Fantasy football analysis is typically devoted to players that are likely to have an immediate impact. But to paraphrase Rod Serling, there is another land, whose boundaries are that of imagination.
Much like the Twilight Zone, this super-deep fantasy sleepers series will open your eyes to a host of maybes, might-be’s, used-to-be’s, and never-weres. These 64 fantasy sleepers (two per team) are well off the fantasy radar,1 but could have an important role if events unfold in unexpected ways.
Join us, on a team-by-team journey through a land of both shadow and substance, of the deepest of deep sleepers.
Mike Glennon, QB
Startup ADP: Undrafted
If everything goes according to plan, Glennon will never see the field this year. Things seldom go according to plan. Let’s review what it would take for Glennon to start games.
- Sam Bradford is ineffective, perhaps because he struggles to return from his knee injury.
- Josh Rosen “isn’t ready” to start, is ineffective, or injured.
Unlike most third-string quarterbacks, Glennon isn’t facing overwhelming odds. Bradford hasn’t appeared in 16 games since 2012, and not counting last season, when he appeared in just two games, he’s only once had a season above 7 adjusted yards per attempt (AYA). As for Rosen, 22 quarterbacks were drafted in the first round between 2010 and 2017. On average, they start just 10.5 games. A third of them (7) started in fewer than 10 games. On average, they completed only 58 percent of their passes and have a 6.3 AYA.
If both falter, which appears possible, then Glennon becomes a starter. That’s something to keep in mind in superflex and start-two QB formats, like the Scott Fish Bowl. Glennon was awful in four starts last year, averaging just 13 points. But hey, there’s nowhere to go but up, right? The Cardinals may have a better supporting cast than last year’s Bears offered Glennon, and unless you’re stacked at every other position, he’d make a viable spot starter in that superflex or second-QB slot. He’s on my waiver speed dial list.
For what it’s worth, his appearance behind center shouldn’t necessarily cause undue concern about his wide receivers.
The samples are old (Jackson) and small (Evans),2 but encouraging. I might also be stoked about David Johnson if Glennon plays.
Yes, yes, Glennon is terrible. But look at the target numbers. Over 80 percent (612) of his attempts have occurred within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. That’s quite high, and suggests Johnson could get an insane amount of passing-game usage if Glennon is the one doing the throwing.
Chad Williams, WR
Startup ADP: 280
Williams’ ADP has started to creep up in dynasty, but he’s still barely more expensive than J.J. Nelson or Brice Butler. In best ball leagues, things are even wackier.
Check out the “Times Drafted” column. Not only is Williams the cheapest of Arizona’s ancillary receivers, he’s only been drafted seven times? Talk about instant lineup diversification.
It makes sense that Christian Kirk is the second Cardinals WR off the board. But after that, I think Williams makes far more sense than Butler or Nelson. For starters, he has a much wider (read: higher ceiling) range of outcomes than either of them. His rookie contract also makes him inexpensive and easy to keep around. Beyond that, there are reasons to like him in his own right.
Williams is a target for me in dynasty leagues with more than 20 or so roster spots, and I think he makes a great late round target in best ball drafts, given the ceiling and diversification he offers.
- I mean take a look at the two outrageously deep sleepers John Lapinski found on the Dolphins. (back)
- Kinda like me. (back)