Miami Dolphins: Durham Smythe, TE
For the Dolphins, finding a true sleeper for the team was difficult. Preston Williams, Hunter Long, Skylar Thompson, and Lynn Bowden Jr. all came to mind. Over the last four years, Smythe has been a solid average TE for the Dolphins. Unfortunately, he has backed up Mike Gesicki throughout his career. He has improved his play each year, where he had career highs in yards, receptions, and targets.
While the Dolphins are moving to a new type of offense, they always seem to get multiple TEs involved, so for Smythe, they keep that up. Gesicki is also paying on a franchise tag, so his departure next off-season could happen. That situation would leave Smythe at the head of the TE core since no one else has seemed to step up. He isn’t a great play, but in terms of deep sleeper, he has some potential this year, especially in 2023.
Buffalo Bills: Isaiah McKenzie, WR
In Dynasty, McKenzie is an either hate him or don’t care for him player. He is a good value play to trade for in your leagues. There are over 150 targets now vacant from the departure of Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders. The team did bring in Jamison Crowder and drafted Kahlil Shakir in the draft.
Crowder is a natural slot receiver who could take over the slot role in the offense. Crowder is very talented, but his injuries have been an issue over his career. In three of the last four years, he has been unable to play an entire season leaving the door open for someone to fill in. For Shakir, I did enjoy watching his film during draft season. Shakir possesses excellent footwork, and separation is fantastic to watch. He could work on his route-running ability, but we’ve seen time and time again the Bills prefer to go with the veteran player. They chose to start Sanders over Gabriel Davis last year.
McKenzie has not, to this point, been anywhere to a reliable fantasy receiver. He has been in the league for five years and never produced over 300 receiving yards in a season. We saw a small sample of what McKenzie could do in the slot role as he had 125 yards and a touchdown in week 16 of last year. That isn’t a strong case, but it would be interesting if he could get some work this season.
New York Jets: Tyler Conklin, TE
In New York, a TE is being overlooked for dynasty. Conklin had a breakout 2021 season as he replaced Irv Smith Jr. when he went down. He already compiled 61 receptions for 593 yards and three touchdowns for a team with another talent. The former 2018 fifth-round pick was awarded a three-year 20.3 million dollar deal to go to New York. He will be the one that can succeed in the offense over current starter CJ Uzomah.
Uzomah has been an average TE throughout his career and never produced over 500 receiving yards in seven years. Uzomah also is a solid blocker which will bring a significant benefit for the offense as a whole but in terms of pass-catching ability,
Conklin has him beat. Conklin produced more air yards, deep targets, and red zone targets than Uzomah could. Zach Wilson’s skill set is to use the deep ball to his game, and Conklin could fit nicely as a weapon over the middle of the team. Conklin has some value in TE premium leagues as a Boom or Bust low-end TE2.
New England Patriots: Pierre Strong, RB
While it has been difficult to judge a Patriots’ RB, Strong is a target in dynasty leagues. The Patriots’ current roster could look very different in just a few years, especially in the backfield. Strong was a four-year starter at South Dakota State, with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. His best season was his senior year, as he produced 1,800 all-purpose yards and 18 total touchdowns. During the NFL Draft, the Patriots selected Strong with a fourth-round pick.
Since 2007, a Patriots RB has only led the backfield in rushing twice. Current Starter Damien Harris has already led the team in rushing twice, so repeating could go against him. Looking at the overview of the depth chart, Strong is sitting fourth behind Harris, Rhomandre Stevenson, and James White. Don’t discount Strong; the Patriots have been known to make out of this world’s decision at RB. Strong has speed, which showed 18% of his carries going for more than ten yards a carry. I’d be looking to obtain Strong now and let his sleeper value continue to make him a bargain in fantasy.
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