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9 Post-Hype Sleepers (Fantasy Football)

Aug 1, 2017

It wasn’t long ago that C.J. Prosise was viewed as a breakout sleeper

If you’ve played fantasy football long enough, you will have had a player that didn’t pan out the year you drafted him. Naturally, the next course of action is to watch his draft stock slip the following season due to the poor showing. The issue with this is that there can be a multitude of reasons why a player doesn’t perform. John Brown dealt with some pretty significant injuries that derailed his 2016 as just one example.

Due to recent memory bias, he could offer great value this season. The point is, winning in fantasy football should not include any bias when drafting. Instead, take advantage of insight and advice based on facts. We asked our featured experts to give their picks on who could produce after disappointing in past seasons. See which players they’ve selected as their post-hype sleepers and why.

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Q1. What RB that was over-hyped as a sleeper in past seasons, that is falling in draft rankings this season, are you targeting the most?

C.J. Prosise (RB – SEA)
“Health concerns aside, it’s easy to like Prosise’s PPR outlook. He flashed last year — albeit in a limited sample — vs. New Orleans, New England, and Philadelphia. Now he enters year 2 as the team’s clear pass-catching RB. Plus, Seattle brings some instability beyond Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham, especially with Tyler Lockett returning from a broken leg. ~50 catches are within reach for Prosise.”
– Kevin English (Draft Sharks)

“This one is tough, because it’s hard to find a running back being selected outside of the top-30 at the position who has massive upside, simply because of all the information we have at our fingertips. But one that stands out to me is C.J. Prosise, as there were some comparing him to David Johnson prior to last season, being a former wide receiver and all. The Seahawks offensive line came up last in my offensive line rankings, which will make it difficult for newcomer Eddie Lacy, and we already saw Thomas Rawls struggle behind them last year. The caveat to Prosise is not only can he catch passes, but he should be able to see lighter defensive fronts than Lacy and Rawls, simply because of the way they can move him around the formation, making it difficult for the defense to mask their coverage. If he can stay healthy, he could be a league winner.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Ameer Abdullah (RB – DET)
“Coming off a lost season due to a Lisfranc injury, Abdullah had only 23 touches in one game-plus in 2016, but he was off to a great start on a per-touch basis. The (now) 24-year-old back averaged 5.6 yards per carry and 11.4 Y/R. Durability is the obvious concern with Abdullah, but he’s healthy to start training camp and the team’s top back is poised for a fantasy breakout if he can stay healthy for a full season.”
– Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)

“I haven’t been shy about booking tickets on the Abdullah Express, and I’m not stopping now. Ameer Abdullah’s rookie year was disappointing in terms of fantasy output, but not in proving he’s a high level running back. Now for some reason, despite playing in every game as a rookie, last year’s injury has made people buy that he’s fragile? He was drafted in the 2nd round for a reason and all offseason news on his usage has been positive. I’m targeting him in all formats in the middle rounds.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Duke Johnson (RB – CLE)
“Johnson seems like an easy answer here, as head coach Hue Jackson has been raving about the third year back’s versatility. Johnson has quietly caught 114 passes over the past two seasons; he seems likely to deliver another 65-plus receptions in 2017. Cleveland’s offensive line should be terrific, and Coach Jackson has been making plenty of noise about feeding both Duke and Isaiah Crowell. Johnson averaged 4.9 YPC last season and consistently passed the eye test. He has a clear shot at 1000 scrimmage yards.”
– Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Sports)

Charles Sims (RB – TB)
“Sims was abysmal last season after being drafted in the 10th round of most drafts. He was superb in 2015 with 1,090 yards from scrimmage on just 158 touches, but everyone forgets about that because of last year’s injury. Sure, Jacquizz Rodgers was impressive in his few starts with Doug Martin out, but Sims is the better talent and I imagine that will become clear during the preseason. With Martin out for 3 weeks, and perhaps not being a quality running back when he returns, I consider Sims to have significant upside and worth buying at the end of your drafts.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Q2. What WR that was over-hyped as a sleeper in past seasons, that is falling in draft rankings this season, are you targeting the most?

John Brown (WR – ARI)
“It was a year to forget for Brown, who saw his production roughly cut in half in 2016 (39/517/2) from the previous season (65/1,003/7). Even though he’s currently dealing with a quad injury, the health issues that sabotaged his third NFL season are now behind him. With Michael Floyd gone and Larry Fitzgerald about to turn 34, I’m optimistic that Brown can return to 2015 form with the upside to potentially exceed those numbers. The speedster is certainly worth a flier in the mid-to-late rounds.”
– Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)

John Brown is a perfect bounce back candidate this year. He was an ascending talent before a sickle cell trait derailed a potential breakout season. Reports out of AZ say that Brown looks like he’s back, and while that’s not a lot to go off of, it’s what we have. The golden lining is all the reasons Brown as a breakout candidate last season are still in tact. He’s a starter for a high powered, high flying Bruce Arians offense. He’s the deep threat for the team. He has little to no experienced competition. But now instead of a middle round pick, you can select Brown at low-risk with major upside.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

Josh Doctson (WR – WAS)
“Doctson is understandably an afterthought in drafts following a rookie season lost to injury. But Washington lost both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency, leaving 216 targets up for grabs. Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder should obviously benefit the most, but we should expect a few scraps to be available for Doctson, too. He’s healthy-ish at the moment, and still the same dynamic athlete who dominated at TCU. Doctson costs nothing at the draft table and he’s tied to an efficient, productive passing game.”
– Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Sports)

Devin Funchess (WR – CAR)
“John Brown just seems way too easy, so I’ll go with Devin Funchess. At this time last year, many were pegging him as a breakout candidate, only to see him not get onto the field in two-wide sets, and sometimes not be on the field in three-wide sets. Well, Ted Ginn and Corey Brown are gone. Ron Rivera has already stated that they didn’t maximize the way they used Funchess last year, and they’ll attempt to rectify that in 2017. Over his career, Funchess has seen 121 targets that he’s turned into 845 yards and nine touchdowns. Teammate Kelvin Benjamin saw 118 targets last year that netted 941 yards and seven touchdowns. It’s rare to find a player this far down draft boards who legitimately has 10 touchdown potential, but Funchess has that. The best part is that he costs you nothing, and you’ll see how they intend to use him from the get-go in Week 1, making him an easy cut-candidate if he’s not playing as much as Rivera says he will.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Robert Woods (WR – LAR)
“Woods never flourished in Buffalo, but he’ll get an extended look in Los Angeles. He’ll likely assume the #1 role for a WR corps that’s young and unproven behind Tavon Austin. Even Woods — only 25 — still has youth in his favor. Target upside and the arrival of offensively-minded HC Sean McVay helps the former Bill achieve value status in the double-digit rounds.”
– Kevin English (Draft Sharks)

Kevin White (WR – CHI)
“White is the textbook definition of a post-hype sleeper. The former top 10 pick was electric in college before destroying the combine. He has been injured for virtually his entire career, but the elite athleticism is real and could put him on center stage this season with Alshon out of town. Last year, he burned owners again, but saw 36 targets in the 15 quarters he was on the field last season which is a pace of 154 over a full season. We are getting him for free because of the injury risk, but he has legitimate WR1 upside.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their post-hype 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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