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7 Late-Round Targets in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Mania IV

By Matt Schauf 5:26pm EDT 8/7/23

Find the Ceiling Plays to Win You Big Money

Do you wait until August to really get back into fantasy football?

If so, you still have plenty of time to take your shots at the $3 million top prize in Underdog Fantasy’s Best Ball Mania IV.

As of this writing, the tournament is not quite 60% full.

If you’re going to compete for a big payout, though, you’ll need some big hits on your roster – perhaps even a player or two that isn’t getting drafted every time.

Chasing that ceiling potential is key to any best ball strategy. And the further you get into your draft, the more valuable it is to seek out paths to ultimate upside.

That’s what we’re focused on with this group – though we’re not following a single formula with these selections.

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Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, Dolphins

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 174.3 overall (RB55)

The Dolphins still haven’t signed RB Dalvin Cook. And yet, Wilson continues to languish in Round 15 of BBMIV drafts.

This one just doesn’t make sense.

Wilson sits third among Dolphins RBs in Underdog Fantasy ADP, despite beating Raheem Mostert 66-45 in carries and matching his 19 targets over their five healthy games together last year.

Miami traded a fifth-round pick for Wilson and then re-signed him for slightly more money than it gave Mostert this offseason.

De’Von Achane is fine to draft first among the group, given his:

  • explosive speed
  • college receiving production
  • and youth

But is he a lock to even beat Wilson in touches? Achane’s RB38 Underdog Fantasy ADP sure seems to think so.

We’d put the odds much closer.

How to Draft a Winner

Expect to see Jeff Wilson Jr. pop up a lot among our late-round pick suggestions.

Joshua Kelley, RB, Chargers

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 214.1 (RB69)

There’s not much to get excited about from Kelley’s first three seasons. But he did rebound in both carries and receptions per game last season, checking in (a distant) second among Chargers RBs in each category.

Kelley still looks like the No. 2 RB on this depth chart, too, with little positive on second-year RB Isaiah Spiller coming out of training camp.

If that holds, Kelley doesn’t need to do anything special to be a solid-to-strong pick here. He’ll luck into the occasional TD in an offense we expect to rank among the NFL’s best this year.

And if Austin Ekeler misses any time, then Kelley’s upside would soar.

Not bad for a guy you can get in Round 18.

Kyren Williams, RB, Rams

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 215.7 (RB81)

Williams’ ADP means he’s not getting picked in every draft. And that ADP actually marks a rise from where he has spent most of best ball draft season.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler recently confirmed that Williams sits second on the Rams’ RB depth chart. That probably doesn’t mean a whole lot of weekly value in what’s likely to remain a lackluster offense. 

But it puts him behind only Cam Akers, who has struggled to stay on the field through three seasons and averaged just 0.9 receptions per game when available.

Williams caught 77 balls across two starting seasons at Notre Dame and has reportedly impressed as a receiver in camp so far.

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DeVante Parker, WR, Patriots

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 186.5 (WR81)

Camp reports haven’t been very good on Patriots pass catchers so far, outside of sixth-round rookie WR Demario Douglas and a veteran we’ll get to here in a minute.

That’s subtly good news for Parker. How?

We know he’s not going anywhere. New England assured that with his contract extension in late June. And the $7 million he’s making this year basically locks him into a starting role.

That’s not enough to make Parker exciting. But you’re not actually drafting exciting WRs in Rounds 15+ (unless you’re lying to yourself about that “sleeper”).

Parker’s 17.4 yards per catch for last year’s Patriots beat all other offensive player by at least 5.0 yards. Jakobi Meyers was the only non-RB to beat him in receptions per game.

That gives Parker spike-week potential at least, plus a shot to earn much more target share.

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See where DeVante Parker and the rest of the Patriots sit in our fantasy football rankings.

Chase Claypool, WR, Bears

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 205.0 (WR87)

Like with New England, you don’t need to get excited about the Bears’ offense for Claypool to make sense this late in a best ball draft.

We have no idea just how much more the Bears will pass in 2023. We also don’t know how much better QB Justin Fields’ passing can get.

But we do know that Fields was a successful college passer. He ranked third nationally in passing efficiency for Ohio State in 2019, and eighth in yards per pass attempt (before a COVID-truncated 2020).

The trades for Claypool and D.J. Moore also say the Bears want to throw significantly more. And Claypool’s ADP at the Round 17-18 turn makes him a cheap, low-risk way to buy in.

But what about upside? Well, this former second-round pick finished 18th and 37th among WRs in half-PPR scoring his first two seasons. And Chicago paid a second-round pick to get him just last fall.

Our 3D projections account for upside

Hayden Hurst, TE, Panthers

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 197.4 (TE25)

The guys around here are tired of me bringing up Hurst. But I’m not letting it go until the season starts or his ADP dramatically changes.

The veteran TE is going four spots lower in positional ADP than where he finished among TEs in half-PPR points per game last year.

That was as the No. 5 target in Cincinnati. Hurst’s three-year, $21.75 million contract plus Carolina’s iffy WR corps gives him a shot to lead the Panthers in targets this year.

Even if he does nothing special in 2023, Hurst allows you to find a starting NFL TE in Round 16. And that frees up some earlier best ball draft capital for another position.

Hunter Henry, TE, Patriots

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 205.0 (TE29)

Henry has also been going much later than he should ever since 2023 best ball drafts began. And he’s even more attractive outside of full-PPR formats than in them.

That’s because Henry has always found comfort in the end zone. He has scored on 11.1% of receptions for his career, even with last season bringing that rate down.

Now, he’s been one of the few Patriots pass catchers drawing strong summer reviews. That has finally pushed his Underdog Fantasy ADP up … to the still absurdly low level at which it sits.

Think “absurd” is too strong? Here’s where Henry has ranked among half-PPR TEs in each of his NFL seasons (the last two with New England) …

2022: 21st
2021: eighth
2020: 14th
2019: 9th
2018: n/a (ACL tear)
2017: 15th
2016: 15th

At his draft cost, it’s no risk, all reward.

TIP

Check out our dedicated best ball rankings to help find your edge when drafting.

  

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