Fantasy Sports

Early Fantasy Football Sleepers


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Training camps are to begin soon, which is exciting for football fans, as it means the season is that much closer. With the new season comes the highly-anticipated fantasy football campaign. The best way to get the edge in your league is with “sleepers”. The term ‘sleepers’ are players outside the elite and given superstars, but could be primed for a breakout year. Here are some players to keep in mind as fantasy sleepers:

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QB Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

Despite a down year, Derek Carr still managed to finish in the top 20 among fantasy quarterbacks. He finished with a career-high in passing yards and had the second-best QBR of his career. This will be his second year under head coach Jon Gruden, who has a track record for mentoring productive quarterbacks in his system.

The biggest addition for the Raiders was in All Pro WR Antonio Brown. The addition of Tyrell Williams will be a solid compliment to Brown, as it gives Carr a true core to work with. Pay attention to Carr on the waiver wire if he’s not drafted in the later rounds.

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RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry has top-end speed with great size, making him a versatile back to run in between the tackles. The Tennessee Titans addressed the interior of their offensive line in the offseason with the free agent acquisition of Rodger Saffold and by drafting Nate Davis.

Last season, Henry finished as the RB16; finishing 3rd in rushing touchdowns. Last season was also the first time Henry was given a higher volume of carries and saw him eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. Hitting that mark again should be no problem for the coming season, as he should see his workload increase.

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RB Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins

It’s a gamble to claim that Derrius Guice will be productive when we have yet to see him take the field. Just recently, Guice tweaked his hamstring, only adding to his risk. He will likely fall to the later rounds in fantasy drafts, making him a valuable bench asset.

If Guice suits up and plays week one, he will playing behind a rookie quarterback in Dwayne Haskins. The Redskins will rely on their run game, and Guice could see his value increase over time.

Image source: JC Ruiz Photography

WR Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions had an impressive offseason by improving their defense and adding another weapon on offense in TE T.J. Hockenson. With that, Kenny Golladay is coming into his third season and is ready for a big year in fantasy football.

His receptions and yards more than doubled last season in comparison to the year prior. He finished as the WR21 in 2018 and is only going to get better. He will finish in the top 15 among fantasy wide receivers with top 10 upside.

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WR Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

After only reeling in 11 receptions in his rookie year, Mike Williams managed to haul in 10 touchdowns in just his second year; 5th among wide receivers. Based on his 43 total receptions, that’s roughly a 25% touchdown rate as a WR2.

The Los Angeles Chargers boast one of the most complete offenses in the NFL. It will be difficult to focus on Williams when there are other threats in Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon to pay attention to.

Image source: Pro Football Focus

TE Evan Engram, New York Giants

With the departure of Odell Beckham Jr, the New York Giants are going to need to find another target to lean on. Evan Engram offers that to this offense. He is one of the better receiving tight ends in the game and should absorb some of the lost targets from Beckham Jr. After Saquon Barkley’s stellar rookie season, defenses will load the box to force Eli Manning to dump the ball. As a result, this opens up the passing game to give Engram more opportunities.

Although Engram saw a dip in production last season, he still finished as the TE12 in fantasy. His average yards per reception saw an increase, which is promising for things to come.

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Tyler McDonald

Tyler McDonald is a student at Ringling College of Art and Design, where he is studying and pursuing a degree in film. He began his writing career with The Athletes Hub.

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