Fantasy: 7 sleepers to steal near the end of your draft (Updated)
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Considering the amount of in-depth NFL coverage available, a true fantasy sleeper can be difficult to find. But in this exercise, we aim to identify players who should be available in the late rounds, yet could still emerge as significant assets.

Average draft position (ADP) data courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator and is based on 12-team leagues with PPR scoring.

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Sam Darnold, QB, Jets

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Darnold actually fits the traditional sleeper definition, considering he's a forgotten man in most drafts.

It's understandable that the fantasy community is hesitant after Darnold was woefully inconsistent for the majority of his rookie campaign, completing just 55 percent of his passes during his first nine outings while compiling 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. However, when he returned to the lineup over the final month, Darnold was a different quarterback, completing 64 percent of his attempts with six touchdowns to just one pick. He also started using his legs more, averaging nearly 20 rushing yards per game, helping him post the 12th-most fantasy points over that four-game span.

A weapons upgrade was desperately required and the Jets delivered by adding Le'Veon Bell to the backfield and Jamison Crowder to the slot, all while reinforcing the offensive line with two former All-Pros in guard Kelechi Osemele and center Ryan Kalil. They'll join the team's top wideout, Robby Anderson, who started to form an on-field connection with Darnold down the stretch, and versatile receiver Quincy Enunwa, who was the young QB's favorite target early in the year.

Quarterback is the deepest position in fantasy, which allows you to wait until deep into the draft before you address it. My approach in recent seasons has been to select two high-upside passers in the later rounds and hope one of them hits. Darnold will be among the names on my list this year.

Overachiever potential: ★★★★☆
ADP: ​Undrafted

Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers

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For anyone wondering why a starting running back is on this list, let me counter by asking: Why is Barber being drafted as the 47th ball carrier off the board?

Well, entering the offseason, nobody thought Barber would remain atop the Bucs' depth chart throughout free agency and the draft. He's a volume-dependent runner who won the lead job by default last season when second-round pick Ronald Jones fell flat on his face as a rookie. After the team failed to bring in any high-end competition, Barber will be the starter once again - something new head coach Bruce Arians seems fine with.

"I love him,'' Arians told the Tampa Bay Times in March. "When you watch him on tape, you don’t see his 230 (pounds), you would think he's a 205-pound running back because he’s got great feet. Not every back's going to be a home run hitter, but if he gets those 10-15-yard runs, breaking tackles, power runner, punishing runner, that's kind of how I like to start. When we’re building something, that’s the kind I like to build around."

Jones is a more explosive player on paper and will be given a chance to see increased touches as a sophomore, but he's never proven himself as a pass-catching weapon dating back to his time at USC. That means Andre Ellington, Dare Ogunbawale, or Bruce Anderson could earn passing-down work.

Still, Barber is a dependable rusher who will once again prove to be the best early-down option in the Bucs' backfield.

At his current ADP, Barber represents insane value. Last year, he turned 254 touches into an RB26 fantasy finish in standard leagues while posting RB31 numbers in PPR formats. He's set up in a similar situation for 2019.

Is he going to win you a fantasy championship? No, but another season with around 1,000 yards and six total touchdowns is definitely possible.

Overachiever potential: ★★★★☆
ADP: ​10th round (RB47)

Matt Breida, RB, 49ers

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For several years, fantasy owners found success by drafting the cheapest running back in the Patriots' backfield. The concept revolved around a certainty that New England would be productive on the ground mixed with a lack of knowledge over which runner Bill Belichick would deploy in the lead role. Injuries also played a factor.

This season, San Francisco's stable of running backs might require a similar approach.

In addition to signing Tevin Coleman, who was head coach Kyle Shanahan's former pupil in Atlanta, the 49ers are getting back last year's big-ticket free-agent Jerick McKinnon after a torn ACL sidelined him for the entire campaign.

All of that has pushed Breida's ADP way down despite a breakout 2018 season that included 814 rushing yards on 153 carries, 261 receiving yards on 27 catches, and five total touchdowns. He racked up those numbers while averaging an absurd 5.3 yards per carry, in part due to his big-play ability. According to Niners Nation, Breida gained 10-plus yards on 16 of his 68 runs outside the tackles.

Breida was banged up on multiple occasions, yet fought through injuries to play in 14 games. Coleman and McKinnon haven't proven to be workhorse backs, leaving touch distribution up in the air.

"It's up to the players. They will define their roles," Shanahan said on the "Adam Schefter Podcast."

Even if Coleman begins the year as the lead back in the committee, which is expected, it's still surprising that Breida's ADP has fallen so far behind his teammates. Coleman is projected to go in the sixth round, McKinnon in the 10th, and Breida in the 13th.

Coleman is my pick to be the top fantasy producer here, but a two-headed committee is likely, with both players having a chance to be fantasy relevant each week. Even if Coleman and McKinnon open the season as the starting duo, Breida will be an injury away from returning value - a scenario that unfolded in his favor last year.

Overachiever potential: ★★★★☆
ADP: ​13th round (RB55)

John Brown, WR, Bills

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Over his first seven games with the Baltimore Ravens last season, Brown was the WR11 in standard formats and the WR16 in PPR leagues, with 86 yards and/or a touchdown in five of those contests. Prior to Lamar Jackson taking over at quarterback, Brown was on pace for 1,275 yards and nine touchdowns, which would have been career highs, topping his 1,003-yard, seven-score sophomore season with the Cardinals in 2015.

Back then, Brown was seen as a potential breakout candidate before sickle cell issues sidetracked him. As we witnessed last season, he's now healthy and can be a top-25 receiver with the right opportunity.

Some may claim Bills quarterback Josh Allen isn't much different than Jackson, as both turned their offenses into low-volume passing attacks in 2018. However, Allen was able to help his receivers post big fantasy outings thanks to the deep ball, an area where Brown excels.

In fact, Allen led the league in average depth of target last season, as a league-high 28.2 percent of his pass attempts traveled 15-plus yards downfield, according to Rotoworld's Rich Hribar.

Robert Foster was one of the main beneficiaries, hitting the 100-yard mark three times over his final seven games of 2018, resulting in WR2 fantasy numbers during the second half of the season.

And from Week 10 onward, both Foster and fellow Bill Zay Jones finished in the top 13 for targeted air yards, a metric that Brown ranked eighth in during 2018 and third in during 2017.

Buffalo isn't the destination fantasy owners were hoping for, but Brown has set himself apart throughout OTAs and training camp and will enter the season as the Bills' top receiver. He remains a captivating asset with a high ceiling and a slightly lower floor due to the uncertainty surrounding this offense.

Overachiever potential: ★★★★★
ADP: ​13th round (WR56)

Donte Moncrief, WR, Steelers

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The Antonio Brown-sized hole in the Steelers' offense is one that won't be filled by JuJu Smith-Schuster alone. After all, JuJu saw 166 targets in 2018, so there isn't much room for that number to grow.

That means replacing the 168 targets left behind by Brown will fall on Moncrief, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Eli Rogers, Ryan Switzer, and tight end Vance McDonald. It's possible we look back a year from now and realize it was a collective effort by several members of that group, but at the moment, it seems as though Moncrief is leading the charge to assume the No. 2 job.

Moncrief, who signed with Pittsburgh in March, saw his stock fall after stops in Indianapolis and Jacksonville were capped by injuries and poor quarterback play. The 25-year-old has flashed game-breaking ability throughout his career - including 13 touchdowns combined during the 2015 and 2016 campaigns - but he's never been able to put everything together over a full season.

The 6-foot-2, 216-pounder was a top-30 fantasy receiver during a seven-week stretch last year, which was highlighted by stat lines of 5-109-1, 6-76-0, 7-76-0, 4-54-0, and 3-98-1. He'll now get a significant upgrade at quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger.

If Moncrief can hold onto his starting spot for the entire season, a fantasy breakout is still within reach.

Overachiever potential: ★★★★☆
ADP: ​10th round (WR49)

Tre'Quan Smith, Saints

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Amid all the hype around second-year receivers like D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley, Dante Pettis, and Christian Kirk, the Saints' third-round pick from 2018 has largely flown under the fantasy radar this offseason.

Smith flashed his skills as a rookie with a pair of 100-yard outings, including a 3-111-2 line against the Redskins in Week 5 and a 10-157-1 outing versus the Eagles. Unfortunately for him, the Saints went back to veteran Ted Ginn as the offense's field-stretcher once he was healthy late in the season.

At 34 years old, the clock is ticking on Ginn's career and it seems like only a matter of time before the 23-year-old Smith takes over the role. There's also very little in terms of proven talent further down the depth chart with players like Rishard Matthews, Keith Kirkwood, Austin Carr, and Emmanuel Butler fighting for roster spots.

Though it was a small sample size, Smith finished third in quarterback rating when targeted and eighth in fantasy points per target last year, according to Player Profiler.

Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are locked in as Drew Brees' top two options, but Smith could emerge as a new threat in New Orleans' passing attack. He's exactly the type of upside player you should be targeting in the final rounds of your draft.

Overachiever potential: ★★★★☆
ADP: ​13th round (WR57)

Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens

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Rookie tight ends rarely make a fantasy impact, especially when they're on a team that employs a run-first approach. But in Andrews' case, he was the second tight end the Ravens drafted in 2018, yet ended up being the team's most productive player at the position.

Even with Jackson averaging just 22 pass attempts per game down the stretch, Andrews finished 10th among tight ends over the final six contests of the fantasy season. He was one of the only pass-catchers who continued to produce with Jackson under center, despite seeing the field on fewer than 40 percent of the team's snaps.

Andrews' rookie season put him in elite company in a few areas, according to Action Network's Ian Hartitz. First, Andrews was one of 15 first-year tight ends to average at least 8 yards per target since 2000. He was also one of only seven tight ends to average at least 2 yards per route over the past two seasons.

There's hope that the Ravens' playoff loss helped the team realize it needs to open up the passing game. Every report out of Baltimore mentions that Jackson is working on his accuracy and that the coaching staff plans to throw more in his second season. While some may chalk that up to coachspeak, it's a trend we've seen with other sophomore passers like Jared Goff and Mitch Trubisky.

With a year of experience and with a projected uptick in playing time, Andrews is on the radar as a late-round target with plenty of upside.

Overachiever potential: ★★★★☆
ADP: ​13th round (TE17)

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Fantasy: 7 sleepers to steal near the end of your draft (Updated)
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