10 Last Minute Fantasy Football Draft Tips

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm ET

If you have your fantasy football draft before next week's kickoff, here are 10 last minute tips, news, and notes to think about before clicking that Draft button.

Wes Welker Concussion1. Another concussion for Wes Welker

In PPR formats, Welker has been a fantasy god for many years, but he has become a mere mortal after suffering his 3rd concussion in less than a year. I've watched his ADP and his FFN rankings slip. I've had the opportunity to draft him several times in the past week, but I've passed him over for safer picks. If Welker slips to you in the mid-late rounds (9th or perhaps 10th round), I'd still draft him as a backup WR simply for the upside when he's on the field, but I guarantee that he misses time again this year. When you're drafting, remember that this is not the same Wes Welker that you have come to know.

2. Josh Gordon will not play this year

It's now official. Gordon's appeal has been denied and the talented wide receiver will not play a single down this season. Gordon was a late round flyer in many drafts this preseason, because even if he played 8 games, he has the potential to be a Top 5 guy in every one of those games. It was a lottery ticket that many bought, but there will be no payoff on this ticket. Don't draft Josh Gordon this year ... not even in dynasty leagues. The good news is that Jordan Cameron's stock is going up a bit as the TE becomes a lock for even more targets this year in Cleveland.

3. Draft the Wright TE

Bill Belichick loves the 2-TE sets and the Pats recently acquired Tim Wright from the Bucs. With Gronk in the mix, Wright is not going to be your fantasy TE1, but if you can draft Wright as your TE backup, he's worth the late round pick. If he is used like Belichick used a certain currently-incarcerated TE opposite of Rob Gronkowski, Wright could have the potential to become your starting TE. He looked good in the Patriot's final preseason game and played in more than half of the snaps.

4. Sammy Watkins has glass ribs

Coach Doug Marrone wanted to give Watkins some more playing time with QB EJ Manuel, but the rookie WR left the game after getting hit and re-injuring his ribs on an incomplete pass over the middle. Watkins hadn't played since bruising his ribs 12 days earlier in a game against the Steelers. I drafted Sammy Watkins in one of the FFN Users Leagues not knowing that he had left the Lions game minutes before I made the pick. There are certainly going to be question marks surrounding this kid when the season kicks off. Talent aside, his durability may make him a questionable fantasy player this year.

Frank Gore Fantasy5. Frank Gore is NOT dead

Yeah, yeah. I know the stats. Gore is 31 years old entering the final year of his contract and has a ridiculously talented backup in Carlos Hyde. If history is any indication, Gore should regress so much this year that he'll essentially be another Steven Jackson. The only problem I have with this scenario is that I think Gore is the kind of guy who can buck that trend. Unlike Jackson, Gore has played in every game for the past 3 years and still averages more than 4 yards a carry and has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the last 3 seasons. He does carry injury risk this year, but where his ADP and FFN rankings stand (23rd in std, 27th in ppr), he's basically being drafted as a backup RB3. I'm happy to draft Gore as my backup or flex spot. We know where his floor is and he's a great pick at that spot.

6. Cam can't do it all by himself

I've had several drafts this past week where Cam Newton went fairly high and almost universally as someone's QB1. Sorry guys, I just couldn't do that myself. That offensive line is questionable and that's not going to help a guy who had ankle surgery during the offseason...and just suffered fractured ribs. Ask Ben Roethlisberger what it feels like to play like that. Newton has an unproven receiving corp, and from a fantasy perspective, his value has been mostly tied to his ability to be a dual-threat QB. Cam said this week that he will absolutely play Week 1, but if you're drafting him as your starting QB, be sure to draft a solid backup.

7. Good tight ends are available late

I have yet to see a live draft or even a mock where decent tight ends aren't available late. Seriously...if you're not drafting Jimmy Graham or Julius Thomas, don't reach for a tight end. Most leagues require you to start just 1 TE and there are plenty to go around. I've seen some folks basically draft their starting lineup out of the gate, and they're taking tight ends way too early. Most starting fantasy TE's will not outscore your WR2/3 or RB2/3 so why rush to fill your starting lineup with one? Look for guys like Dennis Pitta, Kyle Rudolph, Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen, or Zach Ertz. In almost all of my leagues, these guys have been available. Charles Clay, Martellus Bennett, Heath Miller, and Delanie Walker are fantastic backup TE's if you want to draft a backup. Don't reach on the TE position this year.

8. St Louis has question marks

Sam Bradford is done for the year with a torn ACL. This makes guys like Tavon Austin less desirable in my book. It also puts some additional pressure on the Rams' backfield. Zac Stacy is still the starting RB, but many thought that rookie RB Tre Mason could pose a challenge to Stacy's workload. Mason is not worth drafting unless you're in a very deep league. The guy to keep your eye on is Benjamin Cunningham who has looked incredible during the preseason. If you want to take a late-round flyer on a RB, I'd suggest adding Benny Cunningham to the list.

Arian Foster Injury9. Everything's bigger in Texas - including the risk.

We're not talking about the Cowboys here, but rather the Houston Texans. Both Arian Foster and Andre Johnson present significant risks this year. Foster contemplated retiring and Johnson wanted out of Houston. Both are back and I'd be surprised if both didn't miss time this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the savior that the team needs at the QB position, and that factors in plenty. AJ is probably overrated in the rankings and ADP this year, and we've seen Foster's value slip quite a bit over the past few weeks. If you're considering drafting either of these guys, make sure the value is there and don't reach for them.

10. Preparation is good, but recovery is just as important

We've all done it. We reached for a guy or made a pick that we regret. Perhaps the draft got away from us and that timer starts ticking down. Instead of letting auto-draft kick us in the butt, we pull the trigger on a guy that we likely wouldn't have. If you mess up, don't sweat it. Tiger Woods wasn't the best at golf because he was perfect. He was the best because he knew how to recover from a mistake better than the rest. I'm a big fan of saying that 60% of your success comes from your draft. 30% comes from weekly efforts (starting the right guy, waiver wire pickups, and trades). 10% comes from sheer luck. The point is that a lot can be fixed through the season.

Good luck in your drafts!

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