Fantasy Football Sleepers for 2020

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2020 at 11:51 am ET

Virtually every fantasy champion can recall which late round guy helped propel them to victory. Just ask fantasy owners who drafted Lamar Jackson in the tenth round last year how they did.

A sleeper is someone who has the potential to significantly outperform their average draft position (ADP). Unfortunately, the pandemic has eliminated the preseason where we would typically have an opportunity to uncover some of these hidden talents.

One way to try and uncover potential sleepers is to look at our fantasy football draft rankings. Next to every player will be their current rank as well as their ADP value. If their rank is less than their ADP, that player is potentially being undervalued. Conversely, if a player's rank is higher than their ADP, you're probably overpaying for that pick.

Quarterback Sleepers

Gardner Minshew
Gardner Minshew, QB JAC
Gardner Minshew is largely being ignored in drafts this year, which feels a bit unfair given that he was fairly productive last season sharing duties with Nick Foles. The starting job is his now and he has quite a few weapons at his disposal including D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook, Leonard Fournete and Chris Conley. Minshew is the 26th-ranked QB but has the potential to be a high-end QB2 for your team.
2020 Projections: 3736 Passing Yards, 23 Passing TD, 248 Fantasy Points
Cam Newton
Cam Newton, QB NE
Cam Newton as a sleeper? By definition, Cam could absolutely be considered a sleeper. He's being drafted in the 12th and 13th rounds of most drafts as a backup QB, but if there's anything that fantasy owners have learned over the years, it's that you can't underestimate the Patriots. Josh McDaniels is adapting the offense to Cam's natural abilities. Cam could end up with a QB1 finish when the season is all said and done.
2020 Projections: 3519 Passing Yards, 22 Passing TD, 262 Fantasy Points

Running Back Sleepers

Antonio Gibson
Antonio Gibson, RB WAS
As talented as Adrian Peterson is, he's no longer going to be able to be as dynamic as someone with fewer miles. Washington drafted him in the third round of the NFL Draft, and he's expected to contribute immediately. Whether that's as a running back, wide receiver, or both remains to be seen. He's ranked 120th with an ADP a full round later. You'll be able to draft him in the 10th or 11th round.
2020 Projections: 349 Receiving Yards, 2 Receiving TD, 94 Fantasy Points (STD)
Jordan Howard
Jordan Howard, RB MIA
It's not often that you'll find a starting RB in the 7th or 8th rounds. Howard is expected to share carries with another newcomer to the Dolphins in Matt Breida, but it should be a relatively even split to start the season. Howard will likely play on early downs, while Breida could be a change-of-pace option. Assuming that Howard gets the bulk of the workload, he could be a solid flex option for you this season.
2020 Projections: 138 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving TD, 127 Fantasy Points (STD)
Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt, RB CLE
It might not seem logical to put Hunt on this list, but he's one of the few guys that we know can deliver huge fantasy numbers when he's the #1 option. In this case, that depends completely upon the health of Nick Chubb. If Chubb were to miss any time, Hunt instantly becomes a Top 5 RB. If Chubb stays healthy, Hunt remains a solid flex option. While this can be said about virtually any backup RB, we already know what Hunt is capable of so the risk is minimized.
2020 Projections: 448 Receiving Yards, 3 Receiving TD, 130 Fantasy Points (STD)
AJ Dillon
AJ Dillon, RB GB
At 6 feet and 247 pounds, AJ Dillon is a beast. He'll be playing behind Aaron Jones and potentially Jamaal Williams, but Dillon figures to get some work this season. If the Pack can't keep Jones and Williams on the team next year, Dillon could find himself in a staring role. For now, he's a late round flier who will likely see goalline work.
2020 Projections: 69 Receiving Yards, 0 Receiving TD, 65 Fantasy Points (STD)
Damien Harris
Damien Harris, RB NE
Damien Harris had a disappointing rookie campaign in 2019, but he might be a sophomore surprise in 2020. The third-rounder from Alabama struggled with injuries and a lack of playing time last season, but the Patriots could give him an increased role in the absence of Sony Michel and Lamar Miller. Based upon recent reports out of camp, Harris could end up atop the depth chart.
2020 Projections: 95 Receiving Yards, 0 Receiving TD, 68 Fantasy Points (STD)

Wide Receiver Sleepers

Jalen Reagor
Jalen Reagor, WR PHI
There is a lot of buzz for Jalen Reagor out of camp. The Eagles selected rookie receiver Jalen Reagor in the first round of the NFL Draft, and he could be a quality Fantasy option this year. He's worth drafting with a late-round pick in all seasonal leagues. His ranking has him near the 10th round, but his ADP has him going even later.
2020 Projections: 95 Receiving Yards, 0 Receiving TD, 68 Fantasy Points (STD)
Allen Lazard
Allen Lazard, WR GB
The Packers did not do anything of note during the draft to address the wide receiver position, and their one big free agent move went bust when Devin Funchess opted out of the 2020 season. That leaves Allen Lazard as the #2 wide receiver on a team where Aaron Rodgers is still under center. Lazard's ranking has him almost a full two rounds ahead of where he's being drafted making him an ideal lottery pick this year.
2020 Projections: 95 Receiving Yards, 0 Receiving TD, 68 Fantasy Points (STD)
Anthony Miller
Anthony Miller, WR CHI
Wide receivers tend to break out in their third year, and this is Anthony Miller's opportunity to shine. While we've seen flashes of brilliance in his first two seasons, we've also seen several injuries. If he can stay on the field, his potential is fantastic. Given his current ranking (110th overall) versus his ADP (148 overall), he presents tremendous value late in your draft.
2020 Projections: 95 Receiving Yards, 0 Receiving TD, 68 Fantasy Points (STD)
Diontae Johnson
Diontae Johnson, WR PIT
After leading the Steelers receivers in targets, receptions, and touchdowns last year, there's plenty of speculation surrounding Diontae Johnson. Granted his QB situation last year was awful, but the return of Big Ben boosts his potential. He'll compete for targets with JuJu, James, Washington, Chase Claypool, and newly-acquired TE Eric Ebron. Johnson has missed several days of camp due to a calf injury, but assuming that it doesn't sideline him, he has great value with a ranking of 87th overall and an ADP of 107 overall.
2020 Projections: 95 Receiving Yards, 0 Receiving TD, 68 Fantasy Points (STD)

Tight End Sleepers

Blake Jarwin
Blake Jarwin, TE DAL
Blake Jarwin should be considered a sleeper tight end this season, and he's worth drafting in all leagues with a late-round pick. Dallas lost three receiving options this offseason in Jason Witten, Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin, and no significant replacements were added prior to the NFL Draft. That's 190 targets available, and Jarwin could emerge as a top target for Dak Prescott, along with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Ezekiel Elliott. Jarwin isn't worth drafting as a starting Fantasy tight end, but he could emerge as a starter during the year.
2020 Projections: 489 Receiving Yards, 4 Receiving TD, 73 Fantasy Points (STD)
Jonnu Smith
Jonnu Smith, TE TEN
The departure of Delanie Walker opens up plenty of opportunity for Jonnu Smith. He's the 17th-ranked TE, but could easily finish inside the Top 12 this season making him an ideal backup TE to put into your draft queue on draft day.
2020 Projections: 452 Receiving Yards, 4 Receiving TD, 69 Fantasy Points (STD)
Chris Herndon
Chris Herndon, TE NYJ
2019 was supposed to be Chris Herndon's year. After coming off a four-game suspension, injuries kept him from becoming a fantasy staple. He has been a huge piece of the Jets offense so far during camp, and if you can take the risk, he's a solid backup TE that could end up sliding into your starting rotation.
2020 Projections: 602 Receiving Yards, 4 Receiving TD, 84 Fantasy Points (STD)

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