Top 5 Sleepers for 2017 Fantasy Football
I am not naturally a risk taker. In fact, when I invested in my first stock; I sold it 5 minutes later. I couldn’t handle the stress of not knowing if I would lose money or make money.
What that means is that, when I am drafting players, I’m not big on picking the sexy sleeper of the year. Meaning, I don’t need to stroke my ego by boasting that I pick player X as the biggest sleeper of the year. And then scream to the mountains when I’m right.
We all know who they are, and they generally are incorrect, but when they do get that ONE right. Look out.
Sleepers are labeled a sleeper because no one expects much from them and thus their Average Draft Position is generally warranted, if they are drafted in at all. A sleeper is someone who you believe will exceed value or total points in comparison to who else could have been drafted instead. In economics this is call the opportunity cost of selecting option A over option B and what do not get by selection option B.
For me to be big on a so called “sleeper” it means that I don’t truly consider them a sleeper because I have seen them perform above their current ADP in the past. History is the best indication of the future and I apply that to my draft picks. I also don’t believe in picking someone in the 1st through the 5th rounds as a sleeper. The better statement for those players is: Predicting these players to have a career year. With that said, here are my sleepers for 2017.
- Tyrell Williams – ADP 98 and 41st He had over 1,000 receiving yards last year and 7 touchdowns. I thought he was just as good as Michael Thomas the last half of the year and Thomas is being drafted in the 2nd round. The Chargers offense will still be pass heavy and expect Williams to be a big factor again this year.
- Marvin Jones – ADP 125 and 50th I get it, he had a terrible 2nd half overall, but the 1st half showed me the potential. And given his ADP, I’ll take a chance on Jones over guys like John Brown, Corey Coleman and Erick Decker. Not many wide receivers in the NFL can say they have a 200 receiving yard game to their name. Just like with Williams, Jones has a pass friendly QB and offense to boast.
- Doug Martin – ADP 89 and 33rd Yes, he is suspended. Yes, he has major injury risk. But who else can you get, that has two 1400+ yard seasons, at this point in the draft. Martin’s only risk his is injuries. And it’s a big risk. But this late in the draft you take it, because if he is healthy, you have at minimum a top 20 running back.
- Andy Dalton – ADP 146 and 19th The last two years, Dalton has finished as a top 12 QB for the week 55% of the time. Good for 6th over that time period. Ahead of Drew Brees (50%), Matt Ryan (50%), Cam Newton (48%), and Matthew Stafford (46%). All quarterbacks that are going well ahead of Dalton in drafts. He has played in 93 of 96 possible games, over 6 years. In those 6 years, his worst fantasy finish was QB 18. That’s nothing to boast about, but since he’s going 19th in 2017 drafts…I’ll bet on him to finish higher than where he’s going.
- Julius Thomas – ADP 171 and 19th Even I am not confident in this pick, but Thomas is going 171 overall, so it wouldn’t take much for me to be correct. Thomas has never played a full season, so expect him to play in the 12 to 14 range. But, that doesn’t mean he can’t help win you some week. Obviously, with Denver he has his best years. 24 touchdowns in 2 years. And even in the terrible Jaguars offense, he still had 9 touchdowns over the last two years. He comes to the Miami Dolphins and has Jay Cutler as his quarterback now. Martellus Bennett and even Zach Miller benefited from having Cutler at the helm. Expect Thomas, to be productive this year. If you drafted Gronkowski or Eifert as your starter and need some insurance, Thomas would be a great option and not have to waste a pick on a 2nd TE. See also: how to plan a draft with risky players if you are planning to target Gronk!
Best of Luck!