2019 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

2019 Fantasy Football Late Round Target Flight

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Is a late round target really any different from a sleeper? The answer is no. However, as mentioned when I detailed potential late round wide receivers, the term sleeper has become too ambiguous. To solve that problem however, we are using the term late round target and breaking it down by different league sizes. Saddle up as we get on board for a 2019 Fantasy Football Late Round Target Flight.

The difference is that there never seems to be a short supply of wide receivers. Well, at least proportionately. When you jump from say a ten team league to a 16-team league, the talent tails off so quickly at running back versus wide receiver. This leaves so few attractive late round RB picks in a 16-team league. By the time you get to the 10th round in a 16 team league, nearly all RB sleepers have long since gone . Yet late round WR targets are still in plentiful supply in a 16-team league.

But this is far from an extensive list. Given that this is Fantasy Six Pack, we are going with the term “flight” to represent a smaller sampling of a much bigger selection of options to “tap into”.


So, relax and slowly absorb each of the options below. Sniff it. Let the subtle aromas fill your senses. Taste the deep complexities and contemplate everything that each of these sleepers have to offer. Wait, sleeper? I meant late round target!

2019 Fantasy Football Late Round Target Flight

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Ten Team Late Round Target

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers

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I don’t understand how an injury causes a guy to tumble from a top ten pick at his position all the way down to the 18th quarterback taken. Garoppolo still has the exact same rifle of an arm that he did a year ago at this time. He still has the smarts that he displayed before his injury last year. If you really don’t know why Garoppolo is worthy of a late round pick, I’m going to have to ask you for ID. Because you obviously don’t belong in this establishment.

Twelve Team Late Round Target

Justice Hill, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Meanwhile Hill might be the house drink here at F6P. We don’t even serve him in the standard 16-oz pour. Hill is considered undersized by NFL standards, yet still managed 21 bench reps at the Combine. But that is not even the most impressive part of his Combine performance. He absolutely killed it there, registering a 4.4 40 and a 40-inch vertical.

Despite the strong Combine peripherals, Hill slipped a little in the draft. However, he might have fallen into the perfect situation in Baltimore. The Ravens lack proven receivers.  Lamar Jackson has yet to prove he can throw downfield. Should that continue into this year, check-downs might be a mainstay of the Baltimore offense, and Hill could be a primary target. Baltimore has one of the easier rushing schedules and an offense centered around the run game. With the nearly 30-year old Mark Ingram ahead of him, Hill is in a great spot as a star-in-waiting that can be had in the mid-13th round in standard and late 12th in PPR leagues. With a chance to have standalone value and an even better chance to be one of the top handcuffs, give me a shot of Justice!

Fourteen Team Late Round Target

Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets

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Very little from Sam Darnold’s rookie season pops off the page. He had only 17 TD passes and set next to his 15 INTs, that number is even less impressive. He did not have even three thousand yards passing last year. But remember that he was out from week 10 through week 13. But he did look good the last quarter of the season, throwing just one interception versus 7 TDs the last quarter of the season.

A solid floor has yet to be established, however, the foundation is there for Darnold to build on in his sophomore year. And his supporting cast has become instantly stronger with the addition of Leveon Bell who caught 160 passes during the two years before his standoff this past year. He also should have a healthier WR corps this year, along with his continued chemistry with fellow second year player Chris Herndon. The Jets also bolstered the OL this offseason with the signing of Kelechi Osemele.

Darnold is not going to suddenly be a top tier quarterback. But don’t be surprised if he becomes a borderline Qb1 this season, especially in your 14-team establishments.

Sixteen Team Late Round Target

Jordan Thomas, TE, Houston Texans

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Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice….and I’ll still probably be arrogant enough to pick you again next year. The good news is I haven’t been burned twice by Jordan Thomas yet. I did draft him last year however and he burned me. And just one league would have been enough, but unfortunately I drafted him in multiple leagues. Of course I got burned. But I am willing to stand close to that fire again. Here’s why:

A quick look at PFF’s passing direction charts show that DeShaun Watson loved throwing passes less than ten yards to the middle of the field. He completed 109 out of 131 passes to that part of the field, or more than double any of the other 12 areas as determined by PFF. Last year, Ryan Griffin saw a lot of those passes, but he is now a Jet. Jordan Thomas has assumed the Texans starting TE position, and a quick look at Jordan Thomas receiving chart overlaps quite nicely with Watson’s.

But both the “statheads” and the “talent scouts” are probably rolling their eyes. The former because it’s a small sample size for Thomas and the latter because it doesn’t tell the whole story. They’re both right. But its the physical attributes that Thomas has that leads me to believe the small sample size is indicative of greater success. The 6’6 277-pound tight end is a red zone threat (see the four touchdowns despite just 27 targets) whose speed score put him in the 84th percentile.

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Thomas is not going to suddenly see Kelce like numbers. But just two more TDs and even just 500 yards receiving is not unreasonable given the likely increase in targets this year. That would make Thomas a Top 10 TE. That is pure gold in a 16-team league, making Thomas one of my favorite late round targets!


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About Mark Strausberg

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