This is why I watch four quarters of every single stinkin’ preseason game. This is why I annoy broadcasters, beat reporters and people who know people. And this is why I love my job.
There is nothing more satisfying that drafting a player with a late pick and watching him turn into a usable weekly starter for your Fantasy team. Almost as satisfying is sharing those players with you.
There’s one player I’m trying to take in every draft regardless of league size or scoring, but what fun is it to give you just one name when you could have SIX?! This way, when you’re toward the end of your draft and want guys who will give you a good return on your investment, you have options.
These are specifically deep sleepers for Fantasy owners in 10- and 12-team leagues. All of these players have an ADP of over 130th overall and are available in over 55 percent of CBS Sports leagues except when noted.
|ATT: 22||YDS: 107||TD: 0||TAR: 3||REC: 2||REC YDS: 21||REC TD: 0|
From the second the Ravens drafted Dixon, I was on board with him as a Fantasy Football target. Everyone else in Baltimore’s backfield has redeeming qualities, but Dixon is the only one with speed, power and good hands. He was on his way to earning some first-team reps when he got tackled awkwardly and tore his MCL in the third preseason game against Detroit. Believe it or not, this was a good thing — good because he didn’t suffer a season-long injury, good because he can come back from it and good because it zapped his Average Draft Position, making him an even better bargain. When he’ll play again is up in the air — it’ll depend on his recovery and how badly the Ravens need him. I’ll look his way starting in Round 10.
I’m drafting/adding Dixon if: I’m willing to be patient with a running back or if I need long-term depth at running back. I’ll also draft Terrance West with Dixon in late deeper drafts just to have the Ravens’ two most impressive backs this summer — one playing now, one playing later.
|ATT: 21||YDS: 106||TD: 0||TAR: 7||REC: 5||REC YDS: 29||REC TD: 1|
Make no mistake, Latavius Murray is the main running back in Oakland, but you’d be foolish to believe he’ll be the only guy. No Raiders running back was more fun to watch than Washington, who averaged 5.0 yards per carry, 5.8 yards per catch and had three plays of 20-plus yards over 26 touches. The feeling is Washington will play in certain passing downs with Murray and potentially land a larger role if Murray gets hurt or is ineffective. His explosiveness definitely adds another layer to the Raiders offense and you will definitely see him get a few chances as early as Week 1. The Raiders’ bulked-up offensive line is also a selling point. By the skin of his teeth, Washington is worth a Top 100 pick in any 10- or 12-team league but you should be able to find him later than that.
I’m drafting/adding Washington if: I took Latavius Murray with an early pick (and I’d do it in late Round 8 or Round 9 to be safe), but I’ll take him even without Murray just to have a high-upside running back in an aggressive offense.
|TAR: 9||REC: 8||YDS: 80||TD: 0|
Note: Cook is available in 48 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
I feel like I should know better than to trust a guy who didn’t score a touchdown last season and has scored just 16 over 107 career games. But here we are, touting a tight end who has let us down year after year. Know why? Because he’s catching passes from Aaron Rodgers in an offense where he’ll never see tight coverage. Tight ends have been featured prominently with Rodgers for years and Cook gives the Packers a legitimate red-zone threat. If Richard Rodgers could score eight touchdowns in 2015, couldn’t Cook do the same? If he scores even six it would be a career-high.
I’m drafting/adding Cook if: I whiff on tight ends through the first 10 rounds of my draft and want someone simply to just start the season with. Cook is the perfect streaming tight end to turn to.
|TAR: 11||REC: 9||YDS: 115||TD: 1|
Anytime the Patriots target a free agent, it’s worth noting. That’s what they did with Hogan, giving him a pretty sweet contract as a restricted free agent to pry him from Buffalo’s hands. What’s nice about Hogan is his versatility — he’s capable of working as an outside receiver or filling in from the slot and working underneath routes. That gives him plenty of potential to catch a bunch of Tom Brady‘s passes (and Jimmy Garoppolo‘s too). The Patriots pass attack will revolve around their towering tight end duo, but Hogan should be able to rack up at least five targets per game along with the occasional deep ball. Better yet, if anything were to happen to Edelman, Gronkowski or Bennett, Hogan’s workload would receive a major boost. His price tag is easily past Round 11.
I’m drafting/adding Hogan if: I want a No. 4 or 5 Fantasy receiver with a chance at a breakout year. He’s also worth grabbing late in PPR formats to “handcuff” Edelman.
|ATT: 22||YDS: 99||TD: 1||TAR: 3||REC: 3||REC YDS: 12||REC TD: 0|
So long as the Redskins don’t make a splash at running back between now and the start of the season, Kelley has a shot to eventually become their lead rusher. Kelley reminded me of Matt Jones this preseason — a physical bruising back who can pick up speed and make good cuts. But he doesn’t have the pedigree of a fumbling, injury prone rusher that Jones has (at least not yet). The former Tulane running back did everything you could ask for in college, including catch passes, but the combination of limited work, weak stats, average speed and some off-field issues pushed him off a lot of draft boards. That’s not a combination that typically works for running backs, but Tulane’s teams were awful and the Redskins recognized that when they evaluated Kelley. Washington general manager Scot McCloughan is notorious for finding diamonds in the rough and might have found a potential rusher to back up or potentially start in place of Jones, who already has a shoulder injury that could keep him from playing Week 1. Pretty much everyone in your league won’t know who Kelley is, making him a “why not?” choice with your final draft pick.
I’m drafting/adding Kelley if: I want to start the season with a low-risk flier at running back on my bench. If I drafted Matt Jones, I’d find room for Kelley if I was desperate for running back help.
Source: CBS Sports / 2016 Fantasy Football Strategy: Deep sleepers for 10- and 12-team leagues