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.
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 to 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 or James Robinson 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.
Next up in our series, the Buffalo Bills…
Jamison Crowder, WR BUF
With an ADP of 190, I think it’s going to be tougher to find a wide receiver with more upside than Crowder for the 2022 season. In my opinion, he’s in the best situation he’s ever been in, playing with the best quarterback he’s ever had, under the guise of the best coaching staff of his career. In short; I believe Crowder is worth a trade target in all leagues, and even more-so in PPR.
First, let’s look at Crowder’s production over the years. For his career, Crowder has averaged just over six targets for just over four catches and 48 yards per game, and he’s been pretty consistent over that span with no outlier seasons.
If he were to perform at the same level during his time in Buffalo, we can expect a season with 72 catches for 815 yards and five touchdowns, which would place him around WR33 for the 2023 season, well above his ADP of WR85, and firmly in the WR3 or the flex position of most fantasy rosters.
The question is; can Crowder replicate or even improve during his time in Buffalo? It’s quite obvious that Crowder will be taking over the slot receiver role vacated by Cole Beasley, so let’s make the comparison. In three years in Buffalo, Beasley averaged 77 catches for 812 yards and four touchdowns, finishing as WR26, WR28, and WR47 in order over those three seasons. His final season was as a slow 32-year-old, after which he was released and is currently a free agent.
In comes a younger and quicker slot receiver in Crowder, who is certain to elevate the position in his first season in Buffalo, in which he’s playing with the best quarterback he’s ever had in Josh Allen. Why do I believe that this should elevate his career? Below is a list of Crowder’s prior quarterbacks:
Crowder’s career started off decently with Cousins at the helm but he somewhat fell off the map when he signed with New York. A stretch of seasons with Smith, Darnold, and Wilson will make anyone’s career – and ADP – take a nosedive. Below is Crowder’s ADP over time.
You can literally see when he went to the New York Jets in the graph above. His ADP is lower than it’s been since his initial season as a rookie, yet he’s in the best position of his career. The value in Crowder is oozing out of every pore. Below are some excellent trades that highlight the value for which Crowder can be had.
If you’re short on depth at WR or flex and are looking for some cheap alternatives, I hope I have given you an idea of who I think you should target to help you fill the cracks. I think it’s going to be awfully hard to find better value than Crowder, who is in his best situation as a pro and has a track record to prove he can succeed in 2022.
- 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: Miami Dolphins - July 19, 2022
- 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: Buffalo Bills - July 18, 2022
- 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Drafts: Late-Round Lottery Tickets - May 24, 2022