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NFL

NFL Fantasy football 2022: Top Sleepers

If you’re still looking forward to your draft and think you’ve done all your homework, make sure you’re not forgetting about the sleepers!

Update:
If you’re still looking forward to your draft and think you’ve done all your homework, make sure you’re not forgetting about the sleepers!
Todd KirklandAFP

Imagine you’re in the seventh round of your fantasy draft. You’ve got two pretty good running backs, a star receiver, a decent quarterback, a second okay receiver, and a great tight end. What’s your next move? If you said you pick a kicker or a defense…you’re wrong.

First of all, you need the important backups before focusing on something silly like a kicker. Second of all, even if all the elite, great, and even really good players are gone, there is definitely still a sleeper out there for you. Focus on your bench, and get you one of them.

The point of a sleeper pick is that we don’t yet know they’ll be a great choice because it hasn’t happened yet. We know Cooper Kupp is a triple threat (literally), but we certainly didn’t know it before last season nor did anyone expect it. Or maybe someone did, and that someone was probably planning on having him as their sleeper all along, and then that someone probably won their league.

So, here are some of the sleepers who could possibly make a difference despite their ADPs.

Travis Etienne Jr. - Running Back - Jacksonville Jaguars

Etienne was a rookie last year but had to miss most of the season due to an injury. But if he’s going to have a breakout season, then this should be it. He’s healthy again, he’s potentially the Jaguars’ RB2 which means lots of targets from Trevor Lawrence (whom we also expect to have a breakout season), and the benefit of new management under Doug Pederson. And if you’ve been paying attention to him this preseason, he really showcased his talents as a pass-catcher and abilities to break tackles.

Cole Kmet - Tight End - Chicago Bears

Poor Kmet had a pretty underwhelming rookie season, just never quite being at the level that Jimmy Graham was. In 2021, though, it was his time to take the spotlight, and he did.

He started every game, caught 60 of 93 targets for 612 yards, but uh…no touchdowns. Womp womp. That’s no good in real life, but it’s definitely no good if he’s on your fantasy team. But I believe they’re on their way. He is targeted often and should continue to be, he’s active in downfield passing, and saw 12 red zone targets last year. This is his year. Jimmy Graham’s shadow has gone elsewhere.

Allen Lazard - Wide Receiver - Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers WILL throw passes, and plenty of them WILL come to Lazard. Davante Adams was the no. 1 WR, but he’s gone now. So it seems like Lazard could quickly become the favorite target. He’s shown bursts of what he’s capable of and though he’s no Davante Adams, well…he’s the receiver replacing him. I would expect him to become quite close with Rodgers this season.

Trey Lance - Quarterback - San Francisco 49ers

Trey Lance is coming into his second season and the pressure is ON. Not only is his rookie season behind him, but now he’s tasked with filling the shoes of Jimmy Garoppolo. He hasn’t had much of a chance to show off what he can do, but he did impress when he had the opportunities.

He is a dynamic rushing quarterback, but he can throw, too. He’s a great late-round pick and we could see him start to quickly improve week to week.

Chris Olave - Wide Receiver - New Orleans Saints

If you decide to go young talent in your late rounds, go Chris Olave. He’s fast, and he’s expected to play an immediate role as a deep threat on James Winston’s offense. He’s got the ball-handling abilities and the route-running smarts. In college, he set a school record if 35 career touchdowns.

He’s got a spark in him. He just needs the chance to let it out. If he gets that chance and becomes a top target, he’ll be a sleeper worth not sleeping on.

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