We continue our annual 32-part Summer Sleeper series where DLF scribes identify a lightly-touted player on each NFL roster who may be worthy of your consideration. Our subjects all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but each merits a bit of in-depth discussion here in the Premium Content section.
To help everybody along, we are going to be categorizing our sleepers under one of three headings:
- Super Deep Sleepers – Players who aren’t roster-worthy in 12-team leagues, but are still worth keeping an eye on.
- Deep Sleepers – An end of the roster player who is more often than not on the waiver wire in 12-team leagues.
- Sleeper – A likely rostered player who makes for a good trade target. Their startup ADP puts them out of the top-175 or so.
Because we aren’t going give you the likes of mainstream sleepers like Allen Robinson or C.J. Anderson, most of these players will undoubtedly fizzle. All we are asking is for you to keep an open mind and perhaps be willing to make room for one of these players on your bench. You never know when the next Alfred Morris is going to spring up. Feel free to add your own thoughts about our choice for the designated sleeper, or nominate one of your own in the comments below.
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
In West Philadelphia, formed and played, on the gridiron is where we spend most of our days.
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool, I was scanning the waiver wire one day after school.
A couple of names looked pretty good, thought I’d check DLF to see what they had under the hood.
I got kinda excited with what I found there, soon enough, my team will be just like Bel-Air.
Josh Huff, WR
He’s on the border of the of the sleeper division, coming in with an ADP of 164 in July.
By all rights Huff should be a prime candidate for a breakout season. He’s already familiar with Chip Kelly’s system, playing his college ball under Kelly at Oregon. Checking in at 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds, he’s not the biggest dude on the block. His game is what you would expect from a former Duck. He runs good routes, gets in and out of cuts well and is more quick than fast. He is also a special teams contributor, where he excels as a kick returner.
Most of the Huff hype comes from his connection with Kelly. People think because he got drafted by his college coach, he would have a leg up on his competition. While that may be true for holding off the bottom of the roster, it did not turn into fantasy production. Huff finished 2014 with just 8 catches for 98 yards and no touchdowns on 18 targets, while missing the first four games of the season.
His high game was a three-catch game against Houston, and is 44-yard catch against Dallas was the best in that department. What is concerning is is 23.5% drop rate. That will need to improve if he wants to secure more playing time, and ultimately, better numbers.
This season he has a fresh quarterback in Sam Bradford, who might be more talented than predecessor Nick Foles, if more injury prone. On top of that, the Eagles picked up USC’s Nelson Agholor in the draft. He joins Huff along with Jordan Matthews and Riley Cooper to lead Philly’s wide receiving corps.
Because of the way Kelly’s scheme is structured so running backs are heavily involved in the pass game, Huff actually ended up as the Eagles’ WR4 last season. Normally, I’d say just by being more healthy would naturally lead to an increase in production for Huff. No. 1 receiver Jeremy Maclin followed former coach Andy Reid to Kansas City, taking 85 catches and 1,300 yards with him. But, on top of the bringing in Agholor, Philadelphia signed DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, both excellent receivers out of the backfield. Plus they already had Darren Sproles, another outstanding receiver from the running back spot.
If Huff can jump Cooper and hold off Agholor, he could be in for a nice season. Between 500-800 yards with 75-100 catches isn’t out of the question. Realistically, 75 and 500 is probably on the high end of what Huff will actually turn in. I can see him beating out either Cooper or Agholor, but not both. With Murray and Mathews in town to steal some of Maclin’s target, Huff’s output may be capped. I think he’ll have much better numbers than 2014, but if you think he’ll be more than a WR3 or flex option in fantasy this season, you’ll be kidding yourself.
Brent Celek, TE
Celek is a guy who clearly is on the back side of his career. Even in a target-friendly system like Philly, there is a limit on the number of mouths that can be fed and he was the guy who lost out.
In all reality, Celek would do well to match his 53 catches and 340 yards from last season, but he might get his TD numbers (1) bumped up. If you have Zach Ertz, it might be worth your time to take a flyer Celek, just in case. The bottom line with Celek is you’re not gambling on him to improve his numbers without something happening to Ertz. He’s already 30 and is being blocked by a younger, more talented player. I think Celek still makes the roster, but this could be his last season.
- Sunday Six Pack: Week Four - September 29, 2019
- College IDPs to Watch This Season - August 1, 2019
- New-Age Linebackers - June 14, 2019
I enjoy this series! One double-check question, please. Do you mean that Huff will average 6.67 – 8.00 yards per reception? Your projected maximum range of 75-100 receptions for 500-800 seems like a historically low (and poor) number. Did I misread something? Thank you!
Good catch. I thought I was looking at last year’s catches, but I must have looked at targets. Catches are probably closer to 55-80.