2021 Fantasy Football Late-Round Targets

by Michael Tomlin
2021 Fantasy Football Late-Round Sleepers

Drafts are more often won later in the draft than in Round One. That is what makes these 2021 late-round targets so crucial to your Fantasy Football success.

All of these 2021 late-round targets can be drafted in the double-digit rounds. Most of the 2021 late-round targets will be undrafted in many leagues.

They are no-risk, possible high-reward players. And that is the key; you want your 2021 late-round targets to come with a high upside. What is the point of wasting a bench spot on a guy that will consistently put up low-floor numbers without an upside?

These 2021 late-round targets all come with the possibility of being firm starters in your Fantasy Football lineup.

All of the information in the 2021 late-round targets is up to date as of July 16th and the Average Draft Position (ADP) is per Fantasy Data.

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2021 Fantasy Football Late-Round Targets

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Jameis Winston, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints

When people talk about Famous Jameis they tend to skew towards the negative side of things. Whether it is the turnovers or that Tom Brady won the Super Bowl in Tampa after Winston could not even make the playoffs, people seem to discount his ability.

I do not though. I have always been a Jameis-believer as he was my most rostered quarterback in 2019. You know, 2019 when he was the QB3, throwing for over 5,100 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Now Winston gets the most talented receiver in the league with the best quarterback coach calling plays.

Obviously, there is a risk that Taysom Hill starts, but I still think it is Winston’s job come training camp. But considering he is going undrafted in most single-quarterback drafts, there is no quarterback with as much upside that can be considered one of the 2021 late-round targets.

Gabriel Davis, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills

Davis got a little lost in the rookie-class explosion at the end of last season. From the time John Brown was out with injury before Week 11, Davis had at least four targets and multiple catches in each game the rest of the season.

His production ended up a little inconsistent, but the workload was there. He also has a nose for the end zone, scoring seven touchdowns on only 35 receptions. He is a serious deep threat with an average depth of target of almost 16 yards downfield.

Well, John Brown is in Las Vegas now and he is replaced by 34-year-old Emmanuel Sanders who has not had 900 yards since 2016. There is also a solid chance that Cole Beasley and his 82 catches and 967 yards are not with the team.

With no great receiving back or tight end on the roster, Davis could end up as the second option in the Bills’ passing game. That is some solid upside for a late-round lottery ticket.
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Anthony Firkser, Tight End, Tennessee Titans

I wrote in my blind resumes article that the Titans threw to tight ends almost 140 times last season. Jonnu Smith is not there anymore, and no one was signed to replace him.

Firkser will assume the lead tight end role in the offense that has thrown 21 touchdowns to the tight end position over the last two seasons.

Oh yeah, the Titans just added Julio Jones. I think this actually helps Firkser as the safeties will have to worry about Jones and A.J. Brown, leaving linebackers to cover the tight end most of the time.

At a position with a ton of question marks after the first few guys, if I am taking a tight end later in the draft, I want someone with massive upside more than a weekly floor. Firkser provides that.

Javian Hawkins, Running Back, Atlanta Falcons

I have been touting Hawkins at length this offseason. Do you realize that the second latest ADP of a backup running back is Hawkins? What I am getting at is that career journeyman Mike Davis is being treated as having one of the highest touch percentages of any back in the league.

Does this not seem off to you? I do not believe he handles more than 50-55% of the work to start off. I also believe that the big-play ability of Hawkins will shine over the other members of the backfield.


Everyone wants to find “this year’s James Robinson” and I think Hawkins has the clearest path as of this writing.

Sam Darnold, Quarterback, Carolina Panthers

This is probably more for Superflex or 2QB leagues, but I am still a believer in Sam Darnold. We are judging a guy’s skillset off of playing with the terrible New York Jets and playing for Adam Gase.

The culture that Matt Rhule has created in Carolina could not be more different than what the Jets have had. Darnold also has the best receiver (D.J. Moore) and best running back (Christian McCaffrey) that he has ever played with.

I mean we obviously all like the Panthers’ offense if they have the consensus top back and 1.01 along with two of the Top-35 wide receivers. So why would we not think Darnold could be a serviceable Fantasy Football asset?

Last season, Teddy Two-Gloves Bridgewater and Phillip Walker combined for over 4,100 yards passing without the benefit of Christian McCaffrey on the field. I am projecting Darnold to out-pace that because he is simply a better player in my opinion. I think he is a lock for QB2 numbers and will be a solid streaming play even in single-quarterback formats.

Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens

I have two questions for you to ask yourself. First, is Sammy Watkins the best receiver that Lamar Jackson has thrown passes to? And second, are we sure Watkins isn’t the top option at receiver for the Ravens?

Hollywood Brown gets hyped up as if he is a stud. People then point to his overall numbers and attribute his low counting stats to injury. Well, Brown actually played in every game last season, got 100 targets, and still could not crack 800 yards receiving.

He is boom or bust with nothing in between. Rookie Rashod Bateman is not a generational talent either. I truly think Watkins is the most talented receiver on the roster and that Jackson has thrown passes to. So why would he not be the top option?

Even if I am wrong, the beauty of the 2021 late-round targets is that there is no risk. Use your last pick on Watkins and he could blow up or you just drop him.

Two other quick Watkins points: he is only 28 years old and has not been the top target in an offense since he was in Buffalo. When he was in Buffalo, he was a solid contributor (1,047 yards and nine touchdowns in his last full season there).

He is at least worth a starting spot in Week 1. In the last two seasons, Watkins has 16 catches for 280 yards and four touchdowns in the first game of the season.

Dan Arnold, Tight End, Carolina Panthers

I saw a Tweet from the Fantasy Pros’ Kyle Yates that was quite eye-opening. Who has more receiving touchdowns over the last three seasons, Evan Engram or Dan Arnold? The answer is neither. They both have exactly seven scores.

 

Yet Engram, as you can see, is going 24 spots higher at the position. Like I said about Firkser, the later tight ends are all shots in the dark. I really do not think that Arnold is a longer shot than Engram or most guys going well before him.

In an offense that really does not utilize the tight end, Arnold put up respectable numbers last season. In another comparison to Engram, Arnold averaged 5.6 yards after the catch last season, 25% better than Engram’s number.

Arnold is a good overall athlete and I think will get the majority of work for Carolina. The main concern about Arnold is his possible production with the Panthers.

Tight ends were not really a focus last season as Ian Thomas led the position with just 20 receptions. Thomas is also seen as the primary competition for Arnold as far as playing time.

Well to kill two birds with one stone, I think Thomas just is not good at football. Because of that, the Panthers did not make him a priority in their passing attack. Also because of that, Arnold will take over the snape share.


The Panthers went out and aggressively signed this guy for a reason. I am willing to put that reason on my bench and see if they utilize him to his utmost potential.


If you enjoyed the 2021 Fantasy Football Late-Round Targets, check out more 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers!

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