Fantasy Football: Make later picks pay off

Daryl Richardson #26 of the St. Louis Rams

Daryl Richardson #26 of the St. Louis Rams (Credit: Daryl Richardson #26 of the St. Louis Rams (Getty))

A lot of the material you’ll find to help you prepare for your fantasy football draft will focus on the first couple of rounds. However, to win your league, you need to focus on more than just the top-tier players and make the most of your later-round picks as well.

To really separate yourself from the pack, you’ll want to find solid, underrated players such as Daryl Richardson, Shane Vereen, Antonio Brown, Kenny Britt or Jordan Cameron throughout the middle rounds.

Then, once you get into the later rounds, focus on high upside players who can make their way into your starting lineup if things break the right way. Take a high-quality handcuff at RB like Andre Brown or Ben Tate, either of whom could become a top 10 RB if David Wilson or Arian Foster got hurt, over a more reliable player such as Pierre Thomas (RB, Saints). This is also a good time to look for young wide receivers like Josh Gordon or Cecil Shorts, who will benefit from a lot of targets and could have massive years if only their QBs could put it together.

It is also important to adapt to your earlier picks as you maneuver the later rounds. If you wind up with a more fragile starting QB like Robert Griffin, you should aim to pair him with a steady, reliable starter such as Eli Manning. But, if your starter is someone like Matt Ryan, you may be better off targeting a high upside but inconsistent talent such as Michael Vick who can get into your starting lineup when he has a good matchup.

So, while others are busy fretting over the slight differences in value between Trent Richardson and Ray Rice, scout the talent available in the later rounds to set yourself up to succeed.

Alex Case is amNY’s fantasy football columnist.


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