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Dynasty Rookie Sleepers (2022 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty Rookie Sleepers (2022 Fantasy Football)

Regardless of how long you have been playing the game of fantasy football, the term sleeper can always manage to get you to perk up and pay closer attention. As fantasy football managers, we are consistently looking to gain an edge over our league-mates. The most simple way to gain that edge over your competition is fairly simple: identify talented players who are set to be a value on draft day and use your late-round rookie draft capital on them. Of course, this is easier said than done. The balancing act is that while you’ll look to draft these players later in your drafts, you still need to make sure you pull the trigger on selecting them earlier than anyone else in your league. To give you the best opportunity possible to land some sleepers in your rookie draft, today we’re going to break down three players that you need to keep an eye on as your rookie draft approaches.

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Ty Chandler (RB – UNC)

Combine Results

  • Height – 5’11”
  • Weight – 204 lbs
  • 40-yard dash – 4.38
  • Vertical jump – 31″
  • Broad jump – 121″

In his lone season for the University of North Carolina, Chandler broke out for his best collegiate season as a runner. He posted totals of 1,092 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground to go along with 216 receiving yards and one score through the air. He’s been utilized as a solid, reliable option in the passing game both in his one season with the Tar Heels and the four seasons prior with the University of Tennessee. A smooth runner who can hit the hole with purpose, Chandler put his long speed on display at the combine. His ability to contribute on special teams in the return game should help him stick on an NFL roster. Players who can contribute on special teams are always worth monitoring in the later rounds of rookie drafts. The more they can do for their NFL team, the more likely they are to find their way into playing time and help your fantasy football team. 

Pierre Strong Jr. (RB – South Dakota State)

Combine Results

  • Height – 5’11”
  • Weight – 207 lbs
  • 40-yard dash – 4.37
  • Vertical jump – 36″
  • Broad jump – 124″

Evaluating small school prospects can be tricky. The first sticking point is that more often than not we’ve simply seen less of them than players who have been highlighted at big-name schools throughout their college careers. The first thing I look for when watching a player coming out of any small school is simple: do they dominate their competition? South Dakota State running back Pierre Strong Jr. often looked like the most electric player on the field when you put on the tape, and his combine testing helped back up that fact. Strong Jr. racked up 40 rushing touchdowns across his four seasons for the Jackrabbits, and he put a bow on his time there with a stellar 2021 season where he exploded for nearly 1,700 rushing yards to go along with 18 rushing touchdowns. In a running back class that is quite murky behind the top options of Breece Hall (RB), Kenneth Walker III (RB), and Isaiah Spiller (RB), Pierre Strong Jr. is someone who should be moving up rookie rankings. If he can land late day two or even early day three draft capital from the NFL, big things could be in store for his fantasy value. 

Alec Pierce (WR – Cincinnati)

Combine Results

  • Height – 6’3″
  • Weight – 211 lbs
  • 40-yard dash – 4.41
  • Vertical jump – 40.5″
  • Broad jump – 129″
  • 3 cone drill – 7.13

Another loaded wide receiver class has Alec Pierce flying a little under the radar despite testing very well athletically at the scouting combine. He possesses desirable athletic traits to go along with top-notch toughness and physicality at the wide receiver position. He never averaged less than 17 yards per reception in the three seasons he played wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bearcats. While he might not offer what some of his peers can in yards after catch scenarios, his fantastic hands and top-tier body control will certainly help balance that out. Despite never topping 1,000 yards receiving in college, the arrow may still be pointing up for Pierce. He will need to continue to develop as a route runner to reach his full potential, but he has the skills to be a starting wide receiver in the NFL. His ball skills and size will make him an immediate factor in the red zone, which will only help boost his fantasy value early on in his career. 

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