Finding a few late-round steals and deep sleepers in your 2016 fantasy football draft can make the difference between winning and losing your league. Let’s take a look at a several deep sleepers that you may want to take a gamble on late in your draft. If you have any draft day questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
When I watch game film of Ferguson I am instantly reminded of Dion Lewis and what he is able to do out of the backfield as a receiver. He should be a versatile weapon for the Colts this year and I think he will have value in PPR leagues right out of the gate. I doubt he would be an every down back if Frank Gore got hurt, but even if the old man stays healthy, I could see Ferguson putting up Dion Lewis or Giovani Bernard type numbers.
When you look at the numbers from Latavius Murray last year they appear solid, with almost 1,300 total yards and six touchdowns. However, the reports on him out of Oakland aren’t all that positive. The coaching staff refused to name Murray as the starter and they used a fifth round pick on Washington. In his last season with Texas Tech Washington had 1,900 total yards and 16 total touchdowns. I expect him to push Murray during camp and potentially win that job.
One of my favorite things to do while looking for sleepers is watch college highlight reels and I highly recommend watching Booker’s. He can run, he can catch, he can block and he even threw for a touchdown last season. He averaged over 150 total yards per game during his senior season and I think he is the best running back on the Broncos roster. Booker only has inconsistent C.J. Anderson in front of him and I think he could end up having solid fantasy value this year.
Coleman is my favorite rookie receiver heading into 2016 and I think he could have a productive season. I know he plays for a terrible Browns offense, but they lack weapons in the passing game and Coleman should see plenty of targets. He was a beast in college racking up 20 touchdowns last season, so you have to like his red zone potential as well.
The retirement of Calvin Johnson is going to leave plenty of targets to go around in Detroit and Ebron should have a career year. He is entering his third season in the NFL and it’s clear that he is figuring things out with his numbers going way up in 2015 compared to his rookie campaign. It typically takes tight ends three or four years before they have breakout seasons and I think Ebron is on the verge of being a top 10 tight end. If you are one of the owners that likes to wait on tight ends then Ebron is a great high upside guy to target in the later rounds.
Coates has breakout potential written all over him and I will be targeting him late in all of my drafts. He only has Markus Wheaton in front of him for the WR2 duties for that high powered Steelers offense and I think he could end up winning that job. Even if he doesn’t win a starting gig I think he could have value as their third receiver. The coaching staff loves this young receiver and I fully expect them to get him more involved in 2016.
Henry is an amazing running back and if he had landed in a better situation he could be right up there with Ezekiel Elliott in our running back rankings. I really don’t see any scenario where Henry beats out DeMarco Murray for the starting job, but when Henry gets his chance you need to look out. His last year at Alabama he had over 2,300 total yards and 28 total touchdowns and he could easily be a top fantasy running back at some point. For now though he is just a high upside handcuff to DeMarco Murray and a great guy to target in keeper and dynasty formats.
San Diego is a great landing place for Benjamin and he has a big upside this year. Philip Rivers is pretty much a lock for about 4,500 passing yards, so their should be plenty of yards to go around. Benjamin proved last season that he is more than just a deep threat hauling in a career high 68 catches and his stats should go up across the board in 2016.
I have never been a fan of Smith in fantasy football and I can’t believe I have him on this list. With that being said you can’t ignore the potential for him on a Chip Kelly offense. Blaine Gabbert could potentially be an upgrade from Colin Kaepernick in the passing game and Smith could be in line for a rebound season. It’s not completely out of the question for Smith to come close to his 2013 numbers when he had 65 catches for over 1,100 yards.
In 2013 Marvin Jones had a career high 10 touchdowns, he missed 2014 with injury and then last year he had a career high 816 receiving yards. Those two seasons prove that Jones has what it takes to be fantasy relevant and I think he could be in line for a career year across the board with his new team the Lions. The Lions throw the ball more than the Bengals and there will be plenty of targets to go around with Calvin Johnson no longer in uniform.