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:
Equanimeous St. Brown
Several of the Packers wide receivers have been drawing praise this offseason. Equanimeous St. Brown isn’t one of them. Both Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison appear to have landed the WR2 and WR3 jobs, respectively, whereas Jake Kumerow has drawn plenty of praise from coaches and is a trendy sleeper candidate. It appears that St. Brown has slid down the depth chart and is potentially a good sleeper for redraft leagues.
Over the last month, St. Brown and Kumerow are being drafted as final-round dart throw picks in Best Ball 10’s.
Looking at the non-Davante Adams WRs on a per-game basis last year, St. Brown fared slightly better than I remembered.
Of the three Green Bay rookie WRs, St. Brown was slightly more efficient than Valdes-Scantling. Note that the sample is too small to glean any meaningful inference since Valdes-Scantling earned more targets and was more productive. Valdes-Scantling is firmly a buy candidate over of any of the names listed in the table above. Despite being drafted the earliest, J’Mon Moore was by far the worst rookie WR the Packers drafted last season. In equally small sample sizes, both Allison and Kumerow were far more productive. However, St. Brown flashed mouth-watering upside in the following games:
- Against the Lions in Week 5, St. Brown caught three of five targets for 89 yards.
- Against the Vikings in Week 12, St. Brown reprised his efficient output, catching three of five targets for 53 yards
- Lastly, against the Jets in Week 16, St. Brown caught five of five targets for 94 yards
Outside of those three games, St. Brown was largely inefficient and beat reporters have speculated that he’s on the roster bubble this season. In Week 1 of the preseason, St. Brown only earned one target in the receiving game and failed to reel it in. However, he made an impressive play on special teams and recovered a fumbled punt for a touchdown. For those who think Valdes-Scantling’s ADP is far too rich, they may find St. Brown’s price to be more palatable.
St. Brown suffered a knee injury in practice on Sunday, August 11, and the severity of the injury is currently unknown.
Drafted in the late sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Dexter Williams performed well1 in his first preseason game and should be on your watchlist. Williams was behind Josh Adams on the Notre Dame depth chart for the majority of his college career before being handed lead running back duties in 2018. Although Williams played in only nine games last season,2 he racked up 995 yards and 12 touchdowns on 158 carries. Additionally, Williams was an asset as a receiver, catching 16 balls for 133 yards and a touchdown.
The RotoViz Box Score Scout generates the following list of comparables.
Most of the prospects that are most similar to Williams were fairly underwhelming NFL players. Of the comps above, Andre Ellington may be the most probable outcome for Williams. Considering that Williams ranked fifth in this year’s Backfield Dominator Rating, he could potentially earn a role as a change-of-pace option for Aaron Jones. There’s an opening for Williams to start clawing his way up the depth chart, given that Jamaal Williams has missed the last two weeks with a hamstring injury.
Darrin Hall is another Green Bay RB I might be interested in. But, since he’s now on his third team in four months, it’s possible that he fails to stick around as a Packer. If he does make the team, I’d recommend putting him on your waiver wire watchlist in deeper leagues.