2019 Fantasy Football: Sleepers You Need To Dominate This Year

Shawn Childs

2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Below I’ve listed my early 2019 Fantasy Football sleepers with their team outlook profile, which can be found in this page: Fulltime Fantasy Draft Kit. I also added a secondary comment about each player, which has more value after finishing the early projection for 2019. Note: All players will be drafted after round ten in the high-stakes 12-team leagues. In this context, a sleeper isn't a player nobody has heard of. Sleeper here means a player currently undervalued who will outperform his draft position.

2019 QB Sleepers

Mitchell Trubisky

Trubisky has the tools and explosiveness to produce multiple impact games in 2019. Last year in the daily games, Mitchell helped three Fantasy owners win a million-dollar check. In the early projections at Fulltime Fantasy, Trubisky came as the third-ranked QB while being ranked around 15 in the high-stakes market. Great value player with his downside being the Bears’ run game when Chicago plays from the lead with their defense shutting down their opponents.

Chicago Bears QB Mitch Trubisky

Player Profile from Bears' Team Outlook:

In 2018, Trubisky ranked 15th in QB scoring in four-point TD leagues despite missing two games with a right shoulder injury. He went 11-3 with growth in his completion rate (66.6). Mitchell gained 3,644 combined yards with 27 TDs and 12 Ints. He continues to show explosiveness as a runner (68/421/3) with much more upside if he had more attempts. His first shining moment last year came in Week 4 when Mitchell gained 407 combined yards with six TDs. He also added three other impact games (363/3, 414/3, and 373/4). Even with his success, Trubisky did deliver too many pothole games over his last seven starts (four games with fewer than 175 yards passing with three combined TDs). His movements in the pocket and running ability give me an Aaron Rodgers feel while needing to have growth his playmaking ability in the red zone to become a viable week-to-week starter in the Fantasy games.

Last year Mitchell helped Fantasy owners win multiple million-dollar checks in the daily tournaments. He has an upside passing catching back with three steady receiving options at WR and TE. His next step points to 4,500 combined yards with 32+ TDs and a top 12 Fantasy ranking at QB.

Kirk Cousins

Based on receiving options, Cousins should be more respected in 2019 in the high-stakes draft. The Vikings have two WRs that will be drafted in the second and third rounds in Fantasy leagues. They have an upside RB with pass-catching ability plus a steady TE and a second TE that should make some big plays. Last year Kirk ranked 9th at the QB position, but he’s being drafted as the 17th QB in 2019. I expect growth in his second year in Minnesota, which will be helped by a healthy Dalvin Cook.

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Player Profile from Vikings' Team Outlook:

Fantasy owners that invested in Cousins in 2018 came away with an empty feeling in too many weeks. He finished as the ninth highest scoring QB in four-point TD leagues, but he passed for fewer than 265 yards in nine of his final 11 games. Kirk had two games with over 300 yards passing and two games with 400+ yards with three of those games coming over the first five games. He had three TDs or more in four contests (only two games came over the final 12 games). Cousins did set a career-high in completions (425), completion rate (70.1), and passing TDs (30) while matching his top level in passing attempts (606).

In the end, Kirk gained 4,421 combined yards with 31 TDs and ten Ints. In 2019, he has two studs at WR plus a steady TE and a RB with upside in the passing game. At the bare minimum, Cousin should finish with 4,500+ yards with a run at 35+ TDs. The keys to his success will be the play of his offensive line, and the Vikings’ ability to have success running the ball.

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2019 RB Fantasy Football Sleepers

Carlos Hyde

The disappointing season by Hyde has him priced as an afterthought in Fantasy drafts in 2019 (13th round ADP in PPR leagues). He came into the NFL with a second-round pedigree while showing workhorse value in a couple of years for the 49ers while playing in a lousy offense. Damien Williams looked great at the end of 2018, and the Chiefs’ coaching staff stated that Williams would be their lead back this season. If Damien stumbles out of the gate, Hyde has enough talent to be a RB2 in leagues with upside if he can make more significant plays in both the run and pass game.

Player Profile from Chiefs' Team Outlook:

After a productive season for the 49ers in 2017 (1,288 combined yards with eight TDs and 59 catches), Hyde struggled to make plays in Cleveland eventually leading to a lost job and a trade to the Jaguars. On the year, Carlos gained 604 combined yards with five TDs and ten catches. He gained only 3.3 yards per rush and 3.3 yards per catch. When at his best in 2016, Carlos gained 4.6 yards per carry. A veteran back with passing catching and goal-line value. I expect him to be active while stealing some of the touches away from Damien Williams.

LeSean McCoy

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When I start doing the team outlooks, I start with the Bills in early May. Based on career resume, I assumed that McCoy would be priced much higher in the 2019 draft season. Of all the RBs drafted after round ten, LeSean is the RB that’s been elite in his career while offering three-down ability. Buffalo has a messing situation for the RB position this year, setting the stage for a cloudy draft position.

The bottom line with McCoy has his pass-catching ability. He has 50 catches or more in five different seasons, which will help set a reasonable floor in 2019 even a swing role. The coaching staff looks to be committed to him while his top handcuff (Devin Singletary) can be had a round later in many drafts. Remember, the goal in the 12th round or later in Fantasy drafts is finding 10.0 Fantasy points per week. The Bills want to win, and they will lean on a veteran back on many downs. Buy the 14 to 16 touches per game as a discount.

Player Profile from Bills' Team Outlook:

After two excellent seasons for the Bills, McCoy struggled to get untracked in 2018. He gained a career-low 3.2 yards per carry while averaging only 13.9 touches per game. LeSean has six seasons in his career with over 1,000 yards rushing and five years with 50+ catches. When at his best, McCoy would receive well over 300 touches per season. A rushing QB does steal some of the overall rushing chances and some TDs. Buffalo added a veteran early back (Frank Gore), a pass-catching back (T.J. Yeldon), and drafted a change of pace back (Devin Singletary). He’ll start the year at age 31 with multiple players pulling at his touches and possible TDs. Even with a bounce-back season, I can’t see much more than 225 touches with a chance at 1,000+ combined yards and just over a handful of TDs.

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2019 WR Fantasy Football Sleepers

N'Keal Harry

Harry tends to get drafted in the 10th round in the high-stakes market, but a Fantasy team cheating the WR position will identify him as one of the more intriguing outs at WR around the midpoint of 12-team drafts. The structure of the Patriots’ WR added with weakness at TE gives him a chance to hit the ground running in 2019. Unfortunately, his draft value will rise quickly once he produced some plays in preseason games. Great WR4 as of now with the talent and opportunity to be a WR3 at the very least this season.

New England Patriots WR NKeal Harry

Player Profile from Patriots' Team Outlook:

Over the last two seasons at Arizona State, Harry caught 155 passes for 2,230 yards and 17 TDs. For his size (6’2” and 227 lbs.), N’Keal has surprising speed (4.53 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine) while being beast with his strength. He’ll do all the dirty work at WR while catching a high number of jump balls. Harry can make moves in the open field, but he won’t make many huge scoring plays over the long field with his legs. Complete monster in the red zone while being open even if a defender is draping all over him in coverage. He’ll beat speed with power plus defeat physical press corners with his legs. N’Keal needs to improve his route running and work on improving his release. The loss of Rob Gronkowski creates an excellent opportunity in his rookie season. Draft with confidence as a WR3 in PPR leagues while expecting 60+ catches for 800+ yards and a run at double-digit TDs.

D.K. Metcalf

Seattle is going to use Metcalf as a deep threat on the outside in his rookie season while also trying to get him in space on slants and bubble screens to allow his speed and strength to make big plays. His presence can only be positive for the run game and the rebound value of Russell Wilson. I don’t expect a high catch total in 2019, but D.K. will have shining moments this year. Possible 55+ catches for 800+ yards and a chance at double-digit TDs if he develops a scoring rhythm with Wilson in the red zone.

Player Profile from Seahawks' Team Outlook:

When searching for the next great WR in the NFL, a Fantasy owner needs to see production along with talent. Metcalf is a physical specimen with a great combination of size (6’3” and 228 lbs., speed (4.33 40 at the NFL combine), and strength (27 reps in the 225 lbs. bench press at the combine). His hands great well leading to many one-handed catches along with winning battles in tight coverage in the end zone. D.K. can beat a defense deep, but he has the look of a long strider while lacking experience and the resume over the short to middle areas of the field. Over his last two seasons at Ole Mississippi, Metcalf caught 65 passes for 1,228 yards and 12 TDs over 19 games.

He’s missed time in two of his three seasons in college. His next step is developing his route running while proving his frame isn’t too tightly wound to handle the battles at the next level.

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2019 TE Fantasy Football Sleepers

T.J. Hockenson

The TE position after the top options are off the boards will have opportunities with Fantasy owners trying to decide between veteran aging players and young TEs with talent and opportunity. Hockenson should hit the ground running while being a value in the early draft season. Buy the steady expectations while understanding his potential breakout ability.

Detroit Lions TE T.J. Hockenson

Player Profile from Lions' Team Outlook:

Hockenson will try to follow the footsteps of George Kittle who turned his minimal stats (42/604/10) over his junior and senior seasons at Iowa to produce an exciting start to his NFL career. T.J. flashed more upside in his freshman (24/320/3) and sophomore (49/760/6) seasons at the same school. He’ll bring speed (4.7 40 yards dash at the NFL combine) to the TE position. Hockenson needs to get stronger to help become a better all-around blocker. His route running grades well, which will allow him a winning able window over the short areas of the field plus have the wheels to test a defense deep. T.J. looks explosive if given space with the ball in the open field plus his hands will be assets. At the very least, a two-down pass catcher early in his career with more playing time available if he can handle his responsibilities run blocking.

Last year the Lions’ TEs caught 42 passes for 458 yards and four TDs on 60 targets, which was well below the TE opportunity in 2017 (75/803/7). Matthew Stafford will throw to the ball to the TE if he has talent at the position. Hockenson should finish his rookie season as a top 12 TE with a floor of 60 catches for 700+ yards and 5+ TDs.

Noah Fant

Last year the Broncos’ TEs caught 68 of 105 targets for 649 yards and three TDs. Joe Flacco consistently looked for the TE in the Ravens’ system that bodes well for Fant in his rookie season. Possible 60/600/5 type season with more upside. Fantasy owners have him priced as a TE outside the top 20 in the early draft season in the high-stakes market.

Player Profile from Broncos' Team Outlook:

Fant is also an Iowa alumnus. In his sophomore season, he outplayed T.J. Hockenson when he caught 30 passes for 494 yards and 11 TDs. The next season Noah improved his value in catches (39) and yards (519), but he saw his TD total (7) slide. Even with minimal growth, his talent can’t be overlooked due to too much depth at the TE position at his school in college. Fant has plenty of speed (4.5 40 yard dash at the NFL combine) with an edge in strength and short-area quickness.

Overall, he does lack some fight when tested with physical play at the line of scrimmage, and his movements in the open field rely more on his legs than shake and back to create after the catch. Noah has the foundation skill set to be a productive volume TE in the NFL. His hands will be an asset along with his value at the goal line.

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