Pope’s Pick 6: End-of-Draft Fantasy Football Targets (QB/RB)


Welcome to Pope’s Pick 6. Twice a week I’ll be bringing you a quick look at my fantasy football thoughts in quick-hit form. Today: Quarterbacks and running backs to target in the last round of drafts this season.


That means I’m looking at players with an ADP over 225 who could make an impact this season, and could do so as early as Week 1. 

Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona Cardinals

ADP: 226

Former seventh-round pick Eno Benjamin is entering his third season with the Cardinals and has gained some praise from head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Normally, we would chalk this up to coach speak or training camp hype. However, the Cardinals let Chase Edmonds leave as a free agent this offseason, resulting in an open role behind James Conner. Benjamin’s nine games played are not a lot of experience, but they were all in the current system, and he produced 118 yards on 34 carries in these games. 

Currently, Benjamin is in a battle with newcomers Darrel Williams and Keaontay Ingram for the secondary role in this backfield. This role could prove to be very fantasy viable, as Conner has struggled to stay healthy in his career. If Conner gets hurt, the fill-in running back would be a borderline must-start in fantasy, as the Cardinals produced at least one top-24 running back in 11 of their 17 games last season. Being the most experienced in this system and the cheapest option, Benjamin is a top target late in drafts as the upside is better than most in that range. 

Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers

ADP: 238

Chuba Hubbard 2022 Fantasy Football Last-Round Picks

Chuba Hubbard was the replacement for Christian McCaffrey after the starter got hurt last season. In that role, he put up 786 yards from scrimmage and 6 touchdowns on 197 touches, good for 137.6 PPR points and an RB36 finish. He averaged 11.34 PPR points per game in games McCaffrey missed (compared to 4.7 when McCaffrey was active) and led the Panthers with 28 missed tackles forced, 443 yards after contact and 24 red zone rush attempts. 

If McCaffrey is healthy in 2022, Hubbard isn’t likely to do much. And the Panthers signed D’Onta Foreman in free agency to compete for a role as well. But Hubbard’s speed and explosiveness could separate him from Foreman. If he can seize the No. 2 role again, he’s only an injury to an oft-injured McCaffrey away from being a key cog in an offense that should improve with Baker Mayfield under center. As a last-round flier, that’s worth a shot. 


Trey Sermon, RB, San Francisco 49ers

ADP: 239

Last season did not turn out how Trey Sermon had hoped after he was taken in the third round of last year’s draft. He was outplayed by fellow rookie Elijah Mitchell early on, which led to him being a healthy scratch in Week 1. Sermon battled injuries along with the transition from college ball to the NFL, which resulted in limited games played (5) and touches (44). As a result, he only produced 193 yards and one touchdown. On the flip side, he did force seven missed tackles and had three runs of at least 10 yards, showing some of the explosiveness we saw in college. 

Elijah Mitchell is banged up right now, but he is in line to start as the 49ers lead back in what is likely a committee, but it is an open competition behind that. Sermon reportedly came to camp in better shape this year and has looked good per beat reports, and with Jeff Wilson and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price reportedly struggling so far, Sermon could seize the RB2 job. That would put him in line for plenty of opportunities to produce, especially on a team that may lean heavily on the run game with Trey Lance at the helm. Late-round 49ers backs have been a cheat code in recent years, and Sermon might be that pick this year. 

Caleb Huntley, RB, Atlanta Falcons

ADP: 250

Caleb Huntley is a deep sleeper for an Atlanta team that has a very unsettled backfield. Huntley is in his second preseason with the Falcons — he did not make the active roster last year, but he left an impression on the coaching staff and landed on the practice squad. He got hurt and never saw an active snap last year, but they retained him for this season. In college at Ball State, Huntley was a productive player producing, 2,983 scrimmage yards and 21 touchdowns in four years, including 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2017 and 2019. 

Early on this preseason, he has reportedly been impressive, landing him in the mix with rookie Tyler Allgeier and veteran journeymen Cordarrelle Patterson and Damien Williams. If Huntley carves out a role, he could see viable fantasy production, even in an offense that likely struggles to produce points this year. With Matt Ryan gone, the Falcons will likely lean on the run game more, especially with Arthur Smith’s history. Maybe Huntley is a long shot for production, but there’s plenty of upside with the potential workload.

Dontrell Hilliard, RB, Tennessee Titans

ADP: 258 

As part of the tandem that replaced Derrick Henry last season, Dontrell Hilliard did enough to earn a contract with the Titans in 2022. Hilliard looked explosive, averaging 6.25 yards per attempt on the ground and 4.58 yards per reception. By season’s end, Hilliard had 437 yards and two touchdowns on 75 touches. Per FTN’s explosive run rate tool, Hilliard produced 48.9% of his yards on runs of 15-plus yards. Additionally, his 3.79 yards after contact per attempt led the Titans among players with 50 or more attempts. 

Hassan Haskins and Julius Chestnut have carried the most fantasy appeal as backups in the Tennessee backfield so far, leaving Hilliard as the forgotten man. But he projects not only to be the handcuff to Henry, he could also have standalone value in the passing game, where the Titans are hard up for playmakers. Without A.J. Brown, a significant window of opportunity has opened up in the passing game and it’s likely a percentage of that spills over to Hilliard. That means he could have weekly flex value and also be an injury away from a more significant role. 

Drew Lock, QB, Seattle Seahawks

ADP: 259

Drew Lock 2022 Fantasy Football Last-Round Picks

It’s rare to land a starting quarterback in the last rounds of a draft, but Drew Lock could offer that. He has underperformed as a pro so far, but he will be getting a fresh start in Seattle. He’s battling Geno Smith for the Seahawks’ starting role — if he grabs it, he’ll be grabbing a role with plenty of upper-tier receiving weapons, including DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Noah Fant. That sort of weaponry would help any quarterback put up numbers. 

Obviously, you probably wouldn’t have Lock as a weekly fantasy starter, but if you need a late-round backup, he could be a solid bench option for virtually no draft cost. 

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