A few weeks ago, I wrote an article detailing five dynasty sleepers you could acquire for next-to-nothing. Wanting to run with the idea of sleepers that the community seems to love so much, I decided to continue the “March Madness” theme of my first article and create an interactive series to help identify 16 more sleepers for dynasty owners.
Poring over the DLF March ADP data, I identified 16 players with ADP’s lower than 100 (seven lower than 200) who I saw as rifts in the markets, currently priced much lower than their expected value. With help from DLF’s own Brian Malone, each player was seeded based on their ADP (highest ADP was the one seed and so on) and then matched up in a tournament style to determine the community’s favorite dynasty sleeper. In total we had 114 users vote in the ‘Round of 16’ and came out with eight victors who will move onto the elite eight that will be open for polling as soon as this article is published. Lets get 200 votes for the second round!
Not wanting to post just one article detailing all 16 sleepers, an article will be posted after each round of voting that details each losing sleeper so as to not let their presence be wasted in this prestigious bracket. So, without further ado, here are the first round’s voting results and analysis on each of the first eight eliminated sleepers.
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- Buck Allen (64.3%) vs. Bruce Ellington (35.7%)
- Davante Adams (50.5%) vs. Robert Griffin III (49.5%)
- Tavon Austin (61.6%) vs. Chris Thompson (38.4%)
- Ladarius Green (84.2%) vs. Albert Wilson (15.8%)
- Brian Quick (64.3%) vs. Rueben Randle (35.7%)
- Chris Conley (60.7%) vs. Coby Fleener (39.3%)
- Kenny Bell (75%) vs. J.J. Nelson (25%)
- DeAndre Smelter (66.4%) vs. Dwayne Allen (33.6%)
Bruce Ellington, WR SF
I left out the other four sleepers written up in my last article, but just couldn’t imagine this sleeper bracket without Ellington. His agility scores, coupled with the Chip Kelly bump he is liable to experience in his current position (Impact WR3) he’s really hard to not love at his ADP, which was somehow the lowest of all 16 players polled. A price this cheap makes Ellington an almost must-roster if you are selecting in the final rounds of a startup drafts. There are few players that can match his favorable age, agility and depth chart position.
Robert Griffin III, QB CLE
The newly minted Cleveland Brown is currently the lowest non-rookie quarterback in dynasty draft position. That stat alone makes it worthwhile to take a stab at the 26 year old who is joining forces with dynamic offensive mind Hue Jackson. Not guaranteed the starting job, Griffin will have to return to his rookie year form if he stands any chance of beating out the highly drafted quarterback the Browns are expected to select. His potential alone offers enough reason to roster him on your dynasty team, even as a fourth quarterback. It also speaks volumes to both he and Davante Adams that they were only separated by one vote in their bracket matchup.
Chris Thompson, RB WAS
Alfred Morris is out in Washington, leaving Thompson and Matt Jones to assume running back duties for 2016. The former fifth round pick saw his first real shot at opportunity in third string duties last year, amounting 35 carries along with 35 receptions to cement himself as Washington’s primary pass catching back going into 2016. That role alone solidifies Thompson’s spot on a dynasty roster, especially in PPR formats. Currently sitting at RB72, Thompson is a great sleeper in the increasingly top-heavy dynasty running back landscape.
Albert Wilson, WR KC
Wilson is somehow only 23 after two years in the NFL and still has a few years to develop in Kansas City. 2016 saw him double his receptions from his rookie year and become a semi-established piece in the Kansas City offense. A longtime favorite of Reception Perception creator Matt Harmon, Wilson continues to fly under the radar in the shadows of Jeremy Maclin and fellow bracket-mate Chris Conley. Elite college statistics and strong combine numbers give Wilson a baseline athleticism that points toward a salvable career as a complimentary receiver, both on the field and on dynasty rosters. His price is favorable for another player in a promising position to see snaps this season, something most players in his ADP range cannot say.
Rueben Randle, WR PHI
The only player in the first round to lose his matchup despite holding the higher ADP, Randle seems to be like stale milk to many dynasty owners. With four years of under-exceeding expectations in the books, the former Giant will look to rebound his career as his moves to division rival Philadelphia on a one year $1.025 million dollar contract. 2015 saw him fail to reach the career marks he set in 2014 in all areas except one: touchdowns. Eight touchdown grabs tied him with Julio Jones and showed some of the potential dynasty owners had been so desperately wanting over the last four years. Randle will have to beat out Josh Huff and Nelson Agholor for a starting spot in Philly, and even then he may continue to underachieve. But, his one year “prove it” contract coupled with his lowest dynasty ADP ever make him a decent buy if nothing else then to spite your league mates if he amounts to any sort of production.
Coby Fleener, TE NO
The fifth year tight end from Stanford is finally free from the confines of being in a two tight end offense with a more talented tight end alongside him. Fleener, who has caught 50 passes in each of the last three years, is now the starting tight end in New Orleans, ending all of the Josh Hill hype that I’m sure you were having. Not much of an asset as a blocker, the belief is that he will be used by the Saints similarly to how Jimmy Graham was used from 2010-2014, a usage that turned him into one of the best fantasy producers in the league. This usage points to Fleener having a career year in 2016 and a really nice buy at his current price of TE12. At a position where your at such a disadvantage compared to the owner possessing Rob Gronkowski, a guy in Fleener than can provide sizable production at a decent price is a terrific asset to have.
J.J. Nelson, WR ARI
Most known for running a 4.28 forty yard dash at last years combine and being incredibly skinny for an NFL player (156 pounds), Nelson landed in a really nice spot in Arizona that may end up utilizing him more than many realize in the future. While only recording 11 receptions in his rookie season, Nelson showed more than anything that he can play in the NFL and that he has a safe spot on the Cardinals roster. More than any other of his 15 fellow sleepers, Nelson is more of a stash for 2016 as opposed to a sleeper for production. With Michael Floyd signed through 2017, John Brown through 2018 and Larry Fitzgerald through 2019, Nelson will have to wait his turn for a starting job. Yet, if Floyd leaves in free agency after next season and Fitzgerald announces his retirement sooner rather than later, you could be looking at the starter for one of the best offenses in the NFL that was intelligently acquired at his lowest price point in the spring of 2016. While that may be more hypotheticals than a typical owner wants to stomach, I hope it leaves the message that Nelson is talented enough to produce if he is given opportunity in Arizona, it just won’t be in 2016.
Dwayne Allen, TE IND
Allen is now officially the offensive piece to target in Indianapolis at his current price. With 81 targets left behind by the aforementioned Coby Fleener, Allen stands to be the primary beneficiary of this production hole. After four seasons of criminal underuse, the former third round pick was reportedly promised a larger role in the offense by Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who has also coached Antonio Gates and Greg Olsen. This role is one that could warrant a double-digit touchdown season from Allen, granted he is able to take advantage in the uptick in targets coming his way from the boy wonder Andrew Luck. If he is able to stay healthy, his new role that has been created with the departure of Fleener is one that presents a great opportunity for dynasty owners to fill production at the shallowest position in fantasy and once again buy low on a player with a role that implies production way outperforming his current ADP.
Before I go, here are the second round matchups that you can all vote on right after this article is published. Be sure to check out the DLF forum and my twitter for a link to the voting polls. I will also post a link in the comment section.
Buck Allen vs. DeAndre Smelter
Davante Adams vs. Kenny Bell
Tavon Austin vs. Chris Conley
Ladarius Green vs. Brian Quick
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