Looking for sleepers for fantasy football isn’t about finding players nobody has heard about, because that isn’t happening. When we talk about sleepers, we’re highlighting players who should outplay their average draft position. Instead of the term “sleeper,” we can replace it with “value” and still be on the right track.
Quarterback is a position I would rather wait on due to the position scarcity at running back and wide receiver. If you also want to wait on your signal caller, there are always going to be some late round values. With just 12 of the 32 starting quarterbacks needed as starters in most leagues, that laves 24 starters to choose from.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Update August 27: Stafford has his ups and downs at camp, but appears to be on his way to bouncing back in 2020. He’s looked healthy and is building chemistry with his new weapons. Rookie wideout Quintez Cephus has begun to stand out as a player who could raise the potential of Detroit’s offense.
Update Aug 18: Stafford was placed on the reserve/Covid-19 list in earlier in the month, but was taken off it on August 4 after it was revealed that he was the victim of a false positive. He appears to be in good health ahead of the 2020 season.
Stafford was on track for a strong season when he was hurt last year. If he had kept up his pace for the whole season, he’d have thrown for 4,998 yards, 38 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a QB rating of 106. He’ll get Marvin Jones back and Kenny Golladay is poised for another strong season. The addition of De’Andre Swift should help as well, as he’ll likely be a big part of the passing game out of the gates.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Update August 27: Roethlisberger says his elbow is feeling good after throwing for three days in a row. That bodes well for his health in 2020,
Update Aug 18: Roethlisberger told reporters he expects to be on a pitch count earlier this month and he’s doing well. His velocity has looked great so far, according to the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. Roethlisberger is on track to bounce back in a big way after missing most of 2019 with an elbow injury.
Roethlisberger was a Top-3 fantasy quarterback in 2018 as he passed for 5,129 yards, 34 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. The two seasons before he was Top-10 in fantasy points per game. Despite losing Antonio Brown, the team has a nice young group of receivers and added Eric Ebron to Vance McDonald in the tight end room. He’s not a slam dunk, but he will get passing attempts and as the 16th quarterback off the board, he has plenty of value.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Tannehill is a tough quarterback to count on, as his amazing play last season seemed to come out of the blue. The thing is, he was amazing with the Titans. I f we look at his 10 starts, he was on pace for 4,157 yards passing, 35 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 181 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns and a 119.6 QB rating. Those numbers would have firmly put him as the No. 2 fantasy quarterback behind Lamar Jackson. Tannehill is going off the board at ADP 130 and is the 17th QB off the board. Nobody expects him to hit the kind of efficiency he did last season again, but if he can even come close, he’s a screaming value.
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts
Rivers is a wildcard this season, as he looked bad with the Chargers last year. But, he is now on a better team with a better offensive line and Frank Reich is a great play caller in the red zone. Rivers isn’t going to throw a ton, but the hope is that he’ll be efficient in Reich’s offense, especially around the goal line.
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
Update Aug 18: Right tackle Ju’Wan James opted out for the 2020 season in early August. Elijah Wilkinson is expected to fill in, and that move could hurt Denver’s offensive line significantly.
Lock still needs to prove himself, but he showed well enough to end last season to have some hope for him to take a big step this year. That step will be helped by a strong, young group of receivers. They already had a Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant and then added Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler in the draft and Melvin Gordon in free agency. He’s got the players to be a useful fantasy quarterback this year and is going off the board as the 23rd quarterback.