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NFL Fantasy Football Update: Late Round Fliers

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 28:  Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers passes against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 28, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
TheFantasyFix.comAnalyst ISeptember 2, 2010

The start of the football season is kind of like Christmas to me. I want to sit on Mike Ditka's lap and wish for a ton of late round gems that will win me the championship and bragging rights to my so-called friends. A shiny red bike would be nice too...

On the eve of the preseason, we took a look at some potential late round gems that could help fantasy owners get over the hump this season.  With the starters’ dress rehearsals over—the final preseason game is typically a battle of the backups with players vying to make the regular season roster—it’s time to update our list and see who is still relevant, who has dropped off the radar and which new faces have come into play.

Alex Smith (Average Draft Pick then: 203, now: 219)
It’s been tough to gauge the development of Smith this preseason since most of his offensive weapons have seen limited or no action—RB Frank Gore, WR Michael Crabtree, and TE Vernon Davis have been largely absent this preseason and his ADP has dropped, accordingly.  But Smith’s performance this preseason, given the situation, is impressive.  Continue to draft him late with confidence; Smith could finally emerge as the player we thought he would be in 2005.

Kyle Orton (ADP 267)
Drafted in less then 25 percent of leagues, you should be able to grab Orton towards the end of your draft.  With contract extension in hand, he’ll no longer be hearing about Tim Tebow’s impending takeover.  Orton is reportedly having a tremendous camp and should excel in his second year in Denver.  He is well suited for Josh McDaniels dink-and-dunk offense, and has developed a strong rapport with fellow journeyman Jabar Gaffney.  He’s a late round pickup as a strong QB2 with potential to sneak into the top-12 at his position.

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