Fantasy football drafts may be in the books, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about upgrades. Here are a few players who are mostly going undrafted who could help your team. Note: Average draft position (ADP) and percentage owned figures are as of Tuesday.
DeShone Kizer, Cleveland Browns QB
ADP: 170.0 (ESPN), N/A (Yahoo), 162.34 (CBS)
Owned: 7.9 percent (ESPN), 11 percent (Yahoo), 10.9 percent (CBS)
The Browns’ long search for a franchise quarterback seems to be over. The rookie won the starting job despite an inconsistent preseason performance. In Week 1 he completed 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown but was 14 of 31 for 167 yards and an interception in Weeks 2 and 3. It’s Kizer’s ability to run that gives him fantasy upside. He rushed for just over 1,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in two seasons at Notre Dame. Kizer also rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown on eight carries during the preseason. The Browns have one of the best offensive lines in the league, which should give him room to run. Kizer could work his way into the mix as a QB2 and a bye week fill-in this season.
Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins QB
ADP: 170.0 (ESPN), 130.7 (Yahoo), 124.09 (CBS)
Owned: 12.9 percent (ESPN), 7 percent (Yahoo), 44.8 percent (CBS)
Cutler was expected to be in the FOX broadcast booth, not on the field, after retiring in May. But after Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending ACL injury, Cutler joined the Dolphins on a one-year deal. The veteran quarterback is reunited with coach Adam Gase, who was the offensive coordinator with the Bears in 2015. Cutler threw for 3,659 yards, 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions that season. Cutler’s a mediocre quarterback, and he’s spent a mere month with the Dolphins, but he has a big arm and a talented receiving corps in Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Julius Thomas. He’s not worth drafting — especially with the Dolphins’ Week 1 game against the Buccaneers in doubt because of Hurricane Irma — but he could be a nice fill-in at some point. Miami has some favorable matchups early on (at Chargers, at Jets, vs. Saints, vs. Titans, at Falcons, vs. Jets), so Cutler’s worth monitoring.
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints RB
ADP: 146.4 (ESPN), N/A (Yahoo), 155.39 (CBS)
Owned: 18.8 percent (ESPN), 12 percent (Yahoo), 36.7 (CBS)
Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson are expected to get the bulk of the carries in New Orleans, but the rookie was highly touted leading up to the start of the season. In the team’s first two preseason games, he rushed for 96 yards on nine carries (10.7 ypc), including a 50-yard touchdown in Week 2 against the Chargers. With his pass-catching ability and return skills, Kamara likely will see the field often. The third-round pick could be a decent flex play in PPR leagues.
Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots RB
ADP: 142.2 (ESPN), 124.5 (Yahoo), 147.36 (CBS)
Owned: 50 percent (ESPN), 4 percent (Yahoo), 34.9 percent (CBS)
After missing the end of the preseason with an undisclosed injury, Burkhead has declared himself “ready to go.” New England is loaded with running backs with James White, Dion Lewis, Mike Gillislee and Burkhead all fighting for touches. Burkhead, entering his fifth season and first with the Patriots, impressed in the preseason with three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield in Week 2 against the Texans. The Pats lost a big short-yardage weapon in Julian Edelman to a torn ACL, and Burkhead has a chance to fill that hole.
Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins WR
ADP: 145.5 (ESPN), 131.0 (Yahoo), 162.05 (CBS)
Owned: 38.9 percent (ESPN), 6 percent (Yahoo), 17.6 percent (CBS)
Kirk Cousins lost two of his biggest weapons in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to free agency, clearing the way for Jamison Crowder to take over as a starter. The Redskins also signed Terrelle Pryor Sr., coming off a 1,000-yard season, during the offseason, leaving Doctson as a somewhat forgotten man in Washington. He’s been battling a hamstring injury but is expected to be ready for Week 1 against the Eagles. An Achilles injury also spoiled his rookie year as he missed all but two games last season. The Redskins had four players with at least 87 targets last season as Cousins attempted more than 600 passes for the first time in his career. The pass-heavy offense leaves room for Doctson to have an impact.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams WR
ADP: 136.4 (ESPN), 127.4 (Yahoo), 153.11 (CBS)
Owned: 16.6 percent (ESPN), 5 percent (Yahoo), 26.5 percent (CBS)
Kupp played his way into the slot receiver role in preseason. He had eight catches on 10 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown in two preseason games and seems to be Jared Goff’s go-to on third down. The second-year quarterback targeted the rookie on four of eight third downs in the team’s second preseason game. It’s a low-scoring offense, so Kupp isn’t likely to reach the end zone much, but with an inexperienced quarterback, he has a chance to lead the team in catches, making him a decent flex play in PPR leagues.
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons TE
ADP: 136.4 (ESPN), 133.6 (Yahoo), 143.53 (CBS)
Owned: 36.2 percent, 50 percent (Yahoo), 59.5 percent (CBS)
With Jacob Tamme gone, Hooper takes over as the Falcons’ top tight end. The 2016 second-round pick didn’t do much as a rookie. He had 19 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns on 27 targets, but he’s in a potent offense that led the league in scoring and finished third in total yards. The rise up the depth chart should help Hooper as the Falcons’ tight end group combined for 10 touchdowns last season.
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE
ADP: 133.2 (ESPN), 125.4 (Yahoo), 143.52 (CBS)
Owned: 19.5 percent (ESPN), 23 percent (Yahoo), 51.8 percent (CBS)
Fellow tight end Cameron Brate is coming off a strong year (57 catches, 660 yards, eight touchdowns), so look for the Bucs to run plenty of two tight end sets. Howard, a rookie out of Alabama, had 114 catches for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons with the Crimson Tide, an underwhelming stat line compared with his NFL Combine performance. Howard had the best times among tight ends at the three-cone, short shuttle and 60-yard shuttle. The 6-6, 251-pounder gives Jameis Winston another big red-zone target along with Brate (6-5, 245) and Mike Evans (6-5, 231).