It’s very late on Draft Day, you’re tired, maybe
hungry, might even have the start of Excedrin headache No. 21
(thanks Zeke) and you just want to finish the final three picks
and go home. You are tempted to simply choose the highest rated
player on your pre-draft printed fantasy list, then select your
defense and kicker and go to sleep.
I have a handful of deep, deep sleepers who might help you at
some point in the season. They probably won’t do much in
Week 1, but they are high-upside, low-cost gambles.
To qualify as a “deep sleeper” a player must be ranked
at 175-or-lower on my list. Using Fantasyfootballcalculator as
my guide, here are six players who could surprise you.
C.J Anderson, Jamaal Charles? Meh. The
rookie RB in Denver could be a league difference maker.
No.175) WR Robby
Anderson, New York Jets – Where else can you find a No.
1 receiver at this point in your draft? The Jets will have the worst
offense in the league this season, but garbage-time points count
just as much as first quarter points. Anderson could still be a
viable option … at least for as long as fragile Josh
McCown stays upright.
No.180) WR Kevin
White, Chicago – With the injury to Cameron Meredith,
either White or Kendall
Wright will step up to fill the void (sorry Victor
Cruz fans). White is the more explosive of the two, he just
hasn’t been able to stay healthy over his first two seasons (two
different leg injuries limited him to just four of 32 games). Late
picks aren’t for choosing a possession receiver like Wright, who
might get you four catches for 35 yards, it’s for catching lightning
in a bottle. When originally drafted, White was compared to an Andre
No.184) WR Travis
Benjamin, Los Angeles Chargers – Sure, the Bolts have
a lot of wideouts on their roster, but they always seem to get injured.
Already this season first-round pick Mike
Williams is sidelined, Tyrell
Williams is dealing with a groin injury and sat out last week’s
opening day dress rehearsal and Dontrelle
Inman has offseason core muscle surgery. Star wideout Keenan
Allen has played just nine games the past two seasons. Benjamin
is a legitimate deep threat, who owns a career 15.1 ypc average,
with 10-of-17 touchdown catches over 30 yards.
No.192) RB James
Conner, Pittsburgh – The history of star running backs
holding out during training camp and them playing 16 games at an
elite level is not long. More often there is a drop off in production
and almost as often there is an injury. Examples of this are; Eric
Dickerson (1990), Jamal Anderson (1999), Larry Johnson (2007), Steven
Jackson (2008), Chris
Johnson (2011) and Maurice Jones-Drew (2012). Le’Veon Bell is
expected to report on Sept. 1 thereby missing all of this year’s
training camp and preseason. Conner may have secured the backup
role with a good exhibition season and is worth a late-round flier.
No.197) QB DeShone
Kizer, Cleveland – Now that the Browns have declared
Kizer their opening day starter, he’s worth adding late in your
draft. The team is going to give him ample opportunity to succeed,
seeing as how the other less-than-desirable options are Brock
Osweiler and Cody
Kessler. The Browns have an improved offensive line, a solid
running back (Isaiah
Crowell) and decent pass catchers (Kenny
Coleman and Duke
Johnson). Plus, unless their defense is significantly improved
(unlikely), they are going to need to score a lot of points just
to be competitive. In two-QB leagues, he’s a No. 3 QB with upside.
No.204) RB De'Angelo
Henderson, Denver – The Broncos haven’t had a 1,000-yard
rusher since 2013, the year Knowshon Moreno came out of nowhere
to produce great numbers. Starter C.J.
Anderson has never done it or for that matter played in all
16 games in a season. The current options behind Anderson are; old
and fragile Jamaal
Charles (might not make the 53-man roster), Devontae
Booker (injured wrist) and the rookie Henderson. The Coastal
Carolina running back will have to learn to hold on to the football,
but his 4.48 speed has brought some excitement to a bland running
back group. If he gets a chance, Henderson might just be the next
surprise. Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.