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:
Corey Coleman, WR
Darius Slayton, WR
The ultimate post-post-post hype sleeper, Corey Coleman, tore his ACL in camp, making the previously written section on him quite useless. Between that, Sterling Shepard’s broken thumb, and Golden Tate’s four-game suspension, there’s an opportunity for another WR from this thin depth chart to step up.
I’ll pass on Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, TJ Jones, and Alonzo Russell – players who’ve all had plenty of NFL chances – and roll the dice on the unknown upside of rookie Darius Slayton instead.
The rookie fifth-round pick out of Auburn sure looks the part physically.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to get on the field in camp due to a hamstring issue. But he made an impression during spring mini-camp — to the point that Giants coaches were apparently using Slayton’s tape to show the rest of the WR group tapes how it’s done.
“It stands out,’’ receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said. “It’s noticeable all the plays he was making throughout the spring.’’
Slayton has a draft age of 22, putting him in the second-most successful node of rookie WRs. While his best season at Auburn was good for only 643 yards on 29 receptions, his 20.3 career YPC average and 4.39 wheels suggest some game-breaking ability along the lines of what we’ve seen from a few of his best comps, Kenny Stills and Antonio Callaway.
I don’t mean to oversell his odds; Slayton is not a particularly good prospect, despite the impressive athleticism.
But opportunity trumps all, and given the current state of the Giants receiving depth chart, it could be coming for Slayton if he can overcome his hamstring issue and get on the field.
Daniel Jones, QB
Using the sixth-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft maybe be cheating a little, but I’d argue that anyone with a sub-200 ADP in redraft/bestball qualifies as a deep sleeper.
Jones seems a safe bet to start at least a few games as a rookie — one New Jersey sportsbook has the over/under set at 3.5 starts, and an offshore book had it at 4.5.
He has immense fantasy upside in the event that he does get some starts. Remember Josh Allen, whose legs propelled him to a per-game scoring pace which was on par with Russell Wilson as last year? And of course, there’s the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, who had 272 rushing yards last year.
Jones was a better rusher than both in college — more attempts, more yards, and better yards-per-game and yards-per-attempt averages.
|Player||Games||Rush Att||Rush Yds||Yds/Game||Yards/Att||TDs|
If Allen can rush for 52.6 yards per game as an NFL rookie, what can Jones — who rushed for 12.5% more yards per attempt in college — do?
Jones was a popular late-QB pick among RotoViz analysts in this year’s Scott Fish Bowl, and in deeper formats — or SuperFlex/2QB leagues — his rushing upside alone warrants strong consideration.