Top Fantasy Football Sleepers
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Over the next few minutes (assuming you’re not one of those crazy speed readers) you’re going to get a full education on five of the biggest sleeper picks of this year’s fantasy season. We’ve decided to rank them in terms of round too. In other words, we’ll start near the top of the draft board with picks that’ll likely fall out of the first few rounds, then the next few, and so on and so forth. Let’s get to it.
1. Jalen Hurts – Quarterback – Philadelphia Eagles
Based on most keeper leagues, Hurts will likely fall out of the first four to five rounds of your fantasy draft. If you’re not in a keeper, he’ll likely still be around a little later yet. Over the past decade, we’ve seen the ascent of mobile QB’s in the NFL and it’s no different in the fantasy game. Finding a guy who can drive the rock through the air and on the ground is absolutely invaluable and based on Hurts’ limited work last year, he’ll likely fall right into your lap.
When he did get his chance following Carson Wentz’s benching in week 13 of last season, Jalen shined and almost brought the Eagles back to relevance. It’s no major feat when talking about the NFC East, but when you add in how he fell in the draft, his slightly marred college career, and the fact he only started four games in his rookie campaign it is fairly impressive. He led Philly to a win over New Orleans in his first start in week 14 and ended the season with over 1,000 yards through the air and 354 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. He also averaged roughly 23.0 fantasy points per game through his four starts.
If the other mobile options in Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, and Dak Prescott are gone – Jalen is your man.
2. Michael Carter – Running Back – New York Jets
The young Carter is fully primed for a huge season in 2021. With the RB1 role bouncing around throughout all of last year under Adam Gase, it became clear early on that this team didn’t have a lead mule. Enter a new coach, a better o-line, and a top QB in the draft for 2021 and you’ve got the makings of a much better outlook.
Taken in the fourth round of the 2021 draft out of North Carolina, don’t be surprised if you see Carter’s name hovering around in the sixth or seventh rounds. He doesn’t have a resume built yet, but it’s become clear through camp and the preseason that he’ll get first dibs. His current ADP is 80, while his ranking sits at 95. He’s likely to fall, but he’s also likely to put points on the board. Every rookie QB relies heavily on their run game to ease the pressure. You can expect Zach Wilson and Carter to work hand-in-hand for some time.
3. Marquez Callaway – Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints
With Michael Thomas out until likely week 6 or more, the Saints need a top wideout. With Tre’Quan Smith falling a bit in popularity through the preseason, Callaway picked up the slack with a two-touchdown performance against Jacksonville and a very impressive camp. Watch for Marquez to fall heavily on your draft board. So much so, that if you’re doing an offline sticker board draft, you may even have to write his name in because nobody’s ever heard of him. Don’t worry, that’s all going to change very soon.
4. Jakobi Meyers – Wide Receiver – New England Patriots
Another guy who will likely be there for the picking come rounds nine or 10 will be Pats wideout, Jakobi Meyers. He was a favorite of Cam Newton’s last year, averaging 12.4 yards per catch. He put up 729 yards on just 59 catches and is primed for another solid season as the Pats WR1. He’ll fall heavily on draft boards because nobody trusts Mac Jones just yet. The good news here is Jones is a pure pocket passer and with the limited talent available at the wideout spot, Meyers is guaranteed to see a lot of targets in 2021.
5. Elijah Moore – Wide Receiver – New York Jets
Get to know the name, Elijah Moore. The Jets spent big money on Corey Davis this past offseason, but don’t be surprised if his name gets buried soon by the new kid on the block. Even before he played a snap in the NFL, Odell Beckham Jr predicted he could be an all-pro in his first season. He has impressed heavily in camp, has shown good chemistry with the rookie QB Wilson and is looking like he could even be the future WR1 in New York before the end of the calendar year.
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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.