April 23, 2019

Pyro® Twitterfeed

Fantasy Football Sleepers from Pop's - check out 21 sleepers and super sleepers for fantasy football in 2017 from

Pop's Sleepers & Super Sleepers for Fantasy Football in 2017

Posted by d-Rx on 07/20/17

by   The Archer


More Articals


“I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it.” ----- Denzel Washington

As of 2016 there are 774 colleges or universities that field football teams. The average college rosters have about 125 players, so if I count on my fingers and toes that is 96,750 young men with the dream of playing at the NFL level. The roster size of an NFL team is 53. There are 32 teams, wait while I take off my sox again. If I count correctly that is 1,696 NFL spots. It is very hard to make a NFL roster and even more difficult to get playing time. Therefore, it is next to impossible to predict who will come out of nowhere to become a sleeper. A player who may be buried on his depth chart, but due to injury or their sheer will they succeed. If you are one of the lucky fantasy players who pick correctly in the late rounds or use a savvy waiver wire pick. Your chances of championship gold are greatly increased.


It is not an exact science but sometimes you can see it and it shines like a gold nugget in the murky water. Last season I called the rookie of the year in the preseason, feel free to check my Twitter timeline, I’ll wait. I correctly predicted Dak as rookie of the year, well to be honest I believe I said Co ROY with Zeke, but who’s counting. I am not saying I will do the same this year but I do have some guys in the very late rounds I like. Will all of them pan out, probably not, but I will make my case for each of them and why I like them. It will be up to the reader to make his or her decision based on my case. I will be referencing players ADP using Fantasy Football Calculator web site. 



Running Backs


D’Onta Foreman - RB - HOU – I wanted to start with Forman, since he has been in the news the past few days. The earliest reports did no bode well for his fledgling career. Caught with weed and a gun early on a Sunday. To his credit he did not sit by and let others write the story. He immediately had his lawyer issue a report that the gun was registered and the weed belonged to a passenger. The response was one that someone who was innocent might make. My case for Foreman will be based on a presumption of innocence. If it turns out he is in trouble, disregard everything I am about to say.


Lamar Miller had 268 rushing attempts in 2016. That was 6th in the league. The Texans will at some point will turn the QB reins over to Watson and when they do they will want to give the rookie QB cover of a run game. A trend that was started last season with the Texans finishing 6th in rushing by their backs.

Why Foreman over My Boy Blue? Miller nor Blue was particularly impressive considering their opportunities. Miller had 268 carries and Blue 100 for a rushing average of 4 yards and 4.2 respectively. It is unclear if Miller can be the workhorse the Texans desire but what is clear is Forman has the ability and size to do just that. As a Longhorn Foreman won the Doak Walker award when he put up crazy numbers. Rushing for 2,028 yards on 323 attempts in just 11 games. If I do my math right that is 29.4 carries a game. Big, strong and fast at 6’ 1” 249 I can see a clear window to not only relieve the smaller Miller but to vulture goal line work. Foremans ADP has dipped with the news of the recent incident. It has dropped entire round to 14.01. I liked the way he got out in front of the report and I suspect it may have been overblown by the press, but something to monitor.


Jonathan Williams - RB - BUF – I can’t say I am jumping up and down in excitement for Williams, but if opportunity is king then he is in line for a ton if disaster falls. When I started picking Runningbacks for this article I went with the mindset of late round no less than 2nd on depth chart, talent, and most of all, team’s commitment to the run. The Bills will continue their run heavy ways leading the entire league with 2,634 team rushing yards in 2016. That is more yards on less carries, 479 to 495 then the “MIGHTY” Cowboy rushing game. I am not trying to fool anyone into thinking that Williams will split carries and steal goaline work like Gillislee did last year. For whatever reason the Bills allowed Gillislee to head to division rival New England and failed to address the need in the draft. Which brings us back to opportunity. Williams numbers will dramatically increase. Last season he managed just 97 yards on 27 carries. I like Williams as the clear handcuff for Shady. Perhaps not as many carries as Gillislee got last season, 101, but could be huge if the 29-year-old McCoy goes down.


Jalen Richard - RB - OAK – The Raider should be the team to beat in the AFC west. With the departure of Murray to the Twin City a void was created for a lead back. The Raiders could have gone with their bookend RB’s Washington and Richard. Coming in at 5’8” and just 205 lbs. each it was clear they would not hold up to a large work load so in comes hometown hero Marshawn Lynch. After taking a year off to find himself and search Europe for the metalogical golden Skittle. He decides he wants to represent for his Home Town before they are banished to the desert. Why do I like Richard over Washington? Honestly it is very close call, both will see significant action. Richard caught more passes 29 to 17. He had 685 combined yards to 582. I will be shocked to see 75-year-old Lynch with a huge workload, ok maybe not 75 but he old. I suspect the numbers for both Washington and Richard go up from last season.


Duke Johnson - RB - CLV – Ok I maybe stretching my definition of what a late round sleeper is, but I can’t hide my love for Johnson. His current ADP in standard is 13.04 but in PPR he jumps all the way to 10.09. With Football Focus O-Line rank of 2nd both Johnson and his teammate Crowell have seen a steady increase. Crowell is starting to approach the point where he won’t come as much of a value. I wrote an article just before the draft speculating on what the future holds for the Browns. They handled themselves very well making almost every move I had speculated on. Their Defense will improve this year and they will win more games but will still see a ton of negative game scripts where they must throw to catch up. Duke had a better rushing average than Crowell 4.9 to 4.8. Duke is the all-time leading rusher for the Hurricanes. Crowell was a Undrafted FA who has played above his talent. Looking at total yards last season Johnson had 872 total yards on just 126 carries. Crow had 1,271 on 238. Considering the significant difference in ADP value I will take Johnson in a lot of drafts this year.


Joe Williams - RB - SF – This player has become a very fashionable sleeper. With a new coaching staff in San Fran, Carlos Hyde will have to prove himself. Shanahan fought to get Williams even trading up to select him. He will be the clear handcuff and could supplant Hyde. At 5’11” 210 he ran a 4.41 40 at the underwear Olympics. With statements from coaches about Hyde having to earn a position nothing will be set in stone in the Bay City.



Wide Receivers


Ted Ginn Jr. - WR - CAR – Which one is more valuable the 2nd best receiver in Carolina or the 3rd option in New Orleans? I say the latter. Most people would say that with the departure of Cooks that Thomas and Snead each move up a spot in the pecking order. I am not convinced that is how it will go. Throughout his career Ginn has been the speed guy, someone to take the top off the D. Now he goes to a team who just let a 1000-yard burner scoot off to Boston. I could make a case for Ginn to approach that 1000-yard mark. Not a bad value considering his ADP is 14.01. In Best ball leagues, he should be even better.


Zay Jones - WR - BUF – Jones had 158 receptions for the Pirates last season that was 44% of the teams catches. He had 1,770 combined yards. He had 31% of the total team’s offense. Let me spell that out for you again. ECU had 1,589 rushing and 4,016 receiving he had 1,770 total yards by himself. Now he is slotted into the #2 WR in Buffalo alongside “Glass Foot Watkins” Even if Watkins plays 16 games he should still get a respectable number of targets and if Watkins goes down AGAIN. Oh Baby!!!!


Robert Woods - WR - LAR – Jeff Fisher was so conservative he made Berry Goldwater look like a Berkley hippy. What you think to dated? Maybe it shows my age, any hoo. The long and short of it is this. Fisher was a run 3 times and punt kind of a guy and even that team could produce a 1000-yard receiver. Woods comes into the vacated Britt roll and should see something very close to the same or even more targets as Britt. I like the rest of the Pyro guys love Woods this year. He finished as the Bills #1 last season with the injury to Watkins. The team finished dead last in receptions which accounts for the very low numbers for a WR1. Let us do some number extrapolating. He had a catch average of 12.1 yards if he ends up with 70 catches 841 yards. Now let’s look at players who finished around those numbers last season and where they are going this year.




Tight Ends


Jack Doyle - TE - IND – The Colts finished 3rd in TE receiving yards in 2016. Doyle had 59 receptions for 584 yards. Dewayne Allen had 35 for 466. Allen is gone to play understudy to the GOAT in New England. The way I look at this if he gets just half of those added to his receptions you are looking at 752 yards and with is TD rate 6 TDs. Folks we are talking a top 6 TE whose current ADP places him as 13th TE.


Cameron Brate - TE - TB – Brate tied Hunter Henry with 8 TDs for TEs and had 660 yards. He finished as TE12 and as a reward the Bucs go out and drafted the highly touted TE from Bama, O.J. Howard. Now based on ADP Howard is supposed to be a TE1 and Brate is like the 16th TE. You are joking, right? I look for an example from last season to compare TB to and the closest is the Chargers. Established vet and talented rookie. Henry finished with 36 receptions for 478 while Gates had 53 for 548. Look for a similar split in Tampa this season. With the larger portion going to Brate and Howard getting around the 478 number. Tight End is an extremely hard position to come in off the street and pick it up right away. Don’t make the mistake of getting enamored with the new shiny toy just yet when your old one isn’t broke.


Coby Fleener - TE - NO – I can’t believe I am doing this again, at least this year he comes at a proper ADP. His current ADP is bringing him in at 14.03 in 2016 his ADP was 7.01. As we all know he was considered a bust based on his ADP. I will go into my feelings about ADP and expectations in part 2 of this article, but for now I will make my case for a late round flyer on Fleener.

Previous to the 2016 season these are the yardage and TD totals for the Saints TEs. 2015 825 and 6, 2014 889 and 10, 2013 1,215 and 16, 2012 982 and 9, and 2011 1,310 and 11. The opportunity is there for Fleener he just needs to get on the same page as Breese. There were signs last year. He is one of the league’s most athletic Tightends. Showing that ability on occasion he still managed to finish as a TE1 last season. He was a deep threat also connecting for 249 yards on catches of 20 yards or more. If you can get past that bad taste he left in your mouth last season, you could get a top 8 TE at the end of your draft.




If you are looking for names under this portion, forget it. I can’t pick just one late round guy I like. They all have the potential for top 8 numbers. This is the season for waiting on QB. From 8 all the way to like 13 or 14 I could see myself starting those guys. My only advice is this. Wait and then wait some more. If you are playing in a league where most teams have a QB by the 4th, don’t freak out. You will be ok I promise. 





By Pop's



Subscribe to the Pyro Podcast:

Like us on Facebook: 

Follow us on Twitter:

Become a Pyro Pro: