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Fantasy Football Sleepers: July Edition

There is still a lot of time before Week 1, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of sleepers and value picks that could be drafted! I wrote about some of my favorite sleepers last month and while I still like all those players (except Demarcus Robinson, his value takes a hit if Tyreek Hill doesn’t miss significant time), but I wanted to write about even more players that I have been targeting in the double-digit rounds of fantasy drafts.

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Early Sleepers for 2019 Fantasy Football

Duke Johnson has not made it a secret that he wants to be traded away from the Browns. Johnson is currently going off the board as the 56th running back at pick 158.8 overall on Fantrax. He is easily worth taking as a late-round flier, and I recently grabbed him in the 11th round of a draft, strictly because if the Browns trade him somewhere he would have a larger role. I have high hopes of him ending up as the lead back in Tampa Bay, but even if not, there are always preseason injuries that will open up work and that is when Johnson could be on the move.

The downside is that the Browns do not trade him. If that was to happen he would either be the passing down back for the Browns until Hunt returns, which would still hold some value, or he would be a pick that you can drop when the first round of waivers runs. If you are drafting now, Johnson is worth the upside shot in the double-digit rounds.

Devin Singletary is a player that some analysts love and some hate. When I watched his college film, I was reminded of a less athletic LeSean McCoy. What stood out to me most was his ability to cut and change speeds in a second, much like McCoy has been doing for the last decade. My initial thought was the Bills drafted Singletary to learn from McCoy this year and take over next year when McCoy would be a free agent. But, in the final year of his career, the Bills can save $6.5-million by cutting McCoy, who had his worst season as a pro last year.

If the Bills want to move on from the big cap hit, that would leave them with Singletary, Frank Gore, and T.J. Yeldon. Any of the three could step up for the Bills, but Gore is on his way out of the league and Yeldon has been a nice piece for the Jags in recent years, but he has not shown enough to be a long-term solution. Singletary could be well in line to start for the Bills either at the start of the season or early on and is costing nothing more than a late-round pick. This is the time to pounce on the potential value because if he was to win the job the price would climb pretty dramatically.

Anthony Miller had a lot of hype as the Bears slot receiver last season. He played well at times but was also banged up. He finished with 54 targets, 33 receptions, 423 yards and scored seven touchdowns. I expected him to have more hype coming into this season but he is currently going off the board as the 50th WR at pick 123.56, according to Fantrax ADP. There is value to be had there.

Miller is entering his second season in the NFL, but also his second season with Matt Nagy. Many are expecting Mitch Trubisky to take the next step and if that happens, Miller, should also take the next step. The concern is that there are a lot of mouths to feed in Chicago with Allen Robinson, Tarik Cohen, Trey Burton, Taylor Gabriel and rookie, Riley Ridley, and they would not be wrong. But, Miller led all Bears with 247 routes from the slot, and that is while missing time. We know the value of slot receivers in modern offenses and if Miller is running the bulk of the routes there, he will be the Bears second best option, outside of just Robinson.

Trey Quinn was a player that I wrote about in my last sleeper article, but there is even more to like now! Since writing that there have been reports raving about Quinn’s work from the slot, which is exactly what you want to see this summer. Quinn’s competition last year for slot routes was Jamison Crowder and Maurice Harris, both of whom are no longer in Washington. Not only should Quinn man the slot, but he is my pick to lead the Redskins in receptions and yards.

Quinn will provide the Redskins QB, regardless of who is it, with a consistent safety blanket. If Case Keenum wins the job, we know his love for slot receivers with Adam Thielen and Emmanuel Sanders in recent years. If Dwayne Haskins win the job, rookie receivers tend to target those safety blankets a good amount. Quinn is climbing, now going off as the 80th receiver off the board at pick 199.91 overall. That is still free, but the fact that it’s climbing should tell you to pull the trigger a little earlier than you have been. Quinn is a player I expect to have a ton of late round shares of and suggest you all do the same!

Josh Gordon is going to suck me in again isn’t he? We have seen pictures of him working out with Tom Brady this summer and the Patriots are keeping him on the roster in what seems to be an attempt to have him this season. If you don’t know, I have been suckered into Gordon each of the last like five seasons and was hoping it would be different this year. But he is going as WR81 with pick 201.06 overall, meaning he is basically free.

I would still be drafting Quinn over him, but I am warming up to the idea of drafting Gordon in the last rounds of my early drafts. I would recommend doing so over a kicker or defense and allowing this situation to play out. If worst comes to worst, you can drop Gordon for whichever you need a defense or kicker. If Gordon is reinstated, you do not have to use a ton of FAAB or top waiver claim to get him and can find someone else on your roster to cut. You know the talent and you also know the risk. But, as long as he continues to be drafted in sleepers territory, I am warming up to the idea. Someone send help!

Follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio!

If enjoyed this Michael’s early sleepers, head on over to the 2019 Fantrax Fantasy Football Draft Kit for more great strategy, analysis, and rankings.

Michael Florio is the winner of the 2018 FSWA Baseball Article of the Year and was a finalist for the 2017 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year. He has hosted video/radio shows, written for a number of print and web publications including the AP, NY Daily News and much more!

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