Dak Prescott gets a lot of heat for his on field play, his virtual field play however, is vastly underrated. In Prescott’s 3 years in the league, he has finished 10th, 10th, and 6th in fantasy points. That firmly places him as a QB1. Last season, Prescott was the QB6 following the trade for Amari Cooper. He finally has a new OC who will know how to use him. How will Kellen Moore know how to use him? Because the two have played together. They’ve sat in the QB room as players on the same team. Moore will understand Dak and know his strengths. Prescott is currently the QB17 in drafts. That is insanely low for a guy who has finished in the top 10 every year. With a legitimate WR1 and a new modern OC, this will be Prescott’s breakout year and he will be a reliable QB1 every week.
#19. Kalen Ballage
The Dolphins have been using Kalen Ballage over Kenyan Drake in training camp. New head coach Brian Flores came over from New England where they implement a RB committee. Miami has a big back and a smaller more elusive one. Drake has said he has been studying James White film which tells me the Dolphins plan on using him in that role. That means Ballage will be the guy who gets the majority of the carries. The Dolphins have a young QB and an OL that ranked last in pass protection so they’ll want to pound the ball with a bigger guy who can wear down the defense. Ballage will be very good at that. Another thing to consider is that last season, under Adam Gase, the Dolphins ran the fewest amount of plays per game. If they bump that number up to just be average, that’ll be an extra 8 plays per game which will be a big boost to fantasy stats.
#18. Keesean Johnson
When I said deep sleeper, I meant DEEP. He is gonna go undrafted in 99% of drafts. I believe he is worth a last pick flyer though. The Cardinals added several rookie premiere rookie WRs in this year’s draft. Those rookies were supposed to make a big impact on the team. Only one of them has been running with the starters, however, and that was 6th round pick Keesean Johnson. He has been the WR that coaches and beat reporters have been talking about the most. The big thing that sticks out to me is his route running. The most important key for WRs to succeed to succeed is their route running. He is so clean and precise. Cardinals will be throwing a lot and if Johnson can see the field on a regular basis, along with his great route running, he could turn into a solid flex option that you can get for essentially nothing.
#17. Jameis Winston
Winston is in a similar position that Mahomes was last season. He has offensive weapons everywhere and a coach who is known for being aggressive and having high scoring offense. Winston has flashed potential over his career but he has also looked bad at times. He has the 2nd most turnovers since entering the league. But this is fantasy football. The turnovers will hurt but the amount he will throw under Arians will make up for it. The Buccaneers defense is also pretty bad, same as the 2018 Chiefs, so that means Winston will have to throw even more to keep the team in the games. Winston currently has an ADP of 10.06 and is being selected as the QB15. I predict he will severely outplay those numbers and play as an elite QB1.
#16. Chris Thompson
The Redskins don’t have much on offense. They have a young QB. A weak OL. It’s gonna make it hard for the Redskins to run the ball. Luckily, they have a guy who is great at catching out of the backfield. I predict Gruden will lean heavily on Thompson and use him as a safety valve for Dwayne Haskins. We saw how good Thompson can be a couple of years ago before his injury slowed him down. We will see it again this year. He won’t get very many carries so avoid him in standard leagues but I see him clearing 70 catches this year so he will be a weekly flex option.
#15. Donte Moncrief
Last time Moncrief had a legitimate QB, he was a red zone monster and scored double digit TDs. Then he was stuck in Jacksonville and wasn’t able to do much. Now he is in an offense that just threw for 5,000 yards and has an opening at WR2. Moncrief will be competing against James Washington for the WR2 spot. Washington is very good and he might end up beating out Moncrief. However, even if he doesn’t win the WR2 job, there will still be plenty of touches to go around. Moncrief will be used in the redzone. I predict he’ll finish with at least 9 TDs. James Washington will be getting all of the love and his price will continue to go up. That means Moncrief will be put on the back burner of drafts and you’ll be able to get him late. Washington is going to be good but Moncrief will provide more bang for your buck.
#14. Darwin Thompson
Derwin Thompson would be higher on this list IF he had a guaranteed role. Thompson was ranked as the most elusive running back in the draft by PFF. The Chiefs offense relies on speed and making plays. That is exactly what Thompson can do. The Chiefs have a guy in Damien Williams who last season proved he could be an explosive RB and carried the load for the team. However, Williams has never had more than 73 touches and has started camp injured. This has led to Thompson getting more time to impress coaches and led to Reid saying the team will adopt a committee approach. If Thompson gets his chance I strongly believe he will run away with the job and be a league winner. Keep in mind that his role could change during the preseason. He has the talent to be the RB1 on this team but at the same time the Chiefs are deep at RB and he may not see the field much. High risk but high reward type of player.
#13. Austin Ekeler
This will entirely depend on if Gordon holds out. Even if Gordon does hold it, Ekeler could still provide some flex value. Ekeler rated higher in total grade, elusiveness, yards per carry, and yards per target average by PFF than Gordon. All of these metrics and stats show that Ekeler is a legitimate RB waiting for his chance to break out. This could be that year. If Gordon holds out, Ekeler will be an RB2 at minimum. If Gordon reports, Ekeler will provide a solid flex option based on the week. You can currently get him as the RB31. A RB that has so much potential going as the RB31? That’s what you call a sleeper.
#12. Dede Westbrook
Dede Westbrook’s best attribute is his speed. He’s like a poor man’s Tyreek Hill. Like the previously mentioned Donte Moncrief, Westbrook has been stuck in a QB purgatory. Now, he has Nick Foles who has rejuvenated his career with his excellent down field throwing ability. Foles and Westbrook will be a perfect marriage. We will see a career year out of Westbrook and you’re gonna want him on your team. He will put up WR2 numbers but you’ll be able to get him at flex value.
#11. Josh Allen
This is one of the more risky sleepers. His ceiling is very high though. Allen scored over 26 points in a third of his games last season. When you look at Allen you might not think athletic QB but you’d be wrong. Allen scored the 3rd most rushing points among QBs per game of all time last season. He can provide you with a safe floor. Over the last 6 games, Allen scored the most points among all QBs with an average of 24.2. There was a 3 game stretch where Allen had 335 rushing yards which is the most all time in the modern era. The Bills have also significantly upgraded the weapons around Allen which will help him in the passing game. The connection between Allen and John Brown has the potential to be a poor man’s Mahomes to Hill connection. Allen should only be taken as a last round pick. The demand for him will be small due to the risk. His reward, however, could be massive.
#10. Damien Harris
I went back and forth on this one. The Patriots have so much depth at RB and the team is known for using a stable of RBs. Sony Michel will be their version of a workhorse. He will get the majority of carries most likely. Michel is very injury prone though. To save him, the team could use Harris as an early down back and on the goal line. Harris has the size to be a hammer. Last time the Patriots had a hammer, Legarrette Blount was a TD machine. Sony Michel’s injury history also leads to doubt about him staying healthy all season. If he were to go down, Harris would immediately take on a large workload as the only effective runner on the team and would instantly be a top 16 RB. Harris is currently being drafted as the RB50. He’s risky because of the Patriots history but a guy who could potentially be a top 16 RB for a stretch going as the RB50? That’s the type of sleeper pick that can bring you a championship.
#9. James Washington
I’ve talked about Donte Moncrief and why I like him so much. However, I do believe that Washington is the better player. If you play in PPR, I’d suggest Washington over Moncrief. I believe he will finish with more receptions and yards than Moncrief. Washington has flashed unbelievably talent when given the chance but he hasn’t gotten that chance very often. He has also shown wild inefficiency. He tied for last place among all qualifying WRs in creating separation on routes. So you have to ask yourself, will we be getting the guy who has flashed potential or the guy who has struggled? Route running is the #1 way to evaluate WRs as far as I’m concerned and Washington’s route running looks vastly improved. I firmly believe we will get the guy who has flashed potential. The Steelers throw the ball a lot, Ben Roethlisberger had over 5,000 yards last season, and with Antonio Brown no longer there, there will be a large number of targets available. James Washington will provide high end flex value at worst in PPR leagues.
#8. Anthony Miller
Mitchell Trubisky passer rating was 20 points higher when targeting the slot WR. In 2016, while in college, Trubisky targeted the slot 44% more than the outside WR. In 2017, Trubisky’s rookie year, he targeted the slot 51% more than the outside WR. In 2017, while Anthony Miller was in college, he was ranked as the 6th best yards yards per route from the slot. Miller ran from the slot 69% of the time last season. What am I getting at? Anthony Miller is in a position to vastly outplay his ADP with a QB who loves and is best at throwing to the slot. Miller led the Bears in deep ball receptions while also catching 7 TDs. Matt Nagy clearly loves to set up deep seem passes to the slot. Allen Robinson will be drawing the teams best CB so Miller should be able to take advantage of his DB matchups. Miller won’t crack the WR2 mark but he will provide WR3 and flex value on a week to week basis.
#7. Christian Kirk
Kirk missed 4 games last season and still had a 19% target share and owned 20% of the passing yards. The Cardinals offense was anemic last season at best but now with Kingsbury, the offense will move the ball a lot more. The efficiency might not be high but the number of plays will be exponentially higher. So Kirk’s 19% target share of a small pie could translate to a 19% of a large pie. The Cardinals defense wasn’t very good last season. Kingsbury was known for having a bad defense at Texas Tech. So it is then fair to assume he won’t be able to fix the defense much and will focus primarily on the offense. That could mean the Cardinals offense could potentially be set up in a 2018 Chiefs situation. The defense gives up a lot of points forcing the offense to throw a lot and continue throwing late in games. That will put Kirk in a great position to rack up receptions and yards. Even if the Cardinals struggle and only get garbage time stats, garbage time counts in fantasy.
#6. Marques Valdes-Scantling
MVS will be the Packers #2 WR. There is no doubt and he has no competition to steal the job from him. Last year he was 2nd on the team in receptions and yards. That was with Mike McCarthy. Matt LeFleur should be a huge upgrade to the offense and bring them into the 21st century. Rodgers is expected to be back to his MVP form. The #2 WR with an MVP caliber Rodgers should put up respectable numbers. When LeFleur was with the Rams, they ran 2nd most play action plays and dialed the throw to Robert Woods, who was their #2 WR. LeFleur stuck to that last season but didn’t have the weapons to take advantage of it. This year, he does. MVS is going as the WR40 and in the 9th round. A flier on a middle round WR won’t hurt your team if it misses. If it hits, though, you have a game winning type sleeper on your roster.
#5. Darrell Henderson
What are the Rams going to do with Todd Gurley? His knee issues are serious. How can the team prevent massive flares up? The Rams would’ve won the Super Bowl last season if Todd Gurley was at 100%. Sean McVay knows that and because of that he will want to preserve Gurley for as long as possible. That means no longer making him the work horse back. Enter Darrell Henderson. In his preseason so far, he has shown a big learning curve. In college, he was told to just run full speed ahead and hit the hole as hard as he could. That isn’t the Rams offense. Their run game relies on vision and patience. Luckily, Henderson has immense talent and his “lack” of vision is something that can be coached and fixed. The Rams offense is set up to where everyone will be in a position to score a lot of points. If they try and conserve Gurley and limit his touches, Henderson will be getting double digit touches in one of the most explosive offenses in the league. He should be drafted in all formats and will likely provide flex value every week with the upside of RB1 value.
#4. N'Keal Harry
Trusting rookie WRs is risky. Trusting a Patriot rookie WR is even more risky. However, Harry will have Tom Brady throwing to him and Bill Belichick putting him in a position to succeed. Belichick has never taken a WR in the first round so the fact that he took Harry in round 1 this year tells me he has big plans for the big playmaker. With Gronk no longer on the team, the offense will need a new big redzone target. That is an area that Harry should excel at. Harry won’t blow people away with his speed but his large frame and strength are how he creates separation. He was among the best in his final season in college in contested catches. His size, strength, and ability to catch passes in tight contested windows could make him a very valuable redzone target. He’s a low risk high reward type player you can get in the double digit rounds.
#3. Justice Hill
Hill may have trouble getting touches but eventually, the Ravens will have to feed him. Ingram is a grinder. We know he is a solid player and what to expect for him. With Lamar Jackson at QB, the Ravens are set up to be a fast, elusive offense built around the big play. Justice Hill is a perfect fit with Lamar Jackson. Absolutely perfect. He is a massive home run hitter who so far through the preseason is forcing .45 missed tackles per rush. That is an insane number. We’re talking about a faster in his prime Shady McCoy. The Ravens have a stout line, a QB that defenses have to be wary of running the ball, and have upgraded at WR. That will put defenses in tricky situations and force them to make mistakes. Justice Hill can and will abuse those mistakes. Hill currently has a 12th round ADP. He has the potential to be an absolute steal at that price point. I suggest targeting him in all leagues.
#2. Tony Pollard
This is another sleeper that will entirely depend on what the starter does. If Zeke plays, Pollard won’t even be worth a roster spot. If Zeke doesn’t play, Tony Pollard will be a top 8 RB. The Cowboys have compared him to Alvin Kamara, while I think that’s a bit much, it shows how much they believe in him. During the last preseason game, Pollard is the only RB that got snaps with the starters. That tells us that he will unquestionably be the #1 guy if Zeke sits. With offensive line in Dallas, Pollard will eclipse 1,000 rushing yards minimum. With his talent behind that line, I don’t believe it is unrealistic to say he could hit 1,800 yards. The Cowboys offense will be better in general. Dak will have a career year now that he has a legitimate OC. The Cowboys finally have a WR1 in Amari Cooper. Teams will no longer be able to focus most of their defense on the run. Tony Pollard is set up in a position, as of now, to be the biggest steal of the 2019 fantasy season.
#1. Curtis Samuel
I’ve said it a thousand times, route running is the #1 way to evaluate a WR. Curtis Samuel has filthy foot work and can run silky smooth routes. People think DJ Moore will be the guy in Carolina but the over the final 6 weeks of the 2018 season, Samuel scored more than twice the amount of TDs as Moore. In that same stretch, Samuel ranked in the top 20 of all WRs in points scored. Samuel is also the most explosive WR the Panthers have on the roster. He was drafted as a project with speed and explosiveness. This is the year he will put it all together. Route running, speed, explosiveness, and a big play offense will lead to Samuel being a top 24 WR that is currently being drafted as the WR41. I firmly believe he has a legitimate chance to be a WR1. I’m very bullish on Samuel and you should draft him around the 8th round in every single draft.
God bless fantasy football. There are many things man can do with his time but this is better than those things.
I'm in nodellgronk's league and if any of those guys see this thread they'll see that most of the top guys I already drafted lol. There's some that are still out there though that I'm sure they don't know about and if they pick them up because of this thread I don't know if I should be disappointed that they took a guy I really like or if I should be happy because I helped out another fantasy player.
It's the guys no one really pays attention that will lead you to victory at the end of the year. I'm a believer in what you do at the end of the draft is what helps you to a championship.
This is so true; you win leagues in the late rounds along with the waiver wire.
I work the waiver wire constantly. By the end of the season I check to see how many transactions I made and it's usually 1000+ because I'm always adding/dropping new guys for different reasons. A lot of the guys I've played with have told me it's excessive and they never have more than 200 transactions but I'm always the one at the top and I'm not gonna fix what's not broken.