Fantasy Football Deep Sleepers 2021: 3 Late-Round Players With Breakout Potential

Max Staley
Fantasy football deep sleepers 2021: three late-round players with breakout potential, including Bryan Edwards.
Fantasy football deep sleepers 2021: three late-round players with breakout potential, including Bryan Edwards. / Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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Hitting on late-round sleepers can separate the contenders from the pretenders in fantasy football. But there's a reason most of these guys are going so late in drafts – finding a diamond in the rough is a lot easier said than done.

Here are three of the best late-round sleepers to target in drafts this year.

Fantasy Football Deep Sleepers 2021

Note: All players mentioned are currently being taken outside the top 175 according to FantasyPros' average draft position (ADP) data.

3. Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (ADP: QB27)

Jameis Winston is one of our top deep sleepers for the 2021 fantasy football season.
Jameis Winston is one of our top deep sleepers for the 2021 fantasy football season. / Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The last time we saw Jameis Winston play a full season was 2019. From a real-football perspective, he was a disaster, turning the ball over 42 times and taking 47 sacks. But he was excellent in fantasy. He led the league with 5,109 passing yards and tossed 33 touchdowns, finishing as fantasy football's QB5. The New Orleans Saints' skill-position group isn't what he had with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Sean Payton is something of a QB whisperer. There's a non-zero chance he coaxes a renaissance season out of Winston. And it's an excellent gamble to take in the last few rounds of your fantasy draft, particularly in two-QB formats.

2. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (ADP: TE23)

Cole Kmet is one of our top deep sleepers for the 2021 fantasy football season.
Cole Kmet is one of our top deep sleepers for the 2021 fantasy football season. / James Gilbert/Getty Images

Rookie tight ends rarely do anything in the NFL, but Cole Kmet started to buck that trend toward the end of 2021. He saw at least 7 looks in three of his final five regular-season outings and at least six in four of those five, averaging 6.0 per game during that span. Notably, only 11 tight ends averaged more than 6.0 targets per game in 2021. There's a real shot we get a second-year breakout from the Chicago Bears tight end. He could slot in as the second or third option on a Bears' passing attack that has legit potential when and if Justin Fields takes over. He has low-end TE1 upside and is barely even being drafted in standard leagues.

1. Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas Raiders (ADP: WR72)

Bryan Edwards is one of our top deep sleepers for the 2021 fantasy football season.
Bryan Edwards is one of our top deep sleepers for the 2021 fantasy football season. / Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Bryan Edwards was one of our favorite sleeper picks this time last year. It did not work out. Edwards notched just 36.3 PPR points as a rookie, finishing as fantasy's WR132. But we're going back to the well this season. By all accounts, Edwards has been flat-out dominating Las Vegas Raiders training camp. He's also stepping into an offense that leaves 82 vacated targets with the departure of Nelson Agholor. Edwards is the favorite to soak up the majority of those looks, and he has a real shot to emerge as the Raiders' WR1 and No. 2 option behind Darren Waller. That's a valuable role in a passing game that finished top seven in passing yards and top five in net yards gained per pass attempt. He's one of the best low-risk, high-reward players to target this season.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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