Fantasy Football: Do Not Ignore These Late Round RBs

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Once you hit the later stages of the draft it’s all about filling up your bench. You find yourself adding guys who have low ceiling or high floor while searching for the ever-elusive winning lottery ticket. The great running backs go off the board early and once you hit the last 3-5 rounds the pickings are slim but there are guys available who can add to the success of your team. Deciding where to establish my cutoff for late round RBs was tough. There are only 66 RBs being drafted enough to even have an ADP and most of those guys are going in the first 8 rounds. I decided on the 10th round since 2/3 of the RBs are already drafted at that point and digging into your team’s RB5 slot. So, with that in mind, here are 4 guys going after the 11th round starts that should not be ignored as your draft winds down.

With the exception of Jonathan Williams, the Ballers have every one of these guys ranked ahead of their current ADP. Between the Ultimate Draft Kit and Draft Day App, you have the tools at your disposal to help find values like these come draft time.

Matt Forte

Drafting a 31-year-old RB is playing with fire in fantasy football but Forte is one of the few weapons the Jets have in 2017. Despite only playing 14 games last year and falling off the map after Week 10, Forte still finished as the overall RB20. He was an RB1 in 6 of first 10 weeks in 2016 and should start this season as the Jets’ lead back again. He can coexist with Bilal Powell and at one point last season there were rumblings about trying Forte as a slot WR and, with all of the departures and injuries at wideout, there may not be a choice this year. Based on the early preseason games, he might even need to play QB. But in all seriousness, he’s going to see early down work, he’s going to be involved in their passing game, and he’s currently going in the 11th round of fantasy drafts. He might only be good for the 1st half of the season but if you’re an owner waiting out an Ezekiel Elliott suspension, Forte might be just what you’re looking for.

Darren Sproles

Every season we hear that “Blah-Blah-Blah” has a skill set similar to Darren Sproles and will probably take over the pass-catching role…and every year Sproles still delivers. He has been at least an RB3 every season for the last 6 seasons and finished as the RB25 in 2016. All of that was in .5 PPR (Ballers Preferred) scoring. Believe it or not, he was the RB30 in standard scoring last year. The signing of LeGarrette Blount should not affect Sproles at all and if his current role stays the same, and I think it will, he will gain enough total yardage, score his typical 4 TDs, and make himself relevant in any league. So, say what you will about Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey, I’ll just “settle” for Darren Sproles and his 50+ receptions in the 12th round.

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Jeremy Hill

No RB’s stock was hurt more by a rookie RB than Jeremy Hill, though Jonathan Stewart may not agree. To be fair, the plummet started before the Bengals ever called Joe Mixon‘s name in May. His fantasy numbers have dipped every year he’s been in the league. So why should you take a flyer on Hill in 2017? Touchdowns. Jeremy Hill has scored 30 TDs over the last 3 seasons, the only RBs to score more are David Johnson and DeMarco Murray. The coaches have already said he’s the starting RB and I just don’t see Marvin Lewis turning red zone duties over to a rookie. Hill will certainly see less work than the 222 carries per season he currently averages, but I don’t think his 10 TDs per season are out of reach. In the 12th round, I don’t know that any RB offers the upside of Jeremy Hill.

Jonathan Williams

The backup to LeSean McCoy in Buffalo has paid off well for fantasy owners and, with the departure of Mike Gillislee, Jonathan Williams will look to fill that role. Williams failed to impress in limited time last year but he is an enviable position as we start 2017. Let’s start with what Gillislee left behind, specifically 101 carries and 8 rushing TDs. In fact, Shady’s backup has scored at least 7 TDs in each of his 2 seasons in Buffalo. Now the Bills have a new coaching staff but seeing as Shady will likely still be run ragged between the 20’s, I think it’s safe to assume that Williams will see a similar red zone role as Gillislee. I think 600 yards and 7 TDs and is a fair projection and that would put him firmly in the RB3 ranks. He’s currently being drafted as the 56th RB off the board if he’s taken at all. His floor is relatively low and, if Shady gets hurt, this is the lottery ticket you are looking for at the end of your draft.

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