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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 specifically 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 is the player who received the most votes:
- Jameis Winston (by far)
And here are all of the players mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 9 Votes
Jameis Winston, New Orleans
Kevin Coleman: The Saints added Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave to their passing attack this off-season. If Michael Thomas can return healthy, they could have one of the most underrated passing offenses in the NFL. While that is a big if, it still looks like Winston will be a value heading into redraft season. Last season, with no weapons, he averaged just over 17 FPTS/G and was playing the most efficient football in his career. Until he got injured, he was a high-end QB2 and is a perfect late-round quarterback target for fantasy managers. The Saints will also likely be without running back Alvin Kamara for at least six games to start the season, which only helps Winston’s upside to start the season.
Drew Davenport: Sometimes fantasy football isn't as hard as it seems. Sure there are plenty of reasons to doubt Winston. There are questions around Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. The Saints no longer have Sean Payton. There are two new wide receivers to get used to. But what other quarterback being drafted near Winston can boast of having a 34-touchdown season on their resume? Of the quarterbacks being drafted below QB15 only Matt Ryan and Ryan Tannehill can make that claim and they have three such seasons combined. Now Winston gets the chance to see if he can do it again as help has arrived in New Orleans in the form of Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave (and crossed fingers for Thomas' return). Taking a shot on 30-touchdown potential in Round 13 is the definition of hunting for upside late in a draft.
Gary Davenport: Is roiling into the season with Winston as your every-week starter advisable? Not even a little. Is he an interesting late-round dart throw for Late-Round QB types and folks who invested substantial draft capital in a higher-end starter? Yep. Before Winston tore his ACL last year, he was quietly putting together a nice comeback campaign. Sure, he was averaging less than 170 passing yards a game. But he wasn't turning the ball over, and in Winston's defense the wide receivers at his disposal were, in the immortal words of Charles Barkley, "turrible." The hope is that Winston will have rookie Chris Olave and Michael Thomas come Week 1, which would be light-years better than his options in 2021. Add in the likelihood of an Alvin Kamara suspension and the fantasy upside Winston displayed in Tampa even when he was being picked off left and right, and you have legit fantasy potential. Go ahead, eat the W.
Andy Hicks: Jameis Winston was kept on a tight playcalling schedule last year before his injury. His performance was admirable. With Sean Payton gone and the Saints likely to take a backward step, expect the team to rely on Winston’s magnificent arm to get the ball to a much improved receiving group. If he truly has limited the propensity for unnecessary turnovers, Winston will push for borderline starter status. Of course, there is a riskb here, but the upside is well worth the low asking price.
Craig Lakins: It's one of the bumpiest roller coasters in the league, but the Jameis Winston experience should not be relegated to QB21 off the board in fantasy drafts. He's famously the only quarterback in NFL history to have a 30-TD/30-INT season, but prior to his knee injury in 2021, he possessed a 14:3 QB:INT ratio. That's impressive considering a ragtag group of receiving options that included Tre'Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, and Juwan Johnson. While the presence and effectiveness of Michael Thomas is still in question, Winston now gets to connect with proven veteran Jarvis Landry and promising rookie Chris Olave. With perennial utility man Taysom Hill now officially moved to tight end and new arrival Andy Dalton the unquestioned back-up, Winston should be able to enter this season without looking over his shoulder.
Chad Parsons: Winston had a banner year on a number of fronts in 2021 when limited to a handful of games. This is without Michael Thomas or any wide receivers or tight ends of note around him. Add a healthy Michael Thomas (fingers crossed), Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave, and the supporting cast is significantly better than last year.
Matt Waldman: Winston improved his footwork while maneuvering the pocket last year may not have shown up on the box score, but was a big deal for his decision-making. The box score results weren't there because few would mistake Marquez Callaway, TreQuan Smith, and Deonte Harris for Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, and Jarvis Landry. Expect these additions to help Winston deliver low-end QB1 production with even greater upside. And if Alvin Kamara misses significant time, expect the game scripts to be ideal for throwing the ball.
Nick Whalen: Bias is powerful. It feels like many already wrote the book on Jameis Winston in ink and closed it. After learning under Drew Brees in 2020, Winston set career highs in 2021 in touchdown percentage, interception percentage, quarterback rating, and average yards gained per pass attempt. His quarterback rating was even better than that Tom Brady guy! The Saints added Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave to upgrade the WR group and maybe Michael Thomas returns from his ankle injury. An improving quarterback with better weapons sounds like a good recipe to me!
Christian Williams: Jameis Winston had an incredibly strange 2021 before his injury. He posted career-worsts in completion percentage, rating, and yards per game while posting career-bests in touchdown percentage, interception percentage, and rating. He looked like a completely different quarterback from the Buccaneers' Winston. The Saints asked Winston to keep it safe, and despite that, he still averaged 17.20 fantasy points per game, ranking QB14 in that metric. With the influx of weapons (Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave) and the expectation that the Saints will let Winston open it up a little bit, it's within reason to believe that he could finish in the Top 10 when the season concludes.
Players Receiving 5 Votes
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