In dynasty leagues, we are constantly looking for those late-round lottery tickets that can give us a huge return down the road. To find those lottery tickets, you have to look for guys who have a relatively easy path to production, are extremely talented or could see a change in their situation that would improve their outlook. Last summer, guys like James Conner and Chris Carson had an Average Draft Position (ADP) below 150 and saw a huge uptick in value due to their situations and production. Now it’s important to realize that not every lottery ticket you take late is going to hit. For every James Conner, there is an Antonio Callaway or Jonnu Smith, both of which we are still waiting to break out. Here are two players that are being taken late that could give you huge returns down the road.
Irv Smith Jr., TE, Minnesota Vikings (ADP – 160)
Irv Smith is an extremely talented rookie tight end out of Alabama. When he was drafted by Minnesota with the 50th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, everyone assumed that meant Kyle Rudolph’s days in Minnesota were pretty much done. However, Minnesota doubled down on the position and gave Rudolph a 4 year, $36,000,000 contact extension. This has definitely hurt Smith’s value since most people were expecting significant production right away.
Looking at things more closely, I think Smith can see a large increase in his value as soon as this upcoming offseason. Although Rudolph’s contract looks like he will be a Viking for a while, the Vikings have a potential out after this season where they would only have to pay $5,800,000 to cut Rudolph. This would save the Vikings a ton of money down the road. So as long as the Vikings like what they see with Smith, Rudolph could be gone after this season. Smith has the skills and athleticism to be a top 5 TE if given the opportunity. If you can go out and get Smith for a late 2nd/early 3rd value, it will be worth the price down the road.
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins (ADP – 206)
Talent is definitely not the reason Preston Williams went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. The wide receiver out of Colorado State went undrafted primarily due to being arrested for a domestic altercation with his girlfriend in 2017. This alone will cause some fantasy owners to completely remove Williams from consideration. However, if character issues and history don’t turn you off of players, Williams could be an absolute steal right now.
The main reason that Williams is a target for me is his opportunity in Miami. Williams is standing out in a mediocre wide receiver core that includes DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, and Allen Hurns. Regardless of who is throwing the ball, Williams’ path to a significant target share is pretty easy. He has the size, speed, and route running to beat out all of the other wide receivers on the roster. It also looks like this Dolphins team will be trailing quite a bit this season, which should benefit the passing game and everyone apart of it. All of this, plus the opportunity for Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert next season creates a realistic chance that Williams could be a top 100 player by this time next year. Similar to Irv Smith, if you can get Williams for a late 2nd/early 3rd, Williams has the upside to increase that value greatly.
All ADP based on August 1 QB Startup ADP from Dynasty League Football