We begin 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, 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 Willie Snead 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.
The 2016 season wasn’t an easy one for Vikings fans. They had to endure a long series of ups and downs. First, we saw quarterback Teddy Bridgewater shred his knee and almost lose his leg in a freak non-contact injury. Then, the team sent a 2017 first round pick and a conditional 2018 pick to the Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford, a trade which left many scratching their heads. It looked like the Vikings had done the right thing after the first five weeks of the season because they were undefeated and looking strong heading into their bye week. Unfortunately, they would finish the final 11 games with a 3-8 record and miss the playoffs.
Bradford was a big reason the team finished 8-8 but he had his best all-around season as a pro with 3,877 yards, a 71.6% completion percentage, a 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio with 20 scores to just five picks. With Bridgewater unlikely to be back to full health soon after that horrific leg injury, Bradford will be under center again and with a strong arsenal of weapons both in the backfield and amongst the pass catchers.
Even though they parted ways with “Purple Jesus” himself, Adrian Peterson, they signed Latavius Murray in free agency and drafted a very talented runner in Dalvin Cook from Florida State. They join perennial sleeper target and SPARQ superstar Jerick McKinnon in Minnesota, but I’m not going to beat the McKinnon drum again. My sleeper is among the pass catchers and carries quite a bit of name recognition but pretty much zero ADP value and plenty of flameout potential but he also carries the highest return on investment.
Eric is on Twitter @OlingerIDP.