The final day of the draft covers four rounds and is mainly reserved for players to fill special teams roles and stock up depth charts for possible position battles come training camp. This is the third of three articles talking about each day of the draft and how some players are going to have more fantasy impact than others.
Looking at past drafts, players like Dak Prescott, Jay Ajayi, and Jordan Howard were all drafted on day three and they turned into solid fantasy players. So combing through the selections on day three, here are five players that are in the right situation to get involved in the offense right away. They may not warrant a selection in a fantasy draft, but they are surefire names to keep on your watch list.
2018 NFL Draft: Day 3 Fantasy Analysis
Kalen Ballage, Running Back, Miami Dolphins
Head Coach Adam Gase has a way of working with mid to late round or even undrafted running backs. Ajayi, C.J. Anderson, Damien Williams, and Kenyan Drake have all found success rushing in Gase’s offense.
This can be a good thing for Ballage who played a lot better in college than his fourth-round selection may tell us. He looked solid in the Senior Bowl and then continued to impress scouts at the Scouting Combine a month later.
One thing that stood out on his tape was he always looking for those extra yards by either dropping his shoulder or falling forward at the end of his runs. This can lead to him garnering a third-down role quickly in Miami. Ballage also showed he had great route-running ability out of the backfield and can catch the ball cleanly. This will make it more essential for Gase to get him involved in the offense.
Another thing to note is that he may be competing for touches with Frank Gore, but Ballage can really learn a lot from the veteran who is one of the more underrated running backs in the game today. Ballage may not be worth a draft pick in a fantasy draft but definitely, a guy worth stashing on your watch list. His ability will make him gain more snaps in the offense as the season moves forward.
Dalton Schultz, Tight End, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten has decided to call it a career and start a new chapter as a broadcaster on Monday Night Football. This could be the biggest boon to the fantasy projections for Schultz as he enters an open competition for the starting tight end role in the Cowboys offense. It also helps that he comes from a line of other successful tight ends to play at Stanford. Schultz may not have the eye-popping stats coming into the pros but when his number was called, he delivered.
Coming into an offense that has a star in the backfield in Ezekiel Elliot also requires that the new starting tight end be a solid run-blocker. Schultz demonstrated those skills blocking for Heisman Trophy finalist Bryce Love back at Stanford.
Schultz has a great chance to win the starting job with the Cowboys. Add the fact that Witten was second on the team in targets in 2017, this means that the fantasy future is bright for Schultz.
Daurice Fountain, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts
Fountain played for a small school ay Northern Iowa but showed he can play with the big boys after an impressive showing at the East-West Shrine game. He shows good explosion off the line and can get by corners with his quick feet to get into routes swiftly. He also is a dynamic runner with the ball in his hands and can rack up big yards after the catch.
With all that said though, he will need some time to adjust to the speed of the NFL and he may not be a huge contributor right away. Patience is the key with Fountain. Fantasy owners willing to play the waiting game and scoop him up midseason as a waiver wire addition can really reap the rewards especially when the fantasy playoffs begin.
Troy Fumagalli, Tight End, Denver Broncos
Fumagalli may not have the best technique but he’s cunning getting in and out of routes and attacks the ball when thrown in his direction. For his size, he is an improving blocker, showcasing determination and good technique to make space for the ball-carrier.
Coming into Denver he will be competing with a fellow fifth-round pick, Jake Butt. Butt is a little bigger compared to Fumagalli but the Broncos can employ more twin tight end sets to take advantage of both players abilities. Fumagalli is a guy who can get up the field better than Butt, however, they may be more reliant on Butt in the short-to-intermediate passing game.
Regardless, Fumagalli is a player to be aware of. He may not be the workhorse tight end in Denver but his work ethic and determination will earn him snaps on offense that may turn into a valuable waiver wire addition late in the season.
Equanimeous St. Brown, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers
St. Brown became one of three receivers taken in the draft by the Green Bay Packers with the others being J’Mon Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. After cutting Jordy Nelson, the Packers receiving group is young and inexperienced. They do have Davante Adams and Randall Cobb still on the roster but as much as the Packers enjoy passing the ball, developing that third receiver will be important.
Of the three rookies, St. Brown has the ability to get the most snaps this season. He has a knack for getting good separation from the defender and is a superb route runner. He is also one of the tallest in the group at 6-foot-5 and brings a speed element that will help the offense with chunk plays through the air.
Aaron Rodgers has an ability to turn inexperienced talent into the next star receiver in Green Bay and hooking up with St. Brown enough times during the season will make him fly off the waiver wire. Keep him on your radar and he could pay off huge with a late-season add, right before the fantasy playoffs.