The early rounds of fantasy football drafts are where most people build the foundation for their teams. But it's in the late rounds where you really craft a championship team. Just ask anyone who took a shot on David Johnson last year. Those final rounds of your fantasy drafts are where you can take a shot on players with upside without risking a ton of draft capital.
Because we are helpful sorts here at NFL.com -- and also because it's our job -- we've put together a list of some late round options at all of the key fantasy positions that you can take a chance on. Amaze your friends! Astound your opponents! Be the smartest person in your league! Or something like that.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers: You probably remember Rivers' finish to 2015 when he averaged just 14.4 fantasy points per game and served up three single-digit efforts. But it's also worth remembering that by that point in the season, his receiving corps was thinner than an anorexic snake. Entering the 2016 season, Keenan Allen is back, Travis Benjamin is in the fold and Antonio Gates seems to have some juice in his aging legs yet. Lest you forget, Rivers has been a top 12 fantasy quarterback for seven of the past eight seasons. To get that level of production in the double-digit rounds is hard to pass up.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: Stafford isn't getting drafted in plenty of leagues, which means you can get him for next to nothing. While plenty of people fret over the Lions passing game without Calvin Johnson, this could turn out to be a good thing. Instead of feeling like he should force-feed one receiver, Stafford could feel more comfortable spreading the ball around to Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. Considering his strong finish to 2015 under then-newly installed offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, it's encouraging to think there could be more of the same coming this year.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills: Quarterbacks who can score fantasy points by running will always attract interest in drafts. Last season, Taylor was second in rushing yards among quarterbacks with 568 and added four touchdowns to boot -- and that was despite missing two games with an injury. You're not going to draft Taylor to be your starting fantasy quarterback, but if you decide to wait and draft multiple quarterbacks, you could do far worse than spending one of your final picks on a player who averaged better than 19 fantasy points per game in 2015.
Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: It's no coincidence that both Gates and Rivers make this list. The San Diego offense appears in line for a resurgence in 2016, as long as everyone can stay healthy and the offensive line can perform better than a piece of tattered old cheesecloth. But you want the major reason that Gates could be in line for big things this season? It's Philip Rivers admitting that they will actively be trying to get Gates in the end zone. Giddy up!
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts: I'm sure you've been reading hype pieces about Allen for the past few years and have probably been left feeling empty inside. But this year is different. I promise. The biggest reason is that Coby Fleener is now eating beignets and drinking hurricanes on Bourbon Street (hopefully not before games, though). For years, the Colts seemed to struggle to appropriately divide their tight end snaps. There won't be any such concerns this year. Of course, this is all contingent on Allen remaining healthy. If he's on the shelf once again, all bets are off.
Jared Cook, Green Bay Packers: Yep, it's yet another tight end who's been a long time fantasy football disappointment. But hear me out on this one ... after languishing in ungood offenses in Tennessee and St. Louis, the veteran is now in the best attack he's ever been a part of. Not to mention he'll be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. It's a fit for everyone involved. Cook gets to be part of a productive offense while the Packers have the tight end they've been searching for ever since the forced retirement of Jermichael Finley. If it doesn't happen this year, it's just never going to happen. Don't worry ... it's going to happen.