Draft these Fantasy Football Sleepers

Draft these Fantasy Football Sleepers

Football

Draft these Fantasy Football Sleepers

By

James Gilbert via Getty Images

Fantasy football is consistently seeing breakout stars each year, usually these players are late round picks or even players that aren’t drafted that breakout in crazy ways no one expected. I’m here to outline one player at each position that can outplay their Average Draft Position (ADP) and positional ranking helping you win your fantasy league. 

QB: Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (QB19, 147.2 ADP)

The New Orleans Saints in general are an underrated team this year, last year Winston posted 116.9 fantasy points in only seven games, averaging 16.7 ppg, and on pace for 283.9 points which would’ve placed him as the QB12. Winston is now in his third year of the Saints offense, which despite head coach Sean Payton leaving is likely to stay almost identical. The return of Michael Thomas will be crucial for his play this season along with the addition of first round rookie Chris Olave. Winston has previously finished as high as QB4 in 2019 which also saw him throw 30 interceptions. Winston has other finishes as the QB13 and QB14 showing that he can get you above average fantasy football play. The Saints added talent, and Winston is finally healthy. If he can limit the turnovers it wouldn’t be a shock to see Winston potentially finish around the QB9-QB12 range which is amazing value. 

 

HB: Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots (HB35, 83.9 ADP)

Last year Stevenson finished as the HB47 in PPR posting 606 rushing yards and five TDs with 123 receiving yards in 12 games. Frankly, he was limited both by the Patriots usage of Brandon Bolden and Damien Harris in the pass game, along with former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel’s heavy emphasis on a committee backfield. Stevenson ranked top seven last year in missed tackles forced, according to next gen stats. The Patriots added more talent to their offensive line in Cole Strange and will be returning a healthy Trent Brown. The Patriots are also now functioning under a new offense and Stevenson has been getting consistent reps with the Patriots starting offense. The Patriots are losing about 17% of their backfield volume and it wouldn’t be a shock to see Stevenson pick up a majority of that. 

 

WR: George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (WR57, 145.9 ADP)

I tried to avoid rookies, but Pickens is the definition of a fantasy football sleeper. Pickens is not only impressive in training camp but he’s also looked good in preseason posting three receptions for 43 yards and a TD in the Steelers first preseason game. Pickens is working with the Steelers first team consistently in the slot, an area Kenny Pickett targeted 38% in college and Mitch Tribusky has targeted 48% over his NFL career. Pickens is a rookie, and there are some steep learning curves from college to the NFL but every report about Pickens makes it seem like he’s easily past the curve and will be an instant impact player this season. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Pickens record over a thousand yards as a rookie with eight or more touchdowns, which would likely place him inside the top 25 as a rookie and given his current ranking as the 57th receiver, that’s a slam dunk. 

 

TE: Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (TE18, 150.1 ADP)

Robert Tonyan is coming off an ACL tear and a season that only saw him place 18 receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns in eight games, ending his season as the 49th tight end in PPR. However, the previous year he finished as the TE4 following 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers targeted Tonyan 59 times in 2020, in 2021 he targeted tight ends a total 88 times, which includes Tonyan’s 29 targets. Josiah Deguara took over for Tonyan following his injury but only amounted 33 targets, with 21 of them coming post week nine. Needless, to say Rodgers trusts Tonyan a far lot more than the other tight ends in Green Bay. The Packers lost 31.6% of their passing target share in Davante Adams and another 14.6% in Marquez Valdes-Scantling, meaning there is roughly a 46% target share open in their offense. Second round rookie Christian Watson and free agent signing Sammy Watkins will take their share and Aaron Jones will likely also see an uptick in his receiving targets, however Tonyan had a 11.6% target share in just eight games, so it’s not unlikely he sees nearly 20-25% this year. He’s a low risk, high reward player and with the 12.5 round average you need to take Tonyan, he can easily finish as a top eight fantasy tight end this year.

Latest

More The Wright Way Network