Dynasty Rookie Sleepers (2021 Fantasy Football)
Fantasy rookie draft season is quickly approaching. With the 2021 NFL Draft roughly a month away, many dynasty leagues are gearing up for their league’s rookie drafts. As the NFL Draft comes and goes and training camp and offseason activities progress, the buzz will grow about certain players, while others may be tossed to the side and forgotten about. Rookie drafts give fantasy managers a great opportunity to potentially hit on a late-round pick that others are overlooking or fading.
As the draft season approaches for the NFL and fantasy managers, keep a lookout for three of my favorite dynasty rookie sleepers:
Nico Collins (WR – Michigan)
Nico Collins is often forgotten about after opting out of the 2020 season. However, it seems he has hooked some NFL teams’ attention after high praise following the Senior Bowl. Collins is a big-bodied, big-play receiver, coming in at 6’4, 215 pounds. His physical style of play can translate well to the NFL, highlighted by his impressive 19.7 yards per reception in 2019. His lack of game tape might impact his draft capital, especially with a deep wide receiver class such as this one. If that is the case that causes Collins to drop a bit in the draft, he will be a steal in the real-life NFL Draft and dynasty rookie drafts.
Jaret Patterson (RB – Buffalo)
Rarely mentioned among this class’s top running backs, Jaret Patterson rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his three college seasons, including surpassing that mark in a COVID shortened 2020 season in which he ran for 1,072 yards and 19 touchdowns in six games. Yes, you read that correctly—19 touchdowns in six games. Patterson scored 52 touchdowns throughout his collegiate career, highlighting his nose for the end zone and home run ability. Although he has a slightly smaller frame, Patterson can dominate between the tackles and take it to the house for a score in an instant. Draft capital will be interesting but based on his college production and the way that he pops on film, Patterson is one of my favorite sleepers and prospects in this class.
Jamie Newman (QB – Georgia)
In traditional 1QB leagues, Newman will most likely not be on many manager’s radars. However, in superflex formats where you have the option of starting two QBs, Newman is a name to keep an eye on. He won’t be selected in the first and most likely second round, but where Newman lands in the draft will be interesting. He could land in the third-round to a team with a veteran signal-caller in front of him, giving Newman more time to develop after opting out of the 2020 season. Newman has the build of an NFL quarterback and showcased dual-threat abilities during his time at Wake Forest. Newman is a name on my list for the later rounds of superflex rookie drafts.
Rookie drafts are a great time to “get your guy” before the price becomes too high. Hitting on a sleeper is a major reward that can help boost your team and give your roster much-needed depth. Understanding the prospects is crucial, so take some time before the draft to understand the lower-tiered players.
You never know when you will find a diamond in the rough.
Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Football 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with Starting Your Own Fantasy Football League or head to more advanced strategy – like What is the Right Amount of Risk to Absorb on Draft Day? – to learn more.