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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Nathan Peterman, QB
Category: Super Deep Sleeper
Have you looked at this damn Bills roster lately? It’s a mess! It consists of LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor, Zay Jones, and a bunch of nothing. Jordan Matthews was traded to the Bills to replace Sammy Watkins, Jonathan Williams will no longer be the heir to McCoy, and Anquan Boldin retired before the ink was dry on his contract.
Nathan Peterman has exactly four things going for him:
-The Bills refuse to ink Taylor long term.
-Taylor was recently concussed. While the Bills say they are confident he will be ready for week one, there are never any guarantees with head injuries.
-Aside from the Jets, there seems to be no team in the league more determined to tank this year. They allowed Mike Gillislee to leave in restricted free agency, they traded Watkins, and just three days prior to the time that I am clicking these keys, they traded away last year’s second round pick, linebacker Reggie Ragland.
-If the team fully commits to tanking, they will come up with reasons to keep Taylor from playing, which will give some short term value to Peterman. They might want a top pick next year in hopes of landing “their” quarterback, but they could screw that up by accidentally winning a few too many games. This could stick them with Peterman for next year if they aren’t able to woo Jimmy Garoppolo or Kirk Cousins.
These are a lot of “ifs,” but who else has any kind of quality sleeper potential on this roster? I considered Corey Brown, but I think he’s more comatose than sleeper. Brown will probably have a few games where he puts up a good stat line, but I can’t imagine rostering him in anything but the deepest of leagues. I’m talking 16 team with 22+ roster spots.
If you’re in a deep 2QB or superflex league, Peterman is worth monitoring closely. Even if he gets the start at the beginning of the season, he won’t be anything more than a QB3, b ut it only takes an injury or two before a team could need him. If you own any combination of Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill, and Andrew Luck, you’re already feeling exactly what I’m talking about.
While Peterman hasn’t shown much to get excited about this preseason, he does have some positive attributes should he get an opportunity to play some downs that count. In the limited amount of tape I’ve watched on him, I’ve found that his pocket awareness far exceeds what I would expect from a rookie fifth round pick. He moves well within the pocket and knows when to retreat. His mobility is also a plus. His throwing accuracy is quite a bit better than I thought it would be, and he throws with touch.
The big problem that he will have is his lack of arm strength. Much of the touch I saw in his passes could actually just be weak-armed throws. His short throws don’t get to receivers with any quickness, and his deep balls will get picked off by NFL corners and safeties if they sail like they did in college. I’m no quarterback guru like Jon Gruden, so I don’t know a good way to significantly increase throwing power, but he will need to get more zip on the ball if he looks forward to deep passes to speedsters like Charles Clay and Mike Tolbert in Buffalo.
There are literally dozens of quarterbacks who should be higher on your radar than Peterman, but the exact same thing could have been said of Taylor for the four years he was sitting behind Flacco in Baltimore. Just keep an eye on Peterman in case the Bills decide to full on lay over this season.