You cannot, in my opinion, call anyone drafted to be a starter as a “sleeper”. To me 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. Below are players ranked by the current Average Draft Position (ADP) as found on MyFantasyLeague.com considering all scoring systems as a general basis. I’m assuming a league of 12 teams where most would take two quarterbacks and start one.
Green Players are the values/sleepers I like while Red Players are the ones I do not value high enough to ever draft. If not red or green, the player is slotted fairly close to where I see him.
Average Draft positions taken from MyFantasyLeague.com using only real drafts conducted after August 1st.
Starters – Value Plays
|1||IND||Luck, Andrew||The #1 QB and #1 overall if you get six point TDs.|
|2||GB||Rodgers, Aaron||Always a top QB.|
|3||SEA||Wilson, Russell||Not this high. Adding Jimmy Graham will help pass offense and Wilson’s main value is his rushing.|
|4||DEN||Manning, Peyton||Sure – word is he’ll throw less but maybe Peyton did not get that memo.|
|5||PIT||Roethlisberger, Ben||This is just copying 2014 stats. He won’t have 2 games with 6 TDs again and instead of facing the AFC South and NFC South, he faces the NFC West and AFC West.|
|6||CAR||Newton, Cam||Loss of Kelvin Benjamin will be deeply felt and drops Newton from the top ten.|
|7||ATL||Ryan, Matt||This is about right. He’ll be good to be sure but a difference maker only on occasion.|
|8||NO||Brees, Drew||C’ mon. Really? They say they are going to run more every year. Graham gone? Brees threw for 599 yards and 7 TDs over the two games without him last year. #1 offense for RB catches the last 2 years just brought in Spiller.|
|9||DET||Stafford, Matthew||Stafford has always teased more than delivered but with a healthy Megatron and Golden Tate, should be okay here.|
|10||MIA||Tannehill, Ryan||Good spot for an up-and-coming QB in a good offense with new weaponry.|
|11||DAL||Romo, Tony||He’s worthwhile here and has a bit of upside if the Cowboys mind-bending whiff on getting a good RB doesn’t work out and he needs to throw more.|
|12||NE||Brady, Tom||I would not touch any player with a 4-game suspension to deflate his stats. Imagine he’ll be plenty pissed when he returns though. I’d be very fine with him as a back-up but not here where he should be starting from week one.|
After the Starters are taken, look for sleepers and avoid bad values for your backup
|13||NYG||Manning, Eli||If I waited on QBs, and I generally do, I have no problem with Manning who has Odell Beckham, a returning Cruz and Vereen catching passes from the backfield. Maybe not a major difference maker but definitely will not kill you.|
|14||SD||Rivers, Philip||He’s usually right around this good every year.|
|15||MIN||Bridgewater, Teddy||Cannot imagine him being the third back-up QB taken in a 12 team league. On the rise but not this high.|
|16||TB||Winston, Jameis||Rookie QB’s rarely amount to a starter and the offensive line in Tampa Bay isn’t going to give him a long time to think about it. More sizzle than steak at this point.|
|17||PHI||Bradford, Sam||I like this pick as a mid-range back-up QB. Sure, history says he’ll just get hurt again but what if he pulls a DeMarco and has a full season not on the sidelines? Risky but there is upside and you’ll probably just need him for one game.|
|18||TEN||Mariota, Marcus||Have to like this more than the Winston pick because Mariota is an accomplished runner and that is where a rookie QB can actually get some fantasy value. Granted he’ll do well enough to end the year this high but if you wait too long to get a back-up, no problem with this pick.|
|19||SF||Kaepernick, Colin||Decent back-up and he is supposed to run more this year. He’s never proven to be a fantasy starter based on his arm.|
|20||OAK||Carr, Derek||Any higher than this is probably not sound but Carr looked pretty good as a rookie and now has the #1 WR from the NFL draft.|
|21||BAL||Flacco, Joe||A career fantasy backup but also decent. Just no real sense you will get much more back than this.|
|22||KC||Smith, Alex||Anyone who can go a year without throwing a TD to a WR just won’t ever play on one of my teams. On the plus side, he will improve because you cannot get lower than zero.|
|23||ARI||Palmer, Carson||Palmer can produce fantasy relevant games and as a backup he’s a great pick. Just make sure the bye week you are filling is one of the early ones. Just saying…|
|24||CHI||Cutler, Jay||Sort of like Palmer. Can have big games. Can disappear. New offense not going to throw as much though.|
Undrafted – Best Value
Andy Dalton (NYJ) – New offense last year plus injury to A.J. Green depressed his stats and his fantasy owners moods but as a final back-up QB you could do much worse.