8 Deep Sleepers at Quarterback

The Footballguys staff digs deep for sleepers at quarterback

A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. This article specifically targets deep sleeper value (players that can be found very lain a fantasy draft). In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look deeper than the Top 150 and identify players that should significantly outperform their late draft position. These players should be your targets after the 12th round of your draft.

Player Receiving 6 Votes

Sam Darnold, NY Jets

Phil Alexander: Darnold was the top-rated passer in the league over the final quarter of his rookie season. The Jets added safety valves -- Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder -- to help in the short passing game, and Darnold developed great rapport late last year with Robby Anderson on downfield throws and Chris Herndon in the red zone. He's an elite quarterback prospect primed to make a second-year leap. The arrow is quietly pointing up for the entire Jets offense.

Drew Davenport: After Darnold was injured during the 2018 season he was able to head to the bench, observe the offense, and come out of his downtime on fire. Additionally, in the offseason, the Jets went out and got Le'Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, and some offensive line help. New Head Coach Adam Gase's slow snap pace is a minor concern, but Darnold's efficiency should be such that he can easily outperform his dirt-cheap ADP. He has the look of a quarterback who is ready to take the next step and his price is almost free so he's a strong late-round investment at the position.

Jeff Haseley: Carson Wentz had a relatively average, mediocre first season before exploding on the scene in his second year. Sam Darnold has that same level of intrigue heading into his second season. He has the talent for big things in the league. If his development, surrounding cast, and luck go his way, he could have a breakthrough year in 2019. He has looked outstanding in camp and preseason so far.

Andy Hicks: The Jets begin the process of surrounding Sam Darnold with weapons by signing Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder. Adding Adam Gase as the head coach seems an odd choice. One bad year of a new head coach could set Darnold back permanently. That said, Darnold does look the goods, but fantasy success may take a little stability in the organization. 2019, therefore, will be a challenge, but if he gets through this year with improvement, he should become a regular atop fantasy quarterbacks and if things go well that may well start this year for fantasy managers. An excellent high upside pick.

Dan Hindery: It is hard to find real upside at the quarterback position in the very late rounds. Darnold could be the lone exception. We have regularly seen quarterbacks make big leaps in their second seasons. Last year, Patrick Mahomes II, Deshaun Watson, and Mitch Trubisky each made a fantasy impact in their second seasons. Trubisky made an especially big leap in fantasy production from his first season to his second. In 2017, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz both made massive leaps and were fantasy draft steals. Darnold showed serious flashes as a 21-year old rookie and the early camp reports have been glowing about the progress he has made in the offseason. The Jets have also improved the talent around Darnold with some recent additions to the offensive line combined with the free-agent additions of Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder.

Justin Howe: Darnold’s rookie year wasn’t consistently pretty; in fact, it was pretty bad for a hefty stretch early on. But upon his Week 14 return from injury, he closed the season as one of football’s more effective passers. Over those final four weeks, he landed seventh league-wide in adjusted yards per attempt and 12th in passing fantasy points. Going forward, he’ll likely continue to lean on his slot guys (Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa, tight end Chris Herndon), which will hopefully keep up his efficiency numbers and confidence. That will allow him to dial up Robby Anderson down the field more often, a connection with serious upside. The pair hooked up 23 times for 336 yards and 3 scores over those final four games.

Player Receiving 5 Votes

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