Sleepers 2016

Fantasy Sleepers I Keep Getting in Drafts

Fantasy Sleepers I Keep Getting in Drafts by Utter-Fantasy Football Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

I’ve had 6 fantasy drafts so far, 2 dynasty and 4 redraft leagues. My teams seem to have a lot of names in common. As for these 6 teams, I am either going to be very right at the end of December, or very wrong, with regard to my late round sleeper picks. Perhaps the fantasy football owners that I have drafted against do not agree with my assessment of them, or I have just been quicker at drafting them. I am not sure which.

The list of players I have been targeting and getting in fantasy football drafts consists of 2 quarterbacks, 4 running backs, 4 wide receivers and 2 tight ends. I’ve written a brief summary on each of these players and why I want them in 2016. I still have plenty more drafts coming near the end of August. Unless there is big news to change my opinion of these players, with training camp and the preseason games, I am likely to have a lot more teams with plenty of sleeper names in common.

QBs

DET Matthew Stafford- Anyone who knows me, knows that I always wait on drafting a quarterback, and it’s usually paid off. ( In 2013, I had SD Philip Rivers on most of my teams, he was drafted in the late rounds and he ended that season as the #6 QB…not bad) This year Stafford seems to be available late. I want him over Dalton, Tyrod Taylor, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, and even Tom Brady, all of whom are going earlier in drafts. ( I’ve also drafted Brees surprisingly late this season)

HOU Brock Osweiler- I can wait until the bottom of most drafts to get this guy as my #2 or #3 QB because no one else seems to think that he will have a good season. I do. He has a cannon for an arm, and I like his weapons. Houston’s division includes Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee. Although these 3 teams have made strides in improving their defenses, they still are not great and none of them will rank in the top half of the NFL in 2016. I like that for Osweiler.

RBs

PHIL Ryan Mathews- A disaster in San Diego, but he totalled almost 700 yards and 7 TDs splitting time with DeMarco Murray last year for the Eagles. It’s his show in 2016, and with 22 running backs being drafted before him….I say yes and thank you.

CHI Jeremy Langford– Is he Matt Forte? No…no one is. But when successful, HC Fox has shown a propensity to ride one running back, and I think Langford will be successful ( especially a bargain late in drafts where I am getting him)

JACK Chris Ivory- I get it. The Jags only scored 1 rushing touchdown in 2015, and RB T.J. Yeldon is still there. However, the Jags will commit to the run more in 2016, because Ivory is better than Yeldon. Ivory will get most of the carries…because T.J. Yeldon is still there.

N.O. Tim Hightower- RB Mark Ingram is a very good running back. He likes to hit his opponents and maybe he likes to hit his opponents too much. He’s missed 18 games since 2011, which equates to more than one full season. Hightower filled in for Ingram in Weeks 14-17 and he kicked ass! A top handcuff to own.

WRs

SD Travis Benjamin- I was afraid that if I wrote too much about Benjamin, fantasy football owners would prevent me from getting this guy. Not so far! I have him in every league.

PITT Sammie Coates- Last year QB Ben Roethlisberger talked up WR Wheaton, and I believed him. Then he threw the ball to Antonio Bryant and Martavis Bryant, over and over. I think Big Ben likes Wheaton, but the connection isn’t there. I’m grabbing Coates while others grab Wheaton.

NE Chris Hogan- Chemistry is everything with QB Tom Brady, and WR Brandon LaFell did not have it with the Pat’s QB in 2015, so he was shipped. Everything I’ve seen and read says that there is chemistry between Hogan and Brady. If there wasn’t a ridiculous 4 game suspension attached to Tom Terrific in 2016, Hogan would a top sleeper for me, but I still want him.

HOU Will Fuller- Look, I was on board with WR Jaelen Strong for the start of 2015, but when it was all said and done Nate Washington had a better season, and Cecil Shorts had a better season. …way better seasons. I do not believe the noise that Strong has passed/ will pass Fuller on the Houston depth chart. I want him.

TEs

CHI Zach Miller- ARI QB Carson Palmer will not throw to tight ends…it’s a fact. CHI QB Jay Cutler on the other hand, LOVES to throw to TEs, and he has helped the fantasy football relevance of every TE that he has played with. I laugh ( to myself) when fantasy football owners draft TampaBay’s ASJ, or Detroit’s Eric Ebron before CHI Zack Miller…then I say…..yes and thank you.

NE Martellus Bennett- News flash…HC Bill Belichick knows a thing or two about including one and two tight ends in the offensive game plan. ( Even Scott Chandler had a few nice games for the Pats in 2016). Bennett is definitely worth a late round flyer.

BONUS:

ATL Mohamed Sanu- This team has a TON of talent and there is a “must win now” attitude coming out of Atlanta. Sanu isn’t an amazing talent, but he will get lots of targets, he will get touchdown passes and he may throw a couple. With 52 wide outs being drafted before him, I say…..yes and thank you.

So if you’re in a fantasy football draft with me in the next 4 weeks, and you’re up, consider these guys or don’t….I promise you I will.