“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.”
Harrison Bryant, TE CLE – #3 overall ranked player
Someone once said: “a rising tide lifts all boats”, and Deshaun Watson could be the tide needed to lift Bryant to higher seas. Bryant was originally drafted as a rookie TE8 in 2020, coming off the board with the last pick in four-round May 2020 Superflex Rookie Dynasty ADP. Since then, he saw his ADP spike to 175 in November 2020 mock drafts, but he’s typically hovered in the 215-240 range in ADP.
For most positions, taking a look at their collegiate production as they enter their third year in the league would in and of itself be a red flag, but tight ends are different. It’s an established fact that tight ends take longer to develop than other skill positions. Despite modest counting stats in his sophomore and junior seasons, as you can see using the DLF College Market Share App, Bryant, broke out in his age-19 season.
Again excluding his freshman season, Bryant also passed the breakout criteria in Yards Per Team Pass Attempt, leading to three seasons with an elite Dominator Rating.
Though Bryant had elite college production, his physical profile leaves us wanting. Utilizing the Player Combine Performance App, we see that Bryant’s physical testing was a mixed bag, at best. He didn’t truly excel in any area, though his 40-yard dash and three-cone drills were well above average.
But if Bryant was a high-end target, he wouldn’t be part of this column. So while he might not be able to leap out of the building, and his blocking is still a work in progress, he is still a very good receiver. His 2.22 fantasy points per target ranked fifth-most among tight ends with 17 or more targets last year.
The assumption is that with Austin Hooper jettisoned that David Njoku is going to be able to absorb the available targets and snaps. What this ignores is that Njoku actually was still heavily involved in the Cleveland offense in 2021. Njoku played on 63% of offensive snaps compared to Hooper’s 68.6% snap share. Bryant was far behind with a 37.8% snap share.
Looking at the Dynasty Trade Finder app for trades made involving Bryant, it shows that he can be acquired on the cheap, or as a throw-in in most deals. Based on his acquisition cost and the opportunity that could be waiting for him Bryant is my number one add on Sleeper this month.
Njoku also actually ran more routes per game than Hooper last year, if even just barely, with 17.3 per game vs. 17.2 per game for Hooper. Njoku finished just behind Hooper in both raw targets and target share. While many of us have assumed that by cutting Hooper the Browns want to further involve Njoku, it’s entirely plausible that instead what it signals is that they would like to involve Bryant more. After all, the Browns have had Njoku on their roster for five full seasons now and his best season came way back in 2018, with 56 receptions and 639 receiving yards. It should also be noted the Browns used Njoku in more of a blocking role in 2021 and rewarded them with a career-high Pro Football Focus grade of 70.9.
Brevin Jordan, TE HOU – #14 overall ranked player
Cruising down the rankings, we find another tight end with upside. Only one ranker – Ryan McDowell – has Jordan on the list at all but he has Jordan high, ranking him as his number three overall sleeper. Jordan was a devy darling entering the 2021 NFL Draft, but he had a poor combine performance as we can see using the Player Combine Performance App. Outside of an impressive 40-yard dash, which was completely negated by his poor speed score, Jordan bombed.
Don’t let Jordan’s poor combine performance let you forget that he was an elite performer during his collegiate career.
Even after that poor combine performance, it was thought that Jordan would still be a day two selection but instead, he fell to the fifth round. This caused his fantasy stock to plummet all the way to the fourth round of rookie drafts in May 2021. After being inactive the first seven games of the Texans season, it’s understandable if you completely forgot about Jordan.
But after finally being activated in week eight, he earned enough playing time to pass veteran Jordan Akins in snap share, even if he ended up finishing behind Pharaoh Brown in snaps played. It can’t hurt Jordan’s prospects that the head coach who initially buried him on the depth chart (David Culley) is no longer the head coach in Houston.
Jordan saw more targets on a per-game basis than Brown – 3.1 compared to 2.2 – which in itself I guess isn’t particularly exciting. Jordan also ran four more routes per game, while garnering a 10% target share compared to 7.5% for Brown. What if I also told you that Jordan finished as a top-12 tight end in 44% of his games played in 2021? That’s certainly more exciting, no?
In four of his nine games played last year, Jordan was a TE1. That’s a top 12 tight end week nearly half the time from a player who could have been drafted as the TE40 in August 2021 startup drafts. Well, that’s what Jordan was able to do, actually finishing as a top-six tight end in week eight and again in week 14.
Many players were devy darlings at one point or another, only to flame out and never be heard from again. Jordan could be one of the rare ones to re-emerge after falling out of the NFL and fantasy community’s favor.
Thanks for reading! If you ever have a sleeper player you’d like me to dig into just let me know.
- The DLF Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag - August 7, 2022
- DLF’s Dynasty Fantasy Football Sleeper Rankings - August 2, 2022
- 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: Detroit Lions - August 1, 2022