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A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. This article targets deep sleeper value (players that can be found very late in a fantasy draft). In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look deeper than the Top 150 and identify players that should significantly outperform their late draft position. These players should be your targets after the 12th round of your draft.
Here are the players who received the most votes:
And here are all of the payers mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 7 Votes
Adam Trautman, New Orleans
Victoria Geary: Everyone has hit on the main reasons Trautman can break out this season. Tight ends Jared Cook and Josh Hill were both waived this season, and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was cut, leaving the No. 2 receiving role wide open. Trautman boasted a 38.1 College Dominator Rating playing for the University of Dayton, accounting for 38% of his team's receiving production. It's worth noting that his Dominator score was higher than both Darren Waller's and Travis Kelce's. Trautman was PFF's best-rated run-blocking tight end in his rookie year, meaning he will stay on the field and see plenty of snaps this season. He has the athleticism and skill set to highly outperform his ADP.
Jeff Haseley: I am coming around to the possibility of Trautman playing a much bigger role in 2021 than his 15-171-1 line from 2020. One positive about Trautman is that he is a good blocker, which will get him on the field and give him target opportunities. The Saints don't have many offensive options other than Alvin Kamara, Marquez Callaway, and Tre'Quan Smith. Not only could he carve out a role in the red zone, but he has an outside shot at having a decent volume of targets.
Ryan Hester: Even without Drew Brees, this offense can still be effective. Last season, Brees’ best days were a thing of the past. Jameis Winston has the arm talent to make at least a couple of pass-catchers fantasy-relevant. And Trautman should be third, at worst, in the team’s pecking order behind Alvin Kamara and whoever the top receiver is with Michael Thomas out. His outlook is good, and that doesn’t even factor in his athleticism, which is high-end among his tight end peers in the NFL.
Andy Hicks: Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Cook, and Drew Brees are gone. Michael Thomas may as well be. Someone has to catch the ball from whoever is throwing it. The wide receivers are a patchy unit, and Alvin Kamara can’t catch everything. New Orleans believes that Adam Trautman is ready to be the man to step in. The risk is that he only has 15 career catches and is inexperienced. His upside is worth the risk, though, but he should not be drafted as your starter.
Jordan McNamara: Adam Trautman would make a list of tight ends that could lead their team in receiving, which may be more of an indictment on the New Orleans offense than a compliment to the second-year tight end. Outside of the backfield, there is not a great solution in a Michael Thomas-less wide receiver core. For the sake of the New Orleans' offense, New Orleans better how Trautman pays off as a deep sleeper.
Chad Parsons: Trautman is a trendy breakout candidate, but the formula makes sense. Day 2 pedigree, entering Year 2, with an unsettled passing game and Michael Thomas-less wide receiver depth chart to begin the season. Trautman offers a late-round chance to have a clear Week 1 starter with top-12 upside.
Jason Wood: The Saints let Jared Cook walk and then did nothing in free agency or the draft to bolster the position. That's a massive endorsement of Sean Payton's confidence in Trautman, who has above-average athleticism and profiled as more of a receiving threat than a blocker coming out of college. Trautman could be one of the Saints' top targets, particularly with Michael Thomas out following surgery and Tre'Quan Smith banged up again.
Player Receiving 6 Votes
Gerald Everett, Seattle
Phil Alexander: Everett has always possessed the size, speed, hands, and run-after-the-catch skills to cause mismatches for opposing defenses but only showed occasional glimpses of his ability in the Rams' crowded passing game. In Seattle, he'll enjoy a massive quarterback upgrade, have room to roam the seam while defenses contend with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett downfield, and he's familiar with the offense Shane Waldron wants to run from their time together with the Rams. Commanding targets while playing alongside Metcalf and Lockett caps his ceiling, but at the very least, Everett is a priority streamer with the upside to become an every-week starter.
Sigmund Bloom: Everett is at the intersection of a lot of positive fantasy factors. He spent four years with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron with the Rams. Waldron's offense will pick up the pace and disguise their intentions better than previous Seahawks offenses. The Seahawks don't have an established or even experienced No. 3 wide receiver. Everett is a receiving tight end and should be the best player for that role.
Ben Cummins: Without much in the way of target competition behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, there’s a huge opportunity for a tight end to step up in a big way in this offense. We’ve seen glimpses of this already. Jimmy Graham caught ten TDs in his final year with Seattle in 2017, and even Jacob Hollister caught 41 passes in limited action in 2019. Enter Gerald Everett, a very athletic player whose shown flashes of brilliance in his early NFL career. Playing with a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback in an offense that will unleash him, Everett will be the latest mid-career tight end to put it all together finally.
Andrew Davenport: The distribution of tight end targets in Seattle is cause for concern for Everett's chances. They did throw the ball to their tight ends 108 times (20.4%), but Everett would need to grab a larger share of that pie than they were willing to give last year as Jacob Hollister led the team with only 40 targets. Nevertheless, he's the most exciting player they've had at the position in a while, and they gave him $6 million guaranteed to have an impact. Drafters are naturally skeptical, so he's cheap to roster and has as good a chance as any late tight end target to sniff the Top 12 if things come together.
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