This article is about a 12-minute read.
A big part of a successful draft is finding players after Round 10 who will surprise. The quest for deep sleepers is one all fantasy players undertake. We asked our staffers for help finding them. To focus our search, we will go through each division. Today, the NFC South.
And to clarify, by Deep Sleeper, we are talking about players who generally not drafted in the first 10 rounds.
With both Tampa Bay and New Orleans with six players each and the Falcons with five in the Top 120, this comes down to digging through the Panthers' depth chart. Several candidates emerge, all tied to the Carolina passing game - quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, wide receivers Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel, and tight end Ian Thomas. All have legitimate claims to the top NFC South Sleeper title, but I tend to lean toward Robby Anderson, who I mentioned earlier this summer in the Top WR on a New Team article:
My pick for this category is Anderson, who moves from the Jets to Carolina this year. Anderson could arguably be considered rather undervalued right now, for two main reasons. First, he reunites with his former coach Matt Rhule, and second is that he signed a starter-type contract ($20M over two years). Anderson averaged over 750 yards and six scores over the past three seasons, putting him in the Top 36 at wide receiver. As long as Anderson sees starter snaps and is a part of the new passing game, he should push again for fantasy WR3 numbers, making him a solid value pickup at his current ranking outside of the Top 40-50 wide receivers.
Both Ian Thomas and Teddy Bridgewater are close second and third place votes for me, but Anderson is the best value with a bigger relative upside, especially if the passing game falls into place for the Panthers.
I will go with Russell Gage. He was second (with 12) on the team in redzone targets, only behind the now-departed Austin Hooper (18). Gage is a solid receiver who will benefit if either Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley misses time.
In those four starts, Gage had 33 targets. Interestingly, two of those games were against Tampa Bay. In those two contests, Gage had 23 combined targets, 15 receptions, and 144 yards.
Still just 24 years of age, Gage is still growing and maturing as a receiver after only having 26 career collegiate receptions at LSU.
I'm going with Falcons running back Qadree Ollison. He will enter year-two third on the depth chart behind Todd Gurley and Ito Smith. If Gurley struggles or is forced to miss time, Ollison not Smith may be the better replacement. As a rookie, Ollison scored four short touchdowns on five attempts all inside the three-yard line. If Gurley does need to be replaced, Ollison has a chance to be the one who can become fantasy-relevant. As a senior at Pitt Ollison averaged 6.3 yards-per-carry and gained 1,213 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. He has the size and build to be an effective goal-line threat at the very least.
How deep are you both drafting here, guys?
All those players feel like waiver wire shots in the dark that are going to be in the free-agent pool well after Week 1.
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