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12 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Aug 17, 2017

Who else besides Robby Anderson is going to catch passes in New York?

It’s the middle of August and boy are drafts creeping up quickly. I know because I have one today! It felt like forever months ago, but there is no doubt about it, you should be preparing for your fantasy drafts now if you haven’t started doing so. One of the biggest questions every single year, and rightfully so, is who are the best sleepers this season? There are always the new class of rookies, players coming back from injuries, and post-hype guys who have fallen down draft boards.

Unfortunately, that’s still a pretty long list of names to keep track of. To help sort through all the noise, we’re asking some of the biggest names in the industry who they’re keeping a close eye on come draft day. Check out who our featured experts named.

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Pick Recap:

Expert RB Sleeper WR Sleeper TE Sleeper
Scott Pianowski – Yahoo! Sports Thomas Rawls (SEA) Robby Anderson (NYJ) Cameron Brate (TB)
Austin Hooper (ATL)
Jake CielyRotoExperts Jamaal Williams (GB) Robby Anderson (NYJ) C.J. Fiedrowicz (HOU)
Joseph Dolan – Fantasy Guru C.J. Prosise (SEA) Josh Doctson (WAS) Antonio Gates (LAC)
Jody SmithGridiron Experts Jamaal Williams (GB) Cole Beasley (DAL) Jesse James (PIT)
Dan ClasgensPro Football Focus C.J. Prosise (SEA) Kenny Stills (MIA) Cameron Brate (TB)

Q1. Which RB beyond RB40 will you be targeting as your top sleeper this season and why?

C.J. Prosise (SEA)
Consensus Rank: RB45
“I’m going to say C.J. Prosise because I think saying Duke Johnson (who is ranked at 41) is too easy. While Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, and even Chris Carson duke it out for early-down touches, Prosise’s role as the Seahawks’ third-down and passing-down back is likely the steadiest on this roster. I’d prefer to chase what I think is a stable role — Prosise is a former college WR, remember — rather than trying to play a guessing game with the grinders. If Prosise stays healthy, he’s my bet to lead this backfield in fantasy points.”
– Joseph Dolan (Fantasy Guru)

“Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls are battling for early-down carries, but the second-year back, C.J. Prosise, appears to have a clear role and if he can actually stay healthy he could play an even larger part in the offense than many are expecting. As we saw last year, Prosise showed the ability to get the ball and get to the second level before the poor Seahawks’ O-line play was exposed. He has the ability to be a top guy in the RB rotation right now and is the Seattle running back with the most upside in 2017 and beyond.”
– Dan Clasgens (Pro Football Focus)

Jamaal Williams (GB)
Consensus Rank: RB50
“I have nearly 100 percent ownership of Jamaal Williams, and that will continue. The kid has Madden-button moves, can be a workhorse running back and is a solid pass blocker. That last point is key, as Ty Montgomery is still struggling with pass blocking… and guess what… the Packers love to pass. Shocker. I know. Williams is this year’s Jordan Howard. He will be the lead option by midseason, and even though Montgomery won’t be pushed aside completely, being the lead will make Williams a Top 25 RB at that point.”
– Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)

“With Ty Montgomery out this week, I’m really looking to see what Jamaal Williams can do running with the Packers first-team offense. From what we’re reading, Montgomery’s struggles in pass protecting continue, and that opens the door for Williams to see a fairly significant role for Green Bay, perhaps as early as Week 1. If he can take advantage of this opportunity, Williams has RB2 upside in a dominant offense.”
– Jody Smith (Gridiron Experts)

Thomas Rawls (SEA)
Consensus Rank: RB44
“It’s hard to get too overboard for Thomas Rawls because the Seattle offensive line could suck again. But Russell Wilson’s mobility – on hiatus in 2016, thanks Suh – should be back, which opens some lanes. As bad as Rawls was in a limited 2016, he was that impressive two years ago. I am also betting against Eddie Lacy everywhere I can. (And in Oakland, I’ll draft anyone not named Marshawn Lynch.)”
– Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports)

Q2. Which WR beyond WR50 will you be targeting as your top sleeper this season and why?

Robby Anderson (NYJ)
Consensus Rank: WR60
“(Damn, Rishard Matthews just misses.) First of all, you’ll see a ton of WRs at every price point that you like this year, because the depth of the position is ridiculous. A lot of players will be drafted at generous floors, with some upside possible. It’s a great time to be drafting, peeps. I know the Jets should be a colossal mess, but Robby Anderson is talented enough to draw a late-round dart throw. Please give us some generous weeks of McCown.”
– Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports)

Robby Anderson should already be inside the top 50 and will be in short order if people wake up. No Brandon Marshall. No Eric Decker. No Quincy Enunwa. Anderson is in store for 125-plus targets, and Josh McCown is no slouch. Of course I’m worried if Christian Hackenberg becomes the starter, but if Anderson even gets to 140 targets and only catches half of those because of the quarterback play, it’s a pretty dang good season. Heck, even 65/800/4 is easily doable as the Jets No. 1 receiver, and that’s around WR45-48 from last year.”
– Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)

Josh Doctson (WAS)
Consensus Rank: WR54
“I am willing to take Josh Doctson on every team. Injuries were obviously an issue for him last season, and they’ve remained that way into camp this year, as he’s dealt with a hamstring problem. But at the least, it appears the bizarre Achilles injury that marred his entire rookie year is out of the way. He was my #1 pre-draft WR last season, and there are a ton of available targets for the taking here. I think he, Terrelle Pryor, and Jamison Crowder can form one of the league’s most dangerous WR trios.”
– Joseph Dolan (Fantasy Guru)

Cole Beasley (DAL)
Consensus Rank: WR63
“Cole Beasley was the WR32 in PPR leagues last season and should be in for an even bigger role with the Dallas offense now that RB Ezekiel Elliott is slated to miss six games. While the Cowboys have an intimidating schedule in terms of facing elite cornerbacks, this could actually help Beasley rack up receptions and points as Dez Bryant commands extra attention. Currently, at WR63, Beasley looks like a tremendous bargain.”
– Jody Smith (Gridiron Experts)

Kenny Stills (MIA)
Consensus Rank: WR58
“The Dolphins paid big money ($32 million / 4 years – including $20M guaranteed) to keep their deep threat in the fold this offseason. Stills scored on 11.1 percent targets a year ago and his 15.6 aDOT was fifth best among wide receivers to play 60 percent of their team’s snaps in 2016. Jay Cutler has the arm to get it to him downfield and Stills has the ability to capitalize.”
– Dan Clasgens (Pro Football Focus)

Q3. Which TE beyond TE15 will you be targeting as your top sleeper this season and why?

Cameron Brate (TB) | Austin Hooper (ATL)
Consensus Rank: TE16 | TE17
“I’ve collected a bunch of Cameron Brate and Austin Hooper, and glad to see they’re still affordable. Brate is obscured by a snappy rookie tight end, but they hardly do anything. Brate also can’t block, but that’s a *feature* for a tight end, not a bug. He can catch, that’s all we care about. On Hooper, he did what we want a rookie to do – learn the game, make a splash play now and again, score a Super Bowl touchdown. The Falcons have been gushing about him all spring and summer, and while that sort of thing can easily be noise and not news, my BS detector has screened it for all audiences. I give Hooper a solid chance to leap significantly in Year 2.”
– Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports)

“How quickly fantasy owners forget. Cameron Brate emerged last season, finishing as a top 7 tight end in any format. However, when the Bucs drafted O.J. Howard, many dropped Brate down their boards immediately. Not so fast. He’s never dropped a pass as a pro and he caught seven of nine targets inside the 10-yard line, including six touchdowns last season. He remains a viable starting TE1 option until further notice, but is still going in the 14th round or later.”
– Dan Clasgens (Pro Football Focus)

C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU)
Consensus Rank: TE19
“Can I place bets on how many people answer Austin Hooper? I get it, but I’m looking elsewhere here, as I’m still astonished by this. C.J. Fiedorowicz was a TE1 from Week 4 through the end of the season, and people are dismissing him this year. The Texans lost Will Fuller, so they still need options to step up in the passing game. While I am a fan of Braxton Miller, Fiedorowicz has already shown his worth and reliability. Julius Thomas is already hurt, Hooper is all projection and Jason Witten is 700 years old. CJF has shown his worth already and is a solid late-round tight end.”
– Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)

Antonio Gates (LAC)
Consensus Rank: TE20
“Everyone is forgetting about Antonio Gates, but I guarantee you that Philip Rivers won’t. The hype train on a Hunter Henry breakout has left the station, and it’s understandable, but I still feel that Gates can be very productive at a cheaper price. Over the last three seasons, Gates has 24 TDs, including seven a season ago. Even if he plays only half of the Chargers’ snaps, he will DEFINITELY play on third downs and in the red zone, where Rivers trusts him most.”
– Joseph Dolan (Fantasy Guru)

Jesse James (PIT)
Consensus Rank: TE29
“The Steelers are planning to get Jesse James a little more involved in their offense this season, especially around the end zone. With elite options like Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant to contend with, opposing defenses are going to be forced to make tough decisions on who to attempt to blanket in coverage. It could open things up nicely for James, who stands 6-foot-7, to double his touchdown totals this season. Also, with Ladarius Green no longer in Pittsburgh, James should also see a significant rise in targets, helping him approach top-15 TE numbers.”
– Jody Smith (Gridiron Experts)

Thank you to the experts for naming their deep sleepers. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice and check out our latest podcast below.

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