The fantasy football season is starting with a lot of uncertainty, making picking a few sleepers late in drafts even more important. Between holdouts and early injuries, there are several star players that are leaving fantasy owners with a lot of questions.
Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon continue their holdouts as they await new contracts. Elliott still has an ADP (average draft position) of four, per Fantasy Pros, proving fantasy owners appear confident that Elliott will be playing Week 1. Earlier this week, the Cowboys noted they were expecting to have an agreement done by the start of the season.
Things are murkier for the Chargers as Gordon’s camp continues to emphasize that the running back is prepared to miss games until he receives a new deal. Gordon has an ADP of 35 showing people are not as confident that he will end up playing this season.
AJ Green is another player with a lot of question marks heading into the season. Green has an ADP of 55 representing some value for owners willing to wait for him to recover from his latest injury. All of these players are guys I am willing to select if they fall in drafts, but it has to be the right price which is below their current ADP. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JonDAdams with any fantasy football questions you may have.
Here is a look at five sleepers to target in your fantasy football draft.
RB Peyton Barber, Bucs
The Ronald Jones hype train has been in full force this offseason, but all signs point to Peyton Barber handling the lead-back role in Tampa Bay. Looking at Barber’s 2018 production, your competition is likely to pass on the running back. Here is why you should be bullish on Barber for the upcoming season.
Bruce Arians’ offense has been kind to running backs, in part, because of how he uses them in the passing game. Barber has an ADP of 108 as the 41st back off the board. While I think both Bucs running backs are worth a flyer in late rounds, Barber is the safer pick at this point given his firm grip on the starting gig.
WR Dede Westbrook, Jaguars
I have some hesitancy including Dede Westbrook on this list given the amount of buzz he has received in recent weeks. That said, his ADP of 96 is still low for a player that is expected to be the Jaguars WR1 with new quarterback Nick Foles. Coming out of Oklahoma, Westbrook was one of the most talented wide receivers in his draft class.
Westbrook improved in his second season with 717 yards and five touchdowns. The Jaguars receiver has the potential to reach the 1,000-yard mark thanks to what is expected to be an improved offense.
TE Mark Andrews, Ravens
Andrews did what few tight ends are able to do and became fantasy relevant during his rookie season. Andrews is poised for a breakout year in his second season as the Ravens tight end has received rave reviews this offseason. The tight end’s connection with Lamar Jackson has also been mentioned during training camp.
“Ravens TE Mark Andrews told @RapSheet he has a ‘super unique’ connection with Lamar Jackson. After breakout seasons from both players in 2018, the two are expected to be big pieces of the Ravens’ offense this season,” 105.7 The Fan tweeted.
There is concern over the Ravens using multiple tight ends, but Andrews has an ADP of 145 as the 14th tight end drafted. For that price, I will gladly take the risk given his high upside.
Kalen Ballage, Dolphins
Kalen Ballage is the favorite to be the Dolphins starting running back. Kenyon Drake is battling a foot injury and his status for the start of the season is in question. Ballage has impressed during practices but has been inconsistent during preseason action.
Ballage was getting looks with the first team even when Drake was healthy. Ballage has an ADP of 109 which is a bargain for a potential starting running back.
RB Justice Hill, Ravens
The Ravens have expressed their desire to use Justice Hill alongside Mark Ingram. Hill is an explosive runner thanks to elite speed and especially has value in PPR leagues.
It is unclear just how much Hill will be used at the start of the season, so he is a running back you may have to wait a few weeks into the season before you see the payoff. Hill has already flashed during the preseason, but the big question is his usage. With an ADP of 168, you can afford to take that risk.