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Fantasy football: Waiver wire a vital tool for successful owners

Some of the best players this season were drafted late or not at all over the summer.

Josh McCown and Robby Anderson are among the

Josh McCown and Robby Anderson are among the best in fantasy football over the last four weeks. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Every year, I remain surprised when I speak to avid fantasy football players that prefer not to utilize the waiver wire unless absolutely necessary.

I wouldn’t advise everyone to go crazy with roster moves weekly. However, the best way to stay ahead or make up lost ground in the standings is to be on the lookout for talented players who fell through the cracks on draft day, emerged midseason as useful options or were cast aside too soon by trigger-happy owners.

To hammer home how useful players can slip through the cracks, here’s a look at some of the top performers from the last four weeks who were late draft picks or went undrafted, according to ESPN average draft position (ADP) at the end of August.

Alvin Kamara (RB, Saints)

The undisputed 2017 king of sleepers leads all players in PPR scoring over the last four weeks. The rookie, a 15th-round pick according to ADP, began the year third on the New Orleans depth chart but continues to reward prescient owners.

Josh McCown (QB, Jets)

Surprise! Nobody expected a Jets passer to have any fantasy value this year, but McCown — who ranked outside the top 30 QB options in preseason — possesses the fourth-best average points at the position the last four weeks.

Robby Anderson (WR, Jets)

McCown’s top threat in the passing game also was a draft-day afterthought, but good luck picking him up now. Only two healthy WRs rank ahead of him in PPR average the last month. He hasn’t posted fewer than 11 points since Week 5.

Jamaal Williams (RB, Packers)

A rash of Green Bay injuries upgraded Williams, on average a 14th-round pick, into a must-start RB. He ranks fifth in PPR points at his position since the start of Week 10.

Devin Funchess (WR, Panthers)

The Halloween trade that shipped Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills made Funchess, who mostly went undrafted, into a legitimate WR1. He’s seventh in PPR scoring among WRs the last four weeks.

Julius Thomas (TE, Dolphins)

ADP had Thomas as the 20th TE off the board before the season, but he’s gotten hot in recent weeks. He ranks ninth in PPR scoring at the position the past month, and that excludes his season high 20.4-point Week 9 effort.

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