Dynasty Sleepers for the 2019 Fantasy Football Season
By Dan Israeli
When participating in dynasty drafts, it's important to have one eye toward the future. While owners should always play to win now and draft players who could help them for the upcoming season, targeting young, high-upside players is just as important.
The following players all represent upside plays who can be had in the later rounds of dynasty drafts. With that in mind, here is one dynasty league sleeper at each position for the 2019 season.
1. Josh Rosen, QB, Miami Dolphins
Josh Rosen struggled mightily in his rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals (11 touchdowns to 14 picks), but he'll get a fresh start in year two with the Miami Dolphins. Just 13 starts into his NFL career, Rosen is clearly not a lost cause. Currently serving as Ryan Fitztpatrick's backup, Rosen is still a few years away from fantasy relevance, but has the touch and football IQ to one day be a viable fantasy starter. He might not contribute right away, but he's a good draft-and-stash target.
2. Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots
For 2019 purposes, Sony Michel is the starting running back for the New England Patriots. As far as dynasty leagues are considered, however, rookie Damien Harris may be the savvier pick. A third-round selection out of Alabama, Harris actually rushed for more yards than his Crimson Tide teammate Josh Jacobs did in 2018. Harris is already generating training camp buzz, while New England is being cautious with Michel due to a knee injury. Considering the Pats rarely like to pay running backs, Harris eventually could see a huge workload if Michel bolts for greener pastures in free agency.
3. Hakeem Butler, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Hakeem Butler was one of three wide receivers selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft, along with Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson. While the speedy Isabella is projected to see a lot of playing time this season, Butler is considerably lower on the depth chart, potentially behind Johnson too, who is generating some camp buzz. As a result, Butler will be an afterthought during drafts, even in dynasty leagues. Still, at 6' 5", with immense big-play ability, Butler may offer the most upside out of three. He is likely a few years away, as he's not a refined route runner, but he could emerge as a decent player down the road.
4. Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos
Rookie TEs almost never produce anything close to useful numbers in fantasy football, so for the sake of dynasty leagues, they are usually longterm bets during drafts. While T.J. Hockenson should be the first rookie TE drafted this year, Noah Fant (Hockenson's teammate at Iowa) may possess more upside down the road. Fant has a chance to emerge as Denver's starting tight end as a rookie, so he could unlock some first-year chemistry with starter Joe Flacco, who has an affinity for targeting tight ends. With his blazing speed (4.50 40-yard dash), Fant could be a matchup nightmare in a few years.
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