As drafts lag on, many fantasy players are tempted to just log off and auto-pick the scrubs. This is a mistake. If nothing else, hand-selecting potential gold mines late eliminates the need to spend your precious FAAB down the line. With training camps opening there are a handful of forgotten names that seem to be floating to the top of depth charts. As the drumbeat builds, ADPs may rise but you can still obtain these 3 players at the end of 12 team drafts.
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Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh (ESPN ADP 167.7)
Reports out of Steelers training camp have indicated that the team plans to put Samuels on the field in creative ways, possibly even alongside James Conner. A recent note mentioned that “a good chunk of their post-Antonio Brown offense has been modified to incorporate Samuels’ best skills” in the receiving game. I have previously written about how any second option for Ben Roethlisberger is viable in fantasy football. I do not think that Samuels is the RB “handcuff” to James Conner, however with this information I do think there is a chance he has standalone PPR value.
Samuels never saw 100 carries in a season in college and that probably wont start now. But if Pittsburgh really does want to actively and creatively incorporate him into the offense, he could be flex-worthy for PPR purposes. Of course I wrote about Donte Moncrief last week, and I’ll admit this is a moving target. We really don’t know what this offense will look like after the departure of Antonio Brown. JuJu is the unquestioned leader for receptions but we need to be taking as many shots at complimentary pieces as possible given their suppressed ADP. Samuels’ positional eligibility at RB makes him an interesting last round stash.
Duke Johnson, RB, Houston (168.8)
The #FreeDuke contingent is celebrating Thursday as he was finally traded to a new team. Time will tell how Houston intends to use Johnson, but they paid a 2020 4th round pick to acquire him and the Texans RB depth chart is one of the most inviting in the NFL. Entering his 5th NFL season, the former 3rd rd pick will turn 26 in September and is a year younger than James White. Johnson has been quietly fantastic in limited use, ranking 3rd and 1st in yard per touch (ypt) the last 2 years. Other names around his ypt include: Alvin Kamara, James White, and Todd Gurley.
Duke Johnson is a good football player who had been in a bad situation for fantasy. After a PPR RB14 finish in 2017, the Browns brought in Carlos Hyde and drafted Nick Chubb which left Johnson with table scraps. It is unclear why Cleveland decision makers didn’t use Duke in more ways given that he has been exceptional when called upon. Ranked in the top 15 in fantasy points per opportunity two years in a row, he should get expanded opportunity in Houston. By the time this article is published, his ADP will have bumped some, but there is still time! Most fantasy players probably don’t realize just how good he’s been in the shadows of Cleveland. Do not hesitate to add him at the end of your drafts.
KeeSean Johnson, WR, Arizona (>170)
The buzz around this 6th round rookie has been building since camp opened. However it was still surprising to see him “Kevin White” away from being one of the starting WRs on the initial depth chart. Unlike his namesake who was the last WR to be drafted first overall, this K. Johnson does not have draft capital on his side. He does, however, have strong college production to back him up. A teenage breakout (19.9) and 35.7% college dominator at Fresno State are good indicators he can at least contribute at the NFL level. His measurables are not eye-popping by any means but there have been cases where players overcome bad testing numbers.
At the end of the day, you should want to invest in low cost options in the potentially high ceiling AIRzona Raid™ offense. Johnson couldn’t be much cheaper, going undrafted in the majority of ESPN leagues. Go ahead and splurge on a kicker a round early then snag Johnson with your last pick, BOOFs orders!
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