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Backups and late-round picks will set your fantasy team apart

Matt Ryan (left) #2 of the Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan (left) #2 of the Atlanta Falcons Credit: Matt Ryan (left) #2 of the Atlanta Falcons (Getty Images)

A lot of fantasy advice focuses on the early rounds of your draft. But it's hard to make a drastic mistake at the beginning.

So your league's championship will likely be decided by what happens at the end of the draft, where the contenders will separate themselves from the pretenders.
When you're filling in backups, it's crucial to make sure you adapt to your starters. If you have an injury-prone star penciled in at a position, you should look for at least one reliable player behind him who can fill in.

Players like Matt Ryan and Brandon Pettigrew can provide this contingency in later rounds.

Above all, though, be sure to look for backups with high upside, who have the potential to turn into revelations. Your best chance of becoming unbeatable on the march to the championship is by finding someone in the 14th round that has the potential to give you first round production, like Robert Griffin III, Randall Cobb or Kyle Rudolph, then pairing him with your no-brainer early picks.

Additionally, you shouldn't be afraid to pick up some talented backup running backs, even if you don't have that team's starter. Players like Rashad Jennings have the potential to put up RB1 numbers late in the season.

So, while others worry about choosing between Arian Foster and Ray Rice, by studying the lower ranked players you have a chance to have your cake and eat it too. You can set yourself up for glory by pairing a player like Aaron Rodgers with a future star like Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman.

Alex Case is amNewYork's fantasy football columnist.

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