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The later rounds of a draft are typically marred by a lack of attention.

Your core team is in place, so the remaining rounds are filled with kickers, defenses, rookies, and sleepers. In a re-draft league, you need to make sure your backups are somewhat reliable, but there's always the temptation to grab that lottery ticket in case it pays out.

Our RotoBaller fantasy football experts made some interesting picks in the latter rounds of our way-too-early PPR mock draft. and were able to take some players that you may be surprised to find were still around so late.

 

Round 10

10.01 Matthew Stafford (QB, DET) - Andrew Lovell
10.02 Marvin Jones (WR, DET) - Nathan Powell
10.03 Jerick McKinnon (RB, MIN) - Mike Beers
10.04 Bilal Powell (RB, NYJ) - Justin Klein
10.05 Eric Ebron (TE, DET) - Anthony Aniano
10.06 Malcolm Mitchell (WR, NE) - Jason Bales
10.07 Breshad Perriman (WR, BAL) - Pierre Camus
10.08 Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN) - Jacob Valov
10.09 Devontae Booker (RB, DEN) - Frankie Soler
10.10 Mike Wallace (WR, BAL) - Joe Sorensen
10.11 Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN) - Justin Bales
10.12 DeAndre Washington (RB, OAK) - Matt Terelle

A trio of Lions came off the board in this round, as Matthew Stafford was the 13th QB taken off the board, followed by Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron three picks later. Believe it or not, Stafford wasn't the last QB to become a starter for his team in this draft as Nathan Powell (@NPowellFF) waited until Round 12 to snag Philip Rivers as his top signal-caller. Waiting on the quarterback position has become an increasingly successful strategy, but these two teams chose to go with a relatively safe, high-floor player rather than someone with QB1 potential. Young, talented receivers Malcolm Mitchell, Breshad Perriman, and Tyler Boyd were also selected within the 10th round. This shows that there is plenty of depth at the wide receiver spot, even in the latter part of fantasy drafts.

 

Round 11

11.01 Jared Cook (TE, GB) - Matt Terelle
11.02 Cameron Brate (TE, TB) - Justin Bales
11.03 T.J. Yeldon (RB, JAX) - Joe Sorensen
11.04 Chris Hogan (WR, NE) - Frankie Soler
11.05 Travis Benjamin (WR, SD) - Jacob Valov
11.06 Charles Sims (RB, TB) - Pierre Camus
11.07 Will Fuller (WR, HOU) - Jason Bales
11.08 Tony Romo (QB, DAL) - Anthony Aniano
11.09 Taylor Gabriel (WR, ATL) - Justin Klein
11.10 John Brown (WR, ARI) - Mike Beers
11.11 Martellus Bennett (TE, NE) - Nathan Powell
11.12 James White (RB, NE) - Andrew Lovell

This was the time to pounce on a backup tight end with upside. Jared Cook, Cameron Brate, and Martellus Bennett all came off the board in round 11. Brate and Bennett finished sixth and seventh respectively in fantasy points among all tight ends last season, showing there is great value to be had if you wait on TE. The other notable pick in this round was soon-to-be-former-Cowboy Tony Romo with the 128th overall pick. His future is still a big mystery, but if he lands a starting job in a favorable situation like Denver, this could be the steal of the draft.

 

Rounds 12-13

12.01 Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN) - Andrew Lovell
12.02 Philip Rivers (QB, SD) - Nathan Powell
12.03 Alex Collins (RB, SEA) - Mike Beers
12.04 J.J. Nelson (WR, ARI) - Justin Klein
12.05 Wendell Smallwood (RB, PHI) - Anthony Aniano
12.06 Michael Floyd (WR, NE) - Jason Bales
12.07 Mike Gillislee (RB, BUF) - Pierre Camus
12.08 Allen Hurns (WR, JAX) - Jacob Valov
12.09 Ryan Mathews (RB, PHI) - Frankie Soler
12.10 Eli Manning (QB, NYG) - Joe Sorensen
12.11 Marqise Lee (WR, JAX) - Justin Bales
12.12 Cameron Meredith (WR, CHI) - Matt Terelle

13.01 Chris Thompson (RB, WAS) - Matt Terelle
13.02 Darren Sproles (RB, PHI) - Justin Bales
13.03 Antonio Gates (TE, SD) - Joe Sorensen
13.04 Ladarius Green (TE, PIT) - Frankie Soler
13.05 Texans DEF - Jacob Valov
13.06 Kenny Stills (WR, MIA) - Pierre Camus
13.07 Patriots DEF - Jason Bales
13.08 Martavis Bryant (WR, PIT) - Anthony Aniano
13.09 Jalen Richard (RB, OAK) - Justin Klein
13.10 Zach Zenner (RB, DET) - Mike Beers
13.11 Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA) - Nathan Powell
13.12 Coby Fleener (TE, NO) - Andrew Lovell

Despite being 60 receivers deep at this point, there were still players with great potential left on the board. J.J. Nelson, Marqise Lee, Cameron Meredith, Kenny Stills and Martavis Bryant could be real-life starters in 2017 and should be viewed as top sleeper targets in this area of fantasy drafts. Oh, and Michael Floyd was picked too. The Texans became the first defense to be selected at #149 overall, followed by the Patriots two picks later.

 

Rounds 14-16

14.01 Mohamed Sanu (WR, ATL) - Andrew Lovell
14.02 C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE, HOU) - Nathan Powell
14.03 Quincy Enunwa (WR, NYJ) - Mike Beers
14.04 Jacquizz Rodgers (RB, TB) - Justin Klein
14.05 Matt Forte (RB, NYJ) - Anthony Aniano
14.06 Stephen Gostkowski (K, NE) - Jason Bales
14.07 Austin Hooper (TE, ATL) - Pierre Camus
14.08 Steven Hauschka (K, SEA) - Jacob Valov
14.09 Seahawks DEF - Frankie Soler
14.10 Chiefs DEF - Joe Sorensen
14.11 Jason Witten (TE, DAL) - Justin Bales
14.12 Rex Burkhead (RB, CIN) - Matt Terelle

15.01 Dwayne Allen (TE, IND) - Matt Terelle
15.02 Rashad Jennings (RB, NYG) - Justin Bales
15.03 Tavon Austin (WR, LAR) - Joe Sorensen
15.04 Anquan Boldin (WR, DET) - Frankie Soler
15.05 Blake Bortles (QB, JAX) - Jacob Valov
15.06 Steelers DEF - Pierre Camus
15.07 Kenyan Drake (RB, MIA) - Jason Bales
15.08 Broncos DEF - Anthony Aniano
15.09 Christine Michael (RB, GB) - Justin Klein
15.10 Kendall Wright (WR, TEN) - Mike Beers
15.11 Lions DEF - Nathan Powell
15.12 Justin Tucker (K, BAL) - Andrew Lovell

16.01 Giants DEF - Andrew Lovell
16.02 Chris Boswell (K, PIT) - Nathan Powell
16.03 Terrance West (RB, BAL) - Mike Beers
16.04 Cowboys DEF - Justin Klein
16.05 Matt Bryant (K, ATL) - Anthony Aniano
16.06 Dan Bailey (K, DAL) - Jason Bales
16.07 Matt Prater (K, DET) - Pierre Camus
16.08 Dontrelle Inman (WR, SD) - Jacob Valov
16.09 Sebastian Jankowski (K, OAK) - Frankie Soler
16.10 Mason Crosby (K, GB) - Joe Sorensen
16.11 Falcons DEF - Justin Bales
16.12 Cardinals DEF - Matt Terelle

Time for the kickers and defenses to take center stage. Seattle, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Denver were Def3-Def6 in our early mock, with the Lions making a surprise appearance as the Def7 in round 14. Justin Tucker lasted until the final pick of round 15 and wasn't even the first kicker taken. Both Stephen Gostkowski and Steven Hauschka jumped ahead of him in the prior round. In terms of last-gasp picks for position players, there was finally a Blake Bortles sighting as the QB18 in our 12-man league. Dontrelle Inman became Mr. Irrelevant as the 73rd and final WR taken.

 

Best Steals

Austin Hooper (TE, ATL) #163 overall

It may be a homer pick, but my own selection of Austin Hooper as a backup TE in the 14th round looked even better the next day when I saw him catch a strike in the end zone on Super Bowl Sunday. Who knows what Atlanta's offense will look like without Kyle Shanahan in charge, but Hooper's stock should rise throughout the off-season after his solid playoff performance.

Bilal Powell (RB, NYJ) #112 overall

If you still paid any attention to the Jets near the end of the season, you may have noticed that Powell suddenly became a David Johnson clone. In the last four weeks of 2016, Powell was the sixth-leading fantasy scorer among all RB, ahead of even Ezekiel Elliott and LeGarrette Blount. The Jets are another team in flux, but Powell has more than proved his worth during his tenure with the team. He should once again carry a high floor in PPR leagues.

Cameron Brate (TE, TB) #122 overall

Brate didn't enter the 2016 season as the starting tight end, but the Bucs knew what they were doing when they jettisoned Austin Sefarian-Jenkins to clear room for him. Cameron made the tight end position Brate again in Tampa by catching eight TD and becoming the clear #2 red zone target behind only Mike Evans. Getting him at this point in the draft was robbery.

 

Biggest Reaches

Jerick McKinnon (RB, MIN) #111 overall

Once you get past the 100th pick, it's hard to consider anyone a reach, but a player at least should flash enough upside to warrant selection. McKinnon had the opportunity of a lifetime to become the RB1 on a playoff contender in Minnesota and did absolutely nothing with it. As the lead back, he amassed a total of 794 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. Even if Adrian Peterson isn't a Viking next year, there's no reason to think McKinnon will do anything more than he did this year.

Travis Benjamin (WR, SD) #125 overall

Speaking of blown opportunities, once Keenan Allen went on IR it would seem that Benjamin's stock would shoot through the roof. Instead, he somehow was relegated to WR3 status on his own team. He finished behind previously unproven Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman in the pecking order. Benjamin underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week due to a PCL issue and could be slow to fully regain his speed. For a receiver who has proven to be nothing but a fly-route running deep threat, there is little hope for him to produce much than the occasional big play every couple of weeks.

Alex Collins (RB, SEA) #135 overall

If it weren't for the litany of injuries in Seattle's backfield, Collins may not have been kept on the roster by season's end. He never saw more than seven carries in a game and clearly wasn't trusted by the coaching staff. If everyone is back healthy by training camp, Collins will be competing for the third running back spot at best. Worst case, he gets cut and is looking for work throughout the preseason.

 

Conclusion

While acquiring reliable depth at the skill positions is important, there has to be enough upside to any draft pick to warrant putting on your roster. The waiver wire will always carry players that outperform those with higher ADP, so don't be afraid to take some chances toward the end of your fantasy draft.

This Way Too Early Mock Draft took place three months before the NFL Draft, so rookies were not a factor. Check back in for our Re-draft 2.0 later this Spring to see how things have changed. In the meantime, our Way Too Early Dynasty Draft will be out later this month, so stay tuned!

 

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