2013 Draft Prep: Buy-low candidates
Don't throw away those final picks on just anyone. As Jamey Eisenberg writes, those guys late on Draft Day could pay off in a major way. He shares some of his targets.
My favorite part of every draft is when we get into the latter rounds. That's when the fun begins.
It's the time when you start seeking out your sleepers -- the guys who can make the biggest difference on your team. And that's what we're here to show you with some buy-low candidates looking at the Average Draft Position on CBSSports.com.
What we're doing here is looking at players being drafted in Round 10 or later in a 12-team league. If you're league is a different size, these are players being drafted with an ADP of No. 109 or later.
We'll target guys at quarterback, running back, receiver and tight end, and I'll give you my favorite selections at this point in the draft. If you drafted a solid team up to this point, these players could only enhance your roster and give you a better chance to succeed.
Editor's note: Average Draft Position data as of Aug. 25.
Guys I'd draft who are available: Michael Vick (pick No. 113), Jay Cutler (No. 115), Carson Palmer (No. 121), Matt Schaub (No. 125), Ben Roethlisberger (No. 130), Sam Bradford (No. 132), Josh Freeman (No. 135), Brandon Weeden (No. 177)
Here's why I like them: We continue to preach waiting on a quarterback. Part of the reason is if the guy you draft as a starter struggles or gets hurt, one of these No. 2 options could emerge as a legit starter.
I continue to buy into Vick for one reason: there's no risk involved. If I draft Vick in Round 10 or later as my No. 2 quarterback and he's bad or gets hurt then I can cut him without consequence. All these guys fall into that category.
The upside for passers like Cutler, Palmer, Bradford and Weeden is off the charts in their respective offenses, and Schaub, Roethlisberger and Freeman are consistent options even with limited upside. Roethlisberger actually was one of only 10 quarterbacks who averaged more than 20 Fantasy points a week in standard leagues last season.
In one of my leagues, I waited too long to draft a quarterback, and the two guys on my roster are Vick and Palmer. I don't love it, but I'm not too worried, either. Vick has looked awesome in the preseason in Chip Kelly's offense, and Palmer should do well playing for Bruce Arians.
I don't recommend waiting that late in your league, but don't panic either if you leave your draft with two quarterbacks outside the Top 12. You'll still be OK.
Guys I'd draft who are available: Fred Jackson (pick No, 117), Vick Ballard (No. 120), Bernard Pierce (No. 123), Danny Woodhead (No. 124), Pierre Thomas (No. 127), Bryce Brown (No. 129), Zac Stacy (No. 145), Jonathan Dwyer (No. 153), Shonn Greene (No. 160), Bilal Powell (No. 161), Daniel Thomas (No. 173), Knile Davis (No. 190), Joique Bell (No. 193), Roy Helu (No. 194), DuJuan Harris (No. 196), Knowshon Moreno (No. 205), Toby Gerhart (No. 210), Kendall Hunter (No. 211), Christine Michael (not yet listed)
Here's why I like them: It's pretty clear based on this list that once you begin looking at reserves it's a good idea to handcuff your starting running backs. That's my plan this year.
By the time we hit Round 10, my ideal roster would be one quarterback, four running backs, three receivers and a tight end. You should then target at least one more running back, and go in thinking handcuff.
If I draft Ray Rice , I want Pierce. The same goes with LeSean McCoy and Brown. Davis for Jamaal Charles , Bell for Reggie Bush , Helu for Alfred Morris , Michael for Marshawn Lynch , Gerhart for Adrian Peterson and Greene for Chris Johnson also makes plenty of sense. You just want to cover yourself in case of injury.
As stand-alone Fantasy options, Powell should get you excited since he's getting more opportunities than Chris Ivory in the preseason with Ivory banged up. Pierre Thomas could also be a nice sleeper in New Orleans. Dwyer could be the starter for the Steelers with Le'Veon Bell (foot) hurt. And Ballard, Daniel Thomas and Harris could get extended looks this season for their respective teams. Helu and Bell could also shine in PPR leagues, and Moreno could end up as the best running back for the Broncos.
Also, if you want to be smart, target another owner's handcuff if they fail to draft them. I go after Pierce in every league because not only would he be a star if Rice got hurt, he'll also get plenty of run to give Rice a rest.
Guys I'd draft who are available: Chris Givens (pick No. 111), Michael Floyd (No. 114), Emmanuel Sanders (No. 126), DeAndre Hopkins (No. 128), Vincent Brown (No. 138), Justin Blackmon (No. 143), Kenbrell Thompkins (No. 146), Ryan Broyles (No. 147), Alshon Jeffery (No. 151), Rueben Randle (No. 158), Cordarrelle Patterson (No. 163), Aaron Dobson (No. 165), Brandon LaFell (No. 181), Kendall Wright (No. 183), Mohamed Sanu (No. 186)
Here's why I like them: When I see the names on this list it makes me realize why waiting on receivers makes so much sense. While none of these guys look like guaranteed starters, there are so many guys who could emerge as potential stars.
I go into every draft with the hope of loading up on running backs, taking two or three solid receivers and then targeting at least two guys from the group of Givens, Floyd, Hopkins, Brown, Blackmon, Thompkins, Broyles, Jeffery and Randle to be my reserves. To give you an idea, in our auction, my receiving corps is Wes Welker , Josh Gordon , Golden Tate , Givens, Hopkins and Floyd. In full disclosure, the only one I'm worried about is Welker based on value vs. performance. I got him for $8 out of $100 and the others for $4 or less.
Givens and Floyd could be standouts in their offense, Hopkins and Thompkins are two of the top rookies this season, Jeffery will benefit greatly with the addition of Marc Trestman calling plays in Chicago and Brown should be the No. 1 receiver for the Chargers. Blackmon is going to have a solid season once his four-game suspension is over, Broyles could be a PPR star for the Lions and Randle will surprise plenty of people as the third receiver for the Giants.
After that group, I would take late-round fliers on Sanders, Patterson, Dobson, LaFell, Wright and Sanu. Sanders, Dobson and Sanu have the most upside, but they should only be considered No. 5 receivers at best.
Guys I'd draft who are available: Owen Daniels (pick No. 110), Martellus Bennett (No. 112), Jordan Cameron (No. 116), Brandon Myers (No. 131), Brandon Pettigrew (No. 137), Tyler Eifert (No. 148), Fred Davis (No. 157), Zach Sudfeld (No. 166), Coby Fleener (No. 178)
Here's why I like them: Like quarterback, tight end is a position you can wait on, especially since only 10 tight ends are being drafted on average before Round 10. If I miss on the tight end I want -- Jimmy Graham early and either Jermichael Finley or Jared Cook in Round 8 -- this is the group to choose from.
The guy with the most upside is clearly Cameron, who has done well this preseason and gets an upgrade in coaching with Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner, who have a great history coaching tight ends (see Antonio Gates , Kellen Winslow and Greg Olsen , for example). Cameron could easily be a Top 10 tight end this year.
Three young guys with plenty of potential include Eifert, Sudfeld and Fleener. All three could enter the Top 12 this season, and Sudfeld is the one I like best. People in New England are talking him up as the replacement for Aaron Hernandez , who had 175 catches, 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns the past three years. Tom Brady targeted Hernandez an average of almost seven times a game, and Sudfeld would benefit greatly if Rob Gronkowski (back) is out for an extended period of time.
Daniels, Bennett, Myers, Pettigrew and Davis are all capable starters, especially Bennett, but none have the upside appeal of those younger options, especially Cameron.
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