Every year, fantasy players try and find the rookie sleepers that will give their team an advantage down the stretch.
Stash a guy weeks 1-3, and you might be winning every matchup weeks 11-13. Below, you’ll find three rookie sleepers who can help you bring home the gold:
1. David Njoku – TE; Browns
Njoku was a bit of a surprise pick for the Browns. However, after the release of veteran TE Gary Barnidge, Njoku enters the season atop Believeland’s TE depth chart. He’ll fall down draft boards, even though he shouldn’t.
Never mind the fact that TE has been a dead position in Fantasy the past few years, but Njoku stands to be a target machine. They always say, “a bad QB is a TE’s best friend.” And, whether he’s catching passes from the mediocre Cody Kessler, or the very raw Deshone Kizer, Njoku stands to do a lot of bailing out, and balling out.
2. Curtis Samuel – RB/WR; Panthers
Cam Newton is a special player and stands to have a bounceback 2017. How does he do this? With the addition of a new special weapon in Curtis Samuel. With Greg Olson another year older, and Kelvin Benjamin tipping the scales at three bills, there’s a lot of need for offensive weapons in the Panthers offense.
Samuel has the special skill set to have an immediate impact. All eyes will be on Christian McCaffrey, but Samuel is a different kind of player. Imagine Cam Newton’s cannon arm throwing to a guy who ran a 4.31 40. The possibilities are endless, and all it will take is some chemistry to develop. It will, and your team’s possibilities will be endless as well.
3. Samaje Perine – RB; Redskins
Was anyone reading this lucky enough to snag Alfred Morris when he was named the Redskins’ starter in 2012? If so, you probably need to take a break from twitter for a little while. But seriously, sometimes a surprise starter can show up in the absence of a stud. Matt Jones can’t hold on to the ball. Rob Kelley came on at the end of the year, but he’s not a feature back.
Chris Thompson has a defined role (and fantasy value in PPR leagues). Enter Samaje Perine. The guy who outperformed Joe Mixon at Oklahoma. The kind of guy who might not be the flashiest in shorts, but can flourish in the right system. With reports out of Washington that Jay Gruden plans to balance the run offense from the pass-heavy Sean McVay, Perine is primed to break out early and keep the ball rolling.
Lamar Miller struggled last year to find the end zone, suffering from Brock Osweilieritis. However, he remained productive from a yardage standpoint. Enter Deshaun Watson. The run threat from Watson, combined with a more productive passing offense should lead to a much better 2017 for Miller.
(Photo Credit: USA Today)