Fantasy Football: Finding Players That Can Impact Your Roster

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Some fantasy team owners make grave mistakes right off the bat by reaching for diamonds in the rough too early. Utilize your first few rounds on the best guys at each position. Then, once your team is looking solid in some key areas, it’s time to start looking for the hidden gems to put you over the top. Trust us, there’s still a few out there that haven’t been talked about too.

The big issue with finding genuine sleeper picks is it can’t really be done these days. With the amount of coverage the NFL and fantasy football gets throughout every offseason, everyone and their cousin already know about the guy you’re targeting late. There’s no secrets anymore. With that said, though, there are a few guys that you can still roll the dice on that could pay off if the winds blow in their direction. Let us elaborate.

Quarterback – #14 Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers

Early on this season, Darnold has looked like he’s going to be able to weather the storm. The former USC first-rounder needed a fresh start as the Adam Gase-led offense in New York was sucking the life out of the young QB week after week. With a new lease on life and some quality pieces now in his arsenal, Darnold is a new man.

He’s now a QB that comes in with a rough track record, but Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore to his left and right, a better offensive line, and a dual-threat pedigree. Darnold can air it out and he can move in and out of the pocket. 2021 could be his redemption song.

Quarterback – #12 Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stop. Don’t say it. Alright, say it. Yes, we know…”He’s not a sleeper pick!” Well, then how come in every fantasy pool we’re in he goes in the 10th round or later? Everyone has been writing this guy off year after year. He’s finished. He’s washed up. Well, not so much.

In the early goings, Brady has shown that he’s still one of the most proficient passers out there and on top of that, the T-Bay run game still hasn’t improved. Leonard Fournette is still in the backfield going for two or three yard carries every time. Over and over there’s a ton of field left for TB12 to play with. If he’s there, take him in a heartbeat.

Wide Receiver – #16 Quez Watkins – Philadelphia Eagles

Alright, here’s a guy that you’ll find sitting there dead last in the draft. Quez is a true diamond in the rough and nobody will tell you that more than his QB Jalen Hurts. All preseason long, all we could hear out of Eagles camp was, “the secret is out on Quez Watkins”. Well, they weren’t wrong. Quez could be the next big thing in Philly believe it or not.

He’s got the speed, the hands and as the labelled starting X receiver, he’s going to get the targets very soon too. Right now he’s a safety guy underneath so his big plays aren’t coming in droves. However, he did go over 100-yards for the first time in his career in week two. The future could be very bright for Quez.

Running Back – #25 Elijah Mitchell – San Francisco 49ers

As we’ve seen for the pst few years, while Raheem Mostert has the tools to be a top tier running back, he just doesn’t have the health. The next guy up in line is sixth round draft choice Eli Mitchell, who in his first game of fill-in football this year, ran for over 100-yards and a touchdown against Detroit in week one. With Mostert expected to miss the next eight weeks of the season, Mitchell could be a name you hear a lot about for a very long time in San Fran.

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Ryan Sullivan

Expert on Hockey

Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.