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Top 10 Tuesday: Best Late Round Fantasy Gems

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Fantasy FootballBest Late Round Draft Gems After the 150th Overall Pick

We all know the story of the Patriots late round jackpot in drafting Tom Brady 199th overall back at the 2000 NFL draft. It was either one of the greatest late round steals of all time, or the biggest fluke of Bill Belichick’s career. Nevertheless the Pat’s snagged one of the best NFL quarterbacks in the last decade who just so happened to slip through the cracks.

Productive NFL stars get overlooked all the time, and as much as NFL draft experts like to lead you to believe they can foresee the future, the truth is, it’s a crapshoot.

For us Fantasy Football junkies, taking a chance on a flier pick really has no risk in the later rounds, yet the payoff if you guessed correctly can be bragging rights for the entire NFL season.

The following are the best fantasy football gems NFL teams drafted after the 150th pick in the last five years.


10. Brandon Myers

NFL Draft Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2009 202 (6th Round) TE Brandon Myers Oakland Raiders Iowa

On top of the impressive 2012 campaign, Tight End Brandon Myers told the Newark Star-Ledger he played the entire 2012 season with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. Brandon Myers hauled in a career-high 79 catches for 806 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. The 27-year-old was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders, and is expected to take Martellus Bennett’s spot in the starting lineup in New York. Many fantasy gurus feel Myers has a real chance to build on his impressive 2012 season with Eli Manning ‘s historical favorite check down read being the Tight End position. Fantasy owners should consider Myers a Top 15 Fantasy Tight End, worthy of a late-round pick in most leagues.

9. Bryce Brown

NFL Draft Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2012 229 (7th Round) RB Bryce Brown Philadelphia Eagles Kansas State

I may be jumping the gun on this late round Eagle, but after his impressive performance playing behind a completely dismantled offensive line last season, and the fact he’s now a part of the Chip Kelly run first offense, Bryce Brown makes the list at number nine. Check out our fantasy preview of Bryce Brown for 2013

8. Blair Walsh

NFL Draft Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2012 175 (6th Round) K Blair Walsh Minnesota Vikings Georgia

Whoa wait! Before you lose your cool, I had to add a kicker to the list. Blair Walsh was no average placekicker, the Vikings rookie set an NFL record by going 9-for-9 on field goals from 50 yards or longer last season. That’s pretty solid if you’re in a fantasy league that hasn’t already gone ahead and changed the scoring system to roll back kickers value (which I strongly suggest doing).

While I did add Blair Walsh to the list, I do suggest you read this article on Getting rid of kickers from your fantasy league.

7. Matt Flynn

Year Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2008 209 (7th Round) QB Matt Flynn Green Bay Packers Louisiana State

The Oakland Raiders seem to be chewing up and spitting out talent like some kind of career ruining machine. More than a few big-name profiles have come and gone while wearing the black and silver. But at this current date, Matt Flynn is the starting quarterback for the Raiders with an untarnished record. He has been sitting on the bench the last few years, but does enter the 2013 season with a lot of upside.

The Packers drafted Flynn 209th overall back in 2008

6. Vick Ballard

NFL Draft Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2012 170 (5th Round) RB Vick Ballard Indianapolis Colts Mississippi State

Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano said recently that he considers Vick Ballard the lead running back entering 2013. That could all change this weekend, but it’s unlikely the Colts will look at the running back position early on at the NFL Draft.

This fallen fantasy gem and 2013 fantasy sleeper was drafted 170th overall in last year’s 2012 NFL Draft.

5. Julian Edelman

Year Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2009 232 (7th Round) WR Julian Edelman New England Patriots Kent State

Product of the New England Patriots system? Probably. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t an extreme value pickup at 232nd overall back in the 2009 NFL draft. The Boston Globe reports that Patriots receiver Julian Edelman will likely back up Danny Amendola at the Z receiver position in the Patriots’ offense this season.

4. Pierre Garcon

Year Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2008 205 (6th Round) WR Pierre Garcon Indianapolis Colts Mount Union

Injury got the best of him last year, but Pierre Garcon looks to be a sleeping giant in the Redskins offense moving forward. Garcon finished this season averaging 14.4 yards per catch, the second-highest average in his career. While those are impressive numbers, he failed to rack up many receptions, snagging  only 44 balls on the year. Staying healthy is obviously the most important thing Garcon can do to keep his relevance in Fantasy Football this season, but RG3’s recovery also plays a factor in this young talent’s fantasy value.

Pierre Garcon was a steal draft by the Washington Redskins 205th overall (6th round) back in 2008.

3. Antonio Brown

Year Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2010 195 (6th Round) WR Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers Central Michigan

Believe it or not, at this current date, Antonio Brown looks to be the starting wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Taken 195th overall in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL draft, Brown has shown flashes of greatness while wearing Steelers black and yellow. Still, Fantasy owners feel they got ripped off last season, after investing in a somewhat high pick in this Steeler speedster. Brown will need help if he wants to bounce back into fantasy relevance.

The Pittsburgh Steelers look to target a wide receiver at some point throughout this weekend’s NFL draft, and I have them snagging a good one in my latest NFL Mock Draft

2. Stevie Johnson

Year Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2008 224 (7th Round) WR Stevie Johnson Buffalo Bills Kentucky

I was surprised to see Stevie Johnson drafted as late as he was. This talented Wideout might just be the best value pick the Bills have made in the last decade. Stevie was selected 224th overall back in 2008’s NFL draft. Johnson is far and beyond the Bills best wide receiver on the roster, but his season stats have been somewhat repetitive year after year. We are all waiting for that break out season, yet nagging injuries have slowed him as of late. It’s safe to say that Johnson should be primed for another 1,000 yards, 6-7 TD season in 2013.

1. Alfred Morris

Year Pick Overall Pos NFL Player Team That Drafted Him College Team
2012 173 (6th Round) RB Alfred Morris Washington Redskins Florida Atlantic

It’s hard not to have Alfred Morris valued as one of the best NFL draft gems on this list. After slipping through the cracks, Morris ran over the league in his first season with 1,613 yards rushing and 9 TD’s on the ground. He went from zero to hero overnight.

This season fantasy owners are hanging on to him for dear life in keeper leagues, while the rest of us rank him worthy of a first round pick . This 173rd overall steal in last years NFL Draft is also trying to get better. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said in an interview with CBSSports.com that he hopes running back Alfred Morris can enhance his game in his second season. Shanahan would like to see Morris improve as a receiver. “He’ll get better and better in that area,” the Skins coach said. “I don’t think he’s practiced that a lot. … He’ll work on those things in the offseason. He’s a heck of a worker, and I expect him to improve in the passing game.”


Honorable Mentions

Year Drafted Pos NFL Player Team That Draft them College Team
2009 240 (7th Round) RB LaRod Stephens-Howling Arizona Cardinals Pittsburgh
2009 180 (6th Round) TE Zach Miller Jacksonville Jaguars Nebraska-Omaha
2011 153 (5th round) WR Jeremy Kerley New York Jets Texas Christian
2010 197 (6th Round) WR Trindon Holliday Houston Texans LSU
2010 155 (5th Round) QB John Skelton Arizona Cardinals Fordham
2010 154 (5th Round) TE Andrew Quarless Green Bay Packers Penn State
2009 250 (7th Round) RB Rashad Jennings Jacksonville Jaguars Liberty
2009 201 (6th Round) QB Curtis Painter Indianapolis Colts Purdue
2009 184 (6th Round) TE Bear Pascoe San Francisco 49ers Fresno State
2008 233 (7th Round) RB Justin Forsett Seattle Seahawks California
2008 226 (7th Round) WR Chaz Schilens Oakland Raiders San Diego State


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About the author

Mike Rigz

Mike is the founding member at Gridiron Experts with over 1000+ articles credited to his name. With over 20 years of fantasy experience, Mike has a very unique style when picking sleepers and gems. He has always had a outside the box look on the NFL and rarely gets sucked into the hype over players or buzzing offenses. Mike looks at the game as a whole and doesn't focus solely on individual stats. Football is not Baseball, and you need to factor in more when researching players to draft. Mike has two kids and lives on the West Coast. He's happily married to a beautiful woman who also loves sports. Sundays are spent with friends and family watching games from opening kickoff to well into the evenings.

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