In this article, we are looking at sleepers that don’t have the buzz, but do have the upside you should be looking for late in your fantasy draft. Whether they are behind an overhyped player, were hurt last year, or are just flying way under the radar, these players aren’t getting the fantasy love they deserve.
We aren’t talking quarterbacks here. Many of you know the guys I love as late round fliers at QB: Siemian, Goff, and Hoyer. All three guys got an offseason scheme change that will significantly benefit their fantasy value. We also aren’t talking obvious sleepers… guys like Terrance West, Pierre Garcon, Semaje Perine, Jack Doyle, Adam Thielen, etc… The hype has already caught up to those guys and they will in all likelihood be overdrafted by the time you are on the clock. We are looking deep into the final rounds of your draft for players that you can actually score big on from the 10th round on…
I know I promised sleepers that nobody is talking about, and Brown doesn’t quite fit that bill, but he certainly should be talked about a little more than he is. This is a guy that is just getting into his prime, is his QB’s favorite target, and flashed legitimate WR1 upside just one year ago. This is a perfect storm to steal value. Fantasy owners are way down on Brown because he was hurt for basically the entire 2016 campaign, and has been hurt again throughout camp. However, I think the Cardinals are playing it very safe with Brown this preseason, because they know he needs to be healthy for them this year. Forget taking over the WR1 role in Arizona, for Brown to be a value at his current ADP (126 – end of 10th round, early 11th) all he would need to do is match JJ Nelson’s production last season.
It will likely take the fantasy community a few weeks of regular season action to buy into what the news out of Philly has been all offseason. Nelson Agholor was going to take Jordan Matthews’ job. It’s hard to buy given just how rough his first two seasons in the league were, but Agholor has looked the part all offseason, and maybe what the former 1st round pick needed was a little less pressure. The additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith took the attention off Agholor to become the outside speed threat that he was never meant to be. Plug him into the slot where he can be explosive and precise, and he instantly looked like the guy they though they had drafted 20th overall in 2014. He’s currently going undrafted, but is undoubtedly worth a flier in the final rounds of your draft.
There are a few players on this list that you could say if he was released today, the entire league would line up to bring him in… Devin Funchess is one of those dudes. He’s 6’4″ with elite speed, big play ability, but has yet to be properly utilized by the Panthers. They’ve buried him behind Ted Ginn for the past few seasons, but we think this is the year he breaks out. He slides into the Ginn role, and has just as much, if not more, upside than Ginn, who put up 47/739/10 in 2015. He’s another guy with an ADP outside of the top 225, take a flier on him in the final rounds of your draft.
Like Brown, Doctson is a guy fantasy owners are down on because he was injured for most of last season, and the start of camp this year. That being said, he’s a lock to be out there opposite Pryor, with Crowder maintaining his role in the slot. There is a reason the Redskins drafted Doctson 22nd overall in 2016. He’s a big play receiver with elite size, speed, and is actually an underrated route runner. Being the number 3 receiver in Jay Gruden’s pass-heavy offense hasn’t been too shabby of a gig over the past few seasons, and it certainly isn’t written in stone that Pryor is going to be the lead receiver in Washington. Like Funchess and Agholar, Doctson’s ADP of 178 is likely outside of your fantasy draft, meaning you can get him in the final few rounds of your league’s draft.
This is one ADP that I vehemently disagree with… Murray is a proved, durable, three down back, and will find his way back into the RB1 spot for the Vikings. Not necessarily based on any issues I have with Dalvin Cook, the kid can play, but with Cook’s injury history. He has torn both his right and left labrum, the left one twice, each time requiring surgery. Anyone that has had shoulder issues understands that that a torn labrum can lead to instability in the shoulder. Basically forever. If the Vikings plan on making Cook an every down back in the NFL, Murray may end up a three down back in Minnesota sooner rather than later. Worst case scenario for Murray owners is that Cook holds onto the RB1 role, and Murray gets a couple of series each half and the goal line/short yardage work. At that point he’s still worth a higher pick than his current ADP of 123.
A wise man once said, give me a RB2 on a team that can run block over a RB1 on a team that can’t. I just made that up, but for those of us that have been frustrated by the likes of Paul Perkins, Ryan Matthews, Robert Kelley, or Jerick McKinnon, we get it. Just having a RB1 doesn’t always equate to a valuable asset, it can just be a headache if the team can’t run block. The Bills ran for 164.4 yards last season, and Mike Gillislee average 8.4 fantasy PPG in a season where Shady only missed one game. At 29, the odds are good that that frail little tail back misses multiple games this season, and Williams is one of the most capable backups in the NFL.
Having watched nearly every snap of the Broncos preseason, I don’t understand how this guy doesn’t work his way into the Denver gameplan. I get it that they love Anderson, and that JC may be one of the best backs of all time, but Henderson flashes every time he touches the ball. I said the same thing about Christine Michael and was dead wrong, but I think Henderson is going to stick and make keeping Jamaal Charles in Denver a tough thing to do.