“Sleeper” is a complicated and often misused word in fantasy. Everyone has their own preconceived notions and explanations for what a sleeper is and who qualifies as a sleeper. For this exercise, we’re focused on UNDERVALUED options available outside the quarterback position’s top-10, according to Yahoo ADP.
Jamies Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dalton Del Don: There’s a bunch of upside during Winston’s contract year and with Ryan Fitzpatrick gone. He has gotten 7.9 YPA each of the past two seasons and now enters a near-ideal situation with Bruce Arians’ vertical passing attack, three absolutely legit options to throw to (including two top-15 WRs and a top-5 TE on my board), a shaky RB group and arguably the league’s worst defense. His aggressive downfield style will be embraced by the new coaching staff, and Winston also started running more last season. He’s another example of why it makes sense to wait on the position.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Brad Evans: In Arizona’s revamped offense, Murray is a virtuoso who’s already imparted his deep knowledge of the Air Raid scheme on his teammates. His comfort level with the playbook combined with a brilliant skill set is a match made in fantasy heaven. He’s stunningly accurate (No. 1 or No. 2 in all completion percentage categories last year in college), poised and jackrabbit-fast as a runner. Kliff Kingsbury wants to throw some 60-65 percent of the time. Given Murray’s talents, excellent arsenal and Arizona’s presumed bottom-third defense, he could deliver a line similar to RG3 in his rookie season. A final tally around 3,800 passing yards, 700 rushing yards, and 25 total touchdowns isn’t a margarita-influenced take. Don’t fear the unknown.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Liz Loza: Coming back from an ACL injury gives me pause, but ultimately… I was bullish on Garoppolo last year and I’m bullish on him again this year. Jimmy G will enter 2019 with a healthier, broader, and more experienced stable of weapons. Coached up by one of the greatest offensive minds of the modern era, Garoppolo has the opportunity to build on his late-2017 effort. It was then that he ripped off 11 money throws in 5 starts (compared to Tom Brady’s 13 in sixteen starts) and kept his chill with a pressured completion percentage of 52.5 (QB1).
I imagine it might take a minute settle into a rhythm, but a few big after-the-catch plays from George Kittle and/or Dante Pettis should boost Jimmy’s confidence while padding his stats. Give me upwards of 4,350 passing yards and 29 TDs on the season.
Dak Prescott , Dallas Cowboys
Scott Pianowski: Asking for Prescott to make a profit at his ADP, that’s not a tall request. He’s checked in as the QB6, QB11, and QB10 in his three seasons, and yet he’s merely the 17th quarterback off the board in Yahoo drafts.
That price tag is not not necessarily a slap in the face for Prescott; the position, as you’ll hear all summer, is insanely deep. It’s likely the best quarterback class in fantasy history. That said, I get excited when I can draft a player who can provide a fantasy par or profit even if he hits some mild regression.
Prescott has quietly run in six touchdowns in each of his last three years. Cam Newton — admittedly a much more dynamic runner — is the only other quarterback in NFL history to reach those plateaus. And the entire Dallas offense hit a spike when Amari Cooper landed midseason; now the Pokes get a full season with Cooper. Every significant Prescott metric improved after the Cowboys finally landed a true No. 1 receiver.
Prescott is now in his boring-vet pocket, there’s nothing buzzy about him but he’s consistently productive. I love that type of party. That’s my jam.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Matt Harmon: This is a layup. Jackson will not be used the same way here in 2019 as he was during his rookie year after being forced into an offense designed on the fly. That is not a bad thing. He’s still one of the most dynamic runners we’ve ever seen at quarterback. A floor of 700 yards on the ground feels manageable. Progression as a passer would simply take him from ideal streamer to a Top-10 weekly solution. Baltimore just spent two top-100 draft picks at receiver and Jackson has shown flashes of his arm talent along with admittedly shaky moments. His fantasy ADP almost seems to have failed to bake in a ceiling. He has great odds to out-kick that.