Posted May 22, 2017
The most coveted prize of every fantasy draft is uncovering a gem in the later rounds (see Howard, Jordan) that carries you to a championship. Players can come out of nowhere due to any number of variables including unsettled depth chart, starter injury, new coaching staff/scheme change. In this article, I am going to identify my top 5 DARK HORSE candidates for 2017 and the percent chance that they hit.
- Kareem Hunt – In Andy Reid I Trust. Hunt possesses a great combination of vision and balance and can be the duel threat that Reid looks for in his bell cow RB. Will begin the season in a timeshare with Spencer Ware but should easily distance himself by midseason and receive the lion’s share of carries by the fantasy playoffs. RB2 upside 75% Hit Rate
- Joe Williams – By now I’m sure you’ve heard how Kyle Shanahan was pounding the table for Joe Williams on draft Saturday even though John Lynch had removed him from their board (off field concerns). Williams possessed the size/speed combination that I look for in an upside RB. He has as clear a role / path to playing time as any RB outside of the top 4 drafted with the 49ers apparently sour on Carlos Hyde. If he can clean up the fumbles he will quickly assume the Tevin Coleman role in Shanahan’s system with the chance for even more. RB3 upside 50% Hit Rate
- Cooper Kupp – While I am not that high on Kupp as a special prospect I do like his landing spot and scheme fit. I can see Kupp playing the Jamison Crowder role in Sean McVay’s system. They are bereft with talent in the Rams WR room and he will see playing time early due to his draft pedigree and advance route running ability. WR3 upside. 35% Hit Rate
- Elijah McGuire – Take a second and think about how many pieces the Jets have on offense that clearly project as future assets. Matt Forte is done and Bilal Powell (while I am a truther) has never been given the opportunity and will not be kept around through the rebuild. McGuire presents as a long shot to make an immediate and long term fantasy impact by filling the 3rd down COP back role in their offense and given the PPR upside is well worth the late round price tag. RB4 upside 15% Hit Rate
- Jordan Leggett – I know, I know two Jets on the Dark Horse list is a lot to digest but hear me out. The Jets hired John Morton as their new OC and he’s going to bring the Saints scheme with him. We all know the narrative as to how Drew Brees made multiple TE’s relevant in New Orleans and while the Jets don’t have a Drew Brees, or even of Chase Daniels for that matter, on their roster the scheme is going to funnel targets to the TE. Couple that with the fact that Josh McCown (for the few weeks that he’s healthy to start the season) and whoever inevitably replaces him will see Leggett as a much-needed security blanket. TE2 upside 5% Hit Rate