If you’re in an 8-team, 12-player roster league, don’t even talk to me with your Dak Prescott on the bench cause Josh Allen is your starter. I refuse to call any rostered player in a league like that a “sleeper.”
But in one of my leagues, with 16 teams and 16-player rosters, even a regular sleeper prospect rarely touches the waiver wire. The bottom of a roster in such a league is scraped from the barrel depths of backup tight ends and halfback handcuffs. In no particular order, these… are your super sleepers.
Jake Ferguson, TE, Dallas
Dalton Schultz is gone, and Ferguson is a sneaky good receiver. As the grandson of the legendary Barry Alvarez, who practically built the Wisconsin Badgers football program, Ferguson has football in his blood.
While not much of an in-line blocker, Ferguson can hold his own in zone schemes enough to earn the majority of snaps. And he’s a helluva receiver. As with many young TEs, he just needs to show he’s not a liability in the run game in order to earn enough snaps as a receiver.
Zamir White, RB, Las Vegas
Decent chance the Josh Jacobs owner in your league will try to slow play it and try to get the Jacobs handcuff with a late or even last-round pick. Skip the worthless round when everyone is grabbing fantasy-wash kickers and grab White.
The sophomore back came out of Georgia with a game-breaking 4.4 40 and 1.5 second split. Word is he came to camp lighter and faster this year. Get him space and he’s gone.
All the uncertainty around Jacobs contract could open a door for White early on. If Jacobs holds out, White gets reps. And as we’ve seen so many times, players who hold out, especially RBs, are susceptible to injury early in the season. And one has to imagine his 340 carries last season, putting him over 1,000 carries in 4 years, wore down his tread quite a bit.
Just don’t blame me if you pull this maneuver, Jacobs doesn’t play for whatever reason, and the guy who owns him becomes your mortal enemy.
K.J. Osborn, WR, Vikings
At some point, they need another significant target to make this Dalvin Cook-less offense work. Many seem to think Jordan Addison will jump into that role, but Osborn is more physically gifted and already knows the offense. He’s also in a contract year.
With Cook gone, don’t be surprised to see Osborn used in Cook’s short passing game role. He’s got absurd athleticism and big play ability. Long as Cousins refuses to put it up for JJettas, might as well check it down to KJ.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Tennessee
Not as deep of a sleeper as Ferguson, but no one has cared about a Tennessee TE since Delanie Walker.
Okonkwo was a lone bright spot in Tennessee’s sad offense last year, and now he gets to build on that with a likely far more competent (read: healthy) group. Even if Ryan Tannehill can’t finish the season again, Will Levis (or possibly even Malik Willis with a year under his belt) will appreciate a big receiving threat.
And once the ball gets in his hands, he has unnatural ability for a TE to break it big with 4.5 speed and great vision to find open running lanes. He’s not much of an in-line blocker yet, but he’s got the power and potential to be kept on the field on running plays, even if it’s just for the threat of a pass
Nico Collins, WR, Houston
With the departure of Brandin Cooks, Collins will likely get drafted in deeper leagues, especially PPR. C.J. Stroud has to throw it somewhere, and Collins is a big, physical threat who’s phenomenal in contested catch situations. He’s borderline TE size, so he’s a big target for a rookie QB.
But if he’s drafted, it won’t be very high. Most fantasy outlets have him in the WR50-60 range. Definitely worth a late round flier if he’s still there.
Or maybe I’ll whiff on all 5 of these. But you’ll just have to trust that I’ve got the Shivas to back my roto-ness. As always, may all your teams win, or your commissioners be fired.