The last time we talked about sleepers in this space was about a month ago, and I noted that I didn't think Skyy Moore was likely to qualify as a "sleeper" for long. At that point, Moore's ADP was outside of the first 120 picks; over the past week in NFFC drafts, he's up to 93.7, so I think it's safe to say he doesn't fit in here.
Of course,, so keep an eye out for tomorrow's breakouts list, because I think there's a chance he might just make that list. But today's newsletter is focused on giving you all one last round of late-round sleepers to target, and Moore doesn't fit that bill any more. I have my list here, along with picks from Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, and Heath Cummings a little later on.
But first, a few news items you need to know about as teams prep for roster cutdown day, Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.:
- Kyler Murray is . No surprise here, but he'll miss the first four weeks of the season, at least. The Cardinals cut Colt McCoy, so either Joshua Dobbs or Clayton Tune will start in Week 1 against the Commanders. This should be one of the worst offenses in the league this season, but there's still hope for James Conner as an RB2, and I like Marquise Brown as a WR3.
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba is , a good sign that the Seahawks expect him back in the first couple of weeks.
- Treylon Burks (knee) returned to practice Monday, a good sign for his chances of being ready for Week 1. I definitely thought about picking him for my sleepers list.
Also, I wanted to make sure you all know about our Fantasy Football Today Draft-A-Thon, airing Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m. on the FFT Youtube channel. I'll be on along with the rest of the FFT team and 20-plus guests, including former NFL players and other Fantasy analysts from around the industry, plus plenty of other FFT friends as we get you ready for your drafts. And, as always, we're raising money for our friends at St. Jude Children's Hospital throughout the show. This is our favorite event of the year, and you can be a part of it by watching, jumping in the chat, and donating via our eBay store, which has opportunities to talk to your favorite Fantasy analysts, appear on various FFT programming, and more, all for a great cause.
And now, here are our latest, favorite sleeper picks:
Sam Howell, QB, Commanders (Unranked in CBS Fantasy ADP)
The value of QB rushing is well understood by now, but Howell still remains a little overlooked in Fantasy this season, as QB23 in ADP. He's ahead of some guys I like a bit more, like Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray (if you're stashing a QB and have an IR spot to play with, at least), but he's also behind guys like Jordan Love and Brock Purdy, and I'd rather take the chance on Howell. Howell has a talented group of receivers to throw to, a good running game to lean on, and the ability to be productive with his legs – he ran for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final season at UNC, and it should be a part of his game in the pros, too. Will he be a Justin Fields-like producer with his legs? Of course not, though I think there's a decent chance he's a more productive passer. But he rushed for 35 yards and a touchdown in his lone start last season, and I could see 500 yards and a handful of touchdowns on the ground for Howell, with a low-end QB1 finish within the realm of possibilities.
Kendre Miller, RB, Saints (162.9 ADP)
After Miller left the first preseason game with a knee injury, I was pretty much ready to bury him in my rankings, but now I'm back in. He's been healthy enough to play in the last two preseason games, and he's in line for a role in the first three games of the season with Alvin Kamara suspended. I do think Jamaal Williams is going to be the lead back for those three games, at least to start, but the Saints are likely to use multiple backs, as they always do. Miller wasn't super effective as a runner in the preseason, but he could have a role as a pass-catcher early on – there was one particular downfield throw in the preseason where he made a terrific diving, over-the-shoulder catch that really caught my eye. If he shows some more juice there, it's possible he carves out a role for the rest of the season.
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Tyjae Spears, RB, Titans (159.0 ADP)
I agonized over whether to pick Spears or Miller in a rookie draft over the weekend, and that I took Miller is absolutely no knock on Spears whatsoever – I just have more long-term concerns about his ability to stay healthy. But right now, Spears looks locked into a backup role to Derrick Henry, where he could see a handful of touches per game, but with significant upside if Henry has to miss time. And that's not a small if when we're talking about a 250-pound, 29-year-old running back with over 1,400 touches over the past four seasons. Spears could be in line for a significant role at some point this season.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Chiefs (131.1)
I was skeptical about Toney when the cost was a top-100 pick, but in CBS Fantasy leagues, he's sporting a 131.1 ADP in CBS Fantasy drafts that continues to fall, and there's just zero risk at that price. Toney has shown basically no ability to stay healthy – he's currently recovering from knee surgery – but there's little doubt that he's a very talented playmaker when he's on the field. That may not be in time for Week 1 at this point, but we know we're not just building a team for Week 1, right? For the cost of an 11th-round pick, if you get a good month out of Toney, that's a win.
Marvin Mims, WR, Broncos (Undrafted)
Jerry Jeudy's hamstring injury looks like it's opened up a path to a significant role in the Broncos offense from Week 1. But the truth is, Mims was already trending that way before Jeudy pulled up in a recent Broncos practice. He wasn't going to be a top-two option for the team, but the second-round pick out of Oklahoma had already seemingly played his way into three-WR sets for the Broncos by the team's second preseason game. This offense may end up disappointing, as it did last season, or maybe Jeudy comes back quickly and he and Courtland Sutton dominate targets to such a degree that Mims is an afterthought. But I'm going to take a late-round flier on a talented prospect with a Week 1 role every chance I can get., because
Romeo Doubs, WR, Packers (130.7 ADP)
Christian Watson is the best wide receiver on the Packers, but I wouldn't be surprised if Doubs ended up leading the team in targets this season. Watson figures to be the big-play guy here, and he showed the ability to both make catches down the field and with the ball in his hands, traits that could make him a superstar. Doubs doesn't have that kind of upside, because he doesn't have the same kind of physical traits. But he has shown a knack for getting open, earning more targets in one fewer game than Watson as a rookie. If Jordan Love struggles, it might not matter, but if Love is good, Doubs could be a nice complement to Watson, and a viable PPR starter in a best-case scenario.
Sam LaPorta, TE, Lions (139.9 ADP)
Rookie tight ends have, historically, been pretty poor bets for Fantasy, but this year's class is hoping to change that. We've got three rookie tight ends with high-end draft capital and an opportunity to make an immediate impact for their respective teams. And, while I'm a fan of both Dalton Kincaid of the Bills and Luke Musgrave of the Packers, LaPorta has been my favorite basically since the draft, and I'm sticking with him as my sleeper call. LaPorta is a very good athlete – 4.59 40-yard dash at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds – and he was a productive player in college, leading Iowa in receiving yards by more than 250 in his senior season, and now he joins a Lions offense that ranked fifth in scoring last season but has legitimate questions about the pass-catching talent outside of Amon-Ra St. Brown. With little competition for snaps, LaPorta should play a big role from Week 1, and has a chance to be a starting-caliber Fantasy tight end as a rookie.
Jamey Eisenberg's Sleepers
Russell Wilson, QB, Broncos
Let's ride turned into let's end the season in a hurry for Wilson and the Broncos in 2022, but everyone can hit the reset button in 2023. The addition of new coach Sean Payton, along with an upgraded offensive line featuring Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey, should help Wilson tremendously this year. And his weapons are better with Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton not being traded, along with Javonte Williams (ACL) back, and Samaje Perine and Marvin Mims were added. We can also see what Wilson did last year once Nathaniel Hackett was fired, as Wilson scored at least 24 Fantasy points in each of his final two outings. It's understandable why Fantasy managers want to avoid Wilson (ADP of 127.5) after what happened last year, but I expect him to rebound and play like a low-end starter in all leagues.
Khalil Herbert, RB, Bears
I'm curious to see what the Bears do at running back this season, and I love taking a flier on Roschon Johnson (ADP of 152.7), as well as D'Onta Foreman (142.4). But Herbert at his price (106.8) is hard to pass up, and you can even pair him with Johnson, which is what I plan to do when I have enough roster spots. Herbert should get the chance to prove he deserves the starting spot. Last season, of running backs with at least 100 carries, he led all of them at 5.7 yards per carry. He had six games with at least 12 carries in 2022, and he scored at least 15 PPR points in three of them. He's a good running back to draft as a flex as early as Round 7, but he could emerge as a weekly starter in all leagues as the season goes on.
Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
It's frustrating that Thomas has played just 10 games over the past three seasons due to injury, and we've been robbed of plenty of great production from a receiver who averaged 23.4 PPR points per game in his last full year in 2019. You're taking a risk in drafting him again this season, but now the cost is much cheaper with his ADP at 104.7. That will likely rise if he stays healthy in training camp, but we know he's no longer the receiver to covet in New Orleans because of Chris Olave. Thomas also must adjust to a new quarterback in Derek Carr. But imagine if Thomas comes close to being 100 percent, and he even averaged 16.3 PPR points per game in the three games he played in 2022. I'll take the gamble on Thomas in Round 7 as a high-end No. 4 Fantasy receiver in all leagues.
Dave Richard's Sleepers
Anthony Richardson, QB, Colts
I intend on being bullish on Richardson because of what he's capable of succeeding at immediately in the NFL: running the ball. Richardson is a big dude with good speed and a total understanding of when to run and how to do well on the ground. Jalen Hurts' first year as a starter wasn't great as a passer (61.3% completion rate, 16 passing touchdowns) but he more than supplemented with his rushing (784 rush yards, 10 touchdowns) and finished as a top-12 quarterback on a per-game basis. His play-caller that year is Richardson's play-caller now -- Shane Steichen. Expect plenty of rushing baked into Indy's offense, and expect Richardson to be smart with the ball when throwing. He has a strong arm and he makes good decisions on where to throw; it's his accuracy that could cost him some turnovers.
Smith-Schuster is a forgotten man in Fantasy circles. Maybe forgotten is the wrong word -- maybe he's just sort of unwanted. He shouldn't be since he's in line to be the top target-getter for the Patriots. Replacing Jakobi Meyers as a middle-field target for Mac Jones is just the beginning -- last year Smith-Schuster posted three-year highs in Average Depth of Target (ADOT) with 7.35 and Yards After Catch per Reception (YAC/reception) with 5.96. He can build on those while seeing solid volume in an offense void of a true No. 1 wideout. That should lead to a safe PPR floor close to what he offered last year: 11.6 per game.
Tank Bigsby, RB, Jaguars
Bigsby impressed in minicamp with his hands, which is good considering running backs can't do much else during non-padded drills. That's a bonus on top of Bigsby's physical style and elusiveness, talents the world knew he had coming out of Auburn. He's also been incredibly good in short-yardage situations, be it at the goal line or anywhere else on the field. There seems to be a movement toward taking touches off of Travis Etienne this season -- Etienne said himself that a committee approach "keeps the wear and tear off my body. I don't have to go and bang myself up each and every play. I've got someone else take a couple of hits off of me. I love that." If Bigsby can find a gig where he gets around eight touches per game (including some catches) as well as goal-line work, he could have some appeal as a stand-alone flex in deeper leagues with obvious lotto-ticket upside if Etienne misses a game or two.
Heath Cummings' Sleepers
Anthony Richardson, QB, Colts
Richardson put on a show at the NFL combine, running a 4.43 40-yard dash and grading out as the most athletic quarterback to ever appear at the combine. This comes as no surprise to anyone who saw him average nearly 7 yards per carry at Florida. Richardson has the profile of one of the best running quarterbacks ever and he landed in the perfect place as well, with Shane Steichen as his head coach. Steichen spent the past two years as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, and oversaw Jalen Hurts averaging 10 rush attempts per game. All of this is to say, if Richardson starts 17 games this season, I project he will lead all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards. As Justin Fields showed us last year, that's enough to be a top 10 Fantasy QB even if you aren't great at passing. Fields finished as QB7 per game in 2022 despite averaging just 149.5 passing yards per game.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles
Gainwell was mostly an afterthought after the Eagles signed D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny in the offseason, but he's led the first team in rush attempts in practice and looks to have a much bigger role than expected. At the very least, Gainwell is a lottery ticket behind two backs who have an extensive injury history. More likely, it sounds like he'll pair with Swift to form a one-two punch, at least as long as Swift stays healthy. Gainwell had at least 11 touches in every postseason game for them last year and averaged 12.2 PPR Fantasy points in the process.
Nico Collins, WR, Texans
Collins is entering Year 3, a common breakout year for wide receivers and got a big QB upgrade when the team drafted C.J. Stroud. He'll face competition from John Metchie, Robert Woods, and Tank Dell, but Collins is also the odds-on favorite to lead the team in targets this year. The expectation should be that he is a borderline No. 3 WR.