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darin3

2021 Sleepers / bounce-backs - may as well start now

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Below is a list of my "sleeper" QBs that in 2020 finished below the top-12, RBs and TEs that fell out of the top-24 and WRs that fell below 36 (so basically assumes a 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE PPR starting lineup and going beneath that).

 

Quarterbacks

 

Carson Wentz (finished QB20):  I think the move to IND will invigorate him.  He's just too good to have fallen this far.  The Philly offense and staff didn't do him any favors.  The staff in Indy will supply an environment with which he should flourish.  At minimum I think he slides into the top-12, making him an every-week starter in all leagues.

 

Jared Goff (QB22):  Call me crazy but I think he is going to put up some numbers in Detroit.  Kenny Golladay will be 100%, the defense will suck and there won't be a bellcow RB to turn and hand off to 20 times a game.  I envision a lot of higher-scoring games where the Lions have to throw to catch up.  Lots of garbage time.  Could mean some decent fantasy numbers.  If nothing else, you'll be able to draft him as your QB2 and he could end up putting up QB1 numbers based on volume alone.

 

Baker Mayfield (QB27):  Honestly was shocked to see him ranked so low.  He turned out some pretty good games.  But there were far too many 14-18 point efforts mixed in.  Maybe it's the reliance on the run game, who knows.  But I think he'll sneak into the top-15 come 2021.  Just too many good weapons to rely on.

 

Running  Backs

 

J.K. Dobbins (RB34):  Mark Ingram is gone and I can see the Ravens relying on Dobbins for the majority of the carries and catches out of the backfield.  Lamar Jackson will still steal rushes, especially in the red zone and at the goal line, but Dobbins will likely jump up 10-12 spots.

 

James White (RB51):  Cam Newton and his QB rushes are gone, and whoever will take snaps for the Pats will likely be dumping off to White more, like Brady used to.  White averaged under 9ppg in PPR, which is a far cry from what he's been doing in recent years.  I predict a bounce-back in PPR leagues.

 

Cam Akers (RB55):  Bringing in Matthew Stafford will open up running lanes for Akers, who started to really get cookin' in the latter third of the season and in the playoffs.  Hopefully HC McVay won't continue to use the "hot hand" approach since Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson are fairly capable backs themselves.

 

Wide Receivers

 

Michael Thomas (WR43):  Pretty much a no-brainer here, even if Brees is gone.  Not sure he'll even be classified as a "sleeper", more like "bounce-back".

 

DeVante Parker (WR46):  Just too talented to not be knocking on the door of the top-25 or so.  While I don't think Tua is going to be a volume passer, I can see Miami's offense continuing to improve and Parker is by far the best receiver on the team.

 

Courtland Sutton (WR50):  Pretty much in the Thomas camp.

 

TY Hilton (WR52):  Everyone thought that Rivers plus Hilton's deep ball skills would equal fantasy greatness but it never happened. I don't think Hilton was ever fully healthy last year.  100% health plus Wentz could mean a nice season.

 

Christian Kirk (WR55):  Kirk had some monster games in the middle part of the season and then fizzled.  I think Larry Fitzgerald could be done and Hopkins on the other side will mean plenty of open space for Kirk.  

 

Julian Edelman (WR63):  Hurt most of the year and never jived with Cam.  New QB, underneath routes, recipe for a nice PPR bounceback.

 

Tight Ends

 

O.J. Howard (TE18):  If Gronk hangs 'em up (not sure if he will or not), then Howard has top-10 potential with Brady.

 

Irv Smith, Jr. (TE25):  Kyle Rudolph is probably done or will be phased out and development of Justin Jefferson will give Smith the middle of the field to work with.

 

Jack Doyle (TE44):  Just a hunch but I have a feeling he is going to jive with Wentz.  He's a guy I want on my roster as my 2nd TE, because I think he could easily put up TE1 numbers.

 

 

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That's a high quality post did you write this all yourself?  If so, excellent work. 

 

I am with you on Wentz and Goff, I think they will be fine, how high I am not sure. Also the Lions will be opening up a bit more and having Swift run some more routes and as you said the run game is shaky. I think the Browns are still a run first team so not expecting a ton from Baker but I agree that is too low a ranking. 

 

Sutton I like but Lock had trouble finding Jeudy and not sure it will be any better with Sutton back. Edelman will be 35 and not sure how much more he can string together with a janky QB situation. 

 

Good insights overall!

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14 hours ago, purplemonster said:

That's a high quality post did you write this all yourself?  If so, excellent work. 

 

I am with you on Wentz and Goff, I think they will be fine, how high I am not sure. Also the Lions will be opening up a bit more and having Swift run some more routes and as you said the run game is shaky. I think the Browns are still a run first team so not expecting a ton from Baker but I agree that is too low a ranking. 

 

Sutton I like but Lock had trouble finding Jeudy and not sure it will be any better with Sutton back. Edelman will be 35 and not sure how much more he can string together with a janky QB situation. 

 

Good insights overall!

 

:lol:  Well yeah of course I penned all of that.  I'm not about to jack content.  I just went to one of my 12-team leagues with fairly regular PPR scoring and sorted by average ppg and went from there.  I guess now folks in my redraft leagues will know who I'll be targeting!

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Good list and info, I would not count on the Browns throwing the ball a lot more this year, they will continue to run it a lot. 

 

There's talk (media and fans) again about getting rid of OBJ since they played well without him. 

 

I hope TY Hilton has a good year, he's likely part of my core keeper squad at WR behind Davante Adams 

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Agree on Wentz.  Goff will have good games just because they'll be behind more often than not.  Think of him as Stafford-lite.  The problem with Mayfield is that they literally had a couple of games where they didn't need to throw, and ran for like 300 yards.  If you can pick and choose when to use him, and know when to potentially avoid those games, he's decent.  

 

I'm guessing Akers and Dobbins were both much higher the second half of the season, and they will be projected much higher this year.  Not exactly sleepers.  White?  Meh... his best days are behind him, I think.  Maybe a decent flex or spot start in deeper leagues, but I wouldn't want to rely on him regularly.  

 

Sutton should be back to being a low-end WR1 (or super WR2) when healthy.  Thomas is going to depend on what Brees does, I think.  Hilton is past his prime, but at least he now has somebody who CAN throw the deep ball (Rivers' arm was shot).  I like Kirk to step up when Larry leaves (although I think Isabella could be a sneaky sleeper in ARI as well). 

 

Smith should be fantasy-relevant, for sure, without Rudolph.  And totally agree on Doyle.  Not sure about Howard (he hasn't been great when he is healthy), Gronk wasn't reliable last year, too many mouths to feed, etc.  Just too many reasons why I think he won't be consistent.  

 

Good list overall, although I don't think sleepers is the right term for most of them.  Bounce back may be more accurate.  

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28 minutes ago, Gopher said:

Agree on Wentz.  Goff will have good games just because they'll be behind more often than not.  Think of him as Stafford-lite.  The problem with Mayfield is that they literally had a couple of games where they didn't need to throw, and ran for like 300 yards.  If you can pick and choose when to use him, and know when to potentially avoid those games, he's decent.  

 

I'm guessing Akers and Dobbins were both much higher the second half of the season, and they will be projected much higher this year.  Not exactly sleepers.  White?  Meh... his best days are behind him, I think.  Maybe a decent flex or spot start in deeper leagues, but I wouldn't want to rely on him regularly.  

 

Sutton should be back to being a low-end WR1 (or super WR2) when healthy.  Thomas is going to depend on what Brees does, I think.  Hilton is past his prime, but at least he now has somebody who CAN throw the deep ball (Rivers' arm was shot).  I like Kirk to step up when Larry leaves (although I think Isabella could be a sneaky sleeper in ARI as well). 

 

Smith should be fantasy-relevant, for sure, without Rudolph.  And totally agree on Doyle.  Not sure about Howard (he hasn't been great when he is healthy), Gronk wasn't reliable last year, too many mouths to feed, etc.  Just too many reasons why I think he won't be consistent.  

 

Good list overall, although I don't think sleepers is the right term for most of them.  Bounce back may be more accurate.  

 

Yeah the line between bounce-back and sleeper can be blurred a bit this early.  I edited the topic to reflect that better.

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17 hours ago, purplemonster said:

That's a high quality post did you write this all yourself?  If so, excellent work. 

 

 

 

Back in the day you might have been able to read some of darin's content on this sites main page. But then he started hanging out with some of us in Vegas and well... those stories are best left untold.

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On 2/22/2021 at 4:47 PM, darin3 said:

 

Jared Goff (QB22):  Call me crazy but I think he is going to put up some numbers in Detroit.  Kenny Golladay will be 100%, the defense will suck and there won't be a bellcow RB to turn and hand off to 20 times a game.  I envision a lot of higher-scoring games where the Lions have to throw to catch up.  Lots of garbage time.  Could mean some decent fantasy numbers.  If nothing else, you'll be able to draft him as your QB2 and he could end up putting up QB1 numbers based on volume alone.

 

 

Not expecting a sophomore leap from D'Andre Swift?

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Wolverines Fan said:

 

Not expecting a sophomore leap from D'Andre Swift?

 

 

 

No, I am.  But not enough of a leap to warrant calling him a bellcow whereby Goff and the Lion offense can rely on him week in and week out.  I think he'll be a 12-15 carry kind of back, at most.

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23 hours ago, darin3 said:

No, I am.  But not enough of a leap to warrant calling him a bellcow whereby Goff and the Lion offense can rely on him week in and week out.  I think he'll be a 12-15 carry kind of back, at most.

 

He averaged close to 9 carries per game played last year so that's not much of a jump. AP averaged almost 10 per game as well.  Not sure where AP is playing next year, but Swift deserved more of the load based on his better average (4.6 vs 3.9 for AP).

 

With the change in coaching and QB I wonder if they may also run the ball a bit more, they were 30th in the NFL last year.

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Nice workup darin. As of right now I like 2 on 2this list more than the others. More than 2 should bounce back. I like WR Cortland Sutton to rebound even if Lock is the starter. Having Jeudy will help him take coverage away from him. Definitely could have >1,000.yds. and.anywhere from 7 to 11 tds. Also like RB Cam Akers to have a good year. Should be the workhorse.back. For sure over 1,000 rushing yds. and at least 10.tds.  Dobbins will have an uptick in production and could be a top 15 RB. Like Howard if Gronkowski is gone.

Edited by Docniner

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On 2/26/2021 at 11:33 AM, League_Champion said:

I am on board with Dobbins, Gibson, Swift too.  Swift doesn't get reliable carries but he's liable to bust a big one anytime running or catching so as long as you ride out a few lackluster weeks I think he pays off.  Not sure what to do with Gaskin, although if the Phins don't pick up anyone he could be a good value too.  

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10 hours ago, purplemonster said:

Not sure what to do with Gaskin, although if the Phins don't pick up anyone he could be a good value too.  

 

Agree, he's kind of a wildcard right now. I think if Miami drafts a top WR at 3 his value increases significantly. I don't think it makes much sense for them to over pay for a RB. 

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On 2/25/2021 at 12:35 PM, stevegrab said:

 

He averaged close to 9 carries per game played last year so that's not much of a jump. AP averaged almost 10 per game as well.  Not sure where AP is playing next year, but Swift deserved more of the load based on his better average (4.6 vs 3.9 for AP).

 

With the change in coaching and QB I wonder if they may also run the ball a bit more, they were 30th in the NFL last year.

 

Didn't see this article before, the Lions coaches plan to get Swift 20-25 touches a game, they figure that to include 5-10 passes. 

 

https://www.nfl.com/news/lions-believe-rb-d-andre-swift-can-be-a-25-touch-per-game-player

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4 hours ago, stevegrab said:

 

Didn't see this article before, the Lions coaches plan to get Swift 20-25 touches a game, they figure that to include 5-10 passes. 

 

https://www.nfl.com/news/lions-believe-rb-d-andre-swift-can-be-a-25-touch-per-game-player

 

If that really happens, Swift should be on this list.  He will be an easy RB1 if he gets all those touches.

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On 2/22/2021 at 4:47 PM, darin3 said:

Irv Smith, Jr. (TE25):  Kyle Rudolph is probably done or will be phased out and development of Justin Jefferson will give Smith the middle of the field to work with.

 

 

Rudolph has just been cut.

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Said this on another post but a guy that could be a huge sleeper at running back is Rashad Penny. Seahawks spent a high draft pick on him and he'll be in the last year of his rookie contract so they will wanna see if he was worthy of that high pick. If he's healthy he should get the carries. Don't know Carson's situation but I think Penny will get every opportunity to be the guy. Wilson harping about protection so the Seahawks will address the O-line which could benefit Penny as well. You can get him in middle to late rounds and he could pay huge dividends.

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40 minutes ago, Docniner said:

Said this on another post but a guy that could be a huge sleeper at running back is Rashad Penny. Seahawks spent a high draft pick on him and he'll be in the last year of his rookie contract so they will wanna see if he was worthy of that high pick. If he's healthy he should get the carries. Don't know Carson's situation but I think Penny will get every opportunity to be the guy. Wilson harping about protection so the Seahawks will address the O-line which could benefit Penny as well. You can get him in middle to late rounds and he could pay huge dividends.

 

Hmmm, that would be interesting, Penny had a good rookie season, a decent second year then ended 2019 with the ACL tear (forgot about that). Which caused him to miss a bunch of 2020 on PUP list. Carson missed 4 games last year, would have been a good time for Penny to be used to see what he still has, but he was not available. When he did return in late December he had 11 carries for 34 yards.

 

As for Carson, I forgot he is an unrestricted free agent this year, and haven't heard much about what the Seahawks plan to do. Would be surprised if he does not return. 

 

As a Carson owner I'm hoping he continues to carry the load. 

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1 hour ago, stevegrab said:

As for Carson, I forgot he is an unrestricted free agent this year, and haven't heard much about what the Seahawks plan to do. Would be surprised if he does not return. 

 

As a Carson owner I'm hoping he continues to carry the load. 

 

I think DeeJay Dallas may be the one to own there. 

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Seems like every year i count out Carson he keeps producing.  He was able to catch some balls last year too.  Not sure it is quite time to give up on him, but both he and Penny are injury prone so it will likely be a crapshoot.  

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