As a Fantasy Pros expert this season, I took the opportunity to compete in their Sleepers Challenge. My selections are below. Wish me luck, and chime in with any comments below!
Justin Fields is every bit the prospect that Trey Lance is, with significantly less hype coming into this season. Fields played decent last year for a rookie QB with a terrible cast kf players around him. Fields has looked much improved this offseason and has all the tools to be a Lamar Jackson-esque player.
Daniel Jones has been less than fantastic after a pretty strong rookie season. With a horrendous offensive line and a subpar cast of weapons over the last two seasons, it's not all his fault. The Giants brought in Evan Neal to pair with Andrew Thomas at the two tackle positions, which should give Jones some more time in the pocket this season.
Dameon Pierce isn't much of a sleeper anymore. Going in the 6th round of drafts in September (according to Fantasy Football Calculator), his stock is on the rise quickly. The team cut Marlon Mack last week and is left with Pierce as the clear starting back, with two past their prime pass catchers behind him.
Brian Robinson Jr. was on a tear before an unfortunate situation off the field has placed him on the NFI list to start the year. He will be out at least four weeks, but reports are saying he might come back sooner than later. A miracle in itself. The team is not happy with Antonio Gibson and his desire to give the ball to the defense. I expect Robinson to take over late this season.
Tyler Allgier is listed as the third running back on Atlanta's Depth chart to start the season, so his prospects don't look great on the surface. The starting running back is Cordarelle Patterson who only played 47% of Atlanta's offensive snaps last season, and accounted for 43% of the team rushing attempts. 30-year-old Damien Williams won't take work from Allgier for long.
Tyrion Davis Price just got a little bit less competition in front of him in San Fransisco. Shanahan has never had back-to-back team rushing leaders in San Fransisco. The two backs in front of him missed a combined 20 games last season. Jeff Wilson has only played in 57% of games in his career. Tyrion, of house Davis Price, will get a shot this season, and he looks great running in pre-season.
K.J. Osborne has been nothing but efficient throughout his career. Averaging 13.1 yards per reception. Last season he had 7 touchdowns on only 82 targets (8.2%). Kirk Cousins might not throw the most in the league, but the offense is very consolidated. Only 21 wide receiver targets in 2021 went outside of Jefferson, Thielen, and Osborn. Minnesota's base offense in 2022 will be a 3 wide receiver set.
K.J. Hamler is a burner. He ran a sub 4.40 40-yard dash at the combine. He is a full-time starter with the loss of Tim Patrick this offseason. Russel Wilson's moon ball is a perfect match for Hamler downfield. The offense needs him to take the top off of defenses this year, and Russel loves to go deep.
George Pickens is a stud. The Steelers always draft quality wide receivers. Pickens has been wowing at camp with his highlight plays and route running. See below as he burns Minka Fitzpatrick in the red zone. Check out this pancake block he laid in practice a couple of weeks back.
Isaiah McKenzie has played limited snaps in his career over the first five seasons. This is pretty similar to how the guy he's replacing, Cole Beasley, started his career. Beasley has averaged 108 targets in the slot role in Buffalo over the last three years and McKenzie is taking over. He has averaged 8.5 receptions for 95 yards and 1.5 touchdowns when he has received more than 4 targets in a game over the last two seasons.
Robert Tonyan was insanely efficient in 2020, catching 88% of his 59 targets for 11 touchdowns. This season he will be more necessary in Green Bay, with the loss of a ton of weapons for the Packers this offseason. Tonyan is one of Rodgers' guys, and he loves to target his guys.
Albert Okwuegbunam was insanely efficient last season. To take a look at some numbers that show this efficiency, check out this article about our favorite late-round tight ends. Okwuegbunam is a 6'5" athlete on an offense that just signed a Hall of Fame quarterback and lost one of its most prominent red zone weapons for the season.
Pittsburgh was my defensive choice because T.J. Watt provides them a sack-based floor of fantasy points, while playmakers across the field give them turnover potential every week.
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