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Early Fantasy Football Best-Ball Sleepers for 2020

When you start getting to the later rounds of your Best-Ball drafts in fantasy football, there are a few types of players you should look for. There is more than one way to get bonus output from your final picks.

You should look to hit a few home runs from deep in the draft. Upside performers are fun to tab and could make a real difference in finishing at the top of the standings. You should also strongly consider handcuffs in case of injuries, and other players who could step forward when working behind injury risks on NFL depth charts. Perceived positional battles or timeshares could produce some gems as well.

We have identified some early bold dart throws, possible surprises and potential opportunity-based performers to target in the later portions of your Best Ball drafts that you plan to enter in the near future.

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Running Backs

Qadree Ollison, ATL: There is no way you can rely on Todd Gurley to stay healthy. A battering ram who can potentially produce with more touches, Ollison scored four times on just 22 attempts as a rookie. He is off the fantasy map with an early ADP of 333.

Phillip Lindsay, DEN: His ADP is going to fall from 69 as more owners realize that Melvin Gordon was brought in to be a pure lead back. But Gordon has only played a full season once in his career.

Darwin Thompson, KC: This should be one of your prime sleeper targets. Thompson was a preseason darling last year but now could be set for a much more significant role in his second season. Damien Williams is a big-game hero but has never been able to make it through a full regular season as a reliable starter yet. There is real upside at a highly alluring ADP of 203.

Justin Jackson, LAC: From Weeks 12 through 15 in his rookie year, Jackson carried at least seven times a game and totaled 57 or more yards in three games with two TDs. In Week 16 he had a seven reception outing. Austin Ekeler could end up in a timeshare with Jackson, or at least the latter can serve as a handcuff. He is worth the late flier at an ADP of 178.

Malcolm Brown, LAR: With the departure of Gurley, it is naturally expected that second-year man Darrell Henderson Jr. will get the opportunity to take over as the lead RB. But he must prove he can be more than a part-timer. Brown is highly regarded internally by the Rams and could be more steady if Henderson falters. He is worth the late shot for some possible quality touches (ADP of 263).

Alexander Mattison, MIN: He is one of the best backup RBs in the league, and he averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his rookie year. You cannot rely on Dalvin Cook to play a full schedule and Mattison is a must-have at an ADP of 124.

Boston Scott, PHI: In the final four weeks of the regular season, Scott caught six or more passes in every game and finished off the schedule with a three-TD outing. Doug Pederson does not prefer to stick with one RB, so Scott is definitely worth the flier at an ADP of 158. He came on late last season after being an afterthought for much of the year and now should be a more frequent part of the Philly offensive picture in 2020.

2019 Boston Scott Game Log via NFL.com

Dare Ogunbowale, TB: He played only 31 percent of the snaps last season, yet still caught 35 passes. Tom Brady could convert him into his newer version of James White. He is going undrafted at an ADP of 337.

 

Wide Receivers

Andy Isabella, ARI: This is a super deep, gutsy pick. But Isabella could emerge as a big-play threat for Kyler Murray this season. He flashed potential with receptions of 88 and 55 yards last season. He should be easily available with an ADP of 286.


John Ross III, CIN: A.J. Green is totally unreliable to stay on the field, and Joe Burrow may instantly boost the outlook of Ross, anyhow as his deep threat. Even if Andy Dalton remains the starter of the Bengals, let’s not forget that Ross opened the season with a pair of 100-yard games and three TDs last year. There is definite upside at an ADP of 198.

Parris Campbell, IND: He is a very intriguing second-year breakout candidate. A Philip Rivers rebound can only help Campbell’s outlook. He is an incredibly enticing and exciting pick at an ADP of 241. Campbell has the ability to score from anywhere on the field.

Mecole Hardman, KC: Sammy Watkins could be gone, which could open the door for Hardman to truly operate a “Legion of Zoom” attack with Tyreek Hill. Hardman averaged 20.7 YPC as a rookie. He has upside and possible opportunity at an ADP of 113.

N’Keal Harry, NE: Injuries damaged his progress as a rookie, but now Harry should get the opportunity to step forward and show why Bill Belichick made an exception in his case to draft a WR in the first round. Harry is a big target with YAC promise and Julian Edelman may start to really show signs of more wear this year. Harry can be a really good late producer at an ADP of 223 as he shoots up to the top of the depth chart in New England this year.

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, PHI: You will notice a lot of second-year wideouts on this list. We still have not seen the incredibly impressive and deep rookie class of 2019 fully blossom yet, and here is another candidate to take a step forward. DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are very shaky at the top of the Eagles depth chart. Arcega-Whiteside did not take advantage of their absences last season but should get the chance to again and will be pressured to respond. He is going undrafted at an ADP of 331.

James Washington, PIT: A return to health by Ben Roethlisberger would boost the Steelers’ deep passing game again, and Washington could be a prime beneficiary. He averaged 16.7 YPC in his second season. He is well worth a very late target at an ADP of 186.

 

Tight Ends

Hayden Hurst, ATL: The third-year TE played a key role in the Falcons offense last year, especially when they played from behind. Hurst goes from being buried on the depth chart from the most run-heavy team of 2019 to the least rush-oriented of last season. There is breakout promise here at an ADP of 208.

2019 run/pass ratio board via fftoday.com

Blake Jarwin, DAL: This time, Jason Witten is really gone and he is not coming back. Jarwin has a lot of promise and now opportunity at an ADP of 164. Dak Prescott could start looking for him frequently on key passing downs and near the goal line.

Eric Ebron, PIT: If Ben Roethlisberger plays close to a full schedule, he could recharge Ebron, especially as a TD producer. There is true scoring potential at an ADP of 170.

Mike Gesicki, MIA: The talents and abilities are there, and he may be on the verge of becoming a real contributor in his third year. Gesicki caught four or more passes in four of his final five games last year. This could be the season of emergence, so take the shot at an ADP of 117.

Irv Smith, MIN: He could be asked to become a bigger part of the passing game if the Vikings don’t make another significant move at WR. Smith could be a nifty pick at an ADP of 172.

 

Quarterbacks

Teddy Bridgewater, CAR: This will not be a popular pick even as a sleeper, but Bridgewater showed he can win last season and now he will have a very deep receiving crew, maybe the best of his career so far. Christian McCaffrey will also help his numbers with a heck of a lot of catch-and-run plays. He could be a surprising contributor at an ADP of 183.

Drew Lock, DEN: Lock has some Brett Favre in him. The second-year QB is a confident gunslinger-type. Lock had five TD passes in Weeks 12 and 13 last year and can improve as the starter from the beginning this season. Go in on Lock for QB depth at the ADP of 114.

Jarrett Stidham, NE: Think about it this way: Why would Bill Belichick let Tom Brady walk and not make another notable move to replace him? The Patriots have no cap room to add another veteran, it seems. Unless they take a QB in the first round, Belichick may have a lot of confidence in Stidham to start. He is going undrafted at an ADP of 322; file this one away for post-NFL Draft Best-Ball leagues if New England does not take a QB early. What Belichick knows is more than we all do.

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