How's it been going, everybody? Today you better grab your mattresses, blankets, and sleeping bags because we're going to be doing a lot of sleeping. I'm sorry, that was corny but I couldn't help myself. I am going to define the term sleeper a little by what it means to me. Gone are the days of some obscure player no one has heard of. The amount of content creators has made that extinct. So instead these are players that I think have a significant chance of outperforming their ADP by an entire tier. If they were drafted as a WR3, finishing as a WR2 for example makes them a fantasy football sleeper. Now, onto the sleeping! (sorry)
Lamar Jackson averaged 17 carries a start last season and Harbaugh seems to think that will only go up. He had at least 15 fantasy points in all 7 of his starts and that was with almost 0 throwing stats. Word out of camp is that he has reworked his mechanics and from the first preseason game, word seems correct. Jackson is my favorite late QB to take and could potentially finish as QB1.
Allen was the #1 fantasy QB over the last 6 weeks of 2018. The upstairs upgraded his offensive firepower with John Brown and Cole Beasley as well as brought him new toys in Frank Gore and Devin Singletary. If Allen can get his accuracy under control, he could easily finish as 2019's top quarterback sleeper.
Cousins has elite weapons surrounding him. Cook, Diggs, and Thielen are all going in the first 5 rounds and Cousins will be the one supplementing them. Cousins has always piled up tons of stats and I can't think of a single reason he is going so late in drafts.
Darnold is a player who really started to put it together towards the end of last season. Then Bell and Crowder were added to the mix in the off-season. Darnold was compared to Luck coming out of school and has a ton of sleeper appeal.
This is more of a stash than a sleeper, but one I'm happy to take in deeper leagues. Tannehill is talented and was wasted on the Dolphins with poor supporting casts. If(when) Mariota gets hurt, Tannehill can step in and be an above-average starter.
Sleeper Running Backs
Last season I was firmly off the Lenny train in the second round. This year, he's going a full 1-2 rounds later and could be a steal. He's projected to get more passing work and with a better QB in Foles, should have less pressure from the defense.
Freeman is for some reason regarded as old and injury-prone. In reality, he's 28 and had a few freak accidents. Nothing reoccurring and nothing that should scare you away. With Tevin Coleman out of town and Ito Smith as the only backup, another workhorse season could be in the works. Don't sleep on Freeman, he's back!
Out of all the rookie running backs, this one is my favorite. Jacobs landed in an offense with an established quarterback and no real competition. There is a realistic pathway to him becoming a workhorse running back right off the rip. At this point in the draft these kinds of running backs are not exactly growing on trees.
Guice's stock just keeps falling for no reason. Now projected to be a 7th round pick in fantasy, he is my top sleeper. Coming out of the draft last year, many regarded Guice as the best pure runner in the class. Nothing that has happened has changed that. Peterson is 33 years old, and Love is still rehabbing a torn ACL. Guice is a good enough receiver to pry that job away from Chris Thompson as well.
Rolls Royce just keeps rolling. The breakout season from Lindsay last year has apparently erased the fact from peoples brain that Freeman was a second-round pick. This was not a mistake. Freeman is super talented and was often compared to Jonathan Stewart. With a fresh season and new coaching staff, Freeman could put enough together to become the lead back.
It is widely expected that Ingram will finally get to be a three-down back. That's a good possibility and something that I wouldn't completely rule out. With that said, Justice Hill is legit. He has video game-like speed and movement and is always a threat to take it to the house. If the Ravens want to play their best players, Hill will get touches.
Sleeper Wide Receivers
One of my favorite parts to fantasy football to take advantage of is postseason hype. Robinson was taken last year in round 5 and was hyped up to capture his previous form. They were wrong. Often times it takes a season for a receiver to truly learn an offense and the breakout comes in year 2. That's how I feel about Allen Robinson. He is still as physically talented as always, and now has a full season of chemistry under his belt with his QB.
Curtis Samuel reminds me of a certain fantasy star that we all love. His name is TY Hilton. Samuel is being drafted as the number 2 receiver on the panthers. With that said, what if I told you he might really be the #1? Samuel is one of my absolute favorite sleepers to target this year and I will be upset if I don't have him everywhere.
There's a lot of touts out there hyping up these second-year receivers. Mike Williams, Calvin Ridley, Tyler Boyd. My favorite of the bunch is none other than Courtland Sutton. Flacco > Keenum, no argument. Flacco loves big physical receivers that go up and get the ball. Think Anquan Bolden. Now he gets Sutton who had a down year but was just a rookie. Flacco will make sure he gets plenty of chances to make the big play as the Broncos #1.
Tyrell Williams is being completely forgotten. This is a player who has shined every time he has gotten to start for a season and even had a 1,000 yard season a few years ago. A guy who is 27 years old and in the same offense being hyped up for Antonio Brown. After Brown, there are no real threats on this team for targets and Williams easily has a path to 100+.
I feel like I write Jamison Crowder up every year because maybe I do. Crowder is a great route runner and shifty after the catch. He also plays in the slot away from the number one corners which is a huge bonus. I think Crowder will quickly become best friends with Darnold on the football field.
Trey Quinn is the new Jamison Crowder! Here is our good route running, shifty slot receiver for the redskins. Crowder, is that you? Mr. Irrelevant will be anything but that this year. Keenum loves his slot guys, all the evidence is there with Sanders last year and Thielen the year before. Quinn was better in college than his teammate, Courtland Sutton. Quinn is basically free and could legit be a top 30 fantasy receiver this year.
Sleeper Tight Ends
Antonio Brown and his 170+ targets have left the Steelers and they have to go somewhere. Sure, JuJu will get a few more and a new number 2 receiver will step up, but McDonald will get a share as well. Last season, McDonald was a borderline good tight end with limited opportunities. We're confident that Browns vacated targets makes Mcdonald this years top sleeper at tight end.
Jordan Reed seems to be always injured. Seems was the keyword there, while Reed does regularly miss games, he has missed more than 5 games only twice in his career. That still gives him 10+ games of elite numbers at a terribly thin position. At this point, I'm not drafting him hoping he will be healthy, I'm drafting him knowing he will be elite when he plays. I'll take that 100 times out of 100 in the 14th round.
Another old tight end who has been written off. Last season Graham had 55 catches for 600 yards. That's a pretty damn good season. Had he made it to 8 touchdowns, Graham would be being talked about as an elite asset. Coach Lafluer loves to use his tight ends and if Graham can just score a handful of touchdowns with last years production, he easily makes the top 10 at a discounted price.
Here is another example of postseason hype. Last year Burton was being regarded as the Bears version of Travis Kelce. He is, that hasn't changed. After getting acclimated for a season and gaining chemistry with Trubisky, this year could be the year he actually breaks out.
Remember that if you like the content and want to stay up to date with my new posts and get my DFS advice, follow me on twitter @HessDFS and come join the community!