Last week I did 1 potential gem on each AFC team so this week we are moving on to the NFC. Finding value in your fantasy drafts is one of the most important things for you to do as a fantasy owner and I am going to give you some potential gems to target when heading into your drafts. To recap, I am considering a “Gem” as a player that is going in the double digit rounds or later. 1 team on this list will have 2 players as I am unsure of what you guys think on one of the players being considered a late round gem so I will explain when I get to that team. As with all of my lists this is based on half point PPR leagues so keep in mind that some players could be either more valuable or less valuable depending on how your league is set up. Without further ado, lets dive right in. Here is 1 potential fantasy gem for each NFC team! (ADP based on half point PPR 12 team leagues.)
Dallas Cowboys: QB Dak Prescott ADP 12.03
Dak Prescott was a QB1 last season finishing out at number 10 overall at the position. While he had his struggles he was mostly a good fantasy play and he had some massive games throughout the season. So why is he going off the board so late as the QB18? Well the Cowboys are a run first team and players are not taking the shot on him being consistent enough of a QB to start weekly. It also could be just a product of drafters betting on the upside of other QB’s compared to Prescott. Whatever it is, Dak has a great chance at being able to outproduce his draft value and he is a perfect target for the late round QB drafter. He is at a solid discount in the 12th round and he will a true number 1 WR in Amari Cooper for a full season this year as opposed to having him for half a season while he learned the offense. His rushing upside keeps him squarely in the QB1 conversation and he could be on a lot of championship rosters by seasons end if he has success in 2019.
Philadelphia Eagles: WR DeSean Jackson ADP11.03 or WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside ADP Undrafted
I put both of these receivers here as some may not see Jackson as a “Fantasy Gem” per say. Lets start there with Jackson. He is back home in Philly and he is going to be the deep threat that the team was missing last season. Carson Wentz missed having a true field stretcher last season and reports are already circulating out of camp that the pair has great chemistry together. Jackson can be a bit boom bust for fantasy at times, but he will be on one of the best offenses he has ever been on and he will have major upside with Wentz having the ability to give you some true week winning performances. If you don’t see him as a gem however, look for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. JJAW is the newest rookie WR to land in Philly and he has a true nose for the endzone. He has been talked up as being a main redzone threat for the Eagles already and that could afford the rookie to see more playing time than initially thought when he was drafted to the crowded WR core. He is a great last round flier for teams looking for receivers with Touchdown upside.
Washington Redskins: WR Trey Quinn ADP Undrafted
Trey Quinn has been someone I have been targeting all offseason especially during my best ball drafts. He is being touted as the replacement slot WR a role vacated by one of the best slot men in the game Jamison Crowder. With Crowder now off in New York, Quinn will look to slide into the slot for Washington and has a real chance at leading the team in targets by the end of the season. He is one of the few WR’s currently going undrafted that has a real shot at seeing 80 to 100 targets by seasons end. Whoever ends up playing QB for the Redskins to start the season shouldn’t matter for Quinn as HC Jay Gruden has had the slot WR position heavily involved for most of his tenure in Washington, and all the QB’s that are currently employed by the team are not traditional deep ball passers. Quinn will be relied on heavily and he has a shot at seeing weekly starting potential in your flex spot.
New York Giants: WR Golden Tate ADP 10.01
There are not a lot of solid fantasy options on the Giants in 2019 and for the few options that are good picks, they are all guys going earlier than round 10. The only real viable options on this team for fantasy this season that are not named Golden Tate are Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Even Engram. I couldn’t possibly put QB’s Eli Manning or Daniel Jones here as I do not see them as viable fantasy options at any point unless they prove to be so through the first few weeks of the season. The receiver core does not have an abundance of talent to it and the team doesn’t seem to have the ability nor do they have the QB in place to make the WR3 on the team fantasy relevant. So we are going to go with the only viable Giant that is going in the double digit rounds and that is Golden Tate. Tate was much higher than this in the beginning of the offseason, but has dropped over the past month and he can now be seen as a true value in the double digit round. Granted he is the first pick in the double digits, but it is late enough as it needs to be to consider him a bit of a steal. Tate has a real shot at being the top target for the Giants this season, and even though he has moved to a worse offense going from Philadelphia to New York, Tate did not fare well on the crowded offense with the Eagles. He had a horrible stretch of nearly unstartable games, but that is not the receiver he has become. He was still a solid fantasy force to start last season with the Lions and he will now be targeted closer to how he was in Detroit with the Giants. Picking either Tate or Shepard seems to be a toss up currently so I suggest taking the player going later in Tate.
Arizona Cardinals: TE Ricky Seals-Jones ADP Undrafted
The hype train was in full force last season for Seals-Jones, but the Arizona offense was so putrid that there were nearly zero fantasy assets throughout the season. He disappointed last season, but perhaps we were a season to early on him. The offense is bound to improve with new HC Kliff Kingsbury and he will have a better QB in Kyler Murray throwing him the ball. Murray will surely play it safe as he adjusts to the speed of the NFL so Seals-Jones could see a solid amount of targets on some of the shorter routes that he runs. The Cardinals are going to look a lot different this year and betting on one of the starting players for the team to be a potential breakout is not a bad idea. He has shown that he can be an athletic receiving option in the past and playing in the new offense could propel him to fantasy relevance like many expected out of him last season.
Los Angeles Rams: RB Malcolm Brown ADP 14.05
Malcolm Brown has been the man left out in the cold after the team drafted Darrell Henderson this past April. Henderson figures to be a solid pass catcher for the team and he could spell Gurley when he is taking his rest, but lets not forget that the team had to pry Brown back from the jaws of the Lions who signed him to an offer sheet a few months ago. The Rams obviously plan to use Brown or they would have just let him go to Detroit and while Henderson seems to be the sexy prospect to take, Brown could very well be used more as the runner when Gurley sits out. While it is to early to tell how things could shake out, there is a real chance that Brown will be used as the main runner when replacing Gurley while Henderson works the passing downs. If Gurley were to miss any extended time, Brown has the chance to be the 2 down thumper while Henderson works as the pass catcher. He can be seen as a potential handcuff for Gurley just like Henderson and he could have standalone value depending on how much he rotates into the offense when Gurley is healthy.
San Francisco 49ers: RB Matt Brieda ADP 12.05
Similarly to Brown, Brieda seems to be the forgotten man in the 49ers RB core. While it seems fairly evident that Tevin Coleman is the front runner to start for the team, Brieda could very well be one of the most used backs on the team. He did a great job last season filling in for Jerick McKinnon and he may have even surpassed him on the depth chart with how well he played last season. Brieda was hurt often last season, but played through a lot of the injuries and was a great productive fantasy back. The team sees to be stacking the position with talent based on the injury problems they had last year so pay close attention to how things are developing in the offseason. Brieda has a wide range of outcomes, but he will at the very least be involved in the offense and that gives him upside heading into 2019.
Seattle Seahawks: TE Will Dissley ADP Undrafted
Most of the Seahawk talent is being taken earlier than round 10 so we will have to look deep into the roster to try and find some value. I offer you one of last years fantasy darlings Will Dissley. Dissley was ok for the team as the starting TE for his short stretch before he went down with a Patellar Tendon injury. One of the toughest injuries to come back from doesn’t make you excited for him, but players have come back ready to play from it in the past and the TE position is wide open for the Seahawks. The team may not be particularly pass heavy, but Dissley had enough success to make him interesting at the very least were he to come back in a starting capacity. At a position so devoid of talent, Dissley is a name to watch in 2019.
Chicago Bears: QB Mitch Trubisky ADP 13.10
Trubisky had his ups and downs last season, but it is important to remember that he played through a shoulder injury down the stretch hampering him a bit for fantasy. Before this he had some solid performances including the one everyone remembers in week 4 where he threw 6 Touchdowns against the Bucs. That being said, he is going now has the QB22 due to his late season struggles, and that is a spot he can definitely outproduce in his 3rd year. The Bears will be in year 2 of the Matt Nagy system and should continue to adjust things around Trubisky to make sure that he has the best chance to succeed. He got a few more receiving pieces in WR Riley Ridley and RB David Montgomery and having more targets is never a bad thing. We have seen his floor and his ceiling last season and coming back 100% healthy should keep him squarely in the middle of them making him a potential starter for fantasy purposes and giving him the upside to well outproduce his ADP.
Detroit Lions: RB C.J. Anderson ADP 14.08
Anderson signing with the Lions initially dragged down the ADP of Kerryon Johnson, but things have rebounded and Johnson is now back in the top 4 rounds while Anderson is going nearly undrafted. The Lions used a running back by committee approach last season and while it may not be as heavy a committee as it was, the team will still rotate the backs leaving Anderson with value. He is already the rock solid handcuff for Johnson and he had great success last season filling in for the injured Todd Gurley. Anderson should have some standalone value even with Johnson healthy and he could very well vulture goaline work form the young RB. Anderson could definitely outproduce his ADP and at the very least rostering him as the handcuff to Johnson is not a bad idea after seeing him have major success as the replacement for the best RB in fantasy last season.
Green Bay Packers: RB Jamaal Williams ADP 14.04
Jamaal Williams may not be the sexiest pick for fantasy, but he will have some standalone value in 2019. While Aaron Jones owners do not want to here it, he will be involved in the run game and it could be on a consistent basis. The Packers already have come out and stated that the best way to approach the position will be by using a committee approach and while Jones will surely be the majority share holder in the timeshare, Williams has a shot to see 8 to 10 touches a game and that will give him some standalone value. While he may not be heavily involved in the passing game, he is the clear favorite to be the handcuff for Jones were he to go down and there is the very slim chance that he finds a way to be the majority carry leader in the time share if he somehow impresses the new coaching staff enough. He is a good bet to outperform his ADP in the 14th round.
Minnesota Vikings: RB Alexander Mattison ADP 13.05
Mattison was drafted by the Vikings and will now seemingly slot in as the number 2 back behind Dalvin Cook. While he may not have a massive amount of standalone value he will rotate in for Cook when h needs a breather and he is the clear handcuff to own currently. We saw the value that Latavius Murray had last season as the replacement back for Cook when he went out and Mattison would have RB2 potential if he were called upon as the starter. At the very least, Cook owners may want to look at drafting Mattison late to have the handcuff ready for a back that had a tough time staying on the field last season.
Atlanta Falcons: TE Austin Hooper ADP 14.01
Hooper is not the flashiest TE to own, but the fact that he is going as the TE16 after a top 10 finish may be a bit much. He does have upside even on an offense full of quality receivers and he proved last season that he can be a TE1 with all of that talent surrounding him. The position is just devoid of talent and while you may not be excited week to week with Hooper, he has the chance to give you a top 10 TE by seasons end and getting that in the 14th round is something that rarely happens. Don’t let the hate go to far on the Falcons TE after he proved to you he van be top 10 a season ago.
Carolina Panthers: WR Curtis Samuel ADP 10.12
Samuel has quietly been a solid fantasy contributor his first few season. While all of the talk was about D.J. Moore last season, Samuel outproduced him down the stretch in fantasy and he will be the number 2 WR for the team going forward. Cam Newton has been reported to be at full strength by the time the season starts and Samuel could be a sneaky WR3 by seasons end that you can get in nearly the 11 round currently. Finding value this late is tough, but Samuel seems to be on of the few near slam dunks when it comes to outproducing his ADP and there is a very slim chance that he outproduces his teammate Moore by seasons end. Samuel has sleeper written all over him.
New Orleans Saints: WR TreQuan Smith ADP 13.04
Smith had some success last season as the fill in for veteran Ted Ginn and he is now shaping up to be the number 2 WR for the team in 2019. While the team did sign Rishard Matthews, he has a much different skill set than Smith and he has a real shot at starting outside opposite number 1 WR Michael Thomas. Smith flashed at times last season and he will have upside as one of Drew Brees’s top deep threats on an offense that will surely be a high scoring one once again in 2019 as the team makes a Super Bowl push. Smith has flex appeal as a boom bust WR3 and while his ceiling may not go higher than that he is a worthy flier in the 13th round.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Peyton Barber ADP 10.10
It is very hard to find any sort of late round value on the perceived high powered offense of Tampa Bay in this years drafts. The only player that has potential immediate value is last years starting RB Peyton Barber in the back of the 10th. Barber may be overshadowed currently by the hype surrounding 2nd year rookie bust Ronald Jones. Jones will seemingly be the week 1 starter, but Barber did well enough last season to retain a rotational role at least and he has a very real chance of being the starter once again if Jones disappoints. Barber wasn’t spectacular or flashy last season, but it is rare to find an RB that could see 15 to 18 touches a game in the back of the 10th round. Barber has backend RB2 upside if he starts and for his price he is more than worth the risk.
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By Ryan Larrison, Contributor, Fantasy Football for the People