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Fantasy Football Sleepers: Most Accurate Expert Picks in 2021

Aug 16, 2022

Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown celebrates a first down against the Packers during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, at Ford Field.

Fantasy Football titles can be won and lost in the draft, but if we’re honest, it’s not that hard to take good players in the early rounds. The real winning picks happen in the last rounds of the draft, when you have to find which fringe player is going to crush expectations and hand you the season on a silver platter.

That’s where our Sleeper Rankings come in. We ask fantasy experts to submit lists of the fringe players that they think are most likely to break out. Specifically, each expert gives:

  • 2 QBs outside the top 15 according to our Expert Consensus Rankings
  • 4 RBs outside the top 45
  • 4 WRs outside the top 55
  • 2 TEs outside the top 15
  • 1 DST outside the top 10

As we prepare to draft in 2022, we can look at the results of these predictions from last year to figure out whose advice is worth listening to. You can check out the full accuracy methodology here. The short version is we measure how many half-PPR points each player scored above (or below) replacement-level. We add up those points for each expert, and rank the experts according to that total.

Without further ado, here are the experts that had the best 2021 sleeper picks, among a field of 73 contestants:

Top 10 Sleeper Accuracy Experts in 2021

Rank Expert Top Sleepers
1 Richard King – King Fantasy Sports D. Williams, A. St. Brown, A.J. Green, A. Mattison
2 Mitchell Carl – Rise or Fall K. Cousins, S. Michel, M. Callaway, J. Meyers
3 Jared Smola – Draft Sharks K. Cousins, S. Michel, M. Callaway, J. Meyers
4 Bart Wheeler – Hail to Fantasy Football K. Cousins, S. Michel, M. Callaway, J. Meyers
5 Dan Harris – FantasyPros D. Williams, M. Callaway, E. Moore, Z. Ertz
6 Matthew Hill – Fantasy Life S. Michel, M. Callaway, J. Meyers, E. Moore
7 Rich Piazza – Fantasy Shed E. Moore, J. Meyers, T. Patrick, D. Knox
8 Smitty – SleeperU M. Callaway, J. Meyers, E. Moore, Z. Ertz
9 David Zach – FantasyPros T. Coleman, A.J. Green, J. Meyers, Z. Ertz
10 Elvin Ryan – The Pregame HQ K. Cousins, A. Mattison, H. Henry, R. Gronkowski

A huge congratulations is in order for the King of sleeper picks, Richard King of King Fantasy Sports. In a field of 73 experts, King was in the top-10 for his QB and RB picks, and ranked 16th for WRs, making him one of only two competitors to finish in the top 25% at all three positions. His best calls include Darrel Williams, who was only picked by six experts but finished as the #1 RB sleeper, and Amon-Ra St. Brown, who finished as WR28 and was only picked by 11/73 experts.

Our second place finisher was Mitchell Carl from Rise or Fall. Carl was among a handful of experts to pick the solid core of Kirk Cousins, Sony Michel, Marquez Callaway and Jakobi Meyers, but what set him apart was his faith in the old man Rob Gronkowski. After only being drafted in the deepest leagues, Gronk went on to finish in the top 10 tight ends, an excellent value in the last year of his career.

The bronze goes to Jared Smola of Draft Sharks. Smola joined King as the only other player to finish in the Top 25% at QB, RB and WR. Like Carl, Smola built upon a solid core with a Tight End – Hunter Henry, who broke the top 10 TEs without being ranked high enough to be drafted in most 12-team leagues. Smola also did very well in our draft rankings accuracy competition, finishing 26th out of 230 experts (that is, in the top 12%).

Accuracy, Featured, Featured Link, NFL, Sleepers