A sleeper is a player taken as a backup who ends up worthy of being a starter or at least far outplays the draft slot where you selected him. Average Draft Positions (ADP) are taken from MyFantasyLeague.com using only real drafts conducted after August 25.
The Average Draft order shows a general picture of how your draft will happen and where values/sleepers and bad values/busts likely exist. Any green check means the player is a good value that could be taken earlier. A red “X” signifies an overvalued player that is a bad value or just too high of a risk for that spot.
Average draft order – value plays
|1||Rob Gronkowski||NEP||If he is healthy, he is #1.|
|2||Travis Kelce||KCC||Knee swelling in camp is bothersome but Kelce had six 100-yard games in the second half of 2016. Yardage king with a lot of big weeks.|
|3||Greg Olsen||CAR||Lock for Top 5 season since 2013.|
|4||Jordan Reed||WAS||Cannot argue with production when healthy but always misses at least a few games. Understand this pick but already hurt his toe in camp. I like 16-week players. Reed has never been that.|
|5||Jimmy Graham||SEA||Graham was #4 last year while “managing” his knee injury last year. He is healthy again and should end up no worse than this. Still a difference maker.|
|6||Tyler Eifert||CIN||Eifert says he is healthy again but still missed 26 games over the last three seasons. Good red zone weapon but has to be on the field. Name means goes too high.|
|7||Delanie Walker||TEN||Walker should slow down from his three straight Top-10 seasons with the Titans loading up on actual wide receivers. May not be a difference maker but won’t kill you either.|
|8||Kyle Rudolph||MIN||Rudolph had a career-best 840 yards and seven scores in the first season with Sam Bradford. May not get 83 catches this year. But then again could.|
|9||Martellus Bennett||GBP||Love the upside of Bennett but the Packers have rarely used the position much in recent years. Bennett should be inconsistent at best. But he gives a funny interview and should turn in at least a few very nice games.|
|10||Zach Ertz||PHI||Top 10 for last two years. Went 78-816-4 in the first year with Carson Wentz. Rock solid starting fantasy TE.|
|11||Hunter Henry||LAC||Second season for the first TE drafted in 2016. Rookies never matter except for Henry who led all NFL TEs with eight TDs. Antonio Gates hangs on for his record-setting TD but Henry is the starter in an offense that loves the position. My favorite TE this year since he lasts so long in drafts.|
|12||Eric Ebron||DET||Ebron is the annual “this year, boy!” sleeper but he’s never been better than average in his three seasons. Some upside means this spot is appropriate but he’s yet to really show up since 2014. Battling a hamstring for all of August.|
Sleepers and over-valued players
|13||O.J. Howard||TBB||Don’t do rookie TEs. Howard will mostly block this year and the position almost never offers much in their first year. Henry was a RARE exception and even he only had 36 catches for 478 yards.|
|14||Jack Doyle||IND||Doyle become the primary receiving tight end for IND with the departure of Dwayne Allen. Already turned in 59-584-5 last season. Should improve.|
|15||Jason Witten||DAL||Still worth a bye week cover. But not much else. Future HOF’er may be in final season. But he’s just 30 to 40 yards per week with the monthly TD.|
|16||Austin Hooper||ATL||Taken second only to Hunter Henry last year, his rookie season was mostly learning to block. Entering his second year is sure to see improvement and it could be significant. Love this back-up who might end up as a fantasy starter.|
|17||Coby Fleener||NOS||First year in New Orleans had Fleener with 50 catches for 631 yards but only three touchdowns. No reason to expect much more.|
|18||Julius Thomas||MIA||Reunites with Adam Gase but hasn’t impressed or shown chemistry. Injury to Ryan Tannehill only makes matters worse. This deep he is worth the pick but odds not looking in his favor.|
|19||Evan Engram||NYG||Don’t do rookie TEs|
|20||Cameron Brate||TBB||This late is a steal for a starting TE that had 57-660-8 last year. O.J. Howard may take over in 2018 but Brate is being very undervalued from the hype for Howard.|
|21||Antonio Gates||LAC||Needs one touchdown to best Tony Gonzalez. May just get undressed and retire while still in the end zone.|
|22||Jared Cook||OAK||This deep sure. And OAK needs someone to catch the ball beside Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. But 30 Y.O. and never worth a fantasy start.|
|23||C.J. Fiedorowicz||HOU||Solid back-up with no upside.|
|24||David Njoku||CLE||Don’t do rookie TEs|
Best undrafted value
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (NYJ) – New OC for Jets will use TE and ASJ is actually one of the best receivers they have. Will miss first two games from a suspension.
Tyler Higbee (LAR) – Tight-end friendly offense comes to the Rams and Higbee is the top veteran there. As a very deep back-up TE, has a bit of upside.