Yeah buddy. The season is right around the corner and drafts are about to be poppin off like crazy. Here are 5 guys that you should consider in the later rounds of your draft:
1. Roy Helu, Jr. (RB, Washington Redskins, 13th Round)
The 105th overall pick out of Nebraska in the 2011 NFL draft should work his way up the depth chart on a Redskins offense that will be heavily emphasized on running the ball. With questions at quarterback, and a coach in Mike Shanahan who loves to run, all 3 backs should get plenty of touches. I couldn’t believe he slipped to the 4th round in the draft as he shows that he is able to handle a load of 25 carries a Sunday, as he ran for over 1,000 yards the last 2 seasons in college while battling through injuries. Sure, he is prone to injury in a much bigger and faster league, but he is also fighting for time behind Ryan Torain and Tim Hightower. Torain is dealing with a hand injury right now, and Hightower never really awed anybody with his abilities in Arizona. Hightower will probably end the year with the most fantasy points out of the 3, but if Helu is creepin around the 13th round or so, it’s time to take him off the board. If Torain continues to struggle to stay healthy, Helu could be a staple if something were to happen to Hightower.
Dont Draft: James Starks, GB
2. Emmanuel Sanders (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers, 15th round)
He needs to get healthy, this is for sure. He had a procedure done on his foot in the beginning of camp this year, but he is Pittsburgh’s 3rd best receiver. Mike wallace is going to be a top 5 receiver this year, and Heath Miller will be a top 10 TE again. The change here is that Hines Ward is getting old. Sanders has crept above Antwaan Randel El and Antonio Brown, and is a great deep threat on 3rd and long situations where defenses will be focusing more on the vertical threat of Wallace, and zoning the middle of the field to contain Miller. He will see a lot of 1 on 1 coverage and with his speed he should be able to have some days that definitely make him draftable.
Dont Draft: Jordy Nelson, GB
3. Mike Thomas (WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, Top 20 WR)
This might be the most important one, and definitely the most relevant in leagues that carry a flex and 2 WR’s. On ESPN, he is projected as the number 34 WR which I can’t even believe. ESPN has A.J. Green ahead of him… and the Bengals are counting on Andy Dalton to play quarterback. If you don’t know who Andy Dalton is… well thats my point exactly. David Garrard is one of the most underrated QB’s in the league and with Mike Sims-Walker out of the picture in JAX, Mike Thomas will be the guy. Jacksonville plays in a division that is decent at best against the pass, and with Mercedes Lewis becoming a reliable TE over the middle of the field, Mike Thomas will find ways to get open on the outside. I would take him as the 25th WR off the board to be safe, considering he is projected to go 10 position slots lower, but don’t be surprised if he ends the year as a top 20 wideout.
Dont Draft: A.J. Green, CIN
4. Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers, Last non-kicker/D-ST pick)
Going out on a huge limb here, because he isn’t going to get drafted in 99% of fantasy drafts. Remember though, Mike Vick went undrafted around that same percentile last year. The only reason why I am saying he is not a terrible pick in that position is because his upside is huge. I watched him play in their first pre-season game, and this guy has some serious talent. It wasn’t a fluke that he made college defenses look like high school teams. Here is what he has going for him in fantasy terms: Defenses are going to stack the box against DeAngelo Williams so Newton will be able to afford to take some shots down the field. The Panthers also signed Legedu Naanee, and besides having the greatest name in football, he should actually become a decent 2nd option next to Steve Smith, and they also got Greg Olsen to give him a decent option in the middle. Oh and did I mention the Panthers suck? Newton will have more garbage fantasy points then any other QB this year, and garbage points often decide games. If you have the balls, draft him.
Dont Draft: Kevin Kolb
5. Brandon Pettigrew (TE, Detroit Lions, Top 7 TE)
This is the year. Dear god, please let this be the year. The Lions are going to be an actual team this year, and might make the playoffs if they find a way to win against their division. If Stafford stays healthy, Pettigrew will be a hell of a tight end. All the pieces are there, they have an elite receiver in Calvin Johnson who will be heavily guarded in the red zone, which is where TE’s not named Antonio Gates make their impact known. Pettigrew is their best option inside the 20 and don’t be surprised to see him have around 900 yards this season, with close to 8 TD’s. He will be a force this year, and should definitely be drafted late 7th round.
Dont Draft: Kellen Winslow