After my most recent Chasing the Natty appearance, I realized that I continue to name players as “dart throws” and “guys I’m ok with taking shots at late.” One thing I’m forcing myself to do in my best ball drafts is differentiate my late “shots.” Having teams heavy with the same two or three guys hasn’t proved to be a beneficial strategy in years past. Today, I’m giving you five guys I believe are 100% worthy of being drafted in rounds 25 or later (to go along with the players mentioned in my Jumbo WR3 article that recently was released).

What’s great about this topic is that people’s opinions on players can differ so much. Volume Pigs wrote an article this month on this very topic, and without realizing it, I wrote up my version. Of the ten players he discussed, only one was duplicated! At the end of the day, these late-round picks are not just throwaways. There is serious value to be had if you want to win your best ball league… 

Kobe Prentice, Alabama

How did we get here? A month or two ago, we saw Prentice go off in the mid to late teens at the very latest. In two drafts since the Alabama spring game, though, he went in the 26th round and undrafted. Did the spring game really change things that much?

Courtesy of 247Sports

In my eyes, he was always in play for the WR1 role with Germie Bernard, but it wasn’t likely that he would win that battle. WR2s in Kalen DeBoer’s offenses have done just fine, though. And in that spring game, we saw that Alabama was going to be able to move the football well. His competition for the WR2 is Kendrick Law and Cole Adams or a freshman. For the price of the final rounds of a best ball draft, count me in on Prentice.

Chris Bell, Louisville

Bell, late in drafts, makes a ton of sense to me because of the buzz we’re hearing from Louisville about his performance in the spring. If you listened to a recent Fantasy Points podcast, they talked him up for this very reason, as well as the fact that his pedestrian 2023 season could have likely been due to injuries suffered before the season. The Brian Brohm offense is one you want to invest in at WR, and Bell certainly is in contention for that WR1 role. Most would agree that Caullin Lacy is the likely WR1, but it’s not as set in stone as it felt last year with Jamari Thrash. 

Ali Jennings, Virginia Tech

Jennings had an incredible career at Old Dominion before transferring to Virginia Tech for the 2023 season. He had a great debut, scoring twice on two receptions for 72 yards, but unfortunately, he was injured and missed the rest of the year.

Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics

Jennings will be ready for Week 1 with an offense that has plenty of depth out wide. Da’Quan Felton stepped up outside and found the end zone eight times on 17.6 yards per catch. Jaylin Lane was a reliable slot receiver and led the team with 41 receptions. My one concern here is that the offense will not throw it enough and Drones could spread the ball around to three very capable targets. What makes me believe Jennings is worth a late pick is his past production and Drones being a good, not great, passer who could easily focus his attention on a receiver of Jennings’s talent level. 

DT Sheffield, North Texas

I have yet to partake in some Sheffield in 2024, but he’s more than worthy of a dart throw in best ball drafts right now. North Texas threw for over 3,500 yards last season and their WR1, Ja’Mori Maclin, caught 57 passes for 1,004 yards and 11 TDs (and transferred out most importantly).

Sheffield had a ton of hype last offseason at Washington State and now finds himself here as a potential WR1, battling it out with Damon Ward, the leading returning WR for North Texas (39/487/5). There are a ton of names in contention to get snaps, including Blair Conwright, Seth Porter, and Landon Sides, but those guys are just guys. To me, it’s Ward and DT for the top two WR spots in this pass-friendly offense. 

Zavion Thomas, LSU

Thomas is one of many options in this LSU WR room that people are targeting. Kyren Lacy appears to be the WR1, but who is the next best option out wide for the Tigers?

Thomas had a nice spring game and appeared to run with the 1s, a great sign if you’re hoping it’s him. His competition is Chris Hilton Jr. and Aaron Anderson. Honestly, Mason Taylor is a bigger threat to the production of Thomas than those two at this point. Thomas was productive last season at Mississippi State going for 503 yards on 40 receptions. With Nussmeier at QB, this offense should easily throw for 3,500 yards, meaning we need to take shots at the WR2. 

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