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Post-Hype Fantasy Football Sleepers (2018)

Jul 12, 2018

Jamison Crowder could rebound in 2018 with Alex Smith as his quarterback

If you want to win in fantasy football, one of the first things you should do is get rid of any old grudges you have against specific players. Whether that’s after one bad performance or an entire let-down season, you need to wipe that out of your memory. Players have bad years. Just look at DeAndre Hopkins’s 2016 campaign versus the 2015 and 2017. Then there’s Doug Martin whose two 16-game seasons (2012 & 2015) are surrounded by absolute duds.

Your job prior to drafting is to gather as much information as possible to make an educated decision. Personal feelings don’t have to be completely tossed away, but they shouldn’t dominate the conversation inside your head. With those feelings out of the way (seriously, keep an open mind), we asked five pundits from around the industry to name running backs and wide receivers who were over-hyped in past years, that are now falling in drafts this season worth targeting. See which players some of the experts agreed on.

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?

Ty Montgomery (GB)
“Heading into last year there was concern over Montgomery’s ability to stay healthy while playing running back and those concerns came to fruition (broken ribs). His absence opened the door for rookies Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Now it’s a three-man committee but Montgomery is the better pass catcher of the three and will have the most consistent involvement in the Packers up-tempo offense. That’s why we can’t forget about him in the PPR format. He’ll lead the Packers RBs in catches and receiving yards and do just enough on the ground to make him a low end RB2 in PPR.”
– Bill Enright (FFChamps)

“I’m still not completely sold on Ty Montgomery, but a lot of people thought he’d be a monster and he fizzled quickly. Health was his main issue in 2017, though, and now Aaron Jones is suspended the first two games of the year. Considering Jamaal Williams hasn’t run away with the starting gig, Montgomery’s (round 10 on average) ADP is just way too low.”
– Kevin Roberts (Breaking Football)

Doug Martin (OAK)
“We all know the story about Doug Martin: he’s incredible for one year and then takes a year or two off because he’s either a) hurt or b) bad. He’s been bad the last two years, so you know what that means for 2018, right? In all seriousness, Martin is in a decent-enough situation with a 32-year-old Marshawn Lynch in front of him, a great offensive line, and a new head coach/offensive guru. He has always been a popular sleeper because we’ve seen him do very impressive things, but that sleeper price used to cost you a 7th-10th round pick. Currently, Martin has an ECR of 175 and an ADP of 153, so taking a chance on him doesn’t really cost you much draft capital anymore, and the upside is definitely there.”
– Donald Gibson (Fantasy Fusion)

T.J. Yeldon (JAC)
“It’s often hard to find value at the running back position, as we pretty much know who is in line for the majority of carries on most teams. With that being said, T.J. Yeldon will be on a lot of my fantasy teams. Most don’t realize that even though he played just 10 games, he totaled 41 targets, or 4.1 per game. Over a 16-game season, that would’ve ranked as the No. 11 running back in 2017. You see players like Duke Johnson, Chris Thompson, and Giovani Bernard drafted as RB3/flex options, but Yeldon goes undrafted for some reason. He’s got flex appeal on his own, but should something happen to the oft-injured Leonard Fournette, Yeldon is a league-winner.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Lamar Miller (HOU)
“Miller went from a first-round ADP in 2016 to third-rounder last season. He’s now regularly sliding into the fifth round and looks like a solid bargain for a solid touch share in a potent Houston offense. If D’Onta Foreman is placed on the PUP list, Miller could contend for top-15 RB numbers in 2018.”
– Jody Smith (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?

Jamison Crowder (WAS)
“Alex Smith may have led the NFL in completion percentage for passes over 20 yards in 2017 but let’s remember he puts the CAPTAIN in CHECKDOWN. And for that reason, Jamison Crowder is severely undervalued in 2018. Crowder averaged right around 100 targets and caught 66 and 67 passes the last two seasons. But due to a dip in yards and TDs in 2017, he’s gone from his 25th WR off the board a year ago, to his current ADP of the 40th WR drafted. He’s even being drafted after the consistently disappointing Devante Parker and one trick pony Marquise Goodwin, compared to going right after Larry Fitzgerald this time last year. According to FantasyPros’s SOS for WRs, Crowder has the No. 1 easiest schedule… that’s right NUMERO UNO!”
– Bill Enright (FFChamps)

“I was high on Jamison Crowder heading into last year when his ADP was around 50, and I think everyone is writing him off since he started very slow in 2017. From Weeks 8 through 16, Crowder averaged 5.5 receptions, 8.3 targets, and almost 77 yards per game, and his season average for yards per reception was 12.0 (63rd in the league). Now his QB is Alex Smith: a notoriously safe, short passer who had the third-highest completion percentage in 2017 (67.5%). He won’t blow the top off defenses or erupt for 200 yards every other week, but in PPR formats there isn’t a much better bargain than Crowder, who currently has an ECR of 71 and an ADP of 88.”
– Donald Gibson (Fantasy Fusion)

DeVante Parker (MIA)
“Most don’t realize that the Dolphins were the only team in the NFL with three wide receivers who had 95 or more targets, and one of them (the guy who had 161 targets) is gone. DeVante Parker is heading into his fourth NFL season, and although he’s been a bit up-and-down, Landry and injuries played a role. Being healthy and the No. 1 option for a team who’ll throw the ball 580-plus times, Parker is going to break out in 2018. Don’t bail one year too early.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

“I feel like he was supposed to break out three times now and it’s just never happened. Whether it’s been injuries or having to play with Jay Cutler, it hasn’t clicked yet, but DeVante Parker still has the size and athleticism to be a monster. Now that Jarvis Landry is in Cleveland, I find Parker’s upside (round 9 usually) too good to pass up.”
– Kevin Roberts (Breaking Football)

Amari Cooper (OAK)
“Cooper’s rough 2017 burned a lot of people, so his ADP had dipped some three round over where it was at this time last year. With Michael Crabtree’s release, Cooper is now the undisputed No. 1 WR in Gruden’s offense and if history is an indicator, he’s going to thrive in that role. In 11 seasons as an NFL head coach, every No. 1 wideout of his exceeded 1,000 receiving yards and finished with an impressive average of 137 targets, 79 receptions, 1,156 yards, and nearly eight touchdowns.”
– Jody Smith (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts above for naming their post-hype sleepers. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and check out our latest podcast below for more fantasy advice.

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