Startup season is in full bloom. Part of having a successful startup draft is hitting on your late late-round dart throws. Jake and Dom are here to help you better aim those darts. We used the draft positions from Sleeper. The style of draft we are focusing on is a Superflex, PPR, 12 team Dynasty Startup draft. Be sure to check out Dynasty Nerds new mock draft tool to help you as well!
Davis Mills – ADP 195 (17.03)
Davis has the look of a professional NFL QB as he is taller, which scouts like (sorry, Kyler Murray), has large hands, and grew up in a pro-style offense. He went to the same school as Andrew Luck. This obviously means that he is the next Andrew Luck, right? The Texans certainly hope so, as they thought highly enough of Davis to make him their first pick of the 2021 draft. Their first pick was in the third round, though, which is not good when you are the worst team in the NFL. I hope Laremy Tunsil was worth it.
Now, if you are even an average fan, you know the Texans have an amazing QB in Deshaun Watson, so why are they using their first pick on a QB. Well, I will let someone else get into that legal minefield of explaining what happened. Well, other than the fact that Watson is also refusing to ever play another down with the franchise after being “left out” in the team’s search for a new GM and Head Coach. Admittedly, their head coach hire was confusing.
However, the legal minefield turns out, Watson most likely will not play another down for the Texans. So they needed a QB. Thus, they went with Davis Mills. The chances of Tyrod Taylor playing all 17 games for Houston are slim to none, as each time he has started as a placeholder, he has not finished the season as the starting QB. Also, the fact is that this team spent draft capital on a QB, and they want to see what this QB can do before they commit to drafting a QB #1 overall next year.
Davis is a low-end QB2 at best right now, but he is being drafted as a QB3 or worse. When you have a QB that has the potential to be a starter for a team that still has Brandon Cooks, Nico Collins, and David Johnson, you can see a glimmer of fantasy potential. He is not going to win your league this year, but if you are late in the draft and need a QB3-4 to cover the late bye weeks or injury protection, you could do much worse than drafting Mills. He might not wait too long with the Texans before seeing the field since they are the Texans. Does anyone know if the Texans hired the Chargers team doctor? Just asking for a friend.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – ADP 157.7 (14.02)
Over the past four seasons, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a surprisingly potent fantasy producer when given the chance. This year should be no different. From his hot “Fitzmagic” start in Tampa Bay in 2018 to his QB16 finish with the Dolphins in 2019 despite playing >75% snaps in only 12 games, Fitzpatrick continues to increase the fantasy production of talented skill players around him. Unless WFT trades for a startable QB (highly unlikely), Fitzpatrick should have no trouble keeping the starting gig over Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke. WFT added in a talented, athletic Y receiver in Samuel this offseason to line up opposite McLaurin, giving Fitzpatrick yet another weapon in this young, budding offense. Fantasydata.com has projected Fitzpatrick at a full 17 games, 4222 passing yards, 29 total TDs, and a healthy 16.2 FP/G, their projected QB19. He is a perfect candidate to add to a contending roster.
Running Back Sleepers
Jamaal Williams – ADP 187.7 (16.08)
Jamaal Williams is a new running back for the Detroit Lions. He signed a two-year deal back in March following a four-year stint with the Green Bay Packers. Now we all know that DeAndre Swift is the big Lion in town. Yet the Lions still signed Williams and are giving Williams praise, saying that he will be given a good-sized role in this kneecap-biting offense.
Now, I highly doubt that the Lions make Williams the lead back, especially after what we saw from Swift last year. However, if Swift were to get injured, Williams is now the lead back for what should be a rushing-oriented offense. Secondly, it isn’t like Williams stunk in Green Bay. He recorded 500 carries for 1,985 yards and 10 touchdowns (4.0 yards per carry) in 60 games. Now that isn’t too shabby for a backup.
The Lions offensive line should be highly productive this season, too, with the addition of #7 overall pick Penei Sewell and the resigning of Frank Ragnow. Jamaal being the bigger and tougher back, at least according to Lynn, means he very well could be the goal-line back. The same role that Adrian Peterson fulfilled last year. That would mean that Williams will get those vital red zone touches. Williams is a great handcuff backup to have that could highly likely give you flex scoring when Swift is active. If Swift is out, Williams vaults up into high-end RB2 territory. For a 16th round pick, that is tremendous value.
Zack Moss – ADP 124.2 (11.04)
Usually, I try to steer clear of clouded backfields like SF or BAL. But the price to buy one of the backs in the BUF backfield is too good to ignore; both Moss and Singletary have ADP in the double-digit rounds. With the emergence of Josh Allen’s passing abilities, there is a decent chance that his rushing opportunities will start to decline.
First, the coaching staff will want to protect their franchise QB, limiting the number of times he is hit unnecessarily. Second, now that he has competent WRs, Allen won’t have to rely on his legs to get him out of trouble. But, back to the player, this is about. Moss has underappreciated receiving abilities that the Bills did not fully take advantage of in 2020. However, part of that could be from the eight games of missed time from a nagging turf toe injury. We saw Moss use his receiving chops in college regularly. I would be surprised if Moss didn’t take most of the receiving work in that backfield in 2021. Currently, Fantasydata.com has Zack Moss projected at 146 carries for 625 yards and 5 TDs in addition to 25 receptions on 31 targets for 186 more yards and an additional TD–a total of 140 ppr fantasy points.
Meanwhile, Singletary is projected to take the third-down role for 130 carries for 581 yards and 2 TDs while also receiving 32 receptions on 38 targets for 236 yards and another TD. I will be honest. I wasn’t the biggest Zack Moss supporter when he came into the league last year; BUT, at his current ADP and because BUF did not add any backs in the draft, I am all in on Zack Moss outperforming his projections.
Wide Receiver Sleepers
Mecole Hardman – ADP 159.2 (14.03)
Admittedly this one is a bit odd when you consider that he had a miserable showing in the Super Bowl and has not really shown himself to be a good wide receiver. However, the upside for his ADP is far too tempting to continue to refuse the Dark Side of the Force. Mecole is now the WR2 on the Chiefs as Sammy ‘Lizard’ Watkins is gone. Watkins frees up his 55 targets from last year and his role on offense. Reports from training camp say that Mecole is set up to be the new WR2 in the high-powered Chiefs offense.
Now, more playing time on the field with Patrick Mahomes, I do not think I need to remind you this is a good thing for Mecole’s fantasy prospects. Mecole will be the third mouth to feed from Mahomes’ arm, but Tyreek and Kelce are going in the top 2 rounds. I will gladly take Mecole 12+ rounds later and get a piece of this talented offense. Plus, Mecole is only 23 and perfect to hold onto through a rebuild or if you are competing now. Mecole is a WR3 with the upside of being a WR2 in my eyes.
Michael Gallup – ADP 137.7 (12.08)
The Dallas offense has the potential to have a historically productive season, especially for their talented WR corps. The addition of CeeDee Lamb has seemed to cast a shadow over Michael Gallup’s tremendous upside. Despite being third on the depth chart, he saw the highest snap share percentage and still had over 100 targets.
Gallup is known to be the Cowboy’s deep threat, which makes sense due to his 3-yard advantage in average target distance over his teammates, not to mention a 21.2 air yards per reception compared to Cooper’s 12.3 and Lamb’s 13.4. No offense to Andy Dalton, but he is not the gunslinger that Dak Prescott has become. Few fantasy owners want an offense’s 3rd option, which is evident with Gallup’s spiraling ADP. But to draft a WR in the 12th round who should see ~100 valuable deep targets should be considered unfair; yet that’s where Gallup is falling in most drafts. Draft Gallup for your flex position and thank me in your championship speech.
Tight End Sleepers
Tyler Higbee – ADP 153.6 (13.10)
I know, the Higbee Hype Train was last year, and it derailed off the tracks rather quickly. So why would I say that he is a sleeper that you should look at drafting? I have three reasons, Gerald Everett is gone, Matthew Stafford, and a low price.
The first point is simple, Gerald Everett is now with the Seahawks, which opens up a decent number of targets. Higbee now has extraordinarily little competition at the TE spot for targets. Brycen Hopkins is currently slated to be their TE2, but he got drafted last year and hardly played. The real wildcard is Jacob Harris, who they drafted this year. He was initially a WR, but it seems they will be converting him to TE. Normal TE’s typically develop slowly and take a year minimum to produce. Harris learning a whole new position will take a while to learn. Plus, the Rams gave Higbee a second contract which means they are high on him.
The second point is Stafford is well accustomed to feeding his TE after giving TJ Hockenson 160 targets over the last two seasons.
Finally, Higbee is incredibly cheap, coming off an underwhelming season. The price for Higbee in a draft is a 13th round pick or later. To trade for him is even cheaper in most leagues. Get Higbee as your TE2 on your roster, and he might end up as a top-12 TE option by the end of this season.
Cole Kmet – ADP 149.7 (13.06)
This one should be self-explanatory. Cole Kmet is sharing a TE room with 34-year-old Jimmy Graham, who has a non-guaranteed $7 million contract in its final year. Last year, Graham/Kmet ended with 76/44 targets, but Graham was mostly used as an endzone target more than a possession receiver. Graham tied with three other TE’s to lead the league in end zone targets (12). During the last stretch of six games after CHI’s Week 11 bye, the snap counts heavily favored Kmet over Graham. In that stretch, the snap shares were as follows (Graham/Kmet): 36/79, 49/77, 48/86, 53/100, 47/91, 40/89. In that same span, Kmet out-targeted Graham 33 to 19.
These findings are as close to a guarantee as we can get to a changing-of-the-guard at the TE position in CHI. Kmet might have a few TDs vulture by Graham in 2021. Still, he will have ample opportunities to prove that he is the future for that franchise. For a later-round TE target, Kmet has an excellent opportunity to see his value exponentially increase.
Hope you enjoyed reading about some sleepers that might help you win your league or give you long-term success! Feel free to give us a follow on Twitter if you want the latest news, moves to make, or movie trivia. Jake’s username is @DarthDbacks and Dom’s username is @DomFFL. We are always happy to talk fantasy football, sports, life, or Star Wars with you in the Twittersphere! May The Force Be With You…
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