Draft Strategy

Four Late Round Boom/Bust Picks

Last off-season, I found four candidates poised to be later-round values due to their highly volatile scoring trends.  Mentioned within that article were the overall QB8, RB8, and WR27. The only noticeable miss was at tight end position. I’m back again this year to find some late-round gems that could find their way on to winning MFL10 rosters.

Using the RotoViz Best Ball ADP app, I found four players being drafted outside of the top 150 who, despite their late ADP, have home run potential. These four players will all be inconsistent, but the “boom” weeks make them perfectly suited for the best-ball format.


Ryan Tannehill was drafted as QB21 in 2016 MFL10s and finished as QB25. At first glance, you might think that Tannehill was a major disappointment and hindered teams that rostered him, but Tannehill’s ADP largely points to a player that was drafted as a backup. What elevates Tannehill to this list is his weekly boom potential. Tannehill’s 2016 featured four weeks over 20 points and five weeks as a top-10 QB during his 13 active weeks. Tannehill was the definition of a boom/bust player with six weeks outside of the top 20. He’s currently being drafted as QB23 and 157th overall.

Honorable Mention: Carson Palmer ruined plenty of teams in 2016 after being drafted as QB8 and finishing QB20. Amidst his largely disappointing consistency, Palmer finished as a top 12 QB five times including three top-five finishes. Palmer is currently being drafted as QB24 and 158th overall.

Running Back

Despite being the third-most discussed Eagles RB during the preseason, Darren Sproles was a fantasy contributor for the teams that drafted him late (RB51, 151 overall in 2016 MFL10s). Sproles finished the season with two top-12 weeks, six top-24 weeks, and one top-36 week. The problem with Sproles is inconsistent team usage. While splitting the backfield primarily with Ryan Mathews, Sproles established himself as the value pick for the Eagles. Built into Sproles ADP is the risk that the Eagles will add another RB this offseason, but unlike Mathews, Sproles’ value was largely tied to limited, but efficient touches. Sproles finished the 2016 season as RB25 and he’s currently being drafted as RB55 and 185th overall.

Honorable Mention: Terrance West produced two top-12 RB weeks and two additional top-24 weeks. Despite the late season emergence of Kenneth Dixon, West had five of his eight weeks within the top 36 from Week 10 until Week 16. Similar to Sproles, West’s late ADP is due to an expectation that the team is moving on to another RB, but West developed a role in a crowded backfield in 2016 despite being the least heralded back on the team. Right now, he’s in position to repeat that task. West is currently being drafted as RB65 and 197th overall in MFL10s.

Wide Receiver

Tavon Austin (WR51) slightly under performed when compared to his WR44 ADP. Roster construction would largely determine whether Austin hurt his owners. If expected to be a consistent contributor, he was a disappointment, as Austin had nine weeks outside of the top 40. As an ancillary WR though, Austin’s booms likely helped teams. He finished as a top-12 WR two times and top-24 two other times. Austin’s opportunity should increase with the exit of Kenny Britt, and his ADP has turned him into a late-round addition that could fortify rosters. Austin is currently being drafted WR67 and 168th overall.

Honorable Mention: Marqise Lee was arguably a more consistent scorer than Austin. His 2016 featured seven weeks within the top-36 WRs, including four top-24 weeks. The reason that Austin was selected over Lee was due to Lee’s lack of a top-end scoring week and slightly higher ADP. Lee is currently being drafted WR61 and 155th overall.

Tight End

The much-maligned Gary Barnidge was an inconsistent producer and likely a headache in roster management leagues, but he produced in best ball leagues. His 612 yards and two touchdowns in 2016 were a significant drop from his 2015 production, but the disappointing results have caused Barnidge to be nearly free in early drafts. Barnidge is currently being drafted TE30 and 198th overall.

Honorable Mention: Jason Witten had five weeks in the top 12 at TE, including two weeks in the top five. Additionally, Witten led all pass catches in market share of red zone targets with 20, accounting for 33.3 percent of the Cowboys’ total.  Witten is currently being drafted as TE20 and 167th overall.


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By Matt Wispe | @WispeyTheKid | Archive

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