13 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Aug 16, 2016

Devontae Booker (RB)

Devontae Booker brings plenty of upside to Denver where C.J. Anderson failed to impress in 2015

It’s already the middle of August and we’re under a month away from the first real kickoff! Chances are, your fantasy draft is coming up soon and if there’s one topic that is always on everyone’s mind, it’s sleepers. So naturally, we’re addressing that very subject below.

We asked the pundits to look at the consensus average draft position (ADP) and tell us who they feel have sleeper potential outside of the household names that are being taken earlier.

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Pick Recap

Expert RB Sleeper WR Sleeper TE Sleeper
Bill Enright – FFChamps Devontae Booker (DEN) Rishard Matthews (TEN) Will Tye (NYG)
Gene Wang – The Washington Post Paul Perkins (NYG) Cole Beasley (DAL) Charles Clay (TE)
Scott Whitfield – Roto Rankings Shane Vereen (NYG) Anquan Boldin (DET) Clive Walford (OAK)
Smitty – SleeperU Devontae Booker (DEN) Davante Adams (GB) Richard Rodgers (GB)
Bobby Sylvester – FantasyPros Chris Thompson (WAS) Rishard Matthews (TEN) Jared Cook (GB)

 

Q1. Who is your top RB sleeper (ADP beyond 50) and why should fantasy owners target him?

Devontae Booker (RB – DEN)
Running Back ADP: #55
“Devontae Booker feels like a player that could explode from his August ADP, which is right around 55 for RBs. That’s crazy-low and comes with almost no risk whatsoever. The guy is explosive, he can be an every-down back, and I have a strong feeling we could see a huge increase in value in the coming weeks if he drops some big plays here in the preseason. He is a true play maker. This is the RB stash to own outside of the top 50 RB range!”
Smitty (SleeperU)

Devontae Booker is one of our favorite rookie RBs outside of Zeke Elliott or Derrick Henry. Booker may be quiet to start the season, but if C.J. Anderson goes down with an injury or Booker proves to catch on quickly to an NFL offense, don’t be shocked to see this rookie start making some noise. There’s already rumors of Booker pushing Hillman out of the Number 2 job.”
Bill Enright (FFChamps)

Paul Perkins (RB – NYG)
Running Back ADP: #64
“The Giants have been seeking a true No. 1 RB for years, and Perkins has a chance to move into that role simply by default. Rashad Jennings has been only marginally productive, and Shane Vereen isn’t an every-down player. Perkins’ versatility in college makes him intriguing at the next level given the NFL’s shift to a passing league.”
Gene Wang (The Washington Post)

Chris Thompson (RB – WAS)
Running Back ADP: #71
“There are many in close consideration from Christine Michael (ADP RB63) and Spencer Ware (ADP RB62) to Zach Zenner (ADP RB74), all of which I’ll be targeting, but the top name of the bunch is Chris Thompson. If you take out Matt Jones’ Week Two game against the Rams, he only went for 2.93 yards per carry (125 carries for 367 yards). What’s more, is that Jones was among the league leaders in fumbles. It is only a matter of time before the pass catching Thompson, who also averaged a whopping 6.2 yards per carry, takes over the job and locks it down.”
Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Shane Vereen (RB – NYG)
Running Back ADP: #60
“With the New York Giants shifting from conservative Tom Coughlin to noted up-tempo Coach Ben McAdoo, I see 27-year-old Shane Vereen as the sleeper in the Giants backfield; with a caveat. If the Giants get anything from Victor Cruz, and we have the preseason to find out, it won’t come at the expense of 2nd round pick Sterling Shepard. So you’re looking at an up-tempo 3 wide set, similar to what McAdoo and his former Green Bay Packers did. Reports indicate that McAdoo became the coach because of Eli Manning and if Eli is successful with his old buddy Victor Cruz back in the fold, Shane Vereen is destined to be in the backfield in those sets. I think the consensus outcome on Vereen’s first season with the Giants was a letdown, but he did catch 59 balls and has major sleeper appeal in PPR formats.”
Scott Whitfield (Roto Rankings)

Q2. Who is your top WR sleeper (ADP beyond 60) and why should fantasy owners target him?

Rishard Matthews (WR – TEN)
Wide Receiver ADP: #74
“Rishard Matthews is far and away the most talented asset among this group. In the nine games he was healthy last season, his 38 receptions and 613 yards were comparable per game figures to Mike Evans and A.J. Green. Now that DGB is gone from Tennessee, Matthews only has Delanie Walker as a serious threat in the targets battle. I am drafting him with confidence in every league before someone snatches him out from under me. Special mention to Jamison Crowder (ADP WR84), the superb route runner out of Washington.”
Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

“A rib injury in Week 12 of last season cost Rishard Matthews five games to finish the year. He may have reached the 1,000-yard mark if it wasn’t for the injury. He was pretty consistent with the Dolphins last year, reaching 55 yards or more in seven of his 11 games. Now that he’s with the Titans, Matthews is in line for a starting role right away. He could flirt with WR3 numbers and considering he’s the 74th receiver off draft boards, he may end up being the best value pick of your draft.”
Bill Enright (FFChamps)

Anquan Boldin (WR – DET)
Wide Reciever ADP: #65
“While I’m sure Anquan’s ADP will rise as the season approaches considering his recent signing with the Detroit Lions, but the initial appeal here is that Calvin Johnson accounted for and has since vacated 149 targets in 2015. Much analysis exists regarding WR size and their propensity for TD’s and that scale tips in the favor of Anquan Boldin at 6 foot 1 218 lbs and who has a reputation of making tough catches in tight spaces and away from 5 foot 11 195lb Golden Tate. Fantasy Football for a WR is about targets and red zone opportunities, both of those arrows are up for Anquan Boldin.”
Scott Whitfield (Roto Rankings)

Cole Beasley (WR – DAL)
Wide Reciever ADP: #93
“Beasley is worth a look as a PPR sleeper. Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo has been brittle in recent seasons, and getting the ball out quickly figures to be a premium moving forward to help keep him upright. Beasley is most effective out of the slot catching quick-hitters, and with WR Dez Bryant back in the fold, there will be room to operate.”
Gene Wang (The Washington Post)

Davante Adams (WR – GB)
Wide Reciever ADP: #73
“I like both Davante Adams (#73 for WRs) and Jamison Crowder (#84 for WRs). Neither is a lock to meet any kind of sleeper expectations, but both WRs are very low risk.”
Smitty (SleeperU)

Q3. Who is your top TE sleeper (ADP beyond 20) and why should fantasy owners target him?

Clive Walford (TE – OAK)
Tight End ADP: #24
“While there are many recognized TE “names” (e.g. Jordan Cameron, Jared Cook, Ben Watson, Kyle Rudolph, Charles Clay) surrounding Walford’s ADP, distinguished owners can pounce on a late TE who offers upside and sleeper appeal. Why? Because he has a young stud QB (Derek Carr), a young stud WR (Amari Cooper) and a capable WR2 (Michael Crabtree). Injuries forced him to miss a lot of action, including most all of his rookie camp last year, leading to a slow year. However, this year Head Coach Bill Musgrave has said that Walford will be a big part of what the Raiders do in 2016.”
Scott Whitfield (Roto Rankings)

Will Tye (TE – NYG)
Tight End ADP: #28
“After Larry Donnell went down with an injury midway through the season, the Giants’ undrafted rookie took over in the starting role and averaged five catches for 50 yards and scored four TDs in seven games. Tye isn’t the big bodied red-zone threat like Donnell, but he’s a bit more versatile with his route running. The Giants are in need of playmakers in their passing game outside of Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard so even with Donnell healthy, Tye will carve out a role in Big Blue’s offense.”
Bill Enright (FFChamps)

Jared Cook (TE – GB)
Tight End ADP: #22
“Per usual, there are several intriguing names in this tier of tight ends. By far the most capable, however, is Jared Cook. The list of quarterbacks he has been subjected to thus far in his career is abysmal, and likely led by an ancient Kerry Collins or already retired Jake Locker. Translate his ability into a dynamic offense like Green Bay, with a superb quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, and we might see serious fireworks. Top-five tight end production is not out of the question in this equation, and that type of ceiling is exactly what you are looking for late in drafts.”
Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Charles Clay (TE – BUF)
Tight End ADP: #26
“Bills Coach Rex Ryan has said he expects Clay to be more involved this season. The offense should be much better in general as well with QB Tyrod Taylor gaining confidence and big-play WR Sammy Watkins coming back from injury. At 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, Clay is a difficult matchup, particularly in the red zone.”
Gene Wang (The Washington Post)

Richard Rodgers (TE – GB)
Tight End ADP: #20
“When talking about TEs, I like Richard Rodgers. He is right at that 20 spot. He has Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football, which guarantees him solid targets (if healthy). He had an impressive 58/510/8TDs last year and he is only 25 with two years under his belt. He could mature a lot in 2016, so consider him a sleeper TE2 on your roster.”
Smitty (SleeperU)

Thank you to all the experts for naming their sleepers. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and leave your comments below. For more advice, check out our most recent podcast.


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