While many fantasy football enthusiasts stop paying attention to the draft after Friday night, the best dynasty owners put in the work on day three to make sure they’re fully prepared for their rookie drafts. Many of the players drafted in rounds four through seven will have a hard time carving out a meaningful role on their teams and some will undoubtedly get cut. However, history has shown us there will be some hidden gems taken today. As always, we won’t cover every single positional player taken in the draft but we wanted to make sure we focused on some very notable names who found new homes on Saturday.
4 (101) = Ian Thomas, TE CAR
The Panthers are on borrowed time with Greg Olsen at this point and may have found his replacement here in Thomas. Make no mistake, Thomas is extremely raw and not ready contribute any time soon. However, he’s a player who seems like he could be a late bloomer and is a superior athlete for the position. He has the looks of a late round rookie pick in dynasty drafts, especially with so many tight ends going to rough spots.
4 (103) = Keke Coutee, WR HOU
Coutee is a bit of a one trick pony as a deep threat and vertical slot receiver. He’ll likely be a special teams contributor and attempt to work his way into more in time. He’s more of a late round pick in dynasty leagues but there are quite a few receivers who are going to be ranked more highly.
4 (104) = Nyheim Hines, RB IND
The Colts were squarely in the market for running back help and they found it in Hines. Dynasty owners were likely hoping more of a three down back with starting potential like Mark Walton would end up in Indianapolis, however. Hines is much more of a change of pace back who should be able to form a committee with Marlon Mack instead of push him for a starting job. Hines is explosive and reminds me a bit of Tarik Cohen. He’s going to likely be a nice target for dynasty league owners beyond the second round.
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4 (105) = Antonio Callaway, WR CLE
Dart throw. Shoot for the moon. Swing for the fences. No guts, no glory. Go ahead and put whatever you’d like to here because that’s pretty much what we’re talking about here. On paper, there may be no more talented receiver in this entire draft class. Much like Derrius Guice the night before, Callaway dropped because of off the field concerns including a failed drug test at the NFL Draft Combine and credit card fraud. The Browns will hope they can turn him around like they may have with Josh Gordon but there’s huge risk here. His presence should push Corey Coleman to do better or bury him on the depth chart. Callaway will likely be taken in round three of dynasty drafts by owners who like to take a big risk. If you’re a contending team with no real needs, I can see it. If you’re a team who is really relying on your rookie picks to build your team, you may want to look elsewhere.
4 (108) = Kyle Lauletta, QB NYG
The Giants were initially connected to quarterbacks like Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen and some of the other first round quarterbacks. However, they fell in love with Saquon Barkley and never looked back. While Eli Manning will remain unthreatened, the pickup of Lauletta should put some serious heat on Davis Webb. Lauletta is going to be a late round dynasty rookie choice.
4 (112) = Mark Walton, RB CIN
Ugh. Walton was one of my favorite sleepers and I was hoping he’d land in a better situation than Cincinnati. He’ll compete with Gio Bernard and effectively replace the departed Jeremy Hill. If Joe Mixon continues to disappoint, there’s a chance Walton could emerge. As such, I’d imagine Walton will be taken in the third round in quite a few drafts as a player who has some good upside but found himself in a rough situation.
4 (113) = Daesean Hamilton, WR DEN
Hamilton joins fellow rookie Courtland Sutton and could give the Broncos some nice depth at the position. He certainly won’t make his mark early with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders still in the mix but it’s clear the Broncos are being mindful of the future at the position. Hamilton is a likely fourth round dynasty rookie draft selection.
4 (126) = Ito Smith, RB ATL
The Falcons taking a running back wasn’t really stunning with Tevin Coleman in a contract year. However, most didn’t believe Smith would be the selection. At 5’9″ and just 201 pounds, he projects as a change of pace back in the NFL despite re-writing the Southern Mississippi record books. Still, you could do worse as a late round flyer as the Falcons seem like a team pretty adept at making use of talented players.
4 (131) = Kalen Ballage, RB MIA
Ballage checks all the boxes physically and can really fill out a T-shirt. If you put him through any workout, he’ll probably dominate it. So, why is he fourth round pick? Well, his production just never matched his potential at Arizona State consistently. In fact, he scored eight touchdowns in one game in 2016 but finished with just 22 more scores in four years, failing to ever become the true lead back in the process. It’s odd to see a 225-pound running back be labeled as a dancer or finesse back but that’s exactly what we’ve seen with him. There are also rumors of him acting somewhat entitled and not having the greatest work ethic. If he can ever really put everything together, he has the size and speed dynamic to be a very special running back. He’ll likely back up Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore in Miami this season and we’ll soon find out just how hard he’ll work. Ballage could be a late bloomer and is likely a third round target in dynasty rookie drafts.
4 (132) = Jaleel Scott, WR BAL
The Ravens sure are serious about upgrading their receiving corps and added another one with Scott in round four. He’s projected to be a red zone threat and possession receiver. There will be quite a few receivers ranked higher than Scott in rookie drafts but his situation is one to monitor. It’s also clear the Ravens have had it with Breshad Perriman.
4 (133) = J’Mon Moore, WR GB
Moore is going to be one of my favorite late round rookie sleepers based on his pure potential and fact he landed on a team with Aaron Rodgers. There are some concerns about his speed and inconsistent hands but the Packers reportedly fell in love with him when they hosted him on a pre-draft visit – that’s enough for me to have him on my late round target list.
4 (134) = Chase Edmonds, RB ARI
Edmonds has great short line speed and dominated the FCS while playing at Fordham, including a ridiculous 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2016. He was slowed by injuries this year but projects as a change of pace back. While no danger at all to David Johnson, the Cardinals probably learned they need a semi-capable backup the hard way last year. Edmonds fits the late round flyer category in a dynasty rookie draft.
4 (137) = Dalton Schultz, TE DAL
Stanford Head Coach David Shaw recently said Schultz was the most complete tight end he’d coached, which is saying something considering the talent the Cardinal have churned out at that position the last few years. He’s a solid blocker and that should keep him on the field. However, I get the feeling Schultz is going to be overdrafted in dynasty rookie drafts as people drink the Kool-Aid and believe the Cowboys have found Jason Witten’s plug and play replacement. I have my doubts as it was pretty hard to find the first Jason Witten.
5 (144) = Justin Watson, WR TB
I always have a soft spot for small school players who get snubbed for a Combine invitation only to end up getting drafted. Watson fits the bill after a brilliant career at Penn that featured 286 catches, 3,777 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns. He’s a SPARQ freak and may become a late round sleeper after landing in a good spot.
5 (159) = Daurice Fountain, WR IND
We’ve had Fountain on our radar for some time and he’s currently our WR11 in our rookie rankings. Much like Watson, he’s a small school prospect (Northern Iowa) who wasn’t invited to the Combine. Fountain is clearly worth a late round rookie pick in deep leagues as he landed on perhaps the thinnest receiving corps in the NFL. He has nice size at 6’2′ and 206 with solid jumping ability. In short, he could be a nice sleeper. Most of me hopes he makes it but the rest of me will be relieved as my spell checker continuously changes his name to Maurice.
5 (162) = Jordan Lasley, WR BAL
Well, the Ravens sure did hate their pass catchers last year. At this point, just about every receiver or tight end they had is either gone or on notice. Lasley was our 42nd overall rookie coming into the draft and that seems about right at the moment, if not a tad high.
5 (165) = Jaylen Samuels, RB PIT
Well, this is interesting. Samuels was announced as a running back, though he’s really more of a multi-purpose athlete and worked more as a fullback and receiver at NC State. There are few teams as creative offensively as Pittsburgh and while it’s doubtful he’s the heir apparent to Le’Veon Bell, Samuels will make for an interesting mid-to-late round pick in dynasty drafts.
5 (169) = Jordan Wilkins, RB IND
Again, we were hoping the Colts were going to aim higher but they’ve added Hines and Wilkins today. There’s some sleeper appeal with Wilkins as he was highly effective in the SEC after returning from an eligibility problem in 2016. However, he slid down draft boards after a poor showing at the Combine and his perceived limitations as an athlete. He’s someone to keep on a watch list and read up on, however.
6 (176) = John Kelly, RB LAR
Kelly had been floating right around the end of the third round in our rookie rankings but that’s going to likely change as he ends up with Los Angeles late as a clear backup to Todd Gurley. He’ll compete with Malcolm Brown for handcuff duties but this is a less than desirable result for Kelly and his dynasty rookie ADP will suffer as a result.
6 (185) = Deon Cain, WR IND
Cain and Equanimeous St. Brown were the big losers in terms of draft falls and Cain’s finally ended at pick #185. With all the success Clemson receivers have had in the NFL, it was surprising to see Cain and teammate Ray-Ray McCloud not be selected until round six. Both Cain and McCloud (selected by Buffalo) have some sleeper potential based on their landing spots but being taken this late will surely drop their rookie ADP.
6 (207) = Eqanimeous St. Brown, WR GB
Wow. St. Brown had to wait all the way until near the end of the sixth round before hearing his name called. It’s a pretty stunning turn of events for the former Notre Dame star who left after his Junior year and had a solid overall Combine performance. His inconsistency on the field and regression in 2017 (the blame there should be on horrifying quarterback play as well) proved to be too much for teams to ignore and as a result, he’s likely wondering he should have stayed in school. St. Brown was ranked right around #30 in our pre-draft rookie rankings but that’s going to fall now. St. Brown is a prime candidate to be overdraft in dynasty leagues as owners look at his name and landing spot and overvalue him, forgetting he was the third wideout taken by the Packers in the draft, behind J’Mon Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. St. Brown is a late round flyer to me as a boom or bust pick.
7 (236) = Bo Scarbrough, RB DAL
The athletic and inconsistent bruiser from Alabama finally found a home in Dallas as a backup to Ezekiel Elliott. If you’re interested in handcuffs as an Elliott owner, he could be worth a look. I’d imagine he’d have a shot at making the team as a short yardage and goal line back.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK