The Extra Point: Fantasy Football Sleepers for 2021
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Welcome back to the Extra Point fantasy football blog. It’s that time again where I do my best to dish out fantasy advice, and there’s no better time to start than the preseason. As we start to get a picture of the fantasy football landscape, there are several sleepers to consider. I’ll list five of mine below, but be sure to check out the Fox 8 Overtime Podcast as well. In Episode 248, our producer Vasilios Nikolaou and I discuss even more sleepers you should have on your radar.
1. WR Marquez Callaway, Saints
He’s becoming less of a sleeper everyday. It’s well-known locally that he’s become the top target in training camp without Michael Thomas available. And hearing the way that head coach Sean Payton talks about Callaway, I’d venture to say that he’s got a solid role once Thomas returns as well. Callaway is going super late in drafts currently. You could probably wait until one of the last few rounds. After the pre-season, he might not be such a steal, but I still think anyone with a starting role in a Sean Payton offense is worth considering, especially if he’s a go-to target for both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.
2. WR Terrace Marshall Jr., Panthers
Carolina has more than a few mouths to feed. It starts with Christian McCaffrey and his 80+ expected receptions. Then there’s DJ Moore and Robby Anderson, who are both proven at receiver. But they wouldn’t have taken Marshall in the second round if there weren’t a plan for him. The fact that he reunites with his college coach, offensive coordinator Joe Brady, leads me to believe that Marshall will have his time to shine. I’m more of a fan of Marshall in dynasty leagues than standard, but we’ll see how the Panthers roll him out.
3. RB Darrel Williams, Chiefs
Kansas City’s starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is on everyone’s list of players that will make a considerable jump in year two. But I still think the Chiefs will use a committee approach, especially considering how reliable Williams is. Notably in 2020, it was Williams on the field during the two-minute offense, and those are valuable snaps. He’s a handcuff you should absolutely have on your roster if you select CEH early, and in deeper two-flex leagues, he could be a starter late in the season.
4. QB Jameis Winston, Saints
Until there’s a starter announced in New Orleans, Jameis is worth taking in late rounds. Again, I put stock in good coaching, and Sean Payton is absolutely the guy whose starting quarterback you want on your fantasy roster. If the Saints defense takes the step back that many expect it to, they may turn Jameis loose in order to keep putting points on the board. We know from his Tampa Bay days that he’s capable of huge fantasy numbers, even when you factor in turnovers. Ideally, the turnovers are now lessened under Payton. The one thing to be cautious about with Winston, however, is the fact that he’s not throwing to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin this time around.
5. TE Jared Cook, Chargers
His time didn’t end well in New Orleans, but with LA, Cook finds another offense that will take advantage of his skill set. He’s a big red zone target and has the speed and athleticism to make plays down field. That’s a perfect combo for the big arm of Justin Herbert. I’m not a huge fan of using a pick on him in a dynasty league. But in other leagues where the tight end position is a wasteland if you don’t get one of the big three, Cook’s late average draft position makes him well worth a try in the 10th or 11th round.
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