NFL Rookie Sleepers to Target For the 2019 Fantasy Football Season

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25:  Marquise Brown of Oklahoma poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen #25 overall by the Baltimore Ravens during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Targeting rookies can go both ways in fantasy football drafts, but the most important thing is to obtain the ones poised to produce at a value. Taking a highly-touted rookie in the early rounds, ahead of proven veterans, only to witness them underachieve in their first season is a recipe for fantasy failure.

The following players, however, won't cost you an early pick, at least in comparison to the more high-profile rookies. Here are the four best rookie sleepers heading into the 2019 fantasy football season.

4. Benny Snell Jr., RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Running back Benny Snell Jr. of Kentucky works out during day two of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

A fourth-round draft pick out of Kentucky, Benny Snell Jr. did little to raise his stock at the 2019 NFL Combine with a 4.67 40-yard dash time. Still, the Steelers believed in him and Snell is now rumored to slot in as James Conner's backup for one key reason – pass protection. Keeping 37-year-old Ben Roethlisberger upright will be of the utmost importance this season. While Snell isn't as talented as some other RBs in this rookie class, he will be playing behind one of the best offensive lines in football. If Conner were to get hurt, a huge opportunity could await the rookie. As the RB75 according to FantasyPros' average draft position (ADP) rankings, Snell is basically free in drafts this year.

3. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 9:  Deebo Samuel #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks waits with teammate to take to the field prior to a game against the Missouri Tigers in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Aside from having an awesome first name, Deebo Samuel also has a great opportunity for playing time in his first NFL season. Joining a San Francisco 49ers team that lacks exciting options at wide receiver, Samuel has been rumored as the starting "Z" receiver opposite 2018 standout WR Dante Pettis. Samuel, a second round pick in April's draft, is small but physical. He has been generating buzz at camp for his ability to get open, which could make him one of Jimmy Garoppolo's favorite targets. Samuel is currently the WR60 according to ADP, making him a great late-round flyer toward the end of the draft.

2. Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25:  Marquise Brown of Oklahoma reacts after being chosen #25 overall by the Baltimore Ravens during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

While we normally wouldn't recommend targeting Ravens pass-catchers for fantasy purposes this season, when the value is this good, it hardly matters. Marquise Brown was the first WR taken in the NFL draft this season, but is only the WR56 according to ADP, behind fellow rookies N'Keal Harry (WR39), D.K. Metcalf (WR42), Parris Campbell (WR53), and Mecole Hardman (WR55). It's anyone's guess who emerges as the best rookie from that group, but based on value alone, Brown (cousin of Antonio Brown) is a great pick with arguably the highest upside of any first-year WR. If he and Lamar Jackson can develop some downfield chemistry in year one, watch out.

1. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Running back Miles Sanders of Penn State speaks to the media during day one of interviews at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Some players, early in the fantasy football draft season, are names that most savvy owners would prefer are kept quiet. This year's example of that may be Eagles rookie RB Miles Sanders. While the second-round pick is clearly no secret in NFL circles, his current ADP (RB33) suggests many drafters are still uncertain about the rookie's role in 2019. Already flashing his immense all-around talent in camp, Sanders is a sleeper who may start climbing up draft boards as the preseason rolls on. While his uncertain role is a bit of a concern, Sanders is talented enough to finish as an RB2 if he gets enough touches.

Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.

Trending Now

More Fantasy Stories