Fantasy Football 2020: Sleepers to Target and Possible Team Names for Your SquadAugust 28, 2020
At this point, saying fantasy football sleepers no longer exist is about as useful as calling Clyde Edwards-Helaire a hidden gem.
The term "sleeper" doesn't quite hold the same gravitas these days. Now that fantasy football has thrust itself into the mainstream spotlight, even the casual player is aware of that talented backup running back or emerging wideout. There are no secrets anymore.
That doesn't necessarily mean even the popular preseason targets are getting drafted properly. Everyone knew about Darren Waller by the time 2019 drafts rolled around, but he still proved an immense steal who exceeded optimistic expectations.
Although these three players have garnered a bit of summer buzz, their average draft positions (ADP) don't reflect the hype. If not sleepers, they're at least recommended value picks to pursue on draft day.
Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Boston Scott had played 38 total snaps all season, per Pro Football Reference, before a Miles Sanders injury prompted him to match that total in Week 14's comeback win over the New York Giants last season. After making his presence felt with 128 total yards and a touchdown, the Philadelphia Eagles continued to play the 5'6" back alongside Sanders, who also enjoyed a strong December that has fueled RB1 consideration in 2020 drafts.
In his final four regular-season games, Scott submitted 151 rushing yards on 38 carries and 199 receiving yards on 23 catches. Per FantasyPros, that made him the ninth-highest scoring running back in half-PPR scoring, just two spots and 1.3 points behind Sanders.
Sanders is their unquestioned lead back with Jordan Howard out of the picture, but the Eagles didn't bring in anyone to assume a supplementary role. Scott remains second on the depth chart for head coach Doug Pederson, who has often frustrated fantasy players by spreading the wealth in Philadelphia's backfield.
Per PhillyVoice's Jimmy Kempski, Pederson spoke of Sanders and Scott as a pairing that can co-exist and play simultaneously.
"Boston, as you saw toward the end of the season, he became kind of our jet sweep guy," Pederson said. "He became a guy that we used, he and Miles both actually, out of the backfield together. It's a good combination of guys together there with those two and really look forward to these next few weeks just getting these guys ready for Washington."
Despite his immense pass-catching potential, Scott has an RB49 ADP in full-PPR drafts. His ceiling may be limited, as he's unlikely to assume a significant rushing workload even if Sanders was sidelined. At this price, however, Scott is likely to deliver a positive return on investment as a cheaper version of James White (RB31 ADP).
Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers
For frequent consumers of fantasy football analysis, Allen Lazard may feel more like a "sleeper" that everyone likes. A No. 182 overall ADP, 65th among wide receivers, tells a different story of an end-of-draft dart throw.
Lazard hardly lit up the box scores last year, concluding his second season—he caught his only target as a rookie—for 477 yards and three touchdowns. Like Scott, he didn't get much of a chance until shining on Monday Night Football. His coming-out-party consisted of 65 yards and a key fourth-quarter touchdown in Week 6's victory over the Detroit Lions.
Despite drawing praise from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Lazard averaged just 4.7 targets per game from Week 6 onward. The allure of a starting role alongside a future Hall of Fame passer didn't materialize into fantasy reliability.
Why expect a different result? For starters, drafters aren't taking on any real risk at his minuscule going rate. Lazard has had another offseason to work with Rodgers, who has continued to hype the 24-year-old's potential.
"Everybody's talked about Allen," Rodgers said, per The Athletic's Matt Schneidman. "And it's pretty easy because the guy is a professional. He has worked on his game. I think for him to separate himself, he needs to continue to improve on the things he did last year."
If given more targets, a strong possibility since he's poised to open 2020 as Green Bay's No. 2 receiver, Lazard should delight fantasy drafters. His 67.3 percent catch rate last year represented a higher mark than Davante Adams has ever earned in a single season. Look for Rodgers to trust Lazard more, which will elevate his floor when his efficiency meets volume.
Blake Jarwin, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Nobody should sleep on the Dallas Cowboys offense after they led the NFL in total yards last season. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper are all top-shelf fantasy mainstays. While one can argue that Michael Gallup is undervalued at his WR29 ADP, he's more of a breakout candidate than a true sleeper. Rookie CeeDee Lamb figures to offer a few standout outings without much week-to-week consistency.
Blake Jarwin, meanwhile, continues to go overlooked.
With Jason Witten back from the broadcaster's booth, Jarwin took a back seat in 2019. Per Pro Football Reference, he played a majority of Dallas' snaps in just one game. The undrafted signee received 41 targets to Witten's 83, the 10th-highest tally among tight ends.
Jarwin, however, made the most of his scarce opportunities by corralling 31 catches for 365 yards and three touchdowns. Per Player Profiler, his 0.56 fantasy points per route ranked fifth at the position.
Replicating Witten's opportunities as the starting tight could yield immediate success. Prorate his 8.9 yards per target and 75.6 percent catch rate to Witten's target total, and Jarwin would have tallied 62 receptions and 738 yards.
Prescott also looked Witten's way 10 times inside the red zone. The 6'5", 250-pound Jarwin could slide effortlessly into the role.
Although drafting Lamb gives the Cowboys a star-studded trio of receivers, Randall Cobb left behind as many targets as Witten. There's plenty of room for Jarwin to flourish in this stacked offense. He's a superb upside pick for drafters who wait to fill the tight end spot.
Look, hundreds of people have already used that Dak Prescott pun you just saw. "Fresh Prince of Helaire" and "Hooked on a Thielen" are fun, but they're in just about every list of team names.
So here are some (likely lame) suggestions that cater to this particular writer's weird tastes. Don't like them? Then dig deep into your soul for something that speaks to your heart.
Or just pick any generic name. It's really not that important.
- A Thousand Miles Sanders
- Get Swifty
- Marlon Mack and Me
- Kittle: Taste the Touchdowns (No, this is bad. Please don't use this one.)
- Hunter Hurst Henry
- Gallup Poll
- Silence of CeeDee Lamb
- Last Vance
- Judge Jeudy
- Jake Jortles
Note: All Average Draft Position data, updated as of August 28, obtained from FantasyPros.