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Top 10 Late Round Targets in Startup Drafts

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners, welcome back to another off-season article with yours truly! We are currently hitting the last slow period of the NFL off-season before training camps fully get underway. We don’t have much exciting news to talk about at this point in time and because of that we will continue to gear up for those Dynasty Owner startup drafts which have already begun.

In today’s article, I have selected 10 players with an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 150.0 or lower, who can still help you with your goal of becoming a League Champion. Many of these players will have an expensive contract, meaning you will need to draft smart through the first 10 rounds of your startup to have a realistic shot at landing one of these players and not strapping yourself with very little cap space to work with after the draft is over. Pay attention as you will see some big-name players who would never drop this far in any other fantasy football draft.

All ADPs listed were current as of the afternoon of May 15th.

  1.  John Metchie (WR – HOU) – 3 years/$2,017,543 – ADP 158.3

If John Metchie ends up hitting and producing in year 2, it may be one of the best storylines in NFL history. Shortly after the 2022 NFL Draft, Metchie was diagnosed with leukemia which caused him to miss his entire rookie season. Metchie is an extremely talented kid out of the University of Alabama who has a realistic chance of becoming the number 1 receiver for the Houston Texans during what will basically be his rookie campaign. Metchie will also have the chance to grow alongside new Texans’ franchise quarterback C.J. Stroud ($9,069,811). Should Metchie and Stroud gel early on in 2023, Metchie could end up as one of the best steals in startup drafts because of his low salary.

2. Keenan Allen (WR – LAC) – 2 years/$20,025,000 – ADP 163.0

I’m sure you will hear this often throughout this article, but where else in fantasy football are you able to find a talent like Keenan Allen this late in startup drafts. I know Allen is starting to age (31 years old) and is not someone Dynasty Owners are drafting in the first few rounds, but to have an ADP of 163.0 is an absolute bargain, even with a salary just over $20,000,000. In 2022, Allen was banged up early and often, but after he was able to get healthy, Allen was once again a difference maker for Dynasty Owners. Allen had a Dynasty Owner stat line of 58 catches, 650 yards and 2 touchdowns while helping Dynasty Owners win their league as most of his production came in the back half of the 2022 season. The Chargers did select Quentin Johnston ($3,547,195), the highly praised receiver out of TCU, in the NFL Draft but I don’t think Johnston will affect Allen all that much in 2023. To be honest, if Allen has two working legs and Justin Herbert ($6,644,689) is slinging him the rock, he’s worth a shot this late in startup drafts no matter how old he is.

3. DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI) – 2 years/$27,250,000 – ADP 179.0

In the 3rd spot, we have the seemingly quarterback proof DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins has been an absolute monster throughout his career, and it has not mattered one bit who was under center throwing passes to the veteran receiver. The biggest downfalls when drafting Hopkins will be his massive contract and his age (30 years old), but if you draft smart through the first 10 rounds, you can fit his huge $27,250,000 contract under the cap no problem. In 2022, Hopkins put up solid numbers despite only playing in 9 games, finishing with 64 receptions, 717 yards and 3 touchdowns. Oh, and he did not have quarterback Kyler Murray ($46,100,000) in four games as well (plus Murray missed almost all of a fifth game). I don’t think it needs to be said, but I will remind you all just to be safe, when DeAndre Hopkins steps on an NFL field, he is as elite as it gets for fantasy football. He can be had at the end of the 15th round on average, at an ADP of 179.0, here on the Dynasty Owner platform.

4. Jared Goff (QB – DET) – 2 years/$33,500,000 – ADP 189.0

Up next, we have one of my favorite surprises of the 2022 NFL season, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. I believe I may have been fired had I got on a podcast last off-season and predicted that Jared Goff would finish as a top 7 Dynasty Owner quarterback, yet here we are. The NFL is a strange place I tell you. During Goff’s breakout 2022 campaign, he put up fantastic numbers for a player who was available in close to all Dynasty Owner leagues at the beginning of 2022. Goff finished the 2022 NFL season with just under 4,500 yards passing and 29 touchdowns compared to only 7 interceptions. Goff will get offensive coordinator Ben Johnson back for at least one more season and while I am not sure we will see a full-on repeat of 2022, I am expecting Goff to hover around the top 10 quarterbacks for most, if not all, of 2023.

5. Michael Carter (RB – NYJ) – 2 years/$1,071,842 – ADP 181.0

I will be the first to admit that I am not sold on any running back I have on this list, but I had to pick at least a few of my favorite options for you all to choose from. Carter does come with some risk, but with an ADP of 181.0, it’s a risk worth taking at the running back position. Carter’s teammate Breece Hall ($2,253,694) went down with a torn ACL in week 7 last season. While I am expecting Hall to be back early in the season, Carter should see a lot of work as the Jets ease Hall back into the mix. Another huge positive working for Carter are his receiving skills out of the backfield and paired with Aaron Rodgers ($50,271,667), I am expecting Carter to take over the Aaron Jones’ ($12,000,000) role from the Packers’ passing game. Carter did struggle towards the end of last season, but he saw a lot of stacked boxes that won’t happen with a future Hall of Famer under center.

6. Cordarrelle Patterson (RB – ATL) – 1 year/$5,250,000 – ADP 228.3

Up next, we have a player that I am sure all of you will question because of the addition of highly touted rookie Bijan Robinson ($5,489,634), but I am sure Cordarrelle Patterson will still put up solid numbers in any PPR format. Yes, Bijan will see a ton of touches in 2023, but I am also expecting Patterson to see several carries per game, and I think he will be involved heavily in the short yardage passing game. I also believe we will see Patterson and Robinson on the field together early and often in 2023 and it’s very possible both have very good seasons here on Dynasty Owner as the Falcons ease Desmond Ridder ($1,340,740) into the full-time starting QB gig. If you are drafting Patterson, I would plan for him to be a one-year rental with the Falcons’ future at the position already on board.

7. Latavius Murray (RB – BUF) – 1 year/$1,317,500 – ADP 243.0

If you remember back to any of my articles from last off-season, you will recall that I am not a huge James Cook ($1,458,014) fan and still have my worries even with him slated to become Buffalo’s starting running back. My biggest concern with Cook is the fact he does not seem to break many tackles and while you can get by like that in the NFL, I don’t see it ever leading to a big fantasy season which bodes well for the journeyman behind him, Latavius Murray. Murray has played well for what seems like every NFL team in the past few seasons. In 2022 Murray played and produced in games for both the Denver Broncos and the New Orleans Saints in route to a 140.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy point season. Murray finished 2022 with over 650 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns while adding 26 catches for almost 120 yards through the air. If for some reason the Bills fall out of love with James Cook, it could be a big year for Murray at a cheap salary!

8. Chris Godwin (WR – TB) – 2 years/$20,000,000 – ADP 157.3

If we are being honest, I think Godwin’s ADP should be at least 20-30 spots higher but the perception of losing Tom Brady and gaining Baker Mayfield ($4,000,000) does not help Godwin’s case at all, though Brady was not a very good quarterback in 2022. While I am not expecting huge things from Mayfield in 2023, I don’t expect to see a big drop-off in offensive production in Tampa Bay. Mayfield was not elite by any means for the Rams in 2022, but he was serviceable and did not have much time at all to learn the team’s offense. I also feel Godwin fits very well with Mayfield and the pair should build chemistry quickly. Despite a rough 2022 season for the entire Buccaneers’ offense, Godwin was still able to post a stat line of 104 catches, 1,023 yards and 3 touchdowns and barring injury I am expecting him to do it again this season.

9. Zach Ertz (TE – ARI) – 2 years/$10,550,000 – ADP 193.3

When looking through the list of players, I had a tough time finding a late round tight end who I felt strongly about and despite the reservations I have with him, I am going to go with Zach Ertz. Outside of injury, my biggest concerns with Ertz are that he is on a rebuilding team, does not fit the Cardinals’ future plans, and the player behind him on the depth chart, Trey McBride ($1,574,916) happens to be the team’s future plan at the position. The reason I have Ertz on the list is because he looked great before going down to injury last season. Ertz only played in 9 full games in 2022 and was still able to produce a stat line of 47 catches, 406 yards and 4 touchdowns from the tight end position. Had Ertz stayed healthy the entire season, he was projected to finish inside of the top 5 tight ends here on Dynasty Owner. Should the Cardinals somehow tread water and stay in the hunt while quarterback Kyler Murray recovers from injury, we could see a huge second half from the veteran tight end.

10.Devin Singletary (RB – HOU) – 1 year/$2,750,000 – ADP 172.5

In the final spot of the 2023 startup draft late round targets, we have none other than Houston running back Devin Singletary! The best example I can think of for a player like Singletary is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It will never totally blow you away, but it will always get the job done and that’s exactly who Devin Singletary is when he steps onto an NFL field. Singletary signed with Houston and will slot in behind second year running back Dameon Pierce ($1,118,858), but should still see plenty of work with a rookie quarterback under center for the Texans. Should Pierce come back slow from his ankle injury, we may see Singletary in a featured back role for the first couple of weeks of the season, which is an added bonus this late in the draft. In 2022, Singletary shared time in the Buffalo backfield and was still able to finish with 848 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns on top of 39 catches for 283 yards and another touchdown. Singletary’s well rounded skill set should fit nicely into the Texans’ offense.

Thank you all for reading and be sure to check out all of the upcoming Dynasty Owner content. We have the Dynasty Owner podcast, the Dynasty Owner Livestream, and articles to help with your Dynasty Owner teams. Good luck on your 2023 Chase for the Ring!

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