It’s getting closer to that time, when fantasy football owners are gearing up for the draft process. What better way to rise above the competition then to take a risk on a few players everyone else is sleeping on heading into your draft? Who makes Salute Magazine’s list of fantasy football sleepers?
Quarterback: Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titians
Mariota has been a good backup fantasy QB selection in past seasons, but I have a feeling this year will be his breakout campaign.
The third-year signal caller should be fully recovered from a broken leg by the NFL’s open week.
Therefore, with all the necessary supportive offensive tools in place – an above average offensive line, a strong ground attack and depth at the receiving position, look to Mariota to positively impact your fantasy squad.
Wide Receiver: Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans
Speaking of solid Titan wide receivers, Decker has been pretty good when healthy (he only suited up for three contests with the New York Jets in 2016). In his past three injury-free seasons, Decker has averaged 80-plus receptions, over 1000 yards and nine scores.
Not bad for a player who was selected in third round of the 2010 NFL Draft and spent two of the three aforementioned years with the woeful Jets.
Wide Receiver: Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets
Yes, this is even a surprise to me, considering how inept New York’s offensive was last campaign.
If you think about it, however, the Jets are likely to play a majority of the time from behind. So, that will leave them with no choice but to take to the air in order to catch up.
In addition, with receivers such as Decker and Brandon Marshall out of the fold, the four-year player will be the benefactor of lax coverage, allowing him to rack up decent stats.
Considering the rigors of the sport, you’re going to need a measure of depth at the position as the season progresses.
Drafting Enunwa will provide your fantasy football team with the necessary depth, as he will make a legitimate fourth receiver. Plus, he won’t break your piggybank.
Running Back: Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens
West sits somewhere in the middle of the Ravens’ depth chart. Mind you, picking him is somewhat of a risk, but you don’t have to pull the trigger until the later rounds of your draft.
Selling points, you may ask? He’s a good goal-line back who should help you in the touchdown department.
Additionally, with Kenneth Dixon out four games to begin the season, West will get increased touches. If he performs well during that time, he could slide up Baltimore’s depth chart. By that time, you’ll already have him slotted on your own team as a fantasy steal.
Tight End: Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
With Jacob Tamme (a free agent) no longer on the Falcons, Hooper should get the lion’s share of attention at the position if things remain the same, which seems likely.
Atlanta likes to throw to its tight ends, as it accounted for 83 targets and 10 TDs in 2016, according to CBSSports.com.