5 Underdog Fantasy Football Best Ball Targets

by Joshua Larky · Best Ball Plays & Strategy

Josh Larky has already totaled 100 best ball drafts this offseason. In this article, he identifies five players to target in your Underdog Fantasy Football Best Ball drafts.

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Jaylen Waddle – ADP 28 (WR20)

Waddle compiled a then-rookie record 104 receptions in 2021 before totaling 1,356 yards while transitioning to a field-stretching role in 2022 when Tyreek Hill joined the team. Last year, injuries affected his season, yet he still topped 70 receptions and 1,000 yards in 14 games. The Dolphins were the second-best scoring offense last year. Additionally, the passing attack will once again funnel through Hill and Waddle.

Hill turned 30 back in March, and he suffered through a calf injury down the stretch in 2023. While we hope Hill remains fully healthy throughout 2024, there’s a good chance he misses time due to injury, as speedy receivers often don’t age particularly gracefully. Waddle has profiled like a WR2 or better in fantasy football. Also, he has top-five upside at the position should Hill go down due to injury. In Round 3 of best ball drafts, Waddle has the perfect combination of ceiling and floor.

Kyle Pitts – ADP 60 (TE6)

Kirk Cousins (or Michael Penix Jr.) represents a massive QB upgrade over Desmond Ridder, so naturally the Falcons pass-catchers look far more attractive than last year. Drake London‘s ADP has already ballooned to the early second round, yet Kyle Pitts is still available at the Round 5/6 turn. 

During Pitts’ career, he has shared the field with London for nearly 600 routes. Looking at that sample, London has been targeted on 23-percent of his routes to Pitt’s 22-percent. However, Pitts’ average target depth has been further downfield (12 yards) than London’s (11 yards). Essentially, we have two borderline identical target-earning profiles, yet the bigger, faster player who is tight end-eligible goes many rounds later in best ball. If you’re looking for access to the Falcons pass attack while solidifying the tight end position, Pitts is an excellent target.

Jonathon Brooks – ADP 94 (RB27)

Jonathon Brooks carries some dynasty risk, as he tore his ACL at the tail end of the 2023 college football season, his only season as a starter with a heavy workload. Now, while career longevity is a concern, for best ball we just need one magical, healthy season. 

The Panthers traded up in the second round for Brooks. Anytime we see a team handle the RB position in this way on draft day, they are unlikely to be thrilled with their current options. Veteran back Miles Sanders was a massive disappointment in his first season in Carolina, so 2021 4th round pick Chuba Hubbard ate a career-high 238 carries and 39 receptions out of necessity. Hubbard had just 95 carries and 14 receptions the prior season. We can safely assume most of Hubbard’s workload will go to Brooks in 2024. Brooks is reportedly on-track to play in Week 1 after a successful ACL surgery last year.

Brooks draws comparisons to Tony Pollard and Aaron Jones with his style of play. New head coach Dave Canales spent the past two seasons resurrecting the careers of Geno Smith (2022) and Baker Mayfield (2023). Bryce Young is not very mobile, and he should provide Brooks with ample check-down opportunities, along with being a near-zero threat to steal touchdowns at the goal line.

It’s tough to see why Brooks *should* be going multiple rounds later than RBs like Rhamondre Stevenson (ADP 76) and Zamir White (ADP 79), when all three profile as lead backs in below average offenses.

Caleb Williams – ADP 95 (QB11)

Caleb Williams has a historic supporting cast for a No. 1 overall pick, as the receiving trio of D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, and No. 9 overall pick Rome Odunze is arguably the NFL’s best receiving core. To his credit, Williams also reportedly ran a 4.56 40-yard-dash (94th percentile), so there’s true rushing upside to pair with his elite arm talent and receivers.

There is more dual threat upside, along with a better supporting cast, for Caleb Williams compared to Dak Prescott (ADP 84) and Jordan Love (ADP 88). While I’ve previously written about rookie QBs’ struggles to score fantasy points, Williams is in a tier of his own as a talent. This talent profile combined with the fantastic situation could lead to outstanding numbers. 4,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards, with 25-30 combined touchdowns, is well within his range of outcomes. Those numbers would help him finish within the top-five at the position in fantasy football.

Blake Corum – ADP 129 (RB40)

Kyren Williams was a revelation last season, finishing as the second-best RB in fantasy football on a per-game basis. Williams handled 19 carries and 2.7 receptions per game, and he did perform admirably. Williams had the No. 7-highest efficiency per rush attempt, via Next Gen Stats. However, Williams struggled mightily in pass protection, and his 194-pound frame likely contributed to his missing four games due to injury.

Insert Blake Corum, who led all RBs at the NFL Combine with 27 bench press reps (the same amount as No. 5 overall pick, and offensive tackle, Joe Alt). Corum is an immediate improvement as a pass blocker over Williams, and Corum’s third-round draft capital hints the Rams were anxious to upgrade in this area on offense.

Head coach Sean McVay has often rode one RB in an old-schooled fashion, and in an RB class that lacked workhorse profiles, Corum’s 505 combined carries over the past two seasons at Michigan stand out in a major way. Corum goes more than 100 picks after Williams in best ball drafts, yet his upside in this offense is similar to what we saw from Williams last season. While Kyren Williams should start in Week 1, don’t be surprised if Blake Corum is McVay’s preferred bell cow by October. Especially when executing Zero RB builds, Corum in the 10th or 11th round is a tantalizing option.

You can follow Josh Larky on Twitter or LinkedIn, and make sure to tune into his weekly podcast, The Dominator, on the PlayerProfiler podcast network.

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