Welcome to this weeks’ edition of the Monday Morning Sleeper, Deep Sleeper Edition. Last week I profiled a potential No. 1 wide receiver for the Bears named Cameron Meredith, who is poised to take the reins in Chicago. This week I will be profiling four deep sleepers who may pay off for savvy managers who have the faith to take a “Hail Mary” on them late in fantasy drafts.
A Fantasy Football Sleeper is a player that is in a position to play beyond their rankings or expectations, is a relative unknown, and who may provide you with some value at their draft position.
KENNY GOLLADAY – WIDE RECEIVER – DETROIT LIONS
Kenny Golladay was drafted in the third round, 96th overall, of the 2017 NFL entry draft. Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 213 pounds, he is built like your prototypical perimeter receiver. His size, coupled with his reach, will enable him to pull down passes that most other receivers wouldn’t have a chance on. Golladay is currently third on the Lions’ depth chart, behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, but due to his size and speed, he could quickly become one of Matthew Stafford‘s favorite red-zone targets. I’d take him early in the third round of rookie drafts, or maybe even late second depending on my positional strength. Take a late-round flier on him in all other formats, and he may remind you of Stafford tossing one downfield for Calvin Johnson in the end zone.
JEREMY McNICHOLS – RUNNING BACK – TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
With Doug Martin finishing his three-game suspension, there is an opportunity for a young running back to showcase his skills on the big stage. Jeremy McNichols is currently competing with Charles Sims, Jaquizz Rodgers, and Peyton Barber for the opportunity to lead the Buccaneers backfield while Martin sits. McNichols was drafted in the fifth round, 162nd overall, of the 2017 NFL entry draft. His draft stock fell as a result of concerns over his surgically repaired shoulder, which is a similar reason Jay Ajayi fell to the fifth round in 2016, and look how he turned out in Miami. McNichols has the brightest future out of all of the backs in Tampa Bay. Grab him late in your draft, and you could look like a genius if he wins the starting gig for the first three weeks. And there is always a chance that he never relinquishes that role.
AARON JONES – RUNNING BACK – GREEN BAY PACKERS
[the_ad id=”384″]Green Bay has an extremely interesting back field with a lot of opportunity for the right back. Ty Montgomery seems to have taken over the role, after identifying as a wide receiver for much of his career, when he finished the season as the Packers’ lead back in 2016. The Packers, however, drafted two young running backs in the 2017 NFL entry draft. The first is Jamaal Williams, drafted in the fourth round, 134th overall. The second back drafted by the Packers was Aaron Jones, who they took in the fifth round, 182nd overall. Jones played extremely well in college, putting up some pretty unreal numbers, which you can find here. The competition for the lead back duties appear to be going strong, and if Jones can pull ahead of the competition and snatch the starting reins from Montgomery and Williams, he might be the steal of your fantasy draft.
JAY CUTLER – QUARTERBACK – MIAMI DOLPHINS
With Ryan Tannehill suffering a severe knee injury on a non-contact play during practice, the Dolphins have signed Jay Cutler to a one-year deal to lead the Fish for the 2017 season. While Cutler will be coming out of retirement and may be a bit rusty, he will have some serious weapons at his disposal. His one-two punch at wide receiver will be DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry, followed by Ajayi on the ground, giving him three effective play-makers to help him get the ball downfield. It remains to be seen how well he will be able to perform, after leaving the game for the broadcast booth, but if he can throw the ball accurately and stay healthy, he may have some value late in your draft. With that much talent around him, he could be a solid bye-week fill-in or insurance policy for your starting quarterback.
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