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Overlooked Fantasy Football Options Who Will Make Any Team Owner Look like a Draft Genius


As August comes and goes, so too do fantasy football drafts everywhere. Each year, we build our draft boards and take note of our favorite players that we simply cannot leave a draft without.

We also look for the best late-round sleepers to help pad the back portion of our roster to pay dividends as the season progresses in place of injured starters, bye weeks, or just because the player is having a stellar season.

However, something else that happens each fantasy season is the group of players that tend to simply get overlooked. These aren't exactly sleepers, though they could be drafted in rounds where you might typically find sleepers.


That said, overlooked players are also those whose average draft positions slip for what could be considered recency bias reasons. For example, they played bad last season, you drafted a player higher and they didn't live up to where you drafted them, or because they're on a bad team.

Below are seven overlooked players that you should consider more when draft day arrives.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Clyde Edwards Helaire runs against the Buffalo Bills.

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Since coming into the league as the 32nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has had sky-high expectations.

As a rookie with the Chiefs, Edwards-Helaire was a first-round pick in most fantasy drafts. He didn't quite live up to those expectations, scoring five total touchdowns on 1,100 total yards that season.


Then in 2021, Edwards-Helaire missed six games but scored six times, going over 630 total yards. For the weeks he was active, Edwards-Helaire finished as a top-15 PPR back in four of his 10 games, per Pro Football Focus.

Heading into 2022, we've seen the reports about the Chiefs keeping four running backs on the roster. We've also seen some buzz about seventh-round rookie running back Isiah Pacheco.

According to FantasyPros, Edwards-Helaire is going as the RB25 and near the fifth round.

With the Chiefs losing wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason, this will open up more opportunities in the passing game for Edwards-Helaire. If the Chiefs deploy four backs -- more than likely Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, Pacheco and Ronald Jones -- it's safe to assume the LSU product is the best of the bunch.


We're not saying Edwards-Helaire will be an RB1, but if you're in a situation where you draft wide receivers and get a top tight end early, you could do worse than "CEH" as your RB2.

Irv Smith, TE, Minnesota Vikings

Irv Smith runs in a preseasn game for the Minnesota Vikings.

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If you miss out on the top five tight ends or so and decide to, more or less, punt on the position, look toward Irv Smith. Going in the 14th round as the TE15, Smith presents some upside in a new Minnesota Vikings system.

After two years as the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, Kevin O'Connell will look to utilize quarterback Kirk Cousins more in throwing the ball. It's been some time since we've seen Smith on the field after missing all of 2021 due to a torn meniscus, but he has touchdown upside, especially in the red zone.

At the tight end position, touchdowns are king, and Smtih delivering 10 isn't entirely out of the question, especially if wide receiver Adam Thielen's nose for the end zone takes a back seat.


Smith is going behind guys like David Njoku, Noah Fant, Hunter Henry, Cole Kmet, Mike Gesicki, and Pat Freiermuth. He has more upside than all of these guys. Nab Smith late if you cannot score a Travis Kelce, Mark Andrew, Kyle Pitts, George Kittle or Darren Waller.

James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals

James Conner runs against the Los Angeles Rams.

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Coming off a season in which he was the RB5 on the preseason rankings, Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner is going as the RB16 in PPR leagues this season.

In 2021, Conner had Chase Edmonds in the backfield with him, which may have attributed to his underwhelming 752 rushing yards, but Edmonds has since gone to Miami. The team has players like Darrel Williams, who showed flashes, and Eno Benjamin, but Conner will be the guy, no questions asked.

Also, remember that for the first six games of the season, the team will be without wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. This will only help Conner's chances of finishing with high weekly finishes.


As the RB16, this still warrants a relatively high draft position but, for some reason, is overlooked as a more solidified RB1-type. Conner is going behind Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley and Leonard Fournette. All three of these players have their own set of concerns.

What's Conner's, exactly? That he only did it for one year? Well, it was his first year in a new system, he thrived and his main competition left the team. Expect borderline RB1 numbers of Conner -- don't overlook him as your top option. If he can turn on the jets, he'll be racking up fantasy points and "fantasy player of the year" accolades.

Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears

Justin Fields throws in a preseason game for the Chicago Bears.

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RELATED: Justin Fields' 40 Time Rivals NFL Speedsters

Things aren't looking great for the Chicago Bears heading into 2022, but quarterback Justin Fields could be a bright spot on your fantasy roster.


As a rookie, Fields finished as a top-10 option four times. As the QB17, Fields is almost a last-round pick, going in the 13th round.

No matter how high his rushing upside is, his weapons are almost laughable.

We can't recommend Fields as your starter, but if you're inclined to draft a backup quarterback, Fields should be closer to a top 15 guy with QB1 upside due to his rushing ability.

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles 

Miles Sanders runs the ball for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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The third and final running back on this list, Miles Sanders, is going as the RB27 in PPR leagues. The lack of scoring in 2021 -- he didn't score a single TD -- will turn a lot of fellow drafters off from the 25-year-old.


There's some competition behind Sanders with Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott. Still, Sanders has already gotten the vote of confidence from head coach Nick Sirianni who, according to The Athletic, vouched for him as their lead back out of training camp.

Sure, Sanders as your RB2 in a 12-team PPR league could be a bit risky, but this is a player that you can get as your RB3 because no one wants to be the person to draft him.

If Sanders is there in the sixth or seventh round, keep an eye on him.

Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Rashod Bateman stiff arms a Cleveland Browns defender in

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With Marquise Brown leaving the team, that will theoretically open up 146 more targets for this Baltimore Ravens passing attack, providing some serious breakout potential for Baltimore's wideouts.


Quarterback Lamar Jackson will be back in the fold after an injury, and the running back room is slowly getting back to full strength, too. We know tight end Mark Andrew is Jackson's go-to guy, but for the wide receiver depth chart, Rashod Bateman is the No. 1 guy.

Playing in 12 games last year, Bateman was targeted 68 times for 46 catches, 515 yards and a score.

As the WR38, Bateman's selected behind fellow receivers Tyler Lockett, Elijah Moore and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

In PPR leagues, it's not out of the realm of possibility for Bateman to see 100+ targets. If he gets an even 100 targets and keeps up his nearly 68 percent catch rate, you could do much worse in the eighth round than an almost 70 catch guy for close to 1,000 yards and multiple scores -- and that might be his floor or slightly above it.


Robert Woods, WR, Tennessee Titans

Rober Woods runs after a catch for the Los Angeles Rams.

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At 30 years old, Robert Woods isn't getting younger, and he's coming off a torn ACL. That sentence alone will scare your league mates away from drafting the former Los Angeles Rams receiver.

Going as the WR41, Woods isn't drafted until the ninth round. Even with his concerns, the former Buffalo Bills draft pick is the No. 1 option for the wide receiver-less Tennessee Titans and, according to Peter King, is "back to normal."

The Titans drafted Treylon Burks in the first round, but depending on who you ask, Burks isn't exactly ready to come in and be the No. 1 guy like Justin Jefferson or Odell Beckham Jr. from years past -- he'll need time.

It's safe to assume the Titans will lean more heavily on the ground game with running back Derrick Henry, but if Woods can get 100 targets, he'll beat his ninth-round ADP.


Statistics are courtesy of Pro Football Reference and Pro Football Focus.

ADP data is courtesy of FantasyPros.

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