Skip to main content

5 Deep Sleepers That Can Win Your Fantasy Football League

Corey Clement

Corey Clement

It happens every fantasy football season. Late in the season, just as the stretch drive begins to the fantasy playoffs, a player comes out of nowhere and helps one lucky fantasy owner dominate their fantasy playoffs. Wouldn’t it be awesome if that fantasy player, was you?

Mike Williams

It’s possible, and the way to do it is really pay attention to some deep sleepers. Most of these guys are late-round picks. Some of them won’t even be drafted and some of them might even be dropped sometime during the season. But at some point, later in the season, they could be put in position to succeed, so pay attention.

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The second-year wide receiver has the opportunity to emerge this year and there’s no doubting that he has the skill set to do so. While his numbers weren’t great as a rookie, keep in mind his playing time was very limited to start the season. During the first eight weeks, Godwin ranked 121st in snaps among wide receivers (115). But that all changed in the final six weeks, as he started to get more opportunities, being on the field for 222 snaps (67th) during that span. Also, Godwin recorded at least 68 receiving yards four times, while finishing the season with a gem, catching seven balls for 111 yards and a touchdown. His big-play potential is huge as Godwin ranked ninth in the league in yards per target (9.5). Godwin is a good bet to beat out DeSean Jackson to be Tampa's WR2, and that is good news for smart fantasy players as Jameis Winston loves to throw deep, ranking fifth in deep passing rate (14 percent) in 2017.

Corey Clement, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

You might remember Clement from his memorable Super Bowl performance where he had 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, but last year he was more of a special teams player and used only as a situational back. But when given the opportunity, he produced. Clement averaged 4.4 yards per carry, 5.3 yards per touch, while totaling 444 yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage. Even more important, Clement averaged 1.02 fantasy points per opportunity last year. While Jay Ajayi is still around, the Eagles let LeGarrette Blount go and didn’t bring anyone in of note to replace him. The Eagles will use multiple backs this season (don’t forget that Darren Sproles, 35, returns from injury), so Clement should see more touches than last year. If anything happens to Ajayi, Clement has the potential to be a valuable fantasy asset.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Arizona Cardinals

You don’t really think of tight ends as deep sleepers who can help win your league, but if anything were to happen to Rob Gronkowski (again) or any of the other top tight options at the position, you could do a lot worse than Seals-Jones as the replacement. Seals-Jones showed some serious signs as a rookie last year. According to Pro Football Focus, he led all tight ends in fantasy points per opportunity (0.74), while averaging 2.96 yards per route run (second) and 16.8 yards per reception (first). After making the most of his opportunities last year, Seals-Jones will see an increase in playing time this year in Arizona and having Sam Bradford most likely throwing him the ball will really help. Throughout Bradford’s career nearly 29 percent of his touchdown passes have gone to tight ends.

Mike Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers

Remember him? The hotshot rookie from Clemson who was the second-best receiver in last year’s draft class and was pegged to be an immediate fantasy contributor because of his red-zone potential? He’s back and finally 100 percent healthy. Williams (above, right) has drawn league-wide comparisons to A.J. Green and will now have more opportunities than originally thought because of tight end Hunter Henry is out for the season with a torn ACL. Philip Rivers might be the most underrated fantasy quarterback of all time, but he will once again put up another 4,000-yard season and probably average around 30 touchdown passes. Keenan Allen isn’t built to score touchdowns in the red zone. So, the Chargers need Williams to step up and will give him every opportunity to do so. He can easily finish the season as a WR3 and is currently being drafted as a WR5.

Jeremy Hill, New England Patriots

Remember a few years ago when Hill broke onto the scene as a rookie and then was labeled a must-own breakout star the following year? That was back in 2014 and '15. He fell out of favor last year with the Bengals and is now looking for redemption with the Patriots. Battling Mike Gillislee to be the Patriots “heavy back,” Hill first has to make the 53-man roster, but he was excellent in the Patriots first preseason game. If he continues to play at that level he has a great chance to at least grab the goal-line role on a team that enjoys a lot of scoring opportunities in the red zone. Last year, the Patriots ranked first in red zone rushes, rushing yards, and second in rushing touchdowns. With first-round rookie Sony Michel’s health in question and no guarantees that Rex Burkhead secures RB1 duties, drafters in deep leagues could do worse than throwing a late-round dart in Hill’s direction.

-- Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Athlon Sports’ 2018 Fantasy Football magazine, available for purchase online and at newsstands everywhere.

Athlon Sports 2018 Fantasy Football Magazine