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Since the Fantasy Football season is officially back it is time to break out those notepads and research for your “sleeper picks” that you think will stack your lineup. For those of you who don’t know, a sleeper pick is basically a player whose value is a lot higher than their projected ranking. Most people define a sleeper pick as a bench player in your league that ends up taking the league by storm and becoming a big contributor to your team. There are usually a couple of big ones every year, and the people who have them normally do very well in their leagues.
This is my quick list of people I think will have a great year and you won’t have to reach for them. I’ll give you a QB, a RB, and a WR.
#1. Derek Carr – QB Oakland Raiders
We live in an NFL world with a ton of great QB’s. Honestly drafting a QB early seems like the biggest waste of a pick to me and a lot of experts out there. There are probably 20 solid QB’s this year and only 12 teams in your league most likely. Derek Carr is listed as the 23rd best Fantasy QB option and that is absurd to me. He completed 69% of his passes last year and only threw 10 interceptions all year, on an atrocious team. Now they have added Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson, and rookie RB Josh Jacobs. Derek Carr has always been an accurate QB and before his injury was having an MVP caliber season not too long ago. I would wait till the end of the draft and pick up Derek Carr who I think will be back to his old ways since they have a ton more offensive firepower to work with. He could have a breakout year and he will certainly not be drafted until the 10-25 QB range.
#2. Justin Jackson – RB Los Angeles Chargers
With the news of Melvin Gordon possibly holding out. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will see a huge boost in playing time. Ekeler is seen to be the primary back if Melvin Gordon is out, but I think Justin Jackson will eventually beat him out for the spot. Ekeler is better for PPR as he is a pass catching back, but Justin Jackson seems like an every down back to me. Ekeler also has injury history, so if Jackson sees Gordon hold out and Ekeler get hurt again; he should be a RB1 no question. Jackson is ranked in the 120-130 range and he would be a very very solid option if Gordon holds out.
#3. Marquez Valdes-Scantling – WR Green Bay Packers
He has Aaron Rodgers #2 WR spot almost locked in and that should be enough to find value in the 46th ranked Wide Receiver in Fantasy. With Matt LaFleur calling plays he is used to spreading the ball around and if Valdes-Scantling can take advantage of his targets he should be a very solid performer and could possibly be a terrific addition to your team. If Davante Adams gets doubled or has to deal with the best corner every week, Valdes-Scantling should play better than expected. He is a great option if he falls into the deep rounds of your league.