2016 Fantasy Football: Late Round Targets

by Gage Padula
Late Round Targets
late round targets

Credit: Brook Ward

If you're any run-of-the-mill fantasy football player, you're dipping out after the 10th round, because you've filled your starting line up.

Fantasy owners committed to excellence know championships are won in the later rounds. I've identified seven late round targets that you should want to own for your fantasy team.

Late Round Targets

Wide Receivers

Chris Hogan, New England Patriots

Currently being selected in the early 10th round in most fantasy drafts. Chris Hogan is a free agent signee from the Buffalo Bills. He's staying in the same division - just different colors. Chris Hogan is joining an offense in New England that consistently turns out boom or bust fantasy wide receiver options. Typically, they are in the latter category, but my hope is on the boom.

Chris enters a situation in New England where the two wide receivers ahead of him on the depth chart, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, have struggled with injuries over the past two seasons. Since the departure of Wes Welker, Tom Brady has been looking for a consistent and solid slot option; Chris Hogan could be that guy.

Chris Hogan in his first three seasons with the Bills brought in 87 catches for 959 yards and just four touchdowns. These lackluster numbers weren't turning any heads, but the most impressive thing about Chris Hogan is that his biggest game as a professional came in Foxboro. Possibility of things to come for Chris Hogan.

Jaelen Strong, Houston Texans

Jaelen Strong, the former Arizona State wide rerceiver, had a very lackluster rookie season. He posted 10 catches for 161 yards and three touchdown catches. All of those came late in the year and in a span of two weeks. In Strong's defense, it was hard to get excited about any non-Hopkins wide receiver last year with Brian Hoyer as the Texans quarterback.

72 million dollars later, the Houston Texans hope to have found their fix at the quarterback position with Brock Osweiler. Osweiler is a significant upgrade over Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, Uncle Rico, etc. He proved himself capable in Denver of spreading the ball around to multiple targets. He delivered the wideouts the ball at the most opportune time to allow them to make plays.

The only thing working against Jaelen Strong is the Houston Texans first round pick Will Fuller. Both men are competing for that WR2 position in Houston. Whichever man makes the starting roster is going to be the benefit of targets with Deandre Hopkins manning the WR1 spot.

Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens

Coming off a rookie season where Breshad Perriman tore his ACL, he is heavily undervalued. He was one of the most sought after rookies last year in redraft leagues before the injury. Now this year, the injury has taken a serious toll on his draft stock.

Perriman was drafted by a team that was in desperate need of a deep threat after the departure of Torrey Smith in Baltimore. Perriman is a Torrey Smith clone bringing the same size and speed to the Ravens. The pairing of Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith resulted in a lot of deep balls and touchdowns for the Ravens. Perriman could re-ignite this offense with his deep routes.

The only thing standing between Perriman and guaranteed success with the Ravens is the plethora of options they have at wide receiver. Steve Smith Sr. changed his mind about retirement; the team brought in Mike Wallace; they have three different running backs who are going to get carries and catches out of the backfield. Breshad Perriman is arguably the most talented and if he gets the targets, could be a low WR2.

Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins

Late Round Targets

Credit: Keith Allison

The former Duke Blue Devil was a quiet rookie sensation and put together quite a streak. During Weeks 3 through 9, Jamison Crowder had at least four catches and 45 yards. He did all the things you'd want from a rookie wide receiver.

He was sure-handed and ran all of the underneath routes. Once the ball was in his hands, Crowder was making plays. He was averaging 10 yards per catch on the season.

His stats towards the end of the year began to drop off. The return of Desean Jackson proved there is truly only one ball to go around to multiple targets. With this being a contract year for Jackson and Garcon, both have proven they can't stay healthy for a full 16 games. If one of these guys goes down, Crowder will quickly become Cousins' favorite target.

Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

After an impressive rookie season for Davante Adams, little strides were made during his sophomore campaign. Even after the opportunity to excel with the Jordy Nelson injury, none of the wide receivers in Green Bay stepped up and the Packers offense suffered. Jordy Nelson appears to be the cog in the Packers offense to make it run.

Davante Adams thrived in his WR3 role for Green Bay in his rookie campaign. He brought in 38 catches for 446 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged over 11 yards per catch. With the return of Jordy Nelson, the Packers will put Adams back into a role he is comfortable with. This will benefit he and Aaron Rodgers to put more points up this season.

Adams will be entering a contract year next season so he needs to either prove to the Packers or another team in the NFL he can be a go-to NFL wide receiver on a weekly basis. Adams will be playing for more than just our fantasy wins this year and that's the motivation you want in a late round fantasy pick!

Sammie Coates. Pittsburgh Steelers

Coming off an uneventful rookie campaign, it appears as if Coates may have an opportunity in Pittsburgh. With the year long suspension for Martavias Bryant, Coates has an opportunity to keep for the number 2 wideout position with Markus Wheaton.

The Steelers have one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben likes to sling the ball around the field and get as many options possible. The up-tempo offense will benefit an athletic wide receiver like Sammie Coates. If you're looking for a low risk, high reward player - Sammie Coates is worth a deep roster stash.

Running Backs

Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

The former 2,000 yard rusher Chris Johnson was returning to old form last year with the Arizona Cardinals until an injury late in the year halted his impressive season. One could argue that without the injury to Chris Johnson, David Johnson would perhaps not be as relevant or highly drafted as this year.

Last year, Chris Johnson rushed for 814 yards on only 196 carries. That's an impressive 4.2 yards per carry. CJ2K looked like his former self cutting quickly and making smart decisions between the tackles.

He had made his case to be the clear cut favorite in Arizona. After the impressive end of season and post season of David Johnson, Chris is undervalued.

Chris Johnson is in a crowded backfield which for most fantasy owners means hands off, but there is one thing going for Chris. The Cardinals are a team that is in win now mode and don't have time for hiccups or mistakes. If David Johnson would stumble in Arizona, Chris Johnson is the guy who would benefit from the heavy workload.

Tight Ends

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Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars

Coming off an injury riddled 2015 campaign, Julius Thomas is looking to return to Pro Bowl form in 2016. Julius Thomas fought through multiple injuries to his left hand missing a total of five games for the Jaguars.

However, during his time on the field, he was one of quarterback Blake Bortles' favorite targets. With a positive outlook for 2016, Julius Thomas could return to his form in Denver.

During the 11 games Julius Thomas did participate, he was showing flashes of brilliance and chemistry with the young quarterback. After playing three years with Peyton Manning, Thomas was adjusting to a new quarterback and they definitely started clicking.

Over 11 games, Thomas was targeted a staggering 80 times, bringing in 46 of them for catches and five touchdowns. The second year with the gunslinger can only mean good things for Orange Julius. A full, healthy season and selecting your starting tight end in the 11th or 12th round will make you a happy fantasy owner.

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