Draft Day Bargains & Sleepers

Coming into any draft, it’s important to finish up strong.

Every fantasy GM will plot out his first few picks like a head coach scripts his first 15 plays. But what about the rest of the plays? And what about the rest of your draft picks?

A lot of times leagues are won in the middle and late rounds. It’s not just all about the studs who are taken with picks 1-5. Last year in a keeper league, I snagged Rashard Mendenhall with a very late pick and this year he progressed to one of my keepers. But even in leagues that start from scratch, it’s the middle and late round guys who, if picked right, are often in your lineup during that all-important, must win games late in the season.

Here at 4for4.com, we’re all about getting you through your draft right now. You’ve probably read a lot of our Perfect Draft articles using PC Drafter, but this piece is going to break things down even further, and give you some ideas for some draft day bargains that you can land in the later rounds.

Let’s take a look…


Alex Smith, QB
4for4 rank – 16
General Consensus rank – 19
Difference - +3
ADP – 150

If you’re looking for a late-round, backup with a lot of potential in your draft, Alex Smith sure seems like a solid choice. And, he may end up starting about half your games in a QB-by-committee – should you choose to go that direction.

Smith had a pretty good half-season last year, throwing for 18 TDs in 10 weeks. So, expectations are a little higher than they were last year when he came in as just a backup. This year, he may not get a lot of love either, and with an ADP of 150, you have a good shot of getting him very late in your draft.

The key thing to remember about Smith is his schedule. When you check out his player page here at 4for4 you see a lot of green. Two games against Seattle and two against St. Louis are a nice start. Throw in Kansas City, Carolina and Tampa Bay and that’s at least 7 favorable matchups. Also, week 16, which is when a lot of fantasy championships take place, the 9ers are at St. Louis.


Thomas Jones, RB
4for4 rank – 21
General Consensus rank – 39
Difference - +18
ADP – 103rd

One of the biggest fantasy questions this year is just what kind of role will Jamaal Charles play with the Chiefs. By now, you know what kind of numbers the dynamic running back put up last year in limited action after taking over for Larry Johnson. Yet, it didn’t stop KC from going out and signing veteran Thomas Jones, who currently holds the role as RB1 on the depth chart.

Here at 4for4, we’re telling you not to panic about KC’s depth chart, and that it will be hard to keep the ball out of Charles’ hands. Charles is also easing his way back after offseason surgery. So, the signing makes sense when you consider that and the RB trends these days in the NFL. But, looking at the rankings, why is Jones such a bargain if Charles is the man?

Word out of KC is they want to run the ball - a lot, and Jones is a perfect complimentary back, as we saw last year with the Jets. We’ll have to see if Jones will be worth fantasy playing time in your starting roster, only time will tell that. He’s predicted to post 700-plus yards and 8 TDs. Those are pretty decent RB3 numbers.

But, Jones’ real value could be that of a backup on your roster, especially if you’re a Charles owner and he gets hurt. I used to always plead to subscribers who owned Brian Westbrook during his days with the Eagles - go and get Correll Buckhalter when he was his backup. Buck didn’t always play a lot, but BWest was a lock to miss a game or two as a late scratch. I can see this as a similar situation…

Even if you’re not a Charles owner, taking Jones ahead of the guy who does have him could net you a valuable player back in a trade. Jones’ ADP is the 11th, but he’s been going between rounds 8-10 in a lot of the PC Drafter mocks I’ve completed.

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Filed Under: Preseason, 2010

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