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Early Fantasy Football Sleepers for 2024

Zach Charbonnet - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS and Betting Picks

One of the best parts of playing fantasy football is finding potential sleepers in the draft. Whenever you hear a league mate exclaim “Who?” after your pick, you know instantly you’ve done something right. That is the kind of edge you want over the rest of your league.

There are sleepers in the draft every year. If you can identify a few, it can propel you to a fantasy football title.

Make sure you keep up to date with all your fantasy football needs by following RotoBaller on X and checking out RotoBaller.com. Here are several early sleepers to target in your 2024 fantasy football draft.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy football rankings for 2024 fantasy football drafts:


Jayden Daniels

Drafted second overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, Daniels will provide fantasy gamers with immediate upside thanks to his rushing abilities.

Quarterbacks with rushing chops have long been fantasy football cheat codes. If you miss out on the top options in your draft, Daniels is a good safety net. He has a solid floor and could be a huge steal in drafts if he hits the ground running.

Deshaun Watson

While he struggled with injuries and overall lousy play, Watson still found a way to be productive in fantasy football last year.

There are still many concerns surrounding Watson. He’s only started 12 games in the last four seasons. However, these concerns are baked into this average draft position (ADP). He’s coming off draft boards as the QB23 in National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) leagues. If he stays on the field, Watson can smash this ADP and be a massive value. He’s a good option for managers who prefer to wait on quarterbacks.

Running Backs

Zach Charbonnet

Charbonnet is armed with a smashmouth running style that can be difficult for defenders to handle.

He finished higher than running mate Kenneth Walker in Next Gen Stats Rush Yards Over Expectation (RYOE) and Rush Yards Over Expectation Per Attempt (RYOE/ATT). He’s arguably the better back.

A new coaching staff arrives in Seattle this year. They have no loyalty to any of the current players. It’s unclear who this new staff will favor. Charbonnet can provide standalone value if he forces more touches and could eventually emerge as the favored back if he outplays Walker during the season.

Rico Dowdle

To the surprise of many, the Dallas Cowboys did not add a running back during April’s draft. It was an unexpected move after the team let Tony Pollard walk in free agency. This leaves Dowdle in a position to potentially capitalize.

Dallas did bring back former starter Ezekiel Elliott, but he is clearly nearing the end of his career. Elliott’s yards per carry (YPC) have declined each of the last three seasons, culminating with a career-low 3.5 YPC last year. He also finished just 41st in RYOE. Dowdle only carried the ball 89 times last season but showed potential whenever he did receive the ball. He should command a healthy amount of touches. Given Elliott’s age and declining play, we are likely looking at a timeshare in Dallas. Dowdle should be the more effective player. If he plays well enough, he might be able to take over lead-back duties in this offense.

Wide Receivers

Dontayvion Wicks

Wicks flashed potential in his debut season with the Packers. He certainly looked the part as his route-running acumen turned heads throughout the year.

In limited action, Wicks posted some impressive advanced metrics. He checked in with a 23% targets per route run (TPRR) along with a 2.31 yards per route run (YPRR), per Fantasy Points Data Suite. This comes in a small sample, but it’s the kind of data you love seeing from a rookie. Green Bay’s receiving room is crowded, yet it’s unclear who will eventually emerge as the top option.

With an NFFC ADP of 161.03, Wicks is a good flier pick at the end of drafts. He should only improve going forward and can become a go-to option in this offense. With a little luck, he can become Jordan Love’s top target.

Ja'Lynn Polk

New England had been looking to make a significant investment in the wide receiver position all offseason. After losing out on Calvin Ridley in free agency, they turned around and spent the 37th overall pick on Polk in last month’s draft. He enjoyed a nice senior year at the University of Washington. Polk totaled over 1,100 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns in the air. His underlying data was also strong as he touted a solid 2.42 YPRR in 2023, per Pro Football Focus (PFF). He's likely to have a large role right away.

This is a team in desperate need of pass-catchers. There’s a clear opening for someone to emerge as the Patriots’ WR1. Polk has talent and draft capital in his corner. He can be a solid WR3 or flex option in PPR leagues.

Tight Ends

Pat Freiermuth

After a TE8 finish in 2022, he struggled with injuries and inconsistent play last year. A TE30 finish was the ultimate result. With Diontae Johnson no longer in the picture, there is room for Freiermuth to reenter the fantasy scene.

After George Pickens, Freiermuth is the next-best pass catcher in Pittsburgh’s offense. The team did select Roman Wilson in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. However, he is a very raw prospect and is unlikely to make an immediate impact in Year 1.

When it comes to tight ends, we typically want to aim for players who are one of the top two options in the passing game. Freiermuth checks this box. If you miss out on tight end early, the fourth-year veteran is a good bounce-back candidate to target later in drafts.

Greg Dulcich

Coach Sean Payton has talked multiple times about Dulcich filling the “joker” role in Denver’s offense. We have previously seen Jimmy Graham experience a high level of success in this role. While he’s not Graham, Dulcich can flourish in Payton’s offense.

The Broncos shipped Jerry Jeudy off to Cleveland. The only major addition they made to the receiving room was selecting Troy Franklin in Round 4 of the draft. He projects more as a speed-based flanker, so it’s uncertain how large of a role he’ll have in the offense.

There are targets up for grabs here. It’s unclear who will be rookie Bo Nix’s No. 1 option. The third-year tight end could eventually emerge as a safety blanket for the rookie signal-caller. Dulcich just needs to stay healthy, and he could be a surprise breakout at the tight end position.

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