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A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. Value is 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). 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 quarterbacks who received the most votes as deep sleepers:
And here are all of the players mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 7 Votes
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
Nick Whalen: One year ago, Stafford threw for almost 5000 yards and 41 touchdowns while leading the Rams to a Super Bowl trophy. The Rams defense is going to be bad, but Stafford has thrown the football 590+ times in seven different seasons and will likely need to do it again in 2023. Plus, he'll have one of the best wide receivres in the NFL back in Cooper Kupp. Injuries are a concern, but the off-season reports are he's throwing the football well.
Gary Davenport: Two years ago, Stafford threw for almost 4,900 yards, tossed 41 touchdown passes, and finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback on the way to winning a Super Bowl in his first year in La-La Land. This is a much different Rams team, and that, combined with Stafford’s injury-shortened 2022 season, has banished him to the fantasy hinterlands. But we have seen Stafford pile up fantasy points playing on bad teams before. In fact, that’s what he spent most of his career doing. Cooper Kupp is still in Los Angeles. There will be catch-up to be played. At his current price tag, Stafford is all but free. Who’s up for some garbage time points?
Jason Wood: Last year was a disaster for the Rams, and Stafford's season was marred by injuries and deemed substandard by all measures. However, he has perennially been on the fringes of QB1 value and flashed top-5 value in 2021 when the Rams were executing well. Although it's foolhardy to expect a return to top-5 levels given the current roster construction, a healthy Stafford promises a significant pass volume and will have his key target -- Cooper Kupp -- back in the fold. You're drafting a player whose most likely outcome is a QB10-15 finish at a late-round backup cost.
Ben Cummins: Stafford’s low ADP is a major mistake by the market. Stafford wasn't healthy last offseason, which delayed his ability to throw and warm up for the season, and then he was injured during the year. Recency bias has created a massive buy window. Stafford has proclaimed he’s healthy this offseason, and so is Cooper Kupp, Sean McVay is still the head coach, and the Rams defense projects to struggle mightily. As recent as 2021, Stafford won the Super Bowl on this same team after throwing for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Daniel Harms: Two seasons removed from his QB6-overall performance, where he threw for nearly 4,900 yards and cleared 40 touchdowns, Matthew Stafford has become a screaming value in ADP. The Rams’ offensive line is sure to be in a better state than last season with all the injuries. The combination of Stafford and McVay is an exceptional one, and while Stafford isn’t a lock to finish as a top-12 quarterback, he has a lot of experience piling up numbers on teams with bad defenses, which the Rams are sure to be in 2023.
Matt Waldman: The 35-year-old Stafford has proven he's tough as nails. However, the road he's taken to deliver that proof may be catching up with him. The arm remained intact during the offseason. The true tests are when the real hitting begins in earnest and if the Rams' offensive line can outperform expectations. If the line can keep Stafford healthy, Stafford is one of the few quarterbacks outside the top 150 with the skills, experience, and an elite target who can deliver top-12 fantasy production at his position. If you're taking a quarterback this late, you're betting on the potential upside of top-12 production rather than a safe bye-week option. You can get those passers as midseason free agents.
Dave Kluge: I will echo my colleagues' sentiments here and say that the general public was too quick to write off Matthew Stafford. He dealt with an elbow injury that hampered his throwing last year. And while the team hoped to replace Robert Woods with Allen Robinson, that proved to be a big mistake, and Robinson was far removed from the player he once was. A porous offensive line and sputtering run game made production hard to find for Stafford before his season ended early. But let’s not forget that just two years ago, he threw for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns on his way to a Super Bowl win. The scars are fresh from last year’s disastrous campaign, but Stafford is resilient enough to potentially bounce back in 2023.
Player Receiving 4 Votes
Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers
Jason Wood: Will Jordan Love genuinely make Packers fans forget Aaron Rodgers? The good news is you don't have to draft Love under that assumption. Given his current ADP, Love merely needs to stay healthy and play 16-17 games to deliver value. Early feedback from his teammates is promising, with cornerback Jaire Alexander calling him the "best quarterback in the league" and receiver Romeo Doubs stating, "Love can do the exact same things" as Rodgers. We know Green Bay has the personnel and system to post massive numbers, and the front office seems convinced Love is ready to take up the baton.
Sam Wagman: Love comes into consideration simply because he may just have to be on the field a ton this season. The Packers' defense is not great, and this could necessitate extra playing from the young signal-caller. Sure, he has no real experience so far as a starter, but he's been sitting behind one of the best, Aaron Rodgers, for three years now. It's time for him to see what Love can do.
Sigmund Bloom: Love has had three years in the incubator, so he should be fluent in Matt LaFleur's offense - an offense that wasn't always executed true to its spirit by Aaron Rodgers. It's possible that Rodgers was actually holding back the offense in the same way Russell Wilson was an impediment to progress in Seattle. Love is also fast and athletic enough to make a difference as a runner, which could matter more if he has trouble getting on the same page as his young wide receiver group.
Andy Hicks: Jordan Love remains an unknown into his fourth year. First-round picks generally do not have the luxury of learning behind a great for years. Love, as was his predecessor Aaron Rodgers, got that luxury. Also, Love has an advantage in being given four rookie or second-year wide receivers and two rookie tight ends to develop with, half of them being second-round selections. He needed time, and he has been given it. His upside is fantasy starter. A great late-round pick.
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