2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Sleepers

2016 Fantasy Football - 25 Sleepers (Sept. 2):

This is a list of my favorite 2016 fantasy football sleepers - underrated players who are going way later than they should. The Average Draft Position (ADP) is found on FantasyFootballCalculator.com. Last year's Fantasy Football Sleepers were hit or miss; three of my top six sleepers were Dion Lewis, Jordan Reed and Cam Newton. On the flip side, however, I was way wrong on Kendall Wright, Stevie Johnson and Breshad Perriman.

  1. Tajae Sharpe, WR, Titans. ADP: 11.09.
    It's crazy that a team's No. 1 receiver was undrafted per ADP two weeks. That is no longer the case, as Tajae Sharpe is coming off two huge preseason games. Sharpe is only a rookie, but he has amazed the coaching staff this offseason with his great route running. He's someone I want on all of my teams.

  2. Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs. ADP: 11.11.
    Jamaal Charles hasn't regained the full-time running back role despite his return, as Spencer Ware has been handling most of the first-string duties. The Chiefs aren't going to use Charles all that much early in the year in an effort to preserve him for the playoffs; he may not even be on the field in Week 1. Plus, Ware has been very impressive. I'm making sure I obtain Ware in the late rounds of all of my leagues.

  3. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Ravens. ADP: Undrafted.
    I'm moving Kenneth Dixon up this list in the wake of the Justin Forsett release. Dixon is banged up right now, but will return in Weeks 3-5. Dixon looked great in the preseason and could end up leading the Ravens in carries.

  4. DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders. ADP: 11.02.
    DeAndre Washington was just a fifth-round pick, but he could start as a rookie. The Raiders were displeased with Latavius Murray, and there aren't any other exciting running back options on the roster. Washington looked great in his preseason debut, so expect his ADP to keep rising.

  5. Robert Kelley, RB, Redskins. ADP: Undrafted.
    With Matt Jones out for the third preseason game, Robert Kelley started and was very impressive. Kelley, who has been talked up by the coaching staff and media throughout the entire preseason, tallied 51 yards on 12 carries. He did this without breaking free for a double-digit gain, so he was consistent in picking up positive yardage. Kelley looked strong as a runner, shedding numerous tackles. He also did very well on blitz pick-ups, which is absolutely huge, as it'll give the coaching staff more trust in him. I'm going to recommend Kelley as a late-round target in your fantasy drafts. Jones isn't all that great, and he doesn't have an extensive track record of starting. Kelley has upside, and he could potentially post RB2 numbers if he were ever to become the starter for whatever reason.

  6. Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers. ADP: 9.07.
    Devin Funchess has been the star of Panthers OTAs, and now multiple beat writers are predicting that he'll out-produce Kelvin Benjamin. He even saw more targets than Benjamin in the second preseason game. Funchess was a great flier in the late rounds, but his ADP has crept up to 9.07, which is unfortunate.

  7. Will Fuller, WR, Texans. ADP: 13.09.
    Will Fuller is being chosen too late for how impactful he's been for Houston's offense thus far. Though he did drop an 84-yard touchdown in the third preseason game, Fuller was targeted frequently and could have a solid season.

  8. Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos. ADP: 11.02.
    If C.J. Anderson gets off to another slow start, the Broncos may decide to give a bunch of touches to Devontae Booker. Some believed the Utah prospect was the second-best running back in the 2016 class. Take a chance with Booker late in your draft, and it could really pay off.

  9. Phillip Dorsett, WR, Colts. ADP: 13.05.
    Phillip Dorsett didn't do much as a rookie, but there perhaps was a sign of things to come when he saw nine targets go his way in the season finale. With Andrew Luck returning from injury, Dorsett could have a solid sophomore campaign, especially with Coby Fleener gone. I'll happily take him in the 13th round.

  10. Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals. ADP: 12.06.
    Tyler Boyd is another rookie receiver worth taking a chance on with one of the final few picks of your draft. Reports indicate that Boyd will be Cincinnati's No. 2 receiver, and someone needs to catch the ball besides A.J. Green. Tyler Eifert is hurt, so that could be Boyd, who would've gone in the first round of the NFL Draft if it weren't for some character concerns.

  11. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints. ADP: 10.07.
    Michael Thomas is worth taking a chance on in the 10th round, though I liked him more when his ADP was in Rounds 11 or 12. Thomas is going to be part of a high-octane aerial attack, and he'll likely have a large role because of Drew Brees' lacking weapons. Thomas reportedly has been the best player in Saints' training camp, which is saying a lot. He definitely did not disappoint in his preseason debut, but hasn't done much since.

  12. Isaiah Pead, RB, Dolphins. ADP: Undrafted.
    Isaiah Pead is someone absolutely no one is talking about right now, and based on his past performance, I don't blame anyone! However, Pead has out-performed Jay Ajayi in the preseason. Adam Gase said he's "very impressed" with Pead, who happens to be a good fit for his system. This is significant, as Arian Foster will be injured by the middle of October.

  13. Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots. ADP: 13.04.
    Julian Edelman sustained an injury to his twice-repaired foot on Aug. 9, a sign that he may not last throughout the entire year. If Edelman gets hurt, the Patriots likely will ask Chris Hogan to fill his role. Hogan could be a PPR monster if that's the case.

  14. Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles. ADP: 10.08.
    Zach Ertz has the potential to finish as a top-five fantasy tight end. He was on fire to finish last year, and now he'll be in a friendlier offensive system for him. He's an absolute steal in the 10th round, and he's one reason why you can wait on the position this year.

  15. Kamar Aiken, WR, Ravens. ADP: 10.11.
    Everyone chuckled when some guy named Kamar Aiken was Baltimore's No. 1 receiver by default in the wake of injuries. Aiken had the last laugh, finishing with 75 receptions for 944 yards and five touchdowns. He was a monster down the stretch, recording at least five catches in every game beginning in Week 8. With Steve Smith's status unknown and Breshad Perriman dealing with another injury, Aiken could have another strong season.

  16. Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers. ADP: 10.12.
    Jameis Winston threw for 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns as a rookie, and he also scored six times on the ground. Winston got off to a slow start, so he should be able to post much better numbers in 2016, especially if his top weapons actually stay healthy. He's a nice QB2 with upside.

  17. Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams. ADP: Undrafted.
    Currently undrafted per ADP, Tyler Higbee is a big, athletic talent who dropped in the draft because of character concerns. Higbee dominated the preseason opener, catching five balls for 49 yards. The Rams don't have much on offense, so Higbee could contribute right away.

  18. Jordan Howard, RB, Bears. ADP: Undrafted.
    Jordan Howard was very impressive in the preseason finale, gaining 107 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. He was terrific in every regard. He moved piles, dragged defenders, displayed balanced and showcased his athleticism and power. The Cleveland announcers were very impressed, citing that John Fox "may have found his new running back." Howard is worth a late-round flier if you're drafting this weekend.

  19. Zach Miller, TE, Bears. ADP: 13.09.
    Zach Miller passed an ineffective Martellus Bennett on the depth chart and emerged as a potent weapon for Jay Cutler. It's difficult to envision Miller not building on his impressive 2015 campaign. He logged 34 catches for 439 yards and five touchdowns despite not really playing until Week 9. I can't begin to understand why his ADP is in the 13th round.

  20. Tavon Austin, WR, Rams. ADP: 11.02.
    Excluding Todd Gurley, Tavon Austin was the Rams' only dynamic player on offense (unless you count rookie tight end Tyler Higbee). He came close to 1,000 total yards, as 434 of it came on rushing attempts. He also scored nine times. The Rams should probably use Austin even more, and it'll help his cause if Jared Goff pans out. We'll see if that happens, but Austin provides solid value in the 11th round.

  21. Dwayne Allen, TE, Colts. ADP: 12.04.
    Dwayne Allen caught eight touchdowns in 2014, but injuries to both him and Andrew Luck derailed his chances this past season. Allen is a risky player because of his injury history, but he'll have more targets with Coby Fleener gone. He's definitely a passable starting fantasy tight end, so getting one of those in the 12th round sounds like a great plan.

  22. Bilal Powell, RB, Jets. ADP: 10.02.
    All reports indicate that Matt Forte and Bilal Powell will split touches evenly. Yet, Powell's ADP (9.10) is much later than Matt Forte's (4.02). Powell is probably the better running back as well right now with Forte on a sharp decline.

  23. Stephen Anderson, TE, Texans. ADP: Undrafted.
    I don't like rookie tight ends - let alone undrafted ones - but I'm told the Houston coaches like Stephen Anderson and want to feature him. I wouldn't take him in any 12-team fantasy league, but I'll definitely be monitoring him in every game.


More 2016 Fantasy Football Articles:
Fantasy Football Rankings

2016 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 9/7 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - 8/30 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/7 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings - 8/30 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/7 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings - 8/30 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 9/7 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings - 8/30 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/15 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/15 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings - 5/13 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 5/13 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 5/27 (Chet)

2016 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 9/1 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Video - 8/31 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Real Draft - 8/29 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 8/25 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 2-QB - 8/25 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Video - 8/24 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 8/18 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Video - 8/13 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 8/11 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 8/4 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Video - 8/4 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 8/2 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 7/28 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft - 7/21 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football: MFL 10 Draft - 5/13 (Chet)

2016 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2016 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 9/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 PPR - 9/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 2-QB - 9/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 Touchdown League - 9/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Custom - 9/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football: Dynasty Rankings - 9/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings - 8/26 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Spreadsheets - 9/7 (Walt)

2016 Fantasy Football Articles:
2016 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Training Camp - 9/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator - 9/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 9/4 (Walt)
2016 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 9/2 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 9/2 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Preseason Quarterback Targets - 9/2 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Targets - 8/31 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Busts - 8/31 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Auction Advice - 8/24 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Round-by-Round Strategy Guide - 8/18 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Daily Fantasy Preseason Week 2 Streaming Options - 8/18 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Draft Queue: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends - 8/17 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Draft Queue: Quarterbacks and Running Backs - 8/16 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Training Camp Notes - 8/10 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers to Avoid - 8/6 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Running Backs to Avoid - 8/5 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football Notes - 7/26 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Late-Round Wide Receiver Targets - 7/21 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Late-Round Running Back Targets - 7/19 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football ADP Values - 7/14 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: C.J. Anderson Profile - 7/7 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Favorite MFL Players - 6/29 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: 2016 NFL Draft Fallout: Chip Kelly - 6/23 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Marvin Jones Profile - 6/22 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Devin Funchess Profile - 6/15 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football 2-QB Draft - 6/9 (Chet)
Fantasy Football Beginner's Guide - 6/7 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football: Running Back Drafting and ADP - 6/3 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Drafting and ADP - 6/1 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Eli Manning Profile - 5/25 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Jordan Matthews Profile - 5/24 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Rookie Dynasty Draft Wrap-up - 5/18 (Walt)
2016 Fantasy Football: 2016 NFL Draft Fallout - 5/11 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: MFL 10 Quarterback Values - 4/30 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: MFL 10 Wide Receiver Values - 4/28 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Tight End Strength of Schedule - 4/25 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Strength of Schedule - 4/21 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Running Back Strength of Schedule - 4/20 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Strength of Schedule - 4/19 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: MFL 10 - 2/19 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Philip Rivers - 2/16 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football: Quarterback ADP vs. Reality - 2/12 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Fallout: Marshawn Lynch Retires - 2/11 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Fallout: Calvin Johnson Retires - 2/9 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Forecast: Dynasty - 1/21 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Forecast: Tight Ends - 1/19 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Forecast: Wide Receivers - 1/14 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Forecast: Running Backs - 1/13 (Chet)
2016 Fantasy Football Forecast: Quarterbacks - 1/12 (Chet)

NFL Picks - Jan. 21

2022 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 19

NFL Power Rankings - Jan. 18

2023 NFL Mock Draft - Dec. 12

Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 8

Injured/injury risk
Potential bust
Potential sleeper
Rank higher in touchdown leagues
Rank lower in touchdown leagues
Rank higher in PPR (points per reception) leagues
Rank lower in PPR leagues


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