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Fantasy Football Sleepers: Ladd McConkey, Jayden Daniels, Rashid Shaheed, Tyrone Tracy

It’s always imperative to define who qualifies when discussing fantasy football sleepers. For the purpose of this piece, fantasy football sleepers must have an average draft position (ADP) after 108. Thus, they’re fantasy football players picked from the beginning of the 10th round and later in 12-team leagues.

Fantasy Football Sleepers

Most of the following fantasy football sleepers are young — in fact, three are rookies. However, unexciting veterans can also be fantasy football sleepers. A veteran running back in a high-scoring offense is undervalued and made the cut. The general idea is the following fantasy football draft sleepers are undervalued relative to where they could finish in the end-of-season rankings, and a few have sky-high ceilings.

Ladd McConkey (LAC – WR): 110.3 ADP/WR46

The Chargers hired Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz this offseason to be the club’s head coach and general manager, respectively. They’ve reshaped the roster, and the first significant move they made at wide receiver was trading up to pick Ladd McConkey with the second pick in the second round of the NFL Draft. When discussing McConkey, Harbaugh gushed about his speed, work after the catch and route running.

McConkey has a legitimate path to pacing the Chargers in all meaningful receiving production. Los Angeles traded Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, leaving behind an inexperienced and unproven group of wideouts. Pass-catching running back Austin Ekeler left as a free agent, and they don’t have a dominant target earner at tight end, either.

Sadly, McConkey battled injuries throughout his college career. Still, he was productive when on the field. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), he was targeted on 23.8% of his routes in a talented Georgia offense. McConkey’s 3.26 yards per route run (Y/RR) in his final collegiate season were his most.

The 33rd Team ranked him 87th and as the WR9 on their big board, but PFF and Dane Brugler of The Athletic were more bullish, ranking McConkey 32nd (WR7) and 31st (WR5), respectively. Getting Justin Herbert‘s possible No. 1 weapon at McConkey’s half-PPR ADP is exciting and leaves ample room to provide value.

Jayden Daniels (WAS – QB17): 112.3 ADP/QB17

Jayden Daniels won the 2023 Heisman Trophy in a fabulous final collegiate campaign. According to PFF, among FBS quarterbacks with at least 150 dropbacks in 2023, Daniels was second in PFF’s passing grade, third in big-time-throw rate (8.4 BTT%), tied for the fourth-lowest turnover-worthy-play rate (1.6 TWP%), fifth in passing yards (3,811) and second in passing touchdowns (40).

Daniels’s passing exploits don’t assure him a seamless transition to the NFL. However, the dual-threat quarterback’s rushing ability should assure him of fantasy utility. In addition to his sterling passing numbers, Daniels had 1,250 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Interestingly, Daniels is paired with an offensive coordinator who previously coached a dual-threat rookie quarterback. When Kliff Kingsbury was the Cardinals head coach in 2019, Arizona picked Kyler Murray first in the NFL Draft. Murray was the QB7 and tied for the QB11 in points per game (18.6) as a rookie.

Moreover, Kingsbury used Murray’s legs. According to The 33rd Team, Murray had 52 designed runs as a rookie in 2019 and 62 in 2020. Daniels is an ideal upside swing for gamers bypassing an elite quarterback early in drafts.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Rashid Shaheed (NO – WR): 138.7/WR60

Last year, Rashid Shaheed was the WR48 in half-PPR points per game (8.3) and the WR45 among those who played at least 10 games. Even a repeat of 2023’s performance would warrant selection earlier than the WR60. However, aiming for a fringe WR4 in fantasy leagues isn’t optimal, either.

Fortunately, Shaheed has more upside than a repeat of 2023’s finish. Among 71 wideouts targeted at least 30 times in 2022, Shaheed had PFF’s 24th-highest receiving grade. He was also third in yards per route run (2.59 Y/RR). Shaheed played more often in his second season and increased his counting stats, but he dipped to 1.67 Y/RR as his average depth of target (aDOT) climbed from 11.6 yards to 14.6.

The Saints haven’t committed significant resources to the wide receiver’s room in the offseason, leaving Shaheed as the club’s No. 2 wide receiver behind Chris Olave. If he can creep closer to his rookie season’s efficiency and build slightly on last year’s volume in new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak’s offense, Shaheed can be more than a volatile, big-play-dependent flex. At the worst, Shaheed’s vertical ability makes him a viable bench player with weekly boom potential.

Tyrone Tracy (NYG – RB): 214.7/RB64

Saquon Barkley signed with the Eagles in free agency, and the Giants signed Devin Singletary. Head coach Brian Daboll is familiar with Singletary from when he was Singletary’s offensive coordinator on the Bills. The veteran running back should headline Big Blue’s backfield at the beginning of the year after a rock-solid campaign on the Texans in 2023.

Nevertheless, Singletary is precisely the caliber of running back teams consistently look to upgrade from. To that point, the Bills drafted Singletary in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft before spending a third-round pick in 2020 on Zack Moss and a second-round pick in 2022 on James Cook. Then, the Texans moved on after 2023.

The Giants drafted Tyrone Tracy in the fifth round of this year’s NFL Draft. He was a wide receiver for his first five years in college before successfully changing positions in his final collegiate campaign. Tracy toted the rock 114 times for 714 yards, 4.44 yards after contact per attempt and eight rushing touchdowns. Among 71 FBS running backs with at least 75 rush attempts in 2023, Tracy was seventh in PFF’s elusiveness metric. Furthermore, he was behind only MarShawn Lloyd among this year’s NFL Draft-eligible running backs.

Predictably, the converted wideout was also useful as a pass-catching weapon. In 11 games in 2023, he had 25 targets, 19 receptions, 138 receiving yards, 1.07 Y/RR and a 0.4 aDOT. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, Tracy isn’t built like a scatback, either. He has three-down potential on a team without a star running back, making him a fun lotto ticket after an encouraging first year at running back.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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