32 fantasy football sleepers, one from every NFL team

The NFL fantasy football is upon us, which means it’s time to start assembling your roster in hopes of winning your league.

There’s a lot that goes into winning a fantasy football championship, including team managers finding some hidden gems in the later rounds of the draft. There are some players who are being slept on that have the potential to develop into weekly starters on your fantasy team, which could mean the difference between going far in the playoffs and a quick exit.

We’ve rounded up our NFL Wires editors to find one sleeper from each NFL team that could help you win your league at a bargain price.

Arizona Cardinals: TE Zach Ertz

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The Cardinals are a tough team to gauge when it comes to fantasy value. With DeAndre Hopkins out for the first six games, multiple players have the opportunity to put up big numbers. However, if we are taling about a fantasy sleeper, the best pick is TE Zach Ertz. Ertz’ production should stay steady all season and what makes him great is his value. You can land him in later rounds but get high-end production. In 11 games with the Cardinals he had 56 receptions. He had 74 receptions for 763 yards and five touchdowns in 2021. If we take his Arizona production and project that over a 17-game season, he has 87 receptions, 887 yards and the five scores. For a guy you can land in the late rounds, Ertz will be a reliable and productive player to have on the roster. – Jess Root, Cards Wire

Atlanta Falcons: RB Tyler Allgeier

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Outside of RB Cordarrelle Patterson and TE Kyle Pitts, there aren’t many encouraging fantasy options on this Falcons team. However, rookie RB Tyler Allgeier has sneaky upside if fantasy owners can afford to be patient early on. Patterson may be the starter but Atlanta doesn’t use him like a traditional running back, which will allow Allgeier to get more reps. The fifth-round pick is a true between-the-tackles runner, and was a touchdown machine at BYU (23 rushing touchdowns in 2021). Allgeier scored two touchdowns in Atlanta’s preseason finale against the Jaguars. The rookie could end up playing a major role on the Falcons offense this season. – Matt Urben, Falcons Wire

Baltimore Ravens: WR Rashod Bateman

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While a No. 1 receiver likely wouldn’t classify as a fantasy sleeper, Bateman is just that on a Ravens offense that’s known for running the football. Bateman takes over as the top option in the wide receiver room after the trade of Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals, and is expected to take a big leap heading into his second NFL season. The former University of Minnesota star has shown a connection with QB Lamar Jackson during training camp, and his savvy route running as well as contested catch ability could mean a big year is in store for the wideout. – Kevin Oestreicher, Ravens Wire

Buffalo Bills: WR Isaiah McKenzie

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McKenzie’s appearance is for two reasons. At the top, he’s unknown. Last season he was a blip on the fantasy radar because he had a 100-yard outing against the Patriots. The reason why he even played is also the second reason McKenzie is under the radar. He only started that game because Cole Beasley ended up on the COVID list. Beasley is remembered in Buffalo for his strong COVID opinions. Unfortunately for him that overshadowed his time with the Bills. But fortunately for your fantasy team, many forget Beasley on the field and how he earned a second-team, All-Pro honor in Buffalo. Yes, the Bills have Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis–But this is Josh Allen’s offense. The QB is going to be throwing the ball around a lot and McKenzie is going to get a hefty number of targets every week. – Nick Wojton, Bills Wire

Carolina Panthers: TE Tommy Tremble

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We picked a tight end (Dan Arnold) for this exercise last summer and, uh, that didn’t go well at all. Not only did Carolina trade the poor fella to the Jacksonville Jaguars after three games, but Arnold also didn’t “break out” in his new home either. Plus, Panthers tight ends have formed a fantasy pit of despair of late—combining for just 1,400 receiving yards and six touchdowns over the past three seasons. Regardless, we’re taking a leap of faith in Tremble, whose athleticism and upside as a pass catcher should help translate into a leap of his own in Year No. 2. We’ll also trust new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who was quite adept at getting his tight ends involved during his time with the New York Giants. – Anthony Rizzuti, Panthers Wire

Chicago Bears: TE Cole Kmet

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A lot has been made of the lack of weapons for quarterback Justin Fields heading into a pivotal Year 2. Outside of Darnell Mooney, there’s no proven option at wide receiver. Which is why tight end Cole Kmet has the potential to have a breakout year in Chicago. Fields and Kmet have developed a nice rapport this offseason and through the summer, and it’s certainly an under-the-radar connection to monitor this year. With questions surrounding Fields’ supporting cast, the Bears are hoping Kmet can be a reliable target in the middle of the field. As the Bears transition to a new offense, Kmet is one of the players who most serves to benefit from Luke Getsy’s scheme. We caught a glimpse of Kmet’s potential in the passing game this summer, and it’s clear he’s going to be a focal point in this offense. – Alyssa Barbieri, Bears Wire

Cincinnati Bengals: TE Hayden Hurst

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Hurst, a first-round pick in 2018, has yet to really have a chance to feature in a great passing attack after stops with two teams. That changes in 2022, where he’ll be the guy Joe Burrow looks to constantly if the big three at wideout—Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd—are covered. C.J. Uzomah put up nearly 500 yards and five scores over 16 games last year in the same role, but Hurst might be an even better fit in the vertical game, letting him outplay his ADP. – Chris Roling, Bengals Wire

Cleveland Browns: TE David Njoku

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Browns fans know the tease that Njoku is on the field while most fantasy experts barely consider him at this point. With QBs Jacoby Brissett and Deshaun Watson having high usage rates for their tight ends, Njoku could change both of those narratives in 2022. Cleveland is paying him top dollar to do so this year. The former first round pick is also the clearcut #1 tight end on the team with Austin Hooper cut this offseason and Harrison Bryant the only other viable candidate on the roster at this point. – Jared K. Mueller, Browns Wire

Dallas Cowboys: WR KaVontae Turpin

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This is a difficult question to answer for a team that finished first in yards and first in points a year ago. The makeup of the offense has changed drastically though, with only CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz available to start the year out of their top five receiving options in 2021. The receiving targets are up in the air beyond that, so there’s a chance that Tony Pollard outplays his RB30 ADP without becoming RB1. But let’s go out on a limb. There were over 440 returns in the preseason, kick and punt, and there were only two touchdowns scored. KaVontae Turpin had them both. Dallas is going to find a way to get the speed demon involved in the offense, so on a team without many surprises, spend that final non-kicker pick on him and see what happens. – K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire

Denver Broncos: TE Albert Okwuegbunam

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Fans outside of Denver are probably familiar with the team’s big-name fantasy prospects – QB Russell Wilson, RB Javonte Williams and WRs Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton – but non-Broncos fans will be less familiar with TE Albert Okwuegbunam. As part of the Wilson trade earlier this offseason, Denver sent TE Noah Fant to the Seahawks, leaving “Albert O” as the team’s top receiving tight end going into 2022. The Broncos did use a third-round pick on TE Greg Dulcich in April, but he’s been nursing a hamstring injury all preseason. Even when Dulcich is healthy, Okwuegbunam will be the favorite to serve as the team’s top TE this fall. Following WR Tim Patrick’s injury, Okwuegbunam will have an opportunity to emerge as Wilson’s third-favorite target behind Sutton and Jeudy this season. – Jon Heath, Broncos Wire

Detroit Lions: QB Jared Goff

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Everyone knows Goff as the starting quarterback, but he’s typically a fantasy football afterthought. Goff could be a real pleasant surprise for fantasy owners looking for a QB later in drafts. The Lions have considerably upgraded Goff’s weaponry and also tailored the offense to ask the veteran to take more chances down the field. That means more yards per attempt, more big plays and (potentially) quite a bit more touchdowns than the 19 Goff threw in 14 games in 2021. Goff has also quietly shown a little more willingness to tuck and run for an occasional touchdown or two in the red zone as well. – Jeff Risdon, Lions Wire

Green Bay Packers: WR Allen Lazard

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There was temptation to go with running back A.J. Dillon here, mostly because he’s going to be a featured player in the new-look offense – both as a runner and receiver – even as the complementary option to Aaron Jones. But the pick is Lazard, a productive role player who is now going into the 2022 season as the No. 1 receiver for four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Lazard, who caught eight touchdown passes in 2021, isn’t going to get Davante Adams’ target share, but he could come close to doubling his number of targets from last season (60). The opportunity is there after the Packers lost Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Getting 100 or more targets from Rodgers is automatic fantasy production. There will be ups and downs, but if all goes right, Lazard has 10-touchdown potential over a 17-game schedule. – Zach Kruse, Packers Wire

Houston Texans: RB Dameon Pierce

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The Texans’ run game was atrocious in 2021 with a 3.4 yards per carry and an 83.6 rushing yards per game, both of which were the lowest in the NFL. However, the Texans may have found a former Florida Gator to aide their rushing attack in Dameon Pierce. The fourth-rounder has averaged 6.0 yards per carry in each of his two preseason games. The best work for Pierce came in the preseason finale when he carried six times for 37 yards and capped off an 85-yard touchdown drive with a 1-yard punch-in of his own. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s scheme emphasizes the run, which means a young talent like Pierce will get his carries, and it could be as soon as Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. – Mark Lane, Texans Wire

Indianapolis Colts: RB Nyheim Hines

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We all know Jonathan Taylor is atop the draft board in almost all formats but for those who don’t have the 1.01, there’s still a solid consolation prize later in drafts. After a head-scratching lack of usage in 2021, the Colts are looking to get Hines far more involved in the offense, especially as a pass-catcher. Hines has two seasons with exactly 63 receptions and given the drumbeat throughout the year, there’s a strong chance he sets a career high in that area. In those two seasons where Hines caught 63 passes, he finished as the RB18 (2020) and RB28 (2018) in PPR scoring. He’s currently being drafted as the RB45 in PPR formats, making him an incredible value on draft day. – Kevin Hickey, Colts Wire

Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Tim Jones

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Jacksonville made huge investments in Trevor Lawrence’s supporting cast in the offseason, but perhaps the most important revelation of the preseason has been rookie receiver Tim Jones, who has been a standout in every exhibition the team played in August. He led the Jaguars in preseason receiving production, and showed a remarkable chemistry with his quarterbacks that should serve him well in the regular season. He’ll be overshadowed by Christian Kirk and Marvin Jones Jr. in Week 1, but Jones has all the makings of an impact performer that just needs a chance to show what he can do with the first string. – John Dillon, Jaguars Wire

Kansas City Chiefs: TE Jody Fortson

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Tyreek Hill was mostly known for his ability as a deep threat in Kansas City, but he was also one of the team’s most deadly red zone weapons. In preseason Week 2, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes went to Fortson not once, but twice in the red zone. They scored touchdowns on both occasions. It’s clear that the trust is there between these two and it was blossoming last season before Fortson’s Achilles injury. With defense’s likely paying attention to Travis Kelce and JuJu Smith-Schuster in red zone situations, Fortson could become a big-time scoring threat for the team. – Charles Goldman, Chiefs Wire

Las Vegas Raiders: WR Mack Hollins

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The weapons for the Raiders are pretty well-defined going into the season. They have an All-Pro wide receiver in Davante Adams and three other Pro Bowlers in Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller. But Mack Hollins has been one of the most impressive players at training camp for Las Vegas. He has won the No. 3 WR job and will play on the outside opposite of Adams. While you shouldn’t draft Hollins in your fantasy leagues, keep him on your waiver wire speed dial as he could see more work as the season goes along. Don’t be surprised if Hollins gobbles up a lot of red zone targets early in the year for the Raiders. – Marcus Mosher, Raiders Wire

Los Angeles Chargers: WR Josh Palmer

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Palmer spent much of his first year with the Chargers as the No. 4 receiver behind starters Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton. However, Palmer’s snap share increased as the season progressed, jumping from 23.4% in the first five games of the season to 30.2% in the next six games to 60.4% for the final stretch. Palmer ended up scoring three of his four touchdowns in the last five games of the season. Now, Palmer enters this season as the third wide receiver over Guyton after an outstanding camp. With a well-rounded skill set – sharp route running, reliability, and ball skills – look for Palmer to make a leap in his sophomore season. Gavino Borquez, Chargers Wire

Los Angeles Rams: TE Tyler Higbee

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Higbee has been a fantasy-relevant tight end for a few years, but he can still be considered somewhat of a sleeper. By no means is he going to challenge Travis Kelce, Darren Waller or other top right ends in fantasy, but he’s usually good for about 500-600 yards a season and a handful of touchdowns. With no backup tight end threatening his snap count, Higbee is going to play just about every snap of every game. And in a pass-first offense, he’ll get plenty of targets from Matthew Stafford. Higbee is a solid tight end to draft, especially as a No. 2 in your lineup. The biggest concern is durability because he has missed time due to injury in recent years. – Cameron DaSilva, Rams Wire

Miami Dolphins: WR Cedrick Wilson Jr.

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With the Miami Dolphins boasting Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle as their top two wide receivers on the depth chart, it’s easy to forget that they also added former Dallas Cowboys wideout Cedrick Wilson Jr. In 2021, when Wilson took on the role as Dallas’ third receiver, he saw his numbers take a jump, as he set career marks in receptions (45), receiving yards (602) and touchdowns (six). Now, he’ll be given the same opportunity with Miami, where the duo ahead of him could compare to the one he had last year. If Mike McDaniel’s offensive plan takes shape like he thinks it can, Wilson could find himself being a capable flex consideration in fantasy. Mike Masala, Dolphins Wire

Minnesota Vikings: WR K.J. Osborn

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The Minnesota Vikings were sixth in the NFL in yards and 11th in points in 2021 with a first time offensive coordinator and a head coach that was offensively conservative. In comes head coach Kevin O’Connell who will bring a new brand of the wide zone offense to Minnesota. Focusing in 11 personnel, Osborn will be utilized more this year than ever before. Having Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen out there with Osborn will give him easier coverage. Osborn’s ability to thrive in space with O’Connell’s knack for getting receivers open could prime the former fifth-round pick for career high’s in receptions, yards and touchdowns. – Tyler Forness, Vikings Wire

New England Patriots: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

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Damien Harris might get the majority of the carries at running back for the Patriots, but Rhamondre Stevenson is the more versatile player at the position. His pass-catching abilities have improved significantly, and he’s already a human battering ram with the ball in his hands. Considering all of the offensive struggles in New England, particularly with the lack of legitimate playmakers at receiver, the team will once again want to keep the focus on running the ball and trying to establish dominance at the line of scrimmage. Stevenson probably won’t even be taken in most drafts, and he could emerge as an RB1 if Harris goes down with an injury or loses reps. – Jordy McElroy Patriots Wire

New Orleans Saints: WR Chris Olave

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It feels really odd to call a much-hyped first round NFL draft pick a sleeper, but Olave is being really badly undervalued in fantasy drafts. He’s commonly being drafted well after the 100th pick and there’s still external confusion about his role with Jarvis Landry in the mix. But Landry’s main competition for targets with be Michael Thomas as two weapons best suited for working underneath coverage — compare that to Olave as a serious vertical threat who should work wonders with Jameis Winston’s big arm. Look for Olave to surprise a lot of people. – John Sigler, Saints Wire

New York Giants: WR David Sills

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This may seem like a curious call but when evaluating what the Giants have offensively, it will become easier to understand. Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard all have a consistent history with injury and almost no rapport with quarterback Daniel Jones (or Tyrod Taylor). Sills, on the other hand, acts as a shadow to Jones, spending more time with him working on their routes and communication than any other player. That showed itself this summer when Jones and Sills connected early and often, both in practice and during the preseason. Even if the top three receivers manage to stay on the field for all 17 games, Sills is going to benefit from a chemistry that isn’t shared by any other offensive target. – Dan Benton, Giants Wire

New York Jets: TE Tyler Conklin

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We’re going white deep here, but if you happen to be in a deep league, or perhaps even a two-tight end league, Conklin is worth your consideration. Throughout camp, Conklin has been the guy when the Jets get into the red zone, and we know red zone targets are gold in fantasy football. He and Zach Wilson crested quite the connection during camp. But even with Wilson being injured, Conklin still has been working out very well with Joe Flacco. At this point, you could do a lot worse with your second or third tight end on your roster. – Billy Riccette, Jets Wire

Philadelphia Eagles: Kenneth Gainwell or Eagles D/ST

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In Gainwell, you have the No. 2 running back on the roster, coupled with a guy who’s more than ready to expand on the 33-catches for 253-yards as a pass catcher and his 291 yards rushing on just 68 carries as a rookie. Philadelphia’s defense and special teams will be vastly improved thanks to the additions of Haason Reddick, Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, Kyzir White and James Bradberry. The Eagles face the Lions, Vikings, Commanders and Jaguars in the first four weeks, which is a recipe for early season success. – Glenn Erby, Eagles Wire

Pittsburgh Steelers: TE Pat Freiermuth

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There is no better weapon for a new starting quarterback than a huge, athletic tight end. Last season Pat Freiermuth gave a glimpse of what his potential can be, even on a team with a franchise running back and a deep wide receiving room. Freiermuth finished the 2021 season with 60 catches for 497 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns. Whether it is Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett at quarterback, Freiermuth is going to be an easy option in the red zone and his 6-foot-5 frame. Look for Freiermuth to improve across the board statistically and get an easy double-digit receiving touchdowns. – Curt Popejoy, Steelers Wire

San Francisco 49ers: RB Jeff Wilson Jr.

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The 49ers’ backfield is always a scary group to wade into for fantasy players. However, Wilson is a safe late-round flyer for anyone who wants a piece of San Francisco’s RB room without paying the premium Elijah Mitchell might command. Wilson is finally healthy and looks like the team’s clear-cut No. 2 back going into the year. He took over last season in the handful of games Mitchell missed, and Mitchell is already working through a hamstring injury this year. Chances are the 49ers will need to look elsewhere for carries at various points this season and Wilson is likely first in line to garner that workload. He runs hard and knows this system well, so any week he’s the 49ers RB1 will make him a worthwhile play in fantasy. – Kyle Madson, Niners Wire

Seattle Seahawks: WR Penny Hart

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Sorting out how new starting QB Geno Smith will distribute his targets is difficult to predict given how little we have to go on. The safest play here is picking TE Noah Fant, who’s the most-talented pass catcher on the roster after DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. However, Fant still has to build chemistry with Smith, who he’s only played a handful of snaps with in a live game. Meanwhile, WR Penny Hart was the only standout backup receiver during the preseason, making him the most-bankable sleeper option for what may be one of the lowest-ceiling passing attacks in the league as far as fantasy potential goes. – Tim Weaver, Seahawks Wire

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Russell Gage

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Tom Brady has three Pro Bowl receivers in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, but Gage could still make a huge impact for an offense that led the NFL in passing yards last season. The Bucs gave Gage a three-year deal in free agency that will pay him $10 million per year, so the investment is clear. He’s still just 26 years old, and primed for a breakout season. While opposing defenses will be focused on stopping the bigger names, Gage could find plenty of room to work, putting up big numbers with the GOAT throwing him the ball. – Luke Easterling, Bucs Wire

Tennessee Titans: WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

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The Tennessee Titans have seen a ton of turnover in their receiving corps. this offseason, but Nick Westbrook-Ikhine remains the one constant, as he’s the only wideout returning to Nashville who made any semblance of a significant impact in 2021. After serving as a special teams ace in 2020, Westbrook-Ikhine carved out a role for himself on offense thanks to the slew of injuries Tennessee had, finishing second on the team in receiving yards. Looking ahead to 2022, NWI figures to start the season as the No. 2 opposite Robert Woods, and his familiarity with quarterback Ryan Tannehill should help him get targets early and often. Granted, his position isn’t exactly secure with Treylon Burks waiting in the wings, but the Titans like Westbrook-Ikhine a lot and will give him every chance to keep the role. – Mike Moraitis, Titans Wire

Washington Commanders: TE Logan Thomas

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It’s hard to call a guy who finished as a top five tight end in 2020 a sleeper. But that’s exactly what Logan Thomas is heading into 2022. After two stints on IR limited him last season, including a knee injury that ended his season in December, Thomas is being undervalued in fantasy drafts. Thomas was activated from the PUP list last week and looks like he is heading toward a Week 1 return. Even if Thomas doesn’t return in Week 1, it will be shortly after. New quarterback Carson Wentz loves throwing to tight ends, making Thomas a potentially valuable addition to your fantasy roster in 2022. WR Terry McLaurin and rookie RB Brian Robinson Jr. are the the Commanders who will be targeted earlier, but keep an eye on Thomas. – Bryan Manning, Commanders Wire


Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire