The Late Round Darlings

Matt Woolsey | December 7th, 2018

The Fantasy Footballers say championships are not won at the draft, but you lay the foundation for the upcoming season. Hard work, making the right moves, and picking up the right players has hopefully gotten you to the fantasy playoffs. And now that they are here, let’s take a look back at some of the late-round/waiver-wire pickups that got you here.

Patrick Mahomes (9th/10th round)

Patrick Mahomes was the perfect example of not taking a quarterback early in the fantasy drafts. When your opponents were using third and fourth-round picks on Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson, you patiently waited and used a late-round pick on the number one fantasy quarterback.

There was definitely some risk in taking Mahomes. Some people, including myself, were skeptical about whether or not he could be a weekly starter. He was viewed more as a possible streaming candidate than anything else.

We all knew the upside was there but coming into this season he only started one regular season game. He played very well in that game, but still too small of a sample size to determine whether or not he was a viable starter. Now the question is, will his draft cost be too much in 2019?

Phillip Lindsay (undrafted)

He went undrafted in the NFL and he went undrafted in fantasy, but Phillip Lindsay proved to both the NFL and the fantasy community why he should have been drafted in both. Currently, the 10th ranked running back in half-point PPR (Points Per Reception) he’s only had one week (Week 3) kill your fantasy team. But he has more than made up for that week with four RB-1 weeks and six weeks in the top-15. Not bad for an undrafted free agent.

There is no reason to think Lindsay will not continue to be the guy in Denver, nor is there any reason to think he will not be startable in your fantasy lineup.

James Conner (Last round/undrafted)

If you were the Le’Veon Bell owner and managed to get ahold of James Conner, at least he was able to relieve some of the pain left by using such high draft capital on Bell. If you were not the Bell owner and managed to scoop him up at the end of your draft or picked him up in free agency before the season started, what a pick he was for your team.

Seven weeks as an RB-1, Conner filled the void left by Bell. He isn’t as good as Bell but he’s more than a poor man’s Bell, he’s more like a middle-class Bell.

The unfortunate news came out this week was Conner will be out for at least the first week of the fantasy playoffs. He got you here and but now you will have to be without him.

George Kittle (11th round)

In a season where the tight ends have been putrid this season, getting George Kittle on your team and not having to stream the position was a Godsend. Eight times this season he has been a TE-1 and four times he was even in the top five.

He is currently on pace for almost 1200 yards, 82 receptions on 124 targets. I completely missed on this one before the season started. I didn’t think Kittle would be so utilized in the Kyle Shanahan offense as much as he has been. And it may be out of necessity why Kittle has been used so much this season, but he has proven himself to be a vital piece in the 49ers offense and will be for years to come.

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