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.
At the risk of offering famous last words, the New York Jets are interesting. They have done an admirable job of building their offense around quarterback Zach Wilson, investing in both the offensive line and receiving weapons as they attempt to become factors in a loaded AFC. They have spared little expense when it comes to giving the former BYU Cougar every chance to excel.
Of course, we know all about Wilson, who sits at QB21 in dynasty rankings despite an often-ugly rookie season. We’re also bullish on Breece Hall (RB6), Garrett Wilson (WR22), and Elijah Moore (WR27). The new blood offers an opportunity, however, to scoop up a talented veteran at a serious discount…
Corey Davis, WR
The Jets went hard after Davis in 2021 free agency. He signed a three-year, $37.5 million deal in March of 2021. While free agency deals are notoriously player-friendly, New York added Davis to start.
Despite being taken fifth overall out of Western Michigan University in 2017, Davis has yet to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. He did, however, flirt with this twice during his years with the Titans. He posted 891 yards as a 23-year-old second-year player and 984 yards the year before he hit free agency.
The numbers above are not getting anyone weak in the knees. Of course, if they did, we would not be detailing Davis as a sleeper. He has gone from exciting first-round pick to boring veteran. There is often value to be found in those post-hype players.
When Davis was signed, he walked into the Jets facility as the most talented receiver with a bullet. You can now make the case he is the third-most talented wideout on this roster. In fact, it is likely the consensus opinion.
This is obviously an issue. The cream always rises, and it is possible the Jets embrace a youth movement out wide with Wilson and Moore soaking up targets as Davis plays third fiddle. However, Davis is a prototypical outside receiver. If Moore operates out of the slot, Davis could find himself on the field often in two wide receiver sets. Should Wilson or Moore miss time, Davis finds himself as a top two target on a team that does not figure to feature a tight end. There is also the possibility Davis is simply better than Wilson is as a rookie. There is an upside case which is not baked into his current dynasty ADP (WR74, 168th overall).
The aforementioned depth chart is an issue. Perhaps a bigger hurdle is Zach Wilson. It is easy to expect improvement in year two from a young quarterback. Year one was not pretty, however. Wilson posted a 9-11 TD-INT ratio along with a paltry 6.1 yards per attempt. The Jets offense looked more explosive with both Mike White and Josh Johnson under center. There were some moments late in the season where it appeared a light bulb had gone on for Wilson – including in an upset of the Titans – but the season as a whole was a disappointment.
We are far less patient with quarterbacks than we used to be, and it is worth noting Wilson was a 22-year-old coming from a BYU program that was not exactly facing an SEC schedule. A slow start was to be expected. It is fair to question, however, how many weapons this passing game can prop up. If Corey Davis is the third option, we may be looking at a quiet season without major strides from Wilson.
If it all sounds rather bearish on Davis, it is because, well, it is. We are not discussing high-end fantasy players here. Yet it is easy to believe Davis has a chance. While he has never lived up to his top five draft pedigree, he has shown he can be a quality starter and contribute to a passing offense.
Another factor in Davis’ favor is his contract status. The Jets could rather easily cut him in the 2023 off-season, allowing him to hit free agency again at the age of 28. A 28-year-old Davis could still be appealing to teams as a starter, even if he will lack long-term security. There are very few in his ADP range who can match his level of talent and previous production. Between Tennessee’s offensive approach and the Jets’ commitment to having young receivers grow with Wilson, you could argue the former Western Michigan Bronco has largely been a victim of circumstance.
Those circumstances could allow dynasty managers to locate a contributor with an incredibly late pick. Those are the complementary pieces who can make a difference, adding to roster depth and mitigate injury concerns. Davis could be the type of dynasty asset who just hangs around, always meriting a roster spot despite never being an exciting add.
- The Devy Fantasy Football Top 100: 10-6 - August 9, 2022
- 2022 Dynasty Fantasy Football Summer Sleeper: New York Jets - July 30, 2022
- The Devy Fantasy Football Top 100: 15-11 - July 22, 2022