Good morning! The NFL season is now just 24 days away.
We’re approaching fantasy football draft season and the SI Fantasy team is continuing to pump out stories (like our comprehensive draft kit) to help you nail your draft(s). That’s the focus of today’s newsletter, which begins with everyone’s favorite fantasy draft target: sleepers.
Sleepers You Don’t Want to Snooze On
Before introducing the sleepers across four fantasy football positions, we ask: What is a sleeper, anyway?
Let the expert, Michael Fabiano, define it—or try to.
Clearly, the definition varies person to person. But what it boils down to is this: “The art of picking out sleepers can be the difference between a good fantasy team and one that becomes a championship contender in your league.”
So, let’s address one player at each position who fits into one or more of those definitions and can provide value to your teams late in drafts. Click each link for all of Fabiano’s sleepers:
“Derek Carr, Raiders: Fantasy fans who like to wait on drafting a quarterback should be targeting Carr in 2022 drafts. He has never been a top-10 fantasy player at the position, but he’s been close (QB14 last season). I like him to hit that mark in 2022, though, as the Raiders added Davante Adams to an offense that holds Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow and hired an offensive-minded head coach in Josh McDaniels this offseason.”
“Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots: Stevenson is projected to open the season behind Damien Harris on the Patriots’ depth chart, though some reports suggest he could be the No. 1 to open the season. Regardless, he averaged 12.3 touches per game as a rookie, and his 4.6 yards per attempt was second behind Elijah Mitchell among first-year runners. In a Patriots offense that will lean on the run, Stevenson could be a steal.”
“Elijah Moore, Jets: Moore would have been among my top fantasy breakouts for this season if the Jets didn’t use a first-round pick on Garrett Wilson. Still, I see Moore as the potential targets leader among wideouts for the Men in Green. He showed off some serious skills in limited time as a rookie, averaging nearly 13 fantasy points per game. That includes three games where he scored 20-plus points. Look for “Moore” of Elijah.”
“Cole Kmet, Bears: Kmet wasn’t a reliable fantasy option last season, but he showed some potential flashes in the Bears’ offense. With Allen Robinson in Los Angelesthe third-year tight end could become a popular option for Justin Fields. He liked to throw the ball to his tight ends as a rookie, and that trend should continue in 2022. Don’t be surprised if Kmet puts up career-best numbers for the Bears and his fantasy fans.”
Using Player Props to Inform Fantasy Decisions
Fantasy managers and analysts use a wide range of data points to inform their projections and rankings. The sports betting market offers another one to consider: over/under season totals.
Shawn Childs used the over/under props at SI Sportsbook to stat out season-long finishes for some of the top projected players at quarterback, running back and wide receiver, and compared that with recent draft data from the National Fantasy Football Championship.
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers
Some projections overlapped identically, while there were marked differences in the projections for other players. Find out where the value lies.
Childs recently updated his 2022 PPR rankings one month after they were first released.
These rankings include position-by-position stat projects for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends. And all of this valuable information can be sorted by team as well if you’re looking to prioritize certain running backs or receivers on the same squad.
And new to these updates is an easy-to-use cheat sheet to consult during your draft. It includes the four aforementioned positions, plus defense and kicker rankings 1-32!
See what’s changed in Childs’ rankings and projections as draft season really starts to ramp up.
In Other News
WNBA Playoff Bracket is Set: The Aces clinched the top seed in the postseason, which begins Wednesday with four best-of-three series in the first round. The Sky, Sun, Storm, Mystics, Wings, Liberty and Mercury round out the eight-team field.
NBA Christmas Day Games Announced: Grizzlies–Warriors is the most anticipated of the five Dec. 25 matchups, which were reported Sunday. It’s also one of two playoff rematches from the 2021 postseason with Bucks–Celtics being the other.
NFL Rushing Yards Leader Betting Breakdown: Jonathan Taylor is the favorite to repeat as the league leader in rushing yards with Derrick Henry not far behind. Is it wise to bet on one of the top two contenders or search for value further down the market?
Royals Snap Dodgers’ 12-Game Win Streak: Los Angeleswhich has a commanding hold on the best record in baseball, was blanked by lowly Kansas Cityy on the road to end not only its win streak but also 12 consecutive games covering the run line.
Betting On the Rams Over/Under Win Total: The path back to the Super Bowl will not be easy for the defending champs, who face one of the toughest slates in the league. Can LA hit the over on 10.5 wins for the second season in a row?
Zach Wilson to Undergo Knee Procedure: An MRI revealed that the Jets’ quarterback sustained a bone bruise and meniscus tear in a preseason game against the Eagles on Friday. He’s undergoing surgery to repair the meniscus and is expected to miss two to four weeks, which pushes his timeline right up to Week 1 of the NFL season.
Thanks for reading Winners Club! I’ll be back in your inbox Friday morning.