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Late-Round Sleepers and Undervalued Picks for 2024 Fantasy Football

In every fantasy draft, managers focus heavily on their early-round picks. After all, these are the players who are going to lead your fantasy team. However, the late-round picks are just as important, especially if those "sleepers" turn out to be consistent fantasy options.

Just look at the 2023 fantasy season, as several sleepers helped fantasy managers win a championship. Those players included Brock PurdyJordan LoveRaheem MostertKyren WilliamsPuka Nacua, and Sam LaPorta. All six of those players were going outside the top 100 in drafts, yet they all finished top six at their position in fantasy.

With another fantasy season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to look at potential sleepers fantasy managers can select in the later rounds. These players below are all going outside the top 100 in drafts currently but have the upside to outperform their ADP. So, let's dive in and look at eight sleepers -- two at each position -- heading into draft season.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

After having an ADP around QB10 last year, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has fallen drastically in 2024 drafts following an injury-riddled 2023 campaign. Watson currently has an ADP of 173.9 on Sleeper and is usually the QB21 off the board in drafts. That seems way too low for a quarterback who can easily finish top 10 at the position in 2024.

Of course, Watson did not look great last year and played in just six games due to a shoulder injury -- hence why his ADP is this low. But the fantasy results weren't as bad as some fantasy managers might remember. The 28-year-old scored over 17 fantasy points in four of the five full games he played while averaging 18.3 fantasy points in those five contests. Three of those weeks also saw the former Pro Bowler finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback (Week 1, Week 3, and Week 9).

With Watson now fully past his injury, look for him to be a consistent fantasy option throughout the season, especially given his rushing upside. The Browns signal-caller rushed for at least 20 yards in four of the five full games he started and finished last year. Cleveland also upgraded its wide receiver room by trading for Jerry Jeudy this offseason. If he manages to stay healthy, the 28-year-old can finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. 

Kirk Cousins, Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins is another signal-caller who fantasy managers should target in the later rounds. Even though he is coming off a torn Achilles, will play for a new team, and enter his age-36 season, he is a sleeper option at his current ADP of 133.9 on Sleeper.

There are a couple of things working against Cousins in 2024, but it's hard to ignore what the veteran has done in fantasy over the years. He has finished as a top-12 quarterback in six of the past nine seasons while averaging 4,049 pass yards, 28 touchdowns, and 530 pass attempts per year. That passing volume has made the soon-to-be 36-year-old a consistent fantasy option in all formats. That shouldn't change by any means, especially with elite playmakers like Drake LondonKyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson around him in the passing game.

That's why Cousins could be a nice target for those fantasy managers who want to wait for a quarterback in the later rounds. Even on a new offense, he should continue to throw almost 40 times per game. Don't forget, the veteran just averaged 19.3 fantasy points in eight games before his injury last year. Look for the new Falcons quarterback to be a borderline QB1 again in 2024.

 

Fantasy Football Running Back Sleepers

Zack Moss, Cincinnati Bengals

The fantasy community doesn't appear to be in on Cincinnati Bengals running back Zack Moss. He is currently going as the RB31 with an ADP of 101.1 in drafts. However, for a running back who is expected to lead the Bengals backfield in 2024, his ADP makes very little sense. He is going later than running backs like Jaylen WarrenJonathon BrooksAustin EkelerJavonte Williams, and Raheem Mostert -- all of whom could start the season as backups on their respective teams.

So, essentially, fantasy managers can get a starting running back on a top offense outside the top 100. That makes Moss one of the biggest sleepers in drafts this season. The 26-year-old also showed a lot of great things in the Colts' running game last season, further solidifying his potential role as Cincinnati's RB1.

Moss started four games for the Colts in 2023 after Jonathan Taylor started the year hurt. In those contests, the young back averaged 21.4 PPR fantasy points per game with three top-10 fantasy finishes. On top of that, he rushed for over 70 yards in each of those games while scoring four total touchdowns. Now, he enters a Bengals offense that should rank among one of the best in 2024.

Moss surely has the leg up over Chase Brown out of the team's backfield this season, and that should help him produce solid fantasy numbers. The former Colts running back has the potential to be a reliable fantasy RB2, making him a sleeper at his current RB31 ADP.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

If fantasy managers are looking for a big-time sleeper, look no further than Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. After spending the 2023 season with the New England Patriots, the Cowboys signed Elliott to a one-year deal this offseason. Now, the veteran will play for Dallas again, where he started his career.

Of course, managers should not expect the same fantasy output that Elliott had early in his career when he finished as a top-13 fantasy running back every year from 2016 to 2021. Rather, we should expect him to finish somewhere between his 2022 finish (RB22) and 2023 finish (RB30). That still should make the 28-year-old a steal at his current ADP of 122.6.

A large reason why Elliott is going so late in drafts is because the team will likely go with a running-back-by-committee approach in 2024. While that isn't the best news for the veteran's potential, he still has plenty of upside in Dallas' offense, given his touchdown upside. He should be the Cowboys' goal-line back, and that should lead to some great fantasy days. A double-digit touchdown season could be in store for the eight-year vet.

 

Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Sleepers

Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints 

The New Orleans Saints entered the 2024 offseason with a clear need at the wide receiver position. But, the Saints decided to stick with what they had, which could explain their confidence in young wideout Rashid Shaheed. Shaheed -- coming off a career year after catching 46 passes for 719 yards and five touchdowns in 2023 -- will enter the year as New Orleans' WR2 on offense.

All eyes will surely be on Chris Olave in the passing game for opposing defenses. However, Shaheed has a chance to break out in a big way in Year 3 because of Olave's presence. The 25-year-old showed a lot of great things in 2023 and even became a flex option later in the season. While he was very hit-or-miss in fantasy, expect more consistency from him this year with a new offensive coordinator in Klint Kubiak.

Curtis Samuel, Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills went through a lot of changes on offense this season, which included trading away Stefon Diggs and letting Gabe Davis walk in free agency. So, someone will need to step up in their place in 2024.

Will it be a rookie wide receiver who could be a project in Keon Coleman? Will it be the Bills' fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft in Khalil Shakir, or will it be Curtis Samuel, who the team signed this offseason to a three-year deal and is reuniting with his former offensive coordinator in Joe Brady? Chances are that Samuel will be that player who steps up for the Bills in 2024, making him a steal at his current ADP of 115.2.

Things won't change a lot for Buffalo's offense this year, even with the team's lack of wide receivers. Josh Allen will still throw for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. So, why not take a chance on Samuel in fantasy? If anyone knows how to use the explosive playmaker, it's Brady.

Back with the Carolina Panthers in 2020, the 27-year-old not only finished as the WR25 in PPR formats but also caught 77 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. On top of that, he rushed 41 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns during that season. Given Samuel's potential in this Bills offense, he is a sleeper in fantasy drafts this summer.

 

Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers

It usually takes tight ends some time to break out in the NFL. However, fans saw glimpses of Green Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave's potential in his rookie season. Through the first 11 weeks, Musgrave totaled 33 catches for 341 yards and one touchdown before suffering a lacerated kidney that caused him to miss six weeks.

The wild part is that before Musgrave's injury, Jordan Love wasn't even playing his best ball. With the second-year tight end now fully healthy and the quarterback trending up entering the 2024 season, there is a real chance that the 23-year-old will break out this year.

Musgrave was a surprise option for Love early in the year, and he should only be more involved in Year 2. That's why he could be a potential sleeper later in drafts, especially considering his ADP currently sits at 134 on Sleeper. Take a chance on the Packers tight end because he has the upside to finish top 12 at the position.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth is another playmaker to target in the later rounds. He is going a couple of spots before Musgrave at pick 126.7, but he might be the safer option in drafts.

Despite coming off a down year -- where he caught just 32 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns -- Freiermuth should be in store for a much better season. For starters, he got a quarterback upgrade in Russell Wilson. He also could emerge as Wilson's second option in the passing game after the Steelers traded away Diontae Johnson this offseason and didn't replace him in the draft.

That's why Freiermuth is a sneaky option in the 10th or 11th round. He already has a top-10 fantasy finish in his short career (TE8 PPR finish in 2022), and he surely has the talent to do so again. The situation around him also improved this offseason. So, he could be a consistent fantasy option in 2024.



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