It's easy to draft the star players in the NFL on your Fantasy roster. You know who they are, we talk about them all the time and most of them have standout projections. But if you've played this game long enough, you know that late-round picks and waiver-wire gems win your leagues. So let's try to find those guys now.
What I've done here is taken the NFC Average Draft Position data from June 1 to July 17 with the intention of finding the last player or two on each team who has the chance to be Fantasy relevant this season. For the most part, we're looking at players being selected after pick No. 150 overall, or later than Round 12 in most leagues.
Most of these players will prove to be irrelevant. But what if we find the next Geno Smith, Rachaad White, Garrett Wilson, Christian Watson or Evan Engram, among others? All of those players had an ADP after No. 150 overall in 2022 or weren't drafted and turned into standout Fantasy options.
Who's next? Let's take a look, with a player or two from every NFC team being selected in this range or later. Check back on the site shortly after to find out each sleeper to target from every AFC team.
Howell (ADP of 192.6) is an interesting Fantasy option, and hopefully, he wins the quarterback job in Washington ahead of Jacoby Brissett. If he starts as expected then he should be drafted as a No. 3 quarterback in Superflex and two-quarterback leagues with the chance to surprise Fantasy managers. Howell started Week 18 for the Commanders in 2022 and scored 19 Fantasy points with 169 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception, along with 35 rushing yards and a touchdown. He has the chance to be among the better rushing quarterbacks because he ran for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns at North Carolina in 2021. He also has an underrated receiving corps with Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas and Antonio Gibson, and I'm excited to see what Howell can do this year. Samuel (ADP of 196.1) is also worth a flier in this range, and he scored at least 12 PPR points in six of his first nine games last year.
Gallup had a disappointing season in 2022, in part because he was coming back from the ACL tear he suffered at the end of the 2021 campaign. Now, in his second year back from the injury, Gallup should surprise Fantasy managers with his production. Even though he'll be the third receiver in Dallas now behind CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks, Gallup should still be productive enough to use in deeper Fantasy leagues, especially at his ADP (174.2). He started to come on late last year, scoring at least 11 PPR points in three of his final seven outings. Everyone in Dallas is encouraged by Gallup this offseason, so keep an eye on him in training camp, and he could be a good bench receiver in deeper formats.
The Eagles backfield is wide open this season with Miles Sanders gone as a free agent to Carolina. While the leading contenders to replace Sanders are D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny, don't forget about Gainwell (ADP of 160.7) and Scott (284.9). Both could be significant factors this year, especially given the injury history for Swift and Penny. Gainwell could be a solid Fantasy option if the Eagles threw more to their running backs, but Philadelphia was last among running back targets in 2022. Gainwell didn't have more than nine total touches in any game in the regular season for the Eagles in 2022, and he doesn't profile as a workhorse on a consistent basis. But we also have never seen him in the lead role. Scott, however, would likely get plenty of carries if an injury happened, and he loves facing the Giants. He has scored a touchdown in eight games in a row against the Giants going back to 2019.
The Giants don't have one receiver being drafted in the first 15 rounds based on ADP, which is crazy. We'll see if that changes if Robinson (ADP of 238.9) or Shepard (289.5) are healthy at some point in training camp, but it's doubtful either moves up that far. I'm surprised Hodgins (209.3) is so low considering how productive he was last season, scoring at least 14 PPR points in four of his final five outings, and he's my favorite Giants receiver heading into training camp. Slayton (252.9) is also underrated, and he had seven games with at least 11 PPR points in 2022. Keep an eye on Campbell (193.4) if he opens the season as the slot receiver for the Giants. And Hyatt (180.9), the third-round rookie from Tennessee, is a wild card. Also, given the contract situation for Saquon Barkley, keep an eye on the backup running backs for the Giants, including Eric Gray (273.9) and Matt Breida (284.3). Both are worth a flier, in that order, with Barkley not likely to show up until we get closer to Week 1.
The Buccaneers are moving on from the retired Tom Brady with either Mayfield (ADP of 221.8) or Trask (276.6), and by all accounts, it's Mayfield's job to lose. While neither one is worth drafting in one-quarterback leagues, the winner of this competition is worth selecting with a late-round pick in Superflex and two-quarterback formats. Keep in mind that while the offense will change under new coordinator Dave Canales, Tampa Bay still has one of the best receiver duos in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, which should boost any quarterback. And Mayfield looked much better for the Rams last season than he did for the Panthers, which will hopefully carry over to this year. I'm not excited about either quarterback, but the winner of this job has value in Superflex and two-quarterback leagues.
Ridder (ADP of 187.3) only played in four games as a rookie in 2022, and he didn't look great as a Fantasy quarterback by averaging just 9.0 points per game. He did have an 18-point outing in Week 18 against Tampa Bay, but he also played those four games without Kyle Pitts, who was out with a knee injury. With Pitts, Drake London and Bijan Robinson, Ridder has the weapons to be a successful Fantasy quarterback. Unfortunately, he plays for Arthur Smith, who wants to run the ball, and the Falcons led the NFL with 559 rushing attempts in 2022. The philosophy won't change after Atlanta drafted Robinson in the first round of the NFL Draft, so Ridder is only worth a look in Superflex and two-quarterback leagues. The best thing Ridder can do is make Pitts, London and Robinson into Fantasy stars, which would only help the production for everyone.
The Panthers have a revamped receiving corps this season with D.J. Moore gone, and the new guys coming in are Thielen (ADP of 149.6), Chark (176.2) and Mingo (191.1). Along with Marshall (242.4), who is entering his third season in the NFL, all these guys will vie for targets from rookie quarterback Bryce Young. Someone will emerge with 100-plus targets this season, which is great for Fantasy managers, and the leader in the clubhouse is likely Thielen. However, based on cost, I would rather target Chark or Mingo. Chark, who has struggled to stay healthy with 19 missed games over the past two years, played well down the stretch for Detroit in 2022 with at least 14 PPR points in three of his final six games. And Mingo could be the future top target for Young. It's worth watching all of these guys in training camp to see who steps up since all of them have a chance to succeed in 2023.
If everyone is healthy and active, the Saints should have a robust receiving corps with Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Shaheed (ADP of 176.2) and Johnson (151.6), so Derek Carr might have a problem keeping everyone happy. But Kamara could still miss time due to suspension, and Thomas has been limited to 10 games over the past three seasons. That could make things better for secondary options like Johnson and Shaheed. Johnson quietly had a nice Fantasy season in 2022, and he scored at least 11 PPR points in six of his final 10 games. He should have the chance to build on that with Carr, and we know Carr loved using his tight end with the Raiders given his rapport with Darren Waller. Shaheed also had some nice moments last year and scored at least 13 PPR points in two of his final four games. He could be a sneaky late-round pick because Carr could help Shaheed make more plays down the field.
The No. 1 Bears running back going into the season should be Khalil Herbert, and hopefully he takes advantage of David Montgomery being gone. While Fantasy managers are selecting D'Onta Foreman as the No. 2 Chicago running back with an ADP of 140.5, I'd rather wait for Johnson (158.0), the fourth-round rookie from Texas. He doesn't have a great college resume since he played behind Bijan Robinson for the Longhorns, but Johnson could be a nice surprise if he earns a big role for the Bears. Most likely, he'll open training camp No. 3 on the depth chart behind the veterans, but a strong performance in practice could force the coaching staff to give Johnson plenty of touches in his rookie campaign. He's one of my favorite lottery tickets in 2023.
All the Lions in the passing game not named Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs have a chance to make some noise in the first six games of the season while Jameson Williams is serving his suspension. While guys like Marvin Jones (ADP of 278.1), Josh Reynolds (282.3) and newly-acquired Denzel Mims (241.4) will fight for targets from Jared Goff, I'm more interested in LaPorta (190.7), the rookie tight end from Iowa. LaPorta, a second-round pick in the NFL Draft, is expected to have a big role right away, and if he can develop a solid rapport with Goff then Fantasy managers could use him as a potential starter in all leagues. He's one of my favorite No. 2 tight ends to draft with a late-round pick in all leagues.
The Packers are turning the offense over to Love (ADP of 153.7) with Aaron Rodgers now playing for the Jets, and I'm excited to see what Love can do. He has an unproven receiving corps led by second-year guys in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, as well as rookies Jayden Reed and Luke Musgrave, but Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon should provide some veteran leadership. We'll see if these guys can lift Love's production enough to make him a viable option in Superflex and two-quarterback leagues, and those are the only formats I would draft him in. But if Love plays well during the season then he could be a waiver-wire option in one-quarterback leagues as well. As for the receivers, Reed (213.6) falls into this range and is worth a late-round flier in all formats. We'll see if he can outperform Watson or Doubs, and he could be a good stash candidate for your bench.
The Vikings moved on from Dalvin Cook, likely with the intent to make Alexander Mattison their full-time running back. But the backups to Mattison are worth keeping an eye on, and it should be fun to see the training camp battle between Chandler (ADP of 238.4), McBride (228.7) and Nwangwu (276.2). Chandler is the one to target heading into training camp, but McBride could turn some heads. Remember, Mattison has never been a full-time starter, so if he were to miss any time, we could be talking about a lottery ticket from this backfield. Sound familiar? That was what Fantasy managers said of Mattison during the majority of his career when he was playing behind Cook.
It sounds like Purdy (elbow) will be ready for Week 1, but his health is something to monitor in training camp. If he's out then Lance (ADP of 220.9) would likely be the starter, but Darnold (277.9) is also in the mix. I'd like to see Purdy (179.2) build off what he did last year before getting hurt in the NFC Championship Game, and he scored at least 20 Fantasy points in four of six appearances in the regular season. Lance remains an intriguing prospect because of his legs, but he likely needs Purdy to be out to get a shot at playing time, barring a surprise trade. And Darnold would just be a placeholder until Purdy is ready. Whoever starts for the 49ers is just an option in Superflex and two-quarterback leagues to open the season, but Purdy or Lance could sneak into the one-quarterback league conversation if things go right.
It's surprising to see Murray's ADP so low at 164.6, but this could dramatically rise if he's ready early in training camp coming off last year's torn ACL. While he might struggle to regain his form, especially if he's hesitant to run, he still has the potential to be a low-end No. 1 Fantasy quarterback in all leagues, even without DeAndre Hopkins. In the first six games of last season when Hopkins was suspended, Murray still averaged 20.0 Fantasy points per game, including three outings with at least 23 points. He's a great player to stash with a late-round pick in all leagues, and hopefully he's healthy for Week 1. I also plan to stash McBride (224.0) as a No. 2 tight end, and he could benefit with Hopkins gone, especially if Zach Ertz (knee) remains out. Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore and McBride should be the top three options in the passing game for Arizona in 2023.
The Rams have a lead singer at receiver with Cooper Kupp, but the backup vocals are wide open. The No. 2 receiver should be Jefferson (ADP of 206.2), and he's worth a late-round flier in all leagues. I'm also excited about Nacua (287.7), who will hopefully beat out Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek for the No. 3 job. Jefferson had a down year in 2022 (like most of the Rams) due to injury and poor quarterback play, and he averaged just 6.3 PPR points per game. But in 2021, with a healthy Matthew Stafford, Jefferson had six games with at least 14 PPR points. Nacua had a strong offseason prior to training camp, and hopefully he can impress Sean McVay enough to earn a decent amount of targets in his rookie campaign.
The Seahawks were the toughest team to find someone for this exercise because all of their top Fantasy options (DK Metcalf, Kenneth Walker III, Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Geno Smith and Zach Charbonnet) all have an ADP at No. 110 or higher. And the reality is those are the only Seattle players worth drafting in the majority of leagues. In deep, tight end premium leagues, you can take a flier on Fant (ADP of 229.9), but it should be hard for him to find targets when everyone is healthy. In 2022, his first year with the Seahawks, Fant averaged a career-low 6.8 PPR points per game. But he did close the season on a high note with three touchdowns in his final six outings, and hopefully that momentum will carry over to this year.