Let’s face it, the fourth and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft aren’t typically ones that get you excited, especially from a fantasy perspective. Having said that, though, there were some decent impact players from last year, such as Samaje Perine , Tarik Cohen , Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones . We’ve even seen some studs from recent years past, such as Devonta Freeman , Dak Prescott , and David Johnson . As a result, don’t simply skim past this group of skill position late-rounders, as anything can happen now that they are on an NFL roster. The round in which they were chosen is just a label. Once training camp begins, the best players play.

Outlined below is every skill position player (QB, RB, WR, TE) taken in the fourth and fifth rounds. All 20 players will be separated into three different categories – 4th/5th Round Rookies to Draft, 4th/5th Round Rookies to Avoid, and 4th/5th Round Waivers to Watch. Also noted will be the 4th/5th Round Stud – the player taken in either round, who we at Fantasy Alarm think will have the biggest fantasy impact for the 2018 season. Last season we were very high on Jamaal Williams and Samaje Perine , who both produced over 550 rushing yards for fantasy owners.

4th/5th Round Rookies to Draft

Kalen Ballage – RB, MIA

With an ADP of 191, Ballage is actually one of the only players in these two rounds with a technically, “draftable” grade. His ADP puts him as a late 15th rounder, which would be the second to last roster spot in a standard 12-team ESPN league. But only going by his ADP will leave out the story of who Ballage is as a player. In a nutshell, Ballage is a perfect complementary back, built in the mold of Darren McFadden. Where he struggles with vision and agility, he makes up for it with an incredible build (6-foot-3, 235 lbs.), athleticism (4.46 40-time), pass catching skills and pass protecting instincts. As a runner, he gets north and south quickly and shows strong speed to power conversion, making him an elite goal-line threat – either lined up as a tailback or a wildcat quarterback. On third downs is where Ballage may do his best work, as he proved in college, time and again, to be a confident and competent pass-blocker and catcher. He will quickly fall into the spell-back role for both Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake , while he will own his own sub-package as the primary wildcat quarterback around the goal line and in short-yardage situations. Beyond that though, don’t be surprised if he surpasses Gore on the depth chart as the season begins to age. Gore is incredibly long in the tooth and hasn’t been efficient in quite some time. Ballage sports the modern build and skill-set for the running back position today and can be incredibly effective on limited touches. He’s the guy to target from these two rounds.

DaeSean Hamilton – WR, DEN

Further proof that the round in which you were drafted is just a number – Hamilton comes in as an unheralded, fourth-round pick (two rounds later than fellow Broncos rookie receiver Courtland Sutton ) and yet is the front-runner to win the Broncos starting slot position before the end of training camp. Hamilton had himself an excellent set of OTA’s and mini camps and is positioning himself to be a starter, something that he had no business being after being drafted on day three. While he will likely be a free agent after your drafts this summer, don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on Hamilton as one of your final roster spots. Chances are, he wins the slot job and sees a decent amount of targets on a team with aging receivers. Sure Denver is not the best situation for fantasy success, but with your last pick, you can do worse.

J’Mon Moore – WR, GB

Moore is another wide receiver who had himself an excellent first impression with his new team. After being drafted as a compensatory selection in the fourth round, not much was to be expected from Moore, especially considering the Packers would go on to draft two other wide receivers in the same draft. Looking to make a name for himself though, Moore had an excellent couple of weeks in Packers OTA’s and mini camps. Veteran teammates Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t be more complimentary of the talent and work ethic of Moore, citing his “God-given ability” as something which separates him from other rookies on the team. As the depth chart sits now, Moore is only two players away – Deangelo Yancy and Geronimo Alison – from a starting job. Neither has proven much in their professional careers so far, which means there is a good chance you can draft a starting wide receiver who has Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, towards the very end of your drafts this summer. That sounds like a good deal.

4th/5th Round Rookies to Avoid

Mike White – QB, DAL

While there is no denying that Dak Prescott is one of the league’s most overrated players, there is also no denying he is locked in firmly as the Dallas Cowboys franchise quarterback. A clean bill of health provided, Prescott isn’t going anywhere, making White fantasy irrelevant.

Keke Coutee – WR, HOU

Coutee is a niche slot receiver with return ability. With that being said, the Texans have too many bodies ahead of him on the depth chart, blocking his path to 


starting slot reps.

Chris Herndon – TE, NYJ

Herndon showed flashes of talent at Miami and may very well be a fantasy contributor someday, but with the Jets, he will have to go through both Jordan Leggett and Clive Walford . Not something that will likely happen in 2018.

Will Dissly – TE, SEA

Dissly is slated to see plenty of playing time this season, even as a rookie, but his skill-set resides solely as a move-blocker and extra tackle on the end of the line. It would be shocking if he scored double-digit touchdowns throughout his enitre NFL career.

Durham Smythe – TE, MIA

Similar can be said for Smythe, however, the difference is that he, at least, can also offer a receiving skill-set with his blocking prowess. Smythe figures to serve as the block-end, while fellow rookie tight end Mike Gesicki will be the matchup monster in the red zone. Smythe’s fantasy value will tie directly to the health of Gesicki for the next decade or so.

Jaleel Scott – WR, BAL

Scott is massive and talented, but still raw as sushi. Someday he may factor into fantasy lineups, but his rookie season will be much more about fine-tuning his game on the practice field.

Jordan Lasley – WR, BAL

Lasley joins Scott as the second-half of rookie Baltimore receivers, but contrarily to Scott, he offers a much more refined skill-set. While in college, Lasley amassed an astounding 140 receiving yards per game, but also was incredibly unreliable off the field (accrued a slew of suspensions while at UCLA). Stay away from him during his transition process from college student to pro football player, as history has shown that it can be a bumpy ride.

Justin Watson – WR, TB

Despite being taken in the fifth round, word has it that Watson will be playing for a roster spot in training camp. To think that he will come from that point to offering serious fantasy value this fall would be a bit optimistic. Stay away from him in your drafts.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling – WR, GB

Valdez-Scantlng is the second of three rookie wideouts to join the Packers this season, and while J’Mon Moore seems ready to make an immediate impact, MVS is far from a finished product. He will keep a roster spot this season, but likely the Packers will be stashing him for future growth. Expect a lot of scout team reps from him this season.

Tyler Conklin – TE, MIN

Conklin is one of the more underrated talents in this deep tight end class, but unfortunately he joined an NFL team with a Pro Bowler at the position. Beyond the presence of Kyle Rudolph , Conklin will also have to hurdle Blake Bell and David Morgan before making any kind of fantasy impact this season.

4th/5th Round Waivers to Watch

Mark Walton – RB, CIN

Currently going undrafted, Walton is a late-rounder to keep an eye on. While the Bengals currently have Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard ahead of Walton on the depth chart, rumor has it Bernard may be on his way out. Essentially, Walton is one roster move away from splitting touches with Joe Mixon . While that wouldn’t necessarily make him an elite fantasy option, it would definitely make him worth more than his undrafted ADP. Keep an eye on the status of Bernard going forward, as well as Walton on your waiver wire.

Ian Thomas – TE, CAR

As has been said previously on Fantasy Alarm, there is a chance that, in a few years, we look back at this talented tight end class and say Thomas ended up being the best of the bunch. Unfortunately, right now he is saddled behind a future Hall of Famer in Greg Olsen . However, Thomas will certainly be featured in 2-TE sets, while the recently faltering health of Olsen means that Thomas isn’t too far from being the primary option. Keep in mind the production that Ed Dickson had last season as Olsen’s understudy.

Nyheim Hines – RB, IND

As the depth chart stands right now, Hines is the second listed running back, which is a pretty big deal for a fourth-round rookie. On top of that, the top listed back on the depth chart – Marlon Mack – has yet to do anything of significance to claim the job as his own. Chances are the running back duties are split amongst a few guys out in Indy this season, meaning Hines will be given every opportunity to win the job outright. For a guy who is largely going undrafted in standard fantasy formats, Hines is a potentially starting back that can be had on the waiver wire in shallower leagues.

Antonio Callaway – WR, CLE

You may not believe it, but there are several talent evaluators out there who will argue that Callaway is the best receiver on the Browns roster. Let that sink in while you also read how he will go undrafted in your league next month. Two things that should hold you back from outright drafting him is that A) the Browns have a ton of capable receivers ahead of him on the depth chart and B) he has one of the worst off-the-field records in the modern draft era. Transition to the pro game and pro responsibilities may be difficult for him early on, but if he buys into the Browns program, he will be a fantasy contributor and quickly. Keep an eye on him going forward.

Ito Smith – RB, ATL

If the Falcons are really going to let Tevin Coleman walk after this season, it would be wise to first find out what they have in his potential replacement. Smith is an undersized scat-back, who offers electricity on every touch. He would be a perfect complement to Devonta Freeman ’s smash-mouth style. If anything were to happen to either Coleman or Freeman this season, Smith becomes a “must-add.” Monitor those waiver wires, folks.

Dalton Schultz – TE, DAL

Schultz is nothing if not unspectacular, however, the tight end situation out in Dallas is dire after the retirement of Jason Witten . He has as good a chance as anyone to win that starting job. He should not be drafted, but instead watched like a hawk on the waiver wire.

Troy Fumagalli – TE, DEN

Similar can be said for Fumagalli, as the Broncos have no world-beater on their tight end depth chart. Jeff Heuerman is the undeserving starter, while Jake Butt is the most talented at the position group, but is coming off of a serious injury. Fumagalli only has nine fingers, but proved to be a reliable receiving option at the collegiate level. He will be given every opportunity to compete for reps during training camp.

Chase Edmonds – RB, ARZ

Edmonds largely flew under the radar during the draft process, and while he’s not a talent who is expected to pop at the NFL level, behind David Johnson , the Cardinals have just a bunch of guys. Edmonds has as good a shot as anyone to back up Johnson this season – a player coming off of a serious wrist injury in 2017.

Kyle Lauletta – QB, NYG

Usually backup rookie quarterbacks don’t get much love on this end of the list, but the fact that the Giants were so willing to just bench Eli Manning for Geno Smith last season says exactly how they feel about him long term. Unless he returns to form of four years ago, Eli’s days are numbered as the lead signal caller in Gotham City. Who knows if Lauletta or Davis Webb will be his immediate backup? But that is likely something that will be worked out in the preseason. Lauletta is a name to keep in the back of your mind if you’re looking for a spot starter late in the season and the Giants are 3-8.

Jordan Wilkins – RB, IND

See: “Nyheim Hines – RB, IND”

Daurice Fountain – WR, IND

The Colts are just decimated at the skill positions. Outside of T.Y. Hilton , they have no fantasy options that can be relied upon. What that means is that these rookie backs and receivers will have every opportunity to make a name for themselves, in hopes of filling the voids. Fountain is an unassuming talent out of a small football school, however he sports a 6-foot-2 frame and has number one receiver traits. He’s not your typical “sleeper” who will pay almost immediate dividends, however he is someone to monitor if the you-know-what hits the fan for the Colts at the receiver position this season.  

4th/5th Round Stud

Kalen Ballage – RB, MIA

It was largely summed up in his initial blurb – Ballage is the class of the fourth and fifth rounds this year. He offers elite spell back upside and the fact that he will likely see more red zone looks than most rookies only helps his case. It won’t be long before he passes Frank Gore on the depth chart and really begins pushing Kenyan Drake for the team lead in touches.