As the old idiom goes, unless George W. Bush is speaking it: "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." We all know the list of players who have fooled us two or more times in fantasy football, but shame has no place in this game, so it may be some of those very same players that we have put on the "don't draft" list that might burn us once again by having a great season for someone else. What's worse, your opponent may have drafted the player in a later round. So, let's hold our noses, take a deep breath, and consider just who some of those players who have burned us all in the past, but may be good value bargains for the round they are drafted in this year. In inverse order of their current draft position.
Desean Jackson. I know, I know. But fantasy football is about getting value. Desean Jackson has the potential to outperform his ADP at the end of the 4th round in most formats. Maybe not as a 4th rounder, but if you can let him fall while stocking up on more dependable option in the first 4 or five rounds, then get him in the 5th or 6th round he might be a really exciting WR 2/Flex for your team.
C.J. Spiller: I hear the groans, but that's the point here. Somebody is going to beat you with one or more of these living monuments to disappointment if you don't at least consider drafting them in a mid to later round. Yes, get your studs early, but the whole point is value, and C.J. Spiller is taking all that talent to New Orleans where he'll likely fill the Darren Sproles role, plus maybe even receive a few more carries than Sproles did between the 20's. He's going in the late 4th/early 5th, but I think if he falls to the 6th round he's got value as a RB 3/Flex player, especially in PPR leagues.
Matt Ryan: Matt Ryan was supposed to go nuts last year in the high flying Falcon's offense. But something happened. Something bad. He stunk. Or the offense stunk. Something stunk. But I think it might have been an aberration. Whatever pieces were supposedly in place to lead Ryan to a huge year last year might actually be there in 2015, and if you can pile up your RB's, WR's, even sneak in a top tier TE like Travis Kelce or Greg Olsen, then snag Matt Ryan in a later mid round, I think you might have a bargain.
Jeremy Maclin: Shudders. Has beaten me several time both when he's on my team and when he's on another team. Ok, Alex Smith isn't going to throw a pass more than five yards down the field. But what if he does? What if once or twice a game the Chiefs figure out you can throw the football in this new era of the forward pass? Now that you can likely get Maclin as a WR 3 or even 4 in the 8th, 9th, or a later round, he might have a lot of value if you don't need to count on him being used in the Kansas City offense.
Eli Manning: With his two Super Bowl rings and some huge games and seasons, remember when people were asking if Eli had surpassed his brother Peyton as the better Manning brother at quarterback ? Me either, because it seems like a long time ago now. Manning faded from fantasy relevance after disappointing a few seasons ago when he was predicted to be an elite fantasy QB. he burned a lot of fantasy players, and he didn't seem like he was ever going to regain the form that had people saying he was a sure Hall of Famer and perennial fantasy stud. After attaining a weapon like ODB and finishing last season strong he's not going to be a secret in your draft, but he's also not going to go until a later round. The trick here will be waiting as long as you can for Manning while still having a backup plan like Ryan Tannehill in place in case you get scooped when the game of QB magical chairs ends.
These five might keep your team alive if you wait for them a couple of rounds later than even you expect them to go, because you're not going to be broken hearted if someone else snags them. Unless they beat you that way, too.