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5 Deep Draft Sleepers in Redraft

Quarterback- Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

For those thinking of Jameis as the Quarterback (QB) who threw 30 interceptions with the Buccaneers I can understand the hesitation. But Jameis became the one thing last year we never thought he would be. An efficient quarterback and his 14/3 TD-INT Ratio shows that. This season he will have the return of Michael Thomas who when healthy was one of the best Wide Receivers in the league, as well as rookie Chris Olave whose route running and football awareness will translate well to the NFL. When you include Alvin Kamara’s likely suspension to start out the year you could see an offense that throws 35 times a game early in the year. All of this potential for a Quarterback whose current Average Draft Position (ADP) is Quarterback 22 and 157th overall, Making him a great upside QB2 who will provide value as a bye week replacement as well as an injury replacement if your QB1 is a Konami Code QB with a history of injuries (Cough, Kyler Murray, Cough).

Jameis has always been a QB with immense talent who hasn’t had the structure and coaching to give him the best chance to succeed. Last season before the injury showed that the system in place could unleash a top 12 QB Jameis without the negative of the interceptions.

Projection – 61% Comp Pct, 3950 yds, 34 TD, 11 Int

Running Back- Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears

When you get into the back part of the draft you begin looking for lottery tickets who provide RB1 upside through injury or further opportunity. Khalil Herbert provides that as well as a likely expanding role in the offense as it becomes more run-centric as they fully pivot to the ascension of Justin Fields. In all 4 games last year with more than 5 touches he gained more than 75 yards and was featured in the passing game highlighted by back to back games against Tampa Bay and Green Bay in which he scored 19 Points Per Reception (PPR) points. This on a team that threw the ball 55% of the time last year either through deficit or Nagy’s stubborn nature. I expect that to be closer to 50/50 this year which could lead to 50-60 extra rushing opportunities.

This could lead to 8-10 weekly touches for Herbert as he has shown the ability and the rushing threat of Justin Fields will likely open rushing lanes leading to an improvement on Herbert’s already respectable 4.2 YPC with the upside that if Montgomery gets hurt he could be a must start weekly RB1. At the current ADP of RB49 and Overall 151 it is well worth the 13th round capital as a potential week and league winner who is available 3 rounds after other high value handcuffs like Alexander Mattison.

Projection – 150 Attempts, 650 yards, 25 rec, 140 rec yards, 5 Total TDs

Wide Receiver- DJ Chark Jr, Detroit Lions

Two years removed from a 73-1008-8 season ( in which he still missed a game) and finally away from the NFL albatross of Jacksonville, Chark enters a prove it season in likely his best situation to succeed so far. Coming off a season in which he suffered a season ending ankle injury he moves to the Detroit Lions on an offense that has invested heavily in weapons with the signing of Chark as well as drafting Jameson Williams in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Williams will however likely start the season on the PUP list. This provides Chark with the opportunity to be the WR2 and likely 3rd receiving option behind Amon- Ra St. Brown and TJ Hockenson and also the teams deep threat. For those with concerns about Jared Goff remember that Brandin Cooks had a 80-1204-5 season with Goff as his QB in an offense that was far more running heavy. Chark will fit into the role of about 100 targets in this offense with a ADOT likely hovering around 13 yds. This will equal a lot of high potential and the TD potential one looks for in a WR3/ WR4. His current ADP is WR57 and 147 overall. This is actually 3 spots after Jameson Williams who likely won’t play a full season and who suffered a torn ACL in the National Championship game in January and likely won’t be 100 percent until 2023. Buying low on a WR who has shown potential to be a top 30 WR even in a below average offense is the kind of move that wins leagues as Chark at the least will have injury replacement/ bye week replacement value.

Projection – 100 targets , 60 catches, 840 yds, 5 TD

Wide Receiver- Nico Collins

If there is a second receiver most likely to make the jump from unknown to useful fantasy asset it’s Nico Collins. Largely a dynasty stash last year he became a larger part of the Texans offense as the season went as coverages and attention shifts to Brandin Cooks. In Weeks 13-17 he had 4+ targets in every game topping out at 10 with a 5-69 performance against the Seattle Seahawks. This coinciding with Davis Mills coming out during OTAs and saying that they need to get Collins even more involved leads me to believe in an increased role and a path to 7+ targets per week as the WR2 for a team that will likely be throwing from behind in most games this year. Also an improved relationship between Mills and Collins will improve on the 55 percent catch rate for Collins who only recorded one drop in 2021. And while his ADOT last year was 10.6 there were 10 out of 14 games played last year where he was sub 10. This leads to him being the short area target for Davis Mills as Brandin Cooks ADOT has historically been 12+. Short area targets will provide further value as the Texans will likely be throwing from behind under heavy pass rush in a division with improving defenses. All this evidence leads me to predict a top 36 WR season for Collins. Given his current ADP of WR82 and 235 overall he will be an excellent final round selection in shallower leagues and a WR with high upside in deeper leagues that start 3 WR and multiple Flex spots.

Projection – 92 targets, 54 catches, 700 yds, 6 TD

Tight End- Cole Kmet

If your strategy for drafting TE’s this year is late or great as a fantasy analyst called it. You may be able to do both. Kmet comes in this year with all the opportunity in the world on an offense with only one real pass catcher (Darnell Mooney). Playing for a team that had a Tight End target rate of 24.2% last year and with the exit of Jimmy Graham that will make Kmet the primary pass catching TE with a path to 120 targets as the second target within the offense. Every year a TE breaks out and posts a TE1 season. Kmet is my pick for that this year. Kmet has grown in opportunity and productivity in each of his first two years doubling both his targets and receptions from year 1 to year 2. This will be the year that Kmet takes the final leap into TE1 territory. Given his current ADP of TE15 and 140 overall he makes a valuable choice is you wait until later in drafts to draft a TE as you will get the value and not sacrifice productivity

Prediction – 120 targets, 75 Rec, 820 yards, 7 TD

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