In the late rounds of a fantasy football redraft league, finding a diamond in the rough can propel your team from middling to championship caliber. Guys like Cooper Kupp, Hunter Renfrow, and James Conner drastically outperformed their ADPs and were mainstays on a majority of championship rosters last year.
Below, you’ll see a player from each AFC team that’s poised to outperform their Underdog Fantasy ADP of 120 or later, well worth a late-round stab in your upcoming drafts. While you’re waiting for your late-August draft, click the link or use promo code RSJ to get a 100% first deposit match up to $100 on Underdog Fantasy — the best platform to play season-long best ball tournaments.
BUFFALO BILLS: ISAIAH MCKENZIE, WR (171.6 ADP)
With the Bills moving on from Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders, McKenzie will look to fit into the conveyed WR3 role in the Bills’ offense. After the first few practices, he’s done just that.
The 27-year-old, “continues to receive maximum time with QB Josh Allen during first-team reps and seems fully integrated into the passing attack,” per Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic.
Jamison Crowder’s return to health is something to monitor, but McKenzie should be available well after the 15th round in every draft.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: DEVANTE PARKER, WR (ADP: 133.2)
Patriots pass catchers are always going to be a coin flip, and the 2022 season will be no different. However, Parker gives Mac Jones a more significant downfield and red zone target than he had last season. Camp has started well for both of them, as Jones connected multiple times with Parker in 7v7 and 11v11 during the first week.
Parker falls to at least the 15th round and is worth a stab if he falls even farther.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: RAHEEM MOSTERT, RB (ADP: 185.5)
The Dolphins made quite a splash this spring, trading for Tyreek Hill and signing RBs Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel. One under the radar signing however, is Raheem Mostert. Yes, he is coming off a season-long injury and yes, he may be made of glass, but the chemistry between him and new HC Mike McDaniels should be residual of both their tenures in San Fran. Mostert is a burner, much like the rest of the Dolphins’ offense, and speed is never a bad thing. Take Mostert with one of your last picks as a handcuff with legit upside.
NEW YORK JETS: COREY DAVIS, WR (ADP: 171.7)
If Michael Carter (147 ADP) slips past the 13th round, take him. If he’s gone, take Corey Davis with one of the final picks in the draft. Limited to just eight full games last season, Davis’ value plummeted after a promising camp in his first season with Zach Wilson and the Jets. He led the Jets in yards through six games, but injuries derailed the back end of his season. Davis is also the only veteran receiver for Wilson after the Jets added Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson in the two previous drafts. Look for Davis to reignite his connection with Wilson and return to relevancy in the fall.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: CHRIS EVANS (ADP: 200.2)
Last season, Chris Evans only had 17 total carries, and seven of them came in the final game with the Bengals’ playoff position already locked up. Albeit a small sample size, he averaged 5.5 yards per carry and even broke five tackles. All the news from camp is Evans seems poised to challenge Samaje Perine for the third-down role behind Joe Mixon. Perine is sidelined on the PUP list, giving way for Evans to get more reps.
CBS analyst Chris Trapasso wrote, “he has the juice to threaten Perine for to be second in line for out-of-the-backfield touches on a dynamic Bengals offense. If he gets that opportunity — and I think he’ll get more action than he saw as a rookie — Evans will bust out in Year 2.”
Take Evans with one of your late-round fliers, even just as a handcuff, but expect a legit contribution from him if he beats out Perine this summer.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: GEORGE PICKENS (ADP: 162.5)
Now, my early drafting of Pickens in the RSJ Mock rookie draft is still a point of contention in the writing room. I don’t care. Pickens is a dog. I will always trust the Steelers to mentor their young receivers, and Pickens will be no different. The highlight from day three of minicamp across the NFL was a slick grab from Pickens, highlighting both his hands and his after the catch abilities.
Pickens is sliding up draft boards ever so slightly, so look for him in the 13th round or so to bolster your WR core with some massive upside.
CLEVELAND BROWNS: DAVID NJOKU, TE (ADP: 159.6)
David Njoku is an interesting flier in this offense and even more after Deshaun Watson was somehow given only a six-game suspension. He hasn’t lived up to the post-college hype, but Cleveland invested in the 26-year-old to the tune of $28 million in the offseason. The departure of Jarvis Landry, combined with the attention newly acquired Amari Cooper, should open up more looks for the athletic tight end. As the Watson news gets finalized, Njoku will likely slide a bit either way from this ADP as it currently stands. If you miss out on the top tier of TE crop, target Njoku around round 12.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: GUS EDWARDS, RB (ADP: 178)
Gus Edwards missed all of last season due to injury, as did his stablemate JK Dobbins. Dobbins looks in line to be ready by Week 1, while Edwards may be a few weeks behind. If Edwards returns to his former self, he’ll dramatically outperform this ADP. In his three previous seasons, Edwards has eclipsed 700 yards rushing, which is nothing to sneeze at. Provided that the Ravens continue to use multiple backs in a run-heavy offense, he’ll be a premier handcuff to Dobbins with scoring upside every week.
DENVER BRONCOS: TIM PATRICK, WR (ADP: 143)
After acquiring Russell Wilson, the Broncos resigned the 28-year-old Tim Patrick to a three-year, $29.25 million contract. The upgrade at QB should allow Patrick to improve on a great season last year where he split 53-734-5 on 85 targets. Surprisingly Patrick, not Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton, has led the Broncos in receiving over the last two years.
It will be interesting to see who Wilson becomes enamored with after camp, but the security blanket that Patrick provides will certainly be a positive moving forward. Patrick is the perfect bench WR to target in your upcoming drafts.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: MECOLE HARDMAN, WR (ADP: 124.5)
As stated above, Chiefs’ star WR Tyreek Hill is taking his talents to South Beach. On Good Morning Football, Hardman made it obvious that the team is aware of the vacated targets and he is excited to step into a larger role. “It’s definitely going to be a good year to come up a little bit and just have fun with it and just take advantage of the opportunity,” Hardman said.
Travis Kelce will continue to see the usage he’s used to, but the combination of Hardman and the newcomers Juju Smith-Schuster and Marques Valdez-Scantling will be in line for the remainder of looks. Hardman hasn’t had the snaps to give us eye-popping numbers, but his speed will be put to good use by Andy Reid.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: JOSHUA PALMER, WR (ADP: 137)
Palmer flashed some promise as a rookie last season, finding his groove over the last five games to the tune of 18 receptions, 185 yards, and 3 touchdowns in that span. The news out of camp is that Palmer is impressing the Chargers’ staff, and he has a legit shot to be the third receiver this season. Now, that may not be super exciting for many teams, but the Chargers aren’t many teams. They have the chance to lead the league in passing behind MVP candidate Justin Herbert, meaning that even a third WR has the chance to break out on a weekly basis. Palmer is an intriguing final choice in redraft leagues, someone who no doubt will outperform his ADP.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: KENYAN DRAKE, RB (ADP: 210)
As of July 31, Drake is back at practice for the Raiders. Las Vegas had the most exciting offseason of any team in the league, with the addition of Davante Adams, new HC Josh McDaniels, and the news that Josh Jacobs will not be extended with his fifth-year option. All three of these moves bode well for Drake — Adams will open up targets for the peripheral weapons, McDaniels loves involving running backs in the passing game, and the Raiders aren’t fully committed to Jacobs being the long-term solution at the position. Drake is a solid handcuff to target in redraft, but signs are pointing to a larger role in LV.
TENNESSEE TITANS: AUSTIN HOOPER, TE (ADP: 183)
This may not be a flashy pick, but if you don’t take a top-tier TE in the first handful of rounds, a 15th round dart should be thrown Austin Hooper’s way. The newest Tennessee Titan is already making a big impact at camp this summer. Both Mike Vrabel and members of the Titans’ secondary have pointed out his deceptive speed and ability. The chemistry from camp is going to be massive moving forward — Ryan Tannehill has targeted tight ends 24% of the time and 25 of his 76 passing touchdowns have gone to that position during is tenure in Tennessee. Before falling into the purgatory that the Cleveland Browns offense is, Hooper was a back-to-back Pro Bowler in Atlanta and was TE3 in PPG in 2019. At his ADP, there’s really no downside to targeting Hoop as your second TE with TE1 upside.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: PARRIS CAMPBELL, WR (ADP: 172)
Queue the Spongebob “HOW MANY TIMES DO WE NEED TO TEACH YOU THIS LESSON, OLD MAN” clip. I know, I’m doing it again. The camp film and buzz around Campbell has me looking through the rose-colored lenses again.
He’s playing with the best QB of his career and is in a great spot to see a lot of targets. Outside WR1 Michael Pittman, the Colts’ receiver room is unknown and young. I’m high on both Campbell and his teammate Alec Pierce in the latter rounds.
HOUSTON TEXANS: NICO COLLINS, WR (ADP: 217)
Collins got some preseason buzz last season as an intriguing rookie for the Texans, but only saw limited time in an underwhelming offense. He ended up with 33 catches for 446 yards and a lone touchdown. However, the offseason has shaken out to have the second-year man fill out the WR2 role under Brandin Cooks. The Texans are super young, so all these youngsters should get a good look with Davis Mills manning the ship. It’s hard to rely on any Texans player not named Cooks, but the upside is worth a look with your last pick.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: EVAN ENGRAM, TE (ADP: 193)
Again, queue the Spongebob clip. Engram always seems to be followed by a good deal of hype, and outside of his rookie campaign he has not lived up to it. The news from minicamp is two-sided: Engram is either super impressive or walking around with cinderblock hands.
Fantasy football Twitter has blown up the latter, which I admit, is very funny. However, I still have hope that a young, athletic TE with a young QB is still one of the better combos in football. As with all the tight ends on this list, Engram is very much worth a late-round gander as he gets more comfortable in Jacksonville.
Check back for the NFC edition.