5 Fantasy Football Sleepers who could be LEAGUE WINNERS
Fantasy football is right around the corner, and football fans across the country are rejoicing as the greatest game in America is back. The 2022-23 season seems pretty wide open, with many different teams giving themselves a shot to win a championship, and personally I haven’t been this excited about an NFL season in a WHILE. With that being said, let’s look at five players i believe could potentially help you win your league!
James Cook, Bills RB (Rookie)
Cook was selected 63rd overall in the 2022 NFL Draft and now finds himself a piece of the offensive engine that is the Buffalo offense. Buffalo was third in the entire league last season and had the league’s highest rushing attack according to PFF. The Bills brought back Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, and also added Duke Johnson during the offseason to their rushing attack to pair with their superstar QB Josh Allen. The former Georgia standout will be given the opportunity to distinguish himself from all the other Bills’ backs and become a leader among them, on the gridiron and locker room. Cook should be able to flourish with one of the most high-powered offenses in the league, thanks to the second-round draft capital that was spent on him and his one-of-a-kind skill set.
When the Bills’ tried to get Commanders RB J.D. McKissic this offseason and were unsuccessful, the franchise turned their attention to landing Cook. As we know, McKissic and Cook are both receiving backs, which is a task that the Bills have been having a tough time trying to get done for a while. While their skill sets are not exactly the same, both fill a function that the Bills have been struggling to fill. Since LeSean “Shady” McCoy departed from the team in 2019, Buffalo has failed to have even one starting back receive a PFF grade of over 65. Yikes. Cook has tremendous upside in the passing game and has shown it. If the rookie back gets a little bigger and more solid at running the football up the gut, watch out. Cook has extremely good vision. Definitely have your eyes on Cook and be looking into him before you draft because the rookie might be VERY productive.
Irv Smith, Vikings TE (4 YRS EXP)
Smith, the Vikings 1st option at TE, is set to make his return to the gridiron after missing the entire 2021-22 NFL season due to a knee injury. As we know, Kyle Rudolph is no longer a Viking. With his departure, I believe the Irv Smith era in Minnesota is here. Smith has almost always looked solid as the lone tight end and hopes to take the next step in his 3rd year (4th because injury) and become a legit option for fantasy managers and the new Minnesota offense. Irv Smith averaged 12.8 PPR points per game in outings without Rudolph (Weeks 14-17 in 2020) ranking just second in end zone targets and was the 4th total best TE in fantasy football during that stretch. With new head coach Kevin O’Connell declaring that the Vikings’ traditional run-first approach is no longer in place, we should expect more passes from Kirk Cousins, which means more chances for Smith to get his yards.
When Tyler Higbee was in O’Connell’s offense with the LA Rams, he recorded the most red zone receptions in the league, and was third in targets among tight ends. If Smith is given the opportunities and chances at the same rate as Higbee, he really does have the talent to become a true TE1 for years to come in redraft and dynasty.
Skyy Moore, WR Chiefs (Rookie)
Moore is a talented rookie receiver on a ridiculously successful offense that recently lost its WR1.
Moore, the Chiefs 54th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, will be starting his career alongside bonafide superstar Patrick Mahomes in his first campaign without Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs lost 54% of their targets from last year and are looking to replace that with Skyy Moore, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Mecole Hardman. Moore was one of the best receivers in college football last season, leading the country in broken tackles and finished with the highest PFF grade in NCAA history by a MAC receiver.
Albert Okwuegbunam, TE Broncos (3 YRS EXP)
Okwuegbunam hopes to build a rapport with Broncos’ new quarterback Russell Wilson as soon as possible. It has been a few years since we’ve seen Wilson have major success with tight ends. Acquiring a piece of this highly charged Broncos’ passing offense was indeed a wise decision. Wilson’s recent lack of tight-end productivity is likely attributable to the rise of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in Seattle, as well as the team’s talent shortage at the position following Jimmy Graham’s departure.
Rondale Moore, WR Cardinals (2 YRS EXP)
The Cardinals are likely to use Marquise Brown, A.J. Green, and Rondale Moore as their top receivers for the first six weeks of the season. Moore should operate from the slot during that time, which is one of the main reasons he was ultimately drafted by the Cards.
Christian Kirk amassed the third-most yards from the slot in the NFL last season. With Kirk moving on to Jacksonville, it must give Moore confidence that he can produce from the slot. Moore managed to produce 35.2 PPR points in his first two games in the slot which translates into extremely effective numbers. After that, he fell down the depth chart and lost his spot to Kirk. Recently, Cards HC Kliff Kingsbury stated, “he feels like he can step into Christian’s role and play at a really high level inside there, and we do too”.
Moore is a solid flex player at his current WR5 value. If the young WR can keep his duties in the slot for the Cardinals offense, he could develop into a WR2/3 until Hopkins returns. He needs to prove he can get the job done.
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