Fantasy Football Sleepers 2024

 

Is There a Better Feeling Than Nailing a Fantasy Football Sleeper?

You get a few puzzled looks from your leaguemates when you draft him.

By November, that same guy is dumping fantasy points on your opponents.

There are lots of ways to define a fantasy football sleeper. We’re going with any player typically available in the double-digit rounds of drafts.

But the key point is -- these guys are set to return big value for your fantasy team as late-round picks.

Without further ado, here are our seven favorite 2024 fantasy football sleepers.

    

QB Sleepers

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

Encouraging Rookie Season

Levis made eight starts last year from weeks 8 to 15, ranking a solid 15th among QBs in fantasy points during that stretch.

He did it despite …

Levis’ environment looks much more fantasy-friendly heading into 2024.

More Pass Volume Coming in 2024

The Titans canned HC Mike Vrabel this offseason and replaced him with Brian Callahan. The former Bengals OC has been a pass-leaning play caller, with four of his five Cincinnati offenses ranking top-12 in pass rate, including a trio of top-6 finishes.

Callahan might not lean that far toward the pass in Tennessee. (Levis is not Joe Burrow.) But his arrival will bring a big shift after the Titans ranked no higher than 25th in pass attempts in six seasons under Vrabel.

Better Weapons Arrive in Free Agency

That planned shift became more clear with Tennessee’s moves in free agency. 

The team started by adding RB Tony Pollard, who has the 12th-most receptions among RBs over the past three seasons. He joins RB Tyjae Spears, who caught 52 balls as a rookie last year, to give the Titans one of the best pass-catching backfields in the NFL.

Then Tennessee made a much-needed upgrade at WR by signing Calvin Ridley to a four-year, $92 million deal. Ridley returned from a nearly two-year absence last season to tally 1,016 yards and 8 TDs. He ranked a respectable 43rd in Pro Football Focus receiving grade and 48th in yards per route among 84 qualifying WRs.

DeAndre Hopkins (17th and 18th) easily beat Ridley in both metrics and might remain Tennessee’s top WR this season. But the fact that Ridley might be the team’s 2nd-best receiver is excellent news for Levis.

Any value WR Treylon Burks and TE Chig Okonkwo provide is just a bonus.

Untapped Rushing Upside?

Levis averaged just 7 rushing yards per game last year. But there’s potential for him to score more fantasy points with his legs this season.

Levis ran for 1,174 yards and 17 TDs across four college seasons, including a 516-yard, 9-TD 2021. He didn’t run the 40-yard dash in the pre-draft process but registered a 34-inch vertical (79th-percentile among QBs) and a 124-inch broad jump (95th). Levis is a plus athlete.

If nothing else, the 229-pounder should be an option near the goal line, especially with RB Derrick Henry gone.

 

Bottom Line

Levis flashed fantasy upside as a rookie last year. This offseason brought a new pass-leaning HC in Brian Callahan and a big WR upgrade in Calvin Ridley. Levis has top-12 potential in 2024.

  

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3D Projections help you pinpoint the players with the most fantasy upside.

 


       

RB Sleepers

Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints

Rookie Season Wiped Out by Injuries

Miller’s 2023 rookie season was marred by injury.

A sprained MCL suffered in his final college game kept him sidelined for much of last offseason. Miller reinjured that knee in the preseason opener and then hurt his hamstring late in August.

He missed the first two games of the season, played in the next seven, and then missed the next seven with an ankle injury.

Miller wound up with just 41 carries and 11 targets across eight outings.

Strong Finish to Debut Season

He saved his best for last, though.

With Alvin Kamara sidelined for the season finale, Miller split work with Jamaal Williams, taking 13 carries for 73 yards (5.6 YPC) and a score against a Falcons team that finished 11th in run defense DVOA.

Impressive College Career

Consider it a reminder of this guy’s talent.

Kendre Miller's college production adds to his fantasy football sleeper appeal.

Miller averaged 7.4 yards per carry across his first two seasons at TCU and then had a huge 2022 junior campaign. He ranked top 15 in the nation in rushing yards (1,399) and TDs (17). Miller ripped off 6.2 yards per carry and ranked 27th among 168 qualifying RBs in PFF rushing grade.

Declining Competition Creates Opportunity

Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams remain under contract with the Saints for 2024 – which might be good news for Miller.

Kamara will turn 29 in July. And, although he has remained effective as a pass-catcher, he’s clearly declining as a runner. Kamara averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last year, finishing with career lows in both missed tackles forced per attempt and yards after contact per attempt.

Williams was simply one of the worst runners in the NFL last year. Among 49 RBs with 90+ carries, he ranked:

This backfield is ripe with opportunity for the explosive, fresh-legged Miller. His ceiling projection is 230 PPR points, which would have landed him inside the top-12 RBs last season.

TIP

See ceiling and floor projections for every player on the 2024 fantasy football rankings.

  

Bottom Line

Injuries limited Miller as a rookie last year. But he was a promising prospect coming into the league and could carve out a big 2024 role in a backfield with declining veterans Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams.

 


  

Zack Moss, Cincinnati Bengals

Fantasy Points To Be Had in Bengals Backfield

Cincinnati has been a good spot for RB fantasy production with a healthy Joe Burrow. In Burrow’s two 16-game seasons (2021 and 2022), Bengals RBs combined to rank 14th and sixth in total PPR points.

Joe Mixon, of course, accounted for most of those points. He finished fourth among RBs in PPR points in 2021, 11th in 2022, and sixth even last year, despite Burrow missing seven games.

Mixon did that in spite of middling play. Here’s how he ranked in a couple of key advanced metrics: 

Pro Football focus rush grade rush yards over expected per attempt
2021 12th 27th
2022 22nd 24th
2023 32nd 27th

*Among RBs with 90+ carries

Is Zack Moss an Upgrade Over Joe Mixon?

Moss trailed Mixon in PFF rush grade in each of the past three years. But he beat Mixon in rush yards over expected per attempt in both of the last two. In fact, Moss ranked fifth among 51 qualifying RBs in RYOE/attempt last year.

That was part of a career-best season for Moss, who was especially impressive as the Colts’ lead back. In six games with a snap rate north of 50%, he averaged:

His 16.4 PPR points per game in those six outings would have ranked seventh among RBs on the season.

Don’t expect that type of volume for Moss this season – or even as much work as Mixon got the past few years. But if Moss can beat or even just match Mixon in per-touch production, he shouldn’t have trouble paying off his RB34 ADP.

What About Chase Brown?

Brown flashed his big-play ability a few times as a rookie last year. There were runs of 27 and 31 yards, plus a 54-yard receiving score.

Brown finished with just 4.1 yards per carry, though, and a 34.1% rushing success rate that ranked dead last among 77 qualifying RBs.

He’s a boom-or-bust runner at this point of his career and seems best suited for a secondary role.

This Bengals backfield is a fluid situation, so Brown is fine to take some shots on in fantasy drafts. But Moss looks like the better bet for touches and fantasy points.

Bengals Like Moss’ Fit in Offense

HC Zac Taylor highlighted Moss’ fit in his team’s shotgun, gap-run scheme shortly after signing him.

“I love his patience,” Taylor said. “I love his eye discipline.”

There’s upside for Moss to handle 15+ touches per game – plus goal-line work – in a high-scoring Bengals offense.

 

Bottom Line

Moss is a good bet to lead hit backfield in carries and goal-line work in a high-scoring Bengals offense. That gives him top-25 fantasy upside.

  


    

WR Sleepers

Dontayvion Wicks, Green Bay Packers

A Sneaky-Strong Rookie Season

Wicks didn’t see enough consistent playing time to be a real fantasy factor as a rookie last year.

But his underlying metrics show a guy we want to invest in heading into Year 2.

Wicks drew a target on 20% of his pass routes and averaged 1.94 yards per route. Those marks ranked 43rd and 22nd, respectively, among 78 qualifying WRs.

More importantly, Wicks beat teammates Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs in both targets and yards per route.

Should You Worry About the Target Competition?

Jayden Reed led all three guys in both of those categories as part of a strong rookie season. He’s likely locked into a big 2024 role. Watson’s big-play ability and second-round draft capital make him a good bet for heavy snaps.

But there’s an opportunity for Wicks to snatch the No. 3 WR job from Doubs, who has been just OK through two NFL seasons.

An Ascending Packers Passing Game

This is a passing game that we want pieces of in 2024.

Last year’s Packers ranked 12th in passing yards and third in TDs. 

QB Jordan Love was especially excellent over the second half of the season, ranking top three league-wide in completion rate, passing yards, passing TDs, and PFF passing grade.

Still just 25 and entering his second season as Green Bay’s starter, Love could certainly take another step forward in 2024.

 

Bottom Line

Wicks turned in a promising rookie campaign, impressing in advanced metrics like targets and yards per route. We like his chances of earning a top-three WR role in an ascending Packers passing game.

  


 

Curtis Samuel, Buffalo Bills

Reunited With Joe Brady

Samuel’s best fantasy season came in 2020. He racked up 851 receiving yards, 200 rushing yards, and 5 total TDs, finishing 23rd among WRs in PPR points.

That season came in Carolina under OC Joe Brady, who is again Samuel’s OC after the Bills inked Samuel to a three-year, $24 million deal in free agency.

That’s no coincidence.

“He had his best year with Joe Brady,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said from the owners' meetings in March. “We see him as a guy that isn’t a traditional WR.”

Rushing Ability Adds Fantasy Value

Samuel was recruited to Ohio State as a RB and was a big contributor in the run and pass games for the Buckeyes. He totaled 1,286 yards and 15 TDs on the ground and 1,249 yards and nine TDs as a receiver across three seasons.

Samuel has primarily played WR as a pro, but he’s continued to be an effective runner. He’s totaled 715 rushing yards and seven TDs on 5.9 yards per carry across seven seasons.

His busiest and most productive rushing campaign came with Brady in 2020:

We’re not projecting that much rushing work for Samuel this season, but it’s certainly within his range of outcomes.

Chance For Career-Best Receiving Numbers

It’s, of course, the pass-catching upside that makes Samuel an interesting 2024 fantasy football sleeper.

He’s coming off back-to-back 60+ catch seasons in Washington. And he tallied career highs with 77 catches and 851 yards with Brady in 2020.

Now Samuel finds himself in easily the strongest passing game of his career. The Bills have ranked top nine in passing yards and TDs in four straight seasons.

Stefon Diggs' Departure Creates Opportunity

April's surprising trade of WR Stefon Diggs to Houston leaves behind an average of 9.8 targets per game over the past few seasons. The Bills used the 33rd overall pick of this year's draft on WR Keon Coleman, but there's clearly room for Samuel to garner strong volume as the primary slot receiver.

Buffalo didn’t have a traditional, full-time slot receiver the past two years. But Cole Beasley was in that role from 2019 to 2021. He topped 100 targets in all three of those seasons, finishing 34th, 27th, and 40th among WRs in PPR points. Those final two seasons came with Diggs.

Samuel is capable of scoring even more fantasy points in 2024 when you factor in the receiving and rushing potential.

 

Bottom Line

Samuel finds himself in the best passing game of his career with plenty of targets up for grabs after Stefon Diggs' departure. As a bonus: He's reunited with OC Joe Brady, who helped Samuel to a career-best WR23 PPR finish in Carolina back in 2020.

           


  

TE Sleepers

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Cheap Bet on Rebound Potential

Freiermuth is coming off a disappointing 2023 season. He missed five games and ranked just 32nd among TEs in PPR points per game.

But three offseason developments have Freiermuth looking like a post-hype 2024 fantasy football sleeper.

Arthur Smith Loves TEs

Smith has been the punchline of plenty of jokes over the past few years. But the Steelers’ new OC has a long history of getting his TEs heavily involved in the passing game.

League-wide average TE target share tends to hover around 18-19%. Here are the TE target shares for Smith’s offenses:

SEASON TEAM TE TARGET SHARE
2019 TEN 23.9%
2020 TEN 28.5%
2021 ATL 26.5%
2022 ATL 25.1%
2023 ATL 32.5%

Smith has tended to divvy those targets among multiple TEs. But he also led Jonnu Smith to a TE13 finish in PPR points per game in 2020, Kyle Pitts to a TE6 finish in 2021, and Pitts and Smith to top-17 finishes last year.

Diontae Johnson Leaves Behind Opportunity

Freiermuth’s 2024 target upside gets a boost from the departure of Diontae Johnson to Carolina.

Johnson led the Steelers in targets in each of his first four seasons from 2019 to 2022. He missed four games last year but still paced the team with 6.7 targets per game and a 22.4% target share in those games.

Pittsburgh returns WR George Pickens, who ranked second on the team last year with 6.2 targets per game, and added third-round rookie WR Roman Wilson. But the rest of the WR corps is comprised of Calvin Austin, Van Jefferson, Quez Watkins, Denzel Mims, and Marquez Callaway.

Freiermuth certainly has a shot to be the No. 2 option in this passing game.

QB Upgrade(s)

After another season of shoddy QB play, the Steelers added both Russell Wilson and Justin Fields this offseason.

Wilson is in “pole position” for the starting job, HC Mike Tomlin said in March, and would be better for Freiermuth’s fantasy outlook. Wilson remained an accurate passer in Denver last year, ranking 12th in completion rate (66.4%) and third in adjusted completion rate (78.8%) among 33 qualifying QBs.

But Fields would also likely be an upgrade over what the Steelers had behind center last season. His career 60.3% completion rate falls short of Pittsburgh’s 63.8% last year. But Fields beats the 2023 Steelers in career yards per attempt (7.0 to 6.8) and TD rate (4.2% to 2.6%).

Freiermuth Has Already Been a TE1

Freiermuth was the 55th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft after averaging 41 yards and 0.55 TDs per game across three seasons at Penn State.

He debuted as a pro with a strong 60-497-7 line. Freiermuth’s 151.7 PPR points ranked 13th that year and were the 11th-most from a rookie TE in NFL history.

He was even better in 2022, ranking sixth among TEs in both catches (63) and yards (732). Despite missing two games and scoring just two TDs, Freiermuth still finished seventh at the position in PPR points. He also ranked seventh in both Pro Football Focus receiving grade and yards per route among 32 qualifying TEs.

Freiermuth’s poor 2023 looks like an outlier for a guy who should pump out more TE1 seasons.

 

Bottom Line

Freiermuth disappointed last year but finished TE7 in PPR points the previous season. The arrival of OC Arthur Smith and departure of WR Diontae Johnson give Freiermuth a chance to jump back into the top-10 TEs this year.

 


         

7 Deep Sleepers

Antonio Gibson, RB, New England Patriots

Gibson's Washington tenure was generally underwhelming.

But he was super productive in the passing game. Here's where Gibson ranks among RBs over the past four seasons:

He's averaged a solid 6.0 yards per target and 1.3 yards per route for his career.

It sets him up for primary pass-catching duties in New England. RB Rhamondre Stevenson has totaled 107 catches across the past two seasons but has been inefficient, averaging 4.7 yards per target and 1.1 yards per route.

The days of expecting Gibson to break out as a lead back are over. But he could catch a bunch of passes for a Patriots team that looks weak at WR.

 


 

Kimani Vidal, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Sixth-round rookie RBs generally aren't good redraft bets. Only one has reached 100 PPR points over the last 10 seasons.

But Vidal has a shot to be an exception. He arrives in Los Angeles after a productive college career. Vidal racked up 4,010 rushing yards and 33 TDs over four seasons at Troy, including 2,793 yards over the last two years.

Yes, he played against a lower level of competition. But Vidal ranked sixth among 231 qualifying RBs last year in Pro Football Focus rushing grade, second in missed tackles forced, and 26th in elusive rating. Then he impressed at the Combine by earning an 8.88 Relative Athletic Score.

Vidal joins a Chargers team that wants to lean on the run under new HC Jim Harbaugh and OC Greg Roman. And the backfield competition is beatable. RB Gus Edwards is 29 and coming off a career-low 4.1 yards per carry, while RB J.K. Dobbins is working back from another serious injury.

There's a chance that Vidal winds up as the Chargers' lead back at some point during his rookie season.

 


  

Darnell Mooney, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Mooney disappeared in bad Bears passing games the past two years.

But he drew 98 targets on a 16.0% share as a rookie in 2020 and followed that up 140 targets and a WR23 PPR finish in 2021.

He's an intriguing bounce-back candidate after a move to Atlanta, where the Falcons look set to deploy a pass-leaning offense under OC Zac Robinson and QB Kirk Cousins.

Mooney's deep speed (4.38-second 40 time) should be a good fit with Cousins, who ranks No. 1 in accuracy on passes 20+ yards downfield over the last four seasons, per Sharp Football.

He might not see enough targets behind WR Drake London, TE Kyle Pitts, and RB Bijan Robinson to be a reliable weekly fantasy play, but Mooney should at least be a useful best-ball asset.

 


 

Marvin Mims, WR, Denver Broncos

Mims flashed a few times as a rookie last year, finishing with a big 17.1 yards per catch. 

He didn’t see enough playing time or claim enough targets to be a real fantasy factor, but we’re not ruling out the possibility of a big second-year leap from a guy who entered the NFL with a strong prospect profile.

Mims broke out as a true freshman at Oklahoma and led the Sooners in receiving yards in all three years on campus. He left school with a huge 19.5 yards-per-catch average and blazed a 4.38-second 40 time at the Combine.

Mims’ fantasy value got a big boost when the Broncos traded WR Jerry Jeudy to the Browns in March. The team only added free-agent WR Josh Reynolds and fourth-round rookie Troy Franklin this offseason. Mims has every opportunity to win a top-two WR job this year.

 


  

Jermaine Burton, WR, Bengals

Burton was one of our favorite pre-draft sleepers in the 2024 WR class. He was a highly touted recruit and flashed at Georgia in 2020 and 2021. Then he transferred to Alabama and led the Tide in receiving yards each of the last two years. The 6'0, 196-pounder averaged a huge 18.0 yards per catch for his college career and earned a 9.09 Relative Athletic Score at the Combine.

Burton went in Round 3 to Cincinnati, where he's a sneaky bet for 2024 production. The team talked about Burton's inside/outside versatility after drafting him -- a signal that he's a candidate to replace former slot receiver Tyler Boyd.

Despite playing behind Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins the past three seasons, Boyd averaged a healthy 5.6 targets per game. That's a range Burton could approach this season.

And if Chase or Higgins misses time this year, the rookie has the skill set to step into a much larger role in this highly productive passing game.

  


  

Demario Douglas, WR, New England Patriots

After a buzzy summer, Douglas caught 49 balls as a sixth-round rookie last year. 

In eight games with a snap rate of 60+%, he averaged:

Those numbers look more impressive when you consider that New England ranked 28th in passing. Douglas’ 49 catches were actually second-most on the team, behind only RB Ezekiel Elliott’s 51.

If rookie Drake Maye proves to be the Patriots' answer at QB, Douglas could take a nice second-year leap.

 


 

Noah Fant, TE, Seattle Seahawks

Fant has finished 17th and 32nd among TEs in PPR points with the Seahawks the past two seasons.

So it might seem like bad news that he re-signed with Seattle in March.

But, as Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend!"

The Seahawks swapped out OC Shane Waldron for OC Ryan Grubb this offseason. Grubb spent the past two years as the University of Washington's OC, leading the Huskies to a pair of top-two finishes in passing yards per game. He deployed an aggressive, downfield attack that should fit Fant's game well.

Remember that Fant blazed a 4.50-second 40 time at 249 pounds in the pre-draft process, earning an elite 9.89 Relative Athletic Score. This is a high-end athlete who's still only 26 years old.

It's also worth noting that the Seahawks lost TEs Colby Parkinson and Will Dissly, who basically split playing time with Fant last year, and have not added to the position. It looks like Grubb will go with more of a clear starting TE than the committee we've seen in Seattle the past two years.

 


              

How to Unlock Your League's Sleepers

Unlocking your team's championship potential hinges on snagging the perfect sleepers. The players you've just read about are a great start.

But here's the catch: the value of a sleeper varies wildly depending on your league's unique rules and scoring system.

You could go old-school: gather endless data, juggle spreadsheets, and crunch numbers until the sleepers emerge. Or, you could streamline the process with our ADP Market Index tool.

Use ADP Market Index to find your fantasy football sleepers.

 

Here’s what you get with our ADP tool:

Customized Analysis: Get player rankings and ADP insights that mirror your league's unique format.  Whether you're in a PPR league, require a trio of starting WRs, or navigating the complexities of Superflex, both the rankings and ADP correlate to your league.

Effortless Insight: Instantly compare each player's value against the market average (ADP). Again, this is all calibrated to your fantasy platform and scoring guidelines. That means you’ll see the gaps between a player’s actual value and his ADP.

Spot the Sleepers: Next, look for green index numbers signaling undervalued players. Discovering a player underrated by 20, 30, or even 40+ spots means you've found a sleeper who could bring you a championship run. 

Dive into the ADP Market Index: I know you're bombarded with fantasy content asking for your attention. But if you’re truly trying to gain an advantage by targeting sleepers in your upcoming draft – you really should spend a few more minutes checking out our ADP Market Index tool.  It could be the difference between a championship or another mediocre season!