The word sleeper is no longer a term that I use when it comes to fantasy football. There is no such thing as a sleeper like we used to hear about in the fantasy football world. Everyone has all the information they could ever need at their fingertips, so there is no longer information that we can keep from each other. That is why I have decided to use the term, “Fantasy Gem” instead. A Fantasy Gem to me is a player who is being undervalued and could exceed their given ADP( Average Draft Position). My goal is to go outside of the top 100 players in .5 PPR rankings. The key to finding a Fantasy Gem is finding a player that is being drafted at their believed ability, and outperforms that to at least a tier above. Personally I feel outside of the Quarterback position, the Wide Receiver position is the deepest for this upcoming season. This makes things a little easier when trying to pick those that should exceed their value, but as we know nobody is a sure thing when it comes to fantasy football (Except Antonio Brown of course). The following are the players I believe will come at a cheap price, but could strike gold in 2018.
Nelson Agholor- WR Philadelphia Eagles
Nelson Agholor is an interesting player. Originally when he came into the league as a 1st round draft pick by the Eagles, he was expected to be a solid asset right off the bat. That was not the case. In his first two seasons, Nelson finished as the WR 87 in 2016, and WR 101 in 2015. In 2015 he was only targeted 44 times, 23 of which he caught, for 1 total touchdown. In 2016 he was targeted 69 time and caught 36 of them, including 2 touchdowns. In 2017 though, something seemed to just click. His stat line was 62 catches on 95 targets , 768 yards and 8 touchdowns. As an Eagles fan, it was easy to see that the Eagles played him better this year. They used him more in the slot versus the outside, and he excelled when called upon. Nelson finished as the WR 22 in 2017, just two spots behind his teammate Alshon Jeffery at WR 20. He was just on fire during the season, he was a consistent flex piece who had WR 1 and 2 weeks as well. Agholors 2017 season was totally unexpected by most. Those who drafted him were continuously happy, and he became a great addition if you grabbed him off your waiver wire. The interesting thing is even with his WR2 season in 2017 , he is still being undervalued this year. Currently falling at WR 44 or ADP 105 Agholor is a total steal. Now most will argue that he is due for regression because the whole Eagles offense is due for regression. I agree his 8 touchdowns have a good chance of lowering this season, but I don’t think 5-6 touchdowns is unrealistic. I think as the WR2 on a team that doesn’t seem to have lost a step since last year, he could very well replicate his yardage if not exceed it. Nelson is currently being draft as WR3/ flex. With Wentz back, and another year under the system. There should be no reason that Agholor could not exceed his ADP, and can be a Fantasy Gem in 2017.
Tyler Lockett- WR Seattle Seahawks
Tyler Lockett is a player that I usually am on the fence about. For the past year or two, he has been someone that most had considered a possible “sleeper” . But it really never worked out for him. He showed flashes of his ability throughout his time in the NFL, but never amounted to what people expected him to be. If Locketts value was anywhere inside of the top 100, I would not be writing about him right now. That's not the situation at hand though, his ADP is 143 and he is being the 57th wide receiver being taken off the board. At that price, I am buying every share I can.The Seahawks team as a whole is pretty depleted. They lost Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson, and Luke Wilson on the offensive side of the ball, and plenty of key defensive pieces as well. That leaves a total of 197 targets that are unaccounted for from the 2017 season. Lockett is the obvious choice to become the WR2 on the Seahawks team. Brandon Marshall is his biggest competition, but he is not a lock to make the team. I expect his value to rise, with the impending information about Doug Baldwins knee injury though. If Baldwin is not ready to start the season, or his injury continues Locketts value will only go up. Baldwin had a total of 116 targets last year, which would lead to an even heavier amount of targets for Lockett if Baldwin were to miss time. Even if he doesn’t amount to anything, your team will not be hurt by the pick you use on him. Lockett is currently being drafted as a bench/ bye week fill in. I think that he will be able to produce the numbers to be a flex piece at worst with upside to do better.
Michael Gallup- WR Dallas Cowboys
At 6’1” and 200 lbs, Gallup is set up nicely to succeed in the NFL. Out of all the rookie wide receivers drafted this year, no one landed in a better spot than Gallup. The Cowboys receiving core has lost multiple pieces in this offseason including Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Brice Butler. All of them together combined for around 242 targets. That is a massive chunk of the team’s targets that are now up for grabs. The reason Gallup is such a steal is because he is currently being the 66th wide receiver(ADP 174) being taken off the board. Which in all retrospect is crazy, especially since he can very well be the WR2 for the team at the very least. Gallup is currently being drafted as a late round add. At the moment he poses zero threat if he doesn't perform at a rate higher than his draft price and can be easily dropped if that's the case. Gallup could very well be the top performing rookie wide receiver in this upcoming season. You’re paying for a bench player who could be a flex piece at worst by week 2. Gallup is at the top of my list for players I am aiming for in the late rounds of my 2018 drafts. He is a total steal, and the exact example of what I clarify as a Fantasy Gem.
Mike Williams- WR Los Angeles Chargers
Williams is in an interesting prospect. He was drafted as the 7th overall draft pick in last years draft but was injured early and never amounted to much last year. The Chargers seem to always have injuries year in and year out. This year Hunter Henry was the victim, and tore his ACL during the offseason. Another key loss was Antonio Gates being released. This left around 114 targets unaccounted for and a major redzone presence being left open. Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams are not necessarily known as red zone targets. This leaves the 6’3”, 205 lbs Mike Williams to be the main beneficiary from this. Mike is currently being drafted as the WR63( ADP 162). Even with the injury and release of the team's main tight ends, Mike still has a good amount of competition for targets. It is hard to overlook what he brings to the table though. He has all the capability of filling in as replacement for those targets, and has a lot more to offer that just redzone usage. If healthy, I can see Mike beating out Tyrell for the WR2 spot. He is an all around better prospect. The main key in that sentence is him staying healthy. Injuries have been an issue for him dating all the way back to his college days. But like many of the players in this article, his price can not be ignored. He is pretty much free, as he is falling into the 12-13th rounds in most drafts. If the situation unfolds how it should, Mike should have no issue being a flex with upside if he builds a good connection with Rivers.
Danny Amendola- WR Miami Dolphins
Amendola is the oldest player on this article, but that doesn’t mean he has the least value. Danny has succeeded time and time again when he was called upon by the Patriots. He has never been a star, but he has always had value in the fantasy football world. Some could see him going from the Patriots to the Dolphins as a bad thing. I don't see that as the case. The Dolphins no longer have their star wideout Jarvis Landry. So it can be anybody's chance to get the targets from game to game. Jarvis left 161 targets, and do you know which position he played? The slot, and do you know what Amendola mainly played out of in New England? That's right, the slot. Now that doesn’t mean that he will receive all those targets, because he won’t. But for where he is being drafted, he is a solid value. His current ADP is 202(WR74). Even if he received a third of that target share he will be paying off for his value. Now a major concern is his injury history. We have to weigh the fact though that he is either going in the last two rounds or undrafted, so injury risk is not much of a concern when you spending pennies on the dollar to add him to your team. If he does cement himself in the slot, I could see Amendola be a solid flex play/ Bye week fill in. Not bad for a guy you got in the last round or off the waiver wire.
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