With our What to Remember, Rookie Roundups, Sleeper Breakout & Bust and Player Profiles all behind us, it’s time to take a step back and take our foot off the gas… or not. This week is fantasy football draft week, though you could argue that every week is draft week. We start off by taking a look, round-by-round, and sorting out the biggest boom-bust picks (early in your fantasy football draft these are the riskiest picks, but they become the high-upside guys later on) as well as the safest picks, the floor picks.
We’ve gone through the risk-reward, boom-bust, low floor-high upside risky fantasy football draft picks in the first nine rounds already, so it’s time to take a look at rounds ten through twelve. These are the guys you start to take major swings on, because you concede they could probably end up on your waiver wire after week one, or they could stick in your lineup forever.
Riskiest Pick, Round 10 – CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (WR43, #111 overall)
There are a ton of risky picks in this round. I initially went with the Steelers or Ravens DSTs so I could go on a jag about not drafting DSTs early, but just don’t do it. There, jag over. CeeDee Lamb, Diontae Johnson, Jerry Jeudy all go in round ten and are all boom-bust guys. That’s why they go so late; if they weren’t, they would go in single-digit rounds. You also have upside tight ends like Hayden Hurst, Noah Fant, and Mike Gesicki. It’s a round chock full of risks, but I peg CeeDee Lamb as having the highest upside of all these guys.
The Cowboys have a lot of targets up for grabs, more so than basically anywhere else in the league, and they can chunk off a major portion of those to CeeDee Lamb without even thinking about it, since they have 190 targets up for grabs and nowhere for them to go except to Lamb and Blake Jarwin.
CeeDee Lamb was my favorite wide receiver in this draft, so he’s well worth a shot here in the tenth round. I fear he may get swallowed up by the rookie wide receiver curse, but he has enough upside that I’m taking a shot here. Of course, they could just give Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup 150 targets each and CDL doesn’t get enough of a chance to start. I’m not banking on that happening, but if it does, you can cut bait. Keep him on your shortlist if he is on the wire, he can take any pass to the house, meaning he could turn his season around on a dime.
Riskiest Pick, Round 11 – Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (WR48, #132 overall)
Alshon Jeffery is the ultimate risk-reward wide receiver. He missed fewer than three games once since 2016, but when he plays, he paces out to exactly 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns (on 72 catches). He is exceptional when he plays. The second part of that equation is the difficult part, and he’s already hurt. He has no timetable for return from his Lisfranc injury, meaning you’re drafting him on a wing and a prayer that he recovers.
If Alshon Jeffery recovers, you get a weekly starter in your lineups. He’s posted top-36 WR weeks in 21-of-36 healthy games with the Eagles (discounting the three he played fewer than 25% of snaps due to injury), so the value is there. He’s 30, so the recovery might not be as easy as it might be for most players, but if he is available, you can slot him into your lineups most weeks. But then again, he might go on IR or the Eagles could just cut him outright.
Riskiest Pick, Round 12 – Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs (WR51, #139 overall)
2019 encapsulated Sammy Watkins’ entire career. He missed two games, had tremendous highs and Mariana Trench lows last season. That’s Sammy Watkins in a nutshell. He’s like a game of Three Card Monte, you just have to pick the right card: Injured, Bad, or Good. Hopefully, when the dealer flips the card, you get Good Sammy Watkins (week one, 9 catches for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns). Then again, you could get the Bad Sammy Watkins (200 yards combined from weeks 10 through 17). Then again, you could get the Injured Sammy Watkins (missed weeks 6 and 7 after leaving week 4 early and being hampered in week 5 by a hamstring injury).
You could also get the fourth card: Sammy Watkins, WR3 in this offense. Mecole Hardman could leapfrog him this year. But, that risk is not as mighty as the potential upside of getting Good Sammy Watkins on your roster. He’s a gamble in the 12th round, but that’s when you take these gambles.