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:
- New England Patriots
- New York Jets
- Baltimore Ravens
- Miami Dolphins
- Houston Texans
- Indianapolis Colts
Ryquell Armstead, RB
Armstead is one of the most intriguing running back prospects in this year’s class and lands in an equally compelling situation.
Let’s recap the last year for Leonard Fournette:
- Labors through an injury-riddled eight games, averaging 3.3 yards per carry, seventh-worst among all RBs with at least 50 carries
- The Jaguars void all of Fournette’s guaranteed money after his one-game suspension for taking part in a Week 12 brawl vs Buffalo
- Jags boss Tom Coughlin publicly slams Fournette as “disrespectful, selfish, and unprofessional“
There were offseason rumors that with Founette’s guaranteed money off the books, the team may just cut bait. But the two sides appear to have put the drama behind them for now.
Jacksonville still took out a cheap insurance policy in the form of dynamic fifth-round RB Ryquell Armstead. the Temple product who boasts the fourth-best Backfield Dominator Rating in the class.
Not only was he productive, but he also tested as one of the most athletic backs at the combine, edging Miles Sanders for the best Prospect Lab score.
His speed score in particular jumps off the page after running a 4.45 40-yard dash at 220 pounds.
So why did Armstead drop to the fifth round? John Lapinski outlines some of the red flags, including a lack of receiving production.
But athletic and productive rookies playing behind trending busts like Fournette are often a solid bet. Sure, Alfred Blue may factor in if something happens to Fournette, but at Armstead’s current price, it’s a gamble you can afford to take.
Josh Oliver, TE
If you’ve been following RotoViz’s offseason prospect coverage, you know that Oliver is one of our favorite dynasty targets.
The San Jose State TE ticks a bunch of boxes when projecting NFL success at the position, with his age, speed score, production, and bench press giving him a 59% probability of becoming a long-term starter, the best mark in the class.
At 6 foot 5 inches and 249 pounds, Oliver posted an 88th percentile 40-yard-dash time of 4.63.
We know that it’s rare for any TE to contribute as a rookie, but Oliver is in a good spot to buck that trend. His only competition at the position are Geoff Swaim and James O’Shaughnessy, journeyman talents who’ve combined for less than 800 receiving yards in 52 career games.
While receivers like Keelan Cole and Marquise Lee have their supporters here at RotoViz, this is not a WR corps bursting with talent. And our Hasam Rahim found that the Jaguars’ WRs have the fifth-highest opportunity score in the league.
What to Watch for in Camp
Of course, WR opportunity may not necessarily translate to targets for the rookie TE, but Oliver should get plenty of chances to run with the first team this summer.
I’ll be watching for reports on how both he and Armstead are being used this summer, and I expect the ADPs of both to creep upwards as we get deeper into the summer.
Image Credit: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Leonard Fournette.
NFL subscribers, the time to get into PGA DFS is now! For a limited time, upgrade your subscription by adding a 2019 Rest of Season PGA subscription at a $10 discount. Click here for details!