Top 5 Quarterback & Tight End Sleepers
Finding sleepers can win you leagues. That's why you see SO MANY sleeper articles year in and year out. It's one of the best feelings when you are high on a player that most are not even considering and that player ends up hitting and helps you win games. I had that feeling about Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen last year and it paid off immensely. There are a number of players I have that feeling about going into this season who you can get later than where I think they will finish. Here are my Top 5 at the Quarterback and Tight End positions.
TOM BRADY: Despite a lackluster supporting cast, Tom Brady still finished as fantasy football’s QB12 last season. Now with elite weapons like Mike Evans & Chris Godwin, as well as an un-retired Rob Gronkowski, Tom has the potential to finish Top 3 at the position. Jameis Winston was the QB5 last season....what do you think The GOAT might do? He's currently being drafted around QB12, which is where he finished last year. He's going to crush that ADP.
MATT STAFFORD: From weeks 1-9, Stafford was the QB6, but then a back injury forced him to sit the rest of the season and allowed most people to forget how good he really was for half the season. His back injury is a concern, but he's currently being drafted as a back end QB2, so there is little risk to his BIG upside.
RYAN TANNEHILL: When Tannehill took over the starting job week 7, he not only took it, he ran away with it. Only Lamar Jackson and Drew Brees were better on a points per game during that stretch. His efficiency was off the charts. While he's unlikely to repeat the insane efficiency he had last season, Tannehill is still a solid QB2 option who can provide elite QB1 upside.
GARDNER MINSHEW: The 6th round pick was forced into action right away in 2019 as Nick Foles broke his collar bone during the first half of week 1 vs Kansas City, and he performed surprisingly well. He finished the season as the QB19 playing in only 14 games. Part of the upside he brings is with his feet as he accounted for 344 rushing yards, ranked 5th at the position. Surprising as he only ran a 4.97 40 during his combine. Minshew has a low ceiling, but a decent floor due to his rushing upside and #10 team pass plays per game due to Jacksonville's often negative gamescript. With an ADP of QB29, he's a free QB option who can provide weekly streaming upside.
RYAN FITZPATRICK: When he finally took over in week 7, Fitzpatrick was on fire. In fact, he was 2nd to only Lamar Jackson in total points during that stretch. There is a good chance he starts the entire season while Miami lets rookie Tua heal/learn. Fitzpatrick has potentially the best value based on where he is being drafted. The uncertainty is understandable, but he is WELL worth the risk as your last pick in the draft.
HAYDEN HURST: This former 1st round pick (drafted ahead of Lamar Jackson 😳) was overshadowed by his former teammate Mark Andrews over the the first two seasons and was then shipped to Atlanta, and the landing spot couldn't be better. He replaces Austin Hooper, who himself finished as the TE6 each of the past two seasons and was the TE3 in points per game last year. Can we expect those elite numbers from Hurst? No, probably not, but he is absolutely in the TE1 conversation. Look to target him as a TE2 with top 8 upside.
ROB GRONKOWSKI: The days of Gronk being an elite fantasy option are in the rear view mirror. The last time we saw him play he looked like a shell of himself. However, he's still Gronk, and he's going to be playing with Tom Brady again. He's currently being drafted as a back end TE1, and I think that's fair. Maybe this is just my gut talking, but I think he has top 5 upside with 15 touchdown receptions in his range of outcomes.
MIKE GESICKI: Gesicki rebounded from a dreadful rookie campaign and finished as the TE12 in 2019. The 97th percentile athlete oozes athleticism, and under risk taker Ryan Fitzmagic, we were finally able to see some of his potential. He finished the year top 12 in points, targets and receiving yards per game. Going into his second season, look for increased usage and production with Fitzpatrick likely to remain the starter for at least this season, or the transition to 3rd overall pick Tua. Both are a good thing for Gesicki, who should be targeted as a tight end with mid TE1 potential at mid TE2 cost.
JONNU SMITH: When Delanie Walker was sidelined for the rest of the season in week 7 Jonnu Smith filled in and was able to finish as the TE14 in weeks 8-16. He is the perfect late-round tight end to target as the difference between what he will score and a mid-range TE is not all that far apart. If you miss out on one of the upper-end TE's Smith is a good add late in your drafts.
IAN THOMAS: If you're looking for a late round TE with TE1 upside, look no further than Carolina's Ian Thomas. One of the more athletic TE's in the league finally gets his chance to be unleashed now that Greg Olsen has left for Seattle. While he will have to compete for short and intermediate targets with D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey, there should be plenty to go around from the #2 pass attempts team from 2019 to go along with a QB, Teddy Bridgewater who loves to pepper the short and intermediate parts of the field.