In our annual 32-part Summer Sleeper series, 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 Adam Thielen 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.
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Robert Davis, WR WAS
Category: Super Deep Sleeper
It would be a rare occurrence for us to feature a player here who may not even make the roster but such is the case with Davis. He was the 209th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft after a great career Georgia State, which easily fits into the category of a “small school.” Jay Gruden was a big fan of his during the pre-draft process though. After Davis was selected, Gruden was quoted as saying, “He has a skill set that is very interesting. He’s big, he’s strong he’s fast and he can catch. He was productive; I don’t know what else you want in a wide receiver so he is going to be an interesting guy to watch. He can play outside, run through arm tackles so keep an eye on him.” So far in camp, he hasn’t disappointed.
Davis put up monster numbers at Georgia State, including 222 catches, 3,391 yards and 17 touchdowns. What strikes you is how he did against the best competitors. As Redskins.com points out, in games against West Virginia, Alabama, Washington, Clemson, Oregon and Wisconsin, Davis recorded 23 receptions for 335 yards and three touchdowns against those top flight competitors like Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and other NFL-caliber players. His career numbers for catches and yards rank second in Sun Belt Conference history behind only Colts star receiver T.Y. Hilton. At 6’3″ and 217 pounds, he fits the mold of a solid big receiver prototype. Throw in the fact he really had a great combine with a 4.44 forty and he’s intriguing to say the least. In fact, Davis led all draft-eligible receivers in SPARQ scores at the combine. That alone can’t be ignored, especially for those of you who love looking at those metrics.
Washington lost both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency, so there’s a chance for Davis to crack the roster. So far this preseason, he’s posted five catches for 67 yards. While that may not seem like much, the six catches are tied for third amongst Redskins players this preseason. The depth chart for Washington is sketchy at best as well. Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant and Josh Doctson are virtual locks for the roster. Beyond that, they have a bunch of players hoping to make the final cut including Maurice Harris, Brian Quick, Matt Hazel, James Quick and Zach Pascal. If Davis can play well in the final preseason game this Thursday, he could make the decision for Washington very difficult. The coaching staff has already been singing his praises this off-season, so he could be in line for what looks to be two more spots on the receiving corps.
If Davis can can find a way to indeed crack this roster, opportunities could await him in the future. Pryor is on a one-year deal and Doctson hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy. If Davis can take the year to continue to improve, it’s possible he could be in position for time as early as next year or even sooner if there were some significant injuries. It’s a big “if” and there are a lot of variables at play here, but this is why dynasty owners simply cannot ignore the final week of the preseason.
The most likely scenario is Davis landing on the practice squad this year. However, he’s a player to certainly watch this week to see just how he performs. If he makes this roster, I believe he’s worth a shot as an end of the roster flyer for owners in deep leagues. The talent and ability are seemingly there. If he can make the most of the opportunity he has, there’s a chance for him to make some noise.