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 the rest of our deep sleeper series so far:
Tim Patrick, WR
Patrick’s opportunity took a big jump forward after Emmanuel Sanders went down in Week 13 last year.
In that final month, Patrick led the team in receiving yards and was the most efficient WR of the trio.
Sanders claims he’s on track to start in Week 1, but expecting much of a contribution from him in 2019 would go against most of what we know about Achilles injuries.
Patrick has all the size you want at 6 feet 4 and 212 pounds. In his final season at Utah, he was the Utes’ leading receiver with 711 yards, accounting for a 25% market share of the low-volume passing attack while averaging 15.8 yards per catch.
Sutton should certainly be the favorite to lead the team in receiving this season, but his rookie profile doesn’t exactly scream star. And with a new QB and new coaching staff in place, Denver’s entire offense is about as uncertain as any team’s, making the free Patrick worth a look in deeper formats.
Jeff Heuerman, TE
First-round draft pick Noah Fant is getting all the heat in fantasy football drafts, which makes sense. But it’s also reasonable to project him as just another in a long list of rookie TEs to have a quiet first year — even ones as freakishly athletic as Fant.
The 2015 third-round draft pick out of Ohio State was quietly good for the Broncos last year, averaging 4.9 targets and 8.6 expected points per game
He broke out with a career game in Week 9 with 83 yards on 10 catches against the Texans before going down with broken ribs.
The Broncos went ahead and re-signed him to a two-year $9 million contract, making him the highest-paid TE on the roster. It’s never a bad idea to follow the money.
I don’t expect Heuerman to play ahead of Fant, but new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello comes from the TE-friendly Shanahan coaching tree and there could be opportunities for multiple TEs to make noise.
Still, this is more of a fade-rookie-TEs play than anything, especially considering Fant’s going rate.
There’s nothing I can say to convince you to draft Heuerman in fantasy this year, but at least make sure he’s rostered in dynasty leagues, and don’t say I didn’t warn you when he leads the Broncos in TE points this year.
Image Credit: Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Phillip Lindsay.
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