One of the greatest times of year is upon us and it means there will be millions of football fans around the country sitting down and drafting their fantasy football teams.
They know the top players they want to draft. The Peyton Manning, the Drew Brees, or even the Aaron Rodgers of the world. But what about the picks that will get you more points than you realized?
Who are those late round sleepers that no one is looking for? If you want to be the smartest guy, or girl, in your draft, take a look at these 10 late round picks and think about how these players might be the difference between just getting to the playoffs or winning it all.
Here the 10 late round veteran picks that will make the difference on your fantasy team.
Donald Driver could be a wide receiver that is still on the board in the later rounds of the draft. With Aaron Rodgers looking like one of the more solid quarterback of the NFL and could be one of the best in the league this season, you can count on Driver getting a lot of looks this season.
He's coming off six straight 1,000 yard receiving years and had the most receiving touchdowns (6) since the 2006-07 season.
Though Tony Gonzalez's numbers dropped from the 2008 season to last season, I think the Atlanta Falcon tight end will have a bigger year in 2010 and will be available if you need a backup tight end in the later rounds to play when your star has a bye week.
He has a talented young quarterback in Matt Ryan under center and Ryan knows that having a veteran like Gonzalez gives him a go to guy when he needs one.
Gonzalez had 867 receiving yards to go along with six touchdowns last season.
I have Santana Moss on here for one reason, Donovan McNabb. The new Redskins' quarterback should give Moss a lot more looks than he received last season.
Moss had 902 receiving yards but only had three receiving touchdowns in 2009. With McNabb in the fold, those numbers are sure to go up.
This might be a darkhorse pick but it's one I'm willing to go out on a limb with.
New York Jets' running back LaDainian Tomlinson will enter the 2010 season with a major chip on his shoulder after not being retained by the San Diego Chargers. He has enough ammo from comments made by former Charger teammates to have a big year.
He picked a good team to sign with, especially since the Jets were the best rushing team in the NFL last season (172.3 ypg). If Tomlinson is available in late rounds, I'd take a chance on him.
Vernon Davis, the tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, had a big year last year. He set career highs in receptions (78), receiving yards (965), and touchdowns (13) and was a solid fantasy tight end last season.
With Alex Smith set to be the starting quarterback for the 49ers when the season opens, Davis looks to be another solid target and could match his numbers from last season.
A new team. A new start.
That's why I'm going with a guy that Philadelphia Eagle fans know all too well. But, now that he's wearing the orange and white of the Washington Redskins, it's a new beginning for quarterback Donovan McNabb.
There will be less pressure, less criticism, than he received in Philadelphia and a new chance to prove himself as an NFL quarterback.
He's not a guy that I would pick up as your starter, but he's a guy that I would have as a backup in case of a bye week for your regular starter. I think he'll be a guy that will put up big points for you when you need them.
Brett Favre is back and the Minnesota Viking receivers are thanking their lucky stars.
One of those guys that will reap the benefits from Favre's return is wide receiver Bernard Berrian. Though his numbers were the lowest since his second year in the league, Berrian is a talented enough receiver to put up big numbers and, with Percy Harvin not at 100 percent and Sidney Rice out for the season, he will get more looks than he did last season.
Philadelphia Eagles are rejoicing as they usher in the Kevin Kolb era as the starting quarterback for their beloved Eagles. They don't get to blame everything on Donovan McNabb anymore.
Kolb is not your prototypical starting quarterback and he's not going to put up Peyton Manning type numbers, but he can provide your fantasy team a spot start here or there when you need one.
He threw for 741 yards and four touchdowns in five games last season. Now that this is his team to run, he could be a darkhorse this season.
This was a free agent signing that a lot of people like and I, for one, think it's going to make a lot of fantasy owners look like geniuses.
If Brian Westbrook can prove that he's completely healthy and can bring to the bay area what he brought to Philadelphia, the 49ers are getting a solid running back.
He's not a guy that a lot of people will look to draft, even in the late rounds, but Westbrook is going to surprise a lot of people this season.
New Orleans Saints' wide receiver Robert Meachem had a breakout season in 2009. In 16 games, Meachem had 45 receptions, 722 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns as a red-zone target for quarterback Drew Brees.
If those kind of numbers are a hint for you to pick this guy up if he's still available in the late rounds, I don't know what is. If you already have your starters, have this guy waiting in the wings, just when you need him the most.