If you’re preparing for your fantasy football draft, your league is taking it down to the wire, which I love, because it means your draft is unlikely to get impacted by last-minute injuries, trades or cuts. It’s a really great time to get the most information possible.
And yet — even with all the information about who’s injured and when they’ll play — there are still players who are going too low. Somehow, these players aren’t getting enough love, despite careful scrutiny around the fantasy football community for the last few weeks.
These players are your last-minute sleepers. We’ve identified 10 players who are getting drafted too low in PPR leagues under the FantasyPros.com ADP.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers — 12th overall
You’re going to think I’m insane putting Ekeler as a sleeper here, but stick with me. I promise we’ll get to deeper sleepers. With Ekeler, you’ve (hopefully) heard of him. He’s going at No. 12. Still, I think he will exceed that draft position. He was, after all, the RB4 from 2019 when he was healthy for all 16 games. And then there are Ekeler’s comments about his role in the team’s offense. «I’m (Alvin) Kamara,» Ekeler said on The Adam Schefter Podcast. Kamara is going fourth overall. Grab Ekeler. Dominate your fantasy football league with The Huddle. Sleepers, custom rankings & much more. TAKE 20% OFF* with code sleeper21. *New customer offer, cannot combine offers. Expires 9/8/21.
James Robinson, RB, Jaguars — 31st overall
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Again, we’ll move down the draft board to identify deeper sleepers. In the meantime, let’s talk about Robinson, who is getting drafted at RB17 in 2021 after being RB7 in 2020. What gives? Well, it seems people are concerned about how much Urban Meyer will use Robinson after drafting Travis Etienne in the first round. Thing is, Etienne is out for the year with an injury. So I no longer understand the caution surrounding Robinson. He will likely be a huge factor in the offense. His reception total (49) and carries (240) will probably go up from his rookie season.
Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings — 49th overall
There’s a chance Justin Jefferson will eat into Thielen’s receptions total. But because the Vikings don’t have much talent at the tight end position after Irv Smith’s injury, Thielen will likely match his production from 2020, which landed him as WR10. At this point, Thielen is landing at WR20 in drafts for 2021. Maybe his touchdown total won’t be as high as 14. But it should stay pretty darn high. It’s not like Kirk Cousins is going to stop looking for his favorite red-zone target. Thielen will be a PPR machine, as usual.
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington — 80th
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Think whatever you want about Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the quarterback does wonders for fantasy value. Logan Thomas finished last season as TE5, a surprising breakout season. Washington then paid him big money. It’s possible he could regress in the comforts of his new, sizable paycheck. With Fitzpatrick in the mix, that will be hard to do. Washington should be able to throw the ball more often, which means more targets and more production for Thomas, who is currently drafted as TE7.
Corey Davis, WR, Jets — 94th overall
It feels like everyone is forgetting what happens to teams that are losing: They throw the ball. Even though quarterback Zach Wilson is a rookie and even though the Jets are likely to deploy some sort of version of the run-heavy 49ers offense (with coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFluer coming from San Francisco), the Jets are going to throw — a lot. Davis is the perfect possession receiver, who has already shown rapport with Wilson.
Michael Carter, RB, Jets — 90th overall
Syndication: The Record
He’s going to require patience. And if you don’t draft him, you may even get a shot to grab him on the waiver wire when he is slower to emerge. The Jets will probably favor Tevin Coleman to start the season, but he’s on a one-year deal. They clearly don’t envision him having a future with the team. Instead, they’re probably going to want Carter to be the versatile three-down threat in a run-heavy scheme. Carter could be just the back you need for a late-season push.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles — 96th overall
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You’re probably in a draft where quarterbacks go quickly. And you’re probably freaking out because you’re missing out on the big names. Here’s what you need to do: draft two of the quarterbacks that are hovering around QB8 to QB14. My favorites are Justin Herbert (QB8, 63rd overall) and/or Jalen Hurts (QB12, 96th overall). Hurts was one of the top QBs in the four weeks he played for Philly. He’s a dual-threat who should provide sneaky value this season.
Marquez Callaway, WR, Saints — 128th
The Saints have plenty of uncertainty at receiver — but not at quarterback. This offense turned Teddy Bridgewater into one of the more statistically prolific passers (on a per-game basis) during his time at the helm. Jameis Winston was already one of the more prolific passers. It’s easy to imagine New Orleans will be putting up big numbers. But who will Winston throw to? Callaway is a good bet after enjoying a breaking preseason and training camp.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, Patriots — 145th
(AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
New England is going to play bully ball, but they need a Julian Edelman to move the chains. This year, that will be Jakobi Meyers, who seems poised to get around 100 catches in 2021. The Patriots added a large incoming class of free agent pass-catchers, including tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry and receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Because those pass-catchers (and particularly the receivers) did not catch on quickly in training camp, Meyers figures to have a huge role to start the season.
Jared Cook, TE, Chargers — 158th
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With Drew Brees fading and the Saints’ backup QBs rotating, Cook had an average season in 2020, with 37 catches for 504 yards and seven touchdowns. So how will he respond to getting injected into a powerful Chargers offense? At this point, Cook is going undrafted in most leagues.