Most fantasy analysis is devoted to sorting the order of players likely to have an immediate impact, but every year there are a handful of overlooked deep sleepers who emerge to fill a starting role in redraft.
Last year, it was guys like Phillip Lindsay and James Conner at running back. Deep sleepers at WR are a little harder to find, but we did tell you to watch out for Curtis Samuel, and he flirted with WR4 numbers.
Most of these guys in this deep sleeper series will be misses, but the goal is to look for the silver lining and find a handful of players that will emerge from their sleeper slumber in 2019.
Here’s a look at our previous sleeper pieces:
Miles Boykin, WR
Justice Hill is too trendy to be named here, and Gus Edwards is a known commodity, so we’re forced to focus on Ravens wide receivers.
Even after spending a first-round pick at the position, the Ravens still likely have the worst group of pass catchers in the league. Willie Snead and rookie Marquise Brown are the best bets to lead the team in receiving, but there is opportunity for someone to emerge here.
That someone could well be third-round selection and athletic marvel Miles Boykin.
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 220
- Final Age: 22.2
Boykin had a better combine than any WR not named DK Metcalf; although where Metcalf struggled in the agility drills, Boykin was top of the class.
Unsurprisingly, those numbers gave the Notre Dame product one of the top Freak Scores in the class, helping to offset his modest college production.
Production is always preferred, but size still matters:
Second, height was a significant predictor of receptions, catch rate, and touchdown rate, and a marginally significant predictor of yards per reception… For yards per reception and touchdown rate, taller is better. As the average height of WRs in our sample increased, so did the yards per catch, and the rate at which receptions were converted into touchdowns.
And it’s not like Boykin’s production was non-existent. Combined with his 93rd-overall selection, it was enough to give him a handful of extremely encouraging comps.
Watch to Watch For in Camp
I’ll be looking for any reports of Boykin getting mixed in with the first-team offense once training camp kicks off.
Considering the dearth of talent behind fellow rookie “Hollywood” Brown, that’s a possibility, especially considering that Baltimore made Boykin a priority target by trading up in the third round to draft him.
Chris Moore, WR
This one pains me a little bit because, at this point in his career, we have ample evidence to suggest the former RotoViz sleeper is simply not very good.
Much like our guy Boykin, Moore was super athletic but not very productive.
I’m considering Moore as a sleeper for one reason only — he’s very likely to get a career-high in snaps this season with the departure of both John Brown and Michael Crabtree, who accounted for 197 targets and 2,663 air yards last year.
Moore has never been on the field for more than 40% of the Ravens plays — 39% in 2018, 34.5% in 2017, and 14.3% as a rookie. For what it’s worth, the team seems intent (or is left with no choice) on making Moore a thing in 2019. Owner Steve Biscotti called him a breakout candidate this offseason, and HC John Harbaugh also went to bat on the notion:
“I would say Chris is ready to do that and has been ready to do that,” Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun. “He practices really hard, he works hard in the weight room, he knows the offense very well, and he makes spectacular catches out here very often. I think it’s his time, so he has got to do it.”
Consider me dubious of the idea, but with the lack of receiving options, we can’t rule it out.
Image Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Lamar Jackson.
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