2023 Fantasy Football Late Round Targets

by Mark Strausberg
2023 Fantasy Football Late Round Targets

Insert the "That's what she said!" joke here, but when I first started my 2023 Fantasy Football Late Round Targets, I apparently went too deep.

Because I'm admittedly a deep-league snob. I interpreted "late-round targets" as players with ADPs in the 300s and above. But the powers that be told me to scale it back a little and go with players who might be taken in the 13th to 18th rounds in a standard 12-team league. So for those of you slow on the take, that's players with an ADP of 156 to 216.

And just a reminder, that in a "standard league", you should probably be taking your kicker and DST with your last two picks. But I'll highlight at least one player at each of the four "skill positions" common in fantasy football. And I will also give you a few other options at each position to consider that reside in that ADP range as well.

With that in mind, here are some of my favorite 2023 Fantasy Football Late Round targets.

2023 Fantasy Football Late Round Targets

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Zamir White, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

White currently is sitting at an ADP of 178, but the longer Josh Jacobs holds out, the more White's value will skyrocket. Should Jacobs not be the Raiders week 1 starter, White will likely be the primary back. If he can provide even 75% of what Jacobs did last year, that will be an insane value.

But let's assume Jacobs ends his holdout by week 1. Is White still worth a 200th pick? Yeah, probably. Here's why.

For one, White's talent has never been in question. He is a former five-star prospect, who was a key cog of Georgia's championship season two years ago. His Combine numbers underscored that he has not only the size but also the speed to be a starting RB at the NFL level.

Furthermore, I think part of the reason that the Raiders have not picked up the final option year on Jacobs is because they love what they have in White. And are happy to give him that opportunity. White averaged a solid 4+ YPC in his limited amount of carries last year. But the Raiders were already paying Jacobs and his salary last season, so they squeezed everything they could out of Jacobs, putting plenty of tread on tires by giving him 340 carries.

340 carries is a lot of carries. Only Derrick Henry had more. And I do worry that even if Jacobs suits up, he might be a blowout waiting to happen. When that happens, expect White to see plenty of action. In fact, in the Raiders' first preseason game, they seemed to be prepping White for their bellcow role, giving him 13 carries against the tough 49er defense. And White responded well with 43 yards and punching it in for a score.

I'd bank on White having at least one game with 20+ carries and maybe as many as a dozen or so games. If the latter happens, bank on double-digit touchdowns and over 1,000 yards easily.

Also Consider: Jerome Ford, Tyjae Spears, Deuce Vaughn

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans

Embed from Getty Images
In case you weren't sure, that's Ryan Tannehill on our right in the picture above. You have to love to see players and fans having a good time together. But this picture is not the reason I am including Ryan Tannehill here.

The reason is Tannehill is a great late pick for a player being drafted outside of the top 25 quarterbacks. Is Tannehill going to be a QB1? Probably not. But if I've drafted a Tier 1 QB like Patrick Mahomes or Jalen Hurts, I am more than happy to draft Tannehill as a QB2. Yes, Tannehill is coming off one of his worst statistical years, but that's because he only played 12 games. He passed for over 7500 yards combined the previous two seasons when he played a full season. In fact, look at each of the last five seasons that he played at least 16 games. In those, he passed anywhere between 3700 and over 4200 yards. That is the definition of a solid QB2.

And none of those seasons were with All-Everything WR D'Andre Hopkins on his team. Hopkins alone will elevate Tannehill's numbers. Tannehill is now 35, so he's definitely entering the twilight of his career, making him a very questionable dynasty pick. But Tannehill should easily average about two touchdowns and a little over 300 passing yards a week. And Im not worried about Will Levis or Malik Willis, as both look like they still have a lot to learn.

Tannehill should definitely get you through your bye week and should easily be a top-25 quarterback this season. Given you don't even have to draft him as a top-25 quarterback, why not target him as a late-round pick?

Also Consider: Sam Howell, Desmond Ridder, Mac Jones

Marvin Mims, WR, Denver Broncos

If you don't think Sean Payton can revitalize Russell Wilson's career, ignore this suggestion. But I think Payton will. So much so that even a rookie WR likely to start the year as the Broncos' WR3 is worth highlighting.  Because I do believe Payton can work wonders. I present exhibit A:

Some of you might be too young to remember Meachem, but like Cooks and MT, he was pretty good. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that Mims was a Payton selection. He's a high draft pick who will be groomed for a new coaching system. Mims is not simply a carryover from a previous coach. He's integral to Payton’s vision for Denver's future.

But let's look at Mims specifically and not just Payton's vision. Mims ran a 4.38 40-yard-dash, making him one of the fastest options coming out of this year's draft class. It's also noteworthy that having that kind of speed gives Mims a different skill set and receiver profile that both Juedy and Cortland Sutton (4.46 and 4.54 respectively) lack. Mims jetted his way to over 1,000 yards receiving with Oklahoma this past season. He averaged 19.5 yards per catch during his three years with Oklahoma, showcasing his big-play ability.

I'm not so sure we see his big play ability right away, but my guess is we begin to see him break out right before the fantasy playoffs, making him a wonderful late-round sleeper.

Also Consider: Alec Pierce, Jayden Reed, Tank Dell

Hayden Hurst, TE, Carolina Panthers

While Mims likely has a long career in front of him, Hurst is right around the peak of his career, for better or worst. But you could do far worse for your TE2 than Hurst.

You can pluck the former Gamecock at a ridiculously late 212th in ADP. Perhaps that's because even in Hurst's best year, he had 571 yards and six touchdowns. But I think he surpasses both of those marks this year. For one, he's coming into the season healthy and I like him to play the full season. Furthermore, as we all know, nothing is a better security blanket for a rookie QB (Like Carolina's Bryce Young) than a sure-handed tight end. Hurst had the fifth-highest catch rate (76.5%) of any TE last season. That's better than Travis Kelce or George Kittle for comparison purposes. And you'll have to draft them quite a few rounds ahead of Hurst.

The interesting part is that Hurst's catch percentage was even higher during the previous year when he caught over 83% of his passes. The 6'4 240-pound Hurst is a huge target that should see plenty of red zone targets this season. Hurst has been a top-10 fantasy TE before. Don't be shocked if he comes close to that again.

Also Consider: Dawson Knox, Irv Smith, Hunter Henry

 


Any obvious names you think I missed within my 2023 Fantasy Football late-round targets? Hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) and let me know!

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