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There are so many players that I want to write about in this column, but some we'll have to save for a later date. Look for more sleeper-related content coming by the end of August when we can dive into the guys with really late Average Draft Position.
Here, in Sleepers 3.0, we're going over my favorite players that have an ADP based on Fantasy Pros in Round 8 or later with a pick after No. 96 overall. You can see the players I wrote about in Sleepers 1.0
There is some crossover from those lists in Sleepers 3.0, but these are many of the players I plan to target toward the end of every draft. The quarterbacks and tight ends are players I tend to wait for at those positions. And the running backs and receivers might not start for my Fantasy team right away, but they should emerge as viable options during the season if things go as planned.
I will own a lot of stock in the players on this list.
And remember, everything you need can be found on our
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers QB
|What more does Rivers have to do to get respect as a Fantasy quarterback? He's finished as a top-11 quarterback in leagues with six points for passing touchdowns in each of the past four seasons with at least 4,200 passing yards and 29 touchdowns in each year over that span. Sure, he's getting older at 35, and his arm might fall off eventually with at least 570 passes in each of the past three years. But he has arguably the best receiving corps of his career with Keenan Allen , Tyrell Williams , Mike Williams , Travis Benjamin , Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates . Even though Melvin Gordon provides a solid presence in the running game, this is a passing team with Rivers leading the way. I will absolutely wait for Rivers at his ADP, and it's almost a guarantee that if he stays healthy (he's started every game since 2006) he should finish as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback this year.|
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
|Stafford is another quarterback who is undervalued, and I consider him a low-end starting option this year. He's coming off consecutive seasons of being a top-10 quarterback in leagues with six points for passing touchdowns, and he would have been even better last season if not for a finger injury in Week 14. He played the final three games at less than 100 percent, but Stafford was on pace to finish as the No. 6 quarterback before the injury. He has a new weapon this year in rookie Kenny Golladay and will hopefully get better production from tight end Eric Ebron to go with Golden Tate , Marvin Jones , Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah . I'd rather have Rivers than Stafford, but I like Stafford better than a couple of guys going ahead of him like Cam Newton (No. 73 overall in ADP) and Dak Prescott (No. 90 overall). Stafford is another example of waiting on quarterback and being rewarded with quality production. Other sleeper quarterbacks to target: Eli Manning (No. 136 overall ADP), Carson Wentz (145), Andy Dalton (146)|
Terrance West Baltimore Ravens RB
|Danny Woodhead is my favorite Ravens running back in all formats, but West isn't far behind. He got a boost with Kenneth Dixon (knee) being out for the season, but West was actually the No. 25 Fantasy running back in standard leagues last year. It wasn't flashy since he only had five games with double digits in Fantasy points, but he also had just four games with at least 15 carries. That should change this season since Woodhead isn't going to get a lot of run between the tackles, and the Ravens could make West a workhorse-type rusher. He's also not bad in the passing game with 34 catches for 236 yards and one touchdown last year. West has the chance to outperform his ADP, and he's a high-end No. 3 Fantasy running back to target in all leagues this year.|
Thomas Rawls Seattle Seahawks RB
|One of the more shocking developments this training camp has been Eddie Lacy not being able to beat out Rawls for the starting job. Now, maybe that changes since Rawls ended up missing time in the preseason with an ankle injury, but Rawls will definitely have a role this season when healthy. He was great as a rookie in 2015 when he had 147 carries for 830 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and four touchdowns and nine catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. If you take the six starts he was able to finish when Marshawn Lynch was hurt and project those stats over 16 games then he would have finished with 336 carries for 1,899 yards and 11 touchdowns and 16 catches for 181 yards. He suffered a broken ankle in Week 14 of that season, and injuries limited him to nine games in 2016, when he had 109 carries for 349 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and three touchdowns and 13 catches for 96 yards. We hope he's healthy this season because if he can keep Lacy on the bench and become the starter in Seattle, he can be a steal at his ADP.|
Jamaal Williams Green Bay Packers RB
|I'm not sold on Ty Montgomery remaining the starting running back for the Packers all season, but I am buying Williams at this ADP. Williams didn't do enough to take the starting job in the preseason from Montgomery, but I still expect Williams to have a role in the Packers offense early this year. By all accounts, Montgomery has struggled in pass protection in training camp, and he also fumbled in the first preseason game against Philadelphia. Williams could take advantage of those mistakes, and he's coming off a productive college career at BYU . Williams had 234 carries for 1,375 yards (5.9 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns along with seven catches for 80 yards in 2016, and he finished his college career with 726 carries for 3,901 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 35 touchdowns along with 60 catches for 567 yards and one touchdown. If you're looking for the next Jordan Howard , this could be your guy, and he's definitely worth his ADP given his upside.|
Kareem Hunt Kansas City Chiefs RB
|At one point, it was clear that Spencer Ware was going to open the season as the starter for the Chiefs , but a knee injury is going to keep him out for the season. As a result, I plan to target Kareem Hunt in all leagues, even as his ADP rises. Hunt is coming off a solid campaign in 2016 at Toledo with 262 carries for 1,475 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns along with 41 catches for 403 yards and one touchdown. He finished his four-year college career with 782 carries for 4,945 yards (6.3 yards per carry) and 44 touchdowns along with 73 catches for 555 yards and one touchdown. He should easily hold down the starting job with Ware out, and this is a great running back to target given coach Andy Reid's track record with running backs (think Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles ). Hunt doesn't have that kind of upside, but he could be highly productive now that he's getting the chance to start in 2017. Other sleeper running backs to target: Darren McFadden (No. 125 overall ADP), Jacquizz Rodgers (134), Jonathan Williams (162), Marlon Mack (176), Rex Burkhead (178), D'Onta Foreman (194), James Conner (205), De'Angelo Henderson (237)|
DeVante Parker Miami Dolphins WR
|By the time you read this, Parker's ADP might have climbed out of Round 8, especially after Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler called Parker "a faster Alshon" Jeffery following the second preseason game against Baltimore. Cutler is going to like throwing to Parker this year, and Fantasy owners should like the production of this third-year breakout candidate. He's struggled through two seasons thus far, and injuries and a lack of motivation have been part of the problem. But he's had a great offseason and training camp, and he appears poised to take the next step in his career. It's doubtful he gets more targets than Jarvis Landry , and he has to contend with Kenny Stills and Julius Thomas as well. But Cutler isn't afraid to lean on what could be his best receiver, and he could lock in on Parker a lot in 2017. Get him now while you still can before his ADP gets out of control. But it would not be a surprise if Parker is a top-20 receiver in 2017.|
Pierre Garcon San Francisco 49ers WR
|We're counting on a couple of things here with Garcon, and it mostly has to do with his opportunity and coach. Kyle Shanahan has a great history with No. 1 receivers during his tenure as an offensive coordinator, and Garcon is the only proven player at the position in San Francisco. It could lead to a big year, and Shanahan and Garcon know each other well. In 2013, Shanahan was the offensive coordinator with the Redskins , and Garcon was the No. 1 receiver, which resulted in 113 catches for 1,346 yards and five touchdowns on 184 targets. He led the NFL in targets and receptions and was No. 6 in yards, and he also finished as the No. 11 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues that season. Quarterback Brian Hoyer also has a history of locking in on his best receiver (see DeAndre Hopkins with the Texans in 2015), and Garcon is easily the best receiver in San Francisco. He just had 79 catches for 1,041 yards and three touchdowns on 116 targets in a contract year for the Redskins in 2016, and he should be able to match that type of production this year, with hopefully an uptick in touchdowns. He's a great value pick at this spot.|
Tyrell Williams Los Angeles Chargers WR
|Fantasy owners could be hesitant to trust Williams this year because of Allen coming back from last season's torn ACL, as well as the addition of rookie Mike Williams. But Mike Williams is dealing with a back injury that could sideline him for a good portion of the season. If that's the case, then Tyrell Williams should continue to make plays like we saw in 2016. He finished as the No. 14 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues last year, which was a pleasant surprise. And this season, he's entering his third year in the NFL, which could lead to improved play. While it's doubtful he'll perform at a higher level statistically than he did in 2016, he could still prove to be a solid Fantasy option at his ADP. And Allen hasn't been able to finish the past two years due to injury, with nine games played over that span, and if he's out for any reason then we know Williams can dominate. He's fantastic value in this spot in your draft.|
Jeremy Maclin Baltimore Ravens WR
|There's a good chance Maclin's ADP doesn't rise much over the next couple of weeks with Joe Flacco (back) hurt, and the backup quarterbacks in Baltimore likely won't elevate Maclin's production in the preseason. But come Week 1, when Flacco is expected to return, look for Maclin to take over as the No. 1 receiver for the Ravens. He should be the leader in targets in an offense that lost Steve Smith , Dennis Pitta , Kamar Aiken and Kyle Juszczyk , who combined for more than 300 targets in 2016. Maclin struggled with a groin injury last season in Kansas City, but he's just one year removed from consecutive seasons of at least 85 catches, 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. He also knows this offense well since he spent four seasons with Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg in Philadelphia, and Baltimore has a better passing offense than what he left in Kansas City, with Flacco an upgrade over Alex Smith at quarterback. Maclin could be a steal at his current ADP. Other sleeper receivers to target: Ted Ginn (No. 153 overall ADP), Zay Jones (158), Kenny Golladay (189), Robby Anderson (197), Cooper Kupp (201)|
Jack Doyle Indianapolis Colts TE
|The key for Doyle this season will be Andrew Luck staying healthy, and that's looking iffy as we get close to Week 1. But as long as Luck isn't ruled out for the season, you should plan to target Doyle with a late-round pick in all leagues, and I consider him a top-10 tight end in 2017. Luck likes throwing to his tight ends, and his No. 1 tight end is now Doyle. Last year, Luck threw 12 of his 31 touchdowns (39 percent) to his tight ends. And in 2014, he threw 18 of his 40 touchdowns (45 percent) to his tight ends. In 2016, when Dwayne Allen was injured in Week 6 at Houston and missed the next two games, Doyle got the opportunity for a featured role. Over those three games, Doyle had 15 catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns on 22 targets. He has that kind of upside in this offense, and I like him better than guys going ahead of him like Delanie Walker (No. 70 overall ADP), Martellus Bennett (No. 84) and Eric Ebron (No. 129). Keep an eye on Luck's health, but Doyle has the chance to rule this year. Other sleeper tight ends to target: Coby Fleener (No. 160 overall ADP), Austin Hooper (165), Julius Thomas (171)|