“Sleepers” have become harder and harder to keep as secrets these days. It seems even the average fantasy football player/fan knows most of the rookies, low-key breakout candidates, and players in positive situations. Either way, sleepers are always a fun topic of fantasy conversations, “Who are your biggest sleepers?”…”Is he really even a sleeper?”…”Everyone knows him”…whatever. For this article I’m going to list my favorite sleeper from each NFL team. The player will be someone who’s current ADP is in the 10th round or later, with a positive situation for a breakout this fantasy season. Some will be more obvious than others, and some may be players who don’t even go off the board on draft day. But all of these players are intriguing in one way or another, with a path to fantasy value. (ADP via Fantasy Football Calculator)
- Sleeper Pick: Chase Edmonds RB
- Current ADP: RB50 (11.12)
- Arizona should be an efficient, high-tempo, high-scoring offense in 2020. Kenyan Drake is being drafted in the first/second round of drafts as an RB1/RB2. I’m on board with Drake, but he has never carried the load of a lead back in his short career, so he comes with a certain level of uncertainty. Edmonds is the clear back-up, but could also have some stand alone value if they look to limit Drakes touches. He’s an elite handcuff, with upside for more in an exciting offense. Below is his first TD from his Week 7 (27 carries, 127 yards, 3 TD) start vs. New York. Edmonds is worth an 11th round pick, but I wouldn’t take him much higher than that.
- Sleeper Pick: Ito Smith RB
- Current ADP: (Undrafted)
- Ito Smith is not an RB I’m excited about by any means, but for Todd Gurley owners he could carry some value. I’m picking deep sleepers round 10 or later and Ito is the most intriguing player on Atlanta that fits that mold. Personally I’m expecting Atlanta to use Gurley to his full capacity, considering they only signed him to a 1-year deal. Maximizing his usage could result in injury if his arthritic knee flares up, making way for Ito. On the other hand, I could be wrong and similar to LA (2019) they could potentially limit Gurley’s usage and implement another back (Ito) in a rotation. Ito is a talented runner and Gurley owners should keep tabs on his availability throughout the season.
- Sleep Pick: Devin Duvernay WR
- Current ADP: (Undrafted)
- Now I’m not suggesting you draft Duvernay, but as a deep sleeper he could have some value. Baltimore’s WR core is relatively wide open behind Marquise Brown. Brown should see an increase in targets this year now that he is healthy. But aside from him they have Miles Boykin, Willie Snead, & Duvernay. Duvernay is versatile and can be used in multiple different ways, and landing with a creative offense like Baltimore could be beneficial for his early career (clip below). Keep an eye on his usage in the early weeks of the season.
- Sleeper Pick: Zack Moss RB
- Current ADP: RB46 (10.04)
- Moss is one of my favorites on this list, and I have him currently ranked significantly ahead of his ADP. Frank Gore is no longer a Bill, moving across the division to New York. Moss should take Gore’s role and split the backfield with Devin Singletary. Early on I’m expecting around a 60/40 split backfield slightly in favor of Singletary, with Moss taking most of the redzone work. Zack Moss provides a skillset much different from Singletary and can be the thunder to Singletary’s lighting in Buffalo (clip below). I think there is a lot of upside with Zack Moss and would even be willing to take him in 8th-9th Rounds, ahead of his ADP to make sure I lock him up.
- Sleeper Pick: Curtis Samuel WR
- Current ADP: WR63 (14.06)
- Curtis Samuel was a popular sleeper pick heading into the 2019 season, but his ADP was much higher. Heading into 2020 you can pretty much get Samuel with one of your last few picks in the draft, and I like that value. Carolina’s offense is tricky to predict considering the new coaching staff, and Teddy Bridgewater now under center, but Samuel’s role shouldn’t change. He provides some rushing upside (130 yards in 2019) to compliment his receiving numbers, and has the ability to turn nothing into something. Samuel is more than just a gadget player though and has the skillset to be a legitimate threat in the passing game (clip below). I would take him with one of my last few picks and pay attention to how Carolina’s new offense uses him early on.
- Sleeper Pick: Joe Burrow QB
- Current ADP: QB18 (12.02)
- Joe Burrow is entering a situation in Cincinnati that actually gets me excited about his upside, which is rare for a #1 overall pick. Their WR core is deep, (A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross, Tee Higgins, Auden Tate) and Joe Mixon & Gio Bernard are both effective RBs out of the backfield. Cincy’s defense on the other hand needs work, and I’m expecting them to struggle most of the season. If they are trailing, that only means more pass attempts and opportunities for this young offense. Burrow has the weapons, and I believe he also has the talent to make plays and elevate this offense (clip below). He is my QB15 overall, I wouldn’t take him any higher than his 12th round ADP, but I would be optimistic having him on my bench to start the season.
- Sleeper Pick: Anthony Miller WR
- Current ADP: WR49 (11.08)
- Anthony Miller is the type of sleeper that has been dubbed a sleeper year after year and hasn’t really come through. But it’s now his 3rd NFL season, he has seen the ups and downs and I have feeling this could be the year. Personally I’ll have Miller on a ton of my benches to start the season. Currently I view him as the clear WR2 on the Bears, and with the addition of Nick Foles the offense should take a step forward. Miller has shown he has a nose for the end zone (7 TDs in 2018) and skills to win in the NFL (clip below). With Allen Robinson garnering the attention of opposing defenses, Miller has a chance to exceed expectations in 2020. I would be drafting him in the 10th-11th Round range, so his ADP seems fair.
- Sleeper Pick: Austin Hooper TE
- Current ADP: TE13 (11.09)
- I’ll be honest, I actually have Hooper below his current ADP, at TE15. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a deep sleeper. Baker has shown over his first few NFL seasons that he tends to look for TEs in the redzone and Austin Hooper is reliable when you get in close (clip below). I’m not expecting a huge year out of Hooper and I won’t be taking him at his current ADP, considering the other players on the board in that range. But Round 10 or later he was my favorite Browns player, because regardless of where I have him ranked, he has proven everyone wrong before. If Hooper drops down to maybe 13th-14th Round range I’d scoop him up.
- Sleeper Pick: Blake Jarwin TE
- Current ADP: TE20 (15.02)
- Jarwin is an interesting TE to evaluate this offseason. Dallas let Jason Witten walk in free agency and when he left he vacated his 83 targets from 2019. If Jarwin can eat up all of those targets left behind by Witten he could end up being a big time steal late in drafts or on the early season waiver wire. The only reason I’m unsure if he will directly benefit from the targets left behind, is the number of mouths Dallas already has to feed (Cooper, Gallup, Lamb). As you can see in the clip below Jarwin possesses big play ability from the TE spot, so he can make the most of whatever targets he is given. I’d spend the last pick of my draft on Jarwin if I drafted a TE earlier that I was uncertain about. Otherwise I’d just pay attention to him early on in my waiver wire.
- Sleeper Pick: Noah Fant TE
- Current ADP: TE12 (10.12)
- Fant is a trendy TE sleeper and I wouldn’t be surprised if his ADP rises a few rounds as we get closer to the start of the season. Fant had an inspiring rookie campaign (40 rec. 562 yds. 3 TD), and he possesses the size, speed, and skills to be a premier TE in the league (clip below). Denver added more weapons to the offense this offseason, but I don’t see that hurting Fant. If anything the additional weapons could open up some room for Fant to operate. He makes the most of every opportunity with the ball in his hands, and could be in line for a major breakout in 2020. There are a few exciting TEs in this range of the draft, but taking Fant in the 10th could pay off.
- Sleeper Pick: Matthew Stafford QB
- Current ADP: QB13 (10.03)
- Well, Matt Bowen pretty much says it all above the video clip, Stafford was on pace for a big time season and elite QB production in 2019 before his injury. Detroit is bringing back all of the same weapons on offense with the addition of second-round RB D’andre Swift who should be another useful target for Stafford. Stafford has proven his fantasy relevance multiple times over his career. Considering the pieces he now has on offense and the pace he was on just a year ago, he could easily outperform his ADP and finish as a Top-10 fantasy QB.
Green Bay Packers
- Sleeper Pick: Allen Lazard WR
- Current ADP: WR63 (14.06)
- Entering 2019 the discussion was which WR would become the WR2 in GB behind Davante Adams. Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdez-Scantling were the hot picks…Allen Lazard outpreformed both of them. Lazard is a big, physical WR (6’5) and uses his size to his advantage (clip below). Maybe he is the reason Green Bay didn’t draft a WR in the NFL Draft. Either way it is looking like he will be the WR2 for Aaron Rodgers, and even if Rodgers isn’t everything he used to be, that still carries some value to me. I love his ADP being in the 14th Round, he can be one of your last picks, making him a low risk, high reward deep sleeper.
- Sleeper Pick: Duke Johnson RB
- Current ADP: RB52 (13.01)
- Is anyone sure which David Johnson we will see in 2020? I don’t think so. Houston is relatively invested in David Johnson based on his contract and what they gave up to acquire him. And although I’d take David higher based on upside, Duke Johnson could be the RB in Houston that pays off with a later pick in the draft. Duke is the clear handcuff to David and I believe he will still maintain a role in this offense no matter what. He is a pass catching back, who is nearly unguardable near the line of scrimmage (clip below). In the 13th Round Duke is a great bench stash carrying significantly more value in PPR formats.
- Sleeper Pick: Michael Pittman Jr. WR
- Current ADP: WR48 (11.04)
- Pittman is one of my favorite sleepers in 2020. I have him ranked as #1 rookie WR and I feel good about it. Aside from T.Y. Hilton, Indy’s WR group is relatively unproven, and I think based on pure talent Pittman is the best of the bunch. They spent a second round draft pick on him, and I’m expecting him to have a big role in the offense from day 1. Pittman is an all around WR, and its tough to find a true weakness in his game (clip below). I wouldn’t be surprised if after the 2020 season Pittman is the clear WR1 in Indy. he is worth the 11th Round ADP, and I would take him as early as the 9th-10th depending on the make up of my roster.
Kansas City Chiefs
- Sleeper Pick: Mecole Hardman WR
- Current ADP: WR44 (10.01)
- Hardman scored 6 TDs in his 2019 rookie season, on just 26 receptions…just an amazing stat. As you can see below on his 6 TDs (2019) he averaged 47.8 yards per catch. He barely meets my criteria for this deep sleeper list, as he is being drafted at the top of Round 10. But I’ll refer to his low ADP for as long as I can, because I expect him to rise up drafts boards as we get closer to the season. Kansas City is an offense I want to have players attached to, so I’ll take them whenever I can. Hardman is a great bench WR, because any week you can slot him in with the possibility of a few big plays to make the day. Take him in Round 10 while you can, and don’t look back.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Sleeper Pick: Mike Williams WR
- Current ADP: WR57 (13.05)
- Personally I’m surprised Williams ADP has gone this low coming off a 1,000 yard receiving season. Clearly he is falling in drafts due to the departure of Phillip Rivers, but the 13th round is further down than I thought. Williams is a former 1st Round, Top-10 pick (2018 NFL Draft), scored 10TDs in 2018, and just had his first 1,000 yard season in 2019. The clip below shows the ability Williams has as a deep threat in this offense, and Tyrod Taylor has a stronger arm than he gets credit for. I’m not out on Mike Williams like the general consensus, so in the 13th Round I’d love to draft him.
Los Angeles Rams
- Sleeper Pick: Darrell Henderson RB
- Current ADP: RB47 (11.01)
- Let me start by saying I currently have Cam Akers as my RB27. So I do expect Akers leads this backfield, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for Henderson too. Henderson strikes me as much more of a change of pace back, and I don’t ever see him taking on a ton of work. But he is an explosive back when he gets the ball, and even in a split backfield he can carry some value with limited touches (clip below). In addition, all three of the backs in LA (Akers, Henderson, & Brown) should get a chance to prove their worth, so Henderson has just as good of a chance as either of the other guys. In the 11th Round he is more reward than risk, so take him and hope he comes out of the preseason on top.
- Sleeper Pick: Gardner Minshew QB
- Current ADP: QB27 (14.09)
- Minshew is coming off an underrated rookie season (3,000+ passing yards, 21 TDs, 6 INT, and 60% completion in 13 games). It seems like his off the field persona got more attention than the solid play on the field. On the bright side he is entering 2020 as the man under center, and as the QB27 I think he being criminally slept on. Minshew is the type of QB that makes it look like he is playing backyard football, and he finds a way to make plays out of virtually nothing (clip below). Contrary to the consensus, I don’t hate Jacksonville for fantasy this season. Their defense is a mess, they should be trailing in most games, and if thats true Minshew should be slinging the ball all over the field. His ADP is Round 14, so you can get him with one the last picks in the draft, or wait to see his Week 1. I have him at QB17 so clearly I’m all in at his current ADP.
- Sleeper Pick: Mike Gesicki TE
- Current ADP: TE15 (13.09)
- Gesicki finished as the TE12 last season, and is now being drafted as the TE15, even with the potential improvements to the Miami offense. It seems like he is a common sleeper at TE but based on his ADP he isn’t being drafted like one, so if you’re a Gesicki fan take advantage of drafting in the 13th Round. As you’ll see in the video below Gesicki lines up all over the place, his versatility makes him valuable to the offense and hard to take off the field (clip below). In 2019 he finished 7th in TE targets which should be an inspiring stat, the only TEs ahead of him were Kelce, Kittle, Ertz, Waller, Andrews, and Hooper. If you choose to wait on drafting a TE, pairing Gesicki with another late TE could be an effective strategy.
- Sleeper Pick: Justin Jefferson WR
- Current ADP: WR46 (10.09)
- Goodbye Stefon Diggs…Hello Justin Jefferson. Jefferson should step right into the spot Diggs left behind and if he performs, that can be a lucrative spot in fantasy. Minnesota was a run heavy team in 2019 and I expect them continue that into 2020, but the WR2 in any NFL offense these days carries value. Jefferson was highly productive in his last season at LSU operating out of the slot (clip below), and he has the size and speed to win at the NFL level. I’m excited for Jefferson, as a 10th Round player the upside out weighs any risk.
New England Patriots
- Sleeper Pick: N’Keal Harry WR
- Current ADP: WR61 (14.05)
- N’Keal Harry was a player that would’ve been on this list last season, and would’ve turned out to be a major disappointment no matter where you drafted him. The former first round pick (2019) only caught 12 passes for 105 yards and 2 TDs in his rookie season. If you watch the clip below you see Harry going 1-on-1 with the NFL’s now highest paid CB Byron Jones and using his body control to come down with the TD . These flashes of potential combined with his draft pedigree make me think the Patriots aren’t going to give up on the first round pick. With a year under his belt and more targets now available 2020, we could see a much different N’Keal Harry. He is worth the 14th Round pick, and aside from Edelman, Harry could emerge as a top target in this offense.
New Orleans Saints
- Sleeper Pick: Tre’Quan Smith WR
- Current ADP: (Undrafted)
- Honestly I don’t think Smith ever turns into a reliable fantasy starter, but as a week-to-week streamer he has some value. Just being a part of the Saints offense gives Smith starting caliber upside in weeks where you expect a shootout. As you can see in the clip below, Smith gets picked up by a linebacker in coverage due to the multiple weapons on this offense and he takes advantage. New Orleans signed Emmanuel Sanders this offseason, pushing Smith further down the depth chart. But as an undrafted guy, all it will take is a big week for him to be a popular waiver claim, so keep an eye on his target share in this offense.
New York Giants
- Sleeper Pick: Sterling Shepard WR
- Current ADP: WR56 (12.09)
- Sterling Shepard is entering his 5th NFL season, and so far he hasn’t put together 70+ catches or 1,000+ yards. I’m predicting 2020 to be the year he does both. The Giants WR group is relatively wide open, Shepard, Slayton, and Tate will all be competing for targets in this offense. I still think Shepard is the superior talent of the three, he creates separation and has reliable hands (clip below). Shepard has had trouble staying healthy over the course of his career, but if you’re picking him in the 12th Round or later that is a risk you can take.
New York Jets
- Sleeper Pick: Jamison Crowder WR
- Current ADP: WR45 (10.06)
- It’s nothing new for Crowder to be on a sleeper list, it seems as if he is always undervalued. Crowder seems to have established himself as a safety blanket for Sam Darnold after receiving 122 targets just a year ago (78 receptions-career high). He will never be the exciting fantasy pick, but in PPR he is as stable as they get in this range of the draft. In the clip below you’ll see Darnold’s pocket collapsing, but he trusts Crowder enough to toss it to him even as Crowder has a defender on his back, and Crowder comes through. He won’t be the sexy pick, but in the 10+ Rounds he is a good bench player who you can feel safe starting if you are in a bind.
Las Vegas Raiders
- Sleeper Pick: Hunter Renfrow WR
- Current ADP: WR62 (14.05)
- For only playing in 13 games during his 2019 rookie season, Renfrow made a big impact on the Raiders offense (49 rec. 605 yds. 4 TD). He is a big name from his Clemson days, and for Raider fans he’s becoming a fan favorite. After his performance last season he should maintain his role in the slot, which can be a beneficial spot in an offense that throws the ball closer to the line of scrimmage. Get the ball in Renfrow’s hands and let him do the rest (clip below). In a full season of action, I wouldn’t be surprised if Renfrow becomes Carr’s leader in targets, taking a step forward in 2020.
- Sleeper Pick: Jalen Reagor WR
- Current ADP: WR53 (12.01)
- Famously at the end of 2019, Philadelphia was starting practice squad WRs due to all the injuries on offense. So as expected they went and drafted a WR in the first round of the NFL draft. Philadelphia should have Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey back healthy in 2020, but Reagor should be the first Eagle WR taken off the board in fantasy drafts. His versatility, speed, and skillset will make it tough for the Eagles to take him off the field (clip below). If at the start of the season he isn’t fully utilized as a WR, they will find someway to get him involved. Doug Pederson is a creative offensive mind, and after using the draft capital they did on Reagor, I’d expect them to get the most out of him. His ADP is slightly after the likes of Jeudy, Jefferson, Lamb, and Pittman, so if you want a rookie with upside later on, Reagor could be your guy.
San Francisco 49ers
- Sleeper Pick: Brandon Aiyuk WR
- Current ADP: WR54 (12.08)
- Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said after the 49ers drafted Aiyuk, that he was their favorite WR in the class. So after hearing that, you’d have to expect them to get Aiyuk involved early and often. In addition, reports just came out that Deebo Samuel is dealing with an injury that may or may not cut into the NFL season. Aiyuk’s ADP hasn’t changed much yet, but if Deebo is likely to miss any time, Aiyuk will rise up draft boards. San Fran is a run heavy team with a great defense, so I don’t expect them to be passing the ball enough to support multiple fantasy WRs. But as a 12th Round sleeper pick, Aiyuk is worth it. If you watch the video below you can see just how electric this young WR can be. Similar to Jalen Reagor, if you want to take a rookie WR with upside and you missed out on the first wave, grab Aiyuk later on.
- Sleeper Pick: Phillip Dorsett WR
- Current ADP: (Undrafted)
- Dorsett shouldn’t be drafted in any leagues, but of the Seahawks offensive players, he was the best candidate for a deep sleeper available in Rounds 10+. In the clip below Dorsett goes on a deep route, beating zone coverage for 26-yard TD. He showed flashes in 2019 scoring 5 TDs, a career high number in his 5 NFL seasons. Now he finds himself trading QBs from Brady to Wilson (not bad). Lockett & Metcalf will be the clear top two options in this passing game, but as for a third target, the competition should be between Dorsett and David Moore. I’d keep an eye on Dorsett’s usage and targets in the early weeks, if either one of the top WRs go down, Dorsett could be a valuable waiver wire addition.
- Sleeper Pick: Eric Ebron TE
- Current ADP: TE18 (14.08)
- I’m higher on Ebron this season, ranking him as my TE13. He has had an up and down career, kept afloat by his 2018 season where he scored 13 TDs on 66 receptions. Last season he only played 11 games and didn’t make much of an impact. But heading into 2020, I like his situation in Pittsburgh. I’m expecting the Steelers to be a high scoring offense if Big Ben stays healthy, and Ebron can be a reliable redzone target for the veteran QB. The former first round draft pick has the potential, and now he has the offensive situation once again to make plays like the ones below (clip below). I wouldn’t draft Ebron as my TE1, but as a bench option with one of my last picks, I like the upside.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Sleeper Pick: Tyler Johnson WR
- Current ADP: (Undrafted)
- Tyler Johnson went later in the NFL Draft than I had expected, but it seems like it was worth the wait. Johnson was drafted by Tampa in the 5th Round, and it could be the one of the best landing spots for him. Mike Evans & Chris Godwin are the clear top targets in Tampa, but the WR3 spot is up for grabs. Below is Johnson coincidentally tearing it up at his new home stadium. He is a deep sleeper, and a player that you won’t see drafted in many fantasy drafts, but savvy fantasy owners should know who he is, and keep a look out for how Tampa uses him early on.
- Sleeper Pick: Jonnu Smith TE
- Current ADP: TE16 (13.11)
- Jonnu is arguably my favorite sleeper this season, I have him as my TE9 where the consensus is ranking him TE16. I’ve dubbed Jonnu the best candidate to be 2020 Mark Andrews, and thats high praise. He is in a run heavy offense, that is hungry for pass catching targets aside from A.J. Brown. Jonnu is a mismatch in coverage, a big play threat, and has better hands than he’s given credit for (clip below). The only reason he hasn’t been talked about more was due to the presence of Delanie Walker, who is no longer there. If you can get Jonnu in the 13th Round, do it every time. I’d even suggest drafting him as early as the 10th-11th if you still need a TE1. As hard as it is to believe Mark Andrews was an end of the draft TE just a season ago, in a run heavy offense, with not much of a track record, and look how he turned out.
- Sleeper Pick: Antonio Gibson RB
- Current ADP: RB51 (12.03)
- Washington’s backfield situation is a mess to figure out. They have Guice, AP, Gibson, Barber, Love, etc. I’m not necessarily high on any of them. But Gibson’s skillset is different than the rest, as he can be utilized as a WR in addition to being a powerful runner (clip below). Washington is hungry for playmakers all over the field. McLaurin is the only proven WR, Guice & Peterson should be the RB duo early on, but Guice has only played 5 career games in two seasons and Peterson is 35 years old. Gibson is a special talent, and one NFL fans are excited about. As a deep sleeper on a team looking for weapons, I’d take a chance on Gibson in the 12th Round.
Michael Pittman Jr. Cover Photo: (Photo: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports)