The bulk of fantasy analysis is devoted to sorting the order of players likely to have a prompt 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:
Ty Montgomery, RB
I almost skipped the Jets altogether. They didn’t draft a single skill-position player this year and the depth chart is bereft of talent.
Gang Green is set for starters at WR, and there are no potential impact players at the position behind those three guys. So the most compelling question regarding the Jets becomes — what happens if Le’Veon Bell goes down?
Like the WR backups, the RB group behind Bell is full of re-treads and never-weres, but there are two guys who I think have a good shot at turning Bell’s snaps into worthwhile fantasy production.
The nice thing about Montgomery is as a hybrid RB/WR, he can not only fill in for Bell if need be, but he can also play in a pinch should any of Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, or Jamison Crowder. You might recall Montgomery being a hot free agent item in the past for his unique ability to play WR under an RB designation. We could see the same thing this year.
His 3.8 targets/game over the past three seasons is the best in the group, while he’s also been the most efficient runner (ruFPOE) among Bell’s backups.
He’s second behind the immortal Bilal Powell in points per game in that period, but they’d revoke my RotoViz card if I had Powell as a deep sleeper.
If Bell does go down, Montgomery could see a career-high in snaps, with decent efficiency numbers over a three-year sample, he would be the guy I’d be targeting.
Fire the Trenton Cannon?
I can’t recommend touching him at this point, but I’m going to be keeping a close eye on Trenton Cannon blurbs come training camp.
We mentioned him as a deep sleeper target last year, but the sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft emerged from his rookie year with just 257 yards from scrimmage and is now in very real danger of missing the final roster in 2019.
The silver lining here is that:
- No one else behind Bell stands out
- He was very productive at Division II Shepherd University
- He’s athletic, with his pro day testing landing him in the top 85th percentile in multiple categories.
Everyone behind Bell is bad.
If Bell does get hurt, it’ll likely wind up as an ugly RRBC mixing in Montgomery, and Elijah McGuire, and Powell, although the latter two guys are no lock to make the roster.
Neither is Cannon, but as a player with recent productive history and the most athletic profile of the bunch, he’s also the only one I could ever see running away with the job, unlikely as that may be.
Image Credit: Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Sam Darnold.
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