2017 NFL Sleeper Picks

Finding that “diamond in the rough player” who is flying under the radar come draft time and has a good opportunity to produce well over their ADP, aka a “sleeper”, is generally what leads fantasy teams to the championship.  While many players appear to be slept on due to their low ADP, their situation may not be the best which is something everyone needs to take into account. BSGT (Bad Situation Good Talent) players are those that appear to have the talent to be a sleeper but aren’t in a great situation to succeed or show their full potential. A popular BSGT player for this season for example is Allen Robinson, who undoubtedly has tremendous talent but also has Blake Bortles throwing balls his way, which as we have continued to see this preseason, he isn’t very good at, leading to an unfavorable situation and ultimately watching him sliding further and further down draft boards.

These 10 players, who aren’t in any particular order, all have the talent to exceed their current ADP AND are in good enough situations that shouldn’t hamper their potential. Also, I’m intentionally leaving out rookies in this article.

Marcus Mariota l QB l Tennessee Titans

Not even sure Marcus classifies as a sleeper anymore because we all know what he is capable of and the weapons he has, but I want to talk about him regardless. He is coming off of a major injury that ended his 2016 campaign early which will scare some people away. Marcus has already shown us what he is capable of and has a great chance to excel in this league. Not only does he own the best passer rating in the red zone with 33 TD’s and 0 INT over his career(crazy numbers) he is also a very patient and smart player. He doesn’t make dumb plays, knows when to run the ball and is simply has shown great maturity as a QB at only 23 years old. He is currently going as the QB 8/9 behind players like Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson and  Kirk Cousins whom I think Marcus has a very good chance to outplay this season.

Carson Wentz l QB l Philadelphia Eagles

Perhaps one of the more popular sleeper QB options this season and is for good reason. Even with the departure of Jordan Matthews to the Bills, Wentz still has a great supporting cast including Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, Zack Ertz and Darren Sproles. While Wentz wasn’t anything special last season, he also proved he does have potential in the NFL.  Carson also gets the protection of an absolute wall of an offensive line who Pro Fantasy Focus rated as #1 heading into this season. Reports about LeGarrette Blount possibly not making the team due to weight issues have been circulating making their run game very unclear at the moment. Without a threat coming out of the backfield, Wentz will be forced to throw more passes to his weapons on the outside and even hitting Sproles on short routes. Wentz should have no issue crushing his current ADP of 140 and it looks like he is in for an effective bounce back season. He also has showed a great connection with Alshon thus far in the preseason and could be a very effective duo that goes overlooked in drafts.

DeVante Parker l WR l Miami Dolphins

As we all have heard by now, Jay Cutler is the new starting QB for the ‘phins which obviously lead to some hesitation when thinking about drafting any WR’s on this team. But, Cutler really hasn’t looked too bad in preseason and isn’t that much different in terms of skill than Ryan Tannehill, so it shouldn’t cause you to stray away from drafting Jarvis Landry or DeVante Parker. Everyone remembers that connection Jay had with Alshon in Chicago and it’s quite possible we could see something similar with Parker. In fact, they are the exact same height and Parker even ran a faster 40. Cutler relies on the jump ball probably too often but Parker is certainly capable of scaling defenders to bring them down with his height and skillset. Parker will be a popular sleeper pick this season.

Doug Baldwin l WR l Seattle Seahawks

Over his last 23 games, Baldwin has averaged 78 yards on 6 catches yet still doesn’t get the respect he probably deserves. He has consistently remained active in their offense over the last 3 seasons with a market share in the 20 percentile. He is currently being drafted as the #14 WR which is too high for him. He finished the 2016 season with 1,128 yards on 94 catches and has only improved every season since 2014 when he caught only 66 balls. While his TD numbers were cut in half from 2015-2016, he should still see around 7-10 TD’s in this offense. Doug is a player who continuously gets under looked and will provide great value in the WR department come draft day. The running back situation in Seattle is very unsettled at the moment and I think will force Wilson to rely more on Baldwin who is really their only consistent wide receiver threat.

Corey Coleman l WR l Cleveland Browns

The promising first-round draft pick out of Baylor in 2016 disappointed many fantasy owners last year after a pretty underwhelming season. We can probably chalk some of this up to him having to adjust to 3 different QB’s who were by no means effective. Coleman will now have either Brock Osweiler, if he doesn’t get traded, or DeShone Keizer, who has impressed this preseason, throwing him the rock which on paper obviously doesn’t sound like a recipe for success but they have to throw the ball to someone. With Pryor gone, there are many targets to replace and Coleman should see a majority of them with the help of Kenny Britt, whose odds of staying healthy are always slim. Coleman has great athletic ability and should certainly be able to outperform his current ADP of 116.

Pierre Garcon l WR l San Francisco 49ers

After departing Washington to join the 49ers on a 5 year $48 million deal, Pierre will reconnect with his old OC Kyle Shanahan. The last time these two were together was 4 years ago in Washington when Garcon had a breakout season leading the league in both targets and yards. While is age isn’t ideal, he is far and away the #1 receiver in San Francisco and has acknowledged that he has been preparing for large volume in the off season. I also don’t see Hoyer making it difficult for him to have a good year like many seem to think and Pierre acknowledged himself that he is an underrated QB. Look for Hoyer and Garcon to develop a great connection this season and provide some great value.

Jamison Crowder l WR l Washington Redskins

Another popular sleeper pick this season and many analysts have even put him in their breakout category. While I’m certainly high on Crowder this season, I don’t see a “breakout” season with Terrelle Pryor likely to receive most of the attention from Cousins. He is coming off an effective season where he caught 67 balls for 874 yards and 7 TD’s as the #3 wide out on the team. He is now the #2 behind Pryor and will undoubtedly see an increase in targets, catches and yards. He should have no issue surpassing his current ADP in standard leagues of 79. Like his situation a lot.

Martavis Bryant l WR l Pittsburgh Steelers

If you can stomach dealing with his inability to comply with the NFL drug policy, Martavis could potentially be a player who takes you the ship. He comes with tremendous upside especially at his current rank of WR32 but obviously brings with him some risk. He plays on one of the best offensive teams in the NFL and will have Big Ben slinging him the rock who led the league in deep passes last season, where Bryant thrives. As teams at least attempt to stiffen Antonio Brown, Martavis will see less attention from the secondary and thus better opportunity for him to expose his crazy athleticism.

Eric Decker l WR l Tennessee Titans

Tennessee is a popular target for fantasy assets this seasons and Eric Decker will have a great opportunity to thrive in this offense. He reminds me of a slightly better version of Doug Baldwin in terms of production and consistency. The man is averaging 82 catches and 1,116 yard per 16 games and is currently being drafted as the number 38 WR, c’mon now. The value here is so nice. Now, it is important to note that he isn’t the youngest of players and is coming off a season where he only managed to play in 3 games which is causing him to slide down rankings. The Titans offense should have no issues moving the ball down the field with weapons like Murray and Mariota and I think Decker will lead their receiver core in fantasy production assuming he stays on the field.

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