stills led the NFL with 20 yards per catch. He has game-changing down-the-field ability. With the departure of both Lance Moore and Darren Sproles, Stills should see a few more balls thrown his way and if last year indicates anything, just a few targets could go a very long way (he scored 13 fantasy points – standard scoring – in Week 17 with just one catch).
Until we know for certain that Josh Gordon is going to miss the full season, why not draft him in the last round? There's a chance that Gordon only misses eight games. Now, it's not a great chance and I believe the odds are greater that he misses the whole season, but we're talking about a guy who was the No. 1 receiver in fantasy last season after missing the first two games!
When Zach Ertz was drafted 35th overall last season, expectations were that he would eventually become a major part of Chip Kelly's high-powered offense. Those expectations may come to fruition in 2014. Ertz upped his production in the red zone at the end of last season (five touchdowns in his last nine games, playoffs included), and offseason reports indicate that he's shined in the red zone so far this summer.
Jeremy Hill was drafted to take over BenJarvus Green-Ellis' role within the Cincinnati Bengals' offense and so far this offseason, he's lived up to expectations, leading to Bengals beat writer Paul Denher Jr.'s suggestion that Hill could see roughly 10-15 touches per game. Hill figures to be the bruising back while Bernard figures to be the starter/pass catching back, meaning there's a chance that Hill racks up the touchdowns, aka fantasy gold.
Mike Evans has looked great so far this offseason and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have run a bunch of plays with both him and Vincent Jackson lined up on the same side of the field, with one of them in the slot -- which will create a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Evans should be a monster in the red zone and he has the talent and opportunity to put up some big fantasy numbers.
Many fantasy owners were burned by Tavon Austin last season -- a then-rookie receiver with a similar skill set and pedigree as Brandin Cooks -- but Cooks is not Austin, nor is he in nearly the same situation. All reports from Saints camp indicate that not only does Cooks look amazing, but he also has the work ethic to match with the talent; if there was ever a QB who knew how to use a weapon like Cooks, it's Drew Brees.
If these two things happen, Ahmad Bradshaw has a shot at being the biggest steal of 2014: Trent Richardson continues to stink, and Bradshaw finds a way to remain healthy. From Week 2-Week 3 last season, Bradshaw rushed the ball 34 times and racked up 160 yards to go with two touchdowns and 29 fantasy points, then he got hurt. If he reclaims the starting gig at any point this season, he could be a fantasy monster.
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