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:
Josh Reynolds, WR
The Rams WRs hit 597.3 expected receiving points in 2018, seventh-best in the league. The top three are set, but there’s plenty of work up for grabs should one of them go down, as Cooper Kupp did last year.
And when that happened, it was Reynolds who took control, commanding nearly triple the number of targets. In a half season’s worth of work without Kupp in the lineup, he posted a 185-point, back-end WR2 pace.
And while he wasn’t the most efficient of the bunch in terms of points over expectation, he was the highest-graded WR per PFF.
Rams had the highest team receiving grade – here's how they stack up.— PFF GB Packers (@PFF_Packers) August 5, 2019
Josh Reynolds 13.92
Brandin Cooks 13.20
Robert Woods 11.81
Cooper Kupp 8.76
Tyler Higbee 7.41
Gerald Everett 7.04
The 6-foot-3-inch, 196-pound Reynolds wasn’t hyped, but he was a solid prospect, winding up as a fourth-round pick by the Rams in the 2017 Draft.
He totaled 2,788 yards while averaging 17 yards per catch for Texas A&M in the SEC. His final season (at age 22) was good for a 0.40 Dominator Rating, continuing a trend of being well ahead of the age curve among his peers throughout his career.
Now entering, his third NFL season, Reynolds looks well established as the team’s No. 4 WR and is unlikely to be competing for snaps with the likes of KhaDarel Hodge and Jojo Natson if one of the Rams big three goes down.
Should that happen, Reynolds could easily be a plug-and-play WR3.
Gerald Everett, TE
Everett probably shouldn’t qualify as a deep sleeper, but here we are with the third-year TE falling outside of my loose sub-200 ADP threshold deep sleepers.
With a positional ADP of TE28, he’s currently sandwiched behind a 37-year old who hasn’t played a snap since 2017 and a direct backup.
Sure, Everett has been inconsistent in his first two years since the Rams took him in the second round out of South Alabama. But what TE isn’t a little erratic in the early years? Inconsistencies and all, he was still the TE20 last year after a strong finish to the year, so he’s probably being drafted right around his floor right now.
Physically, Everett has all the tools, with his closest athletic comp being David Njoku.
Everett still has competition for targets at TE in the form of Tyler Higbee, but reports out of camp have been glowing, and Sean McVay is hinting at a bigger role.
“Gerald was doing an outstanding job in the offseason program and in training camp. And then he had a shoulder injury that set him back and he missed some time,” McVay told the team’s official website. “But he was doing a lot of those things that I think we saw as the season progressed. But his opportunities when he’s making plays like that — he provides a skillset that’s hard because he can do some different things specific to lining up all over the formation.”
Everett has the physical ability, the draft equity, and has proven he can produce when given the chance. He plays on an elite offense and now has two years of experience under his belt, a crucial stepping stone to success for young TEs.
Drafters have decided to ignore him right when he’s poised to break out, and if you’re punting the TE position this year, he makes the ideal flier.