It’s now the time where we get to deal with the always fun drought before training camp begins. Fortunately, there’s never a bad time to talk about fantasy football, which is exactly what we’ll do here today. The NFC South is loaded with strong fantasy options, including players on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers like Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and even the new-look defense could be worth taking a look at.
Now, let’s look at the NFC South as a whole and breakdown five fantasy football sleepers for the upcoming season. First, we need to define what a “sleeper” actually is, and we’ll use the 12-team, PPR rankings from fantasyfootballcalculator.com. We’ll qualify a sleeper as anyone with an average draft position (ADP) of the 9th round or later.
Jameis Winston- ADP 13.12
Is Winston going to blow us away from a fantasy perspective in 2015? Maybe, maybe not. Rookie quarterbacks aren’t known for lighting the world on fire in their first year, but Winston seems like the type of guy who could be the exception to the rule. Drafting Winston in essentially the 14th round is more than worth it, as there’s virtually no risk involved with the pick. To explain exactly how low that ADP is, you can look at the fact that the two players below him on the list are both kickers in Dan Bailey and Justin Tucker. I’ll grab the upside of Winston any day of the week.
Devonta Freeman- ADP 9.07
With all due respect to Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman is still holding the torch as the No. 1 running back for the Atlanta Falcons currently. That may change, but I don’t see Freeman giving up the gig too easily. He grew a lot last season and I think he’s going to do anything in his power to not let this starting role get away from him. Coleman will get his fair share of touches, but I love Freeman’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield (30 receptions in 2014). Don’t sleep on Freeman in 2015, even though the hype is all about Coleman currently.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins- ADP 14.02
ASJ is going AFTER Winston currently, and if you’re going to wait for a tight end, why not wait until later and grab him? Well, I may not recommend that, but you can grab Seferian-Jenkins as a backup who has massive upside. I believe he could be in for a massive breakout season and the fact that Winston will likely be the man throwing him the ball is even better for him. Winston grew a strong connection with his college tight end Nick O’Leary and I think we may see him have a great connection with ASJ as well. His ADP is essentially crazy, especially with the potential he has, so taking a flyer on him could pay off huge.
Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Marques Colston- ADP 11.03
Listen, I get it. Colston is now 32 and isn’t getting any younger. On top of that, his receptions dropped off in a big way last season, but he still produced. He’s one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets and he’s on a team who just lost both Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills. Colston will be a go-to option in New Orleans and has topped 900 yards in every season except for one (when he only played 11 games in 2008). He’s also scored at least five touchdowns in each season of his career, while playing 14+ games in every year except for the one. Colston isn’t the most popular name out there for fantasy players, but you shouldn’t ignore him in the 11th round.
Justin Hardy- ADP Undrafted
Every fantasy football sleeper list needs to have a long shot. If you don’t have a long shot, then you’re just not doing it right. My long shot is a rookie receiver from those pesky Atlanta Falcons. Justin Hardy from East Carolina has massive upside, and if he’s able to win the No. 3 receiver job in Atlanta, I think he could immediately become a favorite target of Matt Ryan. Hardy’s a guy with almost no risk involved and the potential for intriguing upside. If you draft him, just wait until the last round and add him to your roster, or at least get him on waivers before the season begins. Hey, if it doesn’t pan out, what’s the worst that happens?
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