2019 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Josh Gordon and Jordan Reed are Best Ball Sleepers who could be league-winners
Heath Cummings gives you 10 Best Ball sleepers for 2019.
We've seen some shifts in Best Ball ADP the past month. Part of it comes from coach speak at OTAs or changing circumstances. A lot of it comes from the changing field. The close we get to the start of the season the more diverse our draft pool will get.
One thing that won't change is that there will remain values in the later rounds that offer league-winning upside. Below you'll find 10 sleepers from the DRAFT and Best Ball 10s ADPs (from June 10-July 10). All of these players are available at the end of your Best Ball drafts and have the upside to carry you to the money:
I understand the argument against Mitchell Trubisky in a standard redraft league. He had too many duds last year and too much of his production came from a couple of enormous games. That is not an argument against him in Best Ball. Especially when you're outside of the top-12 quarterbacks in ADP.
Trubisky is in his second year in Matt Nagy's system, which should lead to an improvement in efficiency. The Bears schedule and some likely regression from their defense should lead to more passing volume for Trubisky. It's really hard to imagine defensive battles against the Chiefs, Saints, Packers, Eagles, Rams or Chargers.
Remember when we thought Dion Lewis was the best running back on the Titans? It was only like five Titans games ago. I'm not saying that's likely to happen again, but I do anticipate Lewis will have his moments this season, especially in games the Titans find themselves down by multiple scores in the second half.
Lewis is a good value at this ADP even if Henry stays healthy all season. But he also possesses immense upside if Henry gets injured.
If you miss out on the top six tight ends, Jordan Reed should absolutely be in your plans at tight end. At this ADP, it may not even matter if you did land one of studs at the position.
In this format, where you're going to draft two or three tight ends, I don't worry as much about Reed's injury history. I just want to benefit from his production when he's on the field. Even in a down year last year, he led Washington in targets per game. I don't believe they added enough in the passing game to change that. He'll be a top-seven tight end on a per-game basis.
The Dolphins are the odds-on favorite to be the worst team in the NFL. That should make them a relatively pass-heavy offense, at least in the second half of games. Their coach and offensive coordinator come from the New England, where the slot receiver is generally the most-targeted option. Albert Wilson is the best slot receiver on the Dolphins.
As long as he's healthy and ready for Week 1, I'd expect Wilson to be a big part of this offense and a huge value at this ADP.
The Cleveland Browns have one of the most exciting offenses in the league heading into 2019 and there still may be one guy we're overlooking, at least in Best Ball. Antonio Callaway will be the third receiver and deep threat in an offense that figures to take deep shots regularly. Callaway will be a maddening player to decide when to start, but he's built for Best Ball. He scored in double-digits four times in the eight games after Freddie Kitchens took over the offense. He also had two games with zero Fantasy points.
Best Ball 10s
I'm not a huge fan of Tom Brady's this season in redraft leagues. For the most part I anticipate the Patriots being more run heavy and I don't love his weapons. But as a second or third quarterback in Best Ball, I like him a lot.
Brady had five games last year with at least 300 yards passing and another two in the playoffs. There will be weeks where he has to throw a lot and he'll be your starter those weeks in this format. Also, if Josh Gordon returns, we may have to reconsider Brady in every format. More on that below.
When you get this late in the draft, about your only options are handcuffs. So why not handcuff the running back who has missed 17 games in the past two seasons? Alexander Mattison looks to be Dalvin Cook's backup, and I mostly expect him to slide right into Latavius Murray's role. Murray posted double-digit Fantasy points five times last season, which is well worth a pick in the 14th round.
It is worth nothing that I would expect Mattison will have a role even if Cooks stays healthy. The Vikings project to be one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league, Cook won't handle all that work. There's a very good chance Mattison's role includes short-yardage work.
We don't have any new information about Josh Gordon's status for 2019, but that's the only reason he's so cheap. We do know the Patriots tendered Gordon for $2.02 million and Gordon signed the tender. We also know Gordon has spent some time working out with Brady this offseason.
Do either of those things definitively prove Gordon will play this season? Of course not. But they do suggest to me that the possibility exists.
Gordon averaged 10.6 yards per target in New England, the best number for any Patriot in 2018. If he's reinstated in the first half of the season, he could be a league-winner down the stretch.
We don't really know who the starting running back will be for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so I'm willing to invest in the cheapest option. Bruce Anderson ran for more than 2,100 yards in his last two years at North Dakota State and has shown good chops in the passing game during OTAs. His competition is a very boring Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones, who is coming off one of the least inspiring rookie campaigns in recent memory. Whoever wins the lead job in this high-powered Bruce Arians' offense has huge upside.
Before his season-ending injury, Will Dissly got off to a phenomenal start. Through Week 3 he was third on the Seahawks in targets and already had 151 receiving yards and two touchdowns. If he can stay healthy in 2019 he has a chance to be the No. 1 tight end in Seattle and a borderline top-12 tight in Fantasy.
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