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Early Fantasy Football Sleepers for 2024
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Early Fantasy Football Sleepers for 2024

Early Fantasy Football Sleepers for 2024

One of the best parts of playing fantasy football is finding potential sleepers in the draft. Whenever you hear a fellow competitor shout, “Who?” After your choice you immediately know that you have done something right. That’s the kind of edge you want over the rest of your competition.

Every year there are disruptions in the draft. If you can identify a few, it could lead you to a fantasy football title.

Make sure you stay up to date on all your fantasy football needs by following RotoBaller on X and visiting RotoBaller.com. Here are several early sleepers to target in your 2024 fantasy football draft.

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Quarterbacks

Jayden Daniels

The second overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Daniels will provide immediate upside to fantasy gamers thanks to his rushing skills.

Quarterbacks with rushing chops have long been fantasy football cheat codes. If you’re missing key options in your draft, Daniels is a good safety net. He has a solid floor and can be a huge draw if he hits the ground running.

Deshaun Watson

Although he struggled with injuries and overall poor play, Watson still found a way to be productive in fantasy football last year.

There are still many concerns surrounding Watson. He has played just twelve games over the past four seasons. However, these concerns are baked into this average draft position (ADP). He comes off the draft boards as QB23 in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) leagues. If he stays on the field, Watson can destroy this ADP and provide tremendous value. He’s a good option for managers who prefer to wait for quarterbacks.

Running backs

Zach Charbonnet

Charbonnet is armed with a great running style that can be difficult for defenders to handle.

He finished higher than running mate Kenneth Walker in Next Gen Stats Rush Yards Over Expectation (RYOE) and Rush Yards Over Expectation Per Attempt (RYOE/ATT). He may be the better back.

A new coaching staff arrives in Seattle this year. They have no loyalty to any of the current players. It is unclear who this new staff will favor. Charbonnet can provide value in his own right if he forces more touches and could ultimately emerge as the favorite defender if he plays Walker better as the season progresses.

Rico Dowdle

To the surprise of many, the Dallas Cowboys did not add a running back during April’s draft. It was an unexpected move after the team let Tony Pollard walk free. This puts Dowdle in a position to capitalize on potential.

Dallas did bring back former starter Ezekiel Elliott, but he is clearly nearing the end of his career. Elliott’s yards per carry (YPC) have dropped each of the past three seasons, culminating in a career-low 3.5 YPC last year. He also finished only 41st in RYOE. Dowdle only carried the ball 89 times last season but showed potential every time he received the ball. He should force a healthy amount of touches. Given Elliott’s age and declining play, we’re probably looking at a timeshare in Dallas. Dowdle should be the more effective player. If he plays well enough, he could potentially take over lead back duties in this offense.

Wide receivers

Dontayvion Wicks

Wicks showed potential in his rookie season with the Packers. He certainly looked the part as his running acumen turned heads all year long.

In limited action, Wicks has posted some impressive advanced stats. He checked in with a 23% per route run target (TPRR) and a 2.31 yards per route run target (YPRR), according to Fantasy Points Data Suite. This is a small sample size, but it’s the kind of data you’d like to see from a newcomer. Green Bay’s receiving room is crowded, but it’s unclear who will ultimately emerge as the best option.

With an NFFC ADP of 161.03, Wicks is a good flyer at the end of the draft. He should only improve going forward and could become a go-to option in this offense. With any luck, he could become Jordan Love’s top target.

Ja’Lynn Polk

New England wanted to make a significant investment in the wide receiver position all offseason. After losing Calvin Ridley in free agency, they turned around and spent the 37th overall pick on Polk in last month’s draft. He enjoyed a fun senior year at the University of Washington. Polk totaled more than 1,100 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns through the air. His underlying data was also strong, as he touted a solid 2.42 YPRR in 2023, per Pro Football Focus (PFF). He will probably play a big role right away.

This is a team in dire need of pass catchers. There is a clear opening for someone to emerge as the Patriots’ WR1. Polk has talent and draft capital in his corner. He could be a solid WR3 or flex option in PPR leagues.

Tight ends

Pat Freiermuth

After a TE8 finish in 2022, he struggled with injuries and inconsistent play last year. A TE30 finish was the final result. With Diontae Johnson no longer in the picture, there is room for Freiermuth to re-enter the fantasy scene.

After George Pickens, Freiermuth is the second-best pass catcher in Pittsburgh’s offense. The team selected Roman Wilson in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. However, he is a very raw prospect and is unlikely to make an immediate impact in year one.

When it comes to tight ends, we typically want to target players who are among the top two options in the passing game. Freiermuth checks this box. If you miss the tight end early, the fourth-year veteran is a good rebound candidate to target later in the draft.

Greg Dulcich

Coach Sean Payton has spoken several times about Dulcich filling the role of “joker” in Denver’s offense. We’ve seen Jimmy Graham experience a high level of success in this role before. While he isn’t Graham, Dulcich can thrive in Payton’s offense.

The Broncos sent Jerry Jeudy to Cleveland. The only significant addition they made to the receiver room was selecting Troy Franklin in Round 4 of the draft. He projects more as a speed-based flanker, so it is uncertain how big of a role he will play in attack.

There are targets for the taking here. It’s unclear who rookie Bo Nix’s No. 1 option will be. The third-year tight end could end up being a security blanket for the rookie signal-caller. Dulcich just needs to stay healthy, and he could be a surprise breakout at the tight end position.

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