DLF’s Dynasty Fantasy Football Sleeper Rankings

Shane Manila

Welcome to the second edition of DLF’s Sleeper Rankings review. If you missed the first edition, you can find that here.

As a reminder: “These 2022 dynasty sleeper rankings are some of our favorite deep sleepers in dynasty fantasy football. These players are all outside the top 200 dynasty rankings (at the time they are ranked). They highlight deep stashes and players with potential upside.”

I’m going to take a look at a couple of the players our rankers (Jeff Haverlack, Ryan McDowell, or Eric Dickens) have highly ranked and tell you why they are wrong or right on these players.


Davis Mills, QB HOU

Sometimes you just have to go chalk. Mills is DLF’s number one overall dynasty sleeper this month. Though Jeff Haverlack seems to hold a grudge against the Texans’ starting quarterback, Mills is the player I most want to highlight this month, since he’s ranked so highly.

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In February superflex mock drafts Mills is the QB28, going off the board before players like Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, and Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s likely that once March ADP is tabulated, Mills will also leap-frog former Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The long-discussed quarterback saga in Houston has come to an end (Tyrod Taylor signed with the Giants. Wait, what did you think I was talking about?). Mills looks like the ‘no doubt about’ it starter in Houston next year according to head coach Lovie Smith, and now is a good time to take a look at his trade value to determine if he’s a hold or a sell.

Mills is the perfect quarterback to hold as your third, or better yet quarterback in superflex leagues. You likely spent little to nothing to acquire him last year, as he was the QB7 of the rookie class, and even if he flames out in 2022, you expend no opportunity cost holding him on your roster. That said, you should always investigate the market because you never know when someone might be willing to give up a first-round rookie pick for him.

I happen to play in a league where that such a trade happened to occur, with the 1.10 being traded for Mills. If you can trade Mills for any first-round rookie pick in a 12 team or smaller league, you would be foolish not to ship him off, regardless of your quarterback situation.

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While Mills had a good rookie season, we need to keep it in perspective in the larger fantasy universe. Excluding quarterbacks with six or fewer starts, Mills finished as the QB30 last year with 12.69 fantasy points per game. He outperformed expectations, but that doesn’t mean he was particularly good. He ranked 20th in on target throws, 25th in yards per attempt, 26th in adjusted yards per attempt, and 27th in intended air yards per attempt. Even if Mills improves significantly in every single statistical measure, that would still only rank him as average at best.

Looking at new coach Smith’s track record with quarterbacks using the DLF Coaching History app doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies either, with his starting quarterbacks finishing in as QB15 or better on just two occasions in his 11 seasons as a head coach.

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The Texans boast one of the worst wide receiving corps in the league with only Brandin Cooks of note unless you count college disappointment Nico Collins, or their big free agency signing DaeSean Hamilton. If Mills hadn’t even a modicum of rushing ability, I would be less concerned with his receiving options, but considering his rushing yards accounted for 2.51% of his fantasy points last year, I’m concerned.

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Again holding onto Mills as your QB3 or QB4 is a fine play, but I would hope that unless you’re tanking for a high 2023 draft pick that he isn’t one of your first two options at the position. If the only offer you receive for Mills is similar to the one found via the Dynasty Trade Finder, then hold on to him.

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Kylen Granson, TE IND

Granson was one of 2021’s favorite rookie sleepers. Then he came out and face-planted in his rookie year.

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But that’s often the story of rookie tight ends. Even the elite tight ends sometimes struggle in their first pro season. Since the end of the season though, things have started to look much brighter for Granson. Though the Colts elected to re-sign Mo Alie-Cox, he’s never fulfilled the promise of his physical upside, and Jack Doyle, who accounted for 42% of the tight end targets in 2021, retired. In addition to the movement at the tight end position, the Colts played a game of musical chairs at quarterback and now Matt Ryan is the starter in Indy.

As you can see via the QB History App, Ryan has a long and glorious history of supporting high end tight end production. Admittedly most of that production came from Tony Gonzalez, and last year he had an all-world rookie tight end in Kyle Pitts to throw to, but Ryan also made Jacob Tamme and Austin Hooper fantasy viable options at the position.

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Ryan was able to coax a TE13 finish out of Tamme in 2015, along with a couple of TE6 seasons from Austin Hooper. Ryan even found a way to make Hayden Hurst fantasy-relevant in 2020.

Though Granson is undersized at just 6’1” and 241 lbs, he was an elite-level producer in college and boasts excellent burst, agility, and has an above-average catch radius. Checking in as our seventh-ranked sleeper, I lean more towards agreeing more with Jeff, than Eric and Ryan on Granson.

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Granson’s above-average athleticism and opportunity make him the perfect back-of-the-roster stash, and he can be acquired right now dirt cheap.

Trading away the rookie 3.09 for Granson in a tight-end premium league is a trade you can and should make. The opportunity cost you surrender by giving up a late third-round pick is next to nothing, while the upside is a low-end TE1.

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While this next trade is not my favorite in practice (giving up George Kittle for the 1.04 feels light) I at least like the spirit of the trade. You trade away Kittle for the 1.04, which is obviously the meat of this trade, but you also get back another tight end dart throw. Again in spirit, if not practice, I like the process of this deal.

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Tight end is the one position that the community seems to agree on. We either go all in and try to acquire a Kyle Pitts or search for diamonds in the rough like Dalton Schultz. Considering his cost, I would recommend loading up on Granson in your leagues.

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shane manila
DLF’s Dynasty Fantasy Football Sleeper Rankings
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