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:
Darwin Thompson, RB
After two years of posting over 1,000 yards rushing in JUCO, Darwin Thompson transferred to Utah State and continued to crush opposing defenses. Thompson split carries with Gerold Bright but posted career-best rushing and receiving raw statistics.
|Year||School||Ru Att||Ru Yards||Ru Avg||Ru TDs||Rec||Rec Yards||Rec Avg||Rec TDs|
Devin McIntyre’s pointed out that Thompson’s ostensibly one of the best athletes in this draft class.1 The RotoViz Box Score Scout indicates that Joe Mixon, Chris Carson, and Josh Adams are among the list of NFL comparables for Thompson. Thompson’s skillset indicates that he’s one of the few rookie RBs that could immediately find playing time as the change-of-pace back behind Damien Williams. Given his depressed ADP, Thompson makes for a high upside late-round dart throw in best-ball drafts.
What to watch for in camp
The Chiefs currently have the most expected points available to RBs as we head into 2019. Although we should expect Williams to receive the bulk of the work in the Chiefs’ backfield, the depth chart is wide open. Carlos Hyde’s profile doesn’t indicate that he will be deployed in a similar facet as Thompson might. Provided Thompson is able to carve out a role for himself over the next few weeks, Thompson should reward fantasy gamers who opted to target him in the final round of drafts.
Byron Pringle, WR
I’ve previously profiled both Byron Pringle and Cody Thompson as deep sleepers for the Chiefs’ offense. Given that Pringle is a second-year player, it’s quite likely that he emerges ahead of Thompson this season. Although Pringle is an older prospect, he broke out at a young age and declared early for the NFL. Given that early declares typically fare well in the NFL, I’m cautiously optimistic that Pringle could break out if he earns the ability to get on the field.
Pringle was a prolific return man for Kansas State. He returned 39 kickoffs for 1,076 yards and 2 touchdowns and 13 punts for 118 yards. Special teams production is a plus for NFL prospects, so it’s quite possible that Pringle sees opportunity as the Chiefs’ return man this preseason. Additionally, Pringle boasted one of the best Freak Scores of last years class. Pringle’s Freak Score was in line with those of Deon Cain, Courtland Sutton, and Robert Foster.
Although the comps generated by the RotoViz Box Score Scout aren’t particularly compelling, Robby Anderson is an intriguing name that underscores Pringle’s upside. Other names with weaker similarity scores include Rishard Matthews, Albert Wilson, Marquess Wilson, and Allen Hurns. Pringle’s upside might be worth taking a risk on depending on how he performs in camp.
Image Credit: Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes.
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- Thompson didn’t receive an invite to the NFL combine but showed out at his pro day. (back)