NFL Rookie Sleepers for 2019 Fantasy Season

NFL Rookie Sleepers for 2019 Fantasy Season

Every year there are NFL Rookie Sleepers that we all kick ourselves for not being higher on. Drafting certain rookies makes sense & knowing their ADP is required.

However, there is a distinct difference between being a fantasy value head hunter and simply throwing good draft picks after risky rookies.

With that being said, I believe the best and most practical approach to drafting rookies is to do so carefully. In other words, as in most things in life, rookies should never be relied upon entirely.

For example, maybe you’re high on Kyler Murray. Maybe you feel like you’ve got a leg up because you’re going to grab him off the board earlier than others would even dream of. Do not. Don’t be the guy that takes a rookie ahead of other proven top 10 positional players.

Instead, be the guy that snipes rookie potential in later draft rounds. Look to build positional depth, minimize risk and maximize potential.

Without further ado, below you’ll find potential NFL Rookie Sleepers we think you should consider when seeking to capitalize on fantasy potential (and or to keep your eyes on in the waiver wire).

Our Favorite Rookie Sleepers

Alexander Mattison

Current ADP: 122
Depth Chart Competition: Dalvin Cook
Fantasy Outlook: Mattison has been in almost every sleeper article we have written this offseason. He was one of our RB sleepers, one of our deep sleepers, and even made our zero RB draft targets list for 2019. While we list Dalvin Cook as Mattison’s depth chart competition, in no way can he compete with Cook for the primary back role in this offense. That being said, Latavius Murray has been a top 25 fantasy back over the last two seasons working behind Cook in a less RB-friendly version of what this offense should be in 2019. Mattison should get goalline work, short-yardage work, and the occasional series spelling Cook, and if Cook misses times (has missed 17 out of 32 career games) Mattison would vault into the high-end RB2 discussion.

Darwin Thompson

Current ADP: 155
Depth Chart Competition: Damien Williams / Carlos Hyde
Fantasy Outlook: Thompson is another guy that has been on our radar since being drafted last April. He finds himself in an ideal situation in Kansas City with a franchise that knows how to get the most out of playmakers. Thompson also benefits from a relatively thin group of running backs competing for touches in KC. Carlos Hyde and Damien Williams are both veterans that washed out with their previous teams. While Hyde is far from a lock to make the final roster, Williams is yet to practice this offseason, creating plenty of opportunities for Thompson to get reps.

Terry McLaurin

Current ADP: NA
Depth Chart Competition: Josh Doctson
Fantasy Outlook: Like Thompson, McLaurin finds himself in an ideal situation heading into his rookie season. While we are Paul Richardson believers, there is little other competition at the WR position on this roster. Trey Quinn has 10 career targets and was on IR twice last season, Josh Doctson is a bonafide bust and was even worse than his numbers suggest in 2018, and fellow rookie Kelvin Harmon lacks the explosiveness to consistently get open at this level. Not only do we think McLaurin will be a starter by week 1, but we think he is going to give opposing DB’s fits this season. McLaurin enters the NFL as a four-year player from Ohio State, with 4.3 speed, decent size, great hands, and a cutthroat competitive nature. Given his experience and skill set, the learning curve is less steep for him than most rookie receivers.

DK Metcalf

Current ADP:
Depth Chart Competition: David Moore / Jaron Brown / Gary Jennings
Fantasy Outlook: DK Metcalf’s past four months are a microcosm of his football career to date. Extremely high highs, and extremely low lows. Metcalf was arguably the most explosive WR in college football over the past two seasons, but would often disappear and missed extended time with injuries. Once projected to be a lottery pick, Metcalf’s stock price slipped once the draft actually came around and he ended up going at the end of the second round. That fall may have been a blessing in disguise, however, as he now finds himself playing on a Superbowl caliber team, with a superstar QB, and a hole at receiver. Metcalf’s training camp has been what you would expect, at times flat out dominant but overall inconsistent. That being said, this team needs a pass-catcher to pair with Tyler Lockett and if Metcalf makes a couple of big plays this preseason he could skyrocket up draft boards.

Noah Fant

Current ADP: 158
Depth Chart Competition: Jeff Heuerman / Troy Fumagalli / Jake Butt
Fantasy Outlook: Let us start by saying TJ Hockenson is a monster, and if you consider the first rookie TE drafted to be a sleeper, then there you go… we pick him. He 100% is the next George Kittle. If not, Noah Fant is as far down as we can go in this rookie TE pool. While I love Josh Oliver’s potential, a significant preseason hamstring injury puts him even further behind schedule, and coming out of San Jose State, he needed every rep he could get this preseason. Fant, on the other hand, looks like a guy that could contribute right away for the Broncos. At 6’5″ with 4.5 speed, Fant is a matchup nightmare for opposing linebackers and we saw that on display in the Broncos opening preseason game. Fant could be especially lethal in the red zone for the Broncos, as Courland Sutton is the only big-body red-zone threat at the moment. I don’t think he’s worth drafting at the moment, and would certainly rather have Mark Andrews or TJ Hockenson as my TE2, but if he gets snaps he could produce in Rich Scangarello’s TE-friendly offense.

NFL Rookie QB Sleepers

kyler murray nfl rookie qb sleeper

Kyler Murray

QB Rookie Sleeper | Arizona Cardinals

There’s a case to be made to draft Kyler Murray as your QB2. However, there’s a somewhat equally strong case to be made to select about 10 others as your QB2.

I think his fantasy ceiling is a solid top 15 QB. His floor on the other hand could like something like Josh Rosen, who happened to have 2287 YD’s, 11 TD’s & 14 INT’s last year. (Oh yeah, Rosen was sacked 45 times and had 7 fumbles as well. He’s also listed as QB2 in Miami behind Fitzpatrick.)

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College(s): Oklahoma, Texas A&M
Draft Position: #1 Overall
College Career Stats: Passing, 5406 YD’s | 50 TD’s | 14 INT’s / Rushing, 1478 YD’s | 13 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: He’s the guy.

daniel jones nfl rookie qb sleeper

Daniel Jones

QB Rookie Sleeper | New York Giants

The New York Football Giants have selected the future franchise QB in Daniel Jones. Eli Manning has two championship rings, two super bowl mvp awards and is responsible for throwing 55981 YD’s, 360 TD’s and 239 INT’s in his 16 seasons as the Giant’s QB.

Eli is 38 years old, he’s an ironman and a future first ballot hall of fame quarterback. Daniel Jones won’t be taking the reins this year unless Eli gets injured or has his worst year in nearly two decades.

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College(s): Duke
Draft Position: #6 Overall
College Career Stats: Passing, 8201 YD’s | 52 TD’s | 20 INT’s / Rushing, 1323 YD’s | 17 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Eli Manning

drew lock nfl rookie qb sleeper

Drew Lock

QB Rookie Sleeper | Denver Broncos

Drew Lock is the future of the Denver Broncos franchise. His numbers are astounding and he’s even landing a Brett Favre comparison. With that being said, Joe Flacco is at the helm in 2019.

Flacco is 34 years old, has a championship and a Super Bowl mvp to boot. In his 10 year career, he’s compiled 38245 YD’s, 212 TD’s and 136 INT’s. Flacco is somewhat jaded from his seemingly disrespectful departure from Baltimore.

Lock’s likely to see the field sporadically throughout the 2019 season, in order to prepare him for the ‘year(s)’ to come. Flacco has a 3 year contract in place.

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College(s): Missouri
Draft Position: #42 Overall
College Career Stats: Passing, 12193 YD’s | 99 TD’s | 31 INT’s / Rushing, 437 YD’s | 9 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Joe Flacco

dwayne haskins nfl rookie qb sleeper

Dwayne Haskins

QB Rookie Sleeper | Washington Redskins

Dwayne Haskins was selected to come in and immediately be ‘the guy’. His only competition for the job is Colt McCoy and Case Keenum, both of whom have officially solidified their career’s as backups.

Alex Smith is still recovering from a broken tibia and fibula from last November. It’s unclear if Smith will return to field, sadly ever again. It’s worth noting however, that Smith was saluted by Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid for his mentorship of Patrick’s rookie year.

Haskins is going all the help he can get but has potential to be a top 15 quarterback this year.

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College(s): Ohio State
Draft Position: #15 Overall
College Career Stats: Passing, 5396 YD’s | 54 TD’s | 9 INT’s / Rushing, 194 YD’s | 4 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Colt McCoy & Case Keenum. (Little to none.)

NFL Rookie RB Sleepers

josh jacobs nfl rookie rb sleeper

Josh Jacobs

RB Rookie Sleeper | Oakland Raiders

Jacobs is 5’10”, 220 lbs with 4.6 quickness and has the tools to be a feature 3 down running back (rushing & receiving). He’s going to get the spotlight, the starting job and be a workhorse as Oakland looks to turnaround it’s terrible 4 – 12, 2018 season.

He’ll go as an RB2 in most drafts. If you can land him as an RB3, it’s the steal/headline of the draft.

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College(s): Alabama
Draft Position: #24 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 1491 YD’s | 16 TD’s / Receiving, 571 YD’s | 5 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Doug Martin

miles sanders nfl rookie rb sleeper

Miles Sanders

RB Rookie Sleeper | Philadelphia Eagles

We’ve learned via the man named Saquon that Penn State RB’s can produce at the next level. Is it fair to compare, Miles Sanders to Saquon Barkely? Of course not (Barkley is arguably the best RB in the league).

Nevertheless, it’s likely that Miles Sanders finds his way onto the field throughout the season. He has great hands and is extremely elusive. With that being said, the 2016 5th round Bears RB known as Jordan Howard will probably edge Miles in overall workload.

In just 3 seasons Howard tallied 3370 YD’s & 24 TD’s for the Monsters of the Midway. Miles should be considered a possible RB3/Flex Option, but mostly a fantasy depth pick.

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College(s): Penn State
Draft Position: #53 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 1649 YD’s | 12 TD’s / Receiving, 193 YD’s | 1 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Jordan Howard

darrell henderson nfl rookie rb sleeper

Darrell Henderson

RB Rookie Sleeper | Los Angeles Rams

The audacity to suggest Todd Gurley’s knees are in play. Look, I’m as big a fan as anyone of Georgia’s T. Gurley. At 6’1″ 231 lbs, he’s eclipsed 1100 YD’s and double digit TD’s in 3 of 4 seasons (not to mention his heroic receiving numbers).

If you land Gurley in the back-half of the first round, count your blessings (I think he has another monster season & his knee is being dramatized). Speaking of monsters however, Darrell Henderson has all the makings of a feature RB.

In 2019, Henderson’s fantasy value is strictly tied to the mobility of Todd Gurley’s left knee.

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College(s): Memphis
Draft Position: #70 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 3445 YD’s | 36 TD’s / Receiving, 758 YD’s | 8 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Todd Gurley

david montgomery nfl rookie rb sleeper

David Montgomery

RB Rookie Sleeper | Chicago Bears

Tarik Cohen is a 5’6″, elusive running and nimble pass catching 180 pounder. In two seasons, 2017 4th rounder, Cohen has tallied 814 rushing YD’s and 5 TD’s.

Additionally, he’s recorded just over 1000 YD’s and 6 TD’s receiving, again in two seasons in Chicago. Also in Montgomery’s way to the bulk of Chicago carries is Mike Davis.

Davis is out of South Carolina and was drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 draft. He was in San Francisco for two years before playing and be relied upon heavily in Seattle for 2 years. On a 112 rushing attempts in Seattle, Davis was merely able to tally 514 YD’s & 4 TD’s.

David Montgomery is capable of handling the entire workload, but will likely share much of the 2019 load with Cohen. The Bears led the NFC North by far and away with a 12 – 4 record.

I think Montgomery’s fantasy outlook to date is an RB3 option and or handcuff on Tarik Cohen. (2020 could spell an entirely different outlook given Montgomery’s level of talent.)

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College(s): Iowa State
Draft Position: #73 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 2925 YD’s | 26 TD’s / Receiving, 582 YD’s | 0 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Tarik Cohen & Mike Davis.

devin singletary nfl rookie rb sleeper

Devin Singletary

RB Rookie Sleeper | Buffalo Bills

Devin Singletary lived in the end zone at Florida Atlantic. He established a permanent residence full with fireplace and outdoor/indoor living. We’re talking about his 66 rushing touchdowns in 3 seasons. He’s been overlooked at the collegiate and professional level due to his 5’7″, 200 lb frame. He has all the tools to continue to make scouts look bad at the next level.

With that being said, Buffalo has a stable of RB’s. Namely, LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore & T.J Yeldon. LeSean is entering is 11 NFL season (6 of which have been 1000 YD +), Frank is somehow embarking on his 15th (with nearly 15000 rushing YD’s under his belt) and T.J is going into his 5th season (the previous 4 were in Jacksonville where he averaged under 500 rushing YD’s per year).

Buffalo is desperate to dominate the AFC East and Singletary is no doubt a part of that equation. If you’re in love with LeSean McCory, add Singletary to your bench in the last round. If you’re not, keep your eye on him in the waiver wire. He’s a potential RB2, alongside Yeldon if the elders known as LeSean & Frank didn’t exist.

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College(s): Florida Atlantic
Draft Position: #74 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 4289 YD’s | 66 TD’s / Receiving, 397 YD’s | 1 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore & T.J Yeldon.

justice hill nfl rookie rb sleeper

Justice Hill

RB Rookie Sleeper | Baltimore Ravens

The AFC North is a great division for a rookie RB to get his footing in the league. Justice has admirable stats coming out of Oklahoma State and is likely to see the field in what’s sure to be a fast paced Lamar Jackson centered offense.

He’ll be competing against a 9th year Mark Ingram who’s a proven workhorse that can also catch the ball. Additionally, undrafted free agent Gus Edwards is competing for carries. Though, it’s notable that while Edwards had 718 rushing YD’s on 137 attempts, he had only 2 receiving targets in all of 2018.

I think it’s likely that Justice Hill becomes the RB2 in Baltimore, which in an offense like we’re about to witness, has potential for fantasy value. At this point however, drafting him is for depth and potential in latter rounds.

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College(s): Oklahoma State
Draft Position: #113 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 3539 YD’s | 30 TD’s / Receiving, 304 TD’s | 1 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Mark Ingram & Gus Edwards.

benny snell nfl rookie rb sleeper

Benny Snell

RB Rookie Sleeper | Pittsburgh Steelers

James Conner is a monster and in-fact, the man in Pittsburgh. He’s proved himself fully capable of where Le’Veon Bell left off (which of course says a ton).

The Steelers grabbed Jaylen Samuels in the 5th round of the 2018 draft. Samuels made his name as a receiving back at N.C State and that’s exactly what he’s been used for at the next level.

Benny Snell is 100% a handcuff on Conner. Snell is a tough and patient runner with all the tools necessary to be a chain moving workhorse (although his receiving ability has yet to be tested).

Again, if Conner goes down, we’re looking at Snell the workhorse and Samuels, the third down back (at least until we can gauge Benny’s hands).

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College(s): Kentucky
Draft Position: #122 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 3873 YD’s | 48 TD’s / Receiving, 216 YD’s | 0 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: James Conner

jordan scarlett nfl rookie rb sleeper

Jordan Scarlett

RB Rookie Sleeper | Carolina Panthers

Jordan Scarlett is a naturally elusive runner with phenomenal lateral quickness and vision. He is not Christian McCaffrey, but he is perhaps McCaffrey(esk) – he’s a playmaker.

Christian was the man at Stanford (and in the NCAA) and has proven his ability to excel at the same high levels in the NFL. The Panthers have pure pounders in Artis-Payne and Armah.

If Christian goes down, Scarlett is going to have his chance to shine as ‘the guy’.

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College(s): Florida
Draft Position: #154 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 1846 YD’s | 12 TD’s / Receiving, 108 YD’s | 0 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Christian McCaffrey

ty johnson nfl rookie rb sleeper

Ty Johnson

RB Rookie Sleeper | Detroit Lions

Look, this is a deep, deep sleeper pick. However, my bias having grown up in Michigan leaves me on constant lookout for a great running back for the Detroit Lions.

With that being said, we’re extremely excited about a healthy Kerryon Johnson and a new offensive system (which involves a significant uptick in usage). In-fact, all belief for Michigan fans is that Kerryon has a break-out year in the 2019 season. Kerryon was a second round pick out of Auburn in the 2018 draft. He has all the tools to be a 3 down back – he has great agility in and outside of the tackles and can catch the ball very well.

C.J Anderson is an absolute beast, but will only likely see goal-line / limited redzone usage. He’s also going into his 8th season and is on a 1 year deal.

Theo Riddick was a 6th round pick out of Notre Dame in 2013. He was an absolute monster as a pass catching RB, but only averaged over 4 YD’s per carry once in 6 seasons. He suffered from significant injury in 2 of the past 3 seasons and is in the last year of his contract.

Therefore, the possibility that Ty Johnson has a breakout rookie year is essentially mute. While, he’s certainly capable, it would require both Kerryon and Theo going down hard. However, Ty seems like someone to have on your radar for the 2020 season.

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College(s): Maryland
Draft Position: #186 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 2635 YD’s | 17 TD’s / Receiving, 318 YD’s | 2 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Kerryon Johnson, C.J. Anderson & Theo Riddick

darwin thompson nfl rookie rb sleeper

Darwin Thompson

RB Rookie Sleeper | Kansas City Chiefs

Darwin Thompson is the epitome of a deep RB sleeper. He’s 5 foot nothing, a buck-ninety nothing but is the exact type of player that can change the entire dynamic of a game in one play.

If there is any team in the league that can bring the absolute most out of this 6th rounder, it’s the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs offense (as most of you know) is operating on a different level than 90% of teams. They didn’t take Darwin because they needed him or he was a good fit or whatever other mundane slush we hear from analyst. They grabbed him because he’s a pure offensive weapon – that they can and will use.

Granted, we don’t expect him to be a fantasy workhorse behind Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde perhaps, ever. However, in this offense, with Mahomes and Reid at the helm – his upside is off the charts.

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College(s): Utah State
Draft Position: #214 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 1044 YD’s | 14 TD’s / Receiving, 351 YD’s | 2 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Damien Willams & Carlos Hyde

myles gaskin nfl rookie rb sleeper

Myles Gaskin

RB Rookie Sleeper | Miami Dolphins

It’s an RB free for all in Miami going into the 2019 season. What was suppose to be a break-out year for Kenyan Drake in 2018 became a story of eclipse by none other than the iron-man, Frank Gore. Gore had 156 rushing attempts for 722 YD’s in ’18. Drake was indeed eclipsed, or preserved I suppose if you’re a die-hard ‘laces-out’ Dolphin.

Drake is poised to be set loose this year and yes, we love the Drake in ’19. He’s a phenomenal runner and even better pass catching back. If anybody is taking from his YD & TD bounty, it’s going to be Kalen Ballage.

Ballage is an Arizone State Sun Devil, drafting in the 4th round of the ’18 draft. He was iced almost entirely during his rookie season, having 10 carries or more in just two games. However, he’s a powerhouse with speed to boot. He’s a 6’2″ 237 pounder, who ran and caught well for the Sun Devils. Perhaps more notably however, he averaged over 22 YD’s on 48 attempts as a kick returner in college. If anything happens to the Drake, Kalen becomes ‘the guy’, immediately.

Myles Gaskin essentially isn’t a fantasy option in ’19. Nevertheless, he’s someone we think you should have on your radar in years to come. He’s an all around great back with college numbers to prove it. If Drake or Kalen go down, Gaskin’s value goes sky-high.

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College(s): Washington
Draft Position: #234 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 5323 YD’s | 57 TD’s / Receiving, 465 YD’s | 5 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Kenyan Drake & Kalen Ballage

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NFL Rookie WR Sleepers

marquise brown nfl rookie wr sleeper

Marquise Brown

WR Rookie Sleeper | Baltimore Ravens

1 of only 2 WR’s to be taken in the first round of the ’19 draft, Marquise Brown was picked to be an impact player. Not a role player, not to add depth to the position, Brown is a playmaker. He can make guys miss in the screen game and has the speed to get over the top of defenses.

Brown had only 2 years at Oklahoma but produced in staggering fashion. He averaged over 18 YD’s per reception, as well as over 1000 YD’s and 7 TD’s per season. At 5’9″ and 170 lbs, coming off from foot surgery and with Lamar Jackson and a yet unproven offensive system in Baltimore, I’d conservatively consider him for a WR2 fantasy play. If you can land him as a WR3, you’ve done incredibly well.

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College(s): Oklahoma
Draft Position: #25 Overall
College Career Stats: 2413 YD’s | 17 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Willie Snead

n'keal harry nfl rookie wr sleeper

N’Keal Harry

WR Rookie Sleeper | New England Patriots

What an excitable change of pace for Patriot fans. Finally, something to get excited about besides winning championships (sarcasm meter spike).

N’Keal Harry was the second of two WR’s taken in the 1st round of ’19 draft. He’s grown man size at 6’2″ and 228 lbs. While he’s not lightening quick, he is fast with next level vision and a large end-zone appetite. Perhaps most noteworthy, he has impeccable hands and ball awareness. He also had 14 punt returns in 2 years for Arizona State in which he tallied 165 YD’s & 1 TD.

We’re looking at a Demaryius Thomas going into his 11th season and a Phillip Dorsett who’s tallied just 1237 YD’s in 4 seasons, in terms of competition. It’s also important to keep in mind that Dorsett was an Indianapolis first rounder (29th overall) in 2015.

Like Marquise Brown, I’d conservatively give Harry a fantasy WR2 / WR3 steal grade, alongside the mighty mouse known as Julian Edelman.

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College(s): Arizona State
Draft Position: #32 Overall
College Career Stats: 2889 YD’s | 22 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Julian Edelman

deebo samuel nfl rookie wr sleeper

Deebo Samuel

WR Rookie Sleeper | San Francisco 49ers

Deebo Samuel was the first of seven WR’s to be taken in the second round of the ’19 draft. He’s a 5’11”, 214 lbs pure playmaker. His vision, hands and hunger for the end-zone are almost exactly like that of N’Keal Harry. However, it’s certainly notable that he is quicker, faster and has an uncanny ability to create space in everything that he does.

Additionally, Deebo returned kicks in 4 of 4 years with the Gamecocks. In two of those kick returning years, he tallied over 1000 YD’s, 2 TD’s and averaged 25+ YD’s per return.

If Jimmy Garoppolo get’s some time in the pocket, stays healthy and can come even close to his final third of the ’17 season numbers, Deebo could shine immediately.

However, San Francisco has an absolute plethora of young and relatively young WR talent going into the ’19 season. Where Deebo could be a solid fantasy WR2 on other depth charts, I think we have no choice but to say his outlook for this year is a potential fantasy WR3. This is until further notice, there are too many variables in place to have him higher than a WR3 option.

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College(s): South Carolina
Draft Position: #36 Overall
College Career Stats: 2076 YD’s | 16 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Marquise Goodwin

aj brown nfl rookie wr sleeper

A.J Brown

WR Rookie Sleeper | Tennessee Titans

A.J Brown is a big target at 6’0″ tall and 226 lbs. He’s not an extremely quick or speedy WR. He does however have great hands, situational awareness and the ability to sync up with the QB in terms of timing (making up for his lack of quickness).

From the looks of things, A.J Brown will see immediate and heavy usage as a possession type wideout with Humphries and Taylor as the frequent fliers. I’d consider A.J Brown for a possible fantasy WR3 or to add depth to the position, especially if your big on Marcus Mariota this year.

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College(s): Ole Miss
Draft Position: #51 Overall
College Career Stats: 2984 YD’s | 19 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Adam Humphries

mecole hardman nfl rookie wr sleeper

Mecole Hardman

WR Rookie Sleeper | Kansas City Chiefs

Mecole Hardman is a flat out flier with solid hands and an affinity for the end-zone. He has lightening quick feet to create space in any situation and the speed to get over the top. He’s not a huge target at 5’10” 187 lbs, but if or when Patrick Mahomes finds him, fireworks.

I think Mecole Hardman is equally as draftable in fantasy leagues as Marquise Brown and N’Keal Harry. In-fact, I might even consider Hardman the #1 WR sleeper of this class. I’d look to him as a solid fantasy WR2 option regardless of Tyreek Hill’s woes and an even more solid WR3 if the NFL somehow decides to let Hill on the field.

Hardman’s potentially the only burner on the field in an offense that requires jet fuel.

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College(s): Georgia
Draft Position: #56 Overall
College Career Stats: 950 YD’s | 11 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Tyreek Hill & Sammy Watkins

jj arcega-whiteside nfl rookie wr sleeper

JJ Arcega-Whiteside

WR Rookie Sleeper | Philadelphia Eagles

JJ doesn’t have blazing speed or acceleration, but is fairly quick with great hands, natural ball positioning and a nose for the ball. At 6’2″ and 225 lbs, he’s a relatively big target and is likely to make for a solid possession wideout with the ability to land big plays at the next level.

JJ will however be competing with Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor for playing time, let alone balls. I think JJ could complement DeSean and Nelson well, but for now, that role is Alshons. Also, Alshon’s contract isn’t up until 2021.

For now, JJ is great depth for the Eagles, but literally virtually (had to), no fantasy option.

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College(s): Stanford
Draft Position: #57 Overall
College Career Stats: 2219 YD’s | 28 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Alshon Jeffery & DeSean Jackson

parris campbell nfl rookie wr sleeper

Parris Campbell

WR Rookie Sleeper | Indianapolis Colts

Okay, so CBS staff writers are obsessed with Parris. Honestly, it’s hard not to be. Parris is as quick and as fast as they come. He’s great at creating space and is gone in open field. He is Percy Harvin like and has all the tools to be a household name in ’19.

It’s also noteworthy that Parris returned kicks at Ohio State for two years, racking up 913 YD’s (averaging slightly over 30 per return).

He’ll be competing primarily with Devin Funchess and T.Y. Hilton for balls. I’m long Andrew Luck targets this year to say the least, but there’s only so many attempts to go around. With all that being said, I think Parris is a rare talent and getting him the ball will become addictive (in a good way).

I’m looking at Parris Campbell as a potential fantasy WR3 play, definitely worth having for the potential up-side.

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College(s): Ohio State
Draft Position: #59 Overall
College Career Stats: 1768 YD’s | 15 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Devin Funchess & T.Y Hilton

andy isabella nfl rookie wr sleeper

Andy Isabella

WR Rookie Sleeper | Arizona Cardinals

Andy Isabella is 5’9″ in height and 188 lbs in weight. He is silly quick, agile and fast with great hands. At that size, you have to do everything better and faster than everyone else (and he does). Julian Edelman himself is even 5’10” and 198 lbs.

Significantly, Isabella had an absolute monster of a senior season at UMass. He tallied nearly 1700 YD’s and 13 receiving TD’s.

Surprisingly, I think Isabella get’s a respectable amount of playing time out of the gate in his rookie season. Alongside Christian Kirk (another flier) and 300 year old Larry Fitzgerald, Andy is going to get looks, make plays and stretch the defense in what’s sure to be an unscripted style of play.

In terms of drafting him, if you have the room and need depth at WR3, go for it. He’ll likely be sitting on the waiver wire in most leagues however, until we get some confirmation of his role.

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College(s): Massachusetts
Draft Position: #62 Overall
College Career Stats: 3526 YD’s | 30 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Larry Fitzgerald & Christian Kirk

dk metcalf nfl rookie wr sleeper

D.K Metcalf

WR Rookie Sleeper | Seattle Seahawks

The elephant in the room concerning D.K Metcalf is the fact that he’s built like a greek god. If you could sculpt the perfect frame/body for an NFL wide receiver, Metcalf would be the template. So, why did he fall to #64 overall?

Well, he was still a second round pick, that’s not necessarily any indication of his potential production. While I don’t know for sure, word on the street is a terrible cone drill time at the combine along with a prior neck injury.

In my opinion D.K is a freak of nature and has all the potential in the world to be an absolute monster in the NFL. It seems to me however, that he’s the type of player that either explodes to greatness like a supernova or collapses in on himself like a black hole. There’s definitely something to be said about a person who has millions of dollars on line (and a not so stand out stat line) and decides to not go ‘all-out’ during a less than 8 second cone-drill. (If he did go ‘all-out’, that’s fine – I wasn’t there – I don’t know.)

Either way, the hoopla and hype surrounding the draft is over and D.K is a Seahawk. Seattle we know, is a great place to make a name for yourself and Russell Wilson is a phenomenal QB to sync up with.

D.K will be battling Tyler Lockett and David Moore for balls and should fit in nicely. He’ll likely have a possession type role with plenty of pluses to boot, including deep and jump balls. I’d grab him for WR fantasy depth and to steal any upside, but it would be in the last rounds.

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College(s): Ole Miss
Draft Position: #64 Overall
College Career Stats: 1228 YD’s | 14 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Tyler Lockett & David Moore

diontae johnson nfl rookie wr sleeper

Diontae Johnson

WR Rookie Sleeper | Pittsburgh Steelers

Leave it to the Steelers to find the needle in the haystack at the WR position. With their endorsement, the skill of whoever made his highlight video and Diontae’s clear athleticism, I’m in. He was the first WR taken in the third round of the draft at #66 overall. At 5’10” 183 lbs, this kid is a natural playmaker with a condo in the end-zone he likes to frequent.

With all that being said, the apple in Ben Roethlisberger’s eye is most definitely JuJu Smith-Schuster. Beyond JuJu, we can anticipate Donte Moncrief having a hefty amount of looks. WR3 is essentially up for grabs between Ryan Switzer, James Washington and none other than Diontae Johnson. Out of the 3, I’d bet on D. Johnson 10 out of 10 times.

In terms of drafting in fantasy, I’d likely be full with other WR depth plays. If however you have a ringer or two in your league, you might be faced with pulling the trigger on a potential WR3 / playmaker gamble.

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College(s): Toledo
Draft Position: #66 Overall
College Career Stats: 2276 YD’s | 24 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Donte Moncrief & JuJu Smith-Schuster

jalen hurd nfl rookie wr sleeper

Jalen Hurd

WR Rookie Sleeper | San Francisco 49ers

Jalen Hurd is a big boy at 6’4″, 226lbs and very significantly, he’s an athlete. Hurd played 3 years at Tennessee before transferring to Baylor his senior year.

In extremely unique fashion, Hurd put up stand-out numbers as both a receiver and rusher. As a tailback in Tennessee, he managed to run for over 2600 YD’s with 20 rushing TD’s. During those same 3 years he had 6 receiving TD’s.

His senior year at Baylor on the other hand was all about receiving. He racked up nearly 1000 YD’s and 4 TD’s receiving, along with 3 rushing TD’s.

Jalen Hurd was one of the most athletic players in the ’19 draft and his numbers are undeniable. Why third round #67 overall you ask? Well, most NFL teams are looking for exact skill sets to fit exact roles and positions. Additionally, not all college wonders prosper at the next level.

I’m a huge fan of Hurd and will be watching his career closely. He will go undrafted in your league and rightfully so. But, this kind of talent deserves a shout out and to be on your radar. Lastly, you never know when it comes to San Francisco. Deebo is the rookie to watch in red and gold at this point.

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College(s): Baylor & Tennessee
Draft Position: #67 Overall
College Career Stats: Rushing, 2844 YD’s | 23 TD’s / Receiving, 1438 YD’s | 10 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis & Deebo Samuel.

terry mclaurin nfl rookie wr sleeper

Terry McLaurin

WR Rookie Sleeper | Washington Redskins

Terry McLaurin is a 6’0″, 208 lbs speedster. He has a long stride, solid hands, big play ability and is predominantly a deep ball threat.

While I’m not thrilled about anything Redskins fantasy (besides perhaps opposing defenses), the Haskins – McLaurin connection (via Ohio State) is intriguing. Additionally, Josh Doctson is really the only receiver on the team with a solidified spot. Ready or not, McLaurin is needed pronto.

Therefore, if you’re a die-hard Redskins fan or Ohio State fan for that matter, McLaurin isn’t a bad option as a potential WR3 or depth play.

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College(s): Ohio State
Draft Position: #76 Overall
College Career Stats: 1251 YD’s | 19 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Josh Doctson

NFL Rookie TE Sleepers

tj hockenson nfl rookie te sleeper

T.J. Hockenson

TE Rookie Sleeper | Detroit Lions

Again, I’m biased when it comes to Detroit. I very well might be more excited about T.J Hockenson than what I should be. With that being said, this kid (yes, he’s only 21 years old) is an absolute nightmare for defenses. He’s 6’5″, 250 lbs and played two years of college ball at Iowa before being drafted #8 overall in the first round of the ’19 draft.

While he probably shouldn’t really be considered a sleeper, he is certainly a rookie and worthy of your TE1 slot. We’re expecting a big year out of Matthew Stafford and Hockenson is going to play a huge role in the team’s overall success. We acquired Jesse James from Pittsburgh as well, but T.J’s targets are still going to be sky high.

Take him as your fantasy TE1 and don’t look back.

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College(s): Iowa
Draft Position: #8 Overall
College Career Stats: 1080 YD’s | 9 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Jesse James

noah fant nfl rookie te sleeper

Noah Fant

TE Rookie Sleeper | Denver Broncos

Noah Fant was the second tight end taken off the board in the ’19 draft at #20 overall, behind his aforementioned teammate, T.J Hockenson.

The Broncos have been trying to fill the TE position to no avail as 3 of the previous 4 TE’s drafted have suffered from injury. In the ’19 draft, they threw out all stops and took a TE with their first pick.

Drafted in ’17, TE Jake Butt (Go Blue!) is a beast but has knee issues. He’s in-fact just coming off from a torn ACL. Thus, Denver is looking to Fant for immediate impact. Luckily, it appears Noah is a prime TE candidate to play at a high level in the NFL.

Noah Fant is a big boy at 6’4″ 249 lbs, with great footwork and hands. He’ll do great on and off tackle, inevitably to be a nightmare for opposing secondaries. He’ll certainly get drafted in your league and is worthy of the TE1 slot.

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College(s): Iowa
Draft Position: #20 Overall
College Career Stats: 1083 YD’s | 19 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Jake Butt

irv smith jr nfl rookie te sleeper

Irv Smith Jr.

TE Rookie Sleeper | Minnesota Vikings

Kyle Rudolph has proved to be a TD vacuum in Minnesota. Kyle, the ’11 second round pick out of Notre Dame, is going into his 9th season and is 6’6″ 265 lbs. He will continue to be a vital part of the Vikings offense in ’19.

Irv Smith Jr. is an Alabama (only 2 years – young – little wear & tear) star standing 6’2″ and weighing 242 lbs. He has great hands, footwork and relative speed with next level agility. He’s going to be a solid TE in the NFL and has potential to be great.

However, until we know more about how Minnesota embeds Irv into the offense, we have to be cautious concerning fantasy value. At this point, I’d be looking to Irv Smith Jr as a prime candidate for a TE2 or TE depth play.

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College(s): Alabama
Draft Position: #50 Overall
College Career Stats: 838 YD’s | 10 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Kyle Rudolph

drew sample nfl rookie te sleeper

Drew Sample

TE Rookie Sleeper | Cincinnati Bengals

Drew Sample has phenomenal hands, footwork, situational awareness and blocking ability. He’s a big boy out of Washington at 6’5″ 255 lbs. While he’s primarily being drafted for his blocking ability, I see his game similar to that of Kyle Rudolph. In other words, while Sample isn’t likely to be a YD and or ball hog, it’s very possible that he’s looked to often in the red-zone and goal-line situations – leading to TD mania.

Tyler Eifert is ‘the guy’ at TE in Cincinnati, however he’s only played in 14 games in 3 seasons due to injuries. There are plenty of YD’s and TD’s to go around for Bengal TE’s. It is however, somewhat unclear how Drew Sample fits into the equation.

TE is a tricky position concerning fantasy. The field is often thin and volatile. If I have room and don’t have 2 solid TE options already, I’d consider Sample but would also be hovering the TE waiver wire daily.

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College(s): Washington
Draft Position: #52 Overall
College Career Stats: 487 YD’s | 5 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Tyler Eifert & C.J. Uzomah

josh oliver nfl rookie te sleeper

Josh Oliver

TE Rookie Sleeper | Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Oliver was the first TE to go in the 3rd round of the ’19 draft. He’s 6’5″ – 250 lbs, has great hands, is athletic and is a hustler. With that being said, he’s not particularly a great blocker. In many ways, he’s sort of a WR stuck in a TE’s body, with TE2 or TE3 speed, quickness and agility.

Jacksonville happens to be in desperate need of an actual weapon at TE. The TE1 Jaguar is currently listed as Geoff Swaim. Swaim is a ’15 7th round pick out of Texas and played for the Cowboys for 4 years where he managed 336 YD’s & 1 TD.

It’s hard not to like Josh Oliver to put up TE1 numbers, but it is in-fact difficult to rely on him as even a TE2 at this point (known unknowns – radar activated).

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College(s): San Jose State
Draft Position: #69 Overall
College Career Stats: 1067 YD’s | 7 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Geoff Swaim

jace sternberger nfl rookie te sleeper

Jace Sternberger

TE Rookie Sleeper | Green Bay Packers

Jace Sternberger is listed at 6’4″ and 251 lbs. Jace played 1 year at Kansas and 1 year at Texas A&M. He’s long, has great hands and little to zero wear & tear.

While not pure glory (especially in the end-zone), the TE1 in Green Bay is now Jimmy Graham. It will be interesting to see how the Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Graham connection evolves.

Additionally in Jace’s way to stardom (or the field), is Marcedes Lewis. Lewis however is going into his 14th season (second with the Packers – 12 with Jacksonville) and was brought in to help with the run game. (Also, Lewis is missing mini-camp ’19 to finish up his degree at UCLA.

I believe Jace’s fantasy career ceiling is a potential TE2 in years to come, but would love to be proved wrong.

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College(s): Texas A&M & Kansas
Draft Position: #75 Overall
College Career Stats: 837 YD’s | 10 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Jimmy Graham & Marcedes Lewis

kahale warring nfl rookie te sleeper

Kahale Warring

TE Rookie Sleeper | Houston Texans

Like all NFL TE’s these days, Kahale Warring is 6’5″ and 252 lbs. While he doesn’t knock your socks off concerning any particular trait, he does everything pretty good. He has solid agility and hands.

Really, Warring could break-out offensively this year as the TE1 is the road grader known as Jordan Thomas (6’5″ 277 lbs.). I think Warring fantasy value is null until we learn more, however – he’s someone to keep an eye on.

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College(s): San Diego State
Draft Position: #86 Overall
College Career Stats: 637 YD’s | 8 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Jordan Thomas

dawson knox nfl rookie te sleeper

Dawson Knox

TE Rookie Sleeper | Buffalo Bills

Dawson Knox has a cement mixer build with athletic tendencies at 6’4″ 254 lbs. He does everything well and has potential to be a TE1.

When we’re this far down the line, we’re talking deep sleepers / whiffs of potential. With that being said, Dawson has little competition in front of him to be a feature TE and tally TE1 numbers.

Tyler Kroft was brought in from Cincinnati to be an all purpose TE but has only managed 661 YD’s & 8 TD’s in 4 seasons. Lee Smith was brought back to Buffalo from Oakland to help in the running game. Smith has had 66 targets total in 8 years.

Eyes on Josh Allen, Dawson Knox and the Buffalo offense overall before placing any weight.

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College(s): Ole Miss
Draft Position: #96 Overall
College Career Stats: 605 YD’s | 0 TD’s
Depth Chart Competition: Tyler Kroft & Lee Smith

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