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9 Post-Hype Sleepers (2019 Fantasy Football)

Jul 11, 2019

2019 may be the year Corey Davis delivers on his sleeper potential

We’ve all experienced that disappointment when a player you billed as a sleeper completely failed to live up to his expectations. Marcus Mariota, Rashaad Penny, and Keelan Cole were all players who many expected to heavily surpass their ADP (average draft position) last year, only for each of them to fall well short of returning any value on their draft cost.

However, any time a player has a down year, the perception surrounding them suffers, which can drastically decrease their ADP. This can occur regardless of whether or not that athlete is expected to produce similar numbers compared to his previous season. When this happens, you can often nab those guys at a decent discount. Which disappointing players have the best chance at returning value on their cheaper price, though? We’ve consulted our featured experts to identify the post-hype sleepers fantasy owners should give another chance to in 2019. Their responses are below.

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

Corey Davis (TEN)
Overall Half-PPR Ranking: #67 | WR Ranking: #31
“Because of Marcus Mariota’s constant injuries and several offensive coordinator changes, Davis has not been able to live up to expectations since his debut in the NFL. Even then, many don’t realize that Davis finished as the WR28 in half-PPR leagues, a solid WR3. He finished averaging almost 10 points per game and 8.0 yards per target. Due to his talent and an expected increase in the number of passing plays, either with Mariota or Ryan Tannehill at QB, he has WR2 upside at a WR3 price.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

“Is anyone truly excited about Corey Davis and the Titans’ passing game? I sure hope not. But he was the WR28 last year in half-PPR leagues with a putrid offense and only four receiving touchdowns. The Titans’ passing game is due for some positive regression, which gives Davis some touchdown and reception upside to go with his strong target volume floor. I have him similar to last year’s WR28 finish, even though his ADP is in the WR34 range.”
– Rudy Gamble (Razzball)

John Brown (BUF)
Overall Ranking: #131 | WR Ranking: #52
“Brown got off to an excellent start last season with a 60/1,068/6.4 pace while Joe Flacco was under center for nine games, but his production fell off a cliff when Lamar Jackson entered the lineup, as “Smokey” caught just eight of 30 targets for 114 yards. Now as the potential No. 1 target in Buffalo, Brown will be catching passes from the rocket-armed Josh Allen, who shares some similarities to Flacco as a passer and won’t hesitate to challenge defenses outside the numbers with the deep ball. Fantasy owners targeting upside with a late-round flier should consider Brown.”
– Dylan Chappine (White Wolf Sports)

Devin Funchess (IND)
Overall Ranking: #125 | WR Ranking: #49
“Last year as the defacto WR1 in Carolina, Funchess was drafted as a fantasy WR3 (8.03/WR36) in PPR drafts. By the end of 2018, the Panthers benched the wideout and the team showed little interest in signing him this offseason. He landed in a much better environment though in Indy, where he’ll be one of many weapons for Andrew Luck in the team’s passing attack. The Colts paid him $10 million so they must expect him to have a pretty big role in their offense, and with his big frame (6-4, 225), look for him to be utilized in the red zone at the very least. Owners shouldn’t reach for him, but landing him in Round 11 or 12 could be a move that pays huge dividends.”
– Dan Clasgens (Get Sports Info)

Anthony Miller (CHI)
Overall Ranking: #100 | WR Ranking: #43
“There are a few late-round targets, but if there’s one who can blow the doors off his ADP, it’s Miller. Most don’t realize that he suffered a broken foot at the end of the season at Memphis, hence the reason he missed the NFL Combine. After dealing with that, he separated his shoulder at least four times during the 2018 season, but played through the injury that required surgery this offseason. He’s shown the ability to be a threat in the red zone at all levels, which is something that’s important for a late-round breakout.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

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

Kenyan Drake (MIA)
Overall Ranking: #57 | RB Ranking: #24
“Drake is one of the 4,000 recent Alabama RBs to get drafted and has shown solid rushing and receiving skills in his first three years with the Dolphins. He finished last year with 120 rushes at 4.5 YPC and 73 targets with 6.5 YPT (yards per target). Those rates are quite similar to Ezekiel Elliott’s 2018 season. With Adam Gase and old man Frank Gore out of the picture, I project Drake at about 800 rush yards and 500 receiving yards, which makes him a top-15 running back in any format who can be had at an RB20 price or lower.”
– Rudy Gamble (Razzball)

Ronald Jones (TB)
Overall Ranking: #104 | RB Ranking: #37
“It’s tough to find a “sleeper” without injury at the running back position, but finding a starting running back outside the top-100 picks is absolutely insane. Jones was drafted in the second round and the Bucs showed confidence in him when they ignored the running back position in both the draft and free agency. There’s been nothing but great reports out of camp, and even though he struggled on a mere 30 touches last year, let’s not pretend the other options on the roster did anything. The Bucs have to find out what they have in him and it’s a whole new ball game under Bruce Arians.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Dion Lewis (TEN)
Overall Ranking: #118 | RB Ranking: #40
“After being a fifth-round PPR pick a year ago during his first season in Tennessee, Lewis is slipping to Round 13 and outside of the top 50 at the position currently in early 2019 drafts. The team faded him down the stretch last year as Derrick Henry posted monster numbers. While Henry is poised to be the workhorse back again, there should be enough for a change-of-pace and passing down role to allow Lewis to easily provide an ROI on his current price and to be a nice player to have for depth in your fantasy backfield. Expect the Titans to be a top-10 rushing team, and with a great offensive line in front of him, a bit of a rebound is likely ahead for Lewis. For two straight seasons, Lewis has posted the highest catch rate of any running back in the league and that alone gives him value in leagues where points are rewarded for receptions.”
– Dan Clasgens (Get Sports Info)

Royce Freeman (DEN)
Overall Ranking: #97 | RB Ranking: #34
“I know that people who drafted him in the third/fourth round last year are going to hate me, but I still believe in his talent. Phillip Lindsay is recovering from a gruesome wrist injury suffered at the end of the season. That will give Freeman the chance to gain coach Vic Fangio’s confidence during training camp. He is talented enough to gain the right to play in a lot more than the 33% snap share he had last year.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

Ty Montgomery (NYJ)
Overall Ranking: #318 | RB Ranking: #87
“The Jets obviously signed Le’Veon Bell to be their feature back, but I have a feeling head coach Adam Gase might have been the main reason for bringing Montgomery aboard in free agency. The former Green Bay starter has quickly seen his value fade after looking like a potential RB1 prior to the 2017 season, but the talent is still there entering his age-26 campaign. No one knows how effective or durable Bell will be after a year out of football. For me, Montgomery is a premium handcuff that could have standalone value if he gets eight to 10 touches per game.”
– Dylan Chappine (White Wolf Sports)

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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