2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Zach Singer and Noah Neri

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It’s almost the best time of the year again! Fantasy football is back in session, and the Paw Print’s got your back. Keep reading for our top hidden gems to pick up in the late rounds of this year’s draft.

 

Darwin Thompson, RB Kansas City Chiefs: (ADP: 167) 

It seems like just yesterday when star running back Kareem Hunt was the bellcow ball carrier in the Kansas City offense. Times have changed, however, with the Chiefs releasing Hunt due to assault allegations. Now the Chiefs sit in a questionable spot in the backfield. Backup Damien Williams was the one to take control of the Running back position in the final six games, beating out wildcards Darrel Williams and Knile Davis. Williams made the most of his opportunity, and made his best case to the Kansas City coaching department to roll with him as the starting force. That they did, and, as of the current moment, he sits atop the mountain in Arrowhead. Though Williams showed his talents in the second half of the season, his skills are very much unproven. This ultimately led to the Chiefs grabbing Darwin Thompson in the 6th round of the NFL Draft.  Coming out of Utah State, Thompson possesses the home run ability you tend to find in an elite running back in today’s NFL. He also has elite speed, great ball carrying skills and provides nice receiving value. Though Williams should get the bulk of the touches, Thompson should still have a solid role on third down. Plus, Thompson is just a Damien Williams injury away from making himself a RB1 in fantasy football. 

 

Malcolm Brown, RB Los Angeles Rams: (ADP: 205)

Owned in less than 10 percent of all leagues, Malcolm Brown can be picked up as a late round flier with plenty of upsides. Rams star running back Todd Gurley has a degenerative condition in his knee. This could lead to games where Gurley has a lighter workload or less efficient touches. While most are assuming rookie Darrell Henderson will step up if Gurley gets injured, Henderson is averaging less than three yards per carry in the preseason, although he is doing well as a receiver. If Gurley goes down, Henderson will likely be a pass-catching back, while Brown will get most of the ground touches. Gurley rushed for over 1200 yards and 17 touchdowns last year, so if he goes out, Brown could be a high RB2.

 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR Green Bay Packers: (ADP: 112)

The Green Bay Packers’ receiving situation is one of the most confusing ones in the league. They’ve got bodies, but they seem to still be waiting for someone to step up as their number two wideout. Davante Adams leads the core as one of the best wide receivers in the entire league, but after that, it’s a mystery in Lambeau. Geronimo Allison, Equanimeous St. Brown and J’Mon Moore should provide volume, but there is a clear outlier in the form of Marques Valdez-Scantling. In a lackluster Green Bay offense last season, the rookie Wide receiver eclipsed all expectations and turned himself into the clear second best receiver in Green Bay. Piling up 581 yards and two touchdowns during the season, Scantling established himself as a potential breakout star heading into 2019. If all goes right, and if Matt Lefluer takes full notice of his potential, he could finish as a middle of the pack WR2 in fantasy football.

 

Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins: (ADP: 123)

Adrian Peterson’s ADP this year is ridiculously low for a running back coming off a 1,000 yard rushing performance. Still churning even at the ripe age of 34, A.P. achieved this mark despite having an injury-torn offensive line and 3rd-string quarterback Colt McCoy starting. Although many fear Derrius Guice, he is now healthy and will be ready to take over the bell-cow role, Guice is still recovering from an ACL injury, which can seriously affect a running back’s quickness and lateral movement. In the year coming back from an ACL injury, most running backs post significantly diminished numbers. If we keep in mind that the Redskins paid Peterson to keep him around this offseason, it just makes sense that he will have a sizable share of touches in this offense. AP could be a low-end RB2/flex with high RB2 upside if Guice gets reinjured.

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